Category: Animal rescue

Time marches on!

So we are now at the last day of July!

In many ways this has been a strange month in a somewhat strange year! No, more than that! We are at last seeing climate change come to the fore in terms of topics. Yves Smith, who produces Naked Capitalism (and it’s a great blog) had an item on climate change recently. Here’s an extract:

Yves here. As many of you know, I am considerably frustrated with Green New Deal advocates, because I see them as selling hopium. They act as if we can preserve modern lifestyles as long as we throw money, some elbow grease, and a lot of new development (using current dirty infrastructure to build it) at it. We’re already nearing the point where very bad outcomes, like widespread famines and mass migrations due to flooding, are baked in. And even that take charitably assumes that a rump of what we consider to be civilization survives.

There were many replies from a variety of people; I loved this one from Tom Stone:

A rational response to this crisis is not politically or societally feasible.

And the crisis is here, now.

The changes are not linear, a concept many of the people I talk to about climate change have difficulty accepting.

Large parts of the SF Bay Area are going to be heavily impacted (It’s my stomping ground, so I’m familiar with it) by salt water intrusion, levee failure, lack of water to to changing precipitation patterns in the Sierra’s…

A lot of Bay Area Housing is built on fill or in low lying areas, those homes will start to be abandoned within a decade if current trends continue.

Add the devastation from the inevitable Earthquake on the Hayward Fault which our local and State Governments are totally incapable of dealing with and it is going to be a godawful mess.

I looked at the Disaster planning for a quake on the Hayward Fault some years ago and all of the assumptions are for a “Best Case” scenario.

The quake won’t come in October during a drought and a high wind event, it won’t come at the wrong time of day, it won’t come in the spring during a high water period when Levee’s are stressed…

The Bay areas disaster response center was built in the 1950’s to withstand a nuclear attack, it is underground and was built smack dab in the middle of the Hayward Fault.

Have I mentioned that 20 years after 9/11 the various emergency responders do not have a commonality in their communications gear?

The more people that read this and other article the better.

Plus I am going to include my reply:

Your piece, Yves, that you published from Rolf was excellent and so was Tom Stone’s comment above. The scale of the issue is immense but at least climate change has now become a mainstream topic, and rightly so. National Geographic magazine published a special edition in May, 2020 to commemorate the anniversary of the fiftieth Earth Day. I think it was 1962 when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. So we can’t complain that this isn’t a new issue. But whether or not we make it to the one hundred anniversary of that first Earth Day depends on the myriad of actions that we, as in all of us, including especially our leaders and politicians, make NOW! Let me spell it out. NOW means within the next 5 years at the latest. I am 76 and a passionate advocate of a change in mass behaviors. For I have a single grandson, Morten, living with his parents back in England who is 10. I fear for his future and for the future of all of his age.

Anyway, to get back to the article about dogs that I wanted to share with you. It is from Treehugger.

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This 13-Year-Old Dog Has a Home Again

It’s heartbreaking when senior pets lose their families.

By Mary Jo DiLonardo

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Published July 29th, 2021

Magdalen in her new yard. Mary Jo DiLonardo

This weekend, my husband and I were the last step in a transport to get a dog to her new home. 

Typically, when we have a new dog in the backseat, it’s a raucous foster puppy (or two) in a crate. There’s usually barking and tumbling and playing until the motion of the car lulls them to sleep.

But this passenger was a much different story.

Magdalen is a 13-year-old border collie. Her owner gave her up temporarily when he was sick, but when he fully recuperated a few months later, he said he didn’t want her back. He had her since she was a puppy but now had no place for her.

The family who had given her a temporary home had children and other dogs and was unable to give her a permanent home. When Speak St. Louis, the rescue I work with, was contacted about the border collie, they offered to take her in. 

She went to the groomer for her very matted coat and to the vet for a basic health check.

