Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! We hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a tree squirrel. Now you know we have a problem. It's Christmas Eve, this house starts getting moving in the early hours of the morning to prepare for the crowds that start arriving about now. Yet nobody is moving. It's way too quiet. In fact it's been quiet for days. You see, Mom let a bug in the house.

Oh not those creepy crawly ones that you can step on or call the bug guys to kill. Hey, we've bought those into the house and it hasn't killed a Christmas Eve party. Mom got a stomach bug on Tuesday and it wiped her out. Dog Dad nursed her back to health and we thought we still might get to have our party only to discover Dog Dad had the bug this morning so the party is off.

The parents are a little down, in 16 years they haven't missed throwing a Christmas Eve party. Not even one during a year the basement got flooded. This is the first they've had to cancel and it's bumming them out just a bit.

Mom and Dad assure us Santa will still find our stockings and all will be well. However, we have to wait to see the grandparents and all the little sheep will have to wait to get their presents until Dog Dad is feeling better.

Mom was finally up and moving today so she snapped her traditional Christmas Eve pic of us in front of the Christmas Tree. Something she usually does in advance and preposts, but at least she got it done before Christmas. Yesterday that was looking questionable.

This is Mom's first new tree. She ordered it during the tree sales right before Christmas last year. It arrived right before Christmas, too late for Christmas, but perfect for this year. The tree she'd inherited from her Mom just barely made it through the Christmas take down of decorations. When Dog Dad is feeling better she's hoping he can get the whole tree with his camera. This was the best she could do with what she had.

We hope Santa is good to all of you this evening.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Card Wreath is Full

Thanks to a pile of cards that arrived yesterday, our second card wreath is full. The card wreath has slots that will accept more cards so if your card is on the way it will have room. The point is there won't be any holes in the wreath as Christmas arrives.

It is much harder to get a shot of this card wreath because it is located in a hallway. Mom did her best, but she couldn't quite get all the cards in and she apologizes.

We are trying to be really good as we wait for Santa to come. It seems like it's taking forever. Dad's parents arrived on Saturday and Mom's Mom is coming to the state today. That means lots of goodies on Christmas Eve, even before Santa comes.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Mischief: Santa Take 2

We always get multiple shots to choose from when we go to visit Santa and this year Mom just couldn't resist getting more than one shot of us visiting the big guy. She of course chose the one with Katy sticking out her tongue at Santa for the Christmas Card, after all how often are you going to get that shot. However, this shot just said while Bailey was trying to demonstrate how good he was for Santa, Katy had mischief in mind.

Some good news from Bailey. He had his weigh in with the Vet Saturday, no visit, and is up 3 pounds so he is just under 3 pounds his normal weight now. This is huge. It has been a real miracle. Those prayers really are working. We went from thinking he wouldn't be here at Halloween and not including his name on the Christmas card list to having him regaining weight and chasing Katy like a much younger dog. Don't know where this will lead, but this has been the greatest Christmas gift we could have asked for and received, a wonderful Christmas season with Bailey.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday: It's Getting Close

We have much to be thankful for today.

First we won Oz's Petsmart Contest found here and have a $25 gift card to spend on goodies. The big brown truck showed up yesterday to deliver our prize. Sadly, we only heard the bell and didn't get our cookie from the driver.

Second, as you can see our first card wreath is full and the second one is starting to fill up as well. Mom has had a few entries, but as you could expect most of them are our friends.

Third, Bailey is supposed to be going in for a weigh in on Saturday and we hope to get good news that his weight has gone up with his new diet. His face looks fuller and his body feels less bony, but that's all subjective. We hope to have some data that what we believe is good news is real.

Lastly, it's hard to believe, but a week from tonight our family will gather together and have our big Christmas Eve celebration at our house. We are looking forward to seeing Dog's Dad's parents who we only see once a year now, as well as Grandma who will be traveling from PA and lots and lots of local relatives. Mom and Dad still have lots to do to get ready, but we can't wait to see everyone.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Christmas Prep Continues

Mom is making progress on getting ready for Christmas. Dog Dad picked up our Christmas cards last night and Mom worked on addressing them until she ran out of stamps. Not giving anything away, but Dog Dad says this is the best card ever because of Katy. As for the lack of stamps, never fear, Dog Dad picked up today when he mailed the huge stack Mom finished yesterday.

