Saturday, December 31, 2011

There Goes Charlie ...

Handsome Charlie
Charlie, a beautiful dachshund foster I took in back in November was adopted today.   He was adopted by a beautiful family and I am so excited for his future.   Charlie is a GREAT dog - he's housebroken, affectionate, funny and just down right beautiful.   I chose not to put him on Petfinder for a while because I just wanted to keep a sweet dog around through Christmas.    I finally put him on Petfinder on Tuesday and immediately had 2 families interested.

Charlie was an owner surrender from a sweet family in Illinois who was having trouble with their young toddler and Charlie getting along.   I admit that usually I get very judgemental about owners surrenders but I learned my lesson this time about how heartbreaking it is for everyone involved.     The family that gave him up actually interviewed me to decide if they would let me take him into our group as a foster.   When they dropped him off, he was so sad to see them leave and he cried all night.   It was pitiful.   Charlie was adopted by his Dad when he came home from the Iraq war 4 years ago.    His Dad was really close to him and it became obvious very quickly that Charlie loves being around men.   He quickly bonded with JTK and that first night the only way he would stop crying was if JTK would hold him.    One of my friends dubbed him the dachshund whisperer.  ;-)

Charlie and JTK
The first weekend we had Charlie we took him to the Holiday Magic event and he did wonderfully.   He dealt with all sorts of kids and loved all the attention.   Anyone that ever meets Charlie loves him and if that person dares to stop petting him, he moans and groans and barks and yaps until they come back.    One of my favorite things about dogs is how expressive they are.    This past week when it snowed and we woke up in the morning Charlie absolutely didn't want to go outside.     I had to pick him up to carry him outside and when I did he just started groaning and moaning - it was hilarious!  It was so obvious he was in misery at the thought of going outside.

Charlie's NewFamily
I found out today that the Dad in Charlie's new family is also and Iraq war vet - that was a huge sign to me that he's meant to be with his new family.   I even got a hug from the Dad!!  

I also got to visit with a couple of my favorite people in the world - the ones who adopted Velma (previously Calypso) and they made a huge gift to our group.    They had their family donate money to St. Louis Sr. Dog Project instead of exchanging gifts.   I'm blown away - that is one of the most giving and selfless things I've ever heard of.   No wonder I like these two humans so much!! :)     Katie fell in love with my other foster, Trooper, and she absolutely spoiled him while we visited.    Trooper will be highlighted in a blog tomorrow or the next day.   He has a very cool story and as usual, he's one of my favorite types of dogs - one that fits in well on my island of misfits.  :) 

I'm glad I met Hollie and her family and got to see Katie and Dan - it was a good day and the most positive way to end 2011.

Here's to a prosperous and joyful 2012 everyone!   And here's to saving even more lives and bringing furbabies and families together in the new year.

Katie and Trooper


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Broken

Nope, still not a blog quitter.   Let's just say I suddenly felt EXTREMELY self conscious about my blogs because I started seeing someone.   No, not a dog ... an actual MAN.    I can hear the gasps throughout the blogosphere!      And I suddenly realized that I was not ok with having him see all the inner workings of my thoughts even though I'm ok with anyone else seeing these musings.  

I was already pretty certain of something, but now I'm convinced.  Being in rescue is certainly not conducive to being in a brand new relationship.   Heck just having a couple of dogs that might, let's say, BITE someone just for looking at them wrong isn't necessarily conducive to starting a brand new relationship.   :-)    The people I've surrounded myself with currently don't think I'm all that crazy due to the number of dogs I have scrambling around.       My friends aren't shocked or even perturbed by the barking of a passel of little furry friends.    My friends don't think I'm weird for talking to dogs.   And my friends look at these rescue dogs as deserving creatures that just need a chance.    So I was really caught off guard when I let someone into my life and they weren't as accepting of the current lifestyle I've chosen.

Not only am I looked at as a little bit weird, but I was really struck by our completely opposite mindsets one day when we  were discussing Mackie.   Mackie is my crazy little dachshund  foster that came from a puppy mill raid.   She's got some disc issues but she isn't a candidate for surgery because shes so mobile.    She has kind of a nutty little sideways walk that makes her even extra cute and she's unstoppable.    She is CRAZY mobile  - one of my favorite things is to watch her decide to race through the house for no reason.   She's clearly able to be very active and she's a lot of fun to be around.   

Anyway, we were discussing her adoption fee and this person thought it was really high.   Even though I saw the vet bill and I know our adoption fee isn't even half of what it cost to have her vetted.  To have her spayed, infected teeth removed, the rest of the teeth cleaned, to have a growth removed from her head, receive all her vaccinations, a heart worm test and a microchip it cost close to $500! And that was with a rescue discount!   So even with a normal adoption fee of $225, our group won't recoup its costs.  

A lot of people think this is high and so did this guy ... in fact he said something to me that really bothered me.    He asked me why someone would pay that high of an adoption fee for a dog that was "broken."   I couldn't believe that - I would never look at Mackie or any of my other fosters as a broken dog.    I look at them as wonderful, beautiful little souls that are only looking for the right person to love them just as they are.   They just want a chance to be loved as they are.

I think that's what all of us in rescue are looking for too.    A lot of us have had some pretty sad things happen in our lives.    A lot of us have been really disappointed by people - often betrayed.   But not with dogs and cats - we find unconditional love with these little furmeisters.    If they can love us, no matter how broken we are, we find kindred spirit in the animals we foster and the people that foster alongisde us.   We find love and acceptance easily in the dogs and cats we foster - not so much most of the people we come across in our lives, though.

