Monday, April 18, 2016

A-Z of #Dog Rescue: Pack (No Rescuer is an Island) — #AtoZChallenge


No rescuer is an island. If you’re going to make this rescue gig a success, you’re going to need help. And I don’t mean just the occasional goodwill of a random passerby. No, you’re going to need support you can count on, from people who care—about you, sure, but also (mostly) about the dog—and who know what they’re doing.

In other words, you’re going to need a pack.

Vet team

What’s the first thing you do when you (finally) have your fresh-from-the-street rescue in the car?

You go to the vet. Which one, though?

One you trust. One who keeps careful, methodic medical histories. One who’s familiar with the health issues associated with living in the street—and in your particular area. (Example: vets who move to Curaçao from Holland have never heard of tick fever—a leading cause of canine death here.) One who will give it to you straight; in rescue, sweetening the pill doesn’t help anyone, least of all the dog. And one who’ll be willing to consult with a colleague (or three) when the issue stumps him/her. (Which is why most rescue organizations work with a veterinary team rather than a single individual.)

Fellow rescuers

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to catch a dog, especially a skittish or fearful one, on your own. Sometimes you’ll be part of a rescue team, but sometimes it’ll be just you—and for those times it’d be oh-so-nice if you had a friend or two on speed-dial whom you can count on to help you. They don’t need to be experienced rescuers; they don’t even need to like dogs (but it helps, mostly for their sake). They just need to be there. Maybe hand you a leash, or play Bad Cop to your Good Cop in a chase.

Behaviorist

No one is as full of creative and out-of-the-box ideas than a dog behaviorist. (They’re the ones that inspired that “Out of the box? What box?” thing.) And when it comes to difficult rescues, nothing beats having a behaviorist’s resourceful thinking on your side. Careful with abusing this privilege, though. Pick up the phone only when you really need to.

One Eternal Optimist
At least one. Rescue takes a lot out of you, emotionally, so you'll want to have someone on hand that keeps your spirits up, someone who's always willing to Look On The Bright Side of Life ;) (Thank you, DoggieCaperz, for the suggestion to add this most valuable of resources to the list!)

 ~ * ~ 


Who else—barring Cesar Millán—can you think of? What sort of company do you think would come handy in a rescue? Of your immediate circle, who's the most likely to join your rescue pack?

Thanks for coming by!


P.S.—We have a FAQ session coming up on Wednesday, for Q. If you have any questions, feel free to include them in a comment and I'll do my best to get you an answer. And, if I can't get it by Wednesday, I'll post about it as soon as I do—'cause it's bound to be something interesting :)

21 comments :

  1. Good vets can sometimes be hard to find. Kudos if you can get a team of them together! Supportive friends would be a big bonus.I hope you and your pack have many more successful rescues, Guilie!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! As it happens, I'm kind of between packs at the moment... The vets I have (wonderful, wonderful team, best health-care professionals, human or otherwise, I've ever met), as well as the behaviorists, but, with the turnaround rate of island residents, the other two are hard to come by—and harder to keep around ;) (Any chance you might be moving to Curaçao? We'd make an awesome team, Debbie :D )

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  2. Maybe a good butcher who will supply free bones to entice those skittish rescue dogs!

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    1. Hahahaha... That's the first thing that comes to mind, isn't it? But, actually, bones are a bit of a problem. See, dogs shouldn't eat beef bones unless they're raw (and chicken bones not at all, ever)—but, due to bacteria, they shouldn't eat beef (or any meat) unless it's cooked. So that butcher would have to provide a raw bone that's absolutely, 100% meat-free... Which is unlikely. And then there's the problem of the actual bone as a lure... As discussed in the Food post ;)

      Still, I like the way you think :)

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  3. Who is Cesar Millan?
    How can a vet not hear of Tick Fever? Don't they have to do research and keep updated?

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    1. Cesar Millán, often called The Dog Whisperer, is a behaviorist who's put dog training back in its place (i.e., focused on the human's mistakes instead of the dog's "bad" behavior). And he's Mexican, so I have an extra reason to be proud :D

      I probably phrased that comment about tick fever wrong. It's so rare in Holland, and so mild when it does happen, that a vet who studied there will have only theoretical knowledge of it. Think of a doctor who studied in the US and, for whatever reason, ends up practicing in, say, Brazil. As "prepared" as s/he might think s/he is, some of the conditions (diseases, illnesses, deficits, and their effects) s/he'll encounter out in the field will be known to him/her only as a footnote in a book from way back in first or second year ;)

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  4. This was excellent information and I would have thought that a vet, just like a regular doctor, would educate themselves on the country and the maladies that can happen but I guess I am wrong. I hope the vet from Holland has since read up more. How many rescued dogs did you actually adopt since living where you are:)??

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    1. They do, Birgit; it's just that they never expect the extent of it to be so serious. In Holland, tick fever is rare, and the few times it's seen, it's at such early stages that there's very little opportunity for vets, especially surgeons, to get experience on dogs on whom the disease has been present long-term, or has become chronic. That's experience that they can only get here, unfortunately.

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    2. Oh, and I forgot about the dog question. All my dogs are rescues. I've rescued over 50 dogs since living here in Curaçao. These seven were the ones we couldn't find homes for. Well, with one exception: we rescued a female that turned out to be pregnant; when the puppies were born (under my desk), there was one that I... no, not "fell in love with". I'm in love with all my dogs. But there was something about this one... I can't explain it. And I think he had the same thing for me. So I knew (in spite of my partner's "no more dogs" protests) that we'd be keeping him. We ended up keeping two of his brothers as well, though that wasn't in the planning :D

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  5. Another interesting post. I had no idea there was so much to consider when it comes to dog rescuing.

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  6. Here's another person to add to your rescue pack - an eternal optimist! someone who, no matter how many times something goes wrong, always looks on the bright side and keeps your spirits up!!

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    1. Absolutely! I'll add it now :) Thank you!

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  7. I like the idea of an eternal optimist! I'm not sure who else I would add. I think that my childhood friend would be good, in that she loves animals. But she would probably want to keep them all. Who am I kidding, I would probably want to keep them all, too!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Hahahahaha... Then the trick is to have a good foster lined up before you even begin rescuing... that'll take care of the temptation ;) Thanks, Tracy!

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  8. I might add someone who's very experienced in dog care, like someone who's raised dogs for years and can help with troubleshooting things like weight gain, or just recommend the best toys or foods.

    Welcome to My Magick Theatre
    Onomastics Outside the Box

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    1. Good one, Carrie-Anne! It might be more in line with a foster's pack—rescue is just about getting the dog off the street—but it would indeed be a great addition to any foster's community. Thanks for that!

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  9. Again, such good advice. The rescue may seem like the hard part, but really once you have the dog, the hard part is starting. It definitely seems like a good idea to have a trusted vet you can go to at sometimes bizarre hours. I think having a friend or two who could act as temporary homes would be good too
    Debbie

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    1. Temporary homes are definitely a plus, Debbie—and, as I just replied to Tracy above, having a couple lined up before getting the dog off the street would take care of the temptation to bring them home with you ;) And yes, vets open to odd-hour visits are definitely a must ;)

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  10. A very important aspect of rescuing. I think the folks who get into trouble don't realize the real needs, their's or the animals.

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    1. Very true, Yolanda. Though, to be fair, it's hard to realize anything from a theoretical point of view... It's only in the actual doing that one gets to learn, really learn, any of this :)

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