Sunday, January 31, 2010


When he was first rescued, he had been "running" for who knows how long, and he was so exhausted he just collapsed in the driveway of the boss' home. Rufus, a golden retriever/chow mix, looked like a male lion with a gorgeous plumed tail. When we took the job, we were warned that if he ever got loose he would run and not return.

I use the food drive and teach a "kennel" command to give the dogs structure and let them know that their kennels are a safe, comfortable, and food friendly place to be. Rufus spent a couple of years with us and this command was a part of his daily life.

He got adopted by a great family, and they were told that he would need plenty of exercise and in view of the change in environment, to be sure they had him on a leash or in the back yard till he was sure where "home" was. About two weeks after they adopted him, they opened the front door, and Rufus ran out. They tried to run him down and that drove him farther away.

The phone rang and the rescue coordinator called to say she needed us to come to the west side of town as he had been spotted in a bean field and wouldn't respond. He had managed to safely navigate 3 major roadways and elude the efforts of several people who were trying to help him.

We loaded up Jessi, our Dream Team captain, and drove to the property. He wasn't interested in teaming up with Jessi, but we could see the movement of the bean field - much the same color as Rufus at that time of year - he was moving farther west. The field was bordered on the west and north by a fence, and the south by a housing development and another street.

The rescue coordinator and I got in the car and headed west to the last house on the block - at the end of the bean field and before the fence. It was nearly dark when we knocked on the door to ask if they had seen Rufus and if we could look behind their house. They had seen a dog that fit the description, but had no idea where he might be. We moved around the house to the back and into the edge of the field. It was too dark to see the beans moving now. We couldn't see him anywhere, and calling his name was not producing any results.

We decided to give calling him one more try, and from somewhere inside me came the words "kennel, Rufus, kennel". I heard a rustling behind me and turned around, and out from under an evergreen with branches that hung on the ground, came Rufus and straight into my arms. He was unhurt and mighty glad to get into the car for the trip back to his home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Nine new dogs in one day!!! A beautiful male Siberian husky who is housebroken, very friendly, and a very handsome guy.

A call from another animal control asking for help with five 4 1/2 week old puppies. Someone brought them in with their starving mother, and the staff at animal control knows full well that puppies get sick really easy in that situation. It's not their fault - they have open intake and never know what kind of illness a new animal might be bringing with them.

A one year old black lab male who knows sit, shake, rides great in a car, is very easy going, but probably was tried as a hunting dog and flunked that because he is apparently afraid of loud noises. We will work on that. He's been around kids and is quiet.

A 5 year old yellow lab mix female named Cheyenne who was at animal control for two months and was about to be euthanized. She's friendly, easy going, been around kids, has been to on site adoptions and meet and greets and did extremely well. We will give her another chance.

One more puppy, a very unusual coat color. She's got long ears, fairly long slim legs, and just as friendly as can be.

That filled up the quarantine area for now, and we had a call from another local animal control to come and see what they have available.

After settling all the newbies in, it was time to restock the canine pantry, not to mention the human one. Because of the economic downturn, I sure get some funny looks when I take a shopping cart and stuff it full of dog food, dog treats, wet food, leather cookies (our name for rawhides), flea and tick preventive, and even some new toys for the puppies. Kids have to have toys afterall!

Now I just have to figure out some creative kenneling so when we visit the other animal control I have a plan to house a highly adoptable dog that we just can't leave without.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trinity Jane

Trinity is an American bulldog, built like a tank, and with a head and jaw on her that immediately makes you think you don't want to make her mad. Trinity was rescued from an abusive situation wherein some jerk with more guts than brains put out his cigarettes on her head. She still carries the scars from the burns. In spite of this abuse, Trinity, who has every right to hate humans, hasn't one mean bone in her body.

We featured her in our weekly paper for the on site adoption event, and a family saw the article and decided they had to meet her. It was a match, and now Trinity Jane lives on a farm with all kinds of animals and her rescued beagle partner, Ruby, and spends lots of time outside keeping an eye on things and on hot, humid summer days there's a pond to wallow in. Life could not be more perfect for this wonderful dog with a heart as big as a hotel.

