Lost Dogs Run Poems & Stories

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     The Lost Dogs Run Rescue Dogs usually come from the mountains in southwestern North Carolina that border southeastern Tennessee and northern Georgia.  This is Appalachia, a region left behind by time with people generally poorly educated and too poor to leave.  Marriage was common between family members, producing genetic problems in their children, leading to more sadness in the care of their family dogs.  This web page is used to maintain a written record of what happened to these Rescue Dogs.  Also included are some of Ron's Rescue (except for Cameron and Logan) Dogs: Bo Jangles, Cameron, Hunter, Logan, Sasha, and Sundance who entered the pack prior to the formation of Lost Dogs Run in 2014.  This is their story so they will not be forgotten.  Stories of Apache, Bo Jangles, Hunter, Logan, and Sasha ended in tragedy and were very hard to write.

Ace Apache Bitsy Bo Jangles Cameron Charlie
Charlie Brown Denver Dixie Gretchen Hercules Highway
Hooch Hunter Lacy Logan Lotto Meme
Mocha Peaches Pepper Sasha Sundance Trooper



3/8/14 On Beech Creek


The pack trails the River bend, running the clear shallows, before climbing the sandy bank,
Playing chase now in great circles, catching each other and doing half flips in the warm sun.
Meanwhile, I sit by the old talc pit with a chunk of newly-found talc in my hands,
Rubbing it carefully and marveling that something so shiny could be so smooth and so soft.

Not too far away, Melissa sits and calls to the pack by name to come for their treats.
These are rescue dogs, living on borrowed time, and we're content to be with them.
When our lives are so hectic, day after day, and so much seems without purpose,
Saving lives and sharing their joy in the spring sun, makes for a perfect day.

We've got hot dogs to eat while the dogs have their treats.
And pictures to take with stories to share, before we hike up the ridge.
The night will be cold, but the dogs will be warm and safe in our homes.
Tomorrow's a new day and we'll do our best to be back.

Ron Stoessell and Melissa Marcum
On the Nottely River on 3/29/14


From Dusk to Dawn


Buster is a big-boned Treeing Walker with a big black nose,
And Hunter is a Catahoula with a junkyard coat and a head like a quarter moon,
While Surfer is a black and brindle pointer mix with no expression on his face.
I've grown old with these dogs that were born to hunt and live to run.

My hounds run through the Carolina woods, like ghosts in the southern night.
Their bass voices and tenor howls climb the night air to my bed.
Fast-moving dogs on a trail, following their noses from dusk to dawn,
A race with death for their prey who I hope are never caught.

Come morning, the hounds will climb back to my cabin,
To eat their meals and sleep the day, resting for another night-time run.
Lying on my bed, with churning feet, while they twitch and turn,
dreaming of their chase, through the Carolina woods.

When the sun goes down, the hounds will slip away again.
Will the day ever come when they will not be back at dawn?
For Hunter came back once with a bullet hole through his back.
But from the sound of their voices, they wouldn't have it any other way.

It's how they live that measures their lives.
Their goal is the night-time chase, with no end to the race.
Following a trail with the smell of their prey always leading them on.
Cause that's the way life should be, an endless race in the dark.

I sometimes lie in my warm bed and dream of their howls.
And wake with a start and go to the door.
I can hear them panting on the trail in the cold, night air.
Buster, Hunter and Surfer are still running in the Carolina woods.

Ron Stoessell
At the Howling Wolf Cabin
On the Little Easy on 6/7/15



Ace

       Ace (LDR index #11) is a handsome young "blue" pitbull.  Ace was at the VRHS Shelter in December 2014.  One afternoon one of the kennel workers was playing tug of war with him over a water hose in an outdoor kennel.  Ace got his mouth cut by the hose and bit the kennel worker in retaliation.  The acting Shelter Director that day was Jan Davis and she decided to have Ace quickly put down.  Ron Stoessell and Melissa Marcum had previously interacted with Ace and thought he wasn't inherently aggressive but had been whipped into a frenzy by tugging over the hose and getting his mouth cut.  Ron asked to pull him into Lost Dogs Run.  Once he was in Lost Dogs Run, Melissa adopted him out locally in Peachtree, North Carolina, in early January, 2015.  The adoption family, a grandmother (Peggy) and an adult son (Buddy), have a lot of experience with pitbulls.  They love Ace and can easily handle him.  He is actually a very sweet and gentle dog.  So what started out as a Shelter tragedy, ended up with a great ending for Ace and his adoption family!