The spa visit made her look (and no doubt, feel) much better. But the vet didn’t have great news. She had to have surgery for mammary masses and her mouth was swollen with all sorts of dental issues. One surgery later and she had six masses removed. Two teeth fell out during cleaning and 11 more had to be extracted.

Fortunately, the growths were benign and she slowly began to recover. 

Stressed and Resigned

Magdalen barely moved on the ride to her new home. Mary Jo DiLonardo

On the trip home, the sweet senior looked so resigned in our backseat. The last kind transporter gently lifted her from her car and placed her in ours, where she barely moved as she re-settled herself.

She had just spent several weeks in the care of a wonderful foster parent where she recuperated from her surgery and from being left by her family. 

I’m sure at this point she was just shut down and stressed and quietly rolling with whatever happened to her. She took the pieces of kibble we offered but her tail didn’t wag because it was tucked mostly between her legs.

It was heartbreaking to know that not so long ago she was someone’s pet and she was discarded.

It’s understandable that her owner needed some temporary help when he was sick and overwhelmed. But I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t have wanted her back now. I think of my own dog and dogs we’ve lost to old age in the past. They’re family and they stay that way forever.

Dogs aren’t disposable.

Why People Give Up Senior Pets 

Senior pets often end up in shelters and with rescues when their owners die and no one in the family is able to take them in. 

Or some people give them up when they become harder to care for. Seniors can have more health problems and often people can’t afford the costs. They also aren’t as fun as their younger counterparts, and sometimes get cranky or snippy around children.

For rescues and shelters, it’s much easier to get a cute, bouncy puppy adopted than a less active senior that might come with health baggage and who might only be with the family for a few years.

A survey by PetFinder found that “less adoptable” pets like seniors or special needs animals spend nearly four times as long on the adoption site before they find a home.1

But older dogs have lots of benefits. Unlike puppies, they usually arrive housebroken. Sure, there are the occasional accidents as they figure things out, but they mostly know they are supposed to potty outside.

Senior dogs won’t chew your furniture or your fingers. They don’t bounce off the walls and wake you up in the middle of the night to go outside. They don’t need as much exercise as younger dogs but will revel in all the attention you want to give them.

Mary Jo DiLonardo

As for Magdalen, she is coming out of her shell in her new home. She was adopted by a good friend of mine who is a dog trainer. She has a soft heart for seniors and a passion for brainy border collies.

Because the pup is very driven by food, her new mom is going to try nosework with her. That’s an activity where she can sniff out treats in all sorts of hidden places. That will give her a job and a hobby—and lots of food!

Magdalen doesn’t have her tail between her legs anymore and the resident dogs are figuring out that she’s here to stay. But the key is for her to understand that this is now her forever home and no one will ever leave her again.

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Of the six dogs we have here at home three are old. But they still remain happy and carefree which is a little different to yours truly who, as much as he tries very hard not to do so, worries about the big things in life and, frankly, the biggest of them all is climate change.

Dogs and tummy rubs!

I have discovered a useful website!

I was browsing the internet yesterday and came across, quite by chance, the website PetMD. It looks like a great resource and I want to publish some of their introductory text:

About PetMD

PetMD is the online authority for all things pet health. Our goal is to provide the most accurate, reliable, up-to-date pet health information to help you navigate the everyday ups and downs of pet parenting. As a pet parent, you deserve to have access to the tools, tips, and insights you need to keep your pets healthy. With PetMD, you’ll find answers you can trust from qualified veterinarians. By working closely with veterinarians since 2008, PetMD has become the go-to resource for pet health and care.

Vet Team

PetMD collaborates with pet experts that know the most about pet health and care—veterinarians. Our network of credible veterinarians is essential in our mission to bring you the most detailed and current information. Meet some of the trusted veterinarians that we partner with to bring you the most up-to-date information. 

What I was looking for is a reason why dogs love having their tummy’s rubbed.

This was a great article and I am pretty sure that republishing it is within the rules of PetMD.

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Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rubs?

