Zach’s Blog

April 2012

April has been a month to remember. In the past, I have described to you the emotionally-fluctuating
nature of dog rescue and this month was no different.

In April, we experienced the satisfaction of 20 adoptions, the humility and pride of receiving a distinguished award, and the utter heartbreak of tragically losing one of our special puppies. This community has been with us every step of the way and that loyalty and friendship keeps me going.

Last month I received a call from the American Red Cross. I figured it was a solicitation for donation but answered the phone and decided to hear them out. To my surprise they weren’t asking for money, in fact, quite the opposite: they were informing be that I had been awarded the American Red Cross Real Hero Award! The gal, Ms. Jennifer Perfect, informed me that I had been nominated by several folks and that a committee had conferred and awarded me the honor for my work in Animal Rescue.

Well, I tried to keep my cool, but once I got my Dad on the phone, I became elated. You see, my Dad never gave up on me, even when I was in full liver and kidney failure and struggling to keep ticking. When I was denied admittance into a liver transplant program and my demise seemed certain, he never stopped believing that I would get better. When I was completely yellow and purple, throwing up blood, 140 lbs. and appeared to be 9 months pregnant, he still didn’t quit. After a month and a half in the hospital, with my health steadily declining, he held on to his mantra, “We are gonna beat this, Kiddo.”

So here we find ourselves, 3½ years later: I am currently a happy, healthy patient at Cedar Sinai’s Comprehensive Liver Transplant program, we have rescued nearly 500 dogs, and now I’m being honored by the American Red Cross for my work with the puppies-unbelievable!

The American Red Cross Real Hero Award Ceremony was a spectacular event. It was hosted by Congressman Kevin McCarthy and held in a gigantic airplane hangar. American flags hung from the rafters and everybody was dressed to the nines. I was presented the award by Mayor Harvey Hall and had a relatively elaborate acceptance speech planned. I say had, because about one minute in, I mentioned that my Dad was “My
Hero” and I completely lost it and started to cry like a baby. While I wish I would have been able to thank more people in my speech, I don’t regret it one bit. It’s important to be emotional from time to time and accepting that award was no exception. God works in mysterious ways. In my case, God gave me purpose, friendships that are priceless, love that is unconditional, and helped remove from me the obsession to drink-that has made all the difference.

My Dad has a favorite poem that he would to read to my brother and me when we were young. It hung on the wall in his office for some time and now adorns the wall in my office. It reads:

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;

Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;

Who leaves this world a better place than he found it;

Who never lacks appreciation for the Earth’s beauty or fails to express it;

Who found in suffering an opportunity to enrich his life by developing sympathy and understanding for his fellow man;

Who looks for the best in others and gives the best he has.

For many years I read that poem and was confronted with an unpleasant reality-that I possessed very few, if any, of the qualities that make a man a “success.” With sobriety and all the promises that come with it, I believe that I AM now a success and, with continued vigor and humility, will continue trudging the road towards continued success.

Many of you have followed the story of our burned puppy girls, Natalia and Phoenix. They were tragically burned in a fire and sustained 3rd degree burns over 70% of their bodies. No dogs, or animals in general, had been treated after receiving such extensive injuries. Animals with such burns have virtually no chance of survival and are not usually treated but instead euthanized. With the help of Dr. Grossman and his team, on loan from the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, we were not only able to save their lives but repair them to a point that they will live happy, normal lives. The newest and most exciting development is that both Natalia and Phoenix have been released from the hospital (on a temporary basis) to begin therapy training. Their therapy training will allow them to be of service to other burn victims, specifically, pediatric burn survivors who are rehabilitating at the Grossman Burn Center. Talk about full circle!

We are having a celebration of Natalia and Phoenix’s release from the hospital on May 19th in Thousand Oaks, all are welcome to attend. Burn survivors and former patients of Dr. Grossman will be in attendance along with a celebrity or two. The event is open to the public.

