Category Archives: Sanctuary Animals

Asking For Help

Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary is seeking help for one of its residents. Splash is a beautiful twelve year old appaloosa pony we rescued in December 2012. Her story was equal parts neglect and abuse. She has nerve and brain damage from trauma. Her right eye points down, and she has a tilt to her head that Matt (our wonderful vet) believes is due to damage to several of her cranial nerves. We can only speculate about the nature of the trauma.

Splash also suffers from complete blindness. She has glaucoma (just like our dog Poco) along with moon blindness (severe infection) and gross swelling of her eyes. It has been strongly recommended that Splash have both her eyes removed.  The procedure is called a bilateral enucleation.

splash and syd

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One Year Later

The memory of Gizmo’s death has become fragmented and is lodged in my brain like many pieces of jagged glass. At any given moment a blinding spotlight could hit one of those images taking me back in time.

Every day since Gizmo died I see his face. His alive face full of fun and I can feel my heart breaking all over again. How do I let him go?

There are many wonderful sayings such as: when a dog dies he takes a piece of your heart and with the arrival of another dog it gives you a new piece of heart. There must be something wrong with my heart because it no longer fits back together correctly. The pieces are all too small and shriveled. They are too open and bleeding. They don’t belong together anymore.

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Spring Videos

Tomorrow is June 1, 2012 and we’ve already enjoyed some summer like weather. These are a few videos of the farm. You can see the dramatic changes in Gus and Jackson. You can see they love each other like siblings and often fight like siblings too.

I hope you enjoy… and keep in mind as you watch that we’ll be transforming the pond into something more landscaped in the next few weeks. Our newest project.

Taz and Jackson: Big Bear Fighting May 2012

Testing to make sure that Taz’s Licker isn’t broken.

In early March we had a warm snap that brought all the gold fish to the surface of the pond. You can see it hasn’t gotten green yet and Gus still has all his fur!

This farm has gone to the dogs! Several visitors come to enjoy the fresh green grass, ample shade and big pond. Cameo by Stewie and Madeline. Excellent shot of Gus and his new found contentment.

Stewie (Billy’s Dog) spends nearly thirty minutes trying to pull a water logged – log out of the pond. Billy ended up pulling it out the last 2 feet, but he gave it his best shot!

Glad to be back in the saddle writing again, but it really in time to get back in the saddle!

 

Still on the Shih Tzu topic…

It might be easier to reason with a two year old human child, but here I am trying to talk some sense into Super Taz.

Just to keep with the crazy of the day I tried to video tape gold fish. Sometimes I wonder who really has all the marbles here on the farm. That little doll house is the building I moved all by myself… well, except for the help of the backhoe and a long chain.

This day is already completely silly, so here’s Brent joining into the the lack of sanity on the farm.

 

Its a Shih Tzu Thing

The tenacity of a shih tzu is often underestimated due to their small size. I have several shih tzus and each has their own personality.

My Poco is a shy reserved fellow who only sounds the alarm at real trouble, otherwise he’s happy to nap in his heated bed under the desk where he often goes unseen. He isn’t that fond of strangers and has a grave dislike for children, but he loves Brent. As an ex-navy seal he has some mad skills that are concealed under his quiet demeanor. It’s hard to believe all this when you watch him chase his tail.

Jackson is the sweet baby who’s a bit of a mama’s boy, but will cuddle on the lap of someone familiar. He sleeps curled next to me every night and does an incredible job of stretching in the morning. If we could all do yoga like Jackson our flexibility would dramatically improve. Jax does have a sassy side when stealing toys from his siblings or guarding his mommy against visiting dogs. He is rough and tumble with his big sister and we’re happy to have big bear fighting the house again.

Super Taz is our first shih poo and we’ve had her since she was a wee pup at seven weeks old. She is all sass. I’m sure she would have spent some time in jail for mischief if she was human. She often becomes single minded in her quest for kibble, toys or big diesel trucks that travel past her house. That’s right. It’s her house.

Gustav the Kuvasz

Gustav the Kuvasz

February 23, 2012

This is the tale of an old Hungarian kuvasz sheepdog who lost his job due to downsizing, forcing him into early retirement at the tender age of ten. The only bit of his past we know is that he was born in a barn in central Tennessee, tossed from home to home honing his guarding abilities for four years before landing a career job on a sheep farm in a small town outside of Wainfleet.

The sheepdog grew up without much interaction with people, but he got all the companionship he needed from his sheep.

His humans were kind, but not affectionate and the nameless sheepdog carried on guarding his sheep. Years and years passed while the sheepdog protected his flock from all sorts of dangers including coyotes, foxes and wolves. This kuvasz is a known killer, but only to protect.

For years the kuvasz spent all seasons in a open fields protecting his sheep until one morning the old dog watched in confusion as the sheep were loaded into trucks and driven away. The sheepdog  had never set a paw inside a house nor knew the comfort of a soft bed, but at least he’d had his sheep.

Confused the old sheepdog lay down beside the wagon and waited for the sheep to return. The human came over and fastened a heavy chain around his neck and tied the other end to the wagon leaving the old sheepdog alone.

