It’s been awhile since I’ve written for our blog. I suppose that’s because finding the time to do so is nearly impossible on some days, most days. We have three dogs of our own and 8 foster dogs that are always my first priority. Then I have that day job I call, “work” and then there’s the need to try and squeeze in a good six hours of sleep a night on a good week. I know I could do things better. I could be more organized. I could stop taking short cuts. I could take more time for me but our dogs could not be loved anymore then they are today, tomorrow, and always! I am no writer by any means and my grammar and punctuation could be improved but I’ll share our year with you from my heart!
In 2013 we have so much to be thankful for! We set the bar high because anyone can intake a dog into a shelter, offer him or her food, and adopt each dog out. It’s not enough for us. We demand more, especially for the Shibas that have high cost medical care and the seniors that may be euthanized because of the amount of time, care, and cost it takes to rehabilitate these special dogs. Yes, sometimes we only get a small amount of time to rehabilitate them and love them. It’s sad and sometimes heartbreaking because someone should have done this for them long ago. I would trade everything I have to continue to see a Shiba smile that once could not walk. Have a blind dog follow me around and rub up against me because I relieved his pain. Feel a senior Shiba kiss my face because she is no longer starving. These moments are what complete me. We don’t intake high volume but we do intake and provide high quality of care and the best care to provide each Shiba the longest and happiest life possible. Not all Shibas leave our Sanctuary because the stress will undo all of the rehabilitation that gave them the incredible life they have today. We all love every Shiba that touches our lives and make us better people! Here are our eight special dogs that you supported, donated money and supplies to, and loved far and near.
Diablo is our oldest sanctuary Shiba.
He is now 10 years old. He came from a life of abuse. He weighed 19 pounds and should have been 32 for his bone structure and frame. It hurt to touch him from day one. He was starved, beaten, and tormented. I had to give him fluids quite often and his stomach was so swollen he didn’t feel hungry. I tried everything including cat food and then one day my son gave him a taste of his macaroni and cheese and he slowly started to eat it. From that day on it was part of his diet. Diablo recovered and learned to be a Shiba by observing and socializing with the other Shibas. He was once adopted but hid under the new home’s bed for almost a week, cried, and withdrew from all socialization. We knew he was meant to be here after that. To Diablo he suffered trauma and we were his only cure. He has thrived for many years and just a year ago he was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. He has a few bad days but we keep him active, warm in the winter, and control his pain. Diablo melts anyone’s heart that meets him! We love him dearly!
Angel is our youngest Shiba who has lived in our sanctuary for 2.5 years.
She is now 4.5 years old. Angel was raised with over 200 dogs of all breeds bred for selfish profit. They had no Vet care, very little food, no clean water, and dug ditches to stay warm in freezing temperatures on acreage. Angel was so little, weighing only 13.5 pounds at the time, could not fight for food, and was found laying on a dead carcass for warmth. She is wild and could not be adopted because no one could touch her. When she finally settled in we discovered she suffered great trauma not living with a large amount of dogs. It was the only life she knew. Angel is very independent. She takes treats from me, knows our routine well, and barks while running Shiba 500’s every time she hears the food bin. She gets along with everyone and is quite the little greeter! She is very gentle and we have no doubt that she is happy here!
Mama is our third sanctuary resident.
We took her in with six other Shibas saved from an Amish auction. When she arrived she was pregnant and had two puppies a few days later. She was an excellent mama from day one and we had no idea her hip was broken and how bad. Those puppies were her first priority so pain was not an option. Her femur was completely shattered and she needed surgery right away. In addition, we discovered that she had a collar embedded into nine inches of her skin around her neck. It had to be surgically removed. Mama had two surgeries and still needs a future surgery on her neck. She once left our home. She is so traumatized to leave her safe zone and will escape a tight harness while walking. When Mama escaped and was found we decided for peace of mind and her safety she should live here. Mama is truly a mama to all of our Shibas. She loves her cookies and has learned commands eager to please us. She has become our little watchdog and she shines greatly with us! We love her sweet spirit and she’s thrives living here!
Oso came to us at the age of 10.5 years old.
His owners decided they could no longer watch him go blind and didn’t have the resources that he needed. His eye pressure was so high that it felt like a severe migraine with glass in his eyes. It sky rocketed over 100 when low pressure is 25. We couldn’t touch him because he hurt so much. First we controlled the pain with three different medications. Then we moved on to giving two eye drops, three times a day. Once the pain subsided I realized Oso wanted to be near me all the time. I relieved his pain and he was thankful. I started to make a game of it. Oso let me put his eye drops in and then I gave him a cookie and a hug. He responded to this game quickly because he was so eager to bond. It took a lot of specialist appointments, expensive medications, but in the end he has not lost his eyes. He is now on eye drops just twice a day. Our Vet says it’s a miracle that he didn’t suffer seizures from the pain and that we are able to manage his eye pressure from 109 down to the high 20’s. When Oso has a bad day and I hug him he growls to tell me it’s a bad day and he gets extra eye drops and a pain med. However, on average he has six good days a week and one bad day. Oso is loyal and very loving. One day he may be adopted to a special home that understand his communication and needs but he has a home with us too. We love him dearly and want him to remain pain-free!
