New Parasite? - Update

Some of you may recall that we found a weird finding on Tad's last skin scraping. If you don't remember anything like this, go back a few blog posts, you'll see it.

Anyway, we've had quite a few different people looking at it and also some dermatologists, and the general consensus is some sort of plant material or fungal spore. What does that mean? Basically, it's nothing to be worried about!

Hooray! Cheese-Whiz for everyone!



Yums' Challenge

There have been so many wonderful people and companies who have donated to help Tad recovery from the horrors he came to me with. I don't know that they can even be described with the word 'wonderful'...I am just amazed...my faith in humanity restored. I could go on and on...

Either way, one company especially has been truly amazing to Tad and I. The people behind the company are awesome, their customer service is awesome, their produce is awesome...it's just all around a super place.

That company is Enjoy Yums.

They make horse and dog treats...well, let me rephrase that...they make AWESOME horse and dog treats. Let me describe them to you how I describe them to our clients, haha! They're natural, simple, made in the USA, and smell amazing. My guinea pigs eat them, my cat eats them, my dogs eat them, and one of the girls we work with even tried them. Speaking of my pigs, if you visit Yums' Facebook, you'll see they've used a picture of Sundae (one of my pigs) as their main profile picture!

But, I digress. Let me tell you...when I open that bag of Yums at my house, everyone but the human comes running (because she doesn't live with me! ;) ). But seriously, they look like little granola bars and smell a million times better.

Okay, so anyway...they send Tad their Yums treats, and he devours them with the rest of his animal family. Dr. Holliday (Tad's veterinarian) was so impressed with them, that we even carry them in our hospital now for our clients to purchase for their pets.

Our hospital and Yums have been in close contact for a few weeks now, and they made me a challenging offer at the beginning of the week. If Tad and I could get 1,000 likes for their Facebook page, they would donate to Tad's favorite animal charity. Not only is that an awesome cause, but I do like a challenge...so, within a few days, Tad, his Facebook friends, and I were able to get them their 1,000 likes. AWESOME!

So, I announced this morning that Yums and I decided to donate to two different animal rescue places. One of them is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. They take in every species of animals, and they work miracles every day. It is amazing the things they do for these babies that have been cast out and pushed aside. You may also recognize the name, because that's where Tad's article is posted for the world to see!

The other is a rescue that I volunteer my photography for, Coldspring Stars. They rescue dogs from various places, and do everything they can to make a positive difference in their lives. With the economy the way it is, it seems more and more dogs are ending up with them. They need every little bit they can get, and I want to give back to them. One of the girls who works more closely with Coldspring Stars than I do advised me the very first day I brought Tad home to start this blog...she said it would help find him a home. Well, it certainly did that...but, look at what came of that idea!

I included a lot of links here in this blog, feel free to check any of them out...and of course, thank you for the millions of ways you all have helped me help Tad. I hope to share his entire life with all of you.


Glamour Shots

I also wanted to share this with you guys. You may or may not know, but I own my own photography business. It originally started as 'pet photography' but this first year as BLOWN UP. Anyway, Tad's got his mug done up and I felt like you guys would love to see them.

You can see them here:

Or, you can see them directly here:

One Heck of a Day

I really haven't been able to capture Tad's personality for y'all...so, that's what I did today. :)

Be sure to watch parts 1-6, so you don't miss out on anything. :)


Best Friends Article

One of Tad's dear friends, Cathy Fieser, wrote an article about Tad for the Best Friends Animal Society website. Please, please click the link to read it: http://network.bestfriends.org/golocal/texas/17267/news.aspx

Ramblings...Honest Ramblings

If my math is correct, it's been a little over 10 weeks since Tad first entered my life...or I entered his...whichever way you wish to look at it.

In this short time, I've made some amazing friends, met some truly motivational people, been completely moved, and restored my faith in humanity. You all say how truly inspiring I am, but if you only knew what you all have done to me. If y'all only realized what you have done for Tad...

I am not sure what's more moving...Tad's physical changes or this emotional journey that so many have traveled with us. I think combined...it makes it even more moving...it makes this all so much bigger. I had no idea 'The Abandoned Dog' would turn into this...absolutely no idea. I hadn't even DREAMED of something like this.

