New Leash on Life is committed to rescuing dogs that wouldn't be given another chance. We are known for rescuing elder bulls and medical cases, and Bessie fits the bill. She's a bit older and was waiting for us to grab her from ACC (Animal Care & Control), we couldn't pass that sweet face. Once we got her to our vet we had her thoroughly checked, we found out that Bessie may need some extra medical testing.
We originally just thought she was a big girl, more for everyone to love at a mere 98 pounds. However, we found that her weight trouble wasn't from overfeeding, it may be something more internally. Immediately our Medical Director along with the vet staff at VCA started blood tests to identify what could be troubling our girl. They noticed on external exam that her liver seemed enlarged, they also noticed that she was drinking LOTS of water and gobbling up her food. Because of these signs, we tested her liver for Cushings.
Cushings is hard to identify, many of the signs are also signs of older aging so many owners think that it's just their dog showing signs of age. The signs include: increased water intake, ravenous appetite, pot-bellied appearance, and hair loss. Cushings disease typically effects older dogs but it can appear as early as 5 years old and is mainly in smaller breeds, however, we test our larger dogs as well. Please note: Cushings does not show up in regular blood tests, and has to be specifically tested.
Bessie's liver results came back high, but not high enough for Cushings, it could be an early indicator, so we are treating it as a precautionary.
During testing, we noticed Bessie was developing bruising on her chest, just under the skin. This worried our Medical Director (because of earlier liver testing) and decided to get an ultrasound done, thankfully, nothing showed up on the ultrasound. Bessie also had a raging upper respiratory infection and tested positive for Lyme disease. Lyme disease is something that she is a carrier, however, doesn't necessarily HAVE it. She is currently on antibiotics for all, and we are running a PCR, the test that determines if her Lyme disease is active.
We are happy to report that Bessie's respiratory infection is all cleared up, her water intake has slowed down and she is being checked regularly for her liver levels. This shows that we may think we are taking a healthy dog, and further examination shows a pup that needs a lot of TLC.
While this post may seem sad, Bessie is no worse for the wear and is LOVING her new foster home with foster sister, Ms. M and foster brother, Mr. B of Two Pitties in the City. She is happy-go-lucky and feeling 100% better than when we first got her. We are so happy to have Bessie as a part of the NLOL family and can't wait to find her a forever home!
Bessie is currently on a weight loss diet and has lost 8 pounds! She is being fed Sojo's dehydrated fruits and veggies. For more information on her diet, check out: Bessie's Diet and for more information regarding adoption an elderbull, check out this post here: On the Secrets of Elderbulls.
Levi's eye surgery went well and we couldn't have done it without the amount of support we received from everyone near and far. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the turn out. Thank you, thank you thank you. You can read about the whole story on his blog here.
Nick on his first day in our care!
Getting a feel for NLOL on day 1.
Nick is learning great behavior from his foster siblings. (above and below)
Nick is still in high spirits after his growth plate was fixed.
Nick meeting Santa!
We are so fortunate that our supporters help and donate many items to help relieve the stress on our budget. Recently, one company, Chicago-based digital agency Critical Mass, was challenged to make a difference. They had a set budget, and only about 2 hours to help. The entire company was divided up with about 9 people on a team. New Leash on Life was chosen by one of the groups to be the benefactor of what they were able to donate.
They contacted NLOL and asked what we really needed. At that time we were nearly out of big dog beds! Those are vital because we try to place every dog in a foster home with everything they'll need, which includes dog beds. The team at CM took up a collection and bought 9 huge dog beds for our pooches.
Little Miss Pancake squeezed her way in with one of our recent trips to ACC (Animal Care & Control). She's a puggle and her little body was covered in chemical burns. We couldn't pass up this sweet pup that needed extra attention to treat her open wounds.
Puggles were bred quite rapidly a few years back, but with the decrease in interest in that mix breed, many are abandoned or dropped off at the pound. Pancake has a lost history, not sure if it was by accident, trying to get rid of extra puppies, a bad owner, or misguided people that found her, either way- she came with chemical burns over her back and some on her head. The chemicals had burned their way through her fur and past her skin.
