Blizzard Goliath hit over Christmas, 2015, and dumped an unprecedented amount of snow that gale force winds piled into 5- 7 ft. drifts. Daytime temperatures for the next week barely rose past single digits. I will tell you that during those frigid, dark post-blizzard days, it was NO HUMAN that came to my aid.
As I trudged through 5 ft. snow drifts (I’m 5 ft 3 inches tall, so I could easily have “disappeared”), my 3 biggest dogs (Brian, Tristan and Merlin) stayed by my side. They seemed to understand the gravity of the situation. More than once I fell and they immediately gathered around me and stood quietly. Any other time they would have engaged in a play/wrestling match with me. I’m many years past being a “spring chicken” so I am always grateful when I can get up after a fall. But it was strenuous for me to trudge through the drifts.
So when I fell the last time in front of the back porch steps and it was beginning to get dark, I was really too exhausted to pull myself up. Brian (who is in training for service and therapy) stood next to me, and as I reached my arm around his neck, he walked up the steps and literally pulled me out of the snow and onto the porch. So, with this kind of mutual devotion, I will always go without and/or beg to give them what they need to be happy and comfortable.
I have spent most of the summer repairing and reinforcing the yards that are attached to the barn so that the dogs have a safe and dry area to exercise in. I am gradually replacing the chain link panels with welded wire which are safer for the dogs and sturdier in wind gusts and not so likely to be pushed apart by my eager darlings who think they belong on the back porch 24/7 because I’m in the house.
The east side of the house has been taken care of . . . the patio has a canopy (which I can remove in case of high winds) and all the mini-yards are covered . . . the dogs have raised beds covered with straw and blankets so that they stay warm and dry. Everyone comes inside at night, and on frigid days, their time outside is limited.
We just went through a cold/wet spell and it was a great “dress rehearsal” for what else needs to be done before serious weather sets in.
This campaign is to help us address the interior of the barn. Even though the dogs with thicker coats can handle longer periods of time outdoors, I still need a way to house them inside the barn comfortably at night and during the days when arctic blasts hit
The large door of the barn (with access to the yards) faces north, so the north wind pummels the door. It’s wonderful on summer days, but disastrous in winter. A long-term plan includes a portable building on the north side, linked to the barn via the dog yards. But we had several serious veterinary issues that had to be addressed, so we could not save enough money for one this year.
We survived last winter with tarps, straw, heat lamps, heating pads inside the crates and lots of blankets. The barn ceiling is 20 feet high so it’s impossible to heat the entire area.
These are the items I need to help us all through the winter:
4 by 6 by 8 ft covered welded wire kennels 4 at $300 each = $1,200. I purchased a couple of these for the east side of the house and tested them with my “houdini” dogs. They are safe and sturdy with plenty of room for 1-2 dogs to move around in, unlike crates. The cover will keep the warm air from dissipating.
4 of these . . . they are currently on sale via Amazon but the price tends to fluctuate. I paid $313 for the last one. Because I have Amazon Prime, there is no shipping charge, and since I purchase through AmazonSmile with Extraordinary Dogs as the selected charity, Amazon donates half a percent to us.
10 by 10 kennel cover with frame. 3 at $154.50 = $463.50 (Believe me, I have tried building a frame out of PVC pipe and using tarps, and they collapse quickly in some of the winds we get here in New Mexico.) I set up 2 over the kennels on the east side and they hold up well.
With these 3, the yards on the north side will be covered except for the large play areas, and this will also provide a little bit of a wind break for that north door.
All of this is portable and will belong to the organization, Extraordinary Dogs Inc. , which is a 501c3 public charity (all donations are tax deductible) and can easily be moved when, God-willing, we are able to have a separate facility in the future.
For anyone who donates the full cost of a kennel ($300) , we will mount a plaque inscribed with your name or the name of a beloved pet or person as a memorial.
I try to focus on all the blessings we have and continue to have. Truthfully, this has been an “expensive” year for us emotionally, as well as financially. We have had to deal with distemper on the premises, brought in by one of the Roswell dogs, when Roswell Animal Control refused to acknowledge that there was an outbreak, so we had to basically put everything on hold for 6 months and make sure quarantine protocols were followed. Some of our “sanctuary” pets had medical issues that had to be dealt with, and one dog is still undergoing heartworm treatment. All of this dips into our funds.
