Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Lucky Ones

TRex the Bat and Jingle the Mummy
Today a few of us got together and had an informational table at Treats Unleased in Chesterfield about Proposition B.     We took only dogs with us that came from Missouri's puppy mills.   We had leaflets we were giving out and so many people said "I don't need one, I'm voting yes!"    The dogs we had with us were either our own dogs or dogs in foster from puppy mills and they were all dressed up for Halloween!    These dogs are most definitely the lucky ones.    If they haven't already found their forever home, then they are at least spending their time in a home with people who love them and will give them food so they're not hungry, water that they're not thirsty, and a warm bed to sleep in.

Victoria the Pumpkin
It was a really nice morning and it felt good.   It  felt  like we're doing our part for these dogs.    Honestly, in my mind I can not comprehend why anyone would be against Proposition B here in Missouri if they truly UNDERSTAND the measure.     Every argument I've heard against is just plain not true.    People are saying it's the first step in making eating meat illegal or not allowing hunting, or they completely exaggerate the proposition like there'll need to be the same amount  of room for two chihuahuas as there is for 50 dobermans, etc.      In truth, this is only about dogs and the dumb argument about the chihuahuas is absolutely a lie.    First of all, the measure doesn't affect anyone with less than 10 breeding adult animals.    Secondly, the cage measurements required are based on the SIZE of the dog.      If an intelligent person reads Proposition B, they will see clearly that it's about treating dogs humanely.   It's not asking for crazy out of this world measures.     Just simple things like enough food, clean water, rest between breeding cycles and veterinary care.     One of the favorite arguments against Prop B is that sufficient laws are already on the books here in Missouri.    That's really not the case, unfortunately, because these current regulations can not be acted upon by law enforcement - only the department of agriculture.   And these "amazing laws" are staying - they're not going anywhere.    They will just be easier to enforce and the consequences will be more than a few bucks to pay in a fine.     If these laws were really so strong and strict, do you think the majority of puppy millers in our nation would randomly choose Missouri as their home?   Do you think it might be our magnificent ocean views or mountain ranges that are attracting them?   No it's because it's easy to make a buck in Missouri by treating dogs horribly for a profit, and easier to get away with it.     Did you know currently the Department of Agriculture requires a vet visit to each breeder once a year.   BUT ... he or she (THE VET!!)  isn't even required to examine one dog?    What's the point?
Radar the Pumpkin and Heather the Ski Bunny

Yesterday and today were part of a HUGE puppy mill auction sell out in Mexico, MO by a very notorious family here in Missouri.     An expose was done on them on Fox 2 News (See the Story From July, 2010) that showed the puppy store they owned was stocked by a puppy mill that was often non compliant with Missouri laws ... but still in operation with over 1000 dogs!   When this came out, their landlord actually wouldn't renew their lease for the puppy store and they've chosen to go out of business.     Because of their notoriety, rescues (and breeders) from across the nation converged on Mexico, MO the past couple of days with their sights on these dogs.       Here's the coverage from Fox 2 last night.

Unfortunately, the Amish were in full force and was outbidding rescues by hundreds of dollars.    The Amish are one of the worst puppy milling cultures in the United States.   In fact, one of my friends in our group Becky constantly gets emails from various Amish millers saying "Come pick up this dog by tomorrow or I'm shooting it."    I'm sad to say they had very deep pockets this weekend and went home with a lot of dogs.    Maybe in a couple of years Becky will get one of those emails and we'll be able to help them out at that time.

Meet Bonham

For now, let's concentrate on one of the brand new lucky ones.     I personally picked up this beautiful "red wild boar" smooth coat male dachshund from Becky last night.    He is very sweet and mellow and spent almost the entire night last night playing with Burton.    They kept me up like crazy!    I understand why people get so caught up in bloodlines of certain breeds when I see a dog like this.    He is just plain majestic.    I was trying to incorporate Prop B into his name and I was going to name him B-Ber.    But JTK the law abiding tween male that he is, is incapable of having anything that might remind him of Justin Bieber IN OUR HOUSE.     So, I had the brilliant idea to go with Bonham because it's part of the name of Tim Burton's wife.    Hence, a little bit Halloweenish and it starts with B.   Plus, I just like saying "Bonham and Burton" together. :)     Bonham is 5 years old and has the teeth of a 15 year old.    He's probably considered a "tweenie" because he feels VERY solid.     I don't think he weighs less than 11 lbs which is the cutoff to be considered a minature dachshund.

No longer known as "S24"

Now if you ever have any question that a dog from a puppy mill is anything but a commodity - more akin to a piece of lumber or a bale of hay than a sentient being, here's a photo of the tattoo on Bonham's inner ear marking him for life as a serial number.    As of today, Bonham has a real name and he will most assuredly live the rest of his years out in dachshund deserved luxury.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One of those weeks ...

Yeah, it's been one of those weeks that brought a poster to mind I had when I was a teenager.   Actually, I think every teenage girl on the planet probably had a similar poster.  ;)  

I've been feeling under the weather for a while.   Just when I thought I was getting better, I ended up feeling worse than ever last night.    It's my usual May & October issue with allergies that end up turning into some sort of infection.  And with no insurance and no job - I'm not up for spending at least $125 for a Dr visit and some meds.  boohoo    I'm very disappointed because I was going to go to a very well publicized puppy mill auction tomorrow.    It's an auction of one of the most notorious millers in Missouri.   This miller had a pet store and an expose was done on them showing exactly where the dogs came from - a puppy mill with over 1000 dogs.     Rescue groups from across the country, Canada and even Europe are working together to get as many of these of 800+ dogs out of the system.     The sad thing is, many of them have been in the mill since 2000.     10 years and all they've known is the life trapped inside a cage.   That's so unthinkable.     There's worry among rescues that these dogs will be very hard to place and we might be taking on a lot of financial liability.   But you know what, we're in it to help the dogs.   And right now we'd better walk the walk if we're going to talk the talk about Proposition B.   And I'm happy to say our little group will be represented at this auction, I just won't be one of the volunteers in attendance.

