Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays. For me, coming from a very small family, it tends to be a relaxing day without the hurried rush of traveling between dinner engagements. Being vegetarian, I am exempt from hosting the epic dinner, so here I sit with a cup of coffee, my laptop and lazy Huskies and a Malamute at my feet. My world is warm, it’s safe, it’s happy and for that I am so very thankful.
Yesterday, a team of Taysia Blue Volunteers arranged for Mercedes to leave a stressful shelter in Kansas City and make the journey to Omaha. Kerry and Jan gave up time and mileage and gas to get her to safety. Starla took her into her home to assess her and make sure we had a plan in place for her health needs. Matthew and Russ welcomed Mercedes into their home last night where she will live until she finds a permanent home.
I woke up this morning to find a photo of Mercedes curled up on a soft dog bed, fast asleep and relaxed. This feeling of peace might have been her first. Mercedes is fourteen years old. Even with all her fur, we can still see the outline of her ribs protruding from her small frame. Mercedes has spent the last fourteen years living outside on a chain. Welcome to freedom sweet girl, welcome to the Taysia Blue family. We are thankful that you are here and so very thankful for volunteers who made that happen.
Last week another team of Taysia Blue volunteers met to plan for a new program that we will be launching in 2017. As an organization, we are proud that we have made an impact in our region by saving nearly 600 dogs, most from overcrowded shelters, in the last six years.
We celebrate that success, but we are driven to do more, to help more, to make a bigger impact. The challenges we see are evolving as shelters are helping more animals. That challenge is often a dog like Ty.
Ty is a happy boy who lives for belly rubs and cuddles from humans, but he is also a challenge because he doesn’t like to share or give up items that he feels have value, even a hockey jersey in a plastic bag or a piece of paper on the floor. One of the things he needs to learn is a rock solid ‘drop it’ before he can be in a home. It’s dogs like Ty, who have so much potential, that we dedicate our newest program, Huskies & Heroes.
Dogs, like Ty, who need some extra behavior help and training will have the time and training needed to heal and to ultimately be adopted. Dogs that need to learn to be calm and confident. Often, our foster volunteers don’t have the time or the skills to work with these dogs so we’re limited with the ones we can accept in to Taysia Blue Rescue.
We also recognize that there is another group of people who can have a difficult time transitioning to being home and fitting in with expectations and demands. Many of our US Military veterans are also looking to find a place to be calm and confident, to be needed.
Twenty-two veterans commit suicide daily, twenty-two lives end needlessly every day. These are men and women who struggle with the transition back to civilian life, who don’t find traditional methods of therapy helpful. Twenty-two every day, this is a staggering number. What if we could help just one? What if we could help another?
We know that there is a healing power in the unconditional love and acceptance of a dog; that dogs can help many people find their purpose and can offer support that human relationships might not. These ‘Hero” dogs and our veterans have a story that isn’t ready to be over, we want to help them tell it. Together they will have each other’s six.
This is a huge undertaking and we need resources to make it happen. Our goal is by summer of 2017 to have secured a space, approximately 1500 - 3000 square feet where we can train and potentially board some of the dogs that we are working with, we will need transportation to ensure that the dogs and veterans have the ability to work together, we will need to ensure that we have the operational income to sustain this project. If you have contacts in commercial real estate of know of an industrial zoned property in or around Omaha that might be right for us, please contact me directly.
We invite you to watch this video that will help tell the story of our vision.
Before you brave the crowds at the stores tomorrow please consider a different kind of gift, a donation to help us help our heroes
Thank you all so much for your support of Taysia Blue Rescue, we are only able to save these dogs through your generosity and we appreciate it so very much; the dogs, I assure you are grateful.
I want to personally with you a blessed Thanksgiving, know that you are among my reason to be thankful.