Tag Archives: rescue

When a rescue champion retires…

I have just finished writing a column for NZ Dog World magazine about the issue of demographic change in the veterinary medicine sector.

And then in my Linkedin newsfeed pops up this article about a rescue group in Utah that is winding up.  It’s founder and stalwart is retiring after 13 years…


Santa Clara City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hafen presents Linda Elwell with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her work with Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter, Santa Clara, Utah, May 31, 2017 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

…and the rescue group is ceasing its operations as a result.

Something that ‘experts’ warned for quite a few years is upon us – demographic change.  In the next 10 years, many Baby Boomers will be retiring.  They’ve done their bit and it’s time to slow down and enjoy life.

The problem is – the Gen X and Millennials that are living their lives have different pressures and priorities.  Gen X are dealing with aging parents, educating their children, and retaining full-time employment to pay for their own retirement.  Millennials have different priorities too.  They may have aspirations to buy a home in a rising housing market; they are integrally connected to technologies of all types, and they don’t ‘volunteer’ the way previous generations did.

Rescue groups and those involved in re-homing need to take heed.

Succession planning is important if your rescue group is to survive.  This means an honest look at business processes and how they relate to the current generations with disposal income and the ability to support your efforts.

Digital presence is a must; as is content curation – the provision of new and regular content.

It’s a real shame to see groups winding up; but there will probably be more who don’t survive the rapid change in their memberships.

Need help?  I’m an experienced not-for-profit and public sector manager as well as a canine massage therapist and entrepreneur.  I’d be happy to work with your group to facilitate the development of action plans for your future.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand


Who Rescued Who?

I hear about it a lot from my clients and I’ve experienced it myself.

Your dog came into your life at a time when you really needed them.  Unconditional love & companionship.

So my thought for the day is simple:

Who Rescued Who

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Darling Companion

I stumbled across this movie today, Darling Companion, directed by Lawrence Kasdan (The Accidental Tourist, The Big Chill, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Grand Canyon and many other movies).  It was released in 2012 but I don’t think it ever made it to theaters or, if it did, it was one of those that disappeared quite quickly.

There’s a dog in it, of course.  His name is Freeway and he is saved by Beth and Grace (Diane Keaton and Elisabeth Moss) on a cold January day when Beth spots him as they are driving down the freeway.  Beth needs something in her life because husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline) is absorbed in his work as a spinal surgeon.darling-companion

And then, after Freeway is part of Grace’s wedding a year after coming into their lives, Joseph takes Freeway for a walk and the dog chases a deer and is lost.  For the remainder of the film, the extended family searches for Freeway.

There’s some real romance and humor in this film and very nice scenery of Colorado.  Something of a predictable storyline, with aspects of dog adoption woven into the story which is a theme I’d support in any film.

Well worth seeing.  (Freeway is very cute).

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

New Florida law protects dog rescuers

Republican Governor Rick Scott has signed House Bill 131 into law.  This law will allow people to break into locked vehicles to rescue animals or people who are “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”

Dog in car

In Florida, children and pets have regularly suffered by being left in overheated cars.  Many have died.

Rightfully so, there are guidelines for the law to apply.

  1.  You must check that the vehicle is locked.
  2. After doing so, call 911 or law enforcement before entering the vehicle or immediately after rescuing the child or pet.
  3. Use no more force than is necessary to break in — and remain with the person or animal until first-responders arrive.

All of these guidelines seem very reasonable to me.

Well done to the State of Florida!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Saving Cadence

Rescue groups often put photos and videos online to showcase key cases and the good work they do.  Every now and then, though, there will be a video that is particularly well done and with a success at the end.

As we reach the end of another week (yes, it’s Friday!)…here’s a story of a Pit Bull and her chance at a better life thanks to Hope for Paws:

One Nation Under Dog

I’ve just finished watching the HBO documentary One Nation Under Dog.  I hope many of you were able to see it and, if not, to catch it when it repeats.

This documentary is segregated into three themes:  Fear, Loss and Betrayal.  Fear covers the experience of some people caught up in legal fights over dangerous dogs and the fate of vicious dogs (euthanasia); Loss shows owners who tell their stories of grief over the loss of their beloved dogs; Betrayal shows the ugly side of the homeless dogs problems in the United States.  Be prepared for actual footage of a gas chamber and meet people who are involved in dog rescue including liberating dogs from a Tennessee puppy mill.

Highly recommended, here are a couple of clips from the documentary thanks to YouTube:

Heroic dogs in the face of house fires

Our local newspaper ran a story recently about a little dog that woke her owners when their garage caught fire.  Luckily, the damage was fairly minor and all (including the dog) escaped harm.

It was that story that got me thinking about all of the stories we hear, year in and year out, about dogs that act instinctively to warn their owners of danger or to get help.  Here’s just a few dog hero stories that I’d like to share about dogs who have saved their owners or alerted others about fires.


Brutus alerts sleeping family to burning garage (February 2012)

Dog alerts sleeping family to house fire (December 2011)

Dogs saves owner during house fire – Clyde the Great Dane! (November 2011)

Dog warns Daytona man of fire in house (November 2011)

Dog warns man of house fire (October 2010)

And one last video, taken from the camera on board the vehicle of an Alaskan State Trooper – showing the family dog Buddy leading the officer to the family’s home which was on fire…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand