Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I love me some The Bark magazine. Thanks to them, I found this simple dog cookie recipe I have whipped up for gifting. They are Princess approved! Mack and Bella had 1 and scarfed them up as well, but I anticipate they will go bat sh!t crazy over the cheese twists I will be baking tonight as published in this months issue.
Really easy and pretty much stocked pantry ingredients:
Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup molasses
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Roll out dough on floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. Combine dough scraps and continue to roll out and cut into shapes until all dough has been used.
Place cookies on ungreased foil-lined baking sheets and bake in preheated 325º oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
From The Home Spa Book for Dogs by Jennifer Cermak, published by Quarry Books, 2005.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
On Friday, I found out that the spunky and sassy Hero passed away from Parvo. His brother Piglet is still in the hospital, but his outlook looks good. I'm still in shock that a puppy full to the brim with piss and vinegar is gone. I can still imagine what his little wiggling warm body felt like in the palm of my hand. It upsets me greatly, and in turn, makes me think of all of the animals being put to sleep in the time it takes me to write this. For those that don't know, that's on average 15.2 animals per minute. Does it make you want to puke as much as it does me? Which begs me to ask myself why I like to torture myself so much. So for now, my transporting and emergency fosters all must have pretty clear vaccination schedules and have to have at least 3 distemper shots before riding in my car, stepping foot on my back lawn, or entering my house for a period of one year. Parvo is the most hateful virus on the planet.
On Saturday, Bella gave me a minor anxiety attack with some inexplicable drooling out of one side of her mouth. It really scared me and for all my poking and prodding I found nothing. By the next day it had stopped, but not after my house was covered in drool and we had amassed a large collection of soaked drool rags. We went to the vet yesterday and he theorizes she ate a bug that potentially stung her. Good thing I gave her some Benadryl when the drooling started thinking it would be a safe way to cover my bases. She is now all UTD on shots, HW negative, and a little bit leaner which is a good thing for those aging hips of hers.
I dropped off Mack this morning as his anal gland infection is not clearing up after 2 weeks of antibiotics. Why is his bum broken you ask? Because the frat brat has been eating toilet paper and tissues like a heroin junkie. Very hard to control when everyone in the house has spent countless weeks sick from the swine flu and the regular cold. Little sh!t even ate the entire roll off the powder bath wall a few weeks ago... while he ripped the hardware off the wall, at least he didn't eat that. So today he's being knocked out for the 2nd time this year to get his glands flushed and packed. Fun times. At least I had the chance to meet the vet's other famous goat patient. We have heard all about one another in the 9 years I've been taking Mack to the vet.
In between all of this I have been frantically trying to save some dogs by networking. I was even trying to pull a dog to get to a foster home about 1,600 miles away. At the last possible second, the dog was adopted by hopefully a forever home. Phew.
Fingers crossed that Mack's butt will smell funky no more, ok?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1 toddler, 2 foster puppies, and too many kisses to count. Taken with our awesome and easy to use Flip Mino HD. If you don't have one, I highly suggest them as gifts!
Click here for the short video clip.
Click here for the short video clip.
Friday, December 4, 2009
11/6- I almost forgot this one for no reason other than it was blissful. It was later at night than most are scheduled for, so I hired a babysitter and drove it alone. My friend was going to join me, but then caught the lovely swine flu Becks and I have already had. I had almost forgot what it felt like to be in a car alone without a chatterbox toddler talking my ear off. I was actually able to opt for really loud music instead of a Disney movie! Woot woot! It's the little pleasures in life.
Tank and Gunner were the remaining bait babies from my prior transport that had a harder time recuperating. Also along was Romeo, a gorgeous owner surrender who only understand Spanish. I took Spanish when I was in the 7th and 8th grade and it did not stick. I tossed out my umpicito espanol and probably had him super confused. But he liked my world famous ear rubs so he forgave me the babbling. After only a few days of being boarded together, he became the puppies surrogate parent. They spent the whole trip cuddling together with the occasional break to pop up and see where we were.
My how fast they grow, here are their updated rescue pics and adoption info:
And I'm sad to see these transport passengers of mine still waiting for a home:
In light of the self righteous mother dumping her dog on the mythical farm where all unwanted indoor pets go to live because it scratched her baby, a sure sign of aggression I am told by many other moms, I bring you this:
The Humane Society of the United States
A dog's bark may be worse than his bite, but most of us would rather not find out one way or the other.
