Note from Friends of Flicka: We received this letter from our friends at RAGOM, celebrating some of the dogs we were able to help this year. It was an honor to be able to help these dogs in need. We share this joyful letter in the spirit of the Holiday season, in praise and honor of our four-legged friends.
Dear Friends of Flicka,
You made so many wonderful things happen this year. Ninety-five, to be exact.
2018 was an exceptional year. While there was heartache – we lost some special dogs in our care due to illness – what we experienced most was joy. We were able to give a second chance to so many dogs in need. Over the last several years, you have changed the lives of countless dogs who were formerly used for commercial breeding. We thought you’d like an update on a few of the dogs whose lives you’ve touched. Your support allowed us to rescue 71 commercial breeding dogs this year. A few arrived pregnant and bore a total of 24 puppies who also escaped commercial breeding life.
All told there were 95 happy new beginnings to celebrate. Here are just a few:
Wyatt was only six months old when he was brought to a commercial breeding auction by his owner – a birth defect in his foot made him undesirable for breeding. But his deformed paw proved to be a lucky paw – it was his ticket out of commercial breeding life.
Wyatt was welcomed into a loving RAGOM foster family, but living in a home was a whole new world. For weeks, he wore a worried expression on his face, except when interacting with the family’s resident dogs, who gave him the courage to try new things.
He slowly learned to trust the humans in the house. He would “peek and retreat,” leaving his safe spots in the laundry room or his kennel to come out and see what was happening, and then scurry back. Over and over he did this, slowly building confidence.
His family searched for the right home for him, someone patient and kind and encouraging. Wyatt needed daily exercise but had some restrictions due to his foot. He also needed to be lifted into cars as he was not able to push off on his front paw.
Wyatt was adopted by a wonderful family which included two kindly teenage boys, and two other dogs to play with and be his mentors. His new life is golden.
Wyatt enjoying the soft grass under his feet.
Dani was rescued from a commercial breeding auction in September. Like most dogs used for commercial breeding, she was shy and unsocialized, nervous of new situations. But once she was no longer confined to a cage, she relished the chance to run and play while in her RAGOM foster home. Slowly her confidence grew.
Watching a dog blossom is the most rewarding part of being a foster volunteer, but the hardest part is letting them go. When a wonderful family stepped up to adopt Dani, her foster family knew it was a great opportunity for her. It would also open up a space in their home for another dog in need of a foster family. But they would miss Dani terribly. “I am just the bridge,” her foster mom explained to Dani, “and another dog is waiting.” With love and pride, she let Dani go. This brave girl is thriving in her new home, and another dog in need is now being cared for by her former foster family.
Dani checks out her new family member.
You might remember Mae, the commercial breeding girl you helped us rescue from an auction last year. She arrived with an ear infection and roundworms, and was very shy and fearful. Everything was new to her – stairs, food bowls, doorways – the basic things that we take for granted when adding a new dog into our lives.
She was adopted about a year ago, and recently her new family sent us a letter. Sadie is thriving! She plays constantly with the family’s other dog, goes on walks (previously a big challenge for her) and recently discovered how much she loves the dog park. “She has marked her place on our hearts,” her family wrote.
Just look at her now. Her joyful smile could light up the world.
And last but not least… seven weeks ago we learned of a 7-year-old pregnant Golden named Tessa who was going to be sold at auction. We couldn’t stand the idea of this girl continuing her life as a commercial breeder. Thanks to you, we had the funds to rescue her, but unfortunately, because of an unexpected influx of dogs, every single foster home was full.
It is not an easy task to foster a former commercial breeding dog, as they are usually shy and fearful and lack basic skills. And whoever would foster Tessa faced the added challenge of caring for an entire litter of puppies for at least 9 weeks after they were born – quite an endeavor.
It was a long shot, but we put out a plea for help to the public, asking if anyone would consider this challenging foster role.
As we see so often in the world of rescue, kindhearted people seem to appear when we are most in need. A wonderful family offered to welcome Tessa and her soon-to-be family into their home.
We rushed to make plans, using the funds you provided to successfully bid on Tessa at the auction. She settled into her foster home and soon after gave birth to six pups. Tessa is doing great, quickly adjusting to life in a home, and her pups, now 5 weeks old, are thriving too.
Tessa takes a well-earned nap on her new soft bed.
Three of Tessa’s pups
Over and over, we are amazed at the kindness and seemingly good karma that graces us. When the odds are stacked against us, an angel often shows up at just the right moment to make impossible things happen.
Thank you for being an angel to RAGOM. You have changed the lives of so many dogs in need, and by extension, brought love, joy, and companionship to countless families.
Your Friends at RAGOM