Berg’s Story

by Kimberly Wade

Berg (2)

Berg, an abandoned, neglected and scared white poodle had seen better days. He clearly had been on the streets for quite some time, but his story ran wild on social media as the community and animal welfare organizations came together to help him.

For at least a month, concerned residents continued to follow Berg with the unified goal of bringing him to safety, and to the shelter for warmth and a good meal. He teased people, making them think they could get close, then would run away. Animal Services was called to try and humanely trap him, but he kept avoiding the trap. People would sit outside day and night, enticing him with treats. Berg wanted nothing to do with anyone.

Finally, Berg got tired and wandered into the trap.

Berg was transported to Animal Services. He had no microchip, so he would more than likely be transferred to Nevada Humane Society for us to find him a loving home.

In the interim, Berg needed some care. Our veterinarian team worked quickly to help him. He was severely matted all the way down to his skin, with dreadlocks hanging all over his entire body. He had foxtails in his ears. He was hungry and terrified of everything. He was estimated to be around the age of one and was small in size.

Berg had to be shaved down to his skin in order to remove all of the mats. We treated his foxtails and an ear infection. He was neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Once he was cleaned up and had food, a warm bed and a sweater, he very quickly took to human attention. His true colors began to shine through, revealing sweet and shy traits, with a dash of gratefulness and love mixed in.

As we thought, no one came forward for Berg, so we knew we had a big goal of finding him the perfect home. After all, he deserved it.

The day he was transferred to Nevada Humane Society a woman reached out to us. Turns out she was very active in keeping an eye on him while he was on the streets, and helped to bring him to safety as well. Her name was Valerie, and she wanted to adopt him.

Valerie sat down with me and revealed so much from little Berg’s story. She was amazed at all he went through and would be proud to take him home to a family of two other dogs, two cats, and two humans.

Today, Berg, whose new name is Audie, is home. Valerie tells me he’s a sweetheart, and that it’s unbelievable what he went through and how he’s taken to his new life. She also said he’s the best Christmas gift ever.

Berg brought together a community. Knowing that local residents, Animal Services and Nevada Humane Society all came together for the lifesaving difference of one animal speaks volumes… and this is what do all the time. We save lives. Together.

At Nevada Humane Society, we cannot thank you enough for enabling us to be here for Berg and so many others. Donations from kind individuals, like you, make it possible for us to collaborate with others, provide immediate veterinary care, and find homes for our homeless pets. Thank you so much for your fabulous lifesaving generosity over the past year, and thank you, too, for your compassion and your willingness to take action on behalf of the animals.

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The Season of Giving and Love

by Kimberly Wade

As I write this last column before Christmas, I know I’m supposed to be full of holiday spirit but I’m going to get personal. The last two weeks have been challenging. It’s making me struggle to find the meaning of this season. So I ask for your help despite the fact you may need to break out the tissues.

Two weeks ago we lost our senior lab, Gilda, who we took in after my husband’s grandfather passed four years ago. She was 15.

Yesterday we lost our Italian Greyhound, Tito, who was also 15.

Both of them had internal challenges that seem to come naturally with aging. It never makes the decision any easier, even if we knew we were doing the right thing.

Barley, our 9-year-old Benji lookalike, was recently diagnosed with Diabetes. The lifestyle is a big change for all of us, but we’re doing it. What we didn’t expect was such a tough time in getting his insulin regulated, which ultimately led to an even worse scenario. Last week, overnight, he lost his sight. We’ve started acupuncture and herbal treatments. He has an appointment with the eye specialist next week. We’re more than fighting for him. But it’s heartbreaking. He lost two siblings and his sight and you can only imagine the human words he would utter if he could speak. Heck, me too but I’ve got to be professional.

There are so many holes in our little family. How are we supposed to be feeling joy and love and the desire to give back this Christmas? At least our cats, despite also grieving, are trying. They’re more snuggly and decided to hold off on scaling the Christmas tree for our sanity.

Grief makes me doubt being a pet owner. Doubt that I’m doing a good job in my career. Doubt that I’ll be able to put up a strong front for my husband, our furkids and my colleagues this season.

