Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fancy Banner

My talented boy Joey - thank you!!!
Isn't my new banner great?  JTK made it for me (Joey that is) because he went ahead and bought a yearly subscription to the banner making site.    If you notice, it's copyrighted to him - Shotata Platoon which is a Keronian platoon he created based on the Japanese anime series Keroro.    I love the banner!   That's a picture of one of our previous fosters who was named Barkley.   He's now Frankie and is amazingly famous due to all his great and hilarious pictures.    Barkley/Frankie came from a puppy mill and this picture was from his first snow.   He just kept sticking his face in the snow and we called him Barkley SnowBeard for a few days.  :)

Up To NO Good
Today was a busy cleaning day.   I had to clean my basement.   I have an odd house - my fireplace is in the basement and with Christmas Eve and Christmas coming up, the fireplace area has to be nice and tidy so Santa can make his trip into our home.   :)   I have a little more cleaning to do but it felt great - I felt like I got so much accomplished.   Now that I'm back to work and I have so little free time I'm a lot more productive when I'm home.  

Burton was bad to the bone because I was making so many trips back and forth to my dumpster.   I think he made it into my neighbor's yard close to 10 times this afternoon.   I think I have it figured out where he's making it through and I'm going to try and get it fixed this week.   I get paid on Tuesday so let's see what kind of damage I can do.  ;)    Here's a picture of Burton sitting on a lawn chair and it looks like he's trying to see into my neighbor's yard to plan his next excursion once he's makes it over there.   Man is he ever full of personality!

I bought this really cute item at Wal Mart - it's a little kit where you take your dog's paw or kid's hand and make an ornament.   I got it for Joey to make one with Tina and he enjoyed it so much he wants to do one for each of the dogs.    Here he is working on writing her name in Japanese and English.  ;)    It was sooo funny when Joey pressed her paw into the clay.   It's very sticky and tacky and she tried pulling her paw out of it and it wouldn't come out ... oh man, she was completely horrified and disgusted.    Joey and I could hardly stop laughing at her reaction.     It's a really cool little item - it's only $5 and you finish it in less than an hour.   You knead the clay for 2 mins, put it in the circle shape, do the paw print and bake it for 30 mins.   VOILA a timeless keepsake for your furry loved ones.

Since I spent the majority of the day in the basement, so did most of the dogs.    Here are three of the boys sacked out on the futon in the computer room.  I discovered that a queen set of sheets works just as good as a slipcover and it's sure easier to get on/off and washed!   That's why we've got the jazzy red.
Hopper, TRex and Bonham
Lastly, I want to send a big ol shout out THANK YOU to Robin.    Yesterday when she visited with Corrie she gave our group a very generous donation.    We are so grateful to people like Robin that help us do what we do.    Corrie is a very, very lucky girl to have such a sweet, kind and thoughful human like Robin.  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Visits from old friends

Our adoption day was pretty slow, but that's just fine with me.   I got to catch up with some people in our group I haven't seen for a while.     I'd been feeling crummy for so long even if I did see people, I kind of felt in a daze and didn't even remember conversations. ;)      I also got to visit with two previous fosters of mine - Velma and Corrie!   I was expecting to see Velma with her fur brother Niko and her Mom and Dad Katie and Dan.   But I was completely surprised to see  Corrie come in with Robin.

Katie and Robin both read my blog and so they both knew about Natsumi.    Both were surprised at her size and how beautiful she is in person.    She really is a sweet and pretty girl.   I've already had her longer than I expected - she gets a ton of Petfinder hits weekly.   I wonder if I should re write her bio?     This picture makes her tongue look enormous - it's really not that big!

Niko and Velma

Velma is so cute.    She LOVES boy dachshunds ... which is why I'm convinced one day Katie and Dan will no longer be able to resist adopting another one of my dachshund fosters!  :)     Velma was smitten with both Burton and Bonham and kept kissing them.   I remember when I had Saburo, she completely threw herself at him!   She was a little more reserved today ... but not much.  ;)   I think Katie and Dan were smitten with Bonham, though.    It's those pudgy paws ... it'll get you every time!    Velma and Niko are the best fur brother and sister in the world.    They love each other so much and get a lot of comfort from each other.    When Velma was first adopted, she was really shy and nervous.    But she loved Niko from day one and he became kind of her older brother and protector.    When she was nervous out in the big scary world Niko would always check on her and make sure she was ok.   I think that's so sweet.   He's a great dog.   He's so mellow and cute and sweet.    He's unbelievably handsome!     Don't they look happy together?

Here's Corrie jumping up to Robin.   Corrie was a fairly rough foster.   She has issues with female dogs and is very toy aggressive.    While she was at my house I had another foster she could not tolerate.   Her name was Nutmeg and she was so submissive, I think it sent Corrie into a mental frenzy.     Also,  no squeaky toys were allowed while Corrie was here due to her "resource guarding" with toys ... which is a nice way of saying she kicked any dog's butt who even looked at her toys.      She is a master at destuffing a toy, getting that damn squeaker out and destroying it!   I still find lone squeakers through the house from time to time.     But Corrie is in a perfect home with Robin.   There is one other dog and they get along really well because the other dog could care less about toys and ignores Corrie for the most part.   They do have their spats, though, and apparently had one just this week.   Corrie does not tolerate any amount of annoyance.   ;)     Corrie came from Cape Girardeau where her owners turned her in for running away when she was outside in a NON fenced yard.    She's about 7-8 and she had a very rough time in the shelter.    She was absolutely terrified and just laid all curled up day after day.    The staff felt sorry for her, so they'd keep her at the front desk as much as they could.   

