by Joyce Brandon
Joyce is a part of Animal Compassion Team, an animal rescue in Squaw Valley.
Imagine being fifteen pounds and about eighteen inches tall: your line of vision is equal to the kneecaps of most humans, and the tires of most cars.
Imagine living on the streets for eight months: through rain, hail, fog, cold, and heat of summer. Imagine having no steady source of food or shelter. Imagine a life focused on survival. Imagine surviving on the kindness of others. This is Tippy Toes’ story, that was Tippy Toes’ life.
Through conversations with different Sanger residents I’ve been able to establish that Tippy was living on the streets of Sanger for about eight months. She would be spotted daily making her way up and down the very busy streets of Jensen and Academy. She would cross busy streets, seemingly knowing enough to look both ways for traffic.
Tippy seemed to make her primary residence behind Denny’s on Academy. There she would receive daily handouts from the restaurant staff. I’m told that not only did she like the food at Denny’s, for a variety she would cross the very busy Academy and visit Jack in the Box where she would receive handouts of a different variety. I’m sure she made the rounds to all the local food vendors.
The locals were very concerned about her safety. There were constant attempts to catch her. She would approach, but always duck and run when someone got too close. It seemed the best they could do was to make her as comfortable as possible. She was provided with food and water near her den in addition to the backdoor restaurant handouts. A barrel was laid on its side and blankets were provided during the cold of winter. Ice was placed in her water bowl during the heat of summer to bring her a little relief. She became a fixture and acquired the name Tippy Toes because of her habit of running up behind people; they could hear her before they could see her. Tippy slipped into a pattern of survival and went about her daily business; but, the concern grew as her belly swelled with the puppies she would soon deliver.
Different rescue groups were called in and attempted to catch her before the puppies were born. Traps were set and foot races ensued, she was just too clever and too fast to be caught.
Tippy disappeared for several days late in June. Some were worried that she had been injured; but, in true Tippy fashion she turned back up for dinner, noticeably thinner. Tippy had made a very nice den in a pile of railroad ties near the tracks behind Denny’s, there she gave birth to six beautiful puppies. The sense of urgency grew as we all realized the puppies couldn’t survive the heat, the predators, and once they became mobile, the trains.
Two members of Animal Compassion Team responded to calls for help. Brenda Mitchell and Tracy Crutchfield set out for Sanger with a trap loaned to us by Clovis Animal Control, and they were determined not to leave the little family behind. It took several hours of patience, but the patience paid off. The puppies were placed into the trap and being a great mom, Tippy climbed in after them. The door closed on Tippy, confining her in the cage with her pups, she just looked at her captors and wagged her tail in surrender.
Tippy and the kids were placed into a foster home. The puppies had upper respiratory infections brewing so they all received vet care and antibiotics and recovered wonderfully. The puppies grew and thrived. Tippy Toes was a great mom and took wonderful care of the adorable puppies. All but one of our Denny’s puppies have been adopted into great families, Denny’s Dan, the little black pup is still looking for his forever home.
Tippy has returned to her Sanger roots. She is living in a foster home in Sanger. We hope that with continued socialization she will soon be available for adoption. She is very loving and just needs to learn to trust humans. Tippy Toes may one day return to her “gal about town” role, but this time it will have to be on the end of a leash.
For more information about Denny’s Dan or Tippy Toes please contact joyce@animalcompassionteam[dot]com
Editor’s Note: Kings River Life Magazine wants to be a part of helping ACT and other animal rescues save the lives of animals in need. Toward that goal we recently began giving 10% of our ad sales to one of three rescues–Cat House On The Kings, ACT and Rattie Ratz–you can learn more in a recent article. Every time you buy an ad you can choose which of the three you would like your money to go to. However, each month we will have a featured rescue who will receive the money when it is not designated.
ACT is our featured rescue for September!