It's been a long time since I've written an update. Thank you for your patience.
Since the fire, I've been incognito. We are making progress and I'm now coming "out of cognito"! The new kennel is in place! Dogs are comfortable, especially with air conditioning and heat. Each slot has a doggie door and a small run. Dog walkers arrive early AM weekdays, ensuring that our waifs have a nice walk around the farm on very long leads. They love stopping and sniffing. Being dogs they also enjoy rolling in deer droppings. We believe in letting them be dogs. They love it!
Since we have a large securely fenced "play area", many enjoy romping loose as well. We've stepped up by enrolling several dogs in obedience classes once weekly for 6 weeks. A few may graduate to an agility class.
Currently we have some very nice dogs for adoption. Some are JR mixes. We consider ourselves a real rescue and take in those that are truly in need of a loving home. Some have been pulled from kill shelters at the last moment. For me they are hard to resist, having become doomed simply for being a Jack Russell. (A few are other breeds who had a look of utter desperation in their eyes that I couldn't ignore). We rarely get puppies. Others are privately surrendered for reasons including new baby or moving. These dogs come around, thriving on good food and schedules with much love and attention. They desperately want to be "Somebody's Dog". Look for them soon in new postings.
A huge thank you for your ongoing support. Sometime after the fire we had volunteers address envelopes with special cards in memory of our beloved lost dogs. It appears that the "List" became confused and some of you did not receive one. I will happily send one to you if you email this website requesting one. My sincere apologies. I so appreciate your caring.
Tinker is in her new home after years of being here at the Refuge and surviving the terrible fire in December. She is a tiny timid little girl who came to us after being seized from a puppy mill where she had lived in a filthy wire cage. Our good friends John and Laura became attached to her while volunteering to walk dogs and decided to welcome Tinker into their family, including their daughter Alicenne and their two JRs Hidee and Avery.
It's said that Tinker is content and appears happy. We couldn't be happier for her! Miracles happen!
Just a quick late night update to let you know we're doing okay. It's so cold and all the dogs in the house stick their heads out the doggie door and change their minds. Thankfully we received a lot of pee pee pads, pee bands for the males and bloomers for the girls.
Have been checking out buildings, some of which are very nice. Difficult to check out land in the snowy winter. Am giving a great deal of thought to our needs and am not jumping on anything as yet. The dogs take every waking hour. Amazingly all are getting along, although occasionally there is a "tiff" between them in bed at night. I referee and go back to sleep with dogs on each side and some sleeping between my head and the headboard.
You folks have been wonderful and I haven't forgotten you. Thank you notes will come as soon as possible. I'm having some printed with photos of the lost dogs in their memory. It will be a while though before I can get them out.
Very late getting to bed and the dogs are waiting. Climbing into bed with a pack of terriers is about as comforting as it gets.
Thank you for your ongoing generosity and kind words of support. We are so very fortunate to have you. Consider yourself hugged!
A special request. Tonight I read again the Letters from Home. It brings confirmation that all is not lost and our work has had happy endings for many. Please keep these letters coming. They are good medicine.
I need to hear happy stories. Thanks from my heart.
With love and warmth,
Hello dear friends of the Refuge,
Just want to touch base to keep you posted. We are doing ok. The surviving dogs are currently living in my house for lack of a place to put them. Amazingly, all are getting along. The rubble from the fire has not yet been removed. It depends on the ok from insurance company and the removal of three large trees enabling access for machinery. I hope it happens soon. Everyday I see it and smell the fire, resulting in tears. We've had a number of sick dogs, mostly with upper respiratory problems as a result of smoke inhalation. Some are still suffering from anxieties.
There is much to do. Tons of paperwork, return phone calls, inventory of everything lost, setting up food preparation area in garage, storage of salvaged items, storage of dog food, dealing with insurance company and a myriad of things I'd never considered. The list is long. Plans are being made for temporary housing and future rebuilding. Whatever is built will be made of steel.
We buried the lost dogs soon after the fire on a site here on the farm overlooking the Catskill Mountains. Had a back hoe dig a rectangular grave, then lined it with white tarps and a thick bed of straw. The dogs were each in a beautiful pillowcase with their name on it.
Once they were laid to rest, facing East toward the rising sun, they were covered with a thick layer of good golden straw and fresh anemones grown here in the Hudson Valley. After filling the grave in, another layer of straw was spread on top along with more flowers and many tears. A wreath was placed on the grave as well. It was a solemn private burial with two of my adult children David and Cody and my husband Paul. Words cannot portray the sadness of the loss of these precious souls.
As for me, I'm behind on many things. Have deposited many of the donation checks and will be depositing the rest on Monday. The sadness has cut into my efficiency and I find myself almost paralyzed at times.
We are very grateful for the donations, the sympathy cards and your faith in us. Your amazing outpouring of kindness has touched my heart.
The dogs that are now in the house are a light in the darkness. I find myself cuddling up with them and holding them close. They are sacred to me and good medicine. We are all trying to heal. Love and thanks to you all.
Dear friends of Russell Refuge,
So many if you have rushed in with kind words and gifts of support since our tragic fire. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've gotten all of us at Russell Refuge through the worst time in our history. You've also had questions, as I do. What happened? What's next? What about the surviving dogs?
Briefly, here's what I can tell you now.
The Dutchess County Sheriffs Dept is still investigating. As a result we cannot touch the fire site or begin clean up. My suspicion is that it will prove to be an electrical fire. All of our systems were up to code, but given the recent bouts of harsh weather I do wonder if we were overtaxed. I will share the sheriff's report in due course.
What About the Survivors?
The outer kennels were untouched by the fire and the 17 dogs in them remain fine despite the shock of the fire. The 12 dogs we were able to rescue have been safely treated and boarded at Rhinebeck Animal Hospital. We go there to see them, walk them and console them daily. We are forever indebted to Dr. Tumolo and his staff. This week will determine how long they can stay there, and if we can find suitable foster homes, adopters or corporate sponsors for housing. We know a long tough winter is ahead. Please share this letter with anyone you think can help.
I still believe in Hope. You all remember sweet blind Hope found as a stray in Yonkers who perished in Thursday's fire. Well we honor her and the others who perished on Thursday as well as any being that has suffered cruelty or neglect by carrying on. We will prevail. So broadly speaking we want to rebuild the kennel but will look to create a new home in 2015. I think it may be an existing structure in Dutchess County, appropriately zoned for us, with water, electric and all necessary utilities.To that end we need:
Thank you for checking in on us, for all that you've done and might do. You remind me why we at Russell Refuge will always believe in hope.
Even blind Hope.
PEBBLES. Remember her name.
Pebbles... Rember her name.
Pebbles came from Town of Hempstead animal shelter. She looks fairly good in this photo, which was sent to me by Emily who is the rescue coordinator there. Pebbles (as they'd named her) was picked up on the highway. An old skinny, limping, dirty girl who was trying to fend for herself. Her medical evaluation found chronic kidney disease along with a heart murmur. It did not look good for Pebbles. I called Emily back saying I'd take her, treat her to keep her comfortable and love her until her time came. She was delivered next day. Immediate trip to vet confirmed her condition. Prognosis very poor. Treatments of fluids round the clock were given, at least helping her feel a bit better.
For four days and nights we kept up the fluids. She would dutifully lay on my towel covered kitchen counter and allow me to do it. However, it became obvious she was increasingly weakening. Despite her weakness and hind leg limp, her dear old soul would valiantly attempt to get up from a pile of comfy blankets and try to drag herself to the door to go out to urinate. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen."Good girl, good girl Pebbles". I'd pick her up and carry her out and back in.
The last day she was limp. Rushed her to vets where three doctors said, "Her heart is going Dale". "She's taking mine with it" I thought. I held her and told her in a soft, smiling voice how beautiful she was, what a "good girl, what a good girl"! I told her she would be remembered, unlike the millions of stray dogs that wind up in a pile of unknown carcasses. She left this world in peaceful praise and love.
"Good girl Pebbles, good girl".
I ask that you think of her, remember her and know that Pebbles WAS! May she touch hearts that will consider the fate of old abandoned dogs. You WERE Pebbles!.... And you ARE an inspiration. "Good girl"!
Are you still out there? Hope so. The Refuge is recovering from the huge storms which took it's toll but somehow with the grace of God we got thru the worst. We now resemble a war zone! The dogs are all okay although they are feeling the pangs of confinement.
The first day of the big storm I turned poor DiDi out for just a few minutes only to watch her become stuck to the point of practically disappearing in a sea of white. Good thing she has an undocked tail which was about all that was visible. It took some doing to trudge through it to get to her, pick her up and trudge back to the kennel.
We lost one pen which despite a good solid roof, collapsed under the weight of the snow followed by a large tree snapping over the kennel requiring a tree man to remove it in fear it would drop further and take the roof with it.
The dogs remained as usual, looking for breakfast while listening to classical music. During all this I turned into a crabby old woman who fired the snow plow guy after he pushed a wall of snow right smack in front of the kennel gate. Certain I was going to have a heart attack attempting to shovel a path (or more likely a tunnel) I somehow managed to gouge out a VERY narrow walk thru if I put one foot in front of another. All it took was a sense if necessity and Ibuprofen. Lots of each.
Following all this I decided a short nap was in order before it would be dinner time. How nice it would be to cuddle up with my house dogs and a heating pad! Of course the dogs were already in the unmade bed where they had been lounging all day ( lucky, lazy little devils)! With a sense of accomplishment I lay down in the only open spot to find someone (or two) had peeeeeed! In my bed! On my spot! "Who did this"? "Why you little stinkers"! "You have a doggie door"! They remained calm, looking at me saying " So what's the big deal"? "Can we cuddle now"? I moved over about a foot and thought " I don't believe I'm doing this ". And the nap was good.