Maybe I just need to date a vet .... ;-)

Broken Video

Monday, November 21, 2011

Help a Dooley Out!

One of my friends in the group, Becky, is going through a really hard time with one of her perma dogs.   One of her dachshunds, Hazel, is exhibiting paralysis in her hind legs.    This, unfortunately, is something that can happen with these long dogs and is called going "down in the back."     There's a very good chance that Hazel will recover but for the time being this sweet girl needs A LOT of Becky's time, energy and attention.      Hazel can't do anything really for herself so Becky is losing a lot of sleep and focusing almost 100% on Hazel.

Right now, Becky has an awesome foster dog named Dooley.   He's a Shar Pei/Shepherd mix and is really a stunning dog.    He also happens to love sitting in chairs.  :)   He's been trained really well by Becky - sit, stay, etc, etc.    He's tolerant of a number of dachshunds in her home as well.    Dooley even attended a training "boot camp" because he was showing a little possessiveness of his humans when company came over.    He has really overcome that behavior, but will need to be watched for a bit in his new home to see how he interacts with visitors.  

Becky really needs someone to take Dooley while she focuses on Hazel.   Because Dooley is a bigger dog, I can't foster him at all.  I wish I could but I know my neighbor would really be calling the health department if she saw a dog bigger than a cat in my house!   This seems to be a tricky time to find a foster home due to the holidays coming up, homes being filled with company and people going out of town.

Hazel
Becky is one of the best people I've ever met in rescue.    She will do anything she can to help a dog or a person out that needs it.   She seems to gravitate toward dogs in high kill shelters that aren't "perfect" looking.   In fact, they often have to overcome some hair loss or some other issue while in her care.   When Dooley came to Becky he had bald spots all over him - he was quite a sight.   But after a lot of love and care, Dooley's coat came back so beautifully he actually needed to be groomed and have his fur shaved.

If you can possibly foster Dooley - or even better Adopt Dooley - please contact me.    I will get you in touch with Becky who really, really  needs some help.   And if you can't help out with Dooley, do us all a favor and say a few extra prayers for Becky and Hazel.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Not So Happy Holidays

One of the saddest things I learned about when I got into rescue was the fact that Federal holidays often speed up or increase the numbers of animals that are put to sleep.    Whether it's 4th of July, Christmas or Thanksgiving Day animal control facilities are generally government entities and are not open on holidays.    Due to the fact the building will be closed, a "clearing out" of the animals takes place the days leading up to a holiday.    Therefore, there's also a scramble by rescue groups to try and pull as many dogs as possible.    It just doesn't seem fair to know the majority of people will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, but an extra number of animals will lose their life this week because they were unlucky enough to be in a pound before a major holiday.

Today an email was circulated about a local pound that needs a commitment for 11 dogs and 9 cats by 4:00 pm tomorrow - Monday November 21st.     And then another 7 cats and 3 dogs by 4:00 pm on Wednesday November 23rd. 

This is a cat that has until 4:00 pm tomorrow to be tagged for rescue.    This picture breaks my heart because she's obviously so sweet because she's rubbing up against the cage:

2 year old Female Cat

Here's a dog that has the saddest eyes, and he has only until 4:00 pm tomorrow as well.

Boxer Mix - 1 1/2 years old

It just sucks - no way around it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rest in Peace, Daisy

Yesterday I got the news that one of our most memorable fosters, Daisy the Pug, had to cross over the rainbow bridge.    Daisy was a puppy mill girl and she was pulled from the one and only auction I ever attended.  I was there with Michel, and they brought out this very old pug for auction.    Nobody wanted her, so we were able to bring her home.    I remember Michel telling me at the time there was no way we were leaving there without her.     This was the same auction we brought TRex home from.   I'm not sure if it was their shared history or what, but TRex was in love with Daisy from day one.   She was always his little girlfriend ... or not so little.  :-)   

A short time after I brought Daisy home she went into heat.    In my  mind, there was something so inherently wrong for such a senior lady to be in such a state.   For goodness sake, didn't she deserve some rest and relaxation in her senior years?   Because of that, her spay surgery and dental were greatly delayed and we had her all to ourselves for longer than most of our fosters.    Joey and Daisy became quite the pair - they loved each other truly.    Daisy is the dog that gave JTK his love of pugs.    When we were at adoption events, Daisy didn't even have to be on a leash if she were near JTK.   She'd just lie right next to him.

Even though Daisy was a senior, (and a little bit round) she was much faster than you'd ever  imagine.   I can't tell you how many times we cracked up at the speed with which she would tear around the back yard.    One vet tried to tell us she was totally blind - she certainly had vision problems but she wasn't blind.    She had no trouble at all following JTK wherever he went.    I remember even explaining that to the vet - how can she be blind if she follows Joey with her eyes wherever he goes?    One of my favorite things was when Daisy did decide she wanted to go somewhere, she really didn't care what or who was in her way.    JTK started doing the Hulk voice when she got in those moods and would say "DAISY .... SMASH"    It made me laugh so hard.   And it was soooo appropriate.

Daisy was adopted out once to a crazy family and she was finally returned because she would lie under the teenage son's computer and unplug his system.   He didn't want a dog gate up because that was too inconvenient, so this old girl came back to us after a couple of months.    And she was a much more difficult dog when she came back - it's always so disheartening when you think you haven't done your best for one of your fosters.   Now I understand it was just the path Daisy needed to take in order to find her wonderful, forever home.

