Friday, August 28, 2009

Bella Has A Home; Now She Needs Donations for Medical Care As She Grows

Several people have asked about Bella, a paralyzed golden lab puppy featured in our July 22 blog.

Amy Shever, founder of 2nd Chance 4 Pets, contacted Gina Farnsworth at the end of July and offered to take Bella. Her organization's mission is to "protect animal companions and prevent them from becoming orphaned due to their owner’s death or disability."

While at 2nd Chance, Bella was evaluated, fitted with a special cart and given therapy.

On August 18 she arrived at her new home at Healing HEART Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah near the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Bella was filmed by a local video crew and later was guest of honor at a Best Friends weekly staff lunch.

Bella's condition is complicated. On Friday, August 7, she had an emergency procedure done, a consequence of her neurological issues. She will need ongoing care.

To continue treatment at Healing HEART, Bella will depend on 2nd Chance 4 Pets.

Guardian angels are needed to underwrite the cost of Bella's treatment as she grows. If you can make a donation, please visit Donations can be made online at or can be mailed to 2nd Chance 4 Pets BELLA FUND, 1484 Pollard Rd, No 444, Los Gatos, CA 95032O.

You can see a video of Bella in her new cart and follow her progress on Bella's Blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Three Amigos!

Shelter Dogs Barney (8), Lara (2) and Ollie (5) Take Over Encinitas!

Yes, this is the same Barney who was infested with maggots 3 weeks ago. Scroll down to the August 12 post below to see his progress.

Thanks to all the rescue volunteers and donors who made their rehabilitation possible. They were worth it, and so are others!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Dog's Ten Commandments

Thanks to Tiffany Porter of Encinitas for this wonderful sentiment. It came to her from her nephew, a dog trainer.

A Dog's Ten Commandments

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. We do not have to wait for Heaven to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lara: Before & After

June 7, 2009

June 25, 2009

July 28, 2009

It's hard to dispute the effectiveness of veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) after looking at these photos.

On our last visit, Dr. John Harrison noted that Lara's sway back is vanishing and making way for an athletic young dog able to perform maneuvers she was unable to do in her previous life as a backyard breeder.

"Her body was so heavy that her spine was being pulled to the ground," he said. "Now her muscles are strong, she has balance and a better side profile."

In treating Lara, Dr. Harrison noted that her muscles no longer have variations in heat, indicating her earlier inflammation has disappeared.

Stay tuned for more good news.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barney: A New Foster Dog Arrives

What moves us to help others?

"I have a theory about the assists we get in life," Lucille Ball wrote in her autobiography
Love, Lucy. "Only rarely can we repay those people who helped us, but we can pass that help along to others."

This also applies to those who are moved to give a "hands up" to our feathered and four-legged friends. In their innocence, animals and children are the most vulnerable to the evils of man.

Last week something special happened in North County. A disparate group of people came together to respond to the plight of an emaciated, seven-year-old male St. Bernard who was surrendered at the county animal shelter. Weighing only 105 lbs., Barney was blanketed with mats and maggots throughout his body including his ears and anus. His mouth was full of broken teeth.

I monitored the situation as it unfolded in a group email initiated by Alison Hardison of Shelter Pet Partners, then forwarded it to a handful of people I thought might help. Here is how the story developed:

9:21 a.m. Rebekah Peterman of Sunnybrook Farm in Encinitas offers to provide a herbal regimen to promote healing and weight gain.

10:07 a.m. Jason Bennett, owner of Flippin' Pizza in Encinitas, writes: We will donate $100 for the medical from Flippin’. Can you give me the info on how I should make out the check and where to send it?

10:20 a.m. Lisa Hamilton of Mission Animal Hospital in Oceanside announces that she is going to visit the shelter to assess the dog.

10:26 a.m. Alison reports that she'll begin looking for funds as well as a foster home.

1:34 p.m. Lisa returns from the shelter and writes: He is a VERY good boy! I have no doubt he is in pain with the ear and skin issues, but they have done a super job at the shelter of getting him well on the way to recovery. Bless who ever spent hours shaving and pulling maggots from his wounds!

4:22 p.m. Alison gives a status report: Mission Animal Hospital is willing to help, Carlsbad councilman Keith Blackburn has donated money for medical, and Lillian has agreed to serve as a foster guardian.

