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Happy Tails: The Three Amigos

The Trio arrived at Sugarfoot Thanksgiving Day, 2013. The two males, Hank and Waldo, were neutered, but the female, Trinket, was pregnant. The puppies are now ready for adoption. Click on headline for story with photo(s)
The next earlier Happy Tails: Happy Tails: The Story of Button

By Peg Schaeffer

The Three Amigos

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving I received a call that there were three dogs roaming on our road. My first thought was "I don't need any more dogs". But I was told one was a Beagle and a neighbor had called me about her missing Beagle, so I went to investigate. It was a blustery, damp day and by the side of the road were three skinny, scraggly, wet dogs. One was a male tri-color Beagle, one was a red and white female Beagle/Basset Hound mix, and the third one was a male dog that looked like a dust mop. They all were happy to see a friendly face.

I loaded them in the Tahoe, brought them home and put them in crates in the living room so they could warm up and dry off. I fed them and they gobbled it down like they hadn't seen food in days. I always try to think positive. These are lost dogs that strayed from their homes and ended up together. I called the woman with the missing Beagle but the one I found didn't match her description.

In the morning I called the radio station to announce we had 3 stray dogs and they were posted on Columbia Magazine. No one called to claim them. I'm not surprised. I'm pretty sure someone just dropped them off.

Of course the males weren't neutered and the female was very pregnant. The most important thing I could do for her was to try to put some weight on her before she delivered her puppies. About a week later she gave birth to three puppies which, luckily, were healthy. Although she was a skeleton after they were born the food I was giving her saved the puppies. If she had remained wandering chances are the puppies would have died by either natural causes or coyotes.

I named the mom "Trinket". She has the sweetest brown eyes and is so proud of her puppies. They are almost 5 weeks old, fat and sassy, and motivating all over the cellar. They have a pen with a heat lamp and cedar bedding so they know when they're done playing they go back to their room and snuggle together. The amazing thing is the other dogs have all become the fairy godparents. They watch with fascination as the puppies waddle through their legs or lay with them when they're tired.

The male Beagle I named "Hank". He just looked like a Hank. He's a great guy but you can tell he's had a rough life, although he's not very old. I'm not sure if he's the father of the puppies, but he's definitely the Dad. Since they day they were born he stays close to them. If Trinket leaves the puppies he goes in their pen with them and babysits. When I feed Trinket and the kids he sits patiently outside their pen and watches them eat. Then Trinket gives him a look, which must mean "I'm done" because she leaves and he finishes the food. It really is amazing to watch the dogs communicate.

There are two male puppies and a female. They're four weeks old now and have starting developing their individual personalities. I've named the female "Amelia". She is white with a patch over her eye. Since the day she was born she's been the wanderer. I'd look in the pen and the boys would be snuggled together and she'd be under the blanket or in the corner. She was the first one to venture out of the pen and is always the first one to come running to me when she hears my voice.

The males are "Aaron" (from Criminal Minds) and "Aiden" (from Sex and the City). Aaron is mostly black with some tan markings, four white paws, and a tip on the end of his tail. He's the biggest of the three. When I go in their pen he's always the one tugging on my pants leg so I'll pick him up.

Aiden is mostly white with black markings and a black spot on the middle of his head. He's the baby. If he gets scared or if a dog knocks him over he will cry pathetically. I'll pick him up and hug him and he'll cry softer and softer until it's a mere whine and he goes to sleep. He's the huggy dog of the trio.

The third dog I saved is "Waldo". He has so much curly, matted hair that you can't see his eyes. Therefore, "where's Waldo?" He's a little sweetheart but he and Hank are constantly vying for Trinket's attention. Hank doesn't back down. Trinket and her pups are his family.

Waldo was neutered this Wednesday and went to a new home on Thursday. He's going to live with friends of mine from Greensburg. They fell in love with the shaggy little waif and I know he'll have a great home. No more foraging outside in the cold looking for food. Instead he'll get lots of love and have a warm fireplace to lie by to keep warm.

These dogs were very lucky. They could have been hit by a car, eaten by coyotes, or slowly starved to death. Shame on the person who abandoned them. Even if the owner could not afford to care for them the responsible thing to do would be to take them to a shelter or a rescue. Yes, most rescues are full and shelters will euthanize the pets that can't find homes but is that worse than a slow death with the slight chance they'll fend for themselves?

The most important thing that pet owners need to do is be responsible. Spay/neuter your pets. In 6 years a dog and her puppies can produce 67,000 more dogs. A cat and her kittens in 7 years can produce 420,000 cats. Lifebridge for Animals is an organization in the area which provides low cost spay/neuter vouchers for dogs and cats regardless of the owner's age or income.

Vaccinations are very important. Parvo kills mostly young puppies and senior dogs. There is only a 30% survival rate for puppies and dogs infected with the virus which can be prevented with a vaccine. Rabies is another important shot for pets. Throughout the year veterinarians in the area offer rabies clinics where pets can be vaccinated for a low cost.

Please make it your New Year's resolution to help save the abandoned and abused animals in our community. Sometimes the difference between life and death is YOU. Adopt. Rescue. Foster. Transport. Sponsor. Donate. Volunteer. CARE. Don't walk away.

As a side note: Trinket's puppies will be available for adoption after January 28. They will be 8 weeks old, wormed, and will have had two parvo vaccinations.

Hank is available for adoption now. He will be neutered and vaccinated for rabies.

Trinket will not be available until March. Her puppies will weaned by then (hopefully adopted) and she will be spayed and vaccinated for rabies. - PEG SCHAEFFER, founder & president, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728. Email: Home telephone: 270-378-4521. Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2013-01-06 04:12:11
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Happy Tails: The Three Amigos

2013-01-06 - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Three Dogs arrived at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue on Thanksgiving day
One has already moved to a new home. Trinket, left, will not be available until March. Her puppies will weaned by then (hopefully adopted) and she will be spayed and vaccinated for rabies. At right is Waldo, he's already spoken for by friends of mine in Greensburg. - PEG SCHAEFFER, founder & president, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728. Email: Home telephone: 270-378-4521. Cell phone: 270-634-4675

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