Bully Ranch has already had a lot of people requesting assistance in rescuing or surrendering dogs. If you ask any rescue organization, they will say they experience the same thing. Most places, including ours, has resources to help, referrals to offer, but simply cannot accept every dog in need of help. We have developed thick skin and guarded our hearts a bit so we can say no when we have to. '“Occasionally,” as Paul likes to say, “some things just don’t fit into what we do.”
Enter Mister Rogers.
On Thursday, November 29th, Paul got a message from a fellow animal rescuer: “Are you open yet and how can we get a dog into the program?” she asked. Paul gave our usual answer and prepared to refer. Then she told him the dog had to be removed. The authorities had been called on many occasions, the neighbors even asked to take the dog, yet his plight continued. Finally, the heartless bastards said they may give the dog up, but a decision had to be made then.
We started a conversation about him, learning he had been abused by his humans. He had a serious injury to a front leg that had never been treated and left him lame. His “handlers” let him roam with no real care. They had also been using him as target practice. That was the clincher.
“Okay, we’ll take him.”
Bully Ranch wasn’t “open for business” yet, as far as having our facility open, but we had to act. Plus, we have two pitties (with varying degrees of assholeness) and live in a two bedroom apartment. None of that mattered in that particular moment. We focused on getting him out of his toxic, violent environment and getting him safe.
The dog didn’t really have a name, but the neighbors called him Neighbor because that was what he was to them. We decided he needed something more formal. Mister Rogers. Because you know, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
By Sunday night, we had a plan to get Mister Rogers from his angel, appropriately named Angel. Mister Rogers’ handlers had turned him over to her. She had him at her place and had already fallen in love. He was a sweet boy that wanted to be with you (didn’t matter who “you” were) and against you and wiggle his entire body as much as he could. Despite the ruined joint and mistreatment, he was happy to enthusiastically bounce around and freely give love.
Bringing him to our home and having a chance to get to know him was both a gift and an honor. He might be one of the best dogs we have ever met. He listens well, loves humans, plays incessantly, and loves to go on walks, car rides, any kind of adventure, really. He loves dogs and kids and treats and isn’t picky about much at all.
Mister Rogers has begun to heal, emotionally and physically. He is slowly overcoming some of the fears he has, like when reaching in to pet him, one has to take it slow or he recoils. When you raise your voice, he gets scared, even if you are yelling at the TV. He has also begun the road to better physical health. He was neutered and had the pellet removed from his head a few weeks ago. He rested in one of the crates we had for him, with the doughnut of shame around his neck, sleeping the sleep of a safe dog while our own dogs, Barker Posey and Vito, watched him with careful, concerned eyes, wanting to play with him, waiting for him to feel better. They, too, fell head over heals in love with him. It was hard not to.
Last week, he got the leg that didn't get treatment amputated. It slowed him down for about twenty-four hours. He is young and has adjusted to new things so quickly, I think he will just make being a tripod dog look fun.
He is currently staying with a family that wants to adopt him. They met him a few days before Christmas, and are taking the lead with his physical and emotional rehabilitation. We are thrilled to see people interested in being his family, even if it hurt to let him go. That is the life of a foster and rescuer.
Bully Ranch and Love-a-Bull have been taking financial care of Mister Rogers, and other dogs that need care like this, because of dedication and donations. We are always accepting donations for medical care. Mister Rogers will need over $2000 to complete all of his care. We are currently treating two other dogs that are heartworm positive. And we donated to a rescued, over-bred, neglected mama (in someone else’s care) that needed some serious medical attention.
If you are able to make a financial donation, we will gratefully accept it. Every little bit adds up. If you are unable to make donations of money, we accept donations of time and talent. We need help taking dogs to adoption events, walking dogs that are in boarding, organizing our storage area, and assisting with our online presence. And if you aren’t able to do those things, follow us online, like and share our posts and dogs needing fosters or ready for adoption. The more people who see us and get to know us, the more we can get dogs into their forever homes.
Thank you for supporting Mister Rogers, Bully Ranch, Love-A-Bull, and all the dogs we serve!