Friday, December 24, 2010

How Olive Got Her Name

Olive is a very pregnant female red min pin/beagle mix that animal control called us about on Friday evening, Dec. 17. Animal control needed a foster for her, otherwise they would be forced to euthanize her due to the coming holiday and needed space. They told us she was already lactating and they might have another foster home for her, but would we stand by in case it fell through. We told them to call and let us know if the family that was planning on taking her backed out.

On 12/22, animal control called and said that they hadn't heard from the potential foster family and could not reach them by phone. Olive was on the euth. list and they asked if we could please take her. I told the rescue coordinator that we would have to fix her up a special area, as our regular maternity ward is occupied by another dog from another animal control - Allie, by the way, had 11 puppies last night - a Christmas Eve gift, and all doing well so far.

Nancy went after Olive while my husband and I fixed her up with a nice warm kennel in a safe place where the rest of the rescue dogs wouldn't bother her or be seen by her.

When she got to the farm, I asked what her name was, if, indeed, she had one. I was told that a child had named her Olive. The child had been singing "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" and decided on Olive. ?????????????? Where did that come from?

"All of the other reindeer" translates to a child as "Olive, the other reindeer".

Merry Christmas, and God bless.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sophie's Story

Sophie is a beautiful 3 year old purebred golden retriever that was surrendered by her family when they had to move and couldn't keep her. Sophie is housebroken, knows sit, down, shake, and stay, and learned to properly walk on a leash in record time. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. We pulled her from animal control, along with a couple other dogs, in order to keep them from being euthanized for space. In spite of the efforts of all concerned, shelters are filling up faster than they can possibly be emptied out to home or rescue.

There was an on site adoption at the local Tractor Supply this past weekend, and a family came into the store and stopped by to see what was available. They had lost their beloved golden retriever one week before, and they had decided to start looking for a new dog. Because of a lack of available space, Sophie had stayed at the farm in her kennel. I got a call telling me that the family was coming to the farm to see what was available out here, and the rescue coordinator told me that the family had lost their golden a week before.

The family arrived, and as I always, I asked them what exactly they were looking for - big, small, long hair, short hair, specific breed, athletic, quiet couch potato, whatever. They told me they had lost their dog a week before, and missed her so much they felt compelled to start looking for a new family companion.

I brought out Sophie and saw tears well up in their eyes - all 6 of them. Sophie is lighter in color, but she was so much like the dog they lost, it was all they could do to keep from crying. I asked them if they would like to take her on a sleepover till the Monday after Christmas. They said they would and would give us a definite decision on that Monday.

Yesteray they called to say they were adopting Sophie - that she is a wonderful dog and we would not get her back!

By the way, the name of the golden retriever female that died was - - - Sophie!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life Goes On

When a door closes, another opens, so the saying goes. We have opened the door for six new dogs in the last couple of days.

Sasha was surrendered by her owners when they moved into an apartment and her barking made the neighbors angry. Sasha is very timid and on the edge of becoming aggressive because of her fear. She hasn't said one word since she's been here, but is making good progress. It will be quite awhile before she is adoptable. She's a black lab/greyhound mix, very well housebroken, knows sit, and her tail wags happily when she sees me instead of being tucked up to her chin.

There's Fonzie, a llasa/shih tzu, pug (?) mix, black and white, full of himself and cute as can be. He was found as a stray and ended up in a local animal control several times.

There's an adorable fluffy puppy about 9 weeks old, maybe Aussie/collie mix, a male.

Max is a purebred rough coated Jack Russell of 6 years old. A very nice dog that needs to be neutered.

Sophie is a purebred golden retriever that was owner surrendered. She's a beautiful, friendly, well behaved dog that knows sit, but needs some better leash manners. She's been around kids and dogs and gets along very well. She has a small hard mass on her left hip area that will be evaluated by our vet tomorrow.

Then we have Allie. A very pregnant border collie. Allie is a real sweetheart. Animal control called and said they were desperate to find her a home or rescue. She's smart, house broken, and knows sit for sure. The puppies could arrive most any time, and we have guesses of from 5 to 10 puppies so far. We will keep you posted on the count and amount.

Life goes on - it sure does!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Out in the Cold - An Update

In a previous blog, I told you about two apricot cocker/lhasa/poodle ? mix females that had been chucked outside when the child got a new puppy. A neighbor and her son made sure they had food and water, and after a year of this life, they were rescued by the neighbor and brought to us. When I scissor clipped the mats off the girls, I found a huge mass on the buttock area of the female we named Buffy. It was non-tender, soft, dark, and we knew we had to get her to the vet ASAP.

Upon examintion, the mass was visibly the size of a softball, and like an iceberg, larger still internally. The veterinarian said that it enveloped intestine, bladder and reproductive organs. It had also metastasized to her lymph glands. She didn't appear to be in any pain at that moment, but would soon have horrendous pain as the tumor grew and cut off these vital areas. He asked if she had been spayed, and the neighbor who brought her to us told us that the girls were intact. The vet told us that massive major surgery would be required, but with the metastasis, there was little, if any, chance of saving her. Either way, it would be a painful death, and it would be soon.

Buffy was only 7 years old and a wonderful, happy girl. I held her, stroked her, massaged her, and told her to sleep peacefully as we euthanized her.

The veterinarian said that if she had been spayed, this probably would not have happened.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rib Nite

"Bones polished here." That was carved in wood and hung on a friend's dog house way back when I was a kid of about 10 years old. In the olden golden days, we gave dogs beef bones - the marrow was good for them, and it cleaned their teeth.

So, this past Friday night hubby and I got invited to the local Elks Club for ribs. We seldom go out to eat, but ribs are my absolute favorite, so we accepted. The ribs were some of the very best we have ever had - tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned, and very meaty! Our hostess is also a volunteer with this rescue - a cat person - and when I mentioned that we needed to save the rib bones for the rescue dogs, she immediately went around to the other tables and told them to save their bones as well. By the time we left, we not only had a whole bag ful of rib bones, but we managed to meet everyone in the place! Thanks Betty - we thoroughly enjoyed the evening and appreciated the rib collection!!!

It's been very cold, so the dogs haven't been out for nearly as much time as usual. Cabin fever is starting to set in, so I decided that yesterday a good rib bone would keep them entertained for a few minutes. What a happy bunch of dogs they were!!!! Rufus was so excited that he grabbed his bone and started back outside, whether to eat it or bury it, we aren't sure - but he was going to enjoy it.

Maybe I should get hubby to make me a wooden sign with "Bones polished here" on it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Out in the Cold

"I have been feeding two female cocker/poodles all year. My neighbor's child got a new puppy early in 2010, and the older two dogs have been outside without shelter, food, and water since then. Someone told me to call you --- that you might be able to help."

The person who called went on to say that she and her son had jumped over the fence and fed and watered the two dogs. But now the weather is getting cold, and snow is forecast, and they cry outside her window at night. They want to be in the house - sure can't blame them for that!!
She couldn't stand it any longer and finally asked the owner of the dogs if she could have them. He was more than willing to give them up, and she wanted to get them out of there before he changed his mind.

The two girls are here. They haven't been groomed for a long, long time. They have some awesome mats on them, but they are very good natured and mighty glad to have shelter and food and water. One of them went right to the Kuranda bed and snuggled up in a blanket. The other went to the food and water and then to the Kuranda. They have obviously been housebroken and come when they are called.

We will get them vaccinated, tested for heartworms, and deworm and apply flea preventive, not to mention getting the mats off of them and getting them a good bath and clip.

We aren't sure how old they are or if they have been spayed. We'll know that soon enough. Right now they are safe and warm and well fed, and they like a good massage. We will have to take some pictures of before and after and post them - it will definitely be a huge makeover!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I was in the choir in junior high and high school, but probably only because they were always short of second sopranos. With Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the local radio stations started playing Christmas music, so I gladly started singing along. We keep a radio on in all areas of the kennel and office all the time so the dogs are used to voices, noise, football games, etc. and don't bark any time they hear something a little out of the ordinary. We even use a leaf blower to get them used to a vacuum cleaner while they are here, as some are terrified of the noise.

Well, I guess my singing abilities haven't gotten any better - I was singing along with "White Christmas", and the dogs either decided to sing along so they didn't have to listen to only me, or started to howl in protest. Maybe they were just singing along with me since I already have some Santa stuff stashed for them.

Gotta love my music critics!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In a previous blog I wrote about animal controls and shelters being forced to reduce their census before holidays to cut down on overtime and holiday pay.

To do our part, we went to two shelters and picked up four new dogs to share the holiday with.

We now have Tia, an Aussie merle puppy about 7 weeks old. She could use a little socialization, but she's adorable and we just couldn't leave her behind.

We have Joey, one of 11 puppies that were dumped in a ditch and left. Joey is probably a shepherd mix, 8 weeks old, and already doing pretty well at crate training. He was the only pup that didn't have a foster home, so he's with us now till he gets adopted.