Life isn’t always sunshine and roses and I was reminded of that 10 days ago. It all started about 3 weeks prior when I pulled a couple of pups from the Bakersfield Animal Shelter. Their predicament was typical: stray, no parents, flea infested, hungry and very scared. They would not have lasted long had we not pulled them.
We named them Foley and Thomas after our two favorite newscasters, Kim Foley and Kelsey Thomas. Kim and Kelsey have jumped at every opportunity to cover The Mutts and it was time we honored them by naming a couple of dogs for them.

Foley was significantly smaller than her brother which we attributed to her being the runt or possibly having a different dad (litters can have multiple fathers). About a week after rescue, our pups became ill (most shelter dogs are exposed to illnesses and disease) and we had to take Foley to the Tehachapi Vet Hospital. She
spent the night but came home the next day in much better shape. She was fighting a respiratory infection that would require simple antibiotics. Thomas continued to grow and was adopted to a terrific family. Foley, on the other hand, continued to eat but wouldn’t gain weight (steady at just 5 lbs) and just seemed a little
“off.” She continued to take her medication and was not showing signs or symptoms of respiratory issues.

On Saturday, the 7th, we had a bunch of folks up to the rescue to meet and greet with the dogs. Foley was doing just fine and seemed excited to welcome each new family as they came in and out. Just as the last family was leaving, our little girl had what appeared to be a short seizure. In a matter of 3 or 4 seconds she
went limp, her eyes rolled back in her head and her gums and tongue went pale. I recognized that she was not breathing and began to search for an obstruction in her airway, but I couldn’t find anything.

By that point her heart had stopped beating and she was completely unresponsive-she was in full cardiac arrest. I have witnessed dogs die before and that is exactly what was happening. I began to administer rescue breathing and CPR. I am a certified Pet Tech CPR/Rescue breathing instructor and my training completely took over. I knew exactly what to do. I made an air tight seal around her mouth with my hand and proceeded to blow air into her lungs through her nose, being careful not to overinflate the lungs as they could easily burst. I followed up with rapid, timed chest compressions with her lying on her side, being extremely cautious with the pressure because too much could easily crack her sternum and break ribs.

After 2 rounds of 15 compressions, with breaths in between, she began to move lightly and I could feel a heartbeat. At first I thought the heartbeat was my own pulse, but after more movement it was obvious that it was her courageous little heart. I continued to help her breath by timing her breaths with mine. She reacted very well to this and within a couple minutes was standing on her own.

By then, my neighbor, Rhonda Hughes, had rushed down from her place and started preparing to move Foley to the hospital in my truck (thank God for awesome neighbors). We didn’t want to move her until she was stable and breathing on her own. About 20 minutes after she crashed, I left for the Tehachapi Vet Hospital. The ride down was encouraging; she was alert and even tried to sit in my lap as we drove. I thought to myself “We did it, little girl,” “We made it and you’re gonna be just fine.”

By the time we arrived I thought that we were out of the woods-sadly, this was not the case. The staff, which I have grown to love very much, drew blood and began to administer oxygen. The tests came back and revealed that Foley’s kidneys had completely shut down and that her body was being overrun with toxins. She was in a lot of pain and there was nothing we could do but ease her pain and put her to sleep. I said goodbye and kissed her on the forehead. I was grateful that I was given the opportunity to do that.

It was a heart wrenching loss that wore on me. I thought that we had brought her back for good. The only thing to do in that situation, I have learned, is to mourn and then look at the positives: how has it made you stronger and how can you, and others, benefit from it? The first positive is that it further strengthened the
bond I have with the Veterinary staff. I love them very much and they have helped me save literally hundreds of dogs. Dr. Komin treated me and Foley with class all the way (as usual) and I can’t imagine going through that with any other staff at any other hospital. The second positive is that we have decided to organize a canine (and possibly feline) CPR/Rescue breathing course to be taught in Bear Valley by me and possibly a couple of the Techs from the hospital. This is the 5th time that I have had to give CPR to a dog and the 3rd time that we were successful in bringing them back, even if it’s just long enough to say goodbye. With any luck we’ll have the course organized and ready for instruction by summer.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to love on your animals every chance you get-they are our kids too.