One day, one of the best people in the world, Barbara came in and adopted Daisy.    Barbara is really an angel - she's adopted so many of our dogs and she often gravitates toward the ones that likely wouldn't be adopted by anyone else.     Barbara has kept in touch with me since adopting Daisy and I have heard nothing but fantastic news.   Daisy was the best dog she and David had - she was the only one who could be trusted to roam through the house unsupervised - she was housebroken - she was mellow - she was sweet - she was perfect.   In fact all of the pictures in this blog were emailed to me by Barbara.

Daisy started having some troubles in the past couple of weeks, and in true Barbara fashion - there were a number of trips to the vet and even to Veterinary Specialists up here in St. Louis   (Did I mention Barbara lives in Rolla, MO?)    Barbara spares no expense when it comes to her furry family members.  Daisy was diagnosed with some neurological issues and within a short time an xray showed a number of growths in her lungs.     After that, she quickly went downhill and couldn't even stand the last time Barbara took her outside.     What made things especially heartbreaking is that Barbara and David had to say goodbye on Thursday to another one of their dogs, Minnie.

Today Barbara and David came up today to visit with our group.   I'm so thankful that Daisy had such a wonderful home filled with two loving people to spend the last days of her life with.    Daisy will be missed but she will always be loved.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day of the Weens!

The girls in their costumes
Today was the annual Gateway Lo-Downs Howl-O-Weener party.   It's one of my favorite things to do and I considered not going because JTK wasn't up for going after a weekend of camping and two of my favorite doxie buddies, Katie and Becky couldn't go.  But I got my sensible cap on and decided to give it a go anyway because I knew Elisa and Boomer would be there.      Maybe I'm growing up a little if I chose to get a little out of my comfort level?  Nah .... Suzie and Tina have such a wonderful time in a roomful of doxies, so I wanted to make sure they got in their deserved party time!    This year they were so much more social.   Last year, they would hardly leave my side but this year I was constantly trying to look for them.   Tina could invariably be found wherever someone was snacking.  :)

Treat time!
What was hilarious to watch was whenever someone would open up a bag of treats, dachshunds from far and wide throughout the facility would gather around the person with the treats.   It was so cute - and it was such a relief to see it's not just Suzie and Tina doing it! ha

Of course there was a costume contest and Suzie was a devil and Tina a ghost.    I had them from last year's after Halloween sale and Tina got lumped into her costume just because it was the only one that fit.  :)    It was not a good costume for a short dachshund, though, because the flowing fabric kept getting her tripped up.    Finally, while the festivities were going on I tied up the fabric on Tina's back.   But when it was time for the costume contest, I had to untie it and let it go.

Tina Checking out her winnings
Guess what?   Tina won a prize for looking the most miserable in her costume.   HA   I think that's hilarious because she did look at me a couple of times like she was disgusted.   But you know what, that dog usually LOVES to dress up.    Maybe she didn't like being a boring old ghost - she probably thought she needed something with more bling and sass.     I was tickled pink that she won, though.    This little old gal deserves the winnings.

One of my favorite moments of the afternoon when there were a number of senior doxie ladies together.    There was Bitsy who was saved by her Mom Boomer from a rural shelter.    There was also Betty who was saved by Boomer from another rural shelter but adopted by someone else in the Lo-Downs and then there was Suzie and Tina.     All four of these girls faced uncertain futures and now they're all in homes where they're loved so much, they're actually taken to parties in honor of their breed.  :)  

Even if you're not a doxie lover, one of these parties shouldn't be missed.    I am telling you, there is no way possible to not have a huge smile on your face when you're faced with a roomful of crazy, happy dachshunds in Halloween costumes.   It is really a sight for sore eyes.     It actually helped me face what's really important in my life today as well.   Being a decent person and making a positive impact in the world is what are my priorities.   I can only live my life based on my own beliefs and do the best I possibly can.   I don't need to behave similarly to other people who may hurt me and I don't need to give up just because I make a mistake.   


Two Tired Girls on Their Way Home
Tonight I'm feeling a little older and wiser, but also a little more realistic about me, my life and the people I'm comfortable being around and investing my emotions in.   Thank you dachshunds of St. Louis for your infinite wisdom.      <"( );::::::;~   (emoticon by Boomer)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sleeping Dogs

One of my favorite things in the world is to have a dog dreaming in their sleep - it's especially sweet if you happen to be holding them at the time.    It's especially touching if it's a dog that's a senior and/or sick.  I can only imagine what they're doing in their little dreams.      We can only imagine what's causing their little yips and the scurry of their little feet.   I can't help but smile and be completely happy when I come across a dog dreaming.    Mackie recently did it while I was holding her in my arms.    It's nothing but a heavy sigh moment of happiness.



Yesterday TRex got to visit my Mom only because after I had locked everyone else up behind the doggie gate, TRex was patiently waiting for me at the front door.   He was so stinking excited, I didn't have the heart to not take him.    My brother, Craig, and my nephew, Tristan, were visiting my Mom as well.      Tristan just LOVES TRex and everyone was snacking on Burger King and McDonald's when we got there so Rex was in a FUHRENZY!!    He's generally polite at home, but when he's out visiting someone and he's already in frenzy mode - add food into the mix and he's a total nutcase.  I  tried to explain to everyone that he has little impulse control in these situations.  What was funny, when we got home Rex just completely crashed.    He looks 100% innocent when he's asleep.  :)