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Apache

by Ron Stoessell

      Apache (LDR Index #16) was a pitbull and American bulldog mix, a tough and lovable fellow whose life ended in tragedy.  He had been at the Valley River Humane Society Shelter for 9 months and I pulled him at about one and a half years of age in August, 2015, to live in my pack.  I never thought he would be adopted, given the reputation of pitbulls but he was a good boy and had a forever home with me.  He loved living on the Little Easy and roaming in the surrounding woods, always coming home.  But one Tuesday in late November, 2015, just before Thanksgiving, he didn't come back.  It was the second day of deer season.  I had been tracking Apache with a gps tracker and had stopped getting new locations.  Eventually, I received a location a half mile away from where I had last received a signal several hours earlier.  That afternoon, I found his collar discarded by a logging road with its gps tracker.  It was the second day of deer season and a poacher was reported shooting in the area by local deer hunters.  It is a sad judgment on the human race but I think the poacher shot Apache for the fun of it.  He took off the dog's collar and discarded it away from the body, because it is a felony to shoot someone's dog without cause in North Carolina.  I'm still looking for his body but the woods are thick on Fort Butler Mountain.  There is a $500 reward for him in the hope of finding out what happened.  Not knowing Apache's fate is the hardest part of losing him.




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Bitsy

       Lil Bitsy (LDR index #10, aka Betsy) is a beautiful 20 lb rat terrier or Jack Russell who was abandoned a few months old, down the road from her foster (Debbie Buchinsky), in June of 2014.    Debbie has a farm and lives off Joe Brown highway near the lake and has sheep, horses, dogs, and cats.    She has saved many an abandoned dog in the area.    Lil Bitsy is very playful, fully vetted, and full of love but is deaf. On 10/4/14, Debbie adopted her.    She has a wonderful rural home and someone who loves and cares for her.    What a wonderful ending, as contrasted with such a sad beginning, for this adorable little girl!    Thank you Debbie!





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Bo Jangles

by Ron Stoessell

      Bo Jangles was a redbone and red tick coonhound mix, a lovable but surly old hounddog.  He was crippled in a hind leg from an old accident where the femur had broken and not been set properly by a vet.  I found him at the age of about 7 or 8 at the Valley River Humane Society Shelter in August of 2008 under the name of Hans.  I knew he would eventually be put down, so I pulled him to live with us.  He was not a feely, touchy dog but a rough and tough hound dog that would often run off and be found later after much emotional stress for me.  (I once paid a $500 reward for his return.)  Once he got lost in a Louisiana swamp and I found him only by luck on a little island.  In the end, he was killed in a dog fight in August of 2011, in my absence, by Jeremiah, a cattle dog mix who just could not leave other dogs alone.  (Jeremiah was put down in January, 2012 after dog training did not resolve his aggression.)  Bo Jangles is buried on the Little Easy on one side of the graves of Cameron and Logan with Jeremiah buried on the other side.  Rest in peace my tough old hound.





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Cameron and Logan

by Ron Stoessell

      Where to Begin?  These were not rescue dogs.  They were two handsome and lovable King Charles Cavaliers, father and son, the beloved children of Ron Stoessell and Londi Moore.  Our love for Cameron and Logan is what began our dog rescue work.  Cameron was from a litter in September of 2000, from a pair left by an Englishman at a vet in Mandeville, Louisiana.  When the owner died, the vet kept the dogs for unpaid medical bills and the pair had several litters.  Cameron was my gift to Londi, and Logan was the runt of a litter in February, 2002, in Slidell, Louisiana, fathered by Cameron at the age of 15 months.  I cannot describe the love we felt for these two dogs.  Cameron died in Londi's arms of congestive heart failure in Mandeville in August of 2010.  Logan had died earlier as the result of an auto accident on Notquyta Road in Murphy, NC in July of 2008.  I had not kept control of Logan (using a retractable dog leash) on that dirt road and he died as a result.  To this day, 8 years later, the pain in my heart has not diminished, only death will end it for me.  In 2009, I incorporated and started Logan's Run Rescue, naming it for Logan.  The two dogs are buried on the 50 acres of the Little Easy, near the woods and above a horse pasture and below the fenced yards of the Howling Wolf Cabin.  Many rescue dogs are now buried there with them but these were the first two dogs and their graves are marked by granite boulders.  We miss our boys.





