I personally and currently have four reasons to rescue.
Over the years I have been privileged to be able to rescue the most
wonderful animals. This includes bassets, mixed breeds and cats.
I have had the honor to bring them into my life and let them see that not all
people are bad.
I will tell you now Ralphy, Gracie, Zeus and Clarabelle’s stories.
Before I do, please understand that there are no bad animals. There are bad
people who torture them and make them feel they can’t trust. They have to
do whatever it takes to make them feel safe. This could include biting out
of fear, running away from their abuser or cowering etc.
I met Ralphy almost eleven years ago when he was just nine months old.
Ralphy had been in six different homes in six weeks. He was being fed everything
except dog food. He had horrible diarrhea and severe stomach issues - some
of which have been cured since then.
He was completely insecure and had severe separation anxiety.
When I went to Brooklyn, NY to pick him up, he was so underweight it was beyond
Some people argued with me saying that he wasn’t a basset. Trust me - Ralph is
pure basset with unabashed basset attitude!
Ralphy came into my life at a very dark period. I had lost my beloved basset
Arthur and four cats. I had closed off my heart to adopting again. Ralphy
changed all that.
He was most definitely a challenge. He was nowhere close to being
housebroken, he would chew anything and everything if I dared to walk out the door.
Also, he would not go near stairs when I got him due to the fact that he had been dragged up and down five flights of stairs several times
I taught him to trust in me and
with that newfound trust, I slowly started to get him to walk stairs again (the key
word here is walk, not drag!).
He was such a pitiful baby. He needed love and security and he found it
eleven years ago.
He came to me with a great many health issues, some of which are no longer
He has brought tremendous joy to my life.
I can honestly say that in the almost eleven years that I have had him, I have
never heard him growl and he has never bitten anyone.
He gets along with everyone, two legs and four.
Ralphy has a heart of gold.
Last June I thought I was going to loose him when he suffered a stroke. He
spent many weeks in the hospital and thankfully, today - almost a year later,
he is still with me.
Gracie, my little old lady, was thrown out of a car on a highway in Missouri
for road kill.
She was a puppy mill dog that was used for breeding.
Gracie was ready to deliver her pups. She was tossed out because her pups
were not full basset. She ended up in a shelter. The shelter called us at 4
The Hounds and explained that she was being kept on a cement slab in the
shelter. We were told that she was very pregnant. Gladys (our President)
took Gracie in.
A few days later Gracie delivered (at 33 pounds) nine basset/rottie pups.
I had never seen Gracie but told Gladys that when she is ready for
adoption she has a home with me.
Gladys said, "Don’t you even want to see a picture of her?"
I said, "No it doesn’t matter to me what she looks like. She deserves far better than what she got and
I am going to see to it that she gets it!"
Gladys called me one day and said Gracie no longer wants to be anyone’s
She is doing everything to get away from her pups.
At that point her puppies were old enough to be weaned.
(By the way, “My Little Dumpling” now weighs in at 66 pounds.)
When she was ready I took her into my vet to be spayed.
I had seen what looked like a hard cyst in her back and I asked my vet to
remove it. Well, her cyst actually turned out to be a BB pellet (yes, as in BB gun ammunition!).
It took Gracie three years to learn that feet were for walking, not for
kicking her in the stomach. As a result of all of the blows to her stomach area,
she has been left with very weak kidneys and bladder.
When I used to walk her, and a car would go by, she would hide and cower between my legs.
It is amazing how different she is now. Her personality has come full
circle. She is completely secure, she runs the house and amazingly, her best
four legged friend is one of my rescue cats - Ethel.
That brings me to Zeus. “My Zeus” - what a character!
Zeus was one hour from being put down. He had terrible food aggression.
Well, you would too if your family had abandoned you in a house with no food or
water. We honestly don’t know how long he was in there.
He went to a foster home where he bit a child. He could no longer stay. He
was deemed a liability. Well, that liability is one of the greatest
animals that have ever lived.
When I first got him he had to eat outside by himself or nobody else would
get any food.
It has been years so now he eats inside. I can tell him to wait till his
brothers and sisters finish and he will but for safety reasons he eats by
Zeus used to jump in the bathtub and eat the soap. Nobody could believe
He would open my pocketbook and eat my makeup.
