As we approach the end of 2016 and look toward the future, we are blessed with three families who faced challenges of their own, the loss of their beloved German Shepherds, Duke, Klaus, and Skip. There can be no greater tribute to the one you lost than to help another in their honor, and these three families are doing just that. They are donating up to $23,000 in matching funds to the 2016 Holiday Matching Fund. Thanks to their generosity, we have the opportunity to raise $46,000 to help the dogs in 2017.
Some challenges can be overcome alone. For others, we just need a helping hand. This year has been filled with challenges, for humans and dogs alike. We’ve had many success stories. We welcomed dogs into the rescue who were so afraid that we didn’t know if we would ever earn their trust. We had others who were so sick we wondered if they would make it, some to tiny and fragile, we held them as they passed on, having to accept that some things just weren’t meant to be. 2016 brought laughter, frustration, exhaustion, and many many tears; but each time we were ready to give up, we were reminded of exactly why we do what we do. The reality is that rescue is a world without an end. As we mend one broken dog, another is waiting, hoping for a chance. As one family welcomes one of our dogs into a home, there is another watching at the shelter as his family walks away. So, in the rescue world, we pick ourselves up and remember that we are never doing it alone. We have each other, but even more, we have our guardian angels, those who may not be able to help physically, but whenever we send out the call they come through. They come through when we may have thought we had asked one too many times, but we have to ask just one more. They come through when they have only enough money in their purse for a cup of coffee, but they are willing to give that last dime to help one of our Shepherds in need. They come through when they have only prayers and good thoughts to send. In rescue, we could not face the challenges alone. It is always with your kindness, your generosity, and your help that we are able make a difference in the lives of the dogs who need our help.
In rescue, whenever our spirits sink just a little too low, we get just a little bit too sad and think the only thing to do is just give up, someone special comes along to remind us that a challenge is an obstacle, and obstacles are meant to be overcome. These special dogs show us the true meaning of overcoming adversity without losing their faith in humanity. Kayu, Sarge, and Harmony’s Hope are just three of the many such souls we’ve had the honor to welcome into Coastal’s family in 2016.
Kayu is a beautiful boy who came to us missing his foot. He runs around the kennel with Sarge, ignoring the pain when his nub hits the cement. He will not let anything get in the way of his happiness. Last week he was measured for a prosthetic that will give him balance and relief so that he can go on normal walks just like any dog, free of pain. We are hoping to be able to purchase his prosthetic soon.
Chesty was dumped at the shelter with no hope except for a rescue. He has seen a specialist, but he can’t tell if his jaw deformity was because of a horrible injury as a puppy or if it was just a birth defect. He was so sick when he came from the shelter that we have not been able to have x-rays done until he gets well. Someone once said that dogs don’t have mirrors. They don’t know that they look any different from anyone else. Chesty is a mirror. When you look into his eyes, you see a beautiful soul, full of love and hope, and that beauty and hope reflects back on everyone he meets.
Harmony’s Hope was just hours old when we got the news that she had a cleft palate, “would we like to have her euthanized.” Today she is a happy puppy who is awaiting surgery to repair her palate and her “Elvis lip curl.” For Hope has yet to meet a challenge she can’t overcome.
Thanks to the families of Duke, Klaus, and Skip, and our guardian angels, Kayu has a chance to walk free of pain. Chesty will continue his beautiful life, and Hope will be able to have the surgery she needs. These are only three of the many dogs who were welcomed into Coastal in 2016. Some have gone on to their forever homes. Some are patiently waiting. They all are and were here because of you.
Please help us make our goal of $43,000 this year between now and New Year’s Day.
Please donate if you can, knowing that it is only with your help that we can continue to do what we do.