Thursday, November 1, 2012

Girl is a living legend at almost 15

Girl in her prime
Girl is the dog in the Reunion Rescue logo. She is much more than that, though. As immortalized in Pit Bull Nation, she spent two months on death row in the high kill shelter where Reunion Rescue got its start.

As the volunteer photographer for the dogs and cats at the high kill San Francisco shelter, it was extremely depressing to continue to walk and try to promote these gorgeous dogs only to see them routinely put to sleep. I'm not one of those types of people who can deal with 'humane euthanasia.' I couldn't see killing all those dogs then and I certainly can't understand it now.

Girl...still kicking it!
I'd been walking Girl and placing her photographs all over town the entire time she was sequestered in Room 116, better known as the 'pit bull room.' The weekend after we walked in Gay Pride 2000, Girl was scheduled to be put to sleep. I couldn't let that happen.

I was still in the very beginnings of establishing Reunion Rescue. Looking back, I cringe at the time I wasted during the first year in meetings. Those people at animal control had absolutely no intention of working together to create a solution for the hundreds if not thousands of pit bulls being killed at that facility. The numbers at that same animal control today reflect the killing still going on.

I was younger and green. I thought because I loved these dogs, everyone would. Boy, was I wrong. Direct me to the ignorant section, please.

Today, at almost 15 years old, Girl has out-lived, out-lasted and out-played her way to a strong and happy life. She truly is a champion. Girl turned out to be quite the frisbee queen in her day. She was captain of the Reunion Rescue Pit Bull Frisbee Team and wowed the crowds to the tunes of Charlie Daniels and Guns and Roses.

She's moving a little slower these days, but with all the dignity and grace of the regal girl I saw for the first time all those years ago in the pit bull room. We both share a little white around the muzzle now, but the years Girl has spent with me have made my life a good life. I cannot imagine what my path would have been like had Girl not come home with me for good...literally.

In rescue, it's hard to not remember the ones you couldn't save. Right after Girl, a beautiful pit bull named Blondie was killed. Then Martha, the best ball dog I've ever encountered was killed. I still hurt when I remember those lovely dogs and the lives they could have lived if only someone like me had wandered into the pit bull room and saw what I saw.

I've spent the better part of the past 13 years begging people to see what I see in these dogs. It really doesn't take so much time and for the few minutes invested, the dividend is infinite. Who can put a price tag on the quality of life and joy

Here is what I've learned from Girl. A raw fed dog treated with non-conventional method will lead a strong healthy life. I hear about so many over-vaccinated dogs barely surviving on a kibble-fed diet stricken with cancer and other horrible fates. I want to share Girl's and the Reunion Rescue raw fed animals good stories with these dogs' owners.

Feeding a raw diet is easy and much cheaper than paying some vet a huge monthly bill for toxic flea and heartworm preventatives. I hear so many dog owners repeat diagnosis that at age eleven, the dog has incurable cancer and must be put down....with a backdrop of Hill's Science Diet for sale along the walls of these clinics. It's simply maddening. We are paying for a slow kill!

What I can do is continue to share Girl's good health and the dogs and cats here at the Reunion Rescue No-Kill Refuge. Girl had a scare last Memorial Day, but was totally fixed with homeopathy and some eye-drops. Her blood work was run by vet whose prognosis was dim. He actually told me Girl was dying and couldn't be saved! Her homeopathic vet selected a remedy which immediately turned her around and she's been fine since other than cataracts in the right eye.

This is how a raw fed dog (or cat) will respond when treated holistically. Often times, after the conventional vet has thrown in the towel, desperate pet owners will turn to alternative means. Unfortunately, after a lifetime of miserable kibble and toxic vaccines and medications, the animal's immune system is too weak to respond. This is heartbreaking. A dog or cat who might have survived doesn't have the strength to fight through the malady.

It is so sad to meet these pet lovers who find out only too late how they could have prevented early loss and discomfort. I can only keep trying to share Girl's story and helpful resources like our Home Remedies to Heal Animals Facebook page in hopes that prevention might help save others.

Girl and our Reunion Rescue animals are proof, living proof, that a healthy immune system is not only within an easy reach, but can sustain itself through huge challenges.

Just yesterday, Girl slept on her right rear leg too hard. She wasn't putting weight on that leg and I hit the panic button. I immediately fixed up a homeopathic concoction I give to animals with any tendon/joint issues and within a few minutes, she was going up and down three flights of stairs with the pictures to prove it.

Girl is pretty special, but she is not superhuman. She will eventually pass on to join the others who've lovingly shared our lives. One thing is for certain, though. Girl, will not die in pain or from some long and terrible illness. It's never easy to lose a beloved companion, but knowing they will pass away in a final peaceful sleep adds comfort.

But, for today, Girl and I will enjoy the sunshine. She'll chomp on her organic chicken quarter and some ground choice beef organ and bones. Today, life is good.


  1. I wish i knew this sooner i could have save my colterman he was 6 years old and got cancer . but now i know for my new love Zeus .... thank u for sharing