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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /  Caution & Danger
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Thursday, February 5,2015

Caution & Danger

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  
Caution & Danger

It seems every time I check in on social media, there is an URGENT NEED for an endangered dog. I receive hundreds of notices and pleas. I changed my settings so postings must have my approval, before appearing on my page. I am affiliated with Australian shepherd rescue groups along with almost every breed rescue in the state. I may be called to evaluate a dog being surrendered, pull a dog from a shelter, transport, photograph or foster - although I’ve backed off on that after FAILING foster care so many times.

A couple weeks ago, people kept sharing the plight of a bonded pair. Every time I went on Facebook, there they were. Found In a parking lot near Jai Alai, it was obvious they had been on their own for awhile. Infested with parasites, they were dirty and very thin. A kind man took them home and enlisted the help of his dog-loving neighbor. His small senior dogs wanted nothing to do with this powerful pair, so they lived in his backyard. They scanned for microchips and posted pictures online and locally. Nothing. Danger is a powerful brindle Mastiff mix, Caution is an American bulldog. If they were to escape, their fate was certain (death) as Miami-Dade residents.

It took time to gain their trust, but they came around quickly. Starved for attention and stimulation, they attacked the giant snake in the pool (skimmer), and tried their paws at landscaping (digging and uprooting plants). They needed to move on. The nice man gave his friendly neighbor a deadline. She went into overdrive, posting, calling and texting anyone who would listen - including city mayors. “They were young, good dogs who deserved a second (or would this be their third?) chance”, she told me. They were bonded and had to be placed together. Combined, they weighed in at around 150 pounds, and they were not really social with other dogs.

I dreamt about them, and knew I needed to make the call… but where could I take them, where they would be cared for, safe and loved? They also needed to be vetted (examined, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, tested for the deadly heartworms, and boarded until I could find the right place for them). This could easily run into thousands of dollars.

They were almost out of time.

Meetings with several people interested… had not gone well. Caution was fearful and would lunge or nip. Danger had no idea of his own tremendous size, and could easily knock a person over. I arranged to meet them on a Saturday morning, and embarked on the hour drive.

Mustering all the “calm assertiveness” that would make Cesar Millan smile, I had them bring out Danger first, on to neutral ground. If he accepted me, perhaps Caution would, too. I did not face or look directly at her. I kept my hands to my sides, and movements minimal, allowing her to investigate me.

Enlisting the help of a rescue friend, we picked them up two days later. They were taken to the vet. Miraculously, their heartworm tests were negative, and she was already spayed. I visited and walked them over the next week. They went to their new home, TOGETHER, and are adjusting well.

EVERYONE can do something to help pets in need. It may be donating money or gently used linens, making a call, or fostering - or even something as easy as picking up a book, like Redemption by Nathan Winograd. No pet (regardless of breed) should be facing death at human hands.

Dog World with Tina

Tina Valant-Siebelts is a confirmed dog-o-holic, mom to many rescued pets, who volunteers with numerous organizations. To "fill all those dog bowls," Tina is an award-winning photographer, writer & event coordinator. www.HaveDog.com

 

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