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Category Archives: Stellar Stories

I had the best news last night!! 

 

I spoke to the family who adopted Stellar and they said he is doing wonderfully.  I couldn’t be happier.

 

My biggest fear was their other rescued Dane (Jesse)…..he is very mild mannered and had previously been abused…..my concern was that Stellar’s “larger than life” personality would over power or overshadow his meek self.  That didn’t happen at all, as a matter of fact Stellar has helped him to some degree….. Tina said Jesse has really enjoyed the company of another K-9.  He evidently had a K-9 companion prior to being taken by the shelter for neglect and evidently he was longing for a dog buddy.  It seems to be a win-win situation.

 

Stellar sleeps on the bed with Tina and her husband and has a favorite spot on the couch.  As crazy as it sounds Stellar wouldn’t of done well anywhere where he wouldn’t of been spoiled and allowed to be up on the furniture and beds (I know all too well that many people wont allow that)…..he somehow doesn’t think the floor is an appropriate place for him to lay. 

 

She said “I cant imagine my household without him now.” ….. Evidently he has fit in seamlessly and I couldn’t be happier to hear that.

 

Tina said he was indeed resilient and I knew that would be a huge benefit in placing him…..he just had to go to the perfect home……I am so thankful I found it for him. 

 

Just wanted to let everyone know he is doing GREAT……Happy, loved and spoiled…..Exactly what he deserves.

 

me 

The twins

 

It is nothing short of amazing to watch your children grow…..turn into young adults right before your eyes….. and even though it is something that is always happening and evolving, some things periodically happen that bring that reality (that they are growing up) straight to the surface….The twins made me take a long look at them this weekend when they both felt passionately enough about something, to partake in a peaceful protest/ march downtown and walk for 2 hours in the rain…… the protest was in regard to the immigration legislation pending in Congress.  They were also a part of a walk out at school Friday in regard to the same subject.  (With my permission of coarse)  The school they go to is one of the most diverse schools in the nation and the entire population of minorities in the school is not the minority, but the majority…..minorities make up over half of the student body.  My children have many; many close Hispanic friends and have came to their own conclusion in regard to this legislation.  I can only hope that they spend the rest of their lives fighting for the things in life that they feel passionately about……….  One of the many things in life that helps to build great character. 

 

 

 

The new car

 

Sierah does love the car and there is no question she will take great care of it.  (It is now complete with new floor mats and a couple of cucumber melon air fresheners.)  She took great care of my Jeep while she drove it, so I am not nervous about that.  I am nervous though when she is gone…..not so much worried about her or her actions, but worried about all the crazy people in this world she could come in contact with when out there…..I trust her……its the zillions of nut jobs out there that scare me.

 

 

The new computer

 

Over the weekend I set up my new computer and downloaded my new camera software, etc.  I had a ball playing with all the stuff on my computer, downloading photos, and learning the new photo programs that I have installed and…… I did quickly become addicted to Spider Solitaire…The only problem is…I just was not able to connect to the Internet due to the fact my phone line was way too short……today I will find time to slip down to the Dollar Store and buy a 25 ft phone cord.  THEN I will finally be able to download some of these photos onto my BLOG that I have been taking with my new camera.  I will be back on line at home!  WOO HOO. 

 

 

 

Stellar

 

The big guy has found a new home……This is bitter sweet for me.  Hard because I am so attached to him, but sweet because I know he went to a great home where he will be one of two Danes who are very loved and spoiled……Placing dogs is the hardest part of rescue for me and it always has been.  It’s often hard to find an ideal home and even harder to deal with letting them go……either case you have to do what is best for the dog, find the best home and send them on… so you can continue doing what you do.  If you keep them all, you cant continue to rescue.

 

Everyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows how hard it was for me to capture him and earn his trust…..all those weeks of feeding him in the woods, building a shelter for him in the middle of a tornado…worrying I would find him frozen, curled up in a ball….  I feel in love with him long before I got him home……..He became attached to me like white on rice once i got him home…. I miss him already…..I just know this is for the best.    I have to keep reminding myself that…

 

Stellar is heavy on my heart today.  I will write more about this when I can put it in a better prospective.  Right now, it isn’t so easy…….

