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Posts tagged ‘animal rescue’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Well, this was my initial DELICATE post — a precious periwinkle dragonfly resting along the Apoxee Trail in the Grassy Waters Preserve.  It was my companion for the better part of a half-mile; this gossamer creation following me as I hiked — perhaps because I was head-to-toe in periwinkle!

Blue Dragonfly, Grassy Waters Preserve, Florida

That is, until Sunday evening, when a starving black kitten crossed my path. I’ve been TNRing (Trap-Neuter-Release) many kitties, in my wee attempt to help control the populations. (Our county has a severe feline overpopulation issue.) Apparently a lovely woman nearby is doing the same (THANK YOU, stranger!). Sometimes, it’s not cheap: If the kitties are sick, pregnant, need medications, or if assistance is needed with trapping (they can be wily)…it quickly adds up. But these guys need help. Many have been abandoned, the sad products of foreclosed homes and other circumstances. I’ve seen pets left behind for a simple move / long vacation, shockingly.

New Feline Rescue

Maya (??) caught in the flash

My guys are rescues…. And it’s easy to see which ones can survive out there, and which ones cannot. This girl falls into the latter category. She tried desperately to find a home for as long as she was alive, apparently. Maya (?!? still playing with her name) crossed my path in another section of the neighborhood, and, according to one of the tenants, she has no litter mates, and was unable to reach the food provided by the woman caring for the other strays (being so tiny and timid). She had been trying to sneak into the homes of many residents — to no avail. An absolute sweetheart, one of the friendliest felines I’ve ever seen, she wants nothing more than love, safety, and shelter. But every bone in her body is razor-sharp: each vertebrae, her hips…. She was starving. At 6 months old, she has the body of a 4-month-old. I’ll never understand how a starving animal could be repeatedly turned away by so many, nor do I want to understand.

New Feline Rescue

Enjoying the view from inside

Right now, while her body’s very delicate, she’s a survivor — like so many souls on the streets, she’s a combination of delicacy and strength. And despite what she’s seen, despite her physical hardships and emaciation, despite her continued unsuccessful attempts at finding a home (until now), she remains the sweetest little soul.

A most amazing story (one I’ve been following for some time), of a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, battling cancer, and his relationship with a truly remarkable eagle. Read more of the beginnings of Freedom — from injured eaglet to powerful rehabilitator in his own right — and faith, the power of love, and the kinship of all life, in Jeff Guidry’s book “An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship.”

Soul Writings

I wanted to share this wonderful story with you all ♥ Please feel free to share ♥

