Thursday, October 29, 2009

Schnauzer Emergency

I check email at least three times a day, and here was one from a local animal control asking if we could please help with a pregnant schnauzer - a very pregnant schnauzer - as they cannot keep pregnant females with the over crowding they now have.

She obviously has been fairly well cared for. Her nails have been recently trimmed, and she obviously has been groomed in the not too distant past. The rescue coordinator picked her up and called to say she hoped she didn't deliver on the way to the rescue. She looks like she swallowed a soccer ball.

She's a miniature pet quality schnauzer, salt and pepper, with a kind disposition, very scared, but not at all aggressive. I need to gain her trust as quickly as possible because we may have puppies to deal with at any time. I sat on the floor and she crawled in my lap, put her head on my chest and stared up at me with concern in her eyes. I massaged her tight muscles, gently felt for puppy movement, and tried to reassure her that she was safe.

How anybody can abandon an animal in this condition, right before she is ready to give birth, is beyond me. It could have been prevented so easily.

Casey, Golden/lab mix

She was huddled in the back of the kennel at animal control. She had given up coming to meet new people, given up eating, was starting to shutdown, and was on the euthanasia list for the end of the week. I had seen her picture and story on the internet site and was drawn to her kind face and huge, gentle, big brown eyes. She was extremely thin to the point of emaciation, fur was matted, obviously had fleas, but those eyes! We brought her home and put her in a quiet area for quarantine purposes. She had separation anxiety and busted through the kennel, so I put a blanket, food, and water in her kennel and left the door open so she could go in and out when she felt the need. The only place she would eat and drink would be in the kennel. She was wormed and cleaned up, and even though she had lots of weight to gain, it was easy to see this was an exceptionally kind, gentle, and at one time gorgeous dog. She learned sit, down, shake, come, and stay. She stopped trying to escape her kennel and the play yards, got along with the other dogs, and started to smile. We liked her so well we decided to keep her and use her to rehab other dogs and the rescue coordinator would take her to local schools, nursing homes, etc.

Someone called who has been here before to ask if they could bring a friend out to meet the dogs. The friend had lost her dog of 18 years and was lonesome - the ladies assured us they weren't sure what they were looking for - just kicking tires - but would appreciate looking. Her old dog had been a golden retriever, and her statement was "I won't have another one". She couldn't conceive of another golden filling that empty spot in her.

We walked through the kennels and saved Casey till last. I knew immediately when I saw the woman's face - this was the dog she was looking for. Casey still had to be spayed because she needed to gain weight and get healthy before surgery, so by the time she went home with her new owner, she had a new bed, collar, leash, and lots of other goodies. Both were smiling as the car pulled away on the way to Casey's new forever home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Swap

In order to rescue a dog, it is sometimes necessary to go to great lengths to secure the animal.

Today I got a phone call stating that a 6-8 week old puppy had been dumped, found, and taken to a home overnight. The pup was totally covered with fleas, so badly in fact that when it shook its head, there were small spots of blood flying around. The pup was also passing worms. Would we take it in, because if we didn't, it would surely die within a matter of a few days.

The puppy was given a bath, fed, and made comfortable before we were contacted about taking it in. The family that found the puppy has a two year old child, who really wanted to keep the puppy, or so it seemed. When the puppy was delivered, the child started pitching a tantrum when the pup was handed over to me. The parents were reaching the point of maximum frustration and, being the grandma, I decided to make an offer I didn't think the child would refuse. I had a bag of iced animal cookies in the cupboard and offered them as a swap. The child looked at the bag of cookies, looked at the puppy, and grabbed the bag of cookies.

It's all about priorities and choices!!!

Goliath - New Beginning

"We live next door to Tipton and want to know if Goliath is his brother. We like Tipton so much, we would like to meet Goliath."

That's how it got rolling. The whole family came to meet Goliath and wanted him instantly because of his zest for life and love everybody attitude.

The best part is that the owner works for the teaching hospital that did Goliath's heart surgery and is involved with nutrition, so they understand the need for exercise and keeping his weight under control. They also understood his medical needs and had no problem with the monthly medication expense and the possible problems in later years. They also understood that he should not be over protected and should be allowed to be a dog, complete with discipline so he remains a good citizen.

