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Jeremiah Joy!

UPDATE
2012 July 4  


We have been so busy that we forgot to update all of you on "Jerry" and the joy he feels and has brought to us.  Despite all the beautiful photos you see on this website, we're notoriously bad about taking the camera or videocamera with us in our own spare time or at home.  But here are a couple of photos snapped with our cell phones, pretty much regular happy sights for us.  Jerry riding in the back of Brayton's SUV, smiling big as always. (Our husky girl Piper is behind him and long-haired shepherd Ford too; our little terrier gal Tilly is sitting in front.)  He has this thing for cars and especially trucks.  Really.  He LOVES them all.  And the second photo is the standard view at dinner time.  Four very alert eager canines, waiting patiently because their bowls get put down in specific places in specific orders, and they honor that.  And then they eat their yummy (to them, anyway) organic raw ground chicken, goat milk, egg, and Missing Link supplement.  All raw and all delicious, they think.  Sure does wonders for their health, we'll attest to that anytime.  Jerry has a perfect and forever place in our pack, thank you Universe!

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UPDATE 2012 January 13 -- Jeremiah comes home to us!
We received an email earlier this week advising us that his adopter in Arizona was ill, and would we consider taking Jeremiah back? Oh My! She didn't have to ask us twice! When we flew him to Arizona last May, it was against our hearts but he had already been spoken for.  We knew he would be loved there, but there were so many other dogs there already, and his extraordinarily loyal and previously broken heart seemed to us to need constancy, not more change.  Well, all's well that ends well!  Our plane was back in New Orleans and we were in California, but we didn't waste a day. We borrowed a plane and flew to Arizona the next day and retrieved him.

Read more about Jeremiah's update here.  

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Jeremiah in Georgia where we picked him up May 15; in New Orleans where he spent a week with us, learning to smile and laugh and sleep and eat with joy again; and meeting his new mom Kunzang in Arizona May 22.  

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With thanks to Three Dog Night for the great song about Jeremiah and apologies for messing with the lyrics, here is the version we couldn't keep from singing when we were with him:

Jeremiah was a true friend,
He was a true friend of mine.
No matter what the troubles even til the end,
I'd look at him and all was fine.

They said his ol' heart was broken,
They said that he had reached his end,
But he disagreed inside and kept his love alive,
And his world came 'round again!

 

 

 

UPDATE 2012 January 13 -- Jeremiah comes home to us! (continued)
 

Jeremiah recognized us immediately.  The people in Arizona clearly had loved him very much, but still, I was looking at a dog who looked older and more stressed than the Jeremiah I had handed over to them last May.  His hindquarters trembled with nervousness, his hair had never grown back well, his eyes and coat looked dull and his muzzle whiter than we remembered.  They handed us his paperwork and a bag filled with bottles of medicines -- anti-anxiety, anti-pain, anti-arthritis, and so forth.  Oh how I wished I had a nice raw steak to give that dog right then and there!  They explained to us that the trembling had begun a few months back, and he also had developed a habit of uncontrollable barking when left alone or around a group of dogs he didn't know.  I'd heard enough.  I walked him back to the plane, lifted his thin body easily into the plane and he was happy to settle into the luxurious warm dog bed there for him.  He remembered good things about the plane and being with us.  Hugs and kisses done, we took off promptly and headed back to home in California.

Most of our family is still back in New Orleans, so for now it was just Jeremiah and me.  And that was good.  He ate his organic grass-fed raw beef and bison and chicken, his raw eggs and raw butter, all with relish.  Oh he got some quality grain-free kibble as well.  He wanted to eat all he could have!  He has not had a pill since.  He has barked only once -- to alert me that someone was at the front gate!  He slept and slept and slept the first few days, and the first time I invited him to come along for a ride in the car to run some errands, he looked frightened and ran back to the living room couch, as if to say "Please don't take me away, I love it here!"  I left him there that time, but never again.  After that, he wanted to come everywhere, and so he has.  The more places we went and the more people he met, the more he began to believe that he was not being abandoned, that he was starting a real life here, as a loved dog and companion.  And he has.

Jerry's coat and eyes are getting shiny again, and he eats so well he is filling out like a stout fire plug!  But he can run again, and he smiles all the time. We'll send new photos and videos after our whole pack is reunited!  Stay tuned.

Jeremiah and I will fly back to New Orleans in a couple of weeks and reunite with the entire pack who first brought him out of the shelter in Hazlehurst, Georgia last May, and with us he will stay.  Jeremiah was indeed a true friend, and we are his true friends.

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Updates 2011 June:

Jeremiah's new human companion, Kunzang of Tara's Babies animal sanctuary in Young, Arizona, has been posting videos and notes about Jeremiah on her Facebook and on the Facebook page of Hazlehurst Animal Shelter.  She tells us that he is happy and feeling much better!  We miss him and have assured her that if he ever needs another human home or family, that we are here for him.  In the meantime, on one of these trips across the country we'll fly in to a Forest Service airstrip that is just a few miles from where Jeremiah now lives, and we'll check on him, and Romo, and Ol' Momma and Ol' Duke, and all the other dogs there, and we'll let you all know with photos and videos!  Here are some videos Kunzang has posted on Jeremiah:

"Jeremiah and the Girls" posted on Facebook around Jun 04:


Jeremiah and two of Kunzang's 13 dogs in her home, getting acquainted, May 24:



JEREMIAH IS HOME in ARIZONA!