To bring you up to date ... We've had some good adoptions.
Earl Sleeping with a Smile
Christmas Jack went to a wonderful home where the word is he fits right in and truly belongs. Jack Denny who never made it to the site, and Mylie and Petie were also adopted. It looks as though Louisa will be leaving this weekend and Roscoe is on hold as well. I brought six dogs in the house to make things a bit more comfortable for them. And no one has peeed in my bed! There is much catch up to be done but want you to know I've been thinking of you. The dogs received some lovely gift packages for the holidays. All very thoughtful and useful. Beautiful hand made afghans, blankets, toys and goodies. Monetary donations were and are, always extremely helpful. The monthly ones give us an amount we can rely on. We are currently feeding 50 + rescue dogs. (I don't count anymore). The Kurunda bed program has met with success, providing almost every dog with a comfortable bed up on legs, keeping their little bodies up off the floor. My thanks to all who contributed with overwhelming generosity. We also found great pleasure in the many Holiday cards, some with photos of our alumni beaming in their homes and others with photos of dogs who are fortunate to have never known being homeless. I've saved every one.
Dear Earl is happy in his home and looks like he's put on a pound or two. He was The Refuge Dog of the Year. An amazing story and recovery. I'll be back in touch with more up to date happenings. It's well past bedtime but I wanted you to know that I think of you, appreciate you and never forget what you do for us. You are certainly a loyal following and we are so very fortunate to have you. You make me feel that I'm not alone in the quest to save those we can.
With continued heartfelt thanks, Dale
Thinking of 2013 is a mixture of emotions. Many dogs passed thru the refuge that stole my heart only to move on to loving homes. I tell myself this is the way it's supposed to be. I know this. I know it better than anyone. It's what I do and hopefully the dogs are now secure for the rest of their lives.
So I'm happy. But today there is an air of melancholy. I miss them. Some were here for a year. Some for several years. I think of the time we spent together. When they leave it's always bittersweet. I hope I have given enough. Enough for them to trust one more time. With rescue dogs it's all about trust. I want to slap myself to bring me back from the thought that it might not work out. I remind myself that they will come back if it doesn't. I try to stop thinking about it.
Just yesterday I received more Christmas cards with the happy photos of those that were once my dogs. They looked out from the cards with joyful Jack Russell spirit. My melancholy lifts and it's time to move on. There are others that need me here, now. Today I brought three extra rescues in the house. That makes a total of ten in here. They're all snoozing after a long play day. One is contentedly snoring. They aren't thinking about a new year coming. They live in the present. They take what comes and let be what goes. Maybe I should do the same. They are brave of heart and in my eyes every one is beautiful. I think about the new year and hope with all I have that it will bring an awareness to all of the homeless dog situation and a commitment to never break the trust in their own dog's hearts.
I continue to be grateful to you who so loyally support the terriers of Russell Refuge while they wait for their future to be secure. It could not be done without you. Every gift to the terriers is meaningful. Your words of encouragement are meaningful.
My mind wanders to think of the stories of 2013.... dear Earl who is now happily in his forever home after all he went thru and was healed with your help, the 41 dogs that were adopted, and the ones that lived their lives out here comfortably for many years that will forever be a part of the soul of Russell Refuge. There were heartaches and miracles.
Christmas Jack has just come to me and put his paws on my lap. He arrived the morning after Christmas. "Where's my ball? Wanna play?" He has broken my spell. I pet him and look into his questioning eyes. At this moment I can't think of anything more heartwarming. I say to him "This pat is from all the people who care about you little dog." He cocks his head... I guess I'm going to play ball!
Happy New Year everyone!
Just wanted to touch base with you all before turning in for the night to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Will be writing a proper update before the year comes to a close. You are always on my mind and the holiday donations have been greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for remembering the terriers. So far we've dealt with the unusual weather changes and remain on track while remembering all you've done for us.
Have a blessed holiday and keep all the little homeless waifs in your hearts.
Thank you to for your ongoing support which is desperately needed. Our walls are covered with your beautiful cards and all dogs are tucked in for the night. Time to get a bit of rest.
With love, blessings and thanks for your loyalty to the terriers of Russell Refuge,
Hello all you wonderful people!
This will be a short update as we have 50 dogs here and little time for writing. However, I want to thank all of you who so kindly have contributed to our fundraisers to fix the kennel. We have just about reached our goal on indiegogo thanks to you! Your kindness has been absolutely heartwarming. Also, a big thank you for your contributions for dear little Earl who continues to improve. You are truly heroes for the dogs!
As you know, we are overloaded here and receive requests daily from individuals who want to surrender their dogs and from shelters that are as overcrowded as we are. The economy resulting in people losing their homes who cannot find rentals that allow pets is a great part of the problem.
At this time we have some very nice dogs that are not yet posted on the site and some lovely discarded seniors whose little broken hearts are filled with love to give. Always my favorites, they would be so grateful for a home. I'll work on getting photos for the site ASAP.
With winter just around the corner I'm worried as we cannot house 50 dogs in the cold weather. If you've ever considered adoption now is the time. What's needed most are adult homes, preferably with a fenced yard, someone home a good part of the time and no cats. Some need to be only pets as well.
We also have several lovely pairs that are beautiful dogs. Much more to tell, but wanted you to know I haven't forgotten you. Quite the opposite! I think of you every day and am touched by your goodness. We couldn't do it without you, so give yourselves a pat on the back! You are a blessing and may you be blessed in return.
April 18, 2013
Long winter, lots of snow, very tough, recovering now. Wish I'd done this update (and more) earlier, but I can assure you winter did not put me on the chaise devouring bon bons! Your support has helped immensely. As always I am reminded daily of how much we depend on you to help these dogs. Thank you from my heart.
Will write again soon,
Let me tell you about Rusty (Rusty 2), one of the too many emergency dogs that came to us this winter.
The Eyes of a now Homeless Dog
Got a call (all the stories start with "the call"). It was a man asking me to please take his dog Rusty because he had bitten his 5 yr old child. The circumstances were that two adults were restraining their 5 yr old challenged child who frequently has these episodes, when the dog rushed in and nipped him. The "bite" did not break the skin (which in my opinion showed great restraint on Rusty's part). Animal Control arrived, then the Board of Health, and finally Social Services. That part is a long story. Animal Control called in to see if Rusty was licensed,(which he was not) and a summons was issued. BOH thought the dog should die and so did Social Services. The town clerk said to Animal Control, "Oh you have to call this woman in Rhinebeck". Now this was quite a drive away across the river. I was surprised the clerk had my number. I've never known any town clerk to have my number. After hearing the circumstances I agreed to take Rusty even though we were already overcrowded. Figured I'd find someplace to squeeze him in. The family had no car and I made plans to pick him up the following day. Then another call... Social Services wanted the dog removed immediately or they would remove the children from the home (there was also a 2 week old infant in the home). So I drove to meet Rusty and changed his life forever.
Rusty Arrives at the Refuge
Rusty turned out to be a friendly fellow and quite handsome, being tall with an interesting colored rough coat and prick ears. Most likely a bit of a mix. The papers were signed as I was told stories about Rusty while sitting in a chair in their living room petting the attentive terrier. This family was stuck between a rock and a hard place and very sad. They had no choice. As I was about to put the leash on Rusty, the Mom of the house was holding the 2 week old infant and called the dog to her saying, "Rusty come and kiss the baby good-bye" . Well I'll be darned, Rusty walked over and kissed the baby. At this point I was choking up but tried not to show it. There was enough sadness in the room. I put the leash on him and walked through the door that the Dad was holding open for us. When on the porch, Rusty hesitated. I didn't pull him. He knew something was going on and turned to look back at the tearful family standing in the doorway. He took a moment. I called him closer to me quietly and he came along slowly. We got into the car and the leash was secured around the passenger seat. I rarely do this as I believe dogs should be harnessed in the back seat or crated in a car, but he seemed quiet enough. No need to stress him out more than he was already and a mental note was made to drive easy. Leaving their driveway I looked back and felt a flood of emotion. These people had very little, yet they truly loved their dog. It was obvious he had been a good dog, happy with his meals of scraps and a family. If only it hadn't been for that one instinctual error.
Rusty settled in the car and occasionally got up and looked out the window, wondering in his dog mind where he was going, or thinking about where he'd been for the last four of his six years. (He was obtained from a shelter at the age of two). He has since become accustomed to the routine here at the Refuge, gobbling down the good meals and enjoying being petted. He has not been aggressive but does not particularly care for the company of another dog. Rusty will be placed in an adult home only, without other pets, somewhere that he'll get lots of attention. And let's add a fenced yard so he'll never know being tied out again. I hope it comes for him soon. He's a good dog.
December 23, 2012
I have been thinking about you all. Just for a little interest, I thought I'd introduce you to my own house dogs, whom many of you don't know. We took these photos hurriedly. Talk about chaos! After tangled leashes, snarls, sun in eyes and dogs just plain old wanting to go back into the house (probably to hang out on the bed), it was decided to take photos in two batches.
Dale with Duke, Arlo, Bella
DUKE the surprise rescued Bloodhound is the ultimate ornamental dog. He is into food and sleeping. Like the typical Disney hounds when called, I am lucky to get a response of a single thump of his tail, or if he's really paying attention he'll open one eye and sniff the air for food. He is a cuddler and very sweet natured.
