2011 December 19
We have waited a good while to publish this final chapter in Scarlett's story, though it has been tempting to share this wonderful news for many weeks. We wanted to be absolutely certain that this happy news was forever. Because those of you who have so kindly followed Scarlett's story probably have hearts like ours, and hers; and to drag you through another disappointing roller coaster would be as bad as it must have been for Scarlett. But no worries now! Those disappointing days are over. Scarlett is part of a forever family who adores her, complete with a gentle older pit bull brother who is delighted to share his home and heart and toys with her.
We flew her to a ranch outside Conroe, Texas in early November, to some people who are dedicated and experienced pit bull rescuers (Spindletop Pit Bull Rescue). We knew the moment we met Leah and saw her interact with Scarlett that we had brought Scarlett to the right place, a place where she would learn and grow and relax. Leah let Scarlett accompany her frequently during the days and evenings for the first few weeks, doing ranch chores, meeting all of the other animals, constantly observing and being exposed to the predictable, kind, orderly routines. Scarlett spent time in close proximity to many other dogs in a controlled way, and she leared that her first response need not be a ten-alarm defensive one.
The love that we had shown her cracked open her trusting gentle heart, and life at Spindletop taught Scarlett that she can get along with dogs in general, not just the dogs in our family. It was just the transition she needed to become adopted into a real family, a permanent home.
Thank you to everyone who encouraged us and helped us help Scarlett! Before her, we knew very little about pit bulls. Now, when we see one, we understand better the terrier soul, the sensitive but brave heart, the playful, affectionate spirit, the flexible, sound outlook, the ever curious nose and digger. They can be taught to fight, but they must be taught to fight. Then excel even more when they are taught to love.
(Following are older posts in the story of Saving Scarlett.)
Scarlett finds a playmate! And maybe a new home!
2011 October 18, Tuesday
San Gabriel Mountains, southern California
[Note: 2011 Oct 20, Thursday: We just added the video from Tuesday Oct 18, see below!]
If you're reading this, then you've already read about "Saving Scarlett" and the continuing saga of this homeless hungry waif, now become a blossoming young lady of the forest in her foster home with us. Every day we introduce her to new situations, new animals, new people, new challenges to her personality, social skills, coordination, and strength. Today was a big question mark, for today she was going to meet a new dog, a big, strong dog, who could play as tough or tougher than she ever could. We hoped for a happy outcome but wondered if there would be a bit of tooth-and-claw before we got there. She has been nothing but a mellow, gentle sweetheart here in our home with our senior dogs, and she has been the same with people everywhere we've gone -- sweet, social, affectionate, quiet. But we hadn't yet introduced her to other dogs, and now it would be on what she has come to consider as her own turf.
We took it slowly, but when we first brought Bear up to the porch with Scarlett inside, she raised a ruckus about this intruder. Hmm, try another tack. Took Bear outside the yard, came back inside and put Scarlett in her large cage in the kitchen, after letting her smell Bear all over us. We then invited "Bear" and his human dad inside, welcomed them, made a warm fuss over Bear and generally made sure there could be no mistake in her mind that this dog and his human were very welcome and we were all very comfortable together. Surprise -- she wagged her tail and smiled, seemed to want to be part of it all. We decided to take a hike up the canyon. Our two seniors can't make it up that rugged way, so we left them snoozing at home, and had Dave take Bear outside the yard. Then I brought Scarlett out, and we met down at the stream. Well, we stupid humans who can't read dogs very well, there was nothing to worry about. From the start, the two dogs started smelling things and sharing "the news", and from there on it was pure amusement watching them show off for each other, watching her tease and taunt and try very hard to get him to chase her (which he did much of the time), until they would both get exhausted and have to lie down together in the stream laughing.
She passed that test! And the two of them had more fun than we think that either of them have had in a very long time.
This past weekend, Scarlett came along with the other dogs to the airport, where we had some work to do. She was the belle of the airport, greeting everyone who dropped by warmly and affectionately -- and carrying one of her stuffed animals everywhere she went, sometimes offering them to people. Several people expressed interest in adopting her! One couple was really serious, so this weekend we're going to fly her up to their home in Big Bear, California (only about 30 miles from here but up high in the mountains), where they have a full acre yard, two senior male dogs (a retriever and an eskimo dog), and a great love for dogs -- and now for Scarlett. Stay tuned to hear how that turns out! But if it goes well, she may become a mountain dog instead of a Texas prairie dog. And we'll be able to visit her for the rest of her life, because the family flies down to their second home in the Los Angeles area fairly frequently! Scarlett the Ski Bunny, maybe. We'll see!
