Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celeste is Walking

She was down for the count Saturday, Sunday and Monday. By the end of Monday, though, she was able to get up and go out to pee on her own. Tuesday she moved slowly. Today she felt good enough to be her doofy self in the morning, playbowing and scrunching up my comforter with her joy.

I have to admit - Mina would have handled being unable to walk poorly. She would have fought tooth and nail (by "fight", I mean she would have flailed wildly) if I had to pick her up to go outside and pee or get off the bed or get to work. But Celeste? Despite the great amount of pain she was in, despite having to literally be carried and supported to pee, despite having me handle her feet every five seconds to make sure they were still there...she handled it all with a calm and gentle energy. When I had to pick her up, she would meld into my body (which she does not generally do when she is healthy). When I had to carry into the office, even with Wendal trying to sniff her butt, she let go of her tension and relaxed.

My heart grew bigger for Celeste. While Mina has created this raw, gaping wound in my heart that will take forever and a day to heal when she dies, Celeste has circled three times and curled up for a nap. The kind of love I feel for Mina is deep and profound, but it is also deeply and profoundly painful. And now, after being a caregiver for the gangly Celeste, the love I felt for her has been transformed into something really quite lovely and light and warm. She trusted me so implicitly, so without hesitation and I was honored. After four years, victory is hers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celeste Is SAD Due To Torn Paw Pads

I cannot even stands up, peoples!
Celeste's "aunt" took her on a 8-mile hike yesterday. This is how I discovered Celeste is actually quite dainty. She was great on the way there, but started to show signs of trouble on the way back. By trouble, I mean she didn't want to move forward. All the pads on her paws have been torn asunder and she is super sad. She would not even stand while in the car, which is a Mandate By Celeste. She broke her own law.

Anything I can do to help her heal and not feel so icky?

Comforts me, I am sads!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Someone Adopt Her Stat

Alice Smile

The little vixen still needs a home. I think she'd make a good frisbee dog, despite the fact I haven't thrown one for her. But she air leaps for a water hose like woah.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Source (granted it's from a MUCH SMALLER earthquake in DC a year ago but still applies)

I complain when it gets below 50 F. And when it snows? I cannot drive in it. I can sometimes play in it. But mostly I'm horrified by its existence in my yard and I never want to leave the house. So I'll call my response to snow the kettle and the response to the devastating east coast "go pick up your lawn chair" earthquake a pot.  

Where were you when your plastic furniture fell over during the Great 'Quake of '11?!?

You east coasters can totes mock me in a few months when I cry on my blog over the cold. For now, though, I mock your response (not you, I love you)!

ETA: As a commenter pointed out, I'm being insensitive. Here are some quake damage photos from a county where one woman may have lost her home and a few historic buildings were damaged. Link. And guess what? There are more news articles on how the animals at the zoo predicted the earthquake than there are on damages to Louisa County. There are 1,500 articles detailing the cracks and dislodged finials of the National Cathedral. There are even more articles on how federal workers missed two days of work because of a miscommunication than there are on how people in the epicenter were scared or recovering from structural damages.

That is hyperbolic. It is an extremely large response to a relatively (RELATIVELY, LOOK IT UP) minor natural disaster. And yes, I mock that response because I think back on other natural disasters that killed hundreds or took down bridges or resulted in expansive, extensive damages and didn't receive this type of hyped up coverage. That is ridiculous and that is the sad state of media affairs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

All The Other Animals Get It

New research using meta-anlaysis, which is THE BESTEST analysis evar, strongly suggests (science can't just say FACT) that wildlife species are reacting significantly faster than expected to climate change.

The implication is totally depressing: "The current research does not explicitly consider the risks posed to species from climate change, but previous studies suggest that climate change represents a serious extinction risk to at least 10 per cent of the world's species. Professor Thomas says: "Realisation of how fast species are moving because of climate change indicates that many species may indeed be heading rapidly towards extinction, where climatic conditions are deteriorating. On the other hand, other species are moving to new areas where the climate has become suitable; so there will be some winners as well as many losers"

Yet some of us still think that because we have a mild summer and, hey, it still gets cold in the winter that climate change is just stuff of magical fairy dust. I wish.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Scruffy Mc Scruffy Pants

Not my dog. Found in an alfalfa field. His foster dad calls him Oscar. I like Scruffy McScruffy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shelters Doing Good

Thinking creative is in, killing dogs and cats is out! Here are some ideas and thoughts real shelters are implementing that can help reduce kill rates and start innovative thinking!

Offer incentives for adoption or spay/neuter: The Animal Foundation in Nevada is offering, through the month of August, free vaccinations for life to animals brought in for a spay or neuter. A shelter could easily do something similar for adoptions.

Reduce adoption fees: The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia noticed a decline in adoptions during the summer months. Instead of feeling sad and sorry for themselves, they now offer severe adoption fee discounts through September. Dogs are only $50, instead of $70-100. Name it something cute, like the Dog Days of Summer. Or for a short stint, waive adoption fees entirely like the Arizona Humane Society.

Work with local businesses to set up satellite adoptions in heavy-traffic areas: The Humane Society of Naples is starting a satellite adoption center in a local mall. 

Use technology to your advantage: Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which contracts out all adoption to the Humane Society of Nevada, uses technology that allows officers to immediately take photos of found animals while in the field and post them on the web, access databases of lost animals to see if the found animal is one, and uses less sexy technology - like their feet -to walk the neighborhood and see if anyone recognizes the loose animal. This helps prevent animals from even entering the shelter system. Plus, in Washoe County, you can buy your dog tags online. A shelter that focuses on adoptions in a positive way will also increase the volunteer/foster base.