Growling, baring teeth, snarling, snapping, and biting are all aggressive behaviors. Although these messages are among the handful of communication tools available to dogs, they're generally unacceptable to humans.
Because aggression is so complex, and because the potential consequences are so serious, we recommend that you get professional in-home help from an animal behavior specialist if your dog is displaying aggressive behavior.
Types of aggression
Dominance aggression is motivated by a challenge to a dog's social status or to his control of a social interaction. Dogs are social animals and view their human families as their social group or "pack." Based on the outcomes of social challenges among group members, a dominance hierarchy or "pecking order" is established.
If your dog perceives his own ranking in the hierarchy to be higher than yours, he'll probably challenge you in certain situations. Because people don't always understand canine communication, you may inadvertently challenge your dog's social position. A dominantly aggressive dog may growl if he is disturbed when resting or sleeping or if he is asked to give up a favorite spot, such as the couch or the bed.
Physical restraint, even when done in a friendly manner (like hugging), may also cause your dog to respond aggressively. Reaching for your dog's collar, or reaching over his head to pet him, could also be interpreted as a challenge for dominance. Dominantly aggressive dogs are often described as "Jekyll and Hydes" because they can be very friendly when not challenged. Dominance aggression may be directed at people or at other animals. The most common reason for fights among dogs in the same family is instability in the dominance hierarchy.
Fear-motivated aggression is a defensive reaction and occurs when a dog believes he is in danger of being harmed. Remember that it's your dog's perception of the situation, not your actual intent, which determines your dog's response. For example, you may raise your arm to throw a ball, but your dog may bite you because he believes he's protecting himself from being hit. A dog may also be fearfully aggressive when approached by other dogs.
Protective, territorial, and possessive aggression are all very similar, and involve the defense of valuable resources. Territorial aggression is usually associated with defense of property, and that "territory" may extend well past the boundaries of your yard. For example, if you regularly walk your dog around the neighborhood and allow him to urine-mark, he may think his territory includes the entire block. Protective aggression usually refers to aggression directed toward people or animals whom a dog perceives as threats to his family, or pack. Dogs become possessively aggressive when defending their food, toys, or other valued objects, including items as peculiar as tissues stolen from the trash.
Redirected aggression is a relatively common type of aggression but one that is often misunderstood by pet owners. If a dog is somehow provoked by a person or animal he is unable to attack, he may redirect this aggression onto someone else. For example, two family dogs may become excited, and bark and growl in response to another dog passing through the front yard; or two dogs confined behind a fence may turn and attack each other because they can't attack an intruder. Predation is usually considered to be a unique kind of aggressive behavior because it's motivated by the intent to obtain food, and not primarily by the intent to harm or intimidate.
The likelihood of a dog to show aggressive behavior in any particular situation varies markedly from dog to dog. Some dogs tend to respond aggressively with very little stimulation. Others may be subjected to all kinds of threatening stimuli and events and yet never attempt to bite.
The difference in the threshold prompting aggressive behavior is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. If this threshold is low, a dog will be more likely to bite. Raising the threshold makes a dog less likely to respond aggressively. This threshold can be raised using behavior modification techniques, but the potential for change is influenced by a dog's gender, age, breed, general temperament, and the way in which the behavior modification techniques are chosen and implemented.
Because working with aggressive dogs can be potentially dangerous, behavior modification techniques should only be attempted by, or under the guidance of, an experienced animal behavior professional who understands animal learning theory and behavior.
What you can do
First, check with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes for the aggressive behavior.
Seek professional advice. An aggression problem will not go away by itself. Working with aggression problems requires in-home help from an animal behavior specialist.
Take precautions. Your first priority is to keep people and other animals safe. Supervise, confine, and/or restrict your dog's activities until you can obtain professional guidance. You are liable for your dog's behavior. If you must take your dog out in public, consider a cage-type muzzle as a temporary precaution, and remember that some dogs are clever enough to get a muzzle off.
Avoid exposing your dog to situations where he is more likely to show aggression. You may need to keep him confined to a safe room and limit his contact with people.
If your dog is possessive of toys or treats, or territorial in certain locations, prevent access and you'll prevent the problem. In an emergency, bribe him with something better than what he has. For example, if he steals your shoe, trade him the shoe for a piece of chicken.
Spay or neuter your dog. Intact dogs are more likely to display dominance, territorial, and protective aggressive behavior.