Today I was having one of those days where I miss my Dad.   It wasn't a  day that was consumed with grief, just a day where I wanted to spend some time with my Dad.  I don't know why - but autumn makes me think of him and today would have been a perfect day to have hung out with him.    So, I went to his grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.     Last month it was 14 years since he died - I honestly can't fathom that it's been that long.    While I was there and just sitting by his grave, a beautiful buck came out of the woods near his grave.   It was so amazing to see and I always take moments like that as some sort of communication from him.   I tried to take a picture, but I only had my cell phone with me and I didn't get it in time.    As I was leaving, I came across a herd of deer in the graves.   It was really a fantastic  sight - the leaves are changing and there's all these beautiful creatures in the midst of the serene white gravestones.   It was very peaceful and very reassuring.   Luckily, I was able to get a picture of that moment.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fun Day at the 5K

A few of us very dedicated volunteers woke up to arrive in Forest Park bright and early at 7:30 this morning.    I am telling you, it was exhausting being up that early on a Saturday!   Thank goodness I didn't work this week or I probably would have never made it in time.    Kingsbury Animal Hospital had their first annual 5k and it benefited our group.    There was a great turnout and we had a lot of fun watching everyone with their beloved animals.     There was this one golden doodle puppy that we fell in love with.   I asked to take his picture with his Mom and she picked him up.    As soon as she did, he just nestled his little head on her shoulder.   It was the cutest thing.    We had to take a picture of him with her back to us so we could see his cutie pie face.    And he has a great name - Professor Lupin.  :)   Being a Harry Potter fan, you know I appreciated that one. 


Professor Lupin

It was a beautiful day - a perfect October day to spend  in Forest Park.      Boomer was adopted and went to a wonderful home - I had him just a week.   He received so much attention and applications I didn't quite know what to do with myself.   I certainly do better when I only have 1 or 2 applications to consider at a time.     I think he'll be very happy and even though he was a perfect dog, it's nice to be back to little dogs only.   :)

Mackie and Chuckles "cheering on" the runners
At one point, we were at the finish line cheering on the runners & walkers and Mackie and Chuckles decided to bark at any and every person or dog that ran past.    It was really cute and a bunch of us couldn't stop laughing at their silliness.  Mackie also chose to try and climb into the cooler where the water bottles for the racers were.    She was in fine form. 

She actually had a lot of interest but when they realized she has disc issues, their interest definitely waned.   Mackie has a condition that causes her walking conditions and there's a chance she could end up crippled.   She's not a candidate for surgery right now because she is so mobile.     Some people think she will definitely end up paralyzed but I have a positive attitude and I'm going to believe she's always going to be ok.   I don't think her disc issues should really be a cause for worry - honestly if you think about it, all dachshunds have a very good chance of having back issues whether they're exhibiting symptoms or not.  I hope I find someone who will be the perfect home for her.

Mackie wants some ice water
There was music today, raffle baskets and  the  Seoul Taco food truck was there.   If you like spicy, you will love this food!  It was so delicious.     On Monday they'll be pulling names for the raffle baskets - I'm hoping to win the beer basket OR the treat package from Three Dogs Bakery.   Wish me luck. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Falling for Mackie

Damn, I've done it again!   I've gone and fallen in love with a foster dog so much I keep having to talk myself out of trying to figure out how to keep her!   Mackie is such a hoot - she has a crazy, funny personality.    You know how I love my bad boy doxies, well I've got a bad boy doxie personality in the package of an itty bitty doxie girl who is as cute and little as a puppy.    She is hilarious - I just watch her and crack up multiple times a day.     I can't stop picking her up and hugging her and telling her how much I love her!

She is so full of spunk - how does a  little dog that lived in such squalor and ended up at the Humane Society, infested with fleas and with an oozing cyst on her head have such a zest for life and joy for every moment she faces?     She is full of spunk and has a lot of courage to boot.   She's intent on letting every big dog in the universe know that she's far bigger in her little mind than they are in reality.

Mackie is such a cool dog - she does have an issue with one of her discs so she has kind of a "drunken sailor" walk and her turning corners while she runs is one of the funniest things you'll see.    I think it adds to her personality.   According to the vet, because she is so mobile she's not a candidate for surgery.   She gets around amazingly well - she's such a little runner.   She can't get up on furniture (thank goodness!) and she can't do most steps because she's so little. 

She can snuggle and play so well!!  She's perfect for someone who wants a lap dog.   She's quite a little velcro dog, it seems like she can't fall asleep if she's not being held or cuddled in some way.  

One of my favorite things she does, is she's desperately trying to get Suzie to play with her.   I don't know why, but she's obsessed with Suzie liking her and playing with her.   Of course, Mackie looks and acts like a puppy so Suzie is obligated to hate her and growl at her at every opportunity.   But that doesn't make Mackie give up - she keeps trying and trying and trying.   It's adorable.  She'll even lie down beside Suzie on her back and bat at her like a kitten.     As I said, adorable!!  She also likes to frequently charge at her reflection in the mirror until the run away.  :)

Mackie is a dog that you have to get to know.    She's a little  nervous when she first meets you and she doesn't show you all she's got at first.   But after spending a little time with her, you can't help but fall in love with her.   That's why the employees at the Humane Society worked so hard to find a rescue to pull her and save her life.     And last weekend, Dr. Shaw immediately fell in love with her after he saw her do her silly walk and bark her enormous bark at Dooley.

