Our fosters take great pride in bringing a homeless beagle into their home and loving them with unconditional love. Some, along the way, touch their lives in remarkable ways. This page was developed so that they may share with you the love and compassion, we at Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue, have for our beagle friends. Hope you enjoy|
On August 9, 2007 I received a call from a county animal shelter saying they had a "real skinny" but sweet young Beagle mix that they would have to euthanize if we could not come and get her immediately. We asked for volunteers and the next day Jeff drove the over 200 mile round trip to rescue her. When I met Jeff he said she was skinny and smelly and boy was he right! She was literally skin and bones, with no meat on her at all. You could see almost every bone in her body and when she walked you could see the joints move. She weighed in at under 17 pounds. Oh, and she really did smell bad. When I got her home she went right for a bath with medicated shampoo, got fed and fell asleep. She was very timid and just wanted affection. Her white body with the brown and black spots reminded me of the mountains so I named her Aspen, as in Colorado. On Monday I took her to our vet, Dr. Corona, who found, of course, she had a variety of worms/parasites, was heartworm positive, had some mange, was anemic, seriously undernourished and underweight and had a low thyroid level. He also noted that the wear on her teeth was typical of a dog that had been confined in a cage and chewing on the bars for a long time. Thank God no killer items, so she was not in bad shape for the shape she was in. She certainly had a strong will to live and we were going to give her that chance. We fed her a diet of small amounts of puppy food several times a day and she had a ferocious appetite. In just a few days, with a healthy diet and her medications, she started to perk up and I could feel the hair growing back on her bare spots. She became more confident on our walks following Doolittle & Cherry. However, Aspen had no idea what a toy was for and never attempted to play with other dogs. Once we got rid of the worms she started to gain weight and you could see she was going to be a real beauty.
The annual blessing of the animals at our church was on October 6, 2007, and it was there that she met our pastor Father Len. You could see he was taken by her and amazed when I showed him Aspen's before/after photos. He even pointed her out to everyone and said she was up for adoption and needed a new home. After the service we stayed and chatted with some of the congregation and Fr. Len kept coming over and petting Aspen. Someone would take him away to show him their dog or cat and he would always come back to Aspen.
That next week we received an email from Fr. Len saying he would like to meet Aspen and possibly adopt her. Due to the special circumstances of living in a rectory and with all the people and children around every day we agreed that Aspen would make several day visits to see how she would adjust to that environment. The first time I brought her for what I expected would be a 1 or 2 hour visit, and she stayed 5 hours. We were worried how she would get along with the 2 birds that occupy the rectory, but she hardly paid them any mind at all. The second visit was planned for about 6 hours but when we went to pick Aspen up Fr. Len asked if she could stay the night, just to see "how she would do". She has been with him ever since. When you see Fr. Len and Aspen together there is no doubt that this is a match made in heaven. Aspen just loves meeting people all day long, young and old, and is very calm even when rushed by a group of pre-schoolers. Fr. Len had Beagles in the past so he has the attitude and aptitude to help Aspen reach her full potential and he gives her plenty of exercise plus she spends some time every day with him at his office. Aspen was still recuperating from her Heartworm treatment so we finalized her adoption on Nov 16, 2007. She is the talk of the parish an a great ambassador for the Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue.
Most fosters will admit that the adopting family will never be as good for their foster dog as they were. We have to say, with Fr. Len and Aspen, that thought has never crossed our minds.
Dee & Jack Novoselski
MICHAEL (THE MIRACLE)
I first saw Michael in January at a county animal shelter. He was very frightened and I spent some time in the kennel with him petting and touching him. We could not take him because he was a stray and had to be held for 7 days. When we followed up with the shelter, they said that he was aggressive and he could not be adopted out, which means he would be killed. I could not believe he was aggressive, having spent time with him, and we pleaded our case. But, as the saying goes, you can't fight city hall, so we were sad that he would die without being given another chance. A few weeks ago Rikkele went to that county shelter to pickup another dog and they said that the one eye, black and brown Beagle was still there. No one could tell her why and they said it was probable just a paperwork mix up. Rikkele didn't ask any questions, but just signed Michael out and took him home. Unfortunately, in additional to his physical problems he was also suffering from severe emotional stress. He would not move and stayed pressed up against the side of his crate or a wall or a box like a frozen statue. His head was down and tail fully between his legs. You could pet and touch him, but he just didn't move. However, when you put a leash around his neck he would go wild, spinning, twisting and turning, like a crazy dog. No doubt this is why he was marked as aggressive by the shelter.
