Hooray For Muttville Senior Dog Rescue! Selected by the Editors of San Francisco Bay Guardian in the Best of the Bay 2011 Editors Picks: City Living, Muttville was chosen as Best Second-Chance Seniors.
We are so honored to have been recognized by SFBG editors. Thanks for this very cool award!
This year’s Moolah For Mutts welcomed canine honorary guests, including Bongo, a pomeranian mix, who was featured in the night’s video presentation that accompanied Sherri’s touching speech to the guests. It didn’t take long for the audience to fall in love with this beautiful dog, and one lucky couple was so taken by his story that they adopted him that night.
But Bongo’s success story started months before he was adopted the night of Moolah For Mutts. Read Bongo’s touching story as told by his foster dad, Joe, whose love and TLC brought this senior mutt from near death to full of life:
I received a call one afternoon from a volunteer at the Martinez shelter. She wanted to tell me about a senior Pomeranian mix that ran out of time and was about to be euthanized. He was a stray with no known history or even a name. She said he was alert, friendly but very skinny and wanted to know if Muttville can help. I told her yes, I will foster him and later that day he was transported to my home.
Out of the car came this bedraggled little dog with bald patches where fur once was, a truly sad looking sight. As the dog was placed in my arms I was shocked at how emaciated this dog was, I could literally feel every single bone in his body. He was just skin and bones. In his present condition he could not be that far from dying. I’m not sure if it was just because he was weak or that he knew he was safe but he sighed and immediately rested his head against my chest. I knew this dog needed help desperately and it would take some time but he had an amazing will to survive. He walked around outside to explore but was so weak that even walking off a curb caused his weak little legs to collapse beneath him. He appeared to be embarrassed by his lack of mobility and struggled to get up, what a brave little guy he is. He was so pathetic looking that he needed a name that was happy and he became Bongo.
That night Bongo ate and seemed to have a strong appetite which made me wonder why he was so thin, was he wandering around without food for months, could it be that simple? I quickly found out why, he had a very acute case of diarrhea. The poor dog lost all nutrients immediately. We had to find out why and quickly. The vet did numerous tests and after several exhaustive tests that showed nothing we finally found out that he had irritable bowel syndrome for which steroids were prescribed. After 2 weeks the diarrhea finally ended and I have to say I have never been so happy over a bowel movement!
Through all the other tests the only thing we could find was a heart murmur and dental disease. Unfortunately with the murmur we could not address the teeth but the immediate goal was to put some much needed weight on Bongo.
Over the next few months Bongo flourished. He started going on long walks with us and our other dogs and even started going up stairs. I still remember the day when he started chiming in with the other dogs when they were barking at the mailman. Normally the barking annoys me but with Bongo I smiled from ear to ear and said “you go little man” He seemed so proud that he chased the man away and from that day on became the little man of the house, a role he takes seriously.
Bongo has blossomed into an amazing dog. He seems to know that he was given a second chance and loves every minute of it. He goes on long walks, up to 2 miles and trots the whole time with his tail wagging. He still loves to eat and most certainly has had a hard past of searching for food because he is constantly looking. He has put on several pounds and his bald patches even filled in. When we go walking everyone thinks he is a puppy but I say no, he is a survivor.
Without Muttville, Bongo would not be here today. No one would have taken a dog in such need and spent the time and money to give him a chance. Many would have thought it would have been more humane to let him go but I can tell you without doubt this dog wanted to live and just needed a chance.
He got that chance thanks to Muttville and I’m honored to have been his caretaker over the last several months and look forward to the day when he gets his forever home with someone who will give him all the love he so deserves.
Thank you Joe for sharing his amazing story, and we can’t wait to share the rest of his success as he begins a new chapter of his life.
Our dogs had a sunny relaxing Sunday this past weekend, as they enjoyed the fun hospitable people at Pawtrero Bathhouse & Feed Co.
Customers were pleasantly surprised to meet Muttville senior mutts as they did their routine shopping at their favorite neighborhood pet store. And then there were folks who came from around the Bay Area, looking forward to meeting and possibly adopting a senior mutt of their own.
Thank you to owners Ray, Shireen, and Suzie, along with Rachelle who treated our canine kids to yummy treats.
We hope some of our adoptable dogs found new homes this weekend! Thanks to all who volunteered and/or brought their foster dogs to enjoy the day in “pawtrero” hill.
Written by her very doting and funny mom, Deborah:
Brinnie (AKA: Principessa Brinessa De Muttvilla; Tr: Princess Brinessa of Muttville) is darling; with the exception of a rare warning to me when her old joints are hurting, she is tolerant, gentle, patient, willing and too beautiful! She has made fast friends with the staff at our wonderful Vet’s, and children are drawn to the oversized eyes that make her look like an illustration in a children’s storybook.