ARLO the Pyr mix was brought to us with his brother as one of two surviving pups of a litter that had been born outside in winter 9 yrs ago. All but the two had frozen to death. We were asked to take them confidentially as a place was needed to stash them where no one would think to look for them until the court case came up. After a wait of several months we placed his brother and kept Arlo who is a good, although somewhat aloof dog with a big bark who patrols the huge fenced yard adjoining the house. No worries about coyotes or anything approaching "his" yard!
BELLA, now 13 yrs old, is a tiny JR that was found wandering on Martha's Vineyard. She is the ultimate escape artist, climbs fences and can get out of anything. A beautiful terrier, we found her owner who graciously allowed me to keep her saying she was unable to keep her contained. Bella had been undefeated in conformation at trials prior to being lost. I had her spayed and enjoy her for the little loving beauty that she is. She sleeps on my pillow and excels as the representative of Russell Refuge at our booths and educational outings as she is a fine example of what a correct Jack Russell should look like and while having a great hunting instinct is friendly, outgoing and enjoys her job.
SCOOTER was left in a crate in my driveway years ago with a short note attached. I don't remember exactly what year. He went to a good home and returned after several years when his owners got divorced. I was happy to get him back as he was a favorite of mine. Scooter is aging, but still active and also sleeps in my bed.
Dale with Auggie, Milo and Katie
AUGGIE is my husband's dog. He only has eyes for Paul and goes in the vet vehicle on farm calls often. He will shortly leave for Florida where Paul works as a horse vet servicing his clients who take their horses on the Florida show circuit as well as the polo ponies who play there in winter (I stay home to be with the dogs and horses here on the farm.) Auggie likes everyone and is well known on the circuit.
MILO is my little crippled dog, a cruelty case who came to us after being bound in wire resulting in him chewing his left hind foot off trying to extricate himself. He got gangrene and the leg had to be removed. It was a long haul as the wire cut into his other foot and part of his spinal column. He continued to try to chew the existing wire damaged foot. We eventually found a great neurologist who cured him of the excessive chewing by prescribing a "cocktail" of an anti anxiety med combined with Lyrica that we got compounded for him. He is now off the meds after two years and remains free of the twinges of nerve damage.Milo is a delightfully happy little dog who finds a friend in everyone he meets (another testament to the fact that dogs are the most forgiving creatures on earth.)
And last there is KATIE who was returned for biting after her first night in a new home. I brought her into the house to see how she would react and if she was truly a biter. She is still here and although a tad bossy, she has never bitten, gets along with the other dogs and we have come to love her. Katie and Milo also sleep in the bed.
There is a void with the loss of my Colin and Jakey this past fall. They were rescues from different sources at 4 yrs of age 15 yrs ago and were loving companions and bed mates until 19 yrs of age. I still miss the"thumps" of their feet hitting the floor to follow me whenever I'd get up in the night. Soon a new rescue will come in the house and join my pack in their honor. As yet I'm not 100% sure who that will be. I am attached to all, but it depends on who is not too young and most importantly gets along with my others.
Once again I have rattled on and it's now well after midnight. I continue to be grateful to you for your support of the refuge terriers who were given their nightly treats, kisses and tucked in several hours ago. They are all dear souls who continue to wait.
Wishing you and yours a meaningful and joyous holiday season.
November 28, 2012
To all who gave so generously to Buddy's upcoming surgery, a BIG THANK YOU!!! We reached the goal! Once again you have come thru for a very needy little dog and the disabled person to whom Buddy means so much. Buddy is tentatively scheduled for surgery on Monday. I have spoken to the vet several times and the funds will go directly to the veterinary office in Pennsylvania where Buddy lives. I will keep you informed of his progress. While his injuries were life threatening, the prognosis is very good. And so my friends, I hope you know how proud I am of you and how in this mixed up, often crazy world, you are truly food for the soul.
Love to you all,
Well... we weathered Sandy, which did not affect us much. Just some wind and rain, but no power loss etc. Anita keeps everyone up to date on facebook so I knew most of you heard that all was ok here at the Refuge.
Life is busy here as always, only more so. Yesterday I received a 7:00 AM phone call from a man in a nearby town. Said he had purchased a house last week, but had not moved in. When he did go to the house about 5 days or so after the closing, he found a dog and a cat that had been left behind by the renters. Poor things had been abandoned inside. Dog was delivered here within 20 minutes. He is not a Jack Russell, but an adorable little tan mix with four white paws, a narrow strip down his face and white on his chest. He was terrified. We call him Trooper because he is a little trooper and is trying to be brave. Poor wee fellow was hanging on to me when I dropped him off at the vets earlier this evening to be neutered in the AM.
Along with Trooper I dropped off a female JR mix to be spayed. She arrived today from a family that could no longer afford to keep her. Her name is Lacey. She is as sweet as they come. This was all preceded by the arrival of a lovely female who had been hit by a car and fractured her hip in a town about an hour away.The vet said the owners could not pay for her needed surgery so they signed her over. I won't go into detail, but she was brought here and is also at our vet's awaiting surgery in the AM. She is a tall, elegant broken coat named Annabelle. Never a dull moment here.
The last couple of weeks were spent battening down the hatches. Susan and I surrounded 14 outdoor pens with heavy, clear tarps that will allow the sun to shine in and the dogs to see outside. The pens all have permanent roofs on them and are very cozy once enclosed. Most of the existing dog houses are heated and 11 more are on order which should be here early next week. Spent last week with the electrician and figured out a new electrical plan to accommodate all. Also put a box in for a generator that will handle the kennel as well as the outdoor houses, lights and heated water bowls in case of a power outage. The dogs that live in the pens are mostly "lifers" and are well acclimated to the weather. They all have coats on as of the last couple of colder nights. Most of them are doubled up and often go in one house and snuggle up together. The senior dogs and more adoptable dogs are housed in the kennel. They are doubled up except for those that do not care for other dogs.
And now tonight another storm. Good timing as the three new dogs are in a warm, safe place and it will give me a day or so to figure out where I'm going to put them. We have never had this many dogs. Somehow it will work out. By now you know how I operate. It's that "faith" thing. All this is costing a small fortune, but we have been blessed with a couple who have paid for the improvements in memory of their beloved dog, Buddy. I could not have done it without them. Their Buddy's legacy will keep his love alive in those who may never get a home as well as those who continue to have hope.
Hope... I read somewhere recently a piece written by a shelter worker who described hope as "person with a leash coming to take a needy dog for a walk... a warm blanket... a new toy... a tasty treat... a pat and a few words of encouragement... a belly rub." Our dogs are your dogs. It's your support that keeps hope alive. The dogs are as grateful as I am when I dish out their good food, ensure their medical needs and all the things that are required on a daily basis to keep them comfortable and happy.
With Thanksgiving approaching I am reminded of all we have to be thankful for. It's my favorite holiday. My wish for you is that you have much to be thankful for as well and know that you play an important role in the lives of these dear little souls who never give up hope.
P.S. Sassy, the 10 yr old blind dog, caught a rat while out in the play area! Would you believe? !!
A long overdue hello! Bet you thought I'd forgotten you! That will never happen. I think of you everyday and say "I must get to thank you notes", or "Thank goodness everyone continues to have faith in us despite my horrible record of correspondence", or to the dogs... "Look what you have been sent today! Aren't you lucky dogs!" And always, as I prepare the many dishes of food morning and evening I think of you and say "thank you for helping us keep it all going". There are so many dogs. I don't remember it ever being this busy.
Here is a story to share with you. A woman came and dropped off a senior dog named Peanut late this winter. She had had him since he was an 8 week old pup. He was now 13 yrs old. Her reasons were her reasons. When people leave a dog, they have made up their mind and I don't try to talk them out of it. I simply appreciate that they made the effort to responsibly place the dog in a safe haven.
Peanut, a lovely prince of a dog stepped out of the car in a composed manner. Handsome, obviously well bred, kind eyes and non-suspecting that his life was about to change forever. We put him in the kennel and he quickly learned the doggie door. However, convinced that his person would come back for him, Peanut refused to go inside where it was warm. He sat outside, shaking with cold and stared at the gate where he had last seen his person. This went on for several days. I layered two dog coats on him. He continued to sit there staring, only to briefly look at me when approached as if to say, "She's coming back for me". More than once he brought tears to my eyes.
I found myself going out to check on him at all hours of the night. A couple more days had passed as he continued his vigil, reminding me of the story of Argus, Ulysses dog who lay at the entrance to the city for years waiting for Ulysses return. The story goes that it was nearly twenty years until Ulysses returned dressed as a beggar. Only faithful Argus recognized him. Anyway, late one night, I got out of bed and went out once more to check Peanut. He will die waiting I thought. I scooped him up and brought him into the house. Fortunately my dogs basically ignored him as if to say "Oh here's another one" and went back to bed. I asked myself "Who will ever adopt a 13 yr old dog? We'll need a miracle". One thing I have learned in doing rescue is to never, never give up.
Peanut seemed more comfortable in the house and the gate was no longer visible which appeared to take his mind off of it. Anita, one of our board members had put him on Facebook. Not long after, I received an email from two gentlemen who recently had to put their old, sick dog to sleep. I knew of them because they had always gotten the calendar I had published for years. "We'd like to adopt Peanut" it said. I phoned them and asked why, to which I got the reply "We've talked about it, and want to give a home to a dog that probably would not get one". After further conversation and our usual reference check, it was decided that they would come and meet Peanut. He took to them immediately as if it was meant to be and our miracle happened. Photos of Peanut began to come in the emails. Peanut on the bed at his Philadelphia apartment, relaxing by the pool at his house on the Jersey Shore and he will spend July and August in his other house house in Provincetown.