We have Guppy, supposed to be a senior chi/pom mix (?). I seriously don't think he's that old, but he has some lighter hairs on his face and back that give the impression of an elder. We'll have the vet take a look at him after the holiday and see what she thinks.

We have Harry. Harry was taken into foster by someone who specializes in agility dogs, but said he was more of the couch potato variety. Harry wants to hunt something. He reminds me of a beagle, but he isn't a beagle. He has whisker stubble on his face, much like that of a wirehair or schnauzer, the spots of a pointer, and a wonderful friendly personality. He needs to gain some weight, which is is doing, and learn to walk on a leash a bit better.

Tia, Guppy, Joey, and Harry have joined us for Thanksgiving, and we are so thankful that we can give them a chance at a new life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Special Adoption Event

On Saturday, November 27, 2010, P.A.W.S. is participating in a nationwide event to place more cats and kittens in homes for the holidays. P.A.W.S. is holding a special "CATS ONLY" adoption that day from 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM at the Tractor Supply Store, 1645 N. State St., Greenfield, IN. At that event, the adoption fee for kittens and cats that are 5 months and older will be only $5.00!!!

Please take advantage of this special adoption fee even if you can't come to the adoption event. Adopt one of our 5 month or older kittens or cats between November 26-28, 2010, and the adoption fee will be only $5.00!!!

The P.A.W.S. website is

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holidays - Please help!

There are several animal shelters and controls in this area with many great employees and volunteers who work hard to find homes for the adoptable animals that come through their doors. However, when holidays come around, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, they are forced to euthanize to cut numbers and thereby reduce the amount of holiday pay. Volunteers and employees alike have places to go, family and friends to see, and it's hard to staff long holiday weekends. They deserve their time off, believe me!!!

If you, or someone you know, are thinking about adopting, or maybe fostering, a dog or cat, now is the time to take a look and see if there is an animal that might fit for you. Sure, it can be a hassle, but we have to clean the house, cook, etc. anyway. What's one more family member? You should put a new dog or cat in a "safe" place anyway while the house is full of people they haven't met. Animals that have been at shelters are used to a lot of activity and different people, but having a large crowd and lots of children all in one day might be too much, not to mention that turkey smells a whole lot better than dry kibble.

Put your new dog or cat in a place where they can smell and hear all the new noises, but aren't actually in the thick of things. Tell your family and friends to please leave them alone while they adjust to their new surroundings, and meet them at a later date or when things quiet down and you have time to put the new dog on a leash so you can properly socialize.

Once the company is gone, the dishes are done, and you sit down to put your feet up and relax, then get your new pet out and let them snuggle up and bring down your blood pressure!

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five and More

Our Mighty Five (see previous post) have advanced from bottle babies to active, curious puppies. They are pretty well paper trained and are currently being weaned off formula and on to dry puppy chow and water - and handling that just fine. We gave them a Progard Puppy vaccination yesterday to protect them from distemper and parvo, and they have been wormed. I bought them some toys, and they are discovering those right now.

Meanwhile, we got another call, or two, from animal control. So, road trip. We picked up a male silky/Yorkie terrier with a matted coat, but house broken. He had obviously never seen a horse before, and he will chase a cat, but he absolutely loves the play yard where he runs like a rabbit. We call him Elf

We found a tiny female Brussels Griffon - she can't weigh 5 pounds dripping wet. She is also house broken, or at least crate trained, and loves being held, but also going out to the play yard. She's been a bit intimidated, so we are working on making her more brave. We call her Holly.

We found two husky/yellow lab mix puppies, one male, one female, six weeks old. The female has one blue eye, one brown, and has the coat of the husky. The male looks like the lab side of the family. They need a bit of socialization, and we gave them a good deworming. I don't know what our rescue coordinator has named them. Maybe Jingle and Bell???

We picked out a 3 1/2 month old collie/black lab mix male pup, and he got adopted the next day. He had a super nice personality.

Then there's our yellow lab/lemon beagle mix male. We call him Clancy. He had just come in to animal control on our previous visit and could not be released as there was a stray hold. Three weeks later, he was still there and had contracted kennel cough - and sick dogs are put on the euth. list - they often have to euth. for space, and sick or aggressive animals are the first to go.
He had such a nice personality, big liquid brown eyes like a deer, so we asked them to hold him for us when we talked to them earlier in the week. We are treating him for kennel cough. He knows sit, shake, and down and has obviously been someone's house dog. He appears to be house broken, and likes to play fetch.

It won't be long and these dogs, except for Clancy, will move out of quarantine and then we can disinfect and start looking for the next wave. Please don't shop ----ADOPT!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Mighty Five - Abandoned without Mom

"We have 5 two week old puppies, and we couldn't find the mom anywhere." Animal control called late last Saturday pleading for help. They had made several calls but had no takers. One of our foster moms went to pick them up. Five boys, no mom, and no one knew how long they had been without food. Someone had taken them home the night before and given them human baby formula with less than satisfactory results. Yes, it filled their tummies, but it caused some pretty substantial diarrhea in already dehydrated babies.

They brought me Esbilac, bottles, nipples, bottle brushes, and newspapers, not to mention a really fine big cardboard box to put them in. So, approximately 30 years after I thought I had finished making formula, changing diapers, and getting up every 4 hours for a feeding, I was back at it.

Three of the boys had pretty much given up the idea of sucking, so we went to the eye dropper and stimulated them to suck on my finger, meanwhile sneaking the formula into them. After about four days, they were sucking like pros, so we switched them to regular baby bottles, the human kind. These are going to be good sized dogs some day!

They are now approximately three weeks old, have doubled in size, are starting to play a little, eat like a high school football team, starting to cut teeth, are already going to the potty on newspaper away from their bed, and they don't know it yet, but they can crawl out of their box if they want to. Today I'll have to move them to a more spacious open plan condo so they can develop their motor skills and can't crawl out when I'm working out in the kennel and can't monitor them.

We don't know what breed they are. We don't really care. They shouldn't have been abandoned without a mommy. As a matter of fact, the same animal control called yesterday with 11 six week old pups that were found abandoned in a ditch.

My little football players have been fed, cleaned up, and are snoozing right next to me. As for me, think I'll enjoy that first cup of morning coffee and then start mixing formula for the day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Delilah - Long Distance Rescue

Delilah is about a 20 pound black female chi/pug (?) mix that was in a high volume kill shelter in Georgia. One of the employees, also deeply involved in rescue, had taken her home as a foster, but Delilah was shy and worried about people and wasn't improving. She would play and enjoy the company of the other foster dogs, but would not come within a foot of a human. Her foster mom was up to her ears and posted her on Facebook, hoping that she would not have to send her on to the local humane society to keep her alive.

I have a soft spot for the shy, non-aggressive dogs that have little chance of being adopted. Not to mention the fact that Delilah was black, and black dogs are at the bottom of the adoption list. I made a comment that I wished we were closer as I would consider taking her into our rescue. The people at Hazelhurst responded, and soon we were on our way to a transport and rescue.

Our rescue coordinator gave them the information they needed, and we exchanged lengthy phone calls with a couple of people, during which I commented that when I usually find a dog out of state and agree to take it in to our rescue, the dog usually gets adopted before that happens. Not a problem for me - a forever home always trumps a foster!

The day was getting close for transport, expected it on the weekend. I got a call that Delilah was making progress. I am bottle feeding puppies and came to the house late in the day. While waiting on formula to warm up, cranked on the computer and checked email. There was an email notification from Facebook that someone was interested in Delilah and lived in Georgia. I checked it out and figured that I would soon be notified that she had been adopted and would not be heading to Indiana.

About 10 minutes later, I got a call from the foster mom in Georgia saying the she was putting Delilah on a transport later that evening, and wanting to confirm my address. I stopped her and asked if she knew she had someone wanting to adopt locally. She, at that time, was unaware of it. She said she would get back to me. I told her I would always defer to a forever home.

Delillah goes to her new home on Saturday - in Georgia. As part of His plan, it was probably my job to give her more time, not only to keep her from going to the humane society, but to give her time to improve and her new family time to find her.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pixie, aka Batwoman

She was in a crate in the intake room at animal control, had been there for nearly three weeks. She had all but given up. She hadn't eaten any food for a couple of days. When we walked by, she didn't budge, nor did she look at us. I was drawn to her for some reason, so I kept walking back and forth near her crate as we looked at the other dogs in the intake room. She finally looked at me, and the sorrow in her eyes told the whole story.

Pixie is a petite, small boned, wirehair mix with huge ears, and when she smiles, which she now does, she resembles a fruit bat. Thus the nickname "Batwoman". She is housebroken, knows sit, and has no aggressive tendencies at all.

We had a family come to meet one of the dogs she is turned out to play with. They liked her personality, but deemed her "so ugly she's cute".

