Happy New Year!

What is the best animal-related thing that happened in your life in 2013?

For me, it was adding Wendy to the family.  It was a bumpy start dealing with her myriad medical issues and her repeated escapes though.  The vet knocked out all her medical problems one at a time and she’s been in good health ever since.  Project Runaway was a horse of a different color.  It’s not something I’ve dealt with before and at first it was perplexing.  She would be out in the yard, seemingly fine and then POOF – she was gone.  We added additional fencing but that was just a little exercise for Billy apparently.  What ended up working for us was a combination of limiting her outside time to direct supervision in a small portion of the yard and taking her for leashed walks.  When she needs to go out for a potty break or wants to have a bone, we put her on a tie-out (only when we are home and can see her out the window if we are indoors).  She loves her tie-out and took to it like a duck to water.  My vet guessed that perhaps she had been on one previously and it represented something familiar for her.  Whatever the explanation for why it works, I am just happy that it does.  We haven’t had an escape since we started using this system and she seems very content.

Wendy was shot at some point before we got her, as evident by the small game shot visible throughout this x-ray.

Wendy was shot at some point before we got her, as evident by the small game shot visible throughout this x-ray.

The trigger for Wendy that causes her to run away is gunshots.  We did not realize this for quite awhile.  We were aware she was afraid of gunshots (and firecrackers and thunderstorms) but had no idea this was what was putting her into a state of panic.  Then one day Billy was outside with her in the small portion of the yard where she gets her freedom under direct supervision and she happened to be on the back deck when a gunshot was fired in the area.  Being on the back deck, she could have either come to the back door and scratched to be let in or gone down the stairs to get down to the yard.  Instead she immediately began attempting to hurl herself over the side of the deck.  This would have resulted in a fall down to the back yard and accomplished nothing from a practical point of view.  In other words, she still would have been outside and within the small fenced portion of the yard.  Billy intervened quickly and brought her inside.  But the behavior was revealing.  Apparently hearing a gunshot outdoors sends her into such a state that all she can think is to hurl herself over the nearest barrier, without rhyme or reason.  I guess this would be described as an extreme fear response and it would explain why and how she escaped several times in her first weeks with us.  We live in a rural area where gunshots are common and it’s possible that she exhibited this same extreme response then, which resulted in repeated yard escapes.

Now that we have the routines in place to keep her safe and know that if we hear a gunshot when she is outside we need to run, not walk, to carry her indoors – it’s all good.  The only problem now is that Billy has stolen her from me – just like he did with Graham.  The man is obviously not to be trusted.

Beagle thief and his loot.

Beagle thief and his loot.

Merry Christmas!

Celebrating the human-animal bond with photos and captions submitted by readers:

Me with Shorty at home in Ashland City, TN.  Our special needs Pit Bull Bassett Hound boy from a litter dumped on  our road.   - Karen Josephson

Me with Shorty at home in Ashland City, TN. Our special needs Pit Bull/Bassett Hound boy from a litter dumped on
our road. – Karen Josephson

1/4/12 - Merlin napping with (and on!) me. Merlin is a cuddlebug who never misses an opportunity to cuddle, even if you're out cold and don't realize it. Picture thanks to hubby. - Carol in Alabama

1/4/12 – Merlin napping with (and on!) me. Merlin is a cuddlebug who never misses an
opportunity to cuddle, even if you’re out cold and don’t realize it. Picture thanks to hubby.
- Carol in Alabama

This is Mallymkin getting her first bath at her new home about two weeks ago.  She was seized, along with a pit bull puppy, from a bad situation by animal control.  The puppy was adopted, but Mally languished in the shelter.  Twelve years old, toothless, plagued with skin problems, her prospects were not good.  But when my husband, Frank, and I saw her photo on Facebook, we fell for her and fell hard.  We went to the shelter and adopted her the next day.  The thing is, as rough as her condition was and as rough the circumstances she came from apparently were, we could tell she was loved.  She knows how to cuddle and burrow under the covers for a snuggle.  She's sweet and tolerant and took no time at all to fit into our pack.  I feel sad for her former owners.  Maybe with a little help they could have kept her and made her life better.  I hope that somehow they know she made it out of the shelter and is safe and loved and adored by her new family.  - Denise Mulliken

