My daughter and I spent Saturday afternoon at Poodle Rescue of Houston visiting the doggies. We'll be going back to help bathe dogs, clean cages, and do whatever we can to help this small organization that saves 300-400 poodles from homelessness or euthanasia every year.
I was shocked to discover that people actually turn poodles loose to fend for themselves. You think of poodles as being expensive, pampered, wanted dogs. Sadly, there's just as many abandoned poodles as any other breed.
Some of the dogs in the shelter are lost dogs who Gwennette, the guiding force behind Poodle Rescue, took from the pound to save them. One dog was surrendered by its elderly owner when she entered a nursing home. Another dog was brought in by a homeless man who loved it dearly but couldn't give it the food and medical care it needed. Another dog was abandoned at a kennel I believe when the owner just left it rather than pay the bill.
There were dozens of beautiful poodles, and each had a sad story. Some of the dogs have lost their teeth because the owners never had them cleaned. When I asked how they ate, Gwennette laughed and said: "They'll just swallow hard nuggets whole if that's all they can get, but a soft diet is an easy thing to do so prospective owners shouldn't be put off by that."
When the dogs are brought in, just about all have heart worms because the owners didn't give them the medicine they need on a regular basis, and their hair is fist-size balls of mats. Just about all the dogs have to be shaved to the skin when they come in. Many have mange. Regardless of their condition, Poodle Rescue takes them and gives them the care they need then they try their best to find homes for them.
There are poodles of every color - white, various shades of cream, cocoa, apricot, silver, black, parti-colored, and there are sizes from teacup to standard. If you've ever thought about having a poodle, this is the place to find one. These dogs absolutely go ape when someone comes in. Not in barking loudly so much, though some do, but in gazing intently into your eyes as if saying, "I'm looking for someone to love. Would you take me home and let me love you?"
Yes, I'm being fanciful, but if you visit and see the dogs, you'll know what I mean. Some of the dogs sit quietly looking at you as you look at them. They seem resigned or depressed, but if you reach out to them, they come alive. They don't hold back in giving you affection in return for the scratch behind the ears you give them.
The most heartbreaking are the dogs which are considered unadoptable because of problems. Some, young and old, have lost their teeth. Some have had heartworms too long. Some are elderly. Some are diabetic though that's easy for a new owner to treat. These dogs need love too, and they have so much to give.
Interested in adopting one of these amazing, resilient survivors? Call Poodle Rescue281-477-3297 or go to their website. Got a few bucks to spare? The shelter is always in need of donations to pay the vet bills. They receive no public or government funding though they are trying to get 501(c)(3) status. The vet bills are always big.
If you adopt a dog, you'll pay a fee which covers the dog's treatment expenses. Sometimes, Gwennette will take as little as she can get by with if anyone is interested in adopting one of the unadoptables.
While we were there, a mother, her young daughter, and the mom's friend visited. The mom fell in love with one of these difficult adoptables, an adorable white poodle named Danny. Gwennette placed the dog in the mom's arm, and I think it was love at first sight on both parts. They looked into each other's eyes and Danny seemed to settle into the woman's arms as if he'd always been held by her. Danny has no teeth, but he's healthy and with a loving home can enjoy six or more years of life.
Danny's new owners will come back to pick him up next weekend after he's finished his heartworm treatment and has been groomed to look like a show dog. He's a beautful dog, and I think he'll brighten a new home with his loving personality.
Poodle Rescue provides a cental rescue buiding to house and care for the dogs which of course means utilities, maintenance, lots of food. laundry, etc. They take care of all the dogs' needs. They groom, feed, vet, transport, medicate, and socialize the dogs and don't depend on foster homes to care for them.
If you'd like to make a donation to Poodle Rescue or at least buy one of their tee shirts, go to the web site. If you want to make a donation directly to pay vet expenses, call Champion Forest Animal Clinic, 5211-Z Suite 160 1960 West, Houston, TX 77069, (281)586-9910, and tell them.
If you'd like to volunteer to bathe dogs and help take care of them, just call Poodle Rescue and let them know.
Most importantly, if you want to adopt a poodle or know someone who does, please, please go to the website (has pictures of many of the dogs) or visit Poodle Rescue.