Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HartSong Ranch - The Story of Dewey, a Wild Pup

Dewey, hiding in the blankets, his first day at HartSong Ranch

When my husband Jim and I moved to Northern California in 1997, we notified the various animals shelters and rescue organizations in the area of our interest in becoming foster parents for dogs. It didn’t take long until we had a house full of canines. Most of them came to us due to over crowded conditions in the shelters. We provided safe housing, lots of love and companionship and then one day, when the perfect forever family was found, off they would go to a new, happy life. But every once in awhile, one would come along that could never be put up for adoption. The sanctuary cases. The ones like Dewey.

Dewey, before his escape to the bushes

He was turned in to the Nevada County Animal shelter at about 8 weeks of age, severely dehydrated, dying of starvation and terrified, truly terrified of being around people…being handled by people…being confined…being touched. Dewey was not just a frightened little pup, he was a frightened little “wild” pup and he was very, very sick. We’re not certain what became of his Mother, but from the looks of him, he had been on his own for quite some time. A kind hearted couple at a Northern California camp ground noticed this starving little pup hiding in the bushes. After a few days, they were able to capture him in a large box, lured in by a bit of left over cat food. The following morning, they kindly delivered him to The Nevada County Animal Shelter. Christened Dewey, he was immediately admitted into ICU. Sammie’s Friends, a 501©(3)non-profit organization located in Grass Valley, provided the funds for Dewey’s 3 day stay in ICU. His condition improved, but only slightly. He still suffered from chronic diarrhea, dehydration and his fear of people caused him to remain in a very anxious state. Emotionally, he had a really long road ahead of him. No way could a dog like Dewey survive the adoption process. One of the shelter administrators, aware of our work with “special needs” dogs, decided to give us a call. This special little pup, she explained, didn’t need a foster home…this special little pup needed sanctuary. The next day we drove to Grass Valley and brought him back to HartSong. He was only 9 weeks old.

Dewey's hiding place-the Juniper bush
Terrified of being in or anywhere near the house, he found safe haven, much to my dismay, in a large Juniper bush in the front yard. For the next 12 months, that’s where he lived…in the Juniper bush. Twice a day, we would put his food bowl near the opening of his den and only when the coast was clear of humans, would he inch out of his hiding place to gobble down his food. About a year went by and then one very special day, there he was, standing in the middle of the yard, away from the bushes. Slowly but surely, he started to trust.

Dewey today-calm, comfortable and happy

2009 marks Dewey’s 4th year at HartSong.

He now spends his days romping and frolicking with the other dogs that live at the sanctuary. He has his favorite spot on the dog sofa and curls up with the rest of his buddies when it’s time for bed. Finally, he is one very happy dog. His major quirk? He is terrified of visitors. As soon as he spies a stranger, he immediately reverts to his old ways…back to the bushes. More than once I’ve been asked by concerned on-lookers, “what‘s wrong with that dog…is he OK?” So…just so you know, if you happen to visit the sanctuary and you notice a medium sized, brown-brindled dog, slinking from bush to bush, trembling, salivating and obviously very afraid, well that would be Dewey…the happiest little pup in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The HartSong Project

AHA (Artists Helping Animals)

The HartSong Project is a collaborative endeavor by musicians/artists with a common voice; a voice of respect, compassion and concern for all animals.
The Project’s first release is the “Seeing is Believing” CD, a collection of original songs, written and performed by musicians, that in some way, shape or form, have some kind of musical connection with the foothills of Northern California.
In the spring of 2008, we put the word out that we were looking for players to help record a fund-raising CD.

Musicians from near and far stepped up to the plate, offering their time and talents in support of our mission at HartSong Ranch. I guess you could say, we are “singing for their (the animals) suppers.”
The anticipated CD release date is June 2010. In the mean time, we have posted “Sooner of Later,” an original composition by co-founders of HartSong Ranch, Jim and Kathy Hart. Please download and enjoy. We invite you to check back in for recording session photos, video clips and updates. (to be posted soon)

Proceeds from the sale of the “Seeing is Believing” CD will go directly toward feed, veterinary services, shelter and farrier services for the permanent residents that live at the sanctuary.
If you would like to contribute and/or participate in The HartSong Project, email Jim Hart.
Our sincere thanks to all whom have graciously contributed to this project.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
HartSong Studio

Sooner or Later - Music and Lyrics by Kathy Hart ©2005Kathy Hart – Bass/Vocals – Greenwood, CAJim Hart - Drums/Recording engineer – Greenwood, CAKelly Stephens - Guitar/Keyboard – Cool, CA
Sooner or Later - The inspiration for this song was our awareness to the plight of PMU* foals. It is a song
of sorrow, then hope, action and triumph.
Thank you for listening.
*PMU stands for pregnant mare urine. The urine is used in the production of Premarin and Prempro, both well-known hormone replacement therapies. The drug companies want to keep mares pregnant and so every year, the byproducts, their babies, which number in the thousands, are sent to slaughter in Canada. Please, for the sake of baby horses and their mothers, I urge women everywhere to educate themselves on other available forms of HRT.
It’s time to find another way!