During the end of June leading up to the 4th of July weekend, I came upon a picture of Blue Female American Staffshire Terrier sitting inside Whitfield Co. Animal Control. At that moment I instantly knew right then & there she was ours. In February, we had lost one of our dogs due to sudden illness. It was pretty hard Shea, had always been my peace maker amongst the others in the pack. When we got Shea we had been living down South for about 6 mos & at the time we were in the process of moving back north.
While living down in Mississippi we had picked up two strays Lexie Belle & Lucy or as we fondly called her Larry McNipples (private joke). Lexie was found on a delivery to Alexandria, Louisiana, hence the name. Her full name is Alexandria Belle she is a Southern Belle through and through. While the husband or Scarlet as I call him shh …. (I still let him keep his man card & yes he can drive in a hoop skirt) was going to get us dinner Lexie came & nipped him in the ankle wanting to play. So he started playing with her noticing she was a stray we kept trying to coax her to get her onto the truck no dice. Once she decided it was bed time she went to her culvert to bed down under a highway, we decided this was not going to work her living continuing to living in a metal pipe under the highway. A sheriff saw us as he was leaving a restaurant & offered to help, he told us he was involved in rescue in his spare time. He grabbed her by her scruff & that was all they wrote we had to tame her a bit, once we put a collar & leash on her she would buck like a bronco but, after a few days she got the hang of it. She has been a truck dog for almost 8 yrs & absolutely loves it. She doesn’t believe in doing any dumb pet tricks as she often refers to them or so I say, she enjoys sitting still until someone walks by and gets close enough & just when they are to a certain point she barks. On quite a few occasions she has literally scared the s@&t out of people, trust me they told my husband they had to throw their underwear away. I think Lexie honestly takes great pride in that, I even think somewhere she keeps count. Well I don’t know if you can technically count it as a trick but, she likes to sit in the driver side & put her paw on the arm rest it makes it look like she is driving. People at times have done a double take because they have seen Lexie in the driver’s seat but, she was blocking their view of hubby.
Lucy literally found us. We had pulled into the Jackson, MS Pilot to fuel up & get food and drinks. This scruffy white dog with brown ears comes walking across the parking lot & directly to us. She knew she had her mark. I am guessing someone had dumped her at the truck stop which often happens. The husband & I went in to go get some things & she followed she sat down right in front of the door and waited. As we were going in the security guard made an off color statement saying he was going to shoot her or throw her in front of a truck at that point my husband turned around & went back over to him stating he must of misheard him. There are things you never say to, around, or where he can hear or see it 1) intent to harm animals 2) intent to harm children/ women 3) that you have done 1 or 2. The guy repeated his statement & my husband told him if he touched the dog he would end up in a body cast missing all of his teeth by that time the manager had over heard my husband getting stern with the guy. So she meandered over & asked what wrong. My husband explained the security guard ended up fired on the spot, she was an animal lover as well. We then grabbed some food for Lucy plus our stuff. I wanted to put Lucy on the truck but, hubby said no we already had one pet that wasn’t allowed per company policy (So she ate, we get on the truck & I don’t see her, hubby starts the truck turns on his lights). Lucy is laying in front of the truck refusing to move, hubby even blows the horn she doesn’t budge. He tells me to open the door so I do & she hops in covered in ticks. I spent hours removing the ticks, literally a labor of love. Both girls went to the vet and got tests, shots, & Lexie spayed (Lucy luckily had been fixed) but, Lucy tested positive for several tick borne diseases including HW+. We ended up treating her for everything & then rehoming her with my groomer who loves her to death. I absolutely couldn’t ask for a better home for her.
Well on the on the way back up North we stopped at my dad’s, his dog who was supposed to get fixed had escaped & went out having a good time with the local male in the neighborhood only to come back knocked up. This is where Shea comes in, my peacemaker extrodanaire.
When we got there the puppies were born & ready to go. They were part Pyrenees & Yellow Lab they looked more like an overly fuzzy Golden Retriever. My father & husband had been plotting for us to take a puppy. I did not want one I was adamant, NO PUPPY! STOMPING MY FOOT NO PUPPY! Hubby: Look Babe this one is following me! Me: face palm Hubby: I am going to call her Shea! Me: Doesn’t anyone keep any booze in this house? Hubby: Look Babe isn’t she cute. Me: 😭How did we end up with a puppy? You are in the dog house! She turned into my dog after those annoying initial puppy months. After I lost her in February I had decided I didn’t want any more besides the ones we had.
We were on the road traveling with my husband on a quick trip the night we lost her she had woken up with the poops I cleaned it up & she quickly settled down going back to sleep. When I woke up the next morning she was by my bed I went to wake her up & she was gone. I was devastated. She had been fine one moment & gone the next what. We had to find a vet to take her body to for cremation which was hard, knowing the next time I would see her would be in a container filled with her ashes. What I think made the whole ordeal even more traumatic was getting her off the truck. Poor Scarlett had to dead lift 100 plus pounds of great Pyrenees’s mix off a truck in tight quarters (he needs to lift some weights).
