Because I've been fostering with various rescues for a while now, I constantly get emails about dogs needing homes. I'm extremely limited to the number of dogs I can foster at a time--usually to only one--so the vast majority of dogs I hear about I know I cannot help directly.
When I got the email about Popeye, a little stray dog found by an acquaintance of an acquaintance while visiting Taiwan, the first thing I noticed was his picture. He was a puppy and absolutely adorable. I know puppies, especially such cute ones, would have very little problem getting adopted or finding another rescuer, so I was prepared to move on.
But then I took a look at his video:
How can you not fall in love with a dog filled with such spirit? Who has experienced what most people would find tragic and yet whose joy of life remains undiminished?
Popeye had been hit by a motorcycle. Unable to use his hind legs and without the ability to control his bladder and bowels, I knew that it might not be so easy for Popeye to find a home on second thought, especially considering he would probably need medical care. The 2 vets in Taiwan that he saw both recommended euthanasia because with all the stray dogs on the streets of Taiwan for the taking, they knew nobody was going to be interested in a dog with such special needs. Maybe Popeye did need me after all.
My then-foster dog, Junebug, already had an interested adopter and I knew she'd be going home within a couple of weeks, so I decided to help Popeye. But how to get him here?
As luck would have it, somebody I knew through fostering a while back was in Taiwan for the month of July. I asked him if he would be willing to bring Popeye back with him when he returned to the US on July 31, and he said yes. There is an amazing rescue in Taiwan called The Animal Rescue Team who agreed to prepare the necessary paperwork and make all the arrangements for Popeye's flight.
Popeye's flight is expected to arrive in SFO tomorrow. I've purchased a used cart for him (thanks Kate of the SF Chi Meetup Group for letting me know about it!), though I'm not sure about the fit. And I've set up a vet appointment for him on Friday. I've also decreased my work load so that I would have more time to care for Popeye (as well as Bandit and my own 2 dogs, Boomer & Phoebe). I'm nervous but excited at the same time.
Popeye will be sponsored by Walkin' the Bark Rescue, a 501c3 organization. They/we are still trying to pay off Bandit's over-$4,000 surgery bill, so there's very little left for Popeye's care. Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent to: Walkin' the Bark Rescue, 4464 Lone Tree Way Box #1064, Antioch CA 94531. Or you can click on the Paypal link to your right to donate online.
Other ways to lend a helping hand:
- The rescue has an eBay store to help a bit with fundraising. Please consider purchasing from them. They have free-range bully sticks, microchips, toys, glucosamine supplements, and more.
- I think Popeye is an amazing dog with the power to move and inspire. I'd like to get his story out to as many people as possible, and somebody recommended MySpace and Facebook. I don't know how to use either of these, so if anyone would be willing to volunteer to set up a page for Popeye on one or both, that would be great!
- Share Popeye's story with as many people as you can.
- Send in any tips or advice you can think of. This is the first time I will be caring for such a special needs dog.
If you're interested in adopting Popeye, visit his Petfinder page:
I will be providing updates on Popeye (and continue to for Bandit), so please check back!