Once he landed in his new foster home he was quite scared and aggressive, as you can see by the difference in the pictures. The lovely foster who helped this dog off of the streets decided, with her 13 year old, four pound, deaf toy poodle, that she would not be able to keep this one. He came to me the next day and was not very nice to my dogs either. I thought it was bad news for this guy. I was sure that the torture he had been through was too much for a dog that young to overcome. After crying for a bit and thinking I was going to have to make the decision that I don't ever want to have to make, I decided to take him for a run. We ran for a long time, through alley ways with dogs charging the fence. We slowed and walked through those areas to see how he would react. He stayed right by my side without any sort of nervousness or aggression. Maybe I was wrong? Why did I jump to the conclusion that this dog did not deserve a chance? Now, after a week of keeping him in a large crate near all of the other dogs in our house and brief, surveillanced interactions, today he was able to play all day in the yard with the other dogs. Duck was actually the one I was worried about getting hurt.
He is such a sweet boy. It just goes to show that you can't judge a dog by its initial reaction when he comes from an unknown situation. Dogs & Ducks deserve the chance to show how much love they are capable of giving, even after a life of torture. This one is a keeper and is going to give someone a lifetime of love and entertainment, because he is funny too. How could he not be with a name like Duck.
If you are interested in seeing first hand what PJ does and helping her feed the dogs (and some kitties), please contact us and we can set up a day for you to ride along. If you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to comment here or contact us through phone-314.664.7398, or email. We would love to hear from you.
There are so many more dogs than just the ones I have posted pictures of so far. Quite honestly, there are probably hundreds of dogs on the streets of East St. Louis. Some of them PJ sees everyday. There are some she sees one day, and never again. And then there are others that she sees consistently, and then one day they just disappear. The best part is when we have an open home for a dog and he gets to come home with us that day. The look in their eyes is one of excitement and contentment that this is their very last day of living on the streets.
After the ice storm yesterday I rode with PJ to feed the dogs in East St. Louis. It is so hard to see them without any relief from the cold. Some of them had icicles stuck to their fur. I really try to be thick skinned about what I see while doing rescue work, because I am afraid it will be too much if I let it get to me too bad. When it snows, I just can't stop thinking about the dogs that are on the streets. They always look so cold. Especially the ones with short hair. That is why my husband and I decided we would take in one more dog for the winter. It gets a little tight here in our little house with two fosters, but there is that boxer out there that is probably so cold. That is why I rode with PJ yesterday; to rescue the boxer. He must have been hiding somewhere to stay warm though, because we could not find him.
If only we had a facility. We could help so many other dogs stay warm this winter. If you haven't donated yet, please consider doing so. We just want these dogs to have a warm place to stay, regular meals and some healthy human interaction. We are writing up a business plan tomorrow to present to the public. I have been asked by a few people what will happen once we raise enough for the down payment. We have several ideas to keep the facility open with steady, reliable income. We just need enough to get it started. I hate to sound like a broken record, begging for money all of the time, but it's for the animals. I know how much they mean to you, because you are reading this blog. Thank you for taking the time to be a part of what we are doing. It means so much to us.
Sage is our foster. She is a quirky, hilarious, soulful little girl. She is a little thing at about 35 lbs. and looks like some sort of pointer/bird dog mix. She flattens herself out when she wants to play with the other dogs in the house; head flat, back flat, tail flat, hind leg lifted. She points with her hind leg, which I have never seen before. Sage was rescued with several of her litter mates. They were all scared frozen when they were rescued. When you picked them up they would cling to your arm like little koala bears. We think they were attacked by something. One of the litter mates was missing a leg. But, we got her all patched up and she is now in a super fabulous home. Sage is the remaining pup from that litter. We love having her around, but I am sure that she would love to have her final forever home, sooner than later.
I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the response that we have gotten so far from the facility fundraiser. I don't think I mentioned it here in the blog, but two days ago, I sent out a plea for donations toward a facility for our rescue. We found a place that we think would be just wonderful for rescuing more dogs. It is a 5000 sq. ft. warehouse, with a fenced in gravel lot. We just need to raise $40,000 for the down payment. I know that number looks daunting, but if just 200 people get 4 of their friends to donate $50, then we will be well on our way. We are off to a good start, considering it has only been two days, but we need some serious donations to make this happen. It's all about dogs like Bomber and Sage & her litter mates above. Sage's poor sister would not have made it if we were not able to rescue her. And who knows where Sage would be. Even if you can't swing $50, small amounts help too. I know times are hard right now, but it is the end of the year, and your donation will be tax deductible. We appreciate anything you can give.
This beautiful guy kind of stole the show today. This was his sweet face from the car when we were leaving. "Please don't leave me again!", he says.
This is him when we arrived. Think he was excited?
And this is him being just adorably hilarious. If he could speak, I think he would be saying "blah!", like he didn't like whatever he just tasted. I kind of fell in love with this boxer today. He just started coming around for PJ's daily feedings. He wants it to be his turn to be pulled. He is pulling out all of the shots. That is for sure.
This is sweet, sweet Bomber. Bomber has been on the streets for a long time. He is arthritic and has trouble getting around now. All he wants is to be petted by us. He is the friendliest, sweetest Rottie. PJ gives him meds for his arthritis, but the winter is coming, and the cold weather is even harder on his joints. Do you see his shy buddy in the background?
