Tag Archives: rescue

Katey’s Eleventh Birthday


Hello everyone. I want to thank all of you for the support in these last few critical months.

We have a corporate sponsor that has agreed to finance our operational fees, and to Brian at BJC Branding, you have our heart felt appreciation. You are what Cajuns call ‘Good People”.  In a world full of cold digital promises, he is a man of integrity and community, and we could not more fully thank and endorse him as our corporate sponsor in the coming months.

Next?

Happy Birthday to our inspiration and mascot, Kathrine Anne O’Connor.

Eleven years is no small feat for a dog of her breed, much less a dog with Chronic Lupus. The years have flown by too quickly to contemplate, too far into her Autumn as it is for me to accept, and yet….. She still remains my Hero and my Best Friend.

From the early days, when She and I were young and a bit stupid, to the elder years.. a time we were both predicted to not live until, we have remained true.

We still find the meaning of life too sweet, when reflected in each others eyes to give up. If no one has ever been chosen by a dog to be their human, it’s not easy to comprehend.

It was in her third year, that we embarked on the grand adventure. To see all the world REALLY had to offer, in the face of illnesses that we both were told we would likely never survive more than a few months.

In the dead of winter,our dash to Boston was conceived.

The reason that all this came into being, would begin the day I packed everything I valued in my jeep on a wet rainy day in New Orleans, and left it all behind, for something more. Both of us would find help and healthcare in New England, but not before many lessons were learned by us both on who to trust and why. as well as how to be trust worthy and why.

The first time she got out of the Jeep in snow was in Delaware, and she climbed a snow bank to pee. Learning for the first time something that girl dogs who live in the snow understand… when you squat, make sure you don’t do it in a cold bank of ice. She blasted out of that snow like a jack rabbit, looked at her rear end, looked back at me, and quietly walked back to the jeep with a very annoyed gait, head held in high contempt of our new reality.

Now she always takes one look over her shoulder before she settles on the right spot to lower her bum …  a trait she has taught me well. HA!

As the second day of the trip I began to think they were right in saying I would not make the trip and to not attempt it. To drive, so physically devastated, to a place that had highs at the time in the 20’s if it got sunny enough. My body was covered with bleeding  cracks and lesions.  When I slept at the hotel, she sat awake over me. The smell of blood in the air probably too sharp for her to get rest. Perhaps she sensed my pain. I will never truly know. I drove by day and she slept, and by night she stood guard over me.

Later when I began treatments that made me delirious for weeks, I am told she did the same thing, even at times trying to bite anyone that came near me, when I was unconscious or asleep. Someone I lived with in the early days would come in on occasion to check my pulse, ( as in to make sure I still had one), and Katey would leap from the end of the bed, cautiously watching whatever was happening. She left my side only to eat and relieve herself. After a weeks that no one believed I would live through, one day I woke up, and the gambit was to be a success. For now, it would seem, against all odds, with my one true companion by my side, I had risen once more from the ashes, a habit I am now fond of making in life. …lol.

Today, I write, with her in the chair beside me, to wish my faithful companion many many returns of the Birthday.  As the inspiration for the Charity, Katey’s Keep, as well as a documentary film currently being produced, I KNOW that she has no comprehension that any of that matters.

And in THAT lies the beauty of what she is. Inspiration without expectation.

Stubborn that I am, she still has much work to do on a daily basis, and she does it through pain of every step, and WITH dignity of love freely given. When her diagnosis of Lupus came one day, and I learned that dogs with Lupus generally did not live long and suffered greatly, I became terrified yet determined.

Yet the days when I had lost hope and belief in humanity were upon me, and wanted little to do with it, I knew every day I had to wake up to watch over her as she had done for me when I was sick. She became my inspiration for life. To give her what she gave me. The protection of a relentless watchful eye.

Although I could not see a future for myself, I,  like her, refused to see a future when my best friend still had needs that only I could give, unanswered.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes it is in big ways, when the dedication of one animal to her Human, inspires people I would never dreamed of ever knowing or meeting, to create a charity in her name.

