Thanksgiving Reflections

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Our volunteers and supporters have helped over 1,600 dogs since Great Dane Rescue of North Texas began. Many of these dogs came to us in need of more than a warm bed and temporary home. In these cases we see the results of human cruelty and neglect, but we also get to experience the overwhelming compassion that exists in this world.

Thank you to the shelters who network with rescue groups to place pets who would otherwise be euthanized due to health concerns or space constraints. Many shelters have adoption programs for healthy pets, but if a pet needs medical care, they will call on local rescue groups to help. This means we work in partnership with shelters to take in dogs in need of heartworm treatment, with upper respiratory infections, with untreated mange, and other various health concerns. The shelter workers go above and beyond in some cases to get these guys help and into our care.

Thank you to our fosters who open their homes to these dogs for unknown amounts of time and give them love, care, and training until they reach their final home. Most of the dogs who come to us recover and go on to be placed in loving, permanent homes. Some of these guys take more time than others, occasionally more than a year, to reach a stable enough level of health to be cleared for adoption. Our fosters face the unknown without blinking.

Thank you to our fosters and volunteers who face loss and keep going. Occasionally a dog comes to us that is beyond saving: a hospice case or a dog who does not respond to veterinary treatment. Our fosters and volunteers feel these losses deeply, and it is especially painful when preventative care such as monthly heartworm prevention, appropriate vaccinations, or a timely trip to the veterinarian could have allowed the dog to live a long, healthy life. Instead, these dogs end up at shelters with advanced diseases and then end up in our care. Our veterinarians and volunteers fight to give each dog the best possible chance, but in a few cases, the most we can do is offer a warm bed, a safe home, and a loving touch as the dog leaves this life. I continue to be amazed by the strength and compassion our fosters show in these cases. They mourn the loss yet open their homes to the next Dane in need.

Thank you to our adopters. Some of the dogs who come to us are stabilized but never fully recover from diseases such as untreated demodectic mange. Others have chronic conditions that require on-going care for the remainder of their lives. These dogs require special homes that are able and willing to provide the necessary care. Even dogs that are healthy at the time of adoption may develop conditions as they age that require on-going care. To our adopters who accept the ups and downs of life with their beloved Danes, thank you.

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