Zach Skow
Marleys Mutts

December 2011

This last month has been about the power of positive thinking. We suffered some tough losses in the month prior and it was very important that we head into the holidays with renewed vigor and a sense of imperturbable gratitude. What better way to do that than start every morning with Ray Charles? Here are the opening lyrics to the song that we have been starting near every morning off with:

“Well, I say Oh, What a beautiful morning,

Yes, what a beautiful day,

I’ve got a beautiful feeling,

That everything is going my way!”

That song and those words have helped immensely, especially on those mornings which I have wanted to hang my head and mope. It is not to say that everything actually IS “going my way” but that everything IS as it should be, and I need to be appreciative for that. Dogs are going to pass (unnecessarily and tragically), unsavory people will come our way, but overall things are copacetic and sometimes we are graced with moments that are sublime.

Thanksgiving really forced things into perspective and helped me to once again realize how wonderful our community is and how supportive folks are. The response from last month’s installment was terrific and I am excited to continue writing updates for as long as they ask me.

OK, now to the purpose of this article- the mutts.

We have had a ton of adoptions in the last 30 days, I think 15 in all.

1) Porsche the Pug was a pugilistic, rail-yard vagabond who was found by some Union Pacific workers. She graced our rescue and I do mean graced. She is now a newscaster’s little girl

2) Gunner was an uber-athletic, born hunter. We actually had a gentleman call and explain to us exactly what Gunner was and where he came from. This guy had a dog that was Gunner’s twin and explained that he was the product of a $10,000 Champion Hunting English Setter and a female, Labrador guide dog. Despite his pedigree, someone didn’t think that highly of Gunner and let him go. Well, we found him a family that will never let him go.

3) Cochise- Just about the world’s greatest Golden Retriever. Cochise’s family lost their home and moved to Santa Barbara, at which point he came to us. Furthermore, he was epileptic and needed a family that could handle the medicating and all that comes with a dog that has seizures. That family (with two wonderful kids) found us and they came from San Francisco to adopt him.

4) Bernadette, our stray, emaciated St. Bernard who was found behind a Rite Aid was also adopted. She spent most of the month up here putting on weight, growing hair back and learning the ropes. She has gained nearly 30 lbs. and is with a forever family that will make sure she is never hungry again.

5) Shirley Rae and Virginia Lee- Both of these girls I named after my Grandmothers and both were rescued from the Bakersfield pound with literally hours left to live. They had each been at Bakersfield for a month which is longer than most dogs last. We had to shave each of them because of their stench and dread locks but they remained beautiful. Virginia now rides around on a hover-round with her new grandma and Shirley Rae lucked out and was adopted here in the Valley by an awesome couple.

6) Kaya was a gift from above that we pulled from the Bakersfield Pound. She was a gregarious, gorgeous Chocolate Lab and she did not leave my side form the moment I rescued her. We went on many a morning run and I honestly fell in love with her. It was not easy to let her go and I seriously considered adding her to the permanent pack, but that would have been selfish. She went to a perfect family in Sacramento with two kids that are going to love on her as they grow up together.

7) Sloan and Lilah were two very sick puppies that we pulled from Bakersfield when we rescued Kaya. Kaya actually helped quite a bit with their socializing. The pups were starving, not weaned properly, flea infested and filled with worms (which creates an inglorious mess to clean up after). With help from the Tehachapi Vet Hospital and careful treatment, they pulled through and were adopted to great families.

8) A couple of our Bully Breed Mutts were also adopted- Dahlia and Bacon. Dahlia was a incredibly sweet, Rottweiler mix; a total gentlewoman who required no work on our part. She was adopted in Bear Valley and will live out her years here. Bacon was a Pit Bull that was found running through traffic on the freeway. Our terrific foster family, the Welch’s, poured a ton of love into that dog and turned him into an adoptable dog. Thanks and praises to them for a job very well done.

9) We had several other pound puppies get adopted including three from Cal City (Casper, Magnus and Soren) and one beautiful Sheeba Inu pup from Mojave named Sheena. Each of those pups would have been put to sleep within days had we not brought them here.

10) Our greatest character and rarest gem has to be Benjamin Buford Blue (or Bubba). Bubba was a stray Basset Hound that a local family found on the railroad tracks. He was only 10 months old and one of the most handsome (in a cartoon-like way) dogs that we have ever had. He and Gunner kept each other company up here and became best buds. He was adopted a few hours ago (as I write this) to a retired firefighter and his wife. They had lost their Basset of 16 years earlier this year and our timing couldn’t have been better. A great month of adoptions and success stories.

