Update 2012 January 14 - Yolo is home!
79 dogs made it out of death row in California shelters and up to Oregon and Washington the weekend of January 7, and Yolo was one of the biggest hits of them all! He just knew that this was for him, and he must have felt right at home in the climate of the Pacific Northwest, because he was a dream on the road transport, and within a few hours of our dropping him off at our rescue friends' home, we had several phone calls and emails. "Yolo is the BEST!" "Yolo is FANTASTIC!" Ahh, music to our ears. But truly, he is in his element now. With a family who loves hiking outdoors and snow and fresh air as much as he does, he has made it home. YEA YOLO!!!!!!
Update 2012 January 2 - Yolo is going to his forever home in Washington! See story below, plus new video!
2011 Dec 20
Somehow Yolo found himself out in the cold at Big Bear Mountain, high in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. Just a teenager at about nine months of age, his heart longed to be at some playground letting all the local children run after him and pull on him and play with him. But instead, he was behind bars at the local shelter, and his time was out.
We don't usually answer the calls for dogs who sound adoptable; we leave those to other rescues who have kennels or a ready supply of foster homes. Our email IN boxes are set for those subject lines that read like "RED ALERT" or "BEYOND URGENT" -- and even with those, we sometimes have to sigh and just pass them along to others with a silent prayer. But Big Bear is an out-of-the-way place, and the shelter said this really was the end for this boy, as much as the staff all loved him. The only On Wings Of Care volunteer available at the time was Dave, who would have to drive all the way down from his home in the southern Sierra Nevada in order to help. And that meant he would have to bring along his own two dogs (Bear and Sheba-Cosette) and would be driving the high desert and mountain roads during a winter wind storm. But "No" was not an option for Yolo, so it was not one to Dave, either. Before that day was over, Yolo began what no doubt was the adventure of his young life.
Yolo is some nondescript mix of yellow lab and german shepherd, maybe a small pinch of pit bull; and to be honest, he doesn't share the finest features of appearance of any of those breeds. If it were up to looks or structure or such trivialities alone, Yolo's "adoptability quotient" was probably low. But soon after Dave freed him from the shelter and introduced him to Bear and Sheba, we knew otherwise. His sweet, playful, and gentle nature actually make him most adoptable. But how would he handle the immediate adventure that lay ahead of him?
It was dark by the time that Dave and Bear, Sheba, and Yolo drove down from Big Bear Mountain toward Los Angeles. The hardest part was yet to come, because Dave wasn't driving to a house in town. He was going to a remote cabin in the Angeles National Forest that he had promised to check on for its owner. There was no access by car and a challenging one-mile hike to reach it -- plus a howling wind-storm that had branches and trees flying all around them as they hiked through the forest in the dark, plus new dog Yolo and old dog Sheba to help navigate the route while Dave also carried a heavy backpack full of supplies! You have to wonder if Yolo wasn't starting to wonder if he might not have been better off in his old dull life at the shelter!
But all went well. Until they reached the cabin only to discover that the windstorm had knocked all power out. Worse, the winds had knocked the entire power line down from the transformer pole at the top of the ridge. No power, no water, no nothing. Okay, by now you get the picture that Dave is pretty much unflappable. Well, turns out Yolo is too! In fact, Yolo was showing himself to be one just-about-perfect great dog. Only problem was that he was a bit too enthusiastic about playing with old Bear. Bear had to set him straight more than once, which got Dave to thinking that this neutering operation needed to happen soon.
Dave announced that he would be quite happy to foster Yolo at his home. We made a plan to neuter Yolo very soon, and give Yolo a few weeks of excellent nutrition, good outdoor exercise in the mountains where he could run with Dave and the rest of his "pack," and we would teach him to be an excellent citizen with people and animals alike. Most people would think that Dave was taking quite a gamble to offer to foster this strong young dog, considering that Dave's home is shared by quite a variety of critters that Yolo would be expected to respect and befriend -- cats, birds, rabbits, and two additional small foster dogs in addition to Bear and Sheba. But Dave read Yolo correctly. He has been a perfect gentleman with all.
Now, all of that was a few weeks ago. Yolo's been neutered, Bear has established his Alpha position firmly at home, and all of the animals in Dave's animal sanctuary in the mountains are getting along beautifully. Yolo has calmed down considerably and has shown himself to be a most responsive, obedient, and sensitive dog. If Dave didn't already have Bear and Sheba, Yolo would have a permanent home with him, which is probably the highest compliment anyone could pay to Yolo. We think that this time has done a world of good for Yolo, and he is most ready to give some lucky human his deep and loyal heart, and his youthful playful spirit that has matured now and understands what it means to be a good pack member.
UPDATE 2012 January 02!
Yolo has a fan club! Looks like he has some wonderful folks in Washington who want him to share their lives!
We'll be taking him up there this week.
In the meantime, enjoy this video of Yolo having some holiday fun, playing chase with Bear (long-haired german shepherd) and little Dinozo (chihuahua - brother of Abby) around Dave's pool table. Yolo is all about happy and fun, yet he is very obedient when we need him to be. He's just a super combination of puppy and grown-up dog.
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Here are some photos of Yolo in his foster home with Dave and with some of his friends and pack mates.
"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.”