Happy, happy Peanut! Even though there is someone always at home, they also have a devoted dog walker who was walking him one day as a woman walking her own Jack Russell approached exclaiming "Is that Peanut?". She recognized him from Facebook! Now they have told me that Peanut enjoys "killing" his stuffed animals and has been limited to 4 a day! He is walked to the pet store where he gets to pick out his own! I got to thinking that here was a homeless dog with few, if any options and now look at him! Peanut has a superb, loving home and three residences!
There have been other stories since I last spoke to you. We lost dear Jack 5 to end stage kidney failure this winter. Many people have asked about him. He was a wonderful dog. I couldn't believe the diagnosis and kept him going for a week or so on fluids, but he continued to fail and I couldn't let him suffer. He always tried to please and would buck up and put on a good act that all was ok for my sake. On his last night when all looked glum I was standing with him on a leash in the vet's office. One of the techs had a birthday and I was eating a piece of yellow birthday cake with a tongue depressor when I dropped a piece on the floor. Jack picked it up and ate it to my surprise as he been refusing food. He refused another small piece, but I was so pleased that he had shown interest that I stopped on the way home and bought him a yellow cake, just in case. He never ate any of it. It became obvious that there was not to be two miracles. I miss him everyday.
We've also had some good adoptions, but it takes only hours before those have been replaced with new little urchins. One dog that I don't want anyone to forget about is darling, little Julie whom I had adopted out 2 years ago. She was lost when her owner let her out at night thinking she would come right back. Well, she didn't. We called everyone, vets, boarding places, shelters. I even called the highway dept to see if they might have picked up her body. There were searches with no trace of her. It continues to haunt me daily. An anonymous individual put up a $1,000 reward for her return. Julie is a fairly small white smooth coat with brown on her ears and a brown spot on her back near her tail. She is microchipped. This is my worst nightmare. I can only hope that a kind person took her in and fell in love with her. This happened on Feb 1st in Maplewood, NJ, near Newark. Posters everywhere. Listed on lost dog sites. No sign of her. She could be anywhere. The reward will continue to be offered indefinitely. I am not going to stop looking for her.
There's more...but I think I have taken up too much space once again. Would love to hear from you. Rick will forward any emails that are meant for me from the web site. Right now as always, there is much work to do. The dogs are waiting.
With kind thoughts of you and hoping you are cuddled up with your dogs. Cherish the moments.
We made some improvements this year. Good sturdy roofs were put on all of the outside pens and some outdoor lighting was installed around the kennel. Susan and Sammy have been working hard to enclose the pens with tarps, adding some new clear ones that will let the sun in and allow the dogs to see out. The dogs will benefit from new, heavy rubber mats in pens and kennel runs, preventing their feet from getting sore from the gravel. The pens have been equipped with heated water bowls, eliminating the need for switching out frozen water buckets several times a day! The painting will have to wait until spring. All this and more was helped greatly by the successful fund raiser hosted by Doug and Sue Tack while their daughter Erin did an amazing job running it as her project for her Girl Scout Gold award. This prestigious award is the female equivalent of the Boy Scout's, Eagle Scout award.
We had a good number of adoptions this past year, however there is a never ending supply which keeps us running above capacity. Once I get to the paperwork I'll give you a count of placed dogs. From memory I think it exceeded fifty, and there is still a little over a week left to adopt more!
Looking back, 2011 brought the loss of some of our dearest dogs... our beloved Ashley, saintly Gibbs, diabetic Barkley who was discovering a joyous life, little old blind and starved Blinky, my darling Vicki and a one eyed stray named Rocky who took my soul with him. Despite all efforts they could not be saved. Sadness yes, though some degree of comfort can be taken knowing they were loved at last and had the best of care.
For me, winter is a time of reflection and healing. I now look forward to the long nights and moonlit walks with the dogs in the quiet stillness that renews one's strength and sense of purpose. I will embrace it and think of you who so graciously continue to support the refuge and make it all possible. In this season of joy, rejoice for those that have been saved and are now in loving, forever homes.
There is much I would like to express to you, but in your heart I think you know these things. I am so very grateful to you and count you among our many blessings.
With all good wishes,
Is summer over? Gee! I was just getting into believing it was here and in a blur it left, immediately bestowing 18 inches of snow on us! Maybe it was a good thing as it came as a wake-up call. Whatever projects to keep the dogs comfortable for winter went into high gear and we are currently putting roofs that will hold up to winter's worst on some of the dog pens. Heavy rubber mats have gone into most of the runs and pens. Tarps have been retrieved from storage to be wrapped around the pens. Dog house heaters are checked and working. We still have to fix some doggie doors and I've taken inventory of blankets etc. I think we are in pretty good shape, except for one very important thing and that is that we have too many dogs.
This is turning into a plea. The year brought more dogs than ever and we continue to turn dogs away daily. If winter came right now, some of the dogs would not be properly housed. While we had many successful adoptions, they were for the most part "easy" dogs, "good "dogs. Everyone wants the perfect dog. Housetrained, no issues with people, liking other dogs, young. I understand that and yes, they need homes too. But what we need now are true dog lovers who want to help an unfortunate dog who may not live up to the perfect standard. True dog lovers look at a dog and think "What can I do for this poor dog?", instead of "What can this dog do for me?" The answer is simple. Give a poor creature who was not as fortunate as your dog a chance. It may be their only one.
Since winter I've taken in 15 dogs from the NYC kill lists. These are lists that arrive by email nightly and feature the dogs that will be put to sleep in the morning. I scroll down the photos and descriptions and tell myself I cannot take another. I look into the forlorn eyes peering out from the photos. Utter despair. Somehow I manage to click the off button and go to bed. After about a sleepless hour, I get up and make the phone call to the all night hotline and say I'll take dog # 65, or whatever the number is. The forlorn dog is now mine. But who will adopt him? I then go to back to bed chastising myself for doing it again... taking in an some stray, maybe old, probably starved or worse, and try to convince myself that there are people out there who will give an old dog or untrained dog who fell upon hard times a bit of life, a few months, maybe a year, maybe many years. Someone who can open their heart to a dog who would otherwise die alone, frightened and unloved in a city pound. It is what I call the above average commitment. I remind myself that I have never regretted taking in these dogs. Once they are here I come to love them. Somehow they enrich our lives in a strange way. It seems you always love the one that needs the most in a different way than you love the others. My own house dogs are this kind, who have often surprised me by living and loving for many years beyond what I thought. They are grateful for very little.
Right now I think of Henry, who was found freezing and starving as a stray. His ears were chewed or frostbitten and every bone in his body was prominent. Several days after he arrived, a piece of one of his ears came off in a volunteers hand while she was petting him. Henry has become a bit hyper due to being in a kennel with too many dogs. He is kind to all people, but does not care for other dogs. He now sports a nice, smooth coat and revels in whatever attention is paid to him. Heaven to him would be an adult home as an only dog with a fenced yard where he could run, roll in the grass, and bask in the sun.
I often take criticism for taking these dogs that are not in demand, will drain our funds because they will stay far too long, and who's outlook for a home is poor. But then isn't that why it's called "rescue"? We are not here to simply be agents for highly adoptable dogs. Yes, we do have to do that to keep going, but are we not also here to give what we can and have mercy? Think about it.
As always, my thanks for your continued support and caring, and especially for listening. Despite my venting, I have faith that all will be okay. The dogs seem to think so too.
Be well and God bless.
With the passing of summer the Refuge is starting to prepare for the winter that lies ahead. Hard to believe the short days and cold nights are coming fast upon us. Time to make sure all the coats are mended and washed and that the rafters are full of warm blankets. If you would like to contribute some more blankets and fleeces to the terriers to snuggle in, the volunteers suggest you visit your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store. For only a couple of dollars you can find blankets, fleeces and bath mats and it helps those organizations too!! Please do check it out if you have one of these stores close by; we would appreciate it and can then stock up for the cold weather ahead.
Dale has been busy with adoptions and sending many of our terriers off to their forever homes but with those that depart there are many waiting in the wings to come in to wait to find their perfect family. Please do not forget to consider adopting a Refuge terrier or adding another to your family – two is always better than one!!!
With the flurry of fundraisers behind us and much success with all of your continued support and monthly contributions, we are able to help as many Jack Russells as possible. It does seem that every year the numbers have increased and this economy has not helped the plight of many dogs.
So please do continue to check in and thank you again to all of you who are so supportive of the Refuge terriers. Let’s hope for a nice crisp and lengthy fall when every dog Russell can be walked in the fallen leaves and roll in the dew filled grass. Thank you, from all the volunteers.
By now many of you have heard about dear Mr Gibbs whom I recently put to sleep. You were so kind and supportive of him and deserve to know what happened. To the unknowing eye of one who did not know Gibbs, he may have seemed fine. But Gibbs was a stoic dog and did not show his painful side to others. He would always rally. Recently, he began to show signs of discomfort, especially when I asked him to get up to go walking. There were times he would cry out and he also began to refuse to sit fully down on his haunches.