This is Mallymkin getting her first bath at her new home about two weeks ago. She was seized, along with a pit bull puppy, from a bad situation by animal control. The puppy was adopted, but Mally languished in the shelter. Twelve years old, toothless, plagued with skin problems, her prospects were not good. But when my husband, Frank, and I saw her photo on Facebook, we fell for her and fell hard. We went to the shelter and adopted her the next day. – Denise Mulliken

My father and Chichi in TN. Chichi was a senior chihuahua at a high kill shelter. She is the light of my dad's life. She is celebrating her rescue with her party hat on.  - Andrea

My father and Chichi in TN. Chichi was a senior chihuahua at a high kill shelter. She is the light of my dad’s life. She is celebrating her rescue with her party hat on. – Andrea

Ten year old Billy Boy and rescuer, Lorie Beville, in emergency clinic.  Memphis, TN.  - Ona

Ten year old Billy Boy and rescuer, Lorie Beville, in emergency clinic. Memphis, TN. – Ona

Submitted by Karen F: Banana starts to express boredom at having her very own biped to ride.

Submitted by Karen F: Banana starts to express boredom at having her very own biped to ride.

This is a photo of me and Chloe. Chloe and her eight puppies were dumped at a high kill shelter in Merced, a rescue pleaded for a foster home and we offered ours. After the puppies were weaned and went on to their foster/forever homes we kept mom for some rest and rehab. We ended up falling in love with her and 'failed' at fostering : ) - Loran

This is a photo of me and Chloe. Chloe and her eight puppies were dumped at a high kill shelter in Merced, a rescue pleaded for a foster home and we offered ours. After the puppies were weaned and went on to their foster/forever homes we kept mom for some rest and rehab. We ended up falling in love with her and ‘failed’ at fostering : ) – Loran

"Sheldon" after 14 months in foster care with me, Dot Kirby, Yanceyville, NC.  This tiny 11th hour rescue has an adopter!  His new Mom will be flying from Canton,OH to NC to meet him for the very first time on Jan 8, 2014 and flying him back to his forever home.

“Sheldon” after 14 months in foster care with me, Dot Kirby, Yanceyville, NC. This tiny 11th hour rescue has an adopter! His new Mom will be flying from Canton,OH to NC to meet him for the very first time on Jan 8, 2014 and flying him back to his forever home.

"Dandy".. Very shy little JRT mix, another foster baby since Dec 30, 2012   She is still waiting for her forever home. - Dot Kirby, Yanceyville, NC

“Dandy” – Very shy little JRT mix, another foster baby since Dec 30, 2012. She is still waiting for her forever home. – Dot Kirby, Yanceyville, NC

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos for this post. It was a pleasure to put all these pictures together. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope everyone is having a happy day celebrating the bond we share with our four-pawed family members.

Labor Day

A good time for everyone to take a rest. In your proper pack order, of course.

wendy and billy

Merry Christmas

Submitted by Debbie:  "Debbie and rescue dog, Zoe (smiling), in Springfield, MO"

Submitted by Debbie: “Debbie and rescue dog, Zoe (smiling), in Springfield, MO”

Submitted by Michele:  "This is my cat Gordy sleeping in my lap. Gordy is deaf so he sleeps very soundly."

Submitted by Michele: “This is my cat Gordy sleeping in my lap. Gordy is deaf so he sleeps very soundly.”

Submitted by Brandi:  "My husband Kelly and my retired American racing dog Sophie sleeping in bed."

Submitted by Brandi: “My husband Kelly and my retired American racing dog Sophie sleeping in bed.”

Submitted by Luanne:  "Little Buttercup was a sweet little rehab squirrel who was released back to where she belongs."

Submitted by Luanne: “Little Buttercup was a sweet little rehab squirrel who was released back to where she belongs.”

Submitted by Luanne:  "Chris Belew, my son, and the neighbor’s new puppy resting on our porch after playing."

Submitted by Luanne: “Chris Belew, my son, and the neighbor’s new puppy resting on our porch after playing.”

