Monday, March 28, 2011

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

This evening, I'd like to devote my blog to both microchipping and spaying/neutering.  These are both important for the welfare of your animal.  I suppose I should also mention that you should always have tags on your dogs' collars!

I received a text from a friend that her dog had escaped the yard and was missing.  While I know that they are not as neurotic as I am about my dogs, I know that they love their dog and are good owners.  However, it wasn't long before I discovered that the dog was neither tagged or microchipped!

From experience, I realize that not all dogs can wear a collar with tags all of the time.  I had a horrible experience when my dog got her bottom jaw stuck in her foster brother's collar.  It twisted around her lower jaw... and both of them absolutely lost it.  From then on, I took the collars off of my dogs that enjoy playing "collar tag" with each other.

I'll be the first to admit that Jackson and Brody aren't microchipped.  I'd like to rationalize this neglect by saying that I know that Jackson and Brody are well-trained enough not to wander.  They come when I call them... and both of them hardly ever leave my side.  Lyla, on the other hand, could probably leave and care less.  It makes me feel a whole lot better that she's microchipped.  Nonetheless, I do plan on having my boys chipped as soon as possible!

How do you expect people who find your dog to know where he/she lives?  It's important to tag and chip your dog with the hope that they will return your baby to you.  Can you imagine losing your best friend and never seeing him/her again?!  I can't.  I'd be a wreck if I lost one of mine.  Tags and chips SAVE LIVES and return your baby/babies back to you.  And it's NOT that hard.  You can find cheap tags online... and places that chip for an inexpensive price.  DO IT.  Because the money that you spend is totally worth it.

Now... I'd like to mention spaying/neutering.  Is it REALLY that hard?!  I know that a lot of vets overcharge to have your pet fixed... but there are SO many places out there that are willing to do it at low cost.  You're planning on breeding your female because she's such a good dog?  How about all of those other good dogs out there that are being euthanized because people failed to spay?  And for those guys who think that "chopping your dogs' balls off" is demeaning?  Your dog doesn't give a shit.  My neutered male has no freakin' idea that he's neutered.  Seriously.  He's all about humping other dogs, and the fact that he doesn't have balls doesn't phase him.  Be responsible.  Spay and neuter!

That brings me to the fact that Candy and Mandy are being spayed tomorrow!  You think that keeping one spayed dog quiet is difficult?  How about two?!  I'm going to have a busy two weeks ahead of me!  That's okay, though, because the fact that they will never reproduce makes me happy.  The less dogs in shelters, the better.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."

Candy and Mandy had an eventful and joyous morning!  After catching a glance of my dogs every so often since Monday evening, the girls were finally allowed to come out of quarantine and meet face to face.  There were wagging bodies, kisses, and a whole lot of chaos.  Once the newness of it wore off, I got different reactions from each of my dogs.  Jackson became very jealous and needy and kept giving me that look of disappointment... like... "I can't believe you are doing this to me again."  Brody's reaction was the most amusing, though.  He looked at me with his ears back and his brown eyes wide and startled as if to say, "Puppies?  Again?  I don't know if I can handle that.  Are you sure they aren't just here to visit for a couple days?"  Lyla, on the other hand, acted as if I had just given her the best gift in the entire world.  Sisters!  What could be better than a couple sisters in a house full of boys?!

I rarely have anything negative to say about any of my dogs, fosters or not.  I certainly have nothing negative to say this time!  I've never met such well-behaved puppies!  They are 3-months-old and basically house trained.  There haven't been any accidents... at all... even when they are running around in the living room with my dogs.  They go potty immediately when I let them out into the backyard.  They sleep through the night.  They are sweet, smart, and just really quite lovely animals to be around.  It sure is too bad that I don't have a huge house with a lot of land and an endless amount of money.  I'd keep these two in a heartbeat... even though I always say I don't ever want to own puppies again!

But since I don't have a huge house, lots of land, and lots of money... I'm just going to have fun with these buggers while I can!  Whoever gets either of these girls is going to have a blast!

So, for now, I'll sit here on my couch with my 5 dogs and soak it up while I can.  I'm perfectly happy doing just that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied."