Here are some photos and video from today's jaunt up the canyon for Scarlett and Bear. Get ready to smile, as you see Scarlett run and play like she hasn't for ... well, maybe ever. Tonight she is one tired girl, curled up on the sofa in the kitchen with all her stuffed animals and snoring away. Bear is on a dog bed on the floor not four feet from her. I guess she doesn't have the dog issues we were afraid she had. Another lesson on lousy presumptions about dogs, especially pit bulls. They are what they are, terriers, who want to root out what's under every bush and rock before they answer your call. But after they've checked it all out, they just want to jump in your arms and tell you how much they love you and how happy they are, and how can you be disappointed in them when they're nothing but love? sigh.
(Remember, to see these photo galleries as slideshows and with higher resolution, just click on any photo and use the right or left arrows to move through the gallery.)
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"The Story of Pellie Lou - a Pelican who survived the Gulf of Mexico oil spill"
by Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D.
With 46 photos from the Gulf of Mexico.
ALL proceeds go to benefit Gulf wildlife!
Order your autographed hard copies or an electronic copy here!
Read about our rescues under Rescue Tails!
Here are some samples:
A Dog Named Pepper Doesn't Give up Easily on Life!
20130428 - This 15-yr-old deaf, blind, arthritic senior held out in a hot, dry, desert parking lot until love finally found him!
CHAZ - No Ordinary Extraordinary Cur!
20130422 - Left to die but instead, this super-intelligent deep-hearted dog discovered love, family, and even fun -- from the most unlikely mentors!
Turbulent Trails for Tails from TX-20130413
Six rescue dogs from east Texas find forever homes in Nevada and California!
Who was rescued, and who was the rescuer? Anyone who has known this kind of bond has felt something so deep, so real, so ancient, that it cannot be described with words. These bonds ground us and free us from pettiness in our lives. Thank you Sheba. Rest in peace.
A Letter From Your Admirers! 20121231
This was a last-minute challenge that seemed beyond even our own grandest heroic imaginings. But it turned out not to be beyond the devoted hearts and energies of about 30 rescuers, shelter staff, volunteers, and families working together. Forty-three (yes, 43!) dogs in one day, from dead-ends in a Porterville shelter to homes and real lives with real humans who love and want them. Rescuers ROCK!
Orphaned very young, left alone and hungry til her fur fell out and her skin was covered with mange. Thanks to some big-hearted Texas rescuers, not only did she recover, she found the family who wanted to love her forever. How glad we were to be able to give this little pup with the big paws the ride to the rest of her life!
20121205-Blackie Goes Home at Last, and Taylor Turns Texan!
Four long months since Blackie's lifelong human companion and partner Tammy suffered a serious injury from a passing truck and disappeared from his life. Suddenly Blackie was in a shelter kennel, and Tammy fought for her life as she dreamed of her beloved dog. Thanks to many people, both of these souls survived to find each other again! This was a rescue and a reunion we'll never forget.
The same rains that made us work "On WHEELS Of Care" this week kept us grounded for this trip, which serendipitously combined the transport of Skip northward and the joyful and miraculous reunion of Miss T'Chen, who had been rescued and taken to Illinois after Hurricane Isaac, with her family in Baton Rouge!
This flight went almost as planned, and our plane was filled to over-flowing on every leg. And we met some wonderful new cat and dog rescues in Idaho and Oregon!
20 Lucky rescued dogs flown to homes in Canada!
2012 Sep 22
It turned out to a journey full of unexpected challenges, but these 20 lucky lovable canines who had been through the worst of times in California were just the best through it all, and now they are warming the hearts and laps and lives of some very lucky Canadian families!
Spindletop Scandal and the Search for Scarlett
2012 July 17 - present
With pitbull-like tenacity, we wouldn't take "NO" for an answer. Out of 21 dogs we sought, we have closure on all but two. Alas, one of those two is our Scarlett.
Tale of seven cities, six cats, and five goats!
2012 July 16
Who knows if the pleas for help brought the plane, or vice-versa.
But when serendipity puts this much together, there's no saying no!
Homeless Mom and Pups no More!
2012 July 08
Sometimes rescuers find the IDEAL person to adopt that animal in need ...
themselves! And in the process, a hole gets filled for the entire family.
This lucky mom now lives with Bear, Sheba, and Dave!
From Empty Nest to Love Fest!