This cutie is scared to death of us. But, I think she is so pretty. She had mange when she was young, and her fur looks in pretty bad shape. I bet if we caught her, she would be happy in a minute.
Not just dogs that PJ feeds over there. I would look grumpy too if I were this kitten. So pretty though.
We just love this dog. She's a new one for PJ too. She is pretty scared of us, but will probably come around over time. We love that fluffy white fur.
PJ sharing the love.
Little Mini German Shepherd. I have named her Eartha. I love her. She is scared of us too, but extremely hungry. New to the streets too.
This little Pit mix is also miniature. Super sweet to people, but tends to be completely beat up most of the time.
Ra Ra was fascinated by the camera. Every time I went to shoot another dog she ran in front of the camera. When I would press the button she would duck and scoot out of the way. Ra Ra always has to come to the side of the car to get a treat from PJ before she leaves. Ra Ra is super sweet.
Now you have an idea of the day in the life for PJ. She has gone every day since 2001 to feed these dogs. She has not missed one day. It would be so wonderful if we could just take them off of the streets and put them in a warm, easy and loving environment. Please consider donating to our shelter fund. Help us save these sweet animals from the rough street life.
Doesn't she look tired? Had I been present, I am sure that she would have had to tell me to go away if she could talk. I personally think I would be a little annoying at a puppy birth. Although, I probably would have obsessed over the process and read a gazillion books and as much info online as I could find. I know, I know. It is not rocket science. I just obsess over things like this. And then, I probably would have passed out once the first one crowned. Have you ever experienced an animal birth? Was it scary? Fun? Gross? A miracle? Did the animal tell you to go away at any point or did you feel like she wanted you there?
Click on the video to see a dog save another dog who has been hit by a car on the highway. And then tell me that dogs don't have feelings. I think this should change laws on animal rights. It is just so sweet! It reminds me of a dog we rescued off of the streets of East St. Louis named Clarence. The dogs in East St. Louis usually travel in packs.
Clarence and another dog were buddies. They were the only two dogs in their pack. Clarence's buddy got hit by a car, and PJ, the devoted lady who feeds the dogs every morning said that Clarence laid by his buddy in the road for three days. That just breaks my heart. We get to go visit Clarence tomorrow. He was adopted by PJ's sister. He is the luckiest dog who has horse friends and all of the treats he wants. He was my favorite foster ever, but don't tell my other fosters because I would not want to hurt their newly discovered feelings :)
I would like to try to keep this blog as light and fun as possible. And there is a lot of fun and gratification in dog rescue. It is truly the most gratifying thing I have done in my life. We have saved so many dogs in just this year alone, but the fact remains that there are so many homeless dogs on the street that are abused, neglected starving and lonely. There are also thousands of dogs who are put down every day in shelters across the world. You see the cute pictures of the animals on the side bar to the left and, yes, they are adorable. Many of them did not come to us like that. We give them proper food, veterinary care, love and attention. Many of them have never been in a house before. They are so confused and nervous at first. Usually within a quick day or two they begin to warm up and understand that they are safe. Something really changes in their eyes once they know they are safe.
When I send a foster off to his forever home, knowing how happy he will be for the rest of his life, knowing that because of the training, love, and attention he received in my house, his life will be forever changed. Unfortunately, this love and attention is only something that can be given to a homeless pet if our rescue has the money to pull a dog. There are times where we would like to rescue a dog off of the streets, but we don't have the money to do so. So, we wait. Sometimes it is too late. The average lifespan of a dog on the streets is about a year and a half. There are just too many variables that make living on the street nearly impossible for these dogs. They are not wild animals, they are domesticated dogs who would prefer to be in a home. Some of them jump into PJ's car when she gets out to feed them. It is heartbreaking to see those who somehow know that there is something better out there for them. Like I said, because of lack of finances, we are unable to take most of these dogs.
Will you please consider donating to our rescue, or sponsoring a pet as a gift for Christmas? We desperately need your help, and so do the animals.
The preview for this movie Marley & Me awakened all of these memories of Bailey. After Bailey passed away, I was pretty lost. I had been through college, several boyfriends, and the ups and downs of life with Bailey by my side. It wasn't just Amie, it was Amie & Bailey. He went every where with me. His passing is kind of what thrust me into dog rescue. Always trying to fill that void, I suppose. I would love to hear your stories about your crazy dogs.
After viewing the previews for this movie, and getting over my reminiscing of Bailey, I got an idea for our rescue. I wrote a letter to AMC Theatres requesting that they work with us to donate some of the proceeds from the viewing of Marley & Me at the AMC West Olive Theatre. It would help us toward our goal of purchasing a shelter for all of the homeless dogs. Please leave a comment on this entry, and let AMC know that you will go see Marley & Me at the West Olive theatre if they donate some of the proceeds to Gateway Pet Guardians. You don't have to leave much, just say, "I will go see Marley and me at AMC!", or whatever you would like. Thanks for all of your support and I hope everyone has a great Thursday.
P.S. The pups above are looking for a new home & a new foster. Please click here or here to see more of their cute little faces. They were found running on a highway. Super lucky little pups found their way to one of the initiators of this rescue's car. They were very lucky. As you can see by their faces, they had no idea of the perils they were in.