Devie came to us as a senior at age 13.5 years old.
Her owner had a major life change and moved. Devie didn’t have any other options. She was 12 pounds overweight because she ate what ever she wanted. She was diagnosed with an intra-ocular tumor of her eye that caused retinal detachment and optic nerve damage. After removal and the healing she started to feel instant relief. Devie has been with us for a good year now. She’s going blind in her one eye and pretty deaf. We were able to get a good 7 pounds off of her with hydrotherapy. Her joints were too inflamed to walk far and the water really helped. Now she goes on walks and enjoys them very much! Devie is sweet and very quiet. She enjoys her warm bed, healthy foods, and interaction with all humans. One day she may be adopted but she is home with people who love her!
Prancer is 8 years old and came to us when his family gave up on him with kids.
Like any Shiba he needed boundaries but he also needed compassion because due to his cataracts he is almost blind. Unfortunately, we recently found out that due to the nature of his ignored condition for so long the cataracts calcified and he now has low pressure Glaucoma. He no longer qualifies for surgery. Prancer is sweet and loving, more affectionate then most. He is very playful with humans and toys. He is quite the ham and gets around just fine, being blind. Most people don’t realize he’s blind in the beginning because of his confidence. He quickly learns a new routine. Prancer loves walks and car rides. Although he lives with other dogs he will be the only dog. He is adoptable and will make someone a wonderful companion!
Miko came to us after being hit by a car roaming the streets.
She is now 15 years old. Miko has a plate in her hip and had nerve damage in a rear leg. The Neurologist told us she needed to learn to use it because she was dragging her leg so badly that she lost toenails from it. Over time we taught Miko how to use her leg with pvc pipes. Her brain was retrained to lift her leg and now she uses her leg 75% better! We also needed to have her gain a good 3-4 pounds so she could build better muscle to support her alignment with the plate in her hip. Miko loves food so that wasn’t an issue! She is our sweet little street Shiba who loves to be outside roaming on our property, which is great rehabilitation for her, little frail body. Although she is aging she has had a much-improved quality of life with us and probably feels better then she has felt in some time! Miko will live here in our sanctuary the rest of her life and be loved and spoiled!
Kioko is 16.5 years old and came to us when her owner passed away.
She has many challenges and battles Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. She takes Anipryl (Selegiline) to reduce the pacing, crying, and confusion. CDS is very much like Alzheimer’s and causes stress with night terrors and not knowing the people who care for them. She also has a broken bone in her shoulder that causes pain and is inoperable at her age. She is on two pain medications that help relieve her discomfort. When she takes her pain meds and Anipryl we see more good days then bad. However, she no longer takes pills so everything is compounded into liquids or we break up the pills so small and syringe feed her with them. We know Kioko is at the end of her life span. When she has a good day she leans against me to let me know she is near. She acts like a Princess and has a beautiful personality. Kioko will be loved and spoiled until we run out of options for her!
These are the very special eight Shibas that we care for each and every day! All of them are in our home socializing with others, in our building, playing on two acres, provided the best of care, and loved very, very much! Thank you for an incredible year that provided us thousands of dollars with supplies off our Amazon Wish List, donations for their Vet care, and the emotional love and support to help us through the tough times! We can’t do this alone and will continue to stay strong with our journey as long as you’re by our side!
We welcome 2014 and know we will have many challenges, much heartbreak, but a strong support system to will help us through it!
Thank you to my husband for taking this journey with me and providing me strength, love, and supporting my passion with Shiba Inus!
Thank You Shiba Prom for your unlimited dedication and support from all of the volunteers who promote each and every rescue!
I want to give a special, big “Thank You” to Jean and Scott MacTarnahan! Both have supported our rescue with donations due to their loving affection for our breed! Jean is my closest friend and keeps me sane in all moments, provides me strength, and is the backbone to our rescue! Thank you for your love and friendship. You are truly my family!
Please help us Welcome Kendra Schuett as our new Secretary and mom of Sparklez DaPooch. Kendra has been a great friend and volunteer with us. We couldn’t be happier to increase her role and welcome her into our family in 2014!
As we close 2013 and start 2014 with Jewel’s Barkday we look back at a wonderful year! We will be taking a limited break during the month of January to recharge for another phenomenal year! We can’t “Thank You” enough!
New Year Blessings, Denise Roelke