She went to a couple of adoption events, but no one gave her a second look. Yesterday a family came to meet a dog and wanted a kind, friendly, non-aggressive dog that would be good with kids, was housebroken, would sleep with family members, and get along with the other family dogs. One of the childen had the duty of picking the new dog. It would be "his" dog. He had chosen a beagle pup, but the pup had way too much energy for the family, wasn't too good with men, and failed in the house trained department. They returned the beagle.

They looked at several dogs and at Pixie. Everyone in the family liked her, except the young man who was to make the decision. His reason - she's ugly and he would have to walk her in the neighborhood. He had his heart set on a dachshund puppy, which we don't have. I told him quite frankly not to take her if he couldn't find it in his heart to overlook the fact that he thought she was ugly.

The younger boy asked to take Pixie home for the night - a sleepover - to see if there was a chance. They returned her today, but we now know for certain that she is definitely housebroken, slept with various family members, did nothing wrong.

Sometimes we forget that beauty is only skin deep. Pixie is a wonderful little dog, and we will find someone who doesn't mind having a dog that looks like a fruit bat when she smiles.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Empty Kennel

About two weeks ago a neighbor stopped by and asked if we could take in a Jack Russell that she found wandering by the four way stop a couple miles away. She had him at her house for nearly three months and "couldn't take him in the house because I already have a dog", so she chained him outside with a dog house. She fed him well, but no flea preventive, no wormer, no shots. We had no available space, so I asked her if she would take him to animal control, as he would have shelter, food, and a chance at adoption, even though he's a senior with some missing teeth. She didn't want to do that - afraid he would be euthanized. I asked her if she could keep him for a while longer, at least till we had an opening. She said she could.

We haven't had much movement in the last couple of weeks, and she didn't check back when she said she would. Then yesterday, we adopted out Cayman. Someone had applied for him, came to meet him, wanted a few extra days to think it over, and in the meantime, a friend of hers came to town and, after seeing his picture and hearing Cayman's story, just knew she had found the dog she was looking for. The friend applied, met, and adopted Cayman.

Just as Cayman and his new mom were leaving the driveway, in pulls the lady who found the Jack Russell. She asked if we could take him as it is now getting cold at night, and he keeps going to the door to go in the house. I told her to go get him. While she was getting him, I moved some dogs and stripped and disinfected a kennel - he has to be in quarantine for two weeks and quarantine has been full.

She brought me an older Jack Russell, needs a good worming, but has been fed, needs a bath and flea preventive, needs dental work, but mostly he needs a nice warm place to live.

I named him Yoda, as he is short, a bit heavy, and old enough to be wise in the ways of the world.

It never fails to amaze me how when a kennel empties out, another dog will find its way into that kennel almost immediately - it's like it is planned.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jody, Jonah, Liam, Lara, Sophia - Fall Cleaning

We have two more of the Brittany mix pups - Lara and Liam. The family that initially rescued them and found them homes decided to repossess Liam, a beautiful tan, red, and white. Lara went to a home with several dogs, and she was just "too many" so she was returned. They will join Levi, the only other Brittany pup we have left. Lara is black and white and a bit smaller than the boys. All are crate trained pretty well and have learned to follow. They are getting new collars this week and learning to walk on a leash and "sit".

Jody and Jonah are the two cocker mixes that we took in about 10 days ago. They are probably two of the nicest dogs we have on the place. They are housebroken, quiet, well mannered, good on a leash, ride in the car very well, and just a pleasure to work with. I took them to be groomed on Friday, and the veterinary and grooming staff agreed. It would be wonderful to find someone who wanted them both, but since that isn't likely, we have put them in separate kennels to adjust to being without each other, but let them out in the play yard together for a good amount of time each day. They are doing very well.

Sophia is a newby - a pekingese/pom mix female, already spayed, 7 years old, good with dogs (she lived with a lab), older children. Sophia's owners got divorced. The person who had her couldn't afford to keep her. They told us she isn't reliably housebroken unless there is someone home. Said she doesn't like to be crated and will pee in the house. I have noticed that she is okay in the kennel and if she has an accident, it's in one spot, so will get some puppy pads and see if we can teach her to potty on them only. She's a beautiful, friendly little dog that likes to cuddle. Good on a leash. There has to be someone out there who will want her!

Marty and Goliath are enjoying each other, and Marty is settling down. He is walking better on a leash, and he and Goliath have learned that they both need to sit and relax before going through any door. He has also learned that a back massage is a good deal.

I'm going to pick up the seven puppies, Aussie mix, this week. Today they are six weeks old, and the family is ready to let them go. We will offer to spay the female.

As kennels empty out, I have a "honey do" list - vacuum and paint kennels, get the heating systems (we have backup systems for the backup systems) ready for cold weather, wash windows and door frames, and lots of other things, including installing a new sink in the kennel kitchen. We also have to fix up an entry area for the cat building so the volunteers can get in and out without worrying about kittens in the free roaming area bolting out the door.

We'll just have to see how the week goes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Abandoned

I got an "URGENT" email around 8 pm last night. A friend who rescues and has helped us pull dogs from gas shelters in Ohio and Kentucky was presented with two miniature size cocker spaniels (she thinks) by the neighborhood kids. They are flea infested to the point of bleeding, matted beyond belief - couldn't tell the sex of the dogs without removing mats, and who knows what else at this point.

My friend already has nine dogs, some hers and the rest rescued, and had no place to put them. I called her, and she was going to take them to another friend's place to try to clean them up, give them Capstar, and is bringing them out to our rescue today. They are the buff colored cocker spaniels.

We picked up the two dogs we put on hold at animal control last week. One is a yorkie mix male, we call him Wilson - very nice dog. The other is a puppy, a female dachshund mix, we call her Dixie, with huge ears. She's a real sweetie too!

We know we have a litter of seven Aussie mix puppies coming to us as soon as they cut teeth - the owners are anxious to move them on.

I turned Marty, who has lived in a crate for 7 months of his life, out with Goliath. They play and play and play. Marty is enjoying having room to move and has learned sit and is learning that he shouldn't bolt through a door or gate.

Cayman is learning how to be a dog and actually sniffing the ground. Pixie is helping him, and she is enjoying her freedom as well. Both were much loved house dogs and will make great companions.

Sam and Hope are a team - Sam shows Hope how to relax and enjoy life. Hope has gained weight and looks like a different dog. She is much happier.

If anyone reading this is interested in adoption, go to or petfinder for Greenfield, Indiana

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Cayman is a small silver poodle, maybe schnauzer mix. I saw his picture on Petfinder - one of many at a local animal control with an "URGENT" tag on it. Cayman was abandoned, along with three cats, in a house. The animals were alone in the house for several days before someone discovered them. The animal control officer said he had never seen a dog covered with so many fleas, not to mention the cats. They were given Capstar, a flea bath, a good meal, fresh water, and in the case of the cats, a clean litter box. Cayman is a young dog, very friendly and very forgiving. I have the privilege of fostering him, and his flea bites are healing, his raw spots are healing, he's eating very well, and he will make someone a fine companion. We'll post some pictures of Cayman as soon as he gains a bit more weight.

My question is, why would someone leave an animal to die of hunger and thirst rather than take them to an animal control shelter where they are at least going to be fed and given fresh water, not to mention a chance at finding another home?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brittany Puppies

The kids were riding their ATV's and spotted the litter of 11 puppies with their mother in a yard. Being the kids they are, they stopped and asked if they could have a puppy. The left with two and went home to ask if they could keep the pups. The children's mom looked at the puppies, literally covered with fleas, thin, but with bloated bellies of worms and malnutrition, and asked where they came from. She and her husband decided to go to the house and see if they could rescue the whole litter. The owner of the puppies gave them the whole litter of pups. The mother of the puppies is a purebred Brittany, and dad is a Brittany mix. Let us pray they get mother spayed, and soon!

Two of the puppies subsequently died despite the efforts of the rescuing family. They found homes for all but six of the remaining litter. However, they couldn't keep the rest of the litter any longer, so they called for help. Yesterday my sister-in-law and brother called to say they were bringing us five of the puppies, as the rescuing family decided to keep one pup.

There are three females, two males, and despite numerous baths, they still have a flea problem. Capstar and a topical will take care of that, plus at least one more bath. Their bellies still show signs of worms, and it's also obvious that they are nutritionally deficient. They are between 8 and 9 weeks old

I wormed them, vaccinated, treated them for fleas, and gave them food. They were all a bit lethargic when they came in, but perked up after consuming food, taking a nap, consuming food, taking another nap, consuming more food, and taking a third nap. We took pictures for the "before" part of their files. They are all friendly and cute as can be. We will find them homes, no matter how long it takes.

Please spay and neuter!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Short Tales

Dolly Momma went for a sleepover, but the family had a cat, and Dolly decided the cat didn't belong. Dolly came back to us, but we did find out that she was "perfect" - except for the cat. She accidentally got out of her crate one day, and nothing was damaged or hurt in the house. She simply jumped up on the couch and took a nap till the family got home. She does need a haircut, but other than that, she is a wonderful little dog that needs a home.

