Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas thoughts

Christmas is over and a new year is just around the corner.  Someone got me thinking about the gifts others give to us just by having their presence in our lives.   Our fur kids are wonderful gifts and we are really enjoying having them.
Holly and Noel are listed as available for adoption on the Pueblo Collie Sheltie Rescue website.  I created a couple of photo slide shows for them.  I will miss them and their antics – but they have better lives ahead of them.
Noel -
Holly -

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fostering in the spirit of Christmas

Holly and Noel have joined our family as foster dogs.  They are littermates, rescued from a dog auction in Missouri by the National Mill Dog Rescue and Pueblo Collie / Sheltie Rescue.  
They are very sweet and Dudley and Gracie will get extra goodies from Santa for being so patient and willing to share with the rambunctious youngsters.
DecDogs 100
Never having lived in a house, everything is new and sometimes scary.  Stairs are a mystery and the TV is both fascinating and scary.  Dog treats don’t make sense unless they are really yummy – like chicken or turkey.  The dishwasher smells yummy and the reflective door makes us think there are more dogs just like us beyond the door.
They don’t bark much except when doing guard duty to alert us to the ringing phone, door bell, garage door opening or scary other people in the neighborhood beyond our fence.
Here's me coming home to 4 shelties - it's a fun fest.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Drawing Adoption Awareness to OneDayOnEarth

Created for One Day On Earth, I filmed Gracie and Dudley to draw attention to the value of adopting a rescue or shelter dog. Our furkids are happy and loved. They bring us joy every day and it would have been a shame to have missed out on their lives.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gracie Learns to Play

Gracie surprised me by playing with a sock one evening.  The next night I caught it on camera.  Noted animal behaviorist, Patricia B McConnell wrote in her book, The Other End of the Leash, “dogs raised in the complete absence of any environmental stimuli, like many dogs in puppy mills, often develop into adults who won’t play with any object, ever…  Perhaps there is a ‘critical period’ for object play, just as there is for socialization, in which dogs are hardwired to learn how to play and what to play with.”
While it is hardly the kind of play most dog owners expect, I was thrilled to see her grab my sock.  She also can give a play bow and she will get a wicked little toothy grin and try and nip my nose.  That is her version of play and it is a great joy for me to see it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gracie Participates in Study

I answered the questionnaire that is mentioned in this USA Today article regarding a study on the effects of puppy mills on dogs.  So important to expose the cost of mill dogs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Animal Communicator talks to the dogs

Dudley and Gracie had a visit with an animal communicator, Pam Baca of Animal Guidance.  It was interesting and they have seemed extra cuddly since their session.



Questions we asked

Q. why are our inside stairs hard for him to go up or down?
A. because he has to swing is front leg out, he needs the room.  (The communicator demonstrated just how he hooks that leg around without actually seeing him walk this way)
Q. what was her life like as a puppy mill dog?
A. it was hard.  it was a job to do without rest.  she was glad she had a warm coat.
Q. what was his old life like?
A. he never felt safe.  he lived with an older lady who was sick and he left to relieve her. he always felt like an after thought. He has waited for a home like this his whole life and he is honored and grateful.  He was very frightened being out on the streets and he was just 2 or 3 days away from “giving  up and checking out”.

Things they had to say to us

He was telling her something about salt.  Too much salt in his diet aggravates his thyroid.  I’m not sure how I figure that one out. She doesn’t like going to the vet.  She was ok with teeth cleaning the other day – but would rather we take care of it some other way.  (The communicator recommended sweet potato chews shaped to clean teeth – got some and she loves them.)
If it gets hard to walk, put me in a wagon as I still want to go. She likes short walks to get out and sniff but long walks make her hips hurt.
His thoughts are foggy and his peripheral vision sucks. She doesn’t like riding in the car.  She feels a little motion sick and needs fresh air coming in.
He asked for more cheese and large curd cottage cheese.  He likes things that are soft and creamy. Said she was a good mom and always taught her puppies to be polite and well-mannered.  Does not put up with rude dogs.
He said I stay up too late and “what you do for me, do for you”.  He wants me to learn reiki and says I’d be good at it.  He says I’d be cheating myself if I don’t explore this and I can massage his legs. She asked what she could do for us – I told her to just be happy. 

