Big Bull Moose Sighting!

Big Bull Moose  

Click on above video link!

Since the 70′s, when every day tee shirts caught on, I’ve resented each Yooper tee with moose on it.  Hey, shirts with black bears and beaver shots are ok.  Celebrating slogans like “Say ya to da UP, eh?” or those making fun of Beer Camp, Pasties, and Trolls living south of da bridge are good.  I’ve just got a 50 year grudge with Moose shirts.  Until I saw an incredible bull moose tear it up on U.S. 2 at the MI95 junction in Iron Mountain. What happened next blew me away.

This mature bull shredded everything in his path as he filled his tank on berries and brush leaves.  He seemed nice enough and sort of tame.  Traffic came to a standstill and impatient folks bailed out to see what the commotion was.  After they figured it out, each raced back to their trusty rusties to retrieve cell phones and cameras.  Folks began gathering quick and there were more oooohs and aaaahs than fireworks on the 4th of July.   Sparks shot off the nearby cell phone tower as callers lit it up.   Eventually, every bar stool within a five mile radius was empty. We had us a spectacle–a true Yooper miracle…until a guy wearing steel toed Carhartt boots said, “Hey, hold my beer!”

 

Get off at Exit 69 on Big Beaver Road–How Hard Can it Be?

“Big BEEverr” Pronouncing this major artery through the city of Troy, Michigan almost always draws snickers from out-of-towners.   It is embarrassing to give them directions in this town to anywhere, even a place as simple as a shopping mall.  I blame dead folks: the ones who long ago snickered at leaving us this legacy.   They know what they did.

These 1950′s engineers were in charge of road planning.  They selected all the junctions as I-75 was designed. Big Beaver Road, which was originally named in the 1800′s after a nearby beaver pond, was assigned (cover your eyes, kids) EXIT 69.  If these clowns had added one more intersection before or after Big Beaver Road, a lot of teens and t’weens would have had nothing to giggle about.   Worse, the old Playboy Club, was there, further perpetuating the urban legend factor. Take heart, Michiganders, we are in good company:

 

 

 

 

 

Kentuckians don’t want you to know is that there are two villages in Northern KY: Beaver Lick and Big Bone Lick.)

For those of you needing some extra R&R, you could pull over here: 

Forgiven

Harriet in full camouflage

It has been an honor to rehabilitate and care for brave Harriet, pictured here in her camouflage blankie.  She has more humanity than that pig-man who now rots in jail for what he did to her and seven other dogs.  I know Harriet has more forgiveness built into her than I do for that monster because DOG is GOD spelled backwards.

Happy endings is what fostering and adoption are all about.

I’m comforted knowing that Harriet’s cruising years of 5-9 will be rewarding, stress free, and fun for her.  She will never be hungry or cold again.  I smile when I imagine her golden years, with a powder grey face that probably scores lots of table scraps.  Blessed are those who step up to the plate to save a life, knowing that dogs of every age have value.  Rescue dogs, many of which have known love and are owner surrenders (moving, divorce, job changes, or sometimes illness or death of owner) and, sadly, some who have been cruelly neglected or abused know…they somehow know….they are special.  They fit in right away and adapt in ways that can not be explained. Intuitively, they are grateful and especially loyal.

 I was a dog snob; I admit it. 

For the past 35 years, my husband and I have only purchased German Shorthaired Pointer puppies with champion bloodlines from reputable breeders.  There is a need for proper breeding and breeders, no doubt.   My husband is a Patron Member of Pheasants Forever and seriously trains and hunts our dogs out west.  There was a time when we would have never considered a dog like Harriet, who came to us as an adult:  naked, broken and abused without papers.  She did not have a collar, a toy, or one worldly possession.  Only she knows the ugly truth that she endured for five years, tied to a pole in a freezing Indiana barn.

This amazing dog has opened my eyes.  She has tons of heart, hustle, and natural ability that isn’t published on a paper, making her her what some call, “a meat dog.”  One you can count on.  One that busts through thorny hedgerows without a whimper to retrieve a downed bird.  One that never gives up.  Meat dogs are good enough to bring home the bacon (upland game) but not a dog that the champion bloodline snob would ever consider.  He is relentless in pursuit and resilient.  He earns respect the hard way as an honest dog and a respectable Joe.

Rescues want to please and they are not picky.  They work twice as hard at earning their keep as any dog I’ve ever owned.   My eyes have been opened to believing in the breed and its natural abilities.  Much credit is given to those who preserve the breed standard through thoughtful, planned matings.  I’m not discouraging anyone from purchasing dogs from reputable breeders.  I am encouraging everyone to think twice–to look around and be open minded.

When you adopt a dog that is already here, you save two lives: 

his and the spot that just opened up

at a shelter or foster home for another dog in need.

