A letter from a heartbroken family

To whomever picked up a tan and white pup on Plainfield Ave in the Town of Orange Park on October 13, 2107:

Missing since October 13, 2017, in Orange Park, Florida

Please know that she is deeply missed and loved by her family. Please take Doucie in to the nearest vet and scan her for her chip! Doucie is a female, Aussie Shepherd/Beagle/ Lab mix, she is about 18 inches at the shoulder, has white on the legs and belly and last half of her tail. The rest of her is reddish brown with a dusting of black on her nose and ears. Her fur is medium length and seems to be a double coat, hence her love of swimming in all weather. She may have a slight limp from her surgery. She got loose through no fault of ours.

Around 9 o’clock that morning, my mom and I took Doucie to AVS-BluePearl Veterinary Hospital, located at 275 Corporate Way behind Adamec’s Motorcycle Shop, for an after-surgery check-up. Three weeks prior she had ACL surgery on her right knee, hence the shaved fur on that leg and the stitches. We were told to leave Doucie in the care of AVS/BluePearl becuase the doctor that did the surgery wanted to look at her, and the doctor was performing an emergency surgery. We handed Doucie over to a vet-tech after removing her harness. Doucie still had on her yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag showing her name and phone number, as well as a little red cow bell. We left, believing all was okay. That was the last time we saw Doucie. 

The vet-tech that took Doucie didn’t correctly latch her kennel. Doucie was able to open the gate, open and walk through to interior doors, scan the lobby, and then use her head to open the heavier front door. Even though an alert customer called out that an unattended pup had come through a door and was in the lobby, no vet-tech’s seemed alarmed. They didn’t react until Doucie was outside. Doucie scanned the parking lot for us, but we were already gone, so she ran across Corporate Way and went for a swim in Wells Lake. After her swim, Doucie ran back across Corporate Way, almost getting hit, and ran back to the front door. At this point, either a vet-tech outside, or someone inside scared Doucie and she ran off again. 

Doucie ran along Corporate Way then darted over the railroad tracks and through the woods and brush. A vet-tech did see her crossing the tracks.  We learned that a truck driver had seen Doucie running through the parking lot of the warehouse behind the hotels on Wells Road. Doucie eventually made her way through the woods, possibly resting near a feral cat colony in the area. We found out two weeks later that she was seen being picked up by an unknown person in an unknown vehicle near 704 Plainfield Ave. (verified by Pat Totillo and her K9 search team).

Over the next month and a half, our family and friends made fliers and posters, tacking and taping them to every post, pole and phone box in Orange Park. There is also a Police report on file of the incident. The town of Orange Park was very understanding to our dilemma and allowed us to leave our signs up for a month and a half. They have a town ordinance against unauthorized signs being up more than a day or two. Since October 13, 2017, there have been over 25 possible sightings. None have been verified as Doucie, all have been linked to local pups, even if the caller describes Doucie perfectly.  Case in point, we received a call about a dog that could have been Doucie near W.E.Cherry Elementary School in the Blairmore Blvd area, the caller described her perfectly, even down to the shorter hair on her leg that had been shaved for surgery a month before.  This call proved to be false. The dog seen was a boxer mix, we saw him.  There have been possible sightings all over Clay County, from Plainfield Ave to Oakleaf to the Orange Park Country Club to Ridgecrest to Middleburg and Fleming Island, even up Blanding Blvd to Townsend Road, behind Lexus of Orange Park. We have posted fliers wherever there is a sighting. 

