Top Notch Toys January 2017

be described in words—truly devastat- ing and life altering. I found myself for the first time since I was two years old without a fur baby. I was lost and so unhappy without the love and energy of a pup in my life. I gave myself time to mourn my losses and knew in my heart that the universe would send the fur baby specially meant for me when the time was right. I reached out to Paula Fonseca and she helped me find my little boy Alex. I drove five and a half hours to Paula’s location to meet him, fell in love and drove five and a half hours back to Burbank in the same day, this was the best gas money I ever spent! It was love at first sight for me and for him too as soon as we were in the car on our jour- ney to his new forever home. When he was surrendered to Paula, his previous owner confessed that he was kept in a small carrier all day (eight to nine hours) every day, let out for a few hours and then put back in the car- rier all night. The poor baby was basi- cally kept in solitary confinement. Just heartbreaking! His fur on both hips was gone due to him being in the carrier sitting on those patches all day. The previous mom told Paula, “If you don’t let him out of the carrier at some point, he will poop in his carrier.” Truly sad, of course the poor boy will poop and pee in his carrier as his little bladder can’t hold it for nine hours before being able to relieve himself. He hardly ever barks and then looks at me in a panic when he lets a bark slip out as if he is about to be punished. He is slowly learning that barking is not going to cause punishment or pain any longer. He has no idea how to play. He has toys but doesn’t know how to play with them when I try. The first day I took him out for his walk, he didn’t really know what to do. He found a nice tuft of grass, sat down, put his head up so the sun could hit his tiny face and just enjoyed the wind blow- ing his fur and the warmth of the sun. I guess he had not been outside very often during the day. Again, just heart wrenching for me. He was checked by Paula’s vet and they said all was okay but when I got him to my vet, we found some hidden issues. So far we have battled emergency bladder surgery (huge stones were blocking his bladder), severe dental infections that we are still fighting, which required surgery

Patricia Blackmon, “A beautiful honor, showing my award to all my fur babies.”

and the infection had gone into his jaws, a severe respiratory illness, aller- gies, dietary issues, eye issues, under- weight and growing his fur back. He has deformed back knees and needs corrective surgery at some point but this could cost $15,000 to $20,000 to correct. He is walking fine for now so I have to figure out how to get the money for the surgery. As of today, he is the happiest boy on the planet! He has gained weight so he is a little over 5 pounds, right where he should be according to my vet. His health is slowly getting back to 100% and he loves his home cooked meals (I have to cook for him due to his dietary restrictions and aller- gies). His fur is growing back nicely and is now just beautiful. He is so hand- some! He loves to be brushed and have his tummy rubbed, both which I do often. I adore him and he adores me; we are two peas in a pod. We do every- thing together. When he comes to work with me, everyone just showers him with love. Anywhere he goes, he brings big smiles and tail wags from everyone and every pup around. He communi- cates with adorable little sneezes which he uses instead of barking. His cutest trait is when I go to the laundry or to take out the trash, he meets me at the door every time and does the happy dance while twirling around and wag- ging his tail. He is always happy to see me no matter how long I am away. He has a way of looking at me with his little brown eyes and in that moment I know that all is right with the world when we are together. He is just a little bundle of love and I am the luckiest fur mom in the whole world. I thank YTNR for my precious little Alex, words can- not express how grateful I am to Paula for helping me and this little boy find

each other. Of course all of us in animal rescue world know that I didn’t rescue Alex, he rescued me. DUGMORE RESCUER OF THE YEAR PATRICIA BLACKMON We are so happy to present Patricia Blackmon the “Dugmore Rescuer of the Year” 2016 award. Patricia has been a volunteer for us for many years and thinks nothing of getting in her car in South Carolina and driving as far as she needs to pick up and help a Yorkie in need—Florida, Tennessee, Virginia. She has volunteered hundreds of hours in caring for sick and abused Yorkies and other small breeds that so desperately need our help. Thank you Patricia for all of your hours of dedication and love. DEAN MILLER: THE DOG COUNSELOR Dean Miller

is a trainer and behavior expert highly skilled in achieving quick and effec- tive results in communication between dogs and their own- ers. “It’s not

magic,” Dean says. “It’s just a matter of understanding where your dog is com- ing from and speaking that language.” YTNR is looking forward to the New Year to the work of saving, rehabilitat- ing and finding forever homes for these Yorkies. We will continue to give them hope. Hope is defined as a feeling that what one desires will happen. We wish to thank each and every one for their generous support of YTNR.

T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2017 • 103

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