KAREN THE FREQUENT FLYER UPDATE
This is such a lovely ending to a long journey I just had to share it. First is the story of Karen at my rescue and then all of her travel trials and then a letter from the person who adopted her. It’s great. This is long but it’s worth it.
In Isla Mujeres and Cancun I’ve become the puppy person. Puppies are so difficult and at bigger risk when put in a rescue with older dogs. So Ricardo, who runs a rescue in Cancun and takes in any and every street dog and does a fabulous job and literally loves the dogs as much as I do, sent me two small puppies at the beginning of February, a male and a female, eight weeks old. They were tiny and adorable with bad skin and shaky knees from a calcium deficiency. I named them after Richard and Karen Carpenter.
They both developed a cough and I started them on anti-biotics, but Richard just couldn’t fight it and died of pneumonia. Karen was very sad after that and I thought we were going to lose her too so we brought her inside the house and kept a closer eye on her. Gradually she recovered, although her skin was still bad. She was the only pup of her size in the rescue at that time so she played with the bigger dogs a lot. She was fearless, believing that they would surely all love her, and mostly they did. Even the big grumpy male pit bull we had, would let her sleep in his crate.
Finally she was healthy enough to go to a real home so we sent her to Toronto with four other puppies. Most of you know the story. It was awful, the customs were terrible and sent the five pups back to Mexico where it took days to get them out of customs there. Karen was the one that got sick from the stress and being in her crate for four days. She stayed with Angie at Rescate Malix, who took great care of her, until we sent her to Toronto again, escorted and following the rules. Canadian customs would not let her in, again, she was the one that had a different owner on her papers. Not only that but they said that she was unhealthy and put her in quarantine. There was even talk of putting her down because a possible horrible death awaiting her through the trials of going back to Mexico, in a crate, alone, and poorly tended to for many, many days.
Well we discovered she didn’t have to go back to Mexico, she just had to go off of Canadian soil (because she was obviously a national threat). So we sent her to Denver where Alex, who is a vet tech and especially good with Mexican pups nursed her back to health and wanted to keep her but she and her husband are at their limit, dog wise. That is where Chris comes into the story and the ending is so magnificent that, no matter what we give up and go through, ANIMAL RESCUE ROCKS. So many people and so many rescue groups were involved in Karen’s story. Below is his letter about Karen.
My name is Chris, I’m the one who adopted Kerrin (he changed the spelling of her name). I have a slurry of medical problems that prevent me from functioning like most people function and my doctors concurred with me that a dog would be a good thing to have in my life – boost moral, give me structure to my day, help me out with some of the more basic things in life, have a companion throughout the lonely day; stuff that most people take for granted but stuff that’s hard for me to do consistently. I couldn’t afford to get a helper dog, as they’re quite expensive even with insurance, but Kerrin is fulfilling that role perfectly and perhaps even better than a helper dog could.
I’ve only had Kerrin for a little over a week but I’m already so attached and so in love with her that I don’t know what I ever did without her. I’m able to go on walks by myself, I can spend time alone in the house without exasperating my condition, I can sleep better at night and, while I can’t quite find the words to describe it, my life has become markedly better with her in my life.
She sleeps in my bed every night – usually right next to my legs, curled up and doing some cute little half snores and sighs. She wakes me up in the morning, bright and early, by licking my face and getting excited about the new day (something which has been historically hard to do because of how sedating my medicine is). We spend the morning hanging out on my back porch eating breakfast and drinking coffee and reading books or magazines. We go for a nice long walk and come back to work on painting where she sits in my wing back chair and dozes off or plays with her favorite stuffed giraffe while I complete my work. We spend my breaks playing fetch or chewing on a bone that I got for her from Sunflower Market (a local natural grocery store) – well…she chews, I usually smoke my pipe or drink more coffee. She cuddles next to me on the couch as I read books. I’ve taken her with me to a few local coffee shops where I whittle away an afternoon talking with my friends and playing games of chess. She’s a little shy with people, but eventually warms up to them; we’re still working on socializing her with other dogs.
She likes to spend time in my backyard chasing squirrels up trees and scaring the rabbits that like to hide in our bushes next to my garden. She’ll lay on the grass switching positions between the shade and the sunny areas of the lawn as she finds most comfortable. She’s learned how to sit, come. shake, and drop balls in my hand while we’re playing fetch…we’re working on stay and it seems to be coming along pretty well. We were having a little bit of trouble walking on the leash (we take two long walks a day – one right after breakfast and one right after dinner) as my neighborhood has a lot of distractions from other dogs in their yards or houses, passersby, or the myriad of cats, rabbits, and squirrels that occupy the neighborhood – but I think that I’ve found a system that teaches her how to walk beside me that doesn’t involve a tug of war. And she’s learning, slowly but surely.
She’s a wonderfully smart dog; one of my dad’s favorite games to play with her is “where’s Chris?” where he asks Kerrin where I am and she comes running to me, she can find me almost anywhere I am in the house. I was away for a few hours to go and do a bit of shopping and my mom (who was watching after her) called and put me on speaker, when I said “hi Kerrin” she barked like she was happy to hear my voice. It melted my heart.
The amazing thing about her was that when I first met her she was so friendly and loving toward me. I was a little wary of getting a dog as I know that they can be a lot of work and it takes time to develop a good relationship with them sometimes (and I’ve only ever had a cat before – never a dog) but the instant I met her and she started licking my face and wrapping her paws around my hands I knew that I she was the one. I took her for a short walk to see if it was just a fluke and she was still the same loving and adorable Kerrin that I know today. She and I have developed such a strong relationship in just a few short days and I love having her around, so much.
It touched me especially to hear more of her story and the struggle that she had to go through. When I read the email that Alex forwarded to me it really hit home just how special of a dog she is and I’m thankful for everyone involved in her rescue – she’s been such a wonderful blessing to my life, especially in light of the hardships that I’ve been facing for the past few years.
I want you to know that she’s in a loving home, with plenty of soft places to lay her head and sleep, lots of treats, games to play, belly rubs (which seem to be her favorite), bones and rawhide to chew on, and plenty of exercise, food and water. She’s a wonderful dog and just what I needed in my life. I’m doing my best to make sure that she has as wonderful a life as she can have and that the memories she has of her experience will become distant and hopefully forgotten.
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