 

I miss ya big guy…

 

Me.

Sierah said to me yesterday, “You know Mom we couldn’t send Stellar to live somewhere else, even if we wanted to now.”  As Stellar was draped across my body, looking at me with the big goo goo eyes.

 

Considering his totally frightened demeanor when I was first trying to capture him, he has turned into a total love sponge, attached to me with a vengeance…. like no other dog in the house.  He not only wants to be with me at all times, but he has to constantly be touching me. 

 

Even when we ride in the car he rests his head behind my back.  He sort of wedges his big head between my back and the car seat.  He bays if he can’t ride in the car with me when I leave the house, and he is so darn loud I can hear him all the way to the street.  This gives me a horrible guilty conscious every time I leave him……If I give him his bone filled with peanut butter while I am at home (and he knows I am staying at home) he is happy as a lark and runs off to lick the peanut butter out of the bone…….if I give it to him in the morning when he knows I am going to leave, he immediately drops it out of his mouth and gives me a disgusted look like, “I cant believe you just tried that old lame peanut butter in the bone trick with me.”

 

When I sit on the couch he has to sit next to me with us legs over my legs and he normally rests his head on my body too.  If I make the poor choice of sitting in the chair, he dances around in front of me trying to figure out how we are both going to fit into the chair together….normally he does his song and dance until I finally get up and sit on the couch. I guess it is hard for me not to indulge his every whim………how could I not after all he went through?

 

As you all know he sleeps with me, along with two or three other dogs…….but Stellar has to be touching me at all times.  He is happiest if he can feel the weight of one of my arms draped over him.

 

Sadly he still has nightmares about something from his past that haunts him.  When the dream wakes him he always looks over at me and then rests his head on my body somewhere……..it almost feels like, “If I can touch her, I know I wont loose her….”  It is somehow sweet and sad at the same time.

 

In retrospect, it is almost hard for me to remember the frightened, starving dog in the woods.  He has changed so drastically since he came to live at my house.  He has learned so much.  (We are still working on the “all stuff I can reach on the counter belongs in my tummy…….but he is doing great!)

 

I still have no idea what brought him to the wooded area, or what caused him to be so frightened of humans that he wouldn’t allow me to touch him even after feeding him for 4 weeks, but he has certainly done a 360 since he woke up in my basement that day. (Can you imagine what he thought that day?  Where the h*ll am I and how did I get here??)

 

Everything has turned  out great and he fit right in………

 

I couldn’t of wished for a better outcome all those months ago……..

 

I love my big ole’ lucky cow-dog!

 

Most of Stellar’s ghosts are leaving him, he is no longer fearful in the yard without me, he will now go everywhere in the entire yard, he runs and plays with the other dogs (He loves to chase Oreo around) and when cars pass he only stops what he is doing and looks…….no longer tail tucking and running back to the house.  He genuinely seems happy now.  I was in the basement last night doing laundry, he followed me down of coarse and while I stood there and watched him eating I noticed something great…….Stellar has mussels again.  He has gained a ton of weight, I wont know exactly how much till his vet visit on Saturday, but finally his body has enough mass to once again create mussel……that is wonderful.  All of his sores near his feet have healed, most of his fur around his collar had fallen out and that is almost all of the way back in and his fur feels like silk.  He has an incredibly soft coat……if you have ever felt the soft coat of a greyhound, it is something like that.  The only signs he still shows of his life in the woods are the frost bitten tips of his ears and his incredibly ruff foot pads. 

 

I even took him this weekend to meet Santa at Pet Smart.  (A fund raiser for a local Greyhound Club)  He was a bit nervous at first but he settled down quickly and took two great photos with Santa.  The in house trainer stopped me and asked me about him because she has Dane’s too.  I told her his story and she said he was remarkably settled for the ordeal he had been thru.  I had tons of people stop and want to pet him and talk to him and he did wonderfully.

