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A Day in the Life: The Reality of Rescue

A Day in the Life: The Reality of Rescue

Wake up. Smell the air to see if there is a whiff of poop.

When you foster puppies, that can often be the first thing you are greeted with in the morning. If not, I do some social media. No, I am not posting selfies but as a one-woman rescue, Instagram and Facebook have been instrumental in helping Road Dogs reach a wider audience.

Social media is work though! It's visually based so important to take good photos. Red eye is not acceptable! If you've ever tried to get good photos of dogs. you know that they don't always co-operate. Especially my bulldog, Huxley. He is so over it.

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How many bulldogs can you fit on a bench?
(Biggles, Welly, Jubilee, Huxley)

Clean. Once I get up, I clean. Most shelter dogs are not house trained so I crate train as it tends to work more quickly. Still, me and the mop are BFFs. So are me and the bathtub. A lot of my rescues require medicated baths so I have learned to maximize bath time. Do two or three at a time!

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Bathing buddies - Lily and Hunka Love.

Exercise. A happy dog is a tired dog. And the owner/foster is even happier. Especially when dealing with bulldogs. I get them out early and then it's time for a good nap. Them, not me. More napping = less chewing. Rescuing dogs teaches you not to sweat the small stuff. Like chewed furniture or shoes, ha!

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Wonk-E happy and tired. He may still find my sunglasses tasty though.

Feed. Gone are the days when you fed one crappy kibble.

Knowledge is power- or confusion depending on how you look at it. There are so many choices! Since I have a lot of rescues with skin issues, I am guided by a nutritionist and usually feed raw to the most severe cases and Honest Kitchen to the others, plus probiotics, fish oils, and supplements.

Road Dogs spends beaucoup money at the vet, but we also spend a fortune on nutrition. I usually urge people to start there as dietary changes can make a huge difference. For people too, although I am still too attached to Toblerones to apply that significantly in my own life.

Vet visits. As a rescuer, I spend a lot of time at the vet and I have a lot of vets that I use.

One, for boarding and basic stuff. Another I use for spaying and neutering and teeth cleaning and less complicated surgeries. Another for shelter transfers, puppies and non-critical care hospitalizations. A Bulldog vet. A Neurologist. An Eye Specialist. A Surgical specialist. And on it goes...

Why so many? Rescues are cost conscious. Some vets are A LOT more expensive than others. We are also knowledge conscious. I hate feeling like I need to tell the vet what to do. That makes me think they're incompetent, and them think I'm just another bitchy rescuer.

The other day I drove to three different vets for three different dogs. And people think I just play with puppies all day.

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Waiting to see the eye specialist with Knuckles. Of course he needed eye surgery.

Shelter Break. Going to the shelter is hard. Thankfully, these days most dogs are online, so I prefer to know in advance which one I am going for. Otherwise, walking past cages of dogs barking at you, begging to be freed just gets overwhelming.

If you make eye contact, then you feel compelled to help. The worst part is seeing people drop off dogs to the shelter that are no longer wanted. The best part is leaving with your new rescue. Some are shell shocked and some start smiling the minute they are out the gate.

Many people think that is when the rescue ends. But to us, it's really when everything begins...

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Lily’s Freedom Ride

Tech. Besides all the running around and poop patrol, a lot of rescue is computer stuff.

Answering emails. Posting dogs for adoption. Reviewing adoption applications. Answering emails on why I haven't answered previous emails more quickly. Emailing people to blag donations for fundraising. Posting fundraisers. Talking with vets. Panicking about all the money being spent at aforementioned vet and hoping fundraiser will be successful. Talking with fosters. Talking with myself because the dogs don't want to talk politics.

Clean. Again. Did I mention rescue involves a lot of cleaning?!

Sleep. Yes puppy cuddles are cute. But when you are dealing with an incontinent one, they can also involve poop. Luckily, Welly is big enough to wear diapers now but he is still banned from my bed. Maybe I should write a book - Eat, Poop, Love.

Wake up and do it all again!

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Welly in Dino Pj’s

Before/After Rescue

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Nikki Carvey is trained as a journalist in the UK. She now writes, rescues dogs, and complains about the sunshine in LA.  I mean, she's British. They complain about everything.  Allegedly.

You can follow her rescues on Instagram @roadogs



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