When The Stars Align

Part IV

Olive and Clementine settled back into their routine with Winnie Fristoe and her husband. Meanwhile the dog rescue world continued to spin and the rescue I volunteered for continued to try and save as many dogs Thank as we could.

On January 26, 2017 I made arrangements to meet a fellow rescue friend in Luling, TX the following morning. We were transporting a dog from the Texas/Mexico border to a foster in Houston. I was to be the last leg of the transport.

Winnie and I were texting back and forth into the wee hours of the morning. Olive had just come home and she jokingly said “I’m ready to send her back! Lol”! We wrapped up and had made plans to meet later in the week.

When I woke up on January 27, 2017 it was unseasonably warm. I let our dogs, Gracie, Daisy and Bailey go out to play in the backyard while I was getting ready. When I returned to let them in, they were bathing in the sun. I called at them to come in and they barely moved!

I looked at the time and made the decision to let them bask in the sun. My boyfriend would be home for lunch in an hour and I texted him to bring the girls inside as soon as he arrived.

This was a decision that will forever haunt me, but one that showed me just how amazing my fosters/friends really are.

Check back for the last II Parts to this amazing story!

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When The Stars Align Part III

First time fosters, Winnie Fristoe and her husband, made it through the first month with Olive and Clementine. The pups had almost completely recovered from demodex mange and it was time to get them spayed.

We decided that they should be separated for at least a week post surgery to allow time for these energetic sisters to properly heal. So, on the day of their surgery Olive would come home to stay with me and Clementine would go home with Winnie.

Being the amazing foster that she is, Winnie packed Olive her favorite blanket, some yummy organic treats, food and a couple toys. She reminded me of a very nervous mom leaving her infant with a sitter for the first time. Winnie knew sweet Olive was is great hands, but it was hard for her to let go.

Olive loved being at our crazy dog filled house! We had 4 dogs of our own and 2 fosters! Needless to say it was pretty action packed around our house. Olive made new friends with all of our dogs and the fosters. She slept with our fosters (Lilli Pad and Bubba Blue) and myself every night.

Winnie and I sent pictures back and forth. Texting several times a day. Clementine was enjoying her time with Winnie as Olive blossomed here at our home!

When it came time for Olive to return to Winnie, I found myself not wanting her to leave. I had gotten so attached to Olive as did all of our dogs! But it was time to reunite the sisters.

I packed up Olive and took her to see her sister again. Winnie and I watched from the deck as they began rolling in the grass and wrestling! They were happy to see each other.

Little did we know the tragedy that lay ahead of us in the coming weeks that would strengthen our friendship and forever change my world…

Part IV to be released next week!

When The Stars Align Part II

When The Stars Align

Part II

Soon after Olive and Clementine arrived at Winnie Fristoe’s home, we found out the sweet pups had demodex mange (non-contagious). This is easily treatable, but causes hair loss and the pups are rather uncontrollable.

For an experienced foster having two 12wk old fosters is a challenge! Winnie and her husband were first time fosters and both of their foster pups had demodex mange. Needless to say, I was truly amazed every day that passed and I did not get a phone call saying, “I give up! Come get these puppies!” This says a lot about the sheer strength and perseverance Winnie and her husband have.

A few couple of weeks went by and I got a call from a very sad and sobbing Winnie. She was questioning if she was going to be able to continue fostering the pups. She was worried she wasn’t doing things the way she should and maybe she wasn’t “Cutout to foster!”

After a long talk and a few tears, she decided to sleep on it. I was truly worried that;

1) I had a foster about to lose her mind

2) How was I going to inspire enough confidence in this amazing woman to show her she CAN do this

3) Where the heck was I going to put these puppies if she couldn’t do it

So, I sent her the following text before I ended a very exhausting day:

Winnie,

I have had days where I say, “I’m quitting” “I just can’t deal with this anymore!” But then I look into the eyes of one of my fosters (or my own dogs) and see the true love and eternal gratitude that only a dog can show to the person that saved them, and all is forgiven!