 

Last night when we went to sleep, well I was actually in bed reading and occasionally looking out the window at the snow coming down, he decided to lay across me……directly over my legs and I swear he was so heavy I could not move.  I kept trying to get him to lie next to me, but he wanted to be right on top of me.  When I finally got him next to me, he wouldn’t leave me alone, nudging me, putting his snout in my hair and sniffing, putting his foot on my book, acting silly……Finally he went to sleep with his head on my pillow and my arm wrapped around him.  He is such a big baby.  Every once in a while he would open one eye to look at me and I could hear his tail hitting the bed as he wagged it.  Him being happy, made me happy.  I am such a sucker for that big dog.

 

Life is good! 

 

Laura 

 

Well, all dogs have now been introduced and everyone gets along perfectly.  Not one growl, nothing…….just like Stellar has always been there. 

 

He did wonderfully yesterday in the house while I was at work. (No potty accidents) When I went home for lunch he was really excited to see me.  He actually behaves like a puppy still…jumping around acting silly….of coarse he had the big polar bear in his mouth and that only creates a big goofy look.

 

At 1:00AM this morning my dogs decided they wanted to go out, so as I was getting up Taryn stuck Stellar in my room so they all went out to go potty.  Once I got them all back in and I got back in the bed Stellar jumped up in the bed with me.  Jenna was already in there, so it was me, Stellar, Jenna and Murphy in my Queen size bed and I think I had the smallest slice of the bed.  He laid on his side and was eventually snoring, sound asleep…..He kept his foot on his bear to keep track of it.

 

Stellar did snag Taryn’s chicken sandwich off the kitchen counter this morning.  He didn’t know he did anything wrong….he stood right there eating wagging his tail it looking at her like, “Thanks.”  We all have to get use to how tall he is.  He wants to be right in the middle of all the action all the time and when someone goes upstairs, he goes up behind them to see where they went, then he goes back downstairs.  It’s like he has to keep track of everyone.

 

He is eating….A LOT……and I swear I can visibly see he is gaining weight already.  Maybe him being in a warm house has made a huge difference….burning less energy.  He is now eating whenever he wants to, but I give him a can of food mixed in with his dry food twice a day….other than that he goes downstairs and gets food whenever he wants.  I keep water for him in this large spaghetti pot…..it was the only thing I had big enough.

 

This morning I drove thru the Burger King right next to the woods where Stellar once lived……I stared up into the woods.  I am not sure what I expected to see but I still just sat there and looked.  Knowing Stellar is safe and warm in my house, holding his woobie.  Thinking about him just a few days ago living like a wild, frightened animal and the 360-degree change he has made in just a few days is amazing. 

 

I cant imagine what he is thinking….He is lucky and I am too…

 

Laura

 

PS……I will have photos by tomorrow or the next day I imagine.  I took them in today.  I cant wait for you guys to see him.  My girlfriend saw him today….she is the one who seen him with me the first day and she said he looks great!!  She said, "I cant see all of his bones…."

 

Sierah’s basketball team won their game this weekend (Now 3 and 0) but her school’s football team lost at Semi-State.  I sure hate that, but at least they made it that far.  Taryn road the fan bus to the game and didn’t return until 1:00AM Saturday morning…….she had fun and I sent her dressed like it was going to be sub zero outside.  Arms sticking almost straight out in my goose down coat with all the stuff she had on under it…oh, and a blanket…..I guess some kid that just had on a thin jacket used the blanket.

 

From the paper on Sierah’s game:

 

SOUTH SIDE 63, CARROLL 50


South Side

9

20

6

28-63

Carroll

11

13

16

10-50

South Side: Katie Ball 0 0-0 0, Zaquanna Braden 4 5-6 13, Demetria Eley 4 2-12 10, Sha`la Jackson 7 2-4 16, Marcyea Mingo 2 6-8 11, Sierah ****** 1 2-2 4, Normalyn Smith 2 3-4 9, team 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 20-36 63.

