Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Herbie - A Whole Lotta Love

My brother called one afternoon to tell me that one of his co-workers had found a puppy in the pucky weeds near his home. Herbie was found on one of the coldest nights of the year. He was thin, very hungry, so cold he was shaking, and so scared it took some work to capture him. My brother was sending the pup, about 4 months old, out to me via a trip to the local vet. The vet found no symptoms, but Herbie did have a fever, so he gave him antibiotics for a week.

Upon his arrival, we put him in quarantine and asked his rescuer what he could tell us, as he had had the pup at his place for 3 days trying to thaw him out. He said Herbie would not walk through any door, doorway, cross a threshhold, would immediately crawl on his belly with submissive urination, wouldn't walk on a leash, but he definitely was hungry.

The vet thought Herbie might be shepherd/collie mix, but Herbie is huge for his age, so I believe he may have some mastiff in him. Herbie has finished his antibiotic, has no fever and no symptoms of any disease process. He has a great appetite and is going to be the giant economy size at this rate of growth. He has learned to walk on a leash and I am teaching him "sit" which he is learning rapidly. He has learned to come when called, walk through doorways and gates, and also that he gets rewarded for walking up to me and sitting rather than hitting the ground with his belly and crawling.

Herbie doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He just wants someone to be his buddy and show him what life is all about. He will be moved from quarantine to the regular kennel area in a couple of days, and his learning process will continue until he is adopted.

Surely there is someone out there who wants a giant economy size, lovable dog that's guaranteed to take up most of the bed when he grows up!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Knock on the Door

About 15 minutes ago there was a knock on the door. We had tucked all the rescue dogs in for the night, fed the wood burner, and were getting ready to get cleaned up and fix something to eat. There's a big (for Indiana) snowstorm headed this way so we spent most of the day preparing and stocking up, in addition to taking care of the 44 dogs that are here.

When I went to the door, there stood two women with a black lab mix puppy in their arms. They were driving down our road behind another vehicle when the car slowed down, the door opened and something got tossed out. The women nearly hit the puppy, stopped and caught him, and brought him here. The driver, who is a volunteer with the local fire department, said she figured he was meant for us as this happened just about 100 yards from our house.

There's a 20 acre woods next to us, and that pup would likely have gotten into the woods and killed by a coyote if the women hadn't been behind the car and rescued the puppy. That's provided he didn't get run over in the meantime, as we live on a fairly busy road.

I brought him in the house, and it's obvious he has been well taken care of, at least till tonight when his owner decided he just couldn't keep him any longer. What a jerk!!! He has now been vaccinated with a 5 in 1, given Bronchi-shield III to prevent kennel cough, dewormed, and flea preventive has been applied. He is in a kennel with a Kuranda bed, fresh water and a big bowl of puppy chow. I put a collar on him, and when I left him tonight, he was wagging his tail and happy to be safe.

Gotta give him a name, but it can wait till tomorrow. Why someone would wait till after dark on the night before a major snowstorm to dump a puppy that isn't anywhere near old enough to exist on its own for even a short time is beyond me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Small, Cuddly, and Energetic

We currently have six small dogs that are in need of homes. Claire, Spritz, Lil Buddy, Guppy, Harry, and Peaches. For pictures go to and click on Animals to bring up their web pages.

Claire is a very small beagle female who loves to cuddle but needs to have her time outside to run and sniff. While she has never been worried about my husband or brother, once she is out of the kennel environment, she has shown timidity towards men. She was returned to rescue because she didn't readily accept the presence of a man. This can be fixed easily and is really no excuse, but if a person isn't willing to work on the problem, then it's not the home she needs.

Lil Buddy (we put the Lil in front because we have a Big) is a min pin mix, housebroken, very friendly, also a little timid around men but less so than Claire. He loves to have his outside time, but is more than willing to come inside and snuggle, especially in cold weather.