Dog Dad suggested making use of the flower boxes on our deck, so they went out searching for something to put in them last night. We are hoping the birds will discourage the squirrels.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Toys are Back

Dog Dad braved the attic to bring back our Christmas toys. Mom boxes all our holiday toys after each holiday and returns them to us the next year. It's like finding old friends.

Blog Paws is hosting the Hop here.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Mischief: The Christmas Card Wreath

Well it was a busy but productive weekend. Mom and Dad finally got into Christmas mode.

Friday they left us home and took the great niece and nephews to the Christmas tree lighting. The little ones got to visit with Santa who arrived on a fire engine to open the festivities. We didn't get to go because it was incredibly crowded.

Saturday we finally got to see Santa at the Baypath Rescue fundraiser. Can you believe it Santa remembered us!! With all the dogs he sees we didn't expect he'd remember us. I guess he doesn't see many Shelties and who knew Santa has a thing for Shelties. Santa even remembered to rub Katy's side so she stopped being scared. We got to our picture taken with Santa and then we got to go shopping in the store that hosted the event. We found lots of cool toys to suggest for Santa toys and we also pointed out some bully sticks that might be interesting.

Mom and Dad finally got our card wreaths put up and the first one only has our cards in it so far. I suspect we'll fill the first one before Mom even gets one card in it.

They also got the tree up this weekend so the holiday decorations are coming along. Next weekend we are helping one of the great nephews celebrate his birthday. We love birthday parties because Dog Dad always gets us cookies to celebrate with the birthday child. The tradition is the birthday kid gives us the cookies before he/she has birthday cake. We don't get bakery cookies often so we are looking forward to it.

Happy Chanukah to all our friends celebrating. We hope the holiday is filled with joy, happiness, and wonderful memories as you celebrate with family and friends.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Terrific Tuesday: The Christmas Cards are Arriving

Yesterday our box was filled with Christmas cards and Dog Dad hasn't even dragged our card wreaths out of the attic yet!!! We are so thankful to our Blogville friends and look forward to decorating our wreath with all their wonderful cards.

We actually had a much better picture of all our wonderful cards, but Mom quickly realized all the addresses were showing and decided that wasn't such a good idea.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Monday Mischief: Putting out the Holly Buckets

Mom was quite excited when she moved here to find she had Holly bushes in her own front yard. Oddly they seem to have the best berries in the summer, not the winter as all the fake Holly she's used over the years assured her she'd find. However, this year has been so warm that the bush is very berriful and Dog Dad decided the day after Thanksgiving would be a great day to do its winter trim.

The weather was very tropical for New England on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Mom was out in a short sleeved shirt and her sandals. She hates putting shoes on when its muddy. Mom loves putting out the Holly buckets full of Holly and ornaments to decorate the front yard. She and Dog Dad just never have done the whole Christmas light thing, but she does enjoy having something outside. A few years ago Santa's elves found their way home. Other outdoor decorations have not survived the brutal snow storms, so Mom recruited a gnome planter to help. She may be checking out some outdoor sales to see what she can locate.

We were very helpful supervising and making sure nobody got hurt while working with the pointy Holly.

Mom helped us send out all our digital Christmas cards this weekend to those who requested e-cards and to all those living outside the United States. We have an appointment with Santa on Saturday and hope to get our paper cards made up after that so we can get the rest of the list mailed.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish all our friends in Blogville a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Mom preposted this since she and Dog Dad will be busy hosting Thanksgiving for family.

Mom was truly thankful to be able to take this picture of Bailey happily stealing all the Thanksgiving toys. Katy happily stole them back later for those of you concerned. It has been a special gift and we are cherishing every moment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Our First Christmas Card

Our first card arrived on Saturday from Reilly and Denny the Cowspot Dogs. We are putting it in a safe place until the Christmas Card wreaths come out some time after this weekend when Dog Dad bravely enters the attic and digs out the Christmas decorations. The only card we've sent out so far was a Hanukkah card. We are waiting until we see Santa on December 5th to get our Christmas cards made. Then we'll do a mail blast to get our cards out for the Blogville card exchange, family, friends, etc.