My computer is also still messed up.   The virus is gone, but I can't access the Internet right now.  blech.    Joey received ISS (in school suspension) from a teacher he has had a very difficult time with.   She speaks with a heavy accent, she teaches math, she won't allow questions in class and it's just not a conducive environment for Joe to learn in.   Yeah, I'm the blind Mom who sees no wrong in their kid.   Actually, I do see wrong - I just don't see what he does as Wrong as others do.    Why do you think he was written up?  Because he said his teacher could be a "professional statue" ... sigh ... there are so much worse things a 12 year old kid could do.    My neighbor turned me into the health department AGAIN for having too many dogs.   The last time this happened I was hysterically upset.    This time I'm just pissed.   I knew something would happen because I had a nasty note on my door a couple of weeks ago saying that I left my hose on and it leaked into her basement and ruined her throw rug.      I have to admit, I googled "how to secretly mess with your neighbor" last night.     Nothing came up good and even though I am sorely tempted I wouldn't  do anything.   I really do believe in what goes around comes around and I'm terrified if I do something intentionally crappy to someone my luck will get even worse.

Today I had a fun day taking my drug test for my new job.    The first time I "provided my specimen" I didn't get it to the fill line as needed.     I am very uncoordinated when peeing in a cup - it was a monthly ordeal when I was pregnant with Joey.    Well, when I took my pee cup out to the medical assistant, she started sloshing it around to see if it was full enough.    When they decided it wasn't, they had a little committee of 3 of them asking me why I couldn't pee enough.   I lied, of course, and told them I spilled some instead of saying half of it when all over my hand.    One was really rude "How could you spill it?"    Well, it IS possible considering the precarious situation and ickiness.     So I'm told if I don't submit a sample within 3 hours I will automatically fail the test.   I asked them why I couldn't just add to the pee I already had and they told me because they test it onsite, it all has to be the same temp.   (Anyone got a microwave!?! ha)   So.... for the next hour I sit in my little exam room and chug water every five minutes.   I was so freaked out that I wanted to make sure I really had to pee and the girl kept checking on me every 10 mins which did not relieve any amount of stress.   AARRGGHH

So, there was general applause when I peed aplenty.    But here's where it gets really good.    I don't know why, but they choose my pee to teach someone how to do one of these tests.     And ... you guessed it!!!  The girl screwed up, invalidated the test and they had to send it off to the lab anyway.    Oh yeah, they ended up pouring a bunch of my pee out so and if they had just taken the first batch and sent it off I would have an hour back of my life.    There's gotta be a lesson in all of this somewhere .... right?    Until then, baby - I'm hangin' in there!  :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

1000 Clicks

We get weekly updates from Petfinder showing the number of views each dog available for adoption through our group receives.   In the past month, Natsumi has received a weekly average around 250.    That means, someone actually clicked on her picture and read her bio 250 times in a 7 day period.    The one thing the report doesn't tell us the number of users.    Theoretically, this could be 250 single people viewing her or one person obsessively viewing her 250 times in one week.

No matter how it shakes out, I don't understand why she hasn't been adopted.    I NEVER have fosters that are viewed over 200 times in a week.    That frenzy is usually reserved for puppies or rare breeds.   Saburo was getting around 90 a week, which I am thrilled with and TRex averages less than 30 a week.

At first it seemed that Natsumi's rise in popularity began with her being spotlighted as a "Dog of the Week" by our dedicated blogger, Elisa.   I figured it would be a blip in the graph of views but it would go back down to my usual foster average.    But, it hasn't.      She's right below the heavy hitting puppies every single week.   :)

Now that I have accepted that she's a popular view, I'm curious as to why I have her still.    She is such a hit at any event she goes to.     She's so cute and so sweet.    I have to guess it's her vision problems that make people nervous.     I had a hard time watching her the first few days she was here, there was something so pitiful about her bumping into things.    But she doesn't do that anymore and she acclimated amazingly quickly and well.   I just can't move things around too much or she gets very nervous when there's an unexpected obstacle in her way.

She is so sweet and mellow.   I have to put eye drops in her eye twice a day and I just have to say "Natsumi, time for eye drops" and she goes right over to her favorite dog bed and lets me put them in.   These eye drops cost about $46 for a large bottle and they last about 7 months.     I'm keeping the faith and I have to believe one of those 1000 clicks will result in Natsumi finding her forever home.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun Weekend

Tina Rockin  A Jester Look

Well Joey and I and some of our four legged friends had a blast this weekend.    Last night our group had our annual trivia nite and we had so much fun.    The questions seemed ultra hard this year, but it was fun to hang out and visit with friends without having to take dogs for potty breaks.   :)    We didn't take the game too seriously so we don't know how bad (or good!) we did.     The event raises a lot of money for our group and as it was our second venture trying it out, we did even better than last year.    This is certainly going to help save a lot of dogs and catch our group up on vet bills.