There isn't much information about chemical burns/ how to treat/ dogs. Probably because the large majority of the world would never think to do such a thing to an innocent animal, however, most articles say to wash thoroughly with water to dilute the chemical and see the vet immediately.
We talked with Gordon's forever parents about chemical burns for further help. Gordon came from One Tail at a Time Rescue in Chicago. When he first arrived, he had chemical burns covering the majority of his little pit bull body. He walks with many of our alums and adoptable dogs with Chicago Sociabulls on Sundays. Gordon's parents were incredibly helpful when talking about things they do to help Gordon and some of the tips they have learned.
They use lotion to help with cracking and overall flexibility of the tender skin. Gordon's hair (like Pancake) will not grow back in some places, so the exposed skin needs to be treated just like human skin. It gets dry in the winter and they use Aquaphor on his back. It's a bit of a thicker lotion and can be found almost anywhere, Walgreens, Target, etc. For a lighter lotion, they use Eucerin for sensitive skin. After applying lotions, put a tshirt on the dog to avoid rubbing off on furniture, etc.
Gordon's forever parents use tshirts a lot. This helps with sun exposure as well as making sure he doesn't scratch or rub to vigerously inside his crate. Since his wounds have healed a lot, they use the tshirts less, however, he is in one whenever they are gone while in his crate. They also recommend kids tshirts which are less expensive than dog tshirts and still fit.
During the summer months or when there will be high exposure to the sun, they apply sunscreen. And the vet suggested giving Gordon fish oil pills because they improve the skin/coat.
Pancake will make a full recovery from the burns but her future owners will need to apply sunscreen during the summer and it would be helpful to have a humidifier during the colder months. Just like with a human with exposed sensitive skin, they need to be on the look out for cracks in the skin and bleeding which can be treated with ointment as mentioned above.
Pancake also has a bit of a trick knee. The medical term is a luxating patella. It can pop out and may need help putting it back into place. It can require surgery, however, she's not at that stage yet. With careful play, minimal stairs and joint supplements, she may never need surgery.
Thanks to Lydia, our Medical Director for input and explanations. Also a big thanks to Gordon's forever parents for all the information and helpful suggestions!
We are so lucky that many of our adopters have stayed active in our rescue and committed to responsible dog ownership and being ambassadors for our breeds. Adoptable and Alums both participated in this Sunday's Chicago Sociabulls walk. Chicago Tribune tagged along to highlight bully breeds behaving well. You can find the article here!
New Leash on Life is only capable of working with the help of volunteers and fosters. No one on the board or any of the workers are paid. Because of that, we contantly need help doing things from
Mr. Cooper came into our family at New Leash on Life. He was originally a shy little mutt and was on the skinny and rough side. He quickly opened up and showed us his personality in his "wookie" barks, and soon he was a favorite of everyone that met him.
from New Leash On Life Chicago!
As yet another year winds down, we at New Leash on Life Chicago would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the dogs we have rescued, the wonderful adopters we've met, and the community we've built along the way. This has been a great year for us - we have rescued almost as many dogs as we did in 2009 and 2010 - combined. Granted, those were tough years because of the economy, but we are thrilled to be on pace with 2008's numbers again.
Beyond looking at the number of dogs saved, this is also a time for us to ensure that we're holding true to our mission: finding loving homes for dogs at risk of euthanasia at Chicago's Animal Care and Control ("ACC"). We only consider those dogs who have not been selected for the adoption floor (and thus aren't available to the public). While we find all kinds of dogs on death row, we try to save as many hard-to-adopt dogs as we can because the odds of them making it out of ACC alive are slim. These include: adult and senior dogs, dogs with injuries or health conditions, those in need of grooming, big black dogs, lovable mutts, shy dogs, and of course the bully breeds.