We added yet another St. Bernard to the rescue and his name is Ludwig. He is our 5th Saint in the last three months which is mystifying. He is an owner surrender that we picked up at the Cal City Pound. I think he was surrendered because he was “too big.” He is a big boy (130 lbs. and only 10 months old) but that isn’t an acceptable reason to dump your dog at the State’s most desolate animal shelter, especially when I’m fairly confident that he knew the dog was going to be big when he bought it! Ludwig has been neutered and has begun the socialization process. He is a little rough around the edges but nothing we can’t address relatively quickly.

Marley’s Mutts had one of its most successful Yappy Hour’s yet. Yappy Hour is fundraiser/adoption event of sorts that is held at the Pet Lodge. We had a great turnout from both volunteers and supporters and we raised several hundred dollars to go towards our Veterinary bill. We will be holding another Yappy Hour on the 3rd Saturday of January and we hope to see you there!

In an effort to raise money we have teamed with a local photographer/ volunteer named Josh Bradley who has been coming up to the Rescue a couple times a week and photographing the dogs. His images are spectacular and in some cases breathtaking. The images are available for purchase at []. Josh has also helped us to get our online store up and running. The store, which is on our website, features tons of awesome sweatshirts and t-shirts in a wild variety of colors and imprints. Check it out; everybody could use a Marley’s Mutts t-shirt or sweatshirt. The mutts and I are very grateful for Josh’s service and help, but it is his friendship that has been the real treat. Thanks, Buddy!

That is all for this month’s installment. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the mutts and what we do to help them. Thanks for the support and for being there to remind me that anything is possible with the support of great friends and a positive attitude.

November 9, 2021

The last 30 days have been filled with action, which seems to always be the case. We have had several ups and a few downs but, like I always say, such is the nature of dog rescue. Rescue week at Carden Elementary School was a blast. We go classroom to classroom, grade to grade and talk to the kids about rescue work and the importance of taking care of our doggies. We had several of the Mutts in tow and the kids absolutely got a kick out of them. The kids did their best to raise money for vaccinations, medicine and food and they worked their butts off. There was a real competition between grades to see which could raise the most. A couple of friends (Stacia Guzzo and Angeline Hufft) pitched in and helped me to communicate with the younger kids; K-3rd grade is a language that I don’t speak. The highlight had to be the numerous performances put on by an awesome kid named Blake who would get up in front of all the kids and present Marley’s Mutts gear and merchandise “Billy Maze” style–it was side-splitting! It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of the older kids and model Marley’s Mutts T-Shirts and wrist bands. Carden Elementary continues to be a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts and I am very grateful for their willingness to help and let us be a part of their program.

Mrs. Judy Trujillo also allowed me to come to the High School with Pudge and speak in front of the Interact Club. There were about a hundred kids in the room and I have to admit I was quite nervous but I think we pulled it off. Pudge was a super-star and the Club has pledged to help out with fundraising in any way they can. Mrs. Trujio adopted Kiana, one of our big ole Rottweiler’s and the Trujio’s have proven to be great friends and terrific dog owners.

Donkey Days 2011!! What a cool event. Tracy, who operates Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, had us, and many others, out to his facility for an amazing open house. They had donkeys as far as the eye could see as well as tons of vendors and entertainment. It was a special event and a unique kind of fun that can only be had at a Donkey Rescue. Hats off, Tracy, looking forward to next year.

Bella and Phillip, our Boxers, were both adopted and went to spectacular homes. Phillip stayed here in Bear Valley and I’m sure I will get to see him again. Moose, our Staffordshire pup who survived poisoning and parvo (in that order) was adopted on Friday. Derek, from the Tehachapi Vet Hospital was in charge of his care and did a great job in helping him to conquer parvo (not an easy task). On Saturday we had two great adoptions–Wendell and Chase. Wendell is going to help a couple of kids (2 and 5 years old) grow up while Chase went to a home with three boys. Willie Doobie, who was returned because he didn’t get on well with horses, was adopted to a family without any and will surely thrive in his new environment. It turned out that keeping Willie with his brother Baxter wasn’t the correct move after all.