Yet...here we are...

Tad has not only grown emotionally and mentally, but with all of you...your care packages, cards, donations...Tad has just about reached his physical peak...he is almost normal. Strangers don't even take a second glance when they see him anymore...whereas before, we were glared at, whispered about, hugged, thanked, etc.

I don't make a lot of money...in fact, Charles and I are hurting right now (especially with the latest Tad Mishap and my knee lol)...but, we'll manage. We always do. My animals will always come first...they depend on me for life, and I will be worthy of their devotion, loyalty, unconditional love. I could not ask for better friends. I could not ask for a better bunch of loonies to surround myself with. I will have it no other way.

I want to seriously express how grateful I am for every single monetary donation (including the product donation from companies). Some of them were as small as $1...some larger than I even imagined people would be willing to donate to a strange girl with a dying dog. I have always tried to make you all as much a part of Tad's life, as I can. You helped me...and you helped me help Tad, and I can never repay any of you for the kindness and the inspiration you have been for me.

If you aren't already wiping your tears (I know some of you too well!), then stop reading now and go find that box of Kleenex, or steal the toilet paper from the bathroom. However, make sure everyone's done their business, because I know you'll get grumpy if they try to interrupt you and take the toilet paper back.

Now then...

Tad would have received the same care regardless...but, it would have been done so on a much slower pace. He would probably still be hairless and stinky and his skin still possibly red and inflamed. Like I said, I don't make a lot of money...but, I do what I can, and I think that's what's most important. I try my very best, and I settle for nothing less of myself.

In 10 weeks, we have overcome serious cases of two different types of mange, intestinal parasite infestations, severe wounds and infections of his skin and ears, and we 'think' dry eye...in 10 weeks WE HAVE DONE ALL THAT! ...that is unheard of. That is impressive...amazing...inspiring...motivating...sooo many words, so many hugs I want to give, and so many shoulders I just want to cry my happy tears on! Though, I promise I'll keep a tissue handy; I don't like other's snot on my sleeve, and I assume y'all are the same. ;)

But, seriously...in 10 weeks...do you realize what we have accomplished together? We have given life...we have given hope...and we have inspired so much...you may think that this is all me...it's not. Y'all are just as much a part of this. You all deserve hugs and cookies, too.

I was looking back through Tad's first videos...I didn't recognize him. I don't remember him being that awful...I really don't. I'm not saying this to be corny...but, I truly believe that I was blinded...all I saw was a will to live...and a wagging tail...and that was more than enough for me to keep fighting for him.

If Dr. Holliday had said to put him down that first day...I don't know that I would have done it. I think I would have given him one more chance...even just a week...but, look at the change in that first week!? ...I mean, look at what we might have denied him!? I mean...this is all just so crazy! ...look at where we are!

I'm always second guessing myself...I always feel like I've made the wrong decision...and that probably has a lot to do with being as overwhelmed as I am and behind with everything as I am. I often wonder if maybe I should have found Tad a family...one who had more time to work with his protection issues and one who could work him to release energy. In trying these things, I've a smashed camera lens and a smashed knee...I wonder if I am not the right person?

But, then...I catch a glimpse of Tad in the corner of my eye. He's laying in his bed, beside my desk, and...he's not sleeping. He's wide awake...and he's just watching me. Not like a creepy dog stare...or, I'm about to go for your jugular and eat you for dinner...but, a...I'm so frickin' glad you came back for me. Don't you ever leave me.

I couldn't betray that trust...that bond...that obvious attachment. It's that look...that look that helps me see that he is learning...this is all a new experience to him...this is something he's NEVER had. It's that look that reminds me to be patient, it reminds me that he didn't mean to smash my camera lens, and he didn't mean to smash my knee cap, and he didn't mean to bite the drug rep's manhood. He didn't mean to be to troublesome...he didn't mean for anything other than to survive, but boy...look at everything else he's done.

He's moved the world...he's inspired young children to get out and volunteer. He's inspired grown people to donate to their shelters. He's inspired young kids to donate their allowance to rescues. He has got many of you scouring the roadsides now. But, most importantly...he's moved me. He's shown me what true, honest, unconditional love is like...and of course, broken things, destroyed things, inflicted pain and headache...but, I forgive him. I have to...my favorite quote of all time ends with, 'We owe it to them to be worthy of such devotion.'