I hope to one day be what we in the rescue business call “a foster failure.”  When the time is right, I will adopt my next GSP.  It won’t be a puppy because puppies are a lot of work and my husband and I are in our 50′s.  Somewhere out there is another middle aged “meat dog” we will be proud to call our own.  In the meantime, we will continue to foster, provide transports for dogs going to their furever homes, and donate old blankets and dog beds as we can.

If you have loved Harriet’s story, please consider donating what you can.  ANY amount is appreciated and 100% of the funds raised goes into dog rescue and care.  There are no administrative wages taken because we are purely volunteer based. Click on the link:  http://ilshorthairrescue.com/      ISR provides shelter, medical care and arrangements for dogs in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.  They have a facebook page too, filled with adorable, adoptable dogs!

I thank you and Harriet thanks you!  Please join me in making it a Happy New Year for another homeless dog.

What’s the Big Deal?

Continued….part 4

Happy Harriet hopped into my car to go bye-bye again.   Last time we went on a big camping trip so this time she was definitely up for another adventure.  She got one, too.  I dropped her off at the vet to be spayed.  

Harriet had never been to a veterinarian’s clinic before so she was still happy.  I was the one who ended up blubbering when I relinquished her to the techs.  I  imagined her waking up in pain and thinking that she was alone or dumped.  I begged them to let me tie my scarf around her neck so that when she “came to” she could smell my smells and know that I still cared. I couldn’t bear the thought of her thinking she was abandoned.   That’s when I realized I had turned into a “helicopter mom”.

Two days later she graduated from that blasted, shin and calf bruising cone into a sporty blue blow-up donut and insisted on helping me with chores.  We went out to the chicken coop and she helped me collect eggs.  I might have dropped one “on accident” but it was gobbled up right away so I can’t be sure.  Then we filled a big pail of water for Ruby and Stella, my little goaties.  Quality Control Specialist Harriet chomped at the tap water as I filled the goat bucket.  She likes goats.  She gets right up to the red fence and they face off.  Eventually somebody snorts and scares the bejesus out of the others and then they all start running around like buckaroos until the stare down starts up again.

Each morning and evening I slathered ointment on her sutures and she looked up with eyes that said, “What’s the big deal?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMAZING ISR – (Illinois Shorthair Rescue) – FACTS

Every dog ISR rescues is given the best possible medical care.  They are microchipped, heartwormed, Frontlined, spayed or neutered, and any bumps or suspicious lumps are removed and biopsied.  Broken bones and torn knees are surgically repaired by  veterinarians within their network, who discount their services.   They make sure Heartworm positive dogs get the care they need.  ISR rescue dogs are vetted for temperament and they are  fully vaccinated. Foster families get to know them and work hard to turn these abandoned dogs into excellent canine citizens that anyone would be proud to own.  100% of any monies donated are used to treat and rescue GSPs.  All the administrative and “boots on the ground” work is grass roots, volunteer.

Everyone can do something to help; it doesn’t have to be a financial commitment.  Maybe you can jump on a transport–where you might pick up a dog from a foster home and deliver him or her to a forever home!  I’ve done this and it is the best experience!

Maybe you have old blankets, towels or sheets with holes in them that are too yucky for Goodwill but perfect for a dog who has never had anything soft to sleep on.  Food and cleaning supply donations are appreciated.  Just spreading the word via your own facebook page is awesome.

If you shop on amazon.com, and want to support any cause or any breed rescue, register at smile/amazon.com and a percentage of everything you were going to purchase anyway will be donated to your cause!

Illinois Shorthair Rescue
Gurnee, IL 60031
Phone: 847-276-6995

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harriet Goes Camping

88

Continued….Part 3

Week 1: Harriet (L) Remi (R)

Sure, my first foster dog, Harriet, had little things that were broken because she had not had much human contact. 

  • She was not potty trained–but we could fix that, quick, with some crating at night and lots of walks.
  • She did not know her name, Harriet, which was probably assigned to her by the Shelter.   With all her German engineering, ending up with a name like Harriet is, let’s be honest, humiliating.  Something like Heidi (noble and kind) or Greta (little pearl) or Ava (a bird) would have been better. I kept her call name Harriet because it symbolized something greater:  it would be another battle scar she carried until she was adopted.

On her first full day of normal, back at our farm, I noticed something silly.  Harriet, who is five years old, did not know how to walk up or down stairs and she did not know how doors opened and closed.  She had survived winters and summers tied up in a barn her entire life.  It was fun to teach her about these things, and trust me, some things she learned the hard way:  like doors.  Her snout took a few good smacks in all of her excitement.  A big plus was that she had no bad indoor habits…no counter surfing and no jumping on furniture. She craved sitting in my lap, but all she could do was press her head into my knees and push as her sign of love.  I cupped her little face, lifted it up, and encouraged her.  She simply had no brain connection between her wants and the execution.  It is no different than asking someone to wiggle their ears…they may really want to, but just can’t execute the moves.  One day, though, I saw this! (and smiled) 

The goal was to slowly exercise her to build up her muscles so her frame would have support and straighten out.  Her back was deeply bowed like a horse who carried too much weight and her front legs were awkward with elbows splayed outwards in a bulldogesque manner.   Everything about her confirmation was a little “off” from years of abuse at the end of a 6′ rope.   We needed to get some lungs on her, put some weight on her, and see if we could make our own “My Fair Lady.”

