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Four years ago, Gordon and I drove to Lake Charles to pick up an old bully who had been rescued out of the middle of a highway. One of my special rescue friends had called to tell me about him. She also said she’d foster him.
However, several days later, I received a call from a volunteer at a kill shelter in a South Louisiana Parish. They had a young male, tricolor bullterrier, who desperately needed to have a breed-specific rescue pull him. I put a stop on him and faxed the shelter my 501c3 papers. I called Tammie back and explained the dire need for him to be rescued. She then told me that she couldn’t foster them both, but if I’d take the old one, she’d take the young fellow. By the way, all vets who have seen the old warrior, estimated his age -then- as nine and the tricolor was 18 months- two years. (As it turned out the tricolor was completely deaf, we placed him a few months later, but it was not a good fit. Fortunately, a wonderful young couple, took the time to go and learn how to work with a deaf dog, put in an application. To this day, they are the proud adoptive parents of a very wonderful, totally deaf English bullterrier, who not only understands sign language, but gets along with all other dogs-thanks to this young couple whose time and dedication paid off.)
But I digress.
On February 13, 2013, we found ourselves heading to Lake Charles to pick up a scrawny, pitiful bullterrier who has literally changed our lives, but most importantly, he’s changed the lives of many animals in his four short years with us, as well as changed the minds of many humans not only about rescue, but breed specific rescue.
As we turned into the driveway at Tammie’s, we saw the two of them headed down the street toward us. At this point, I thought that this boy was a mini, albeit one on the tall side. In reality, backyard breeders and puppy mills often produce animals which do not conform to the breed standard. I had not been around minis very much, but was fairly certain this pitiful bag of bones (27 pounds) was just that. After all, the male bullterriers which we have owned were taller and topped the scales at 80+ pounds. Time proved me wrong, as this 27 pound bully was not a mini, but rather a small standard.
After a visit, we headed back to Shreveport with this skinny boy, whose eyes held no emotion one way or the other. By Alexandria, he stopped looking out the window and settled into my arms, by Shreveport he belonged to us.
(Most of you already know what has transpired these last four years, but if you don’t and would like to know more, just read his story on his blog, on his FB page or his website : classickippers.biz)
Now at 50 pounds, four years later and a new life time of experiences, we celebrate the anniversary of his arrival into our lives, as well as his 13th birthday.
We know we are on borrowed time, and each day with him is indeed a miracle.
He still loves to put on his Classic Kippers’ bow ties and hear the word “showtime” as well as the click of the camera as his journey is documented. He has remained humble, yet the newspapers, radio, television and Internet applaud his success.
In his comical, loving way, he has shown everyone that bull breeds can be wonderful, and that ALL rescues need our help.
This weekend, Mr Kippers chose to celebrate his 13th birthday with a couple of turtle friends, Miss Sophie Peach and his protégé, Master Kirby. Gordon and I chose to celebrate this life who has, unequivocally, changed ours forever!
Happy Birthday Kippers, you may not have been loved the first nine years of your life, but you are loved now by us and those who follow you throughout the world!