Thursday, April 21, 2016

A-Z of #Dog Rescue: Right (or Wrong?) — #AtoZChallenge


In rescue, there’s no right or wrong—as long as it’s About The Dog. Every situation is different, every dog is different. What worked yesterday won’t work tomorrow; what’s never worked before just might work today. And every rescuer is different; what works for you might end in a bloody arm for me. I’m not trying to scare you off; my point is that rescue requires keeping an open mind. And lots of outside-the-box thinking.

So how do you know what’s right—or wrong? With thousands of rescue videos out there—zillions of websites on dog behavior—hundreds of books on animal health—how do you tell the wheat from the chaff? You’ll find different, even opposing, views from people with impeccable credentials. 

Do your own research. 

Nothing beats finding out stuff for yourself. Check every fact. Even when you agree with someone’s point of view, make a point of reading up on the opposite side. This isn’t about being right (or wrong). It’s About The Dog.

Consensus breeds confidence. 

Remember that pack we talked about, the group of people you’re supposed to collect to help in your rescuing endeavors? Consult them. Get their ideas, mine their experience, pick their brains. If you can get agreement from those trustworthy few, you know you’ve got a winner plan.

Go with your gut. 

There’s no overestimating the power of your own instinct. What feels right to you? What are your other, not-so-obvious senses telling you? These will be the things that are hardest to communicate to a non-observer—but they’ll often be the ones that make the biggest difference.



Keeping it short today, folks. Pffff… just another week of A2Z-ing to go. We can do it. Yes, we can!

30 comments :

  1. Do it? You're acing it, Guilie, and I am beyond honoured to feel, albeit in a small, miniscule way, part of it.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com

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    1. Aw, Keith, thank you! Don't sell yourself short, though... You've been a superstar at this blog all month. The shares, the comments, the insights... It's been so wonderful to hear your feedback, and that's what's made this April so special.

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  2. When the AtoZ is over, I'm going to be sleeping in for a full week. LOL
    This has been a great series so far. I've been learning a lot. Thanks for sharing all the tips. Even if I don't put them to practice ever, it gives me better insight into how to treat dogs that need help. You never know when the information may come in handy.

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    1. Jeffrey, that makes me so happy to hear. I think you'd make an excellent human to a lucky dog one day, by the way ;) And, if these posts have some influence in helping you make a success out of it, you'll have made all the sleeplessness worth it :D

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  3. Did you ever tell the story of how you got involved in dog rescue? If so, I missed it, and maybe you could link me in the right direction...

    The A to Z. This is a tough month. I know you'll find this shocking, but the number of posts in May (and even June) go way down after this marathon event. We are all worn out!!!

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    1. I have not told that story, Robin—and, right now, I can't imagine why not, haha. Seems pretty elementary, doesn't it? But, somehow, I managed to dive right in and forgot to mention how it started. Now that you've asked (and reminded me), I'll write about it as an A2Z wrap-up post in May. (You know, once we've rested a bit... ;) )

      Thank you!

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  4. 'Go with your gut'... that's it isn't it? Whatever we may learn from books, videos or experience, in the end you have to 'Go with your gut' - it's exactly the same when I have a wildlife encounter. I'm enjoying your series very much, Guilie - yes, we can get to the end of the challenge! :)

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. YES, Susan—"go with your gut" really does sum it up. And I can completely imagine it works the same with wildlife... I'm loving your series on those encounters, too!

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  5. My first reaction is to make them feel safe with me. Then when they trust I won't hurt them, I get them to a good vet for a check up. I don't even want to add up those bills, but I don't need to. A lot is repaid by what the animals give back to me.

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    1. Indeed, Lee... The costs, high as they are (and they *are*), somehow don't seem all that important, do they? Though I'd suggest the trip to the vet sooner, for two reasons: first, because if they have a transmittable disease, you might be contaminating your entire household; and second, then you'll have gotten all the "bad" experiences out of the way and you can then focus on building trust. Then again, and back to the post's message, you do need to go with your gut :)

      Thanks so much for coming by!

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  6. YES, we can do it! We can finish the alphabet! Unless someone comes and rescues us first, which frankly I might not be opposed to...

