Our stories of rescue, perseverance, hope, and love.
Whether it's a behaviour issue or a medical need - WE NEVER GIVE UP ON A DOG.
Cooper is a Roti cross who came from Sachigo Lake after he was found by the police laying next to some antifreeze. Glen Darlow, Sachigo’s answer to Dr. Dolittle, fed Cooper oatmeal and milk and anything else he could think of that would soak up the antifreeze in his system, and then sent him to Thunder Bay on the next plane. When Cooper arrived in May he could barely walk or stand. Despite this trauma he was the happiest boy you could ever see. Such a huge smile!
Jennifer, his foster, used a harness for his back legs and worked with him to walk again. It took months but he progressed daily. Cooper also learned how to walk up and down stairs – with some assistance to keep him safe – and he smiled through it all. I think I can! I think I can! I know I can! I know I can! And in between his daily exercises he got lots of cuddles and love.
Although Cooper will always hobble and never walk like a “normal” dog, he has the same attitude as the tortoise who raced against the hare – he will never give up!
About five months after Cooper came to Thunder Bay a wonderful and patient couple adopted him and he continues to get all of the love and attention he needs and deserves.
Another happy ending!
I must admit that when we adopted our little Archer puppy, I had my doubts.
Archer’s start was a bit of a tough one. When he came into care with Paws for Love, he only weighed a couple of pounds and was aptly called “Peanut”. He was extremely weak and experienced frequent seizures, along with a severe infection of worms. He couldn’t even stand on his own. They didn’t think he was going to make it.
Rita, his foster mom, was awesome. She looked after him from the beginning and fed him every couple of hours, using a syringe for the first few weeks until he regained his strength. A tiring job, no doubt, but she gave our sweet boy a second chance.
When Peanut was strong enough, he was put up for adoption.
My husband was mourning the loss of his family pet and he was searching for another puppy to fill the void. He came across a post for Peanut on the Paws for Love site and fell in love immediately. Like I said, I had my doubts with a special needs dog, but after the first night I knew he’d be with us forever. We renamed him Archer. He didn’t suit Peanut anymore.
During the first couple of months, Archer did not have a single seizure, so the vet took him off his medication. He didn’t have full control over his back legs, likely due to neurological damage from the seizures, but playing with his new brother, Benny, a whippet, and his sister, Skyla, a husky cross, helped him develop his coordination.
Fast forward to the present and we could not ask for a more loving, silly, and energetic boy. Archer definitely has his quirks, but that’s the reason he’s so endearing. He has been, hands down, the gentlest soul we’ve seen. He is just a happy-go-lucky boy, who sees no evil in this world – except when it comes to moths!
It’s impossible to think of our lives without him and we couldn’t have asked for a better fur child. There’s not a day that goes by when we aren’t thankful for what Paws for Love, especially Rita, have done for this guy – our little miracle.
We could not imagine our family without this loveable, silly puppers.
~ Melissa Kastern and Alex Wakewich
I fell in love with Sassy the moment I saw her photo on the Paws for Love website. It’s not like she was cute and adorable – no, she was a mess: sick with mastitis, thin, and her eyes had a fearful look. The post said she had never lived inside before and she was nervous around humans. I knew that all Sassy needed was love and patience. I filled out the adoption form. I was up for the challenge.
I started our relationship by visiting Kim’s place a few times a week but Sassy would only hide under a table or chair, too afraid to come out to see me. After a few weeks it was time to bite the bullet, so to speak, and take Sassy to my house for her trial adoption. When Kim handed her to me, she tried to bite me! What a sassy girl! I knew it was only out of fear. She wasn’t vicious. She would have to put up with me because I wasn’t giving up on her!
That evening when she came to our house she hid under the table until she had to come out to eat and then do her business. When I came home from work the next day she was still under the table. I thought her day must have been quite uneventful until I went into the kitchen.
There was a pile of broken dishes on the floor, nose prints on a high window that was close to the ceiling, and a lake of pee on my counter! As much as I was upset for such a big mess, I still wasn’t put off. No, I said to Sassy. I’m not giving up on you.
My friend came by with her rescue dog and the process of getting Sassy to go outside began. First, we pulled and then carried her with a towel because she totally shut down and wouldn’t have anything to do with going outside. A month of this went by and I asked Kim at Paws for Love to give me more time. Even after all of this I still wasn’t going to give up.
The next week my friend and her dog came by and it was like a switch had been flicked on. Sassy ran to the door and waited for her leash to be hooked up! Success! Finally, Sassy was enjoying life! Prancing in the snow and loving it!
She went from eating only at night, when no one was around, to eating in front of me and accepting snacks! When Kim came for a visit, she was shocked to see Sassy walk out the door – all by herself and unleashed – with no intentions of running off! Sassy had found her forever home.
