This is, first and foremost, a book about private animal rescue. The stories are true. As a result, these pages are filled with sadness and joy, loss and hope, heartbreak and compassion. Within the stories, personalities emerge, and the love affair between author and animal is apparent. During the course of one year, the author blogs the stories from her past alongside the rescues that occur in real time. Along the way, she discovers a growing support system in the blogosphere. Those connections offer not only emotional succor but also very tangible aid. The world of private animal rescue is candidly revealed in a series of short vignettes.
Chrystal Parker is a private animal rescuer in Southern Illinois. She left a career as a psychotherapist in order to homeschool her two daughters. Building and operating a small boarding kennel has helped with the big costs of the rescue work. Chrystal’s lifelong love of animals made it impossible for her to turn away from the precious homeless creatures she encountered. She has spent a large portion of her adult life taking in needy animals and trying to find wonderful homes for them.
This info is the cat's pajaams!
Strays: Sit, Read and Do Something
by Julie Kolb
A Daily Dose of Dogs (aka Cats with your coffee) is a journal of Chrystal Parker’s published in book form. Mrs. Parker writes a blog by the same name http://dogsandcats.typepad.com/blog/. She is also the owner and operator of the Country Kennel, in Grand Chain, IL.
Mrs. Parker has both boarded my pets, and been a rescue I have personally adopted from, so my viewpoint is admittedly biased. Like my pets, I have a great affection for her, her care and treatment of animals; her own, others and strays.
While the facility that she runs for boarding is functional, clean and dependable, there is no way to truly describe the care she has for her charges. She can tell you how well they ate, behaved, but also has a keen understanding of an animal’s need.
If you have ever boarded a dog, you may not have experienced a dog excited to GO to be boarded. The mere mention of “going to see Chrystal” and our dogs clamor over each other to get to the front door. Eager to get on collars and leashes, pull us to the car and sit contentedly on the drive. Once arriving, open the door and they PULL you to the kennel. No need to worry about my bunch running off if they get loose, they RUN to the kennel. I sometimes wonder if they really want to come home with me.
Knowing that my animals, who merely stay for a short time, are so well cared for that they remember her from one year to the next; it is no surprise to learn of Chrystal’s love for them. It extends beyond her own personal pets, and the boarders she has come to know by name. She has taken in many strays. Mostly cats, as these are the facilities she has been able to provide by donations and personal investment. Mrs. Parker has taken on the cost of many injured and ill strays, some she has been able to nurse back to health and to an adoptable condition and temperament. Others she has helped ease them to the bridge, with loving care, and comfort. No euthanasia here.
To fund her rescue mission, Chrystal has compiled her blog into a book. More like a day in the life of an animal rescuer, than a novel. Though it has moments of great joy when you read of an abandoned forlorn little thing who blossoms and is adopted, it also has the sad tales of battles lost from injury and illness. It is in the condition she finds these animals that is the tragedy.
It is not the animals at fault, is humans who do not spay/neuter pets. Even in the case of those who say “just one litter” what becomes of that first litter? Where do those babies go? For every pet that is cared for and has a home, there are many more that are lost, abandoned and neglected. According to the ASPCA more than 70 million strays exist in the USA today. http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.aspx
Few people go to the extent of Chrystal Parker in taking care of the animals barely surviving. For those like her who do, those of us sitting on the sidelines m