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Charlie

       Charlie (LDR index #12) is a "big" handsome young adult Newfoundland.    He was at the VRHS Shelter in January of 2015 and was adopted out at least twice and returned for "extreme" dog aggression.  However, Newfoundlands are rarely aggressive dogs, mostly characterized as cuddly Teddy bears.  Ron Stoessell and Melissa Marcum had interacted with him at the Shelter and thought his problem was fear aggression.  He needed to be socialized with other dogs outside of the Shelter.  Ron took him in to Lost Dogs Run and fostered him in his pack of 11 dogs on the Little Easy in the Howling Wolf Cabin.  His aggression disappeared almost immediately and he quickly integrated himself into the pack.  Charlie liked living in a home and being part of a family.  He was adopted on 2/2/15 to a family in Avondale Estates in Georgia, north of Atlanta and they love him.  A great story tale ending for another dog that had been falsely labeled as unadoptable at the Shelter.  Thank you Athalea for giving him a great home!





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Charlie Brown

       Charlie Brown (LDR index #6) is a handsome blue tick coonhound who was wandering for weeks in the woods off of Ranger Road near the National Forest.  Mildred Shank managed to catch him in late summer of 2013 and she fostered him with Abby, a beautiful Catahoula that was eventually adopted in Louisiana.  Charlie was always shy but retreated into depresson when Abby left.  Millie eventually fostered him with both Buster Brown, a treeing Walker coonhound and with Dixie, another treeing Walker coonhound.  Dixie loved Charlie but he stayed in his shell.  When Dixie left Millie's foster, Ron Stoessell took him into as a foster in his pack of dogs which included his old buddy Buster Brown.  Charlie gradually warmed up, sleeping in the bed at night, but always seemingly worried about what might happen to him.  Then,in the summer of 2014 Todd and Emily Wakefield brought Annabelle over to meet him and adopted him to live in Knoxville.  Anabelle is a beautiful brown Labrador and poodle mix and she is gradually binging him out of his shell.  He loves stuffed toys and shaking them.  We'll never know what happened in his past to make him so shy but now he has a home of his own with a beautiful girlfriend.  Best of Luck Charlie Brown.





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Denver

by Ron Stoessell

       Denver (LDR index #0) was a "big and beloved" handsome 5 year old "red nose" pit bull, with a brown and white jelly bean coat.  He was a happy dog, weighing a hundred pounds but so gentle with a humorous and friendly personality.  For about 4 years, Melissa Marcum and I took Denver and his companion Lady to the Nantahala National Forest where they ran free and swam freely for a couple of hours at a time.  Denver was the all-time King of the Sticks, retrieving any stick thrown on land or water.  At their home, they were kept 24/7 on steel cables by his owner, a sad way to live.
       At the beginning of August of 2014, I went to Candy Mountain to pick up Denver to take him for a swim on Beech Creek.  I had not had time to see him for several weeks.  I found Denver trembling and blind outside on the end of a chain with the owner gone and a note on the door asking me to look after him.  I cried and took Denver to the Animal Emergency Room Hospital in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  Denver was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma and put on prednisone which improved his quality of life for a few days.  Denver was entered into Lost Dogs Run and came to live with me and my pack.  But he only lived another 9 days before he began hemorrhaging and was in such discomfort that we put him to sleep.  Each day, except for his last day, Denver swam in the lake with Melissa and I and he mined the lake bottom like he had always done.  Even though he was now blind, he would retrieve sticks by swimming to the sound of the splash.  On August 12th, Denver died in my arms, with Melissa telling him "You're going to mine the lake bottom and this time, you'll find that pot of gold."
      Denver is buried below the Howling Wolf Cabin on the Little Easy on Butler Mountain, overlooking a horse pasture.  Denver and Lady use to run on the 50 acres making up the Little Easy.  And this was the same pasture that several years earlier,Denver sauntered in to check out a group of horses a hundred yards away.  When he was about 50 yards from them, they pawed the ground, shook their heads, and charged.  He raced back, looking over his shoulder at the charging herd, reaching the electric fence with the horses on his heels.  Denver escaped by sliding under the electric fence, like a baseball player sliding to home plate.  He rolled over on his back and looked up at me, as though to say "Dad, What happened?  I was just going to tell them Hello!"  What a character he was!  We loved him and miss him so much.  He will always be in our thoughts.