Harry was first fostered by someone who wanted an agility dog. He was said to be too much of a couch potato. He was adopted by someone who wanted a dog that would cuddle, and she said he was too active for her lifestyle. Somewhere in between we have what Harry needs. He and Claire run and play every day, come inside and eat and snooze. Harry is very smart, and already house broken and clicker trained.

Spritz was found as a stray by a family. They kept him for three weeks. Spritz can climb better than any dog I have seen in a long time. This dog should get a chance at agility training as he absolutely loves the challenge. He's smart, housebroken, knows sit. He needs someone who will be his pack leader and keep him focused. He's a Jack Russell/beagle combo.

Guppy is an older male min pin/chi/pom? mix. He's a character and food guards with other dogs. It has never been a problem with me. I can take his food away any time I want. He is house broken, goes outside to potty and is willing to come back in and snuggle up. He does need his time outside to run around a bit.

Peaches is around 6 years old, house broken, quiet. She sneezes occasionally and isn't real fond of very young children. She's a cocker spaniel/poodle/bichon? mix and is perfectly willing to go outside and then come in and snuggle up.

Guppy and Peaches are at the point in life where they have mellowed out and are willing to spend less time sniffing the ground and more time on the couch.

The other four, Spritz, Claire, Harry, and Lil Buddy simply need more exercise, someone who will give them rules and structure, and even a job wouldn't hurt. None of this group will get along with cats.

Somewhere out there, there are people who want to adopt that will fulfill their needs and give them a wonderful home to live out their lives --- we just have to find them!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sometimes We Lose

When you rescue pregnant undernourished moms, there is always the chance that some of the puppies will be stillborn or die after birth for whatever reason. Our rescue group has been very fortunate over the past four years, but sooner or later the odds catch up. Last Friday and Saturday we experienced just such a situation.

Allie, a first time mom, had 11 puppies and all did very well till day 4 of their lives, when one female was no longer with the litter and obviously failing. We consulted a vet, and he recommended that we weigh the pup and do supplemental feedings for 48 hours. If she gained weight and got stronger, to continue supplementing as it was probably just a nutrition problem with a huge litter and a new mom. Baby Girl did improve - for about 4 days - and then she hit a wall. She would nurse and drink from her bottle, but she wasn't gaining any longer. The other pups in the litter were first twice, then three times, and then four times her size. On Saturday she refused to eat, and later that day she quietly passed away on my lap.

Olive blessed us with five live pups on January 3. There was one stillborn pup. All of the remaining pups were doing great till day four, when the female puppy was isolated from the rest - a sure sign something was wrong. Following the vet's advice, I started feeding her, but she passed away a few hours later. In this particular case, a cleft palate was responsible - she was nursing but wasn't able to utilize the nutrients.

I have dealt with puppies and kittens for many many years, and although I know from experience that when a pup or kitten is isolated from a litter and in trouble, it usually doesn't turn out well, I still have to try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Olive and Allie knew instinctively what I would find out in time.

By the way, there is a great product from Manna Pro, called "Nurse All". It's a milk replacer for dogs, cats, pups, kittens, and 9 species of farm animals. It's available at your local farm store and is reasonably priced and mixes up easily without a lot of lumps. It's an all milk product, the puppies love it, and it does not cause diarrhea.

The rest of the puppies in each litter are growing, eating, and Allie's pups have their eyes open and are starting to get very mobile. Allie decided she needed a little time off the other day and jumped three fences to visit the neighbor's alpacas, great pyrs, Tippy, Cinder, and Abby. My hubby went to get her, and she loves riding in the car! Having such a big litter has been a little much for her, so I am supplementing their feed to help her out. They are cutting teeth and slurping formula. They will be three weeks old on Friday.

Olive has been a mom many many times. She keeps her babies close, and there are four little boys that are fat and happy.

While I have to try, a very wise person once told me something that I won't ever forget - "Maggie, you can't rob God."