About 7 months back we came to the aid of a woman who was being detained by Kern County Mental Health for vagrancy. She had a old Miniature Pinscher named “Precious” with her and she didn’t want to part with her dog. We finally convinced her to do so, reinforcing the fact that we would take great care of her and return Precious when the time was right. After many months of treatment and some friends to help her get back on her feet, we were able to return Precious to her owner–a really great story in the long run. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier, more grateful woman than when I returned Precious. The only reason that we were able to help in that case was because we had a dedicated omni-awesome foster named Erin who took on the responsibility of Precious. Let’s not forget that it was not easy for Erin to part with Precious which makes her sacrifice that much more admirable. We need more fosters like Erin, in fact we need more fosters–period!

Chevy is our new sympathy case; they don’t get much more broken than him. He was struck by a vehicle in Arvin and found on the front lawn of a church. Some great folks (and Marley’s Mutts adopters) handed him over to me and the Tehachapi Vet Hospital and we have gone to work. He had exploratory surgery done which resulted in the restoration of his ruptured bladder and damaged urether. But that was only the beginning. Vicky, from TVH drove him down to All Care in Orange County to have his shattered pelvis repaired. It took three hours, two plates and fourteen screws to put Chevy back together again but the surgery was a success. Great people at All Care really took care of our boy. My life-saver, Judy Stevens, drove down to pick him up and he is now home and doing well. He is relearning how to walk and go to the bathroom and will be extremely limited for the next two months. His veterinary bill has climbed to about $5,000.00 and we urgently need your support to help pay for it. We rely completely on charitable contributions and every little bit counts.

We had puppies this week too, seven of them. They are Akita mix puppies and they look like little bears and will probably grow to be as big. They were left at a home that had been foreclosed on and abandoned. At the time of abandonment, they were only 3 weeks old and in serious need of help. A terrific gal and friend of the mutts, took on their plight and decided to foster them and Mommy until they were old enough to vaccinate and adopted out. Well, we vaccinated them last week and they have all been adopted to well-screened, loving homes. By fostering these dogs, Amanda and her Mom gave us a chance to help find homes and that is called team-work. A little bit of team work goes along way; so instead of starving or freezing to death, these pups have gone on to be accepted into very grateful, happy homes.

In the last couple days we added three new dogs from the Bakersfield pound. We took the car down there with a couple of small carriers so we could only come back with small/medium sized dogs. The first was Cheryl; she looked pitiful and had long, very matted gray-brown fur. I could see a beautiful dog hiding underneath all of that so we loaded her up. No amount of grooming was going to save her coat so our wonderful groomer took it all the way down but still managed to keep her cute as a button. Her hair will grow back and she seems grateful to be rid of all those dreadlocks and back to white, her normal color. The second dog is Catherine (or Cat) and she is a Shi-tzu. Boy, did she look pathetic; sharing a kennel with five other dogs, covered in excrement and smelling like, well, the rear end of an animal shelter. She couldn’t get much dirtier but tried by relieving herself in the carrier on the way home. That was definitely an “all four windows down” trip. She is sitting next to me as I write this, as content as a dog should be. Dog number three was literally dropped in our lap. We were pulling out of the shelter parking lot when a man flagged us down. The shelter had closed and wasn’t accepting anymore intakes. Cheryl (my rescue pal and great friend) and I looked at each other like the push-overs we are and said “throw her in.” Her name is now Flo and, although she has a small amount of mange, will really make some kid a happy camper. It is difficult to walk out of the Bakersfield Shelter not in tears or at least emotionally rattled. We need to do more. Bakersfield Animal Shelter needs help and I hope we can serve in a greater capacity to assist in the future. They are quite simply inundated and underfunded. If you want to help, become a foster for Marley’s Mutts.