Submitted by Jan: “MY MOM, ANNIE LOU DENNING, LOVER OF KIDS, DOGS, FRIENDS, HUMOR, CLOTHES AND SHOES. NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER!! MEREDITH COLLEGE, 1942″

Submitted by Jan: “VICTOR AND ‘MUGSY’ – TWO GUYS JUST CHILLIN’ IN
PACIFICA, CA”

Submitted by Jan:  "Dan and his rescue dog 'Hula' - Napa, CA"

Submitted by Jan: “Dan and his rescue dog “Hula” – Napa, CA”

Submitted by Kim:  "Jess and Mr. Wellington"

Submitted by Kim: “Jess and Mr. Wellington”

Submitted by Martha:  "This is 5 year old Molly with her Pug, Louie. Louie came to us from an Ohio puppy mill. He had a difficult and sad life but now lives a very happy life in Massachusetts."

Submitted by Martha: “This is 5 year old Molly with her Pug, Louie. Louie came to us from an Ohio puppy mill. He had a difficult and sad life but now lives a very happy life in Massachusetts.”

Submitted by a reader:  "Paco was rescued march 2011  from a puppy mill."

Submitted by a reader: “Paco was rescued march 2011 from a puppy mill.”

Submitted by Niki: “My Son Is going to go to college next year, to study political science, and veterinary. Hoping to one day make a bigger mark on saving more animals.”

Submitted by Gudrun:  "This is Emily in Georgia with our rescue cat Mini Miez (German for kitty)."

Submitted by Gudrun: “This is Emily in Georgia with our rescue cat Mini Miez (German for kitty).”

Submitted by Tonya:  "This is the lady that adopted Shadow from PAWS. The dog with the urinary disease that wasnt treated. This is Kathleen and Shadow."

Submitted by Tonya: “This is the lady that adopted Shadow from PAWS. The dog with the urinary disease that wasnt treated. This is Kathleen and Shadow.”

At Golf Trimmed

Submitted by Aubrie: “Rich and Aspy taking in 18 holes in Alabama (and chasing a few squirrels….)”

Submitted by Callie:  "Callie sitting with Heidi (German shepherd), Chica (chihuahua), and Tip (pit mix)."

Submitted by Callie: “Callie sitting with Heidi (German shepherd), Chica (chihuahua), and Tip (pit mix) in Terrytown, LA”

Submitted by Dot:  "My Friend Cheri comforting "Progie" right after her knee surgery. Yanceyville, NC.  Photo by Dot Kirby"

Submitted by Dot: “My Friend Cheri comforting Progie right after her knee surgery. Yanceyville, NC. Photo by Dot Kirby”

Submitted by Dot:  "My friend Cheri comforting "Celie" at the vets right after knee surgery, Yanceyville, NC"

Submitted by Dot: “My friend Cheri comforting “Celie” at the vets right after knee surgery, Yanceyville, NC”

Submitted by Jamie:  "Lex and my husband the summer before she left us."

Submitted by Jamie: “Lex and my husband the summer before she left us.”

SiriusRepublic

Submitted by Ashley: “Ashley and her rescued American Pit Bull Terrier Athena in Portland, OR”

Submitted by Karen:  "Banana will ride on your shoulder . . ."

Submitted by Karen: “Banana will ride on your shoulder . . .”

Submitted by Karen:  "And Smoochy will hold your hand . . ."

Submitted by Karen: “And Smoochy will hold your hand . . .”

Submitted by Karen:  "But Dorian is Not Impressed."

Submitted by Karen: “But Dorian is Not Impressed.”

Submitted by TN Death Row Dogs:  "Amber at home in Ft. Campbell, KY"

Submitted by TN Death Row Dogs: “Amber at home in Ft. Campbell, KY”

Submitted by Claire:  "My grandson, Julian, and my sorta-lab, Swoopes. Swoopes was rescued from MAS in August of 2002."

Submitted by Claire: “My grandson, Julian, and my sorta-lab, Swoopes. Swoopes was rescued from MAS in August of 2002.”

Submitted by Lisa:  "This is me with my foster half-Boston Jujube."

Submitted by Lisa: “This is me with my foster half-Boston Jujube.”

Submitted by Ona:  "Chef - Katrina Rescue - Memphis, Tennessee. Chef visiting my son's school."

Submitted by Ona: “Chef – Katrina Rescue – Memphis, Tennessee.
Chef visiting my son’s school.”

Submitted by Vania:  "A man helping his dog surf at the 3rd annual dog surfing competition in Imerial Beach, CA in 2008."

