Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am Thankful

It's hard to believe another Thanksgiving has come and is on it's way out. I'm thankful for things every day of my life, but it's that time of year when I tend to think about more than just the everyday. There are times when I find that I beat myself up over things that I can't control. And sometimes over things I can control. We all do that now and again. Then I stop and think that, as I'm only human, things happen that just simply have to be let go. Then I start thinking about all of the beauty that has touched my life and how things seem like just a blink. That's when I start to think of the souls that have touched my life, whether animal or human.

I've lost both of my parents in the last 8 years and holiday seasons have been tough. I've lost siblings, friends and pets. With each one that left, things seemed to get harder. Then, it turns out, I have a disease that is constantly trying to take me down. Sometimes I give in because I'm just tired of having to work so hard to keep moving forward. Through it all, I've had my animals and the dogs I've been fortunate enough to have come through my home while waiting for a forever home. Some made it. Sadly, others never left foster care.

This year, though, has been a start of new, happy traditions. Better memories and thanks for all of the things that have shaped my life. I've had many influences in my life, good and bad. Of all of these, the influences that have made the biggest differences have been from the animals I have worked with and from the people I have met that work to make a difference in lives of even those they haven't met yet. Those who remain positive about the world and the people in it. Those who, no matter what, strive to change things that need to be changed.

You might remember Chester, the senior, senior, senior lab that left us last year around this time. That poor dog had bones that rubbed when he walked, liver disease, the beginnings of paralysis due to damage to his spine and a list of other health issues. Yet here was a creature who would still bring me a toy for me to "throw", which usually ended up with me tossing it a couple of feet (because I was afraid he'd fall over if I threw it farther!) and him scrambling in pure happiness to "fetch" it and do it over again. No, I'm not exaggerating either. Everyone that met Chester loved him. I still think about that dog almost daily. It never ceased to amaze me, the zest for life he had. Yeah, so things didn't work like they were supposed to. Big fat hairy deal. He'd just walk a little slower. Eat a little slower, but he still wagged that crooked old tail and would give kisses any time you were within 5 inches of him:-) I need to continue to take a lesson from that (well, maybe except for the kissing anything within 5 inches, lol). We all hear about humans who deal with issues like this and worse and God bless them, for sure. But sometimes seeing it on tv or reading about it is a whole lot different from knowing a living being personally who understands the value of life without overthinking it. Who continues to enjoy life regardless of the future. So while I'm thankful for my family and friends, and the life I'm lucky enough to have, I'm especially blessed to know the value of really living from being with creatures that are happy, loving and exhuberant, even when they don't feel so great or maybe they don't have the best things, or they might not be getting enough attention when they want it. For this and many other things, I truly am thankful.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Er, uh, No, thanks. . .

That's what I hear in my head when I look at this picture, "No, thanks" to whatever it is that I may have asked/said/done that could have caused a face like this:-) Eclipse continues to prove the ever present theory that rescue dogs are the best dogs. Not to mention they take the funniest pictures!

He could have been saying no thanks to his neuter surgery Monday, but of course, that was never an option. No unwanted, abused or forgotten pups from this guy. He went through his surgery with flying colors and was a happy camper by the next morning. Now here he is and he'll be with us for Thanksgiving this year. Just reminds me once again that I have so much to be thankful for. A house full of fur, yes, but lots of love and undeniable comedy when I least expect it. Course, I have many blessings, but these are my dearest:-)

I got to thinking today what it must be like as an outsider taking a peek into my house full of critters, dog beds, training treats and the occasional cat. Did I mention John the cat is staying for a visit while his foster home goes away for the holiday. He's looking great and funny how I forgot just how much I like having that kitty around. I'm hoping to get some better pictures of him. He's a GORGEOUS kitty! Course, he'll be stuck in the bedroom with a view, but he didn't mind too much before. There's lots of squirrels and birds to check out there. Either way, I figure, until my niece (who is as honest as they come) tells me my house smells like dog or a friend gives me the "look", then I think I'll not have to worry. This will also be my first Turkey Day as a vegetarian. Wonder what my dogs will think of tofurkey? Bwhahahahaha, me NIETHER!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clean and shiny

There's no doubt in my mind that this boy once had a home. This is Eclipse, though I find myself calling him Clipper, why? I have no idea. However, in less than 24 hours he's shown me that while he doesn't like it, he will calmly tolerate a bath (if you don't mind him leaning his wet head on you:-), he knows sit, he's a fan of hugging humans and kissing them on the nose:-) He's gentle with treats and fits in well with the pack here. Lexy has been trying to engage him in play, which he happily obliges. But as soon as he bumps her back legs, she gets cranky and gives him a what for. That's the end of that. Poor Lex is just not as mobile as she was in her younger days:-( She sure would like to be though, there's no doubt about that. Eclipse seems content to give her an "I'm sorry" nose poke once she's not crabby anymore and that's good enough for her.

