Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Search for Duke

On this Veterans day, ABC not only celebrates those who have given us freedom but we also celebrate those who have helped in the capture of the very ellusive Duke of Troy.
Duke of Troy came to ABC from a bad family situation where he wasn't treated very well at all and he went into a foster home in the Albany area. They had Duke for three months and they learned all about his quirks and issues. Duke had been confined to a small crate for some time and had developed arthritis in his back legs. Upon examination by their vet they determined that he was also blind in his left eye. He was easily startled if approached on his left side, as he couldn't see anything out of that eye. His arthritis only bothered him once in awhile. His foster mom, Jeanne, grew to love Duke and he was enjoying living in the house and sleeping on the couch with her. Duke was bonding with their other basset and with Jeanne's husband, Barry.
Three months later, Duke travelled from the Albany area to Niagara Falls to another foster home as he was to be adopted out to a family closer to the area. The day he arrived in Niagara Falls, Duke and his new foster siblings escaped from the back yard of his new foster home. He hadn't been at this foster home or in the area for more than a few hours. He had just travelled with ABC volunteers across the state....he started to run and didn't stop.
A week later, ABC was informed that he was missing. When they got the call and information on his last seen location; volunteers immediately went to the area to try to find him. They spent about 5-6 hours chasing Duke around Niagara Falls...down streets, through the creek, up creek beds, through fields and he evaded them every time they got close to him. Not one of them could believe this 6 year old basset hound who had arthritis in his legs and was blind in one eye could out run and elude every single one of them. Before they knew it, the sun went down and in a last ditch effort they passed out "Lost" flyers to people in the neighborhood and posted these same flyers on any phone pole they could find. Volunteers who weren't out looking for Duke were posting "Lost" flyers, pictures on Facebook, sending emails and making phone calls.
After chasing him for so long they realized that they needed a bigger group of people to help catch him. They needed some people searching and some people at specific locations waiting to see him. So, a "Search and Rescue Team" was coordinated. Information was sent out to all volunteers and posted everywhere that they knew to post it.
In the meantime, Jeanne and Barry were informed about Duke's great escaped and hopped in their car on Monday morning to help the search. They arrived Monday afternoon and met up with a small group of volunteers who had been canvasing the area he was last seen. These volunteers were not only ABC volunteers, but some of the people from the neighborhood where Duke had been hanging out. They had thought he was bedded down in the creek bed somewhere, but after walking the creek over and over and over without one sighting of him they had to give up for the night. But not before Bob Richardson set up a homemade trap with some hotdogs and bologna...just in case he was traveling in the area overnight. Bob, Jeanne and Barry spent most of the night walking the creek bed and checking the trap in hopes to see him with no luck.
Bob and Duke right after capture
This morning volunteers from ABC drove into Niagara Falls from all over NY and PA. They gained contact with the Niagara Falls Police early in the morning who were also searching the area for Duke. They sent out a group of about 15-20 volunteers to all different locations in the area where he was last seen. They searched the area for a couple of hours before he was spotted and the chase started. Duke was spotted by one of the neighbors laying in a pile of leaves and the chase was on. Calls quickly came in from neighbors who saw him running by their houses. He ran by Jeanne who realized quickly that he was too scared to know it was her calling him. There were volunteers who had eyes on him and chased him toward a footbridge when he evaded the police and ran down into the creek bed. Before they knew it...he was no where to be found. Volunteers stayed by the footbridge and other volunteers headed up and down the creek bed. A kind neighbor set out on the creek in his canoe. In about 15 minutes he had spotted Duke and calls came in with his location. He was chased toward the footbridge and all of a sudden he was there on the bridge with volunteers surrounding him. Bob knelt down and called his name and Duke came right to him. Needless to say Bob grabbed his collar as quickly as possible, so he didn't run again, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have gotten past the other volunteers (including myself) on the bridge or the large group of people who converged on the bridge almost immediately after his capture. Pictures were taken. Phone calls were made.
The group from the Footbridge
Bob lecturing Duke on how he shouldn't run again
Soon after his capture, a second collar and leash went on him to ensure he wasn't going to go anywhere. Then Jeanne made it to the foot bridge and the moment she saw him she started to cry and if I saw it correctly half of the people on the foot bridge were also crying especially when Duke rolled on his back for belly rubs from his foster mom.
Jeanne reuniting with Duke
Duke meeting his Search Party

Yeah...that's his daddy...