She has some very strong preferences, too! Loves her carrots and bananas, and I have found that smearing an air-thin layer of P-nut Butter inside of a recycled pudding cup is distraction for hours; and that she has a very definite love of laying on the cool hardwood floor, though after this week’s “salon” trip, at which I decided we’d go “summer” and shave out her belly, she doesn’t seem to need the cool floor as much.
Apparently she LOVES books, too… Not so much reading them actually, as snacking on them.
I am not sure how long she had been browsing the Art section of my bookcase; but she became very fond of (the taste of) two of my very collectable Art books; One, a primarily Black and White collection of stunning nature photography, printed in 1942, my mother’s book in High School- I love that book; and the other, a long out-of-print compilation of the etchings, lithographs and sketches by the highly respected Israeli landscape artist, Anna Ticho.
You see, Brinessa IS a Princess and royalty KNOWS about things of taste. Especially, it seems, Bookbinders glue! VERY Tasty.
“Why????????” I couldn’t figure OUT why, with over 250 books on that shelf, she had ferreted just two and stuck with them. (“Stuck,” it turns out, being the key term.) As I looked at their “enhanced’ bindings, and all the tooth marks along the spines of those two books, I asked myself, “what would make her choose just those 2 books?”
Thoughtful time passed, and then, “OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I bet it has to do with the glue! (Horse Glue, Maybe?)” I ran to the internet, typed in “Bookbinding Glue” and sure enough, Horse and Rabbit renderings were the primary ingredient in older binding adhesives. No big deal (other than the sad ‘YUK’ factor). I went through all the old books and moved them onto higher shelves, and got the two she had coveted out of harm’s way (they will need to be rebound of course, but that will have to wait until the oil well comes in!) and she has not gone near the bookcase since.
Which brings me to Brinnie’s NOSE. She can smell things eons away. I will find her, her nose to something that the other two dogs have NEVER paid attention to. And I have to think very hard (OUCH!) until I remember when I spilt some soup in the kitchen 3 months before, or one of the other dogs had enjoyed a cookie on the corner of the carpet in June of 2005, or “Why is she scratching the dog booster seat in the car???” -the long-ago-forgotten treats I had zipped into the front pocket, THAT’S why! I have learned not to doubt her; she is never wrong. If her nose is there, something edible is close by. I just have to make sure what she decides is edible is not also READABLE! How convenient for her that as great as her nose is, her near-deafness allows her to pretend she isn’t making “bad decisions” as I loudly try to point them out to her!
I felt the need to provide you readers some evidence, and so, here is Brinnie, unwilling to face the camera, alongside the results of her relatively short-lived foray into the world of fine art!
The wonder of all of this is that somehow, I don’t really care. This dog is such a complete vision of loveliness, and such a lovable creature, that “…really; a few books? Never mind.” She makes me smile, and laugh, and is delicious to the touch, with a coat of fur as soft as cotton candy. She is so good about everything else, so MUCH better than my two other beloved pups- on walks, about the furniture, with visitors, at going outside to take care of business no matter the weather, at mealtimes… that I guess a few old book spines is a mighty small price to pay for so much enrichment and entertainment!
I did not go to Muttville on January 6th 2011 to adopt Brinnie; I went on the trail of a little guy I had seen posted closer to home here in the Central Valley, who had since been taken to Muttville. I was wise enough to bring the two “Boys” with me so they could help select their new pal. And they chose Brinnie. And she stopped wandering around Sherri’s garden where she was busy sniffing out long-forgotten food for a while, and came over to stand with us. And that was it. “When it’s right it’s right!”
No looking back.
Wouldn’t want to!
Best Muttville party ever, and that’s saying something. Co-chairs John Mounier and Susan Christman put together a fabulous event. It was a night of old friends and new friends and tears and cheers, food and drink, prizes galore… all beginning with Maxwell, our 1000th dog, kicking off the celebration. Emily Pottruck really nailed the spirit of the night in her speech introducing Sherri when she said, “I am thrilled, honored, and proud of Sherri for fulfilling her dream in such a magnificent way. Of course, she could not have done this without many, many people helping her in a myriad of ways. Sherri is the visionary, and the world of animal/human connection will forever be changed by her determination, vision, strength, and devotion.” Emily listed some of Muttville’s awards and commendations, and it was stunning to realize that in four short years Muttville’s been honored everywhere from the guardian award presented by Jane Goodall, to the Jefferson Award for Seniors for Seniors, to the only Innovation Grant awarded to a rescue without a shelter attached, to the wonderful Bay Woof vote that named Muttville “best dog rescue” and “best canine cause” two years in a row.