Hope, the mother we took in that had pups less than 12 hours after she arrived, is now spayed and ready for a new home. She has gained weight nicely and has a new coat. She's still a bit shy around strangers, but looks and feels better and doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

All 8 of Hope's puppies have found new homes. Having them all born alive was a miracle in itself.

Pandora, one of the precious antiques, was brought back to us when her owner broke her ankle. She was grossly overweight and subsequently suffered a stroke. I put her on a diet the minute she returned, and after the stroke we immediately started physical therapy three times a day. We are glad to report that she not only is losing weight, but she can now walk again, although if she tries to hurry she sometimes stumbles. She's happy and comfortable, but would like more food - sorry, Pandora, ain't gonna happen!

Rabbit has come out of his burrow and become a happy little dog with a waggily tale and a smile. He's still a bit shy around strangers, but he got to go to his first on site adoption event and handled it very well.

Tony, the mountain dog that got chucked out of a truck, has learned to sit, is working on stay, and is quite a character. He loves to play and now that he knows he won't be left behind, he enjoys staying out in the play yard with a toy. He will throw it up in the air and catch it.

Angel is a work in progress. She has learned to focus and sit and catch. She's a good hearted young lady that needs someone with plenty of time and a desire to teach.

Goliath and I have been working on touching his front legs, and he has come a long way. I was told he was very badly behaved at the vet before his return, so we'll see what happens when he is due for his annual vaccinations in about six weeks.

Claire is a little beagle girl with a lot of energy and not much training. We are working on sit, and she is coming along. Walking on a leash is getting better as well. She is such a little cutie - need to get her shaped up so she finds a family.

I found out last week when I boarded one of the dogs we adopted out that my nickname is "Sergeant Maggie" because I believe in exercise and structure. It works - always has.

Then there's the gremlin in the kennel kitchen. Maybe it was the full moon, maybe the barn fan creating too much air movement, but just the other day while I was washing the very last food bowl and thinking that lunch sounded like a good idea (it was 2:30 PM), the stovepipe for the wood stove crashed down on me - no major injury, just a few scrapes and bruises.

There are still three foundation bred horses, all yearlings, to find homes for. We now have two miniature horses of our own - Swiffer and Eclipse.

The calico/tabby kitten, Kitzu, is growing and likes to help while I'm on the computer. She also likes to help me while I peel wallpaper in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

We have some nice quality round bales of horse hay for sale, the sun is shining, and it's a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My ex brother-in-law decided he wanted to open a pet shop. He took in animals from people that just walked in - everything from a 12 foot long python to a pet raccoon that took over the bathroom and had to be returned to the owner. Along the way he even had a Colorado black bear cub. One day he called to say he had taken in a female dachsund and wanted my husband and I to take it to our apartment for a few days to see how she behaved. The dog had been with us for about a week, and when we went to work, we put her in the bathroom. She had food, water, and could move about. One day the husband let her loose in the apartment. I got sick at work and was sent home, and all I could think about was lying down near the bathroom till the yuck passed. When I walked into the apartment, there were two holes the size of softballs in the bedroom wall, three of the venetian blinds were destroyed, and there was a pile of dog poop coiled like a snake in the middle of the bed!

We reported her behavior, and Allen said he would take her back to the pet shop. When I got there, he showed me an 8 week old schnauzer female puppy, obviously sick, that he had purchased from a breeder a couple of days before. I took her to our vet and then to our apartment and never returned her. She was very sick and after a long recovery, we knew we were keeping her forever.

She was my very best friend. She never got very big because of the illness when she was so young. She curled up next to me every night, snuggled on my lap when reading or watching TV, loved to ride in the car and go for a walk, was always there when I needed to vent, especially when husband #1 left a note on the TV that he didn't want to hurt me but married me to put him through college, and now that he had a master's degree, he was moving on with someone else.

Through the years I had Brystls aka Booger, I got another schnauzer and a chow. They were all best buds, and I used to take them to Grapevine Lake in Texas before it got really civilized. We would drive out, walk through the pucky weeds to the lake, go swimming and fetch sticks, walk back to the car, stop for ice cream, go home and get a bath, have a good meal and fall asleep together on the couch.

She started to sleep in other than her usual spots. She didn't eat the usual stuff - was more picky and avoided fatty foods. By this time, I had remarried, and we were expecting our first child and moving to the country. The vet diagnosed either cancer of the liver or an abscess of the liver. Booger started having seizures. I took her to the vet, and he changed her medicine. About a block from the vet's office, she seized in the car, a major one, and I turned around and cried all the way back, carried her in, and asked him to put her out of her misery. He refused. Told me to try the new medicine and bring her back in 4 days.

The next two days weren't any better, but then things always get worse before they get better. Then on the third day, Boog had a whole 4 hours when she ate, played, and acted like her old self. Then things went sour. She died in my arms at 2 a.m. and my husband gently lifted her from my arms and took her out and buried her under the one and only tree we had - a place we used to spend a lot of time together - me reading a book, Boog taking a nap or sniffing the area.

It's been 32 years since she passed away. There's a saying the "You don't get the dog you want, you get the dog you need". How true that is. She was my very best friend when I needed her the most.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


One of the local animal control facilities had two beagle females, one with puppies, surrendered to them because there had been a serious illness in the family and it necessitated the family members moving out of state without much prior notice. The family was unable to find a place where they could have a pet, so they were forced to leave the beagle family behind.

In today's world, it is hard to rent, and even buy a home, where dogs of any size and breed are allowed. Apartments often have size and weight limits. Housing developments and gated communities often have restrictions, not only about the size and breed of acceptable dogs, but also what kind of fence you are allowed to have. Not to mention insurance companies refusing to insure if you have an "aggressive" breed.

Anyway, we took the beagle girls into our rescue, finished raising the puppies up to 8 weeks old and found them new homes, got Katie and Bindi spayed and hoped we would find them a home in short order. Both Katie and Bindi are nice, small beagles, housebroken, good on a leash, very friendly. However, because of the economy, the heat, summer vacations, and the fact that school is starting and school supplies, clothes, and fees must be paid for, no one applied for the girls.

On Thursday of last week, the rescue coordinator called me and wanted to know what I thought about the fact that the owners of Katie and Bindi had flown in for 24 hours with the intention of trying to find Katie and Bindi, and take Katie back with them. They had found an apartment which would allow them to have one dog.

Animal control gave them the rescue office number, and when that didn't work right away (the mailbox is almost always full), they gave the cell phone number of the rescue coordinator. When she called me, she asked what my feelings were. Nobody flies that far and spends a whole day tracking down a dog unless they really care. I suggested they come on out to the farm and let Katie decide. Her response to them would help us make up our minds.

Katie is now living in Florida. She was absolutely delighted to see them, as was Bindi. They are looking for a home where they can have both beagles, and vowed to send money to support Bindi till they can fly here and pick her up.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Harley, a chow/husky mix came to us through the veterinarian our boss uses. The young lady who originally owned her had to "get rid of her" because she was a runner and animal control had been called too many times. She had been around children, but because the lady used her for protection, she had become aggressive. The snare that animal control had to use to catch her hadn't helped any. Her basic personality favored the chow side of the family. She would dart through an open door and not come back when she was called.

I added "Sue" to her name, and started working on teaching her to come when called. She growled at me every day for the first two weeks, but she soon realized that she would not eat unless it was in her kennel, a 4 ft. x 12 ft. area, plus a doggie door and outside run of the same size. Very carefully we worked on a collar and leash. We had to get past the snare pole. Harley Sue did not like men, and we, with the help of my husband, worked on getting her to trust a man and respond to his commands.

She learned to walk properly on a leash, be brushed anywhere with no fear or growling, come when called, and also learned "sit" and "shake". She didn't get along with other dogs, but soon learned to go out in the play yards next to another dog without trying to start a fight. She loved to go out and watch the barn cats play down by the old barn. She liked guarding the miniature horses while they grazed in the lot next to the play yard.

We will pick up her ashes today, and they will be eventually be buried with the ashes of all of the dogs that have been rescued by the owner of this rescue. Harley Sue suffered a massive heart attack on July 24.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


If he could have become invisible by skrunching himself up at the back of the crate, he would have. We had taken a road trip to a local animal control to rescue as many as we could, as they were having to euthanize for space. We walked through the whole building and saved the intake room till last - it was full to overflowing and more dogs were scheduled to arrive.

I noticed the little guy, a brown, rough coated, pointed ears, black muzzle, scared stiff border terrier/Norwich terrier? mix. I went over to his crate three or four times, and each time he tried to become invisible. There was no growl, no bared teeth - just pure fear. He had no kennel card and no name, which meant that he was scheduled for euthanasia. Shy, timid dogs don't usually find homes, and with such severe overcrowding, his number was rapidly coming up.

