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

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 :)