Saturday, March 13, 2010

DARE to help Dachshunds

Kathy Zimmerman is an artist and animal advocate. I caught up with here recently to find out about her work with Dachshund Adoption, Rescue, and Education (DARE):

HTB: Kathy, how did you get involved with Dachshund rescue?

KZ: We had to have our 18-year-old Doxie, Smedlie, put to sleep. It was the hardest thing in my life to do, I wouldn’t let my husband go with me because I was afraid he would try and talk me out of it. She was having multiple organ failure and it was so hard to see her like that. Anyway, I went two long weeks before I thought about getting another dog. Just so happens Gulfport Rescue was having it’s rescue event, but my husband and I were out of town delivering furniture (my business is Snook Z Graphics, and I specialize in handpainted glassware, bisque, and furniture).

My girlfriend, Donna, and her husband, Gary, went to the event, so I asked her to be on the lookout for another Doxie. My husband is allergic to some dogs (takes allergy shots), but Doxies and Poodles are easier to tolerate. They saw Zoe (“Tia” at the time), shivering and in the arms of Kurt Smith, husband of Sharon Smith (the secretary now president of DARE). Donna texted me a picture, and of course, I immediately said, “That’s not a Doxie!” (Zoe is a Doxie/Chihuahua mix). I took the info and went on the DARE website Sunday night. I filled out the application, put down my references, and waited.

On Wednesday I met Sharon at the vet with three dogs. She handed me Tia’s leash and when that funny little dog looked up at me, I just knew she was the one! (Also knew we HAD to have a name change, so Zoe was it.) Sharon followed me home, did the house inspection, and the rest is history. That was three years ago this February. That night, I had a fancy dog bed for Zoe next to ours. We were ready to turn out the lights, but she whimpered and wanted to sleep with us. So she did that night and has every night since.

HTB: What have been the most rewarding things about being involved with rescue?

KZ: How much love and appreciation these dogs have for their “new families”! It’s truly unconditional.

HTB: What would you recommend to other people who might want to rescue a dog?

KZ: Go to the rescues! Those puppies need another chance, they have so much to give. Just like I knew when I met Zoe and knew she was the “one,” you’ll know when you find that perfect match.

HTB: I understand you illustrated the DARE cookbook. Tell us about that project and where people could pick up a cookbook if they'd like one.

KZ: I offered my services and was honored to illustrate their cookbook. Go to for info. Great recipes, great price and all for a great cause! I also illustrated their “Doxapalooza” poster art and tshirts. It’s a cause I believe in.

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