This is Tucker, a American Saddlebred Horse we rescued on July 7, 2009. He's one of the best decisions we've ever made here. I'd like to think he's sticking his tongue out at the person that took such horrible care of him, letting her see that he's doing much better now. Tucker is a fantastic horse. He went to Jerry Lee Parker for training last spring (2010) and we are so proud of all the accomplishments he has made. Below is a picture of what he looked like the day we brought him here. Why am I showing you this picture? Not to make you feel sorry for him. Not to make you cry with outrage. I am showing you this picture because it goes to show you what proper love and care can accomplish. It shows you that all animals deserve our respect, and those that have the misfortune of coming from a less than desirable situation still have a place in this world and can bring joy to families who are willing to give them what they need. This is Tucker. He is a survivor.
On July 7, 2009 we brought Tucker home from a rescue facility in Chillicothe, Ohio. This is a picture I took of him the day he came home. We were told he had been left in a small stall for over 3 years. His body was encrusted with layers of feces, matted hair, and dirt. We could see every bone in his body. Several of his hooves were infected and they were like big dinner plates that curved upward. It was a slow process cleaning him up, working gently to get the layers off and trim his mane and tail of the dirt and debris that would not come off. We had our ferrier, Jeff Dunlap, come over the next day to help begin Tucker's healing. He has taken excellent care of Tucker's hooves ever since. One is still a bit misshapen after all this time, but that shows he is special. We had to work with Tucker to help him get used to not only eating grass again, but also realize he was free from the situation he had been in, that food is plentiful, and life is good. In April 2010 he was ready for training. We took him to Jerry Lee Parker for 30 days of the basics. He did a fantastic job. Tucker worked real hard and we could see his confidence grow even more. We are so proud of Tucker! Please...please...please, if you have animals of any kind, give them the love and respect they deserve. If you don't, both God and your mother will be very disappointed in your actions and you don't want that!
Toby is our old man. He's an English Mastiff that's a bit on the small side; I think maybe he has another Mastiff breed in him also. He came to us about 11 years ago. A woman needed to re-home him. She said her son bought him for her as a gift, one she didnt' know about, and was not in a position to care for another dog. Toby is our third large breed rescue. We had another English Mastiff and a Saint Bernard beforehand. All have been wonderful pets. The thing is, sometimes folks buy a dog and don't think about the future with it. English Mastiffs and Saint Bernards are droolie dogs. They come together (the dog and the drool) and can't be separated. Also, bigger dog means they need more room and you need to have more food for them. Any animal is a commitment. A big dog can be a bigger commitment. We love our big dogs, past and present!
Millie came to us in December 2007 by way of someone dumping her in the fenced in backyard of a rental we were living in when first moving to Ohio. She wasn't even six weeks old and the temperature was hovering just below 0. A little doggie angel was sitting on her shoulder that night. I got up and went in the kitchen, which I have never done before in the middle of the night, and heard this faint sound ouside the door. There she was, half frozen. She has to have been put in that fence, as there was no other way to get there. I took her in, warmed her up, and a few weeks later when we moved to the farm she came with us.
Roxie is what we were told is a "American Cattle Dog." That's fancy talk for an Australian/Border Collie mix. I made the mistake of going back to the flea market (where I had brought home brown paper lunch bags of ducklings and turkey poults the year before) to buy a duck. There she was, in all her puppy glory, sucking me in. It was the eyes, I tell you! One black, one blue. She was special. I left with that puppy, having forgotten all about the duck...until later that day. I went back to that flea market, bought that duck, and shortly afterwards that cute little duckie was eaten by a snapping turtle. Roxie, on the other hand, is still here. Moral of the story: Stay home, Sharon.
I made the mistake of accompanying the young'un and his Cub Scout Weebelos den to the Ross County Animal Shelter not to long ago (January 28, 2012 to be exact). I pet the puppies, dogs, and cats, oogling over all of them, telling them I would give lots of love, but they couldn't go home with me. Then, huddling back in the corner of a cage, was this 2 year old Miniature Dachshund. You see, I had a Dach, my best friend for 14 years. The first spring we moved here she was taken under and killed by a 50 lb. snapping turtle, this having been the second and final incident she had with it. I was heartbroken, but never forgot how much she meant to me. When I saw little Tabby there I just couldn't leave her. She was taken there just for me. In fact, she had just arrived a few days before and could now go to a new home any time. Hon knew he was sunk. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. We just love our little Tabby!
SamCat (shown here with Tabby) is our three legged wonder. We were visiting Hon's family in Virginia for Thanksgiving and there was this little cat up in the tree. Eldest really wanted to take the cat home. I kept saying no, but in the end I was a sucker. He came home with us, developed an issue with his leg that required surgery, so we took him to the vet. During surgery the vet made a mistake and and damaged his good leg. In the end, it needed to be amputated. He may be three legged, but that happened many years ago and he gets along great. He's been with us now for 12 years. He also must have had an angel sitting on his shoulder the day we took him home. Regardless of the veterinarian's blunder, he would have still developed a big problem with his leg and have been homeless without necessary care.
Bishop is Eldest's 4 year old Blue Quaker Parrot. Eldest asked for a bird last year for his birthday. He has a pair of Egyptian Swift pigeons and an English Trumpeter pigeon that he takes super care of so we knew he would be responsible. Hon and Eldest went on a bird quest and came home with Bishop. He can say "pretty bird," "pretty Bishop," "come here," "hello Bishop" (I taught him that one), and something we can't even begin to decypher, but it's a mouthful that he yells at the top of his birdie lungs. I also think he says, "Whaz-up," but Eldest tells me he's saying "come here," then too.