The funniest thing he ever ate was Fixodent. I had gone out and when I got
home he ran to me but could not open his mouth. He had bitten a tube of
Fixodent and ate it. Only problem was it glued his mouth shut. That was some
challenge to get his mouth open again especially because it was in the
beginning when I first got him and he was nowhere close to trusting me with
anything having to do with food.
In between my laughter I managed to get his mouth open.
He has horrible allergies which were never addressed until I got him.
It was also evident that whoever had never walked him.
He went out and had to do his business within minutes and that was the
I think I had him a year before he would understand that you can take your
time and enjoy your walk. Of course walking him with Ralphy and Gracie
There is no doubt in my mind that he was beaten.
As Gladys, our president, says "If they bite then someone did something to them to
make them bite. No dog bites without reason".
Sweet Clarabelle. She is by far the worst case of abuse I have
seen in my ten years of rescue work.
Clarabelle came into our rescue with her son about three years ago.
Tears come to my eyes when I think of her torture. She has scars on her
body that I have never seen on a dog before.
She had two different homes before she came into our rescue. They were not
inside homes. She had to live outside year round. She had to fight the
yearly rain, snow and heat. I will never forget the first time I walked her in
a rainstorm. She started to dig a hole to get into. I realized this is
what she had to have done in her old life to try and stay warm; she did this
for about seven rainstorms. She eventually realized it was no longer necessary since she was going
home to a warm and dry house.
I believe her first abuser held her down for breeding. I know he hit her
over the head.
One of her offspring was a beautiful male basset. Like Clarabelle he is
red and white.
The first abuser gave her to another family who was equally as bad or
worse. In this case the wife and the husband abused her.
The wife called one day and said you (meaning 4 The Hounds) have to take
her or my husband is going to kill her with his abuse.
She was brought to the kennel with her son.
Her son for whatever reason faired better then her.
I was able to adopt him out.
Clarabelle was not as fortunate. The first four years of her life were an absolute nightmare. Now she had to live for two years in the kennel. Gladys had
never touched her because she would not allow it. I went to Missouri to see
Gladys. I took one look at her and I said I will be back for her.
I had not seen such a pitiful dog in so long. I went home and could not
get her off my mind.
I had every intention of getting her but then Ralphy had a stroke so it had
to go on hold until he was better.
Once he was strong enough and I felt comfortable with bringing another dog
in I went to get her.
My daughter and I travelled to Missouri for about a week in October 2009.
It took me three days for her to even come near me.
I had to lay face down on the kennel floor. Her kennel door was open.
After three days she came up to me.
I will never ever forget the fear in her eyes when I got her in the car to
drive her home.
I had two leashes on her because I knew how terrorized she was and I
feared if she got away from me I would never see her again.
When I kissed her for the first time. I put my face to the back of her
head and she started to cower away from me. This poor sweet angel had never
been kissed before.
In kissing her I noticed that her breath was terrible. I knew it was a
dental issue but I didn’t want to take her to the vet right away as I knew she
would freak out. After a few weeks when she began to settle in a bit I
knew in and as much as I did not want to take her into the vet but I had to. She
immediately had surgery to remove an abscessed cracked tooth. My vet felt
she had to have been hit so hard in the jaw that her tooth cracked. Nowadays she
is kissed daily and she kisses me back.
When Clarabelle came into my house for the first time I could see from her
reaction she had never been in a home before.
I turned on the TV and she ran for her life.
She saw men on the TV.
Ms. Clarabelle was such an emotional mess it was heartbreaking. Nobody
other then my daughter and I could touch or go near her.
She has been with me now seven months which I know for a fact have been
the best seven months of her life.
Her ribs were showing when she got here but no more - she has filled out.
Clarabelle is just beautiful, inside and out.
She still struggles with trusting her Dad and some men. I believe my
husband may remind her of her old abuser.
Her new life gives her the warmth and love of a home with her brothers and
sisters along with a Mom and Dad that love and cherish her. She has made
friends with the humans and dogs in her neighborhood.
She does have a favorite. That is her long-haired daschund buddy Hans.
Recently Hans spent a week with us and she just loved it!
In closing, in today’s difficult world, our beloved animals have become
If they are fortunate enough to make it to a rescue they get a second chance
Most are not so lucky. They are either road kill or land in a shelter
where they are put down.
There isn’t a rescue of bassets that isn’t
So if you or anyone you know can open their heart and home to one of these
creatures - go for it!
When you adopt from a rescue you are making room for another hound in
danger to come in.
That, dear reader, is the answer to “Why Rescue.”