Two weeks into our canvassing of the Town of Orange Park, we encountered an employee of a business on the business loop at the end of Loring Ave that said she saw a dog that looked very much like Doucie being picked up on Plainfield Ave, the day Doucie escaped from the vet hospital. This led to us contacting Pat Totillo and her team to narrow down our search. The K9’s were able to track Doucie from the AVS/BluePearl, down Corporate Way, across the tracks and through the parking lot.  They lost her scent in the woods, but picked her scent up on Ash Street and followed it to an area near the mailbox of 704 Plainfield Ave. To verify this, Ms Totillo had her other K9 come from Loring Ave. This K9 did not alert to Doucie’s scent until he reached the same patch the first K9 alerted to, this verified that Doucie had been picked up. And the K9’s were able to verify that Doucie had never been at any of the sightings that were called in. The only unverified call belongs to a farmer, possibly in Clay County, who described several of Doucie’s characteristics, as well as her collar and tags, in a deep, gravely voice. He said he had to go but he would call back. He never has returned the call, and his numbers were blocked. We have several contacts in Clay County that have been helping us with spreading Doucie’s story and fliers, among them are the Town of Orange Park Police Department, Melissa from PrimeVet on Kingsley Ave., and Mary from Crackers in South Orange Park.     

Doucie has been my moms constant companion ever since we rescued her.  Doucie would sleep by her bed, and check up on her throughout the day, no matter where each one was at the house. Doucie would interrupt her front gate guarding, her sunning, her swimming, or her strolling to go and check on mom, to make sure everything was alright. Mom would go out and check on Doucie too.

Doucie is chipped and was wearing a yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag and a red bell. She is reddish brown on top and sides with white underneath, and white legs and the last half of her tail is white, like a flag. She has a light dusting of black on her nose and ears. She has medium long fur that seems to be a double coat, based on her penchant for swimming in all kinds of weather.  She is smart, energetic, playful.  Her absence is weighing heavily on us.  We miss Doucie and need her to come home.

If you have ANY information, please contact us! Please share her photo and search for her call/text 904-327-3698

THANK YOU,
James Mooers

Doucie has two facebook pages, Find Doucie and Help Us Find Doucie (please follow!). 

Tag your favorite Groomer in Jacksonville!

tag, jacksonville groomer, favorite, jackonville beachWe want to know how your dog got to look (and smell) so GREAT!

Tag your favorite Jacksonville Groomer!

Give a shout out to your most awesome Jacksonville professional GROOMER by tagging them on our Facebook Post … The groomer with the most tags by the time we change our banner will get a listing on unleashjax.com FREE for one year! Only TAGS count, not likes, people.

(Groomers, feel free to nudge your clients

Is your groomer on unleashjax? Give them a REVIEW so others know how awesome they are! Is your groomer not on unleashjax? Tell them to get their fuzzy butts listed ASAP.

Finding a groomer you can trust with your baby can be difficult. If you don’t already have one, please check out our directory!

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Dogs Banned from Local Breweries.

URGENT + IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED \ Amy Olivieri \ Photo Courtesy of Hyperion Brewing

There aren’t too many places where you can take your dog inside, out of the elements, and socialize (both them and you). That’s what’s been so wonderful about all the fantastic breweries popping up in the last couple years. Jacksonville was starting to feel like a truly cool, dog-friendly city! Most of the breweries don’t serve food, so well-behaved, leashed dogs have been allowed to accompany their owners out of the heat/rain/cold —no more being relegated to the patio with the smokers. It’s HOT in Florida, and dogs like the AC, too. Dog-friendly breweries have also been an integral part in the rescue community, constantly hosting fundraising events and adoption events—and their owners have been amazingly supportive of the animal community by opening their doors to canines. But that seems to be changing, unless we use our voices. Are you in? Woof!

The Florida Health Dept. has now deemed beer as a “food,” and has banned dogs from coming inside breweries. Please sign the petition, instigated by our friends at Green Room Brewing, and call the health department at 904-253-1280 to respectfully voice your opinion.

This is an archaic law. Breweries all across the United States allow dogs. We need to keep Jacksonville on the right track in becoming a hip, cool, dog-friendly city—a place where people want to be… with their dogs!