When people turn their pets into a pound or animal shelter they have no idea what they're really doing.    The shelters do their best, but for these dogs that have been pets for years and years it's a shock to the system to be in a shelter setting.   It's loud, it's clinical and it's lonely.     Many dogs have to be put to sleep simply because they can not handle the shelter environment and completely shut down from depression.     If we hadn't taken Corrie that is probably what would have happened to her.    Poor girl can't handle the chaos and stress of a shelter - but then again neither can I.   I think of how frustrated and stressed out I get just from being at PetCo from 11-3 once a week when there's tons of dogs barking and too much commotion.   I'm really glad our group is a foster only situation.   It's good for the dogs and we really get to see the true personalities of these dogs when they're home with us.

But more often times than not, the dogs really come out of their shells and truly blossom into amazing little creatures once they find their forever homes.    Both Velma and Corrie are different dogs than when I fostered them.    And it's all because of the loving home they each have.   As one of my friend's always puts it, our fosters dogs will always love us because we're kind of like they're first love.   We're someone who took care of them and loved them during a really scary and sad time in their lives so we'll always be special to them.    But the person who adopts them is the one who has the long term "married" love with them.    They're the ones who really committed to them and took care of them for the rest of their lives.   I really like looking at it like that.   It makes me feel better and it's a good way to explain to potential adopters that no matter how much this particular foster might seem to love me and be attached to me right now, they will devote all their love and attention to their new human in just a short time.   I'll be a happy memory for them, but I'm not the one they ended up with.  :)

Here's Katie letting Burton dream about catching birds in the enclosure at PetCo.     He can just taste them - I bet he has some serious bird catching dreams tonight.  ;)    Also, I captured another picture of Burton's Hell Hound origins shining through in those red eyes.   I really do love Burton and I hope someone will come along and love his precocious spirit as much as I do!    That is if I don't scare them away in this blog.  ;)


Friday, November 26, 2010

New Camera - Thanks Black Friday!

Well I bought a pretty cool Nikon camera to replace the Kodak I had recently purchased and HATED.   I need to return it now, though.    I tried this morning but the Wal Mart actually closed down their damn returns department.    How is that possible??   I am so disappointed with my last Kodak camera.    I've had Kodak easy share cameras for the past few years and I love them.    I love the Kodak software, the cameras are so simple, they're great.    The camera I got, though, ruined the majority of my pictures it was hard to transfer and it was just an all around miserable camera.    Boo Hiss :)    This is an example of my horrible experience.     And the thing that really sucked is I seemed to have gotten a ton of really cute pictures but they got ruined after I transferred them.     ugh     But look at this beautiful picture of Burton from my new camera.    This is the only pic on this page from the Nikon.   You can see almost every strand of hair on his ears and his colors and magnificent!    And, of course, his true demon soul is shining through his eyes in red.  ;)    You can even see a cat hair stuck on his nose - which is there from him always stealing Roscoe's bed and rooting around in it with his long 'ol nose. 

So, Thanksgiving is over and I have to admit I'm relieved.   Thanksgiving isn't the easiest day for me.   I miss my Dad, I miss my nephew, I wish my brother and sister in law still lived here and I have to send Joey off to his Dad's for half the day.    It's just not the Norman Rockwell day that it's all cracked up to be.    

We had my Mom over and she stayed the night Wednesday night.   She was a little freaked out by the dog activity and I think we drove her a little insane.    But that's ok, she's already in the nutty neighborhood so it's not too far of a drive.  ;)     She brought Foxie with her and Foxie doesn't really like not being the only dog or center of attention.   She was doing better by Thursday morning, but Wednesday night she had a very, very droopy tail.   :)    Bonham and Natsumi absolutely loved having my Mom here.   Bonham would not leave her side.   She's his perfect kind of owner - someone who likes to hang around home and watch TV and stuff.    She couldn't believe what a Velcro dog he is (that's the name we give to dogs who like to really STICK to their owner's haha)    She also held and loved on Natsumi quite a while and said that she reminded her of a Teddy Bear and couldn't believe how we still had this beautiful dog.    Even my Mom was amazed at how well Natsumi gets around, though.    Once her perfect home comes along I'll be so relieved. 

Joey loves having his Grandma over.   He calls her LaLa - I don't know why he started calling her that, but he did.    Maybe it was a Teletubby influence I'm not sure.    My Mom prefers to sleep on my couch and Joey gets an air mattress out and they snooze together in the living room.    Because of that setup, they had a bunch of dogs that I would usually have in my room and I slept so great Wednesday night.   :)    Here's Joey on his air mattress with Hopper and snuggled up as always with Tina.    And that's Tina peeking out from under the covers.   

I had to work today but that's ok.    As I've told all my friends - there is no way I'm complaining about working the day after Thanksgiving because it means I'm working.   I'm covering for a girl that went on vacation so that's really cool - I'll really be able to get into the nitty gritty of everything and I'll be up to speed in no time!    There were only 7 of us there today - and all but 1 of us had been there less than 6 months.   HA   Good thing the rest of the world was busy shopping and recovering from yesterday so we couldn't really mess anything up.

I'll be at PetCo tomorrow with Natsumi, Bonham and Burton.    Hopefully Katie and Dan will be able to stop by with the doxie babies Velma and Niko.    And hopefully even more so they'll take Bonham or Burton home with them.  ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cooper Vs. The Bath

Why Must You Continue To Do This To Me??
Cooper is so darned dramatic when he's given a bath.   The dog is about 6 years old, I've had him since he's a puppy.    He's a white dog ... a bath is NOT a unique experience for him.    But ... I have to distract him once I've taken his collar off or it's impossible to catch the bugger.      When he's in the bath, he is really well behaved.    He seems to even enjoy it a little.    But once he is out of that water - it's like he's running from the wetness on his fur.    He growls and grumbles and sneers and snarls and races through the house desperately rushing from one cloth item to another in an insane frenzy to rub it ALL OFF NOW!!!!    Of course, this gets every other dog in the house wound up as well and they end up chasing him or being chased depending on which direction he's going at the time.    Tonight it was Cooper and Burton and Bonham.   It was hilarious - I couldn't get Joey to stop playing his darn Wii long enough to check it out.   ::sigh::   This picture is of Cooper shortly after he's taken his bath and he's near Joey.    He thinks Joey will miraculously be able to get it ALL OFF NOW.   :)

A little drier, a little happier
Considering how insane Cooper gets after a bath, one would think that he'd enjoy the chance to be toweled off.   Um, no!!    The towel is obviously an instrument of death created by cats and he wants nothing to do with it.    If you come near him with the towel it increases his torture exponentially in comparison to how close the towel is to him.

