Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jude's Legacy - One Year Later

Written by a CP Intakes Cooordinator

One year ago, CP learned of the loss of one of its dear members- Jude. She left behind five beloved cairns, three who were CP kids.

The loss was tragic for many reasons, one being that Jude passed alone, and her cairns were with her when she was found. They were taken to an inner city shelter. They spent approximately one week there, before we were able to pull them. There was much relief that they were free, but sadness that they had to go through a week in a shelter after the loss they experienced.

I wrote a post about what I learned during the time of working to get the five kids back into safety. Since we always have new members, this does bear repeating. I am reposting what I wrote as a reminder, in hopes of helping even one family. I think of this as Jude's legacy.

The happy ending for her cairns was that all were adopted by a CP family, and were able to stay together. Kiera, the oldest, passed shortly after arriving in her new home, but did NOT die alone or in a shelter. She was warm, dry, clean, safe, loved. The other four are doing well at last report.

As always, CPs volunteers went above and beyond.

One Year Ago-

Its been one of the most heart-wrenching intakes I have had in five years on the team. To say that my heart has been broken going through this process is an understatement. I have some thoughts I would like to share. As they say- take them for what they are worth.

The Jude Five are a very sweet loving bunch of cairns. Spending time with them, you KNOW they have all known love and kindness from their Mom. The pick up was hard- but a joy to know they were out of the shelter. They are set in their quarantine at the vets. One of our concerns was Punkin, a CP kid, mill momma who was VERY shy and scared for a long time. She greeted me with kisses and nibbles and joy and wags that shook her whole body. If I had no knowledge of her past I would NOT say scared mill girl. Another concern was Kiera, who is estimated to be 14, and is blind. She seemed weak, but is doing well today. The others were equally happy to see me. The vet report was good, and I hope to visit with them on Saturday. I will get pictures so you all can see their smiling faces!!

Jude's kids ALL had their CP tags on- every single one. She had extensive paperwork on each one- very impressive - left out in the open for easy immediate access. For Chloe - who will starve to death without enzymes added to each meal- she had a picture of her with the instructions for her food attached to it. Jude was very prepared. To say she adored her cairns, that they were her life, is what many in CP can really understand.

She did live alone, and had no close by relatives.
What may not be common knowledge is that she lived 2 miles from me. TWO small miles. I could walk there if I needed to do so. Additionally, Chloe was my foster. I have been Jude's home. I have met her cairns. I have corresponded with her over the years since adopting Chloe. This has been hard.

Here are my thoughts on preparing for your cairns in the event of unexpected death, things I had never really thought about before Tuesday morning. From what I have been told in THIS situation- she was found by the police quite a few days after her demise. Police called the shelter for the five kids- and handed the paperwork and Chloe's enzymes to the shelter workers.

The police truly have one concern- securing the situation. Not making sure cairns get to rescue or reunited with loved ones. Just that all involved are safe. I don't imagine that their home was the best place for them at that point.

So how do we work with this. How do we minimize the stress for our cairns, and our family members and friends who are undoubtedly going to be in shock and dealing with what will be a very emotional situation.
I have thought a lot about it -48 hours worth- and I have some recommendations. Again- take them as just my thoughts- nothing more:

First- contact YOUR local authorities and find out what THEY do in emergency situations. It does little good to know what Kearny NJ police do, or any other town's police do or to figure out what they 'should' do, you need to know what your authorities do. What is protocol? Where would your dogs be taken? Is there any option for a hold at the police station? Is there any chance of transport to a vet? Will they / can they call a neighbor? Is there ANY form or note or warning that might prevent the trip to a shelter? What (if any) paperwork should be left and what is the recommended location? Are there release forms?

Second-once you have that information- in your emergency/personal paperwork- leave a HUGE note about WHERE police take your dogs and what their protocol is emergency situations. ALSO, and probably more importantly, share this detail with your loved ones- on a regular basis. When your loved ones are notified, you can know that they will be able to immediately work to help free your kids- whether that be calling CP immediately to get help or going to pull your dogs.

Third - find out what safety systems are available in your community- through the post office, your town, your county, your local animal control / shelter system, your religious institution, your doctor or social services. In my mind, this is for the folks who do live alone, who do have health issues, and may not have family or friends close by to contact.

While none one of us want our cairns to be in a shelter even for a minute (that is a huge fear that nightmares are made of)- if that is a safe, dry warm place, and all that can be done for a short amount of time, it may be best. The authorities are not going to leave your kids in your home alone- and they are not going to sit and wait for a CP person or family member to come. In some situations, family members or CP friends are HOURS away, or not immediately in contact. Many of us are NOT blessed with neighbors who we know, or who we would entrust with our dogs even short term. Just because you know someone does not mean you want them to take your dogs- or that they would want to do so. Or we may be very isolated in terms of our property. Additionally, your home may NOT be the place even you would want your kids- depending on what emergency situation occurred.

I think preparing for the worst case situation is our best plan. I also think working on facts and what common protocol in our own communities is should be the starting point.

I am very pleased to let you know that the shelter workers did take very good care of the Brandt Five. The workers all came over to me once they knew I was there for the 'five little ones', sharing stories about them. They would NOT let me walk out with Chloe and crate her in the van to wait with my husband because they were scared I would confuse which one she was and she wouldn't get her enzymes.

We can make all the plans we 'think' should work- but it matters not at all. We need facts, we need to know protocol, and go from there.

May Jude rest in peace, especially knowing her kids are safe and loved by SO many.

Many thanks to all of you who wrote to me privately about these kids and Jude. We are finalizing the plans for them, and hopefully will be able to let everyone know what will be happening to them soon. Your support, as always, means so much.

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