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Dixie

       Dixie (LDR index #4) is a beautiful young Treeing Walker Coonhound who was found hungry on Dickey Road in Cherokee, County, NC in late fall of 2013.  She was taken in by Millie and Ron Shanks for about 6 months but later given to LDR because of her involvement in the death of one of Millie's cats.  Doug and Joann Arnold then fostered her in his large pack until she was adopted on 5/28/14 by Fana Love of Columbus, Georgia.  Below are some pictures of Dixie with Doug Arnold, David Stoessell, and with Fana Love and her daughter Jade.  Fana has another Treeing Walker hound named Velvet with several fenced acres for Dixie to roam on and also swim.  Jade is wonderful with her!  We think this is a great adoption for a sweet hounddog.





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Gretchen

by Ron Stoessell

      Gretchen (LDR index #19)is an adorable little girl, a border collie mix, who is a permanent foster on the Little Easy.  She was pulled from the the Valley River Humane Society Shelter in the early summer of 2015, less than a year old, being urinary and fecally incontinent and facing a sad future.  This sweet little dog had been hit by a vehicle and her hip broken with the bladder pushed out of the body cavity.  LDR took her to the Tennessee Vet School in Knoxville and a kind-hearted surgeon did what she could to repair the damage.  Gretchen enjoys life and can run like the wind.  She appears normal and loves to play, although she remains incontinent.  Gretchen has a forever home in the Howling Wolf Cabin with Ron and Cindy to love on her.  She likes to roam in the surrounding woods on Ft. Butler Mountain, and I occasionally have to go pick her up when her gps tracker shows she has wandered too far.  She is always surprised that I can find her and comes when called.  I think she loves her life in the pack on the Little Easy.





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Hercules

by Ron Stoessell

      Hercules (LDR index #25) is a sweet, 55 lb, tan pit bull, about 3 years old, abandoned in late June, 2016, with a broken leg and crushed tail in the Ebenezer Baptist Church parking lot near the Joe Brown Highway.  Aimee and Stephen saw a Facebook post of Hercules and couldn't stand the thought of him left there in the parking lot.  They picked him up and brought him home.  Aimee's Mom call Ron at Lost Dogs Run, and LDR arranged for his surgery at Rabun Animal Hospital in North Georgia.  Four days later, Hercules came home, minus part of his tail and with steel holding the bone together in his right hind leg. This is a story with a good ending.  Aimee and Stephen are really wondeful people, and Hercules will have a good life, able to put behind him what happened to him in Texana.  We can save lives when we work together.  Thank you Aimee and Stephen for providing a home for Hercules, and thank you David and Shelly for providing the funds for his operation.  You'll did good!  



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Highway and Meme

by Ron Stoessell

      Highway (LDR index #21)and Meme (LDR index #22)were a young adult border collie mix and a Yorkie, found by Joanie and her mother one late September Monday in 2015 on Highway 64 in the Ranger area.  Meme was pregnant with Bonus and we think Highway was the father.  Joanie learned later from a neighbor they had wandered away from an abusive environment.  Joanie and her mother brought them to the VRHS Shelter that day when I was taking pictures of the new input Shelter dogs.  The Shelter was closed for intake, and I persuaded them to keep the two dogs for a few days.  They did so and decided to adopt both Highway and Meme.  Bonus was born a few weeks later in late October.  This is a good story with a happy ending for dogs that had never known a happy home before.  Thank you Joanie for caring!  If only there were hundreds more like you!





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Hooch

by Ron Stoessell

      Hooch (LDR index #15)is a really "big" chocolate Labrador Retriever, probably mixed with mastiff(?).  As a stray, he wandered into Dennis Moura-Fulton's yard off Hedden Road in Murphy in June 2015.  She said Hooch was such a sweet dog that she fostered him while Lost Dogs Run vetted him.  In August, 2015, he was adopted by Steve and Kit Curlee in Blairsville, GA and is doing wonderfully in his forever home.  He is a big and handsome boy!





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Hunter

by Ron Stoessell

      This is a hard one to write but I must do it.  Hunter is a handsome Catahoula Leopard with a big magestic head.  He was found starving in December, 2012, on Notquyta Rd, about a year old.  A marine major adopted him in early 2013 but he was returned in late summer of that year when his owner was shipped off to a new duty station.  Hunter was (is) a wonderful dog, calm and regal, never pushy except when surfing the kitchen counter.  A NC redneck in Ranger shot him through the upper back when he treed a coon that year, but he recovered quickly.  Cindy White and I loved him.  In late July of 2015, he was wandering the woods near the Little Easy while Cindy and I were taking Trooper to a potential adopter in Franklin, NC.  I received an email that his collar was found on the bridge on Crisp Road where it intersects with Martin's Creek Rd.  Several times in the past, Hunter had gotten a front leg caught in his collar and gone up to a stranger for help.  I think that is what happened, because he never would have approached a stranger unless he needed help.  I think they stole this handsome boy to sell for use for hunting bear and pig and discarded his collar.  At roughly identical time to his dognapping that afternoon, I crashed into the dark side of a tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I really believe the accident was due to me reacting subconsciously to him being taken.  Two weeks later, a neighbor had a handsome German Shepherd stolen but he recovered it from the thief.  I confronted the redneck thief about Hunter, but he of course denied any involvement.  The Cherokee County Sheriff's office took information but (as expected) did nothing.   Hunter is microchipped and there is a $1,000 reward with his picture on signs all over Cherokee and Clay Counties.  I hope to find him someday.  His tragic loss is the reason I started putting gps tracker tags on all the dogs.





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Lacy

       Lacy (LDR index #9) is a beautiful 40 lb wire-haired fox terrier or airedale terrier mix who was found with her two siblings (Luke and Lotto) and her Mom (Lilly) near an unmanned dump on Joe Brown Highway by Melissa Marcum in early June, 2014.  Lilly and her puppies were fostered by both Melissa and Millie Shank at their homes.  Lacy was a spunky puppy who loved to swim in the nearby lakes and go on walks with the big dogs.    As she grew up, she became more adverturesome, venturing off to visit the neighbors, climbing fences, but always coming home.  She is totally vetted and microchipped.  On 10/12/14, she was adopted by Cheryl and Bill Ryan in Hillard, Ohio.  They report she is doing great.  This is wonderful family dog, full of affection and good spirit.






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Lotto - aka Mister Kangee

       Lotto (LDR index #7) is a handsome wire-haired Fox terrier or Airedale mix puppy who was found with his two siblings (Luke and Lacy) and his Mom (Lilly) near an unmanned dump on Joe Brown Highway by Melissa Marcum in early June, 2014.  Lilly and her puppies were fostered by both Melissa and Millie Shank at their homes.  (Lilly and Luke have since been adopted by good families inWest Virginia and in Blue Ridge, GA.)   Lacy is still available.  These puppies loved to play and go on walks with the big dogs off leash.  They have been a delight to be around.  Lotto was adopted by Kat (Katarine Bove-Seck) and her husband in Charlotte, NC on 7/17/14 to live with their two cats in their home and in a fenced yard.    He was renamed Mister Kangee.  Kat is a wonderful Mom to him, and we think Lotto hit the jackpot.  Below are some pictures: one is of Kat and Lotto when she picked him up to go home with her, two pictures were taken latter in Charlotte, and one of these is of the three puppies on intake into Lost Dogs Run.





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Mocha

by Ron Stoessell

      Mocha (LDR index #20) is a handsome bobtailed Danish shorthaired pointer who had lived for 4 years in the yard and under a house on Upper Peachtree Rd.  He had wandered up as a young dog.  Lost Dogs Run initially provided dog houses for him and another dog living under the same conditions.  A month later, in December of 2015, LDR took him permanently to care for him.  He was using only 3 legs and was full of old birdshot (from a neighbor) and blind in one eye.  The leg healed quickly and the UT Vet School at Knoxville said the shotgun birdshot had probably injured his eye, causing a detached retina and then a cataract to form on the lens.  Cataract surgery could not restore the vision to that eye.  Mocha settled in to the pack at the Howling Wolf Cabin and loved running in the woods with the other dogs.  He liked to sleep on the bed and get as much attention as possible from Ron.  In March of 2016, Doug Rich and his son Kai Rich from Jasper, GA came to visit to see if Mocha was right for them.  They love Mocha and now he lives with Doug who is a retired Vietnam vet.  Mocha follows Doug around, goes everywhere with him, and sleeps in the bed.  Kai lives nearby and has a Geman shorthaired pointer puppy. Mocha gets to play with him daily.  Mocha now has a great life.  He is a lucky dog!  We miss him but are so grateful to Doug for providing a wonderful home for him with one-on-one companionship.