Here is Michael the day he came to our house on March 17, 2007 and on Easter Sunday April 8, 2007
Michael came to stay with Doolittle, Cherry and us on March 17th. At first he would not move and had to be carried outside and back in. He would just remain motionless in one spot. He did have an appetite however. We just let him alone but would stop to rub his neck and give him some treats every so often. Doolittle and Cherry would give him the obligatory sniffs and he would watch them carefully as they would move about the house. Slowly he would venture out of his hiding spot and into the kitchen when Dee was preparing their food. We decided not to use a collar and got him use to a harness by bribing him with treats. However, as soon as I would attach a leash he would suction himself to the ground. We took him to the eye vet who said that his left eye was probably blinded by some trauma but he could see very well with his right eye. I tried putting 5 or 6 treats in a line about 1 foot apart and, after a few tries, Michael walked along and ate all the treats. The beginning of his second week with us I saw him sitting by the screen door and watching when I would take Doolittle and Cherry out for a walk. He balked every time I tried to put a leash on him and get him out, so I attached a long lead to his harness, attached it to a tie down in the back yard and left the door open. I took Doolittle and Cherry out in the backyard and played with them on the grass. Ever so slowly, Michael came to the door and stepped cautiously outside. He was ready to bolt at the first sign of me moving toward him, so I just stayed put and after several minutes he came close to me so I could pet him. Meanwhile, I had been trying to get him to play by tapping his paws and teasing him with a rope. He would tug on the rope a little but was unsure of what to do. Then one night he came over to where I was sitting on the floor and hit my hand with his paw. We now play, rather vigorously, several times during the day.
A few days ago we were able to get Michael into the back yard by bribing him with treats and then he walked around a little, sniffing and being curious. The next day it was a short 10 minute walk, and the day after that he came on a walk around the retention pond behind us, about 1/2 mile. Then, this Sunday morning, he came with us on a 2 mile walk, balking very few time along the way. He still is cautious of any new or strange dogs or people, but he did not react at all to passing cars, trucks or motorcycles.
the shelter put his age at 4 years but, now that he is coming out of his shell, he has too much puppy in him to be that old. The vet and I guess he is between 1 and 2 years.
Michael still has a long way to go, but we are finally seeing the sweet dog that was inside that frozen statue. He will need someone to be patient and let him move forward at his own pace. I have every confidence that he will overcome his fears and be the greatest one-eyed dog that ever lived.
April 8, 2007: Michael is turning into a great dog. He has no more accidents in the house, enjoys going on walks, gets in and out of his harness without problems, loves to play with both me and our other dogs, loves his treats and, of course, loves to have his belly rubbed and his neck scratched. He still is shy whenever something new comes along but, given some patience, he will approach it slowly and carefully. He no longer bolts for cover every time. Since I am going out of town, I took him over to Paula's where he will be in the house with 3 young children and 4 other dogs. I believe he will do very well and will warm to the situation in just a short while. It has been a great and wonderful experience for us to see Michael's transition from a petrified dog to the playful pup he is turning in to.
Dee & Jack Novoselski
MAY 7, 2007: I brought Michael to his new forever home today to start his new life with Elise and Tom. They have posted their "Success Story" on that page for everyone to read, but for me and TBBR Michael is by far our biggest success and most rewarding effort and is proof to us all that every dog can be rehabiltated! Jack.
Buddy’s respiratory problem seemed to increase and nothing was helping. I was ready to start I.V’s and try getting some oxygen for him. His eyes were asking for help and we were trying. After spending several nights at the vet’s office and dreading the phone call they still were not sure what the problem was. He was placed on the prayer list a church and I prayed for him every night. When it seems like the end was near. Buddy was trying with all his might to get one last breath. May nights I cried myself to sleep just unsure of what would be next. Then Jack picked him up and took him to a specialist who treated him. He was cared for 24 hours a day 7 days a week by Jack and Dee. It was touch and go for a while but then a miracle happened he got better. Jack took him outside and Buddy ran down the sidewalk with Jack behind him.
I received a call from Tami at Collier animal’s services just before Christmas about a senior beagle. His family left him and Collier had no room. Once given permission to go and pick him up I drove to Naples. Upon seeing him there was something about him I fell in love with. He was coughing but at first thought it was just kennel cough. The ride home it seemed to get worse so we stopped by the vets office. I contacted Tami to see if any of the other dogs were ill and kept in touch with her.
