I ran Denver Afghan Hound Rescue for over two decades. When people adopt a dog from a private rescue vs. a shelter they have no idea what we go through to either get the dogs, the condition they can be in and in many cases the nightmares we encounter.
Below are just a few of the kids that have come and gone over the past 25 years. They required either a deal of medical care, hence $$, or have some personality issue that is difficult or just have lived in way too many homes to be shuffled one more time. The sad reality is neither a dog rescue group nor shelter can keep all the dogs that are not placeable. Painfully that forces you to make really sad and crappy decisions … who lives and who dies.
Each on of these kids have touched a special place in my heart as well as others. Each one has caused a great deal of either frustration, money with wings, anger at what happened to them, pain and every other emotion you can think of. The joy and happiness you have when you see those sad, empty eyes, the cowering from fear be replaced with smiles, happy eyes and wagging tails. Each one till this day is missed, brings tears to my eyes and never forgotten. I was blessed to have each and every one of them and thank the Powers That Be for bringing them into my life for each taught me a great lesson.
Angel and Annie
Angel, shown her first day of standing by herself and her sister Annie below were found dumped on I-70 near Loveland. They somehow got separated with Summit County getting Annie and the Max Fund getting Angel. Both places somehow realized they were related and Annie was sent to the Max Fund. I was phoned by the director at the time at 8:30 pm asking if I wanted them but was warned they were in very bad condition and might not live. They were around 12-13 years old. I arrived first thing in the morning, took them home two days later.
Angel weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds and Annie 21 pounds. A friend was kind enough to help me and we took 12 hour shifts of hand feeding, IVs, carrying them outside. Neither were able to stand or walk for four days. Despite all the “professional” opinions of putting them both down, I gave Angel and Annie a promise when I set eyes on them. I was determined that neither of them would die until they knew love, hugs, kisses, all the food and water they could possibly want and a warm safe place to sleep. After 6 days, they both finally ate on their own a complete Blackeyed Pea pot roast dinner. After 2 weeks, both were eating on their own, standing and walking.
Annie lived almost a year and Angel made it a tad over a year. Both of them in less than 4 months were all wagging tails and loved going for walks and treat became a favourite word. They finally weighed in the 40 pound range when they had to be put down. Between the age and the damage to the internal organs being so extensive, no more medical treatment could help either of them. I went to every dog show with pictures asking if anyone recognized the line but everyone denied knowing who could have bred them. I did write a very pointed article and sent it to every Afghan Hound publication trying to get across to breeders to keep an eye on the dogs not just for the sale but after. Naturally, no publication would print it. At least I kept my promise to them and what little time I had them, they finally knew what safety was. For the person or people who did this to them and all the others like them, eternal hell is not punishment enough.
Danny appeared via a phone call from one of the shelters. He was about 6 years old and had three homes, was matted to the skin and weighed about 30 pounds. I recognized the breeder line, known as the breeders who never let the dogs out of a cage unless it was for a dog show. He never had human touch attention so he was very afraid when anyone tried to pet him, running away to a corner, shaking and peeing. At the time I had already had four other Afghans so he fit in quickly. He was very skitty and in the four years I had him I was never able to get him to take food out of my hand. Something he never got over but learned how to get petted, hugged and kissed after about a year of effort
Tiffy was given to me by a wonderful breeder who helped me get Kara and Kaseme who are highlighted under breed of the month. She had taken her back from abusive people who decided kicking in the ribs and beating was the right way to teach an animal. She already having 6 or 8 of her own could not keep her. She asked if I could foster her until she found her a home. Naturally, Tiffy Sue never left, as I am sure Linda knew would happen. She adjusted very quickly, grew out of being hand shy in less than two months and lived another four years hogging the sofa. That is when I decided I needed two sofas’ thinking I might be able to at least sit in one. I was wrong.
Lacy was a surrender with her brother Dillon, (naturally Dillweed never left here). It was a very sad story about the caretaker but he thought it was in both dogs best interest to find them a new home and I agreed. One of the most difficult rescues since he did not want to sign them over and he was sobbing the entire time. Lacy is now living happily in Kansas City with her older brother and still hogging the sofa.
Francis was found as a stray with an unknown history. When called by a local shelter, and upon seeing the condition she was in, it would appear not taken care of very well. She weighed 26 pounds on arrival. After five hours of grooming, six weeks of adding on weight she was ready for a new home. She now lives in Texas with her big brother and probably raising havoc at the dog park just as she did here.