Without any sheep the old sheepdog put his head down and drifted off into a deep sleep. Winter was coming and the old sheepdog lay chained to the wagon for months. He would crawl under the wagon when the winter rains became heavy laying in the cold damp earth.

One day the humans came and unhooked the chain from the wagon and put the old sheepdog into the back of a truck and started driving. It was a long nerve wracking drive for the old dog.

At another farm the old sheepdog was pulled from the truck and as he stood confused in the driveway a woman came over and patted his head.

Perhaps it was fear that caused the old sheepdog to stand next to the new lady and lean gently against her leg nuzzling her hand, but when he licked her palm she stroked his head and called him Gus. Nobody had ever called him anything. He wagged his tail in confused delight.

The man picked up the end of the chain and with some reluctance the old sheepdog followed the man. He pulled the screw out of the chain and released the kuvasz into an open field where the woman was standing quietly watching a horse and two goats.

The horse snorted loudly and the old sheepdog trotted over to lean on the woman and gain comfort from her gentle pats. She murmured something, but the only thing he understood was Gus.

The horse trotted nervously across the field attracting Gus’s attention. It was time to give this new animals a good sniff. Suddenly the horse raced off with Gus in hot pursuit. Since neither horse nor dog had youth on their side the race was short lived leaving both animals puffing.

By the time Gus looked back the man and woman were gone. He gave a woof before trotting over to the gate to look for the humans. He howled as he sat by the gate and watched. Sheepdogs are very good at watching.

Several minutes later the kind woman returned with a bowl of kibble and watched as Gus ate. She stroked his head and gently pulled on the mats on his back.

Gus found a dry building and a nest of straw to sleep in that night. He howled several times as the dark lightened to day. In the morning the woman returned with more kibble and scissors to cut out the mats on his back. With some effort she got the tight heavy chain off from around his neck and called him Gus.

During the day Gus checked on his new herd of horse, goat, goat before napping, chain-free in the bright winter sun. He spent another night in the empty shelter on a bed of straw and only howled as dawn broke. The woman came again with more kibble.

Gus moved away as the woman touched his ears and whined deeply in pain. The woman gently examined the ears and the side of his face where the infection had spread. The woman’s hands were gentle and she returned with medicine that helped his pain and infections.

During the day Gus managed to get close to the horse and goats. After some discussion it was decided that Gus would be part of the herd as protector and guardian. Gus had a job again. That evening Gus slept between the horns and hooves of his new friends.

Each day the woman would come and bring him up to the big house where she’d treat his wounds, brush his beautiful coat and give him cuddles.

Gus was patient and trusting as he allowed the woman to shave the side of his infected head to reveal bleeding sores and a large angry abscess. The woman was frowning deeply as she gingerly cleaned the wound and gave him pieces of cheese that concealed antibiotics and pain medicine.

In the weeks that followed his wounds healed, his ears were no longer sore and the old sheepdog realized that the woman was meant to be his sheep. He delighted in her presence and would trot with tail high to great her every morning.

No longer alone and with a kind woman to care for him Gus was fed, sheltered and very happy. Who knew a sheepdog could be so happy without any sheep to guard?

Gus today (March 9, 2012)….

 

Christmas Videos

Children make the magic on Christmas morning. The shining joy on their faces and the pureness of their spirit. I would never argue the truth behind those statements, but often there are other unencumbered souls who share the joy and magic of Christmas. For our family nothing makes Christmas more entertaining than puppies opening presents…

… and getting treats thanks to GE and GB!

Gifts from the California Kitty Lindhursts.  We were grateful to get gifts from our feline relatives in California and the puppies showed their joy at the squeaks! My floors are happily covered in squirrels.

And finally… the last gift on Boxing Day! We saved one gift under the tree for boxing day and Taz didn’t waste any time trying to tear it open. Can you imagine if she weighted eighty pounds?

Christmas was filled with special moments. We did share a particularly amusing moment when Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Brian gave the puppies a six pack of little tennis balls. We opened the package while sitting on the floor and threw all the balls at once. It was puppy craziness, but we were all too busy playing to grab the video camera.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays.

 

Trip to the Vet

I’ve been a little afraid to write since the whole page about Gizmo. I’ve been afraid to come visit this website and I forgot for a few days that I did write, but I can never forget for long. I start to miss writing. I start to miss the cathartic feel of the keyboard beneath my fingers.

I took Jackson to the vet for the first time today. He was so sweet and sadly so afraid. The good news is that he’s heartworm negative and we’re waiting on his titers for the vaccines. I don’t know that he’s had the necessary boosters and I don’t want to over vaccinate, so I decided to spend the $80 to see what he needs. He has his rabies and that’s all that’s needed to cross the US/Canada border.

I advocate vaccinating your pets, but the problem with the little ones is they don’t take over vaccinating very well. Their small systems can’t handle all the drugs, especially their liver. Super Taz has Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia and we’re very careful what medications get into her system. She has nearly died a few times when we didn’t know what was wrong post surgery or while on any pain relief.