I had to give Natsumi a bath too because she gets dirty so quickly.   I'm going to be able to take her to the adoption event this weekend and she needs to looks as spiffy as possible.   Unfortunately, she chose to start kicking clumpable litter out of the cat litter box while she was wet.    For all of you with cats, you know that stuff basically turns to concrete once it comes in contact with liquid.   

Natsumi is my little cupboard thief.   I have to keep my pantry shut as tight as possible or she will knock various things down to eat.   Of course, all of the dogs join in but she's definitely the instigator.    That girl's nose totally makes up for her poor vision! :)    Just now I caught her ripping up some instant oatmeal packets ... geesh.   THEN she got a hold of some of my Brita pitcher filters and ran off with one!  I had to just hunt her down to save it.     Guess this is what I get for giving them baths on the Eve of Thanksgiving Eve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A dozen dogs

Dinah and her ELEVEN puppies
Today the head of our group sent out an email that a rural Humane Society has a Mama dog and ELEVEN puppies.   Oh my goodness ... I have no idea how this poor girl ended up in a pound with so many little ones but it certainly could have been avoided.    (SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS IF YOU DON'T HAVE ROOM FOR ELEVEN PUPPIES PEOPLE!!!)   So far, it sounds like everyone in our group is working together to get the puppies and the mother out of their present circumstances.    Dinah, the mama dog,  needs to stay with her puppies for a few more weeks, so one of our volunteers is going to turn her heated back porch into a puppy day care.   Then, when they can be separated different people in our group will foster them.     I bet they all find great homes by Christmas, don't you?   They should all be named after Santa's reindeers, don't you think?    They're so stinkin cute!

Last night was a very rough night with Tina.    She had one of her restless, coughing like mad nights.   She sleeps with Joey but he has no patience for losing his sleep, so he'll set her on the floor and she'll come in to me.      It was a really deep cough that would not let up.   So, I got up and sat in the bathroom with her for about 30 minutes with a hot shower running.    The steam definitely seemed to help her out.     She was so annoyed at being sequestered in the bathroom.  She was much better after that, but it meant for a shortened night of Zzzzs for me.    

Last night when I was holding Tina she was looking straight up at me and if it weren't for the grey on her face, it really struck me that she has the perpetual look of a puppy.    She always looks expectant and curious and truly sweet when she's interacting with one of us.     I think it has something to do with how she holds her ears and her little miniature eyebrows.    She really is a cute girl.     Of course, the other dogs in the house know better - Tina is to be feared!!!   :)    Tina likes to rumble through various rooms snarling at the younger dogs to get out of her way.   It's such a show - she's never bitten another dog and is actually quite submissive.   But she scares the crap out of Bonham and Burton especially!

I was thinking about how it was around a year ago at this time that we welcomed Suzie and Tina into our home.     They fit in really well and are pretty easy going dogs.    Suzie seems to be doing really well also.    She's not breathing hard very often but she has a cough on occasion.    Some of my friends had told me to expect her to act better when the weather cooled down and got rid of all the humidity and pollen.

Handsome Boy Bonham
In a couple of weeks there's going to be another dachshund party with the Gateway Lo-Downs.    We've RSVPd with only two dachshunds.    If we still have Bonham and Burton, it is going to be a very hard decision on who to take!      Someone called me this weekend to ask about the "cute dachshund" but I have no idea who that is - they're ALL cute.  :)  I left a message but never heard back ... oh well.    My diabolical plan to have a Dachshund Infested Christmas is working marvelously.  mwuhahahaha      The longer we've had Bonham the LOUDER he gets.    He is very opinionated and on alert for any intruder that might be coming out of the television set!  :)   Tonight I was watching something and a freaking parrot squawked on TV and he got so worked up he sent the entire house on red alert!   Oh well ... at least he's earning his keep. ;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What to do with a dachshund named Burton?

Geesh, my little nut case was in TOP form today.   Yes, he's still getting into my neighbor's yard and I can't figure out where.    Becky gave me an awesome idea and I am definitely going to put it into action once I have the time, inclination, funds, and find someone to saw some stuff up for me.    She suggested I get some wood lattice, cut it into pieces and then zip tie it into place.    That way it blocks Burton AND it doesn't affect my neighbor's fence because I am sure she would get mad if I damaged her cruddy fence in any way. 

This morning Burton ended up in my neighbors yard ... and he decided to go up on my neighbor's porch and start barking at my neighbor while she was in her kitchen.   I'm such a chicken $hit and didn't feel up to dealing with a cranky lady so I sent Joey over to fetch him.  HAHA   I can't believe he actually did it!   Joey thought it was hilarious what Burton was doing and he knows my neighbor never talks to him, so I guess that's why he was ok with it.   :)   Joey kept telling me we're going to get another note from the health department on our door because of Burton's antics.   I hope not.   