Becky's Sweet Girl Hazel

Today we attended the Gateway Lo-Downs Howl-O-Wiener party.     This is a local dachshund lovers group that I've known about for some time but just recently joined.    I was able to hang out with some good friends today and see about 60 dachshunds in Halloween costumes.   If that doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will.     Everyone looked great and the dogs tolerated it in great style.    Some people are sooo imaginative.     There was someone who dressed their doxie in a Super Mario Costume, someone had their 3 dears in Alice In Wonderland themed wear, 2 had on beautiful kimonos and Velma was dressed as an alien while Niko was an astronaut.     I have to admit, I go with whatever will fit and I think will stay on halfway.   ;)   There was this delicious lettuce salad - I have to get the recipe.    I knew it had apples in it, but when I tried it I realized it was caramel covered apples.   YUM

Becky's Girl Piper
We took Suzie and Tina and they were so well behaved, I was amazed.   They can be a little obnoxious at adoption events but they were so sweet and happy, it's just proof they knew they were just there to have a good time.

Happy Velma
Today also came with the wonderful news that Saburo is still doing  great in his new home.    He just LOVES his dog brother so much.     Sometimes I think that makes all the difference in the world.     I saw Katie today who has become a friend of mine after she adopted my foster, Calypso.   She renamed her Velma and her and Dan already had a black and tan smooth coat doxie named Niko.   Niko and Velma are two peas in a pod - they love each other so much.    I remember the day Velma met Niko, even though she was very nervous and scared she gave him a kiss.     Thanks to Tara and Tankerz and Katie, Dan and Niko for giving some of my temporary babies such wonderful homes.
Tara'z Boyz Snoozing Away  ZZZZZ

A special thanks to Becky and Tara for pictures today.    My computer has a virus and Joey has forgotten the  admin password on his netbook so I can't install my camera software.    Heavy Sigh!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ready For Trivia Nite

 A few of us met at Carpenter's Hall tonight to get the place spiffy and ready to go for tomorrow night.    Joey and I were charged with putting up the Halloween decorations, like we did last year.     There's something so fun about putting up decorations     Lesa was nice enough to treat us all to some pizza too - YUM!

It sounds like we have a sold out evening, which will hopefully raise a good amount of money for our group.     We're a little group, but we are mighty when we put our minds together for the good of the group.  :)

Joe ... Decoratin' Fool
Burton has turned into quite the mischief maker ... this little dog can not bear me typing on the computer.   He keeps jumping in my lap and trying to stomp around on the desk.   I've put him down about 6 times already.   This last time, he worked his long doxie body around my neck and he had his head resting on my head.   Ok, fine, I'll try to deal with that ... but then he burped!!  EEWWW   I could just imagine wet dog puke dripping down my face, so I put him down asap.    For any of you WWE fans out there, Burton is definitely a high flyer!   He can jump so high and it drives me crazy because we know dachshunds shouldn't be doing this stuff!

The other day I was soooo frustrated with Burton.   Remember me blogging about getting trivia nite baskets together?   Well ... Burton found his way into the gated area and decided to shred the plastic covering on some of them.   I FREAKED.   I mean, Gerry and Linda worked very hard to shrink wrap these baskets and put them in just perfect order.    What in the world was I going to do?   I had to go to 3 different dollar stores, but I finally found some clear gift basket bags and some fancy bows to cover up his dirty deed.    He even nibbled on one of the gift certificates inside the basket.    What a typical male doxie he is!!  :)     I didn't dare tell Lesa, Gerry and Linda what had happened until I fixed the problem.  They have been super stressed about preparing for trivia nite and I did NOT need to add Burton's Badness Madness to the mix.  ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dogs in Shirts

There is something SO cute about a dog in a little tshirt.  I love putting my dogs in clothes and tshirts are easy to deal with and something I feel comfortable with them hanging around in.   AND I get to make a statement.  
Here's Burton's tshirt which says 100% tree hugger.      Hoppers says The Dogfather ... he is my grumpy alpha dog so that really fits.   And then Cooper and TRex get matching shirts -  a nutty looking little skull and crossbones.     It really fits because they can't stand each other.   They all look so cute!

Wonderful, wonderful news - I received a job offer today!   Not only will it include benefits, but it also is a fairly big increase over what I was making at my last job.   AND there's someone already working at the office I consider a very good friend so I feel more than lucky.    I start November 1st and I have to go through a background check, criminal check, drug test, fingerprinting and massive amounts of paperwork.   That's ok, though, I am very very relieved.

I've lost a few jobs in the past few years and it generally was the result of someone wealthy wanting to make or keep more money.   The last job I held,  I was let go because the company couldn't afford me.   I found out just last week that the owner paid over $9,000 cash to buy a car off EBay and then took a lengthy overseas trip shortly after I was let go.     Seems like my salary might have been getting in the way of some big ticket purchases.     I get so angry when I hear things like that.    It makes the whole situation seem even more unfair.     But I have to look at it like this - I just needed to face a few lean months to get  into a much better and more stable position.   It's a big company, not a small local one so I imagine things will be done much more "by the book."  

That's one of the reasons I appreciate working with dogs so much.    They're really straight forward and they'll never stab you in the back for a chance at a convertible caddy.  ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting Ready For Trivia Nite

Gerry hard at work making things Just Right!

Our group is holding its second annual Trivia Nite this Saturday night, October 23rd.   It's a really big fundraiser for our group and it's a lot of fun.    People don't realize how much time, energy and work is done for an event like this.    When you consider that our group is 100% volunteer, it's amazing how much people take care of sacrifice all in the name of helping out dogs in our community.     People have been working for months for this event and even after Saturday night, there will still need to be thank you letters that are sent out to those who helped make it a success.      Trivia Nite would not be possible without the help of Linda, Gerry and Lesa.    I wonder if anyone, besides those three, really know the amount of work they've put into this?    I have some idea, but I don't think I see the whole picture or extent of their dedication.