You see, they don’t understand why they can’t talk to us or why we don’t speak their language, but they do their best to help us understand. Sometimes it’s like a puzzle, but when we solve it, oh what an amazing feeling it is to communicate with a creature that loves you so much. You can do this! I’m only a text or phone call away! *

Winnie and I kept in touch on a daily basis texting or talking. Our friendship grew just as quickly as Olive and Clementine did!

A lot can be said about me as a Foster Coordinator (at the time), but one thing is that good, bad or ugly, I stood by my fosters. My fosters were and still are family to me!

Check back for Part III of this foster journey!

When The Stars Align Part I

Written December 7, 2017

1 year ago today, four sweet puppies and their momma were rescued from the Liberty County AC. The puppies went in pairs to their new fosters as did their momma.

Two of the girls went to a first time foster family here in Houston! Winnie Fristoe and her husband named them Olive and Clementine.

None of us new at the time that the stars had aligned and we were all brought together for a reason.

Check back for Part II of this amazing story!

Dog Rescue Life

In rescue sometimes you have to laugh or you’ll cry! I have had days where I say, “I’m quitting” “I just can’t deal with this anymore!” But then I look into the eyes of one of my fosters (or my own dogs) and see the true love and eternal gratitude that only a dog can show to the person that saved them, and all is forgiven!
 

You see, dogs don’t understand why they can’t talk to us or why we don’t speak their language, but they do their best to help us understand. It’s like a puzzle, but when we solve it, oh what an amazing feeling it is to communicate with a creature that loves you so much.

 

No creature on earth is like a dog! No matter what you do or say to them (sadly because some people are just plain evil) they will always seek our love and approval. They crave it!
So, on your foster or rescue journey, as hard as it may be at times, remember that they will never forget the love, grace and dignity that you showed them on the day you saved them!

Written by: Renee’ Landrum 
*1st Picture is Mimi a corgy mix. Saved from under a trailer with her three puppies. Mimi is available for adoption through http://www.HHFRescue.org 

*Pictured is Leila Belle. Abandoned by her owners and left in a field to fend for herself. Now she is with her fur-ever mom Jan! 

Foster/Rescue Dogs? 

How can you rescue/foster dogs/puppies only to say goodbye when they are adopted? 

This is a question that I have been asked many times. It’s an unimaginable feeling of happiness and dread when the dog/puppy you’ve been fostering for weeks or months finds their fur-ever home. 

Happiness because you know that you have chosen the perfect family for your foster. You know that when your foster finds their fur-ever home, you will be able to save another dog/puppy in need. Dread because you know that the day is fast approaching when you will have to say goodbye to the foster you saved from almost certain death. 

The bond you form with a dog/puppy you save and foster is indescribable. All I can tell you is that they speak to you with their eyes. So much pure love and appreciation is shown just by looking into their eyes. 
I am truly blessed to be able to witness this time and time again when I bring dogs/puppies to a foster and see what love can do to change a once broken and scared animal. Today, I was privileged enough to see the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Monica, her husband and daughter Monique have been amazing friends and fosters with me for over a year. I truly consider them family! So it was not out of the ordinary for me to ask them to come along and aid in rescuing dogs/puppies.

On a very stormy Sunday in early June, I asked Monica to come with me to a trailer park and translate Spanish to English for me. We had been alerted to a momma dog and 3 puppies living in terrible conditions under a trailer. So, off we went to save the mom and puppies.

It took a few hours in the rain with lighting and thunder clapping above us to wrangle mom and 2 of her pups. We couldn’t find the 3rd pup and the owners (who were relinquishing the dogs to Honoring Hope and Faith Rescue, Inc..) were not being cooperative. So, we left with the mom and 2 pups determined to come back and save the 3rd pup the following day.

