Thursday, April 19, 2012

Four Dogs Down!

EDITED TO ADD:  I started this post a month ago-3/19/12.  I can't believe its been that long, I only had the pups for two months and now they've been gone for a month.  Time flies, when you're having...hmmmm.  New saying: "time flies when you're not picking up shit all the time."  I only have adults right now.  It's great!

Four of my babies (well, Brownie's babies, really) were adopted on Saturday.  I think they all went to great homes, and I have already gotten emails from two of the homes telling me how well the kiddos are doing.  They also said the pups are almost house-trained?...could have fooled me.  And the rest of them are still doing a good job of convincing me they aren't house-trained.

The remaining three were almost adopted, but one fell through (refused to buy health insurance?!-seriously, $30/mo tops) and I told the other two they couldn't have my babies.  Yup, I'm a hard-ass.  But it really sucks to raise and love these guys and then regret/worry that you sent them to the wrong forever home.  I've only done that once, but I still feel guilty about it and worry about her life. It'll never happen again, no matter how mad I make people who want to adopt.  One person just gave me the heebie-jeebies, the other said she couldn't be bothered to get out of bed and let a puppy out at night, yet she wanted to keep the puppy in a crate.  The general rule is that a puppy can be expected to hold it for their age in months, plus one.  So my 8 week old babies would be able to go 3 hours without a potty break.  Any longer than that is asking too much, and could force the pup to pee or poop in their crate.  This goes strongly against their instincts, is cruel, and can set back house-training by quite some time.

One thing that is really great about the rescue I work with is that I get to interview people wanting to adopt my babies, and I have veto power.  People often ask how we can let them go, saying that fostering would be too hard for them.  Given that I haven't thought this through thoroughly or edited it very well, these are my answers.

1-I know from when they come into the house that they'll be moving on-it's a different perspective
2-I truly want to save animals, and I'm doing it.  That has huge rewards.  It brings a lot of meaning to my life, and that is very important.
3-I don't love all the dogs who come through the house.  I mean, I care for them and give them affection, and I have compassion for them and want to help them but I don't fall in love with every dog.
4-I can save a lot more dogs by fostering than adopting.  And, if I adopted all the ones I really like, I would soon be too full to foster.
5-Puppies, especially, are cuddly, adorable and fun to play with, but they are also messy, destructive and have not developed their full personalities.  I find it easier to let (most of) them go than adults.  There are also less people who will foster puppies because of the aforementioned mess and destruction.
6-There is a huge opportunity for education through meeting these dogs' eventual adopters and just talking to  people about why I have so many dogs.  I love to give people new information, and hopefully it makes their dogs' lives better

There's a beginning to why I foster and how I let the dogs go.  I'm sure this list will be added to.

Holding Pattern

So, again, nothing new to report on the quilting front-am I lazy? bored? scared of the next project?  I don't know.  Let me know if you do.  However, two things that never quit around here-dog stuff, and trouble.

So, dog stuff-we still have Starla and Brownie, and I don't see that changing any time in the near future.  That's OK, though, as fosters go they are pretty easy, except for Starla's bitchy attitude with newcomers.  Brownie is spending more and more time in the house and is actually approaching me to be petted around the head and neck!  I think having all these adult dogs around is good for her.  They set her an example of how dogs should behave.  Starla has started staying in the house more, and is sleeping in a crate in our bedroom.  She is being quite good.  There's got to be a dog lover out there who's looking for a dachshund with a chihuahua personality.

The adorable lab puppies did go quickly, and the families who adopted them are getting some awesome dogs.  Tulip (in the front) went home on Saturday the 7th, and we were able to keep Orchid until the 11th.  She was adopted by the cousin of one of our fosters, so I should be able to keep in touch.

Pretty Cute, huh?

We got a new boy on Monday.  His name is Clay and he is out of a shelter in New Mexico. 

He's a very striking boy!

This shelter is right outside of a reservation, and unfortunately a lot of dogs get dumped there after terrible suffering.  The shelter has very little money, and more than half of the dogs surrendered there are euthanized.  This guy has a better tale than most; he was left with a letter saying that he was a good dog but that the owner couldn't give him enough exercise.  Now, it seems like the owner didn't think this through, right?  I mean, a 50% chance of death, rather than figuring out a way to wear out the dog?  Walk, bike, play ball, hire someone else to do those things?  A lot of people don't realize what happens in shelters, I think, or they choose not to.  This guy probably has some bully breed in him, in addition to the obvious Catahoula Leopard Dog.  That could have been very bad news for him if was adopted directly from the shelter.

There is a wonderful girl/woman/whatever the proper term is doing Teach for America on the reservation, and she has taken it upon herself to help these dogs.  I really admire her.  I wonder how many of us (meaning me) would think "oh this is terrible" and do nothing about it.  She drove about 60 dogs up overnight on Sunday.  I chose this boy because of his looks and the letter that came with him, but it turns out I really helped him out.  All of the other rescues who took dogs were located in cities with breed specific legislation (BSL), which means they can't take any dog who might be a bully breed mix.  So it was me or no one for this guy.

