saving SIDNEY

saving Sidney, the Down Underdog  


Sidney's sad story

Sidney, the down under-dog was saved at the very last minute! Without us, he would be nothing more but a dead dog that noone would ever miss. This is his story and how we (all of us who helped) stepped in to make a difference - and DID!


Sidney is a nice pure bred Australian Cattle Dog (like KAYA), unaltered male, about 1 year old. He was found roaming the city streets, lost and injured (hurt paw) and he was picked up by Animal Control on 10/25. From then on, things didn't look up for the little guy. While at the Shelter, he came down with kennel cough (a respiratory infection) and now had a badly oozy nose, eyes and a bad cough :(. The overcrowded shelter figured he would never, in his condition be able to find a home and neither did they want to do what was really necessary to really save him and restore his health, so they put Sid on the DEATH LIST. 

Someone heard about it and posted a plea to save  his life on the internet and I happened to hear about it, so I decided to step in and do something gosh darn it!

So Sidney was on "death row" at the North Hollywood city shelter. North Hollywood is not a good neighborhood, so everyday, loads of pit bulls and misc strays come in. The shelter is FILLED to the top. And as more dogs come in, more room is needed and some of the less fortunate dogs just have to GO (one way or another) so it is death row for a lot of the underdogs... Like Sidney... They gave him until Tuesday night, extending his previous Monday kill date, because I came by and showed interest in him. I doubt they would have can kept him much longer though, cause he was real sick and not likely to get adopted by anyone :(.  So I pretty much knew I was his only chance of escaping the death chamber. 

Here are the photos I snapped of him  when I went to meet him. He looked soooo SAD and pitiful... Sidney didn't want to move around much. He just laid down and looked pathetic :). But he did let me pet his head and I could tell it made him happy cause he closed his tired little eyes... He has difficulty breathing so kept quiet and pretty motionless.

Sidney needed rest, meds and lots of TLC ! He needed a foster home ASAP, someone who could supervise his recovery. My vet said it would be about 2 to 3 weeks and that he should be fine by then and ready for adoption :).  Even though he looked tired,  I could see his potential: He could be a nice dog once he bounced back and could make a great, loyal companion.

Here I share the logs I kept of his story and how we all play our part to save his life. And this is as closest to an Angel I have ever felt...

photos of Sid as I found him at the shelter:

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"I no feel good"

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I could be handsome again

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please help me...


How it all came down:

11/06/05 - I went to to the shelter and had them show me Sidney. He seems a calm dog, but all in all looks completely withdrawned. He is sick and is not getting proper care. I think he is hanging in there by a thread, but I saw the vet try to give him a pill on a stick with some dog food around it and he did not want to eat it. I don't think he is eating and I don't think he is taking the meds that they are (maybe) giving him. Pulling him out is going to be a great challenge because he is contagious. I cannot take him home because Kaya, my own cattle dog is still vulnerable, since her shots have not yet been finalized. And I cannot risk bringing in a disease to her. What to do, what to do? A)- A LOT OF PRAYING and B)- a lot of phone calls

11/07/05 - Spent all day on the phone today calling everyone I could think of. I called all the local vets and dog boarding listed but none of them would take him because he is contagious :((((. I have been receiving some donations to help but the sheletrs and vets don't want the money - nor the dog :(. So money is not going to solve this problems. Meawhile it seems we have collected enough to at least cover the first vet visit and some meds for him... Our only hope I guess is to find someone who loves dogs but does not already have one, who could foster Sid for 2 to 3 weeks until I can find him a home. A hard task in deed, cause people who love dogs usually already have one or more. :/ Sid will need a good 2 weeks of quarantine before he will be safe to be around other dogs. I feel encouraged that a few people are trying to help actively by starting their own round of phone calls. So the word is out... I have only 2 more days to line something up for Sid or he will be put down. But by God I will find somewhere for him to go!

11/08/05 - Spent another full day calling around and rattling any and all cage that I could lay a hand on :). I am racing against the clock. Tracy, my doggie day care person cannot take Sid because he is contagious, but she has been talking to her friend Rick, a vet, in the hopes he might help us out and board him for the first two weeks. This will not be cheap, but may be our only hope... 

Later: No, Rick cannot take him for the first week, he will be out of town :(. RATS. I am brain storming to think of someone who can take Sid in for that week, then we would be out of the woodwork...

Still later: made a plea to my ex boyfriend Cole, who's dog Berlin just died last month. Maybe he can help. He said he will think about it. And let me know later today.... he is our only hope.

