Scroll down to the bottom for the final chapter of Gypsy's Happy Ending
April 2010  Gypsy and Cecelia Find Each Other

The call was like so many calls.  A very ill old dog was going to be surrendered to the pound/"shelter" where she would almost certainly spend her last days in a prison cell before being put down.  She had been seen for many years plodding along farm roads, her coat soaked and matted, her ears, filled with lumps of hardened bloody pus, so badly infected that the surface of her tongue was scored, her anus so surrounded with sores that she couldn't life her tail. It was that pound/shelter that she had been in many times, picked-up as a stray wandering in traffic.  And each time that pound/"shelter" returned Gypsy to her owners, in the condition we describe here. Believing that the pound/"shelter" would kill her, a compassionate neighbour begged to be given her.  Someone told the neighbour that AAS may take her and we did.  And that was the beginning of Gypsy's happy ending.

Photos below show Gypsy's condition when we got her. Unrelenting ear infections (caused by the almost complete closure of the ear canal due to calcification), persisted in spite of constant deep cleaning by vets and many different antibiotics, which spread to her mouth and some organs, gave us no choice but to have complete ear ablations (the removal of the ear canal), performed.  Gypsy was already completely deaf from the years of infections so hearing was not a consideration.  Nor was money a consideration; animal welfare societies which kill sick animals because they can't or won't spend the money to save them, are not real animal welfare societies. The only consideration for AAS was Gypsy's health and happiness. The money must be raised. No longer can multi-million dollar kill organizations credibly claim that they "don't have the resources". Not when the public now knows about all the little organizations which have managed, for many decades, while the big kill organization paid its employees outrageous salaries and wages, with garage sales, bake sales and other fundraisers, to raise the money to be no-kill, so that they can do all the free spay/neuter, so that they can pay for the health needs of their rescued animals, and so that they can help to pay the vet expenses of  low-income pet owners. 

Poor sick Gypsy... AAS's vet said Gypsy's was the worst case of chronic ear infections she had seen in twenty years of practice.  For six weeks Gypsy had to be sedated repeatedly to have her painful ears cleaned of pus and blood. Infections had gone on for so long that calcification had narrowed the ear canals so much that instead of ear-drops getting down where the infection was, it flew out at the first head-shake. 
Happiness... But in spite of her pain she soon became full of joy, tail up, jumping over logs on trails, splashing in creeks, and sleeping beside her foster Mum's bed.  Like all dear dogs, Gypsy managed to be happy in spite of  intermittent pain and illness.  Here she is with her family pack up the mountain.
Love... And with the child of the family who adopted her.  They took Gypsy out many times, into their home and on walks, so she could come to love them and they could come to know all her needs and ways. They all fell in love with Gypsy instantly, even sharing her after-surgery care.
Surgery... Then the decision was made to have the surgery.
Healing...Then home to her foster Mum who took such amazing care of her, taking her to vets so many times, cleaning and medicating her ears, taking her up the mountain with her pack, and having Gypsy sleep by her bed so that she could know when Gypsy needed her.
Not the end - the beginning...  Stepping out high, wide, and happy at last. Gypsy goes everywhere with her foster family, free of pain and free of suffering.   Look at the confident look on her face!  No wonder she feels so good about life with so much love lavished on her by so many caring people. See video of Gypsy jumping into the car to go for a run and running her her foster mom. Gypsy is still awaiting that special family who will keep her company, keep her healthy, and take her out for fun runs.

April 2010
Gypsy and Cecelia Find Each Other

Cecelia found Gypsy on the internet when she was looking for her next old Shepherd to love and cherish in sickness and in health. Her application was better than impeccable: She works from home; she owns a very large property near the beach in Oregon; and she has many years of looking after old, very needy German Shepherds. Diane, Gypsy's long-time foster Mom, and AAS, knew that Cecelia was the person we all had been waiting more than two years for. Cecelia wanted us to phone her vet, even though we knew from her application what the vet would say. And we were right.  "Cecelia?  Oh my gosh, any dog that ends up with Cecelia is a very lucky dog.  She knows almost as much as the vet does about a dog's medical needs." There were emails and phone calls back and forth and then Diane drove Gypsy all the way to Olympia to meet Cecelia part way. 

Cecilia takes over Gypsy's story in emails to Diane

I can't tell you how grateful I am you brought her to meet me.  I knew the minute I saw her, she would come back with me. I'm not surprised because I felt a strong connection to her beginning when I saw her picture on your website.  She and I are like soul mates. She is a delight, walks great with the retractable leash, sleeps in her various beds, is learning some hand signs so we can communicate and what more can I say? As I write this she is sound asleep now and looking content. 

Gypsy and I went last night to pick up "Duke" who I am fostering for a shepherd rescue group here. The minute we got home, Gypsy ran and sat in front of the door to the house and made it veeeerrrrrry clear that Duke was not going in the house.  Of course, I stopped that and made it clear with my signals that I was the one deciding who comes and goes and not her. Now sometimes it is Duke who blocks the door!

Gypsy has made it clear...everything here is door, my floor, my person, my grass, my rug, my table, my tree, my paper, my beds, mine, mine, mine......
Every thing is under control and we are all fine, so not to worry.  Duke is very submissive and Gypsy listens to me, and with every day Gypsy likes him more, so we are good....but it sure has been interesting and I'm sure I'll have many funny stories to tell before Duke finds his forever home.
Poor Duke! He has every breeding flaw you can imagine...really bad hip issues, spine issues, front paws flair out, eye issues and floppy ears and who knows what else.  He is sweet and just wants to be content and is like a big 95 lb over-grown kid.  Yes, he will lose a few lbs while here.  He was kept as an outside dog once the husband died...and I have to tell you, he smells so bad, he makes my eyes water.  I'll have to fix that really soon or start using eye drops to combat irritation.
My heart goes out to Gypsy and I'm so glad that I could give her a home/person to make her life so content, happy and loved.

Gypsy's expenses for the year and a half we had here are incalculable.  She made over 20 visits to the vet aside from her ear surgery.  Meds were another large expense. Then there was 18 months of food.  But if you could have seen her matted, soaked to the skin, in unremitting pain, but smiling at us when she was patted and when she was warm and full, you would have spent that money too. 
Please help AAS to pay its rescue bills. Only if you do can we gone on rescuing. Donate here