 

Stellar:

Stellar has proved to be a big baby.  He carries around the stuffed polar bear non-stop.  He had it so full of drool and stinky stuff that I decided to wash it last night.  He wined the entire time it was washing and drying…..He leans on you when he stands next to you and he wants you to touch him all the time.

He has now been introduced to Murphy, Cheyenne, Tonka and Franny.  Only the two boys left.  Once we get that taken care of, we can leave them all out together.  Stellar seems fine with all of them. 

I took lots of photos of him with a 35 mm camera so I will get them developed within the next few days.  He looks so cute curled up on the couch with is “Woobie.”  (That’s what we call Murphy’s stuffed animal, so that is what Stellar’s is called too.) 

He is eating really well but wants someone with him when he eats.  He follows me everywhere.  When I drove away this morning he was standing in the doorway looking at me.  I will return home in 3 hours and I pray he is okay during that time.  He will have free roam of the house so I hope that eases his tension.  I think he is going to have separation anxiety. 

He is so darn big.  When standing next to my table or counter, he is eye level with them.  Even the stove.  We have to keep stuff pushed back and tell him no…..he almost had a chicken leg last night…….he stands in the kitchen and drools when you cook, licking his chops.

He loved his big bone, the stuffed bear, the fake stuffed bone that squeaks and the Kong with peanut butter, but was not interested in the ball.  He is still frightened outside and will not go further than about 10 feet into the yard.  I can’t imagine how the poor guy felt in those woods all that time.  He is such a big ole baby.  He is really doing well.  Much better than any expectations I could of ever had for him.

A 3 legged cat:

Over the summer this 3 legged cat kept appearing at my house.  Not unusual because I leave food out since I started feeding black cat long ago…..even when he moved into the house because there are so many neighborhood strays.  The 3 legged cat did look healthier than most of the others and has always had a good body weight.  Just the missing leg.  I assumed he was someone’s cat, just out roaming.

The kids think he belongs to the Frat house behind us, but I just think he has lived in a small patch of trees right next door.  Those boys have always had a dog and have always taken really good care of it; I just don’t think they would let this cat roam if it did belong to them.

I am going to ask them tonight after work because the cat now is wanting in my house.  I know “Him Black Cat” would not have it and I am not sure about the dogs……but I did set up a little shelter for him on my porch.  He is super friendly and really vocal.  Looks in my window and meows to come inside.  He tries to slip in the house every time we come in or out.  I guess he decided the porch will do for now. 

Bach Flower Remedies:

Check out: http://www.metta.org.uk/therap/Bach.htm     This is not the best place, for the best understanding of the remedies, but it will give you an idea.  They do work, for people and dogs.  The best way to administer it is a few drops under the tongue but you can ad it to water or rub it into the skin.  The bottles will range in price from $6 to $16 depending on where you get them.  Most large Pet chains are starting to carry them.  If not, ordering on line is easy enough….lots of places have it. 

I would say, if you have a dog frightened by storms or that has separation anxiety or any other phobia the “Rescue Remedy” would be of help to them and you both.  It is all natural and non-habit forming.

 A good book:

This morning I was thinking of a book…well, two books you guys should read.  I know my blog friends who have followed Stellar’s story would love these books.  They are called “Found Dogs” and “Second Chances” by Elise Lufkin .  I would recommend anyone reading them….They are short stories, with beautiful back and white photos of each dog who is written about and they are both an easy read.  I have checked them both out over and over from my library.  http://www.founddogs.com/  (Please check them out and read them, I promise you will love them…..)  If you read those and love them, then check out “Dog is my co-pilot” printed by the publishers of BARK magazine.  (Another favorite of mine.)

Once you read them, let me know what you think!