Much later that day: Nops, I got a message from Cole who said he really cannot take the dog because he is living in his RV at the moment and it would not be feasible... AGH.... All is lost?

11/09/05 - Almost out of time! I decided to be pushy (it's for a worthy cause) and went to talk to Cole in person. I made a very good plea in favor of Sid. I know Cole loves dogs, he really does and has a real soft spot for the little critters... I groveled and begged and said it was only for 1 week, then Rick, the vet could board him, please please pretty please... Finally Cole said OK.   YESSSSSSSSSSSSS ! It was like hearing the ring at the race track and out of the gates I came flying! All the pieces of the puzzles are now here. Money to cover vet bills and boarding, a fostering home for 1 week and a vet willing to take him for the other 2. The great thing is that I now have 3 people (not one, but THREE) willing to take Sid and give him a loving home as soon as he is safe to be around other dogs (not contagious anymore). So it is looking up fir the little lad. Now all we have to do is go to pick him up at 5PM after work. Cole agreed to meet me there and we have arranged for me to bring him the bare necessities for Sid (a bed, collar and leash, food, a food bowl, etc...). I cannot pick him up myself because KAYA spends so much time in my truck and the truck could carry the bacteria if Sid was to ride in it. 


11/10/05 - I was very upset yesterday when I went to bail out poor Sidney. I wanted to check up on him first, hoping to find that he had gotten better since Sunday (date of my last visit). Instead, I found a pitiful cattle dog, crowded with two other dogs in the small kennel cell, all curled up in a corner, barely able to breathe (panting and choking), with yellow puss coming out of his nose and one of his cell mates licking it off (YUK). Sidney looked like he was ready to drop dead. I was SO upset, I felt a big knot in my throat. Can't say I am a total basket case, I can be pretty tough, but the sight of Sidney like that just really got to me. I went and gave the vets a hard time, all 3 vet techs were just lounging around doing nothing GRRR... "Hey, how come my dog looks so much worse than he did on Sunday??? Why is the tick still on his eye lid? Is he eating? Does he have fever? Are you taking care of him?" (etc etc etc - I can be quite a pest when I want to). They kept saying he looked better, I kept saying he looked worse. Anywhoo, one of them went and grabbed Sidney by the scruff of the neck and pulled him out of the cage like he was a an old sack of potatoes. Sidney's tail went so far in between his legs as he was dragged out, he was sooo scared. He started hyperventilating and choking, I thought he was going to drop dead right there and then >8[...Now I was even more mad. I tried to keep my composure to not make enemies and to make sure I got all the help / info I needed. Had them take his temperature (good news: it was normal) etc... I kept thinking that if I had waited a few more days this dog would have been dead.... But just in time, we pulled him out of hell.

It was raining outside when Sidney, with his new collar, leash and name tag, took his first few steps as a free man. He followed us without hesitation (although walking very slowly because of his condition) and politely climbed up in the car. Mr.181 gave him some chicken treats and petted him and promptly drove off to take him to our vet for a check up. 

Now the bad news: Our vet thought Sidney was a lot sicker than the shelter had claimed  (I concur). Vet examined the dog, gave him much better antibiotics and sent him home for observation for the next 2 days. If condition does not get better we are to bring him back - as we fear he might have pneumonia :/ ... Sidney will need chest X-Rays ($140) if we are to figure out what is wrong with him & how bad it is. Know that the donations received so far are making all the difference in the world. If Sidney needs to be hospitalized though, we are going to be in deep doodoo because we don't have enough to cover that... But I'll worry about it when I cross that bridge. God will provide.  I'll let you guys know if we need more help when and if we do.  Meanwhile the rest and love he is now getting is sure to help his immune system fight off the infection better. I am hopeful, please pray for Sidney. Maybe he will pull through without the need for hospitalization...

I didn't sleep much last night, I was a ball of stress. Sidney, however, slept like a log (so I was told) and (good news!) ate like a pig. He slept solid all night waking up only once at 3AM (politely woke Cole up to ask him to take him outside so he could pee. The mate is a real gentleman). He is enjoying Mr.181's company and starting to open up and respond... Even licked his hand :). He is coming around slowly but beautifully. Now if only his health would follow !!!!

Please scroll down to read SID'S blog and see what happened next, as Cole picks up where I left at :).


SIDNEY's blog



5:00 pm

I was busted out of the pokey just in time by my new Guardian Angel Faith and taken straight to the vet by my foster parent Cole



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I can't believe I am out! This car is warm, dry and comfy! Beats the heck out of my jail cell !!

