Nebraska Rep Gayla Hausman
I began working with Dogs Deserve Better almost three years ago, after a stint working at my local shelter. I was so discouraged at seeing dogs come in that had bitten a child and were eventually put down. I knew that if their life had been different, and no fault of their own, their outcome would have been different. Chaining was the culprit. So after doing a search on the internet about chained dogs, I came across Dogs Deserve Better.
Since beginning my work with Dogs Deserve Better, I can say this has been one of the most emotionally charged events in my life. But I mean that in a good way. The love I have felt from these rehabilitated dogs overwhelms me. My desire to help as many as I can never wavers. I felt this way on day one, and I still feel this way. I’m so proud of the work we do, and I love every frustrating minute of it.
There have been a few memorable cases, although all of them are just as important. One of the most recent cases to touch my heart was that of Rosie. We had been going from door to door in Wymore, NE, checking for neglected dogs, handing out straw, and dog food. We had found two little dogs on tie outs in a front yard. After talking with the owners about the need for grooming, and cherry eye, we proceeded to drive down the alley. Behind that very house, we spotted a dog you could barely see. Her pen was overgrown with brush and trash, and it was nothing but a mud hole. But we found a docile little female chow mix we later learned was named Rosie. She let us all approach her and pet her and she had the most peaceful spirit. Later we learned Rosie had been chained for 4 years, and after “getting herself pregnant” she was going to be shot by the owner. At that point, her recent owner asked for Rosie and all her puppies. She found homes for all the pups, and then put Rosie in a pen in her back yard. There she spent the next 8 long boring years.
About a year ago, a stray kitty joined Rosie. This attests to Rosie’s gentle nature, and her need for company. When we first saw Rosie, she was curled up with the kitty, and that touched all of our hearts. We made a pledge to try and get Rosie into a better situation. We returned every time we were in Wymore, but could never catch the home owner. However, we continued to feed Rosie and kitty and give them treats and love.
Finally, one day while checking on chained dogs in the area, I stopped again. There was no response when I knocked on the door. But just as I was walking to my car the door opened. I talked Rosie’s owner into letting me find Rosie a comfortable situation for whatever time she has left. After changing her mind three times, the owner finally relinquished Rosie.
When a cross-post of emails arrived in Ann Breetzke’s mailbox she didn’t hesitate to say, I will take Rosie, and Kitty (now renamed Angel). She offered to also pay for her vetting expenses. Once we got the muddy tangled coat shaved off of Rosie, we were able to find a baseball size tumor hanging off her belly. She was also Heartworm positive. Kitty had ear mites and was pregnant. But Ann never wavered in her willingness to help them. Rosie has been through Heartworm treatment, spayed, and had her tumor removed. Angel is waiting delivery of her kittens, some of whom already have homes lined up.
When Ann sent me a photo of the two of them curled up on a white blanket, clean, and happy, I cried tears of joy. This is Christmas for me. It doesn’t get any better. Ann takes Rosie every morning to Starbucks to get coffee and treats. Rosie’s tail never stops wagging, and she is one happy little girl. My faith in humanity was once again restored.
Although Rosie’s story is recent, all the dogs have a story just as touching, just as incredible, and just as hurtful. Some have been through shelter systems time and time again, all have been penned or chained most of their life. Some have been there since they were 8 weeks old. Some were small breed dogs, like Shih tzu’s, or Maltese. Every single one of them is just as important. Every single one of them deserves the same loving outcome.
I wish Rosie could put into words how she feels now. If she doesn’t live long (she is between 12 and 13), then this will be her last big hurray! She will be clean, well cared for, made comfortable, and not suffer. She will be loved. For Rosie, I’m sure it doesn’t get any better than this. We love you Rosie!
My goal is to unchain Nebraska. As I get frustrated by the slow outcome of saving one dog at a time, I realize the only way we can save them all is by changing the Nebraska laws. That is my goal. I hope to liberate all the Rosie’s in Nebraska! In the meantime, I will continue to educate, and save one dog at a time.
My team of Dogs Deserve Better volunteers continue to educate at tabling events during the year, such as Art in the Park, Pupalooza, I Love My Dog Expo, Wymore shot clinic, Wymore Parade, and many more.
Dogs Deserve Better, NE
New! Yard Signs to Help Man's Best Friends who are living Chained/Penned: Inexpensive "Mini Billboards"