Photo: I wanted to share this wonderful story with you all <3 Please feel free to share <3</p><p>Freedom and Jeff<br />Freedom and  I have been together 11 years this summer.<br />She came  in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.<br />Her left  wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery,<br />it  was broken in 4 places.<br />She's my baby.</p><p>When Freedom  came in she could not stand<br />and both wings were  broken. She was<br />emaciated and covered in lice. We  made the<br />decision to give her a chance at life, so I  took<br />her to the vet's office. From then<br />on, I  was always around her. We had her in a<br />huge dog  carrier with the top off, and it<br />was loaded up with  shredded newspaper for her to<br />lay in. I used to sit  and talk to her,<br />urging her to live, to fight; and  she would lay<br />there looking at me with those big  brown eyes.<br />We also had to tube feed her for  weeks.</p><p>This went on  for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still<br />couldn't stand.  It got to the point where the<br />decision was made to  euthanize her<br />if she couldn't stand in a week. You  know you don't<br />want to cross that line between  torture and<br />rehab, and it looked like death was<br />winning. She was going to be put<br />down that  Friday, and I was supposed to come in<br />on that  Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go<br />to the  center that Thursday, because I couldn't<br />bear the  thought of her being euthanized;<br />but I went anyway,  and when I walked in everyone<br />was grinning from ear  to ear. I went<br />immediately back to her cage; and  there she was,<br />standing on her own, a big beautiful<br />eagle. She was ready to live. I was<br />just about  in tears by then. That<br />was a very good day. </p><p>We knew she  could never fly, so the director<br />asked me to glove  train her.<br />I got her used to the glove,<br />and then  to jesses, and we started<br />doing education programs  for schools<br />in western Washington .<br />We wound up  in the newspapers,<br />radio (believe it or not) and  some<br />TV. Miracle Pets even did a show<br />about  us.</p><p>In the  spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with<br />non-Hodgkin's  lymphoma. I had stage 3,<br />which is not good (one  major organ plus<br />everywhere), so I wound up doing 8  months of<br />chemo. Lost the hair - the whole<br />bit.  I missed a lot of work. When I<br />felt good enough, I  would go to Sarvey<br />and take Freedom out for walks.  Freedom would<br />also come to me in my dreams and help  me fight<br />the cancer. This happened time and time  again.</p><p>Fast forward  to November 2000</p><p>the day after Thanksgiving,<br />I  went in for my last checkup.<br />I was told that if the  cancer was not<br />all gone after 8 rounds of chemo,  then my last<br />option was a stem cell transplant.  Anyway, they<br />did the tests; and I had to come back  Monday for<br />the results. I went in Monday, and I was<br />told that all the cancer was gone.</p><p>So the first  thing I did was get up to Sarvey and<br />take the big  girl out for a walk. It was misty<br />and cold. I went to  her flight and jessed her<br />up, and we went out front  to the top of the<br />hill. I hadn't said a word to<br />Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me<br />and wrapped both<br />her wings around me to where I<br />could feel them pressing in on my back<br />(I was  engulfed in eagle wings), and she<br />touched my nose  with her beak and stared into my<br />eyes, and we just  stood there like that<br />for I don't know how long .  That was a<br />magic moment We have been soul mates  ever<br />since she came in. This is a very special  bird.</p><p>On a side  note: I have had people who<br />were sick come up to us  when we are out, and<br />Freedom has some kind of hold  on<br />them. I once had a guy who was<br />terminal come  up to us and<br />I let him hold her.<br />His knees just  about buckled and he<br />swore he could feel her power  course through his<br />body. I have so many stories like  that..</p><p>I never  forget the honor I have of being so close<br />to such a  magnificent spirit as Freedom.<br />~Jeff</p><p>If you enjoyed this, please share <3

Freedom and Jeff
Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.
Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery,
it was broken in 4 places.
She’s my baby.When Freedom came in she could not stand
and both wings were broken. She was
emaciated and covered in lice. We made the
decision to give her a chance at life, so I took
her to the vet’s office. From then
on, I was always around her. We had her in a
huge dog carrier with the top off, and it
was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to
lay in. I used to sit and talk to her,
urging her to live, to fight; and she would…

View original post 604 more words

Sunbeams Forever

I don’t usually delve into personal issues, but I had to honor her. And I won’t harp on those sad, unfortunate souls who dumped her in a sparse Florida field abutting alligator-infested lakes, to fend for herself. There are many of these, and I’d rather not give them the power of my words — I’ll bestow that upon the efforts of the rescue groups and individuals doing so much for the abused and abandoned animals of the world, in countless ways. Rather, I’ll thank whoever abandoned her, for bringing us together. Confused, starved, covered in filth, and physically broken — but still desperate for human affection.

She quickly grew to thrive in the alpha role of the household, not thoroughly appreciating the new rescues, but always maintaining a calm, steady, and queenly presence…. “You know, death in the animal world isn’t seen in the same morose light as death in your world. Just let them be; they’ll make their ways fine and dandy on their own,” she seemed to say, in her haughty and gorgeous half-Maine Coon self. Of course, if they came to me, I couldn’t ignore their plights.