What not to do
Punishment won't help and, in fact, will often make the problem worse. If the aggression is motivated by fear, punishment will make your dog more fearful, and therefore more aggressive. Attempting to punish or dominate a dominantly aggressive dog may actually lead him to escalate his behavior to retain his dominant position. This is likely to result in a bite or a severe attack. Punishing territorial, possessive, or protective aggression is likely to elicit additional defensive aggression.
Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado. All rights reserved.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Meet my Thansgiving emergency fosters Hero (L) and Piglet (R). I kept them (or should I say they kept me) from Wed-Saturday. Oh my gawd I forgot how awful puppies are. Not in a devious way, but the energy, the nipping, the humping, the pee, the poop! My thighs look like that of a battered woman. Every time they went outside to pee/poop, they would attach their humping little bodies to me shins. I could walk with them attached to me humping away. So annoying!
Hero was a houdini. No barrier I constructed could contain him other than a crate. He literally could climb his way out of anything. It made for tricky child rearing and cooking for the holidays.
Night #1 they stayed in my laundry room in an ex pen. Thanks to the dewormer it took me 1+ hour to clean my sh!t covered floor and poop splashed walls. Nasty. And of course they were so happy to see me in the morning they had a dance in it.
Mack and Bell did well given we let them interact only thru baby gates. No sense it having puppies eaten alive by Miss cranky pants and or broken by the bull in a china shop. Bell and Becks were also mad that mommy was trapped in the kitchen with the puppies because the second I was out of sight, Hero was making his escape. Oy.
By the end I had them on the road to potty training and doing well in a crate- no pee or poop accidents in the crate even at night! I was a little misty when I had to drop them off at the vet, but all in all I really don't understand how/why someone would want the daunting task of puppy rearing while having a small child. It's too much work, for real. Times 2 over a holiday weekend= I plum lost my mind. Trust me, I'm glad they were alive, but it would have been worth my paying to board them at the vet! I'm still worn out and feel like my entire house is sprinkled with poop particles.
Lesson learned- if you have small kids and you want a dog, skip the puppies and rescue a senior. Trust me.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
2 weeks ago a friend emailed a photo of a dog looking so scared, so lonely, and so defeated in a cage at a high kill shelter. She looked like a bully mix (immediate death sentence here in the south) and had a broken leg (another way to move to the top of the euth list). I get a lot of email blasts of deserving dogs slated to die because their families gave them up. Most days I don't read them because I truly cannot handle it. I'm the kind of person who has nightmares when she watches the news. On this day, it was sent directly to me and I couldn't look away.
I began spreading the word about this poor girl looking for a safe harbor knowing every rescue is filled past capacity right now. Their bank accounts are past empty trying to save dogs who don't have broken legs. So I did something I don't usually do because he has a history of saying no. I asked my husband if we could save her life and foster her. If we didn't, she would be put to death on Friday the 13th. How cruel and unfair is that? Amazingly, my husband granted my Christmas wish and I had her pulled with the help of some veterna rescuers. We got her to the vet the next day and began the task of raising funds for her surgery and care. Molly was full of every worm imaginable, but miraculously was heartworm negative. It appeared she had been hit by a car, breaking her femur in half. X rays were taken that showed multiple pelvic fractures. Through it all, she was nothing but a big ball of love. If you have never felt the joy of a bully kiss, then you are truly missing out. The vet decided to rest her, feed her, love her, and give her antibiotics to help the surgery go a little smoother. 1 week later Molly was slated for surgery.
On Friday the 20th of November, Molly had a pin placed to hold her broken leg together. The surgery was a little more complicated than expected, but she did great and went into recovery just fine. While in recovery, Molly crashed. The vet and her staff worked for 30 minutes to bring her back, but she was gone. We were all devastated. Many strangers were rooting for Molly and had dedicated money to her care. And so I went breaking the bad news, devastated that I had not even had the chance to touch my never was foster dog. All I have is the picture you see here.
In rescue, you win some and you lose some. It's the ones you lose that you remember the most they say. I will remember Molly forever and I think I have found a way for others to as well. All donations made to the vet are going to remain at the vet to care for the next hard luck case that might be dead otherwise; pay it forward. All donations made to Molly's paypal account are being passed onto Stormy, a dog very much in need. Stormy was drug behind a moving vehicle and suffered tremendous wounds. Without funds to continue covering her care, her rescue was considering euthanizing her. Well, Molly deserved a shot despite being broken and so does Stormy. You can read all about Stormy here: http://thestormystory.blogspot.com/
(but I warn you, you had better have a box of tissues next to you)
So in the spirit of Stormy, find a way to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. What might feel like the smallest of contributions could very well change someone's life.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Under supervising is not cause for overreacting but rather reflection. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
• If you leave your baby unattended around a pool and they fall in, it’s not the pool’s fault your baby drowned.
