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Ginny and Wuffy-Very Special Dogs

Story ID:1979
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Year:2007
Person:various
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Ginny and Wuffy-Very Special Dogs

Ginny and Wuffy-Very Special Dogs

Ginny and Wuffy-Very Special Dogs

A friend sent me titles of animal books she thought I would like to read. Alas, I told her that there were many good books in my own
"library" collecting dust because I can't seem to get a handle on all the magazines I have subscribed to.

However, I do enjoy reading them and I will shortly share a heart-warming story from one about "Wuffy." This story lead me to the
internet in search of another equally inspirational story re Ginny the saint of "cats" who just recently died on August 25, 2005 after 17 years of cat rescue. What a dog! Of course, she had a wonderful enabler and together they saved hundreds of cats - I've heard anywhere between 700 and 900 of them. God bless them both.

But more about Ginny and Wuffy later. In my search for a "refresher course" on Ginny I inadvertantly typed in "Gretchen" and my eyes fell on an incredible hard-to-believe link which read "650 puppies, dogs and cats killed by a woman in Central Ohio."

Reported on Mar 14, 2007 in the local news, Maureen McLaughlin, a 56-year-old former animal shelter volunteer admitted to this crime and described how she accomplished this gruesome act believing that she was saving them from "a long, protracted, horrible life on the streets."

She placed her victims in a crate with a cement block and sumerged the crate in a large trash can of water--while praying for the animal.
She said "It was only 90 seconds. I know it was awful, but it was only 90 seconds." Prosecutors described those 90 seconds as "pure hell" for the victims. Of course, let us not forget that in years past, many "shelters"
throughout the nation had done almost the same-- using equally barbaric means to put down unwanted pets. I'm afraid some of them still do. Maybe we should bring them on charges of animal cruelty as well.

She even kept fur from each animal that she killed and wrote the name and date and description of each. (Alison of Petabuse. com has the whole sad story and the stages of prosecution at this internet site. For anyone interested in all the details, it is Case ID: 10948.)

Assistant City prosecutor Bill Hedrick said "No one would expect this going on and basically she's just a mass killer of animals." Authorities were working to determine why McLaughlin killed the animals when she
said she knew that what she did was wrong. Yes, they believe there must be a mental health component here too.

Some cities publish pictures of sex predators on line and some even notify residents that sex offenders live in their vicinity. I think they should also publish pictures of animal abusers on the internet. As McLaughlin awaits trial, the prosecutor was even concerned that she could be volunteering with local veterinarians or other animal rescues.

I wondered how many people surrendered their unwanted pets to her thinking she was involved in rescue. People who think it is easy to find
good homes for their unwanted pets are unrealistic in this assumption. It would have been far better for them to have taken more seriously the often repeated need to prevent unwanted births by neutering and spaying their animals in the first place. Had more people done so, she would probably have had many fewer victims.

Now to the happy and beautiful stories of Ginny and Wuffy. What I find amazing and even heart-warming re both of these stories is that their human companion was a male. And both men had something different in mind before settling on their final choices which would hugely and wonderfully impact their lives.

Philip Gonzalez had survived Viet Nam duty and he miraculously missed being on a military transport that crashed at takeoff. God must have had a special reason for giving him those second chances. But after an industrial
accident that cost him the use of his right arm and left him with recurrent headaches, he really wondered whether it was a blessing to be alive.

Seeing him slump into depression, his neighbor and friend Sheilah Harris convinced him that he needed a dog to give him purpose in life. She wisely realized that his taking care of another living creature would help him forget
his own problems. So together they went to a NY animal shelter.

Only two dogs were available - a Doberman and a Siberian Husky/Schnauzer mix. Philip wanted the Doberman but Sheila and the attendant convinced him to take "Ginny" for a walk around the block.

In his own words: "We'd gone only about half a block when she stopped in her tracks. I'd just been dragging myself along, not even bothering to pay attention to her. I was eager to get this walk over with and get back to the
Doberman, so when she stopped, I tugged impatiently at her leash, thinking that she was wasting my time hanging around doggy-style at some tempting fire hydrant or telephone pole.