Baskets To Be Made!
I met with Gerry and Linda today to get some of our gift baskets assembled and ready to go.    We raffle these baskets off during our fundraising nights.    They're really fantastic prizes and everything is donated either by volunteers within our group,  by businesses we've approached and just all around fans of our group.     Today I took few hours to help get things together.    The real work is for the months leading up to this event where volunteers in our group are contacting all sorts of businesses to solicit donations to be included in these fabulous gift baskets.   They spend hours on the phone securing a hall, coordinating drinks to be delivered, organize a time for the hall to be open for decorating and set up, etc, etc, etc!
One of our newer volunteers in our group even walked the length of Main Street in St. Charles and obtained countless gift certificates and wonderful items to be included in a St. Charles basket.    She actually got so many things, we were able to create two different gift baskets from all of her hard work.

Some of the gift baskets are just created by combining single, but amazing donations that were given to our group.    One of my favorite gift baskets created today was one for a cat lover.      The container itself is a great leopard print cat carrier and it's bursting to the brim with brushes, bowls, treats, toys, a stuffed animal and $100 Woodard Cleaning gift certificate!     There's also a suite with 12 tickets for a Blues game, a wine basket, Fitz's soda and gift certificate, a gardening themed basket, quite a few "dog" inspired baskets and loads of other wonderful goodies people can buy raffle tickets for.

From what I've heard, we have sold out all of the tables for the event.   That's really exciting news.    We'll be there with additional crafts and items to benefit our group and we'll have an informational table set up to encourage people to VOTE YES ON PROP B.   :)
Who can resist me???

Oh yeah, here's a picture of Burton completely disturbing me as I was trying to type this blog.    As you can see, he's definitely feeling a lot better and cute as a button.    He can't bear to not be paid attention to, so he jumped up into my lap and then onto the computer desk.    Well, that wasn't enough?   Let's get IN FRONT of the computer!   Yep, I have a shirt on him ... looks pretty darn cute too!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last Grass Cutting Day of 2010 ... woohoo

Burton and Hopper tug of warring over new toy
I am so excited to have gotten my last grass cut in for the year.   I DEPLORE cutting the grass, it drives me crazy.    Plus, you always have to do a "poop check" right before you cut so you're not splashing through anything nasty.     It always strikes me how my world revolves around dogs because with the weather,  my favorite temps and days are based around how it affects the dogs and their bathroom breaks.    Personally, I love rainy days - but I hate how my dogs won't go out in the rain.   Worse, it sucks having to pick up soggy poop in your yard.   I love hot days that bake the turds into little bricks that are easy to pick up, or the chilly days that freezes the turds into poopcicles that are easy to pick up too.     Wet days aren't the only bad days in regards to dog poop.   Days that are just in between that allow the poop to melt instead of harden also suck.    HA   I told you - these are the things I think about.   "Wow, this is a perfect day to pick up dog poop!"  probably isn't how most people react to a beautiful day.

In case you're wondering, this is MY toy
I don't know if Burton has ever been around a lawn mower before.   He didn't show any fear of it, which I don't like to see.    My dogs generally stay in the yard while I'm mowing but very far away.   Burton did choose to poop a great big pile,  in the very small area that I had not cut yet!   Doesn't it figure?  :)

One of my favorite things is Cynthia gets into a frenzy when I cut the grass.  I don't know why, but she just races around my yard in circles with her fluffy pomeranian hair flying behind her.   It is one of my all time favorite things to see.     I wish I could capture it on film, but she would just show up as a blur of black and tan.     Cynthia is always going to be my odd little girl and I love her just the way she is.    She's been more affectionate with me - but always while I'm in the bathroom.  I guess she figures I can't come running after her. ;)

Fuzzy Bird Must DIE !!
We spent a nice bit of time outside this afternoon while the dogs played and pranced around.   It was a really nice afternoon and we all enjoyed being out in it.    I presented Burton with a new toy ... well it was one I had bought on clearance quite a while ago and I just gave it to him today.   I was just explaining to someone this weekend that I buy all of my dog's toys on clearance at PetCo during our adoption events.   So... my dogs get to play with Halloween toys during Christmas and  Valentines Day toys during Easter.   They don't care, it squeaks, it's fluffy ... who cares what color and theme it is?    Today's I think is from Spring or Summer 2009.   It's this really weird bird in a hat with rope legs ... Burton and Hopper played tug of war but as I said yesterday Burton "gets" toys much better than my schnoodles do.

Kimz ... I weady to be FWEE
TRex is adapting quite well to his cone, I'm hoping he can get out of it in a couple of days.   His chest looks so much better.    I admit, I take it off him at night and let him sleep like that.   He looks at me with his ginormous eyes and just pleads with me to let him out ... just like in this photo.  :)    He oddly enough looks really cute in it, doesn't he???

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Slow Adoption Day

Spider Girls, Spider Girls ....sing it with me now!
Our group had 3 adoption events today and I don't think anyone was adopted.     We were at the Science Center, PetCo and Four Muddy Paws.    I think most everyone in St. Louis had their mind on enjoying the beautiful fall weather.    It's kind of like we're reminded on days like this that winter is headed our way so we'd better just take it easy and hang outside while we're able.

I had Suzie, Tina, Natsumi and my own dog Jingle with me.    It was girls only since Joey was camping and TRex is still wearing his "cone of shame" as Elisa likes to put it.  :)    I did force everyone to wear Halloween costumes, but that's one of my favorite parts of October. 