1. SIGN THE PETITION

2. Call 904-253-1280

Jacksonville Citizens Step Up for Pups

Jacksonville Citizens Step Up for Pups \ SUNNY issue \ by Janice Frank

When a local program supporting Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS) came an end, a plea was made to the public to help reignite the dog house program. Once led by the Englewood high school wood shop class, dog houses were supplied to ACPS to distribute in the community to keep dogs with their owners and out of the shelter. Unfortunately, with the retirement of the shop teacher, the dog house program came to an end however the need did not.

Luckily, a local man and his son answered the call! Dave Howard and son Luke, a senior at Bishop Kenny, had been discussing potential opportunities for Luke to fulfill his school’s community service requirements. As dog lovers and handy hobbyists, they thought this would be a fun way to spend time together while serving the community!

With a need averaging four dog houses per week, Dave and Luke made a goal to build nine houses and relied on neighbors and friends for some quick fundraising to make it happen. Their request was responded to with great generosity (because our community is awesome), and the pair were able to build nine beautiful houses for dogs that didn’t have shelter! They would love to continue the effort, but need community support. Materials for one house cost about $75, and the project welcomes both business and individual sponsors.

Please join EPIC Outreach for the first fundraising event to help make more dog houses for under served areas of Jacksonville, August 27 at Hamburger Mary’s—Bingo For Dogs!

To see more photos and find out how YOU can join the project, follow The Major Dog House Project!

Hank, Unleash’s Fun Correspondent, doing final inspections.

Strong men lifting things.

Companies like the wonderful MERO REALTY can sponsor houses!

“Paws up! These houses are good to go … get ‘um outta here!”

This makes us want cats.

Ok, so this isn’t necessarily a dog item, but we couldn’t resist sharing this adorable cat bed … your big dog who thinks he’s a little dog could squeeze on in there, no? The “Fishie Cave” almost looks like a piece of art, sigh, so cute! It’s made with Himalayan wool and processed without any harsh chemicals, yay, and it contains Lanolin which is great for your pets’ fur and paws … double yay! This makes me so wish we had a cat, but we gave up having cats two years ago after an unfortunate incident.

We just found a code for 20% off the entire Zeitgeist gifts site, so you can get some of their other funky stuff.
Triple yay?
Use Code: 20MAR18

Let us know what you get in the comments!

 

Blue’s Miracle

All eyes on me—gosh, I’m a lot nervous … but I’m honored to be featured. This is crazy! I’ve never written anything before. Sure, I did pee a really cool pattern onto the side of an ottoman once—I’m thinking maybe this will be similar in experience to that? I don’t particularly think I’m all that special, but I do have a story for you. Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? A soft little lick on the hand, perhaps?

My name wasn’t always Blue. It really doesn’t matter much what it used to be—I go by Blue now and I like it. Beautiful things are blue, like the sky and the ocean and my foster mom’s feet in the winter—it’s been a real cold one, eh? I was given the official name “Little Boy Blue” by the staff at First Coast Veterinary Emergency in October of last year, when I was brought in by my family. I heard them tell the nurse I’d gotten caught in a fence and could no longer walk. No longer walk is right! I could barely move, I was in so much pain. The sweet nurse asked my family if they’d like to find out what was wrong with me. I saw them hand my family an estimate. Mom and dad put their heads down and shook them back and forth. Not what I wanted to see, I was hoping for more of a nod up and down. They pushed the estimate away and scribbled on another set of papers. I believe that meant I was signed over to the clinic to be … uh … euthanized.

I watched them leave and I wanted to go with them, but I couldn’t make my body move the way it always had. “Wait! You forgot me!” I screamed in my head. They never heard my headscreams before, so not sure why I thought now would be different. But I was really freaking out and everything hurt so badly … I was desperate. “Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me.”

Well, sigh, they left. You probably guessed that. If they hadn’t this would be the end of a super boring story. But it’s not, and it’s about to get better, so stick with me.

Me … talking with my eyes.