At the last event he was running around no longer short of breath. And then another miracle a new family decided to adopt him and give him the love he so deserves. Buddy V11 will be one of those special foster beagles and will always have a special place in my heart. To all those beagles like Buddy V and Buddy V11 who finally get the home they deserve we love you. And to the folks at rescue who care enough to go the extra mile Buddy says thanks. Cindy
Buddy VII continued with Jack
Buddy VII, 11 years old, had been treated by Dr. Corona for 3 days and they said they had done all that could for him and nothing they had tried was improving his condition. We believed that, with his condition, Buddy had slipped through the cracks at the shelter. You can say it was fate or faith but we were not about to give up on this older fellow, just because he was coughing so badly. On Dec 30th I picked him up from Cindy and we took him to the emergency hospital where they gave him about a 50/50 chance for recovery. After several tests they suggested a new antibiotic and other medications to try and clear his lungs. His breathing was labored and you could hear all of the mucus in his system as he breathed and sneezed and coughed. Since Buddy was not eating I had to force feed him his medications 3 times a day. I crushed the pills and mixed them with a little food and honey, put the mix in a syringe and, sitting on his back, opened his mouth, shot the mix into the back of his mouth and held his snout until he swallowed. He did not enjoy this part of our relationship. After 7 days he was still not eating. Dee bought a Sam's Club chicken and when she brought it home Buddy's nose twitched and he looked right at her with those big brown eyes. He only ate a few ounces of that chicken but it was the first food he had taken on his own. Within a few days he was eating a bit more and wanting to go outside on his own. He still did not want to always take his medications so he and I had our wrestling match from time to time. In an answer to our prayers Buddy seems to be getting a little better every day. He was still so lethargic that I would take him out back without a leash to pee and poop. Then one day, much to my surprise, Buddy spotted a squirrel and took off at full speed, unfortunately, heading right for the street. So there is the squirrel running, Buddy chasing it and me chasing Buddy. I tackled him about 50 feet from the main road and he was never outside without a leash again.
Although he was getting well, we expected finding a new home for an 11 year old would be difficult. But along came another miracle, Jamelle Tola and her husband, who said they wanted to give a chance to an older dog, because they understood how difficult it could be to find a home for the seniors. He officially became Buddy Tola on February 9, 2007 and at last report is adjusting well to his new home and his "younger" stepbrother Murphy, who is only 10. The last thing Buddy told me was that if he every needed food and medicine shoved down his throat again, he would make sure he asked for me.
This is a special story about a very special beagle named Jimmy. Jimmy came with several other beagles from an extreme abuse case in Georgia. When I first saw him his eyes were full of fear and panic as to what would happen next. During the time he was here we tried to crate him, but he had extremely bad separation anxiety. I still have the crate that has the holes where he tried to chew thru. Jimmy loved to sit on the couch and be held and loved once he realized he was safe. If you sneezed he would jump in a panic Terry, Betty and I did the best we could to show him love. To reinforce that not all people are mean and nasty, but it is so hard to show an animal who has had such a terrible abusive life. We try but do not understand what they go thru and how they feel.
Each day we went outside with him to make sure that nothing scared him and to reassure him it was ok. Rain and thunderstorms were the worst next to firecrackers. We went to several adoption events but no one seems to have the extra time needed to adopt Jimmy. The a very nice lady appeared Jimmy would be her first dog she would give him all the love and reassurance he needed.
She placed her application and was approved everything was explained to her. She was a very kind person willing to do whatever it took to help Jimmy.
As the adoption event got close we were very nervous being a foster you would like to keep them all. And not having any children I think of my fosters as my adopted children. We spend time talk and going over things with the lady who was to adopt him. She was so excited and aware of the time needed. As he was leaving with her I could feel my heart breaking I knew he had a special home, but I would miss him very much.
I do believe we are put on this earth to serve a purpose and when the Lord says it is our time we go. A few nights later I received a
Phone call from Rickelle that would change my life and everyone who knew Jimmy. I could tell in her voice something had happened
And then the news came. Jimmy had bolted when his new mom opened the front door. There was a truck coming it did not see him and could not stop. His new mom gathers him up and rushed him to the emergency veterinary and called Jack. Jack rushed to the emergency clinic. However Jimmy’s injuries were severe and he was suffering. So the hardest decision someone will every make had to be done he was put to sleep.
As we cry and grieve we strive to do our best and help those beagles in need. Since none of us know what tomorrow has to offer. We must live for each day like it is our last. Treat each foster as if they were our own dogs. Learn with each experience sometime with trail and error. Find the best homes for them to go to and be supportive when they leave. I do believe there is a little bit of Jimmy in every beagle. My your ride on the rainbow bridge finally be the peace and comfort you so much needed.
Ezekiel came from Bishop animal shelter in Bradenton, Fla. He was 4 months old when I got him. I had just put my beagle Bandit down with colon cancer after trying chemotherapy. Bandit was 1 1/2 years old and was bought from a breeder.Ezekiel seemed to know I was having trouble breathing at night due to my asthma and would wake me up. It was then that I realized this beagle was special. After talking to my friend who trains dogs, I learned how to get Zeke trained as a service dog.
Ezekiel is now a Certified asthma alert dog. This does come at a cost, and lots of schooling and many hours at home. He knows before I have an asthma attack even when we are miles apart.
Recently his skills have increased and he can now let me know prior to my foster beagle having a grand mal seizure. Beagles are very smart and with time and patience can learn. Not all beagles will grow up to be service dogs like Ezekiel, but I sure hope they are loved just like him.
With time and patience your new beagle can be a wonderful family member. However as our schedules change and we become busy then they are left out, broken hearted and looking for someone to love them.
Please make sure you are ready to adopt you new family member. Treat them as such with love, patience and understanding.
TBBR Volunteer Cindy--
(Ezekiel) His mom