Just like people we need to be advocates for our pets. We need to do the research and not count on anyone else to know more. Nobody knows your dog like you know your dog.

I can tell the difference between a harmless sneeze and a bad cough. I know when Taz is having a little separation anxiety verses a severe care of gastroenteritis. I know my dogs.

The dogs are a lot like toddlers or babies who can’t tell you what’s wrong, but if more doctors listened to parents there would be far more accurate diagnoses.

I took Jackson to a friend who is a vet in the states. We’re so close to the border that we’d be stupid not to take advantage of the savings. It’s about 30%-40% cheaper than going to a Canadian Vet. I’ll still keep my Canadian vet, but for certain things it’s worth it.

Best Emergency Vet Care? Orchard Park Animal Hospital. Affordable and Effective. Don’t hesitate and don’t go to St Catharines. Please. For your pet’s sake and your pocketbook. Go to Orchard Park. http://www.opvmc.com/

I got a call from the vet and it turns out Jackson’s titers are perfect. He doesn’t need any vaccines. I’m glad I did titers on this adorable little guy rather than blindly inject him with things he doesn’t need.

Taz was at the vets earlier in the week with an upper respiratory infection. I had no idea dogs could get head colds, but it turns out they can and it’s rare. Of course Taz would get one. She’s been on antibiotics and eye drops for a few days and seems much better. Phew…

My horse Autumn has also been under the weather. She has a history of COPD or heaves which is a breathing disorder. Turns out the COPD is worsened by a bout of pneumonia. After a few rounds of antibiotics and steroids she’s doing much better. She’s nearly twenty and we want to keep her happy and comfortable. Turns out I should be able to ride her again soon.

For christmas this year all my animals are getting antibiotics.

 

 

Tar Lightening – Gizmo

Gizmo died Aug 2, 2011 and the grief still catches me and I miss him so much it hurts. It’s been four months that I’ve been without my Gizmo and life is not as rich or as full. Of course we go on, but the loss is incredible and affects every day of my life.

My good friend Chris has set up the website, so I can categorize the posts into groups making them easier to find. I read Goodbye Gizmo (category: Gizmo) which tells about the night he died and I cried so hard. The tears fresh like the night it happened. I miss him so much.

The pain is like a bolt of lightening covered in hot tar that rips through my chest and sends the grief directly into my heart. I wish for so many. I wish for Gizmo to be back. I wish I’d left him in the stroller. I’d wished we’d built the fence like we’d talked about so many times.

I wish I could turn back the clock.

Even months later I am broken. Torn apart. Alone and lost.

This video was taken the day Gizmo died. He was playing in the living room and I picked up the video camera and shot the last images I’d ever have of Gizmo.

Little did I know that I would be having one of the worst days of my life that would haunt me a lifetime. I miss Gizmo.

 

D-fa Dog Coats

Every year I get the dogs new winter coats. Do they need them? No. Do I love shopping for them? Yes. This year we found D-fa Dog (say it fast: D is for Dog) and fell in love with the language on their website and their well made product. The striking photos of the most beautiful black lab in a shocking red coat help the marketing as does the hip language and exotic allure of New Zealand.

http://www.d-fa.com/

We got the coats in the mail and they clearly aren’t made for super little guys, but with a few alterations they’ll fit. I love the Ice-Barker made from 100% merino wool from New Zealand. It’s made for the older guy who might have some cold weather joint pain. Perfect for my aging Poco.

I though the puffy coat would be perfect for my Super Taz Adventure Princess Puppy Dog who will stay outside in the freezing cold until she shivers and sneezes. Unfortunately, the puffy coat is a little too big for the delicate Princess, but D-fa has offered to custom make one just for her.

The Sub-Woofer seemed like the perfect coat for Jackson who doesn’t stay out any longer than is necessary. It’s a soft shell coat made of synthetic materials that is super light. It’s like he’s wearing nothing at all. It’s a bit too big, but we’re hoping Aunt Carolyn will shorten the back a bit.

Her name is Angela and she’s fantastic. She’s a customer service rep for D-fa Dogs and has offered to do any alterations and make any exchanges to make the coats fit my wee adventurers.

For Poco we’re trading in the P2 for the P1 (smaller) Ice-Barker and it should fit perfect. Poco weights about 11 pounds the P1 is a perfect fit with no alterations required. If you’re little ones are ten pounds the P1 should fit.

For Taz D-fa Dog is customizing a Puffy Coat just for her at no charge (they’re even covering shipping). The Puffy coat is super light weight, water resistant and incredibly warm. It will be perfect for long winter days on cat patrol.

Jackson got the Sub-Woofer which fits the smallest of all the dog coats. Jax weights about 7 pounds and the only alteration needed is to shorted the back. I’m going to take this to Aunt Carolyn to get it shortened (rather than risk eye injury if I tried to sew). He looks incredibly sharp in the bright red, light weight coat.

I’m very happy with the customer service of D-fa Dog. I would highly recommend their products and their company. If you’ve got a dog that needs a sturdy, well made, lightweight coat that won’t make them look like a sissy check out www.d-fadog.com