ASF—Saving Lives, One Aussie at A Time

One of my fondest memories growing up was the time I spent with my Mom-mom. She was a wonderful woman who loved her family and adored her grandchildren. But, what made Mom-mom so special is that she also had an uncanny love for animals. When we were kids she would always tell us, “Never trust a person who doesn’t love dogs.” I suppose that advice truly stuck with me, and her love of animals has become a right of passage in our family—both immediate and extended.

Mom-mom and her grand kids

Mom-mom with my brother Rubes and cousins Sam and Jessi

When I think about her now, I’m reminded of her passion for people and animals, and it pushes me to be a better person from one day to the next. I’m not quite there yet, but I try to help out as much as I can,  and it almost feels like I’m honoring her life in the process. Since she passed, I feel the love and desire to help animals; its one that she so graciously passed along to all of us. I suppose that’s why we have so many animals of our own.

Since we’ve collected so many herding dogs, my wife and I have developed a true love for those breeds in particular. Although we love all dogs, all breeds, and have a deep respect for all animals, these dogs seem to light up our lives every single day. Even our Aussie, Lee-C, who is extremely reactive and difficult to train, has wormed her way into our hearts—cute little nub tail and all.

Lee-C the Not-so-friendly Aussie...but God is she cute.

Lee-C the Not-so-friendly Aussie…but God is she cute.

And, in fact, we recently acquired a rescue dog named Casper who is also an Australian Shepherd.

2014-11-09 23.05.36

Casper the Friendly Aussie! Also very cute!

I suppose I should introduce our friendly Australian Shepherd, Casper, since I have yet to include him in this blog. When we acquired him, we had planned to foster for several months until he found a home. But, we fell in love with him. I don’t think we can bear to part with our brown-eyed baby, who is nine years old but still behaves like a sweet little puppy.

Casper with Red-Mom

Casper with Red-Mom

Truth be told, these types of dogs aren’t for everybody. My Border Collie, Eddie, holds a very special place in my heart, but even working with him took a lot of time, dedication, exercise, and patience! They’re intelligent, sentinel, and exceptional animals. Just like our Australian Shepherds, and they’ve brought us more love and happiness than I could ever explain.

Eddie-T

Eddie-T

We found Casper through an incredible non-profit organization called Australian Shepherds Furever. It’s a small organization, and the employees who work there are all volunteer based, which means they make no money—at all. Day-in and day-out these dogs are rescued, rehabed, vetted, transported, fostered, and eventually adopted to the right family. It’s not a perfect science, mostly because there are some dishonorable people out there who take in dogs and then fail to care for them adequately, abuse them, or simply refuse to pay their adoption fees. It’s really quite sad considering all the sacrifices these women make on a daily basis to care for hundreds—if not thousands-—of stranded animals.

1454896_646265338758197_598674175_n 2

We have been so impressed with the devotion and tenacity that these women put forth to rescue helpless animals in very dire situations. And, I can honestly tell you from experience that rescue dogs are by far the best animals to bring into a loving home—but only for the right owners. I won’t bog you down with details about what constitutes the “right” home for an Australian Shepherd or any other herding dog for that matter. But, I will outline some of the many hurdles that organizations like ASF face each time they rescue an animal and provide medical, behavioral, and homing services.

As many of you know, LB and I decided to donate money in honor of each guest who attended our wedding to two very special causes that are close to our hearts—Autism Speaks and the Australian Shepherds Furever foundation. When we made our initial donation, the CEO of the organization gave us the incredible honor of sharing our names with two of their newest rescues.

Kristina

This is momma Kristina:)

Ironically, the rescue dog they named after me was pregnant with a litter of puppies.

The puppies

The puppies

She had been mistreated, malnourished, and neglected. The entire litter of puppies was born healthy. When their foster family took them to the vet to get their shots, the parvo shot had an adverse effect. Now, all of the pups have the disease, which is extremely deadly for any dog, let alone newborn pups.

10931238_867815209936541_8622382326698648571_n

When ASF took them to the vet, they found that the cost associated with their treatment was $1,500 per puppy. There were ten of them. I’m no mathematician, but that’s a lot of dollars. People have donated small amounts and large amounts, whatever they can afford, and those donations have gone a long way. But, not nearly long enough. The first puppy to be born, Uno, died quickly after he was diagnosed with the deadly disease, and his sister Raine died shortly after. Now, there are eight puppies left.

10801475_867363999981662_2595044495469248644_n

10171656_867782716606457_216616001356627925_n

If you aren’t familiar with the association, you don’t know how heartbreaking these losses are for the women who spend their hard-earned money and precious time trying to save as many dogs as possible. For the most part, every single dog that is rescued was put in harm’s way by their owners. Perhaps it’s because of  irresponsible breeding, neglect, abuse, or just down right cruelty. I can’t really wrap my head around it, but it’s really gut-wrenching to imagine how someone could be so cruel to an innocent animal. For the dogs who don’t need behavioral therapy due to the trauma they’ve endured, they are so grateful when they’re finally rescued. But, rescuing thousands of dogs requires money—lots of it.

10929028_866330706751658_3036578944261696339_n

Here’s the thing, I’m aware that not everyone cares about helping animals—although I’m not sure why you are still reading this blog if that pertains to you. But, we do. And, these women do. This organization does. They’ve made it their entire life. In fact, it dominates  every minute, every hour, and every day of their lives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  So, here I am…talking. And, I’m going to keep talking. Because there are so many incredibly giving, kind, and gracious people out there who just aren’t aware that these kinds of problems exist.