Some days it is in the small ways. when we look out of the window together and I see her joy watching a squirrel tumble through the pear tree out back. I remember that life is spent in the minutes and days between doing “the BIG Stuff”.  To sit and live in the eternal moment and have that eternal moment be joy in the beauty of the world just outside the window.

Together we have crossed the nation six times for various reasons, to celebrate life as we share it through each others eyes and to learn what it means to be responsible both to a bond shared between humans and dogs for tens of thousands of years, and to two living creatures who accept  each other unconditionally, and are dedicated to caring for each other each in our own unique ways.

For Katey and I? The hard part is over. We neither fear nor focus on the end. We exist together in the NOW.

Our ages and our illnesses still persist, but that is what life is really about, anyway. To see that nothing will ever be permanent and to take the joy of the instant, and find strength in it to continue when you think you cannot.

Happy Birthday to Katey, and to Katey’s Keep, and to all those that are like her, and to the human beings they protect and stand by, we gladly share our joy.

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Thanks for the support! Now on to more growth!


Just a quick note… We have ordered some cause bracelets for sale. These are a great way to spread our message as well as raise a few dollars as we work on the documentary.

You guys have been great! Andy and Mano Both appreciate your patience as we take the time to legally set things up, and to create a charity that is built to last, not raise a few bucks on the side.

Your support is more valuable than you realize!

You can Donate here if you’d like.

We need to raise 250.00 per dog to offer our most basic of services, a full annual check up with all tests. For Food, Flea, tick and heartworm prevention, we estimate another 250.00. We will be filing for grants and accepting private donations to cover the initial dogs that we sponsor, before we agree to cover them.

We are going to be shifting into fundraising mode as we try to find companion pets that need our help.

Thanks again for all your continued support!

Never Forget the Katrina Dogs


I had decided to Move to Boston for health reasons. I packed up what I could in the Jeep, sold the house, put some things in storage, and hit the road. Before I left I went out and drove around the cemeteries of the city. Facing my own mortality, I was about to go to a strange city, with only my dog and jeep. I needed to feel connected to those from my home that had gone before me, to get the courage to leave.

Less than a year later, Katrina hit, and I know that if I had stayed there, I would have been one of those who had died. My home was within blocks from the 17th street canal levee break. I am simply too immobile, and I would never have left Katey behind.

This video serves as an Homage to the people who were lost to Katrina, the Dogs that were left behind, and the indomitable spirit of New Orleans. Although the New Orleans I knew, no longer exists, New Orleans will reinvent itself as it always has. Fires and floods have burned down the city, but it has always survived and adapted.

 

Un  p’tit  bec

Harvard, Autism, and Service Dogs


Bad News this morning from Harvard. The Boston Globe and AP reported a Freezer malfunction that caused the loss of one-third of their research inventory. Local news outlets are reporting that foul play has not officially been ruled out.

A freezer malfunctioned at a Harvard-affiliated hospital that oversees the world’s largest collection of autistic brain samples, damaging a third of the scientifically precious specimens and casting doubt on whether they can be used in research.

The director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center said the loss was “devastating,” particularly in light of the increasing demand for brain samples among scientists searching for the cause of autism and potential treatments.

There are now hosts of organizations springing up who provide service dogs to children with autism, and a simple google search will help you find them in your area. One organisation even exists primarily to breed, train and create dogs that are of the right temperament to be Service Dogs for Children with Autism.

http://www.northstardogs.com/ we list this site, as an example, not as an endorsement of its animal services, as an option for parents of children with autism.

Autismkey.com reported a story in february on a new finding from a research group and the science is clear, that service dogs, (with careful consideration of both the pet’s needs and the needs of each child), reduces cortisol levels which calm the child, reduce emotional outbreaks and MAY lead to less dependency upon drug therapy as an only means of treatment.