• If you don’t baby proof your electrical outlets and your baby sticks your keys in the socket, it’s not electricity’s fault your baby got zapped.
• If you leave a sharpie marker in reach and your toddler colors on your new dining room set, it’s not the marker’s fault your furniture is ruined.
Yes, I am a broken record on this subject because someone needs to be. In this era of helicopter parenting I find it puzzling that somehow supervising a child around a dog suddenly becomes too much work, requires too much effort, and is somehow impossible. Those who demand the dog’s head on a platter after a snap become the vast majority and I become the minority, aka the crazy dog person. I had no idea supervising my child and shaping his behaviors around animals made me certifiable. Quick, someone better call CPS on me.
So let me scream this at the top of my lungs a little louder. It is YOUR job to make sure baby and beasts are all on their best behavior. It is YOUR job to monitor their interactions and determine when someone has had enough. It is YOUR job to raise your child to respect an animal’s boundaries. It is YOUR job to become acutely aware what those boundaries are. It is YOUR job to baby proof your pets long before it becomes an issue.
I know my parents didn’t do much to prepare our dogs for kids. They got lucky. I yanked on Winston’s hair to pull myself up and learn how to walk. I used to try and ride my Doberman Satan for fun. You know what, they got really lucky and in hindsight they know it. It is not a reasonable expectation that a family pet will not at some point have been dished out more than it can take. You have so many tools at your disposal, you just need to implement them.
Take some time to learn how dogs communicate:
Prepare your dogs before the baby comes home from the hospital:
Raise your child from day 1 to follow these rules of respect. The rules will not only keep your child safe around YOUR pets, but also animals that are unfamiliar.
1. Do not ever touch an animal while it is eating.
2. Do not ever touch an animal while it is sleeping; further do no allow them on the dog’s bed and or in the dog’s crate at any time. These are baby free zones.
3. Do not ever hit/pinch/pull/kick/or hug an animal.
Invest in tools to help manage babies and beasts for those moments you can’t be in all places at once. Minimize the opportunity for an accident to occur. Be observant and be vigilant.
I don't want to be on a soap box. I don't want this to be twisted into some contest of who is a better parent. I want this to be a wake up call for everyone. I want this post to help save a dog's life. I want this post to protect your child from getting bitten. Please read it and then stew on it with that frame of mind.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I wasn't able to pull a transport last month and my home life with the baby and beasts is thankfully status quo. I've been keeping myself quite busy with various fun endeavors like photographing my former foster Princess' family engagement portraits.
Currently, I'm fresh out of topics so help a gal out. What burning questions or issues do you face as you mingle babies and beasts? No question is too great or small to tackle so let me know what's on your mind.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A local shelter has this event yearly and we finally made it to one! Too bad Becks was in a sleep deprived foul mood, but I was able to pop off a few good shots. I'm just sad I have to wait a whole year to try again. There were so many cute pups around and they were all so eager to have their picture taken! I was especially proud that as usual my dog friendly kid walked right up to some of the biggest dogs there for loving. No fear, no bias based on outward appearances, let's hope that lesson carries over his entire life.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am again remiss in updating. Still battling Mack's incision from emergency obstruction surgery. This is week #3 of the cone of shame if you are keeping tabs. We are all ready to ditch it, but probably most of all Becks. Poor kid keeps getting rammed and knocked over now that our bull in the china shop's head circumference is three times it's normal size.
Becks and I had the pleasure of driving a car full 2 weeks ago. Oh my. This one was a tad bit stressful. In hindsight, we now know that both Pudge and Chico had been recently neutered... but Pudge was really in pain from his. Any signs of exuberance on lovey dovey Chico's part were met by a growl and snap from Pudge. Not good when you have a toddler in the back and you are doing 80 down the highway. I stopped at least three times trying various configurations before Chico was tethered just right to keep from pestering Pudge. Problem was, he was so close to Becks that he wanted to melt into Becks. Becks wasn't too thrilled with it, but they all eventually settled down and we made it to our hand off spot before driver #3 arrived.
