Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nowhere we'd rather be

Submitted by UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies

Another beautiful sunny day in St Agathe. The dogs seem to be doing very well -- eating enthusiastically, drinking continually and finding new ways to bend their kennels so they can get out and run around. They have been keeping the volunteers very busy. Without a fenced-in area for walking dogs, we had to get creative today as many of the dogs won’t eliminate in their kennels.

We put two slip ties together to make a long leash, with one volunteer on each side of the strong dogs with their leashes and a “spotter” to help if needed and do clean up duty. All the dogs got to go outside, breathe the fresh air, and poop and pee to their hearts’ content. I originally had two people per dog in case of a leash slipping and wanted to make sure the dogs wouldn’t be able to run away. However, we realized the dogs, even the emaciated ones, would have overpowered most of us and we could be running back across the U.S. border if the dog so chose.

I know many folks are wondering, have I fallen for any this time? I can proudly say, "No." Okay, fine, yes I’m in love. “Tucson” (roughly translates in English to “chubby little kid”) is a ten-year- old blind, crazy dog. He doesn’t care that he can’t see and just barrels down the hallway leading me where ever he wants to go. Anytime anyone walks into his room he knocks his kennel around and “roo-roo”s so loudly it makes your ears ring. He continually makes confetti of his newspapers and has also gone through three kennels, bending up the bars at the bottom in the front so he can stick his feet out. That’s all he wants to do; he’s not trying to escape. He just wants his feet out. Nutty dog. But he already has a new home to look forward to: the director of Siberian Husky Rescue plans to give him a new and wonderful forever home herself. Yay!

The volunteers have been incredible as always, dedicating themselves to the dogs' care and never stopping to complain about the cold, the sore muscles, the hard floors or the aching backs. They are concentrating only on giving the dogs the best care possible and it shows. Many of the them are now napping in their kennels, awaiting dinner (the dogs, not the volunteers). They celebrate when one of the dogs finally pees and proudly tell each other graphic stories about their favorite dog’s poop. Being on deployment really is like being in another world, and as many of us have said, “there’s nowhere I’d rather be."


  1. We adopted Tucson and could not be happier. Tucson has brought nothing but pure love and joy. The unconditional love of a pet that absolutrly trusts you in return. My wife and two boys were all deeply touched when the story first was published and could not wait to help one way or another.
    Tucson sleeps, eats, walks and even steal milk left unattended. For a 10 year old blind dog, you would never know he was blind. The vet says that Tucson looks so healthy now that he has the youth of a six year old puppy. Tucson navigates the house, stairs, couch (unfortunately but how can you say no) and the street. He has learned where the boundaries of the sidewalks are and respects them. He has counted the light standards and know which of them have good smells on them. He sits at every street corner and waits until he is released to continue.
    All in all, a very happy ending to an initially devastating "tail".

  2. This is the you tube link for Tucson Stealing the milk.


  3. Dean, that is wonderful -- thank you for letting us know how well Tucson is doing! We'd love to feature his "happy ending" story in a future issue of our membership magazine. If you're interested in talking to me further about your experience adopting Tucson please call me at (916) 429-2457 or send me an e-mail at

    Thanks! -- Alexis Raymond, UAN Communications Director

  4. Dean - you made my day! Thank you for posting Tucson's update. He is finally living the life he was meant to live. THANK YOU.


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