Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shepherd Hills Haven - How we came to be

Shepherd Hills Haven

How this all started.

Hello everyone.  For those who don't know and would like to know how our Shepherd Hills Haven came to be, that's what this post is about. 

When we first learned of this property where we are now living,  it was totally unexpected.  Totally, out of the blue unexpected.  Yet I knew right away it was an answered prayer.

Dennis and I had been homeless, living in the car and tent, with our four dogs, for a few years.  How we became homeless is a story in itself which I will be writing about later. 

Right now this is the story about how Shepherd Hills Haven came to be.  Dennis and I had driven to Florida to visit family for the 2014 Christmas Holiday.  We ended up bringing Dennis’ son, my grandson, Casey and his girlfriend Jasmine and their 6 month old blue pit named Marley back to Arizona with us.

All of us, our four dogs included, plus luggage, crammed into our 2002 Ford Expedition and headed to Arizona.  No place to call home, no idea where we are going to stay, we had a tent and were going to Quartzsite to sell at the shows, and then to the Tucson show in February.  This was the time of year to make a few grand and hopefully get a place to stay and get Casey started in his own business.

It’s a very long trip from Florida to Arizona and I did most the driving as I have a huge problem with motion sickness. 

It was the wee hours of the morning, 2am or 3am and I was exhausted.   Not only from this trip but from the past few years of being homeless.  I am not in good health and the pain and just weariness had me feeling a bit hopeless.  It was during the night, everyone else in the car was sleeping and I wondered how I was ever going to keep going like we were going. 

I said a prayer while driving, I asked God to please please PLEASE help us to get a place to stay with a lot of land and a fence for the dogs to be able to be off leashes and run and play.

Then I kept driving.  A day later we arrived in Arizona and decided to stop at a friends house and visit T and and his family.  T is our friend who Dennis does the Tucson show with and his family are just nice kind people.  

They put a mattress on their cozy living room floor, and not having a whole lot of space for themselves, they invited us all to stay for the night and rest up, get showers, etc. 

While Dennis went out to the car to get the dogs settled I was sitting on the couch just relaxing.  T was on the phone and it was impossible to not hear what he was saying.” 
I heard, “yeah, they are good people, I’ve known them for years and he wraps for me at the Tucson show.”
I knew then he was talking about us but didn’t know why or to whom he was talking.

When he got off the phone he said there was 5 acres down the road, fenced, where you can stay for just keeping an eye on the place.

My jaw dropped as I knew instantly that this was an answered prayer.  T’s wife is the one that apparently told T that C and P could probably use someone to watch their property.  (I am using initials as I have not yet received permission to use their names online.  But, I do want to say the owners we are purchasing this property from, C and P, are very kind people too.  

There were some things to work out before we moved onto the property so we went ahead to Quartzsite where we put up a huge tee pee tent in the dry camping area near where Dennis and Casey would be selling.

I was to stay in the tent and take care of the dogs.  It was a couple very rough weeks as I ended up being the only one staying in the tent with the dogs all day.  After the tent collapsing on top of me and our four dogs, we, me and the dogs, moved into the car.  I sold items and did shipping and website work and photography all from the car and the laundry at the camp ground.  They had wifi which really made things a little easier for me.

After Quartzsite we headed back to T’s and we went to our new place for the first time.  We were told there were dogs around that had basically been abandoned and the fellow who was supposed to be here taking care of things was going to come back and shoot all the dogs.

There were 6 of them and one we discovered later 0ne was pregnant and she had puppies a few months after we were here, on Mother’s Day.
We did not set out to build a dog rescue, but we were not going to let anyone kill the dogs.  They were all running wild in the desert.

Dennis and I had talked about how we would like to start a rescue one day.  
And it was obvious the dogs were not treated nicely by the person who was here.  They were all very skittish and would not let us touch them, they ran when approached.  So to us it seemed as if God just topped off the answer to my prayer with dogs that needed rescued.  I just wish He would have dropped a boat load of funds too in order to make it all work.  :)

The fence that is around the five acres is cattle bobbed wire fence and does nothing to contain dogs.

Good, kind Facebook friends jumped in and helped out by holding auctions, donating dog food and raising funds for us to get room a/c’s as the summer in AZ is very hot.

Oh yeah, almost forgot.  A couple days after we arrived and got settled in a little, I was at the point of gratitude for and answered prayer.  I was grateful I could lay down my head and sleep and not have to worry about getting up the next day, taking each dog out on a leash and back to the car and start another day not knowing where we would sleep at night.

And yet, in the back of my mind was the thought that this was not our place and that the owners were selling the property and that most likely we would have to leave again in the coming months.  So I prayed again.
I asked God that if there was anyway possible that we could buy this place, please let it happen.