Then, tonight Burton got over there again and by the time I got him back on our side of the fence - I realized he's missing his collar and tag.    That's the last thing I need is for this little Houdini to be without a collar and tag for any length of time.   He's never ashamed of his behavior either, he's usually charged up and all full of himself.   After we get him back into our yard, our schnoodles Hopper and Cooper generally want to try and teach him a lesson for being so bad.   But you know what?   Burton turns it into a game and just races around the yard and when he gets near them he lunges at them and then narrowly escapes to run around some more.    With his little legs, I can't believe he can outrun Cooper but he can and boy does that annoy Coop.  :)   I had some really cute pictures of this going on tonight, but something weird happened with my camera and it kept deleting the pics before I could get them transfered.    ARGH

We visited my Mom today and we took TRex over with us.    On our way, we stopped at Starbucks and they offered him a "Puppy Latte" - it's one of the coolest things in the world.     Usually they'll put the whipped cream in a lid but today he got a sample cup filled to the rim with whipped cream.   He was in HEAVEN - the woman at the drive up was laughing like crazy at how insane he went when he saw the puppy latte.    He cracks me up at my Mom's house he thinks it's just a scavenger hunt for food and he will walk on anything he can reach - end tables, window sills, backs of couches, regular tables, etc.   I think it's funny.    My favorite thing he does when we're over there is he gets a bone or chewie and then he "buries" it in the couch.    It is too cute.     He is so worn out after his visit, I think he's going to sleep very well tonight.   One of the things I really love about TRex is that he seems to completely understand when he's being treated special for a day - the puppy latte and the visit to LaLa's house.    He seems so content with himself and it makes me so happy when I think of where he came from.    My Mom particularly loved his little sweatshirt because it comes with a hoodie.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Wow it's amazing how many ways I use my voice to communicate with the dogs.    I've been hoarse for weeks and it's gotten progressively worse this past week.   I am at a whisper if I'm lucky and am now on a second set of antibiotics.   I just want to sound like myself again.  :(    Remember how I was raving about the Walgreens Take Care clinic?   Well ... let me revise that a little.   I called this past week to tell them I didn't get any better because that's what the woman who saw me told me to do.      The person I talked to on Tuesday was NOT the person who saw me in person and she started giving me all this "viral" talk which I totally understand.    But  I explained to her that this has been going on a month and it's not improving at all so something should be done.    Her response?   "Well, if it hasn't killed you in a month you'll be fine."   Niiiiiiiiice, huh?

You Won't Like Me When I'm ANGRY
It really sucks to be without a voice.      Especially with my cast of characters, I *really* need my voice.   I need to be able to call Burton in a stern manner as he's running rampant in my neighbors yard.   You know the way he runs willy nilly through her yard he'd probably be a streaker if he were human.    That dog can not get more joy out of running in my neighbor's yard than he can get in anything else in this world.   :)    One day I hope to catch it on video.    Joey thinks he's doing it for me - as a way to annoy my neighbor.    That'd be perfect if I didn't have to walk over to her yard every day and get him.    See the lovely pics with my demon boy begging to be let out of her gate?   The scary thing is .... I had my "red eye correction" on my camera.    He really is a hell hound!!   It's not just Burton that I need special voice tactics with.     I use a crazy high pitched voice for Natsumi ... it gets her attention more than anything in the world.   And, of course, when I'm getting ready to feed the dogs I always say REEEEEEEEXXXXXX in a completely nutty way that he absolutely relates to.  ;)

Monster Burton
I need my voice back and now!!   I'm feeling pretty crummy and won't be able to make it to the adoption event tomorrow.  I'm hoping a somewhat laid back weekend will help me feel better along with the new meds I've been prescribed.   Last night I was coughing so bad I was convincing myself that my throat was swelling up and I was going to suffocate in my sleep.   I don't do too well with being sick.    I was alone with Joey at his Dad's house and I can get a little extra mental when I feel bad.    That's definitely not a good thing for me and those around me HA.    Doncha just love Burton in his Monster sweater?   I changed him into it tonight because he was at his monsterific height.    He jumped on my lap while I was taking a tinkle!!! 

Work is going fantabulous.   I actually know what I'm doing and understand all the jargon, I just have to figure out their procedures.    It's so cool - they have every bit of information anyone would need on their web site.   If I need a form - I can find it on the website.   If I'm not sure what documents are acceptable for a loan approval - it's listed on the website.   If I want to change my direct deposit - IT'S ON THE WEBSITE.  :)    It's really fantastic.    I'm so lucky to have this job.    The only reason I got it is because the day I was fired from my last job I called one of my friends and told her.    We hadn't talked for a couple of months and it's divine intervention that I chose to call her.   She told me she was getting ready to join the work force again and she'd let me know what she heard about.   She'd been able to stay home with her two kids the last few years but with the economy, she was having to go back to work.   Then, a couple of weeks later she called me and let me know she had started a new job and passed my name on to management.     I interviewed in July and they kept me in mind for this last position that opened up.   I am so grateful.    Today I took her in a bottle of Philosophy shower gel.     She really made a huge difference in my life and I hope she knows how grateful I am to her.     Not only did I find a job - but with a solid company, good pay, good benefits and good people.    How the heck did I luck out???  :)   
Oh yeah ... world ... I like to tell this story.    When I was fired from my last job because the company was doing so poorly and they couldn't afford me guess what the owner did shortly after letting me go?   He bought a convertible Cadillac from Ebay with $9,000 cash and went on a family vacation to Greece.    So sad that they were in such dire financial straits, eh?   Isn't that so typical?    blech   I'll just have to be satisfied with the knowledge the universe will teach him a lesson for that behavior somewhere down the line.     I wonder if he has any fancy landscaping that I could let Burton loose in? ;)

What will I do without Harry, Hermione and Ron???
I just purchased my tickets for the Mega Screen showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallos Part 1!!  I am so psyched for this movie.    woohoo      Today I heard a reviewer talking about how "dark" this one is and that beloved characters die and it could be really upsetting to kids.   Um, it could be upsetting to the parents too.   Remember when I read that part in the book to Joe and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and couldn't reach for quite a long time?   I take my fictional characters seriously.    :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Foxie Roxie

Ok, I admit it - I can be a bit diabolical.    But it's ALWAYS for a good cause.  Over a year ago I started fostering this little Pomeranian/chihuahua mix named Foxie Roxie because she looks like a chubby little fox.    She had been returned after having been adopted out 4 years earlier.    Apparently, the woman who adopted her had to move in with her daughter.    Her daughter had a busy life, with lots of guests and visitors popping in.   Well, Foxie Roxie can be a bit of a cranky old lady and she didn't think kindly on these young whipper snappers who came to visit.    Alas, poor little Foxie Roxie was brought back to St. Louis from Iowa as a return.  :(

While she was with me, she was a doll.   She could get a little territorial of a human but she did well with both Joey and I.    Then, one day I thought I heard her pass out in the middle of the night.   By the time I got to her, she was up and around and it appeared that nothing was wrong.   Then, it happened again.  I witnessed it and it was one of the scariest things I've ever seen.    After being diagnosed with an arrhythmia which is an abnormal heart rhythm.     It was then decided she would need to visit a cardiologist and be monitored with an EKG to see exactly what was going on.