But through all of this I’m trying to focus on the fact that Gilda and Tito had amazing lives. Barley is going to still have an amazing life. Animals are resilient. They want us to be happy, focus on the good moments and move forward. So here’s my ask for you. Give to our homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. They don’t have a home. They have lots of TLC, love and joy from our staff and volunteers, but as good as their lives are in the shelter, it’s not a home. I want you all to consider giving them the second chance they deserve.

If you gave even $10 this Christmas, or adopted or fostered a special needs pet, or referred a friend to us you’ve made a difference. This one small gift by you will show me that what we’re doing is worth it. It will show me that even among loss, there is good. That we stand up for the animals.

This wasn’t meant to be sappy so my apologies, but I also know from so many of your comments that you appreciate my honesty and personal stories. We’ve all been there. What I want to reach is the positive. Turn grief into giving back. So please, in honor of mine and for everyone at Nevada Humane Society, donate, adopt, foster and let’s all save lives. Let’s give everyone the chance at a family they deserve.

I’m taking a couple days off so be patient with me, but you can call us at 775-856-2000 ext. 324 to donate or visit us to adopt (we’re open daily from 11am to 6:30pm except on Christmas) or foster. Share your stories with me. I want to hear that good! My email is kwade@nevadahumanesociety.org or our address is 2825 Longley Lane, Reno, 89502. Thank you in advance for sharing your good.

P.S. Recently we featured Stitch, a senior kitty, and Archie, a long-term resident and cancer survivor. Both went home! In fact, many of our animals with medical needs, or look a little different, or who have been at the shelter longer than others, have gone home! Cracker, an Airedale who lost his person, and Dixie, a little Beagle, were on Facebook—I’ve never seen so many people want to adopt! Businesses are sponsoring adoption fees, which means you adopt for free. This encourages us to keep doing what we’re doing.

 

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12 Saves of Christmas

Wobbles and Big Brother Christmasby Kimberly Wade

It’s time. The holidays are upon us, décor is up and the spirit of giving and love is coming out. To some, this time of year is about family and love. For others, it’s about giving back and honoring the less fortunate. For even more people, it’s a mix of everything, kind of like one big celebration. That’s what we do here at Nevada Humane Society—we not only cheer for the animals going home and the families donating time or money, we also recognize and celebrate second chances and the unconditional love pets’ provide to us. We share their adventures and tell their stories. We believe all lives are precious, and sometimes, the more unique of a story a pet has, the more our hearts gravitate towards them.

Our 12 Saves of Christmas is an annual movement where we share a dozen special animals with you—their wins and losses, their hearts and their happily ever after. We showcase these stories through email and on our social media, which means if you haven’t signed up for our email list yet, please do! You don’t want to miss out on these incredible lifesaving stories.

Wobbles and Big Brother will be one of our featured stories. Without giving away too much, we can tell you that they were two weeks old when they came to Nevada Humane Society. They also have Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a congenital, neurological disorder that causes tremors and generally uncoordinated motion. They were too young to stay at the shelter so they went home with our Foster Coordinator, who nursed them back to health and studied their overall quality of life. We wanted to be sure they could get around, use their litter box, and eat on their own—essentially make sure they could be typical kittens. It has taken months, but they are finally ready for a home. We debuted them at our Wags & Whiskers Gala last month…. but they still need a home.

These two are one of many pets who arrive at Nevada Humane Society for a variety of reasons. Whether given up, lost, or abandoned, they come to us. Honestly, it’s a good thing they come to us, because we always work hard to save those who may not be saved elsewhere. We don’t look at a mild injury, or chronic illness or shy personality as a negative. We know they deserve a chance, just like Wobbles and Big Brother. Our 12 Saves of Christmas will share so many of these stories, some already adopted, and some who still need you. I’ve spent time with everyone who will be featured, so they are close to my heart too. Through the 12 Saves of Christmas, my goal is to find them love and hopefully, gain donations that will replenish our special fund that allows us to cover their continued cost of care.

Our 12 Saves of Christmas features animals who really deserved a second chance. The reason is simple. Animals don’t have a voice. We are their voice. Wobbles and Big Brother were given a second chance because we wanted them to get that. This is lifesaving. This is Nevada Humane Society.