Blog Paws is hosting the Hop here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Bailey's Vet Visit

Bailey went to the Vet on Tuesday to have a check up and see where things are at with his Lymphoma. You see according to his diagnosis he wasn't supposed to be here much past the beginning of Oct. Halloween came and went and he is still chasing Katy around and eating all his meals. He looks like a skeleton, but a pretty healthy one by all accounts. So, we decided it was time to talk to his vet and see what else we could do to make him comfortable.

She quite frankly is shocked. Our Vet is not someone who tends to get excited and exaggerate, but she used the word miracle. She doesn't want to give us false hope, but he is not progressing in the way you'd expect a dog with Lymphoma, not getting chemo, to progress. That doesn't mean the signs won't come, but everything says they should be here now. Seeing him doing this well is a miracle. While he's lost muscle weight, he still is the weight at which he was diagnosed. She was stunned to find him still playing, eating, having regular stool, and frankly living his life to the fullest. She isn't sure what to make of it, but she did suggest we focus on trying to put some weight on without risking him starting to vomit. Vomiting would be a very bad sign. So we increased his beef and rice and he's getting between meals vet recommended kibble, which so far he's been able to keep down and he hasn't turned his nose up after one meal, which was a previous problem.

She debated reducing his steroids, but at this point she didn't want to ruin what is working. He's already on a reduced dosage from his original plan.

Each extra day has been a miracle. Bailey loves Halloween and we thought that would be our Blessing, getting to watch him greet the kids one last time. However, he's continuing to fight. We don't know how long this miracle will last, but there is a good chance with Thanksgiving so close that Bailey will get in his favorite tradition of watching the football games on the couch and getting lots of attention from extended family. Being even more optimistic we booked a visit with Santa for a dog charity fundraiser for December 5th and included Bailey on the list for the photographer. There will be no issue changing to Katy, so it seemed a safe risk.

The Vet gave us credit, but honestly I credit Katy. She has evolved so much since Bailey got sick. She has always been close to him, but now she takes so much more responsibility for their relationship. She will curl up and rest with him when he is really tired. However, she will poke and prod him until he plays with her when she thinks he's just being a cranky old guy. She'll steal his bones or a toy, knowing he can't resist stealing them back and thus keeps him interested in life. She finds things to explore outside and insists he will help. If anyone has provided Bailey with the will to live and to fight Katy has been at the heart of it all. She is not going to let him go without a fight.

We thank all of you for your prayers and good wishes. We certainly have benefited from them. We ask that you continue them as we would love to keep Bailey with us through Christmas and as long after that as God is willing. We are making the most of each day and perhaps that is the blessing in all of this.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Mischief: Claiming the Mat

This mat will fit both of us, but lately Bailey takes up all the space and we don't share. However, the other day, I snuck it and claimed it for myself. There is no reason why we can't share. Who can resist a nice comfy mat.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Granite State Sheltie Rescue Calendar

You know we can never resist the chance to plug a good cause. We are not associated with Granite State Rescue. Being from MA, we actually came from New England Sheltie Rescue. However, Mom never misses the chance to support other rescue groups and when it means cute Sheltie pics, well who can resist. Actually, Dog Dad always picks up a couple of commercial Sheltie calendars to decorate the house, so when Mom saw a Rescue Sheltie calendar it seemed an awesome substitute. She gets to support a regional rescue and still enjoy her monthly Sheltie calendar.

Mom ordered hers this weekend. We know there are others out there who might be interested in a monthly Sheltie calendar or they wouldn't keep selling them commercially so we thought we'd put a plug in for a rescue option. You don't have to adopt a Sheltie to help, you can also purchase a rescue calendar instead of buying that Sheltie calendar at your local calendar store.

You can find information about ordering one here. Just a hint, don't make the mistake Mom make and click on the option for international shipping. They give you three options and that was just too confusing for Mom. The first picture is for pick up for locals. The second is for US shipping and the third for International. Of course Mom picks the International and had to back out the order. Most of you can probably figure this out, but we thought we'd mention it since Mom had an issue.