I headed to Destiny and Cliff’s with mom and 2 pups. Their house suddenly became ground zero for the little family. Destiny and her family fostered and ultimately adopted puppy #1 AKA: Piper. Stephanie fostered puppy #2 AKA: Truman and her mother in law adopted him. Ashley and her boyfriend fostered mom AKA: Mimi until the amazing Sandra was able to take over (Mimi is now available for adoption). 

But there was still 1 more puppy scared and cold, hiding underneath that trailer.
Monica and Monique were not going to let that puppy suffer any longer! When we did not hear from the “owners” the next day, they went over to rescue the puppy. It took several hours, but the puppy was now safe! The “owners” were more than happy to have us out of their hair!


Monica and her family took care of sweet puppy #3 AKA: Lilly Von until we found the absolute perfect family for her. Today I picked them up at their home and drove them to complete the adoption and let Lilly Von begin a new chapter in her life.


I am in awe of the strength and love that Monica and her family show to each and every dog/puppy they foster! As we left Lilly with her fur-ever family I turned to Monica and gave her a hug. We both cried. Monica because she was saying goodbye to her sweet Lilly Von and me because I can’t stand to see someone I love, admire and adore in any sort of pain! 


We all climbed into my SUV and began talking about what we went through, how many people were involved and the hours spent to save a mom and her 3 puppies. 


THIS is why we rescue! THIS is why we pour our hearts into loving a sweet animal that will one day leave us to begin a new chapter.

Now to continue to save more!

LUM

Written by: Renee’ Landrum 

*A special thank you to Natural Pawz for allowing us to take over their Pearland store this afternoon flooding it with happiness, tears of joy and lots of laughter!

Too Precious For This World


My heart was broken September 30th at 6:03pm and will never be the same again. 18 days ago my best friend/sister gave birth to a gorgeous 3lb 12oz baby boy. This sweet baby wasn’t premature. He was born at 38wks gestation. This sweet baby boy was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. 

Less than 30% of T18 babies make it to 38wks. Only 20% live more than a week. Only 5% live to celebrate their first year of life. This brave sweet boy fought and surpassed most of those grim statistics. 
He was breathing on his own, had a feeding (NG) tube and was so very alert! He knew our voices and would just watch us as we would rock him to sleep or just hold him and talk to him. 

After staying at the hospital most nights with my sister and her baby for 15 days, he came home on hospice 09/29. I was at home packing (only 5 miles away) on Friday September 30th. We were due back at their house to see the baby and celebrate his daddy’s birthday. I received a phone call a at 5:17pm. All my fears came to reality when I heard their oldest daughter say “the baby isn’t breathing! Come now!” 

There were no sirens or flashing lights as I screeched up on the driveway slamming my SUV into park. I rushed in to see his daddy preforming CPR. He stepped aside to let me asses his beautiful boy (WOW! What trust they must have in me and my medical skills) now pale and gray. I couldn’t find a pulse. I checked many times hoping I was wrong, but his little heart had stopped. He just couldn’t fight anymore. I turned to his momma and daddy and had to tell them he was gone.


My sister held in her screams of horror and disbelief and her husband comforted her until her Aunt was able to get her 7yo little girl out of the house. Even in their darkest moment they had the clairity to know hearing the screams of pain and anguish would scar and haunt their sweet little girl. 
Once we heard the front door close, as I cleaned and dressed our sweet angel one last time, I heard the awful gut wrenching sound of my best friend, my sister and her husbands’ hearts forever breaking. We all held him and kissed him goodbye at 6:03pm. 

My sister immediately wanted anything and everything baby related out of her  house. Myself and her oldest daughter went into action. Grabbing everything in sight from diapers, clothes, picture frames, car seat, etc. My boyfriend came over in his truck and quickly took down the crib. 

We loaded most of the smaller things in my SUV and the larger items in the back of the truck. My boyfriend left and took it to our storage unit. I told my sister when she was ready it would be waiting for her. 