When Sherri took the stage, it was pandemonium. She brought tears to the crowd with her description of the moments in her life when she knew that senior dogs were her calling. We’ll post those stories here soon.
Then came our first-ever live auction with the magnetic, exuberant Lenny Broberg, who whipped up the crowd like an evangelist – a senior dog evangelist, which he is, as expressed in his touching story about his own loving and loyal Dalmatian whom he adopted when the dog was 12. Thanks to Lenny’s exhortations (and the adorableness of the posters hanging from every wall), people were clamoring for the opportunity provided by Pet Food Express to have their pooches photographed and immortalized in a big poster that will hang in a Pet Food Express store. And dinner with Sherri brought the big coin – a generous donation considering that Sherri would go out to dinner with Dennis anytime!
Marie’s video of the transformation of many Muttville mutts not only brought cheers, but one of the featured dogs, Bongo, got adopted on the spot.
Thank you to everyone – and there are many – who contributed time and money and energy and spirit, including the hundreds who came to cheer Muttville on. What a blast. Stay tuned for pictures and more highlights.
Many thanks to Judi and Sarah Jo for sharing this story of how they introduced Muttville to singer and animal lover, Neko Case:
When we heard that our favorite singer Neko Case was playing at the Mountain Winery (our favorite live show venue), first we freaked out, then we bought tickets, and then we realized, “we need to take her a Muttville t-shirt!”
Neko Case, besides being a great musician and singer, is also a known animal lover. She has been involved with Best Friends Animal Society , Greyhound rescues, and has been outspoken about her views on zoos and PETA. Her song “People Have a Lot of Nerve” reveals what happens when animals are kept in confinement, and “The Tigers Have Spoken” is a very sad tune about a tiger who lived, and died, on a chain.
Off we went to Saratoga on a Friday afternoon, Muttville gift bag in tow. When we arrived to the winery, we asked the staff how to best get the bag to Neko. We eventually dropped it off with a security guard and took our seats. We saw our goodie bag go backstage during the opening band, and crossed our fingers that it would get to her.
During the intermission, before Neko came on, we ended up deep in conversation with the folks behind us. About…dogs, of course! And, the women seated to our left let us know that she was a dog lover as well. While we were talking, Neko walked out onstage to start the show.
“She’s wearing the shirt!” said Sarah Jo. And, sure enough, Neko Case was onstage in the Muttville shirt.
Then, to our delight, she and her backup singer Kelly Hogan (an amazing singer in her own right!) started talking about the shirt, and about Muttville.
Neko went on to say that she looked at her options of what to wear and the choice was obvious: the old dog shirt. Neko and Kelly talked briefly about how old dogs are like wine: both get better with age. And, then the show started. And, it was magical.
“We brought her that shirt!” we excitedly told the people sitting next to us. “An old dog rescue?” they said, “that’s great!” And then they told us that after the show they were going to go to the Muttville website to donate.
After the show Judi tweeted Neko and thanked her for a great show and for wearing the Muttville shirt. Then Neko tweeted Judi back asking if she could walk with Muttville in the 4th of July parade. Though she wasn’t able to join Muttville in the parade afterall, Neko and Kelly did contact Muttville, and expressed their support for Muttville, and for the old dogs.
It was an amazing weekend, to say the least.
7 Live invited Muttville to their “Voice Box” audience for their July 11 episode, and also gave a wonderful promo to Muttville and our big annual fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts: Night of 1000 Mutts. Many thanks to Brian Copeland and 7 Live for the shout out!
One of the two Voice Box topics of the day was “How much is too much to spend on your pet’s funeral?” Somehow we think this topic was specially chosen for Muttville. Watch the episode and see what our opinionated Muttville volunteers, Kay, Marie, and Madeleine had to say…
What better way to celebrate Independence Day! A beautiful day in Half Moon Bay, Muttville marched with over 15 of our dogs and a dozen volunteers in the annual “Pooches on Parade”, a special part of their annual 4th of July parade through Downtown’s Main Street.
Volunteers cheered “2-4-6-8 Who do we appreciate? Muttville!!” The crowd welcomed our mutts in their Adopt Me vests and festive red, white and blue accents with much love and appreciation for our seniors.
The Grandstand also announced Muttville to the crowd and said we were the largest contingent in the whole parade!
We hope everyone enjoyed their long 4th of July weekend as much as we did! See more pics on Muttville’s Facebook page
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