After a week of playing fetch and jogging, her carriage started improving.  I decided more fresh air was the cure!  We loaded up the Airstream and headed off to Holland, MI for some trail hikes full of new flora and fauna to explore.  Bees buzzed and frogs scared her when they jumped.  Chipmunks in campgrounds are very brave and Harriet almost caught one!  There were berry bushes and prairie grasses to burst through.  We ran up and down endless sand dunes and shared peaceful sunsets.  At night, Harriet wore a little red jacket and the toasty campfire kept us warm.

She loved everything about camping.  She watched squirrels skit and scatter between pines and she held a skunk eye on all the tweetie birds.  Harriet splashed in the Lake Michigan surf and began to hold her head up just a little bit higher.  She helped me find a stick to roast a hot dog on and she tried to lick the campfire sparks so I had to keep her a little farther away–she was so entranced by the snap, crackle, and high flying pops.  Over and over, she snapped at lightening bugs, missing, as her chops slammed shut with a funny, saggy sound.  Everyone in the campground stopped to say hello to Harriet.

 Within a few weeks, Harriet started looking like and enjoying life as a proper GSP

We had one hurdle left…Getting Spayed.   Stay tuned.

    

 

 

 

Harriet

12079317_10207316682651383_1741281638331291724_n

Part 2:  Continued from Rescue 911…

Earlier in the year, I had enrolled in ISR’s (Illinois Shorthair Rescue) foster program, was vetted, and was hoping to get my first foster dog.  

A group of eight dogs, including three German Shorthaired Pointers, had lived in deplorable conditions in a barn for five years and were removed by Animal Control in IN.  On an otherwise glorious fall day,  ISR called me with the Shelter’s address and a pick up date for my first foster dog, the pregnant one.  All the dogs had been quarantined and were getting proper immunizations and evaluations by veterinarians.   Now I just had to put on my big girl panties and go rescue a distraught Momma-to-be.

It has been over 10 years since I’ve cared for a litter of pups, but I had all the necessities:  a whelping box, string to tie off umbilical cords, that orange antiseptic that bleeds and stains everything,  an electric puppy warming pad, and lots of time and love.  All I had to do was clean out my mud room which, trust me, was an epic endeavor.  Five garbage bags, lots of perspiration, and two hours later, I was ready!

Driving 220 miles to a Shelter to pick up a dog that could burst puppies in your car at any moment gives one the jitters.  As I rolled down the highway, I sang along with Willie, Waylon, and Johnny Cash.   Their honest lyrics and smooth picking was just the ticket.  When I rolled up the driveway at the Shelter, a lady waved.  After throwing it in park, saying a prayer and stepping out into the unknown, the Shelter ladies and I exchanged information and signed forms.   I waited outside.  Finally I saw her, in full bloom.  Harriet.

Her first worldy possession, a yellow duckie.

At first glance, she was a looker…very beautiful coat markings with ticking and brown patches, topped with a chocolate Hershey’s Kiss face and matching brown eyes.  She had a big, droopy belly but it was soft.  That’s when I learned that Harriet had dodged a bullet.  She had been so full of worms, that until the pregnancy test came back negative, everyone thought she was having pups. What a relief!  Instead of having to find 10 homes, we only had to find the right home for Harriet.  (By the time I picked her up, she had been dewormed and the belly just needed time to firm back up).  Everyone was grateful that she did not have to go through another trama…feeding pups when there was really nothing left on her to give.

We walked around the Shelter together getting to know one another before the long ride back to Michigan.  She was stressed, with eyes flashing above, over, beyond and around….but underneath the uncertainty, she trusted me and was gentle.   I was feeling better and better about this whole opportunity and even celebrated having a mudroom where we could actually hang up jackets.

Harriet would keep her head down and walk to my knees and press her face into my legs and push.  That was her expression of love and it was good enough for me, so we hopped in the car and headed home.  From her vantage point in the rear of my Tahoe, Harriet watched cars and trees roll by.  She saw cornfields and flashing lights and smelled new smells.  She looked out of the back window until she couldn’t hold her head up any longer.  Then she slept, peacefully, probably, for the first time in five years.

….to be continued

Note:

My husband and I have always had German Shorthaired Pointers and we love their merry mischief making, admire what true versatile athletes they are, and how pack oriented each one is; Velcro dogs!  You get the best of both worlds in this sporting breed–when it is done right.  It is even more tragic for these noble dogs, when, through no fault of their own, they become homeless or are neglected.

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/german-shorthaired-pointer/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 2 of 1112345...10...Last »
© Copyright The Painted Post - Suski Web Design LLC