Submitted by Vania: “A man helping his dog surf at the 3rd annual dog surfing competition in Imerial Beach, CA in 2008.”

Submitted by Vania:  "Small child with formerly feral foster kitten Tortie in AZ"

Submitted by Vania: “Small child with formerly feral foster kitten Tortie in AZ”

Submitted by Jamie: "One last photo for you - the "family" photo we used for our Christmas card this year.  The brindle boy is Gonzo - the one we found in the culvert two months ago.  He's about 6 months old.  The other is Lollie, our first child.  She's two.  Happy Holidays to you and your family, Shirley!  Thanks for all you do!"

Submitted by Jamie: “One last photo for you – the “family” photo we used for our Christmas card this year. The brindle boy is Gonzo – the one we found in the culvert two months ago. He’s about 6 months old. The other is Lollie, our first child. She’s two. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Shirley! Thanks for all you do!”

And thanks for all you guys do. All of you – your activism, your compassion and your love for animals – are my inspiration. Merry Christmas everyone.

Shelters Celebrate Lifesaving with Local Communities During the Holidays

Here are a few events being offered this month by no kill shelters in conjunction with the holiday season:

MOBY

Moby is available for adoption at UPAWS in MI (photo by Ann Brownell)

UPAWS in Marquette, MI is inviting the public to come to an open house on December 15 for a shelter tour, refreshments, and discounted adoptions.

Screengrab from the UPAWS website (click to enlarge)

Screengrab from the UPAWS website (click to enlarge)

***

The Allegany Co shelter in MD is holding its annual Presents for Paws event on Christmas Eve where the community is invited to meet the pets and donate items from the wish list. This is their flyer promoting the event (click to enlarge):
allegany shelter

***

Every year some parents are going to give the kids the pet they’ve been asking for as a Christmas gift.  If shelters and rescues refuse to allow adoptions of pets as holiday gifts, they are driving parents to alternate sources to buy the pet – and probably turning them off shelter adoption permanently.  In NY, Pets Alive Middletown and Pets Alive Westchester are employing their normal screening practices to ensure a good potential match between pet and family and making it easy for the parent to save a life while giving the kids the present of their dreams.  The shelters are offering to have Santa’s helpers deliver the adopted pet to his new home on Christmas morning.  No pet store salesman or flea market vendor is going to hold your pet for you until Christmas morning and then show up in a Santa hat – but Pets Alive will!

***

What is your local shelter doing to promote lifesaving and community involvement this holiday season?

Winthrop is available for adoption at UPAWS in MI (photo by Ann Brownell)

Winthrop is available for adoption at UPAWS in MI (photo by Ann Brownell)

Thanksgiving Letter from a Reader

Kitten sheltered at Randolph Co Humane Society in WV. (Photo provided by Vicki Aucremanne.)

Hi Shirley

I have a story for you! It would be called “A shelter who got it right!”

The shelter is Randolph County Humane Society animal shelter and it is located in Elkins, WV. The manager of this shelter is Kelly Scheideggar and she has been here for 11 years. This shelter is a very very low kill shelter, with low operating budget, in a fairly rural setting. The shelter manager has turned this place into a safe haven for lost pets, whereas before her arrival, it was a pet killing facility…(90% kill rate in the past – NOW less than 10%!!!)

This weekend we had an incident that reinforced my respect for her and I want to share this story with you.

What happens when the early morning worker at a small local shelter (humane capacity probably around 90-100 dogs and cats both) comes to work before the sun is up and finds approximately 30 cats abandoned in the parking lot? Finds cats crammed inside of boxes together? Finds cat running loose in the parking lot?

What does the manager of this shelter do after she and other staff rush to work early, and capture these cats? What does she do after evaluating and checking these animals in? After she takes account of how many cats are already in the shelter? After she realizes how far over humane holding capacity these 30 cats will put the shelter?

If your answer is to do what many large, more well funded shelters would do – to start looking over the list of cats who are already in the shelter, and determine who has been there the longest and decide who gets killed to make room for the new comers, then the answer is WRONG!

What this manager did as soon as she was able, was to go to the internet and make a plea for help via Facebook. Yes, Shirley, a plea to the public (gasp -yes I said public) for help was made – asking for what? Funds to buy Fatal Plus? NOPE.  A plea went out for food, litter, crates, and yep – foster homes, and adopters!

