Monday, December 31, 2012

The Hounds of Myrtle Run

When my husband and I moved to our property in Louisa,VA (we are both natives of Virginia) we wanted to find ways to help animals in the community. Of course, one of those ways is through rescue.  When we received a call from the shelter staff asking if we could please take a frightened, heavily pregnant, stray hound, we looked at our, then empty, pen and said OK. Knowing nothing of puppy birthing, we learned all we could, provided a safe environment and good food and hoped that nature would be kind with us. Nature was, and within a few days, this skinny, frightened hound gave birth to 8 hound puppies. We fed mama well, mama fed the pups well, and all thrived.

As soon as the pups were old enough and vaccinated we began taking them to adoption events to find homes.  They were so cute and people adored them! But few wanted to adopt a hound. Hubby and I were out every weekend showing off our pups and seeking good homes.  We eventually found homes for four of the pups. But the others were growing large quickly and needed to find homes soon. So with the kind help of others, we managed to ship the last four to a deluxe shelter in New Jersey.  We were able to see their profiles online and watch with amazement at how rapidly each remaining pup was adopted for sums of money we could scarcely imagine.

Fast forwarding to the present, we have now received back two of the four pups adopted locally when the families decided they could no longer keep a hound. Now, having accumulated 11 dogs in our short tenure in rescue, we no longer foster dogs for adoption. For those who came into our home and failed to be adopted (or were returned), we provide a home full of love, patience, room to run, and responsible ownership. We adore our three hounds, our two beagles - one so shy and sweet and the other a remarkably resilient survivor, our two wonderful pit bulls, our once feral shepherd mix who was expected to be returned to the shelter for euthanasia after her pups were weaned and adopted, and our elderly dachshunds and spunky min-chow mix. Having dipped a finger randomly into the rescue pot for a very brief moment in time, this is what we accumulated - a snapshot of rescue in rural Central Virginia - hounds, beagles and pits.

We adore our pack and would not now trade them for any other. We have learned, first hand, the overwhelming challenge of rural animals in need of homes. And we are committed to working to support the education and cultural shifts that are essential if we are ever to reduce the numbers of animals in desperate need.