Category Archives: Good Life

Saying goodbye to Chance

"There once was a boy named Chance, who'd wiggle and do a little dance. He really needed pants. Chance."

first-pic 2nd-picI was not looking for a new pup. I had lost Bear just a year earlier. Bear's sister Lady and I were doing just fine with our cats Magoo and Bibi. But I kept seeing a pathetically adorable pup in my Facebook newsfeed. He was special needs - he'd been hit by a train, and was paralyzed in the back - but he had great personality and spirit. At first, I tried sharing his story to find him a great home. It didn't take long before I started to wonder if my home was the great home.

A local woman had recently adopted another paralyzed larger dog, named Duke, and I connected with her to find out the realities of caring for a special needs dog. Susan, Duke's mom, was amazing - and an enabler! She gave me all sorts of information and offered to help acclimate us if I made the decision to adopt Chance.

The next hurdle was my house. It was an early 1900s place, not designed for a dog with a wheelchair. I mentioned that to one friend and before I knew it my kitchen was literally taken apart and put back together again in one weekend with dog-friendly flooring, and the kitchen island moved to prevent cart snags. My wonderful friends also put in a ramp to the yard.

chance-and-sarahIn June 2011, Jim and Sara from Pilots N Paws flew this pathetic-looking little guy from Topeka to Des Moines. The minute we met it was instant, crazy, mutual love between Chance and I, and the Chance song was born.

Over the next five years, Chance found joy in pestering his older canine sister, cuddled with his cats, adored and was adored by his humans, and inspired a company whose mission is to help at-risk animals like him find or keep their forever homes.

There were challenges, to be sure. Whereas Susan's dog, Duke, has to be expressed to keep his bladder empty, Chance did not. At first that seemed like a blessing. But realistically, having a 60lb dog who piddles wherever he goes is a challenge. We tried diapers but because of the way he moved - sometimes with his legs out behind him, sometimes bouncing on his butt like a pogo stick - they wouldn't stay on.

It turned out he was also heartworm positive, which I did not know when I agreed to adopt him. (Please please tell everyone you know how easy it is to prevent heartworm and how awful it is to treat!)

bogochanceWe found our way and I expected a long, happy life with him by my side. Truly, the boy was a sweet, goofy, clown. If I was having a tough day, he knew it and decided if destroying a stuffie made him feel better, it would help me too. He reminded me to find joy in the small things, like a banana or a roll in the grass. When I was having a sorry for myself moment (it happens!) watching him enjoy the world despite what we might see as challenges reminded me to suck it up and get on with it.

Unfortunately our long life together wasn't to be. Earlier this week we discovered Chance had a tumor in his brain that was causing seizures, pain and stress. Heart breaking, I let him go.

Now, more than ever, we're committed to helping dogs like Chance get their chance at a good life, whether that's by keeping them with families who love them through programs like the Pet Project Midwest, or helping them get lifesaving medical care from groups life Fairytail Endings, or giving them time to find the just right forever home, thanks to organizations like Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

Although there is a huge hole in our hearts, Chance is still here, encouraging us, cheering us on, and reminding us why we do what we do.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Sara
deck chance-in-repose-1 chance-042313

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Have a happy - and safe - 4th!

The Fourth of July is right around the corner!  While this is an exciting and fun time for people, we want to make sure our pets are safe and can enjoy the holiday, too!  Did you know that the loud noises and flashing lights typically involved in the Fourth of July could frighten pets and cause abnormal behavior, resulting in broken leashes, jumping fences, running away, and even biting?
Here are some pet safety tips to help you and your pet get the most out of the Fourth.
  1. Keep your pet away from the noise in someplace quiet, sheltered, and escape-proof during fireworks or other loud noises.
  2. Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag to ensure they can return home if they get separated from you.
  3. Never use fireworks around your pets.
  4. Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets.
  5. Do not put glow jewelry on pets or allow them to play with this.
  6. Do not leave alcoholic beverages unattended where pets can get them.
  7. Above all, do not take your pets to any festivities, including fireworks, concerts, etc.!
Use these tips in addition to your best judgment to ensure a fun and safe Fourth of July for humans and pets alike!
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Featured Buddy: Calhoun County Canine Shelter

Calhoun County Canine Shelter is a small shelter that began for animal control about 20 yrs ago, as the county had no such program. The program has steadily grown to a small shelter that houses 5 or so dogs at a time. We have gotten several grants and done a few fundraisers and now have indoor/outdoor runs in a dedicated building and even have heated floors! The dogs can go outside as they choose or can stay indoors.

We started working with our local Correctional Facility about 10 years ago and used men who were trained by Leader Dogs for the Blind. When they didn’t have a leader dog they worked with shelter dogs! That not only helped with their skills in dog training but got our adoptable dogs trained and helped them make a better transition into a forever home! We have had many wonderful families and dogs come together this way! Now the Leader Dog program is no longer there and we are able to have about 5 dogs housed out there at one time for training. The dogs are able to stay with their handler until adopted. The men also gain from this program and have learned to give back to society and take great pride in the dogs they put out into families.

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