I know what some people think of me and my many dogs.  I don't need to hear them say it.  In matter of fact, I think I'd be quite cross if the words actually passed through their mouths and into my ears.  Fortunately, however, I have found many people that seem to think that my love for animals and rescuing animals is rather amazing instead of crazy.  Thank goodness for them.  Thank goodness for the people who have faith in me and let me be who I am.  That's how it should be... because I sure as hell aren't going to change.

My new fosters (yes, that's plural!) arrived this evening!  Like I said, letting one go always means one (or two or three) is/are coming my way shortly.

Candy and Mandy have entered my life, and like the rest of my fosters, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with them!  They are sweet bundles of love!  They are quarantined from the other dogs right now since they came from an overcrowded shelter in North Carolina.  Lots of yuckies come with shelters, so we have to make sure that they are healthy before they visit with my kids.  You should see me keeping them separated.  It's a whole bunch of crazy!  I have to put my three in the bedroom while I take Candy and Mandy out of their crate and out to their pen in the backyard.  Lyla is wearing her citronella bark collar and is totally moping around and acting like I'm the WORST MOM EVER.  Jackson - well - he's acting like I just ruined his life for the 7th time by bringing MORE fosters in after the last one left.  Brody doesn't  care that much... he's just pissed that the neighbor is back home with her dogs and is all about charging the fence and barking at them.

Candy and Mandy seem a little shocked over my crazy dogs and the new surroundings... but they are taking it well.  It'll be easier to get good pictures when they aren't quarantined anymore... so look forward to some cuteness soon!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The things we do for our dogs...

[Addition] I posted the same entry in my other blog, but I wanted to talk about the departure of my foster dog, Memphis here, too.  It sounds like he's doing really well in his new home!  Of course, it's always sad to see a foster go, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I was dreading the moment he left... but it went a lot more smoothly than I figured it would.  My dogs seem confused as to where Memphis went... but nobody is taking it too hard.  Oh, oh, oh!  Lyla graduated from basic obedience training today!  Yay!  Anyway, I'm ready for the next foster to come my way.  It always seems weird when it's only "my" dogs.

I wasn't sure which blog to post this in... so I decided to post it in both.  I'm compiling a list of "the things we do for our dogs"... so be prepared for additions... because something always comes up!

1. I prop my door to the backyard open so the dogs can go in and out as they please... even if it means me freezing my butt off.

1.5. I sweat my butt off at night surrounded by dogs just so I don't disturb their rest.  It gets hot when you're surrounded by a bunch of heaters (dogs).

2. I avoid going out of town just so I don't have to leave them.  I still haven't brought myself to trust a petsitter or a boarding facility.

3. I go to the pet store to buy dog food with what money I have left rather than going to the grocery store to by myself food.  The dogs certainly come before I do!

4. I up my power bill by leaving the television on Animal Planet for my dogs when I'm gone.

5. I come home to chewed up paper towels, toilet paper, plastic containers, mail, blankets, etc. because I feel like crating a dog for 5+ hours just isn't "right".  Logically, I know it's not a bad idea, but I'd rather clean up shredded toilet paper than keep my dog cooped up for 5+ hours in a crate during the day.  Side Note: I always worry that something will happen... and I won't be able to get home for a long time.  I'd rather them piss and shit in the house and have access to water than go without!  (I don't disagree with crate training.  I'm just a softy.  I KNOW my pup and 2-year-old would benefit from it... but I still can't bring myself to crate them.)

6. I treat my foster dogs to a "going away meal" of Burger King hamburgers!

More to be added as things I do for my dogs comes up.

Peace, Love, & Paw Prints

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why does it take a minute to say 'Hello' and forever to say 'Goodbye'?

As I sit here, Brody is passed out and sprawled out on the floor, Jackson is curled up in a ball next to me, Memphis is still damp from his bath and sleeping on the couch, and Lyla is quietly sitting outside enjoying the warm weather. And you know what? I couldn't imagine it any differently.

Memphis is leaving tomorrow morning to go to his new adoptive family. I treated him to a meal of his food mixed with hamburger meat as his "Going Away Meal". Of course, the other dogs were treated to the same meal! They'd shun me for life if I neglected to treat them the same. He was also treated to a bath... although I don't think that I can say that he was really 'treated', because he really didn't enjoy it very much. However, he is shiny and clean!