I haven't had really any interest in Mackie, but the person who adopts her will never regret letting her into their lives.   She's not completely housebroken (she did come from a puppy mill!) but she's doing extremely well with puppy pad training. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grooming Day

I took Jingle and Cynthia in to St. Louis Muttropolitan Grooming     There's a groomer there named Gina who I just love.   She's really calm and sweet and nice. and she always does a great job.    A couple of weeks ago, due to issues with time, I took Hopper and Cooper to a different groomer.    When they were finished, the groomer called and told me they weren't able to groom Hopper's face.   Now with Hopper being a schnoodle, without his face being groomed, it's like he wasn't groomed at all.   I've been trying to reach a manager for a while to take him in and get the job finished because I did pay full price.    I wasn't too thrilled with that and I think someone with more skill needs to take on my ferocious 13 lb schnoodle.   :)

Here's Jingle and Cynthia from today.   I requested to have bows for both of them.   I've never gotten a bow in Cynthia's hair and I can't believe I never asked for it before.   She looks so darn cute - she is an adorable little girl.    She's just still scarred fro her years of being with a hoarder.    When I picked her up today though, she was jumping up at me and sooo excited to see me.   It's nice to see in her own little way she does love and appreciate me. 

I was inspired and then went on to try and put some bows I have lying around the house into everyone's fur.   I wish this picture came out better, but here's Hopper with a girly bow stuck in his hair.    Poor Hopper - what torture they all endure. 

After having given my notice last week it's nice to have so much time off.   I'm trying to be a little productive and I'm hoping I'll get a chance to clean up my basement and maybe paint a couple of paneled walls.    But high on my list is naps with all the doggies .... LOTS of naps.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Under all that fur ...

Is a beautiful standard poodle!   I dropped Boomer off for grooming yesterday and when I picked him up, I found before a very regal looking standard parti poodle.   Amazing what a good grooming will do!  I am thrilled with what a wonderful dog Boomer is.  He's house broken, he's good with little dogs, he's good with cats and he's sooooo quiet and so gentle.     I am certain he is going to be snapped up quickly.   He'll be in attendance at the Kingsbury Animal Hospital 5K this coming Saturday in Forest Park.     I've already grown attached to him and though my plan is to move him to another foster home after this week, I know it's not going to be easy.   And we've decided to name him Boomer after the wonderful human that endured a bunch of traffic and rude snoots to save his life!

I took him over to my Mom's today and we stopped at PetSmart on the way.     These simple outings are essential in gauging how a foster interacts in different situations and with different people.   It's also important to show them that a car ride is not always going to end up in a stressful situation.    When we get a foster their first car trips are generally to their new, strange foster home and then on to a vet and/or groomer to be poked, prodded and generally traumatized.      He did really well in PetSmart - he seemed curious of other dogs and let people pet him.   Even a woman who was terrified of dogs pet him because he was behaving so mellow and was so quiet!    Then we went to my Mom's house and he also got to visit with my brother and my nephew.  

Yesterday was quite a busy day that started with an appearance on Today in St. Louis with Kelly  Jackson with a few of our dogs from the group along with Dr. Shaw from Kingsbury Animal Hospital   KAH is having a 5k in Forest Park on October 8 from 8-2 that will benefit our group.    It's going to be a great event and it sounds like it's going to be a beautiful day.  We had Dooley the awesome shepherd/shar pei mix who has been with his foster Mom for about a year.   She does such a great job and has trained him amazingly.   Chuckles was also there - he's this adorable chihuahua who is filled with such love and energy I can't believe he hasn't been adopted yet.   And, of course, Mackie was there.    She was particularly cute and made sure the world recognized her presence.  :)    I'm not sure why, but I had to talk JTK into going down to the station with us since it was his Dad's weekend.     But after he got there, he was pretty excited to get to see how a newscast is put on.    It was really fun to watch the weatherman working with his green screen!

The link to the video is here.   KSDK Video of St. Louis Sr. Dog Project Dogs

Friday, September 30, 2011

What a way to end September!

Today was one of the craziest days EVER for me.   Yesterday I went on a job interview because if you haven't been able to tell I've been utterly miserable at my current position.   I know someone that works there and she just raves about them so I figured I'd check it out.   Well I had a great vibe about the people I interviewed with and wanted the position so badly I couldn't believe it.   This is not the only interview I've been on lately but this definitely the only one where I felt I would fit in and be successful.   I can't remember the last time I had a job interview and WANTED the job - not just needed it to survive. 

I met Velma's Mom for dinner last night (Kati) and she kept telling me to send positive energy toward the position because I told her how much I wanted it.   She's a smart cookie - well she'd have to be to adopt one of my fosters.  :)

I got a text from my friend at US Bank around 2:30 to call her boss - turned out she'd been trying to get me on my home phone since 11:30!!  And, yep, I got the job.   Man it is so nice to willingly leave a job and find a new one instead of being scared and frightened and depserately needing a job.  

WOOHOO Party on Garth!!!!

So, I'm in this extreme crazy place in my mind - you know one of those moments of feeling so much  relief and being utterly smug that you're not going to have to be stuck in an awful situation any more?   It's one of those times when you feel like you can do anything - and you're willing take chances and live life to the fullest.     This is the mood I was in when I received a call from Boomer.   She had just spent an hour in the middle of Manchester in Ballwin trying to save a dog that was darting in and out of traffic.    The dog was too terrified to come to her and actually was grazed by a car (knocked over even!) and then ran into a car himself.   Then, an employee with Dobbs and about 4 police cars had to help her out in order to corral this dog. 

After a very long time, they were able to save this guy's life.    But not before Boomer got so frustrated with a west county snob who was honking at her that she chose to kick the beeeocches bumper!  I love that story - Boomer is so awesome.   Kicking someone's car in the name of saving a dog.   She rocks!!

Boomer goes through all this emotional distress, they save the guys life and then he's about to be carted off to the pound ... he's in very rough shape with extremely matted hair, burrs stuck in his fur and a very prominent ribcage.   Boomer called me to see if I could find someone for a 25 lb dog, so I sent a message to our group leader and she said if I could find someone I could let the group take him.   Of course, I couldn't find anyone so when Boomer called back I told her I'd go ahead and take him - even though 25 lbs is on the big size of a dog for me.

