The story of Joselyn...

It's those cliche sayings, "nothing ever worthwhile is easy, and nothing easy is ever worthwhile" or "it's not the ending, but the story that counts" or even "the past doesn't matter, only what you do from this point forward does"; they all have their part in life, they also have their part to play when it comes to dog rehabilitation. When people ask me what I do, I always just tell them I transport and rescue dogs. Simple enough to understand, however I realized that by not actually clearly defining what we truly do here at #pittieSTRONG we get lumped together with everyone else, and not differentiated from the crowd. Surely there are groups that do 100 times what we do, thousands perhaps; and I tip my hat to you. Everyone has their part to play and they can tell their own story... I am here, to tell our story, the #pittieSTRONG story, through the stories of the dogs we care for.

"Who would do this to a dog, let alone a mother?"

Joselyn, the beautiful black and white dog you see here, has an incredibly sad story to tell. From the picture here you think, ok, shes a dog, she looks fine? It's what the other photos you don't see contain, that make her story come to life. We do our best to moderate our social media presence to not contain horrific abuse photos, but you have to understand that some things need to be seen. You may not agree with it or understand it, but if we are showing you something graphic it is for a reason. She was found in absolutely terrible condition wandering the streets alone and starving. It was at that moment when a good Samaritan named Lisa stopped her car and opened her door to Joselyn and figureitively and literally; saved her life.

Her body score is barely a 2 out of 9 when she was rescued. Her spine and ribs were all visible and her hip bones were protruding badly. Her skin was terrible and her teets were full of milk! Who would do this to a dog, let alone a mother? Even full of milk, she weighed just 47lbs at intake. Once the shelter that took her in put the word out that Joselyn was in need and ready, we quickly rallied the troops, asked a few favors and made room for her. There was no way we could say no.

She headed north and we met transport in New Jersey, about 4 hours from where we are located. Those first few moments are just absolutely gut wrenching. She's about as bad as she can be and still be under her own power of movement, and shes still wagging her tail! Shown nothing but neglect for who knows how long, and this girl is still all love! After a quick leg stretch and potty break she was helped in to the transport Jeep, set upon a comfy dog bed and we headed home with her.

"Every single one of them deserves recognition ... we thank you."

One thing to remember here is no one person deserves credit for the rescue process, there are literally dozens sometimes even thousands of people who help facilitate a rescue. Every single one of them deserves recognition. The work they do day in and day out, even if it is just sharing a shelter or rescue photo asking for help; everyone has their part - and we thank you - and we thank you for your part in Joselyn's rescue and rehabilitation!

The car ride was pretty easy going, but boy did she stink! First order of business is a bath for you girl, sorry but ladies shouldn't smell like stinky garbage men overalls and sweaty gym socks! It is also the first real good close inspection she is given of her skin and overall health condition. She had sores every where over her body, her skin was absolutely raw and likely mangey. But that warm water felt so good on her body, you could just see it in her eyes. So what else is wrong? A mouth inspection shows more heartbreak, her front teeth are all broken or filed down; a mean spirited thing backyard breeders often do to keep momma dogs from badly injuring their young. Could it have happened because of old age or from just a life of neglect? Sure... but we have been around the block once or twice before and we know the tricks - just like we knew her ONE ear was cropped short, for identification if she ever got loose.

The first 48 hours with Joselyn were incredibly rough, nothing we did would keep her comfortable. As soon as she would fall asleep, she would wake right back up and go see what you were doing. She was so happy to even see humans all she wanted to do was be around someone, she actually fell asleep a few times sitting in the upright position just so she could be by someones side. This level of care isn't something that comes cheap, and yet we do not ask our partner rescues to pay for this service. We usually only ask that their vet bills be paid and every once and awhile throw us a bone on a bag of dog food for the other dogs and some toys. The back and forth trips to the vet, special diets, 95% of their toys/treats/beds/collars/leashes/bowls you name it, comes from our pocket!

Going in we knew Joselyn was heart worm positive, dogs from the south nearly always are. But at her first vet visit after taking a blood sample and making a slide, Doc was amazed. Her body condition was so poor that she wouldn't survive the absolutely brutal heart worm treatment. It was also so bad that had she not been found when she was she likely wouldn't have survived. Her blood slide was a mess, Doc said the worst he has ever seen. When a multi-generational veternarian says something like that, you take stock...