But on the first day of the glorious month of June, I bid farewell to my little princess after 17 years — how old she was exactly, I’ll never know. Nineteen? Twenty? She was fully grown when we pulled her out of that overgrown field; an abandoned housecat surviving major injuries during her fight for survival, including broken legs — which we thank Cosequin and Adequan for their help in easing her pain — but which would prove to be too much at the end of her long life. And after surprising everyone, in beating diabetes and stalling kidney failure (with the help of insulin and natural treatments) — the final straw would prove to be a stroke or brain tumor, creating mental confusion, a personality shift, and even more pain and weakness to her already damaged legs — quickly prompting us to make a most loving decision. It never gets easier. They’re a part of our family, and it’s our responsibility to honor them in these most precious moments, as quickly as possible. I’m ever-grateful and thankful for my vet, who makes house visits to perform this final transition, in the comfort of the animals’ surroundings.

My darling girl, Puss-puss, may you forever bask in sunbeams, pouncing freely on objects unawares. And while there may now be more space on the bed (“perpendicular” was her favorite position), I thoroughly expect your expansive and ethereal self soon enough…. As fellow bloggers Pat Bean and Whitebird so perfectly re-quoted recently:

 “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” —Dr. Seuss

✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿

Love is life.
All, everything that I understand,
I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source. —Leo Tolstoy

Princess Puss

Princess Puss

Safeguarding the Animals

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

Whenever I become forlorn at the state and plight of animals — be it habitat loss, animal cruelty, or negligence — I’m constantly reminded of the most amazing and bright souls who give so much of themselves to creatures in dire need:

  • Puss, One of Our Feline Rescues, Nabbed from a Field

    Volunteers who, in their precious spare moments away from family and work, run to the most absurd places to catch feral cats — TNRing them (trap-neuter-release) to control feline overpopulation

  • Those making regular excursions deep in the Everglades to rescue dogs and cats that have been heartlessly abandoned in the middle of the swamps (more on this wonderful, growing group — 100+ Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades Florida — later)
  • Blythe Spirit (formerly "Zero"), Our Sweet Rescue — Always With Us

    All the crucial, hardworking efforts of groups rescuing horses in the midst of the president’s and Congress’ recent restoration of the horse slaughter industry in this country (more on this later, from a personal horse rescue perspective)

  • Just Friday evening…. Nancy Grace highlighting the plight of NYC’s abused and overworked carriage horses (something I’ve long been tracking); profuse thanks for bringing this issue to the national stage
  • Late last week, “dungeon” chimpanzees, caged their entire lives in tiny cells for experimentation, freed and transported from the Coulston Foundation research facility in Alamogordo, NM to a sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, FL by the group Save the Chimps — and feeling grass for the first time in their long lives. Read more, and watch the touching CNN video here.
  • Teaching a Shelter Dog to Play: My Brother's 6-Yr-Old Rescue, a Retriever Finally Learning to Run and Retrieve...

    The countless individuals and organizations rescuing, rehabilitating, and finding homes or releasing animals of all varieties

  • And the list goes on…. Far too many inspiring people and groups to mention here, even in my region alone (I recently wrote about our trip to the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary and Aviary of South Florida’s Flamingo Gardens — a site worth visiting)

A recent post by Pat Bean on her blog Pat Bean’s Blog provided yet another most amazing reminder of these profound efforts to help those with no voice. Read about Thomas Young and his small zoo and wildlife sanctuary — Queen Wilhelmina State Park — near Mena, Arkansas. Learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of thousands of bears, hawks, owls, eagles, and countless small mammals into the wild…. And how even the wild animals flock to him. Sadly in my efforts to find out more information about Mr. Young, his sanctuary had suffered at the hands of Mother Nature, and he himself was confined to a wheelchair with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (after a tick bite). Unfortunately I couldn’t find much else — save this site, which I believe is the sanctuary. This was 2009; one can only hope that Mr. Young has returned to his healthy self, and the sanctuary and resident animals have his love and expert help. May his work continue to inspire future wildlife rehabilitators.

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