Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. -- Anonymous

Hi, I'm Bliss, a 6-month-old Blue Merle (Lethal White) Australian Shepherd (deaf) and this is my extraordinary story!


I'm not sure how life started out for me, but I'll tell you what I know.  It all started on November 18, 2002 when a really nice lady named Melissa called Aussielads Aussie Rescue to ask if they could help me.  Melissa found me at Orem City Animal Shelter (a kill shelter) in Utah and my time was up!  Unfortunately, Aussielads had no room (they just took in 2 lethals from Modesto, CA) and Melissa already committed to taking in several Aussies-in-need.  Things did not look good for me.  This should be the end of my story, but thanks to many "angels" ...it's just the beginning!!!

Cyndi & Dave of Aussielads could not just let me die, so they went to work on finding a solution.  Cyndi contacted her friend, Kathy Munie of SNAP (Special Needs Aussie Placement) in St. Louis, MO.  This small group of dedicated people take in Lethal Whites, provide Vet care, lots of love and some basic training (hand signals/touch) to help them find new, loving homes.  Kathy agreed to take me in, but the questions was "How do I get there?"  The next call went out to Marilyn of Paws of Love (she generously donates her time, plane and piloting skills to help dogs in need).  Marilyn agreed that I should be saved and went to work on flight plans to get me to St. Louis.

Melissa immediately took action on her end.  She got me out of the kill shelter, took me home and made arrangements for me to be spayed and vaccinated.  On November 21, 2002, I got everything I needed to be able to go to safety.  Things were definitely looking up!

Marilyn has a small plane and weather is a big factor when making these plans.  She called her co-pilot Dave and things began to happen.  The original plan was to pick me up in Utah and get me to St. Louis...quite a feat with a small plane.  With Marilyn, safety comes first, so the plan was to pick me up in Utah and bring me back to Phoenix, AZ to Aussielads Aussie Rescue for a short stay.

All arrangements were made and on Sunday, November 24th, Melissa and Kurtis got me to the Provo Airport on time.  I had a comfy crate right behind Marilyn and Dave and I was about to take my first flight, boy was I excited.  We landed some time later at Deer Valley Airport in Arizona, met by Cyndi & Lorraine of Aussielads.  Lorraine agreed to foster me until I was ready to fly again and that meant I got to play with Sage & Sedona (Lethal Whites) for a few days.

Nothing ever goes as planned and when I got to Lorraine & Dave's, it was evident that during my stay at the shelter, I'd been infected with kennel cough...and a pretty bad case at that.  By Monday morning I was at Cyndi's Vet (Best Friends Animal Hospital) where I got to meet Dr. Stickland.  I got all sorts of things, a Parvo test (negative), fluids (I was dehydrated), antibiotic injection and pills, a great exam, blood tests and some new food.  Since I was leaving on 11/30 for my continued journey, I had to go back to see Dr. Stickland on 11/29.  That visit confirmed that I was not well enough to travel, so I would be staying a little longer.  All flight plans were cancelled!

I went to stay with Dave & Cyndi for a few days and got to meet the "aussielads"...that was fun.  Lorraine had to take care of the California Boys (they had to be neutered) and everyone was afraid they would catch kennel cough from me.  By the way, before the boys came back, their Mom & Dad got them Bordatella to help keep them safe.  The only problem now was where would I go on Tuesday when Cyndi & Dave had to go back to work?  They couldn't leave me alone for 11 hours, so boarding me at their Vets seemed to be the only solution.  Nobody liked that idea (especially me) because they didn't want to put me back in a kennel, even though this one would have been much different.  Enter Lorraine, who once again "saves the day."  Since I was doing so much better, Cyndi called Carol & Dean (CA Boys' Mom & Dad) and asked how they felt about me hanging out with the boys for awhile.  My kennel cough was past the infectious stage and the boys were protected, so they all agreed that I could go back home with Lorraine.

On Wednesday, December 4th I got to see Dr. Stickland again.  This time, she agreed I was in great health and I was issued my very own Health Certificate indicating I was ready to continue my journey.

Marilyn was notified and flight plans were being made.  The next part of my journey would take me to Lawrence, KS where I would be met by Kathy Johnson for an overnight visit.  From there, Kathy Johnson would be driving me to meet Kathy Munie of SNAP in St. Louis.  I was really getting excited now! 