Final Flight 2011 May 22

With hopeful hearts, we awoke very earily (0430) in New Orleans and made our way to Lakefront Airport. On Wings Of Care's faithful airplane "Bessie" awaited us, packed with belongings for two people and three dogs.  Our purpose:  to fly Jeremiah to his forever home with Kunzang Drolma, manager of "Tara's Babies" dog sanctuary in northern Arizona. Bonny (pilot) and Brayton (New Orleans resident and friend to On Wings Of Care and all animals), plus Bonny's two rescue dogs Ford and Tilly, would continue on to California.  Piper, Brayton's young husky, had to stay back in New Orleans.  We lucky five beings have been Jeremiah's loving pack and caretakers since we flew to pick him up from the animal shelter in Hazlehurst, Georgia on May 15.

When we first saw Jeremiah on May 15, he looked extremely old and depressed.  The hair was missing from much of his body and his horribly dry skin was cracked and smelled badly.  When he shook, there was a snowstorm of dry skin in all directions.  But he wanted love.  And boy did he get it.  In that wonderful week, he got the very best of food at regular intervals, and he spent every minute with his pack.  He learned to smile and laugh, and yes even during those luxuriant baths to clean and comfort and restore balance to his skin.  We went for walks in the park, we lay around together watching the sun cross the sky, he sat around with the other dogs watching us work in the office or on airplanes, he socialized with people everywhere we went.  He followed the examples of our well-adjusted dogs and became a solid-gold canine citizen.  And he won our hearts.  We even asked if there was a chance we could keep him in New Orleans a while longer, but when Kunzang reassured us that he was going to her personally to be her lifelong companion, not to the sanctuary as a hospice because he was unadoptable, we did the right thing willingly and brought him faithfully to her.

The flight was over a lot of rough and desolate but beautiful terrain.  The three dogs camped out comfortably in the back, moving only to switch positions with who was leaning on whom, who was curling up and who was stretching out.  Tilly took a high perch at the back window and looked adorably sleepy during the brief time that we flew at 12,500' to get over some of the terrain.  Jeremiah and Ford snoozed most of the flight.

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Kunzang and her colleague Karen were as excited about his arrival as parents are to their newborn children. He was confused and clung to Bonny when he began to realize that we weren't just meeting her socially, so we had to leave fairly quickly in order to help Kunzang make that transition with him quickly.  But Kunzang's affection for him was obvious, and she has a gentle way with animals.  We are sure that he will learn to love her very much.  Suffice it to say -- our thoughts have been and remain all for Jeremiah, as we know are many of yours who are reading this now.  With all of that going for him, he's going to do just fine.  When Kunzang sends us photos and tells us how he is doing, we'll post them here promptly!

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Thanks to all of you who watched and supported Jeremiah, and us, through this first journey.  We know that he found love again, he found happiness again, and he will never forget them.  He has found his forever home in Arizona now, and we fully expect that all his days will be fulll of warmth and joy.

For the photos from Jeremiah's final flight and our meeting with Kunzang at the airport in Payson, Arizona, and  for the original articles, updates, and photos and videos, please go to the full article.

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UPDATES below are from when we retrieved Jeremiah from Hazlehurst, Georgia May 15, cared for him in New Orleans through May 22, and then flew him to his adopter Kunzang Drolma, manager of "Tara's Babies" Sanctuary in northern Arizona. 

JEREMIAH is on his way home!

What a joy this has been!  Jeremiah is all he was said to be, and more.  Yes, his coat and skin look like he hasn't had decent nutrition in years.  And yes, some of his teeth are missing.  But the heart that shines through those old eyes of his is every bit the deep and kindly soul we had hoped to find.

When we first met him yesterday in Danielle's car at Hazlehurst Airport in Georgia, he was trembling uncontrollably with fear and stress.  The look in his eyes and the tight way he held his jaw spoke of a heart who has seen way too much pain and injustice.  But after just a few minutes of kindness and gentle familiarizing, he put his left paw gently over my arm, thoroughly investigated my face and ear, and kissed me squarely on the face.  He could still trust.  He was willing to try again.

We took him out of the car and let him step on to the grass.  Casidy, another one of the wonderful gals who has been helping him at the Hazlehurst shelter, had  brought him a collar and leash and a soft new bed, and we gently placed the new collar on him, which he accepted with the hint of a smile.   Julia, the third angel of Hazlehurst who has been caring for him, was there with her camera, and she and Brayton are to thank for the wonderful photos in the galleries below.  Jeremiah and I sat for a while together on the grass.  I wanted to be sure he was comfortable enough that I could lift him into the plane and have him remain comfortable and trust that all was going to be well.  But I had underestimated how ready he was to love again!  For despite his fear and his obviously terribly painful skin condition, he was ready to snuggle and later quite eager to climb into the plane on his own!  In fact, when he climbed into the cabin of the plane and discovered his luxurious new bed, we saw such a big happy smile light up his old face that we almost all wanted to cry!