The darling little puppies were actually used as bait and left to die on the side of a highway. To complicate matters, one of the puppies broke with Parvo immediately following the transport. Tiny Tim is holding his own and we pray no one else catches this insidious virus. Parvo is not curable, only manageable. It will be up to Tiny Tim's body to win this war with supportive care. It is also highly contagious and takes me out of the running for transporting puppies for about a year. I am working on cleaning my SUV as best as I can with anti-virals but it's still a risk I don't want to take. I have also had to bleach the grassy area driver #1 met me at while giving them all a potty break. Luckily I did not let them touch the ground at my hand off, so my usual meeting spot should be Parvo free. What I have learned however is that I am adding a spray bottle of anti viral to my arsenal so I can spray areas used for bathroom breaks on transports just in case.
Please send some love Tiny Tim's way, he needs all he can get. I will keep you posted on his fate.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Happy 35th birthday to me. That's Mack sporting his super special e collar. Mack is fast approaching 8 years old and he has eluded emergecny surgery for an obstruction more times than I can recount. Seriously, he has more lives than a cat and a stomach of iron. On his worst day, he could out eat a billy goat. However, his luck finally ran out. On my 35th birthday, instead of going to see a movie with some friends, I made a run to the e vet with Mack. He just wasn't acting his usual jovial self, he seemed uncomfortable, he was shivering, but what really sealed the deal was his refusal of food. That is not the norm for my food whore.
Let me back track a bit and tell you what led to this e vet trip. 2 weeks prior, my hubby was doing laundry on his day off. He has a bad habit of sorting laundry on the bathroom floor and letting Mack free roam the house. The rule has always been Mack is to be locked up while laundry is taking place. His huge gullet can swallow anything you drop before you ever realize something was dropped. It will then reappear at 3am on the carpet, or out his backside resulting in poo patrol being more like an archaelogical dig. All sorts of things have made their way into the depths of Mack's gut- dirty baby diapers, toy rubber frogs, wooden puzzle pieces etc.. If there were an advanced degree for inducing emesis, I'd have a PhD! I came home from work and saw the laundry on the bathroom floor, the door open, and Mack out and I knew we were in trouble. It would just be a matter of time before I knew exactly how much. Later that night Mack puked up 1 lone sock and I thought we might be ok. Over the next few days he would hack now and again and I thought there might be more laundry lurking. Sure enough, 6 days later in the back yard 2 pairs of underwear and 5 socks appeared in a pile of puke. I was so freaked out but thought phew, that was the luckiest anyone on this earth could be. I was wrong. 5 days later we were at the e vet.
I won't go into my entire meltdown at the e vet but suffice to say there were lots of x rays, lots of gas dilated loops, a ginourmous bladder, a colon in the wrong place, no obvious foreign body. We watched, we waited, and I pulled the trigger knowing in my gut laundry was lurking. Mack had surgery at 3am for a lone sock lodged in his small intestine. It was not going to come out on it's own so I'm tahnkful we caught it before it did any major damage.
Since his escapade, he has been quite the naught patient. Last week I was at the vet 3 times in 4 days for a ripped open incision. We have gone through 1 set of staples and 2 sets of stitches while we wait for his incision to heal. Currently the incision is being slathered in Manuka Honey 16+ 2x a day in an effort to get it to close up. I'm also tranquilizing him in an effort to minimize any damage he could do while I am at work. Sigh. I am so ready to close this chapter.
I have been remiss in updating the blog, but rest assured, I'm still a transporter! I've just been busy. You'll see why in the next blog entry.
Becks and I had the displeasure of picking up an Anatolian Shepherd from her owner. Yep, the owner who was dumping her. I don't know why, but the whole situation was weird weird weird. One minute the woman is telling me she was training her to be a service dog and the next she is handing me her paperwork and going over how much $ she has put into the dog. Barf. You are talking to the wrong person if you want to talk about how much money it takes to properly care for a dog. I was not impressed.
Comanche was a very scared girl. I had to have the owner tighten her collar and get her into my car because her collar was way too big (easy to back out of) and the woman refused to send her with a leash. I tell you, she was a real peach. On top of that, she informed me she would also be sending no food bowls, water, or dog food. Fine, great, I'll take care of it. Thank god this dog landed in rescue and will find a home who will love her without limits.
Comanche was a very quiet passenger and with her nervous tummy pooped a little in my car. Luckily Becks was riding with me and was able to tell me because at first we thought she just had gas.... which the 2 year old found to be hysterical. A quick clean up and we were back on the road to hand off. Thank you Clorox bleach wipes!