No matter what he does...he will always, always be worthy of my time, patience, love, and understanding. He will always be protected, cared for, and understood. I owe that to him...because of that look.

I don't know that there's a point to this blog post...I opened a new post and let my mind go...and I'm sure all of you are blubbering messes right now. But, I seriously...with all my heart...owe so much to you. You have helped me, help him, and in return...he has moved every single one of us...

Latest Mishap

If you're not a 'fan' of Tad's on Facebook, then you're likely missing out on all sorts of stuff. You can 'like' his support page by following this link: www.facebook.com/theabandoneddog There's tons of pictures, updates, and other random stuff there for you to check out. Including some of Tad's other friends who may need your help.

Speaking of Tad's Facebook, and you potentially not being a fan...you probably missed out on hearing about his latest...'doing'. :)

I've been in crutches since Monday. I decided to take the boy for a run on Sunday night...and needless to say, we toppled over each other shortly after starting. :) I had xrays Monday, and if I can't walk by this Monday, then I have to have an MRI. There's a gnarly picture of the wound on my knee on his Facebook if you care to look...but, it moderately resembles strawberry jam, so if you can't stomach that...don't peek! :)

He's costing me a fortune! From the camera to the injury without having insurance...who knows what's next!? HAHA! But, the boy is totally worth it...and the love he has for me, you know I'd do it all again.


Eventful Rescue

It's been a normal Saturday for the most part. Two appointments cancelled, a few people walking in, and nothing really all that different from any other Saturday.

Of course, leave it to Tad to pull something.

I was out back letting Tad and Chica run around and smell every possible inch of ground that had even the slightest smell. Chica is my right hand; she does not leave my side. Tad...on the other hand...well, y'all know Tad well enough.

I was beginning to sweat profusely and die of heat stroke, lovely Southern Texas heat, and so I headed for the door. I called for Chica, she came immediately, called for Tad and could hear him rustling around in the woods. He likes to woods, but he goes in one way, and gets lost...so he can't figure out how to get back out.

Well, that's usually how it goes. I was putting the cap back on my camera, and I start hearing LOTS of squealing. It wasn't Tad...it was something else. In these woods are birds, bunnies, and cats that live in them day after day. It's like a little refuge or something back there.

Either way, within an instant of the squealing, a baby bunny shoots out of the woods like a rocket.

I bolt inside, set my camera on the counter and scream through the clinic. 'Tad has a bunny! Baby bunnies everywhere!' ...all the doctor got out of my sentence was, 'Tad. Bunnies. Everywhere.' It's enough to make her drop everything and run outside with me.

There's still rustling, squeaking, and the little baby bunny that initially came out of the woods shoots to the darkest thing it can find. Sadly, it's the big drains that you see on the side of the road to catch all the rain water.

We leave that one for now, and are calling for Tad...and whatever he's squeaking. He comes out, all proud and mighty with a limp little bunny in his mouth. I thought the worst...especially when he absolutely would not drop it. It took my two hands AND the doctor's two hands to pry his jaws apart.

Finally, the little slobbery bunny came out. I drug Tad back inside the clinic because he wanted his bunny back, and got a few things to try and get the manhole cover off to get the other baby bunny.

It took a bit...the cover was scorching hot and heavier than...well, heavier than a lot of things. But, I finally managed to get it off while the doctor kept the other baby in her jacket. We were able to trap the other baby with the broom so it wouldn't travel farther into the piping, and I climbed in. You want to talk gross...this little manhole thing was GROSS.

I was able to grab the baby, sopping wet from draining muck, and we took both babies inside. Dr. Holliday looked at them, and there was no punctures or broken limbs or anything like that, thankfully. We debated on calling a wildlife rehabilitator, but they're best chance is with their mommy, especially bunnies! After she decided their hearts sounded good and they seemed as normal as any bunny, for the most part, we wiped off the muck and slobber, and released them back at the exact spot the one shot out of.

They took off like their little tails were on fire, so that was definitely a good sign. So, while the story is sad...it does have a happy ending, and I did take pictures of the cute babies (who were terrified) before we released them.

Manhole Bunny

Tasted Bunny