Decided to take him to my vet for a look, thinking it was due to some of his old injuries. An Xray showed possible problems and an ultra sound was suggested. We did that immediately, and there, plain as day were two lemon sized lymph nodes. Gibbs had cancer and his behavior was due to pain caused by the tumors pressing on his spinal column. How tolerant he had been and tried to please despite his pain. The tumors were large, the prognosis terminal. It was likely the cancer had already spread to other parts of his body. It would have been unkind to continue and I certainly did not want to put Gibbs through any more in his already tragic, painful life. I brought him home and called my husband who came and eased him into the next life in a quiet, comfortable, dignified manner, knowing it was the best we could do for him. Love has many faces.
When I took on rescue I knew there would be times such as this. Occasionally I take a case that no other organization will touch. There is always the possiblity that the outcome might be poor. Sadness yes...but sorry I did it? Never.
Speaking of difficult cases...good news! There was a flyer emailed around about a little blind terrier in a shelter. The shelter also contacted me, but this one I knew had needs I couldn't provide, so I put the word out to board members and anyone I could think of to help this little guy, who will remain blind, but continues to be a happy fellow. It was a long shot, but Tammie Davis, one of our board members miraculously found a great foster home for Little Jack! This kind couple expressed an interest in possibly adopting him if he works out in their household. We will provide the medications to keep him comfortable and his folks will provide the care and love. There are more miracles than we know.
Now more good happenings. I am so looking forward to Erin Tack's Refuge Benefit this weekend in NJ (June 25 & 26). I will be there Saturday, but must get back to the dogs for Sunday dog chores. I can't wait to see old friends... human and canine. Please read about it on the site and hopefully come and be a part of it's success. If you need a dose of faith you will find it there in all those who care enough to give of their time and talents to help the dogs. Erin is a lovely, upstanding young girl who has taken on an enormous task. I am so proud of her. She represents our country's youth that truly cares about making changes in the lives of animals. She gives us all hope. And Hope my friends is what it's all about.
With all good thoughts,
John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you're making other plans". And so it is here. Much happens all the time, from new arrivals, emergencies, hundreds of emails and phone calls from people who want to give up their dogs as well as the never ending mundane dog laundry and poop patrol.
We had a surprisingly good number of adoptions throughout the winter, which was encouraging. At the moment there seems to be a lull in appropriate applications, but spring is finally here and hopefully new homes are on the horizon. We currently have some very good dogs that want to be in their forever homes, so if you are thinking of adopting, go for it now. Remember, we almost always have dogs that are not listed on the site. Check out a couple of youngsters that have been here for a while that should be going up on the site soon. They are Matilda and Violet. Both little charmers. Also, Wally a NYC stray that likes to surf counters and sleep on high shelves. I watched him from afar and did not believe how he managed to climb his way to a high shelf and fall asleep. He is a friendly dog that likes most other dogs and perhaps has a kinship with mountain goats!
With the coming of spring there is much to do. Repairs to the kennel are needed as a result of the winter storms and housing an overabundance of dogs. I'm getting very excited about Erin Tack's NJ fundraiser for us in June. It promises to be great fun and I'm hoping we will raise the much needed funds to bring the Refuge back to a pleasant level of comfortable living for the dogs. Adding a few heated houses will top the list as well as new doggie doors and some chain link that will replace what I have wired back together too many times. The dogs know where the holes are and despite my stock of repair parts and daily surveillance, they are savvy enough to know that it's a temporary fix. Clever little devils! Thankfully we are double fenced and the occasional escape usually turns into a fun run around the kennel with them saying "See me! I'm free"! It is a short lived freedom and I pick them up and kiss them. It's called rewarding them for inappropriate behavior! My style of dog training! Life can't be all discipline.
Back to the fundraiser. Please consider joining us. It's planned for all terrier folks. You don't have to be a seasoned exhibitor, nor does your dog have to be a perfect Jack Russell specimen. There is a class for dogs adopted from the Refuge and some very prestigious terrier people have donated their time and talent to judging, giving a free grooming clinic, a free handling clinic etc. I am touched that they are giving of their time to help us and especially to Erin who has taken on an enormous task. There will be a dynamite silent auction and huge raffle. I plan on being there on Saturday, hoping to see old friends and meet those of you whom I know from your correspondence. Would love to be there for both days but there are currently 37 little reasons why I can only get away for a day... and they all have open mouths and worried hearts. There will be more news posted this site from time to time regarding the festivities.
Time to go. Feeding time now. Followed later by cookie time and then bed time. There are clocks in their heads! Best wishes for a happy spring with much love and thanks to you all for keeping the dreams of forever homes alive.
Hi Everyone! We are alive and well here at the Refuge. Just got a little snowed in for awhile! Will get down to the recent doings... Had some good recent adoptions that never made it to the site. One was a lovely dog named Shea that was only here one night. The other was a little one named Limoge that was a hurricane Katrina dog that we had adopted out shortly afterward. Sadly she was returned recently when her owner got divorced and her home in danger of being foreclosed on. The good news is that 'Mo Mo" as we called her, went to a new loving home within a week. I'll never forget meeting a huge truck on the NYS Thruway late one night that was transporting dogs north from the disaster. I went thru the truck that had at least 100 dogs in it including moms and nursing puppies, sweet looking mixes and confused, frightened others. This was all done by flashlight and the driver was anxious to keep going so I quickly made the decision to take a little scared girl that resembled a china teacup and called her Limoge. She had been shot with buckshot and had some still imbedded in her neck as well as having been hit in one eye. She recovered well and had a good life up until the recent change of events. It just happened that one of our new applicants suited her perfectly. It's a match made in heaven and Mo Mo is happily playing and snuggling with her new person. She was here only a week.
There have been other good adoptions lately despite the heavy snows. Other news... a stray terrier that the NY shelter called Milo who had severe, large tumors protruding from both ears came in on Dec 30th with another shelter dog named Jester. I had to quarantine them down in the rented spot I set aside for such purposes until recently due to the common respiratory infections that shelter dogs usually come in with. Milo (whom I call "Ears") finally had his surgery to remove the tumors on Jan 27th and is here in the house recovering nicely. Jester is in the house also as we are short on kennel space and I didn't want Ears to be in the kennel for what is a rather long recuperation period. It just seemed appropriate to bring Jester in as well. They are getting along great with my dogs. Jester is now up for adoption. He is a lovely, handsome dog and quite elegant in looks. He has a 1930's sort of appeal. Jester is an unbelievable 11 yrs old and acts like a 2 yr old. Very healthy and active. His affection knows no bounds. The vet said he does not believe he's 11 and has the teeth of a 6 yr old dog. He is getting too comfortable here in the house and while I am quite attached to both Jester and Ears, I know in my heart that they need homes of their own. If you are home most of the time and want a very loving dog, Jester may just suit you perfectly. I feel sorry for him as he follows me around in fear of being left. Transition will be tough on him, so it has to be a golden, forever home for this dear boy. Ears is not quite ready to go. He is coming along beautifully and is an absolutely wonderful dog. I'd like to see him get a golden home also (like all of them). He was found as a stray in the Bronx, probably dumped because of the tumors, (which were benign). I love this dog. I cannot fault him in any way. Ears is approximately 6 yrs old, loving, likes other dogs and is well house trained. He is going to be very hard to part with.
There are a few other new faces in the kennel including Long Tail Lily, a very sweet natured shelter stray. Little Otis, another stray, very cute and gets along fine with Lily. Otis has a stuffed animal with him at all times, much like a security blanket. Then there is Matilda a little young girl and Venus another young one. Both of these youngsters also require someone in house a lot with time to train them. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get their photos up on the site along with their bios. If you are thinking of adopting, please put in an application. So many people look at a photo and think it's the dog for them, but it's only a photo and not the best way to choose a life companion. There are some very good dogs here right now and not all are listed. I have been chastised occasionally for being too "picky" about where my dogs go. Some people do not want to go through the "hassle" or scrutiny to adopt a dog. All dogs do not suit all good applicants. There has to be a"fit". If your dog is a top priority in your life that is what is most important to me, but there still has to be that "fit". These dog's lives depend on where I put them. I take it to heart and our success rate is excellent.
Then there is Boy. Found on the streets of Manhattan in the freezing cold, starving and weighing only 8 pounds, this little guy was on the euthanasia list at at a NY shelter. He is estimated to be about 17 years old. Poor old fellow. Very weak and dehydrated. I made the decision to bring him here because I couldn't bear the thought of him dying in a shelter as an abandoned dog. When I pick him up I feel only bones. He does have a good appetite and is not in pain. To quote the shelter volunteer who did his write up, "He is a gentle character who has most likely very little time on this earth. He deserves nevertheless that we make right what others (those who without mercy left an old dog like Boy in the cold) did wrong." I now call Boy, "Blinky", as he comes out when he hears me, blinking with almost totally blind eyes in an effort to see me. Blinky is kept warm with choices of three cushy dog beds and lots of blankets to snuggle in. I am paying a lovely, caring young girl a token amount to come and just hold Blinky for a minimum of one hour a day. He gets holding time from the rest of us as well. If he is destined to die,it will be in comfort in my arms.
Good news! Gibbs has not chewed his tail for a couple of weeks. It seems the new drugs are working. Dr. Berg has struck again! He is a miracle man! Gibbs is doing great! Can't wait for spring! I feel like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, but in reality I'm only rising from the snow! That's it for tonight. Need to get to bed, but this update has been long overdue and didn't want to keep you waiting any longer. The rest of the news will have to keep.
It's 1:30 AM and I know where all my dogs are....so all is well.
Thinking of you my friends, with thanks.