10277112_866094806775248_908995922374924741_n

Mending a broken heart…

 

So, without further ado, and to avoid manipulating you with the lyrics from In The Arms Of The Angel, I just have one small request. Please, please, please share this blog post. Visit their site. Visit their Facebook page and like it. Share it. If you have the means, even if it’s five dollars, please donate to this organization so that we can save the remaining puppies. These little babies were born with a disease that will kill them if not treated immediately.

Here's where we are so far....

Here’s where we are so far….

I’m not asking that you donate large sums of money—although I will love you FUREVER and ever if you do—but I am asking that you check out their work, consider making a donation, and keep these puppies in your thoughts an prayers.  Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  What better way to counteract all of the hatred and cruelty that plagues our world today? Let’s move our moral progress to the next level.

346278-admin_edited-1

You can visit the Australian Shepherds Furever website at http://www.australianshepherdsfurever.org, and make a donation directly through the site or through paypal. You can also visit their Facebook page and make a donation there. A little bit goes a long way. Thanks for reading, and I hope you can contribute in some way—be it through sharing, writing , fostering, adopting— or most importantly—donating to help save these incredible dogs from a life that no living creature should have to endure.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” –Immanual Kant

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “ASF—Saving Lives, One Aussie at A Time

  1. Oh no…I’m sorry. I don’t even know what to say:( He was one amazing dog. But, I know all dogs go to heaven, and if I know a thing or two about Cody he’s riding around having one adventure after another in the big meadow in the sky.

    Like

  2. While not coming from a rescue facility, (he came from a family who did their best with him and did love him), Bossdin was still a rescue case in my mind. He was 9 months old when I got him and I was his 4th owner. He was a dangerous nut case with no boundaries and no idea of the ‘right’ way to behave. Being madly in love with herding breeds, as you are, I didn’t care.

    With lots of work and tonnes of love he transformed into a wonderful dog, loved by golf players all over Dunedin (the small city I live in in NZ). I can honestly say, his rehabilitation was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life….. hope that comes out right and you know what I mean ?

    He was/is the absolute Love of my Life. It broke my heart when I had to make that final call on Christmas Eve. RIP my love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I hate that we all have to say good bye eventually. But, it’s not forever. He’s with Cody, now. I would love to talk with you about how you rehabilitated him. Our Aussie, Lee-C, is the only dog we did not rescue. My wife bought her from a reputable breeder, but not to show. She had a “defective” eye, one that often plagues Aussies, as I’m sure you know. We loved all of her, including her eyes, so we took her home! She’s the epitome of a herding dog. But, she is so reactive that’s it become unpredictable. I’ve successfully worked with all of our other dogs, but I can’t seem to get it right with her. She is nice one minute, and then she will turn around and bite the Border Collie the next minute. She’s extremely possessive over me, and she tries to herd anyone she doesn’t know. We’ve spent THOUSANDS of dollars working with professional trainers and expert behavioralists who specialize in herding dogs. Nothing has worked thus far. She has gotten better. But, I’m missing some small piece of the puzzle. Maybe you can offer some advice? We’re all very sorry, again, about Bossdin. He sounds like an incredible guy. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for your kind words Kristina.
    Have you given your girl a job? Dogs like this need to work. They also need to be able to run, really, really run, free. But if you have gone to specialists already, I’m guessing you know this already. ? Like I said in my blog, Bossdin literally trained me to be a sheep…. before we discovered golfing…. he kept taking off running, out wide and then round and round in circles. I eventually clicked he was ‘casting out’. And when Bossdin was ‘working’ with his golfers (or running round me in circles) he was not remotely interested in being patted or socialising with other dogs. I had to keep other dogs away from him when he was running his circles because if they got too close and annoyed him (wanting to play) he would nip/bite them, telling them to bugger off.

    Do you take her out every single day? If not you have to. We went out every day, rain hail or snow for an absolute minimum of 45 mins. And that wasn’t walking. That was him running flat out (before he got too ill).

    Bossdin was totally devoted to me. Not sure if he was possessive as he didn’t have to share me with another dog, or another person. One of the vet nurses at my clinic said some collies are like this, one person only dogs. Bossdin was also a dog who needed a very firm Pack Leader. I knew none of this pack leader stuff when I first got him, I had to learn in a hell of a hurry. After having him a month and a bit I thought I was going to have to have him put to sleep as he went into full attack mode and almost bit some golfers (this was way before he started playing golf)… it was the scariest thing I”d ever seen in my life.

    I had a one on one with dog trainer, who specialised in collies and she had him behaving better within 30 minutes. She told me he was a young totally insecure dog with no confidence and no boundaries, but, that he wasn’t inherently bad or dangerous. She said if I put the work into him in a few years he would be a great dog. She was right.

    Some trainers, from what I’ve heard, have gone away from the Pack Leader idea ??
    For Bossdin me being a really strong, kind, pack leader, did wonders. Do you do Pack Leader things…… like going through doors before her, going through gates before her, making her sit and wait before she is allowed her food ? My first dog Bailey, also a sheep dog, didn’t need any of this stuff…. christ I didn’t even know about this stuff then, but he was the most perfect dog, totally different personality to Bossdin.

    When she meets people she doesn’t know for the first time do you do the “no look, no touch, no eye contact” thing….. ie, make the people she is meeting totally ignore her. I had to do that with Bossdin.

    It’s so hard to offer suggestions when I don’t know what you have actually done and what framework you are coming from.

    Kindest regards
    Dee

    Like

LEAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s