Be positive: There is a large base of scientific evidence that people are more likely to help when they are made to feel good about it. Channel those natural feelings of compassion and learned empathy well. Instead of blaming the amorphous "irresponsible public", who is also, by the way, your target audience, focus on making your shelter presentable, accessible, friendly and an authority on Good Things Related to Dogs and Cats. People want to give. People want to help. Making it easy for people to help will increase adoptions. Making it easy for people to feel guilty or ashamed is a great way to lose your audience.

Alice A Day

Will make you swoon.

The Nose Knows But The Eyes, Um, Eye!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fostering: The System

Benefit of fostering #1: Unearthing two-year-old newspaper articles, realizing you're a slob.
Alice is good at cleaning up under sofas. She has discovered items beneath my sofas that I never knew existed.

So far, that's about it. Alice likes to: chew on walls, chew on hands, chew on tables, chew on electrical wires, chew on sofas, chew on hands some more, chew on pretty much anything her teeth think might be edible.

On the other hand, Alice is super smart. She's so smart that she already knows sit, watch me, down, touch/target, and is pretending she knows how to heel. She knows "go potty" and is super excellent at alerting me when she needs to poop or pee outside. To date, she has had one accident due to my ineptitude at reading dog language. Oh Alice, how endearing you are leaping, whining, jumping on me in utter adoration. Five seconds later, poop! Oops, my bad.

Finally, Alice my third foster = system of fostering in place!

In the morning: Ask Mina and Celeste to stay on the bed while I unleash (but with a leash, making a liar out of me) Alice out of her crate. We rush excitedly to the backyard where peeing and pooping ensue. Bust out a bowl of food and bam! Miss Alice is in her crate with enthusiasm and contentment. Ask Mina and Celeste to go outside to pee too. Endure glares from both Mina and Celeste over the fact there is an interloper in a crate in the kitchen. Fact is, endure glares because of TWO crates - one in kitchen, one in bedroom, is there no justice in the world?

Before leaving work: Play 15-20 minutes of fetch and training with Miss Alice. Offer kong filled with goodies, leave Alice in crate. Ask Mina and Celeste if they want to go to work, try not to get run over by stampeding Mexi-mutt and Pit Bull.

Lunch time: Bring Mina and Celeste home, ask them politely to stay in the living room while lunch hour is turned into FOSTER DOG HOUR. Endure groans of annoyance from dynamic duo. Play for forty minutes with pup of awesome who is sometimes pup of sharp shark teeth and the dog who leaves red paw prints on your nice skirt. Entice foster pup into crate with kong, abandon ship with M & C.

Evening time: Snuggle with Mina, reassure her she is still number one. Training time with Celeste to let her know she's still mostly number two. Mix it up with Alice and her toys and things she chases and discourage her from eating hands and chasing birds, even if it's sorta cute.

Bedtime: Lure Mina and Celeste out for their evening romp outside wherein peeing, pooping, and playfesting occurs...maybe some time fence fighting with the JRTs next door. Shove Alice into the garage and let M & C back in, let Alice out the garage door into yard for final pee and poop of the evening. Try to convince her eating trees and plants and shrubbery is actually rude. Sneak inside to let M & C out of kitchen and into house, rush back outside to let Alice into kitchen. Escort Mina and Celeste to room, ask them to get on bed and stay. Escort Alice on leash into room, ask her to crate, get refused, offer something tasty, get refused, tell her she has to get in crate or THERE WILL BE REPERCUSSIONS, get refused, throw in favorite rope toy, slam door shut quickly. Go to bed.

Rinse and repeat.

I mean, there's variations on the theme and all, but I'm so glad to have a second crate and baby gates to partition off the kitchen for foster pup. And happy she can't leap haphazardly over baby gate too. And also happy neither Mina nor Celeste have shown much interest in doing anything but glaring melodramatically at the foster pup (and growling for shits and giggles, courtesy of Celeste, who growls at all other dogs but Mina).

Alice will be meeting Mina in a week, maybe after I learn how idiotic she is at her first training class. Maybe not. She may be too stupid for Mina. And by stupid, I mean too rude. Mina puts up with a lot from puppies, so to save her sanity, their introduction will go much slower than the previous two foster pups. Celeste has made it clear that, in no uncertain terms, will she EVER like Alice. She may have to go to training class with her in the same vehicle, but she will be protesting loudly and grumpily about it.

This is why breaks between fostering is important. It's a lot of work.

I am so worth it, yo!

Alice A Day

Will answer all your questions


Adoption info

Monday, August 1, 2011

Glowing Dogs

Humans are an incredibly arrogant species. I can't emphasize that enough.

Genetically modified beagle glows

Beagles are popular with vivisectors. They are small, easily managed, docile, friendly little buggers. Obviously we should screw up their DNA to make them glow green.

Researchers are hoping for two things:
* Green dogs become commercially successful as trendy pets
* Beagles can be infected with lethal diseases in order to, you know, track their progress green

I would guess they prioritize those two things differently, but hey, I think trendy commodity is more likely to be successful than effectively tracking human diseases in, you know, nonhuman animals.

Besides our arrogance, I presume we think ourselves intelligent. If so, then stop greenifying dogs and start using innovative, state of the art technologies to track and treat disease that doesn't involve the genetic manipulation of other species. Or other animals, period. Progress means changing archaic beliefs and traditions. Exploiting and abusing nonhumans is archaic - let's transition to other means sooner, not later.

Alice A Day

Will keep the monsters away.

Adopt me?