After reviewing the email below, we think you'll agree that we've successfully carried our our mission and have had a pretty amazing year! We are excited for 2012 and hope to continue building on our momentum. Until then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Adult and Senior Dogs
There are few things more heartbreaking than seeing an adult or senior dog in a cage at ACC, knowing that they have been raised by a family that has abandoned them for one reason or another. We have a soft spot for the oldies, with their graying muzzles and easy-going personalities. Some added benefits of adopting an older dog? You already know their temperament and quirks, and they're (usually) housebroken!
So let's toast to a few of this year's dogs who were over five years old:
*Bessie is still looking for a foster or forever home!
The "Medical Dogs"
Vet bills take up a vast majority of our budget, and even the healthy-seeming dogs we rescue can have hidden and costly medical issues. We've had a mix of both this year - dogs we knew were sick and hoped to help, and those we thought were healthy but needed extensive medical care:
These 6 pups are our "major" medical dogs of 2011. Sadly, after lots of tests and treatments, our team of vets diagnosed the gentle giant Francesca with lymphoma and we had to let her go to be painless and in peace. But the other dogs have been treated for their varying ailments - including heartworm (Greer and Audrey), a rare eye disorder requiring surgery (Levi), a fractured growth plate (Nick) and a sweet puggle covered in chemical burns (Pancake). They are all healthy and loving life, thanks to our generous donors and incredible vets.
**Both Nick and Pancake are still looking for their forever homes!
Our love of bully breeds is unending. They are wonderful family dogs, loyal companions, and each has a truly unique personality. It breaks our heart to see how many of the dogs at ACC are pit bulls and mixes whose odds of finding a rescue to save their lives are pretty slim - all because of their breed. We proudly rescued and found homes for many of these beautiful bullies, including:
* Ferris is still looking for a foster or forever home!!
It's been well documented that black dogs, especially large ones, are euthanized at alarmingly high rates in shelters. Maybe they don't photograph as well as others or look intimidating to some. But that doesn't scare us away! Each of our 2011 black dogs is as lovable and beautiful as every other dog, and each has been adopted!
The pound is a loud and scary place, so it's no wonder that so many dogs completely shut down from fear. The problem is, if they don't make eye contact and make a connection with potential adopters, they are often labeled as unadoptable for being too skittish and shy. We have seen some amazing transformations by simply taking these "shy" dogs outside, letting them romp around in the grass, and spending a little time with them.
These are some of this year's "shy" dogs. Needless to say, they aren't shy any more! Noca is still looking for her forever home.
And who could forget Murphy, who was so skittish when we first rescued him that he backed out of his collar while on a walk, ran a few miles and then took a swim in the Chicago River? In fairy tale ending you only see in Disney movies, the wonderful firefighter who rescued a terrified Murphy from the river soon welcomed him into his family! Amazing!
Diamonds in the Rough
We encounter a lot of dogs who need a little grooming, but Janice and Drake take the cake. Their legs were webbed together, we couldn't tell where their ears stopped and the mattes began, they had dreadlocks, and they smelled like a porta-potty. But one thing was clear - in true canine form and despite the abuse they suffered - their resilient spirits were not broken! With some intense grooming, they are just like new again and have both been adopted!
Good Ol' Mutts
When ACC makes the difficult decision of which dogs to put on the adoption floor (and which are available to the public), the mutts with indiscernible breed mixtures are often passed over even though they are just as cute, smart, and lovable as the purebreds. If you have a hard time venturing to guess what breed a dog might be, then it's simple: it's a New Leash dog! We love mutts, and have rescued several this year:
Dogs & the New Leash on Life Family
New Leash is 100% committed to finding each NLOL dog a loving family of their very own, no matter how long it may take. We know there is the perfect family for each of our dogs, so it's just a matter of time until they find each other. Fortunately, most dogs find a home in a matter of days or weeks, although for some it can take a few months.
And then there's Karl, who was rescued from ACC on Valentine's Day of 2009. Karl was a former yard dog and was a bit rough around the edges, not used to living in a home or trusting people. Thanks to the hard work of Daniel McElroy, the rest of the Bark Avenue staff, and some dedicated NLOL volunteers, Karl slowly transformed from "Backyard Karl" into "Good Dog Karl."
