Daisy Mae’s Story


Daisy Mae, formerly known as Jessica, is a 16-year-old Chihuahua we got April 18th, 2013. Sonia was called that morning to rescue some dogs that were caught in a flood and off she went along with Ashley. The only thing Sonia was told was that there were dogs that needed to be rescued from rising water and if they weren’t rescued they would go to the pound. The location was near the Mississippi River and with the excessive rainfall, the river was flooding. There were many dogs that needed rescuing.

They saw Daisy Mae in a kennel outside (she lived outside 24/7) in a foot of water, her nose up in the air so she could breathe. Sonia knew she would be taking Daisy Mae and she also saw two Huskies that would be rescued as well.

IMG_36557755949839On the way back they went to Dr. Ahern’s Animal Kingdom to have the dogs checked out. Daisy Mae was diagnosed with a heart murmur and frostbite on both ears. She was underweight, blind, and full of worms. That night she went into foster care with Kristina and has been there ever since.

A few months went by and everything seemed good but then we got the news: Daisy Mae was in the beginning stages of congestive heart failure. She was coughing all the time and restless with heavy breathing so she was put on heart medications. We then found out that she had hypothyroidism (her thyroid levels were too low) and she got medication for that as well.

In late May, 2013 Kristina noticed a lump on the side of her stomach and she had gone into heat (we did not spay due to her age and poor health per the vet). The smell was awful so back to Animal Kingdom they went. Dr. Ahern checked her white blood cell count and it was extremely high which indicated an infection in her uterus. Because it was very serious, Dr. Ahern ordered surgery for the next morning.

Kristina dropped off Daisy Mae at 8:00 AM and planned to pick her up at 3:00 PM that day. Before she left to pick her up, Kristina received a call from the nurse informing her that Daisy Mae had been doing well until ten minutes prior when she became unresponsive. Dr. Ahern told her that Daisy Mae had likely had a stroke and went into shock. Kristina went to the vet’s office to sit with Daisy Mae.

At 6:00 it was determined that she should be taken to EIVSC for 24-hour care. As soon as they arrived they took Daisy Mae to the back and she went into shock again. It was a long night and was touch-and-go as far as whether she would survive. After four nights in the emergency clinic with 24-hour care by wonderful nurses and vets, and a pretty big bill, she made it and she went home with Kristina.

It took Daisy Mae about a week to recover from the traumatic experience but she returned to her normal self. About four weeks later she had an episode of not feeling well so back to Animal Kingdom she went. It was discovered that she had fluid building up on her lungs so she was given Lasix to battle the fluid. She seemed to be doing well for a couple weeks, then she fell ill again with heavy breathing and went back to the emergency clinic in the evening. They found that she had some abdominal pain which was likely causing the heavy breathing. She was released and went home that night.

IMG_36491118806554Since then she’s been doing okay; no heavy breathing, no wild episodes, and only occasional pain which Kristina treats with prescribed pain meds.

Daisy Mae is such a pretty girl. She loves to be held and told she’s pretty. She loves her bologna and hot dogs and loves Fettuccine Alfredo. Because of weird tummy aches that she gets, she prefers to eat Natural Balance canned food because it seems to be the only thing that doesn’t upset her stomach.

Daisy Mae lives with dogs and cats and her favorite thing to do is chase the cats under the bed and bark at them. For being mostly blind, she can get around well. She loves to sunbathe and enjoys the little things in life. She loves smelling and tasting the grass, rolling in bird poop, and getting snuggles.

Kristina knows that the time will come when she’ll have to say goodbye until they meet again, but for now they are taking it day by day and making each and every one of her remaining days/weeks/months/years amazing. They won’t waste a day; if Daisy Mae wants to sleep, they sleep. If she wants to venture out into the world, they will venture out. If she wants to sunbathe, they sunbathe. Because of Last Hope Animal Rescue and Kristina, the remainder of Daisy Mae’s life will be full of love, kisses, snuggles, full tummies, warmth, and soft blankets and beds.

If you’d like to make a donation to help with Daisy Mae’s medical expenses, please donate HERE. Thank you!

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Volunteer of the Month for September 2014

This month we honor Susan Elliott-Bryan as volunteer of the month! Susan began working with Last Hope when she contacted Critter Crusaders that had a dog that wasn’t doing well in a cage. Last Hope agreed to take the dog and Susan agreed to foster him. The dog was Tommy and she worked with him for a year before he was put to sleep. It was a difficult situation and Susan thought perhaps her fostering days were behind her. But then she was asked to foster two feral dogs and they are coming along well.


Susan says, “What I like to do for Last Hope, when I’m not fostering in my home, is work with the dogs who will be more adoptable if they had better social skills.  I took training last winter with a fabulous woman in Austin, Texas who works especially with pit bulls and who expects owners to be the leader in the relationship with their dogs.  I also went to a Clicker Training Expo in California and learned about how clicker training works – I love it!  The dogs get clear messages and quickly learn which behaviors are rewarded and which are ignored. When a dog sits on command and shakes hands for instance, it is more apt to get attention from potential adopters.”


When she’s not fostering for Last Hope, Susan enjoys bicycling around the country. She says most dogs can learn to run alongside a bicycle and she enjoys the exercise for both her and the dog.