I’m not gonna lie, the deaths of my two sweet Dalmatians still weighs heavy on my heart. I can’t get the image of my Dad walking out of Karl’s quarantine area sobbing and saying “Our boy didn’t make it.” I am very grateful for my Dad. He has taught me how to mourn properly and has always let me know that his unconditional love is there to keep me sane. Gotta love our Dads! Jewels, the other Dalmatian, perished from snail bait poisoning and I was very frustrated that I didn’t get to say goodbye. Her family made an honest mistake with the snail bait and all we can really do is learn from this tragedy and remember to keep hazardous chemicals out of the reach of our doggies. I have made several “living” farewells to Jewels and those will have to do for now. She was one of a kind, a true jewel.

I am filled with gratitude for all of the support that we get from fans of the Mutts. We have a tremendous support system that is only getting bigger and better. Please don’t hesitate to send me your suggestions on how we can do a better job.

With true humility and gratitude,

Zach Meade Skow

February 28, 2022

The month of February, 2011 has proven to be a difficult test of our resolve, fortitude and capacity for acceptance. Conversely, this month has seen Marley’s Mutts receive national recognition for our work and the fulfillment of some of our dreams. Such is the nature of dog rescue: I have found that every positive gain or series of triumphs is often met or experienced with serious heartache and tragedy. This is the Ying and the Yang of dog rescue; moments of elation followed by sorrow; gratitude shadowed by despair; significant accomplishment spoiled by needless regret. This month we have taken the good with the bad and have tried not to dwell on those things that we cannot control. We need to savor our victories and learn from our dreadful experiences-so that we may avoid them in the future.

Stray intake at the Veterinary Hospital has been crazy busy-which means that Marley’s Mutts has been busy. The Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital (TVH), as a service to its community, will take in a certain amount of strays. Marley’s Mutts then picks up the ball and works on finding homes for them and bringing them to rescue. This month we had a lot of puppies come through the door of the TVH: a few to mention are Ella, Gideon, Delilah and Cole. Each puppy was evaluated, treated (if need be) and listed for adoption. TVH is a good place for puppies to stay because they are isolated and usually kept in quarantine so as not to pick up or transmit any infectious diseases. Puppies are dangerous, and can be devastating to the harmony of a kennel, veterinary hospital or rescue. Puppies can carry disease and when infected are incredibly contagious. They also have very low-functioning immune systems that make it very hard for them to fight disease once infected. It can be impossible to tell if certain puppies have been exposed to a disease. The disease can incubate for two weeks, and therefore the puppy will not show any signs or symptoms of infection for quite some time. There is no easy solution to the disease problem. Puppies need a series of booster-shots over a period of months before they are completely vaccinated. This means that puppies are ultra-sensitive to disease until they are fully vaccinated.

I am telling you all this because within a couple weeks of each of these wonderful puppies being adopted to very capable, loving, careful homes, they each had to be put down. Ella, Delilah, Gideon and Cole all contracted distemper and had to be euthanized. Few things bring me more happiness than adopting a
down-on-its-luck puppy to an adoring family, and nothing brings me more heartache, despair, and torment than the untimely death of one (or in this case several) of those puppies.

My initial reaction is to get down on myself and despair over the fact that I had potentially brought great suffering to a family by adopting a puppy to them. I feel so bad for these families and want to reach out, but wonder if they resent me, or if my efforts to console them will only bring them more pain. It’s important for me to move on from that emotion and be pragmatic: what could I have done differently and how can we prevent this from happening in the future? What can I do for the family that mourns?

Here is a sequence of events that I think it important to share with you. I had already received the news about Delilah and Ella (I did not take it very well). I was at the funeral of a wonderful kid named Donnie True when I received the news about Gideon and Cole. An overwhelming feeling of helplessness and negativity took me. All I could think about were these doggies’ new families and how agonizing it must have been to explain it to the children. I have lost many dogs to tragic circumstances, but that is the nature of my work and, because of that, I have become more adapted to the mourning process (or you could say hardened). It is by no means easy for me but I learned, through repetition, to lament and then move on. These families don’t have that practice, and it must be that much more difficult for them. I JUST COULDN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH SUFFERING I HAD BROUGHT THESE FAMILIES….and then I got an email from Cole’s parents:

Hi Zach,

It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that Cole had to be put down today. Over the weekend, he started yelping all night while he was trying to sleep. A trip Bakersfield to the Emergency Care facility gave him a pre-diagnosis of distemper. What started innocently enough developed into full blown Grand Mal seizures and foaming at the mouth. After a full day at the Tehachapi Vet clinic and Dr. Freng monitoring him, it was determined that Cole’s best life was clearly now behind him and the painful decision had to be made to keep him from suffering any further.I know that our decision to adopt Cole was meant to be. He was an old soul who did not have long to be on Earth. But during the last two weeks he got to run and play until his heart was content. He loved playing with his new brother Jack, and they slept together every night. He was

the smartest most loving dog that we could have asked for and we will miss him dearly.

We may again in the future look to find another dog but this coming just one-short-month from losing our last dog will hurt for some time to come.

Thank you so so very much for the opportunity to be Cole’s family. We are forever grateful.

-Daren & Aileen Weller

After reading that, a soothing feeling of acceptance came over me. What a graceful way to mourn! That letter of agonizing acceptance brought me to a much healthier mental state. Upon initially learning of these deaths, I wanted to crawl into a hole and reconsider my commitment to rescuing dogs. The experience was too hard, too emotional, and too guilt-provoking. I was starting to question my purpose and I was starting to doubt my resolve. I wanted to back away and say to myself “This is too much!” But this elegant letter served as a gentle nudge back in to the fight. I am truly grateful to the Wellers for sending me such an efficiently worded, positively reinforcing ‘Fight Song.’

All we can do now is learn from this. We have to isolate puppies when they first come in and not allow them to mingle with the rest. We have to be more aware of signs and symptoms so that we may better diagnose distemper. The public can help by vaccinating their doggies annually and keeping them sequestered should they start showing signs of infection (runny nose, eye discharge, twitching, vomiting). Disease and death are a common and unfortunate part of dog rescue. We can’t let these disastrous perturbations prevent us from persevering or lead us to hesitate. We ought to “accept the things we cannot change, have the courage to change things we can, and apply the wisdom to know the difference.”

One way we can help solve the puppy dilemma is by putting together a KICK-BUTT foster program. Foster families can serve to drastically ease the pressure off the Vet, as well as here at the rescue, and save countless lives in the process. What do you need to be a foster?

- A willingness to care for a puppy until it is adopted

o Food, med expenses etc. are taken care of by Marley’s Mutts

- It helps to have a dog or dogs of your own to help socialize the pup

o Your dogs would have to be vaccinated which we can provide

- Patience and some TLC- that is what puppies really need!

If you possess these traits, and are willing to be a foster, we would love to have you! A comprehensive foster program is going to take Marley’s Mutts to the next level. We have already helped save about 300 dogs and we could dramatically build on that with a good foster network. Dog rescue is a community endeavor. The only reason we are successful is because of a supportive community and veterinary hospital. With support from a capable foster network, the sky is the limit.

If you are interested in becoming a foster, please contact Zach at ZACH@MARLEYSMUTTS.COM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Goodbye, dear friends, and rest in peace.











































March 27, 2022 - Summing up the Month

Another successful month of dog rescue is coming to an end.  Agonizing memories of puppies suffering from Parvo are expeditiously being replaced with heartwarming adoption successes and miraculous tales of survival.  As many of you know, and some of you saw reported on the news (abc23), we reunited a family with their dog after nearly 4 months apart.  Marley (a very coincidental name) was found in Bear Valley very weak and suffering from a number of ailments, including Lupus.  We made some “found doggy” posters in hopes of finding his owners- and find them we did.  It turns out that Marley is a 15-year old mutt who had been struggling to stay alive out in the treacherous back-country of Bear Valley for 3-½ months.  He survived on deer food and natural spring water and found shelter where he could until he was found by a terrific couple named Rick and Jenny.  There is a surplus of negative dog rescue stories in the media and we couldn’t be happier to participate in a truly positive story.

