Birdie, the Golf Course mommyGolf is a popular pastime, even with our four-legged friends.
It seems that for more than a year, an entire family of Pit Bull terriers has been living in the lush surroundings of a golf course near South Central Los Angeles. Mom, dad and seven puppies. One might think this story would follow the lines of other Pit Bull-themed media reports—dogs go on rampage, dogs snarl at golfer, dogs chase golf carts down the green.
Nope. Not here. Not at all. In fact, the case of the Golf Course Family is proof that Pits, for as bad a rap as they often get, are very, very often kind, forgiving, compassionate creatures so ready to be loved. Doubt it? Check out the videos below.
This family of Pits lived quietly on the golf course, hiding most of the time and rummaging through trash. The staff at the course would provide food from time to time, and the golfers kept quiet about the tenants. No one wanted the dogs hauled away by animal control, especially after the babies were discovered.
That's when Karma Rescue in Los Angeles stepped in. A few weeks ago, the group got a call alerting volunteers to the dogs' existence, and a plea for help was issued. Since the pups were basically feral (they'd never been touched by or positively exposed to humans before), it was imperative they were caught as soon as possible so they could have a great chance at a normal life.
Jack Leslie, a Karma volunteer, headed out to the golf course in search of the family. "Catching the puppies was actually incredibly hard," he said. "It was the toughest rescue I've ever done."
Karma.Rescue.Golf.Course.puppies from Carmen Bosley on Vimeo.
The area the dogs called home was extremely dense, almost wooded. Many nooks and crannies existed for the dogs to hide. But Leslie and others at Karma persisted, traipsing through the brush and trees in search of the dogs.
"I caught the first one, Kathy, because I stumbled on the parents and puppies sleeping in the sun, and I managed to grab her before the rest disappeared into the woods."
The first thing Leslie noticed was how gorgeous the puppy was. The second? She was blind in one eye. Quickly after Kathy was safe, Leslie found another pup, Healthcliff.
"They both screamed like banshees when they were caught," he said.
But quickly, the pair settled and calmed. The next day, more volunteers congregated at the course. The doggie parents—a small brown and white Pit mix and a blue/brindle Pit mix—ran from rescuers, and the search-and-rescue mission became more difficult. But after a few hours of digging through the brush, the volunteers spotted more puppies hiding under a log. Nike, Pixie, Tess and Brandon came out screaming, but safe.
On Day 3 of the mission, Leslie ventured out to the course again and got the last pup, Twitch, as he sunbathed. All pups went into foster care at Leslie's house. Then, things slowed down. Karma rescuers didn't want to get the parents if there were still pups out there. So observation began. Once it was determined all pups had been rescued, humane traps were set up for the parents. First in, the dad. Chester, followed the next day by mom Birdie, the petite brown Pit. (See the video below for the heartbreaking separation of the two, and then the amazing reunion.)
"The parents are actually great," said Leslie. "[Chester] was very hungry, but he didn't try to bite or escape. I took him home and gave him a bath, and he has been lying on my couch ever since. He seems like a very mellow, laid-back dude"
Birdie, while more nervous than Chester, allowed Leslie to put a leash on her and carry her to his car. Not a single problem. Once home, she completely blossomed.
"She was reunited with Chester, although I'm keeping them separate for now because neither of them is fixed," Leslie said . "She is nervous, but extremely friendly, and constantly wants to get in my lap. I think both parents are very adoptable."
Golf.Course.Rescue.Full.V.2 from Carmen Bosley on Vimeo.
Although they've both had tough lives, Leslie says the dogs are very resilient and really like being around people. In fact, they readily accepted handling and seemed to immediately crave affection from humans. Who knows when—if ever—these dogs experienced kindness at the hands of people? But despite being scared, inexperienced and unsure, they didn't bark, raise a lip or growl at the Karma rescuers. In the video, the bathtub scenes are heartbreakingly sweet.
"If this wasn't a Pit Bull, I wouldn't be doing this," said Leslie as he lifted Birdie into the shower and held her under the nozzle to wash off the soap and hundreds of fleas feasting on her.
"Many people think that adult rescue-dogs will most likely have issues, but I find them to be the best dogs because they are so appreciative of having permanent families," he said. "It often takes a couple of weeks to get a true picture of a dog's personality, but because they have adapted so quickly, I think Chester and Birdie will be ready for new homes very soon. They are also both beautiful dogs, which doesn't hurt."
The puppies, too, are ready for new homes. In fact, six have been adopted, with an application pending on No. 7. Kathy, the first one rescued, needs to have her eye surgery before she can go home, and Karma is busy raising funds to help her get off to a great start in life.
"Of all the puppies that I've fostered, these are some of the sweetest, and they hardly make any noise, don't chew, etc.," Leslie said. "It also helps that they are cute as hell."
Karma Rescue is hard at work finding funding to help not only with Kathy's surgery, but with Chester's as well. He has an eye condition where his eyelashes and lids are basically inside-out. It can be fixed, but it will require surgery. Also, all the dogs need to be vaccinated and sterilized, and Chester and Birdie need funding for boarding costs until they find forever homes. A target of $5,000 is sought, and more than $1,500 has so far been received.
According to Karma Rescue's website: "Scared, homeless, hungry and pregnant is where Birdie started this journey with Chester by her side. Now, thanks to the help of many selfless and kindhearted individuals, Birdie, Chester and their family will now get to experience the joys that life has to offer."
For more info: Those who wish to donate to help this family finish their journey to happily-ever-after can log on to http://www.karmarescue.org/ or the "Golf Course Family Fundraising Page" here.
Article by: Kyra Kirkwood