Abused rescue dogs find love in Craig home
Pups feel the joy of mud on their paws
When Trish Foster, of Craig, began searching for a new dog, she had no idea her timing would be so perfect.
In August 2014, when Trish first began to mull over adding another member to her family of dogs, chickens and horses, Houston Collie Rescue discovered and rescued 139 collies from a home in Tomball, Texas.
The volunteers found dogs crammed together into cages while others who had no shelter. Elaine Kmiec, an optometrist, had been hoarding the dogs, many of which were not receiving adequate food and water.
After months of rehabilitation at the collie rescue, the dogs became available for adoption in shelters across the country. When Foster heard about the massive rescue and saw the dogs on the Houston Collie Rescue’s website, she knew her family was going to have to make room for a newcomer.
“They had over 100 dogs that desperately needed homes. I have a mini-Aussie, and I had decided that my next dog would be a collie. My brother lives in Houston. It was a no-brainer,” Trish said.
Trish made the long drive to Texas with her 15 year-old Australian Shepherd, Copper. She was not able to see the dogs until Thanksgiving due to the severity of some of the animals’ injuries. However, before arriving at the shelter, she had already decided she would take home a rough sable collie that Trish would come to call Cora. Cora was shy and had obviously suffered a lot of mental stress, making it more difficult for families to care for her.
“I wanted to make sure that she went to a home that could take good care of her,” Trish explained.
The shelter recommended Cora be around an outgoing dog, one that would challenge her to become more social. As Trish walked along the rows of the shelter’s cages, she noticed a scruffy face staring at her with the tips of his ears drooping goofily.
“He seemed to say, ‘Hey, I’m right over here,’” Trish said. “He was the perfect fit for Cora.”
Trish named him Corky, who had suffered more abuse than many others. He had developed a severe case of mange while under Kmiec’s care, and even by the time Trish arrived, he still had missing patches of fur revealing red, blistered skin.
“Corky was hidden in a garage with no food, no water, and he was very close to death,” Trish said.
So, she left Houston with Copper, Cora, and Corky loaded into the cab of her truck, learning the first of the many quirks that the two rescued dogs would have.
“They didn’t know what a collar was. They knew nothing, had never been socialized at all,” Trish said. Despite overcoming a few learning curves, the trip back to Craig was smooth and even fun for Trish. It allowed her to bond with the dogs right away.
Back home, Cora and Corky continued to adjust. For the first time, they had to learn to be actual dogs. They did not know how to go up or down stairs, had never been on a walk, and had never even felt mud on their paws. However, with the help of Trish and Copper, they learned all they needed to know, including how to play in the snow (although they do still have occasional issues with stairs).
“They’re wonderful dogs. They’re very loving,” Trish said.
She noted that they have been that way ever since she got them, even Corky.
“Corky, for everything he went through, he loves everything,” Trish said.
Dogs have always been an important part of Trish’s life, which is why she puts great importance in making sure that dogs have good homes.
“If I had the money and the room I would have gotten more of them. I would do another rescue in a heartbeat. They’re dogs. They depend on us for everything,” Trish said.
Although her home is currently at full capacity, Trish hopes that her story will motivate others to adopt rescued animals needing homes.
“I think there are a lot of people like me. I hope that more people in Craig will find it in their hearts to adopt from the shelter,” she said. “If this helps just one person adopt a dog, it’s worth it.”
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