Laura

 

Friday I stopped by my house to check on Stellar twice.  The second time he was much more with it for sure, and he seemed much more unsure about me being close to him. I warmed a blanket in the dryer and laid it on him to help keep him warm.  I noticed this time he had eaten a little bit of food.  I talked to him for about 10 minutes then went back to work.

 

By the time I got home from work he was still lying down, but had his upper body more upright.  He cowered down when I came near him or looked away when I offered him food from my hand.  He was so scared and confused, wide awake and looking around my basement like, “Where the h*ll am I?”….looking up with his head tipped sideways when the dogs toe nails would click on the hard wood floors above him. 

 

I sat down there for hours, as I had the days prior and then finally while I was reading (out loud) to him, he started grooming himself and then when he rested his head, he let out this big sigh.  I yawned and then he yawned…..I laughed out loud and I thought he wagged his tail.  I kept reading……He just looked at me with those big baby blues.

 

I eventually fell asleep down there and when I woke up his had rested his head right next to mine, when I woke up, he did too and stood up…..he towered over me standing and he was still wobbly.  I helped him steady himself and he went to get a drink of water. 

 

He is still rail thin and it is painfully obvious when you are so close to him and feel his bones.  My Vet said Saturday that he is almost at half his body weight right now.  He should weigh between 170 and 200lbs.

 

Saturday morning was a turning point for Stellar…..When I was petting him, and would stop….. he would then nudge my hand for me to keep petting him….he began to follow me around the basement as I did laundry, etc…. he also decided he wanted to get up and meet all of the kids as they came down to see him……I had Sierah buy him some treats from the store and when she gave him one I said, “ask him to sit.”  He sat as requested.  Obviously he had had some training at one point.

 

He was pacing around the basement and I said, “Ya wanna go outside?”  I could tell he knew that too….the only problem was between him and the outside were about 10 open stairs.  (He finally mastered them after me trying to lift him twice, us placing his feet on the stairs for him and 1 adult and 4 kids helping him……)  Outside he relived himself for so long he actually had to put his foot back down.  (I swear he went pee for about 5 minutes)  He is housetrained……knows sit and is not only friendly, he is a love sponge.  A big baby.

 

This WAS someone’s dog once…….what happened?  How did he end up there?  I may never know. 

 

I do know that once he mastered the stairs he didn’t want to be in the basement….he wanted to be upstairs, so upstairs he went……straight up another flight of stairs, to my room and jumped right in the middle of my bed. 

 

I have only introduced him to “Him Black Cat” and “Murphy” and they are okay…..the other dogs will soon follow.  So far, so good.  He has shown no real signs of dog aggression, just interest in the other dogs.

 

He is a good dog, today stretched out on the couch head lying on Jenna’s lap.  It is hard to believe that just a few days ago he was running from me in the woods and gulping down his food like it was his last meal.  He isn’t even doing that any more.  He eats normally.  I just keep food down for him all of the time.

 

Today I saw the first signs of him wanting to play…..he got Taryn’s stuffed Polar Bear and has carried it all over the house.  When I threw it for him, he galloped to get it….tail wagging.

 

He is scared outside especially in the dark.  I cant imagine how he felt in those woods.  He ran back to the basement and the first sign of another human’s voice.  He comes back when I tell him it is okay.

 

His heart is already mending though…..he once knew love and being a house dog….and it has all came back to him rather quickly.  He has attached himself to the kids and me even faster.  He slept with Taryn last night and now wines if put in the basement for a “Dog change around.” 

 

Today we bought him big bones and toys and he is for sure on the road to being a spoiled house dog again……..He got a new beautiful red collar and leash and will have a matching red coat to keep him warm while outside. 

 

He is happy when we return home, wagging his tail and jumping around….he is such a different dog than I watched standing in the woods shaking a few days ago and that wouldnt let me near him for weeks.  It’s hard to believe it is the same dog.  I hate to imagine what happened to him to make him so scared.  I just know, nothing like that will ever happened to him again.

 

I am so happy an he is doing so well…….he is truly a gentle soul.

