Monday, December 19, 2011

Memories of Max

Max came into our life in May of  2011. He was a mess, hair matted to the skin, toe nails long and twisted, blind with a severe case of dry eye, terrible teeth, arthritic joints, bad hips, yep, just a mess. And yet there was just something about him. Max made us smile. I wish I'd known him when he was younger, my guess is he was quite a corker.

He was old, cranky and hilarious. The first time he went to our vet they took him in the back for a blood draw. I heard him screaming. Yes, screaming, loudly, continuously. After a few minutes our vet came back in the room and said "Do you see me?" "Of course," I said. "Well, I'm not anywhere near Max, neither is anyone else," she said, and then I started to laugh because poor Max was still screaming his head off. He did not like being separated from the one person he knew and he wasn't shy about sharing his feelings. Yep, that was our Max.

Max was blind, we aren't sure if he could distinguish night from day but we are sure he was one very smart dog. He learned the layout of our home, then he mastered our yard. He understood the word "careful" and knew we were warning him of a potential danger and he would slow down and proceed with caution. Still, none of that stopped him. He RAN to the fence to bark at the neighbor's dog, he followed me around the yard and always, always cocked his head when he heard my voice. What a little joy he was.

Seven months, such a short amount of time and yet I am thankful for every day. This sweet old dog found a place in our home, our pack and our hearts. He left us today and he will be missed. We will miss his valient heart, his love of life, and his quirky ways. Max was a great little dog and he is going to be a great little angel. Goodbye sweet boy, mama loves you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tucker. . . .

We adopted Tucker in December of 2003. Wow, 8 years. Where did the time go? Back then our vet guessed Tucker was between 4 and 8 yrs which would make him between 12 and 16 yrs old now. He's aging and it's sad to watch. He no longer chases the chipmunks up the rain spout or trees a squirrel. His eyes are clouded with cataracts, it's clear he doesn't always hear what we say and yes, he sometimes gets confused and we must gently lead him to where he needs to go.

Tucker has been the guide dog, teacher, and alpha to our many fosters. He taught Mason to go up and down steps, he taught manners to a Yorkie pup name Brutus, trust to Myla the Pomeranian, gentleness to Gaylin and somehow managed to convey to all the dogs that passed through that they were safe.

He was such a gentle alpha that it took a few years for me to figure out he was the leader of our pack. Tucker didn't bark or bite he was simply respected by all of the dogs in his pack. When Nikki, Tom's little  2 1/2 lb Yorkie mix, came barreling in one day and attacked each dog Tucker stood his ground. When Nikki ploughed into Tuck's side and bounced off, Tucker gave her a head butt that sent her flying. She learned quickly, in this house dogs don't fight. When Taffy had episodes her last year of life, Tucker would gently curl around her and let her know she was safe until she came back to us.

His joints are not as flexible, he moves slower, he is less the alpha and more the patriarch in our pack now. We give him glucosamine, Missing Link and Omega 3 supplements  in hopes of keeping him healthy and comfortable. What can I say? He's a great dog and we know his time with us is limited so we enjoy each day with him.

No, he doesn't chase the chipmunks like he once did, but he has his days. Sometimes he'll wake from a nap, go outside to potty and forget that he is getting old. He'll walk around the yard and survey all he can see. He'll go from plant to plant and hike his leg. He'll stop at the grist mill in the garden and dig for the chipmunk whose family has lived there for many years. On occasion he is still spry and perky, he lets us know he still has a lot of life to live. He's a great dog and I'm so glad he's ours.

Someone left him in a cage outside a vet's office on one of the coldest nights of the year. At least they cared enough to dump him where he would be found quickly, put into a good rescue and placed in a loving forever home. Whoever you are, thank you. Tucker has been a joy to us since the day he moved in. He is home, he is loved, he is ours and in typical Tucker fashion he forgives you. So do I. . . . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Max - old, blind, ouchy hips, missing teeth - loved a lot

 Max was found wandering and lost in a town south of us. He was matted from head to tail, his teeth were in terrible shape, the whites of his eyes were blood red and he had a hard time getting up from a sitting or laying position.

A rescue friend sent an email and we contacted the people who had found him and said, sure, we'll take him. Off to the vet  for an exam, dental (he lost 9 teeth) and trying to solve his eye problems. Finally a trip to the opthamalogist at Medvet where he was prescribed 4 different eye meds fixed him up. No more eye pain and the whites are white again. He's feeling better.

We are working on his stiff hips but let's face it, he's somewhere between 15 and 18 so there's only so much we can do. We add Missing Link to his meals and hope that will help his joints. Time will tell.