At the time, I was working and I knew Foxie needed to be with someone who was home all the time.   I ended up asking my Mom, with every intention of it being a temporary situation.   Foxie had to be monitored for about a month and when she had an episode, there was a protocol that had to be followed while you dialed in to the reporting center.   It was amazingly complicated.     Finally, the put Foxie Roxie on a bunch of medications and said that she needed to stay in a quiet home.    At that time, the couple of people in our group who have quiet homes were full with fosters and there was nowhere for her to go.   So, I asked my Mom if she would foster her for a while.    It was SUCH AN ORDEAL to get her to agree.   You have to know my Mom - she's the side of the family I get my nutjob genes from. ;)

After a while of her staying with my Mom, my brother, Craig, and I noticed there was a marked change in my Mom's disposition and personality.    I always knew that animals were good for people and had frequently tried to get my Mom to adopt another cat, but she couldn't bear the heartbreak of having to say goodbye when their time comes.    Craig and I were amazed at the difference so we conspired to adopt her for Mom under this fabulous program we have with Stray Rescue of St. Louis.    Two of our dogs at a time can be under this "Seniors for Seniors" program which has a special grant set aside for it.    If any senior citizen adopts a senior dog, their vet bills will be covered by Stray Rescue.    That means, a senior citizen that really needs a companion but is on a fixed income can find a loving friend and not worry about medical care for the dog.    At the time we decided Mom needed to adopt Foxie, we used an approved vet on Stray Rescues list.   Now that Stray Rescue has their own vet within their own location, they simply go to their facility.

Today Craig had to take Foxie Roxie because she had a swelling on her jaw and she was given antibiotics and requested a check up in two weeks - all at no cost to my Mom.    This weekend our group is having a special Senior Dog adoption event and Stray Rescue has agreed to cover ALL senior dogs that are adopted by senior humans that are adopted this weekend only.   Isn't that amazing???

My Mom still thinks she's fostering Foxie, which is a little sneaky.    But do you know how some people  refuse to do something that's good for them?   Well, that's how this is so we did it for her.  :)   My brother paid her adoption fee and we take turns getting her to the vet.    Everyone is happy - especially Foxie Roxie and my Mom, two cranky old ladies hanging out at home complaining about the world together.  They're a perfect city dwelling pair - you know how riled up we get when someone takes "our" parking spot on the public street.  Well, now my Mom has Foxie Roxie to bark to the world about the injustice of it all. ;)     If you know someone who would fit this bill, make sure to stop by PetCo in Kirkwood this weekend.     It's one of the best programs in the world to unite people and dogs.      

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old Webster's Holiday Walk

We were fortunate enough today to have a bake sale out in front of Lucky Dog in Old Webster.    This is one of my very favorite dog stores.   It's a dog boutique, but they have such a wide variety of items that you can find something for any budget.    The owner, Beth Fox, is such an amazing lady.    She has been very considerate of our group and is very rescue oriented and always thinking of ways to help her "favorite" rescues in the area.    We're so lucky we're one of them!  :)   Her employee, Boomer, is a great woman too.   She's a total dachshund lover and usually has one or two of her pack with her while she's working.   They're both so helpful and kind to everyone that walks in their doors.    They're the type of people that remember the names of their dog and human customers alike.    As I said, some of the best people on the planet work in that store.       

I could not help but buy this adorable sweater for Burton today.   It needs to get a little cooler, but it's perfect for his little devil personality.   It's handmade wool, and it has the face of a monster on it.    Who else deserves such a cute sweater?   They also had these adorable monkey ones that had hoodies with a monkey face on them, but they didn't have them in our required size.   I was so sad - they were so cute.   BUT Boomer is the one who pointed out the monster sweater for me.   See, told you they're great!                            

The holiday walk was going on from 10-5 and I had the morning shift so I left around 2:00.    But up until  that time, we were doing a booming business.  I wish I had taken my camera with me, but one of our volunteers went all out and baked on her own an entire table's worth of goodies.   She had miniature pumpkin pies, dipped holiday pretzels, and cake balls that looked like suckers.     We also sold hot cider and hot chocolate.   Yummy Yummy Yummy     As I was leaving, a woman that was familiar with our group gave us a $300 check!   Isn't that amazing and generous?   Wow - we were all floored and so grateful.

