by Shelly Hawley-Yan
So who exactly were the creatures in Saving Dinah?
Besides the wonderful Sally (Dinah), many dogs, cats, kittens and even bunnies were involved in the filming – and every one was either a Project Jessie alumni, foster, or lived with someone involved in Animal Alliance and our rescue program.
Let me introduce you to a few of the wonderful creatures who helped make this film, and their stories as far as we know them.
Meet the dogs!
The most obvious star of the film is Sally (who plays Dinah)! Sally is an amazing girl! She is a border collie cross and was born in 2006 as one pup in an “unexpected litter”. Her parents were siblings, and the person who lived with them, “didn’t think siblings would try to breed as they should know better”. There were apparently 7 pups in the litter. Four of the pups came to Project Jessie via a neighbor of this woman, who was concerned about their welfare. The other 3 puppies had already been given away or had died – we were never able to discover which.
The 4 puppies were in an experienced Project Jessie foster home (with Ann & Peter Wilson), when they became concerned that the pups were not eating and had wicked diarrhea. The pups were rushed to the vet where they stayed for almost 2 weeks. We never had a clear diagnosis of what the issue was –probably a combination of genetics and poor start to life.
Our wonderful vet Dr.Lee worked so hard to save these wee pups! They were tested for everything and nothing was showing up – but they continued to have terrible diarrhea, keeping them hydrated was difficult and they were refusing to eat. Finally, through sheer perseverance, some educated guesswork and maybe a teeny bit of luck, she managed to pull all 4 pups through.
Two of the pups went to Andrea Harrison to foster, and 2 pups came to me (Sally and her brother) to foster post recovery. All had ongoing health concerns (allergy, gastrointestinal issues) but Sally was probably the worst. All of these pups were eventually adopted out.
A few months later however, the couple who had adopted Sally asked to return her due to family issues (the couple divorced). Sally was returned and went to Andrea for fostering. A few months later – just before Christmas – Andrea and Tom adopted her.
Sally still has some major health concerns that Andrea manages with home cooked meals and constant diligence. She is an active, vibrant, incredibly smart girl with a real zest for life.
Sally is the perfect combination of intelligence, joy and work ethic. She was really the only logical choice to play Dinah and we think she was amazing in the role.
Next up – let’s meet some of the other dogs from Saving Dinah – stay tuned!