Skip ahead four years and Sassy is still enjoying life with us, along with her new dog friend, Zed, we adopted shortly after. They are the best of buddies, and so are we. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. I know that inside every timid and scared dog is a dog needing reassurance that all is well in the world and they are loved and they matter. It just takes time and patience. That’s the truth – and I’m sticking to it.
When Molly arrived at her foster home she was covered with ticks, her coat was matted, she showed signs of malnourishment – and she was pregnant. Micheline, her foster mom, along with a neighbour and her daughter, helped removed the ticks, and later Micheline bathed her, then started a daily brushing routine. After slowly introducing her to nutritious food, Molly was allowed to free feed and has shown remarkable progress! You would never know she was the same dog! Not only did the brushing do wonders for her coat, it also helped her to develop a loving friendship with her foster mom and learn to trust humans – which also helped make things easier for her when she gave birth. Just goes to show a little love can go a long way!
Foxy – now called Moxie – surprised everyone with ten puppies when she gave birth at her foster’s home. Imagine ten cute cuddly ragamuffins to look after! It could have been only nine puppies but thanks to Micheline, Puppy Queen at Paws for Love, a puppy that was born and not breathing was saved. Micheline removed the amniotic sac, cleaned the airwaves, and quickly gave the puppy mouth to mouth. “Lucky” so aptly named, survived, and although he was the runt of the litter, he made up for it with his enthusiasm and zest for life.
Shortly after Violet came into one of our foster’s care she had a freak accident out in the bush and couldn’t walk. The only thing her foster mom, Micheline, figured could have happened was that something like a moose had kicked her. After a vet examined Violet, it was discovered that she had a broken pelvis and surgery was not a good option. Instead, the vet recommended that Violet be kenneled and her movements restricted as much as possible. Micheline, her foster mom, dedicated herself to keeping Violet stabilized for 3 weeks! She lay down beside her, kept her company when Violet whined to go out and join the pack playing outside, and only let her go out on a leash to use the washroom. Now Violet is all healed and you would never know that she went through such an ordeal! Thank you, Micheline!
Ellie was a few months old when she came to Holly’s care. Her paw was damaged, broken from knuckle down (think rickets) and her shoulder was popped from its socket. Ellie went through three changes of her cast because puppies will be puppies and she kept busting through each one! Her cast also rubbed against her skin and medication was needed for that.
Five weeks later, Ellie was ready for her furever home and was adopted by an amazing family living in the country! Holly admits Ellie became her favourite and it was very difficult to let her go. You sure get attached after 5 weeks together!
Three tiny puppies came into Jessica Minoletti’s care for fostering, and like all puppies, they were playful, sweet and adorable. Jessica and her husband were looking forward to days full of cuddles and laughter, watching the antics of three mischievous pups at play.
That night, however, they were wakened by the sound of crying – like they had never heard before. They rushed to see what was wrong and Aspen,one of the puppies was having a seizure. They stayed up all night fearing for Aspen’s life as he had multiple seizures.
They rushed him to the vet first thing in the morning and had to leave him there for assessment. Randi from the Humane Society was amazing and took care of Aspen, even taking him home with her for a few days to make sure he was okay.
She was unsure of the cause of the seizures but thought it could be from water poisoning from being so dehydrated then coming into care and having too much. After a few days with Dr. Randi, Aspen returned to their care. He was blind and could not hear but during their time fostering him he regained both of these senses and was successfully adopted to an amazing home.
Now isn’t that a tale to wag your tail to!
UPDATE ON ONE EYE BOY! Gus went to the vets today and we found out his eye is going to be just fine! He has a scratch on his lens and the wound is limited to the area close to his eye. An x-ray showed there was no damage to his head. Gus, however, has a fever from the infection on the side of his head but it’s clearing up now. Blood work was done to make sure that he’s not skinny due to illness and everything looked good on that. He’s not 6 months old, as we had originally thought, but more closer to a year due to the fact that he has full grown testicles already and all his teeth are adult. LOL! He is recovering very well and being spoiled in his foster home. Any donations to help with his vet bill (please call Crossroads at 939-2616) are greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone!
Suzie came into care with her litter of 9 puppies. She was an amazing mom! All the puppies went up for adoption and found wonderful families. When it was time to spay Suzie, the vet found a worm in her abdomen. With a bit of research we figured it was probably a kidney worm so we had an ultrasound done on her stomach and kidney and discovered we were right. She will be operated on May 15, 2017 to have the worms surgically removed and repairs done to her badly damaged kidney. She is an amazing girl!
