Saving Ramsey! Why One Woman Believes You Should Never Give Up.
For all the dog and cat lovers out there, many of you are familiar with the Animal Friends Connection Humane Society in Lodi (AFC for short). For those of you who aren’t familiar, AFC is a sanctuary for abandoned dogs and cats. They’ve made it their mission is to promote human-animal bonds and the humane treatment of animals. When I was looking into getting some positive stories together for this newsletter, I knew I had to include animals. There really is a special place in our hearts for pets. Animals have a way of bringing us together and connecting us. Unless you have an allergy or something, in which case you’re probably not reading this anyways.
I reached out to Carol Farron, a board member at AFC to ask if she had any positive stories. Carol and Patricia (the Director of AFC) then introduced me to the story of Ramsey. They sent me some pictures (used here in the newsletter) and I think we can all agree that he’s a pretty cute pup. Ramsey was at the sanctuary for 7 years. 7 years! Ramsey had been through some trauma when he was a very young pup, so it took him a long time to warm up to people. It took about a year for Ramsey to get really comfortable with staff, and eventually they won his heart. Because he was so guarded, he didn’t always show well to families looking to adopt (hence him being with AFC for 7 years). But of course AFC staff and volunteers loved him all the same. I mean, how could you not love that face?
Finally one day a couple came to visit AFC and fell for him. This wasn’t the first family who was interested in Ramsey, but it was the first family who Ramsey seemed interested in. They came to the shelter several times in an attempt to bond with him and finally it clicked! Patricia told them whoever took Ramsey home would have to have a lot of patience and a lot of heart, which is when the wife said, “Well my husband is a heart surgeon, so this is perfect!” The couple eventually took Ramsey home with them to their place in Lafayette. They thought they had their house secured and doggy ready, but two days after Ramsey moved in with them he was able to get out the barricaded doggy door and bolted. Patricia and a couple volunteers were able to go to Lafayette and, thanks to some good Samaritans, found Ramsey and returned him to his forever home.
I loved hearing about how so many people came together to take care of this one pup. My dog has bolted before (she does NOT like our vacuum) and I was so icnredibly grateful for the family who found her and went out of their way to take her to the vet to have her chip scanned. Animal lovers will bend over backwards to make sure pets are with their families, and I love how this story exemplifies just that. I chatted with Patricia to hear more about what happened with Ramsey.
JAMIE: So you guys went over to Lafayette. Where did you even begin to look for Ramsey?
PATRICIA: So we got over there, myself, Victoria (a volunteer), and her son, as soon as we could and we were out there till about 8:00 that night. We looked everywhere. Victoria ended up in this area and found a house that had a security camera and the family let us check the tapes to see if Ramsey had been through. Low and behold it looked like around 5:30 in the morning there he (Ramsey) was on the security camera. It looked like something spooked him because he just took off running. Ramsey knows my voice and loves me, and knows I love him, so I was calling his name all over, from the car, from driveways, from all over. And we found other people who were willing to volunteer from the Martinez shelter. We had a lot of wonderful help but we still couldn’t find him.
J: How did you eventually track down Ramsey?
P: Eventually we had to go to eat so we left Lafayette around 9:45 that night. Then as it turned out around 10:30 PM, this young man and his girlfriend saw this little black dog in the road and that was Ramsey! The young man was trying but couldn’t catch the dog. He put his car flashers on, drove really really slow, and just kept following him. They eventually got him into a spot where he (Ramsey) was cornered and the young man got out and threw his sweatshirt over him and he had him! So this young man took the dog to the emergency vet, had him scanned and found out he had a microchip. He kept him in a crate all night, fed him and gave him water, and the next morning he called. It was just a miracle. So many people had prayed, a lot of people were on their hands and knees literally praying that we could get him back. I mean that’s such a tragedy because he’s very loved, his new family loves him very much and they want this to work.
J: That’s so wonderful. How is Ramsey adjusting now?
P: He now follows his new owner around like a shadow. He’s still a little apprehensive of the husband, and I think that’s because at the sanctuary it’s mostly women volunteering. The family has since secured the house.
J: Did this couple tell you what made Ramsey stand out for them?
P: Well he’s a dachshund mix and she (the wife) had had dachshunds growing up and she just fell in love with his face and so did her husband. She could see his sweetness. She said, he’s just so loving and so wonderful so yeah. We’re still holding out prayers that everything works out.
Round Up Questions
J: What do you want other people to take from this story?
P: I don’t believe in ever giving up. It’s different if you have an aggressive dog, but if you have a dog that you know is loving, that you can see is just frightened, they’re worth saving. And he (Ramsey) has been. People might be feel sorry, how could you let him live at the shelter for seven years, but he’s had a wonderful life. He’s never been caged, he got lots of treats, quality food twice a day at the same time for all of his life. He had so many volunteers that devoted special time to him staff as well. He wouldn’t let everyone pick him up but people could touch him and pet him. He was very loved. He was very cared for.
J: You’ve been involved in AFC for over 28 years. What inspires you to give back?
P: I’m one of the founders, I’ve been there since 1990. My message would be to never give up. They’re all (animals) so worth loving and Ramsey still has over half of his life left. So to think that he went to a loving home, and other pets go to loving homes, is great.
J: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
P: That all animals would have a home, and that everyone would spay and neuter. Then all dogs and cats would have a happy, loving home. I just think that all animals should have a family, cats and dogs. And then our job would be done.
* * *
Thank you Patricia for sharing this story with me, and thank you to Carol for connecting me with Patricia for this story. If you would like to learn more about Animal Friends, or support their organization, click here to go to their homepage.