(Here is a copy of that plea from Facebook) ——-

___________________________________________________________________________
ATTENTION FACEBOOK FANS – WE ARE IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION!

When we arrived at the shelter this morning, we found that over 30 cats and kittens had been dumped in the shelter parking lot by a heartless individual during the night. We have captured most of these precious babies, but are still in the process of seeing if there are any more out there.

Right now, we desperately need crates, food and litter to take care of these little ones. Once they are checked in and evaluated, we are asking for foster homes and adopters.

Please facebook fans, if you can help in any manner, call the shelter at 304-636-7844!

__________________________________________________________________________

And guess what went into motion? Was the plea ignored? Was it a demand that cats be killed ? (After all, many say the public is not able to think of things to do to help and some even say that, all people are evil cat haters who should never have a pet or know how to take care of one) Nope – here’s what happened in brief -

Within literally minutes, phone calls to the shelter started coming in, and Facebook messages with offers of help were received. People wanted to know what time the shelter would open so they can come out, help, and perhaps adopt.

Sleeping kitten, safe at the Randolph Co Humane Society in WV. (Photo provided by Vicki Aucremanne.)

People (yes Shirley, the irresponsible public) start coming to the shelter with food, litter, crates, bedding and more. Within the hour of the plea going out!

Cars rolled in – handing the staff food and supplies. Bags of cat food, kitty litter and more. Crates….

People drove up and handed the staff checks…

A little girl took her birthday present money and bought cat food!

A statewide cat rescue (PURR WV) came on the scene within two hours to assess the situation and offer assistance, taking 12 cats.

A national disaster organization (IFAW) was alerted via PURRWV to help if needed.

Throughout the weekend, the public continued to bring in food, litter, and other cat necessities.

By Sunday, other offers of help from other cat rescues are coming in from as far away as New Jersey. Donations are coming from Amazon.com from places like VA!

2 cats were adopted and 1 cat was reclaimed over the weekend. Others went into foster care. The shelter is down closer to its usual capacity. There is food, litter, and more available with promise of more on the way.

At no time ever over this long weekend, was killing the cats – any cat, long term or “new comer” – an option or even mentioned. NEVER… not one time…. ever… it was not even in anyone’s thought processes. EVER. Instead it was team work between the shelter manager, her direct care staff, rescue workers, AND the PUBLIC (yes – the public that OTHER shelters call evil and irresponsible).

I know these things to be fact. I was there, as rep of the statewide group, PURR. I saw it happen with my own eyes. I am proud of our local shelter for doing what they did. They got it right. Today as I write, cats have been adopted. Yes, other cats are at the local shelter still needing homes, but still very much protected (as a shelter should!) and cared for. Other cats have gone home to new families, some are at the rescue, others in foster care. But they are all alive…. thanks to a shelter manager, who gets it right!

Here is the follow up Facebook message from the manager – this was just 9 hours after the initial plea went out:
______________________________________________________________________
Wow, what a great, caring and compassionate community we have. The out pouring of help today was nothing short of awesome. To all of you who brought food and supplies up, saying Thank You just doesn’t seem like enough. Please know that we are so grateful for the kindness you showed to the abandoned cats and kittens. To the familes who came up and adopted and fostered, you truly made a difference. To Dan and Vicki Aucremanne and our Friends at PURR WV, you ROCK ! Thank you so very much for your assistance. As far as we know, there is only one cat left that we have not been able to catch, we have left food, water, and shelter out for her, hopefully tomorrow we’ll be able to coax her in. All of the others are safe, warm, and have have full bellies. God Bless All of You !!! ~Kelly~
___________________________________________________________

And another follow up. The search is now on for the child who gave her birthday money – if only we could find her. All the help is deeply appreciated, but this selfless act by a child needs a hug!

_______________________________________________________________

Good morning facebook friends. The ‘dust is slowly settling’ after this weekends emergency situation involving the many cats who were abandoned at our door step. In the midst of the hectic activity that was going on Saturday morning and afternoon, we failed to get the name of someone who made a very special donation to help these homeless and abandoned kitties. We were told that a little girl had used her birthday present money to buy food to bring to the shelter for these cats. We want to send you a very special thank you for doing this! And we would love for you to contact us – we would love to give you a hug for doing such a kind thing. Your act of kindness has helped us to be able to help these formerly abandoned kitties.