Friday, July 17, 2009
A dear friend lost her 15 month old lab, Sophie, yesterday to a tragic accident. Sophie went swimming and drank too much water while playing resulting in water toxicity also known as hypernatremia.I had no idea a dog could die from this, and it was quite sudden. She went swimming in the morning, to lethargic, to gone before the evening due to her body chemistry being completely out of whack. Because her case was acute and sudden, the vet was not able to reverse the damage done.
Hypernatremia is defined as an elevated sodium concentration in the blood. Although mild hypernatremia is often detected on serum chemistry panels, hypernatremia does not commonly warrant specific treatment. When marked hypernatremia is present, however, clinical signs can be severe and can result in death. The treatment of hypernatremia can be challenging, and success depends on an understanding of sodium and water balance.
The brain is the major organ affected by hypernatremia. When a hyperosmolar state develops, water from brain cells moves down the osmotic gradient into the extracellular space. This results in brain parenchymal cell dehydration and an overall decrease in brain volume. The cerebral veins rupture as a result of pia mater blood vessel tearing, resulting in subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage. At presentation, affected animals have evidence of neurologic disease. They can exhibit lethargy, ataxia, and weakness, which progress to seizures, coma, and death in severe cases. Clinical signs appear as the serum sodium concentration approaches 170 mEq/L. When hypernatremia develops slowly, the brain has time to compensate, and neurologic signs are minimal. However, when hypernatremia occurs acutely, more severe and potentially irreversible neurologic signs develop.
The prognosis for patients with hypernatremia depends on the underlying cause, severity of hypernatremia and clinical signs at presentation, and response to fluid administration. Hypernatremia has a high mortality rate in humans, and mortality has been found to be associated with the initial plasma sodium concentration, severity of neurologic signs at presentation, and response to treatment. A recent study of hypernatremic dogs and cats found a 42% mortality rate; another study in kittens with experimentally induced hypernatremia found a 30% mortality rate in the first 24 hours. One dog with diabetes insipidus and a plasma sodium concentration of 203 mEq/L was treated and survived. By understanding the pathophysiologic basis of this disorder and using this basis to guide appropriate treatment choices, clinicians can successfully manage severe hypernatremia.
I keep thinking of the Spring Fling I photographed and all of those lab babies having the time of their life fetching balls out of the pond and swimming non stop. I felt compelled to share Sophie’s story to maybe prevent this tragic accident from happening again to someone else. Thanks for reading and for sharing.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I've been ridiculously busy at work. The kind of busy that drives you to drink and gives you nightmares busy. Hate it. So when I had a chance to drive a transport for 3bully babies on Friday evening I jumped all over it. There is something relaxing about cruising along going 80 miles an hour listening to whatever kid movie (this week- Hotel for Dogs)I have popped in for Becks and petting the occasional puppy head.
Our passengers this week were Tank who had bar none the prettiest eyes I have ever seen, Mia a silly little bossy girl who found a way to get her lead to stretch all the way to my center console, and Love Bug who was a perfect gentleman and was chill the entire drive. We got to our meeting spot only to discover drive #2 was running very late. It was then I realized the pups had fleas. Ack! Becks and I made it out unscathed, but I have yet to figure out if the buggers have been hatching in my car yet. I picked up some Borax yesterday just in case. Oh well, such is life. While waiting I finally got a chance to shoot a few pics because my dear sweet hubby cleaned up (i.e. hid) the small camera I can easily shoot one handed over my shoulder while keeping my eyes on the road. Can't exactly do that with a D90!
Tank and Love Bug both went immediately into their new homes, but sweet and sassy Mia is still available.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This is where Princess used to live.
On this dirt lot she dodged 18 wheelers and gravel trucks. She once had her foot run over and lost a nail as a result. When she was spayed in an effort to shut me up, she recouperated here, in the dirt and motor oil. Often, I tended to various war wounds she ended up with. I'm pretty sure she wasn't missing a chunk of ear when we first met. Occasionally, she was allowed in the air conditioned offices to cool off. I don't think she was ever kept inside during thunderstorms. She slept outside 99% of the time no matter the season. I have no idea how often she was given clean water or what they fed her but I'd bet money it was Ol Roy. At one point, someone tried to steal her in the middle of the night and had her backed into a corner of the chain link fence until the man living on the property came out to see what all the fuss was about. Finally, the day I had a new collar and proper tag for her with my information on it and the words "spayed" engraved on it, she went missing. I'll save that post for another day. It's amazing what I have chosen to forget... I hope she has too.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Becks and I had another little Oklahoma adventure this weekend. Our passengers on this trip were the adorable Jones (floppy ears) and Isabelle (cropped ears). Both were total love bugs and Isabelle was content to hang her head in B's lap while Jones kept manuevering to sneak his way into my lap. We had dog #3, Egore, a massive 135 pound American Bulldog following in a seperate car due to his size and dislike of most male dogs. It was uneventful, just the way we like them, and B was treated to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and the opportunity to stretch his legs on the playground. I know how much he enjoys our rides as he is always quick to talk to me about them while we rock before he drifts off to sleep. His last word before falling asleep that night was Isabelle.