I stayed at her house until early morning when she finally fell asleep. She refused to sleep in her room where the baby took his last breath. She curled up on the couch as I pat sat beside her and she drifted off to sleep. 

I desperately wanted to be there for her when she woke up, but the reality is that we are moving and half our house wasn’t packed. I said goodbye to her husband and daughter. We couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.

My SUV, still filled with all of his baby stuff, smelled just like him! I had been strong for my sister for 17 days. But as I drove down the street, it hit me like a ton of bricks! I pulled over and began to scream and cry!

 “Why?!?! If you’re real God, WHY?!? Take me instead!! I don’t have children that would mourn my loss! I’ve seen enough tragidy to last a lifetime! I’ve lived for 41yrs! FUCKING take me!!! THIS JUST ISN’T RIGHT!!!”

I don’t know if I truly expected and answer, but I’d to think that someone (other than her neighbors) heard how truly unfair this was! I think this sweet baby was here for each of us for a reason. He touched our hearts and taught each of us something about life.


Some things are too precious for this world and he was one. Forever changing our lives, but we were graced by the presence of a true Angel for 17 days.

Just SHUT UP!! 


I sit here today with my heart is racing, my chest tightening and my head pounding. There isn’t one particular reason why, just a ton of things! I try to remind myself that only I can turn things around.

I have to make the best of the situation I’ve been dealt. But people around me (who love me and genuinely care for me) just won’t let me take a breath! They call to see how I’m doing, how the job search is going, how the house is coming along, etc. and I don’t have answers for them.

Everyone is being kind and offering advice, words of wisdom. But when someone tells me “Everything will be ok! Just have faith!” I seriously want to tell them to SHUT UP! It’s insensitive and dismissive of my feelings. I process things differently. I am a scientific person. It is very hard for me to just believe everything will be ok if I have “Blind Faith”.

My best friend/sister is going through a very rough time right now. Having to make life and death decisions for someone that cannot do it for themselves. As I sat in the hospital yesterday trying to comfort her. She asked me, “Did you always know you were as strong as you are or did you find out after losing your mom?” I told her the truth. That I had to go through many dark days to get where I am today. And no matter what happens in life it’s up to us to let it consume us or to rise up to the challenge and face it head on. 


While the advise I gave her is from my heart, good and sound, it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially when I know the dangerous and rocky road that lay ahead of her. I will be with her every step of the way, but I have noticed my own fears and anxieties have heightened during this time. It’s pure tourture to see someone I love so much go through so much pain. 

This is something I have to go through with her and her family. I can chose to run and hide or face things head on and help in any way I can. That’s what true friends/family do. 

How are we going to get through this? By putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping. But if I hear one more person tell me or my friends “Everything will be ok! Just have faith!” I’m serously going to have to say something! 😡

An Injured Soul

Today someone brought a beautiful 1yo pup to me. She was relinquished by her adoptive parents 😢🐶 They said their other 2 dogs were picking on her. 

It breaks my heart that they have had her for a year and even with expert advice they just refused to listen! So the poor little girl suffered. 

Now she doesn’t trust anyone! She has found a safe place on the bed in our guest room. She is eating and drinking when the door is shut, but has refused to leave the room since 12:30pm! 

I go to check on her and bring her yummy treats, but she still won’t leave the bed. She is decompressing right now. I’ll give her the space she requires. It’s just so sad to see such an innocent soul be so injured.

It’s easy for me to relate to her. I’ve been where she is. I’ve been terrified of everything and everyone. I cherished my safe place and still retreat there from time to time. My soul is injured too. The difference is that I can tell people to back off or to get out of my space! This sweet pup tries and most people’s think she’s being mean or aggressive! She’s not! 

Throughout the day this pup has snapped at me, growled at me and snarled at me, but she has not attacked. She is just trying to tell me to back off and get out of her space. I believe with all my heart that this sweet injured soul can me repaired! Just as mine was. 

It just takes time love and patience!

Stay tuned for updates and more photos of this sweet little girl!

Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption