Archive for the ‘Life with Animals’ Category

My heart is sick

In dogs, Life with Animals, pitbull on February 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I can’t believe they euthanized all 145 Wilkes County, NC dog bust pits. 60 of them were puppies!!! Seriously, when will these locales take to heart the lessons we’ve learned from the Vick bust and others? Poor angel doggies.

To read more click on this this: Lassie Get Help


Rosie takes the San Juans

In dogs, Life with Animals, pitbull, Travel on September 8, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Nothing like a spontaneous trip to the San Juans to cap off summer in grand style.

At 4:00 Friday the idea was hatched. I was home from work at 6 and by 7:30 we were on the road with pet-friendly reservations secured. Rosie was an amazing traveler!

Walking the docks is always fun.

Hiking anyone? Is our dog cute or what?

Ah, the views.

A grand time was had by all. From the beaches at American Camp to hiking at Lime Kiln State Park, walking the docks at Roche and Friday Harbors, spotting a fox on the road and enjoying the antics of Popeye the one-eyed harbor seal, San Juan Island is as enjoyable as I remembered. Then on Sunday we had a lovely ferry ride to Orcas where we marveled at the jaw dropping view atop Mt. Constitution and then kicked back for a 4 hour wait in the ferry line, people watching and absorbing the relaxation that Orcas inspires. I love the San Juans and it was a pleasure to introduce my favorite archipelago to Bob on such a beautiful September weekend.

Throughout the entire trip Rosie was a perfect dog. Friendly, quiet, agreeable, game for anything and an excellent car sleeper. She met so many people and dogs and was great with everyone. What a pleasure she is!

Help animals in NOLA

In Life with Animals on September 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm

I’m a sucker for all things New Orleans, so when a friend forwarded me a plea to help Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) I answered the call and donated. Here’s the email:

Help Animal Rescue of New Orleans


The following request comes from Shawndra Michell, Reiki Master, animal communicator, and a volunteer who helped with rescue efforts for the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans three years ago.


“Hi all — actually, I should say ‘hi y’all’


“I recently returned from New Orleans for the 3rd anniversary of Katrina. I left on Saturday, before they shut down the airport and obviously, missed Gustav. There’s a fabulous organization that I’ve been working with called Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). They’re a grass roots organization that started after Katrina, and runs totally off volunteers and donations. They’re back in town, and so far have about $18,000 worth of damage to the structures, dog kennels, enclosures, etc. Insurance will probably cover some of it, but certainly not all of it.


“If any of you are thinking of making a monetary donation to help with relief efforts, I HIGHLY recommend ARNO. They are desperate for help there, and I guarantee that any money sent goes DIRECTLY to the animals.


“We brought back one cat with us, and will be bringing up at least two more dogs now that the storm has passed. ARNO is doing a tremendous job, and again, everything runs because of the volunteers that give their own time and money and dedication to these animals.


“Here’s the link to donate: http://animalrescueneworleans.org/donate.html

If anyone wants to read about them online, they have a great website too. Please feel free to pass this on to others.”


Thanks for your help, and for passing this email along!

Resistance is futile

In Life with Animals on August 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Well would YOU be able to resist this face? Meet Rosie!

Rosie is a 1 1/2 year old Staffordshire Terrier, which is a fancy way of saying that she’s a pitbull. She was found as a stray a month ago and then went into foster care through a rescue called Must Love Dogs NW and they put her on Petfinder where, indeed, we found her! Her foster parents brought her to meet us and said we could have a trial adoption… yeah right. Look at her! We were crazy about her from the moment we met. She’s great with kids and other dogs, wants nothing more than to be near us, is incredibly eager to please, smart, funny (she snorts!), crazy when she’s outside running around the backyard and so mellow when she’s inside. I’ve never seen a dog just sit on the rug and watch life unfold. No wonder they make such great therapy dogs.

My son’s father said to him “Why does your mom want a dog that people look down on? That she’s going to have to defend all the time? A dog that only white trash and lesbians like?” Yeah, I know, amazing we’re not married any longer.

And to answer that, let me say that I’ve always thought it was a good and noble thing to try and stick up for those who have no voice. I’ve done the research, I know the facts. Pitbulls are great dogs. Rosie will be an excellent ambassador of her breed and I willingly step into the role of responsible pitbull owner and pitbull advocate. I like this dog and guess what? I’m neither white trash or a lesbian. Go figure.

I never could resist a little controversy…

Internet Dating

In Life with Animals on August 22, 2008 at 10:44 am

Last night I had a date. I saw his picture on the internet and he was VERY cute. He was blond haired, brown eyed, exceptionally friendly, really laid back and prone to licking everyone he met.  We were to meet at Petsmart at 7:00 pm. That’s right, it was dog date number one and just like so many of my Match.com dates from days gone by, the chemistry just wasn’t there. He was interested in everything BUT me. I found myself struggling with the email to his foster parents afterwards feeling SO many of the same things I’d feel after a human date! “You were really nice but I just didn’t feel any connection…”

Just like falling in love with a man (and if you’re wondering, my man WAS along on the date – it just sounded better to write it first person but he’s very involved in this as it will be his dog too so don’t be thinking we’re having troubles) I want to look into this new dog’s eyes and see some sparks. I want recognition from the dog that says YES, I WANT TO COME HOME WITH YOU! It might take some time, and that’s fine with me, because I know that the perfect guy is out there. He’s going to be young but not a puppy, medium sized, friendly to all, he’ll like to wrestle and play, he’ll give kisses and be a snuggle-bunny, he’ll sleep with the kids in their beds if they want him to and he’ll make us laugh.

Ah, petfinder.com. Internet dating for a new family pet.

Guess what’s in the bag?

In Life with Animals on August 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Yes, you’re right. It’s Shandy. In what is basically a one-pound coffee bag. It weighs more than that, but still, it’s a coffee bag. Sixty three pounds of dog into this. Amazing. I’m going to have to put some thought into the proper long-term vessel.

I was doing really well handling her departure, I thought, until I burst into tears asking for her remains at the vet’s office. They are so sweet. I told them I didn’t think it would be too long before we were in there with another dog. I love dogs too much to be without one for long.

Goodbye Shandy

In Life with Animals on August 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

Today I made the difficult decision to put Shandy to sleep. She was 12 1/2 years old and had been steadily declining, rapidly so in the last days. She was pacing incessantly, drooling, falling over, eating dirt, staring into corners and losing bladder control. She wasn’t reacting to us, to the squirrels she loved to chase, even to treats. Quality of life just wasn’t there. Even so, it was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. In the end it was peaceful and it felt like the right thing to do.

I fell in love with Shandy on a trip to the Oregon Humane Society in July of 1997. She was missing patches of hair, had saggy boobs from nursing puppies and was so thin they said she was a lab-greyhound mix. It didn’t matter. I dreamt about her that night. I knew she was our dog. She came home just 2 weeks before Annie arrived. As the kids said “she’s been with us our whole life!” With love and good food she filled out and it became obvious that there wasn’t a speck of greyhound in her. Border collie more likely. She did like to herd male visitors. She had an amazing character. Enthusiastic, eager to please, patient, great with all kids. She rarely growled and never ever even nipped at anyone. She loved the water and was happiest running up and down along the shore, occasionally barking at the waves and chasing seagull shadows. Riding in the car was a favorite activity. Anything to hang out with her family. Last year when I was sick she was so sweet and present and such a wonderful companion. When Bob came along she loved him too, without hesitation.

The house feels so empty without her.

Goodbye Shandy the Wonder Dog. I could not have asked for a better dog in any way. I hope you are running along a beach in doggie heaven, barking at the waves and chasing gull shadows.

Nola The Rat goes to heaven

In Life with Animals on July 22, 2008 at 11:03 pm

After less than a month without her constant companion Smiley, Nola The Rat passed away today at the ripe old age of 2. Annie was holding her as she took her last breath. She’ll be buried in the backyard next to her sister Smiley and they can romp around in Rat Heaven where there are all kinds of toys and food and cozy places to sleep and stuff to explore but no cages.

She was a really sweet rat. It’s sad. Annie doesn’t think she wants new rats because they don’t live long enough.

RIP Smiley The Rat 6/2006 to 6/28/2008

In Life with Animals on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Today we bid adieu to Smiley, one of Annie’s pet rats. She was two years old. Average life span of a pet rat? Two years old.  Smiley was a good rat.  She died while Annie was holding her. She’d had trouble breathing the last couple of days and finally took a big breath and that was it.

This is the hard part of loving animals.

Say a little prayer

In Life with Animals on June 26, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Shandy the Wonder Dog

When I saw Shandy carrying around an orange the other night my heart sank. I knew the only place she could find an orange was at the base of the compost bin. The little trap door was open as I had slipped a tray of DeCon in there in a fit of rat killing hysteria after a rat RAN ACROSS MY FLIP FLOP CLAD FOOT when I lifted the compost bin lid. Apparently with all our bird seed, fruit and veggie scraps, fountain and birdbath we are pretty much a rat Club Med and at least 2 have made a cozy home in the rock garden. They are so happy they come out to eat IN THE DAYLIGHT!!!! Rats in the dark of night so as not to know they are there are one thing. In the daytime is quite another. Funny thing is they look just like squirrels only with different tails and the squirrels don’t bother us at all.

But I digress.

I wasn’t thinking clearly when I put the DeCon in there. I thought I hid it but the rats actually pushed it OUT from under the compost bin and into plain sight. It was behind a gate but the gate was left open. I wasn’t sure if Shandy ate any at all because it was dumped all over the ground. However, last night at 2:30 a.m. she was pacing pacing pacing and that’s unusual. She went outside and I’m pretty sure it was to have a mighty bout of diarrhea. And again at 4:30 a.m. with the outside. Did I sleep much? No. I called the vet this a.m. and Bob took her in first thing. They are running tests to see how much she might have ingested…

The hard thing is that even without the tests they can see that she has aged a ton in the last few months. I know that too. She isn’t all there anymore. She’s got arthritis, cataracts and dementia. She’s been eating a lot of dirt and poop and whatever else she can find which is a symptom of her digestive system shutting down. She’s nearly 13 years old and that’s pretty old for a biggish dog. I don’t know if this is it or not.

UPDATE: Vet did a ton of tests and started her on Vitamin K. All the results will be in tomorrow but she’s home and it looks like she’s going to weather this one just fine. We might even start her on doggie alzheimer’s meds when we’re out of the woods on this particular crisis. OMG what a day.

Update #2: Shandy threw up a @#$%^&* sock!!!!

She’s fine. $700 and much angst later. I love my children but their habits in re: picking up socks cost me some serious moolah!!