Thursday, December 31, 2009


This morning I met Ellen to pick up Lucky:-) Freshly bathed, tail wagging, but nervous I could tell he was already attached to Ellen. Lol, for those of you that don't know Ellen, that is a topic we discuss almost weekly at adoption events. We're always trying to figure out what magic Ellen possesses because every dog that comes to her home, be it a day or many months, can barely stand to be away from her!! They look longingly and sometimes will do just about whatever it takes to get to her:-) Lucky did come with me easily, with several squeals, tail still wagging and head down, unsure of himself.

Lucky and I had to make a stop at Pets In the City for dog food before coming home. I took him in with me, just to get him out and he was a hit with the girls that were there! I don't think his tail stopped wagging and oh boy does he have some cute ears when he's perked up! A few dogs came in while we were there and I thought he was going to just bust with joy:-)

This picture is Lucky when we got home to my yard. He's younger than most dogs that I foster, only about a year old, but he's no less traumatized than some of the older dogs that have stayed with me. He's a super friendly, calm boy who does not demonstrate that he's only a year old. He's a fearful boy which makes me think that someone, somewhere did not treat him well. When we got home I really discovered just how fearful he is. For those of you that foster, you know that even the most well potty trained dog can have an accident on his/her first visit to a new house where there are many, MANY smells from dogs past (and current.) Well, he started to do a little piddle and I immediately and quite loudly said no (which is typical for me when trying to get my dogs to stop doing something inappropriate.) Did I regret that:-( He dropped to the floor like a commando with a squeal and plaintiff eyes looking up at me begging him to forgive him for whatever transgression he may have committed. And no, I'm not exaggerating. This dog has clearly lacked the good life that he will now have. He has come a long way in just the few days he was with Ellen and her crew. I can see I'll have to take a much more gentle approach working with this guy.

We went outside to potty and meet my crew. He sure did love that!! It was like a reunion of old friends. It's clear to see that right now, Lucky is most confident when with canine buddies. And being the handsome boy that he is, my girls couldn't get enough of him! That's always the hard part, introducing my girls to new dogs. Cody could care less and just wants to know who he gets to play with now. My girls are more skeptical at first. Lexy, especially can be quite jealous. Though she seems to be getting over her female aggression, there's no doubt that she has always preferred the males:-) Lucky is not a fan of the camera. . .at all! So it may be a while before I can get him to show his happy side in a picture. Rest assured, we'll get there:-) Right now he's snoozing on one of the dog beds, exhausted I'm sure from all the goings on today.

I want to commend Ellen's granddaughters, Echo and Sadie, for a job well done. Lucky is going to be a wonderful addition to someone's home. Of course, I'm not surprised. After all, it's in their blood!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs

I've been saying that for years, but little did I know there is a book of that title out there. For Christmas, a friend of mine got me this book and I was in tears (not sad really, but reminicent tears:-) before I even opened the book. The cover reminded me of Chester with his gray face and soulful eyes. That dog was only with me for such a short time, but had SUCH an impact on me. I sure loved that old fart!

The beginning of the book is kind of a tribute to his old dog Harry. The rest of the book is full of pictures and anecdotes about older dogs ranging in age from 10-17. The pictures are all in black and white. Each and every dog is different, each and every one someone's loved pet. I have to say that this is definitely one of my favorite (if not my favorite now) books of all time! If you have not seen this book and you love old dogs, you have GOT to check it out!!

You can see it here:

Leo came out with flying colors!

My little guy, Leo, went through his surgery just fine!! I thought it would be okay, but it always feels better when they are home safe and sound. Never ceases to amaze me how quickly animals bounce back from illness and surgeries. I put him back in his cage with his bro a couple of hours after he came home. He wasn't terribly happy alone and wasn't ready for me to hold him yet. That was all it took. They snuggled up together and off to sleep they went. Tonight he's rambling all around like nothing ever happened. Like he doesn't have a naked belly with an incision that's glued shut there! She's I only wish I was that good about getting around when something like that happens!!

Anyway, now that Leo is on the mend, we'll be getting another foster tomorrow. You can check him out here:

He's a special little guy. Handpicked by two little cuties (Ellen's Granddaughters:-) and named Lucky. I can already tell from those eyes that he's going to be a sweetheart. The picture of him lying in the crate looking off to the side is one of those that makes you go, "AAAAAWWWWWWW!"
I'll be picking him up in the morning and introducing him to my gang. It will be a while before we get to adoption events. I have to take care of some things, but if anyone is interested in meeting him, just contact the e-mail on the petfinder page. He is available for adoption now. I can always make arrangements to meet for anyone interested in meeting him!