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snif snif, this smells good! chicken? Ooooh yummmmm... I must be in heaven?


6:00 pm

We arrived at the vet and I did not like the look of it but I figure it could not be any worse than where I had just come from so I reluctantly entered.


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6:30 pm

Had temperature taken (seemed more like an alien probing) and was then weighed. I was told that I needed to gain weight. I am only 39 pounds, no surprise considering I have not been able to really eat in the last 2 weeks. They removed the duct tape bandage from my paw and cleaned it.  They also removed the stitches and tried to fix the hack job they did to me when they first sewed up my paw. They gave me a really nice bandage with medical tape this time and put a nice plastic boot on it so it would not get wet in the rain. They listened to my lungs and gave me some really good antibiotics. The nice lady said that if I don’t feel better in 2 days she should x-ray my lungs and check for Pneumonia.


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my new bandage


7:30 pm

Arrived at my foster home and found a nice new bed waiting for me with my own blanket and squeak toy! I then looked over and there was a bowl of food with mixed kibble and canned food!! I ate all of it and let me tell you it has been a long time since I have had a full tummy.


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i think I can finish it

8:30 pm

Decided to take a short walk after dinner and look at my new surroundings. I smell lots of trees and critters in the bushes, much better than looking at concrete walls and dogs barking at me. It’s cold and raining so I went back inside and found a nice space heater near my bed. It’s keeping me warm and helping to dry out all the damp air in my lungs.


9:00 pm

I fell asleep and did not wake up for 7 hours.




I needed to potty so I had to wake up Cole and ask him to go outside. I thought he would be mad but he told me what a good boy I was for not going to the bathroom inside.  I quickly finished my potty and went right back inside again and I fell asleep.


7:00 am

Waking up to a horrible beeping noise, Cole look’s upset by the sound too and stops it. It looks like it is time for us to get up? Cole’s hair is a mess and he does not look very happy but he did look over and smile at me. We went outside for a walk and I can see all the trees and bushes now. It looks like I am somewhere in the foothills, lots of squirrels, birds and even a little creek. I went little potty again but have a bit of a cough and some mucus coming up so I went back inside to my warm bed and took my medicine. I ate a little food and sat by the door watching everything outside while Cole got ready for work.  He gave me water and a chew bone and went to work. He said he was coming back at lunch to check on me so I think I will just sleep until then……  


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squeaky toy? or food?


12:30 pm

Cole came home for lunch and took me for a walk. I am feeling much better today. The trees and hills make me feel right at home. We walked for 15 min and I stopped and finally had a BIG potty. I coughed 2 times and some icky stuff came up but I was mostly sneezing today. We went back and Cole made me some lunch and I finished the whole thing. I then got a big chew bone for finishing my lunch. Cole had to go back to work but I am too focused on devouring this bone. Thanks to everyone’s generosity I will spare his seat cushions...


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                    it's safe here :)                    heaven is a bone                




4:00 pm

Went out for a nice walk and got some fresh air. Cole has not been letting me stay out too long because of my cough and the cold air so this was really fun. I guess he thought I was being a good doggie because he took me with him to run some errands. I sat in the front seat this time riding shotgun.  Everything was going great until I felt a little something in my throat and gave a good cough, after that my view was obstructed until Cole stopped at the gas station and cleaned my window. He was making some pretty funny faces during the cleaning process.


5:00 pm

We went to the coin laundry to clean my blanket. Cole let me come inside with him because it was really warm in there with all the dryers running. My blanket looked worse in the light and I think we scared everyone in there because they all cleared a path for us as we walked in. While we waited we went over to the BBQ place and Cole got me a big beef rib (with no sauce) and he had chicken. I was a good boy and finished the rib and most of his chicken. Cole started calling me “Piglet” for some odd reason. Everyone else was trying to give me food too but Cole said no. What a butt head


7:00 pm

Got back home and my blanket is clean and warm. Cole gave me a nice meal and my medicine. We then kicked back and watched a movie and until we fell asleep.


1:30 am

Cole gets up and heads to the restroom, now is my chance. I gather up all my toys and chew bone and put them on the bed and lay in the nice warm spot he has left for me. If I keep my eyes shut maybe he won’t notice me when he comes back, then I hear

“Hey you get down from there”

If I keep my eyes closed he can’t see me right?

“Dundee Get Up”!!! 

Hey man I have been here this whole time, what’s your beef dude?


What was that!!! Damn, Cole grabbed my squeak toy and threw it…Gotta get the toy, gotta get the toy, got it!