If you know of other rescues that are doing calendars for online purchase it might be worth posting links. They make cute gifts for dog lovers and they support great causes. As we said, we are not associated with Granite State Sheltie Rescue, but we are more than willing to switch from buying a commercial calendar to supporting a Sheltie Rescue. We are sure others would do the same if they had more information that such items were available to buy. Let's spread the word.

Welcome to Monday Mischief – The pet blog hop that wraps up the weekend! This Blog Hop is brought to you by Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Terrific Tuesday: Halloween Fun

Mom was very pleased that Katy and I were celebrating Halloween on Saturday. We aren't much into costumes, but we do love our bandannas. After Bailey's diagnosis, Mom was very concerned Bailey wouldn't be around to greet the trick or treaters this year.

Well, instead we had a busy night greeting kids who came to the door. Mom was amazed at how many kids seem to remember and ask for us when they come to the door. Bailey loves trying to peak through Dog Dad's legs to see the kids and greet them. Even Katy peeked around the door to get a look at the kids this year. In years gone by she's run and hidden every time the door bell rang.

One of our neighbors sets up a haunted yard each year, which helps draw crowds to the neighborhood. Katy was desperate to go visit the crew setting up, so Dog Dad took Bailey and Katy for a walk before dark and she did a safety inspection before the kids showed up.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Mischief: Relocating the Blanket

Mom and Dad have fleece placed on the couch and on our mat for us to use. However, the other day we decided we wanted to share a blankie and moved one to suit us. Mom for some reason thought this was rather adorable and had to capture our private moment.

Welcome to Monday Mischief – The pet blog hop that wraps up the weekend! This Blog Hop is brought to you by Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Treats for Shelter Pets

Dory's Backyard is hosting a fundraiser for shelters where she will donate a dollar for everyone who posts about what they do to help local shelters and links up from Halloween Eve until November 1. Being rescue dogs we couldn't resist the urge to help so here we are with our post.

1. We are on the list for New England Sheltie Rescue for our next dog. Sadly with Bailey's Lymphoma diagnosis, we need to honor the request that was made when we adopted Katy that she not be an only dog.

2. We do two walks to raise money for local shelters each Spring. We also shop while we are at the events. While they are called walks they are more like fairs that give local shelters opportunities to meet people interested in adoption and raise some badly needed funds and pet vendors opportunities to meet new customers. We like to participate in all the events.

3. We try to write about local events and post them on bulletin boards that list local events when ever we can. We do this for fundraisers and pet friendly events when we have the chance. Blogpaws has an event calendar that members can list events on and it would be great if more members added local events. It gives groups more opportunities for free publicity and it encourages others who don't live in the area to think about these events. Would they work for their shelter? Is it a pet friendly event that would encourage the community to be more open to pet friendly events if it was held in their home town? We don't always have to reinvent the wheel we can learn from each other about how to raise funds, run events, and get people interested in participating. The more we share the bigger pool of knowledge we have.

4. I write and talk about our experiences with breed adoption. There are lots of people who don't realize there is a good possibility of getting the breed you want through rescue if you are willing to do a bit of homework and don't want the dog tomorrow. Breed rescue can take a little longer, though not always. Our first two adoptions were very quick. This one is taking a bit longer to find the right match.

While many people are happy with a mixed breed, others will go the breeder route, especially after visiting a few mixed breed shelters and being told what they want is not likely to happen. However, for those who have experienced breed rescue we know it can be challenging to find one because many are regional, but if you look through the AKC site for the breed many do list the breed rescues for that breed. I was able to help someone locate a Sheltie Rescue for their area after posting an article on breed rescue a week ago, just by giving them the link to the AKC Sheltie site that gives a click on state map. We can both advocate for rescue and help people find the dogs they really want.

5. Pictures with Santa. I think this is a gift from the shelters to us every year, although we do make a donation. We love visiting Santa and having our picture taken for charity. We think these events are fun and a great way for shelters to raise a few dollars at the holidays.

