*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thirteen Equals 100!

We traveled to Leech Lake on August 27 in a caravan of three large vehicles.  There were 19 animals that needed to be brought off the Reservation this day – 13 puppies, five adult dogs and a cat named Elliot.

As my thoughts wandered on the long drive to Leech Lake, I was thinking how great it was that we had worked out all the kinks on this whole transport/rescue thing and that my biggest challenge for this transport was finding 18 decent dog names that started with the letter “L” (apparently, I was forgetting that the 13 puppies we were picking up would be under my care for the next five days before they could be brought into AHS (the Animal Humane Society).

We arrived at the Impound and began our usual assessment of the dogs – size, personality, can they ride in a crate with another?  It was not a hard decision with the 13 puppies – Laddie, Lancelot, Larry, Lazarus, Legacy, Lenny, Lilah, Loretta, Lorraine, Lotus, Luigi, Lulu and Luna – all 13 would easily fit in a large kennel.

As I moved the puppies from their kennel at the Impound to their traveling kennel, there were a couple of them who seemed much smaller than their siblings.  As I continued to handle them, I became worried – many of them seemed underweight and most of them had huge bellies – a sure sign of worms.



We loaded up the puppies and the five adults - Lady Bug, Leona, Lonny, Lucian and Slim - and began our trip back to Minneapolis.

Lady Bug




After dropping the five adults at AHS, Marilou and I brought the 13 puppies to her house in Bloomington.  Marilou has a sweet set up for puppies – a large, concrete-floored “studio” with air conditioning and heat – perfect for 13 puppies!


The next five days were unlike any five days I had spent in my life.  The puppies became known as a unit we called the Poop Machines.  Eating, pooping, sleeping.  Eating, pooping, sleeping.  I was almost catatonic by Day 2 from lack of sleep.  I had no idea 13 puppies could eat and poop so much!

By Day 3, it was obvious that the puppies were terribly uncomfortable from all the worms in their tummies.  Their stomachs were HUGE and some of them were already pooping out worms – a sure sign that they had many, many worms in their bellies.  As much as I had hoped to avoid worming the puppies while they were under our care (we knew they would be wormed immediately upon entering AHS), we knew we had no choice.

The worms started coming out in force on the evening of Day 3.  It was like a horror movie.  Marilou held a flashlight as I pounced on each and every fresh load of worms deposited by the puppies, hoping to scoop the worms up after they were dead (because many of them were still alive when they arrived!) and before 13 excited puppies trampled through the piles.

By the end of the five days, we had probably done 15 loads of wash and filled at least 10 large garbage bags with puppy waste.  It was a bittersweet drive to AHS on D-Day – I was so looking forward to the smell of clean air and a full nights’ sleep but already missing the sweet little babies whose individual personalities I had come to know and love.

Seven members of AHS's staff met us upon our arrival - six more than probably necessary to carry the one kennel of puppies into the building.  My wonderment at this overload of people quickly vanished as each of them immediately picked up a puppy and started gushing over it.  It's amazing how quickly adults become children again when there are puppies to be loved.

These 13 puppies put our total number of Leech Lake rescued dogs at over 100!

It is amazing what we have all been able to accomplish since that first trip to Leech Lake in May of this year.

Thanks again to everyone who has been involved in this effort.  We have barely scratched the surface of the work that needs to be done at Leech Lake, but now we know it CAN be done with all of us working together.

P.S.  Three of the puppies - Legacy, Lenny and Lazarus - stayed behind at Marilou’s house where she is fostering them through Act V Rescue.  All three needed a little extra care and time to grow before they could be adopted.



If you are interested in adopting one of these three puppies – click on the link below for more information or contact me directly at jennyafitzer@gmail.com.

And click here to watch a video of the puppies (created by Marilou).

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