Animal Rescue of Fresno: Strays, Surrenders, and Suffering No More

Aug 6, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Pets

by Wendy Hunter

“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night… —Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Well, it’s Friday night at 4:42 p.m., and my phone is registering 103 degrees. Our A/C is set to 78, but I keep sneaking down the hall and changing it to 77. Is it HOT enough for you? Are you SWEATING enough? Have you already gone through that three-pack of deodorant you bought back in May? I tell you, kids, this has been one rough summer. Even though we’re mostly used to it, I feel sorry for all the other people on earth who are now experiencing what it’s like to be this miserable for months at a time. Folks across the globe are finally getting a taste of life in the Central Valley every single solitary summer, and to them I’d like to say; sorry peeps. Even in the UK, the temps have soared into the 100+ degrees, and that is unbelievable. I thought for sure I’d see the Queen attending the Pride in London Parade in a pink plaid romper, matching huaraches, bag, and straw hat, holding a gin & tonic in her gloved hand. “Heavens to Murgatroyd, I need some more ice here!” Crikey, could somebody please take care of Liz’s cocktail, and don’t forget the ding dang lime? Geez, I got home tonight after putting all the ARF critters to bed with my fellow perspiring volunteers, and all I could think about was a nice cold shower and a clean pair of chonies. Yes, in that order…

…Thus pleasure is spread through the earth In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find… —William Wordsworth, Stray Pleasures


It’s satisfying when ARF rescues stray dogs from kill shelters because we’ve changed their stars from a certain death sentence to a possible adoption. No matter what their age, if a dog is on death’s door, we’re going to swoop in like Super Woman. Luckily, not all stray dogs end up at kill shelters. Let me introduce you to Annie, a lovely dog with gorgeous eyes and a tender spirit. She was taken in by some tenderhearted folk who tried to find her owners. They even took her to be spayed and have all her shots updated. Unfortunately, they could not find her family or another interested party. Since they couldn’t keep her themselves, they surrendered Annie to us in the hopes we could find her a permanent home. The powers that be have described her as a terrier mix which is a pretty popular “breed” at ARF. I dunno, she looks a bit Shepherd to me, but who knows? If you think she looks like a Lab, a Husky, Chix mix, or even a Poodle, hey, we’ll make the paperwork say anything you want…

“Think about the folks who want to adopt you, because they want a little girl with brown hair and brown eyes.” —Annie

A couple weeks ago, I didn’t even know Annie existed. I was out in the sweltering heat of the big dog yard, my hair soaked, my tank top dripping with sweat, and a pooper-scooper in my hands. We were almost putting dogs away, when all of a sudden, this flash of fur came careening around the corner, sweeping my leg hairs, and disappearing into the flower bushes. It was Annie, flying through the yard, stopping occasionally to water a tree or chase a resident cat off the fence. Sometimes, when all the bigger dogs are in bed, we let one or two run loose to stave off some pent up energy. Trust me when I say, if you want a dog for running at the park, traveling a forest road, or challenging you to an uphill mountain climb, Annie is the girl for you. She enjoys riding in the car, is super friendly, and quiet, but loves to be active. Annie is about 1-1/2 years old, walks and sits on a leash, and is good with older kids. She’s very intelligent and knows the following words: Sit, Off, Come, No, Okay. Annie loves stuffed and rope toys, Kongs, chewies, and is extremely playful. She’s still very much a puppy at heart and is awesome with strangers and other dogs. She’s very smart, and if you’re consistent, will be house trained in no time. A couple caveats about Annie…first of all, she is NOT a fan of the feline, so no cats in the casa. Second, if you’re a couch potato, she’s probably not the pet for you. Her energetic personality is going to require someone who’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Annie says, “Take me to the park, please!”

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. —Abbe Prevost


As ARF volunteers, we see many sad faces. Especially with owner-surrendered dogs who are usually confused and terrified. Such was the case with Foster whose family was overwhelmed with too many dogs, and had no choice but to give him up. The first time I saw his scruffy, sorrowful face, he looked absolutely miserable. He was huddled inside a wooden doghouse with his head hanging out looking as though his world had just collapsed. The very next weekend, I couldn’t believe he was the same dog as he raced around that same house, chasing toys, and happily grinning from ear to ear. Unbeknownst to me, he wasn’t going to be alone in that yard for very long. He was later joined by his three spirited puppies: Tiramisu, Cupcake, and Brownie. Delish! In the end, Foster proved to be Daddy Dog of the Year because he was the most amazing father to his little tykes, no matter how crazy they were. Even though they clambered all over him from face to tail, chewed his ears, and generally drove him nuts, he never showed any signs of crankiness. He was the perfect parent to them, loving and affectionate, right up until the time all three were adopted.

Best doctor in the world is the Veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know. —Will Rogers

Even though all of Foster’s offspring have found their forever homes, Foster has yet to find his own. This is because he’s been suffering from some bladder issues, preventing him from being adopted. After arriving at ARF, he was scheduled to be neutered. During the surgery, they discovered Foster had a massive bladder stone the size of which our veterinarian had never seen before. Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. There may be a large, single stone or a collection of stones ranging in size from sand-like grains to gravel. It’s common for a mixture of sizes to be present. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are blood in the urine and straining to urinate. Vets assume the condition is painful because people with bladder stones experience pain. As for surgery, many clients are amazed how much more active their dog becomes following removal of the stones. I know nothing about stones, but I’ve had enough bladder infections in my life to sink a ship. If that’s anywhere near the kind of discomfort Foster’s experiencing, then I literally feel his pain. Ouch!

Where a man feels pain he lays his hand. —Dutch proverb

Foster underwent surgery to remove the bladder stone, yet he is still having trouble urinating. He’s had many vet appointments, including x-rays, ultrasound, antibiotics, and steroids. He has no more bladder or kidney stones, yet his problem remains a mystery. The latest culture showed a UTI, and he is being treated for that. Foster is such a sweet, mellow, low-key guy, and he takes all the medical visits like a courageous soldier. We’re not out of the woods yet, but are hoping he will make a full recovery, and then become available for adoption. ARF volunteers love all the dogs, but some tug at our heartstrings just a little more. This is true of Foster, because of his gentle soul and calm disposition, he would make such a great companion for a loving family. If you would like to donate to Foster’s medical fees, we would be incredibly grateful. Just visit our website at We appreciate your support and for the many recent donations of food, toys, beds, etc. The ARF dogs say RUFF to all of you! That means “thanks a lot” in doggie speak.

When I count my blessings, I count you twice. —Author unknown

Animal Rescue of Fresno
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section and check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. We also have a pet Facebook group for KRL and we would love to have you join!

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF since 2014. She grew up in Fresno and has been an Office Assistant with Fresno County for 7 years. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.