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21 AUGUST 2011

Marti Houge writes:

We have a beautiful little Starfish who has just joined our rescue family!


Sweetheart came to us in mid-August
(via a long, exhausting two-day cross-country rescue transport)
from the Murray County Shelter in Chatsworth, Georgia.

(We receive weekly updates on the dogs available at this pound;
when I saw her picture, I knew immediately that she desperately needed help.
The only information the shelter could give us was that she
was a gentle, older girl who was an unclaimed stray.
But this information - along with just one picture of her sweet face - was all I needed to know!)


Since Sweetheart arrived,
we have discovered that she has a multitude of medical concerns.
(Of course, that doesn't change anything . . .
I would have snatched her up even sooner if I had known!
I have a soft spot in my heart for the elderly & the special needs dogs.
And - given her overall condition & her age -
no other rescue would have pulled her,
so she would soon have been put to sleep.)

At any rate, Sweetheart arrived on August 21,
and we could see she how miserable she was feeling,
so we took her to our vet right away.

After a battery of lab tests and x-rays,
here is a list of the problems that we have thus far determined for Sweetheart:

* tested positive for heartworms
* tested positive for Lymes Disease
* heart murmur
* urinary tract infection
* anemic
* ankylosing spondylitis of her spine
(fused vertebrae due to chronic arthritis)
* yeast infection of her skin
* HORRIBLE ear infection


* ruptured eardrum
* eye infection
* growth on eyelid
* several mammary tumors
* emaciated


* muscle atrophy in her hips
* tapeworms, hookworms & whipworms

The above list of ailments may look like a rescue group's worst nightmare,
but we are not intimidated and we aren't giving up on Sweetheart!
We will systematically address one problem at a time,
and we are hoping she will be with us long enough
to enjoy a few "golden" years of quality food,
good medical care (which she clearly has never had), and LOTS of love.
Sweetheart is a VERY gentle, kind soul who is hurting & afraid . . .
but we will do our best to change that.


Some people would tell us that Sweetheart has too many problems,
and that she should be put to sleep.
But she is not ready to give up,
so we aren't giving up either!

We believe in miracles,
in the power of prayer, love & support from people like you!
After all, look how far Braveheart came in a short period of time!

Yes, we know Sweetheart probably won't live many more years.
(But, none of us really knows how long we have on this earth
and - to a dog - the "here and now" of each day is what is important.
We could learn a lot from them.)


We believe that with good care,
Sweetheart will probably live at least a few more quality years.
In the meantime, she deserves a warm, snuggly, soft blanket to sleep on,
good food and whatever medical care can help her feel better,
and - when the time comes - she deserves
to be held in loving arms as she crosses The Rainbow Bridge.

It has been said "That which is loved is always beautiful".
We can see the beauty inside Sweetheart,
so we wanted to share her story with you.
Can you see her inner beauty, too?

PLEASE keep her in your thoughts & prayers
as we begin this long road. If you are able
to send us a small donation to help with our vet bills,
it would be much appreciated.




The Starfish

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach
before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human figure
moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer,
he saw that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked,
why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize
that there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely.
Then he bent down,
picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said,

"It made a difference for that one."

-- Adapted from "The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)

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