After choosing three other dogs, I asked the rescue coordinator if we could go back and see him again. I dropped a slip lead on him, and there was no aggressive behavior. We took him outside, and he obviously had never been on a leash, or hadn't learned how to walk on one. He jumped, tried to run away, tried to chew the leash in two, but never tried to bite. I asked to take him with us. About that time, one of the vet techs came after him, but instead of prepping him for his demise, she gave him his vaccinations and checked him for heartworms, which we sincerely appreciated. She said he was very good during the vetting process - just had some leash issues.

It's wonderful how fast dogs learn. By the time we got him home and took him out of the crate, he was leading as well or better than most. His tail was tucked to his chin, but he walked right along with me. The next day when I took him out to the play yard for exercise, he took off with tail tucked and ears plastered to his head - he looked and ran like a scared rabbit - and since we needed to name him, he was given the name Rabbit.

He needed a lesson on coming when called, and we found out that he had obviously been kicked. For a couple of days, if he was standing next to you and you moved your foot, he would hunker down and try to disappear.

That's all behind him now. He trots down the kennel in front of the other dogs with his head and ears held high. His tail no longer is tucked to his chin and it has developed a happy wag. He's still a little shy around new people, but it doesn't last long. He loves a good back rub, comes when called, and has learned "sit". He's excellent on a leash. We will get him neutered and post him for potential adoption - someone will get a very nice companion.

A new owner will probably change his name, but everytime I think of him, all I will see is that scared little brown rabbit trying to make himself invisible, and then smile as I think of how far he has come in such a short time!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time for a Road Trip

It was a week ago today when an animal control called to say they had taken in 11 dogs that day, had 14 more coming the next day, and the day after that they were receiving 24 more, and that's just what they knew for sure was coming. The 11 year old daughter of some friends had just told me she wanted a job like mine, so I asked her parents permission to haul her along on our road trip to animal control. She might as well see first hand about rescue and the choices and decisions that have to be made, particularly when there is limited space and money available.

We looked at all the dogs and started a mental list of the ones that we thought we might be able to place in new homes in fairly short order. There was Sally, a golden retriever mix, only a year old, had been to a hospital meet and greet, needed some manners, and had a great personality. There was a beagle mix female, 8 months old, cute and personable - we call her Claire. There was a wirehair mix male, about one year old, easy going and friendly. There were a few puppies, but their cages were right next to a pup that had some diarrhea, so we passed on all of them just in case it was of the contagious variety. There were a few others that we looked at, including a little guy that I now call Rabbit. We loaded Sally, Claire, Dusty, and Rabbit and headed home. These dogs would fill up all the empty spaces.

When we got home, there was our guest - a former student from our days as adjunct faculty at Kirkwood Community College in the equine program. There was a friend and her daughter with my yearling miniature horse. My husband was asked to do a DVD specifically for miniature horse owners, and I bought a dun colt whose sire was of the Little King bloodline and whose mother is named Dust Bunny. I have named the colt Swiffer. The breeder sent along another colt, Eclipse, for company. She also sent along a calico kitten with tabby stripes - is that a tabico? She's adorable, probably only 6 weeks old, and loves my big 91 pound lab/rott mix female.

The friend and daughter who delivered the minis picked out a yearling colt from the foundation quarter horse stock, so we have only 2 more quarter horses to place. Both are colts, both are yearlings, both are still available.

At the end of the day, I asked the 11 year old what she thought of the job. In spite of the hot and humid weather, all the kennel cleaning, dish washing, laundry, she said she loved it. I explained to her that it is impossible to save every dog, and to keep from becoming a hoarder, she will need to set up some guidelines and rules for herself and follow them in order to do the best job she can do. Then we both laughed at me, because I broke a rule of my own. We brought Rabbit home - that will be the next blog.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pay It Forward

"Maggie, I think he hurt his leg again!" My friend called to tell me she was on her way to the emergency vet clinic because her senior dog had come up on three legs. Last fall he broke the leg and it took quite awhile for it to heal. It would be an hours drive, so she carefully loaded him up and started off. About halfway there, he jumped to the back seat to look out the window, and the leg seemed better. By the time they got to the clinic, he was limping, but using the leg. As they sat in the waiting area, he kept moving around with continued improvement in the leg, so she decided to forego the vet visit, save the money, and take him home.

As she was getting ready to leave, she noticed a lady crying at the front desk. She observed for a few minutes and then asked the receptionist if she could offer comfort, thinking that the woman was having to decide on euthanasia for her pet. The receptionist looked at her like it was none of her business. She asked if it was a case of putting the pet down, and the receptionist again gave her a "don't ask me" look. Finally she asked if it was a financial problem or should she butt out, as she knew the clinic had a fund for people in this situation - and they could tap that. The receptionist said that they were trying to work that out, but that collateral would have to be put up and there was a limit on the amount available. With that, my friend addressed the woman directly. Her husband had lost his job, was on unemployment, and there was no extra to cover these expenses. My friend pulled out her credit card and had the clinic charge the expenses to treat the dog for heat stroke. She said the receptionist looked at her with disbelief. She said that at that moment she couldn't believe what she was saying either. Then she told the receptionist that her senior dog who was on three legs and now was walking and jumping around on all four, would not need to be seen - at least not at that time!

The woman with the dog suffering from heat stroke thanked her many many times. No names were exchanged. My friend simply told her to "pay it forward", which she vowed to do.

My friend said she won't tell her family or relatives because they think she gives too much away, but her father told her "if what you give away makes the difference for someone else, it will be worth whatever sacrifices you have made", and she realizes more and more how true those words are.

It was part of a plan - the dog limped, and ended up saving another animal in distress. As for me, I needed this uplifting story and had just asked for something with positive energy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hope and Horses, and More

While all 12 horses have been halter broken, given a bath, taught to stand tied, and also started on feed through wormer prior to giving a full kill worming, Hope and her 12 day old puppies are doing very well. Hope is feeding all the puppies on her own, and they are growing and their eyes are starting to open. Hope is gaining weight and no longer has backbone, ribs and hip bones sticking out.

I have had a chance to look the pups over and found that four have long tails, 3 have tails that are considerably shorter, and one has a stub of a tail. This gives us a clue as to who their daddy was, as only corgis, Australian shepherds, old English sheepdogs, and schipperke breeds are born with naturally short tails. Of course, it could be a genetic glitch, as Hope also has a short tail, but we aren't sure whether it's natural or acquired.

We have three of Katie's beagle mix puppies still to find homes. I moved them to a larger area so they have more room to play while they wait for a new family.

Tony, the mountain dog, has learned to sit, come when called, and is now learning to be quiet and not bark for no good reason. He's a beautiful youngster and will make someone a faithful companion.

Nike, the designer husky, has shed off and has a beautiful new coat. He, like Tony, will make someone a great companion.

Katie and Bindi, our beagle girls, are enjoying life and never miss a chance to sniff the play yards from one end to the other.

Dolly is doing great after her first heartworm treatment, and shedding off all the old fur. She has a great attitude and those huge brown eyes just suck you in.

It's been a busy week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emergency Delivery

I saw her picture in a crosspost from a friend - a small Jack Russell type female with a bobbed tail, fear in her eyes, and a very pregnant profile! She was in a shelter in another state, and the animals there are euthanized weekly in gas chamber style unless someone rescues them or adopts. I had already told this friend that I had but one kennel open, and there were other dogs in the crossposts that needed rescuing, but she captured my attention, and I could not ignore the feeling in my gut that she needed to come here. I talked with our rescue coordinator, and she was okay with it and willing to meet a transport half way to get her. The big problem was time. She was running out of time as far as the weekly euthanasia date, not to mention she was nearly full term with the pregnancy.

We snatched this skinny, wormy, dirty, very pregnant young lady before they could put her down. The rescue coordinator asked me what she should do if she started having pups on the way here. I told her to let nature and instinct handle it and drive. She made it to the kennel without having a litter in the car, much to everyone's relief.

This morning she greeted me with 8 new babies! All of the pups are alive and appear to be doing very well. A quick look gave me a 4 girls, 4 boys count. We have named our little mama Hope, and she is extremely thin, but loves the menu in the maternity ward. The pups are quiet and content, so we are giving mom all the help we can and hoping for the best.

Why her? There's a plan, you can count on it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vehicular Surrender

Three times this week, we have taken in animals that were thrown out of moving vehicles. What in the world are people thinking???

In one case, a German Shepherd was tossed out of a moving vehicle on a dead end road. The dog could not be caught (can you blame him?) and stayed around a home with three young children. The kids weren't allowed out of the house to play till after animal control managed to catch the dog. By the way, someone drove by every day and threw food out for the shepherd. Hope someone got the license number.

Tony, a mountain dog mix, was chunked out of a moving truck in a park. The person who saw it hung around for two hours hoping someone would come and reclaim him. Tony is a big, friendly, housebroken dog that fortunately didn't have any injuries as a result of his "exit" After a series of phone calls, someone suggested bringing him out to us, and when he showed up, the first sentence out of the young lady's mouth was "I couldn't take him to animal control because they will euthanize him."