He has learned our yard, can come in the doggie door, he handles steps amazingly well and he can use the ramp to go both up and down when the mood hits him. He has mapped our house in his head and is quite comfortable as a Spoiled Royal. (See photo above) We don't know what happened and how he got lost with no one looking for him. Don't know why he wasn't vetted, why his eyes were allowed to get so bad and how an owner could let him matt to the skin but we do know that is all behind him. He is now an official Spoiled Royal. So glad you are here Maxxy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pug Puppy Everyone Loves and the Rescue Who Saved Him. . .

This is Scooter/Sir Digby/Pugsley/Cuddles/T.Rex - the adorable pug with lots of names and a heart of pure gold. He is being held by Mike, one of the Pilots and Paws pilots. Mike picked Scooter up in Tennesee from an owner who was unable to help him.

We picked the puppy up at the airport and brought him home until we could do a transport the following weekend.  While he was here, we started calling him Pugsley - the name just seemed to fit for us.

He has a few medical problems. His left eye is larger than his right eye and his left eyelid will not close all the way when he blinks. His front legs go outward at the joint almost like flippers.We took him to an opthamologist while he was here - for now we are treating his eye with drops to keep it lubricated. The specialist said one possibility is surgery to extend his eyelid so it will cover his eye when he blinks. At some point in time, that eye will probably be removed.

As you can see in the video, Pugsley has the heart of a lion.  He knows no fear, loves the other dogs and does not seem to know there is anything wrong with his front legs. He was here for two weeks and he stole our hearts. He is now in New England where he will see an orthopedic specialist as well as another opthamologist. His treatment is going to be very expensive and a small rescue with a huge heart called Just a Touch Rescue has taken him under their umbrella. JATR takes the injured, damaged, ignored dogs and works miracles for them.  It's a tiny little rescue group with a home base in Rhode Island and foster homes through out the New England states. They never ask if a dog is worth the effort because to this group, all dogs are worth the effort - all dogs are valuable and deserve to live as good a life as they can provide.  This is a rescue worth your hard earned dollars, this is a rescue that cares more about the dogs than the politics, this is a rescue worthy of a dog like Pugsley.

An additional note on Pugsley. . . . There is a youngster in his foster home who decided to take over the care of this adorable little puppy. Pugsley has teeth, lots of sharp little puppy teeth and he is doing what all puppies do, he's teething.  His new foster buddy has named him T. Rex. LOL If you knew this little dog, you'd agree, T. Rex fits him perfectly.

If you are looking for a reputable rescue to support, one who would move mountains to save a little puppy from dying in a shelter because of his medical condition, please consider Just A Touch Rescue.  Scooter/Sir Digby/Pugsley/Cuddles/T.Rex would appreciate it.

You can go to the JATR website, click on the paypal donate button on the right side: to make a donation or you can send a donation to their post office box at this address: Just A Touch Rescue, P.O. Box 610, Albion, RI 02801.

A Rescue With A Heart. . . .

Every now and again I am privileged to help with a transport for a pup in need of a rescue.  We helped an injured, long haired Chihuahua get to a really good rescue on St. Patrick's Day. This precious little guy, now named Buddy came from an indifferent home to a caring rescue.  Buddy's owner told me she came home from work one day in November to discover he couldn't walk. She had no idea what happen to him. (Can you say BS!?) Anyway, she saw no need to take him to a vet because a friend who knows "all about dogs" told her there was nothing a vet could do.  (Can you say BS!?) This sweet little dog spent 5 months dragging his back legs around literally rubbing his feet raw until WolfSpirits's Toy Breed and Puppy Mill Rescue heard about him.

This is Buddy the day he was rescued:

As you can see, Buddy adjusted to his untreated injury with spunk and courage and lots of heart.  Robin, with WolfSpirit's has been a God send to Buddy. He has a cart (thanks to a very generous donor) and he is at Robin's for the time being learning how to use his cart and having a great time with the other dogs. You can read more about him on his web page here:

If you, your friends or even your children are looking for a public service project to get involved in, perhaps you could consider a fundraiser for WolfSpirit's Rescue. It's a 501(c)3 charity and they are a very small (but mighty) group. Tell them Buddy sent you. . . . . 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I wonder. . . .

Michael Vick raised, fought, tortured, brutalized and killed pit bulls. He was arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison for 23 months. He was released from prison, given a second chance to play professional football and the Humane Society of the United States did their best to white wash his actions.