On June 11, 2011, over 2 years after becoming a NLOL dog, Karl was adopted! He now lives a life of luxury with his new dad, who took a chance on a handsome red dog with a rough past and ended up with his perfect canine match. As you can see, Karl has settled into domestic life quite well.
Adopters & the New Leash on Life Family
Return business is the best compliment a company (and rescue) can get, so we will take it as a good sign that we've had several "repeat shoppers" this year.
And let's not forget Kameko. We rescued her in 2006 and she has spent the last few years enjoying life with a wonderful dad. Sadly, he had to move overseas this year to take care of a sick relative, and was heartbroken that he couldn't take his beloved Kameko with him. Once a New Leash dog, always a New Leash dog, and we promised him we'd find her a great new home. And look who came along - NLOL alum Jude and his parents! Kameko fit right in with the family, and her dad was so relieved and happy to hear the news!
While the rest of our repeat shopper stories are tinged with sadness because it means that a former NLOL alum has passed away, we find comfort knowing that they spent the best years of their lives with wonderful families. So here's a little photo tribute to some of our alumni who have passed, the lucky dogs who have found their way into a wonderful new home, and the amazing families who have opened their homes to another NLOL dog.
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!
Much of this year's success is due to the new volunteers we've had join our ranks. We've added 5 new adoption counselors, several new foster families, and countless more volunteers who help out at weekly adoption events. While rescuing animals can be emotional and exhausting, it can also be extremely rewarding and uplifting. So we'd like to thank all of our volunteers, new and old, for giving up their precious free time to help us on our mission.
If you're interested in getting more involved in NLOL, we are ALWAYS looking for new foster families, fundraising help, dog handlers and transporters for Saturday adoption events, PR and marketing help, graphic designers...you name it, we need it!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more information!
HELP NEW LEASH CONTINUE SAVING DOGS!
We can only continue doing this work with the generous financial support of our donors. Because we don't have employees or a facility, 100% of the money we raise is spent caring for our dogs and keeping them safe, healthy, and happy as they wait for their forever home. All donations are tax-deductible.
Donations can be made on our website or you can mail a check to us at
4064 N. Lincoln Ave. #374, Chicago, IL 60618.
We are also running our NAME A DOG fundraiser through the end of the year! For each donation over $200, you get to pick a name for one of our 2012 dogs. This is a great gift for dog-lovers and friends who have everything!
Just write your selected name in the "description" section of the donation form.*
If you'd like to make a donation or enter the Name A Dog fundraiser on behalf of someone else, email email@example.com after making the donation and we can send you a customized receipt or card.
We are also in need of prong and martingale collars, leashes, new and gently used dog beds, coats, harnesses, dog bowls, towels, blankets, and toys.
You can always drop them off at our Saturday adoption events!
*If the name you've chosen already belongs to a past NLOL dog, we'll contact you for your second choice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
DOGS LOOKING FOR FOSTER AND FOREVER HOMES
Finally, let's not forget NLOL's dogs currently looking for foster and forever homes!
Please spread the word to family and friends - the sooner they're adopted or fostered, the sooner we can go rescue more dogs!
*Annie, Clark, Bessie, and Ferris need foster homes!
For the longest time we couldn't figure out why it was taking so long for SuperLevi to be adopted. Besides being a fantastically easy city dog, hanging out at outdoor cafes and neighborhood festivals with ease, he is incredibly handsome, goofy, and comes with his own superhero roll.
But when we met his new family, we realized why it had taken so long: he needed to be reunited with a fellow superdog.
See, this is Greta. And she comes with her own superhero story. When Greta was rescued as a pup, she was severely malnourished with festering open wounds. But, this courageous pooch used her superdog powers to overcome it. Though at a mere 2 1/2 years old, it seems those evil villains had come back to rumble with Greta again, this time in the form of blood cancer. And in this tougher battle, Greta sacrificed a limb, but came out with her dignity and spirit. And while the oncologist estimated it was only a matter a months, Greta has used her superdog strength to go beyond this estimate, full of energy and sass and able to outrun all her 4-legged friends.