He is a great dog, and I'm so glad we are able to help him.  He is a lover, always wanting to be with me or Tony, and he is very well behaved in the house.  He is great with the other dogs, and very submissive, which is good, given his looks.  Any aggression on his part could lead very quickly to an early death.  I was walking him yesterday and a group of little boys ran up.  "Is he a pit bull?"  "Maybe." I responded.  "Does he bite?"  "Nope."  So they petted him and swung their toy swords at him, and he wagged and licked and was generally awesome.  His only problems are that he chases kitties and he has never been leash trained, but those are easily overcome and we are already working on it.  He's sleeping on the couch right now, and he will make someone very good companion.  If we had unlimited money and time, he'd stay right here.  He's a good one.

If you are interested, look up BSL and find out why it doesn't work to lower dog bites/attacks.  Dogs should each be judged on their individual merits, not their heritage.  Vicious dog legislation is reasonable, BSL is not.  Be an advocate in your area.  That's not where this was supposed to end up, but there you go...BSL makes me mad.

OK, the "trouble" part.  This is what my car looks like now:

Yes, a deer ran out in front of me while I was going 75 mph.  Legally, might I add.  Luckily, Sirius and Daemon and I are all OK, but the car is on the edge of totaled.  So, either they decide to fix it and I am car-less for a while, or they total it and I have to buy a new car.  Which is a giant pain in the ass.  But!  Also!  The police were called to write an accident report so the insurance company wouldn't think I drove into the side of a building after 2 bottles of wine, etc.  They did the whole rigamarole which included running my license.  Turns out, my CODL has been suspended since December of 2010.  Which is interesting, because I got a WY license in  the summer of 2010.  I also switched insurance companies so Tony and I were on the same policy.  Turns out, Pro-fucking-gressive decided it was their job to report to the state of CO that I was driving without insurance.  The story is longer, but that's the abridged version.  So, thought no fault of my own, and without ever being notified that my license was suspended, I am the proud recipient of a ticket for driving on a suspended license.  I have to go to court to defend myself, and I have to wait 2-3 weeks and pay $95 for the DMV to get off their asses and fix their mistake.  Lovely.  Now I have a chauffeur, albeit an unwilling and very busy one.  But, we'll see how he likes running all the errands-ha!  Plus, we retrieved the deer-it was very, very dead-and butchered it to feed to the dogs.  Yup, that's right, we butchered a deer in the backyard.  Tony did the really gross parts, but still, living in Wyoming for 2 years made a different person out of me.  I'm a real cowgirl now!  I dunno, just looking for an upside.  Sigh.

The dogs are really digging the venison.  If you have some to spare, let me know.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Only the Momma

So, first off,  a picture of Starla, who has been living with us since 3/10.  We thought she might be pregnant, but she wasn't.  However, she did have kennel cough.  That meant two weeks of antibiotics and being separated from other dogs.  We are a bit lax around here, because I feel there isn't any chance of true separation, and I know that my dogs, with their minimal vaxes, raw food, and no chemicals, are very healthy, and unlikely to get sick.  So, I put the babies inside whenever she was outside, and vice versa.  She slept, and still does, in Tony's office to keep her separated.  Now she sleeps there because she is used to it and she likes to mark, so I have to keep a close eye on her when she is in the house.

This is by far the cutest picture I have of her.  She is a chihuahua/dachshund mix, and though she's not the most adorable dog in the world, she is not nearly as ugly as my picture taking makes her look.  She weighs 13.5 lbs, is very cuddly, and can live with or without walks, so she will be a great dog for a retired person or couple.  She would probably do well with kids, too, though, she wouldn't mind being dressed up or pushed around in a stroller.  She does think it is fun to play chase though, and has run up the street twice, so her new owners will have to be careful about that.  I hope she gets adopted soon, as she is not getting the attention she needs/wants here.

Brownie is doing very, very well.  She seems to have realized that the whole house is her "area" and has only had one accident in weeks.  That one looked like there was no choice, if you know what I mean.  Her babies are all gone, so while she loves our other dogs, too, she is able to relax more and focus on humans.  She curls up on the couch regularly, and I even caught her in our bed yesterday!

She goes for walks with us now, and even went to the big (100 acre) off-leash park with us the other day.  I didn't intend to let her off leash, but she slipped her collar, so I let her stay off leash, and she walked with us and let us put her back on leash at the end of the walk.  She does get a bit carsick, so we will work on that, and her eventual adopter should take her for lots of short rides to get her more used to the car as well.  There has been some talk of transferring her to a different foster home.  This makes sense, as it will help her get used to more and more people, but honestly-I'll miss her.  However, there are no firm plans, so I don't have to worry about it right now.

I also have two adorable purebred black lab puppies. (Oh, and on another note, I have been looking at breeders' website, mostly for poms and mals-what? yes, those are very different dogs, and I plan to have at least one of each in my lifetime-and some of them spell purebred wrong "purebread!!!"  Seriously people, if you are going to the trouble and expense of putting up a website, get someone to proofread it.  Especially if you are an idiot!)  They are both girls, and their names are Tulip and Orchid-lovely spring names, don't you think?  I need to get photos of them tonight, because I am pretty sure they will both be gone tomorrow.  They are so cute, roly-poly, not biters, and pretty clean.  They will be great pets for someone!

PS-Happy Birthday, Sis!