The third incident was a litter of four kittens. They were pitched out the window of a moving vehicle. One was run over by the car behind them. Two managed to hit the ground and run off. No one could find them. The fourth was rescued by a witness to the event, and we have that kitten now. Fortunately it is not injured, but it sure is scared.

The animal control facilities in our area all try very hard to place animals in foster, rescue, or adoptive situations. However, there are way more animals flooding into the animal controls, rescues, humane societies, etc. than we can possibly handle. The truth is that we can't save them all - no matter how hard we try. The various facilities take in the animals, do temperament testing, and then do triage. The animals that are very aggressive or have bite records are the first to be euthanized. Animals that are "iffy", if there is enough available space, are given a chance. Animals that are friendly, non-aggressive, just want a home are given every available chance, and if possible are sent to other facilities to prolong their chances at adoption.
Sadly, there just isn't enough available space or money to keep them all indefinitely.

There are a couple of animal controls that will not take surrendered animals, but only pick up an animal if found as a stray. This wasn't the case in the above three incidents. I personally feel this particular policy is dangerous - both to the animal that is no longer wanted, but to the people of the community. The stray can starve, be run over, and lots of other lousy outcomes. If someone dumps an aggressive animal, there is risk of someone getting bit.

The bottom line --- if you find a stray, call animal control. That's their job, and they do it well. They care, and it's just as hard on them to have to make up a euthanasia list as it is for the person who finds the stray to have to contemplate it. If the stray is dangerous, then that's where it needs to be - they have the means to handle the situation.

If someone wants to give up their pet and thinks that a vehicular surrender is the best way. Think about it. Hitting the ground from a moving vehicle hurts, causes broken bones or internal injuries. Which is worse - lying in a pile of pain and blood by the side of the road waiting for the buzzards to find you, or a simple prick with a needle and eternal sleep???

Think it over and do the right thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nicky, Epileptic Border Collie

"Will anyone give me a bid?" - that's how it started. We were at an auction to raise money for crippled children, and a breeder had donated a purebred border collie to be auctioned off. Just as my husband was telling someone on the other side of the room that he had better get back to me before I bought the dog, the auctioneer yelled out "Sold" - to me for $15. This was a Saturday night.

About 2 AM on Monday, Nicky had a grand mal seizure. I had seen quite a few greyhounds with seizure activity at the race track, so knew what to do. He came out of it, and I knew we would go to the vet first thing in the morning. Before 8 AM, he had another grand mal seizure. The vet kept him for the day, started him on medication, and when he called me to tell me he could come home, Nicky had another grand mal seizure, so he stayed over for another day. The consensus was that the breeder had had him on medication and discontinued it for the auction and failed to tell anyone about the epilepsy.

When I picked him up, the vet told me the real danger was that he would injure himself during a seizure and/or because of the high dosage of medicine, he would have liver/kidney damage and his life expectancy would be shortened.

Nicky had progressively more seizures, mostly grand mal, but sometimes there would be a day of a whole string of petite mal seizures. When he was recovering, he would always walk in circles and so for his safety, I would put him on a long leash or tie out while he recovered so that he couldn't bump into things or fall down stairs and injure himself, much less just wander off if nothing was in his way.

The seizures continued to escalate and the medication was adjusted many times, and the vet said he couldn't take a chance on neutering him, so when he was in the yard one day and the neighbor's female cocker spaniel came to visit, Nicky became a father.

One day while I was cleaning house, and he was enjoying being outside, he seized and the tie out broke. He wandered off. In the period of 30 minutes, he literally disappeared. I called all the business owners (we lived in a town of 500 people), the vet clinic, and let the sheriff's office know that if he was found and was slobbering, he wasn't rabid or mean - just the seizures. My biggest fear was that he got into a corn field, and we would not find him, or he would wander in front of a car.

We found him and he had been down by the creek, so we cleaned him up, medicated him, and he played with Jessi, ate a good meal, and had the best evening he had had in a long time. He passed away in his sleep.

My lesson in this - I should have had enough guts and brains to let him go sooner. If I could not make him comfortable, and I could not fix the problem - I should have known better.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Old National Road Yard Sale

This weekend is the Old National Road Yard Sale, where you can shop from St. Louis, Missouri to Baltimore, Maryland. All you really need is a BIG vehicle to haul all the treasures you find along the way.

PAWS Hancock has been collecting items and is participating in the yard sale in hopes of raising money for the rescue.

If you are in the area of Highway 40 this weekend, stop by Greenfield, Indiana and buy some treasure to help us support our dogs and cats.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cats Have Arrived!

The rescue group that I foster for is trying to find and purchase a building not only to house all the rescued dogs and cats, but also to house a low cost spay/neuter clinic. In addition, the lady who has fostered the bulk of the rescued cats has developed some health problems and it has become necessary to move the rescued cats.

We had a building that we used for moms and pups, and an occasional boarding situation, but mainly kept empty to keep the utility bills as low as possible. The rescue cats are now living in what we call "the Beanie Building" as it used to house the Bean Blossom Gang. PAWS Hancock has gone to the free roaming concept of housing the cats, and they thoroughly enjoy it. We installed some windows at a level where the "barn cats" can come a look through the windows at the "house cats".

The dogs have already gotten used to the idea of the volunteers coming and going in the next building. The birds that are nesting in the old vent fan in the Beanie Building wall help to entertain the new occupants. If the cats could just get to them!

I find myself looking at the cats at the local animal controls - something I hadn't done before. Although today they brought out some kittens that were dumped in the middle of a road - just babies. They also brought out a mom and her kittens.

It's going to be an interesting summer. We'll see if they are able to find and purchase a building for their clinic. If not, we'll have to come up with the money to hook up a better heating system for the coming winter.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Salsa, The Tripawd Greyhound

Salsa, a red fawn female greyhound, was running a luring course when another dog ran into her and broke her left front leg. It was a very bad break, and despite the vet's efforts to pin the leg, it became obvious that it wasn't going to work. Her left front leg was amputated. She went to a greyhound rescue and was adopted out. This all happened four years ago.

Yesterday she was returned to the rescue I foster for. She is now 6 years old. The family she was living with have found it necessary to move cross country and cannot afford to take her with them.

She is a full blooded greyhound, complete with registration papers and a registered name. She is very well housebroken, good with kids, and very pleasant to be around. She gets around very well and is enjoying being turned out in the play yards to exercise and sniff all the new stuff.

If anyone is interested in adopting Salsa, you may go to and read more about her.

This particular Salsa is of the mild variety!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Three Amigos

About six months after we moved here and had kennels and fence erected, our kin moved 16 rescued dogs on site. In the group were three "office dogs" - Cheddar - a red and white husky male, Pandora - a beagle mix female, and Penny - a sharpei mix female. They lived in our utility room for several months while we tore down an old chicken house/hog confinement office - and built a new, insulated and better smelling office.

Cheddar was losing his eyesight and his hearing, but he still loved to "chase the kittys" He had hip problems and had been diagnosed with cancer, so he had no hope of catching a cat, but it sure was fun to try, and it gave him a reason to get up and go out each day. He was humanely euthanized when we could no longer make him comfortable and we could not fix the problems.

Pandora, who is 12 years old now, had to have expensive allergy shots and daily medication, and could be a bit snarky, so her chance at adoption was an old employee who knew her long before I met her. After three years with us, the lady took her into her home.She needed a place to stay while her owner was out of town, so she has spent the last week here, and has been on a diet and exercise program. She has masses in the kidney areas and doesn't get around very well, but she was glad to see her old friend and once we got her joints loosened up, she put her nose to the ground like the good old days.

Penny, the sharpei mix, is very timid and used to be afraid of thunderstorms. Not any longer. She is my "office dog", and since the maternity ward is in the bathroom of the office, she has the job of keeping an eye on the moms and babies, if we have any, and when we wean, it gives the pups comfort to have another dog close by. Whenever I have a chance, I take her to the hay field for a nice long walk. She has learned to relax and sniff the ground. Penny is still very mobile, no masses, hears fine. She will be my maternity and office security partner for, we hope, many more years. She's 11.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


She was dumped to fend for herself, probably because she is heartworm positive. Animal control named her Cass after Mama Cass. They thought she was pregnant, and she was so kind, gentle, quiet, well behaved, housebroken they passed her by when the kennels filled up and they had to euthanize something for space. However, time was running out for her, so they tagged her with an "Urgent".

We took her home and visited the vet. She wasn't pregnant, but rather coming into heat and between the hormone surges and the extra dog biscuits the animal control officers were feeding her, she did look pregnant. We then found out she is heartworm positive, and after the heat cycle, a good general deworming, some exercise, and vitamins, she has already undergone the first part of the heartworm treatment.

She is an exceptionally nice dog. She gets along with other dogs, people, kids, tolerates cats, and just wants to please. I have yet to hear her bark. She is very reliably house trained, comes when called, learned sit in record time, and I will admit that my husband and I have considered keeping her.