We’re starting this campaign because we need to purchase these items within the next month so that we’re ready for the weather that is sure to hit late December and January, and my personal finances cannot handle this large of a one-time purchase.
Thank you for your support and for your kindness. You can use the DONATE button below or simply use the paypal “send to friends or family” feature . . . our paypal account address is email@example.com
CAMPAIGN UPDATE (November 28, 2016)
OUR NEVER-ENDING ADVENTURES
We cannot begin to thank you enough for helping us meet this goal, and hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with blessings, love and happiness.
As soon as we got the funds, we ordered the kennels and covers through Amazon (no shipping charge). At that time, a friend notified me that Tractor Supply was having a sale on the professional kennels (6’h x 5’W x 10’long), welded wire. I have eyed these before ($349) but always went with the cheaper chain link ones . . . and btw, if you’re looking for dog kennels, do NOT buy the boxed chain link ones for $199 . . . I really thought I was getting a bargain. They are basic junk . . . impossible to stretch the chain link (at least for this old woman) so I really had to resort to what I remember from physics class about leverage. It took me a month to put together, only to have one of the dogs cleverly push through the chain link, even though I had it reinforced with cable ties. So, I reinforced the bottoms with cut to size horse panels. By the time you add in what i spent on the reinforcements, I would have been better off buying the welded wire to begin with. Live and learn.
So the nice kennels were listed on a flyer for $199 with a $25 mail in rebate which would have been a cost of $175. After “haggling” with all the Tractor Supply stores within driving distance, I had to accept the fact that these bargains were “regional” (as each manager claimed) and that this region only had these kennels at $100 off . . . which would make the price $249.99 . . . so still a good buy. So I drove to Roswell and purchased 3 . . . had to get a rain check on one, which should arrive in 2 weeks. ($749.97)
The 10 by 10 kennel covers had a reduced price of $103 through Amazon, so I quickly ordered 4 (before they raised the price) ($412)
The Lucky Dog (6 by 4 by 8) have been ordered at $249.49 apiece. One is arriving today, the other 2 later this week. ($748.47)
Total expenditures $1,910.44
Because I do the labor myself to save money, and don’t move as quickly as I did when I was younger, I can only purchase items that I can move myself . . . and I can still get those 10 ft panels in place without help . . . one of the reasons I don’t find it necessary to go to the gym. . . and I am so grateful!
I finally got the larger kennel put together about midnight last night . . . the barn floor is covered with rubber mats, so I piled fresh straw, the one Kuranda bed, and blankets. (The top is covered with a tarp for 2 reasons: the first is to keep the heat from dissipating, and the second, for the 2 dogs who are “clever climbers.” The dogs love the new space! The Kuranda bed is a big hit . . . everybody politely takes a turn sleeping on it (so now I will have to order more).
I will be posting photos on our Facebook page as I get everything together. I have to wait for the wind to subside before putting up the outside covers . . . I’m concerned they might “make like a kite” and take me along for a ride . . . yes, the winds are that strong, but I’m not complaining . . . we just learn to live with it and tie down everything. This is not “tornado alley” . . . and whenever I get unhappy with the wind, I think of the people who suffer tornadoes.
Because of your generosity and kindness, we are prepared for any arctic blasts, and we did not have to dip into our dog food fund or my retirement check, which means I can use more personal funds for the dogs who are ready for spay and neuters.
As I am working, dragging, dropping, shifting stuff in the barn, every single dog is quietly watching . . . it reminds of the scene from the movie, “Babe,” when the farmer is dancing in his house, and then notices that all the farm animals are watching him through the window.
We have had blankets donated, I purchased heated water bowls, will invest in a few more coats and sweaters, have winter booties for those who want to run in the snow, and am checking into some larger heated beds or mats that are safe and chew proof.
Thank you, again, for helping us get things in place to survive this winter. I always tell the dogs and use your names, because when we all meet at the Rainbow Bridge, I want them to know you.
God bless you and all you love!