Three years ago I picked up this little beast as a Christmas foster. As you can see from the look in her eyes, just 15 minute after arriving home, Mia had decided this was in fact her home. And 2 months later, after cataract surgeries & watching her bravely struggle to move beyond her past to forgive and love humans in spite of abuse, neglect and a life in a cage, I knew she had my heart, and that this was her home.
Mia was an extreme rescue case, a dog who logically it made no sense to save. She was too damaged, old and expensive, but like most dogs, she showed extraordinary resilience and forgiveness. She has been nothing but a blessing and a great partner in crime. She went from a fearful but determined little ‘senior’ to a spunky animal who changes hearts and minds everywhere we go. Paws New England specializes in saving dogs who no one would think are ‘worth it.’
So this Saturday, when I got a call that Paws New England really needed a Rescue Driver as they had two dire situations, it was a chance to say thank you, help out & really be a part of Christmas! I was in a position to help, so how could I say no! So Tuesday, just 3 days later I headed to Memphis to play a small part helping in the amazing work Paws New England does all year round, saving animals who would have no chance at all without these miracle workers.
Flying high on my way to Memphis to start the adventure, and meet Ralphie the beagle, the animals I will take part in helping, and the Paws New England Team!
If you know me, you know you say the words Crazy Adventure and I say where?!! Add in a good cause and I'm all in!
Highs and lows.
I walked into the house tonight and passed three impossibly cute floppy puppies, saved from an online puppy swap, a very bad place to be bartered off, but who are now heading to loving foster homes.
And I met Noel & Donner. Noel’s story is too difficult for me to process right now, but she is safe & someday she may be well.
Something did a number on Donner's face, and much of his torso, attacking him badly. He is sweet devoted nonetheless, and gentle as a lamb, and is regaining visible confidence daily. He will stay with his amazing foster Mom a while longer to find is confidence and heal before he travels to a forever home. He'll be a winner for some lucky family once he is healed, so handsome.
Love, and the necessary willingness to wade into the sadness and muck to give it,
achieves so much.
Happier news, since flying into Tennessee, I had dinner with a remarkable group of people who open their homes and save countless animals as foster parents, transporters, vets, shelter volunteers & on and on. We had a blast but what really struck me was how everyone would tell me how special ‘so and so’ was, when they all create miracle for animals who have no chance without them. They all are remarkable humans, but don’t stop to think about it, they just open their hearts and homes daily.
I guess we are all part of solution. It is a relief that no one has to solve something so big and challenging alone, but for there to be a solution and hope, we must all engage and be a part of the effort, doing whatever it is we can.
And I met this little bat eared cutie, who escaped the certain death, and is headed to Michigan where she will give some family a serious run for their money with her curious smart ways. I adore her!
Every morning should start with a rescue puppy in one hand and coffee in the other. I’m not a morning person, but this definitely puts pep in your step!
This guy was literally intercepted by a miracle of timing from entering the doors of an 85% kill shelter in downtown Memphis.
Luck is on your side, little buddy, good life in Michigan!
This is Ralphie, my co-pilot, and beagle extraordinaire. He is paralyzed in his lower half but chipper & sweet, and as you can see already has his eyes on the prize of a foster in Connecticut that specializes in disabled but oh so able willed pups.
Let the cuteness commence, there are actually 2 more of these guys! Little chow mixes with purple tongues, curly tails, and strong opinions.
Kelly, one of the driving forces behind Paws, an amazing human. It is Tuesday morning, and she is driving the other van to Michigan with Noel, the dingo cutie, and the lucky puppy. I will head to CT, NH and MA with my passengers. (Can you tell I am not a morning person?)
The social media engine is in full swing to raise funds for Ralphie and Noel, who will need a lot of financial support to get some semblance of health, but hundreds of people tune in and support Paws along the way as they watch the stories unfold. Social media is such a powerful tool in the battle for good!
A disabled beagle with a heart of gold, 8 ridiculously cute puppies, a sweet teen aged dog, two kittens & a partridge in a pear tree!