To follow our 12 Saves of Christmas, please sign up to receive our emails through our website, www.nevadahumanesociety.org (look for the red button on the right) or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. You too, can be a voice.

Featured Pet: We’re Wobbles and Big Brother. Our full story will debut in the 12 Saves of Christmas next week. These are our baby pictures! We’re just as cute now… so please be sure to help us find that very special home in time for the holidays!

 

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Unexpected Special Needs

by Kimberly Wade

I feel like I talk about special needs pets on a regular basis. After all, the young, cute, happy-go-lucky and healthy dogs and cats are typically the ones that go home almost as soon as they arrive at Nevada Humane Society. That means the ones that need that added publicity are those that aren’t perfect. We feel that all of them deserve that second chance, but again, because those animals who may have a slight challenge stay at the shelter longer, whether they’re shy, or need to be the only pet, or have a medical need, we talk about them more.

My house, with 3 dogs and 3 cats is far from perfect. We’re in the vet more often than not (our furkids range in age from 1 to 15) and we know with more pets than most, it’s likely we’ll see things arise. However, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that special needs truly hit home.

Barley, my 9-year-old Benji look-a-like terrier, was diagnosed with Diabetes. I knew it was manageable and that he can still have a full, happy life so I didn’t panic. However, I don’t do needles. Not at all. I avoid having my blood taken and can’t watch it on TV. I know it’s not normal but it’s just me. With Barley a new Diabetic, I would now have to give him insulin shots every day. Special needs just got real.

We use acupuncture (and it’s amazing) on our kids and those needles don’t bother me—but they’re also tiny. We got lucky. Insulin needles are just as tiny. Though I was complete mess the first time I gave Barley insulin, he took it like a champ and I didn’t pass out. And yes, it did get easier.

A low-glycemic diet change was also easy. He loves all food. I researched making our own food and high quality brands we could buy, so that he could have a variety. Treats had to go away until we get his Diabetes under control, so he now gets ice cubes. He loves them.

The first week he took the insulin shots no problem. Then he started attempting to bite us or squirm out of reach. He quickly associated the needle with the pinch of skin with the ice cube. More research. I found that many people give the insulin as the pet is eating, when they are focused on something else. Bingo! It worked.

We’ve also had challenges with the units of insulin—we started with one amount and had to drop it because his glucose curve was still high. I’ve heard that is the biggest challenge—finding the right amount of insulin. He’s also switched from a pet insulin to human grade. Starting Monday, we’ll be doing our own glucose curves from home, after some training by our vet. Studies show animals do better if owners can learn how to do everything at home—less stress on everyone. So we’re learning. We’re having to adjust our schedules around his insulin, make sure no one gives him treats, and monitor his water intake, diet, potty behaviors and energy level (we started a journal). It is definitely a big change for everyone but it is manageable and despite the several weeks of ups and downs, it’s easy. As I write this he’s lying next to me on the couch, totally fine, watching GMA.

I can now preach about special needs pets from firsthand experience, and though I always said it was easy, it was scary for me to encounter this. But now I know. And I want you to know. Because when we ask you to adopt a special needs pet, we train you how to care for them, provide any medical supplies and care (for free or at cost), and are here for you anytime you feel overwhelmed. We have a special program for them (Angel Pets) because we want them to go home too. With so many dogs and cats that are also Diabetic at Nevada Humane Society, you can reach out to me personally to ask questions if it will make you more comfortable taking someone home. It may be tough while you all adjust, and yes, challenges may arise, but it’s manageable. If I can do this, you can do this. So, who’s ready to adopt a special needs pet and give someone an incredible holiday wish?

Upcoming Events: Bring your pet for photos with Santa Paws, December 8 from 4 to 6pm, and Saturday, December 9, from 10am to 4pm at 2825 Longley Lane in Reno. Photos are $10 each and all proceeds benefit homeless pets. Cupcake Day is also on December 9!

Featured Pet: I’m Sebastian, an 11-year-old Diabetic. I appreciate a cozy bed, a good ear scratch and I’m totally laid-back. I’ve been at the shelter much longer than others and really hope Barley’s story will convince you to take me home! Diabetes is manageable, and I’m used to it, so it’s a simple transition to your home. Meet me today!Adoptable Pets at Nevada Humane Society

 

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