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I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

Good Rescue - Good Friends

>> Sunday, June 21, 2009

They looked like baked potatoes when we pried up the plank from the deck of a vacant house and pulled out seven at a time. From the beginning, I called them jumbo puppies. These puppies (and others like them) are the reason I always know summer is going to be busy...very busy.

It started like this: A good friend of mine (you remember Anita from my Raining Squirrels post?) lived next door to a vacant house. For several weeks, a vicious looking dog would run from the backyard of the house and scare the beejeebers out of anyone who came near...including me! Trust me, I didn't go too close, but I tried to put a dish of water and food in the backyard more than once. The dog let me know I was unwelcome.

Anyway, this went on and on. The seemingly vicious dog got more aggressive. She tried to jump the fence and come into Anita's backyard more than once. Since Anita had an elderly dog of her own and children too, she was getting more than just a little nervous. The situation was getting bad.

One night my husband and I were over at Anita's for dinner.

"I had to call the animal warden," Anita told us. "I can't take a chance of that dog hurting Savannah (her dog) or Emily (her youngest daughter)."

I was sad but I understood. It was scary.

We ate dinner. As evening turned to night my husband fell asleep in front of Anita's televison. I fretted. About 11:00, Anita and I went out to see if the dog had been trapped. It had indeed. It only took a moment for me to see that this lactating dog had only been trying to protect its pups.

"We've got to get the mom out of this trap," I told Anita. "If the animal warden comes this dog doesn't stand a chance and I know she has puppies somewhere. She needs to be able to nurse them."

This story could go on and on but through the efforts of my husband (and a few other friends) we went into the very dark backyard of the vacant house. And yes, I had to wake up my poor husband. We needed as much help as we could muster at that late hour.

With flashlight in hand, we looked under bushes and in a shed. Finally, it dawned on one of us that the puppies were probably under the deck where they would be hard to reach. Of course, that's right where they were.

As soon as we started pulling the puppies out from under the deck, we transferred them to another large crate which we placed right beside the mother dog. We left that crate opened and untrapped the mom. She immediately ran into the crate with her pups. Now she didn't look so ferocious. In fact she looked downright grateful.

The next morning we went back to the vacant yard to make sure we hadn't missed any puppies. It broke my heart to find empty McDonald's bags and various other trash that the mother had obviously been eating just to survive. What maternal insincts she had.

Ten weeks and I can't tell you how many bottles of formula later, we placed all the puppies in good homes. Most of them went in twos, which made all of us very happy. The mother found a good home with one of my friends who helped to care for the pups all summer. Her name is Rae. In addition to taking the mother dog, Rae did puppy laundry, feedings, and just about everything she could do to help with the puppies.

In the end, it was a very successful rescue. A patient at my vet's office had formed a foundation to honor her dog. It paid for every single shot the puppies and their mother received. Can you think of a better end to a rescue story?

Oh! I can think of one way. There's going to be a puppy reunion in July. I'll take lots of pictures to share with all of you.


Joan June 21, 2009 at 5:26 PM  

Ahh, this post means a lot to me, since I got to be a small part of it, too! How cool is it that my niece moved into an apartment right behind the home where two of the puppies ended up. She called them "bear dogs" because they're so big and fluffy even before I figured out the connection!

Miss Janet June 21, 2009 at 6:08 PM  

Oh, how precious! God placed such a great instinct in animals. It always amazes me.

I sure hope you have a glorious day!


Rae June 21, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

The rescue is very heartwarming but the part of being alone and hungry is so sad. Thank God there are people like you and your friends. I wish there would never be another story like this but I know in reality that is not going to happen.
Great post!!

Tweedles -- that's me June 21, 2009 at 6:41 PM  

Oh, I was hoping you would have a story for me and, and this was so perfect!
I love this story, and I will remember it FOREVER.
Thank you for sharring and not only that but I thank every single person , and your husband too, for helping.
That is what love is all about. It's about caring so much even if you loose your sleep.
Everybody got a forever home, warm bed and food and it makes me so happy.

2cats June 21, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

Simply said:

May God bless each and everyone of you.

Vicki June 21, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

Precious puppies! Wonderful rescue. It must be very rewarding to know you helped save all those great animals. Can't wait for the reunion pictues!

Sandy June 21, 2009 at 9:45 PM  

ice story, and what an ending. Though I suppose it's not really an's still going on.

Is this The Rae of Bridge and Beyond Fame?

Big heart that Rae (


Jan Mader June 21, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

Yes and no. Rae works with the homeless under the bridge. She takes meals to them and gives them scarves and mittens that are made by the wonderful folks at the Bridge blog. Actually Annabelle (that we now have) came from an informal rescue group that Rae and I belong to. Networking is amazing. So is Rae.

Just Me June 21, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

What a wonderful story. I love your site. Noticed you are a children's writer. I am actually writing a book and would love your advice on how to find an agent/publisher etc!

Ziggy Stardust June 22, 2009 at 2:28 AM  

God bless you for that wonderful story. It made me cry, but for happiness really that they are all safe. That poor Mommy just trying to feed her babies. Thank you and its so good to know that there are people like you and your friend Rae in the world. Anne

Thank you for saving those puppies. Sasha

T June 22, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

What a beautiful post Jan. Thank goodness you were persistent and stepped up to care for all the puppies and to make sure Mama Dog was cared for too!

Melinda June 22, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

Great story and SO well written.. I could sit all day and listen to your stories. Best part is..they are true!!

Unknown June 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

Young Heroines:
Today I witnessed a wonderful rescue of a mother duck and 3 baby ducklings. I was taking my usual evening walk near an apartment complex that has a stream running by. This year I've seen several mother ducks and their babies living near the stream. As I was walking by, I saw two young ladies with a big pool looked like they were trying to catch baby I asked them what was going on. It turns out the mother duck had a broken wing! They had a big plastic bin with a lid and had rescued the mother duck...their mother was going to take them to the Wildlife Center. Now they were trying to catch all eight baby ducklings to take with the mother. The plan was to return the mother and babies to the stream, once the mother was healed. The girls were using the pool net to guide the ducklings toward a wire cage they had propped between two rocks in the stream. One girl explained that they couldn't use the net to catch the ducklings because it would injure them. The girls were cousins and they worked together as a team. I was so impressed by their determination and inventiveness in trying to carefully trap the ducklings. They worked for at least an hour or more...jumping on rocks and getting into the stream at times. In the end, they caught three ducklings. It was getting late and their mother wanted them to stop because she wanted to get the mother duck to the Wildlife Center before it closed. A friend of mine who lives there, told us he thought the rest of the ducklings would be OK because they are about three weeks old. In previous years, he's seen ducklings left alone when their mother was killed...and he said they're usually able to manage. The cousins reminded me so much of Jan, my sister, our friend Ronnie, and myself when we were girls...and how much we cared about animals. It was wonderful to see young people who were learning about the natural world and doing their best to make the world a better place!

Jan Mader June 23, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

Thanks for sharing that story,'s beautiful. Our love for animals...and each other goes back a long ways. (I've known Linda since I was 5!)

Kind kids turn into kind adults. I wonder if that's something that's taught or just innate?
I know that who I am now is partially a result of my childhood friends.

I'm tearing up a bit as I think about it!

troutbirder August 13, 2009 at 7:49 AM  

Wonderful and heartwarming story. Thanks!

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