 

Laura

 

I went home at lunch to check on him and he is still a bit groggy.  He had gotten up, used the rest room and lay back down and curled up. 

 

I covered him back up and offered him some water and canned food.  He wasn’t interested…..maybe some warm chicken broth tonight will interest him. 

 

I have a few things to tend to tonight and then I will go down stairs and just be close to him while I read a book.  Just to let him get use to being so close to me. 

 

I was so worried……our weather was nice for so long, but quickly turned ugly….he wouldn’t of lasted much longer out there.  That I know for sure.  They are calling for a couple inches of snow this week. 

 

Thanks to all who left a comment……I do appreciate it.  I cant tell you how happy I am to have finally gotten him home.  I feel so relieved….Life is good!

 

Laura 

 

An angel smiled down on me yesterday and I was able to bring home my buddy Stellar.  5 hours and two types of medications later…….he was knocked out and Kim, Acacia and I hauled him out of the woods on a blanket.

 

Kim, bless your heart for helping me……I couldn’t of done it without you.  Thank you!!

 

Once we got him in the Van we went straight to the Vet’s office.  We ran tests for Heartworm, intestinal parasites, etc and he was negative for everything. (That is a blessing) His low body weight was due only to starvation.  We trimmed his over grown nails and weighed him while he slept.  He weighed 99 lbs yesterday after a month of me feeding him…..can you imagine what he looked like 4 weeks ago when I first saw him? 

 

The Vet thought he was in remarkably good shape for what he has been thru……everyone thought he was so beautiful. 

 

Last night at my house, I went down stairs and looked him over really closely.  He had lots of little cuts and scrapes that I put antibiotic ointment on and I put some Vaseline on his foot pads….they are really ruff from the woods. 

 

The Vet thought he was about 1.5 years old by his teeth, he already has one bad tooth that the Doctor contributed to poor diet. 

 

He is currently sound asleep on a bed of blankets and covered with a warm blanket to keep his body temperature high enough. 

 

He looked at me, tried to raise his head, and stretched his legs when I came down at 3:00AM to check on him, but he is still knocked out.  That’s okay though, I guess it is the first time in a long time he has been able to sleep sound and be warm…..I put a call into the Vet’s office this morning and he is going to call me back if he is alarmed that he is still asleep.  The Vet Tech didn’t think so, with all those meds.  She thought it was normal.

 

I have no idea what the days following will bring, but I pray he can learn to trust again. 

 

While we were trying to catch him Kim said, “It is obvious he wants to be with you, he comes to the edge of the woods behind you….but he just cant bring himself to come out…”  I imagine it will take a long time to heal those wounds.   That’s okay though….I have plenty of time.

 

Thanks to all who said a prayer and kept us in your thought yesterday……it worked!  He’s finally home.

 

Laura

My friend Kim and I are going to try again today to catch the Dane.  We are running out of time.  It is 20 degrees here today and it feels like 6 degrees with the wind chill.  Way too cold for a short-coated dog to sustain long.

 

Kim got a different medicine from a Vet yesterday called ACE, and we are going to give it a try.  I pray it works. 

 

I went to feed him this morning and I was so worried he wouldn’t emerge from the woods, but he did…..standing there shaking.  I thought I would cry looking at him.  I told him that he would be coming home with me later!    I fed him only a can of canned food, no dry food….so the sedative can work quickly when we give it to him.  We will give it to him in about half a can of food, maybe less. 

 

I got my basement ready for him.  I got a dog bed ready, a Great Dane size crate so he can go in there and feel secure and his food bowls.  I think the basement will be the best place for him to make the transition….he will be able to hear and smell us, but still have a distance between us.  My basement is dry and warm and also has natural lighting from 4 windows. 

 

I ordered the “BACH flower rescue remedy” to help him stay calm.  (It does work)  I just pray we can catch him this morning.  If she is able to, she will also bring a catch pole.  I just hope the medicine knocks him all the way out.  I think that will be easier.

 

Lets hope for the best….

 

Laura