As the saying goes, "if you want to make God smile, just tell him YOUR plans". I was reviewing old emails tonight from prospective owners, and came across one that had applied for a dog that would not suit their lifestyle. They asked that we keep our eyes open for a dog that would work.

Then it hit me - Cassie. She's only 2 years old and fits their "wish list". She has to finish up the heartworm treatment and get spayed and microchipped. As much as we would like to keep her, it would be very selfish of us to deny her a family all her own. Here she has to share us with over 35 other dogs, and some 11 cats, and even some horses.

We'll just have to wait and see how this turns out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Designer Husky

We went to a local animal control to pick up some puppies, and since we had one extra crate with us, decided to see what else we could pull. We found him at the end of the row, in a small kennel, and as soon as he saw us he started begging to get out. A beautiful cream husky with soft red and black highlights, and a definite "swoosh" on his face and tail. He needed to learn to walk on a leash and not to jump up on people, but he was super friendly. We loaded him up.

Some friends were looking for a husky, so the rescue coordinator sent pictures of the dog to them. They were excited to see the swoosh. They explained that he might be a descendant of a dog from one of the top breeders of huskies, as those marking were indicative of that breeding.

While this was evolving, I taught him to walk on a leash, sit, and not jump on people. He obviously has been a house dog, is fully housebroken, and exhibited some separation anxiety. He loves to play fetch, and has a really strong prey drive. He also loves water. We worked through the separation problem, and about that time the friends asked to try a sleepover. They have a female husky mix and a small dog, so we cautioned them that it might not work on a long term basis. They brought their dogs, and the meeting and socialization went well, but after they got him home, he decided after the first 24 hours that the small dog was a target. He was returned.

So, our designer husky is looking for a home. I'm kind of keeping my eyes open for a female husky that might want to have a buddy to play with. Huskies play hard and have a lot of endurance, after all they can travel up to 150 miles a day

His name??? Nike, of course.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Antiques and Unadoptables

On site we have some precious antiques and also some unadoptables, mostly because they have bite records. So, since they aren't going to be adopted, let's put them in the spotlight because they deserve some recognition. All are good dogs - life just hasn't been the best for them.

Ashley is a shepherd mix, 11 years old, bite record -she's a fear biter. Max, Siberian husky 11 years old, bite record. Harley, chow/husky mix, 8 years old - ran away so many times and was captured by animal control. No longer runs away, but will definitely bite. I added "Sue" to the Harley - she's a beautiful dog. Joe, formerly Cujo, a rottie/chow mix that was teased till he finally bit someone. A smart, wonderful dog - my husband and I absolutely love him. He's 5. Heidi, pit/lab mix and Abner, border collie, beagle, coonhound mix - both are 4 years old. Abner has trust issues and Heidi, being a pit mix, is not adoptable. They enjoy each other's company.
Lil Bit is 7, a chow/beagle mix, and formerly alpha of the Bean Blossom Gang. She has a bite record. Ms. Blackie is a shepherd mix, and at age 13, she is pretty active even with hip dysplasia. She hangs out with Buddy, chow mix, age 11. Buddy likes to hunt for the barn cats.
Duffy is s shepherd mix, age 11, with a bite record. Brewster is a newfie/chow mix with a bite record. He's 6. Penny is 11 years old, a sharpei mix, who has always been fearful. She has improved, but gets nervous and eats blankets, then upchucks. My biggest fear is that she will obstruct, so she has a Kuranda bed instead of blankets. Patience is a 4 year old pit mix that has been fought or used as bait. She will stalk and attack another dog. She loves a good back rub. Chelsea is a pit mix, age 7 , and while basically a very good girl, if another dog starts a fight, she will jump right in. She loves a good back rub as well. Then there's Lilly, just over a year old, a pit bull/lab mix. She wasn't treated very well by someone, nd it has taken a bit to develop a trust between us. I've taught her not to jump on people, to sit, to come when called, and she has quit mouthing and trying to nip when she is touched. She now enjoys a massage.

We do our best to give them a good life as they will be here till they pass over the rainbow bridge.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dolly's Puppies, Update

Dolly Momma's puppies are 4 weeks and 4 days old and are all eating puppy chow mixed with milk replacer and some wet food. They have become very mobile in this last week and are starting to follow me around while I clean their area. They are seriously considering attacking the broom and mop, so it's time to introduce some small toys that they can carry around. They have received their first vaccination and also been wormed.

Dolly is beginning to enjoy her time away from them, as the 10 of them can literally knock her down when they want to nurse. Hang in there Dolly - won't be long till they are old enough to wean!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dolly Momma

Dolly Momma ("We're Patiently Waiting", 3/5/10) blessed us with 10 healthy puppies on St. Patrick's Day. When we got her, the staff at animal control told us that she was not a good eater, ate mostly dog biscuits and little else. It was obvious - she was thin with ribs and backbone palpable, and since she was also pregnant, it was important to get some weight on her. We also found out she was heartworm positive and needed to gain weight and get healthy to be treated for heartworms, not to mention raising the puppies, and getting spayed along the way.

Normally if a new dog gets exercise and starts to relax, it will start eating on its own. Not Dolly Momma. I use hot dogs to jump start an appetite, and in her case, I went to the refrigerator almost immediately. After all, she was pregnant.

Dolly has gained weight even though she is feeding 10 puppies. She has a diet of 8 cups of puppy chow, three cans of her favorite wet dog food, 18 hot dogs, two multivitamins, and at least a half dozen of either chicken or duck fillets, and a few dog biscuits just for old times. If she leaves anything, it's the dry dog food. She will actually spit the dry food out if it isn't mixed well enough to smuggle it into her. She always has dry food in front of her, but she doesn't touch it.

The puppies are fat, happy, and content. Their eyes are open, and they have gotten big enough to crawl out of the kid's wading pool and start to move around. They are three weeks and two days old, and beginning to respond to my voice. It won't be long till she starts to wean them, and I am determined to make sure that they have better dietary habits than their mother.
If you want to see photos of the puppies, go to

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Missy, the Basset

Missy was a favorite at a local animal control, but no one would adopt her because she had a hard mass, the size of a lemon, on her belly. She was good on a leash, loved to ride in the car, was good with kids, other dogs, and most cats. She was housebroken and would have made a wonderful companion.

When we saw the "Urgent" appear on her site, we knew they were full and had to move her or euthanize her. She had had a stillborn puppy the week before. We met her and immediately liked her and thought she deserved a chance. We scheduled her to be evaluated by the vet and have spay surgery, as well as remove the mass. Because of a veterinary emergency, the surgery had to be postponed for a week.

Two days ago, at the late night bed check, I noticed a tarry stool, fresh blood, and evidence of vomiting in her kennel. We took her to the vet and he first suspected parvo but the test was definitely negative - thank God for that. He knew we had wormed her, but went ahead and checked that out too. No worms, but the sample was full of cancer cells. The cancer had infiltrated her colon. She snuggled in my arms as we euthanized her to prevent her from suffering any further.

Maybe that was the plan - she loved to ride in the car, loved to go outside in the play yard and sniff and dig and roll in the fresh grass. She loved to eat! She was a real sweetheart and will be missed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Goliath's Return

He's back! Goliath was returned to the rescue as he has developed into a fear biter and has a bite record - one official and twice not recorded. He has been to obedience school and graduated. He has been worked with by three trainers. His behavior improved, but they could no longer trust him - and that works both ways. So, he's back.

Right now he lacks both trust and respect, but we are working on that. He has done well and had not tried to bite till yesterday when I was massaging him and started to rub and lift his front paw, as you would when the vet wants to draw blood, and he snapped at me. AH HA - now we have a clue as to what triggers the aggression. All of his visits to the hospital for his heart, all the IV's, etc. have made him fearful. He's also fearful of the other dogs in his area.

He is not adoptable with a bite record, and I certainly would not want him to hurt anyone in the future. I offered to adopt him and the rescue coordinator agreed. We have a lot of work to do. We are establishing respect and working on trust. My goal is to make him more brave and trusting and let him live out his life.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Missing Cell Phone

After 4 years of a simple cell phone that a techno dummy like me could figure out, my brother got me a replacement with all the bells and whistles. If you touch it in a certain place, this eerie music starts playing. Finding a ring tone that was acceptable was a major project. I ended up picking out one that reminds me of a vigorous workout routine every time it goes off. It takes pictures and even video - but don't ask me how to find it once you take the pictures or video. It took me two weeks and trips to the house to read the instruction book to learn how to find out who had called and how to get to the voice mail. I consider this new phone a necessary evil.

Last week I lost the phone. Looked all over the building, some 5400 square feet, and could not find it anywhere. Because of my age, I detest admitting I misplaced something - gives my husband way too much joy because he teases me about it.

I finally admitted the loss and asked him to go to the house and keep calling the cell number till I found it. I was walking down the shedrow and heard the workout music, and in the last kennel with a puppy, Fleur, was that darn cell phone. Fleur had taken it into her crate and buried it in her blanket. When the phone started making music, she picked it up, carried it to her water bowl, and dropped it in.

