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Happy Tail - The Starvin' Marvins

When the woman called, she said she could no long afford to feed the 'Beagles,' and Peg Schaeffer agreed to take them. They weren't Beagles and they were half starved. But they, and another set one year later from the same address were taken in, and worked their way into Peg's & Keith's hearts. They are permanent fixtures at Sugarfoot, not available for adoption. This is their heart warming story, with two delightful photos one, a real entertainer.
Next previous Peg Schaeffer story: Happy Tail - Mona and Tag

By Peg Schaeffer

In July of 2008 a woman called me asking if I could take in a litter of puppies. She lived in Russell Springs and could no longer afford to feed them. When I asked what breed they were she told me they were Beagles. I have a soft spot for Beagles so I agreed to take them. At the time a friend of mine was in Russell Springs so we made arrangements for him to pick them up. He brought me eight of the skinniest puppies I had ever seen. They were just mere skeletons with skin covering their bones.

They weren't Beagles

First of all these were not Beagle puppies. Two were solid brown and the rest were black and tan. They were probably Beagle/Coonhound mixes. It was obvious that this was two litters of puppies. The two brown puppies were older and bigger than the six black and tan puppies. I put food down for them and they gobbled down three pans of feed before they were full. I sent an email to friends and asked for donations. This was my first experience asking for help and I was amazed at the outpouring of contributions. I got puppy chow, wormer, toys and blankets.

Once they were wormed their bloated bellies reduced and their ribs started filling in. And then their personalities started developing. I named the two brown pups Sienna and Superman.

Sienna is a sweetheart

Sienna is a sweetheart. She is so fat that when I took her to the vet's a while back he laughed at what a fatso she is. She will lay in the living room and gets right in your path. She rolls onto her back with her fat belly in the air, looks up at you and thumps her tail. You can't help but to give her a belly rub. Every time you pass her you have to stop and pat her, you can't just walk on by.

When we first got the puppies they were on the deck playing. I was down below working in the yard. Our deck is fenced in so there won't be any accidents of dogs falling off. One of the puppies spotted me and decided to join me. I looked up too late to see him climb onto the railing. Before I could yell he leaped off the deck on landed with a thud and an "oomph". I ran over to him expecting every bone in his body to be broken. He was stunned for a minute, got up, shook himself and walked off. So he became "Superman".

Black & Tans named: Spiderwoman, Scrappy, Sammy, and Sinatra

The black and tan pups were named: Spiderwoman (since we had a Superman), Scrappy, Sammy and Sinatra (two members of the Rat Pack), Smiley (he always looked like he was smiling) and Scruffy. Scruffy had a bristled face and was the first to be adopted. For some reason the rest were always overlooked.

Then in November I got a phone call from the same number. This time it was a man. He asked if I could take in some puppies. I questioned the fact that he was calling from the same phone number as the woman who had called me in July with the eight starved puppies. He told me that they had broken up but he needed to place five puppies from the same mother. He brought them to me that night.

These puppies, from same number, also starved

These puppies were also starved. There were two males and three females. I named the males Hotch and Morgan (after Criminal Minds) and the females were named Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica (from Friends one of my all-time favorite shows.) Not too long after he left the puppies one of the females started convulsing. A few minutes later the second one started and then the third. It was the night before Thanksgiving and I called my vet in a panic. He told me to put them in an empty bath tub and give them sugar water. In a short time their tremors stopped. They were exhausted and slept in the tub the remainder of the night.

Smiley adopted, but it was feared he would bite child

Someone in Ohio had seen a photo of Smiley and called to adopt him. She said she'd had a dog that looked just like him when she was a child and had to have him. Keith was transporting some horses not far from where she lived so he took Smiley and met her. She only had him for a short time and called me to say she couldn't keep him. She had a toddler and Smiley kept growling at him. She was afraid he would bite him. One thing I will not do is encourage someone to keep a dog they think will bite. There are too many good dogs out there and there is no excuse to risk a person, especially a child, being bitten. So Smiley came home.

Rachel was the first to be adopted from the second group. She was very petite and a sweetheart. We had the dogs for a while before someone called who wanted to look at Monica. Even though we had had her for 8 months they hit it off and Monica was adopted. She's doing great.

Rest are still with us

The rest of them are still with us. They have been here for over 6 years so it doesn't look like they will ever be adopted. But that's OK. They're all good dogs, even Smiley. He just wasn't used to small children. Scrappy is the biggest of the black and tan pups. He looks like a Rottweiler. Sammy is mostly black with a little brown on his face. Sinatra has more brown on his face, and Smiley is more brown than black. Smiley loves to sit in straight chairs and is the most photogenic. Spiderwoman stays mostly in my bedroom. She is black with ticking.

The other three pups from the second group are Phoebe, Hotch and Morgan. Phoebe is a kind little girl who minds her own business. She's always happy for attention and loves to be scratched. Hotch is brown a looks a lot like a Corgi. He is a troublemaker. He will sit in a crate and wait for another dog to walk by and then jump out and bite them. I'll yell at him and he gives me a big grin "I'm bad" and goes back to his crate. If anyone comes to the house he goes into a crate and knows he'll be locked in until they go. I don't even have to tell him anymore. He marches in on his own and waits for me to lock the door.

Morgan is jet black and he lives on the front porch. This is his choosing. We had an igloo doghouse for him but someone donated two doghouses to us that we put on the front porch instead. One of them is a whelping box and he has plenty of room. He's a hoarder. He will steal the other dogs' toys and hide them in it. He even comes into the house and takes blankets out of the dogs' crates and takes them into his doghouse. Sometimes you will see him on the porch shaking the blankets as if to freshen them up. I find all kinds of treasures in there and once even found an intact lightbulb. I guess he was trying to brighten the place up.

The Starvin Marvins are permanent members of Sugarfoot Farm.

So the Starvin' Marvins' are permanent members of Sugarfoot Farm. After this much time it wouldn't be fair to adopt them out. That would make us like the people who bring us the family dog because they're moving or having a baby. And most people wouldn't tolerate some of their quirks. But then how many of us are perfect? When you love someone you can overlook certain flaws. And if it's someone who worships the ground you walk on and looks up to you as the most perfect person in the world - how can you kick them to the curb? I know I can't.

There are lots of dogs here that are looking for a home and although none of them are perfect, parts of them are excellent. And they all have one thing in common - they're looking for someone to love unconditionally.

A very old quote, pre-1936, from W. Dayton Wedgefarth:
I talk to him when I'm lonesome and I'm sure he understands.
When he looks at me so attentively and gently licks my hands;
Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat.
For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.
- Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2014-12-14 07:07:01
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Happy Tales: Smiley on the deck

2014-12-14 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
The first photo is of Smiley on the deck. Smiley is from the first set of Starvin' Marvins. He's a part of the hearts of Peg & Keith, and is now destined for a lifetime residency at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue.

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Happy Tale: Smiley, watching Tv

2014-12-14 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Smiley at the computer. And the funny thing is that Kelsey is on the screen saver. You can see how he got the name "Smiley". - PEG SCHAEFFER

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