11:20 p.m. Jane Cartmill of San Diego Animal Advocates writes: SDAA can contribute $100 if that would help.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday Alison picks Barney up from the shelter and drives him to Mission Animal Hospital. She notes that the odor of his ears is so bad that it almost makes her sick to her stomach. The hospital provides an exam and medication at no cost. Shelter Pet Partners pays for the anesthesia and ear cleaning.

Afterwards, Renee Dudek of Dogs & Suds in Encinitas treats Barney to a free grooming.

Councilman Blackburn meets up with Alison at the grooming salon to deliver a check for $500.

Joey and I arrive at Dogs & Suds at 5 p.m. to pick up this handsome but painfully thin, gentle giant.

Barney receives a warm and enthusiastic welcome from Lara and Ollie. After enjoying their first dinner together, Ollie, also a rescue dog, begins to nurse Barney by cleaning his ears, eyes and mouth -- a routine he repeats each day.

On Sunday morning Katerina Lorenzatos
Makris, San Diego Dogs Examiner for, emails to ask if she can feature Barney in the premiere of a column titled, "Dog Rescue Funny Bones."

Neighbors Jo and David Smith come over to meet the new foster. They are so moved by Barney and his pitiful condition that they return to deliver a new collar, leash and crisp $100 bill to help with medical bills.

Yesterday Katerina sends an email reporting that her article has generated $4 in donations for food. She adds, "Whatever I make from on Barney's story I'll send you for his food fund!"

And today I received a $100 check from Jo Smith's friends, Jim and Jackie Emig of Fallbrook, to help Barney!

Barney is only at the beginning of his recovery. He's facing the cost of a blood panel, x-rays, dental work, medication and, of course, food to bring him up to a healthy weight.

If you'd like to join "Team Barney" and 'pay it forward' through donations, contact Alison Hardison at or call Ellie Astridge at (
760) 402-1980.

* Note: Barney arrived at the shelter as "Cujo." He showed such an unusual interest in The Andy Griffith Show the first night he was here that we renamed him "Barney."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dr. Carmine Bausone: Lara's Trusted Vet & Friend

Last weekend Joey asked if I had ever thought of becoming a vet.

"Yes, I thought of it," I replied. "In fact, my high school science project was about dog parasites."

So he posed the next logical question -- why then hadn't I gone to veterinary school.

"I didn't like science," I said. Truth be told, it wasn't one of my strong suits either.

Fortunately for those of us who love our pets, there are gifted practitioners who not only excel in the sciences, they possess compassion and an instinctual understanding of their patients.

These are qualities I've come to appreciate in Dr. Carmine Bausone, director of integrative medicine at the Acacia Animal Health Center.

Last week I arrived at our appointment with a list of concerns to discuss.

The first was raised by Mike Dougherty who, during Lara's grooming, suspected that she had the beginning of an ear infection.

Before I had a chance to address my list I watched as Dr. B greeted Lara, then remarked, "She has an ear infection. . .I can smell it."

The other thing I like about Dr. B is that he offers a spectrum of treatment options, drawing upon his knowledge of traditional western medicine, holistic healing and eastern therapies.

He suggested that I first try to treat Lara with this home remedy:

Dr. Bausone’s Holistic Ear Rinse
Thoroughly mix drops* of Nutrabiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract with a mixture of ½ oz. apple cider vinegar and ½ oz. water. Apply 3-5 drops of solution in the affected ear 2 times/day. Do not use full strength in ears and use as often as needed.

* 3-4 drops small to med., 4-7 drops med. to large, 7-10 drops larger dogs.

Caution: This treatment may not work in every case. Monitor your dog's ears closely. If they do not heal completely visit a veterinarian right away.

We also discussed commercial products and home remedies for flea control and removal of the tear stains beneath Lara's eyes.

After performing acupuncture, Dr. B said her condition had stabilized to the point where she only required monthly maintenance treatment.

During her weigh-in we learned that Lara had lost another 5 lbs. -- bringing the total to 15. Only 12 lbs. to go!

The good news continued a few days later when Dr. B called to report that blood test results indicated that her thyroid was normal.

Under Dr. B's care, this little girl has transformed from a sad victim of neglect, who collapsed halfway around the block on our first walk, to a robust young lady who is now running, playing and living the life of a San Diego water dog -- also kayaking and swimming!