I can't wait to meet him!! I've been spoiled with the last few dogs I've had. They've been so easy to have around! Haven't had a lab mix in the house since Chester *sniff*:-) So much for taking a break from fostering, lol. I keep telling myself that it's time or I need to do it, but then I see those faces and realize that it really is wonderful to meet these new creatures and be a part of helping them to trust and love without fear again. Sometimes I think it keeps me human. It constantly reminds me that while there is a lot of darkness in the world, there is even more light!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


No, really, rats! These are my two boys, Butler and Leo. I mentioned them a few posts back. I need to find a good pic of their bro, Nyoka. He is no longer with us. He was also VERY camera shy, which is unfortunate as I don't have as many pics as I'd like to have. Now I know that rats aren't for everyone and I respect that. It's a shame that so many myths and negative press have created fear and dread when people think of rats. Oh, I've experienced everything with these guys, from, "Where's the cat?" to, well, yes, screams from adults when I take them to school (have learned to cover the cage well before taking them in.) Course the kids love them. they haven't been predjudiced with poor information just yet.

Don't get me wrong, you're not supposed to go out and catch a wild rat for a pet any more than you are supposed to take a wolf from the wild to be your dog. A wild animal is a wild animal and should not be taken in as a pet. However, the local humane society, reptile centers (who would otherwise feed the little guys to their snakes. Don't get me started. There is NOTHING natural about putting a prey species in with a predator when there is no chance of escape! My personal opinion. Course I believe that snakes are wild animals and should be left alone as well, but I won't get into that.) I even daresay that there are actually reputable breeders out there for rats, but as with dogs only a very small percentage actually cares about the health and temperment of the rat. Most breed carelessly to make a fast buck.

Anyhoo! So these guys are just as important to me as my poochies! Tomorrow, the little red eyed boy is going in to have a tumor removed from his abdomen. I've been superiorly lucky with these two. They will be 2 years old in a week and have been healthy their whole lives. Rats are amazing pets, as smart as any dog I've come across (and a few people, *ahem*I digress yet again:-(
When I first brought rats into my house, it amazed me how social and intelligent they are. It also amazed me that they have many of the same illnesses and take many of the same medications as humans to treat these illnesses. Hence the tumor removal. Rats are quite prone to tumors unfortunately. 2 -3 years is a good lifespan for a pet rat (they're lucky to live a year in the wild.) but just like our other pets, it is heartbreaking to lose them. So I'm hoping for good thoughts for my little guy as he goes in to have his tumor removed. I've had several rats that had surgery and do just fine, but I still worry about him. Leo has been my buddy since the day I brought him home. He's the only one out of the three (all are biological siblings by the way) who would come to the cage door every single time I opened it and he would practically beg to bt picked up! Believe it or not, they smell really good! They also have the softest fur. You'd never think that from a creature who is known for scavanging and freaking everyone out. If you think about it, you would smell and look bad too if you spent all your time outside foraging for food whereever humans left it lying around! Guess we all better count our blessings, eh?
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Monday, December 28, 2009

I think it's a record

Betsy and Abby came home with me the Friday before Christmas. Today they are settled in their new home, happy as two little bugs in a rug. The number of applications was more than ever for a single dog for me, much less a pair. The choices were quite hard, but I think they got the best fit. Yet here we are a week later and they have been placed. They will be loved and will remain sisters for the rest of their lives. *sigh* Wouldn't it be nice if they all ended this way?

So with the girls placed my pooches are taking a little doggie vacation--at home with no other dogs! Don't tell them though, there is a dog right now who will be visiting the vet soon to get neutered and he'll be coming home with me on Wednesday to await his new home. Boy they are going to be irritated with me!:-) But as with the rest, they will take him in, teach him some manners and then settle in as they always do. After what has been one heck of a rough year, it is so nice to end 2009 on a happy note!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

From Mo, the happiest reindeer:-)
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a pair. . .

I sure do hope that the last couple of days is a sign of what next year will be like. I've received more interest and applications for these two girls, Betsy & Abby, than I have for any other dogs I've fostered, ever! I don't know if it is timing, the Christmas spirit or something else, but these lucky girls have many wonderful homes hoping to take them after Christmas this year! What's even better is that it is looking like the girls will be able to be placed together. That so rarely happens when we get a pair from the same home. Often they have to be separated. We do what we have to in order to make sure that each dog has the best possible situation, but things don't always work out the way we'd like. We are very fortunate this time:-)

The hard part now is figuring out which would be the best fit for the girls. It won't be an easy choice and I'm glad that's not something I have to decide alone. That's one of the many great things about working with a great group. We can bounce ideas off of each other, help each other with choices such as these and support each other when things go well (and sometimes when they don't).