Hey? I am on the floor again. That was a cheap shot Cole.


3:30 am

I need to go to the bathroom, Cole get up! I love our little 3:30 am walks.


7:00 am

Got up and went for another walk. It’s going to be about 70 and clear today so Cole said I could stay outside today and he will be back at lunch to see how I am doing. I think he has the guy across the way keeping an eye on me while he is gone so I better be on my best behavior. The ground is a little wet still so he brought a blanket out for me to lay on. The sun sure feels good on my back :o)


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sure feels nice to be out! 




10:00 am

Went for my first long walk today. There is a nice mountain trail near my home so I decided I would do a speed test…. ZOOOM! Cole looks like a little speck way off in the distance so I guess I still have it. Zero to out of here in 2.5 seconds! Not coughing that much anymore. Just a little in the morning but other than that feeling pretty darn good.

Found a lizard on the trail, tastes like chicken.

12:00 pm

What in the heck is that!!! Cole brought home this humongous black beast. I can’t believe how big this creature is. What’s this? What are you doing? Cole has me riding on the back of the leviathan. Pretty cool view from up here… 




1:00 pm

Playing ball! Really starting to feel like myself again. The ball must die!!!!

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6:00 pm

Hanging out with all the guys, Dan, Kelly, Mike and Cole. This is my first campfire! Cole put my bed close to the fire so I am really toasty warm. I am totally stretched out after eating my share of tri-tip steak. I tried to sneak a beer by knocking Cole’s over and licking it up but I got caught and he took it away. It was a Fosters beer so what did he expect from and Australian Cattle Dog? The upside is that the beer covered up my Lizard breath.


I must have fallen asleep because Cole picked me up and carried me in and put me to bed. I did so much today I think I could use another good night's sleep. 



7:30 am

Woke up and all the guys are still sleeping, what is a dog to do? Hey I have an idea, lets share my slobber covered squeak toy with Dan’s face. The resulting scream had the desired effect and everyone is awake now. 

10:00 am

Had breakfast and my medicine. Did not cough at all this morning. Cole took me for my morning walk and all was well.


Got back home from a Sunday drive and Cole threw my squeak toy on the bed so I jumped up and grabbed it BUT WAIT!!! What is this? Another DOG!!!! Who is this intruder!!!  I drop my toy and jump on the bathroom counter and knock everything out of my way.  I step on a tube of toothpaste and a jet of it shoots across the bathroom but I am not deterred. I confront the intruder and let loose a vicious growl, and he growls back at me!!! That’s it, time to strike so I make my move and BAM!!!! No effect? This dog seems to be protected by some kind of force field? Cole runs over and grabs me and the dog runs away. I am sure Cole must have been proud of me to take on such a vicious beast and did you see the teeth on that guy?  Cole seems a little irritated about the mess and is mumbling something about me being a silly dog and almost breaking something called a mirror?

8:00 pm

Cole let me lay on the bed and rubbed my tummy until I fell asleep.  





I went for my early morning walk with Cole and we had a bunch of fun. There are rabbits everywhere so I got to chase them for the better part of my walk. Cole just sat there drinking coffee and worked on his laptop. We came back and had breakfast. Cole was running a little late but he still took time to play ball with me before he left for work.


4:30 pm

Cole is home!!! Cole is home!!! Let’s go walk!!! Let’s go walk!!!! See how high I can jump!!! Can you see? Can you see? “ I wonder if there are any rabbits up there still? Nothing in this bush, moving along… Hey who is that coming down the trail? He looks like a nice dog but where is his owner? Well it looks like he is coming over to say hello.

SID - Hi I am Sid who are….

DOG - Growl, Gerrrr,

SID - Hey Dude lighten up…


SID - Ouch, hey man let go what are you doing? Don’t be hating, why are you attacking me?


SID - Ok that’s it dude, you want a piece of me CHOMP,CHOMP,CHOMP


Narrator:  At this point Cole gets them separated and at this moment the lose attack dog bites Cole on the hand and then the inner thigh)


SID - Hey dad, are you ok? What’s up with Mr. Agro dog over there? NO ONE BITES MY DAD!!!! OK buddy, you just opened up a can of Cattle dog whoop ass!!!!  CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP!!!


Narrator: Sid leaps onto the back of the crazed lose dog and digs his teeth in, Cole is hurt pretty badly and is not able to intervene right away.  A few moments later the owner of the loose dog comes up and tries to help Cole separate the dogs but Sid will not let go.