... and so it began! The very first thing that had to happen was getting her healthy, and the best way to do that is through diet! Although her condition was very poor, we weren't worried about refeeding syndrome and the name of the game was put on pounds and get in loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidents and other wonderfull goodness to let the body do what the body needs to do - FIGHT! Antibiotics are good, steroids are good, all medicine has their place; but by allowing Joselyn's body to heal itself she will build up a strong immune system for her future. 7 days in, first vet checkup with Doc and look at the scale - 7lbs heavier! Yup, 7lbs in 7 days... no, we can't tell you the secret recipe but we can tell you - bed rest, and eating, and eating, and eating... but keeping that food IN and not simply passed out the back-end as waste! NO BAGGED DOG FOOD!

The healing process at #pittieSTRONG is often times a group process. Like humans, dogs respond better to positive environments surrounded by those who support and care for them. This is not a haphazard process of dogs just randomly being thrown in together but instead a careful methodical process. Joselyn here made it easy, she loves everyone and everything she sees. The adult group at the time consisted of Diamond the resident dog, Dorothy, Mabel and Mindy and a couple males Dewie and Roscoe.

Her story gets kind of boring for awhile, lots of the same thing over and over again. Lots of medicated baths, special diet plan, more medicated baths and this continues for the first 90 days as we build her body up! She is an incredibly loving dog and is very gentle around children and even likes cats.

"... it wasn't just luck, ..."

She really takes to Mabel, the other black and white dog that we had at #pittieSTRONG at the time, and they loved playing and snuggling together. Although she was never full of milk when we got her, we suspect Mabel was a momma dog too; so we think this helped with their quick bond. Joselyn was not a fan of taking medicine, but sometimes it's a requirement. Here she is making a face as I ask her how her medicine tastes. haha!

As she gets her weight and health up, it becomes time to fight her heart worm. It just so happens that Dorothy who was here from death row with a belly full of babies; had birthed and nursed her litter and is also now ready to fight; are you starting to see the whole careful and methodical process yet? It wasn't just luck that at a time when a dog will need to be confined to a kennel and kept from movement as much as possible, has a buddy to do it along side her with! Remember their whole life has changed 180 degrees, the last thing we want to do is make them feel punished.

So the fight begins, and like all fights you want the best people in your corner to help you fight! Destroying advanced heart worm is very hard on the body, which was why it was so important to have her as healthy as possible to begin the long 90-120 day process. It has been months and months of not just around the clock care, but lots of training as well. Learning how to walk on a leash, navigate stairs, ride in cars, walk through stores, learning sidewalk/grass/road, learning to cross the road and so much more.

Joselyn has proven herself to be an incredibly loving, loyal dog who just wants to be loved on and in turn shown her own affection and appreciation for life. Her incredibly strong spirit, eagerness to please and (insert another strong bullet point here) makes her a #pittieSTRONG dog through and through. Her expenses are quickly climbing close to the $10,000+ mark for her stay and care, a bill her rescue will never see; a bill none of the rescues who send dogs to us will ever see.

In order to offset the incredibly high cost of personalized care like we provide to Joselyn, we make and sell some pretty awesome 550 paracord leashes. These leashes are all made right here in the USA, with USA materials. Made of nylon they are very mildew and rot resistant and made to take a lifetime of abuse. Each of the 5' leashes is also a labor of love, taking several hours to complete. Each handmade leash is made to order, based on the 1 or 2 color choices by each individual. Remember when we said there was a lot of bed rest? That is where we find the time to make our leashes!

"help us expand and bring our services to more dogs just like Joselyn."

While Joselyn has not moved on to her forever home just yet, she is getting close to being ready! Dorothy and her have also become bestest of friends, here they are walking together after getting the great news from their vet appointment - they're both heart worm free!

#pittieSTRONG would like to expand, being able to offer this level of care to more dogs that is desperately needed. Please help us expand and bring our services to more dogs just like Joselyn. We understand they are not cheap, but hopefully this little story will help you understand the incredible value and purpose behind our company and the products we offer. While you are purchasing a $60 leash, what you are doing is not lining our pockets so we can buy a fancy sports car or pay for an inground pool... rather we provide an expensive service, at zero cost to our partner rescue groups.

We make it fun for you by including you in some LIVE events! Each leash purchased is sold in a group of 25, and once we hit the 25th sale we notify each of the individuals who purchased and give them a link to a live drawing... we toss out 25 balls, which ever ball the dogs bring back is the winner of a FREE leash. We then toss the ball back in to the pile, and draw a second, $100 cash winner! It is possible to win BOTH prizes! In addition, for every handmade leash purchased, we also donate a second leash to a shelter/rescue dog! This leash will follow them on through to their forever homes - a gift from you to them!

We appreciate you taking the time to read through Joselyn's story and our quick sales pitch and for your consideration in supporting our cause. We can't do this without you...

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