It began as a slightly unusual rescue mission and ended with an education few of us involved will ever forget. We went to Gabbs, NV – a desolate high desert location that housed 150+ dogs -ready to help as many as we could. We weren’t prepared for what we saw out there, but then again Eddie wasn’t prepared for us – or anyone. The dogs had mostly been left in pens far from anyone or anything (except for a herd of cows) and Eddie was the wily one who escaped from the pens and watched the goings on from afar. As the other dogs were captured, Eddie remained at large for a month after all the other dogs went into various shelters and rescue groups.
Once captured and delivered to HSTT, we realized just how feral Eddie was. He may have lived his entire life on that ranch with no knowledge of people or homes. We knew that business as usual just didn’t play out. Eddie lived by his own set of rules and we had to learn them. Eddie did not eat out of bowls – he was used to eating whatever food was thrown onto the frozen ground. But Eddie happily ate from a human’s hand. (We’re still trying to figure that one out.) Eddie did not “do” leashes. The first misguided attempt resulted in a terrified dog who lashed out in sheer terror.
Everything we knew about handling shy dogs went out the door with Eddie. He was above and beyond anything any of us had experienced. Dog trainers were called in, but ultimately it took a LOT of time and a LOT of patience and the dedication of a few committed people. We didn’t know what we were getting into when we brought Eddie to HSTT, but
I’d like to think Eddie had a plan when he came to us. He taught us to be quiet and soft in our interactions with him, to know him on his own timeframe and terms, and to learn that patience, with a capital P, can win the day. Eddie now lives in Truckee, still won’t eat out of a bowl and refuses a leash, but nonetheless he’s a happy, civilized, and extremely well-loved companion. Yes, Eddie “ed”ucated us all!
Trinka came in to us as a stray, along with her two beautiful kittens. As is generally the case, the two kittens were adopted very quickly. Momma Trinka however wasn’t so lucky. She was very tiny, skinny from nursing her babies, and still pretty scared of everything. After all, life on the streets ain’t easy for a homeless mother!
Thanks to one of our wonderful volunteers (and previous adopter), Trinka found a foster home. And, as often happens, the foster family found that not only did their little foster bloom and become adoptable, they realized they couldn’t part with her.
Here’s what Alden has to say: "Trinka has made such amazing strides and become such a part of my family that I don't think we can let her go. I wish you could see her. I guarantee you wouldn't even recognize her! Her hair has grown, she's put on some much needed weight and she no longer has that scared look in her eyes. Plus...now "Peaches and Cream" are back (one of my regrets was not adopting Peaches along with my Cream, now known as Belle)."
Sometimes, when we have space and other shelters are overflowing, we help out by taking in some extra homeless cats and dogs. That’s how I found Gina, a little black lab mix that was hugely pregnant. She went into foster care and of course had a huge litter of 10 puppies.
We never worry about puppies not being adopted, but even Gina had found a home before she had finished nursing! And the puppies all found wonderful forever homes as soon as they were ready. This is the story of one, in his adopter’s words:
“Hi Nanette, we kept the name Bogie. He was 11 lbs when we got him, and is now almost 18. He loves to run around in the snow, he can hop like a bunny in it. He is a great little guy. He is very friendly with everyone and loves to meet other dogs, even though a few have growled at him, and so far hasn't met any his size who wanted to play. Thanks again for taking care of him. He is getting too big for the one bed, but still curls up in it, but is not quite big enough for the other one and tends to roll off it.”
One year later: “Today is Bogie's 1st birthday. Thank you for helping him get his start. He still has the frog you gave him. It is very indestructible, he still chews it and it still squeaks.”
Once upon a time, a little young pit bull named Bailey was picked up by Truckee Animal Services. She was one of those extremely silly pit bulls, and her very favorite thing was to spin around in the little turtle pool we use in the summers. While some people are wary of the breed, plenty of other people both know them and love them. One, Linda, was just interested in volunteering for us when she saw little Bailey and her sparkling personality.
Little Bailey is now Ruby, and living the best life ever. And now, she (and Linda) has generously opened up their home to another pit bull as a foster. Abby was set to be put down in another shelter, when her good looks and sparkling personality caught our eye. She was quickly adopted, but it turned out her exuberance was a bit much – she hated to be left alone and liked to destroy things. Like everything!
Her next home was perfect! She got to go to work with her person every day and she was a model shop dog. Unfortunately, her adopter lost his place to live and his family was not completely enthralled with Abby’s, well, “pit bull-ness.” Once again, Abby was homeless. She found a great home with some young guys, but somehow ended up at the very shelter that had originally planned to euthanize her. Luckily, the microchip was traced back to us and Abby was back.
Some dogs actually improve at the shelter, but Abby wasn’t one of them. She was great in play groups, but her intelligence led her to find new ways to break loose. She always knocked at the front door, but we knew she needed to get out and into a home. And there was Linda, willing to try her out. With a lot of adjustments (ever hot-wired an acre of fencing?), Abby has settled in and joined the family. She’s still looking for that perfect forever home though!
The problem of homeless pets in our community has improved each year as people recognize that their pets are part of their family and also understand the benefits of spaying and neutering their pets. Thanks to HSTT’s Community Spay/Neuter program, we see very few unaltered pets around here. But some surrounding communities are still struggling to educate their population. And when we can, we help out those people who have too many pets and no money to provide them with vet care.
That’s how Omar and Eddy found us. There are a lot of unaltered cats roaming in Sierra County, and families are always taking in kittens to keep them safe from the elements. By the time Omar and Eddy came to HSTT, they were already on the far side of kitten-hood. That didn’t stop them from being adopted almost immediately however, since they’re sparkling personalities won over Adrienne. Here’s what she had to say about them now that they’re a part of her family:
“Omar and Eddy – now known as Shaman and Bodie – are growing like weeds, love to play until they pass out in the middle of the floor sound asleep and have turned my office into a kitty play land. Shaman is the adventurer and Bodie is the lover kitty. They are getting along great with the other kitties and the dogs (especially Simba my 13 year old male cat – he is like a kitten again himself).
Shaman and Bodie’s favorite place to sleep is the bathroom sink – together. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to recycle lives and adopt such wonderful kitties – they put a smile on my face every minute of every day!