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Peaches

by Ron Stoessell

      Peaches (LDR index #2) is a beautiful reverse brindle, energetic young adult Plott Hound, who was surrendered at about 4 months of age to Lost Dogs Run in the fall of 2013.  Her owner had left her outside tied 24/7 to a tree by their rented trailer in Peachtree in Cherokee County, NC.  Peaches is so sweet and affectionate, growing up in the Howling Wolf Cabin to be a young adult in Ron's pack of Rescue Dogs.  She loved to run in the adjacent woods and swim in the Nottley River and the big lake at Beech Creek off Panther Top Rd.  We did not want to send her north to another rescue but waited to find an owner nearby that could provide the perfect home.  In March of 2016, Sara and Will Reed of Hayesville, fell in love with her and adopted her to live in their family of 4 children and a young Dachshund.  This is the best of all worlds for Peaches with children and another dog to play with.  She has her forever home now, and we miss her but are glad for her.





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Salt and Pepper

by Ron Stoessell

      Salt (LDR index #17) and Pepper (LDR index #18) were two adorable Australian Cattle Dogs.  They were about 3 months old when they were abandoned at Doug and JoAnn Arnold's House near the Blairsville Highway in October of 2015.  Doug was known in the area for saving dogs.  He called me and said he would foster them and could Lost Dogs Run find a home for them.  Well, knowing Doug, I knew I would be lucky if he ended up giving up even one of them.  Lost Dogs Run handled their vetting, and Pepper was adopted out to a Amanda Stephenson in Wartrace, Tennessee who already had a cattle dog.  And Doug just couldn't bear to part with Salt.  Why someone would have thrown away such wonderful dogs is a mystery to me.  But they both have great homes now and a wonderful life.





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Reddy

by Ron Stoessell

      Reddy (LDR index #3) is a red tick coonhound, aka American foxhound.  He showed up, about 4 years old, in the early spring of 2014 near Melissa Marcum's house on Walker Road in the Ranger area.  Melissa fostered him for a couple of months and then Doug Arnold fostered him for 6 months before he came to the Little Easy to live.  I remember Reddy as always being lethargic but Melissa remembers him as initially having energy and being playful.  In late spring of 2014, he became desperately sick with intestinal problems and swollen lymph glands, losing weight and appeared near death.  Reddy was diagnosed by Dr. Rebeka Stone as having lymphoma.  She put him on the steroid prednisone with the expectation of only a couple of months to live.  Instead he staged a miraculous recovery and today, nearly two years later, is still lethargic, but now lives in the Howling Wolf Cabin, plays each day with Gretchen, and still roams for an hour everyday in the surrounding woods.  His diagnosis was never confirmed with a needle biopsy and (as one vet put it) he has outlived that diagnosis.  Reddy undoubtably has intestinal problems such as IBS but if he appears sickly, I have given him a temporary low dose of prednisone and he has recovered.  He had a temporary setback when he was brushed by a truck on Hwy 64 in August 2015.  But he has recovered from that incident.  We take each day at a time but I am hopeful that Reddy has more good years on the Little Easy.  He is a sweet dog and is greatly loved!





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Sasha

by Ron Stoessell

      Where should I begin in Sasha's tragic tale?  She was a gorgeous Belgian shepherd, a product of a Tennessee puppy mill.  Northshore Animal League took her in and kept her in Port Washington on Long Island.  But she was urinary incontinent and not going to be adopted.  At about three years of age, Sasha was shipped south to St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Mississippi in the fall of 2009.  I saw her there that winter in a big outdoor yard but alone and unhappy and asked Pam Perez, the Director, to send her to me in North Carolina to foster.  I hoped an operation could cure her incontinence.  In the early spring of 2010, she arrived at my home on Notquyta Road.  She was a beautiful, intelligent, sweet dog, highly appreciative of having a place to live where she was loved.  Sasha loved going on long walks and runs with the other dogs out to Beech Creek along Panther Top Road in the National Forest.  There she played, swam, and roamed the woods and shoreline.  I never had to worry about her not coming back.

