Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

There haven't been any changes in life as of yet other than the addition of a cat.  Mandy and Candy are growing up so quickly!  They are getting big and really showing their personalities.  I adore them.  They are both sweet and smart and well-behaved.  Candy can get a little excessive with the barking, and Mandy tends to get a little overexcited with her mouth.  She doesn't bite or anything... but she's like a crocodile when it comes to treats!  Candy, on the other hand, is very polite about taking treats.  They'll learn, though. They are truly good girls.  Unfortunately, they are suffering from the stigma of their breed and color.  They are black, Pit Bull mixes.  It's unfortunate that people can't look passed that... because they are really good puppies.  House-trained, crate-trained, cute, sweet, good with dogs, good with cats?  What more could you ask for?!

Then there's Gloria.  She's doing well, and I'm expecting the pitter patter of little paws shortly.  Patience is a virtue... but not with me!  I'm having a hard time waiting.  I think tonight might be the night, though.  I really feel like it is.  We'll see...

EDIT: Last night was not the night.  Ahhh!  I'm going batty waiting for these babies to appear!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fate; something that I actually believe in.

Today, a young man drove his truck down the long driveway of the barn where I board my horse with the hope of finding the owner of a young cat he had found hanging out by the dumpster at 7-11.  This is Chesapeake, though.  There are stray cats everywhere.  The fact that he was putting effort into searching was reason enough for me to instantly become fond of him.  His name is Tommy, and he's very well one of the nicest persons I've met in a long, long time.  I often feel like giving up on mankind, but Tommy proved to me today that I shouldn't give up quite yet.  There are still good people out there... whether I want to believe it or not.

I confessed to him that I did not know who the cat belonged to... but I'd certainly take a look and give him some tips.  He had already contacted the SPCA, but they don't take strays from people.  They are full, too.  I spent much of last year looking for a rescue to send my feral cats to, but I soon discovered that there were so few... and they were usually full.  I took a look at the cat and couldn't help from wanting to take her under my wing as she stared at me with those striking, emerald eyes.  On top of that, this young man clearly cared for her... but couldn't keep her.  He grilled me with questions to make sure that I was a suitable person to take the cat in.  I couldn't turn this cat away.  I just couldn't.  We exchanged numbers, and I called the vet office in front of him and made an appointment for 30 minutes later to make sure that she was healthy.  He mentioned that he thought she was pregnant... but she looked so young from the other side of the carrier... so I didn't focus much on the fact.

We parted ways, and I headed to the vet.  I mentioned that she might be pregnant, and we all couldn't help from laughing.  She WOULD be pregnant.  It would be my luck.  We crossed our fingers that her big belly was from parasites.  I never hoped so much for a bad case of worms!  The fecal, however, came back negative.  She was also negative for both FeLV and FIV.  Yay!  That's always good news!  She did have some discharge, however, coming from her girl parts.  The vet mentioned that it was possible she had an infection, and there was a possibility that her pregnancy wouldn't go as well as we'd like.  The infection could cause the babies to be born stillborn or not live long after birth.  I mentioned that I'd have to be admitted if something like that happened... then asked for the baby-safe antibiotics for the cat.  They gave me some informational pamphlets about cat pregnancy and said I could call them as needed.  They are used to me bringing in strays and feral cats.

So... $140 something later... Gloria and I were on our way home with antibiotics.  I set her up in the "cat room" (as it has come to be), and she really settled in immediately.  If she didn't have the preggo belly, she'd actually be pretty thin.  I can feel her hip bones and spine fairly easily.  She made herself comfortable on the coffee table as I set up food, water, a litter box, and some toys.  She's constantly purring an kneading whatever she can get her claws on.

Tommy came to my house to pick up the carrier and visit Gloria (he felt like that name was suitable).  Honestly, I haven't come across someone so nice in such a long time.  I think that Tommy and I are meant to be friends.  He is truly a good person, and I'm so thankful that he stumbled upon the barn... and I happened to be there.  He visited with Gloria, chatted with me, and insisted on paying for half of the vet bill.  I tried to refuse his money... but he was persistent.  I NEED the money... but I HATE taking money from people.  Especially people that don't have that much to begin with.

I've been doing my reading in an attempt to prepare for what's to come.  I guess that some pregnant cats have discharge when they are about to give birth?  And they lick their girl parts.  Done and done.  Maybe it's not an infection at all.  Maybe Gloria is ready to have her babies now.  I checked her temperature, too.  It's 100.5... which is a little lower than normal.  It said that the temperature should be between 101 and 102... and when it's drops below 100... it' about time.  It's really hot right now, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if her temperature is a little above normal already right now.  I suppose only time will tell.  I've never dealt with this before!  I'm both excited and petrified at the same time.