CoCo The CUTIE!!
Here's a picture of another volunteer's foster dog.    CoCo,  is up for adoption and from what I hear he is a fantastic little dog.    Not only is he adorable, but he's housebroken and loving.    He's a little  Pomeranian but he reminds me of a collie because of his beautiful coloring.    We were at  Four Muddy Paws today and that's the perfect type of event  for CoCo and many other dogs.   People really get the chance to see the true personality of the dog because the environment is so relaxing and playfu.    At PetCo, CoCo tends to bark a lot because it's so much more hectic and stressful there.     People see a crazy barking dog and they pass him by, but that's just how he is at PetCo because he's stressed out.    But today he was sweet and loving and an absolute joy to be around - which is how he is at his foster home.   He is just a doll ... if only I had room.  ;)  We're not sure of his age because his teeth were in bad shape.   People will try to determine the age of the dog by the shape their teeth are in   But that's so unreliable.   For example, f you have a little dog and their teeth weren't taken care of the dog could be 5-6 years old but their teeth look like they came from a 10-12 year old dog.     His teeth say 10, but his energy level and playfulness put him around 5 or 6.

Just to update you on Burton - he is doing great.    He's playing like mad and has let me hear what a gigantic, TREMENDOUS bark he has.    He loves squeaky toys sooo much.    One of my favorite thing about dachshunds is that they know how to play with a squeaky toy!!  (Not my schnoodles!)  Dachshunds  always seem find the squeaker and they will not let go!   It's  squeak squeak squeak squeak, nonstop.   He's even drug some toys out from underneath my furniture I had forgotten about.  The day he came home from the hospital, I bought him a special Halloween squeaky toy and he destroyed the squeaker, but he still loves that toy.   I'm convinced he knows I bought that one especially for him.
I put Burton on Petfinder just this morning because we have a "donate" button next to all of our fosters.   If someone can't adopt a dog, but they might want to send a donation to our group it's an easy way for them to send a donation our way.   Due to the cost of his hospitalization, I thought I could try and get some donations to help pay for his care.   Surprisingly enough, I received an email today from someone that's interested in him because he won't be available to go to a new home for 1-2 months!  What was really odd, the lady mentioned her last dog's name was Mario.   Isn't the universe so mysterious and great sometimes?      When something like that happens, I always take it as a message of hope and love.   In this case, from Mario.  

Today I saw a beautiful sign hanging inside Four Muddy Paws and now I want one!  I found it to be very sweet and soothing .    I looked it up and found a number of places online to buy this beautiful SIGN.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WOW What a difference a week can make

Chris one of the techs who cared for Burton
I was able to pick Burton up from the hospital this morning.    Everyone thought he was a "depressed" or quiet dog at the hospital.   But I saw the real Burton the first day he was here and knew his true nature is a silly and sweet and lovable boy.   He was so scared when the tech brought him out to me, his entire body was trembling.    He started to calm down when I took him outside, he was doing much better in the car, and then back to his old self as soon as he got do do some "window surfing."   On the way home he insisted that I keep the window down. :) It got chilly, so I finally put it up and I thought the dog was going to use his doxie nose to push it right back down.

Burton enjoying the smell of fresh air!
 Now that he's back home with me, he is doing GREAT.    Burton has actually played a little since  he's  been home.    Hopper and Cooper were playing with a squeaky toy in the back yard and Burton chased after them and when he got a hold of it, he shook it in his mouth like there's not tomorrow.    He's also  been my constant companion since we've been home.     He will not let me out of his sight.   At one point he wanted to go outside, but he kept looking over his shoulder until I joined him before he actually went all the way out.   I sat on the back steps waiting on everyone and he came and sat at my feet.   It struck me as particularly sweet.
The vet said he didn't eat canned food very well, but gobbled down the dry.  I had a choice of either bringing home some special canned food or cooking boiled chicken and white rice for the next 3 days.   Since he wasn't too thrilled with the canned food, I figured cooking for him would be our best bet.   I need to get him to eat 1 1/2 cups of the chicken and rice in small meals about 5 times a day.    The hardest thing about feeding this delicious concoction to Burton is the frenzy it sends every other dog into.    While I was boiling the chicken, all the dogs started gathering around immediately.    Then,  when I took Burton into another room to feed him and him alone were highly offended .

Kimz, dis is wun ob da wurst fings EVUH!
 TRex is having an "obsessive licking" issue.    He's licking either side of his chest like crazy.    It's not to the point that it's caused a bloody hot spot, but it's scabbing over and fairly gross.   I had a shirt on him and that worked for a while,  but then he started licking the shirt.    That almost made his skin worse because he had wet fabric stuck to his skin.   I just got him an ecollar and he hates it.   I guess I'll see how this works.   I haven't decided if he needs to go to the vet.   The last time we had this problem, it was with his paw and they ended up giving him puppy Valium basically to calm him down.    I had to wrap his paw daily in a sock and tape and made a little temporary cast.   By the next morning, he'd have it off and we'd start all over again.   It distracted him and hopefully he'll get so obsessed about this ecollar and getting it off that he'll forget his obsession about licking his chest.   TRex is a very sensitive boy and I wonder if my being so upset this past week has affected him?   Poor guy.    I'm going to try and give him extra attention, love and play time.    Doesn't he look unbelievably pitiful in this?  

I have a VERY good chance at that job - basically if Corp HQ approves a new hire, I'm it! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I got a tail wag from Burton!

When I went to visit Burton today, not only did he walk the length of his cage to be held he also wagged his tail on the way.   I felt so much better by just that tiny little movement.   He was a little love bug too.   He acted almost like a cat rubbing his little head against mine and he started "talking" a little bit to me today too.   He hasn't done that since the first day I had him.   :)   YAY   I feel soooooo much more hopeful today.     He was seriously asking for belly rubs and he actually wanted to get down and run around on the floor!  Of course, he's not allowed to do that and I don't think his IV would reach anyway.