But when I looked down at her, I saw that she wasn't sniffing at anything. She was just sitting there on the sidewalk, looking up at me. Our eyes met, and when they did I felt a physical jolt, like a connection being made. A spark leaped between us as though there were electrical wires leading from her to me. I wasn't able to take my eyes off her face; I could swear she smiled at me."

Catherine Shemo of Vegetarian Times relates the background of Ginny- "This wonderful little Siberian husky and Schnauzer mix had been found
locked with her three pups in the closet of an abandoned apartment. She had been left without food or water. Her hair had fallen out from malnutrition and she was badly dehydrated and when found, she was still guarding her pups with her last bit of strength."

I think most of us have heard or read of how Philip let his fearless little "mother" dog with a big and loving heart help her find and rescue cats and kittens - many of them sick and in need of not only food and shelter but veterinarian help as well. Thereafter Philip found a very fulfilling reason to live and he and Ginny would happily spend each day and many hours walking the streets of New York and doing their
"humanitarian" work. For those who want to read the story of this incredibe man/dog duo,I'm sure the library has the book "The Dog Who Rescues Cats." It will be time well spent I'm sure. There must be a special place for people and
animals like this in heaven.

And finally the story of Wuffy and Gary Rohde- a 39- year-old Financial consultant from California. Rohde was excited because his new condo allowed pet ownership. He thought he would prefer an adult dog to avoid the hassle of puppy training, but at his friend's insistence, gave a female Sharpei/spaniel-mix a chance. As Rohde remembers "So we walk into this house, and the second I sit down, this little puffball jumps up and starts kissing my face. It was over. I just knew "Wuffy" was meant for me."

Then one Sunday afternoon while visiting a friend, the true maternal nature of Wuffy became apparent. After happily playing in the yard, Wuffy came towards Rohde with something in her mouth. He thought it was a rag but then realized "Oh my God, she's carrying a kitten!" Wuffy went back to where she found kitten #1 and returned 3 more times with Kittens 2,3,and 4.

Rohde realized he needed to do a thorough search of the backyard and surrounding neighborhood to try to find the mother of these 2-week old tabbies but to no avail. Afraid to leave the abandoned kittens at an animal shelter
because of the uncertainty of their future, he consulted a vet who informed him that the kitties would require several weeks of round-the-clock care if they were to survive.

The vet gave him this long list of what he would have to do--feed them, clean them, and stimulate little behinds so they would urinate. Pretty freaked out at having to assume mother-cat duties, he soon realized he needn't have been. Wuffy immediately took care of the situation and became the kittens' surrogate
mother-- doing all the things a mother cat would do including snuggling up with them while they slept.

At 8 weeks Rohde took them to the vets for a check up, and the vet was astonished that not only had the kittens survived but they even thrived. After these kittens were placed in permanent homes, word spread around about the amazing dog who mothers abandoned kittens. For the almost 11 years since Wuffy's first kitten rescue, she has cared for some 300 kittens.
Wuffy still is busy performing her motherly duties, because she and Rohde are now working with the Southern California Siamese Rescue. So Wuffy is still happily doing what she was born to do -mothering kittens who have lost their mothers.

To his credit, Gary Rohde admits that he never really liked cats but has learned to tolerate them because this is what makes Wuffy happy.

So -another incredible story- told only partly here of two wonderful dogs and their equally wonderful owners. If you would like to read the complete story of Wuffy, it is in the May 2007 issue of the Ladies Home Journal aptly
titled "The Dog Who Loves Kittens" and written by Carrie St. Michel.

Aside from their surrogate-mother concerns, Gary and Wuffy are good will ambassadors as well --visiting their neighborhood schools- relating their story of kitten rescue and Wuffy's mothering skills. Gary also asks the
children to rescue pets rather than buy them from a pet store. He also reminds them of the importance of neutering and spaying their pets. What a wonderful and inspirational duo of man and animal trying to make this earth a better place.

And finally, did you also come to the realization that I did - both of these wonderful
dogs were a mixed breed? So was my beautiful Peaches who was a sheltie-mix, and in her own way transformed me too. I have never desired to own a purebred.
P.S. The first two pictures are of Ginny. The
third shows Wuffy with her kitten "progeny."