Cameron: She is the woman who was gored by a bull while rescuing her old dog that was going deaf and blind.
Rusty: She is also the woman who called the shelter to put a hold on a cat that bloggers were frantically trying to save, learned that cat already had someone to pick her up and agreed to pull a mother cat and all her kittens instead.
Merci: She named the mother cat Sparkles, after our friend Sparkle the Designer Cat who worked so hard to get out the word on the cat another blogger pulled. You can read parts of both stories here - Carolyn and Sparkles (and the bull).
Cyndi: During the terrible February weather, Carolyn's shelter was one of many across the country that sustained damage.
Micah: As soon as we read this story earlier this month, we knew we wanted to share it but we waited to get permission first. This story made Jan cry. Both times she read it. But good tears for the kindness of those who responded in an emergency to rescue the dogs that were injured during a snowstorm.
Marcus: The reason it took so long for Carolyn to respond to our request is because she had no computer. She claims one of the puppies there chewed on it. I can't believe that. I'm a puppy and I've never chewed on anything.
Sam: Then you're either delusional or you have a short memory. Jan has barricaded everything possible to keep you from chewing on anything of value. The one time you managed to push your way behind the computer desk and get tangled in the cords ... well, when Jan saw things suddenly start moving on the desk, her shrieks could have waked the dead!
Marcus: Oh, yes, I forgot. I'm still a little deaf in one ear from that.
Buddy: Can we get back to the subject? This is the story of the February storm at Carolyn's rescue..
WHY FEBRUARY WAS NOT NORMAL: I awake, fully, all at once. Something is wrong. I am always slow to awake, slow to actually get my day started. Then I realize.....there is no noise. I listen carefully. No sound but the clock ticking and the little sounds of newborn puppies nursing. No outside sounds at all. Everything seems .....muffled. I look at the clock, 4 AM. I have slept for four hours straight. That never happens. I get off my pallet to look out the window. Snow!!
Oh, please, Lord, not snow! I don't simply dislike snow, I actively hate it. It causes the dogs to get sore feet, the food to get wet and me to possibly slip and fall. It never fails. It snows and I will take a spill no matter how careful I am. And sometimes, we have major problems like damage caused by accumulation on power lines and trees. But this doesn't look too bad--so far.
I turn on the weather channel for the report. Not good news, up to eight inches expected in our area. This means my day starts right now. I need to buy goats milk for the kittens, extra food for the dogs and cats and, of course, more litter. It doesn't matter how much litter I buy, it is never enough. And, I need a few things, too. Bread, for example, and crackers. I can live on bread and crackers and cheese.
I ease into my clothes, go outside to check on the dogs. Not a single one comes out to greet me. They are all snug in either the building or in their houses. (We have four dogs who absolutely refuse to sleep in the building, preferring their houses.) Nothing is frozen. The giant pine tree is becoming heavy with the snow, some branches are drooping, so I get the hoe, catch the lower limbs and shake them free of the snow. Everything fine--so far.
I make it to Wal-Mart for the needed supplies. The roads are still passable, but the police are monitoring them already, so it is still safe out. I see my nephew in his patrol car and wave to him. He follows me home and asks if everything is alright at my place. I assure him it is, and he tells me to call him if I need him. Little did I know just how much I would need him later.
All that day and into the night, I kept watch on the snow level. They weren't kidding when they said "eight inches." The hood of my car measured 10 inches and it was still falling. I was really worried about what would happen if/when it froze. At 1 AM, I made my last round of the night. Everyone was snug and warm. Time to get some sleep.
At 3 AM, I am startled by what sounds like gunfire. I jump up and head outside. The dogs are barking and running toward the pine tree. I just have time for an impression of falling limbs. I actually think the whole tree is coming down. NO, NO, NO!!! Please don't fall on the building!! I will never get another one!! STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!! One of the large limbs breaks with a loud cracking sound. I am screaming at the dogs to get away, to come to me, anything, just get out from under that tree. But, they don't listen.
There are a few moments of stunned silence, then the whimpers and moans and feeble barks begin. Pulling at the fallen limbs, I can see I can't remove them all by myself. I run to the house, praying my phone has enough minutes to call for help.
My son answers. I am nearly hysterical. He tells me to calm down, he is on his way. I call my nephew. Thankfully, he is off duty, so he says he will get more help and will be here shortly. Then I call the vet. "Yes," he says." I will go to the office. Bring as many as you need to."
In less than 10 minutes we have six people tearing away the limbs, stabilizing the dogs and transporting to the vet. In all, 10 dogs are rushed to the vet. And, every single person who helped went to the vet clinic with the dogs. They wanted to know "their" rescue was properly cared for. Three dogs were only slightly injured, seven were hospitalized. Two had bad cuts, three had puncture wounds and two each had a broken leg. The puncture wounds were the worst. One actually had a limb embedded in her side, doing damage to internal organs. And, of all the injured, she never made a sound. She simply looked at us with those big, brown, trusting eyes, knowing we wouldn't let her down. And, we didn't. She was carried in on a stretcher from the rescue squad, with three grown men talking to her and telling her she would be OK. And, she is. Or will be. Everyone is healing as they should.
The next day, all the people doing rescue came back over to see the place in the daylight. They stayed to remove the broken limbs and do general clean-up. One rescue squad person asked to adopt a dog for his daughter. He wanted "Little Girl," the one he rescued, but the daughter wanted a puppy. So, a puppy she got.
We have a large vet bill, but he has given me time to pay over the next 90 days. As I write this, there is still $1,200 owed. All the rescuers chipped in to pay the first $1000. And, they still come by at least once a week to see the dogs. The police who patrol here stop by just about every day. They bring dog biscuits and treats and the dogs line up at the fence when they hear the patrol car. One of the officers said to me, "We don't always get to see happy results from accidents. Coming here lets us see we really can and do make a positive difference with our efforts." Enough said.
Merci: Marcus, what's wrong?
Marcus: That was such a beautiful story. *sniff, sniff* I'm so glad those injured dogs were helped and are an encouragement to those rescue people.
Buddy: *beaming* The longer I know this little guy, the more I see myself at his age.
Percy: The newsletter is posted on the ALL C.A.T.S.' website. There is a donation button there if you'd like to help.