Now I knew there was no way we could afford to put down a big down payment so I figured buying this place was out of the question,  however, I know that God answers prayers and that if this is where He wanted us to be He would make it happen.

About 3 hours after I prayed that prayer, C, the owner, called and said, “P would never agree to anything like this but he did, we will sell you the place for 3k down and $250 a month and total of 36k, ½ of the asking price of 65k.

We now have a lease to own.  Thanks to Dennis cold forge wrap he did a big order of wraps and came up with the down payment. 

Now, the dogs.  We love dogs.  We had 2 of our dogs when Dennis and I were homeless without a vehicle in California for a couple years. 

Then we helped a couple out and kept their dog while they went to Florida and she ended up having puppies and we found homes for 4 of them but ended up keeping 2, so we then had four. 

There are days that I get fearful of how we will ever manage to keep feeding all these dogs and vet care and the such.  But most days I know that we will be okay, that God will provide.  As long as we don’t give up.

We have come up with a couple ways to try to raise funds.  We are selling 2018 calendars featuring photo's by me, Kathleen Nash.  They come in 3 sizes and the photos are nice enough to frame after the month is finished.  You can see examples of the calendars and photos on our website,  

Dennis is still wrapping his beautiful cold forged wire wraps.  And he does custom orders.  If you have a special stone, rock, sharks tooth, and even coins laying around, his wrap makes a beautiful piece of wearable art.  You can find out about his custom ordering on our website.  

You can see what pieces we have at this time in our Facebook group, The Knotted Branch.  

I know this, I know of our own accord we do not bring in the funds necessary each month to make repairs on this place, feed the dogs and vet care and the such. 

Another friend suggested we make a wish list.

Which I will do here.  It's difficult to prioritize when there is so much that needs to be done but safety first.  We are in need of a good battery operated weed eater.  The weeds and grass grow fast this time of the year and we have rattle snakes.  We are also in need of ply wood sheets, pallets, dog kennels, fencing, t-posts, dog food, tools, blankets for the dogs, and funds for vet care. Also Doggy Beds.  

If you would like to donate direct to the Veterinarian we have an account set up with All Creatures.  You can give them a call at 520-586-3777 and tell them you wish to donate to the Shepherd Hills Haven fund.  You can also visit their Facebook page.  

Their yearly shots are due and still need to raise funds for neutering.   Two of our dogs, Gate and Jack are both old and having some issues.  We would love to be able to have all their dentals done, and that is very expensive.  $200 each just to walk in the door.  

Having to be in a position to depend on fund raisers and the kindness of others is not easy.  To those who have been so supportive of us and the dogs we thank you so very much.  

The single wide needs repairs as there are holes in the floor and roof.   We are turning that back room into a green house in order to be able to have fresh vegetable and to become a little more self sustaining.  We know dogs like sweet potatoes and other veggies and fruits so hoping to grow what is edible to both us and the dogs.  

Thank you again for all who help.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

We have puppies!

Hello everyone,

Wow, how times flies!  Little Girl had her puppies on Mother's Day and they are growing by leaps and bounds.  All are healthy and happy, and very cute and cuddly.

Thank you very much to those who have pitched in to help with dog food, bowls, and much more. I would name each one of you personally, after I get permission to do so.  You know who you are and Dennis and I and the pups are very grateful to you all.  Thank you for remembering me and Dennis as well as the desert dogs.  :)

As cute as the puppies are, in a few months we will be able to spay and neuter not only the pups, but mama dog and the other desert dogs too.

We have set up a fund to help with the costs of having all these desert dogs checked out and taken care of.  If you would like to help, you can call in a donation to  All Creatures Veterinary Clinic under my name, Kathleen Nash.

If you would like to donate towards dog food costs and items necessary for building supplies, fencing, etc, there is a donate button on our website.

And, if you would just like to follow along and view cool puppy and dog photos, that is great too!!  :)

Shyann, the real shy one, has still not let us touch her, however, this morning around 5am when I went out, she was right there waiting for food and did not display the fearful behavior as she normally does.   She didn't back up like normal when I came out to put the food down, so she is getting closer and more trusting as time goes on.

Happy Dog is still very happy to see me come outside, he jumps up and begs for attention from me.  I'll sit on the porch and he'll come sit next to me for head scratches.  He still is not trusting enough to come inside yet.  But soon.