While I was at work, there was all sorts of serious craziness going on - unbeknownst to me two other people had planned on quitting today so I was the 3rd one who went and broke the news.    Maybe that's why they needed to get in a  couple of jabs at me?   Ah well who cares - see ya!  Wouldn't wanna be ya!!! 

Then Boomer gives me a call and said she misjudged the size of this dog and I have to admit my first thought was "Oh shit, what did I just get myself into?"  But I told her that it was no problem because I was taking next week off so it wouldn't be too hard to manage a bigger dog.  A little after I gave my notice I was told that today would be my last day since I had vacation planned for next week and that it was in the best interest of the branch for me to just go ... whatever   

Boomer had to pick up her hubby from the airport and she said she'd meet me in WestPort where I workED so I'm sitting in the parking lot after I had to turn in all my stuff - parking pass, keys, etc, and up rolls Boomer and Brett.    When they opened up their hatch and introduced me to the new boy, he was even bigger than I imagined!!   But he's so good - he rides in a car perfectly.

I have an appointment for him tomorrow to get a seriously grooming which means he'll probably be shaved and he'll also be vaccinated.   He's being so laid back toward all my loud yippy dogs and he's leaving the cat alone too.   He's a beautiful dog under all those mats. 

We can't decide on his name, though.   Boomer suggested Kevin, I suggested Manny (because of being found on Manchester) and Joey wants Jorge ... God knows why.   But now I'm thinking we should go with a Cardinal name to commemorate our wildcard spot.    Send me your suggestions!!!

Don't forget to watch Channel 5 tomorrow morning at 9:00 - a few of our dogs are going to be stars of the morning including Mackie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dachshund Dens

Suzie Chillin' in the Doxie De
This past weekend I was trying to finish up the last of the unpacked boxes from our fire fiasco earlier in the summer.     First of all, I have about 4 boxes still lying around the house after all of my hard work and I have not even started in on the wall hangings. (which are YES in cardboard!)     I better get it in gear or it'll be Christmas and I still won't have my photographs and paintings hung.
The different companies that were used for restoring our items had different types of boxes.   The absolute best boxes came from the Garment Restoration company.    This is the company that cleaned our clothes, stuffed animals, bedding, and window treatments.    Their boxes are really sturdy and a perfect size.    At one point when I was unpacking, I posted a comment on Facebook that you know you have the potential to be a hoarder when you're contemplating keeping some really nice cardboard boxes.   Well, these are the boxes I was referring to.  :)    I got myself under control that day and tossed them into the recycling bin but my son is another story.

Cooper can't believe he's not invited ....
JTK met up with these same boxes this past weekend.    While my back was turned  he took scissors to said boxes and created two hideaway dachshund dens for Suzie and Tina.    It was really sweet.   He made sure to fill them up with lots of soft blankets to snuggle on and under.   Joey was so proud of himself - it was really sweet.    So, we now have two  fairly large boxes that probably aren't going anywhere.    It's pretty ironic considering that it has been my purpose in life for the past month - to get all of the boxes out of my house.  :)   Can you say fail???

Suzie loves the dens most of all - and when she gets in there and burrows under the covers, she sends all the rest of the dogs into a jealous frenzy.   These pictures show a progression of dogs peering in at her jealously last night.    It makes me laugh.   Suzie refused to give them the time of day, though, proving to them how much she belongs in the dachshund den.

Tina acts like she's going to crawl right in while TRex looks on
The dogs and I are really lucky to have such a great kid in our lives.    Work has been really, really, really awful.   I'm so used to being the person who excels at work, who is one of the most treasured employees and bursting with confidence that I can accomplish things other people can't.    I don't understand my work environment, it's really upsetting.    It seems the powers at be, on a daily basis, want to make sure I don't feel very secure in my position or abilities.    I'm not someone with a ton of self esteem, but I've pretty much never lacked it regarding my intelligence or my value as an employee.   I wonder if it's the economy and losing a couple of jobs in as much time?  I wonder if it's some sort of training program?    What's funny, there are a few people who have left the company I work for and they think I've phenomenal at my  job.   Isn't that strange?  

Literally, thank God I have such a great kid to come home to and a house that's filled with goofball dogs that make me laugh.    Even if it's hard to face the day at work, I keep  reminding myself  that raising  a child and helping save a dog's life counts for a lot more in the scheme of things than other situations that have to be faced.

Mackie wants in too!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Meet Mackie ... Mini Doxie Extraordinaire

Awwwwwww
Mackie is my new foster - she's an itty bitty thing of a dachshund.    She's all of 8 1/2 pounds - as a friend of mine likes to say - she's a "cocktail weenie."  ha!    We actually got her from the Humane Society.   She ended up there as the result of a puppy mill raid.    She had a growth on her head and that makes her unadoptable under their policies.     One of their managers contacted our group and I was just getting ready to think about taking in another foster when I saw the request.    We knew that she needed a dental, she needed the growth removed and the regular spay & microchipping.   I wanted to make sure our group was in a financial situation to cover these costs.     When I found out we could, I immediately contacted the person at HSMO.

Mackie at the Humane Society
I have to admit, this is the most excited and happy I've ever heard a shelter worker behave when I said I'd be picking up a dog to foster.   I think they face the senseless death of so many animals that they learn to not get too attached to the homeless animals.    Turns out, though, right as I made the call Jennifer the assistant manager was just getting ready to put coding into the computer that a foster had been unable to be found.    That meant Mackie had no chance - nobody was willing to take her and HSMO couldn't adopt her out.    She was going to be euthanized ....