The one problem the family hasn't been able to fix --- Trinity Jane snores!

Rodeo Stock to Stock Dogs

The parking lot puppies we picked up last week have come a long way. They had no real allegiance to humans, didn't know how to follow, hadn't seen a collar or leash when we got them. In the last 8 days they have started their crate training, learned to come when called, learned to walk on a leash. At first walking on a leash was like trying to lead bucking rodeo stock, but they have become good enough that I can lead two or three at a time without any problem.

Pete and Piper have the border collie move down pat. Pogo and Powder resemble the lab side of the family. Penn just likes to play and be with people, resembles the boxer side of the family in looks and personality.

Comet found a home between snow storms.

Tinsel, a schnauzer mix, has really come out of her shell. She no longer sits at the back of the kennel and shivers. She comes to the front gate and waits to go out, and when it opens, she moves on out with her tail out behind her and her ears up. When we first rescued her, she would tuck her tail under her belly all the way up to her chin whiskers. She has barked three times since we have had her - and hearing her bark at all made us very happy! She is still timid around people she doesn't know, but less so every day. I plan on bringing her up to the house for a few visits to see how she handles being in a home, and if necessary will move her into the house temporarily. Koko and Jessi have already met her and have no problem getting along. Tinsel has been turned out to play with Jessi, Koko, and Erin and Comet and got along fine - she has learned to relax and be a dog and is much happier. She is housebroken, and not particularly fond of snow (nor am I). Hopefully we will be able to put her up for adoption soon.

My husband asked what would help me out, and I told him an electric golf cart so I can take some of the big dogs out and go the periphery of the property. It's a 32 acre hay field, and it takes me about 45 minutes a trip. I ain't as young as I used to be, and with all the dogs we have here, sometimes I just can't make more than one trip, and sometimes don't have time for that.

The seed catalogs are here, and I can hardly wait for spring so we can get out and teach some new dogs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Parking Lot Puppies

Sometimes new dogs come to us in unusual ways, or completely unexpected. We had company over the weekend, and the boss and my brother called to ask us to meet them for lunch at a local restaurant. After a living training horses, you learn to never pass up a free meal, so off we went. While there I told them that if we found homes for the dogs at the on-site adoption, we would be taking a road trip to some of the local animal controls to find replacements for the empty kennels
When we left the restaurant, we stopped by the on-site adoption event to see if any of the puppies we foster were having any luck finding homes.

My husband and guest walked into the store and immediately were asked if they were there alone or if I was along. Next thing I knew, we were headed to the parking lot to look at 7 Aussie/border collie mix puppies. The family that had them was there to get them their first vaccinations and see if anyone wanted them before hauling them to animal control.

They were supposed to be 13 weeks old (pretty sure they are older than that), very nice, good looking puppies, obviously there was another daddy - a lab - involved. They had been well fed and living outside. They need a bit of socialization, a good worming, but seem to be bright eyed and happy. She said they had tried posting ads but had no luck finding them homes.

I could actually see the family collectively holding their breath waiting for the decision. About that time the boss and my brother showed up. They were totally amazed that we would find a litter of puppies to foster in the parking lot. There was another couple who were looking at the puppies but couldn't decide which one they wanted. They decided to think it over.

We had a car full of feed that we had purchased earlier and not yet unloaded, so the family with the puppies followed us to the farm and helped us unload the pups. We turned them loose in one of the play yards, and observed them for awhile before kenneling them.

The family thanked us and said that the couple in the parking lot had just called and wanted to know if they could get a puppy. I told her to have them come right out and take their pick, so two of the pups immediately went to a new home.

Since we pick a letter of the alphabet to name litters, we might have to consider "P" for the parking lot puppies this time. So you see, if we hadn't had company, if we hadn't been invited out to lunch, if we hadn't stopped by the store -----things happen the way they do for a reason.