Guess she feels the same way about cell phones as I do!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stick of Butter

"Maggie, there's water coming up through the floor in the ladies' bathroom!" That's how it started - the day from hell at the greyhound track that reminded me of this past week.

We had just started weigh-in for the greyhounds, and as paddock judge, I had to field any problems, and this was a problem. I called maintenance, the state racing officials, security and a list of others, including the director of racing and the general manager. To protect the dogs, we sent them back to their respective kennels while the maintenance crew tried to find the source of the seeping grey water. About an hour later, there was still no definite cause, but the water had stopped seeping in, the mess had been cleaned up, and the state veterinarian and director of racing gave their okay to bring the greyhounds back for weigh-in.

The paddock consisted of my office, a laundry room, a holding room for the 96 dogs that would race in that matinee, a "pee room" where the dogs would be identified, specimens collected, and racing blankets put on. There were rest rooms for the male and female leadouts, and a huge room to hold all 96 dogs, their trainers and helpers that we used for weigh-in.

We had no more than weighed in all the dogs and secured them in the holding room when we saw grey water seeping out the bathroom door and onto the paddock floor. More phone calls, and this time the water just kept coming faster than before. It was also starting to seep into the holding room and the pee room - and no one knew why or where.

The race card was cancelled and I was told to have the paddock cleaned for inspection by the state officials by the next morning or face a hefty fine, and the general manager added that my job would also be on the line if it didn't meet muster. The track superintendent, the clerk of scales, the kennel master, and three of my most dependable leadouts helped me clean methodically and thoroughly for the next 9 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, maintenance had called in a super duper sewer rooter. We also requested that the kitchen help and laundry stop washing dishes or doing laundry to give us a chance to find the problem, as the grey water from the grandstand building went through the building we were in before going out the main sewer system.

The problem was a 12 foot long, 18 inch in diameter chunk of grease caused by improper disposal of grease in the kitchen. Thanks to my help, we passed inspection, did not get fined, did not lose my job, and was more conscious of what greasy food could do to my coronary arteries than ever before!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Four Years Later

The weather on March 7, 2010 was much the same as it was four years ago - they day we moved here from Iowa to remodel the old hog confinement into kennels for rescued dogs - sunny morning, then clouds, mist and rain, cold wind, yukky mud.

It took us twice as long as it should have because of a construction area and a nail in a tire on the horse trailer. We had two horses, one of which was in foal, and five dogs - Rounder (see Rounder, part 1, 3/19/09) and Daisy May (see Daisy May's Story, 3/22/09), Abner, Gandy (see Gandy, 5/6/09), and Jessi.

No fences, water wasn't turned on, buildings had housed hogs and quite frankly they stunk. Wind was whipping the torn curtains - almost like a Halloween scary movie.

It's been a challenge, us two old fogeys and all this work. We hauled 10 tons of steel gestation crates out of the buildng we now use for dog kennels. If you had purchased stock in companies that sell bleach, you would have done well.

However, the investment that funds this rescue kennel is not doing very well right now because of the economy. Since we work here, we have been told that its future is up in the air. Whatever happens, happens, but it is surely the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Friday, March 5, 2010

We're Patiently Waiting

Dolly Momma looks like a miniature Airedale and was at a local animal control. She had been there for a couple of weeks, and I noticed an "Urgent" tag was added, so we went to see what kind of personality she had. She's a calm, quiet, housebroken young lady of just over a year old.

However, the lady at animal control said that over the weekend she had "blossomed" with what they thought was a pregnancy. One look told us she was correct. My maternity ward was empty, so we loaded her up, along with Pollyann, a mocha colored dachshund/?cocker spaniel mix that is also housebroken and a real sweetheart.

We took them to the vet and Dolly M. is also heartworm positive. The vet said it is probably her second litter, given her age. Between the pregnancy and the positive heartworm, that's probably why she was dumped. She was found as a stray.

It won't be long now - Dolly M. looks like a football - large in the middle and narrow on both ends!

They're Everywhere!!!

Puppies, puppies, and more puppies! It isn't even officially spring yet, and there are many litters being dumped at local animal controls and shelters. We have a litter of dachshund/shih tzu (we think) puppies and at 9 weeks, they are healthy, happy, and ready to go to new homes.

We have two litters that were at a local animal control, fostered, and returned. The "G" names litter have two pups in it that resemble black westies - two adorable fuzzy puppies. The other two in that litter are short coated and also cute. We have wormed them and got their bellies full, and they are learning to "follow Grandma".

The "H" names litter are larger pups and will be bigger dogs - a lab mixed with probably aussie. One male is a tri-color and unusually marked. They also are wormed, and with full bellies are learning to follow.

Then we have Dasher, a lab mix pup that was adopted out, but the family is in the process of moving out of state and just didn't feel it was fair to him as they aren't home much. He is neutered, crate trained, and looking for a new home.

Then there's Mickey - my pet name for him is "the Fonz". Mickey was brought to us via an animal control we work with via a group of volunteers who are trying to save animals in a kill shelter in another state. He is obviously a lab, maybe purebred, and has had a rough go. When the volunteer got him, he was covered with lice, so she had him treated and brought him to us. On the day she delivered him, she was notified that, while he wasn't in direct contact or even in the same room, another puppy at the kennel had developed parvo. We put him in quarantine and prayed a lot, and he is just as healthy as can be!!!

All of the puppies are working on crate training and doing very well.

Hopefully with the weather becoming warmer and the snow melting away, people will get out and about and adopt these great babies at the on-site adoption this weekend, or come out to the farm and meet some of the other dogs that are available.

Oh yes, Dolly Momma hasn't had her litter yet.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mad Max & Veggies

Mad Max is his registered name - a purebred Siberian husky with one ice blue eye and one half blue/half brown eye - who just turned 11 years old. Max was purchased by a family as a pup and for eight years lived in a kennel without regular exercise, nor was the kennel regularly cleaned and sometimes the family forgot to feed him. He wasn't neutered, so he had a big desire to find a mate. When they took him out for exercise, they put him on a tie out that was within reach of a fence, and Max would try to dig under the fence. Rather than shorten the tie out, they hot wired the fence and when Max tried to go under it, he got zapped severely. Max won't allow you to touch his neck in the area of a collar. If you do, he will bite.

Of course, no one told us this when they dropped him off. Only that he hates the vet and water. After I got bit, the truth came out. He had bit the vet and only the family's youngest son could walk Max. He also had severe food aggression when we got him.

We have had Max for three years, and I can put flea preventive on him, even run a brush over him, and no longer is he food aggressive with me. We have actually taught him to "sit" on command, and use it as a gauge to see what his mood is. He is very much an alpha and he has turned on me twice when he didn't want to follow instructions. Max will live here till he dies of old age, and we have a routine and a mutual respect for each other. I make sure he gets plenty of exercise, toys to play with, food to eat, and a clean kennel. Max is losing his sight, but he knows when treat time comes along, and he will sit politely and wait till I get to his kennel, and then find the treat with his nose.

I give the dogs a small quantity of wet food every day - usually chicken flavored something every other day, beef on the other three days, and lamb and vegetables on Friday. It keeps dry food from getting purely boring, and since we have quite a few seniors, like Max, it's like feeding a few prunes at a nursing home - keeps everybody regular.

Max doesn't like lamb and veggies - he sorts through and spits out the peas and carrots.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Neither Rain Nor Snow

We were fortunate to have a break between snowstorms over the weekend, and because people could finally get around, we were able to adopt out 7 puppies of various ages, sent two older dogs out on sleepovers, and adopted out one female husky. Ahhh, empty space!!!

President's Day brought a phone call from one of the local animal controls asking if we could help --- they have had an influx of puppies, and someone brought 10 six week old pups and dropped them off, to add to the 15 they already had in foster homes. It snowed and the wind blew all day yesterday, 8 inches worth, so we waited till this afternoon to make the trip to pick up the pups. They are cuties, 5 boys, 5 girls, a little long bodied, short legs, some long hair, some short, all adorable and full of puppy energy. Maybe some long hair dachshund??? Who knows.

While we were there, we just had to look over all the dogs, and we found a 3 month old yellow lab; a beagle/cocker spaniel mix female named Lulu that is housebroken, crate trained, and just has a great personality. We also discovered a black lab mix female who sits, shakes, is housebroken, loves to play fetch, loves to ride in the car (she sat in my lap all the way home and was a perfect lady). Her name is Ida, and she is, as the song says, sweet as apple cider. (Hopefully someone reading this will be old enough to remember the song.)

The hard part - leaving behind a young border collie mix that had a wonderful personality, was housebroken, knew sit and stay. Hopefully she will find a home soon. If not, we might open up a space, and if we do, we will have to take another road trip to get her.

Meanwhile, it's going to snow some more, but that won't stop us, just slow us down.