That smile has stayed on his face almost nonstop since then, except when he's sleeping.  And he's been sleeping as thought he hasn't slept well for a very long time!  But I'm getting ahead of the story.  On arriving back in New orleans four hours later, we had one more big hurdle: Jeremiah needed to get along with our own three dogs, for he would be staying with us this week until we can fly him to northern Arizona and his final forever home with Tara's Babies Sanctuary.  Our dog 'pack' consisted of my two seniors (Ford and Tilly, whose own rescue stories are also on this site) and Brayton's young Siberian Husky Piper.  The three of them love each other and are peaceful natures, but we wondered how Jeremiah -- a senior and intact male who still had all of his pride -- might get along with them!

But Jeremiah's gentleness of spirit showed itself to be authentically him, and not just a result of his weariness.  He showed nothing but pleasantness and courtesy to our three dogs, and they accepted him as if he had been with us forever.  We have never seen a smoother introduction among dogs.  And so it has continued
 

Jeremiah is receiving much healing food, for his skin and for his body in general; and he can't seem to get enough of it.  Organic raw bison heart, fresh raw goat's milk from Mississippi and some raw butter, fresh chicken, Missing Link supplement, and Innova Evo kibble.  He has been riding in the car, walking in the park, and doing everything with us and our other dogs.  Tonight -- his second night with us -- he's going to have a warm bath and shampoo with the gentlest of conditioning cleansers and moisturizers for his skin.  We're nourishing his skin first from his insides, and tonight we'll give it a boost from the outside.  I know how he must feel, because when I was growing up I used to have problems with eczema and dry skin in some places.  To this day, if I don't eat enough good raw fats, my skin starts to feel dry and painful.  So I have nice coconut oil to rub into his skin after his bath, and we're expecting that he is going to feel better than ever after this!  Of course, we're going to have to wake him up to give him this bath, because after eating his delicious dinner and coming over to kiss us in thanks, he went and lay down on his new bed and has been snoring peacefully ever since...

UPDATE! 2011 May 17 Tuesday, New Orleans

"Jerry" had his first warm bath last night with us, and he is a new dog.  Warm oils and gentle rubbing took off buckets of old dry skin.  His face told us all we needed to know about how it all felt to his painfully sensitive, hairless and leathery dry skin.  He kissed us and thanked us throughout -- we've seldom had a dog do that during a bath!  And for the first time last night, we saw him stretching fully and luxuriously.  When we said good morning to him this morning, he smiled and almost rolled over completely on his back!  Until he heard me in the kitchen preparing raw butter balls rolled in Missing Link -- then he was sitting at attention in the front row!  He ate a large bowl of that special treat.  We can almost see those nutritious rich natural fats and oils going to his insides soothingly, as his eyes light up and he smiles his thanks.

He is feeling like part of a pack and a family, fully part of the walks and the team business of checking out every smell along the way, and the leash has become a mere ornament, for he never pulls and never needs pulling.  Here are a few from this morning's walk -- a couple of leashes were needed to get the group to sit still for the photos as I walked away from them with the camera.  But we think you'll be able to see his happiness, even with our inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and lack of photography know-how. More from this morning are included in the photo galleries below.

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UPDATE 2011 May 19 Thursday, New Orleans

Here's a video and some photos from this morning, as we started our workday at Lakefront Airport, getting the plane ready to leave tomorrow (or as soon as weather westward permits) and finishing some office work.  Jeremiah and his pack pals -- Piper the husky, Ford the long-haired shepherd, and Tilly the terrier -- enjoy some fun on the grass.  Jeremiah had his second skin-soothing bath last night.  The fur on his back and neck and hind legs is starting to grow back, and the fur on his head and shoulders is growing shiny and luxuriant again.  He LOVES eating his nutritious raw food (though he does not know what to do with a raw chicken leg yet), and he thinks Missing Link supplement is dog candy.  He is so easy and pleasant to have around.  We think he's going to turn out like little Tilly did -- once thought to be through with life because her body and spirit seemed to be giving out, but with love and great nutrition will turn out to have many very good years left and an unforgettably wonderful spirit.    Thanks to Brayton (who belongs to Piper the husky) for letting us stay with him in New Orleans and for HIS wonderful heart and spirit!

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Here are three videos with Jeremiah and his New Orleans rescue pals -- Ford, Tilly, and husky Piper, and the two humans who have been privileged to love and nurture him this week, Bonny and Brayton.  He has become the perfect dog -- needs no leash, house-trained, gentle with all other dogs and people, well-mannered in all ways, and a loving heart that can't be beat.  He sure won ours.   Here's a photo of him sitting in the back of the car today with Ford.  

And with thanks to Three Dog Night for the great song about Jeremiah and apologies for messing with the lyrics, here is the version we can't keep from singing when we're with him:

Jeremiah was a true friend,
He was a true friend of mine.
No matter what the troubles even til the end,
I'd look at him and all was fine.

