Raised by Dogs, by Steven Sable/The Rez Dog Biographies

Some Rez Dogs are kept as pets but still have to forage to supplement their diet. They often gather into packs and survival requires maintaining a dominant position to claim a share of whatever nutrition is available. The injury to this female’s left front paw made movement difficult and limited her ability to compete.
Some Rez Dogs are kept as pets but still have to forage to supplement their diet. They often gather into packs and survival requires maintaining a dominant position to claim a share of whatever nutrition is available. The injury to this female’s right front paw (note the overgrown nails) made movement difficult and limited her ability to compete.

Welcome to Raised by Dogs, by Steven Sable/The Rez Dog Biographies.

My first act as RezDawg Rescue’s official blogger is to share an email a rez dog rescuer sent another early this month. It begins: “I got a call from a local person about a skin-and-bones puppy near the gas station in (Rez Community.) On the way into town, before you get to the Chapter House on the left, look for a BLUE trailer right next to the Roads Department building. The pup is light beige and has ticks so you want to bring some Frontline as well as a vaccination. If you can’t find her, let me know by dark. I can trade shifts at work and start searching first thing…”

If you’ve ever sent or received a similar email, bless you. If you haven’t and the paragraph above makes little sense, I have good news. My job as the blogger for RezDawg Rescue is to emotionally pick you up, throw you over my shoulder and take you on a tour of the Four Corners Region as RezDawg Rescue goes about the good business of rescuing animals in need.

As you return to our blog over time, you may find yourself reading about a really cool RezDawg adoption success story. You might also read my best attempt at explaining how the grandeur and undefinable uniqueness of the rez coexist – and what challenges that uniqueness introduces into rescue. Warning: you could also learn about a rescue failure. They hurt, they happen and you learn to mourn quickly because another animal in need is one phone call away. The common theme through every blog: rez dogs and cats hold a special place in our hearts and we do everything within our power to help save them. What’s more, we put an equal value on the RezDawg Team, the volunteers, the donors and the rescue partners that help us achieve fantastic, repeatable results

You could fairly ask, “Who are you to tell this story?” My name is Steven Sable and I’ve been spent the last eight years building a documentary photography project called The Rez Dog Biographies. The goal of the project is to use the (hopefully noble and informative) images to generate awareness of the rez dog situation and funding for nonprofits that work locally on the rez to save the dogs. Groups such as RezDawg Rescue, for example…

The division of labor here is simple. RezDawg does the hard work of rescue and I’m responsible for sharing what we’ve accomplished, how we accomplished it, and what’s next on the schedule. I’ll also fill the blog with stories, pictures, and additional information you may find of use whether you’re into rescue, want to get into rescue or simply want to know what happened to the puppy in the first paragraph.

If I’m lucky, they’ll occasionally let me go on field trips to a RezDawg low cost/no cost spay neuter clinic such as the one we held in Pine Hill, NM (April 8-10)(And they did let me out for this one! Can’t wait to tell you about it…) Maybe they’ll let me help with active rescues on the rez (which happen ALL the time.) Perhaps they’ll let me deliver donated dog food to one of the RezDawg foster homes that make up the backbone of our organization. If they do let me out in public to tell a better RezDawg story, know you’re always invited to come along.

We intended to present a new blog post every two weeks but with the puppy mentioned above and our clinic in New Mexico, I’ll have updates posted sooner than that.

Also, this is a two way dialogue. What do you want to know about RezDawg Rescue?

Thank you for your time and attention. Until next time,

(as always, for more information, please delve into RezDawgRescue.org, The Rez Dog Biographies, or stevensable.com)

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