To date we have transported 10 dogs that would be dead otherwise. If you don't already transport, please do. It is the simplest way to contribute to animal rescue and is tax deductible! Ask me how to volunteer.
4 years ago today my life changed in more ways than I could put into words. A wiggly, roo-ing, pit bull ran up to me and I was not afraid to bend down to pet her. In that moment I fell in love. She wore a purple collar, no tags, and a cheap flea collar with her teats hanging loose from her. She had to belong to someone and so on that day I grabbed my office camera and took this photo of her to assist me in breaking the language barrier near my office while looking for her owner. From this day on we fell into an easy routine of car rides, pig ears, and belly rubs. She needed a name and I dubber her Precious. It was just a week later before I figured out her real name was Princess, and she was a victim of breed bias. Once someone's pet, one they felt compelled to breed for profit, kicked out of her home to the dirt lot across the street from my office to be a junk yard dog. Why? Because they had kids at home and they were worried because she was a pit bull. And so I became her guardian angel and she became the reason I am involved in animal rescue today. Thank you Princess for giving my life meaning and purpose. Thank you nesties for holding my hand every step of the way. It is because of your amazing thoughts and prayers that she is as loved as she is today by all that have met her and her amazing mom L. I love you all very much. Keep up the good fight.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Princess my foster baby is coming to stay with us this weekend. I am super duper excited but admittedly anxious. Don't panic L, I'm just a worry wart. Princess hasn't technically seen/played with my dogs in 2+ years. It was just too much to handle when Becks was a baby and I'm a little worried about how they are going to behave or if I am going to have to re create Fort Knox using baby gates and such. See, when I took Princess in the first time we lived in a crazy fortress of double baby gates and buffer zones for weeks on end because I was too chicken to let them interact. Instead I used clicker training coupled with time and patience for them all to acclimate. Even then, it was only when Princess escaped Fort Knox to introduce herself to the dogs did they become a pack of 3. Luckily I do have a friend coming to town (poor her!) so I'm sure she will be helpful even if it is simply refilling my wine glass while I freak the F out!
So, if you have any tips for me on not projecting my crazy nervous energy I am totally open. Thanks peeps!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Walker passed away today on what should have been his 3rd birthday. He was a friend's foster dog though she had plans on adopting him. He was to be her partner in crime as her marriage is coming to an end. He was going to be chapter one in her new life.
Walker went through 2 homes before landing back at DFW Lab Rescue. How someone could deny him a forever home escapes my thought process. My friend was his foster home, his safe refuge, and I am so glad he knew what it felt like to be truly loved. I had the pleasure of meeting Walker at a rescue event I volunteered to photograph. He was madly in love with him foster mom much to the chagrin of potential suitors that came to meet him.
Last week walker tore his ACL ligament and underwent surgery to repair the injury. While on the strong pain medication and antibiotics required post op, he began throwing up and peeing blood. He went into the vet's office on Monday and was diagnosed as being in acute renal failure. Yesterday morning he was on death's door, but by the afternoon the vet had decided it was not kidney failure but a massive kidney infection. My friend went to spend some time with him and when talking to her last night all seemed like it would be ok and he would pull through. This morning at 8:05 I received an email letting me know he had passed this morning. I am in shock, but mainly I am angry. It is not fair. Walker was supposed to be her fresh start. Walker was supposed to be celebrating his 3rd birthday today. Walker was supposed to finally know what it felt like to be home.
Walker, you were loved.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I am most thankful I found the world's most perfect adopter for Princess the pittie. We get to stay in touch and visit and for that I am forever grateful. P came to visit over the weekend and Becks could not have been more thrilled; well as thrilled as a 2 year old can be. I took the opportunity to get some pretty adore-a-bull shots of her. I know I keep promising to share her story but it's a hard one to tell for someone like me who has an amazing way of supressing unhappy stuff. I leave for NOLA tomorrow and I swear when I get back into town I will share with you all Princess: Chapter 1 and go from there. It's a doozy of a story.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Copied directly from their website. This is a must read. Feel free to cut and paste it and email it to every one in your address book. Chances are you know someone who is being abused and or was once a victim of domestic violence. It is all too common and all too taboo.