Little Girl decided to go for a stroll with her boyfriend Shy Shepherd, who we are thinking is the papa of the pups, but not sure.  Scared us at first, because she has never wandered far from her pups since having them.  We were starting to wonder if we would have to get a bottle and start feeding fresh goats milk to the pups.  But, knowing how Shy Shepherd acts around her, lovin up on her and all, that the two of them were simply going for a stroll.  Little Girl came back and after receiving her head rubs and a talking to about wandering off, she went directly to her sleeping pups and made sure each one was okay.

For more photos of all the dogs, please visit our website.  Thank you for reading and following along.
Kathleen and Dennis

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Desert dogs update

Hello everyone,

Thanks for following along with us on our building up of a dog rescue.  And a big thank you to those who have helped with dog food.  It is expensive as we purchase good healthy dog food.  We have tried several brands.  If any of you dog loves out there know what is THE best kind to get, please let us know.   We have always bought high protein dog food for our dogs and they are healthy and have beautiful coats.

Little girl and Babe, both are living indoors and loving all the attention they need.  Also, thank you to all who gave name suggestions.  The real shy one is now named Shyann and although she is getting braver to come up and eat, she still won't let us touch her.

The little girl which we have been calling her Little Girl since we arrived here, comes to that name so we don't want to confuse her and will stick with Little Girl.

The same with Happy Dog, who comes when we call him, sometimes, yet he still isn't trusting enough to come inside.  When I go outside and go into the single wide, he greets me as soon as I come out and jumps and wiggles that butt.  I sit on the porch and today he let me hug him.  He is getting closer and closer to coming all the way inside.  I tried once, a week ago to get a leash around him and he was too quick for me.  And it has taken this week to gain his trust enough to let me hug and pet him.

The shy shepherd, which we still have not named yet, has come inside 2 days in a row now so that's a really good thing.

Friends are trying to round up some supplies for fencing and other repairs needed around here and hoping to rent a trailer to haul off some junk and trash around here.  We thought about renting a dumpster but that is very expensive.

Oh yes, Little Girl is pregnant.   Her belly is growing bigger every day and I can see the puppies moving in there  Will try to get a good pregnant pic later.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Desert dogs update.

Hello eveyone,

This morning as I went into the single wide to start a fire, I was thrilled to see Happy Dog and the shy Sheperd inside.  They are still very skiddish but I'm so happy they were trusting enough to come in and watch me make the fire.

Happy Dog seems to gravitate towards me and loves head rubs and belly rubs.  She is still very excitable, skiddish, but becoming more trusting all the time.

Shy Shepherd is also very skiddish, and scared it seems,  the way he holds his head down and ears back I have to wonder if he, along with the others, were not treated so good by the person who was suppose to be caring for them.  

Little Girl is very much comfortable being an inside dog.  She has gravitated towards Scooter and is enjoying hanging out with him and sleeping with him.  She also smiles :) 

Shyann  still has not let us touch her and was seen hanging out with Roxi and Homer, who I believe is the father of the younger ones.  Roxi and Homer belong to a friend and like hanging out at our place and theirs.  

One we are able to get proper fencing up, I believe Roxi and Homer  will stay home. Hopefully, the very shy one will keep coming back for food and get more comfortable around us.

Our four, Gate, Uno, Lefty and Jack, are getting used to them coming around.  We keep our four fenced off seperately as Uno and Lefty are just 2 years old and so full of energy that they will have to be friends through the fence for a while.  Jack, my little terrier mix, who is the alfa of our four, and the world he thinks, lol goes anywhere I go, and he doesn't bother the desert dogs.  Gate and Jack get along with almost all dogs.  

Thank you for following along.  :)  Please be sure to check out all the photos on the Shepherd Hills Haven website.  


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shepherd Hills Haven

Hello and thank you for reading our blog.

Some of you reading this know us already and know what Dennis and I are trying to create here at Shepherd Hills Haven, a safe place for the desert dogs to receive the love and care they need.

This came about as an answered prayer and as a complete surprise to us.  There are 6 dogs on this property we are now living on, who were abandoned.  It was obvious right away that they were not being taken care of.  Ribs showing on the smaller ones and very cautious of humans.

After a few weeks of feeding them 4 of them now come and let me pet them, 2 of them still very cautious and will come for a very quick pat on the head and two little ones who are super happy to get head scratches and belly rubs. 

We are hoping to raise the funds needed to purchase this property and create a doggie paradise, rescue, for the homeless desert dogs.

I’m creating this blog to keep everyone updated on the progress of what we are doing. 

We need to raise $3,000 by the middle of April for a down payment.

We will soon have special cold forged wraps for sale that a friend P. Casey Wilson donated for the cause.   All monies from the sales of the beautiful sea glass will go towards creating this safe haven.

For photos and more info, please visit our Shepherd Hills Haven page. 

Thanks for reading.