Stories of strength, courage, love and faith of some amazing Aussies who survived the unimaginable and the humans that came to love them.
Mark and I continued to correspond and work out the details until a flight was scheduled for him to come to the US with Logan. Mark and Logan arrived at my home on October 31, 2017. Foster mom Melody was also there as she would be fostering this little boy. It was during our meeting that we learned that Mark had end state Melanoma Cancer. He was originally from Australia but had spent the last 2 years in Mexico receiving experimental treatment. He explained that he was almost out of funds and his days were numbered and that he was going to return to Australia to be with family who could care for him until he passed. He said that there was a 6-month quarantine period to bring dogs into the country and that he would pass well before Logan could be with him.
For the Love of Logan
By Nancy Gonzalez
In July 2017 I was contacted via email by a gentleman who was living in Mexico by the name of Mark He stated that he had a mini Aussie that was 8 years old, that he had since he was 8 weeks old and he needed to find him a new home by October.
Mark was a business man and he and Logan literally traveled the world together for 8 years. During his 2 years in Mexico, Logan was kidnapped twice, for ransom, which Mark gladly paid each time to get his boy back. We spent hours at my home talking with Mark and assured him that Logan would be well cared for and that nothing less than a perfect home would be found for him. Mark cried many tears as he kissed and hugged Logan for the final time, and then drove off to catch a flight to New York to say good bye to family before his final flight to Australia.
Once returning to Australian Mark emailed me once for an update and I sent him photos of Logan with his foster mom melody to show him that Logan had settled in well and was being loved. A few weeks later I received an email from a man named John, he was emailing from Mark’s account and said that he was mark[s childhood friend and that Mark was too weak to write me himself. I let him know that we found the perfect family for Logan and that i would keep him posted. Below is his response:
Hi Nancy, Visited Mark to break the news of Logan’s pending adoption. He said “Prayers answered, he’s home.” I could see the strain lift from him. On pass your sentiments of thanks, he responded with a big thank you to you and Melody for achieving the best outcome. He feels for Melody, he said ‘she promised she would love Logan like he was her own' and because of that made Logan’s adjustment smooth. It be hard to say good bye. ‘
Logan's new family new of Mark's situation and quickly sent many photos to share including when they met logan for the first time.
Mark received the photos and his good friend John made an audio recording of Mark which was transcribed into the following text:
Hello Nancy and Melody.
Thank you very much for the pics and commentary over the past months. I Felt I was with you both going thru Logan’s adoption process. You both included me, words can’t express how much that meant to me. Tracy’s picture; I can see she is kind, caring and gentle. Tracey will be a good fit for Logan. I can see in her all the good that a mother brings.
I am forever grateful to Melody, when I started teeing up Logan’s adoption last June Nancy offered for myself to communicate with you directly. I prayed to God every night since then he brings people into Logan’s journey to find the prefect home. God sent an angel, you Melody, to be his foster mom. Couldn’t ask for a better person, could see the pics Nancy sent in November that Logan had bonded with you. Know it’s a double edge sword as well saying good bye to him is a hard landing, understand how you be feeling. Thank you for being there for him
Nancy, your organization has been wonderful to deal with, never put any pressure on me at any time. Words leave me of how much admiration and gratitude to get Logan into his next and last chapter of his life. Thank you.
There’s something about Logan that brings out the best, he taught me to love unconditional and made me a better person. He is gift from God.
My time is near, am waiting for the boarding call to St Peter’s Rendezvous. Nancy and Melody, you both have given the best Christmas present ever, a loving home for Logan in my life time. Thank You.
Merry Christmas Nancy and Melody and to your families. May God, you kept you both safe and happy Furever.
mark and logan spent their last two years together on the beach in mexico so i sent new photos and video of Logan at the Beach in hopes that they would get to Mark in time. On January 3rd we learned of Mark’s passing and received this email:
Dear Friends and Former Colleagues of Mark,
With sadness to advise that Mark passed away after a short illness
Thanks go to the staff and specialists at Star Medica Merida Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital Bronx New York and Australian Cancer Council New South Wales. Special thanks to Australian Shepherd Furever whom found a new home for Mark’s dog, Logan.
Private Funeral will take place next week in New South Wales, Australia.
And the final email from John:
Thank you for your words. Managed to get the video and the photo of Logan’s day at the beach to Mark while he was Conscious before he slipped away.
Jett's Story by Natalie Ripley
Jett is a 3-4 year old purebred black-tri Australian Shepherd. He ended up in dire straits in a kill shelter in Oklahoma that has made it clear they are not interested in working with rescue groups. The dogs are available first come, first serve to whomever presents the adoption fee of $20.
Fortunate for Jett, he was noticed by the national Australian Shepherd nonprofit rescue group, Australian Shepherds Furever (ASF). They have a representative in Oklahoma who went and got him out of the shelter. Once ASF got him out, they recognized many of the tell-tale signs of neglected dogs - covered in fleas and ticks and with a scared, broken disposition, and signs specific to double-coated dogs - tons of mats and a coat in horrible condition. But they also recognized something unusual - their vet confirmed that he had been shot in the mouth sometime previously. As a result, he is missing about 1/3 of his tongue and several teeth, including one of his bottom canines. The teeth were blown out on both sides of his mouth, both the left side where the bullet entered and the right side where it passed by. ASF paid for Jett to undergo dental surgery to remove one more tooth that was damaged but still intact in his mouth. They also found out he had three kinds of tick diseases as a result of his infestation and lack of preventative flea and tick medicines.
He stayed with a wonderful foster in Oklahoma who treated him for the tick diseases and worked on restoring him to health, both physically and emotionally. I had been following ASF on Facebook for some time and when they posted pictures of Jett, his face and eyes spoke to me, and I knew I wanted him to be part of our family. We were fortunate enough to make that happen in July of this year. He is such a joy to have around. He is the kindest, most gentle dog, who loves everyone and patiently tolerates all of our cats.
It is amazing to me how anyone could ever inflict upon him the horrible harm he endured. It is equally amazing to me that despite it all, he loves people. A dog's heart and level of forgiveness is unmatched. We are so very fortunate to have Jett as part of our family. We are forever thankful to ASF for making this happen for us and for helping so many other Aussies in need.
Ceasar's Story by Caitlin Phillips
Caesar spent the first two years of his life in a small cage. He was only allowed out to use the bathroom. He was poked, prodded, and abused. Caesar was crated while another smaller dog was allowed to roam free out of the crate and eat, while all Caesar could do was watch.
Eventually due to the neglect and abuse Caesar developed fear aggression. The emotional damage had put him in fight mode in the presence of anything new. The owners contacted ASF and despite the hopeless description of is behavior they took a chance on him. When I first met him he barked at me and lunged to bite me. He was very scared of new people and animals he would attack before he had they chance to see them hurt him.
For the first few months Caesar had to be leashed and treated when strangers came over and I was the mediator between many dog fights. Then after months of love and building a trusting relationship with him he was finally okay with visitors and made a loving connection with my dogs. He was adopted out to about two families who were just not the right fit. He needed a family who could take the time to build that trust. After being returned twice for reverting back to not liking visitors we began to believe he may need a professional trainer.