As the months went by I kept saying I didn’t want another we have our pack I was good but, then like many times before I saw Karma’s face & I knew she was meant to be a part of our family. When myself & the other Advocates were discussing the high volume of animals coming in over 4th of July weekend to the Whitfield Animal Shelter, we knew what it meant as the numbers went up, after the holiday animals would lose their lives if the numbers did not get back down to well below the over crowding levels. We instantantly starting networking the animals & some of the ladies posted them in groups they were in which enabled able to find the owners reuniting them with their pets. Others were not so lucky Karma, was one of them she was an owner surrender. I took one look at her face and knew but, I was scared to say anything to my husband normally, when I wanted a pet he would say no not now & would run down the list of reasons why we don’t need another one so instead I worked on trying to find placement for her. When my options ran out because of rescues being full due puppy & kitten season I decided it was now or never. My call started out something like this,”I love you babe you are the best” he instantly wanted to know what I wanted I honestly thought I was getting ready to get told no. I explained about Karma & how she was at Whitfield Animal Shelter with little chance of getting out alive, the whole time he had been pretty silent which normally wasn’t a good thing. When I asked, “so what do you think” his response shocked me he said,”how fast can you get her pulled”? This is a man who knows what I do writing these blogs & digging into abuse & neglect allegations at a shelter trying to help the volunteers get heard & make changes. He has seen the pictures, videos, comments, heard the calls, and been there when I wanted to punt a computer or two. Knows I stay up long hours often times forget to eat a meal or two because I am making a call or researching something.
This is also the same 6’1 ft man who made a man apologize to our stocky brindle mastiff pit for kicking him as he walked by just because he felt like it as my husband took him for a walk or the guy was going to stay on the ground as people continued to look at him telling him off for kicking an innocent dog who did nothing to him as my husband pinned his arm behind his back & had face smushed into the fuel aisle ground while a cop asked my husband if he wanted the guy charged with assault (my husband just wanted him to apologize to Eli). Guess who got a heartfelt apology…. yep you guessed it Eli. Eli was a rescue as well, I saw online Via OCAS Facebook & called to adopt from the shelter (again another as soon as I saw I knew). I saved Eli just in the nick of time he was on the last call list before they Euthanized him that day, 5 mins later I would have been too late. He had been seized by animal control from his owner in Orlando after they caught them beating him a large stick to try & make him a fighter. I was able to finda rescue who agreed to pull him & transport him if I paid the fee to OCAS. OCAS would Neuter, give him his Shots, and chip him right away. They came & met us at our truck since we couldn’t get a 70 ft vehicle into OCAS. At first they thought we were the owner trying to get Eli back but, once they verified our vet check they understood we actually weren’t & just had a semi & trailer. Eli (Mastiff Pit) has been a truck dog ever since. He travels all over with my husband & Lexie (lab mix) who enjoy seeing different things & meeting people. Eli hasn’t met a person he doesn’t like. He has even met bite victims & shown them that not all Pits are bad. Eli tends to draw people in it’s his sweet calming goofy nature he won’t hesitate to go up to someone & show them some love.
Now back to Karma. It took me a few days to start getting a plan together. We decided that Karma would get pulled a friend would take her to the veterinarian of another friend. As I was on my way down she would getting her freedom ride to the vet to get her shots & Spay done. Everything went off without a hitch I boarded one of my kiddos that was too big for my mom to handle while I was gone & I left out. Ended up stopping in Dalton to eat & laugh with Annette & Kaye at Zaxby’s (pretty good considering I had never had it). Then I went on to my destination & filled up on gas outside of Whitfield Co. 😏(Just for you Lynn since I wouldn’t want to pay Whitfield a fuel tax because us Cockroaches would rather contribute to much more deserving Counties like Gilmer where they actually treat the animals humanely).
The only disappointing report I got about Karma’s Freedom ride was that she was 15- 20 lbs under weight from 2 wks prior when Annette had gone into take pictures & Temp test.
You could now see every rib on her, her back bone, & her hips but, she was happy to be out. Now I am going to say this & remind people in March of 2017 Target Zero was invited by David Hedden to come in & evaluate the Shelter. They found several things unsatisfactory one of them being that the animals weren’t getting fed enough. They felt that the animal should be getting fed two times a day each animal individually & that the shelter should be relying upon volunteers to help them with the daily care of the animals. You may ask why am I bringing this up. Well you see Karma is a very passive calm dog. Her weight loss could easily be attributed to the fact that due to them feeding the animals in a trough she may be getting pushed out of the way by others, only getting enough to just get by but, not enough to maintain her weight. Which by no means is ideal for any animal in a shelter setting but, I am trying to give the staff the benefit of the doubt.
Let me say I have a large number of wonderful people to thank for all of the help & planning that went into this to make it happen. Emily you know why, Annette for the freedom right, tempt testing her for me, dropping her off at the vet’s office & then for meeting me at Zaxby’s for dinner in Dalton with Kaye (I had a blast ladies), to Kathy & Jenny thank you for letting me stay with you guys for 4 days & to my Evil Twin for teaching me about the feral cat colonies & our shenanigans with watching for dead bodies with binoculars (private joke) after the cops surrounded a car a shooed us away to a safer spot. We miss you guys already! I would also like to thank Adairsville Animal Hospital for the wonderful care they gave Karma while they had her. Drs Johnson & Swanbeck, MJ & Staff you guys did such a great job taking care of her. I would drive 400 plus miles anytime just to have you guys take care of my babies.
Let me just say I highly recommend Adairsville Animal Hospital they love working with Rescues & they over great rescue discounts. Even if you aren’t a rescue I highly recommend them they are still reasonably priced. They will take great care of your pet & make sure everything is handled properly. All of my concerns were addressed & Karma was so happy while there. Karma will be coming back down for her 6 mos check for Heartworms because that is who I trust to care for her. I will definitely be using them again.
Karma is definitely earning her place in this house. She is learning what it is like to actually be a dog & not a breeding machine that gets dumped when she is no longer of any use. She knows she is loved & safe. Karma realizes she has a permanent home here with us. Again thank you to those that helped me in the adventure to adopt Karma it was well worth it. She is turning out to be so amazing since we got home. Everyday she just amazes me with something new. Like right now she is learning how to hog the bed!
Good Night & Thank You From,
Karma & Rhett Butler