BUT she wasn't because I made that call and was able to make arrangements to pick her up.    We had her get spayed, receive a dental and have the growth removed at the Chesterfield Valley location.    When I picked her up she was in rough shape.     She had her surgery on Friday the 16th and her temperature had gotten dangerously low during surgery.   In fact, when I picked her up Friday evening her temperature still hadn't risen to normal.    I was instructed to keep her warm and not even let her outside.   I put a sweater on her when we got home and made sure to keep her bundled up in a blanket.

She was very weak and absolutely not interested in eating.   In fact, it took her two days before she decided to eat anything.    In my mind, I understood she had a rough surgery and she was in a new environment - it's not at all unusual to for a new foster to not eat for a few days.     But I needed to get some pain medication and antibiotics down her as well.   It was not looking good.

I had a few visitors last Saturday - my sister in law and my nephew during the day and then I had a friend over for movie night.    Everyone thought she was just a doll - but everyone was very worried about her.  :(   Finally, I got her to eat a little bit of wet cat food and it's been nothing but improvement ever since.

She is a real sweetheart, but she is a tough little cookie.   In a size/bark ratio comparison she definitely has the loudest of all barks in the house!   It cracks us up.   She is also not intimidated by any of the much bigger dogs in the house.   She's very loving and very much a velcro dog - she prefers lying on top of a person instead of just lying next to them.    She sleeps with  me every night and she is so excited to greet me in the morning!   She is unbelievably affectionate and very interested in the world around her.   She walks a little bit crooked - I think it's because she spent her life in a crate that was too small.   Even though she gets around well, she does better on carpet and grass. 

We got the test results from the growth yesterday and the great news is that it's just a cyst and not cancerous.     We should be able to get her stitches removed on Monday and then she'll be ready for adoption!   I'm planning on taking her to Channel 5 next Saturday as one of our featured dogs for a 5K and Fun Run that's being held on October 8th in Forest Park. Kingsbury Animal Hospital is sponsoring this event that will benefit our group.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Doggie Reunion!

This weekend our group had its first annual reunion and barkfest.    What a fantastic idea - Becky worked so hard to put it together and it was a blast.  I couldn't believe how many people showed up with dogs that had previously been fostered by our group.

We all got to see some of our old fosters and if we were lucky, they remembered us and gave us big old kisses!   I can always count on my dear Calypso (now Velma) to remember me.   Her Mom and Dad, Katie and Dan, have been so diligent about bringing her to visit me.    I also got to see Piko who got adopted back in July and he immediately hopped up in my lap and gave me oodles of kisses.   ::sigh::  I almost cried.   :)    I got to see a beautiful doxie now named Heidi and the great silly boy currently known as Charlie.   Neither of them had a clue who I was, but boy did they seem happy and loved and that's what counts.

We had our event at The Watering Bowl and the dogs were allowed to play and roam freely in the doggie day care area.    We also had pawdicures, free refreshments and pictures for a small fee.    Jeanette ended up taking photos because a few people were to sick to come in and she announced to all of us that she had no photographic skills.   Isn't it funny that she ended up taking one of my favorite pictures ever of Jingle?   That's her handiwork at the top of the page.    It was beautiful weather and it was nice to be with people who are like minded.

At one point I was looking around and it struck me at how spoiled and loved all of these dogs now are.    All of these dogs were at one time unwanted, neglected, discarded or treated as livestock.   How amazing to see so much happiness on the faces of people and to see so many dogs that had rocky lives now living in the lap of luxury.                                   
 We heard from so many people after the shindig about how much fun not only they had, but how much fun their dogs had as well.   Everyone was commenting how wore out they were after the fun filled afternoon.    Here's a picture of an adoptable and very lovable dog with our group who decided he'd had so much fun he needed to take a nap in the middle of a herd of chihuahuas.  :)
If a day like that didn't re energize my desire to volunteer in rescue, I don't know what would.    I've already requested my next foster - hopefully I'll be getting him or her in the next week.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

I am NOT a blog quitter ....


Hmmm   TRex doesn't seem too put out does he?
I've just had a really, really rough summer.    A friend of mine, Amy, sent me an email today to let me know that she missed my blogs.    She had also checked in on me earlier in the summer to see if we were ok since I hadn't posted anything.   I let her know that our "minor" fire from the incense turned into a huge ordeal that sucked up close to 7 weeks of our summer.   Our contents were 95% packed up and taken offsite for cleaning.   Then, a cleaning crew came here to scrub our walls, clean our duct system and  paint our house.    It was a very frustrating and annoying situation to be in.   Every day I had to lock the dogs in the basement because they would certainly have bitten one of the workers.  The company I dealt with was just awful - they lied to me, they bullied me and they made things as inconvenient as possible.   I'm still trying to figure out how to get their removed as a preferred vendor from my insurance company's list.
We just got our contents back a couple of weeks ago and I've been busy, busy busy unpacking and cleaning.     I'm still not finished but I caught a cold from JTK this week.   blah!!

There's been so much that's happened this summer I can't possibly comment on all of it.    A lot of it was incredibly stressful and I missed blogging so much.   I didn't realize how much I depended on blogging to get my feelings OUT of my system.   

