My daughter said once that we have lots of grew New Leaf Nickie, the blog intended to capture most of our adventures. If you've landed here, welcome to life with New Leaf Nickie on Havoc Hill Farm.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why I Foster....

About 1 1/2 years ago I decided to start volunteering with a rescue group.  I decided to foster with a German Shepherd Rescue.  At the time it was being run by a woman who worked a full time job and a family...much like me.  Very soon after I started fostering, she merged with a larger GSD rescue, Serendipity German Shepherd Rescue.

My first foster was Willow.  I saw her picture on a Flickr page that was dedicated to helping the homeless dogs at Jefferson County Animal Control, a kill shelter.  I went to JCAC to meet Willow and was confronted with the most horrific condition I'd ever seen in real life.  I'd seen animals like her on TV, but never in my dreams did I envision just how bad an emaciated dog could look.  This is Willow on the day of her rescue.

Willow the day of rescue and 2 days later at home

She stayed at the vet office for a few days to get through the most critical part of her recovery.  She weighed only 40 lbs at rescue.  A full size GSD should weigh anywhere from 75 to 100 lbs, so Willow was extremely underweight.  Not only was she emaciated, she had at some point been hit by a car and suffered a dislocated hip which had started to repair itself and needed surgery; however, she was in no condition for surgery.  She had to recover from her weight loss.  The first two weeks were so scary.  She couldn't stand up for longer than a few minutes before collapsing, she was just so weak.  After a couple weeks, she was strong enough to meet my other dogs, which went fabulously.

Willow & Jersey about 2 weeks post rescue

After four months, Willow was finally strong enough to have surgery.  Basically, the vet went in and cut the head of her femur off.  There was no way that he could repair the joint as so much scar tissue and bone fragments had developed.  Her joint would basically be held in place by her muscular structure and not a skeletal joint.  She made a remarkable recovery and was adopted just before Christmas last year.  I'll share the story of escape after adoption at another time.  Willow was a wonderful dog who truly made me understand why fosters are SO important to the rescue world.  Had I not stepped in and invited her into our home, Willow surely would have been euthanized.

Willow & Lainey the day of her adoption (you can see her surgical scar on her hip)

Willow after lots of good, fattening food and some TLC (just 3 months post rescue)

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