Well we survived the big snowstorm that came late Christmas day, but barely! I went out to put doggies to bed in the 45 mile hr. winds and blowing snow to find that a few of the new doggie doors on the heated dog houses had malfunctioned. Snow was blowing in all the pens and even blowing in the kennel doggie doors! That had never happened before as the kennel runs have roofs and are protected by trees. What a mess! Put the door inserts in to stop the snow, but had to clean up the wet and issue clean, dry blankets to all. Then got every tool known to man (and one woman) and went to fix the dog house doors. No luck.
After dropping numerous nails in the snow, in the dark, from freezing hands, I moved on to plan B. I wasn't exactly sure what plan B was going to be, but had to move fast. Went to the garage where numerous crates are stacked, but of course they were efficiently stacked in the farthest corner behind what looks like that "hoarder" show on TV. Got to them as quickly as possible and took one in the house to put Gibbs in, so I could put one dog in his kennel slot. Then proceeded to stack crates in the kennel aisle and bungee corded them together. Put all outside dogs in them and covered with sheets so there would not be mayhem, ..hopefully. I said "This is an emergency guys, have a little patience with me". Everyone got a nice chewy and I admit, one sedative pill to help quiet them and reduce stress, except Maggie...who assumed the sky was falling and got two! The snow was deep and drifting with continued high winds and I made it to the house at about 1:00AM. Gibbs was settled in his large comfy crate in the den away from my house dogs.
In the morning I took one look at the damage and said "How am I ever going to do this? I'm too old to shovel this much snow"! Two of the roofs over the pens had collapsed with snow weight and all the pens were filled with snow. The long driveway had not been plowed yet. Played switches with the kennel slots so all the dogs could get out for a bit to relieve themselves and gave them breakfast. None seemed the worse for wear and Maggie was a perfect lady. Went back to the house for a minute when Sammy called (Sammy is a young girl who helps out here at the refuge) and asked "Do you need help?" "Boy, do I ever" I said. So to make a long story short, Sammy arrived shortly after the driveway had been plowed bringing Josh, a strong 15 yr old who volunteers here to gain extra credits from his high school program and Josh's mom! They shoveled for over three hours, got the pens all cleared and more! I am so lucky to have such good friends and neighbors. A big THANK YOU to Sammy, Josh and mom Gail! I did later in the day, take five dogs to our local animal hospital to board for two days so more work could be done and get the dog house doors repaired. Pleased to say we are back in action!
More news. Christmas day I received a call informing me of a Jack Russell found in a dumpster with his mouth duct taped shut. I called the lovely folks who found him and they are keeping him for the time being to see how he gets along with their other dog. They are good dog people and if it does not work out we will be notified.
I got two more dogs delivered from NY shelters. Can't remember if it was Tues or Wed. One was a Bronx stray who has cauliflower type tumors protruding from both ears. Have not given him a name yet. The other was a private surrender to the Manhattan shelter who's name is Jester. They are both absolutely wonderful dogs. They arrived in the transporter's car, one on her lap and the other on the passenger seat. There was a large, old beautiful Husky in the back that was the next stop at a Husky rescue. All were getting along!! Our two were both on the euthansia list and I'm so glad after getting to know them that they are saved. Since we are full and the dogs that come from the city are usually sick with respiratory infections, I have to quarantine them. My son owns a building at the end of my driveway which happened to have a vacant office, so I made a deal and rented it at a very,very reduced rate and stashed my new charges there. Two rooms, warm and very nice. Put in a radio, dog beds and blankets along with food and water dishes etc. etc. They are the most grateful dogs. No barking, sleeping together, clean and affectionate. Jester must take his toy with him on his walks and the other fellow is cheerful despite his tumors which are bloody and uncomfortable for him. I feel confident the tumors can be surgically removed as soon as he is well enough to go for a check up and get cleared for surgery, as they appear exactly the same as Milky's were and he recovered beautifully and got a wonderful home.
I could go on, but Rick, our wonderful and infinitely patient webmaster is not going to be happy with the length of my report. Once again, my thanks to all of you for the dog's Christmas goodies, all your good wishes, the donations and the beautiful cards. There were many from you who have adopted dogs from us that included heartwarming photos of them in their forever homes. They were my best gifts. Time to put the dogs to bed. I do so love them. (I know that sounds corny, but you would love them too.)
Happy New Year my friends!
Late December 2010
Seems like I always start off with apologizing for being late in keeping you posted on the Refuge. Well, tonight is no different. Things here have been very busy. Got the tarps up for winter, straw in pens and houses, gutters cleaned on the kennel, a full tank of propane etc. The dogs that are outside have wonderful heated houses and honestly if I were a dog, that's where I would prefer to be instead of the kennel. The pens where the heated houses are have sturdy roofs and tarps for windbreaks. Houses are stuffed with good clean straw, where the dogs make a nest (They have blankets too and wear a warm snuggler.) Every night I check and they are as snug as can be. Often I find Kimbo sitting on the roof of his house, especially now with the full moon. He jumps down to take his bedtime bisquit and returns to his post of night watchman.
Gibbs is doing a bit better on his new drugs. He is much more relaxed, enjoys his daily walks and loves to lounge. I am cautiously optomistic, but he has definitely gotten into the routine and we continue to work on the tail chewing which appears to have lessened due to the meds. He now enjoys spending some time in the play area sniffing around. I was delighted to see him do this the other day, refusing to come in when he was called. He is finding his Jack Russell self.
Adoptions have been pretty good, but as always, replaced with some new faces. I say I'm not taking any more for winter and then some poor horrible case is presented and I weaken. The latest are a couple from the NY city shelters where times are tough. We are back up to more than a full house.
Those of you who are waiting to hear from me, please know that I'm trying to return emails and phone calls as quickly as possible and get to the paperwork of everyone who has put in to volunteer. A stack of thank you notes waits on the table. I'll get to all of it, but please be patient. The dogs come first and by that time I'm usually wasted. Days begin early and end late.
So dear friends, I am thinking of all of you and appreciate your efforts to help. We are truly blessed here at the Refuge to have your devoted, loyal support. I never forget that. We've received many cards, quite a few of which contain photos of our alumni, secure and loved in their forever homes. I could not ask for a better gift. As for our present guests, they will be happy to wake on Christmas morn to new blankets, toys and treats from you. Tonight the little waifs are presently snuggled up in their beds. Not a peep out of them... all 40 plus! Good dogs.
With all best wishes for the joys of the season.
Early December 2010
The sadness of Buddy's passing is slowly lifting from the Refuge as happy news fills the kennels as resident Jack Russells make their way to their forever homes. Check out all those that have been recently adopted. Their new lives will carry Buddy's hopes and dreams with them as we continue to do what the Refuge was meant to do - help the Jack Russells that pass through the gates go on to fulfilling terrier lives.
The winter cold has descended upon New York and the dogs are now properly bundled for the snowy air that fills the skies over the kennels. It is a busy time, many Jack Russells are at the Refuge waiting to be adopted and although a large number of great dogs have gone on from their stop here; many more await that home to call theirs. The Refuge is filled with some truly specials terriers this season so please do check out the list of those waiting for a new life. We are so pleased to have so many lovely Jack Russells here with us.
Dale mentioned that a holiday wish list would have such items as fleeces for the kennels and winter crates, and toys with squeakers, sometimes in multiples, but NO stuffing - the favorite among the Refuge terriers. They last for a long time and take many hours of terrier concentration to destroy. The holiday season has brought us many well wishes and we continue to be grateful for your and generous donations and all those purchases from our store that supports the terriers while they are with us.
We hope that your holidays are filled with much joy; your Jack Russells are able to take long walks through the winter snows. And may all their stockings be filled with treats. Please consider adopting that special Refuge Jack Russell Terrier - it would be a great start to 2011. Thank you for staying in touch and may the New Year be a bountiful one. Happy holidays from all the Refuge volunteers.
Dear friends of Buddy,
He was transported here by our board member Tammie Davis from MA. She made the long drive with Buddy and another nice young male terrier named Kipper that somehow got included. Although I was enchanted with Buddy, it was obvious that the kennel was not suitable housing for him in his condition. I then asked another of our board members, Anita D'Ammora, to foster him. It made sense, as she lived near the veterinary ophthalmologist and Buddy would be in a home environment being provided with love, attention and good post operative care. The days went by and many pre surgery tests were done, all coming out with a positive outlook. His sight could be restored. Yes, it was a lot of money to spend on one little dog, but once anyone had seen Buddy with his zeal for his tennis ball (which he would often lose because of his failed vision) his absolute, unbounding joy and love for everyone and everything life had to offer, one could not deny that here was not just a good dog, but a great dog.
What is the big picture? The eternal plan? Why did dear little Buddy have to die? I tell myself that his life had purpose in so many ways. Anita and her family had been living with the sadness of the loss of their beloved terrier Daphne and while Buddy could not bring Daphne back, he brought his charm to their lives, enabling them to love again. Maybe that was his purpose.
We buried him this morning here at the refuge under the beauty bush next to our little Barney who went earlier this year due to cancer. He was in a beautiful navy blue quilted burial bag tied with a silk ribbon in which three wild turkey feathers and a Blue Jay feather were tucked for flight. Our Buddy was placed in the good earth on a bed of oak leaves facing east and the rising sun. His body was covered with red roses which Anita had brought, along with his tennis ball. Anita, Susan and I tearfully placed the earth over him and relinquished him to heaven.
We console ourselves to a degree by knowing that Buddy had a real home for the few months he'd spent with Anita. He had the luxury of snuggling on the sofa with her, her being with him constantly, and the unfailing daily attention and caring of her family. He knew he was loved.
