Last year, December of 2008, was tough. You see, Daddy had been called out to the site of a puppy mill by the sherriff to evaluate some doggies. Daddy was so sad that he wouldn't talk about what he saw, not to anyone. I found out some of what he saw later in news reports like this one, Court Documents Detail Extreme Conditions Found by Authorities (on the lower part of the web page). The nice sherriffs wanted to try to find new homes for all these doggies, but the lady who owned them wanted to keep them, so this was just the beginning of a long lee-gull battle. I don't understand what lee-gull is, but I know it makes peoples frowny.
Almost all the doggies, hundreds of them, lived outside all the time. Right after Daddy saw them our Montana weather took a turn for the worse. It was below zero a lot. Momma and Daddy did a lot of praying. Finally the sherrifs were allowed to get most of the doggies. They were so skinny and scared. Some fought over food and could be mean to peoples and each other. Many had sores and did not like to be touched. Every single one was stinky, a bad, sad kind of smell that wouldn't even go away after a bath.
Because there was still lee-gull stuff to do, the doggies could not go home with nice families. So the nice families came to them! The doggies were grouped in clean stalls and fed every day. Daddy made sure they all got shots...I'm not sure they appreciated that! People came to talk to them, or even read to them. Peoples showed them what a leash was, and spent time teaching them that it was nice to be touched. A trainer came to work with all the peoples, and some doggies even started special training, like agility.
These peoples came every day, often twice a day, to spend time with "their" dogs. But because of the lee-gull stuff there was no guarantee the peoples would be able to keep them. They just came and gave their hearts because they love doggies.
Some doggies had troubles, though. Some were so sick or hurt they lived at Daddy's clinic or at "New Beginnings," a building that had once been a vet clinic and had kennels in it. Almost all the lady dogs were pregnant. There were breeding problems and some puppies were born sick. Worse was the Parvo. That's always a really bad thing. But this was a terrible Parvo, probably the first time this kind showed up in Montana, and the mommas and puppies were only starting to get strong and healthy. Many puppies were lost. It was so sad for the momma dogs, and for Daddy and nurses and the nice peoples who tried so hard to help them.
It was a long winter, a long spring, and a long summer...but then the doggies started going home with their families! I met some of the lee-gull peoples, and it turns out a lot of them love doggies, too. They reminded me of blue heelers...tenacious.
Here's what I really wanted you to know...that there is a lot of love for doggies around here, and lots of prayers were answered. The other day the newspaper printed this article, one that made momma & Daddy's eyes leaky in a really good way: 1 Year Later, Kapsa Dogs Doing Well
Last Christmas, I thought about those doggies during cold days as I curled up by the wood burning stove, and it made me feel sad. This Christmas, just thinking of them makes me smile.