There are always other events at the local pet stores to raise funds for the local shelters as well. We try to attend when we can. We know they always are in need of funds.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Mischief: Recovering in Bed

After Thursday's glorious mud bath, Mom felt a need to follow it up with a not so pleasant soap bath. So I decided to dry out on her bed. Mom is grateful she stopped me before I made it upstairs in my muddy happiness. I was headed there when the evil leash clipped on me and headed me to the dreadful tub of doom. Mom mentioned something about the bath tub resembling her former students Nile projects as the water turned rather muddy. She fails to realize the soft fluffiness that she attributes to the bath is really all about the mud.

Welcome to Monday Mischief – The pet blog hop that wraps up the weekend! This Blog Hop is brought to you by Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fabulous Friday

Bailey is resting after a busy play day with Katy.

We are celebrating though because tomorrow is a spa day. Well normally only Katy loves spa days. She thinks her monthly visit to the groomer really is a spa and Mom has continued this fantasy for years now. Bailey not so much. He hates the spa. However, even Bailey is celebrating this month as much as he dreads going. You see last month after getting his Lymphoma diagnosis we weren't sure if we should make this appointment based on the information we got from his vets regarding his prognosis. We weren't sure he'd still be here to go or if was here he'd be healthy enough to go.

Well folks Dad made the appointment and the people there knowing our situation let us know we could notify them if there was a reason we wouldn't need the appointment. Bailey is going to that appointment tomorrow and we can't be happier.

After the first terrified week of preparing for death, we are deciding to live life each day. It took some time to let go the fear and learn to live in the moment. We don't know how long Bailey will be with us. However, we don't honestly know how long Katy will be with us either. With Bailey, we just happen to know there is an issue that will shorten his life soon. Katy's future health is a bit more of a mystery.

We have made some practical plans regarding the future. We are now on a waiting list for another Sheltie working with the breed rescue who brought us Bailey and Katy. Katy will not function well as an only dog, so we have to prepare for that situation. The vets helped us find medications which have allowed Bailey to continue eating and functioning for the time being. A close friend helped us to find food that Bailey would eat and for the moment we've stopped his weight loss. That has been a huge help in keeping him happy and playing.

Bailey is doing well and today we celebrate his continued fight. We thank all of our Blogville friends for their good wishes and prayers.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday: In Defense of Dog Foster Volunteers

There are lots of heart breaking stories about pets needing homes on the Internet today. I think for the most part they are written to generate attention for the cause of pet adoption. It also doesn't hurt the websites that they generate clicks and thus, more advertising. The problem for me is when they get it wrong.

I was recently clicking Yahoo news stories and came across what appeared to be a standard pet abandonment story. The picture and the headline Dog Cries Out She Realize Her Family Is Gone Again caught my attention and I clicked.

The problem I had with the story is the writer clearly wanted to write a story that would inspire adoption and help people understand the needs of the animals, but missed the boat and instead completely lost the opportunity to explain to people why fostering is important for shelter animals. He left the impression that fostering in fact breaks the spirit and heart of a dog because the dog often can't stay in one foster home for the entire time it takes to be adopted. Of course no where does he mention the issues staying in the shelter crated might create. In fact he never describes the alternatives to foster care. It is as if these dogs have better choices that fostering is preventing. He merely mentions that the foster failed because the foster family lived in a high rise and the dog couldn't adapt to using an elevator. Of course, he does gloss over the behavior problems the dog had that also made this particular foster family and home not a good match for the dog. He fails to balance the story by explaining any of the benefits of fostering or the risk of warehousing dogs in shelters.

Reading the comments that followed the article you clearly understood he missed the boat on teaching people about the benefits of fostering dogs. After reading the article many still didn't understand the difference between fostering and adoption. In fairness to the readers, it wasn't well laid out in the article. While describing how heart broken the dog was when her foster family left, no where is the balance about how much the dog benefited by not living in a crate for several months with limited human contact helping her stay healthy and perhaps working on those all important social skills that prevent so many dogs from long term adoptions. In reading the comments it is also clear as I stated that he clearly leaves the impression that fostering is preventing dogs from being taken into permanent homes as if homes are waiting and foster parents are selfishly preventing these dogs from going to those homes. If you've ever worked or even talked with people who work with shelters this clearly isn't the problem. In fact fosters often help dogs to work through some of the challenges that prevent them from being adoptable. It clearly doesn't work in all cases, but the less work a dog is to take on, the easier it is to find a forever home. A dog who is in a home with someone who is walking it on a leash, teaching it not to eat the furniture, how to play with other dogs, not eat the family, etc. does become a more adoptable animal than one who has unknown qualities because it only has been walked at the shelter and never spends time in family situations.