When I left, I took a peak at his chart.   He has not thrown up since yesterday morning AND it said he appeared to have eaten a tiny bit.   Today, his bowl looked like there was a tiny bit gone as well.    The vet didn't call me today, I've kind of become a fixture at the vet and now I don't even have to sign in anymore they already know why I'm there.   They don't even attempt to babysit me anymore, but I think they have a webcam in the room.    You know what they say - even paranoids have enemies.  ;)

What's so funny, yesterday and today when I've left he peed all over the place.   I told Joey that's   Burton's way of saying "I'm so glad to see you Kim, I pissed my pants!"  :)   Joey, of course, informed me that Burton doesn't wear pants ... I have a 12 year old buzzkill!  haha

These pics are blurry because it's me trying to take our picture.    With Burton being much more active and curious today, things got a little blurry but I still wanted you to see him looking around and not just lying in my arms.   Burton's future looks so much more promising today.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Burton Seems to be Improving

Feeling Hopeful 10/11/10
 I am so happy to report that Burton seemed so much better this afternoon when I went in to visit.  I had spoken to the vet this morning and learned that he vomited a small amount early in the day.    That means they're pulling his food for 24 hours and giving him an injectable of the anti nausea medication.    I was so disappointed to hear this.

But when I went to visit the little guy, he immediately came over to me and wanted me to hold him.   Then, while I was holding him he actually rearranged his body a little bit so I could give him a belly rub.    While he was in my arms, he was looking all around and acting very curious.    By his behavior, I would have never known he was sick today.    He snuggled right into me and nestled his head under my chin and he also rested his chin on my shoulder.     By the time I put him back in the cage, he really wanted to stay with me but I'm conscientious of my time limit.

His little isolation buddy, the puppy seemed much better too.    The poor little guy was whining for attention.    I talked to him, but since nobody was in the room with me I couldn't ask what the protocol was for giving some much needed love and attention to him.   I saw his name - it's Toby so add this little guy in your prayers as well.

Saburo and Tankerz Snoozing Noz2Noz
 Here's a very happy picture of Saburo and his new fur brother, Tankerz.   I love this picture.    They are  ideal  for each other.    Everyone is so happy with each other and I'm bursting with pride for my boy Saburo.   He really lucked out finding such a wonderful Mom in Tara and a great playmate with Tankerz.    My house is SOOOO quiet without Saburo here.   He has such a giant personality.   I couldn't be happier for everyone involved.

Frankie's ready for chilly nights!
Here's another former foster, Frankie.   When he was with me his name was Barkley and he definitely needed to be an only dog.   He has some jealousy issues with his human in regards to other dogs.  :)   Amy adopted Frankie and she spoils him like an only child should be.     He gets the latest fashions for each season and I love to see how he's decked out.    A couple of us are trying to talk Amy into making an All Frankie Calendar since he pretty much has a matching outfit or hat for every month of the year.    Frankie's another foster that found his perfect home.    He's so lucky.

Thank you my friends for sending me happy pictures to brighten my day.   I love to see the wonderful endings that  these once unwanted dogs find.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Burton is holding steady ...

Burton Hospitalized 10/10/10
  I visited Burton again this afternoon and though he did vomit a small amount this morning, the tech in the isolation room said "He's doing pretty good for a parvo dog."    Still no eating, but no diarrhea.  I clarified it with the tech if Burton could even HAVE diarrhea if he isn't eating and he told me he definitely could so it's really good that he doesn't have that particular symptom.    This is a picture of Burton today, all cuddled up in one of the gowns one of the workers gave him.     Yesterday they had to clean his cage and he was without one.   He seems so much happier to have a little extra cushioning.   He seems happy to see me.    Today he seemed very aware of the tech's presence.   He was the same one in there yesterday and just an all around nice guy.    I don't cry in front of him because I want to keep as much positive energy around him as I can.    Today, I almost cried while I was there.   But I didn't - it probably helped that the tech was with me all the time working on getting Burton's new IV ready.   Burton's IV "blew" which is apparently common when they have it in for multiple days.   It sounded like a normal situation.

Burton Hospitalized 10/09/10

The sad news is there's a new little puppy in isolation as well who has tested parvo positive.    He looked to be in really bad shape - he's very little and that makes so much of the difference.    As I said before, parvo doesn't kill the dog.   It's the effects of the virus - the body becomes totally depleted and it's just too much stress on a dog's body.    Throwing up,  diarrhea and not eating for days really ravages the body of a small dog.     I'm so hopeful for Burton.   He is a fully grown male and he might, by some miracle have had a parvo vaccination at one time in his life.       I was hoping he'd be home tomorrow.   He's expected to be in the hospital 4-10 days.    Tomorrow will be the 5th day.

I also attended an event for Proposition B sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society this afternoon.   I'm really glad I went even though all of my friends had other commitments so I had to go it alone.   I'm very passionate about Prop B and it can just drive me crazy how uninformed people are and how much lying is going on from the opposition.    Today was a good, centering reminder on what this issue is about and it re-energized my enthusiasm to get the word out.   I got some QDoba on the way home, and I had my "Vote Yes On Prop B" tshirt on that was  made by one of our group's volunteers and the guy behind the counter asked me what a puppy mill is.    So ...  I told him and told him to make sure to vote yes.  :)   My shirt is like a traveling billboard because it's in bright red letters and let's just say, I don't have a small body or mannish topside.  ;)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Adoption Day

Today I took Suzie, Tina and Natsumi in for adoption day at PetCo.  I had Suzie and Tina both in cute little dresses and they received tons of compliments.    They looked adorable, but there wasn't anyone really interested in adopting them.     Natsumi received some interest too, but when people hear about her eyesight issues they lose interest.    She needs someone who isn't nervous about a vision impaired dog.   She gets around great and she's such a doll.     She's a very beautiful girl and very sweet, I'm sure the right home is just around the corner.