The holiday walk was a lot of fun.    There's a trolley that takes people between different areas of  Old Webster Groves, there's strolling carolers and if you're lucky you get to see Santa coming down the street.   We had so much fun and I can't wait to hear how much money we made for the dogs.   I was so relieved, the stuff I baked actually sold this time!  Seriously, I've only been successful the last two times in selling the goods I baked.   Before that, I was always bringing my stuff home - how humiliating and depressing. ;)

Here's a Bad Boy Burton update:  I put up some more Prop B signs between my yard and my neighbors and it worked like a charm .... for about 2 hours.    That little bum has found ANOTHER spot to wedge his way through.  I don't know what to do, especially now that it's getting colder and the ground is going to be hard to put stuff into it.    If anyone has any great ideas (besides forcing Burton to wear an e-collar nonstop, which I *have* considered!) please let me know.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Burton ... Bad to WORSE

He's sooooo sweet
Oh my gosh, what a stinker Burton is.   I should have known I'd jinx  myself.    But since I posted on my blog last night Burton has escaped into my neighbor's yard like a DOZEN times.   I think I've figured out where he's going through and I'll get it blocked tomorrow.    Now I know what he was doing gazing into my neighbor's yard - he was figuring out which opening was the best for escape.    Oh my gosh, he is too ridiculous.   And... during the middle of the night I had to get up and tell him to QUIT BARKING AT ROSCOE!!    Is that just too hilarious?   Totally jinxed myself.   I don't care - he makes me laugh and I love that he has such a love and zest for life.   This little dude knows how lucky he is to be alive so he's not playing it safe.    I know I make him sound like a brat, but he is such a great dog.   He's funny, he's loving, he's cute, he gets along great with people and other dogs (the jury is still out on the cat thing) and he's housebroken.   He is one amazing little dog.

TRex has completely recovered from his neck disk issues.   He's back to his old self, but maybe a little more mellow.  I think it's good for TRex for me to be working so he has some serious alone time to nap in bed all by himself.   It helps center him    Here's a couple of funny pics of TRex.    The first one says it all ... literally!   The next one is how TRex generally spends his evenings - laying on me or leaning on me in some way.   He seems to really like to hang on or over your shoulder and Joey always says "Rex is being a parrot again!" :)    If you look closely in this picture, you can see Joey's finger.   He's actually doing one of Rex's favorite things - he's what we call "pudging" him.    Joey just takes his finger and lightly presses into his fleshy belly and says PUDGE.   TRex loves it and we crack up constantly.   We were at a dog park once and a man mistook TRex for a female because his "pudge" was so low it hid his manly parts and the old guy said he looked like he had udders.   So ever since then, joey will take his finger and thumb and put them on each side of his pudge and yell UDDERS!!  :)   Yep, we do what we can here in middle America to amuse ourselves.

I in my happy place right now
I am not going to an adoption event tomorrow because it's a hectic weekend.   Tomorrow is the first stage of Scouting for Food and Joe is a Boy Scout.   They have to put bags out on the porches all over our neighborhood.    I've helped for many years and it's a lot more complicated than you think - where you can and can't put them and how you must tie them.    :)    Then, he has a merit badge course to try and get his carpentry badge.   And finally tomorrow evening we're going to see Cinematic Titanic which is a live presentation of the MST 3000 series that used to play on Comedy Central.   We've gone a few times and Joey just belly laughs from it.    It's funny, but I get more tickles and grins from seeing how funny he thinks it is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bad Boy Burton

Burton has one of the biggest personalities of any dog I've fostered. He is such a little Nutt Butt I can't believe how much he cracks me up. A while back I posted a picture of him sitting on my computer desk in front of my computer. This is a daily occurrence. He MUST lie in the cat's bed and he's decided he MUST drink the cat's water because it happens to be the most delicious water in the entire world. The water happens to also be on my desk, so he's always flying up on my lap to bounce onto the desk. He's like a jealous child where Roscoe is concerned. He has quit barking at Roscoe, though, so maybe they've brokered an uneasy truce. Roscoe shares his bed and water and Burton keeps piped down????

When it's time to eat, I put all the dogs in different rooms. Mostly it's to keep the chubbers and spazs from eating everyone else's food. I feed TRex first - locked away in the bathroom. Then, I feed Burton and Natsumi locked away in my bedroom. Between the time I take the food bowl to the bathrom for TRex and get back to my room with their food, Burton is in a frenzy. I wish I could get it captured on video - but he is literally so excited his jumps become even more enormous than usual. And not only does he jump, but he jumps sideways - back and forth OVER Natsumi. It truly looks like something straight out of a cartoon.

Right after I got my notice from the health department, Bad Boy Burton thought he'd take matters into his own hands and found a way to get into my neighbors yard. I couldn't believe it - it was driving me crazy. That was the ONE thing I felt good about - that my dogs weren't really affecting their life in any way. Because as you know, having a little dog running willy nilly in your yard is comparable to having a zombie outbreak what with all the damage they can do. :) It took me a little bit to find the s I finally had to take my political signs from Prop B - and I got another one too and staked them into the ground and tried to weave one of them through my neighbor's fence to prevent his little opening.

The Grass IS always greener ...
Now, he just sits mournfully right by the fence and contemplates exactly what he would be doing if he could just get his little wiggly body over there. I was able to catch some pictures today and I thought it was so funny. As you can see, he sticks his nose through and looks fairly pitiful. If I were on "friendlier" terms with my neighbor I would have tried going into their yard and taken pictures.

The person who was interested in Burton changed their mind. They wanted a puppy instead ... they told me their son found a bunch of puppies in Wentzville for her. I had a really hard time not responding back with a lecturing email to make sure she met the parents, was allowed on the property where the dogs, etc, etc to make sure it was a reputable breeder. But I chose not to.

I've decided I'm going to just ignore people who annoy me. When people get rude or unreasonable, there's no reason why I should spend my time and energy trying to convince them that they're rude or unreasonable. Not that this particular lady was rude, but I've been dealing with a couple of whack jobs of late so I seem to have a little less patience with people that confuse me.   One thing to remember with a whack job - they're whack jobs to everyone so it's never, ever personal. Well except for my neighbor ....    If they're all not careful, I'll sick Bad Boy Burton on them!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Beginnings

Demon Dog Burton!  (actually it's just a yawn)
I started my new job yesterday and though I'm in the very early stages, I am beyond happy.    Of course things aren't perfect but when are they?    It's a very big company and I work for a division of this very big company.    A friend of mine advised me after I lost my last job to stop working for these small, private companies.    There are all sorts of laws that don't apply to companies because they have less than 50 employees!     It's pretty funny, but I am thrilled to have an employee NUMBER for the first time in my life and to be situated in the midst of a cubicle jungle.