_________________________________

Rescuers catch a loose cat outside the Randolph Co Humane Society in WV. (Photo provided by Vicki Aucremanne.)

Here is the link to the shelter’s Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/RCHS2?fref=ts

Their number is 304-636-7844

The manager is Kelly Scheideggar. She deserves a hug and more. She is the true leader of the “Little Shelter who got it right”

Thanks so much for reading this. I thought a good shelter story would bring us all some happiness – and since it is Thanksgiving. I will say, thankfulness, that there are folks who are doing sheltering well and doing it right!

Vicki Aucremanne

Thank you for sending in this story Vicki.  It’s a good reminder of the things all no kill advocates can be thankful for today and every day – shelters that shelter, leaders who lead, rescuers who rescue and of course the so-called irresponsible public.

The Real Danger to Black Cats at Halloween

The risk of possible animal abuse by a screened adoption applicant exists at all times, not just Halloween. There is no evidence showing the risk of possible animal abuse by a screened adoption applicant increases at Halloween. And yet some shelters and rescue groups “protect” black cats by refusing to place them with screened applicants in the weeks leading up to Halloween. This myth-based practice results in increased cats in the kill room – which is the opposite of “protection”.

While I don’t know if Memphis Animal Services refuses to adopt out black cats at Halloween, I do know they kill them, just like they do all year.  And here, MAS reminds us that the real threat to black cats comes from those with the license to kill, not from mythical animal sacrifice ritualists at Halloween.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for kitten #247391 at the Memphis pound.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for kitten #247392 at the Memphis pound.

This pair of black kittens could not have weighed more than 2 pounds combined. They were just one month old when someone brought them to MAS on October 11. James Rogers, the interim director at the pound, allowed them to live overnight before deciding they were taking up too much room and had to die. Each kitten was killed, using enough Fatal Plus to kill a 10 pound dog, on October 12. It must have been difficult to find a vein on these tiny scared kittens and I wonder if they were in fact injected IC or IP instead.  There was no sedative given according to the records.

These healthy baby cats had a right to live.  They were never offered for adoption and to my knowledge no plea was issued to rescue groups, fosters or the public before MAS killed them.  How many more for your chamber of horrors, Memphis?

 

Happy Father’s Day

Like many couples today, we don’t have children but do consider our dogs to be part of the family.  I think DogDads deserve to be included in today’s tributes.  At our house, we are very thankful for Billy who does everything from emergency gate building to contain bad Beagles to diaper duty on our elderly Chihuahua mix.  And he’s not too bad with puppies either.

Billy and baby Patty.

Patty takes it to the next logical step.

Dr. King and Social Change

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I wanted to share some of his words of wisdom regarding social change.  There are many quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which can be applied to the no kill movement.  I will include just a few here.  Please share additional quotes from Dr. King in the comments which you feel are relevant to our work.

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

Just as the Holocaust was legal, so is the abuse and needless killing of pets in our shelters.  This is why we need CAPA passed in every state.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

There are those who will look the other way, make excuses or outright lie to whitewash the abuse and killing happening at their local shelters.  I call them enablers.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

What is needed in every community where the municipal shelter is killing pets is for someone to stand up and speak out; to have the uncomfortable conversation; to risk becoming the target of a smear campaign.  If not you, it will be no one.

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

Tomorrow I will be posting an overview of 2011 no kill stories but today I wanted to take a moment to share a few personal highlights from this past year.

  • Tracking the Alabama 44 was an ongoing and challenging task and I appreciated all the help I received from readers.  I feel like we helped those dogs, in our own ways, even if it was just to honor their memories.
  • Saving Mari(o) from MAS was one of the most exhausting and rewarding experiences of the year and it would not have happened without a wide network of support from readers and rescuers.  I am so thankful for everyone who pitched in – whether you stayed up half the night networking for transport or stood by for moral support while the city tried to shoot us down – you are appreciated.
  • Bringing Surrey home from a pound in TN was possible because of help from readers.  I probably can’t type too much more than “thank you” without getting a bit sniffly.  I love her.

I feel very lucky to have such wonderful readers and I truly value your company.  I wish all of you a very happy 2012.  Thank you for participating in this blog.

How about you – do you have some personal highlights to share from 2011?

 

 

 

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