They said his ol' heart was broken,
They said that he had reached his end,
But he disagreed inside and kept his love alive,
And his world came 'round again!

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Enjoy the galleries below containing these and more photos.  Huge thanks again to all who saved this gentle soul's life.  He has much life left to live, and he is growing younger by the hour!

These first two galleries are from Hazlehurst, GA on Sunday May 15, photos taken by Brayton Matthews of New Orleans and Julia of Hazlehurst, GA -- the angel who wrote the first description and plea for Jeremiah (excerpted below in his original story) after she saw into his eyes at the Hazlehurst animal shelter.

These next photos were taken on Tuesday May 17 in New Orleans.

And these photos were taken the moring of Thursday May 19, still in New Orleans.
You can see the light in his eyes and happiness in his face.  The long leash is attached between him and Piper the husky -- more to remind her to stick around than for any other purpose, as Jeremiah would not leave us for anything in the world.  Which we all know from his story, is the way he is.  It is the most fun to see his happy spirit emerge as he grows deeply reassured and secure.

2011 May 10  (ORIGINAL STORY)

Jeremiah was indeed a true friend.   jeremiah-mugHe never left his owner's side, even after his owner died.Until people came and removed him and left him in a shelter.  Now Jeremiah needs a true friend, in a big way.  He doesn't know what to make of all the ruckus or the other dogs, or the cage, or the hard cement floor, or the people who walk by in uniforms carrying pails and leashes and hooks and all sorts of strange things.  But nobody walks by and stops to listen to Jeremiah, or offer him a way out.

Jeremiah is no spring chicken.  In fact, he is pretty long in the tooth.  And he is testing positive for heartworm.  But he is healthy enough to have a few very good years left in him. And his heart is as big and deep as any dog's can be. There is a very special sanctuary who wants to give him all th peace and love and reassurance he needs for as long as he wants to live.  But -- Jeremiah is in Hazlehurst, Georgia, almost as far east as the Atlantic Ocean.  And that sanctuary is in northern Arizona, outside Payson.

On Wings Of Care is in the Gulf now but will be heading back to California soon, in part to take Jeremiah to Arizona and also to take care of some much-needed chores, including aircraft repairs and maintenance.  It's almost 500 miles from where we are in Louisiana to where Jeremiah is, and then another 1750 miles back to Payson, AZ!  We'll gladly give our time and energy and even the wear and tear on our airplane, but we can't make this rescue happen without some serious help for the fuel costs.  With fuel costs topping $6/gallon lately, and battling typical headwinds of 20-30 knots when we head westward, we can expect to use about 10-11 gallons for every 100-110 miles.  (At $6/gal, that works out to more than 50 cents per mile.) As expensive as that is, our flying Jeremiah still offers unbeatable advantages over trying to drive him there:  1) We can fly nearly a straight line. 2) The entire trip for him will involve one four-hour flight back to New Orleans where he'll stay comfortably with us overnight (or for several days and nights, depending on when we can pick him up and when weather permits our westward flight), plus just one long day's comfortable flight to Payson.  3) He'll have a super comfy soft bed and room to stretch out on the flight, all the personal attention he might need or want including water and some breaks to get out and walk around when we stop for fuel, and the temperature will be comfortable.  Like most dogs do, Jeremiah will probably just snooze the whole flight.

We don't usually put a hard number on the donations we need, because once we commit to an animal, we give all we can to make the rescue happen.  But getting Jeremiah from Georgia to Arizona is going to cost us at least $800 in out-of-pocket costs over and above what we would have spent just to fly back to California ourselves.  And our Board of Directors and accountants and airplane mechanics always remind us that the real cost of flying aircrafts is at least double what you feel at the fuel pump, because of maintenance, inspections, insurance, and general wear and tear on an engine that will require an overhaul after 2000 flight hours.  We'd like to handle it this way:  We'll post here promptly every donation we receive for Jeremiah, and as usual we'll post our progress and you can track our flight with him via our SPOT gps transmitter, once the flight begins. (See the "Track our Flights" link here.)  If we are fortunate enough to reach $800, we'll ask that any further contributions be given to other rescues or other causes.

As of today, 2011 May 9, we are starting at ZERO.  But we are committed to rescuing Jeremiah and flying him to Payson, Arizona, and we're aiming to pick him up this coming weekend.  
Keep watching!

UPDATE 1:  20110509 Monday night:  We're up to $35, with a promise so far of several hundred dollars from the sanctuary in AZ.  Hold on, Jeremiah!  Love and life are coming your way soon!  We're planning to retrieve him from Georgia asap this week and keep him with us in Louisiana until we fly him to Arizona by this coming weekend.

UPDATE 2: 20110510 Tuesday:  We have email promises of $800!  We'll go on that and hope that everybody comes through.  Stay tuned, we have some other flights and obligations this week (for tornado victims in Alabama and checking out some oil and wildlife along the Gulf coast), but we're heading to Georgia asap to retrieve our new house-guest and flight companion Jeremiah!!!