On top of everything, I'm so happy to have met Tommy.  I see a strong friendship in our future.

So... here's the beginning to another chapter of rescuing animals.  I always swore that I was more of a dog person than a cat person... but apparently it's equal.

Peace, love, and paw prints...

Monday, April 18, 2011

"We can judge the heart of a man by the treatment of his animals."

Dogs are not disposable.  They aren't an item that you buy and get rid of when you don't want it anymore.  That's not how it works.

Sadly, however, it happens all too often.  60% of the dogs that enter shelters don't leave alive.  A very large percentage of dogs in shelters are owner surrenders.  I have issues with this.  I can't fathom why anyone would get a dog if they aren't planning on keeping him for his entire life.  I guess it's hard for me to understand since I would never, ever give up on one of my dogs.  When I add a dog to my household, I'm planning on having that dog until he takes his last breath.  Food, vet bills, and all of the other essentials are already floating around in my head.  I'm prepared.  If I move, the dog moves.  If my new boyfriend has allergies to dogs, he either deals with it or is out the door.  You won't find me making stupid excuses to drop my dog off at a shelter when the going gets tough.  My dogs aren't going anywhere... unless I'm with them.

I see all of these dogs that have been surrendered to the shelters by their owners and wonder why they even got a dog in the first place.  Apparently they didn't think it out before they made the decision to add a dog into the mix.  That's only one of the differences between us.

I see them and can't help from wanting to beat their old "owners" over the head with a baseball bat screaming "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!  THIS DOG LOVES YOU - AS SHITTY OF A PERSON YOU ARE!"  And it's true.  The dogs that were so heartlessly dumped at the shelter DID love their people.  It's a shame that they had to waste their sweet souls on such bitter people.  Every part of you hopes that they'll be adopted and be able to give that love to someone who actually deserves it.  The hard truth is... most of them never get to do so.  They die where their "owners" left them.  How would you feel if you dropped your dog off at a shelter and basically sentenced him to death?  I'd sure as hell rethink my decision.

As odd as it seems, seeing these homeless dogs literally makes me clutch my hand over my chest where my heart is... because it actually physically hurts.  I never knew that my heart could actually hurt when I'm sad... but now I know all too well that it can.

So think about it.  Don't get a dog if you aren't prepared to devote the next decade+ to him.  They don't deserve to die in shelters because of a stupid decision you decided to make.

Don't shop!  Adopt!

Peace, love, and paw prints...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."

Have you ever had to deal with a recently spayed puppy?  Try dealing with two!  Candy and Mandy were spayed on Tuesday.  It's only been 5 full days since the surgery, and the kids are going stir crazy.  It would probably be easier if I didn't have my own dogs to deal with, too.  I started off with crating the girls separately for the first few days.  Then the guilt set in.  They looked so sad without each other!  I decided to put them together and see what happened.  Lucky for me... and them... they both sit in the crate quietly... equally bored with the fact that they can't come out.  But, I figure, at least they have each other.  When it comes to going outside, Candy sits quietly in the pen and does her business in the meantime.  As for Mandy - well - I have to take her out alone without any of the other dogs around to distract her.  I can't put her in the pen... because Miss Thang scales it and jumps out.  THAT can't be safe for a recently spayed pup!  They are healing up nicely, though, and I can't wait until we can resume normal activity!

Apart from the spayed ladies, some other changes have come to be!  I've started my dogs on a raw food diet.  Yes.  You heard me right.  They eat raw food.  Bone and all.  Before you choose to judge, check it out.  You might be surprised.  Despite the judgement posed by people who haven't researched a diet of raw meat, my dogs have taken splendidly to their new food!  I've described it as a crack addict with crack.  These dogs are like raw meat addicts!  Surprisingly, I haven't had any trouble with loose stools or anything!  Mealtime is SO much more exciting to them!  Even my foster puppies go crazy over the smell of the raw meat.  Of course, they are still on kibble.  But they sure do like the smell of the raw chicken!  I've started mine off on chicken.  They've taken kindly to it... so I'll probably add another protein source soon enough. I'm excited about this new adventure of feeding raw.  Since I'm paranoid, however, I'm considering having blood work drawn after a few months of feeding raw to see if there are any deficiencies.  I just want what's best for them... and this raw diet seems to be what's best mentally.  So... I guess I'll just have to find out if it's what's best physically, too.

Peace, love, and paw prints...