Tonight I went into the kennel and kissed every dog, simply in appreciation for their being. I thought of you folks and your kindness in wanting to help this little dog and thanked you in my heart for it. The funds will be used for another needy soul.
What more can we do? We can continue to care and honor Buddy by keeping the love alive in passing it on to others of his kind. We were touched by him and you were touched by him. Good will come because of him. Perhaps that was Buddy's purpose after all.
Hello to all out there who so faithfully keep track of the Refuge! We have been overwhelmed with dogs, calls and emails. Most calls and emails are requests for help. Occasionally I can help a dog stay in it's home simply by coming up with a management solution if the owners are committed. But more often than not, it means the dog is put on a waiting list to come in, or I weaken and say I'll take it in. Consequently, we continue to have more dogs than we really have room for. I am concerned about winter coming and being short on housing. We desperately need homes. The good news is that we have adopted out many dogs in the last 6 weeks or so. Of course there is always another to take the space. It's raining Jack Russells. Many are coming in from people who have lost their homes and cannot find a place to rent with a dog.
At the moment we have some lovely dogs for adoption. Some you may not be familiar with as we do not put all of the dogs on the site. One especially is Vicki. If I were a woman living alone (or even with one other person), Vicki would be my pick. She is a wonderful dog who is exceptionally clean, focused on her person and very loving. Vicki is hesitant with new people and needs someone who would introduce her carefully to newcomers. Although Vicki comes on strong to strangers, she soon is accepting of them. All it would take to have this wonderful dog be a big part of your life would be knowing how to introduce her and perhaps putting her in another room when opening the door to strangers. Not a big price to pay for such a good dog. You will always feel safe with Vicki around. She does not miss a trick.
Then there is little Milky. Milky came to us this winter, having been found by some kids near an abandoned building in freezing weather. He was thin and cold and had a large, seeping, painful tumor protruding from one ear. He cried in pain and needed immediate veterinary attention. We took him to the vet and nice guy that he is, did surgery on Milky the following day which was supposed to be his day off. The surgery turned out to be complicated as the entire ear canal had to be exposed. The tumor had invaded the inner ear and beyond. Surgery was successful however, and I brought Milky home and kept him in the house for recovery. He lived in a quiet room for three months. Not once did he complain or pee in the house. A perfect little dog. Once in the kennel he began to become depressed. He is now perfectly healthy and the tumor was benign. I feel for this dog who is withering away here and wanting a person of his own. Milky will be most grateful for a loving home and you would be hard pressed to find a better dog. There is much more to tell and many other good dogs waiting. But...I must cut it short, as Rick our web master will have his work cut out for him if I continue. (I think I have gone way over the number of words allowed.)
I think of all of you often and wish I had more time to communicate. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for your help and good wishes. You make it all happen. Be well.
We don't know if there is another small rescue organization in the US that is as blessed as ours with such a large network of loyal supporters. This past Labor Day weekend proved to us once again how lucky our Refuge Jack Russell Terriers are. At Northgate Farm in New Jersey, the Tack family held their annual Jack Russell Terrier trials and used their event to act as a fundraiser for the Refuge. WOW what an event. This is the 3rd year that the Tacks have so kindly and generously supported the Refuge at their trial. A couple of special people came through with amazing support with one such donation in memory of the Tacks' beloved terriers who crossed that rainbow bridge and another supporter donated in honor of the work Dale has done for the past 20 years for the breed in rescue.
We had blustery warm weather from the passing tropical storm but did notice that fall is in the air - trees are turning color, it's nippy at nighttime and the spunk has returned to those terriers catching the cool breezes. But please take note that with winter approaching, if there is anything we are still in need of it is rubber backed bath mats. If you were looking for something to get the terriers this is the time we could use to line our crates for winter sleeping. Also fleeces - we have worn all those out that have come to the Refuge over the last couple of years and would appreciate anyone willing to send some to the Refuge for snuggling in their beds. More info
On Friday, March 26, the Refuge received a phone call from a veterinarian at the NY Animal Medical Center requesting help. A good samaritan found this poor fellow - we call him Gibbs - on a NYC street corner looking dazed and confused. The dog was obviously in pain due to the severe trauma he suffered; his tail was skinned and bleeding and he could barely stand. His case is considered a cruelty case because of the extent of his injuries. Since the NY Animal Medical Center is a clinic and not a shelter, they can only stabilize a stray dog and seek placement. The Refuge was recommended by the ASPCA and the NYC Mayor's Alliance for Animals. We immediately made plans for his arrival and the Mayor's Alliance transported him to the Refuge on Monday morning. More info
Ella is not a Russell Refuge rescue terrier but is owned by the person who runs the Pause Dog Boutique here in Rhinebeck. They are constantly doing some sort of fund raiser for the Refuge. A couple of weeks ago they did a Pause & Relax evening with an animal communicator with Ursula as the canine massage therapist and a local dog trainer. She accepted 12 dogs at 50.00 each and each dog got a 15 minute session with the three professionals. It was filled and we got 350.00 after she paid the expenses. Little Ella is giving kisses for Valentine's Day with all proceeds coming to the Refuge. Cute... isn't she?
Happy New Year to all of our Refuge supporters! We’ve started the year off with some wonderful adoptions. Our timid and nervous Darla found her forever home as did Penny, Buddy and a few short term residents. Thank you to those sterling homes who started 2010 with a bang.
Our sincere thanks for all of the wonderful Christmas boxes of dog cookies (many that were home made) and the fleece blankets that keep the dogs warm and wash so easily. And for the tennis balls and chewies and the squeaky toys that, to our delight, were eviscerated in minutes. Expect every JRT owner can relate to the joy of watching the stuffing flying! Not that we need any "snow" cover as we have been experiencing a deep freeze. And though the Snuggler coats keep our charges warm and toasty, they are not all that happy about having to go for their walks over snow and ice. Of course, we suspect that they find our efforts to keep ourselves warm by bundling up against the below freezing temps a bit amusing. :-) No doubt we're all looking forward to the Spring or at least some melting of the snow/ice pack.
Remember Miles? The young terrier with the badly broken leg? Look at him now enjoying a romp on the beach and being held close by his new owners. If it had not been for all of you who contributed to his surgery, Miles would not have found his forever home. We took the chance and you supported us in our quest to help. Thank you ALL for helping us help Miles. This would never have happened without all of YOU!!!!
We look forward to hearing from all our supporters; your stories and pictures make us smile. Wishes for warmer weather and fewer homeless dogs. When you are ready to bring another terrier into your life, we hope you'll consider adopting one. We'll all be waiting...
Thank you from all of the Refuge volunteers
Late December 2009
It's late at night and all the terriers are snuggled in their beds. The wonderful dog houses that so many of you donated the year before last are working beautifully. They are insulated like a human home and our volunteers Fred and Ilene added more insulation inside the roofs to prevent heat from escaping. The houses have heaters in them and the dogs really seem to like them.
We are at more than full capacity. Every year I say we are going to keep the dogs to a minimum for winter and every year we seem to be inundated with emergency surrenders or strays just when we think it looks as though the shelter is going to be manageable.
Christmas has arrived here at the Refuge with gifts to all the dogs from you caring folks. Blankets, toys, treats, enough for all the little waifs! I'm saving some for Christmas day and hope to make it really specialfor them. The much needed monetary gifts keep them in quality food and veterinary care, propane heat etc.
I wish you all could get to know the dogs as I do. Despite the little Jack Russell quirks that some of them have, they are all special in their own way. Dear Agatha continues to wait for a home. She simply needs to be an only pet. She is a bit oversized and has beautiful eyes. It's not unusual for her to extend her paw through the wire to touch you. Cody continues to wait as well. He is another with beautiful eyes. Cody needs a special sort of home, that is relatively quiet with limited visitors. He will love with every fiber of his being.
There are so many... Missy a fire cracker of a little girl, Harriet another active girl, Nala and Zachara a "married" pair that truly love each other, Rocky and Jazzy another pair, and the list goes on.
Of course there are the "lifers" like dear Stella the feral dog, Princess with her little limp in her back leg, Sweetie who lives up to her name, Bandit who is happy no matter what, Ashley who continues to snuggle under her comforter collection and a host of others. We also have a few interesting mixes for adoption. There is not a dog here that I could not live with. They just need the "right" person with the right situation.
Well...it's time for bed. Just wanted you to know that everyone is warm and tucked in. I am so grateful to all of you for your kindness to the terriers. We could not do it without your dedicated support. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish you a warm and happy holiday filled with terrier love.
Dale - President/Russell Refuge
Early December 2009
'Tis the holiday season and with it we got some early snow and cold weather - so we're all bundled up at the Refuge and ready for the Nordic blasts to continue. We had some great adoptions in early December, so check out the Adoption Success page. We are taking a quiet rest for the holidays before we swing open our adoption doors again for 2010. Still please submit your application to adopt a Refuge Jack Russell Terrier so that we can be ready when the holiday festivities are over.
Do not forget the Refuge JRTs this December, their wishes are for beef bones and squeaky toys. We always welcome gift cards for Petsmart where we buy our dog food. Despite the cold weather, the terriers appetites continue to be impressive!
