Because my life isn’t crazy enough, Ted and I gathered the kids together last Thursday night, and made an annoucement that went something like this. “You guys are getting older, and will be leaving home soon. So, we’ve decided to adopt a little boy named Elvis.”
For a split second, they thought they were getting a little brother, but it dawned on them rather quickly that we were talking about a puppy. We have two dogs already. A 13 year old Great Pyrenees who won’t be with us much longer, and a 7 year old female Basset Hound named, Snuffalupagus. Yup, the Sesame Street character. We adopted her at 2, and kept the name. It fits her. We call her “Snuff” for short. Unless she’s in trouble, then she gets the full name treatment, much like my children. We have been contemplating another dog for a while, but we weren’t sure the time was right. However, a friend who volunteers at The Last Chance Ranch near Quakertown (http://www.lastchanceranch.org/) sent us a picture of a 9 month old male Basset pup named….Elvis. Because he ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.
The Last Chance Ranch in Richland Township started as an equine sanctuary, and has expanded to an all out animal sanctuary. Dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, you name it, it’s there. They are a non profit, no-kill shelter. I prefer “sanctuary”. We filled out the online application, and within two hours, had a phone call from the Ranch for an interview. A very in-depth, thorough interview. “If you were find out you were pregnant, what would you do?” Well, first I think I’d pass out, but answered that we’d keep both the child and the dog….
Then they called our vet, and interviewed him as far as our ability to become adoptive parents. I was really impressed. They asked about our other dogs, whether they were current on shots, etc. The vet explained that our Pyrenees was not, and there were phone calls back and forth until the vet also explained that at her advanced age and with a cancer diagnosis, he didn’t feel it was in her best interest to vaccinate at this point. They just needed to know that her health wasn’t ignored.
We brought Elvis home the next day, and he was in great shape. He did have kennel cough which the Ranch was treating, and we are continuing to do so. But he was happy, healthy, and clean.
Being a no-kill shelter, the Ranch only accepts as many animals as they have room to care for long term. We found dealings with them to be highly professional, and their love of animals really came through in their attention to detail, and the meticulousness with which they tend to the grounds at the Ranch.
If you are interested in adopting a pet, check out their website. If you’re interested in volunteering, do it! Animals can never have enough belly rubs, ear scratches, or grooming on the ranch! You can visit the 1st Saturday of every month at 10AM for Volunteer Orientation, and a complete tour of the facility. No appointments are needed to attend the orientation and/or tour, and they typically last 1-2 hours. There is a volunteer form available for download online if you so choose. Their phone number is 215-538-2510. There are also several email addresses for specific needs and/or questions.
Elvis has fit into our family wonderfully in a very short time. We’re keeping him separated from the other animals for a bit longer until he’s over the cough, and being fastidious about hand washing. The best part? By adopting Elvis, we’ve actually rescued two animals. The one we brought home, and the one we made room for.
Karen Cluxton lives in Hatfield, PA, and has three teenagers – Halle 16, Owen 14, and Grace 13. Between shuttling kids to soccer, baseball and physical therapy, she trains in Mixed Martial Arts.