Due to PG&E power shut offs, we have rescheduled our show! New showtime: THURSDAY, October 29, 2020 at 11Am: Speaking of ANimals: Special Edition featuring suzi eszterhas
Vivi arrived at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) in really bad shape. She had multiple deep puncture wounds on her back legs and body, probably from an attack. The veterinary team at SCCAS treated the wounds immediately. She was then placed into a loving CAPE foster home to give her time to heal. And once she started feeling better, her sweet and playful personality began to shine.
We are so thankful to Vivi’s foster guardian for taking such good care and helping her find a wonderful forever home. We think Vivi scored BIG TIME!❤️
Shakespeare said “the eyes are the window to your soul”. And oh, those eyes. Wilma’s eyes touched my heart and said she was worth saving. Wilma’s eyes said I should take a chance on her. How could I not.?
Wilma arrived at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) last October. She was a mess physically. Thin patches of hair exposed skin that was scabby and smelled bad. Her skin condition must have been torture for her and she would relentlessly bite at herself. As sick as she was, she happily greeted everyone she met eager for attention. I knew I had to help this girl and offered to foster her. Due to Wilma’s need for extended medical treatment, the SCCAS reached out to placement partner, Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE). CAPE has been a life saver for so many shelter dogs that need that extra help and they stepped up for
Wilma. With CAPE’s help Wilma got the veterinary care she desperately needed. Along with good nutrition, love and attention, Wilma began to heal. As she felt better, she became a fun loving, adorable girl.
Wilma was with me for two months, which is a long time to have a foster. You get pretty attached after going through two months of care, watching them blossom and become ready for adoption. As a foster mom, I know to expect the day will come that my dogs will go to their new homes. I’ve thought about keeping a number of them because they are all special in their own way, but know that I can’t and my role is giving them the time to heal, adjust, thrive, and then help find the best home. CAPE is great at finding good homes for their foster dogs and a wonderful couple found
Wilma on their website. They seemed like an ideal home for her. They would give her adventures in the motor home, a canine brother to play with, love and attention, and we all agreed it was a good fit. The day I dropped Wilma off at her new home, I felt like I was betraying her. And that is the very worst part of fostering. Wilma had come to trust me and I adored her. It was so hard to say goodbye. Unfortunately, the problem with being a dog is that you don’t get a say in the matter. Wilma howled for
hours during the first night, she was so sad and upset.
I often thought of Wilma over the following months and regretted not keeping her. I kept in touch with her adopters, checking in and hearing that there were some issues but they were working on it and doing all the right things. They wanted it to work but Wilma’s happiness was also important. Wilma apparently had her own ideas and in May I was thrilled to welcome my girl back and make her mine. I have fostered a number of dogs since Wilma’s return and she is the best partner that I could imagine. With new dogs coming in to our home, she is welcoming and becomes their play partner and training helper.
WE HAVE RECENTLY RECEIVED MANY BEAUTIFUL STORIES FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE ADOPTED DOGS FROM US. WE’D LIKE TO SHARE SOME OF THEM WITH YOU.
On a recent Sunday morning, I received a phone call from JP Novic, Executive Director of CAPE, checking in on my family regarding the CZU fires ravaging Northern Santa Cruz County. I asked how the animals at the Sanctuary were doing and JP said while they did not need to evacuate this time, they have been practicing and running through their evacuation plan in preparation. The hardest animals to load happen to be the donkeys; apparently loading up and moving out is not in their game-plan. With practice however, their load up time has gotten faster and faster.
JP and I acknowledged that there has been so much already this year that we didn’t anticipate, ask for, or even imagine could happen: A global pandemic, shelter in place orders, devastating business and job losses, and catastrophic fires that obliterated homes and changed lives forever. JP asked how my own health was faring given my diagnosis of Lupus about two years ago and that it seemed the “sky truly is falling” and we are “living in such a surreal time”. And just when you thought life couldn’t get even more uncanny, I shared that I was recently given a lay-off notice that my position has been cut and my last day is about a month away. Despite these topics, our conversation was rich with generous and grateful laughter. We both commented about how thankful we are for the family we have to lean on. Sometimes, even in what appears to be the worst situation, laughter is not only all you can do, but it may be the best thing to do.
My spirit and humor remain intact largely as a result of a mighty eight-and-a-half-pound terror (I mean, terrier). Although, I had previously adopted a dog from CAPE in 1996 (Sammy, an amazing Doberman-mix with neurological issues who never let his challenges stop him from embracing life), “Cricket”, a terrier/chihuahua mix, was going to be my first CAPE foster. Cricket was originally surrendered to the local animal shelter where I volunteer, due to his chronic skin issues/allergies that the owner could no longer manage.
Cricket was a bald, bloody, and scabby mess, but you could tell he had been well-loved. At the time Cricket came into the Shelter, there was an outbreak of kennel cough and with Cricket’s pre-existing conditions and the Shelter trying to free up kennel space to prevent more dogs from getting kennel cough, the Shelter reached out to CAPE for a foster and I volunteered. It didn’t take long to become a “foster failure”; I officially adopted Cricket in January of 2016. While he still has chronic allergies and is on daily medication, his fur is now soft and lush; this tiny, little dog is a big fire-cracker. In fact, it is his fiery spirit that helps keep me going and is a true life-saver.
While the CZU fires were raging and ash was raining all over Santa Cruz County, we were put on alert that more dry-lightning strikes were headed our way. After seeing the devastation that the first round of electrical storms caused and how quickly the flames spread, my folks and I packed in case we needed to evacuate. I, of course, gathered important documents like insurance paperwork, passport, and birth certificate, but realized that what was taking up the most room in my bin and bags were clearly the items that I treasured the most: Collars from dogs that had already passed on, framed photos of the dogs that I have been blessed to share my life with, ashes from my dearly departed “Rio” who left us suddenly and tragically, and, of course, Cricket’s stuffed bear, his blanket given to him by the ladies at the Shelter, and the meds he takes to help with his allergies which were exasperated by the very fires we were now packing up to potentially have to flee from.
While Cricket’s cough from the smokey air still lingers, we are thankful that despite everything going on in the world these days, we are relatively ok. Because of Cricket and the joy he brings by just being himself, I am comforted. So, to you World (not that we want any more drama or challenges anytime soon), I am letting you know that I, too, won’t go easily and you’ll have to load me up last, right beside the donkeys and my little eight-and-a-half-pound side-kick who continues to keep laughter and love a glow.
Written by the wonderful Heather Harris
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“"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."