Words to us from the communicator

He has quite a dignity about him.  (a different long-distance communicator said he told them “Dudley is king”) Grace would like a young dog or puppy to look after and nurture.
He feels very loved.  He is humbled that we carry him up and down the stairs. On a soul level, we are really helping him. Gracie loves reaching out and touching with her paw – but only if she likes you.
He is trying to get as much out of this time as he can – he is making up for lost time. He never knew this kind of food and love existed. Needs lots of attention and wants to know where/when/how long you’ll be gone when you leave her.
To reassure him, visualize what you are doing or need him to do. Take her to Washington Park. There is something there for her.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saving Gracie - by Carol Bradley

Described as "a compelling true story of one dog's rescue from a Pennsylvania puppy mill", how could I resist that title?  The book, Saving Gracie - How One Dog Escaped the Shadowy World of American Puppy Mills, by Carol Bradley offers 229 pages of eye-opening information on puppy mill dogs, those who run them, and those who try to shut them down.

The preface states, "Saving Gracie traces this resilient dog's journey out of a puppy mill and tell stories of the people who helped her along the way."  Although only a small part of the book, I enjoyed reading about Gracie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and her efforts to become a family dog.  The person who adopted her was not an expert dog person and did not know much about puppy mills - a lot like me.  The reader learns along the way about the mentality of breeders and the laws and even dog organizations that perpetuate the existence of dogs used as breeding stock in terrible conditions.

The Cavalier, Gracie, is rescued from a former AKC dog show winner / breeder along with 332 dogs.  The book includes the challenges a few of the other adopters faced in bringing puppy mill dogs into their homes.  It described behaviors I saw in my Gracie.

In the final chapter, "Two Lives Changed", Gracie's owner has become an advocate for puppy mill dogs and my favorite part states, "Blind, needy, now nine years old, Gracie wasn't destined for greatness.  She would never capture the top prize at Westminster or save a child who had fallen down a well.  Nevertheless, she had accomplished something. She had survived a puppy mill.  She had learned to trust in people, to love, and be loved.  And in her own humble way, she had helped focus attention on the plight of hundreds of thousands of dogs like her."  This book was a page-turner for me.

View this book at Barnes and Noble

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Rescue Matters: Before and After

Dudley has lived with us now for 5 months. The other day I got a great picture of our charming happy boy. I thought it was an interesting contrast to see his first photo, posted on Petfinder after he was rescued from the streets.  I think his smile is a great reminder of what it means to rescue a pet!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gracie goes swimming

Gracie is swimming at CRCG (Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Group).  She did very well, although she is rather lazy about it.  She’ll just float if given the opportunity. These photos come from her first session.  Today she had her second session and she decided that barely flicking her paws would suffice.  The life vest was keeping her up.  But darn that clever therapist, she switched her into a harness that didn’t float.  Then she had to work!  Her first session was 10 minutes.  This one was 15 minutes.  Afterward, she is frisky and seems to have enjoyed it.  Or maybe she is just happy to have survived.  It’s good for her to get exercise like this.

Dog Swimming Dog Swimming

Swimming is hard work! Worn out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5 Steps to Help Your Dog Conquer His Fear

This short book – just 29 pages – by Patricia McConnell offers owners of fearful dogs five steps for conquering their fears. It uses classical counter conditioning to address behavioral problems motivated by fear.

Follow these 5 steps and you can help your dog with anything he is afraid of.

Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A cause near to Dudley’s heart…

The Grey Muzzle organization supports others who care for senior dogs.  If you’re considering a way to offer essential support to senior dogs who have become homeless at the most delicate, critical time of their lives, become a Faithful Friend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

One Year Anniversary!

Gracie has lived with us for one year.  She has made a lot of progress in learning how to live in a house with people that love her.   This picture was taken onGracie-15 her first night in our house.  She jammed herself into the corner between the couch and chair to observe us.  She has relaxed considerably and I find her lying all over the house. 

She is now excited to see me when I come home and she looks for me when I go to different rooms.  She will wait by the front door for a very long time if I go outside.  It’s very satisfying  to know she wants human attention now.

I told her last night how glad we are
that PCSR gave her a new start and that she is our girl.  We were a bit worried after meeting her - this being our first experience with a dog so afraid of people - but we've never regretted it.  She teaches me so much about myself.  I have to cry when I hear the song from the Broadway musical, "Wicked" called, "For Good".  I think of Gracie and how we've both been changed for good.  I wonder if all the loving words I say to her are the same words God is saying to us - "don't be afraid... you are mine ... I love you so much..."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Little Miracle Man

Dudley had surgery to remove 5 teeth and to be neutered plus take off a mass. Surgery for a twelve year old was a scary prospect. Also being hypothyroid made him an anesthetic risk. Being a stray, we don't really know his age. I've seen paper work that says he is 10, 12, and 14! He had a great vet (Dr. Scott Carpenter, DVM of 2008 in Colorado) and the ladies of ReikiFurBabies did 2 sessions for him before & after surgery. Here is the write-up they did for him.

He did so well, we are calling him our little miracle man. He was maybe 10% off his normal game - but you really wouldn't know that he'd had surgery. He is an impressive little dude.