Regardless, I am happy to have this kind of pressure, really. It sure beats having no interest for months and months at a time and wondering why it is that others can't see the amazing personality in the dog(s) that I am fostering. Been there, done that all too often. I do hope that those that are not chosen to be the home for these particular dogs will consider our many other great dogs looking for a place this year. I can't think of one dog that we currently have as a foster in the whole group who wouldn't love to come home with any of these great families. Wish us luck with our decision. It definitely won't be an easy one!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Any more miracles left?

Yup, this is a picture of a dog before he was taken in, cleaned up and given a real home and a real chance. At 9 years old, this is a picture of Mo when he was picked up from the Polk County property. Hard to believe that these pics are both of the same dog, eh? Well, it has recently come to my attention that there are still 6 more dogs left there that Community Partnership for Pets is still trying to find homes for. Pretty amazing, though, when you think that they started with over 100 dogs there. They reached out to folks in their own area and across the country to try to help these dogs. As wonderful as it is that the rest have been helped, it breaks my heart to think of the 6 that are left. Buzz going among the group is to try to see if we can't get a few more of them up here. They deserve the same good luck that their buddies were lucky enough to have. We've had a few miracles happen this year with so many of our dogs. Are there a few more out there to help these last few find a place to call their own???

Monday, December 21, 2009

No pictures tonight

So I don't have any pictures to post, but I do have a picture to describe. I would use my camera, but the second the pooches hear the lens pop out, they are up and gone:-) I'm sitting here (knowing full well I should be doing something else!) just watching the critters in my home. Oh, the tv is on, but the news is not nearly so appealing as watching the dogs as they sleep and dream! My dog Squirt is all cuddled up on her dog bed, covered in one of the blankets. I think of her beginnings and I can't help but shudder to think what would have happened had she not left that tick infested campground so many years ago. Now she's living in a cozy little house, with her own bed. She used to be so dependent on me, fearing if I left her sight. She's now a confident senior girl who knows what she wants AND how to get it! Woo, can she be a sassy one. She can also be as gentle as a soft breeze. She's cleaned many a tear, that one. . .

Abby, one of the new dogs visiting my house has fallen madly in love with what was Jester's favorite bed! All fleece lined and puffy on the inside, it's just a little rectangle with high sides. I don't even think it cost me all that much. Even my big girl Lexy sticks her big butt in it once in a while:-) Little Abby is too cute! A small girl, she's already pretty low to the ground. Cracks me up how she can walk right under most of my dogs. She gets herself in that bed and rolls herself up and looks just about as cozy as any creature can be. I guess it's really a good thing that Jester got adopted. He'd have a real fight on his paws for this bed! Only weeks ago she was at her previous home, most likely being loved on by her previous owner. Well, that ended when her owner passed away and she ended up in a cage at a shelter. Now that she's here, it's not home, but it's warm and it's comfortable. No worries for her.

Betsy, for some reason, loves to sleep on the hard floor! I think it must be because it's cool and she has such a thick coat, she might be a bit warm. She really put out her funny side tonight. My little dog's dog whisperer, Cody, had her playing and running through the house like a puppy! She's crashed out now, napping away. Again, one who so recently had her own home, now comfortable here, but not still quite sure of herself.

Every once in a while they seem to take turns popping up a head to take a peek at what is going on, but sure enough, that head goes down, they roll a bit, then snuggle their heads back into the warm spot where they were sleeping before. I don't know why such simple things like this fascinate me, but they do. The simple beauty of something so ordinary as taking a nap, watching them sleep with such comfort, it's like listening to the right song or smelling something that reminds you of a good moment in life. It is really true what they say. It's the simple things that make life big:-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Betsy & Abby

So just when I thought it would be a quiet few weeks, these two had to cross my e-mail. A pair of girls whose owner had recently passed away, they were in a tight spot. Betsy, the sheltie, is somewhere between 7-10 years old. Abby, the little black dog (scottie mix?) is 12. Could someone please help these girls for Christmas. Now as much as I love what I do with the dogs, I knew it was really time for me to take a break, but something about these faces just would not leave my head. I kept waiting and waiting, hoping that someone else could help. While there was room for one, there was just no room for both anywhere. With it being Christmas and all, I just couldn't leave them behind. I realize that the chances of them getting adopted together are pretty much slim to none, but I figure the time that they are being fostered should be together to make it less stressful for them.

