Temporary Home Needed for Flood Victim Dog!

Memorial Day Flood Victim

Satellite view of Gayla and Mike’s home shows just how close their home was to the river. However it was well within the 27 foot flood level safety distance.

Memorial Day weekend is typically filled with vacationers arriving from all points to spend the Holiday weekend enjoying family and friends in the gorgeous Hill Country of Texas.  Hill Country vistas, rivers and lakes are scenic change from the brick and concrete of the city.

In Wimberley, Texas, a small gem of a town located right smack-dab in Hill Country, vacation cottages dotted the banks of the Blanco River. Higher up the river bank were homes with gorgeous river views. Vacationers with long-established traditions of Memorial Day family reunions, vacations and visits with friends, gathered to enjoy the weekend. The days of rain did little to discourage them. To add to the summer fun, the traditional Memorial Day Rodeo was ready to start. Horses, riders, cattle were all gathered together staying at the grounds, RV parks or with friends. Wimberley’s population swelled with vacationers, sightseers, rodeo participants. Everyone was looking forward to a fun-packed three-day weekend.

What started as a festive, fun-filled weekend ended in disaster for vacationers and residents alike. As the rains continued on and off throughout Friday there was concern that the Rodeo grounds might be too hazardous for horses and riders. Vacationers settled into their cottages, looking wistfully up towards the sky as the rain continued. Residents along the river banks may have been slightly concerned but most had been through this before. No cause for alarm, their homes were a safe distance from the flood water level of 27 feet. As the night wore on people prepared to for sleep.

Around 10:30 PM Saturday night, May 23 the rain turned fierce, pelting the ground, the river, the riverbank, rooftops, automobiles. Then something odd happened, it was as if the sky opened up and just starting pouring down buckets of rain, not intermittently — but non-stop. The sound of water hitting everything below was everywhere. By 11 PM the river had already risen beyond its normal flood level of 27 feet. Within the next 20 minutes the Blanco River rose a frightening 43 feet! The swollen river spread out far beyond its normal path, reaching heights it had never reached before. Roaring as it went the river capsized homes, uprooted old-stand Cypress trees, ripped off bridge railings, tossed aside automobiles. It destroyed anything in its path. The communities are still rocking from the destruction. Homes were lost, possessions were lost but more important irreplaceable lives were lost.

Wimberley Memorial Day Flood Victims

Mike and Gayla were thrilled to have Sienna as a family member.

In the aftermath of this disaster people are attempting to rebuild their lives. Like many families, pets are part of this life. The total number of family pets killed, missing, injured, etc. has not been counted — naturally this pales in comparison to the number of human lives lost. By June 9 the death toll was at 12 dead with 2 children missing. Like all small towns, Wimberley gets to know its own. It would be difficult to meet someone in Wimberley who didn’t at least know of someone who had been affected by the flood. In the middle of all this is a special family known to Texas Animal Guardians. They are Gayla and Mike, adopters of a dog that TAG named Sienna (due to her lovely fur color). Sienna was embraced by the family because she loves the water. As it turns out Gayla and Mike lived directly on the banks of the Blanco River with their two cats. They felt that the dog would make a great addition to their family, which included two lovely granddaughters.

Sienna landed in a great home with lots of love and activity. Swimming at the river was part of her routine now, being hugged on by the girls was too. Best of all, she had a home to call her very own. The family made certain the rambunctious dog got training. It was a family affair with everyone attending the training classes. And, it was a time of growth for Sienna as well, learning boundaries and rules. She flourished in this environment.

Sienna -- a vicitm of the Memorial Day flood is now without a home

Sienna flourished in her new home environment.

The night of May 23, Mike and Gayla retired to bed as usual, their kitties were snuggled up with them and Sienna laid down in her usual spot by the bed. The rain was gaining momentum but they had weathered these storms before. Oddly enough when Sienna first came to live with them, Gayla mentioned that the last flood had flowed right up to the kitchen door, a bit too close for comfort. That night they awoke to a terrifying event: their bed was floating. Sienna and the cats were paddling around. Both Mike and Gayla reacted quickly, grabbing Sienna by the collar to keep her from floating away and a cat (the only one they could catch). With the cat and Sienna in tow, they scurried for safety to higher ground. The details of this flight are a bit hazy but they were safe, Sienna and one cat were with them.

Reality set in quickly, they’d lost everything, their home was ripped from its foundation, utterly destroyed. Their vehicles were gone. A household full of memories, possessions, irreplaceable treasures — lost forever. But they were alive. At that moment it was something to be grateful for. After that, the daunting task of rebuilding began. They’d have to start all over again. With no place to live they feel blessed to have a roof over their head, offered to them by a generous person. Their primary concern is Sienna. The building process will take up to a year. In the meantime, Sienna’s got no place to go or to live. It is one more worry on top of so many for this couple who have already been through so much. Therefore we are sending out a plea of help, if anyone can keep Sienna as a temporary “long term” foster please let us know. We want to do everything to help this family who opened up their home and heart to a dog without a home. And now it’s our turn to help them.


Gayle and MIke’s home, tucked into trees, was located right off the Blanco River banks.













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