As Greta's Mom says: When Greta, my 3 year old rescue pittie, was first diagnosed with blood cancer, it hit me like a ton of bricks. For the first couple weeks, I walked around in a daze and it constantly felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Her oncologist told me it could be a matter of a few months, and this was something I just couldn’t wrap my head around. She has become such a huge and positive part of my life, and after having her for less than two years, I just wasn’t ready to let her go. After she had the amputation surgery to get rid of her tumor and she began to heal, it became apparent that she isn’t ready to go anywhere either. Her energy is still up, she is getting around great and she still has a lot of life left in her. She is one tough cookie, and I am continuously inspired by her resilience.
Before she was diagnosed, I started thinking about fostering a second dog. I have a very flexible work schedule and was finally feeling financially stable enough to help out another furry friend. This idea was put on the back burner while figuring things out with Greta, but soon after she healed from her surgery, I was more interested than ever in a second dog. But, given the circumstances, I decided to adopt instead of just foster. I felt like it would really help Greta enjoy her time left, give me some comfort for the future, and then there was the added bonus of providing another dog with a very loving home.
Now the big question: How do I find the right dog to bring into our family? I’ve been a fan of the blog Two Pitties in the City for a while now, and when I saw Levi, their fun-loving foster dog, I fell in love. Greta can be a little picky when it comes to her companions, but she has a big soft spot for male pit bulls with lots of energy. Plus, his alter-ego is Super Levi, so maybe he would be able to tap into his super healing powers to help Greta? It sounded like a match made in Heaven.
When we first decided to bring Levi into the household, I remember saying to my boyfriend “I wonder if he will have as many strange quirks as Greta?” I should have known better after reading the Two Pitties blog…what a goofball! So far he has kept things so light and fun around the house, we’ve barely even thought of Greta’s cancer at all. Although it took her a couple days to warm up to his overzealous nature and inherent lack of boundaries (check out the pic below of him sitting on her), he has grown on her significantly. They are best buds now, and I have never seen her so happy and at ease. She grows to love him more and more each day, and it’s actually quite amazing to watch.
We couldn't be happier for Levi and his new family. And Levi has already been living it up with the new fam: going to outdoor cafes for brunch, city walks to the deli, joining up for a SociaBulls walk, and even making his way into bars as the perfect ambassadog:
The best part, we will still be able to see plenty of SuperLevi. Not only did we get the luck that from the entire Chicagoland area he lives mere blocks from us, but just like any great superhero, he has his own 'spinoff' blog. You can see his handsome face and read about his crazy adventures on Greta's blog here.
But wait...there's more!
We had so many people supporting us in finding Levi's (super) x-ray vision that we were all able to save SuperLevi's x-ray vision AND have enough money left over to rescue another dog in need of medical care. Please read this incredible thank you note from his rescue, New Leash on Life, because now "one sick pup in Chicago's pound who has been dreaming of rescue will have its wish granted-all because of you and Super Levi. So we'd like to say one last SUPERSIZE THANK-YOU FOR HELPING SUPER LEVI."
And for the Raffle Results:
We really wish we were like Oprah where we could give prizes to everyone, but since we're just us...our friends at New Leash drew the raffle results using a random number generator.
Ruffwear Overcoat: Kiira Ratia
Dog Sweater: Mary Agnew
Dog Sweater: Jessica Berson
Dog BackPack: Emily Hawkins
Go Pro Camera: Laurie Loweecey
Sirius Republic Collar: Natasha Ambuster
Silly Buddy Collar: Rachel Kirby
Doggie Biscuit Care Package: Cheryl Green
Doggie Biscuit Care Package: Kate Bedford
Winners: Watch for an email letting you know how you will receive your prizes.
We can't thank you all enough for helping SuperLevi save his x-ray vision. Check SuperLevi's blog for updates on his new life and upcoming surgery, and stay tuned to meet that special pooch who has been dreaming of rescue, and will now have his wish granted.