Poor Ash, another shelter kid. He was an older Afghan Hound about 8 years old, turned in by the third person. When the shelter called, he appeared okay if not a bit overweight. He did not and would not get along with any other dogs or people.
He also had a medical condition that although with care could have been managed but would have cut his life short. Since I was the only person he would not attack it was not possible to adopt him out. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations rescue people hate to deal with, putting one down. He was a wonderful loving little boy with me and it was sad he could not be that way with anyone else. Even though he beat the hell out of all my own kids, we all still miss him.
Max arrived from CA from a breeder who no longer had room for him. The story was rather vague and conflicting to say the least but Max was a great kid. He arrived in advanced age and some medical issues. Not many people want to be bothered with old dogs who need constant medical attention. He was here a bit over a year and a half. In that time his favourite pastime was walks in the park and the sofa, a common Afghan Hound demand.
Frenchie was a Russian Wolfhound aka Borzoi. He came from CO from a highly respected breeder/judge. He was my free dog. Unfortunately, she had so many dogs that she neglected to notice he was deathly ill. Within 24 hours Frenchie was in the ER with gastric torsion and emergency surgery. $4,500 later, he was fit as could be. Proving my theory that some breeders are as bad as any other puppy mill since I cannot imagine why a breeder could not notice a dog that vomited every time they ate or drank. He lived rather long for a Wolfhound until bone cancer, a common ailment of the breed took over.
Czar was another Borzoi given away by a breeder who no longer found show use for him. He was around 5 when he arrived, not used to human contact but overcame that with much work. His greatest joy was chasing rabbits in an open field. He made it to 8 years until his heart gave out but was one of the most “lap doggie” kids I have every had.
Gonzo, aka Bird Dog, arrived from a local shelter, so badly matted that when shaved he had open wounds, maggots, and weighed 33 pounds on arrival. He had six homes by the time he was five years old. One of the funniest Afghan Hounds I ever had and everyone’s favourite. Apparently, he was a fence jumper and if you have a three-foot fence go figure? Naturally, once he was found, the people would beat him for jumping the fence.
Two homes apparently fixed the problem by roping him to a tree. Others said he was not housebroken. I always told Gonz that he was really a Black Lab trapped in an Afghan Hound body. Despite humans (I use that term lightly) trying to break his spirit, it was not possible. After two weeks, he fit right in, found the bed was his spot, not mine, stopped cowering when I raised my hand and one of the most loyal kids you could imagine. I had him for four years before he died. Truly, a great soul sorely missed till this day.
This is little Angus a Scottish Terrier. He was badly physically abused and no longer wanted by one of my ex-clients. I am sure if you ask Angus, he did not want them either. Now at the age of six he is happily living with his little two year old Scottie sister and a cat to play with where he will live the rest of his life in love and safety.
There is nothing more frightening to a rescue person than we we see “free to good home”. That is the story of this little lady (90 pounds) who’s picture was put up at a dog park. She is a Great Pyrenees and a great kid who at the age of 6 already had 3 homes. She is now living with her new sister in her 4th and last home for the rest of her life. Although due to size not a breed for everyone, these are terrific loving family dogs. We enjoyed having her for the day before she was placed despite the fact when she laid down she took up half the room. Most people would question, why when you do Denver Afghan Hound Resuce do you have this rather small bear? A dog needing a home is a dog needing a home! We just thought of her as an Afghan Hound in a big white suit.
Akia and Kali
Akia, on left, and Kali, on right, at about 6 months. I usually do not go for puppies since everyone wants those. However, when I saw the condition in which they were living, I took both on the spot. I placed Akia in a great home in CA with her own driver, living on 45 acres of completely fenced property.
Kali did not have the advantage of personality as her sister. After flying her around the country to experts for three months everyone said she was not “exactly right upstairs” and could never be trusted around humans or other animals. I refused to believe this so I kept her home where she promptly put 300 stitches in the other dogs and about 15 in myself. After the fourth time that happened, I decided not to pass the problem on and unfortunately put her down at nine months.
Sultan was 8 years old who lived with 3 yorkies. He weighed 38 pounds when the person signed him over. She could not understand why he didn’t eat much, never took him to the vet and never socialized him. His toenails were grown into his skin they were so curled under. What parts of his hair were not matted to the skin, was cut with scissors leaving open wounds for which she never got stitches. The person who had him was a vet tech who knew all about the care of dogs. He will be missed, we love you little Sultan boy
One more time….