About a week ago, my blogging friend, Britt Reints posted the following question to those following her blog and Facebook:
Do you have a business, website, book, or product that’s an example of you living your dream? I want to help you get the word out. Email me at brittmariereints (at) gmail
I immediately set to writing her an email since I haven’t posted here in ages, but she needs to have a link to share so that Havanese Rescue Inc. and HavToHavIt General Store get the attention I want for them.
The following is my email to Britt:
Hey Britt, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen you. I left blogging soon after we repatriated in 2008.
Once we settled back into our home, it was too empty. Both of our sons were grown-up (still issues, but they were not here). I felt alone and aimless. I’ve always followed MrGTT since the birth of our sons. I truly did not want to live in this house again and neither did he.
All the while we were living in Singapore I missed my Woofie. We had to euthanize her because she had congestive heart failure and there was no way she could make the journey overseas.
During our time overseas, I kept reminding Michael aka MrGTT (Mr. Geekytaitai) that I needed a dog once we repatriated. Both of us missed her love and company.
It wasn’t long after we unpacked our belongings, that I discovered my friend’s posts on Facebook about her newest pup, Chile, a Havanese. Once I saw Chile and the rest of Mary’s pack, I knew I had to have a Havanese dog myself.
After researching and discussing the breed with Mary, I realized that there was no way we could afford such an expense for a pure-bred Havanese dog. Especially, since so many need to be rescued.
That’s when Mary told me that she was a volunteer for Havanese Rescue Inc. Britt, I applied to adopt and to volunteer. By the next week, I was driving to Cocoa, FL to pick-up Clyde and Hunter.
When I attended Adam’s Halloween party, I’d only had them for a few days. I hated leaving them so soon, but had planned to attend the party months beforehand. MrGTT was able to love on them, so it was all good. Havanese are the best dogs — they were oblivious of my absence.
As a volunteer for HRI, I began fostering Havanese that were in dire straights. My very first, was a boy named Sam whose mom was undergoing chemo for breast cancer. She knew she couldn’t care for him properly in her home, but she had him tied to a post outside. He was a matted-up mess and unsocialized. Lord, he was a handful, especially for my first foster.
We fostered many more dogs after him. Eventually, we “failed” with two more, Buddy and Ernie.
I got a call from our Intake Committee that a dog had been picked-up from the median of a highway in Chattanooga, TN. I drove up to find a tall, flea-infested, in-tact male Havanese mix. That’s our Buddy Barker. We couldn’t let him go because he was such a great teacher to Hunter and Clyde. They didn’t have any social skills, but he taught them how to play. He also taught other fosters socialization skills that a human could never convey.
Our next “failure” was Ernie Bernie Mac. He was spotted by a volunteer in a New Orleans shelter. He had a lame hind leg that the shelter vet thought should be amputated. Our volunteer took him to her own vet who performed surgery to repair his leg. I still have visions of Ernie’s X-rays with pins all over the place.
No volunteers offered to foster him because they all knew that he would be a long-term fella. That tore me apart. I consulted with MrGTT once again, and he agreed to help me foster Ernie. HRI volunteers worked out a transportation plan from NOLA to ATL.
Two days after his arrival, I took him to the vet for a follow-up. As I was driving home with Ernie in the back of the MINI (same as I’d transported him before), he managed to get tangled in the restraints.
That sneaky move resulted in the amputation of Ernie’s right hind leg a few days later. I was devastated and felt like a horrible failure to Ernie and to HRI. They paid for this expensive surgery to repair his leg, but he injured himself on my watch.
We couldn’t let him go after all we’d been through. His suffering was heart-wrenching. The pins in his leg had migrated upward and were pinching his sciatic nerve. It was a nightmare for him and for me to witness his pain.
Here’s a video I made of Ernie one month after his amputation. Buddy Barker is right there with him.
We can only foster short-term now. So, I began volunteering for HRI in other areas.
Havanese Rescue means the world to me, and has helped me to find a new side of myself at this late-stage in my life. I’ve served as a State Contact, Intake, Assistance, and now serve on the Board of Directors, as well as editor of the monthly Newsletter, Geek Squad Chair, member of the Public Awareness Committee and Technology co-chair.
I may not be paid actual dollars for my work, but the last four years have been some of the most rewarding in my life. I must also credit my years as a blogger in Singapore for understanding how to post to websites. If I hadn’t had that experience behind me, I would never have been able to be a member of HRI’s Geek Squad.
Britt, I love the work I do, and I’m so proud of Havanese Rescue. So many dogs suffer endlessly in puppy mills or concrete kennels in back-yard-breeder homes. Hunter and Clyde only knew how to poop on concrete when we adopted them.
Now they know that grass won’t hurt them!