HERE IS HIS STORY, as told by someone in the shelter in Georgia who reached out and found the sanctuary in Arizona:

"Jeremiah entered the shelter after being found at the side of his deceased owner. This loyal boy was removed from his home & the only life he knew, then placed in our small kill shelter. Sadly, he has been frightened, nervous & jumpy ever since. His world has been turned upside down & he is simply unable to cope with his new surroundings. In fact, with just a glance, there is no mistaking this poor soul is heartbroken, terrified, lost & confused. His desperation is so obvious that the shelter believes the kindest thing they can do for Jeremiah at this point... is to "let him go".

Yet through the depths of his sorrow & despair, it's clear that all he wants in life is a calm, loving & comfy place to live out the last chapter of his life. (as you can see in one of his pictures) This email is his last chance at life… and our last ditch effort to grant him his heart’s desire. Though honestly, we all know that Jeremiah has very little hope, as he needs a very special home. One that will be quite hard to come by.

Jeremiah was in rough condition upon his arrival. He is believed to be around 8-10 years old, maybe even older? His teeth are in bad shape, his vision is not good (his right eye mainly), he has some fur missing & like so many pups down here... he has heartworms. With his vision being what it is, and his nerves being on edge, he can be a little nippy when frightened by an unsuspected touch. (one that he didn't see coming that is) He doesn’t actually bite & seems to quickly realize that he’s not in immediate danger… but with this in mind, he would be better suited for a home without children. Sudden movements, along with constant or loud noises frighten Jeremiah greatly.

Due to all that he has going against him, on top of a broken heart, we feel that Jeremiah in need of a Hospice Home. Thus, we are praying for someone that can open their heart & home to him, while providing him the love & comfort he longs for, in his last days. We know this is a Big request and that most people can’t handle that kind of commitment, but we have to try… for Jeremiah’s sake. He has no other options… no hope otherwise. Now, we do not have the funding needed to take Jeremiah to the vet for an evaluation. So we have no way to know just how long Jeremiah is willing to hang in there… we just know that despite the odds, he truly deserves another chance to know love before the end. We’re all devastated to think that after all he’s endured thus far, his last days will be filled with the fear he’s currently living in while at the shelter. If you could just see him, you would understand. Danielle, at the shelter, stated that she thinks Jeremiah has been traumatized so badly that he has lost even more fur while at the shelter!"

 

Updates 2011 June:

Jeremiah's new human companion, Kunzang of Tara's Babies animal sanctuary in Young, Arizona, has been posting videos and notes about Jeremiah on her Facebook and on the Facebook page of Hazlehurst Animal Shelter.  She tells us that he is happy and feeling much better!  We miss him and have assured her that if he ever needs another human home or family, that we are here for him.  In the meantime, on one of these trips across the country we'll fly in to a Forest Service airstrip that is just a few miles from where Jeremiah now lives, and we'll check on him, and Romo, and Ol' Momma and Ol' Duke, and all the other dogs there, and we'll let you all know with photos and videos!  Here are some videos Kunzang has posted on Jeremiah:

 "Jeremiah and the Girls"  posted on Facebook around Jun 04:


Jeremiah and two of Kunzang's 13 dogs in her home, getting acquainted, May 24:



JEREMIAH IS HOME in ARIZONA!

Final Flight 2011 May 22

With hopeful hearts, we awoke very earily (0430) in New Orleans and made our way to Lakefront Airport. On Wings Of Care's faithful airplane "Bessie" awaited us, packed with belongings for two people and three dogs.  Our purpose:  to fly Jeremiah to his forever home with Kunzang Drolma, manager of "Tara's Babies" dog sanctuary in northern Arizona. Bonny (pilot) and Brayton (New Orleans resident and friend to On Wings Of Care and all animals), plus Bonny's two rescue dogs Ford and Tilly, would continue on to California.  Piper, Brayton's young husky, had to stay back in New Orleans.  We lucky five beings have been Jeremiah's loving pack and caretakers since we flew to pick him up from the animal shelter in Hazlehurst, Georgia on May 15.  

When we first saw Jeremiah on May 15, he looked extremely old and depressed.  The hair was missing from much of his body and his horribly dry skin was cracked and smelled badly.  When he shook, there was a snowstorm of dry skin in all directions.  But he wanted love.  And boy did he get it.  In that wonderful week, he got the very best of food at regular intervals, and he spent every minute with his pack.  He learned to smile and laugh, and yes even during those luxuriant baths to clean and comfort and restore balance to his skin.  We went for walks in the park, we lay around together watching the sun cross the sky, he sat around with the other dogs watching us work in the office or on airplanes, he socialized with people everywhere we went.  He followed the examples of our well-adjusted dogs and became a solid-gold canine citizen.  And he won our hearts.  We even asked if there was a chance we could keep him in New Orleans a while longer, but when Kunzang reassured us that he was going to her personally to be her lifelong companion, not to the sanctuary as a hospice because he was unadoptable, we did the right thing willingly and brought him faithfully to her.  

The flight was over a lot of rough and desolate but beautiful terrain.  The three dogs camped out comfortably in the back, moving only to switch positions with who was leaning on whom, who was curling up and who was stretching out.  Tilly took a high perch at the back window and looked adorably sleepy during the brief time that we flew at 12,500' to get over some of the terrain.  Jeremiah and Ford snoozed most of the flight.