March saw the adoption of Julius, our first Great Dane, and the departure of Johnny to his home and loving owner. Johnny (our Schnauzer mix) was here for nearly five months and served in the capacity of my right-hand doggy. Johnny came to us when his owner and my best friend went into treatment.  Johnny became the Doc Holliday to my Wyatt Earp almost immediately.  There is nothing that I did, for nearly five months, without Johnny and I will miss him dearly.  I am very proud of Johnny’s owner ( and my aforementioned best friend) and wish him continued sobriety as we trudge this road of happy destiny.

Jeanie (our new German Shepherd) and Monty(our new Bichon) have integrated marvelously into our pack and have added some intangible wellness to life at the Rescue.  We are not used to such “fancy” breeds as the Bichon Frise, but Monty fits right in nevertheless.  I must say,  however, that Monty’s presence is quite distracting as some of our other male dogs find him absolutely irresistable.  It must be his poofy white coat and the way he “floats” around the grounds of our rescue that makes him so desirable.  Murphy and Buddy have come a long way in their development and, because of their improvement, have been integrated into the main pack.  Murphy is a wonderful dog but he has two characteristics working against him 1) he is a Pit mix and 2) he is all black.  For whatever reason, there is noticeable discrimination against black dogs and more obviously against Pit bulls.  I am confident though that the right family will stumble onto Murphy and realize what a special little guy he is.  Some folks find it very difficult to look passed visual impressions and for that reason, we may have Murphy for some time yet  (which is just fine by us).

That’s all, for now.  Thanks for all the support.

“All creeds, all breeds”


March 12, 2022 - The Rollercoaster Ride

Howdy do friends of  Marley’s Mutts!  So far, 2010 has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride. We have had many great successes which have been unfortunately paralleled with much strife.  PARVO virus is the operative curse word for 2010.  We have had four cases of parvo resulting in the death of Frankie and the lengthy hospitalization of Marie, Elli and Dee.  I am overjoyed to report that all three of our parvo-puppy-girls survived the deadly virus and have since been adopted by loving families that are equipped to care for puppies with medical needs.  Hospitalizing four puppies has been very taxing to (decimated) our medical budget which only means that we have to buckle down and get to fund-raising.  In order to achieve our fundraising goals in 2010, it is essential that we pursue attaining non-profit status.  In order to gain 501c-3, non-profit status we need to simply get our butts in gear and get the ball rolling. Once the proper paperwork is filled out, a lengthy, in-depth IRS background check is required.  We do not anticipate any dilemmas, but let’s face it- we are dealing with the IRS.  Non-profit status will drastically increase our fundraising capability and make it much easier for our supporters to donate and contribute.

We have had some remarkable doggies come through our doors this month, the most unique being Julius.  Julius was a 140 lbs. stray from Compton, CS who left an indelible mark at Marley’s Mutts.  He provided a warm, inviting attitude that really contributed to the overall symbiotic harmony at the rescue.  Dee, our most recent parvo stricken puppy, has injected some much needed vigor to the somewhat sullen atmosphere that was looming over the rescue.

So long Sponge Bob! Sponge Bob, a 4 ½ month resident at Marley’s Mutts, finally found a forever home. It was not easy to say goodbye to him, but he is in good hands and we hope to stay updated on his new life-path.

Overall, the environment and outlook at Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is copacetic indeed. We look forward to continuing business as usual but also adding to our dimensions.  We are going kick-off our canine CPR, first-aid and rescue breathing classes, which we hope people will find interesting and intriguing.  We are also working on a comprehensive foster program that hopes to utilize the goodwill and sense of community that is so particular to Tehachapi. Thanks for your support and motivation.

Zach and the Mutts.

February 22, 2022 - More Than 100 Doggies Find New Homes!

We are happy to report that in our first year of rescuing, we have met and surpassed the 100 dogs adopted mark. With your help and support we have been able to rescue, socialize and find homes for over 100 dogs in a year’s time. Our purpose is to help abandoned, stray, unwanted or otherwise unfortunate and needy doggies find loving, permanent homes. We have been able to successfully address our purpose because we work hard, stay positive, and associate with like-minded people and organizations in our community. Organizations like the Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital, Pet Lodge and Canine Creek have been instrumental in aiding our efforts to help as many dogs as we can. Their assistance has been paramount to our success and we will work to enhance our relationship in order to better serve needy dogs and families in our community.