These are some of the photos I've received recently of some of our former Cavalier Crazy Rescue pups. It warms my heart each and every time I see the photos of these pups in their new forever homes, being so very loved and adored! Most of these pups came from really sad backgrounds and it is just wonderful to see them being so spoiled now!
I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of my supporters. You are the reason we have been able to help so many dogs (24!!) in 2014. Whether you are an adopter, a foster, bought one of our calendars or helped share the photos and bios of our adoptable dogs, you have ALL made a difference in these dogs lives! Without you, there would be no Cavalier Crazy Rescue! I hope you all know how very much you all mean to me!
I hope you all had the happiest of holidays and here's to a very Happy New Year!
First Cavalier Foster, Chloe
My first exposure to rescue came from my mom. She rescued countless dogs from the streets when I was a kid. If the owner wasn’t found we gave them a home. She was always stopping to pick up strays and take them to the shelter. When a family moved from our neighborhood and left their two unaltered cats, our neighborhood soon became overrun with cats. We would trap the kittens; I still remember using a fishing net to scoop up unsuspecting kittens off our front porch. We would take them to the vet and then find them homes with the help of our vet. We used live traps to trap the adults and take them to the shelter. It was rough. The adult cats were sick and often injured. But we did what we could. We eventually moved out of the neighborhood.
After I got married and we got Danny, our first Cavalier, I got involved with a local rescue. I was a “socializer”. I would go to the shelter and visit with the dogs and the cats. I did adoption events and finally ended up being a foster for several dogs. Mostly Chihuahuas, but some other breeds as well. It was then that I really learned about the importance of fostering. Every dog I took into my home was one more dog the rescue could pull from the euthanasia list at the shelter. They never stayed too long, but I still remember all of them. The cute pair of Chihuahua’s that liked to burrow into the laundry and shiver. The Jack Russell that ran circles around Danny and the cats. The Pomeranian mix that had been so badly abused that she would urinate when she got nervous, and cowered from a hand raised near her. Of those dogs I only am still in contact with one of the owners and recently they sent me a photo. She is happy and spoiled!
When I first started Cavalier Crazy, it was a one woman operation. I had no fosters, so every single one of our early dogs was fostered by me and my ever patient (for the most part anyway!) husband. There were owner releases and a shelter dog. I remember all of their stories. As CCR got bigger I started having other people foster. But there are always more dogs and more fosters needed.
I cannot emphasize enough how important fosters are to a rescue, any rescue. Every foster home means one more dog that can be saved, one less dog that ends up in a shelter or as a breeding dog. Without the wonderful fosters I have, we could never have saved 22 dogs so far in 2014.
Fostering isn’t easy. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Some of the dogs come from loving homes that for various reasons can no longer keep them, but not many. Those dogs, while usually having training and attention, are bewildered and don’t understand why they are no longer with their families. But most of the dogs come from awful situations. Many of them are abused or neglected. They cower when you try to pet them. They have been kept in crates, or tied outside. They are matted and have rotten teeth. Some have never been a pet and have no concept of what that means. They do not know how to trust people. But until you’ve experienced it for yourself, I can’t explain the joy that you feel when you start to see these dogs change. When they start to see that people are okay. When they play with a toy for the first time, or seek out your lap. When you suddenly realize that you have lost a piece of your heart to this little dog that is going to move on to a new home and a new life.
Saying goodbye to a foster is one of the hardest things, but ultimately the most rewarding. When you get to see the happiness in the new family’s face or see the once shy dog run to greet them. It’s bittersweet, knowing they are going to leave you. But each dog that you take into your home, and into your heart, means one more dog that a rescue can save. When they move on to their new family there will be another dog that needs a temporary home until its forever home comes along. Foster dogs may not stay forever in your home, but they stay forever in your heart. You will remember all of them, and most times will get updates from the new family!
If you have never fostered, please consider it. Please consider opening your home to a dog (or cat!) in need. Rescues cannot survive without fosters.
If you’re interested in fostering for Cavalier Crazy, please send us an email. We will send you a foster application and keep it on file. Be honest about what kind of dog you are willing to foster. We will strive to make a good match and try to make the experience as easy as possible. More information can be found on our “About” page.
Chester came in to rescue in March of 2014. He was listed in a local classified ad as free to good home. The rescue contacted the owner and they agreed to release him to rescue. Turns out the kids had all moved out to go to school or get married and they didn't want to take care of a dog any more. Chester had been kept kenneled much of the day every day and had gained a lot of weight, but from the first moment he came into rescue it was clear that Chester was a special dog with the sweetest personality!
After coming into rescue Chester's forever family saw his photo on Instagram and put in an application for him. They drove all the way from the Bay Area of California in the snow to adopt Chester here in Utah!
Since being adopted Chester has undergone quite the transformation! Here is the story from Chester's mom:
When I first brought Chester home I knew he and I had a lot of work to do to get him down to a healthy weight. I brought him home in April of 2014 and he weighed over 25 pounds. Our goal: 16-18 pounds. I gave him a couple days to settle in his new (FOREVER) home with us, and then we got straight to work. I walk my other two dogs twice a day every day weather permitting, but I didn't want to push Chester too hard too fast, so we started with short walks once a day. It didn't take a lot to tire the poor guy out...we'd come back from a fairly short walk and he'd inhale water, and then sleep for over an hour. This process was repeated every day and as soon as I'd notice that he didn't seem as tired after his walk, I'd start walking a little further. I probably took him too soon, but there's a hiking trail that I love to take my other dogs to and I really didn't want to leave him home alone, so we packed in the car and hit the trail. Chester was so excited! He did okay for a while, but after just the third hill, he was starting to struggle so we turned around and went back to the car. Again, he inhaled water when we got back to the car, and he slept for the rest of the day. The hiking trail was definitely too much this early in the game, but he was doing great on the daily neighborhood walks, so we shortened the walks and upped it to twice a day. I took him to the vet in late June just so the vet could see how he was doing and make sure he was still okay healthwise. I'll never forget the smile on my vet's face when he brought Chester back to me and said in disbelief, "he weighs 18 pounds." I was shocked! He went on to tell me that, his heart, hips, knees, etc., were perfect, I was doing everything right, and to keep doing what we were doing. Eighteen pounds was still a little much considering his size, so now we had to get down to 16. Fast forward to November, Chester is at a perfect weight of 16 pounds and he can climb the hiking trails with ease. Now that he's at a healthy weight, he's become more playful and he's not sleeping all day anymore like he was when he had all that extra weight. Plain and simple, I've noticed that he feels good, is loving life, and he's finally happy. Now he can even keep up with his one year old Cavalier sister, Paris!
Chester and Paris
Chester on his first hike, and then finally conqering the hill!
We love to hear these happy endings! Thank you to Chester's new family for working so hard with him to get him healthy and for giving him a wonderful FOREVER home!