Right now, I'm a cog in the machine and happy as pie.   I need to be a cog in the machine to support myself, my son and my furry family.      I was talking to a friend that is very unhappy with work and it's all about perspective.    Right now, I am plain grateful to be employed.    I have a lot to learn and the first week is always the hardest - isn't it exhausting not quite knowing what to do?  :)    But the up side, this company is amazingly organized.    They have oodles of information on their website, tons of training events, and support systems in place to help you out.   It's fantastic being the cog in a big machine ... big machines seem to be oiled very well.  ;)    It's a fresh new start.
OOOOOHH  I am so mad at you!!!   (Looka that sneer)

The dogs are doing fairly well with the long hours.   I do feel bad leaving them because I tend to have  dramatic dogs.    Even Bonham has gotten to the point of crying like a baby when we get home.    Isn't it one of the best feelings in the world how excited a dog is to just SEE you?    To just have you around them?    They're great little creatures.   I love them so much.

Someone emailed me about Burton tonight.   DAMN   I have been completely plotting on how to keep him as a guaranteed foster through Christmas.  He just seems like the perfect kind of dog to have around to experience a Christmas tree and mess with all the presents and enjoy all the good food.    Bonham is soooo jealous of Burton.   I know he can tell I have a special "thing" for this guy due to his parvo recovery.   Bonham is a doll too.    Someone pointed out to me this weekend, when you experience something like this with a foster it creates a very strong bond.   And Bonham doesn't like it!  He barks out of jealousy all the time.   It's pretty funny ... Burton is very offended by it though.   :)

I'm tired so I'm sorry if this comes across as discombobulated.    I am very happy and very excited about a brand new future.   It made me think of the very final Calvin and Hobbes strip - I love this.   I used to have the original cut from the Post Dispatch hanging on my fridge before Joey was even born.   But I love feeling like I can look at life like this for right now.     I told you I had to be an optimist at heart to keep fostering!  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Good Day To Be a Dog

WOW - so many of our group's dogs were adopted today.    I think there were around 17 dogs finding homes today.   Isn't that amazing?    None of my fosters went to their forever homes, but that's ok.    I actually had quite a few people looking at Bonham and Burton which made me happy.     In my experience, female dachshunds get adopted a lot quicker than male dachshunds.    I guess it's the reputation they have for being markers and just all around "Bad Asses" :)     But Burton is really an excellent dog.    He's so sweet and funny and vivacious AND he's housebroken.    I saw him mark twice - once when I brought him home and once after I brought Bonham home.    That is so typical and nothing to worry about with a male dog.  Burton is an unbelievably sweet dog and will make someone a fantastic companion.  He is adjusting to life in a home instead of 24/7 in a cage and I'm starting to see more of his personality.    He's not housebroken yet, he can't quite get the hang of my steps, and he's not too sure of a leash.   But we're just in our first week so this is nothing out of the ordinary.    Tonight after I read to Joey, I forgot and left Bonham on Joey's bed and I heard this crazy barking and then Joey yelling "Mom, you forgot to let Bonham down!"   So ... Mr. Prince Bonham was demanding to be carried into the next room and to never, ever be forgotten about.    Sounds like he's learning quite well how to be a "home" dachshund.
4 Square Doxies!!

I had my fosters in the ex pen because they do better ... actually Tina tends to get a little nippy with kids if she's in a cage.   And I thought Bonham and Burton would do better with the company since it was their first event.   True to form, Bonham was his high flying self and launched himself over the top of the ex pen repeatedly.    I finally just clipped a leash on him and walked around with him or gave him to Joe to walk around.     He did really well - he was very sweet to people and very well behaved around other dogs.   Bonham was a little attention monger and was very sweet and also very well behaved around all the other dogs.   I was quite proud of my two boys.
Someone I talked to has the Petfinder App on their iPhone and they say they've been keeping track of Burton for a while.    They wanted to hold off on adopting him, though, because they're a young couple and saving up for some other things.  I totally understand that and so I took their information and promised I'd get in touch with them if someone else became interested in him.     They currently have a 2 year old dachshund and I got to see his sweet picture.  

Some of our volunteers coordinated and were able to pick up an amazing donation for our group.   Then, they went to all the effort of organizing and dividing it up into individual boxes for the members.    We got to take a box full of dog goodies home today.   It was packed to the brim full of great things - natures miracle cleaner, dog treats, "poop bags", shampoo, dog perfumes, etc!    I was really wiped out when I got home and mistakenly put the box on the back of our futon in the computer room.   And our "sickly" girl Suzie snagged a bag of treats and was ripping into it when I discovered her!   I divvied it up and these were like nectar to the dog gods - it was these Dingo beef jerky treats.    Goodness, every last dog thought it was delish.    Burton even tried to lick scraps out of Jingle's mouth.   eeeewww :)
Suzie and Tina ... Pretty In Pink
Tonight Joey and I also went to our friend's home - Elisa and Andy.     She hails from Mexico and she prepared an altar to celebrate El Día de los Muertos or day of the dead in Andy's home.   It was really fascinating and we got to learn more about her culture and hear how her family spent this day in Mexico.   The actual day is November 2nd, but due to work and every one's schedules she was kind enough to let the rest of us participate in something special to her.     I would have a picture of her awesome altar, but dear Burton broke my camera at PetCo today during one of his high flying stunts.   But after she's done celebrating, I'll be sure to nab one of her pics off her facebook page.  ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vet Trip For TRex

Centerfold Boy ;)
TRex has issues with a disc in his neck, it mostly flares up in the cold weather.   I try to keep a shirt on him when it gets to be that time, but it didn't seem to help this year.    I waited it out a few days because he really seemed to be getting better, but then it would get worse again.    When he moved his head a certain way, the poor guy would cry.     TRex reminds me of Joey when he was younger.   Joey was always go - go - go  talk - talk - talk and it was exhausting!   Then, when he would feel bad I just hated how QUIET he was.     Same with TRex, I missed him being his obnoxious self.   :)     While the vet examined him, he was an ANGEL - it's hilarious.   The dog is totally bipolar.    You would have thought he was an 8 week old kitten at how sweet he acted.    Well .... this is .... until she gave him a shot.    He didn't take his eyes off her after that.   :)     He got a steroid shot and some pain meds and some prednisone.    It worked like a charm last year, with only one flare up so I'm hopeful it will be the same this year.    I specifically asked that we not run XRays since he'd experienced this in the past and I didn't want to cost our group money if it was unnecessary.

