10 Creative Things ... By Becky Pascua

Editors Note:  Becky sent this in to the KXDD "I have a Dream" contest. She never said that she heard anything so I am guessing we didn't win.  I had tears in my eyes as I was reading it though and thought that I would share. The contest was for people to send in the top 10 things they would do if they won the lottery or Powerball… here is what she said…

Ten Creative Things eh?

1. James
2. Tippy
3. Cricket
4. Scooter
5. Tin Tin
6. Zoey
7. Lark
8. Sally
9. Chanel
10. Tri Pod Pete

 These are the names of dogs in rescue.  Dogs dumped, abandoned, abused, neglected, forgotten and betrayed.

They represent 1000's upon 1000's who do not deserve the life handed to them through the ignorance and irresponsibility of man. 

 We are restricted in the amount we can save only by the funds we have to work with.  It is our dream to have a facility where we could better serve the animal community, broaden our range of rescue and bring awareness through education.  We have dreams of a sanctuary where those who are deemed unfit for adoption, may have safe refuge and pleasing surroundings in which to live out their lives.

 Ten more creative reasons

Sanctuary-for those deemed unadoptable
Free Spay/Neuter
-for low or no income pet owners
Free Vaccination
-for low or no income pet owners
Emergency Medical Relief
-for field rescues, owner surrendered animals and low or no income pet owners
Early Childhood Education
-educating children when they are impressionable and open to ideas
Senior Companion Program
-helps keep pets in the homes of seniors which in turn has proven to increase their health and quality of life
-for students of veterinary medicine with the stipulation they donate time to spay/neuter/emergency clinics
Behavioral Rehabilitation
-to increase the adoption possibilities for dogs with behavioral issues
Mobile Field Rescue
-to increase the number of animals saved on the streets
Willed Pet Acceptance
-give peace of mind to elderly or terminally ill that their beloved pets will be placed in loving homes in their passing

 It is our dream to build a rescue that creates a community of pet responsible people.  A rescue that is a destination point.  A rescue that can pave the way for other rescues by sharing our journey, our experience and our knowledge.  We have the dedicated volunteers, we have the blue prints for our building and land use and we have the drive and desire to see it through.  What we don't have, are the funds.

 We are a group of people who would all give the same answer to the questions, "What would you do if you won the lottery?"  Our answer, unwaveringly would always be, "Build a bigger, better Animal Rescue".

 We thank you for your consideration.

 Warmest Regards from the volunteers of WAGS TO RICHES ANIMAL RESCUE AND SANCTUARY

 Becky Pascua
Rescue Center Coordinator
Wags to Riches Animal Rescue and Sanctuary

I’ve Been Thinking -  By Becky Pascua

Regardless of the rescue, or the animal rescued, a common plea for all is, “We need foster homes”.

The most common response is, “Oh, I could never do that, I would fall in love and want to keep them all”. 

I thought that too. 

I didn’t think I could foster but when that first fuzzy puppy got shoved in my arms with a look of desperation on the face of the foster coordinator, there was not much I could do and in that instant, I became a foster. 

I have never regretted it for a second.

Through my doors, in less than two years, over two dozen dogs have graced my life with their presence. 

Two dozen dogs who otherwise, would have never known a loving home...got that chance. Yep, little tiny pieces of my heart went with every single one of them but what I have been given in return cannot be measured by any material worth. Each has brought to me, in their own unique way, smiles, laughter, enrichment and enlightenment. Their unquestioning acceptance of their lot in life prior to rescue and their miraculous understanding that it has just taken a turn for the better, inspires me every day to be a better human. Knowing, that without my acceptance of them into my home, they would be cold, scared, hungry, hurting, living their last scary moment on this earth or dead, surpasses any misgivings I have ever had about falling in love with them and then having to say goodbye. 

Through me, my fosters have gone from living under wood piles, to living in lake homes; from being tossed out of vehicles to sailing the seas. They live in wineries and on working cattle ranches; houseboats and log cabins. Through me, people have found that “dog of a lifetime”, an end to their loneliness, a traveling companion or even a reason to get up in the morning. 

Sure I fall in love with them and it’s OK. The tears shed in passing them on, while mingled with some sadness are largely tears of joy. By saying good-bye, I have given them the gift of a new beginning. In opening my heart, I have given them the future that the unthinking, uncaring acts of another, had thought to deny them. 

Three dogs of varying ages, mysterious breed cocktails and wide ranging personalities, grace my couches and rugs and call my house home. I found them all in desperate circumstances and took them in. They belong to me. It is my intention to give them the care they need to live a long life, but by leaving one spot open for foster, I can continue to bring a worthy future to those who would otherwise have never known love, compassion or hope. 

Had I listened to myself on that first day a fuzzy brown puppy named Max was shoved into my arms, I would have missed out on the single most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life and over two dozen innocent lives would have never been given a second chance.

Fostering is not about what you can’t do. It is about what you can. It is about second chances. It is about saving lives. It’s about being selfless enough to be willing to feel that hurt and shed that tear, so that one more who has never known a human kindness, can be loved forever. 