"Almost 50% of those leaving domestic violence situations delay leaving their abusers. They fear for the lives of the pets they will have to leave behind. Beloved pets often become pawns in abusive relationships. A “thing” to be used to instill fear in their victims, to further control them, to punish them or show them what will happen if they tell about the abuse or get out of line.
It's this fear that keeps victims of abuse frozen with terror. They know that the minute they leave, their abuser will take their anger out on their pets by seriously harming or even killing them. By the time victims are ready to leave their abusers, their self esteem has been battered and they have been alienated from most of their family and friends; they don't think they can leave and more often than not, have no place to go. And the longer a victim waits, the greater danger they put themselves in.
When a victim is finally able to leave, more often than not, the domestic violence safe havens they seek refuge at do not allow pets to be brought in or do not have the appropriate facilities to house animals. There are many domestic violence shelters that have cooperative agreements with local animal shelters for temporary holding of animals while victims are residing at the shelter. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and limited space, animals can only be held for very short periods of time...anywhere from a week to 30 days.
Paws For Courage was created with the purpose of diminishing the high number of those who feel they cannot leave because of their pets. 50% is a VERY high number and a rather disturbing statistic. Time is of the essence in domestic violence situations; any delay could prove to be deadly. Paws For Courage is a network of shelters, foster homes, and transporters dedicated to giving domestic violence 'victims' a greater chance of becoming 'survivors'. Please read our Volunteer page and consider joining or supporting our cause. An animal's (and humans') life may very well depend on it. Just a note, some of our pages are currently under construction, so please remember to keep checking back...we're always updating! If you have any questions about anything on this website (or about our organization), please feel free to contact me at any time."
I signed up to help transport and foster. I hope you find it in your heart to help in any capacity that you can.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday nights are yoga night for me. A mom has got to find herself a little slice of peace and quiet and yoga at the local gym is mine. Imagine my surpise when walking towards the door this itty bitty kitty jumped out of the bushes at my feet and let out a miniscule meow. I look around at the crammed parking lot and the bustling highway near me and wonder how many other people chose to ignore this little baby. I had no choice but to scoop her up and quickly run her back to my house to be safely sequestered away from my kitty eating beasts in an upstairs bathroom. I then hightailed it back to yoga because I am just that dedicated :)
She is a mere 8 weeks old, 1.8 pounds, and negative for feline leukemia and hiv, but a nasty case of pesky fleas. I am thankful that I found many rescues willing to help me out provided I got her vetted and helped pay for her spay. For $100 I will have stopped one more cat from being a breeding machine and or road kill; I figure that's pretty cheap for some good karma. She will leaving tonight in search of her forever family. I'm pretty sure Becks is going to miss her. He has loved having something so tiny to pet and love on. Too bad his perception of gentle is akin to a scene out of Of Mice and Men, but I digress. Another wonderful lesson offered to him about the importance of stopping to help someone/some animal in need. Sure he might not get it yet, but I've got the photos and stories for his baby book... and let's face it, this itty bitty yoga kitty will not be the last random animal momma brings home.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Becks and I made another pilgramage to Oklahoma this past Friday to help save the lives of 3 bullies in need for MARS. It was a nasty rainy day here but mother nature was kind enough to clear our path all the way there and back. In total, we drove about 200 miles and spent about 5 hours and 45 minutes travel time including a dinner break and some play time for Becks. He enjoyed meeting Jack, Phoebe, and Heidi who all rode like champs in the car. They all hunkered down for some snoozing while Becks wached Bolt. How appropriate, right? A big thank you to my college roomate for riding along and keeping me company. It was a nice opportunity to catch up. So transport #2 was another success. I look forward to my next adventure with B!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
With my camera. I picked up a new hobby, or mainly just finally took the time to really invest in it, and have a new Nikon D90. I am constantly shooting pics of the kid and the dogs. Recently I had the opportunity to shoot a few friend's dogs so I thought I'd share some of my faves. Jesse the lab is dying of terminal cancer. I really hope his mommy likes these. I don't know how you can prepare yourself for the end of a 16+ year relationship with a boy as loving and loyal as Jesse. I can only imagine her heart breaks a little more with every glance they exchange. I hope to play around in photoshop and do something special to one of these for her when it's time. I think he looks so sweet here, don't you?