"Feral ~ from feminine of ferus wild: having escaped from domestication and become wild"...

January 23, 2015

Ranger's rest of the story

Now that we have read the beginnings of Ranger's Story (The Oglala Pet Project's big rescue from the Highway culvert!) and his new happily ever after (he's with us YAY!) , that just leaves us with the "middle"...and the question-                    

Why, one year later, would someone abandon Ranger aka Boris with a collar on and no tags on a busy two lane highway in Spearfish, South Dakota, when he was supposed to have a forever home ?  Why would they let him sit confused on his BIRTHDAY in a cage at the Western Hills Humane Society of Spearfish, South Dakota without claiming him?  No one knew his story of "why", except Ranger, and unfortunately he couldnt talk. It wasnt until late September while working in the Black Hills, that we had stopped in and fell in love immediately, giving him his true forever home.

When his original adopting family no longer wanted him, Ranger should have been returned to the Oglala Pet Project (OPP) according to the adoption contract. Some how instead he ended up abandoned on a Highway far from where he was supposed to be, with his tags removed.  Someone took his identity away from him.

No person or animal deserves to lose their identity, ever.

We appreciate
the Western Hills Humane Society of Spearfish, South Dakota.

They got Ranger off the road and adopted into our home.


Most importantly, we appreciate The Oglala Pet Project

because of their diligence, integrity, and belief in what they do. Just like when they went seeking Mama Cleo and her 10 puppies in the beginning of Ranger's story, the OPP took action to find where Ranger was when they found out his original adopter no longer had him. Sometimes there is poverty, illness or domestic situations where animals need to find a better home, and a responsible caregiver does the right thing by turning them in to a no-kill shelter/rescue who have a process in place in finding a forever home. Turning your animals over voluntarily to a no-kill shelter/rescue is always the best option, unless there is a legally binding contract to return them to their original adoption site like the Oglala Pet Project has - they even have a "no questions asked" clause! 

We most likely will never know what happened to Ranger's "middle" part of his story. What we do know is that he was found by the Western Hills Spearfish shelter as a stray, never reclaimed, and then we adopted him. Ranger finally had his happy ending!  But OPP did not know this yet-

Here's the most remarkable thing - when they found out Ranger aka Boris wasnt where he was suppose to be with his original adopters, OPP wanted to know where he was - did he finally have a happy ending somewhere?  They sought to find out what happened to him, and finally connected with us. I was truly impressed with their professionalism and care under such difficult circumstances; they even sent us all Ranger's baby photos! The Oglala Pet Project followed through what they know to be right - to make sure all adoptable feral animals from the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation have a forever home. They wanted nothing from us but to know if Ranger was loved, and would be cared for always. 

I am proud to be a caregiver to a Dog born on the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation, 
because he is a great dog

all because of great people in his beginnings 

He IS NOT someone's throwaway.

The OPP and Oglala Sioux do care what happens to their own.

Even with their very limited resources, they took important time out to look
for one of Mama Cleo's pups, again.

And when they finally found him?

They were happy!


Mama Cleo's last baby is now in his true Forever home.

photo courtesy of OPP!

Ranger, you are so loved.


I cannot express my gratitude enough to the Western Hills Humane Society  for their dedication to the Animals of Spearfish City, and to The Oglala Pet Project and the Oglala Sioux community for their commitment to their work - especially in helping Cleo and her pups in 2013 - we never would have even had the opportunity to give Ranger a second life if it wasnt for their dedication to finding homes for the adoptable feral dogs of the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux reservation! 

Please click on the underlined links below
if you would like to see exactly how wonderful they are!



Let us unite to continue to help find the feral ones that can be saved
Initiate great projects for all animals!

Me & my Forestry Assistant, Ranger, 
say THANKS too! (woof!)

January 19, 2015

Rangers beginnings...

This story begins in South Dakota
one hot 2013 summer day 
on the vast Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation...

"Mama Cleo"
Photo courtesy of  OPP

The mama dog knew this would be the best place to keep her pups
 away from the heat, predators, 
and the passing traffic on the highway...

-100 foot long culvert right under the highway-

For Mama Cleo and her 10 puppies, 
this was their home on the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation. 

Enter the The Oglala Pet Project (OPP)!

     The OPP are a fantastic group of volunteers and Oglala community members who care what happens to the animals on the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation. They have no physical building and have very limited resources, however they have what is most important; dedicated people who volunteer their time and energy through various ways to help the animals.  OPP's primary concern is to help fund free spay and neutering programs; this helps control the animal population on the reservation.  They also fund a pet food bank for the Oglala community, sponsor traveling humane pet care education, along with pet wellness & vaccination clinics; as the closest vet clinic is over 60 miles away! 