I've never read or heard anything from any of his interviews suggesting he understands why what he did was wrong and why his behavior was so abhorrent. Recently he indicated that he wanted a dog and that a lifetime ban on pet ownership was not fair to his children. . . .what would he tell them? How could he explain this to them?

Well, he could tell them that at one point in his life, Daddy raised, fought, tortured, brutalized and killed pit bulls. He  could say Daddy was arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison for 23 months.  As part of his sentence, he forfeited the right to own a dog for the rest of his life.  He could tell them that sometimes, even when you say you are sorry, even if you are sorry, even if you go to prison to pay your debt to society, the harm that you caused can be so great and so damaging that the impact lasts a lifetime.

I wonder why it doesn't occur to Michael Vick to simply tell his children the truth. . . . .

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's happening with the Spoiled Royals this week:

The Spoiled Royals  are sending birthday wishes to two of their Aunts. Elizabeth, who rescues German Shepherds had a birthday over the weekend and Carol whose birthday coincided with Martin Luther King day and resulted in her having her birthday off!

Moving right along, Sweetie and Gaylin were outside earlier playing in the snow. Their little feet were cold so they came inside after just a few minutes.

 Gaylin nestled into my jammies and took a nap on our bed earlier today. Isn't he the cutest little guy?

Sweetie, Punkin, Prince and Oscar jumped on the love seat and took a nap with their dad over the weekend. They are great little nap buddies.

Done for the day, stop back later in the week to see what the SR's are up to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Laughs & naps

Around our house, it's very important to have a treat jar handy.  This one is on the sun porch. When someone actually potties outside, their treat is immediate. Maybe someday some of our mill dogs will "get it!"

Oscar and Gaylin thought it would be nice to try to grab a little sunshine while they napped. They love hopping on the back of the sofa and taking a nap. It also lets them look outside so they can keep an eye on the street outside our home. LOL
A gift from our youngest daughter Heidi. It's funny but oh so true! Here's a tip, buy stock in those sticky rollers, we go through them like candy!

Another Heidi gift. . . . yes, she is a happy and funny young lady. The dogs all love her too.

Nicki loves curling up on the sofa with her foster dad.

Do you think we need a larger sofa? Oscar, Gaylin, Nicki, Sweetie & Jim all conked out.

This gives you an idea of what it's like, "Goin' to the Dogs" at our place.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I want to save a rescue dog. . . .

I'm on several email lists that discuss various topics in rescue. Groups of strangers across the country join together to share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to help pets in need. There are email lists that deal specifically with fundraising ideas, others that help transport pets from one end of the country to the other. Animal lovers share food recipes, medical information, and shoulders to cry on. Whatever your question, someone, somewhere on an email list can help.

For me, one of the challenges of finding a forever home for a foster dog is dealing with the applicants who are not the best choice for that particular dog. A rescue takes dogs into their hearts because the dog came from a sub-standard kennel or they were strays fending for themselves. Perhaps they were surrendered by an owner who could no longer afford their care or they had been tied outside for years. Or, their beloved owner could have died and they have no place to go. Most dogs in rescue have had a difficult time at some point and we want the rest of their lives to be better. For my fosters, I want the adopted home to be a great fit for both the adopters and the foster because I want the foster to be safe, loved and happy. Finding that home is often a process- kinda like the saying "you've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming."

The poem below was emailed on one of my dog lists and included permission to share.  I've never met Marti Hough, the author of the poem, but I think we are sisters of the heart. . . .

I Want to Save a Rescue Dog

I want to save a rescue dog that no one else would pick.
But please... I couldn't handle one that was too old...or sick.

I want a dog with fluffy hair that's silky to the touch;
A dog I wouldn't have to groom (the work would be too much!).

My allergies are bad, and so the dog must never shed
or jump up on my velvet couch or sleep with me in bed.

The size is not important, but the dog can't be too tall.
And while I'm not being choosy, I'd prefer he not be small.

Cute and cuddly, sweet and smart and one who doesn't chew.
Of course he must be housebroken (my carpeting is new).

A dog who's quiet in his crate (I work twelve hours a day);
A dog who isn't hyper, and yet one who likes to play.

Of course all vetting must be done (it's easier for me).
And I don't want to pay a lot for an "adoption fee".

Ah, truly warms my heart to save a dog in need.
I'll pick a dog that no one wants: a noble choice indeed!

A dog that no one else could love: a homeless dog that's needy....
I only wish those rescues weren't so fussy--and so greedy!

Marti Hough
One Starfish Rehoming Connections