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    1. Hahahaha... Susan, frankly, neither would I :D

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  7. I would imagine a lot of it is learning to read the dog's body language and working at a pace they are comfortable with
    Debbie

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    1. You are spot-on, Debbie... Indeed, body language is key.

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  8. "Go with your gut" is always good advice, especially when you have a lot of experience with dogs. You could turn this into a book for dog rescuers, Guilie. It's such a comprehensive series!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! If the feedback's any indication, I really do need to consider the book idea... Once May is here, and we've all gotten some sleep, I might start drafting an outline. Thanks for the encouragement, and your all-out support. You've been instrumental in the success of this series :)

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  9. Before I read your full post, my first thought was "go with your gut" - so I'm glad to see that it made your list, too! :D But, I know that I would still second-guess my decisions. I hope that if I am ever in that situation, I have an amazing pack to back me up!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Too right, Tracy... It's so easy to second-guess ourselves. Instinct, as weird as it may sound, doesn't quite come as naturally to us as it does to, say, dogs, does it? ;)

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  10. Go with your gut. That's the one I'll follow.
    By the way, I thought of you/your blog this morning when I read this story about a man who rescues dogs. Here's the link:
    How to Tell a Great Story

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    1. Thanks, Aneeta! I couldn't follow the link you left, unfortunately :( (And yes, when in doubt, "go with your gut" is the best solution :) )

      Thanks for coming by!

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  11. I love dogs and am so thankful to our local rescues for pulling dogs out of the county pound and saving their lives.

    My oldest daughter passed the house inspection and has the okay to adopt the corgi. She's hoping to pick her up on Monday and take Tuesday off of work to bond. We are all so excited to meet this new family member.

    Shelly @ http://hangryfork.com

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    1. How awesome, Shelly! I'm way behind on responding to comments, but I read the one you left on a more recent post (was it yesterday's? I think so...), where you said that your daughter has brought the corgi home and you're all looking forward to meeting her (or is it him?). I look forward to "meeting" her/him too, whenever you have photos to share :) How lovely that this little one found such an awesome family.

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  12. I love what you wrote here because I believe in trusting our instincts and also education. So many do not educate themselves and just blindly go forth which rarely helps you or anyone.

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    1. Too right, Birgit. Instinct works best when there's enough knowledge—and experience—to back it up.

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  13. Good post here Guilie!
    Guess what? They finally caught and rescued the evasive greyhound! Surprisingly, she was in good shape. I think people were keeping food out for her. She was out there for months and they just couldn't catch her! Greyhounds are remarkably fast and some are really skittish.
    We had another scare with a greyhound, one of my dogsitting customers actually. Somehow she got loose from her house: her mama thinks she didn't close the front door all the way and at lunchtime a neighbor called her and said that her front door was wide open but Daisy wasn't in the house. She was gone for three days ...and all three days we had severe rains and thunderstorms. We were all so worried about Daisy out there. Yesterday they found her laying under a tree in a park. Reunited with her owner! And taken to the vet. She got her paws wrapped up. Her pads must have been cut up from running. But she's back home now. Whew. That was scary...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, that is FABULOUS news! And she was still in good shape... that's excellent. I've known some fast dogs in my time, chased them in fact, so I know how hard it is to catch them—and none of them were Greyhounds. I feel for her rescuers... quite the workout they must've gotten :D Oh, I'm so glad it ended well.

      Jeepers on your customer's story! I can imagine what a shambles she must've been (I know I would've). Too bad about her paws... She must've panicked with the thunder, probably ran herself bloody. But she's home, which is all that matters. It could've so easily ended in tragedy—and it didn't :)

      Thanks for this, Michele!

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  14. I love "It's About The Dog." Yes. That. You are so amazing and such an inspiration.

    http://atozwriting.blogspot.com/

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  15. I'm glad the laws are in place that try to help the helpless, but some of the stories that happen here occur on the farms around the area, where folks just can't do it anymore, but instead of asking for help they let the animals get so bad it's a rescue necessity. A recent story was about a beautiful white horse that was used as a paint ball target. She lost an eye because of it, and she was nothing but skin and bones. Today's she's recovering and beautiful again.

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    1. How terrible, Yolanda... I'm glad this one ended well. Horses are so abused, everywhere... And they're such noble, intelligent, loving beings. Ugh. Humans are my least favorite species.

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