Duke was able to see all the volunteers who came to find him and then he was whisked off to Companion Care Animal Hospital down the road to be checked out. Jeanne wouldn't allow him to be out of her sight for more than a few minutes and I think that is when a decision was made...Duke was to go back home with her and Barry where he was meant to be all along. The vet found nothing wrong with the fugitive (other than the loss of 8 lbs) and he was released shortly after. He got into Jeanne and Barry's car and headed toward home to sleep off his 9 days of traveling around scenic Niagara Falls.
Duke and his parents

ABC volunteers searched, with the help of people in the neighboring area, Niagara Falls police and friends of ABC, for Duke non-stop for three days. It was amazing the amount of support that we received during this search. I can't even come up with the right words to say "Thank you" to everyone involved in this endeavor. People took off of work. Spent days walking and talking to anyone they could to get the word out. People posted to Facebook and gave out flyers. I can't list the names of ALL the people who helped to catch Duke today but they know who they are and that they are truly appreciated.
Just a few of the ABC volunteers to help find Duke
Duke getting ready to head back to Albany

Duke finally sleeping on his way home

I guess the pictures from this blog go a long way to say Thank you to everyone involved. And after it all I can hear Shelly Gordon in my head saying "When you buy a dog, you get a dog. When you adopt a dog, you get a family". That has always been the case with ABC and this situation just cements that fact. Let's all take a minute out of our holiday to not only thank a Veteran but to thank a volunteer.
ABC gives a shit...that is for damn well sure.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Perfect Match Monday-Jeb

Today’s Perfect Match Monday is an amazing love story between an amazing basset and a great ABC volunteer. This is the story of Jeb.

Jeb was an owner relinquish to Carolina Basset Rescue in NC. He made his way up to NY in July of 2012. He had fleas, an ear infection and needed all of his vaccinations updated upon arrival, but the biggest thing was that his eyelids were turning. They treated it with eye drops, but after further vet examination in NY they found that he needed an upper eyelid entropy. He ended up having 1 cm of his upper eyelids removed before any damage was done to his eyes. Due to his “eyelift”, he has to have eye drops daily for the rest of his life. 

Dana was walking around the community yard sale in her neighborhood and stumbled upon a house with the bright red ABC Basset Rescue van in the driveway. She had decided that she wanted to help the rescue, so she walked up the driveway to see what she could do. She met ABC’s very own President, Shelly Gordon, who encouraged Dana to foster. Dana agreed to try to foster for ABC (today she is ABC’s secretary as well).

Dana picked up Jeb from a volunteer who brought him up to NY with her. When she first brought Jeb home, he didn’t move his tail for the whole first week. She thought that maybe his tail was broken, but after the vet looked at it, there was nothing apparently wrong with it. Dana gave him another week, moving his tail for him when it was in the way, and after a whole other week, he finally started wagging it. It seems it wasn’t broken at all, but he was so sad that his family gave him up that he just wasn’t happy enough to wag his tail during the first couple of weeks at Dana’s house.  

Dana tells us that “she’s not sure when I fell for Jeb”, but from the first night she had him in her house, she would put him to bed and kiss him Good Night and wonder how she would ever give him up. Well, she decided that she just couldn’t bear to let him leave her house and “foster failed” after only a couple of months having him.
Jeb is Dana’s perfect shadow and follows her everywhere she goes. He doesn’t really like to share her with other fosters, so she can only take on a foster for a short period of time. He loves his nightly walks around the neighborhood and truly loves to play fetch.

Dana and Jeb found each other like many of us have found our bassets. Volunteering and fostering has some benefits that we don’t always realize right away. Some times you find your true love in a foster and can look back and say, “Adopting him was the best decision of my life!!” For that, we think this is a Perfect Match.

First posted 8/12/13

Perfect Match Monday-Eeyore

This week’s Perfect Match Monday is the story of a basset that spent most of her life living outside and now enjoys “the good life” while helping others. This is the story of Eeyore.

In 2008, ABC took in two 6 month old puppies named Diesel and Andi. Diesel and Andi’s new owner couldn’t housebreak the two puppies that they had bought from a backyard breeder and relinquished the dogs to ABC. The Gordon’s fostered Diesel and foster failed with him (Diesel’s Perfect Match Monday was posted last January).

Shortly after they adopted Diesel, an ABC supporter got information on a basset that was being sold in the paper. When Shelly got a picture and information on the dog she realized that Eeyore was Diesel’s mother. She called the breeder and told him that two of Eeyore’s puppies had been relinquished to ABC. She explained that she had adopted Diesel. She then asked him to relinquish Eeyore to ABC. When he refused to turn her over without a payment of $300 she argued with him, but he wouldn’t budge. At that time, Eeyore was almost 5 years old. A few months later she saw his ad again in the paper. She contacted him again and her gave her the same argument. In July, the breeder called her and told her to come get Eeyore.

Shelly and Don went to pick Eeyore up and were devastated by the conditions that she was living in. Eeyore was being kept out in the far field of the breeder’s house. The only thing keeping her from the elements was a plastic doghouse. She had a bowl of yellow water that had obviously not been changed in awhile. The grass was so high in and around her fenced in area that it was hard to even see her as they walked up. She had been bred so many times and not cared for, but she met Shelly at the fence.

