Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Is the day after Christmas, and I have been reflecting on everything I have learned from Shelby Angel this year.  

1.  Worry less.   
I have had so many worried-filled minutes as I figured out how to rescue her, how I was going to pay for her, where she would live, how she would act, and every other worry I could conjure up.  Every time I had a worry, an answer would come.  Things always worked out.  Shelby continues to teach me to just let the worry go and everything will work out.  

2.  Be Patient.
I like to have the answer immediately.  I want things to work out asap.  I want to see the future and control the future.  I have learned this year with Shelby Angel that it is not possible for me to control everything or rush the answer.  I cannot predict the plan that God has for her or for me.  I need to be patient!  I think of her patiently sitting in the trap on that day she was caught.  It was as if she had just been waiting for someone to rescue her.  She is patient with the vet (how many shots, amputations, and painful foot soaks can one dog endure?).  She is patient with her caregivers.  She is patient with other dogs.  She is patient with puppies.  Shelby has taught me that love is patient and the answer will come.  

3.  Persevere.
Shelby Angel has taught me to persevere when times are tough.  If I just hang in there long enough, things will work out.  This is a great skill to have for family, work, and even sports.  Never, ever give up.  Good things happen to people (and dogs!) that persevere.

4.  Keep A Good Attitude.  
Positive is as positive does!  Everything is going to work out just fine.  Let's go through life with a smile on our face!  Think positively about future outcomes, and they will come true.  Ban negative thoughts from your mind and replace them with positive thoughts!!!!   

Thank you to everyone for reading Shelby Angel's blog this year.  She has had almost 1,000 visits!  Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Motherly Instincts

Some dogs (people too, I suppose) just have motherly instincts. It may be the fact that Shelby Angel at one time had puppies and did not get to experience the joy of raising them (assumption based on the fact that she had been recently bred when we found her starving). Or maybe it is just the fact that she is the coolest dog around. We will never know why she is so awesome, but here is yet another picture of Shelby Angel showing some new foster puppies the ropes.

Heike says she has done so well since her heartworm treatment. She is also walking well on her new feet! It is getting time for her to find her forever family!!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shelby, the miracle dog

Shelby Angel had her heartworm treatment last week and is doing well. She will soon be ready to find her forever home. In the meantime, she is helping her foster mom foster a terrier named Joseph. The little guy is Shelby's first foster puppy. He's been rescued by Good Dog Rescue, and is leaving on Thursday to go to his forever home. Shelby and Joseph are getting in some good cuddle time on the couch.
Our friends Hilary and Elizabeth at, a local Memphis company, have donated a beautiful dog bed to Shelby. She sleeps on it whenever she's not in the yard or playing with her friends. Shelby also got a plush bone made from the same material as her bed, but it did not last very long (she loves her toys too much...).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Memphis Faces More Sad Times

If you have not already heard or read about the sad news, you may want to take the time to look at this article: Memphis Animal Shelter Cruelty. (caution, graphic picture)

Not a day goes by that I don't worry about animals and the abuse that many face day in and day out. It never hurts less when I see or hear about animal abuse. I never grow calloused to it.

It hurts me so much to know my taxes have paid for human cruelty. That someone cashed a paycheck on behalf of me to abuse animals. And it hurts even more deeply to wonder if this will change-will there really be a change? I can only hope, but I have lots of doubts. I am not sure this nation, this city, has any concern for making kindess and humane treatment to animals a priority. I imagine politicians are more concerned about that new BMW and $1,000 suit, made to impress the next insecure person with waivering values.