“I’ve had my share of difficult dogs and sad endings, but so many dogs can be saved!  With clear and realistic expectations, persistence, love and patience, anxious shelter dogs turn into loving family dogs. I like helping that happen.”
Thank you, Susan, for all the love and help you provide for our fosters!
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Dog of the Week: Oz

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Oz is a very stable dog – great with people of all ages, dogs and dog savvy cats. He has his share of energy so he needs somebody who will ensure that he gets the exercise he needs. He is best walked using an easy-walk harness which helps him walk without pulling so much.

OzOz is a dog that will attach himself to one person. He is friendly to everyone but during his time with us it was very clear that he had a favorite person. Oz is a super dog that has been exposed to many different situations and has always been perfectly behaved. You will love this dog the minute you meet him.

Oz is up to date on vaccinations, neutered and microchipped. Oz is approximately a year and a half old and he weighs 67 pounds.

For more information about Oz, please contact adoptions@lasthoperescueia.org. The adoption application can be completed HERE.

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How Dogs Express Themselves

Ask any devoted dog owner and she’ll tell you that dogs definitely express emotions. The potential problem is when we use human emotions and experiences to decode what a dog is trying to say. Here are five behaviors and the meanings behind them:

  1. BowPlay Bow. Most people recognize this; the dog with his front legs on the ground and his butt up in the air. This is a relaxed dog telling another dog (or his human) that everything is okay and he wants to play.
  2. Sniffing. All dogs sniff, of course, because that is a major way they decode the world. But when you’re taking your dog for a walk and you encounter another dog, sniffing is a way to tell the other dog that everything is okay and they just want to pass.
  3. Sitting. Sometimes dogs seem to sit at the most inopportune times. Sitting is not always just a way for them to rest, it also is a mechanism for the dog to cope with an overwhelming situation.
  4. Go Between. Sometimes two dogs start to play a little too aggressively and another dog that is present may walk in between the two dogs to diffuse the situation. Acting as the go-between helps the two playing dogs to take a step back and resume playing in a more gentle way.
  5. Arc. Canine etiquette dictates that meetings take place from the side rather than head on. This allows the dogs an opportunity to sniff each other first. You should always keep this in mind if you encounter another dog on your walk or in social situations. Give them space and allow them to meet on their own terms.

Keep these behaviors in mind when trying to decipher what your pet is trying to say and how they are feeling.

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Dog of the Week: Ted


Hi! My name is Ted and I’m a 4-5 year old Jack Russell Terrier. I’m a jack of all trades! When I’m inside, my favorite place will be cuddled up next to you or playing with my toys on the floor. I think squeaky toys and rope toys are amazing! When I’m outside, I’m a brave explorer and would love to have a yard to run around in.

I grew up in a home with 41 other dogs and didn’t get a lot of individual attention, but I am loving life now! I’m learning to sit and down, have good indoor manners, and love attention and treats so I should learn fast if you’re patient with me. I’m a great walker and happily go in my kennel when my foster family is away and sleep in my kennel at night. I would do better in a home without cats (they’re fun to chase!) but I get along great with my doggy foster sisters. I’d love to meet my forever family and come cuddle with you!

Ted 3For more information about Ted, please contact fay.nihart@cardinalhealth.com. The adoption application can be found HERE.


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Why Adopt a Mature Dog?

Many times people are under the mistaken notion that older dogs that end up in shelters and rescues are there because they are bad dogs. This simply isn’t true; most of these dogs are there through no fault of their own. Here are some reasons to adopt more mature dogs:

Old Dog1. What you see is what you get. An adult dog’s size and temperament are established and there are few surprises that you might get when you adopt a puppy. Especially if you adopt a mature dog from a rescue where they stay in foster homes, because the foster family can give you the scoop on what the dog is like.

2. There’s no puppy drama. Puppies are a serious time commitment and often mean interrupted sleep, accidents in the house, chewing mishaps, and more extensive training. Adult dogs still need plenty of attention, but they’ve received some training and are probably beyond the chewing stage.

3. The satisfaction of knowing you saved a life. It’s generally more difficult to find homes for more mature dogs so by opening your heart and home to an adult dog, you’re saving a life.

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog or cat, don’t automatically pass by mature pets. They still have a lot of love to give and are so thankful for having a forever home.

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Cat of the Week: Stitch

This week we’re giving the dogs some time off and featuring a cat of the week. I’m pleased to introduce you to Stitch…


Stitch definitely has a crazy play mode! When he’s ready to go, he can be a little tornado. The rest of the time I barely know he’s here. Stitch 3If you’re looking for a playful companion, you have found him! Pull out the toys and he will entertain himself, and you, for an hour or two before settling down for a little loving and a cat nap.

He loves all the other animals in his foster home, from the cats and dogs to the rabbit. Stitch has a unique feature that catches your eye when you meet him. He is polydactyl, meaning he has an extra toe on each foot. It makes his paws look big! The vet says he’s going to be a big boy when he grows up; perhaps around 15 pounds!

If you are interested in meeting this sweet, fun little boy, email Crystal at cdmcguire88@gmail.com. You can fill out an application HERE.

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