OPP has helped over 800 animals 
since they first began as a non-profit in 2011.
 This is quite a huge feat considering The Oglala Pet Project has a very limited budget.

But yet OPP still rescues and find homes for the feral ones,
 who live loose on the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation without a caregiver.

Because they care.

This is where Ranger's story begins. 
He was one of Mama Cleo's pups!

Rangers puppy belly!
Photo courtesy of OPP

The pups whimpered; it was time to eat.  
But Mama Cleo was finding it hard to even get enough food for herself.  
Though she could count on the limited food placed out for her and the feral others, 
the odds of all of the pups surviving was slim.

They needed help.

     When the caring people of The Oglala Pet Project were notified there was a feral Mama dog and her 10 pups in a culvert on the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation, they sprung into action. It was no easy task to wrestle with all those wild pups that hot August summer day, and unfortunately one pup would just not come out; they had to leave her behind at first (later they got her to come out, the naughty girl! Yay!). Soon Mama Cleo and her pups were in the OPP's Foster Care system where they were assessed, vaccinated and acclimated to people.  Mama Cleo's wonderful disposition was very evident; and her pups followed suit. OPP's volunteer Foster Care system is a great network of people from the surrounding areas of the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.  This committed group of Foster pet parents care for the animals in their homes until they are available for adoption. Sometimes there are health concerns such as flea and tick infestations, mange, even injuries that take time to heal, along with spaying and neutering.  The wonderful OPP Foster network does the task of getting the animals healthy again to find their forever homes.  

For Mama Cleo and her 10 pups, 
once they were weaned it was time for for their adoptions! 

Boris aka Ranger!
courtesy of OPP

OPP always try to do their best in screening potential adopters with their required home checks, referrals and adoption contract; they even have a policy in their contract that if for some reason the animal can no longer stay with the Adopter, all animals must be returned to them, no questions asked.  This is because The Oglala Pet Project truly believes all animals should be loved and cared for...

So with their adoptions complete it was happy endings everywhere; 
Mama Cleo and her pups found their forever homes right away!


 All except for one little puppy named Boris.

His happy ending came in a little later...


The Oglala Pet Project is a non-profit that relies 
on donations to do what they do.
They ARE a people of action,
make the most of what they have
to do great deeds for the Oglala Sioux Animals.

Please click on the underlined links below
if you would like to see exactly how wonderful they are!


Mama Cleo and her babies say THANK YOU for caring!!!

courtesy of OPP

(Stay tuned for Ranger's finale coming up on Friday ! )


January 16, 2015

Rangers story

When we adopted Ranger back in September 2014, we knew little about him; only that he was abandoned on a Highway with just a collar on, no tags, and no one claimed him at the local animal shelter.  He was a dog without a past.  

Wanting to know more in any way we could, we were excited when we got back the results of his DNA test from Wisdom Panel , a canine genetic breed test that is available online. The results were clear, not inconclusive or in percentages! And taking a sample was simple; all we had to do swab the inside of his cheek twice with the handy kit they sent us, and send it back in.   We guessed for weeks what he was! 

Then the results came in - 

So how many breeds you ask?  
Four. Yep, just four.  
And what breeds are they?  

Well, see for yourself what breed traits stand out to you in this picture of Ranger 
before you read ahead!

"Barca Ranger Boris"

That tight tail and blocky nose?  Definitely sweet sweet Samoyed.  Those long legs and red fox color? Husky power for sure!  His webbed muffin feet and big brown eyes - ah, the swimmingly wonderful and emotional Labrador.  The black markings and pretty dots - A Dobie's perfect "makeup" for going out! Personality-wise, I can say with all honesty he has a Samoyed mellow guy demeanor, but when it comes to birds or bunnies, he's all Lab. Theres no runner in him at all, but his Husky voice can make you try not to laugh at how serious he is when he "talks".  And the loyalty. Oh my, hands down Doberman.  He tries so hard to please us. 

Did you figure out what breeds yet :D ?

It was revealed one parent was a Samoyed/Lab cross, the other parent was a Husky/Doberman cross. And his grandparents were most likely purebred.  He is a GREAT dog with a wonderful temperament - we absolutely adore him!

However, thats not just the only exciting news we have about Ranger!

Recently we were contacted,
given his baby pictures,
we learned about his "beginnings"!

Rangers baby photo thanks to OPP !

So, do you want to know the rest of his story?

Part 2 on Monday!