'Rudolph's Ride,' as we have been dubbed for the social media following, I am Cindy Lou Who, whose curiosity and spunk I admire, is underway, with our 12 animals naturally.
We are headed north (New England) in our red vehicle for the holidays and homes! I'd say this is what Christmas is all about, people coming together to help those in need, show love and create more opportunity for love, and loving homes!
Ralphie is of the opinion that puppies are a bit loud, better seen and not heard, though he's sweet with them. He also, wants to know, 'are we there yet?' (We are 3 hours into what turns out to be a 27 hour drive)
He is impressively mobile, given that his back legs don’t work. It is a bit inconvenient for this trip, but fabulous for his future! He is determined to be close and to wrap himself around my feet, and has intense persistence I find admirable. It has to be what kept him alive on the streets for 2 years with no use of his back legs, it is unimaginable! He is unstoppable.
First stop with my herd of puppies. I have got to work on efficiency, which they're all for thwarting as they just want to be held and chew. I would love that too, but we must focus on hustling and getting home(s) for Christmas.
It is totally adorable chaos, a bit overwhelming at times, but just 2 days and for the best reasons!
This gorgeous girl is scared but loving. When she comes out of her shell she just wants to hug and nestle her head under your chin. Nothing else but to be loved. She will have families vying to give her love, and deserves all of it and more!
It is the year of the road trip for me, although the mission here is entirely different than my healing exploration out to and through to Montana. I am barely noticing anything beyond the road and the pups. We are all about putting miles behind us on the night shift.
And I feel very fortunate to have an experienced pinch hitter come in for the predawn driving shift, 3-7am, so we can keep on going nonstop to get these guys to their forever homes! And I can snag a bit of sleep, then keep driving north when we drop Loren off in Connecticut!
You have come by way of sorrow,
you have come by way of tears,
but you'll reach your destiny
meant to find you all these years
You who once were left behind
Will be welcome at Loves table...
Gone the tears that you have wept
You'll dance in freedom ever after...
- By Way of Sorrow By Cry Cry Cry
[Songs you play at 1 am on a rescue ride when DJing for sleeping pups, & kittens, when you're getting a bit punchy. It is one of my favorite songs, about moving beyond a sad past and on into a beautiful future. Fortunately it garnered little response from my passengers.]
‘Good mornin New England! We drove through the night & we're in CT, heading for New Hampshire and ready for Christmas with families who will love & spoil us!’
Ralphie is now safe in an amazing foster home because of dozens of extraordinary people who did not give up on him just because he is disabled!
Your heart and determination are humbling. Thank you Ralphie, you are a beautiful inspiring soul. Goodbye (for now) & happy life little man!
[On Friday his foster Mom said he slept the deep sleep a dog does when they really understand their work of defending themselves and their journey is over. I am so deeply happy for him.]
And then there were three, the quarter pounder stowaways, and I.
I handed off the puppies, and the beautiful Melly Rose, in NH where they will barely touch down in the lovely Conway shelter before being scooped up into homes in time for the holidays.
Time for me to get some kitten love before these two head to the south shore of Massachusetts and a home of their own.
And that's a wrap!!!
A little over 48 hours after I flew out of Boston Tuesday (if my sleep deprived math is right) all 12 dogs, puppies and kittens are in their interim or final homes with bright futures, thanks to a truly awesome team effort by the beautiful Paws New England network.
Thanks for letting me be a part of saving precious lives, getting to know these sweet beings, and bringing joy to 12 lucky families!
Because, we all know, it is our rescues who rescue us, in the end.
And a Thursday tbt, as I'm getting asked for more cuteness, two of the chow pups.
The shell shocked look on my face was from finding out I had a dozen animals to bring north Wednesday morning as the van was being filled up like a Jenga puzzle. It was a bit daunting!
Thankfully, we arrived safely and it all worked out beautifully,
like a Christmas movie, now I’m off for a long winters nap!!!
Happy lives little animals!
And although this is not my usual post, please go hug your little beast, or anyone's, it is good for all. And give what you can to help beings without a voice; food, time, or money, all are needed.
Anything helps, and after all, it's Christmas!
Some of my favorites ;