We first met these two wonderful rottweiler mixes in 2013. We spotted them on outreach one day, stopped to talk to the owner and meet the dogs. They were chained to trees in the back yard. There was a male and a female and they were adorable. The smaller one-the female-was super friendly. The male was more reserved and protective and did not want us approaching him. They did not even have decent shelter. The owner needed a lot of help with them and she was receptive to our visit and our information.
This woman also had a house dog (here again we see the difference in how animals are sometimes treated in the same home) and fed several stray cats. We educated the owner on the need for spay and neuter. We offered to bring in the dogs and get them fixed and vaccinated for her. She agreed. We also told her that we would address trapping the cats and getting them fixed as well-which we did. In the meantime, we took food here regularly and checked up on everybody.
Max and Gina’s care would ebb and flow. Sometimes we would go and find things just fine-clean water in their buckets and food in their bowls. Sometimes we would go and find filthy water or no water and they would be tangled-especially Max would be tangled around his tree, his tie-out caught up in all kinds of junk. We called animal control a couple of different times that first year when we would find them in a bad way, but they wouldn’t do anything. They either said they weren’t able to make contact or they’d give her a warning and never come back. We knew that we were their only hope-their lifeline.
We could not get the city to act on this situation, so we were again destined to forever monitor these dogs and try to get them out of there eventually. When we would go over and find things not okay and get onto the owner, then she would step things up for awhile and the dogs would have clean water and they were at a good body weight.
We took this woman 2 wire crates to bring the dogs in that next winter. Sometimes when we would go the dogs would be in the basement when it was really cold. She was doing an alright job, compared to a lot of the houses that we go to. We always wanted to get them out of there, but there were always more urgent cases where animals were injured, dying, etc. It’s tough work that we do. We kept maintaining these two kids. Max did not accept any of our volunteers except me. I was the only one that could ever go up to him, get in his circle, put hay in his house, change his water, pet him, etc. I don’t know what it is, but Max trusted me. These guys were regular stops for us-we were not going to let them fall through the cracks.
After a couple of years, the owner’s house dog was hit by a car and killed. Of course he was-she’d open the front door and let Chaos out to run.
One day we stopped by to care for Max and Gina and there was a brown and white pit bull tied up to her front porch. We asked her where it came from and she replied that she was “watching it for a friend”. Outreach volunteers already know that that is code for “I got another dog, another mouth to feed and will you bring me some more dog food?” She thought she was getting something over on us, but we are patient people. We knew that time would tell.
Of course, the next time we stopped by the pit bull was still there. This time there was a guy there that claimed that it was his dog and that he brought it over every morning for Max and Gina’s owner to “watch”. Yes and I have some beautiful, beach front property I’d like to sell you.
I had a long talk with both of them and told them that we could not help her anymore if she was going to keep that pit bull there. I told the guy that by keeping it there, he was endangering the help that we’d been providing for Max and Gina. We don’t continue helping anyone that adds another animal to their household while we are currently providing supplies for the animals that are already there. It was like talking to a brick wall. It went in one ear and out the other. This pit was clearly living at this house, so we told her we couldn’t help her anymore. It broke our hearts to have to walk away from Max and Gina-they relied on us and we loved them.
After staying away for a few weeks and knowing that she cannot possibly feed these dogs on her own, we were worried sick. I went back over to talk to her again. She admitted that the dogs were hungry, she couldn’t keep up, etc. I relented and told her that all she had to do was to get this pit bull neutered and we would continue to help with food. I told her that she knew we loved Max and Gina and did not want to walk away from them. She refused to have the pit bull neutered. She simply would not do it. It made no sense at all. It wouldn’t cost her anything, we would provide the transportation, it’s the city law and still she would not do it. We left with heavy hearts, knowing that based on principles, we could not come back here. We prayed.
About 4-5 weeks later, we received a call from Max and Gina’s owner. She said she couldn’t do it anymore and could we come and get Max and Gina? I sat there in shock! We had walked away and she had finally realized that she couldn’t do it without us. I told her I’d be right over. I jumped in the van and went to get our babies! Finally, Max and Gina were going to be Chain of Hope dogs!!!
I snapped pix of them before we loaded them up. This would be the last time they’d ever be chained to their trees!
Now was the best time-loading them up and getting them out here once and for all! They were so skinny, it was so sad that it had all had to go down like this. Max and Gina paid a heavy price, but their entire lives were about to turn around for the better.
I got these two back to Chain of Hope. I just wanted to hug them continuously, I was so happy! We had all lost a lot of sleep over these two babies. Finally, they were safe. Here is Max, coming up onto the porch to go inside. Welcome to Chain of Hope, Max and Gina!
We got them inside and set them up in our isolation room where it was quiet and they could settle in together. Their ears were bloody from the flies still bothering them, even though we had continuously given this owner ear gel for their ears.
Teri and I took them out into one of the play yards and it made us want to cry to watch them run around and enjoy a yard-without being on chains. They were free!!! The wonder in their faces was amazing to see.
We changed Max and Gina’s names to Rex and Nina. We kept them similar, but had to change them. They needed to lose their old name with their old life. Things were changing for the better!
Rex and Nina have become acclimated to life at Chain of Hope and they are loving it! The first couple of weeks they were here, they wouldn’t even stay outside long at all. They’d run out and potty and run right back in. Warmth and love are good things and they finally had both!
Here they are getting toenails clipped. Never had that done before, I’m sure!
Nina is loving playing with a new friend, too. Here she is hanging out with Hunter!
We love these two! Rex has done really well with people. It took him a week or two, but then he started coming up to everyone! They are doing great. They are both heart worm positive, so they are in the process of their treatment now. It is very expensive to treat 2 more heart worm positive dogs, but they are well worth it, of course! They are really having the time of their lives at Chain of Hope. It is so heart warming to see them so happy!
This rescue is only possible because of our awesome and generous donors! Rex and Nina say thank you for saving us! What a Merry Christmas this year will be for these two fantastic dogs-welcome to your new life!