The study measured the salivary levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in 42 children with autism at three different times: before and during the introduction of a service dog to their family, and after a short period during which the dog was removed from their family …  The researchers concluded ‘that the introduction of service dogs translated into reducing cortisol levels and the number of disruptive behavioral incidents in children with ASD

What this loss of tissue samples means to the Harvard researchers in beyond measure .

Dr. Fred Volkmar, an autism researcher and director of the Child Study Center at Yale University, said the damage is even more disheartening given recent advances in autism research.

Some of that research, including autism studies involving stem cells, wasn’t even possible at the time when some of the brains were donated.

“We can’t always know where the science is going to take us,” Volkmar said. “In that respect, it’s a horrible loss. The hope is that at least it’s not a total disaster.”

 

If you or a loved one cares for or about someone with autism, we would urge you to investigate these options, knowing that the science is there.

Dogs calm Children with autism.

Interview: Dale and his Pack


I understand You’ve adopted two dogs from a rescue site.. why did you choose to rescue instead of purchase a new pet?

Dale:  Well I chose to rescue because there are so many animals that are in need of help. Lets get the ones out there in the streets into loving homes. 

Gus and Ellie are your adopted companion pets. Gus was definitely a stray, and after being around him, its clear he was a runaway or abandoned, and that he has certain behaviors that he learned from other people. Can you tell us a little bit about that? the challenges AND the rewards?

Dale:  Yes, they are companions and I’m grateful for them. I rely on them as they do me. When Gus was found he had heart worms and had to be put on medicine.

How was he found? 

Dale:  He actually walked up to the other dogs at the peoples house who fostered him….  He walked up so he could say hi to the other dogs.  They got him better because of the other dogs they had as well.

Any thing about his behavior that was unusual?

Dale:  His behaviors are pretty much normal as any other dogs behaviors. If you raise your hand too fast he flinches. If I light a cigarette with a match and I’m not near him, he flinches.

Crossing your legs is hard to do around him because he will  push against your foot and move around …. so he can be scratched. Other dogs?  he loves them in open environments, but walking leashed on the street the same time other people are walking their dogs… he is difficult.

And  Cats ?

Dale: Well sometimes he’s good around them but not always. To answer your earlier question, I guess I would say the challenge keeps me on my toes. Thats the rewarding part… keeps my mind on the task and alert.

I know that he was your second rescue adoption and that Ellie, in fact, was your first. So while you adopted Gus as an adult, You first adopted Ellie as a puppy a year before. What Challenges did Ellie, as a puppy, bring to you as a pet owner.

Dale: The challenges Ellie brought where very small, She was the piddle queen haha. When you came in from being out and would let her out of her cage she was so excited that she just let go…. and little pee spots would be around you as she was jumping and making happy noises.

It was funny actually.

The more difficult part was EVERYTHING made her excited.

So if we were in bed  and played with her sometimes she just would let some drops out.

The house training was easy, though.  We crated her for a while and now she’s house broken.

At first she had some seperation issues but now she seems to be doing better with Gus around.  She needs lessons in manners and a few other things but she’s a great dog

LOL… she has more energy than a nuclear reactor. She’s definitely and active girl!  You have been open with people in your life about the fact that you have an anxiety disorder, that has been an obstacle in your life at times. How has adopting Gus and Ellie helped you with that?

DaleThey make me have to deal with it.

They know when something is wrong and they do their best to try and comfort me. I do my best to let them help me relax and they do. 

People love them and they love people so I end up interacting  with other bipeds myself, which in the long run is better for me. 

Well in closing I want to thank you for volunteering for Katey’s Keep, advising on urban outreach and rescue outreach. I will give you the last word. Can you give us the name of the rescue site that you got your pups from, so that others can know they are a caring quality rescue organisation?

Dale: Sure. Here’s the address of their facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cold-Nose-Coalition/176349659048575

Have a story YOU want to share?  E-Mail us at kateyskeep@gmail.com and we can talk!