Thanks to Shelby Angel, I do know that there are those of us out there that do care for animals and want to end the abuse. I know this because I received so many letters to Shelby Angel with best wishes and offerings of help. Let's not give up- let's keep helping- let's keep encouraging others. Thank you for all of your encouragement to me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weight gain

Here's proof that she filled out nicely:

Healing from Surgery

Hey y'all, it's Heike, Shelby's foster mom.
Shelby is healing nicely from the surgery. She is no longer wearing any post-op socks, and is back to her usual level of energy, meaning she plays hard with Waylon, takes naps with him on the couch, and is a loving licking lap dog.
Here are the two happy siblings:I have read somewhere that pit bulls are very maternal and adopt all kinds of animals in lieu of their own offspring. Shelby definitely has a very caring side to herself. She constantly surrounds herself with stuffed animals: she has built a "nest" in the yard and carries all her toys (and Waylon's, too) outside, then puts them around her favorite sunny spot. It has been raining during the past few days, so she has a "nest" inside:
The red blanket was a gift to me. My former roommate Patrick gave it to me for Christmas one year. I wrote my dissertation wrapped in it, and have never shared it with any dog until Shelby came along. It's warm and fuzzy, and she loves it.
Whenever I pick up after her and put all her toys in a basket, she is right behind me and takes them out one by one, and puts them around her "nest". It's simply too adorable.
In this picture, you can see that her paws are healing very well. She looks a bit goofy, like a three-toed gargoyle. Shelby keeps the wounds clean and doesn't chew on the stitches at all. She will be just fine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Foot Update

Shelby Angel is home from the vet. She had toes on 2 feet amputated, and hopefully she will finally be on the solid road to recovery. In usual Shelby Angel style, she is in great spirits and happy to be back with her foster mommy. The minute we pulled up into Heike's driveway, she got so excited and happy. She ran straight out with her two bum feet to play with Holly and Waylon!

Oh yea- and she now weighs 49 pounds- she is up about 20 pounds since I found her! I told you she was starving! Now she is a chunky monkey- not overweight (yet) but definitely a solid little girl!

If all goes well with the feet, we may be starting heart worm treatment soon. Will keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catching Up!

Where have we been?  Sorry to take so long on an update.  Shelby is doing well and thriving at her foster home.  She may even be thriving TOO well, as she is the opposite of starving now :)  hee hee!

I had the pleasure of dog sitting Shelby this weekend.  She was welcomed by Rooney and Cayenne and had access to our big backyard filled with old running shoes for play toys.  (and old running shoe, I have found, is like heaven to dogs).  

She did as well as I expected- meaning she was super sweet and got along with every one.  As usual, no growls, barks, or mean faces.  She was even sweet when it was time for her injections- ouch!  We spent the weekend playing, and Shelby Angel even got to snuggle with me, Rooney, and Cayenne in bed when Dave when to work!  

I am normally great at taking pictures, but I actually did not get any this weekend!  This is a last minute shot I took before I had to take Shelby Angel back to Heike's.  The picture makes me laugh- for one, because all 3 dogs have huge ears, and two- they have those sad puppy dog faces as if they know I am leaving to go to work for the day.  

So, I am happy to share with you that again, Shelby Angel has been amazing company.  What a great dog-I love spending time with her.  

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How Cute Am I Looking?

I am constantly stealing pictures off of Heike's facebook page. I just can't help it! Too cute! (I hope Heike doesn't believe in copyright...hee hee!)

Look at me, look at me!  I am filling out and looking great!

And I will jump on boys to give them kisses.  I am a girl, after all. :)

Why does Damie always put me in pink?  I thought Damie did not like pink.  She must secretly like pink.  I don't remember her ever asking me if I wanted to wear pink.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching Up!

Tonight my sister and I went to foster mom Heike's house to catch up with Shelby Angel and write some thank you notes.  With the exception of her feet (please, please heal!) she is looking so great!  She is a beautiful girl, and she is still as sweet as ever.  

Here she is with my sister, Rebekah.  When Shelby Angel was still living at the vet for treatment, Rebekah used to go check on her during her lunch breaks from work and help take care of her feet.  Rebekah has been a big part in helping with Shelby Angel's recovery.  

And there really have been so many people that have helped in Shelby Angel's recovery.  This is just a glimpse of Rebekah, Heike, and myself taking some time to thank the people that have given Shelby Angel so much support.  We have so much thanks to give- we haven't even scratched the surface with the depth of our gratitude.  

We are thrilled, excited, and honored to have so many thank you letters to write! (Plus, the more thank you letters we have to write, the more excuses I can come up with to visit Shelby Angel!)