They took her home and Shelly gave her a bath in their backyard. Shelly thought that Eeyore would fight her, but she stood there letting Shelly bathe all of the filth off of her. When Shelly was toweling her off, Eeyore looked at her with those big brown eyes as if to say “Thank you” and that is when Shelly knew she wasn’t going anywhere but to her couch.

The very next week they celebrated Eeyore’s 5th birthday with a cake and a birthday party. They were sure she had never celebrated anything and certainly not her birthday. She had quickly grown on them. She was loving and cuddly and enjoyed much time with Diesel and their other bassets.

Diesel and the Gordon’s other basset Duke were both doing agility. Shelly wanted to have some “mommy and me time” with Eeyore. She took her to do the Canine Good Citizen test and she “killed it”. From there they got her into the SPCA Paws Love Program and ever since then Eeyore has been visiting a nursing home in their area every week. She brings joys to all of the residences and knows the patients who need some extra special time with her.

This past weekend, Eeyore lead the way throughout “her” nursing home as all of the bassets (and their owners) followed behind to visit with as many of the residences as they could during ABC’s Breakfast with Bassets. When Shelly is given praise for her work at the nursing home she humbly replies “Eeyore does all the work…I’m just her ride”. For that, we think this is a Perfect Match.

First posted 3/10/14

Perfect Match Monday-Josey

This week’s Perfect Match Monday is a comeback story that we can all is proud of. This is the story of Josey.

Josey was a stray that was picked up and taken to a shelter in Alabama. She was severely underweight, full of fleas and needed a lot of attention. ABC stepped in and with the help of Basset Rescue of Alabama got her the vet care that she so desperately needed. She was updated on all of her shots and was spayed. Then Josey made her way up to New York with several other bassets from Alabama.

When Josey arrived in New York, the incision from her spay surgery was infected. This didn’t stop little Josey from rolling over on her back wanting every one she met to rub her tummy. Her foster family got her to the vet as soon as they could and she went on antibiotics. Soon after she was feeling better and was able to go directly to her forever home.

Mary was looking to adopt a basset hound and found ABC Basset Rescue. She saw pictures of Josey before she even got to New York and looked past her emaciated looks to the basset that she was going to be. She committed to adopt Josey when she arrived in New York.

Today Josey is called Rosie. She has gained a tremendous amount of weight and is a whopping 54 lbs. She loves to go for walks and laying out in the yard in the sun. Her favorite spot is on the love seat right next to Mary. Her brother, Max, and her are inseparable. She still loves her belly rubs and will run in front of you and flop on her back so you can rub her belly.

Rosie (and Max) has been selected to be in the Tri-Cities Opera’s incredible MUTT-ropolitan Opera Dog Calendar for 2014. She is debuting as Carmen in the calendar and their picture is very impressive.

If the picture above doesn't say everything about Josey finding the best forever home possible, we don't know what would. For that, we think this is a Perfect Match.

First posted 11/4/13

Perfect Match Monday-Austin

For our first “Perfect Match Monday” we are featuring Austin and The Brown family. Austin’s story is so amazing that it had to be the first story that we shared here.
Austin was rescued from a puppymill in Texas in January of 2012, but stayed in foster care until May when he was adopted by the Brown Family. He lived in such deplorable conditions at the puppymill that he was scared of everyone and everything. He had never lived outside of a cage or had enough food to eat, not having the “finer things in life” like toys or treats.

One big issue Austin had was with bathroom time. He had to be coaxed in and out of the house to go to the bathroom. His mom, Tracey, tells this amazing story…“Once he was outside, he started to act more free.  He did not feel as trapped as he did in the house.  We would make some progress with him following me back in on a leash, just to have a day where he would refuse to move unless he was carried.  I will never forget the battle of wills we had in a major rainstorm.  Austin had walked in and out on his leash the whole day, but that night he just refused to budge.  I also refused to back down.  I told him "You are walking in on your own four paws or we are going to stand here".  He tried to call my bluff, but I stood with him in the rain for an hour until he finally relented and walked in with me.  He has walked every day since.”

Another big issue was dinnertime. Tracey tells us this…“He did not want to eat.  I bribed him the first few days with American cheese but it was crucial he start eating a more balanced, appropriate diet.  One day I made homemade chicken soup.  I poured it over his nuggets and he ate so fast even he was surprised.  I knew his weakness!  There have been GALLONS of homemade chicken and turkey soup made in the past few months.  He gulps it down every time.”

Tracey has done a lot of work (even more then we shared here) with Austin since he arrived at their house. He has made so many strides at being a “normal” dog and enjoying life for more then what he was given when he came into this world. For that, we think this is a Perfect Match!!

First posted 1/7/13