Back in the treatment area, I lay in a kennel. I didn’t cry, but the pain was un-be-flippin-lievable. The staff was so kind to give me a pill which helped a lot. They would peer in at me and I would look up at them, and I tried as hard as I could to talk to them with my eyes—they were all I had. I wanted the staff to know that other than the fact that I had a broken back, I was a healthy, happy, sweet 6-month-old pup, and maybe someone could call mom and let her know she forgot to put me back in the car. Or call dad? We were good buddies! I really didn’t understand where my family went. I continued to talk with my eyes.

Then it was … my time. Dr. Tim Holloway was ready to see me. He put his hand on my head and sighed. I could read his mind. He didn’t like this part of his job. (Great! Finally something I could use to my advantage!) I poured on all the sweet I could, as if my life depended on it. Sweet eyes; check. Little soft hand licks; check; little head tilts; check. Cute face; checkcheckcheck. Some of the other staff was vouching for me—I kept hearing them say really nice things about me. (Thank you, thank you—you know who you are!) The next thing I know, I’m back in my kennel and they were all standing around it talking about something called a “McNicholas.” I tried to pay attention, I tried so hard. But all I wanted to do was sleep.

That’s Anette and her special friend, Dennis—he’s super nice, but not as pretty as my Anette.

I woke the next day to the face of an angel. My angel. She was, gosh, how do I describe her? Well, okay, so you know how dogs have the ability to see someone’s heart through their chest? When I woke up that day, ALL I could see was a huge heart with red hair pulled back into a cute little clip—classic Anette Nixon. She was cooing to me and petting me softly and making me feel warm inside—loved, I guess is the right word. I fell for her immediately. (I loved her even more when she brought me roasted chicken and helped me eat it out of her hand, but that’s jumping ahead.) Anette told me I had eyes that look directly into a person’s soul … which was really nice to hear, since that was how I liked to communicate at that time. She got me.

I came to find out on that first morning what a McNicholas was—I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long, it was killing me! Turns out, it wasn’t a thing, it was a person! Haha, what a silly mix up. It turned out Dr. Holloway from the night before thought I was very sweet (way to work it, me) and he wanted the opinion of DOCTOR Tom McNicholas to find out if anything could be done. Apparently, Dr. McNicholas is … well, let’s just say he’s the best, and he knows a lot about fixing what’s broken.

Dr. McNicholas reviewed all the charts and graphs and stock reports and digital shiznitz and decided my back was broken. Surgery could possibly be done, but there was no guarantee that I would walk and the surgery would be very very difficult (and expensive). That’s when my angel, Anette, quickly stepped in and said, “Great! Let’s do it! We’ll start a gofundme for Blue. We’ll get the funds.” Anette is very convincing and she gets things done. That’s why I love having her on my side. Surgery was scheduled.

These were not my favorite days.

My back was so broken—so crunched to bits—that my first surgery took 5 hours! Think about what you can do in 5 hours. That’s practically a whole work day, for those of you a with job. For those of you without jobs, that’s 5 episodes of Ellen, or 10 episodes of Family Feud! The staff of First Coast Veterinary Specialists was working on my messed-up back for FIVE HOURS. Shew. I owe them a drink.

Out of surgery and on to healing up we go! At this time, I didn’t want to eat anything. I was feeling the pain, but still not letting anyone know. (But they knew. And I knew that they knew. And they knew that I knew that they knew.) Nothing smelled good and I was getting skinny. I think I mentioned before that Anette started hand-feeding me roasted chicken and that’s about all I would eat. For her to buy chicken meant she really loved me, because she loves all animals so much that she doesn’t ever eat them.

Even though she’s not my REAL mom, Amy loves me.

It was during this time that Anette started assembling my “team”. She reached out to Carolyn Edwards of Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA) and they pledged to help with half the cost of my surgery—wuf wuf! (Thank you FOJA!) Anette then called her friend Amy to help start getting the word out about me. Amy called (or more likely texted, she hates talking on the phone) her friend Tyler to help start raising funds to pay for the rest of my surgery and future rehabilitation. I got my very own Facebook page so people could follow my progress and Tyler set a up a gofundme. So many generous people gave money even though they’ve never even met me! A community of love—I felt it all around me. That meant more than anything.