I have many times written on this blog to thank the two foster Mom's who took in Bailey and Katy. How many people can say they got a puppy who was fully housebroken? Bailey's owners had abandoned him because they bought him and then couldn't deal with a human baby and well another furry baby who also needed help learning the basics. Bailey's foster Mom was amazing. She got him fully prepared for his new home so he had the best possible chance of a good start in his forever home. Bailey did have trouble believing he wasn't going to be abandoned when he left foster care. However, I'd have to wonder if he'd have been even more traumatized with emotional and behavioral issues had he been in traditional shelter care. Not that people aren't caring there, they do the best they can. Shelties are just very sensitive dogs. Just finding appropriate boarding care for these two can be a challenge because they hate being separated. Try finding a double room at your local kennel. However, Bailey's foster Mom had raised Shelties for years. She understood not just dogs, but his breed and was able to help him adjust and thrive. I cannot thank her enough for the time and money she spent making sure he would have a good life.

We don't know as much about Katy's back story, but I am equally thankful she was in foster care, too. It was clear that she hadn't had much experience with positive human interaction and even simple things like stairs seemed to be new to her. Her foster Mom gave her the chance to be with other dogs in a home situation. Her first experience post surrender was a positive one and it helped her to trust. I know she was scared to leave and she didn't want to leave her foster dog family. However, I think that bond helped her with bonding with Bailey when she arrived here.

Another benefit to good foster parents is the valuable information they can provide from having lived with the dogs. We are currently starting the process to add a third dog to our family using the same rescue that brought us Bailey and Katy. Already, we know of two dogs we won't be getting because based on their knowledge of the dogs they are fostering and the information we provided those two beautiful dogs wouldn't be a great match. As frustrating as it is to wait, I am grateful that they are working to provide both the dogs and us with the best forever match possible. That is only possible because of the amazing work of these foster parents who sacrifice their time and yes money to take care of these beautiful animals. It is truly a gift of time, talent, and treasure to rescue and foster.

While traditional shelters do their best, most have limited information regarding how the dog will be in a home situation, what behavioral modifications are going to be required to adjust to home life, what adaptions the house might need to make it a better working situation, correct challenging behaviors, etc. With all fairness, they have no way of observing those kinds of situations. However, if you live with a dog, looking for what kind of environment the dog does best in, you can provide information to make the adoption process work better. There are no guarantees of course, but information at least helps people make the best decisions possible for a new home. When you have a foster parent that observes a dogs behavior with other dogs, other animals, children, etc. that is likely more reliable than someone who surrenders the dog and says there was nothing wrong we just have to move. Some behaviors can be worked modified to make the dog a better fit.

For instance a dog who has been allowed to jump up on people can be broken of that behavior and thus be more adoptable given the right foster home. A puppy like Bailey is house broken and becomes the most amazing puppy in the world. As I said I'm the only person I've ever known who got a puppy that was potty trained. However, an honest assessment about behaviors that are likely not going to change is also valuable. A dog that is good with cats gives it more options. It is hard to know if the dog hasn't been with cats and you don't want to eliminate homes, but you also don't want a bad adoption because the dog is trying to kill the cat. If it can't be trained to live with cats better to know that than to have to guess.

I have the greatest respect for those who can foster. I know in my heart I can't separate myself from the dogs I bring into my home. I also know the two I have, would have major separation anxiety if we took a dog in, spent time with it, and it suddenly disappeared to a new home. It takes great courage and strength to bring in a dog in need, care for it, and just as it is starting to do well, send it on to someone else. I can only say thank you to the two women who did that for my dogs. I only hope they both realize the gifts they have given me and so many others by bringing these dogs into their homes and helping them to get ready for new ones.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Adopt a Dog Month

October is the Humane Society's Adopt a Dog Month and as Bloggers we've been asked to promote adoption. What better advertisement do we have than our own beautiful dogs.