SID - Hey dad, he tasted like chicken too!


Narrator: Cole grabs his water bottle and shoots a jet of water up Sid’s nose and he lets go. Sid looks like he just finished a ride at Disneyland and is all smiles.


SID -  Did you see that move I put on him! Picked that one up watching Wrestle Mania 20. I call it the Cattle Dog full Nelson. Did you see my old school moves??!


Narrator: Cole tears into the owner of the Shepard/Husky mix that attacked him and Sid. The owner tries to deny culpability and says his dog has never done that before.  What happens next is not suitable for print on a family rated website.


SID - Hey Cole that was the most excitement I have had in a long time, can we do it again?  What are you doing to me? Come on dad I don’t have any serious injuries.


Narrator:  Cole checks Sid from head to toe and is amazed that he is actually fine. The other dog is lead away with a new found respect for a breed called “Australian cattle dog”. Evil dog had a current rabies tag so Cole should not end up foaming at the mouth (not from rabies anyways)


SID - Hey dad can we go for a walk! Look how high I can jump!!!! Are you watching?? Cole? You don’t look so good. Let’s go back and you can have some of my medicine and we will check you out but just a word of caution DON’T LET THEM TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE.


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"I see skies of blue and clouds of white" 


Got up early with Cole and went for a long walk this morning. I can't figure out why today seems so different but it just is. Cole has been acting funny all morning and seems distracted. I chased after my usual bush creatures and we went back home and right into the truck. I guess we are going for a drive?

Cole let me out of the truck and we walked a little and waited. After a while this other black truck came in and there is another cattle dog in it…AND IT’S A FEMALE!!!!! Well, hello sweet thing, my name is Sid. You might want to remember that name because you will be barking it out later… Woof!

Well, she did not seem very amused by that but I think she digs me. Hey, what's not to dig? I am tall dark and furry right?

I decided to take her for a little walk and we went over to the swings and slides and hung around there for a while, we then decided to go King Kong and climbed a tree together. I come to find out her name is Kaya and she is adopted too. She is pretty cool, not one of those high maintenance dogs you hear so much about. We went for a run thru the hills and climbed a few rocks together. She sure does like to play!


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rock climbing with Kaya

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hiking in box canyon

my best kangaroo move!



I decided to show her my Kangaroo move on this ball Cole threw. I can tell by the look on her face that she is impressed! We spent the next hour trying to herd each other because that's what Cattle Dogs do! We like each other a lot so I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

I glanced over at Cole and I could see that he has something on his mind so we packed it in and went home. When we got home Cole went inside and came out with this cool old leather collar that has Native American style silver animals on it. He sat there staring at it for a while and then he took off an old tag that was on the collar and put my tag on it. He then put the collar on me as he was telling a story about how this collar belonged to his best friend Berlin who got sick and died 3 months ago after staying by his side for 12 years. He went on to say that now I was his best friend and I would never have to worry about being cold, sick or hungry ever again. He said that I have a home with him forever and he will take care of me. I could see that he was clutching that old rusty dog tag in his hand and he gently put it in pocket. He then said “You have a home Sid.”

I can't believe I am finally home and I owe it to all of you......


“And I think to myself what a wonderful world”


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Sid and his new Dad Cole



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Kaya and Sidney

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a GREAT frisbee dog!

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thank you for saving my life



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Here are some of the people who have helped SIDNEY: 


C. Galbraith (thanks for fostering Dundee)  Jennifer Pavlovic  
Tracy (wag the dog) Melisa Bailey    
Bazza Deborah English
Melisa Bailey Denise Stevens
Jim Jordan John McElroy, Laurey
Cheyenne Mcaffe Richard Hubbell 
Barbara Nord Sarah Piascik 
Nicole Brannon Valerie Allridge
Ivy Villegas Sword of the Spirit Prayer Ministries, Inc. 
Polina Sannino Barbara Hammond
Laurie Harsh Lynnette Sturgis
Eileen Lankow Jennifer Jones 
Carol Gailey Alicia McQueen
anthony caristo Jennifer Jones
Parkway Manufacturing Co. Inc Kristy Renfrow (also, thanks for offering to give Sidney a home)
Sandra Schreiber Kristina Krickbaum
Elisabeth Glassell Jill (thanks for all the phones calls you made!)
Bridgit (thanks for offering to give Sidney a home)

and many more... I hope I have not forgotten anyone, but if I have, please forgive me and know that we are grateful and that without your help this rescue would not have been possible 

Sidney, happy and healthy as he is today.