I was a “special” child. I was lucky enough to be adopted when I was 10 days old. My parents wanted a baby so badly that they felt that they had to protect me and watch over me every moment.
Growing up, I was always very sick. Amongst other problems, I had terrible allergies and asthma. Unfortunately one of the things that I was most allergic to was animal dander and saliva. Needless to say, I could never know the wonderful feeling of loving a dog or cat. My parents did try to appease my constant begging with a small turtle and some fish. Definitely not the same or even close. I always longed for a puppy.
When I became an adult and turned twenty, I decided that I didn’t care that I broke out in a rash and hives or that my eyes and nose would run constantly while my entire body itched; I didn’t even care that I would have an asthma attack just being near a dog. I wanted a puppy. Because of my physical problems, I figured that a miniature poodle would be my best choice. Never having a dog before, I didn’t have a clue what to look for, or what to look out for when choosing a puppy. I chose the runt of the litter.
Needless to say, this was a mistake. My adorable little puppy (Honey) was a very sick little puppy. By the time he was a year old, he began showing signs of demodectic mange. Back 30 something years ago, they did not know how to treat mange. I took him to vet after vet, specialist after specialist, but my poor little Honey just became worse and worse. A little after he turned two, I had to make the gut wrenching decision to put him to sleep. At that time, I thought my world had come to an end and I would never stop crying. Even now, thinking about that experience, my eyes well up; let’s face it, I am crying like a baby.
It took me many long years to get over my loss before I got my next dog. Once I did, I guess you could say that I have made up for lost time. I have always been attracted to the down trodden, sickly, over looked animals – the ones that no one else wants anymore. I guess deep down, I feel that we are kindred spirits.
When I moved permanently down to Florida in 2006, The Greener Side was born. I started out with 8 dogs, 3 birds and 2 horses. The numbers quickly grew as various souls pulled at my heartstrings. Suddenly, I had 13 dogs. That grew to 27 within a short time. One day, I woke up and realized that my numbers had almost doubled even with losing some of my babies. The Greener Side was up to 44 dogs, 4 cats, 2 birds and 6 horses; all of which had either physical disabilities or mental ones, some with both. I had been supporting them all with the help of my Mother for all these years. The bills were astronomical. Everything I had went to feed, medicate and basically put various vet’s children through college. It became apparent that I couldn’t keep this up much longer on my own.
On August 20, 2014 The Greener Side Haven, Inc., a not for profit organization, was born. A short time after that, we received our determination of a public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3).
Dog of the Month
Meet our long haired dachshund Charlie. Charlie is 16 years old and came to the Greener Side back in February 2015 from Citrus County Animal Services. He was picked up by animal services due to an accident with a motorcycle. Charlie suffered minor injuries but it was easy to tell he had other issues going on. Charlie was blind, dehydrated; worm infested and believed to have kidney disease. We adopted Charlie just 8 days after being at the shelter and gave him his forever home.
Since being at The Greener Side Haven, Inc. we have found out that Charlie has Lupus which has led to many other issues like loss of appetite, skin lacerations and even testing positive to a form of staph infection. He is on many medications with one costing close to $100 a month. Even with all his conditions Charlie still remains a very happy puppy who whenever he hears his name, he pops up his head with a slight head tilt and comes a running for your love. To learn more about Charlie or how you can help with his continued medical cost please contact The Greener Side Haven, Inc .