I encourage those of you who have specific needs or interests in a breed or type of dog to look into breed rescue. There are many valid reasons for wanting a specific type of dog and that doesn't necessarily exclude you from rescuing a dog. My goal for this post is to get people who have those needs or interests to consider breed adoption. There are many already advocating for local shelters. However, there is a place for breed rescue, too. It opens the door to those who have a desire for a specific breed and are willing to consider adoption over working with a breeder. Those potential adopters shouldn't be discouraged, shamed, or pushed into considering animals that may not be what they want or need. It is great for people to consider their options, however for those who are committed to finding a certain breed, providing a homeless purebred dog with a home is better than turning people away from adoption and having them seek out a breeder instead.

One thing I'd like to offer as we go through this month is that we find positive, healthy ways to discuss pet adoption. The choice to adopt a homeless pet is an important one. Setting one group against the other is not a great way to encourage people to make new choices. I find all too often when I bring up the topic of breed adoptions I get lots of resistance from those advocating for mixed breed adoptions. There is a place for everyone at the table. However, when you push people to do something they aren't going to do, you just shove them towards finding a breeder. You aren't converting them to consider a mixed breed adoption. There are ways to have a healthy discussion about what people are willing to do. However, in my experience it all to often becomes a hostile discussion that ends with you aren't a real advocate of rescue.

Recently, we were faced with the hard choice of needing to consider bringing another pet into our home as we watch another heading to the Rainbow Bridge. I spoke with a family member who has been a pet owner for years thinking that of all people in my family I could discuss the issue with, she'd be the most open to me working with a breed rescue. After all she has a specific breed of cat that she has used a breeder to get because she likes to raise her cats from kittens. She will not consider another breed of cat. It has to be this specific cat or nothing. I don't judge, we each have our needs. However, when it came time to get a dog, she adopted a mixed breed from a local rescue. I respected that choice, too. Again we all make the choices that work for us. However, when I told her our plan to return to Bailey and Katy's breed rescue she let loose with what to me sounded like a script that comes all to often from people who preach mixed breed rescue. Pure breds aren't rescues. You only rescue when you take a mutt. I should just go to the local rescue and get what they have.

This is just not a productive reaction to people who are choosing adoption over breeders. We are supposed to be advocating adoption. As long as we are using a reputable adoption source that is what should matter. What type of animal the person chooses to adopt is personal. Hopefully if the person is using a reputable rescue that group should help he/she make a choice that is a good fit. There are times when the rescue isn't doing due diligence and then it can help to have a friend who can look with honest eyes and ask the questions a rescue should ask about how this dog fits into the family. However, that needs to be done with respect and sensitivity. The best interest of dog and family should be the point, not your personal feelings about the choice the owner is making.

I do hope breed rescues continue to grow and expand across this country. I know they are not available in all states and regions. Our rescue is a regional breed rescue that covers three states. It would be great if the American Kennel and other dog breed groups would work towards organizing and supporting individual breed rescues across the country. It would provide more opportunities for animals and adopters to connect. People who have specific interests in the breed often find it challenging to find available dogs as they sift through lists of dogs in the area. Breed rescues provide ways for people interested in dogs with specific qualities, characteristics, and abilities to connect. When we go to fundraising events I always enjoy visiting with the breed specific groups to find out more about their groups and how they are advocating for their breeds. The local Dachshund group has the best fundraising booth of any of them at the events we attend twice a year.

Blog Paws is hosting the Hop here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Good Friends

One of the things I've always been grateful for is how quickly Katy and Bailey bonded. When you rescue two dogs so far apart, each with their own challenges, even with the best screenings you can't guarantee they will bond this way.

As Bailey continues his fight, he has his closest friend by his side encouraging him to enjoy each day, each moment. Katy has encouraged ball games, yard explorations, bones wars, and all kinds of other games. She is doing everything possible to encourage him to live his days to the fullest.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Who Said Summer is Over?

We have been having unseasonable warm weather and we are enjoying the extra warm spell. Last year winter came early and while we love climbing through the snow there is something about a nice looong fall. We've been enjoying our extended summer activities and hoping the fall season stretches into winter as Mom loves the cool fall weather before the snow hits. She's not as fond of the snow cookies. She doesn't seem to understand their icy goodness.