So … where am I now? Well, you’d know if you were following my Facebook page, silly. Take a minute and do that now. Blue’s Miracle.

Anette put out a plea for someone to take me home from the clinic because she thought I was getting sad. Which is true. I’m a people pup. ENFJ. Social. I like cuddles, bro, don’t judge. Anette’s aforementioned friend, Amy, who had come to visit me at the clinic said I could come hang out at her house for the weekend. That was many many many bowls of food ago, so—I’m not great with time, but I’m loving this long weekend!

My whip.

Also! I have wheels! Anette reached out to K9 Carts, which is a great organization, and they sent me a cart just my size. When not in my cart, I still pull myself around with my front two legs really super fast. I’m still working on remembering how to use them pesky back ones. I’m going to rehab at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness, which is sometimes fun (and, may I be frank? Sometimes not.) They have a water treadmill, which is pretty cool and I get lots of treats. They have a Dr. Jessie Burgess who is very smart and extremely beautiful—I may have a crush but don’t tell her, I’m working my angles. She does electro acupuncture and laser to help me heal and stimulate nerve function. I love every single staff member at VAW and look forward to going there. A huge thanks to owner, Dr. Jenna, for believing in me.

Can I tell you I’ve met the most gorgeous people throughout this experience? Yah, it’s been a real crap deal what happened to me, but the people I’ve met … almost makes it worth it. Constance the Pet Messenger did a psychic reading and she just seemed to know so much about me! Doryan Cawyer from Jade Paws comes to visit me quite often to do stretching, massage, and reiki. I get really excited to see her and always feel so wonderful during and after our sessions. I had a fantastic Christmas with another foster mom—Pam Davis! She was so kind to me while Amy was away. She got me my own stocking and let me play with her Alvin and Bubba. I loved hanging with them!

In the water treadmill at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness.

Getting Laser at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness

So many people have sent me toys and treats and belly bands and my friend Becky even bought me a cozy bed. I also have my own stylist—Custom Dog Bed Creations by Holly! She makes all my sexy collars. Salty Paws Healthy Pet Market has been SO GENEROUS to sponsor my food and CBD oil. They gave my foster mom a ton of samples so that I could pick what I liked.

There are just too many people to thank—but most importantly, I’d like to thank Dr. Tim Holloway and Dr. Tom McNicholas and all the staff at First Coast Veterinary Emergency for sparing my life. That’s not what normally happens in those situations.

Life can be kind of scary sometimes, since I don’t have a rescue backing me. I have my tribe, though, and they really take care of me! Now all I need is my own new family. Someone who believes in me and will let me cuddle with them whenever I want and will love me forever.

Thank you for letting me tell my story! I’m not giving up. There’s too much sweetness in life left to discover and too many wonderful people I need to meet! Walk on, my friends.

Much love & many little hand licks,
Blue

____________

Every day Blue’s foster mama talks to him about his real family and how they are going to be so happy to have him.

“Will anyone want me as I am?” He always asks. Yes, Blue! You are loved by many people already for your heart and your amazing spirit and your funny personality … and your real family will fall in love with every single part of you. Whether you walk or don’t walk.
“Well, I am going to walk,” he always says.
Yes! We know you are Blue. We’re all rooting for you.
“Thanks mama. I’m sorry I pooped on the rug.” I know you are, Blue. It’s ok.
“So … where is my family? Why don’t they come for me?”
Blue, they haven’t seen your amazing face yet. Sometimes the stars need to align in a perfect pattern and then Love happens.
“Well (puppysigh) I’ve been waiting a long time … how about some treats to make me feel better?”

Blue would love a family that wants to help him go through rehab. He’s hoping they have lots of love and laughter in their home. He’d love another dog, but would also be happy having all the attention. Blue requests lots of outside time and walks in his cart. He also asked us to put in here that he’d love someone who is liberal in dolling out treats and someone who likes to CUDDLE.

For more info, please private message the Blue’s Miracle Facebook page.