In 2010 Sasha had two operations at the UT Vet School in Knoxville.  Her problems were congenital. She was born with a very short urether, too short to control the urine.  She also had only one functioning kidney.  After the operations failed, I tried to help her control the incontinence with Prion and just got use to cleaning up after her.  Sasha was always happy and inquisitive.  In 2014, I was building my cabin on the Little Easy, looking forward to her living there and roaming in the woods, without close neighbors.  In August Denver died of lymphoma and I buried him on the Little Easy.  I remember Sasha climbing down into the empty grave that I was digging and lying down.  The next week, she didn't eat on Monday night.  Something was wrong.  I took her to the vet on Tuesday and then another vet on Wednesday who ran blood tests and discovered her kidney was not functioning properly.  Two days later on Friday, we drove to the UT Vet School in Knoxville for evaluation. It was hopeless, they said her kidney was surrounded by crystals, similar to what develops when a dog drinks ethylene glycol.  That afternoon, we came home and I took her to swim one last time at Beech Creek.  Back at the house, I held her in my arms on the bed and she begin to bloat.  Melissa Marcum and I drove her out to Dr. Stone where we held Sasha in our arms as she was put to sleep.  I don't know what really happened.  Probably one of my two neighbors (Dick Hoskinson, originally from Philadephia and/or Bill Johnson, originally from Detroit) put out ethylene glycol.  Both had threatened to shoot her when she followed their 4 wheelers and once I saw Bill Johnson point a pistol at her from a tractor and another time try to beat her with a club as he passed her on a four wheeler.  These are bitter old men, uneducated halfbacks from Florida, with nothing to live for and who hated dogs.  They knew I was leaving soon and that was their last chance to kill one of my dogs.  May their karma provide fitting ends to their existence.





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Sundance

by Ron Stoessell

      Oh Sundance, if only I had rescued you earlier but you had a great final 7 years of life.  Sundance was a handsome rough coat Collie, a stray from the streets of New Orleans with mega personality.  In about 2003, when he was probably a year old, a colleague at the University of New Orleans asked me to arrange to send him to St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in southern Mississippi.  I drove him there under the name of Stewart and promised him that someday I would come retrieve him to live with me.  In the summer of 2008, I was able to pull him and bring him to North Carolina.  Londi named him Sundance for his golden long coat of fur.  That first evening, he and Bo Jangles were outside and I was feeding them.  He took Bo's food from his bowl and I cuffed Sundance.  The dog looked angrily up at me and I raised my hand again.  Suddenly, he had his jaws on my wrist.  I looked at him and said "OK, let's make a deal.  I won't hit you again and you let go."  And he released my wrist.  You just didn't push Sundance around.  After Cameron died, Londi took Sundance back to live in Mandeville to keep company with Bandit and Josey.  She told me that once in the dark, she accidently sat on him as he lay on the couch.  He bit her to let her know that was unacceptable.  He was a character!  We loved him dearly but in 2015, old age caught up with Sundance.  He could no longer get up by himself and Londi had to put him to sleep.  I so miss the old boy and wish I had pulled him earlier from St. Francis.





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Trooper

by Ron Stoessell

      Trooper (LDR index #14) is a "Wild One."  I found him in February of 2015 on Highway 64 near Ranger, lying on his back with 4 legs straight up in the air.  Two women were standing over him, protecting him from traffic.  At the emergency clinic, the vet said the X-rays showed no broken bones but scrapes on his head indicated a concussion.  I think he was about 3 years old.  We stood him up on the counter and he slowly toppled over.  I brought him back to Cindy White to foster.  The next day, he could stand but could only walk in circles.  But within a few days he was fine.  At first we called him Lucky (for his survival) but later we named him Trooper for nis "never quit" attitude.  He lived in my pack of 10 to 13 dogs for nearly a year.  This rat terrier (could also be a mountain feist) is a handful and full of personality, always sticking his "happy" nose where it doesn't belong.  Trooper was adopted by Jay Mercer of Suffolk, VA in January of 2016.  Jay and his wife already have Harley, a rat terrier, and the two dogs are great friends.   Trooper has a wonderful home with a big fenced back yard, squirrels to chase with Harley, and a family that loves him.





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