While we were there, we saw a woman who had these two beautiful Irish Setters she had pulled out of a shelter in Illinois the day before they were to be euthanized.    They're both underweight, but quite sweet and really beautiful.    They're 4 year old brothers and seemed very happy at their change in luck.    Their new human didn't know if they'd been strays or confiscated due to neglect.     It's always so great to hear such happy stories when you're in a vet's office.   

Frank and JoJo
Today I pulled out some sweaters for the dachshunds and I can't wait to take some pictures tomorrow.     Suzie and Tina are pretty in pink and Bonham got a red, white and blue patriotic sweater.    Burton is such a nut, going at full speed constantly I don't think he needs a sweater.    Bonham already hates going outside in the cold weather.    Whenever I try to get him to go outside, even if I go out as well - he turns right back around as soon as he realizes "Baby, It's Cold Outside."   :)   I'm hoping the sweater helps because when it's cold I don't like carrying dogs up and down steps either!

I gotz a cute tung too!
Here's a picture of Bonham in his Tank Top I had him in earlier.    Joey protested, though, because it was too girlie.   It said "Dig It" on the back and had purple ... it could have been a Jimi Hendrix Tshirt!  :)     Tomorrow at the adoption event I'll have all 4 dachshunds with me.   I was thinking about bringing Natsumi too, but I don't know if I can handle her too.  

Maybe some of these guys will find a home tomorrow ... I'm sure PetCo is going to be crowded.    Bonham is not the only dog our group saved from the life of a puppy mill.   I think our group came back with a total of around 17 dogs.      As I've said before, they're the lucky ones and they're all looking for homes.

I just wanted to send a shout out to Walgreens Take Care Clinics.   I just felt worse and worse so I finally decided to go to one yesterday.   I was in and out within an hour, it cost only $65 and she was able to electronically send my prescription to Schnucks since it would be free there.    AND they called me today to make sure I was feeling better.       Pretty cool, eh?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zsa Zsa & Eva

 Two of my former fosters, a pair of poodle sisters are coming back to the group after having found a home last July.   These two girls are classic puppy mill dogs - very skittish, very fearful of men and just plain not sure of their place in the world.    They had been adopted out twice before their final Mom, Sara, decided to adopt them and kept them together.    It was one of my proudest moments in fostering history - I had actually found a home for these two girls together.     They both can be very sweet, but Eva is terrified of Joey so she hid under my bed the entire time he was here.    Zsa Zsa would come out and give kissies like crazy so I knew they could show affection and bond with a human.

As usual, when I have a bonded pair I am unable to separate them.    There are many people in our group who feel that the personalities of the dogs shine through when they're no longer relying on each other for support.     But I guess I'm just too stubborn and couldn't fathom separating two dogs that seemed to really need each other to survive.    I always thought Zsa Zsa and Eva were a particularly pitiful story.    When they came to us, they were immediately scheduled for a spay surgery.     One of the sisters was already under anesthesia when it was discovered she was pregnant and the puppies couldn't be saved.     It was determined the other sister was not healthy enough to carry her puppies to term so they had to be aborted as well.      Both of these dogs mourned the loss of their unborn pups.    If I hadn't seen their behavior and demeanor  in the weeks after their surgeries, I might not have believed how pronounced their grief was.    I always felt like I let them down in some way, maybe the one sister COULD have carried her puppies.    I just know that I know longer go to the vet that encouraged us to make  that decision.

Unfortunately, Sara's cats are having some serious health issues and she has to give up Zsa Zsa and Eva.   She's really heartbroken about it and has asked that I guarantee they be kept together.   Right now, I can't give her that guarantee because I won't be the one fostering them when they get back into the group.    I don't have room right now, actually nobody does.    We usually work it in the group that whoever was the original foster will take their foster back.    It just doesn't always work out like that.    Sara had actually contacted me this past July and asked me if I could adopt them from her and I had to tell her no.   I can't adopt any more dogs, I legally have the limit under my name in the city.  I can not add another dog to the roster.    In fact, they might have to be boarded until room opens up.   And when it does open up, I can almost guarantee that it will be in different homes.

I think it's wonderful that our contract states that we will always take a dog back from someone if things don't work out in 3-5 years.    In fact, they HAVE to bring the dog back to us.   Sometimes I wonder, though, if we weren't an option if the people would try harder to find a solution themselves.

I received an email from Sara this evening begging me to keep them together because they will die apart.  She even offered to pay someone $150/month to keep them together.     I haven't seen Zsa Zsa & Eva for over a year now so I'm able to have a little bit of  detachment.    It's hard, but if someone gives their dog up they really don't get to say what happens to the dogs anymore.   

I really hope it works out.    Today has been a really positive day.  I found out that my background, criminal and drug testing all came back clean so I've been officially cleared to start work on Monday.   What a relief!   My unemployment is running out and Christmas is bearing down on me.    I am so excited that I'll be able to have cash on hand again.    I'll miss spending so much time with my dogs, but they really do sleep most of the day away so I think they'll be able to nap without my presence.  :)     Also when I opened a box of Halloween Dots I found only red ones - my favorites!   Maybe this is proof that Zsa Zsa and Eva will find their happily ever after?   I sure hope so ..