I have no doubt that Eclipse has shepherd in him and upon first glance I thought husky, but he sure doesn't have the temperment of either of those dogs. Both breeds and mixes of those breeds are great, but in my experience have been high energy and quirky. This guy is a mellow fellow for his young years (estimated at about 3 I think, with some truly pearly white teeth!) He's content to go outside to potty then come back in and hang out. Seems to want nothing more than to be cozy in the house hanging out with others. He's not a "shover" either. You know, the ones that shove their way past other dogs. He's okay standing wherever as long as he's getting attention. Cody and Ginger could sure learn a thing or two from him:-) So what he is mixed with? Your guess is as good as mine. good old Heinz 57. The best kind of canine!

Anyway, he'll hopefully get neutered in the next couple of days. Until then he's on leash patrol only. I'm not willing to take any chances on him hopping the fence and doing who knows what! He seems okay with that too actually:-) We've gone out many times since last night and he's perfectly fine taking care of business while on lead. I've had dogs in the past that had, er, um, privacy issues I suppose. If I had them on leash or where they could see me, they refused to go. That's where REALLY long leads come in. Until a dog is neutered and pretty much guaranteed (in my opinion anyway) not to be a jumper, he has to do potty breaks with me in tow. Just don't want to contribute to the overpopulation of animals when I work so hard trying to educate folks to prevent it.

More pictures to come in the future. Wouldn't you know I got a couple of pictures and my camera battery died. OY! Needless to say, the pack here seems perfectly content to share thier space with E and Blue now has another male to sass:-) As for me I enjoy sitting back and watching my dogs do the magic they do that tends to bring out the best in new dogs who come to our house. With E already being such a sweet boy, it will be interesting to see in what new ways he blossoms. Animals truly are amazing creatures. Gotta love 'em:-)
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


 Okay, I know I've really sucked big time about keeping up with the blog lately.  I have to admit, even I'm irritated with me and my lack of updates.  Honestly, sometimes just sitting down to write can be hard to do when I know there are a million things I'd like to say and just don't know where to start.  So avoidance seems to be the easiest answer. Luckily, we've had some happy changes and are welcoming our newest foster Eclipse.  He was found as a stray and taken in by Stray Rescue.  Seeing as they have taken over the city pound they are doing an amazing job of trying to coordinate with and work with other rescues to try to make sure dogs are placed and room is made for the new ones.  He's just a bit shy, but very quick to warm up.  He's got the most stunning blue eyes.  He's already shown me that he's great in the car and good with the other dogs (he and Cody have already been playing tonight and he's wooed my bossy girl, Squirt:-)  More details and pictures after he's had a bath and settled in a bit longer.  I will say, he made my heart melt when I was sitting in the living room on the floor talking to him and he just walked over and pushed his head up under my chin and stood there letting me hug him.  The stillness and trust of a new dog doing that just speaks volumes to me that words could never describe. 

I was at the Pine Street Shelter today and It's amazing what a wonderful job they've done there.  Honestly, my house is not as clean as this shelter is!  And the dogs, while I'm sure would be happier in forever homes, truly looked settled, not freaked out and stressed out.  In fact, all but a few were taking naps and this was at about 3pm!  Not that I didn't want to take all of those dogs home, but it sure beats the heart wrenching memories of the city pound *shudder*.

Funny little Blue is still here.  She's had two inquiries in the past month, but both either found another dog or were concerned about Blue's medical issues.  It's hard to be old, whether you're a dog or human.  Folks don't want to have to deal with your aches and pains.  I think sometimes it reminds them of their own mortality.  Heartbreak also comes with having pets.  Eventually, even if you start with a pup, they have to move on to a "better place".  It can be hard to know that sometimes a few weeks, months or even a year is all you might have with a pet.  It can be so worth it.  I do understand why folks would rather not adopt an older dog sometimes, but I feel bad for them because they just don't know what they're missing.  Meanwhile, Blue continues to do well, sleep soundly and eat heartily:-)  She's just an all around happy old gal.  Love that old fart.  You never know, she may just get the right home yet.  Until then, she's dreaming happily on her bed, most likely about breakfast!