Friday, December 21, 2012

Tami and Marguerite

To celebrate the release of Everything But a Dog on 12/11/12 
I'm talking to people who work with, or have adopted, rescue animals!

When I first started writing, I joined a group called the Dreamweavers.  Some I’ve met in person since, and some I only know online, but all of them have a special place in my heart.  Tami not only writes, but she's a vet and works with animals.

Holly:  Hi, Tami! Can you tell us about your work with animal rescue?

Starbright Rescue
Tami:  I work with a vet clinic who is a big supporter of 4 animal rescue organizations. We do discount medical treatment and spays and neuters foe them. Three of the staff, as well as me occasionally, foster pets for them. One group, Starbright Rescue, transports dogs rescued from the pound to homes in New England where homeless pets are rare. Two men, who work regular 9-5 jobs during the week, make the grueling drive from Georgia to Maine in a specially outfitted RV, stopping only to walk each dog every couple of hours. They make this trek every two weeks. Linda at our clinic prepares the paperwork, we do health certificates on every dog and on Friday, there is a three ring circus of activity as tearful volunteers and foster parents bid goodbye and place the dogs on the RV for their long journeys home. My last foster, Aylen, made that trip. Her new family sends me updates of her lounging on the couch and playing in the snow. Aylen was on death row at the pound when I was alerted to her by a facebook friend too far away to save her. (Check out Aylen's story) I also have a video of a little dog found on the side of the road paralyzed who's heart and bubbly personality wouldn't let us put her down.

Holly: Later that day, Tami sent me the following post about the paralyzed dog that she mentioned:

Starbright Rescue...a real hero!
Tami: Marguerite was found on the side of the road in rural Georgia.  Our most likely story is that she was dumped and then hit by a car. She was starving, covered in fleas, and paralyzed in the rear legs. Her initial wounds were almost healed, but there were open sores on her back legs from dragging them along the ground as she hunted for morsels of food and water. 

She was picked up and turned over to a local humane society,  who brought her in to the clinic where I work. X rays soon revealed the sad truth: her back was broken in 2 places. 

But Marguerite had this amazing will to live. Shy the first couple of days, she was soon dragging herself to the front of the cage, tail wagging furiously. That seemed to be the 1 thing not paralyzed. There, she would throw herself over on her back, licking your fingers and begging for belly rubs.

The Humane Society decided to transport her to Auburn University to see if anything could be done for her back. The sad news came back; nothing could be done. Even though she could wag her tail, and had some feeling and movement in her rear legs, the paralysis would be permanent.

Discussions were held.

What to do with Marguerite?

She was the stray was little hope of adoption. She was paralyzed, and because of this she needed extra care and attention. But one look at her bright eyes and wagging tail and no one could make the decision to let her go. 

So the volunteers at the Humane Society went to work. Soon they found someone with an old doggie wheel chair that they would donate. The video included is Marguerite's first outing in her new wheelchair. Think she looks happy?

Since that time, someone volunteered to make a special wheel chair that fits her better. Marguerite has learned to run over your foot with her wheels to get your attention for pats. She has become the Humane Society mascot and will live with a foster parent when not doing special community outreach, for the Humane Society and in nursing homes and children's hospitals. Her sunny personality wins everyone over and now unwanted Marguerite is loved by hundreds of people!

Tami McGraw, DVM


  1. Holly and Tami ~ Marguerite is adorable. I think she would be an awesome "spokesdoggy" for the handicapped.

    My niece had a part German Shepherd dog who ended up with a doggy walker before she passed away. Artemis was a rescue puppy found abandoned in a ditch in the country.

  2. Kaelee, I think so as well! I'm so sorry for Artemis's beginning, but she was lucky to find a forever home with your niece. I just don't know how people can be so cruel.


  3. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Holly and Tami: Beautiful story, My new cat, Jay, was rescued with five other kittens, and I adopted him from his foster mom. I love him--he's such a sweetie. And his foster mom gave him the name of Jay, which is the same name as the hero of my e-book, "Mr. Short, Dark...& Funny."
    The other cats I had before Jay were Jackie, who I adopted from a "No kill" shelter, and Stormy, who my husband and I adopted from the SPCA. They're gone now but not forgotten.

  4. Oh, that's lovely!! I'm so glad Jay found a home!!