2012 May 11
That last urgent plea came for the five orphaned pups ...
but what about the two large senior boys who would probably never get adopted?
Some people are just angels, meant to be who they are and where they are.
Check out these two and their new happy pack!
JEREMIAH has come home to us!
UPDATE 2012 July 7!
2012 January 13
His adopter called to say she had become ill, and could we care for Jeremiah? You bet we could. We rented a plane and flew to Arizona and retrieved him immediately. Jeremiah was indeed a true friend, and we aim to be his true friends, too. He has been eating like crazy and slept his stress away for the first few days, and now he's acting like a young dog again. Read more here!
CHAMP found at the airport!
2012 January 01
A sad, scared but dignified young Champ quickly won the hearts of everyone who met him at the New Orleans airport, and within two days we had permission from his original breeders to give him to a young couple with a younger female boxer mix, all of whom fell totally in love with him at first sight! Champ and Miss Princess are leading the good life now, and Champ's new dad finally has the fishing buddy he wanted! They tell us we made their dreams come true. We think they made Champ's come true, too.
Abby & Dinozo -- Two of a Kind!
2011 September--2012 January
Orphaned brother and sister, rescued and adored until calamity struck and they lost their family. Orphaned again, these gentle gems and perfect canine citizens found love and adventure with us until we found them their true forever home! Abby & Dinozo came with us to Washington January 7, and they were welcomed warmly and immediately into a home. Read more here!
Yo! Get a Load of Yolo!
2011 November--2012 January
Left in the cold, high in the mountains of southern California, life was over before it had barely begun for this orphan teenager.
Little did he know, his adventures had only begun! As of January 7, it's back to snow but this time with a family who adores him, and lots of fun and play in the Pacific Northwest!
Saving Scarlett -- Love Forever at Last!
Found on the streets, teats full but puppies absent, a battle-torn very hungry pitbull.
Hardly that sought-after doggie in the window.
But after we brought Miss Scarlett home to love and food, warmth and stuffed animals,
we discovered a warm heart and sweet spirit that changed us forever.
2011 July--September 29, A Joyful Reunion At Last!
Here they are during their flight with four other dogs Sep 29 (New Orleans to Oakland, CA, fuel stop in Roswell, NM).
And here's a photo from the happiest reunion ever!
More photos and updated videos here!
Sheba-Cosette - this lovely lady waited a lifetime!
Jeremiah - a true friend finds a new lease on life!
Two Giant Dogs & three cats reunited with their family on Whidbey Island, WA
Chihuahuas "Betty" & "JellyBean" fly to their rescue in Bremerton, WA!
New Year's Rescue: 33 dogs & cats are flown to rescue in the Pacific Northwest!
Hounds fending for themselves for years in Alabama fly to rescue in Arizona!
Romo & Stanley are flown to safe havens in Arizona!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2013
2013 Apr 12 - Mayflower, AR Pipeline Spill
2013 Apr 02 - Bayou Corne #6
2013 Mar 23 - IMMS Marine Mammals
2013 Mar 19 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#5
2013 Feb 15 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#4
2013 Jan 26 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#3
2012 Dec 24 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#2
2012 Nov 08 - Tar Sands and Texas
2012 Aug 30 - Hurricane Isaac Conquered
2012 Aug 28 - Hurricane Isaac Arrives!
2012 Aug 13 - Sinkhole in Bayou Corne, LA
2012 Jun 13-Dispersant Spraying Exercise off LA
2012 April - Chronicles of the Endeavor
2012 Dec 10 - How Dilute is Dilute Enough?
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2012
Sat Nov 17 - Platform Explosion
Wed Nov 14 - Barrier Islands 1
Sat Nov 10 - OIL
Fri Nov 09 - OIL
Sat Oct 06 - Whale Sharks
Fri Oct 05 - OIL
Fri Sep 14 - OIL
Sun Sep 09 - Hurricane Isaac
Sun Aug 12 - Whale Sharks
Wed Jul 11 - Whales & More
Fri Jun 29 - Whale Sharks & More
Dominica - The Nature Island!
On Wings Of Care flies to the Eastern Caribbean for whales and sea turtles!
Read more here!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2011
Sperm Whales & Whale Sharks:
Cape Cod, MA
Our Gift for YOU for 2011!
Click Here to Smile
from your heart, out!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf, 2010
Galapagos Veterinary Support
Galapagos vets do much with little,
thanks to true friends who shipped a TON of supplies and meds from the U.S. in June, 2011.
“Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.”