So Friday night, I went and picked them up! The pictures do not NEARLY do them justice. They are soooooo adorable! Both are friendly, though Abby is definitely the social director of the two. Betsy warms up quickly but is very shy at first. Both are completely house trained. Both do well on a leash, ride well in the car and seem to like people of all sizes and genders:-) Abby loves to snuggle up next to me on the couch and Betsy puts that sheltie head in my lap and give me the longing stare that only shelties do so well. It's hard to believe that Abby is as old as she is. She's a spunky little one who still likes to play with other toys and loves a good squeaky toy. Betsy is a playful little gal as well who doesn't seem to quite know what to do with the toys, but she sure seems like she would like to learn. Both are very happy, healthy girls, especially considering all of the changes they have gone through in the last couple of weeks. So my house has a few more for Christmas? What's a holiday without a big family to share it with:-)

Time Sure Flies

I didn't realize just how much time has passed since my last post! It's been a busy month. There have been a couple of rough patches, but oh boy, is it coming to a close on a high note! My two other fosters, Mo & Jester have been adopted! I can hardly believe it:-) Both went to outstanding homes. Jester even went to someone who had adopted from St. Louis Senior Dog previously. We sure do love that! As all the dogs do, both of these boys wiggled their way into my heart. While it is briefly sad to let them go, that feeling is soon replaced with the joy of knowing that they are now someone's loved focus. Around here, they aren't able to be the main focus since I do have my own babies to take care of. I learned long ago, in order to be able to foster, you can love them and care for them as your own, but never forget who was here first. My dogs tend to get very upset, one literally becoming ill, when I forget that little rule. So I do my best to always live by it.
Anyway, congratulations to Mo and Jester and their new families! I know that they will be loved and appreciated for years to come.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jester Teaches Mo a New Trick:-)

Those of you that have dogs that snore know how funny it can be to be sitting in utter silence, enjoying the brief moment while all are sleeping when suddenly a snorting noise fills the air. Jester has had the whole snoring thing down to an art. He even has different snores depending on how he's laying (I know, sad that I even know that right??). So tonight, I'm working on my computer and of course there is snoring so I assume it's Jester. I keep working and notice that the snoring is constant (not typically the way Jester sounds). I peek over the table and what do I see? Mo, sprawled out across the floor just snoring away. Figured he must have learned that from Jester while I was at work. I tell you, I'm going to have to have a talk with that old Jester who, by the way, fell asleep in my lap while we were sitting on the couch the other night. All four paws in the air, I kid you not! Mo may be practicing his lounging, but he's still an amateur. Don't think he'll ever master utter contentment like the King of snoozers. But I sure do enjoy watching him try. . .

Mishka finds a home

Er, well, I guess I should say, "Mishka gets to stay right where she is!":-) Mishka, the pretty much perfect dog, has found that those that could best care for her were right in front of her nose, literally. Betsy and Jim, friends of mine, had originally agreed to foster Mishka when they found out that I really needed someone to take her since she was at the vet on borrowed time. The owner wanted to put her down since she didn't want her anymore (can you believe that?!?!?) and the vet talked her into allowing Mishka to go with a rescue if one could be found. My Lexy has always been aggressive with other females, so staying here wasn't an option (or so I thought at the time.) Foster homes were packed to the hilt, as always, so lucky for Mishka she went home with Betsy the very next day. As the weeks went by, it was obvious just how much Mishka adored her foster parents and how much they adored her. Thing was, they wanted to make sure she had the great life she deserved. Mind you, she gets to live in an nice apartment where, I might add, there is a dog park on the premises, she goes for daily walks, regular baths and she has a kitty companion. Did I mention lots of love and belly rubs? Can't really imagine a better situation, really, but I didn't want to pressure them. (Though I did ask them regularly "are you sure????:-)"
Fast forward to the week of Thanksgiving. Betsy and Jim went out of town to visit his folks. Mishka, we earlier discovered, was pretty much loved by all dogs who met her, including my bossy, female aggressive dog, Lexy! When they dropped Mishka off, she literally sat and stared at the front door for more than 10 minutes after they left. Heartbreaking, right? Sometimes our fosters get as attached to us as we do to them. But once again, I digress. Mishka did just fine here with me through the week. I noticed that she had become more playful since I had last seen her (she's always been very subdued:-) The week goes by with a few texts to check on Mishka of course and Mishka is still not adopted. A brief e-mail that came Friday commented on just how much they missed Mishka while they were out of town and that they were really thinking about keeping her. When they called to pick her up Sunday, I suggested that she go ahead and stay with me since she was getting along so well with my group and it would make getting her to adoptions easier. Plus, I wanted to get her to the vet the next day for a check up anyway. Betsy paused for a moment at the other end and agreed dutifully that that might be best. I could tell that the wheels were spinning:-) No more than 20 minutes passed by and my phone rang. It was Betsy and Jim. They decided that they wanted to formally adopt Mishka and could they please come get her that night because they'd been looking forward to seeing her all week and all the long ride home (from Wyoming!) Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder:-) Of course! I said. Mishka was so happy to see them and let me tell you, I didnt' even get a look over the shoulder as she pranced out the door, lol.
So now Mishka is happily where she belongs. Betsy and Jim have their baby, and I can't stop smiling, because, finally, the nearly perfect dog has found her forever home at last. . .Doesn't get much better than this!