Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Angels

We value each and every one of our adoptive families as angels, and sometimes we have some extra special ones. These are people who will adopt a senior with health problems and imperfect bodies, even though they know the emotional toll and the possible extra expense in order to provide a loving home for the remainder of the senior's life.

Such is the case with the family who adopted Goliath, the puppy who had his heart repaired, and then turned around and adopted Papa Smurf, aka Pops or Papa, (see "Scruffy Shih Tzus & More, September 20, 2009), a one eyed older male with fatty tumors, very few teeth, but the most wonderful personality.

The family keeps an eye on the rescue website, and spotted Bella Sue, a senior wirehair mix with the same wonderful personality. Bella Sue has a significant heart murmur and congestive heart failure. They came to meet her. They immediately knew they wanted to take her home, and Bella Sue, Papa, Goliath, and Wrigley all get along extremely well and the seniors are thoroughly enjoying not only each other, but their "new" life.

When I send a dog home, especially a senior, I always remind the family to let the dog be a dog. Let them run and play outside if they feel like it. Let them roll and get dirty if they feel up to it. If they want to take a nap, let them. So, when we got the email from our special angel just yesterday that said "I get it, Bella Sue and Papa are so happy to go out together and hunt the perimeter with their ears back and their noses to the air or ground" - their final days will be spent with the love and companionship, the warmth and security, that makes us so very grateful for those special angels who adopt.

Thanks to all of you out there who have opened your hearts and homes to rescued animals, and a very special thanks to the angels who have given homes to our special needs and seniors.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Get a Good Horse

We have trained horses of all kinds for over 30 years, and I am at the point in my life that I want a horse that I can just go out, get on, and ride nice and relaxed without having to "train" all the way.

We had a colt starting clinic last spring and heard about Midnight I, age 17. Supposed to be such a horse, but she is terribly herd bound, and when my husband took her to sort some cattle for a neighbor who had a calf that was giving him fits and making him think of grabbing a gun, Midnight I lost her marbles. Good thing my hubby is an excellent rider.

We had found Midnight II, now called Grandma, age 21, over a year ago for a friend that had knee surgery and needed something "bomb proof" so she could trail ride. The friend called this summer and said Grandma could only go 5 miles or so and then got sore - I can relate to that - so she wanted to sell her. I knew you could put 6 small kids on her, and she would look out for them, so I told hubby to go get her. He knew better than to argue.

Anyway, I suggested that hubby take Grandma to the cattle. If it didn't work, oh well. He loaded her up and took her over one day just to get the cattle used to seeing a horse and rider. All went well. The cattle headed for the trees where they had learned to escape the 4 wheeler, and she quietly went through the trees and herded them out. They followed her right up to the barn where they would ultimately be corraled.

The next day, in one short hour, she not only sorted the rambunctious, defiant calf that had frustrated the owner, but went back and sorted two bull calves as well. Each one was sorted and put in its respective designated area. The owner of the cattle, who thought horses were of little use in this day and time, hugged Grandma's neck and thanked her for her help.

Who says us Grandmas are out of date and useless!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Puppies and New Dogs

Need a puppy? We got 'em. We have two Aussie mix female balls of fur with great personalities.
We have one female chiweewee mix (maybe pug?) female who has a great personality, comes when called, likes to play, and also likes to give kisses and be held. We have seven lab/border collie mix pups that are just 7 weeks old and already coming when called, like to play, but also like to be held. Maria's puppies are still too young to leave, but they are growing like weeds and starting to check out solid food. All of the puppies are being crate trained and doing well.

We have Major, the golden/lab mix who is so well housebroken he won't potty in his kennel or in the run with the doggy door. He's 8 1/2 months old and still needs some work, but he is good on a leash and knows sit, stay, down, and drop. We have taught him not to jump on people. He loves a good game of fetch.

Hank, the chocolate lab male, 4 years old, is a big lovable guy who has learned not to jump on people and knows sit. He was skin and bones when we got him, but he has filled out pretty well and is learning to go outside to potty. He and his sister, Roxie, were living outside for quite awhile. Roxie is housebroken, so we figure Hank is too - just needs a refresher course. He is quiet, but will bark if a stranger comes around. He, too, loves to play fetch.

We have Bernard, a 3 year old St. Bernard purebred that we got yesterday. He was given to a family and they decided they didn't want him either. He's a bit thin, but what a nice guy! He is housebroken, comes when called, is quiet, neutered and if someone wants a big, affectionate dog, he definitely qualifies.

We have Zulu, a husky/staffie mix that is quiet and housebroken. He knows sit and comes when called. He was adopted out as a puppy in a family with 3 other dogs that didn't appreciate his presence. He came back because the three females were aggressive with him. He's about 2 years old and would do best in an environment where he could be in a large fenced yard for the better part of the time. He loves to be outside, and he is one to dump the outside water buckets and play with them, often wearing them on his head. He doesn't mess with the bucket in his kennel, though. He's used to using a doggy door. He doesn't have the heavy coat of the husky, but rather a thick, short coat that doesn't shed much at all.

We have Sheba, a peke/sheltie mix that is affectionate, housebroken, but a good watch dog. She has a tendency to pick her human friends and would make an excellent companion for someone.

We have Middy, an Aussie/bearded collie mix that is one of the Bean Blossom Gang. She is a bit shy at first, but with her food orientation, it doesn't take much to win her over. She's quiet and would make an excellent companion.

There's an on site adoption tomorrow, and hopefully we will be able to place some of these great dogs in a home for the holidays. And if we do, there are many more out there that could be rescued in time to share in our holiday. Santa Grandma (that would be me) has been stocking up on big rawhide chews, duck jerky, toys, and other good stuff to make sure all the stockings are full on Christmas day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Angel's Story

Angel, a beagle/boxer mix, was born on 8/22/06, and was originally adopted from a local animal control by a family. We got her almost exactly one year later when someone found her roaming down a main street in a large city and brought her to us. She was thin, had a scar on her head above her right eye. She was microchipped, so we contacted her owners, but they didn't want her back.

Angel soon showed herself to be a dumpster diving diva with tremendous energy much like that of a whippet or greyhound - a love to run, and because of her energy level, and maybe because of the old head injury, she became our "special ed" dog. She didn't respond to her name for a couple of months. We gave her structure and routine, and she learned what to do very well. We did teach her not to go through the trash and counter surf. She looks, but she doesn't touch. She learned to walk politely on a leash.

Angel did get adopted last year right before Christmas. An older couple with a fenced yard and plenty of love to give, but they tried to contain her in the house with only very brief outings to potty, and she got herself into trouble. She was great with her crate and would go there voluntarily. She was housebroken - no problem there. She did start her dumpster diving habit in their trash can, and since no one told her to quit, but rather gave her a snack since they thought she was hungry, she got away with that. However, she did get bored and one day chewed on a family heirloom afghan, and that got her returned to us.

Angel has been turned out with other dogs for exercise, but if a toy comes into the picture or the other dog challenges her, she will stick up for herself and if it escalates, she won't back off. I have been working for months on "sit", and we finally have it. She knows to sit before her kennel door opens, before she walks out of any gate or door, and she now sits on command for a treat.

My wish for her for Christmas is to find a person who would take her running with them, allow her to play outside in a fenced yard as long as she wanted and play fetch with her, then let her curl up in the house with them as a companion - with rules for staying out of the trash. If someone wanted an agility dog, she would probably make a great candidate.