Your Caregiver : Lori
Lori Ritchey, 25 years trainer/breeder/ handler, certified in canine CPR & first aid, registered therapy dog handler, experienced with shy/fearful dogs. Lori has loved and owned dogs all of her life. She has been active in dog breeding, dog shows, canine competitions, canine sports and events , animal rescue and charities.
Lori and Pinch volunteer at Family Hospice in Mt Lebanon
Your Hostess : Pinch
In the Spring of 2013 Pinch arrived at Animal Friends Westmoreland, along with 3 other pups, stuffed into a tiny crate in filthy conditions. She was about a year old, under 4 lbs, and scared.
My good friend, Paula Shimko, with Paula’s Dog Services, sent me her picture and said “Lori, this is your dog.” Something about this little scraggly girl really tugged at my heart. There were 12 applications from potential adoptees. The ad for this little girl said that the adoptee must have experience with shy dogs. The years of experience I have training all types/temperaments of dogs put me in the short list of 3 according to the staff at Animal Friends. They further said that one of the other 2 had put their application in before me and would have first chance to meet and adopt her. I was heartbroken as I had felt this “meant to be” feeling every time I looked at her photo and read her short, sad bio. I tucked her photo and information in a drawer and tried to forget. 48 hours later I received the call that put this little dog in my arms and in my life after all. The first family chose not to adopt her. She was meant for me.
I brought Pinch home the next day. She had suffered a broken leg and a pin had been surgically placed in her leg to hold the bone together until it could heal. 8 weeks later the pin was removed and Pinch was back on 4 legs. But it was only temporary. Within a month the leg broke again with just normal puppy running and jumping. Apparently it had never healed properly and the next option was plate the leg or she would lose the leg. So another surgery and another 8 weeks of cast time for this scared, malnourished broken little soul.
Over the past two years since I adopted her I have had the privilege of watching this sweet little angel transform from an extremely frightened, untrusting, malnourished, mistreated little dog with a broken leg and a broken spirit into what she is today. The leg is completely healed and the plate in the leg allows her to run and play normally. She has doubled her weight from 4 lbs to 8 lbs. She is now a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dog International (TDI) and spends time at Family Hospice in Mt. Lebanon giving comfort to end of life patients and is competing in canine obedience competitions.
Pinch has a sweet nature and seems to really “welcome” our boarders. She instinctively adapts to them, allowing them to set the “limits”. She knows when to romp and play – you should see her with a Jack Russell! She also amazingly “repects” other dogs who may wish to be more “private” but she is always ready for a cuddle pile if the dogs wish that.
I am so proud of her strength and courage. All my friends comment as to how lucky Pinch is to have found me and been given this wonderful and permanent home. But I’m just going to quote the famous bumper sticker saying “Who Rescued Who”