I'm not sure what makes Memphis different from my other fosters. I suppose I haven't been doing this long enough, I guess. Zoe was my first foster, and it actually went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would. I was sad... but inexperienced... and I didn't have her quite as long. Then came the 3 puppies. I guess that Lush and Tiana weren't as hard to let go because I knew that Lyla was staying. Then... along came Memphis. Sweet and adorable and an 'issue dog'. Issues as in medical issues... but I'm all about dogs that are skinny, have issues (medical or emotional), are old, etc. Bring it on!

Memphis and I have had a lot of fun together over the last month... uhhh... almost two months. He's gotten along swimmingly well with the rest of my kids. I'm nervous about this one... because I know that he's a sensitive soul. He deserves for someone to love him as much as he loves them. He needs someone with patience to offer. He needs someone to be his last home.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's time to go home.

I've had a rough few nights, so I put off writing this for most of the day after I found out. Now it's time for bed, and I'm ready to spill the beans.

Memphis will be adopted on Saturday. The family that met him wants to adopt him, and they even adopted another Beagle recently! Memphis will have a friend! I was a little worried about the lack of a canine sibling, but now there's nothing to worry about!

I feel like I've had Memphis for years. I guess it's just that he ended up fitting in so well with my dogs. We've gone through a lot together over the last couple of months, and I won't fail to admit that he tried my patience more often than not. But it was when he snuggled up with me and wedged his snout under my chin that I forgot everything that made me irritated with him in the first place. This dog has a heart of gold and is going to teach this family a lot about loving a dog unconditionally. Bittersweet, as always.

Peace, Love, & Paw Prints

Friday, March 11, 2011

I am a dog person. Accept me as I am.

*Sighs* Isn't it funny that a simple comment can irritate you so much?

I realize that I have a lot of dogs. My friend made a comment that upset me today. In reference to what someone else said, Friend X said, "Well, you do have a lot of dogs. You always have the issue of figuring out what to do with the dogs when you go out of town. Like what are you going to do with them when we go to the horse show?" I responded with, "My dogs make me happy. I wouldn't be a happy person without them."

It's just annoying that there are VERY few people that understand. You would think that Friend X would understand... since she's my best friend. Accept me for who I am. Deal with it. I realize that I have limitations on where I can go and for how long since I have to make arrangements for my dogs. While I hate to send my horse without me, if it came down to it, I'd happily stay home with my kids.

My dogs are my life. My life practically revolves around them, and they have fulfilled my life and more ways than one. If you don't like the fact that I worry about my dogs more than the typical person, then just live with it. This is my destiny.

Peace, Love, & Paw Prints

"The more people I meet, the more I like my dog."

It's been about 1 month and a 1/2 since Memphis entered my life. He's doing really well and looks great! His esophageal diverticulitis is being managed with soaked kibble and canned food with even more water mixed in. It needs to be nice and soupy to slide down his throat without getting caught in the sac in his throat. It's so nice to finally see him at a good weight! It's hard to gain weight when you're throwing up your food so much! Now we are vomit-free and looking rather handsome these days!

He's been a total joy to have in my life. We've had our difficulties with potty-training... but I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt considering that he gets a lot of liquid through his food and might really just absolutely have to go. I try to be diligent about picking the water bowl up an hour or two before I leave the house, and he seems to do much better as long as I am on top of it! Plus... more than likely... Memphis spent the majority of his life in a kennel of some sort and just doesn't quite get the process of going outside all of the time. He's getting much better, though, and I'm confident that he'll catch on eventually.

Memphis does great with my dogs and cats! He loves the company of other animals... but is just as content to snuggle up with me on the couch. That's what he's doing right now! Memphis has a family interested in him and even got to met them last week! It went well from what the rescue tells me... and I'm just waiting to hear the final word. The potential adopters are in the process of moving, though, so he'll still be with me until the end of the month if they decide to adopt him. I'll miss him when he finally does go... but I'm always ready to open up my home for the next foster.

Peace, Love, and Paw Prints