Monday, September 14, 2009


I remember calling my friend Joy about a week after I first spotted Shelby Angel and asking her:  "Was that dog we saw on our bike ride really as badly hurt, abused, and starved as I remember her?  Maybe I am just over-exaggerating in my mind how bad she is."  Joy promptly responded that the dog WAS that hurt, abused, and starved- my memory was not altered.  

Funny, but again I turned to my husband tonight and said, "Maybe Shelby Angel wasn't really that bad of a case of abuse."  My husband gave me a weird look and said, "It was very, very bad, Damie.  It was horrible."  

I have had a lot of requests for pictures of her when I first found her.  I really wish the camera could have captured the whole story- her inability to walk as if all of her legs were broken, every bone that could be counted, the scars and injuries all over her body from the abuse, and her feet- partially gnawed off with bugs living in them.  I think these pictures really just scratch the surface of what we saw that day.   

I know most of my friends have seen these pictures already, but I will post a few again.   

There were so many scars around her neck and chest, including an ear that was ripped so deeply she could no longer hold it up.  

Even after 2 weeks of food, you could still see every bone.    

Her two back feet, with missing toes and toenails.  

When I finally decided to make the effort to find and help Shelby Angel, Dave was not the happiest husband on the block.  "She is not coming here."  

After I got Shelby Angel to the vet, I called my husband and asked him to meet me there.  His response was, "Damie, she is NOT coming home with us."  I told him I promised not to push a dog on him, but I needed him to be there for me.  When he got to the vet, he looked at Shelby Angel and gave her a pet, then our eyes met and he understood.  From the moment he saw her, he gave his unconditional support.     

I hope you enjoy Shelby Angel's blog.  We know that she still has obstacles to face, but we are encouraged by her recovery and kind spirit.  She continues to teach us to be more supportive and helpful to one another, and we learn so much from her every day.      

A note from Shelby's foster mom

My name is Heike, and I am Shelby’s foster mom. After Damie told me about rescuing Shelby, I could not stop thinking about Damie’s courage and persistence, and how much I would like to help her and the dog. I have been fostering dogs for a while now: Shelby is my tenth foster dog this year. I have rescued dogs by myself and fostered for two Memphis rescue organizations, Petmatchmaker and Good Dog Rescue. When I heard that Damie was looking for a foster home for Shelby, a quiet home for her to recover, I immediately made a commitment. Many people have given generous donations, and many more have sent heartfelt regards, toys, and treats. We are infinitely grateful for all the help Shelby has received! It makes all the difference.
Shelby has been with me for about a week now, and she is recovering nicely. She has gained some weight, and her toes are healing as well. My best friend Teisha, a nurse, has drawn up nutrition and wound care regimen that works really well: Shelby is on a high-protein diet of puppy chow and my special homemade beef stew. She loves peanut butter and carrots. I soak her toes in an Epsom salt solution twice a day, and spray her wounds with an antiseptic every few hours. The antibiotics appear to be working, and we are hoping that Shelby will not have to get her leg amputated. Her personality is really coming out now that she is feeling better. She is a calm dog, and is learning to be a family pet. I was surprised to see that she is completely housebroken. Shelby likes to nap in the sun, on the couch, on my lap, on her back. She snores, it’s too funny. She is a very silly dog and grins when you scratch her behind the ears. She is careful around people and other dogs at first, but warms up very quickly. Shelby is still a puppy although she has had puppies of her own. She bonds with people – Damie, Rebecca, Charlie and me. I am not sure I want to know what she has been through, but dogs have taught me not to obsess about the past and to live in the moment.
It’s a pleasure to have her here, and it is wonderful to see how many people are helping us care for this cutie. Isn’t it amazing how companion animals bring out the best in us? How we find our gentle and caring side in the midst of our busy lives? How there’s always time for a belly rub or a spoonful of peanut butter? Life is good.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Welcome to Shelby Angel's Blog!

Shelby Angel is a pit bull mix that was rescued from a sure death from starvation and injury on August 22, 2009.  In a short period of time, she has touched the lives of many Memphis residents and made new friends all over the country.  

We hope to not only tell her story on this blog, but also to encourage others to go above and beyond in their everyday life by helping an animal in need.  Thank you for stopping by!