Nail Clip Time 4 Tina
PetCo's groomers had a special today for rescue dogs getting their nails trimmed at $7 each.   It was completely fortuitous because I had just asked someone this morning how much it cost and they told me they thought $10/each.   Well, $14 for two instead of $20 was a bit easier to swallow so I got both Suzie and Tina taken care of.   With their black nails, I get very nervous about clipping them myself.    Another volunteer helped with Suzie, but doing it in her lap she was only able to take a little off.    I feel really relieved having that taken care of.   One little check mark of something I don't need to worry about.  :)

Nail Clip Time 4 Suzie
Suzie, Tina and Natsumi were in an XPen which they all three just seem to do better in.     There were a couple of other, older dogs in with them and another XPen with puppies.   Somehow the XPens were pushed up next to each other and Suzie went into a frenzy.   As I've said before, this dachshund HATES puppies.   She thinks the only thing they're good for is to nip their tails and ears and make them cry.   The poor puppy was sleeping and she was still beside herself ... Suzie is definitely not slowing down with her illness.    She was really spry today and now her and Tina are crashed out for a serious nap.

I will be heading out to visit Burton shortly.    I did have a message from the vet this morning saying he hadn't thrown up since 4 pm yesterday.   They are going to try to feed him.    The hope is 1) he eats, 2) he keeps it down and 3) it doesn't give him diarrhea.     I sure hope he's doing better.   Every time I get a call or message from Ellen, the vet, or an unknown caller I get scared that it's bad news and I don't want to answer or listen to the message.

A bit of hopeful news - a job I lost out on a couple of months ago may be hiring again and they'd like me to reapply.    They have to get approval from their corporate office for another hire, but I'm really hoping this works out.   The pay is good AND  there are benefits.    I left a message as asked, this afternoon and said YES I AM STILL INTERESTED.  :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hospital Visit

I went by to see Burton in the hospital today.    A lot of people don't know that most vet's offices will allow you to visit a hospitalized pet for a short period of time.     He was very quiet and hardly moved while I was there, but at one point he did sit up on his own.   Finally, he just laid back down but he did make the effort.   I thought that was a positive thing and he was happy to see me.   I'm a big believer in visiting animals in the hospital, especially ones that might have just come out of a puppy mill or shelter environment.    To them, these places aren't that much different from a vet's office.    But if they see a friendly face and hear a recognizable voice, I think it eases their minds and helps them recover.    I just talked to him and told him very positive things and he didn't take his sad eyes off me.    He has the saddest, sweetest dachshund eyes.  

When you visit a dog who has parvo, you are entering an environment that could track the deadly virus back out into the vet's offie and into your home.   They take very serious precautions during the visit to prevent htis from happening.   Where I went today the person visiting has to don a sterile gown, disposable booties, and gloves.    Then, when you leave all of these items must be left in the room and you have to walk through a bleach solution to kill anything that might have hitched a ride on the soles of your feet.

Burton is the only dog in the quarantined room right now, so I think he's getting lots of attention.   The one tech who let me in today wasn't manning the room but told me she had left her disposable gown behind for him to cuddle in yesterday.    She advised that I leave mine behind too.   That was a very sweet gesture, and it's things like that which ease my mind and help me feel good about where he is.

The vet has been phenomenal - contacting me at least twice a day to let me know how he's doing.    His last message was that there was no change ... that kind of got me down.   But Joey took a very positive view and pointed out at least he's not getting worse.    I'd muh rather look at it like that.

Burton has vomited a number of times between last evening and this evening so at this point their not trying to feed him.   The positive?  He doesn't have diarrhea and he's remaining hydrated thanks to the IV fluids.   Burton is in the prayers and "good vibes" of a lot of people.    His name has even been passed among a group of people called "Pawcircle" on Twitter.   Elisa is our great Twitter gal and she let me know she had done that.    That really makes me happy.

Sadly, Mario did not make it.   He got much worse and his new family knew they had to let him go.    They've bought him a little dog coffin and are going shopping for a stepping stone this weekend to mark the area in their yard where the sweet boy is laid to rest.    I can't stop crying, but I am so thankful that he has a family that loves him so much that they're burying him with such love.

To paraphrase Ellen, a dog can consider themselves lucky if they leave this earth with humans that will cry at their passing.     Mario's death certainly was marked with a lot of grief and tears. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An all around crap day

I had to take Burton (the new doxie) to the vet because he was obviously feeling poorly.    He hadn't eaten since I had gotten him on Monday, which isn't completely out of the ordinary.   Sometimes new surroundings will prevent a dog from eating due to stress for a day or two.    Monday he was happy and active and doing great, just not eating.    Yesterday he was still not eating and a little more low key.   Last night, I offered him braunschweiger and he refused it.     That stuff is like crack to dogs and I got very worried when that happened.      Later in the evening, he threw up.    Not terrible vomit, just phlegm and mucus.   I've seen that before and it's been due to a respiratory type illness so I wasn't too worried even though he wasn't coughing.

This morning, I made the soonest appointment I could and called one of our other volunteers to go with me.   At this particular vet, there are only a few authorized people so they have to be at the vet with the foster parent.  I called Janet around 7:30 and she met me there for the 11:20 appointment.  