This is the time of year that we receive great pictures and cards from our many adopted Jack Russells and their people and enjoy reading the activities they partake in and the warm beds they get to snuggle in. Please consider opening your heart to a Refuge Jack Russell that needs a home. Some of our Jack Russells have been waiting for quite some time for their person and we know that there are great homes out there waiting to take them in. Write us to find out more about the terriers that are not on the web site and to talk about some that you would like to get to know more - we can't tell you all the wonderful things about our Jack Russells on the web site but can certainly fill you in if you get in touch. You might be surprised how one might just be the perfect match; you can't judge a book by its cover.
We wish you all a lovely holiday, a fabulous blast into the New Year. Thank you all for your continued support, your willingness to help, to stay in touch. Our new monthly donations feature has been a tremendous hit and a much welcomed safety support for the Refuge. We are grateful for even the smallest amount - it all adds up in support of our mission to help the many Jack Russells that wander through these gates.
May all the dogs have a bone under the tree, may all the needy dogs find their forever homes, and may we continue to be blessed with wonderful homes reaching out to open their hearts to a Jack Russell Terrier in need. Hold your dogs tight, give them warmth and love, tell them they are the lucky ones, and bless you all from all the volunteers at the Refuge.
Winter is closing in on the Refuge and the terriers feel it in the air and have more energy than during the hot summer. We spent a few days winterizing the kennels, putting up new roofs and dog doors, wrapping the kennels with tarps and Fred (a Refuge volunteer) made new heating elements for the doghouses. The snugglers are all washed and mended thanks to a volunteer handy with the sewing machine. The crates are all lined with all of your generous quilts, comforters and blankets. Boxes of toys are ready for entertainment for the Refuge Jack Russell Terriers when the cold gets to be too much.
As you all have read in Dale's latest update, Stormy has crossed the rainbow bridge; a sad note to the start of winter. We shall all hope that he is chasing rabbits once again with all of the strength he needs in those hind legs that failed him in the end.
Miles has an update on his page, and continues to recuperate day by day. He loves other dogs, and is rooming with a small but loud little JRT female. She keeps him (and us) on our toes!
We have been very busy this past summer with many surrenders and several emergencies... all ended well. We have a full house so please remember that an adoption is the most rewarding thing you can do. It helps us find homes so that we do not have too many dogs fighting the cold in NY. Check out some of the new faces on the adoption page. Please note that not all of our Jack Russell Terriers are posted on our site so we might just have the right match for you!
The holidays are coming up and we ask our supporters to think of the Refuge Jack Russells in any way you feel you can help - toys, bedding, food coupons, gift certificates or even a small donation. We now have a monthly donation program to make it easy for anyone wanting to help us out with monthly installments.
We continue to appreciate all your e-mails, pictures, notes and Jack Russell stories, the joy of those that have found their forever homes, and the kind support that all of you have for our Refuge. Please stay in touch - we'll update again soon when the first flurries fly. Please remember to check out our lovely Jack Russell print, a great gift for a fellow Jack Russell Terrier lover, or yourselves, and a huge support for the Jack Russells at the Refuge. Time to start finding those warm sweaters and coats and get out those walking shoes to keep warm with your dogs.
Happy tails from all the Refuge volunteers.
It's been two weeks since my little Stormy took his last breath in my arms. He was comfortable, secure and had a sedative which relaxed him as he just snuggled down for what he thought was a cozy nap. He had lived several weeks past what the vet had given him the day I adopted him from the shelter. I knew he was ill and it was confirmed by the vet who diagnosed a tumor next to his spinal column. This aggressive form of cancer had already invaded two vertebrae and he had difficulty walking.
Ursula and Stormy
Large daily doses of steroids perked him up and although we had pain killers for him, he never appeared to need them. His attitude was a happy one. He ate well and seemed to enjoy the love and attention he received here. One of his favorite things was to lay on my lap in the warm early morning sun. We spent many mornings in this manner. The inevitable finally arrived and one morning my dear little guy could not get up. I held him up, but as soon as I released my hold, he would collapse. I did not want him to suffer the indignities of a paralyzed dog.
His all white coat was curly and he looked much like a little lamb. Dear little lamb. I kissed him over and over and told him how wonderful he was. Stormy was buried here on the farm next to my other departed beloved terriers. Such a short time of finally receiving the care and love he so deserved. This little stray... with us for only a little while... but oh what a mark he left on my heart. His calm, kind, demeanor told me that he forgave whomever it was that tossed him out on the street as a stray in his final years. He was more saintly than most humans could ever be.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Summer is coming into its final month and we have had a busy July, if not a very soggy one. The Jack Russell Terriers in the Refuge are not sure whether August dog days will be better than July pond days. Quite a summer...
Lots of new news at the Refuge. We have had quite some great adoptions take place, we have been busy and some dogs never even made it onto the website, so we have had a successful summer finding great JRT homes. Our one eyed Buddy is finding his new home in NJ and we have a new pup called Miles that is asking for supporter help with surgery for his broken left leg.
Our most touching story comes from Dale regarding Stormy who was abandoned at a New York flea market and brought to the local shelter.
Stormy is an elderly terrier who can not walk. He is very thin, with no muscle mass and just is a sad little scared Jack Russell. He was taken to the vet immediately with a diagnosis of a quick growing tumor on his spinal cord. Stormy, our new Starlight terrier, is now safe and sound. After two days of medication, he is able to walk a little to go out. He can climb out the dog door and is able to wag his tail at the sight of a Refuge volunteer. He can't lift his legs to go up onto the dog bed but we have padded the floor with down bedding, warm flannel fuzzies and plush toys (all from our supporters). As you can see from his picture, he is a pretty Jack Russell, soft and so full of love and kisses. In the little time he has left at the Refuge, he will enjoy being indulged, spoiled and loved. Human touch will not be lacking. When he can no longer be joyful, he will move on to a safe and quiet place.
Some Ultimate Shopping News
We have a very special limited edition Jack Russell print available for $150. We have 10 of this print, titled "Worker's Playtime", of the 850 produced.
The coloring is tremendous, the action and movement rendered precise. Once framed, this 18"x22" picture will surely take pride of place in your home. Please contact us for more information on how to order.
If we can find some dry days we hope to post Jack Russell antic pictures - more news to come soon. Thanks again for all your support, from all the volunteers at the Refuge.
Many of you are familiar with the Jack Russell calendar that I produced for twenty years. If so, you are aware that the 2009 edition is the last. We also carried a number of quality products, such as dog coats, collars, stationery, etc. As Jasper's name and legacy is very dear to my heart, I could not sell the business and take the chance that Jasper's name may in the future represent an inferior product.
Jasper Publications Inc has therefore donated all remaining merchandise to Russell Refuge Inc. All proceeds will benefit the terriers here at the Refuge. Please take a look at the items available and know that your purchase will bring housing and love, as well as another chance to the deserving little waifs in our care. If the merchandise continues to sell there is a good possibility that we can continue to carry your favorite products for the benefit of the terriers. Go to the catalog page now! Times are difficult everywhere. Purchases, no matter how small are helpful and welcome.
Also, please know that I haven't forgotten you wonderful folks that have been so generous, enabling us to keep Russell Refuge and it's guests well cared for and happy until that special home comes along.
We've had some very successful placements lately and continue to be optimistic! Due to spending most of my time with the terriers themselves, I often don't take the time to let you know how grateful I am for your help. So I tell you now....I AM GRATEFUL!!!
February came in like a blast of bad news, cold cold weather, many needy dogs trying to come to the Refuge from all over the East Coast, and far too few people ready to open their hearts to a Refuge Jack Russell Terrier. We've had a break from winter this past week, still low temperatures but lots of sun and a chance for all that ice and snow to melt so the dogs could take their walkies without skidding on the paths. We continue to receive wonderful blankets and bath mat donations, which will set us up well for next winter, and some of our wonderful regular supporters have been terrific with donations of food gift cards. With the prices steadily climbing that was a relief. The forever-hungry Jack Russells thank you!!!
The many toys we received over the holidays proved a great asset in the cold weather we've been experiencing, and it might be time to put out a request for more soon. With Jack Russells they certainly do not last long. The frenzy to eviscerate squeaky toys, rubber bones and tennis balls may offer much fun but certainly does not leave many intact. But that's the purpose of toys!! The days are getting longer, so we're all looking forward to the dogs romping in the grassy field again and going for long ice-free walks. The mail brought some wonderful pictures and cards from our many Jack Russells that have found their forever homes, showing jack antics played for their new families, keeping them active and happy and their owners on their toes!
We hope we can find some more terrific only dog homes. I ask all of you who visit the site to consider carefully whether you could not take in an only dog Jack Russell. There are so many great characters at the Refuge but they seem to be passed by. With no Jack Russells leaving for those homes we are unable to take in any more needy JRTs and we've been getting 3-6 emails a day of people looking to place their dogs with us. We are turning so many away, and ask that all of you please consider opening your home to an active companion.
As I write this I think of the many people who are in touch with us via the website, the many stories and pictures they send and the many questions we answer from those asking for help. We even hear from people as far away as Australia and Dubai who share a common JRT thread. Sometimes though, with all this correspondence my e-mails get sent before I'm finished typing because one of my 8 Jack Russells steps on the keyboard. How is that possible? Look for yourself at the picture of my desk!!! Basking in the morning or afternoon sun, they see squirrels foraging on the bird feeders and the keyboard is not spared. This terrific crew are the "unadoptable" Refuge Jack Russells - they have found their forever home in my heart and they DO keep our house active. Please visit the site often; when the first sign of spring comes we hope to post some pictures of the Refuge crew. With warm thoughts to push the winter along, all the volunteers and the Jack Russells at the Refuge thank you for keeping us on your computer.
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