Editors note:   Becky is the Adoption Coordinator for Wags and writes the great assessments on the Wags to Riches
Petfinder.com pages.

I was thinking...By Becky Pascua

I was watching one of those morning news shows the other day and it got me to thinking.

They were doing a feature on the top ten popular dog breeds in America today, according to the AKC.

Listed of course, were Yorkies and Shih-tzus, Cockers and Beagles, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, but the American top spot holder, for the tenth year in a row, according to AKC popularity and purchase poles, is the Labrador Retriever.

In the arms of the anchor woman, was this beefy, wrinkle faced yellow puppy of about 8 weeks old, who looked more like a furry golden Buddha than something canine. To look into that face, it was easy to believe what was being said about him. "Labrador retrievers are laid back, easily trained, intelligent family dogs who get along with everyone four or two legged and live to please their owners".

Wait. WHAT?

(you should be hearing a needle zipping across the surface of an LP right about now)

Now, I am sure, there are Labrador Retrievers out there who match this breed description to a T, and if you are fortunate enough to be the proud owner of one of these top dogs, please do not be offended by my sarcasm. It's just that in my nearly 45 years of dog handling and having known personally, probably more than 20 labs in my life time, several of them, my own, I am hard pressed to feel comfortable with the breed description as it was verbalized by the AKC representative, who by the way, looked far to clean and put together to be a dog owner of any kind, let alone a Lab.

So then, it is probably to the good fortune of Labrador breeders everywhere, the AKC has never asked me to rewrite the breed description for their registry. Through strictly personal experience, my testament to their behavior and temperament would probably read more like this:

"Labrador Retrievers..... NEVER GROW UP!!" (end of description)

Well, at least not until they are so arthritic that they simply cannot counter surf anymore or buckle you behind the knees, powering out the screen door to chase the pizza man or your visiting great aunt Betty.

I am also a firm believer that the Lab should have it's tail docked. This is for it's own safety, as I guarantee you, you will have an injured tail at least a half dozen time in the dogs wagging lifetime. No canine tail, wags harder than a Lab's. Not only that but you will be constantly explaining the lash like bruises on your knees and thighs, and will never have a coffee table that is adorned with anything more decorative than a Sunday paper. Maybe not even that, as Sunday papers, are the favored ones for shredding into slaw.

Most Labs also seem to have a screw loose in one department or another and sometimes multiple and many departments. I have seen Labs crash through picture windows on Fourth of July, to get to the fireworks because they thought it was hunting season and I have seen them squeeze through an opening most hamsters would have trouble with, to hide under a futon frame, on the very same holiday. I have seen Labs who can't swim and hate water and I have rushed Labs to the vet clinic for electrolyte imbalance's, because they love water too much.

Labs "Love everyone and everything??" DOH! Apparently a few did not get that memo as I have experienced far too many who can and do go from adorable doofas to raging Kujo, without so much as a raised hair in warning or even a good reason. This is usually followed by a need to change your underwear and to Google search Cesar Milan.

Let's not forget about their uncanny ability to know when you have just shampooed your car upholstery, because this is their favorite time to jump in without invitation after playing in the beaver pond. The upside to this, is it does not have to be your car. Any freshly upholstered car will do, even strangers or the county sheriff. Then there was the one who would get a 50 yard running head start and purposefully endure the shock of an underground electric fence, just to get to the other side. As he leaped into the air over an invisible fence line, he would cry out in something that sounded like a mix of victory and pain and then lay down to nap and wait for somebody to come home and put him back in.

Now let's discuss the "inherent need to please". Don't be fooled. It has absolutely nothing to do with pleasing you, but more true to form, pleasing themselves. They will demand scratches and attention with a powerful upward thrusting of the snout under your elbow, and most always, when the hand attached to that elbow is holding a glass of red wine, purple Kool-Aid or scalding hot coffee. They will wait to slap a muddy paw on you, in a great display of "bonhomie", until you have changed into your clean work or "going to town" clothes, because they know this will keep you home for a few moments longer and you can count on them to give a robust, goosey greeting to every family member and friend who has ever crossed your threshold, with just as much gusto the 100th time as on the very first.

And let's just not talk about the gas.

Personally, I think it is to the Labrador Retrievers good fortune, that they are cute, pudgy grunting, adorable furballs, as little puppies. Who can blame any prospective Labrador Retriever owner for not understanding that wrinkled puddle of cuteness will grow up to be a muddy, neurotic, self serving, room clearing, table surfing, gaseous, gregarious, tornado with several personalities and a long list of human demands.

It actually might suit both human and canine better, if the AKC described the best type of humans for the Labrador Retriever life. If they did, I am thinking It would read something very close to this:

The best Lab owners have a sense of humor, carry wet cleaning towels at all times, can afford to replace knick-knacks and get their vehicles detailed on a regular basis (and other peoples), have a good family vet who sends you yearly Christmas cards and very understanding friends, nerves of steel and last but not least, enough patience to last the 12 -17 years this number one dog in America, will enrich your lives, with his/her unexplicably charming, presence.

That's just what I was thinkin'
Becky Pascua