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Kunzang and her colleague Karen were as excited about his arrival as parents are to their newborn children. He was confused and clung to Bonny when he began to realize that we weren't just meeting her socially, so we had to leave fairly quickly in order to help Kunzang make that transition with him quickly.  But Kunzang's affection for him was obvious, and she has a gentle way with animals.  We are sure that he will learn to love her very much.  Suffice it to say -- our thoughts have been and remain all for Jeremiah, as we know are many of yours who are reading this now.  With all of that going for him, he's going to do just fine.  When Kunzang sends us photos and tells us how he is doing, we'll post them here promptly!

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Thanks to all of you who watched and supported Jeremiah, and us, through this first journey.  We know that he found love again, he found happiness again, and he will never forget them.  He has found his forever home in Arizona now, and we fully expect that all his days will be fulll of warmth and joy.

For the photos from Jeremiah's final flight and our meeting with Kunzang at the airport in Payson, Arizona, and  for the original articles, updates, and photos and videos, please go to the full article.

 

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UPDATES below are from when we retrieved Jeremiah from Hazlehurst, Georgia May 15, cared for him in New Orleans through May 22, and then flew him to his adopter Kunzang Drolma, manager of "Tara's Babies" Sanctuary in northern Arizona. 

JEREMIAH is on his way home!

What a joy this has been!  Jeremiah is all he was said to be, and more.  Yes, his coat and skin look like he hasn't had decent nutrition in years.  And yes, some of his teeth are missing.  But the heart that shines through those old eyes of his is every bit the deep and kindly soul we had hoped to find.  

When we first met him yesterday in Danielle's car at Hazlehurst Airport in Georgia, he was trembling uncontrollably with fear and stress.  The look in his eyes and the tight way he held his jaw spoke of a heart who has seen way too much pain and injustice.  But after just a few minutes of kindness and gentle familiarizing, he put his left paw gently over my arm, thoroughly investigated my face and ear, and kissed me squarely on the face.  He could still trust.  He was willing to try again.

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We took him out of the car and let him step on to the grass.  Casidy, another one of the wonderful gals who has been helping him at the Hazlehurst shelter, had  brought him a collar and leash and a soft new bed, and we gently placed the new collar on him, which he accepted with the hint of a smile.   Julia, the third angel of Hazlehurst who has been caring for him, was there with her camera, and she and Brayton are to thank for the wonderful photos in the galleries below.  Jeremiah and I sat for a while together on the grass.  I wanted to be sure he was comfortable enough that I could lift him into the plane and have him remain comfortable and trust that all was going to be well.  But I had underestimated how ready he was to love again!  For despite his fear and his obviously terribly painful skin condition, he was ready to snuggle and later quite eager to climb into the plane on his own!  In fact, when he climbed into the cabin of the plane and discovered his luxurious new bed, we saw such a big happy smile light up his old face that we almost all wanted to cry!    

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That smile has stayed on his face almost nonstop since then, except when he's sleeping.  And he's been sleeping as thought he hasn't slept well for a very long time!  But I'm getting ahead of the story.  On arriving back in New orleans four hours later, we had one more big hurdle: Jeremiah needed to get along with our own three dogs, for he would be staying with us this week until we can fly him to northern Arizona and his final forever home with Tara's Babies Sanctuary.  Our dog 'pack' consisted of my two seniors (Ford and Tilly, whose own rescue stories are also on this site) and Brayton's young Siberian Husky Piper.  The three of them love each other and are peaceful natures, but we wondered how Jeremiah -- a senior and intact male who still had all of his pride -- might get along with them!

But Jeremiah's gentleness of spirit showed itself to be authentically him, and not just a result of his weariness.  He showed nothing but pleasantness and courtesy to our three dogs, and they accepted him as if he had been with us forever.  We have never seen a smoother introduction among dogs.  And so it has continued.

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Jeremiah is receiving much healing food, for his skin and for his body in general; and he can't seem to get enough of it.  Organic raw bison heart, fresh raw goat's milk from Mississippi and some raw butter, fresh chicken, Missing Link supplement, and Innova Evo kibble.  He has been riding in the car, walking in the park, and doing everything with us and our other dogs.  Tonight -- his second night with us -- he's going to have a warm bath and shampoo with the gentlest of conditioning cleansers and moisturizers for his skin.  We're nourishing his skin first from his insides, and tonight we'll give it a boost from the outside.  I know how he must feel, because when I was growing up I used to have problems with eczema and dry skin in some places.  To this day, if I don't eat enough good raw fats, my skin starts to feel dry and painful.  So I have nice coconut oil to rub into his skin after his bath, and we're expecting that he is going to feel better than ever after this!  Of course, we're going to have to wake him up to give him this bath, because after eating his delicious dinner and coming over to kiss us in thanks, he went and lay down on his new bed and has been snoring peacefully ever since...

