Cameo's rescue story:
Dog has much to be
thankful for this year
It's a Dog's World
Monday, November 19, 2012 8:30 AM
Jacqueline Braze of Wykoff approached me about sharing the story of a Wykoff-area dog rescue. I thought this column would serve as a good platform for Braze to share Cameo's journey. So without further ado, this is the tale, submitted by Braze (well, sadly, some had to be edited for space).
Cameo arrived in rural Wykoff, sometime at the end of last September, people say. Frightened, aloof, malnourished and having just been pulled off a litter of puppies, she found shelter at a small farm on the southwest corner of town with outbuildings. These buildings to Brown Dog, as she was to become known, were paradise compared to the abuse and neglect that she had finally managed to escape.
To survive she began to forage through the town, especially on garbage collection days and on other days by sneaking into the occasional garage for food. Now she had crossed the line - the human line and had drawn the unwanted attention of folks in town that felt she had become a nuisance. They wanted her dealt with.
The family on whose property she had taken refuge now found themselves in the position of protecting her from a growing threat and another group stepped in and began bringing her food and water. Though well intentioned, these kind-hearted souls soon became a part of another problem: uncontrolled and unorganized access that confused and frightened Brown Dog even more.
This story began to be part of an ongoing narrative in the monthly Wykoff community newsletter. That's when it came to the attention of Braze in January 2012, a woman who has worked with rescues in the past.
First Braze went to city hall and spoke with the city clerk and mayor to get the story from their perspective. Then she visited the Steve and Terri Long family who rented the farm where Brown Dog had taken up residence. After getting their story and explaining what her role would be, she asked their permission to have exclusive access to gain Brown Dog's confidence in an effort to tame her and bring her in for foster care.
Every day, at approximately the same time, Braze prepared and took out warm food, dry kibble, water and treats to gain the dog's trust. The dog soon began to look for Braze's car and the familiar visitor but Brown Dog still kept her comfortable distance. Braze soon realized this was because an individual was still trying to catch the dog without her knowing about it and therefore progress could not be made.
Once that was stopped there was progress. Braze made arrangements to borrow a live trap. After desensitizing her for days, the big day came, and she was caught! Just in time. Jackie got the call from the Longs and went out to collect her.
The meeting was tense and Brown Dog was handled, but finally brought home to Braze's house where she was greeted by four other rescued animals. All seemed to go well at Braze's home for a while but the dog's fear and previous abuse was horrendous and it overwhelmed her. She escaped through a window into the night.
The next day Braze was up early looking for Brown Dog. On Saturday morning there was a call from Terri Long that the dog had returned. Braze fed her and returned on Sunday.
She drove up to the dog's ramshackle doghouse, got out, wrapped the leash around her waist and walked up quietly. Brown Dog awoke from sleep and Braze said, "Hey there, girl. You ready to go home with me today?" She calmly reached down and clipped the leash to the collar the dog still wore. Brown Dog stood up and walked to the car, ate a bowl of warm food, jumped into the back seat and rode peacefully home.
Brown Dog, now named Cameo, is still with Braze in foster care and doing well. She remains rather fragile and will be a "one-man or one-woman dog," needing someone to wrap their heart around her. She will become a great companion for the right person.
Who that person will be? Well, that's the rest of Cameo's story.
If you would be willing to become Cameo's new owner and for more information about her, feel free to contact Safe Haven Pet Rescue in Rochester at (507) 529-4079.