Golden Triangle Irish Setter Club, Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA



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This story is about Johnny. He was posted on Irish setter rescue by Deanna Cuchiaro. Deanna is a wonderful person who I met years ago and I wish I could do as much as she and her husband Phil do for this breed. Deanna has her thumb on everyone who wants a dog who needs a dog and what dogs need homes. This wonderful world of computers lets her send emails out to everyone everywhere to do home visits to pull dogs from shelters and if they can get the dogs to her and Phil. I always say to people these rescues find you it's not that we look and look at pictures and read their sad stories but they always end up with the people they should belong to. I've been in Irish setter rescue for way over 30 plus years. I've help many go back to their owners and placed quite a few in forever homes. I myself have always taken in the gray faces. These are dogs that people over look cause of their age. The ones I get are normally 11 plus. Plus has been the normal lately.

 It is now July 2012. In May of this year, Johnny was posted on rescue that older dog needs home. The family could not keep him because of allergies. Now Johnny is 12 years old! I emailed back to Deanna that I would take him. I would not drive to New Jersey where the family lived. If they wanted to get rid of him they had to at least drive to PA. closer to me. This dog meant something to this man for him to get him and have him for years before he got married. Then the wife gets pregnant and has baby the baby is now 4 years old. After giving birth the wife gets allergic. They don't want the baby to get allergic and end up giving a child shots for this. So who pays the price….. who loses his happy home and lifelong friend….. Johnny. I did not hear back from Deanna about Johnny. I thought well he found a home or they decided to keep him.

I was on my way out to California for our Irish Setter National with my old guy, Dewey, to show in Veterans class. I got on line while traveling out west and saw now the breeder of Johnny, Carmen Paludi, posted to our Setters L list asking the list if anyone could adopt a 12 year old male who was being given up by his owners due to allergies. So I emailed ask if this was the same dog. I hit the send button and nothing happened!! Something about my server ……. So I would I would just wait till I got back home in a week and make my thoughts known. It was June 21st when I got back. I turned on the lap top and went to email all the emails I written earlier and saw that they all went.

Then Dear Gail Parker posted on the Setters list can anyone please adopt this older male in need. I sent her an email and said I wanted him a month ago and was waiting to hear from Deanna and now from the breeder. I must say as I'm writing this story Johnny is laying right here by my feet!! That afternoon I heard from Carmen. She gave me the info and the number to call the owner, who by the way is Russian and speaks pretty good English, but with a heavy accent. I try to talk to him into keeping Johnny. He is 12 years old at end of his life please let him pass at home with his friend of 12 years! Johnny might bloat with all this change. He'll be very confused! NO NO he must find new home. So I gave him my number both home and cell. He was going to drive to New Stanton on the PA Turnpike and I would meet them there. We made it for June 30. He said it was a 6 plus hour drive. I told him to call me when he was 2 hours away. That Friday night I could not sleep as I got more excited about getting a rescue than I ever did about getting my pups.

What bothers me most is knowing that Johnny has no idea that his life is going to change forever in few hours. He thinks…Jeeze I get to go for a car ride with Dad and Mom…… He'll never see them again, never smell the smells he was so used too. Never hear the familiar voices and by the way never hear Russian again!!! The owner figured around 1 pm they should arrive. I never heard from them that week to finalize the plans. So I called him and yes it was still a go. So I arrived at the place off the turnpike and called them, since they never called me. They where 45 minutes away. So an hour passes and I called them again they are almost to the exit. They called me and said they just got off and I said I was parked near the entrance of parking lot and I would have my headlights on. I saw them exit off the ramp and they pulled in next to me. The owner got out, then the wife they shook my hand and was thanking me for wanting to take Johnny. The owner opened the back of the SUV and out jumped this tall skinny dog white face and very hairy feet! The owner took Johnny for a little walk to let him pee. I showed the wife pictures of my guys. All groomed and fat! She could not get over how pretty they were. When the owner got back he showed me the tricks Johnny could do. Give paw lay down sit. I notice all commands were in Russian. I said I can't speak Russian and he said no problem he knows English also. I asked when were his teeth cleaned? … it's been awhile…… DO you have his vet papers… yes. A way over sized chain collar was on his neck a little bone shaped tag with Johnny on it and their phone number.

They gave me his bed and no food, a lead came with him. The owner put him the car closed the door and started to cry. My eyes had tears also but not the wife. We said our good byes and I drove off. Johnny sitting at the side door looking out the window and he did that all the way home, still looking for his friend of twelve years. I got him home and made introductions to my guys and all went well. I brought in his pillow and he laid down on it slept on it all that night. Sunday night he slept next to me next to my chair. I laid a big quilt on the floor and he really has not laid on is pillow since. His weight was 58 pounds. His teeth are getting cleaned on the 23rd of July. He was not up to date with any of his shots and he tested positive for Lymes. He no longer wears his chain collar. He takes nice long walks at his leisure and he is up to eating 4 cups of food a day and he has learned about treats. He now knows is name in English because he comes to me and the other day I got a tail wag!!!

All things happen for a reason…It was time for Johnny to have a life that took 12 years and it is a new life now. I truly believe these old dogs in rescue should be given homes and given the respect they deserve. No one wants them because they can't bear the loss of losing them. I take great pride and I learn a lot from these older guys. If I have them for 6 months or for 2 to 3 years, I grow with each one and it does hurt to lose them but makes me happy knowing they had a good life before they passed over. So please people think about the older dogs in need. Give a HUG to the ones you have.

Joan and My 5 Red Heads

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