The saddest thing that happened this summer is Foxie Roxie, my Mom's dog had to be put to sleep.   It was so sad - my brother had to face the moment alone saying goodbye.   It's something I don't envy him.  I know it's the last loving act we can do for a beloved furry friend, but it's just an awful experience.   The night she had to be put to sleep, I knew Craig was taking her to the vet.  I  even almost stopped by the vet on the way home to visit with them.   I was sure she was ok - I thought they just needed to get her diabetes under control.   Then, after I got home I didn't have my phone near me so I didn't realize Craig had tried calling me 6-7 times.   When I saw that ... well I knew it wasn't good.   When I finally called him back he already had to say goodbye.  
Foxie Roxie
                                                              
Poor Foxie's kidneys had begun to shut down and she would be better off crossing the rainbow bridge.   I know without a doubt that Foxie Roxie had a wonderful life her last couple of years with my Mom and that she was loved and spoiled by my whole family.    But in the end, I still questioned what else I could have or should have done to help her out.    Was I so consumed with my own drama at home that I didn't pay attention to how sick she really was?   Did I lie to myself about how she was doing?    It goes on and on - it's so hard to say goodbye it's easier to think we could have prevented it in some way.   My Mom was crushed and I felt so bad for her.  My brother had a rough time of it too.   The only one who could possibly be better off is Foxie Roxie who is frolicking and playing and enjoying a healthy life across the Rainbow Bridge.

The day after Foxie had to be put to sleep, I had a call from someone who had previously adopted one of my fosters and I was convinced she was wanting to bring her back.   But by the time I called her back, she had just had to put her min pin to sleep.   Oh my goodness .... it was so horrible to hear.   This was a young dog and she had 'gone down in the back" and her family couldn't afford the costly surgery that might not even work.    That was such sad news to hear right behind Foxie's death.     Once again I tried to blame myself because I hadn't called her back quickly enough.    I was so involved in my own grief over Foxie and my frustration with my living conditions that I couldn't deal with what I thought was the return of a foster.    That ... was a rough week.

During most of this time we've been without a foster as well.   In many ways it was best for everyone because our life was too chaotic to try and  socialize a foster into our home.    Piko was adopted and he was a tough cookie to say goodbye to.    Of course, his silly and funny antics were quickly transferred to his new family.   That's always a relief but sometimes it can feel a little bittersweet.    

We've been so busy that it was nice to have a break and to have our weekends off but I find I'm itching to get involved with our group again and start helping to save lives again.  It is emotionally exhausting and trying but I tell I'm really missing it right now. 

This weekend our group is having a big "reunion" of people who have adopted from our group.   I've decided I'll only be taking Jingle since she's the only dog I consciously adopted - the rest of our dogs from the group just wormed their way into our lives.  :)    I'm really looking forward to seeing some friends and past fosters.

Speaking of Jingle - she's doing better than ever.   She was hospitalized and seriously sick in July.   Her temperature hit 105 and after a number of tests it was finally discovered that she had an infected gall bladder.    Had she been younger, a surgery would have been performed.   But due to her age and her health they decided to fight the infection with medication.   After receiving fluids and antibiotics via IV, she came home with serious antibiotics - 2 doses twice a day for a month!   But after she got off the medicine, she didn't get worse again and my heart was lifted with joy!   She's doing better than ever - she's more playful than ever, she's more spirited and she's acting younger than ever.   It makes me wonder if she's had a low grade infection in her gall bladder for a long time. 

The noise of the camera woke him up and he
 tried to tell me he had never fallen asleep.  HA!
I'm ready for life to get a little more boring and reaching out and rekindling the friendships we have.   And I know you've all missed the famous JTK sleepin' in the car pictures!  woohoo   I really am back.    

PS - thanks for the nudge Amy :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two days until the big ... ONE - THREE

Yep, Joey is going to be 13 on Saturday, unbelievable.    I just spent the last little while wrapping presents for him.    Here's the packaged up  presents.    Even though you can't see what's inside,  - please note the majority of them are Japanese.    Boy, Japanese CDs and DVDs are quite a bit higher than the regular 'ol American kind.    I got him a couple of anime related tshirts, some anime and Japanese DVDS, a CD of Gack (hard rock Japanese guy) t and a CD of the original Piko!   One of the things I'm really happy about this tshirt I bought that's kind of an inside reference for the anime series Bleach.   In the series, soul reapers battle "hollows" which are souls who have lost their hearts.    They have a big hole in the middle of their chest, therefore hollows.  I found a tshirt that has a hollow hole on it.     Very few people will understand what it is and since he likes to be a little quiet or shy about his likes.   And  I really like the pillow cover of Tina - is it too adorable?   My plan is for him to have that at his Dad's house where they aren't allowed to have any animals.     I wanted to show it to Tina, but who knows what she would do.    She'd destroy the imposter.  ha ha


Guess who is NOT a good wrapping partner of a dog?   You guessed it ... PIKO!!   He can not bear not having the potential of being the center of attention.   For goodness sake ... if there's a semi clear coffee table then he clearly should be in the middle of it not some pesky presents.   I couldn't even imagine how he'd react to Christmas.    Who knows - he probably wouldn't even notice a tree and presents because he's so busy making sure the world is revolving around him.

Piko makes me laugh so much.   We have this little game where I do this crazy bark at him while he's lying on a pillow next to me on the couch arm and just flies up into the air and into my arms to "wrestle" with me.   If they were looking to re-cast Tigger, this dog could do it.   He is such a silly jumper.    I love this little dog - I hope he finds the perfect home soon.    He deserves a family that will love and cherish him as much as he knows he should be.    A couple of weekends ago a family was considering adopting him and as soon as I heard the father refer to him as "that thing" I knew they were not a good fit.    This sweet little dude being called a THING ??   I was highly offended and so was Piko.       Anyone who wants to call Piko a "thing" need not apply to adopt him.    Now if someone wants to call him a "King" then that family is probably a good fit.