Rescued Dogs Project – Cara
One thing is certain about this project. I’ve met some incredible rescue dogs (and people) with stories that are often unbelievable. I love a happy ending though, which is why I’m highlighting these survivors. Sometimes the journey is long and complicated for these poor dogs, yet they persevere and come out smiling in the end. Their ability to live in the moment, leave the past behind them, and show their new families unconditional love, continues to inspire me. Cara, the Australian Cattle Dog is no exception. This mighty little wonder is next up in my Rescued Dogs Project.
Cara (also lovingly called Care Bear) is originally from Texas. With teeth worn down to nubs it’s hard to estimate her age. Her teeth likely suffered this fate from trying to chew out of the cage she was kept in while living the horror of a backyard breeding operation. There are mammary tumors which are often found in dogs used for breeding. Cara’s owner Betsy said the tumors will be removed once it’s safe to do so.
For Cara though, the first priority is ridding her of heartworms. Betsy said, “The South does a terrible job of preventing heartworms, so many dogs from that area suffer from it. She already went through one 9-month course of treatment but she’s still testing positive. So we’ll be starting another 9-month treatment regimen soon. Heartworms suck and are so hard to get rid of. I tell everyone I know who owns a dog to take heartworm prevention seriously.”
Living the Street Life
It’s thought that Cara either escaped from the breeding operation or was abandoned. What is clear though, is at some point she became a stray. Life on the streets was not kind to poor Cara. She has injuries that suggest fights with other dogs (including a jagged scar near her right eye). This is a dog that likely struggled for food and safety. According to Betsy, “People in South will shoot stray dogs instead of helping them.” As for sweet Care Bear, she still has at least one pellet in her hip area. Betsy said, “We have to be careful how we carry her so we don’t cause her pain from it. We’ll probably also look into getting that removed at some point if it’s safe to do so.”
A New Beginning
Lucky for Cara, she was eventually picked up and brought to a local shelter in the Houston area. Betsy said, “As a senior dog, she languished in the shelter for several months, which put her at risk of being euthanized. Thankfully Albert’s Dog Lounge stepped in at this point and rescued her.” Cara spent 3 months in Texas with amazing foster parents Lexi and Travis. When the time was right, this little girl was transported to Albert’s here in Wisconsin in April, 2019.
Betsy and her boyfriend Andy felt like they already knew Cara thanks to pictures from her foster parents. Betsy said, “When we learned that no one else was interested in adopting her, we knew it was a sign that she was meant to come home with us. When we met her for the first time at Albert’s, Andy and I were both surprised by how small she was. She had such a big presence in all the photos we saw of her. But she was perfect. She was shy and a little scared, but was still so sweet and trusting despite not knowing who we were.”
A New Home Life
Betsy and Andy took Cara home, where they started showering her with love, treats, and toys. Betsy marveled, “She’s the most amazing dog. She was house trained, leash trained, and loves balls and kongs. She figured out our schedule and how things worked at our house super fast. Now it’s like she’s always been here.” Isn’t it amazing how well rescued dogs can fit in with a new family? I firmly believe adopted dogs express appreciation for their new, loving home.
Continuing to express her love for Cara, Betsy said, “She is the piece that completed our little family. She’s a total daddy’s girl, but we can tell she is very grateful to both of us for giving her such a wonderful life. She loves belly rubs, playing fetch with her balls, going on walks, chewing on her kongs, ripping out all the stuffing in any stuffed animal we give her, and snuggling with her daddy (Andy). We figure that her first 6-7 years were a nightmare, so we’re going to make sure the rest of her life is the absolute best we can make it.” Cara has certainly started a new, much happier chapter in her journey. I love when rescued dogs have happy new beginnings.
Consider Senior Rescued Dogs
What’s really important is how people regard senior dogs. They’re no longer cute, irresistible puppies, but they still have so much love to give. Many of these dogs have several years left to live, often just showing a bit of extra grey around the muzzle. Betsy said, “Now I am a huge advocate for adopting senior dogs. Sure Cara needs a bit of extra vet help for her heartworms, but her health costs are very manageable. She is so well behaved and fun to be around. Senior dogs are the best! I encourage people to seriously consider senior dogs as they look at dogs to adopt. These dogs deserve loving families, too.”
How about you? Do you have a senior dog, or did you perhaps adopt a dog that was already in his senior years? I love the older ones, they’ve had a chance to work out the kinks and are more settled. If you’re considering adopting a dog, be sure to keep an open mind and possibly open your home to a senior dog in need. You won’t regret it, they’ll fill you heart and home with a love you never knew was possible.
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