Jersey and the rescue warriors

Published 10:02 am Friday, December 16, 2011

Jersey (photo submitted)

Before I begin the gripping tale of little Jersey, I wish to acknowledge some of the people I call my rescue warriors.
I’ve had the privilege to work with each of them on occasion and their efforts have saved countless animals.
Each works quietly and under the radar and I consider it an honor when I receive a call asking for assistance. If you know any of these people, please thank and support them, for I have often stood on their shoulders.
Randy Grobe, Allyn Johnson, Lori Jewell, Bobbie Shannon, Dana Mayer and the person responsible for today’s tale, Danielle Scruggs.
The call came to Danielle approximately four months ago about a Chihuahua puppy mill in Forest City that had been shut down. Danielle has rescued many breeds but the Chihuahua is her main interest.
One of the tiny things was so frightened and bewildered she couldn’t be retrieved from the cage, snarling and snapping at every effort. Danielle rushed down with her daughter and after half an hour of gentle coaxing, removed Jersey from the cage.
Even though it’s hard to tell with such a tiny animal, Danielle could see she was malnourished.  Home she went with the rest of her Chihuahuas and goldens, to be socialized and cared for.
After a week or so Danielle noticed Jersey was beginning to fatten up. One week later she realized it wasn’t just weight – Jersey was pregnant. Danielle learned the only male she’d been with was her litter mate.
“Oh, great,” Danielle thought, “mated with her brother.”
I’ve learned from Danielle that the Chihuahua is probably the most inbred of all breeds. Shortly afterwards, Jersey gave birth to a single live pup which Danielle found a home for after 10 weeks.
Jersey is approximately one year old, weighs 3½ pounds and reminds me of a miniature version of Petey from “Our Gang.”
Around a month ago Danielle called me and explained Jersey’s story, “She’s deathly afraid of cages, is wary of men and doesn’t like children,” she said.
“How can I help, Danielle?” I asked.
At that point she and I exchanged platitudes as we often do, then she went on.
“I’m swamped, Lennie and I’m getting in a standard poodle needing my attention.”
“All right, Danielle, let me make a few calls and I’ll see she gets everything she needs till we find her a proper home.”
“You’re the best, Lennie.”
“Ditto,” I responded and we both laughed.
The next day I called Danielle.
“Everything is set, all people involved know about Jersey and her problems and everything is paid for.”
“What do you need from me?” Danielle asked, thanking me again.
“Take her down to Landrum vet,” I said. “She’ll receive all her shots and be evaluated – don’t worry, no small cages. Then she’ll go up to Josh and Astrid at Dogwood Farms for some R & R and socialization.”
Danielle lives close to Dogwood Farm and has brought countless animals to Landrum vet, so she was ecstatic.
Of course little Jersey was a hit at Landrum vet. Jersey can cuddle in a woman’s arms with the best of them. Sadly, it was just a one-night stand. Off she went to Dogwood Farms, where she was placed in a good-sized kennel for her stature.
When I visited to make some effort to settle with Josh for all he does for me, I learned that Astrid was smitten with little Jersey. She lasted two days in her kennel but then was brought into the house with the rest of their group.
Josh and I could touch Jersey if Astrid was holding her; at least she was beginning to tolerate men. Even Kai, the little boy, was making inroads.
I ached for this beautiful little girl to have a good life; the thought of her growing up being crammed in a cage offended me.
A week later Danielle called, “I think I have a good home for Jersey. I’d like you to come along.”
I was busy with many other cases and had to work the next morning but I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
“What time, dear?” I asked.
“Meet me at 6:30 tonight at my house,” she said.
Jersey now resides in an absolutely perfect and loving home.  She took over the home we visited and shared attention equally with husband and wife. It was as if she didn’t have a problem in the world, as if she knew this would be her forever home. Everyone involved had done their part and Jersey had at last done what I call “giving up the trust.”
On the way back to Danielle’s, for Jersey had to be spayed the next morning, she jumped in my lap and for the first time I got to stroke and love on her. A tear escaped and rolled down my cheek as I spoke to her.
“You’re welcome, little angel. You go out there and have a wonderful life.”
Thanks for listening.

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