Buddy was flown in from a remote reserve after he was caught in a trap. The poor boy dragged his leg for miles until he found someone who would help him. He was flown in asap but unfortunately, there was too much nerve damage and no blood supply to the bottom of his leg and infection set in pretty bad. We will have to amputate his leg but we know Buddy is a survivor! He will be just fine! UPDATE: Buddy had to have his entire front left leg removed due to his injuries. His adoptive mom, Karen along with Kim and Al looked after Buddy before and after his surgery. Buddy was a real champ through it all! This experience was so rewarding that Karen ended up adopting him! She just couldn’t imagine life without him. We are happy to say that Buddy has been a part of their family now for four years.
Floyd was attacked by a larger dog on a reserve and is now paralyzed in his back legs and has no bowel control.
He weighs only 20 pounds but he’s very healthy and is now needing to be fit for a wheelchair.
Paws for Love believes every dog deserves a chance at life and this boy is going to show everyone how happy a dog can be when he’s given a second chance!
We’ll be needing to do special fundraising to help raise money for a wheelchair for him and for acupuncture, chiropractor, and possible physio care on an ongoing basis.
Maybe one day he will get some use in his legs. We’ll never know but we will certainly try! Floyd is now in a foster home in Thunder Bay and settling in nicely.
FLOYD UPDATE! Floyd now has his own cart and adapted very quickly to his new lifestyle. Check out the videos on the facebook link below to see Floyd in action! Super dog!
Gracie came from a remote reserve with a snare caught around her leg. We managed to save the foot and she is now recuperating! She’s an amazing girl!
GOOD NEWS FOR KING! Our second rescue is going to be fine! The operation went well and his broken leg has been fixed. Dr. Hansen is keeping him until Tuesday so he can be monitored and looked after. We are so thankful he made it! UPDATE: A few days after this was posted, King’s kidneys shut down, and he passed away. We have no idea why this happened. After everything he went through we were hoping he would be fine. We can take comfort in knowing King was loved and cared for the last days of his life.
HAZEL UPDATE: Northwestern clinic just called and informed us that Hazel has a dislocated hip. They’re unable to pop it in and are going to do a toggle pin fixation, which is much like a velcro-stitch, to hold the ball in the joint. Hazel will be in a kennel for 4 to 6 weeks so it has time to heal. The procedure will be done tomorrow. Hazel will come out of this with no issues and be a healthy, happy, jumpy dog soon! If you can spare anything to help us out with this girl, that would be amazing! Please etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org . No donation is too small and every penny counts! WE CAN DO THIS! THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!
Rest in peace Johnny. You were so sweet and small and you fought so hard these past couple days. We did everything we could to try and give you the strength you needed. Even though you’re gone now we’re happy that you found love. You were held and cuddled almost every minute of the day. Last night you slept on your foster mom’s chest all night. We’re sorry we couldn’t do more for you. Now you can run and be free with the rest of your litter! You will always be loved. Big thanks to Robin Jardine for rushing Johnny to the plane to get medical care and to Dr. Sue Legge for waiting for him to arrive and taking care of him and helping us these past couple days. The biggest thank you is to Rita Grenier Buchan who did everything possible to keep this boy alive and try and make him better. You’re free now, Johnny! Run and play and enjoy your life on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Little Face came into care July 5 and had 2 emergency appointments to save her life. $1000 later, she is now trying to come out of her shell. She is terrified of human contact and is slowly getting her strength and courage back. She came in from a reserve where many dogs died due to unknown reasons. It will take a long time to get this girl back to a normal state but we have plenty of faith that she’ll get there!
UPDATE! Little Face is not the dog she used to be! She is now happy and totally comfortable around people!
Thank you to All Star K9 Academy for all the work they have done to help Gem. A big thank you also goes to her huge support team. Gem is a true miracle. This girl was thrown to the ground when she was only 6 weeks and has not been able to walk since. We have a great team working to get her to walk as normal as possible and one day we believe she will. To cover the costs for medical expenses and treatments we have raffle draws at Chaltrek- Work & Play Outdoors with donated items, including the homemade mitts below. Gem also has a go-fund-me page set up at https://www.gofundme.com/27wp5v37
Oliver has the soul and spirit of a warrior. After being hit by a truck, he ended up in Dryden for medical care. Dr. Egli of Hillcrest Animal Clinic performed major surgery on his left leg and hip and inserted a pin to help stabilize the leg. The pin protruded from Oliver’s body and remained in place for a number of months while he healed. In July 2015, he was brought to Thunder Bay to the care of Paws for Love Dog Rescue. His foster mom, Susan, gave him a lot of love and one-on-one attention and Oliver’s innate survival spirit and resilience really began to show through. This little boy would not be held back! The pin was removed in the fall of 2015 by Dr. Matt Yerxa at Crossroads Veterinary Clinic and Oliver is now better than ever. He loves people and other dogs and is the ultimate charmer! To watch him play, you would never know that he almost lost his life to a serious accident. He has found a wonderful forever family who love him and cherish him and a BFF in the family cat. Oliver is one lucky boy!