So, the little 1.4 pound puppy with the over sized head, ribs sticking out, pot belly, eyes glued shut with pus has grown to a 17.6 pound well muscled, lean, happy, fun loving pup that can see very well. His heart is in much better shape than it was when we rescued him, and the cardiologist says he may have as many as 10 more years of life.

He left for his new home last evening. He got along great with the whole family and their dog, Wrigley.

Were there tears? Sure, but we just rescued 4 lab mix puppies the day before that are wormy, only 8 weeks old, and not socialized, so I have my work cut out for me. They have to learn to "suck up" so we can find them homes. Life goes on - got to keep moving forward.

Friday, October 9, 2009

As of Today, 10/9/09

Sapir is ready to wean her two puppies. We are having them vet checked before starting their puppy vaccines and putting them up for adoption since we were advised they might not live once weaned. They are absolutely adorable - a teacup sized male and female - and Grandma has once again taught them to suck up to people, so finding them a home will be easy.

Apollo, the malamute with the maggot problem, is healed and just needs to grow his fur back. He's been on a diet and exercise program, which he isn't crazy about, but he looks and feels better, has more energy. He is extremely well housebroken. He needs a bit better leash manners, so that's the next hurdle.

Barney, the senior beagle, is also losing weight and getting more exercise. He's also well housebroken, and just a nice guy.

Jackie, the basenji mix that was dumped and had the flea dermatitis, has a home waiting for her. As soon as her spay stitches are removed and she gets a bath, she will go to her new home, hopefully for the rest of her life.

Tess has had the first portion of the heartworm treatment and has handled it great. She needs leash work, and needs to trust people a bit more. Got work to do there too.

Chico went to an on-site adoption event and then to a sleepover. He hasn't come back, so we are happy to say he found a home.

Ripley has stopped trying to climb out of his kennel or the outside fencing. He just needed to know where he lived and ate. His leash manners have improved greatly. He's housebroken, and will make someone a great companion.

The smurfs, Papa Smurf and Sassette (formerly Smurfette) are growing their fur back and their leash manners are very much improved. They are housebroken and we hope we can find them a home soon.

Katrina, the starving collie, is gaining weight steadily. She runs and plays a bit, will definitely chase a cat.

Mocha, the year old husky male, has learned to sit and wait to be leashed - this is a very big improvement for him! I really need to have a larger area fixed up just for the huskies. We have a secure area for them which is 12 feet wide and 120 feet long, but it could be better. Oh well, money and time will dictate the outcome of this project.

As for Goliath, that's the next post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Are They Thinking?

The equine vet's office called asking if we could help out a man with six dogs. His wife left him, going through a divorce, no job, no dog food, but he wants to keep the dogs and doesn't want to spay and neuter. We have no available space, and since he doesn't want to spay/neuter and wants the dogs back at some point, we offered to give him dog food to give him some time to find a place for them. He said they had destroyed all his furniture, so he took each piece out of the house one at a time, and now has them peeing on one post. He has no shelter outside for any of them, so we did offer a couple of dog houses that we don't use.

He came to the farm and said he used 100 pounds of dog food a month. Seems light to me, but I'm used to feeding 40 dogs a week. I gave him 150 pounds of food. He returned two days ago and said he needed to get them vaccinated, so I gave him six doses of 5 way, and six doses of kennel cough preventive. He also said he was giving one of the dogs steroids for flea dermatitis, so I gave him six doses of flea preventive. He also mentioned that one of the dogs had passed worms, so I pulled out wormer for all of the dogs. Then he said he didn't need it for all of them, just the one dog. Duh --- told him to use it on all of the dogs at the same time or they would pass it from one to the other!

He told me the house had to be cleaned up to be sold in the settlement and it was full of fleas. He was planning on scrubbing down the floors and cleaning out the sediment between the hardwood. Said he didn't need the dog houses because one of the dogs had destroyed the fence, so they wouldn't stay in the yard.

After he left, I emailed animal control in our county and the neighboring one, told them what had been provided, and mentioned that they might be getting a visit from him, or maybe they should drive by and check up on him and his pack. Maybe they can talk some sense into him.

The dogs shouldn't suffer or starve because of the situation, but you have to wonder what the heck people are thinking. Life is about making choices - preferably ones that benefit all concerned!