After his initial exam, the vet was very worried which freaked me out.  I just was expecting some sort of antibiotics or maybe a simple shot.   But he told us right off the bat the Burton was in really bad shape.    He went through a list of tests and options we had.    So I had to set about calling and getting approval for what needed to be done.    I was able to talk to Michel after not being able to reach Ellen and we decided we would do the following in order:   Parvo test, XRay, blood work, urine analysis. 

Unfortunately, the first test came back positive.   Burton is now hosptialized for treatment of Parvo and I hope he recovers.   From what I know, Parvo can't be treated but they can only stabilize the animal with fluids and try to get them to eat.    Dogs don't die from parvo, they die from what happens from the disease and their body just can't handle it any more.    That's why puppies have such a high fatality rate with it.   The vet was fairly positive (and this is a vet we half jokingly refer to as "doom and gloom")  but even he said  "He has everything working in his favor.    His age, how fleshy he is, and that you caught it early."

I'm very hopeful but very scared.   I've only had one other foster that had parvo and he made it out of the hospital, but then died a few days later.   He was a puppy, so I really hope that Burton's age helps him make it out of the hospital and to go on to lead a wonderful life.    I'm now in the process of cleaning all surfaces and washables with bleach.    And now that I've had parvo in my house, I need to make sure puppies don't come here for 10-12 months.    That's ok, I don't foster puppies too much but it's nice to have them as an option.

The vet told me my dogs should be perfectly fine, they're all vaccinated and he's never seen a case of a dog with recent parvo infecting a dog with current vaccinations.

If you and everyone you know could say prayers for two little doxie boys, Mario and Burton, I'd really really appreciate it.

Healing Prayer

Another Goodbye

I just got word this morning that one of my wonderful fosters, Mario, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.    Apparently on Sunday he was rushed to the emergency vet clinic by his new family because he couldn't walk and kept falling over.     They thought it might be an ear infection, but  one of his eyes wouldn't contract and that's an indication of a brain tumor.     The vet has given him some sort of medication and they're hoping to see results.   Apparently, nothing has changed.      If nothing changes by Friday, they're going to have to put him to sleep.

I don't know what to do.    Do I try to visit with him one last time?   Do I tell Joey?   I feel paralyzed with grief.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New doxie in da house

I was alerted last week that a stray, male dachshund had been picked up in a rural area and was on "stray hold" at a local, very rural shelter.    That means the shelter or pound will hold the animal for a set amount of days, with the idea of giving the owner a chance to find and claim their dog.   Once stray hold is over,  the dog may be adopted, released to rescue or put to sleep.   Our director emailed me and told me about him so I said, "sure" I'd take him if he was still available.  I didn't think he would be, though.   From the info I had gotten this boy was really cute and  super sweet - surely someone must be looking for him?   

I also think Ellen (our director) was trying to cheer me up after saying goodbye to Saburo.     Bringing in a new foster really can save the day for the mental health of a foster parent.   I know, it does start the same process all over again.    But here's another little life we have the opportunity to help and give a second chance to.   It helps the sadness of the goodbyes and keeps us looking forward.   The most important reminder is if we hadn't just said goodbye to one foster, then we wouldn't have had room for the new one we're welcoming into our home.

Today, stray hold was over so I gave the shelter a call and found out he had not been claimed.      So, I immediately headed down 55 to pick him up after Ellen gave the OK to the shelter that I could transport him.   I believe this little guy is housebroken.   I'll be able to tell much more after a couple of days.   A really great sign, though, is that he chose to use the bathroom (number 2!) after I had gotten him out of the pound and we were walking on the grass.   Not being graphic, but this guy really had to go and to know that he had held it while he was in his cage.   Not only that,  but could smell that others had gone to the bathroom in their cages and he had still chosen to hold it.   Well that's a very positive sign.

This sweet boy was definitely someones pet.   He hopped right up into my car and was ready to go as soon as  I  cleaned up his potty break.  :)   This little stinker insisted on being in my lap the entire way home.    This shelter isn't just around the corner, it's a good 45 minutes from my house!  He really wanted to keep his head out the window, but I don't do that on the highway.  (much to his dismay!)    He's a solid boy, too, my arm got very very tired after holding him a while.   Here's a picture of him enjoying his taste of freedom.    He sure is a talker.   He whined and grunted and was truly glad to be smelling the fresh air of a beautiful autumn day.

I also gave him a bath because these kids that get out of the pound always stink to high heaven.   No matter how clean they look, they are very stinky.    He was a perfect angel when I gave him a bath.  I couldn't believe it.     Then, after I got him out of the tub and was drying him off he was "talking" to me.    I tried to film it, but it didn't work.   I'd say (in a goofy, baby voice) "Dachshunds aren't supposed to be wet now are they?"  And he would just grunt and groan and whine back at me telling me just how terrible this was.  :)  Here's a picture of him still a little wet.

We haven't thought of a definite name yet.   We'd like to give him something with a Halloween feel but it can't be too creepy.     Our group recently had a contest about a name and now I wish I had thought of that!  :)    Of course, Joey is trying to talk me into another Japanese name but I am not going for it this time.   I'm in charge here, after all.  ;)   Here are the choices and I'd love some feedback.      Albus (as in Dumbledore), Burton (as in Tim), BooBoo (as in a double ghost greeting), and Bugbear which is a type of hobgoblin.    Then there's Shadow, Phantom, and Spectre too but they're kind of ordinary.      Joey really likes Tim Burton so he's taken to calling him "TB" which I'm trying to discourage.   Who wants to adopt a dog named after a deadly disease?  I have a feeling that no matter what he ends up being named, he will always be "TB" to Joe.  :)