Please consider making a donation toward the care of the TIRR Rescue dogs.
REMEMBER, EVERY PENNY MAKES
While their past may be written, each dog has a limitless future ahead.
Around twenty years ago, an email, a phone call, a volunteer on a long drive to South Texas with afternoon temperatures approaching 105 degrees, the place was barren and squalid with open wire pens and 55 gallon drums providing meager shelter. Buried in the back of one of the barrels, a skeleton of a dog, barely alive. But, in those eyes, a still burning flame! It was that inextinguishable flame that stoked the fire that forged the foundation of TIRR Rescue a few short years later.
Located in Paradise, Texas Independent Rhodesian Ridgeback (TIRR) Rescue, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and rehabilitation of abandoned, neglected, abused, mistreated, nervous, and misunderstood dogs. Why Independent? Roy would rather refuse money than a dog in need. Many rescues carefully pick and choose the dogs that will come into their program. If the dogs are not obviously adoptable, they are left behind. Dogs with fear issues, anxiety, cosmetic challenges, injuries, or even dogs who are simply too old for many rescues to consider will find a home at TIRR Rescue. Roy’s goal is to find a home for each and every dog, accepting the reality that every dog that enters the Rescue Ranch may be there for the rest of its life. This is particularly true for the elderly, those that have been traumatized, and those with behavioral issues. Consequently, great emphasis is placed on the quality of that life. Under Roy’s direction, TIRR Rescue is not only an organization for finding homes for unwanted Rhodesian Ridgebacks, mixes, and other large breeds, it is a sanctuary inspired by the tenacity of the Ridgeback breed. For these special dogs, Roy applies that same tenacity observed in that Rhodesian Ridgeback year-round, 24 hours per day, to provide a safe and comfortable environment for these dogs who would otherwise have little or no chance of adoption.
Glimpsing back again around twenty years ago, a long night wondering if the boy would survive the night and based upon past experience, doubting. Looking into those eyes, the undeniable character bred into the dog to never give up, never surrender the prey, and a strong heart beat that never wavered.
Since inception, Roy’s day begins at 4:00 AM. There is a saying that the rescue dogs at TIRR Rescue wake up the roosters in our part of Wise County. The morning feeding and chores take approximately 3-4 hours and is comprised of feeding, dispensing medication (as required), washing and refilling the bowls for the daily meals, getting every dog out to an exercise pen for the entire day or part of the day (depending upon the weather), poop detail, and finally, doing whatever laundry is needed. Two major chores include bathing the dogs as needed and cleaning the kennel and the wooded, shady exercise pens. Then there are the vet trips and nail/ear care on an as needed basis. Every dog is crate trained and/or housebroken so while accidents are rare, bedding laundry is a major, ongoing task. In addition to these tasks, there are functions to coordinate and attend, applicant screening calls, home visits, inquiries by email and phone, coordination of physical transports either locally or in-state to get dogs where they can be safely cared for at the shelter or to forever homes. Evening chores are similar to the morning except for bedding them by 9pm. Within this day, is the long-term care and rehabilitation of large dogs with special needs.
Returning back around twenty years ago, waiting at the vet’s door at sunrise. The vet, a man of many years’ experience was shocked and a muffled curse could just be heard. The comment, “not the worst I’ve seen, but in the top five.” Two days of intensive care later, emerged Colby. The name Colby taken from the show, Survivor. Though his steps were shaky, fire and determination was evident. This dog would survive!
Rescued dogs can have strong personalities and difficult pasts. Roy strongly believes that while their past may be written, each dog has a limitless future ahead. Roy’s primary objective is to provide these rescued dogs with every advantage to succeed in future forever homes. Until that day, Roy works long hours through advancing arthritis and the effects of aging, to provide all with the physical and emotional rehabilitation needed in a safe and comfortable environment. Through Roy’s personal effort and leadership, the kennel building has all the comforts of home including living quarters for the humans and heat and air conditioning in the kennel. Roy’s long years of dedication allow him to organize dogs into social groups where they are allowed routine play and supervision to balance behavioral issues and learn each dog’s specific temperament and needs. Through Roy’s experience achieved through many years at extensive dog-to-family evaluation and education, adoptive families are well equipped to provide for the needs of their specific new family member. Many times, Roy personally delivers the dogs to their new, forever homes and provides pet counseling to the new owners. To insure success, Roy answers the phone around the clock to provide free long-term counseling support for our adoptive families to ensure their success.
We find ourselves again, around twenty years ago, weeks passed with slow recovery. The decision was made to take Colby to one of the adoption events. There are very special people that visit adoption events looking for a dog truly in need. Today, one such couple arrived. Due to Colby’s past, there was a wariness of humans, and Colby would remain in the back of his crate. Seeing Colby, the lady asked and opened his crate, crawling inside and remaining with until he fell asleep in her lap. An hour later, and she woke him to leave the crate his tail wagging for the first time. Papers were signed, references checked, and home visit completed. Colby had a home. Investigation into Colby’s past revealed a pedigree directly from South Africa and not one name listed without prefixed with “CH”, denoting Champion, a Who’s Who of Ridgeback aristocracy. Honoring his heritage, Colby was given the name Themba Obasi and left with his new forever family and new-found pack.
Currently, TIRR Rescue cares for over 50 large breed dogs, with over half of our dogs considered seniors. Roy’s goal is to provide these special dogs and seniors with the best quality of care available that includes annual wellness and dental exams, vaccinations or titer testing, mass removals, medications and supplements. This dedication to each dog’s wellness has helped in our success rate with senior adoptions. TIRR has rescued over a thousand dogs through the years. Roy still remembers them all, but with passing age and so many, a reminder is sometimes required. Our dogs become part of our family until they find their forever home. Once part of our family, we commit to them for life.
One wonders why a man would devote his life to such an effort. To answer that, return again to around twenty years ago and another Saturday adoption event. The doors open and the background noise quiets. One could feel a presence radiating a calm confident authority. Turning around, a couple in the doorway and a pack of six dogs. Standing head and shoulders above the pack, framed in the doorway light, a vision of magnificence. It was Themba Obasi! As he surveyed the room, Themba finds Roy and their eyes met. A head tilt and nod of recognition, and Themba led his pack to Roy, calm, confident, and proud. The crowd pressed to admire this noble dog and asked “What kind of dog is this?” The answer, “That sir, is a Ridgeback!” The fire burned bright again. And through Roy, is passed on to others to continue to burn brightly.