12/7/02 Very early (5 a.m.) on Saturday co-pilot Dave picked me up at Lorraine & Dave's.  I already had my breakfast (you need to eat at least an hour before you fly) and Lorraine had packed me a bag.  I had all kind of things...toys, pills, food and biscuits.

We took off from Deer Valley Airport around 6 a.m.  I had a great big kennel and a nice warm blanket and toys to chew on.  The weather wasn't real great and we had to go up to 13,000 feet...that was cool!  Marilyn called Kathy J went we landed in Liberal, KS to refuel (and potty)...we'd be in Lawrence soon!  The next call to Kathy came from Dodge City, KS (about 70 miles north of our last stop), the weather turned against us...we would be grounded for the night.

I got to sleep in bed with Marilyn at the hotel, but not before I was able to run through the adjoining rooms (Dave's) and chase a tennis ball.  I think they were trying to tire me out so I would sleep good, but I have lots and lots of energy.  It felt really good to run again after sleeping for the entire flight.

12/8/02 The plans are to leave this morning for Lawrence and meet Kathy Johnson.  By the way, I'll be staying with her for a week and will head up to St. Louis next weekend.  Don't worry about me, I'll have 3 more doggies to meet and play with.

Ah, the story continues...it seems as though the weather refuses to cooperate, so the plane is grounded.  Of course, that won't stop Marilyn and Dave from getting me to my destination!  They rented a car and put a call into Kathy Johnson to let her know they would be driving me there.  Kathy's son, Tony offered to meet them halfway (it's a 3 1/2 hour ride for each of them).  I'll be riding in a rented car to Wichita, KS Airport where Tony will transport me to my next stop.

Where did all these wonderful ANGELS come from?

I just arrived in Lawrence, KS and right now I'm busy meeting Satch, Ellie and Sarah (Kathy's dogs).  So stayed tuned...

12/14/02 It's been nearly a week since I arrived at Kathy's here in Lawrence, KS and I can tell you, I've been having the time of my life.  Not only do I get to play with Sarah (she's really the only one that can "keep up" with me) but I have spent much time on Chuck's (Kathy's hubby) lap getting lots of loving!!!  I'll be heading out to St. Louis, MO tomorrow morning and once I get there, my "journey" will end...but not my story.

12/17/02 Bliss finally made it to St. Louis!  She arrived on Sunday afternoon and has adjusted to her new location just fine.  As always, she is busy playing and enjoying meeting new people and other dogs.

Bliss spent a week with Jim and Kathy before going to her new foster home.  She has already learned hand signals for sit, stay and come and can catch a tennis ball like a pro.

  ADOPTED!!!  01/01/03 Bliss went to her forever home today.  Be sure to check her update.

03/26/03 Bliss Update

Just wanted to send some updated pictures of Bliss, now named Lizzie. We changed her name to Lizzie because the day we brought her home, 1/1/03, there was a Lizzie McGuire marathon on the Disney Channel, and if you have kids, you definitely know that Lizzie McGuire is THE hot show these days!!
Lizzie is the biggest lover you have ever met. She just loves to be petted. In the middle of the night, she will nudge your face and hands just to be petted. If you could pet her 24/7, that wouldn't be enough for her!! She is content to lay on me feet while I'm searching the internet, yet she will also be the first to start up play time. She loves her canine brothers dearly. She also loves her two cats, too. The boy cat is her play friend and the girl cat is her true comrade in a house full of male animals. They have an "understanding" with each other and get along extremely well. Her human brother and sister spoil her rotten. There is always a fight to decide who gets to help train her with the hand signals (which she is catching on to extremely quickly!!) She loves her Biljac treats and will drop into sit position anytime anyone goes near the frig!! She's a real ham!!
Also wanted to thank you for all the work you do for these dogs and for your part in bringing Lizzie to us. She has made us so happy!! She is truly a special dog and we are lucky to have her!!  Keep up the super work!!

The Ryan family

Check out all the great pics of my journey.  Enjoy!

Bliss Update! 07/06/03

Thanks to everyone who made my journey possible.

Bliss' Angels Melissa & Kurtis Zobell - Orem, UT; Marilyn Subach - Phoenix, AZ; Dave Vodjansky - Mesa, AZ; Cyndi & Dave Cunico - Mesa, AZ; Lorraine & Dave Ayres - Mesa, AZ; Kathy, Chuck & Tony Johnson - Lawrence, KS; Kathie & Jim Munie - St. Louis, MO

Bliss' Pics

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