UPDATE! 2011 May 17 Tuesday, New Orleans

"Jerry" had his first warm bath last night with us, and he is a new dog.  Warm oils and gentle rubbing took off buckets of old dry skin.  His face told us all we needed to know about how it all felt to his painfully sensitive, hairless and leathery dry skin.  He kissed us and thanked us throughout -- we've seldom had a dog do that during a bath!  And for the first time last night, we saw him stretching fully and luxuriously.  When we said good morning to him this morning, he smiled and almost rolled over completely on his back!  Until he heard me in the kitchen preparing raw butter balls rolled in Missing Link -- then he was sitting at attention in the front row!  He ate a large bowl of that special treat.  We can almost see those nutritious rich natural fats and oils going to his insides soothingly, as his eyes light up and he smiles his thanks.  

He is feeling like part of a pack and a family, fully part of the walks and the team business of checking out every smell along the way, and the leash has become a mere ornament, for he never pulls and never needs pulling.  Here are a few from this morning's walk -- a couple of leashes were needed to get the group to sit still for the photos as I walked away from them with the camera.  But we think you'll be able to see his happiness, even with our inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and lack of photography know-how. More from this morning are included in the photo galleries below. 

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UPDATE 2011 May 19 Thursday, New Orleans

Here's a video and some photos from this morning, as we started our workday at Lakefront Airport, getting the plane ready to leave tomorrow (or as soon as weather westward permits) and finishing some office work.  Jeremiah and his pack pals -- Piper the husky, Ford the long-haired shepherd, and Tilly the terrier -- enjoy some fun on the grass.  Jeremiah had his second skin-soothing bath last night.  The fur on his back and neck and hind legs is starting to grow back, and the fur on his head and shoulders is growing shiny and luxuriant again.  He LOVES eating his nutritious raw food (though he does not know what to do with a raw chicken leg yet), and he thinks Missing Link supplement is dog candy.  He is so easy and pleasant to have around.  We think he's going to turn out like little Tilly did -- once thought to be through with life because her body and spirit seemed to be giving out, but with love and great nutrition will turn out to have many very good years left and an unforgettably wonderful spirit.    Thanks to Brayton (who belongs to Piper the husky) for letting us stay with him in New Orleans and for HIS wonderful heart and spirit!

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Here are three videos with Jeremiah and his New Orleans rescue pals -- Ford, Tilly, and husky Piper, and the two humans who have been privileged to love and nurture him this week, Bonny and Brayton.  He has become the perfect dog -- needs no leash, house-trained, gentle with all other dogs and people, well-mannered in all ways, and a loving heart that can't be beat.  He sure won ours.   Here's a photo of him sitting in the back of the car today with Ford.  And with thanks to Three Dog Night for the great song about Jeremiah and apologies for messing with the lyrics, here is the version we can't keep from singing when we're with him:

Jeremiah was a true friend,
He was a true friend of mine.
No matter what the troubles even til the end,
I'd look at him and all was fine.

They said his ol' heart was broken,
They said that he had reached his end,
But he disagreed inside and kept his love alive,
And his world came 'round again!

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Enjoy the galleries below containing these and more photos.  Huge thanks again to all who saved this gentle soul's life.  He has much life left to live, and he is growing younger by the hour!

These first two galleries are from Hazlehurst, GA on Sunday May 15, photos taken by Brayton Matthews of New Orleans and Julia of Hazlehurst, GA -- the angel who wrote the first description and plea for Jeremiah (excerpted below in his original story) after she saw into his eyes at the Hazlehurst animal shelter.

 

These next photos were taken on Tuesday May 17 in New Orleans.

And these photos were taken the moring of Thursday May 19, still in New Orleans.
You can see the light in his eyes and happiness in his face.  The long leash is attached between him and Piper the husky -- more to remind her to stick around than for any other purpose, as Jeremiah would not leave us for anything in the world.  Which we all know from his story, is the way he is.  It is the most fun to see his happy spirit emerge as he grows deeply reassured and secure.

2011 May 10  (ORIGINAL STORY)                                            

Jeremiah was indeed a true friend.   jeremiah-mugHe never left his owner's side, even after his owner died.Until people came and removed him and left him in a shelter.  Now Jeremiah needs a true friend, in a big way.  He doesn't know what to make of all the ruckus or the other dogs, or the cage, or the hard cement floor, or the people who walk by in uniforms carrying pails and leashes and hooks and all sorts of strange things.  But nobody walks by and stops to listen to Jeremiah, or offer him a way out.  

Jeremiah is no spring chicken.  In fact, he is pretty long in the tooth.  And he is testing positive for heartworm.  But he is healthy enough to have a few very good years left in him. And his heart is as big and deep as any dog's can be. There is a very special sanctuary who wants to give him all th peace and love and reassurance he needs for as long as he wants to live.  But -- Jeremiah is in Hazlehurst, Georgia, almost as far east as the Atlantic Ocean.  And that sanctuary is in northern Arizona, outside Payson.  

On Wings Of Care is in the Gulf now but will be heading back to California soon, in part to take Jeremiah to Arizona and also to take care of some much-needed chores, including aircraft repairs and maintenance.  It's almost 500 miles from where we are in Louisiana to where Jeremiah is, and then another 1750 miles back to Payson, AZ!  We'll gladly give our time and energy and even the wear and tear on our airplane, but we can't make this rescue happen without some serious help for the fuel costs.  With fuel costs topping $6/gallon lately, and battling typical headwinds of 20-30 knots when we head westward, we can expect to use about 10-11 gallons for every 100-110 miles.  (At $6/gal, that works out to more than 50 cents per mile.) As expensive as that is, our flying Jeremiah still offers unbeatable advantages over trying to drive him there:  1) We can fly nearly a straight line. 2) The entire trip for him will involve one four-hour flight back to New Orleans where he'll stay comfortably with us overnight (or for several days and nights, depending on when we can pick him up and when weather permits our westward flight), plus just one long day's comfortable flight to Payson.  3) He'll have a super comfy soft bed and room to stretch out on the flight, all the personal attention he might need or want including water and some breaks to get out and walk around when we stop for fuel, and the temperature will be comfortable.  Like most dogs do, Jeremiah will probably just snooze the whole flight.    

We don't usually put a hard number on the donations we need, because once we commit to an animal, we give all we can to make the rescue happen.  But getting Jeremiah from Georgia to Arizona is going to cost us at least $800 in out-of-pocket costs over and above what we would have spent just to fly back to California ourselves.  And our Board of Directors and accountants and airplane mechanics always remind us that the real cost of flying aircrafts is at least double what you feel at the fuel pump, because of maintenance, inspections, insurance, and general wear and tear on an engine that will require an overhaul after 2000 flight hours.  We'd like to handle it this way:  We'll post here promptly every donation we receive for Jeremiah, and as usual we'll post our progress and you can track our flight with him via our SPOT gps transmitter, once the flight begins. (See the "Track our Flights" link here.)  If we are fortunate enough to reach $800, we'll ask that any further contributions be given to other rescues or other causes.

As of today, 2011 May 9, we are starting at ZERO.  But we are committed to rescuing Jeremiah and flying him to Payson, Arizona, and we're aiming to pick him up this coming weekend.  
Keep watching! 

UPDATE 1:  20110509 Monday night:  We're up to $35, with a promise so far of several hundred dollars from the sanctuary in AZ.  Hold on, Jeremiah!  Love and life are coming your way soon!  We're planning to retrieve him from Georgia asap this week and keep him with us in Louisiana until we fly him to Arizona by this coming weekend.

UPDATE 2: 20110510 Tuesday:  We have email promises of $800!  We'll go on that and hope that everybody comes through.  Stay tuned, we have some other flights and obligations this week (for tornado victims in Alabama and checking out some oil and wildlife along the Gulf coast), but we're heading to Georgia asap to retrieve our new house-guest and flight companion Jeremiah!!! 

HERE IS HIS STORY, as told by someone in the shelter in Georgia who reached out and found the sanctuary in Arizona:

"Jeremiah entered the shelter after being found at the side of his deceased owner. This loyal boy was removed from his home & the only life he knew, then placed in our small kill shelter. Sadly, he has been frightened, nervous & jumpy ever since. His world has been turned upside down & he is simply unable to cope with his new surroundings. In fact, with just a glance, there is no mistaking this poor soul is heartbroken, terrified, lost & confused. His desperation is so obvious that the shelter believes the kindest thing they can do for Jeremiah at this point... is to "let him go".

 

Yet through the depths of his sorrow & despair, it's clear that all he wants in life is a calm, loving & comfy place to live out the last chapter of his life. (as you can see in one of his pictures) This email is his last chance at life… and our last ditch effort to grant him his heart’s desire. Though honestly, we all know that Jeremiah has very little hope, as he needs a very special home. One that will be quite hard to come by.

Jeremiah was in rough condition upon his arrival. He is believed to be around 8-10 years old, maybe even older? His teeth are in bad shape, his vision is not good (his right eye mainly), he has some fur missing & like so many pups down here... he has heartworms. With his vision being what it is, and his nerves being on edge, he can be a little nippy when frightened by an unsuspected touch. (one that he didn't see coming that is) He doesn’t actually bite & seems to quickly realize that he’s not in immediate danger… but with this in mind, he would be better suited for a home without children. Sudden movements, along with constant or loud noises frighten Jeremiah greatly.

Due to all that he has going against him, on top of a broken heart, we feel that Jeremiah in need of a Hospice Home. Thus, we are praying for someone that can open their heart & home to him, while providing him the love & comfort he longs for, in his last days. We know this is a Big request and that most people can’t handle that kind of commitment, but we have to try… for Jeremiah’s sake. He has no other options… no hope otherwise. Now, we do not have the funding needed to take Jeremiah to the vet for an evaluation. So we have no way to know just how long Jeremiah is willing to hang in there… we just know that despite the odds, he truly deserves another chance to know love before the end. We’re all devastated to think that after all he’s endured thus far, his last days will be filled with the fear he’s currently living in while at the shelter. If you could just see him, you would understand. Danielle, at the shelter, stated that she thinks Jeremiah has been traumatized so badly that he has lost even more fur while at the shelter!"