PetMD Editorial

Updated: June 28, 2017, Published: April 07, 2017

By Chris Illuminati

Some dogs love belly rubs almost as much as playing fetch or chewing on a really good bone, yet others could go without the show of human affection. So why do dogs like belly rubs? And is it weird if some dogs don’t?

“Belly rubbing is a comforting action,” explains Dr. Peter Brown, chief medical officer of Wagly, a veterinary-based pet service provider with campuses in California and Washington. “It’s an opportunity for bonding and part of our relationship with our dogs.”  

Christine Case, an anthrozoology instructor at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, offers another idea about the origin of belly rubs for dogs. Case, a member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators and the International Society for Anthrozoology, feels that humans have modified canine behavior over the last thousand years due to domestication.

“Rolling on their backs is a submissive behavior that dogs exhibit toward humans.” Case explains. “I think it would be difficult to determine whether dogs truly like this activity or if they have been trained to do so. The context of the situation should be evaluated.”

Michael Schaier, a certified professional dog trainer and author of “Wag That Tail: A Trainer’s Guide To A Happy Dog,” concurs with Case’s assessment, but adds that affection is one of the greatest training tools a human can use on a canine.

“A dog rolling on his back is a submissive action and puts the canine in a vulnerable position,” says Schaier, “but dogs have been bred for 10,000 years to be social animals and coexist with humans.”

Studying Back Rolling Behavior in Dogs

A dog rolling over on his back doesn’t always mean the animal is being playful, submissive, or looking for a belly rub, especially in instances when other dogs are close by. In 2015, two teams of researchers from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta and the University of South Africa set out to investigate the meaning and function of dogs rolling over during play with other dogs. The researchers wanted to know if a dog rolling over onto the back is really an act of submission that serves to stop aggression or a tactic executed for combat purposes.

The researchers examined videos showing dogs playing together and staged play sessions with a medium-sized female dog paired with 33 dogs of different breeds and sizes. Then, they sat back and observed.

The researchers concluded that while dogs may roll when playing, the move might also be used to gain an advantage in fighting. Of rollovers observed, none of the dogs rolled over in a submissive response to aggressive behavior by another dog. Researchers noted that dogs rolling on their backs in front of other dogs used their position to block playful bites and launch attacks on the aggressor.

Should You Rub Your Dog’s Belly?

If pets are comfortable with belly rubs, pet owners should feel free to pet away. But Brown warns that a dog who suddenly doesn’t enjoy a good tummy scratching might be conveying a different message. “If your dog normally likes belly rubs, and then stops, that can be a sign of a sore belly or possibly an issue where their back is causing pain.”

There are, however, some dogs who can survive without the constant stomach rubbing.

“Past experience could affect the dog’s like or dislike for the activity,” Case remarks. “If a dog does not like to have its belly rubbed, it does not mean there is anything wrong—perhaps it’s just [the dog’s] preference. It’s up to the individual animal”

But most experts agree that when dogs ask for belly rubs or petting of any kind, it shows how comfortable they feel as part of the family.

“The greatest reward you can give your dog,” adds Schaier, “is the touch of your hand.” 

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Those last two paragraphs say it all and it comes down to touch. Even a brief touch of the hand on the head of your dog is bliss. For both the human and the dog but especially for the dog.

Capturing the moment of my daughter hugging her best friend, Oreo, in the woods. Photo from Unsplash.

Case made!

A video on how to make your dog happier!

I am a bit stuck for time so forgive me for just posting this video.

The information that came with this video is posted first:

Are you worried your dog is looking a little down? Or do you just want to do everything you can to make your dog the happiest in the world? Any responsible owner will want their dog to be as happy as can be, so this AnimalWised videos brings you 10 essential tips on how to make your DOG HAPPIER. A happy dog will not only need their basic care needs met, but they will require a considerate and thoughtful human companion to go beyond the basics. We need to pay attention to what it is they are trying to communicate to us through their behavior and body language. We also need to ensure the way we behave towards the dog is making them happy and we do all we can to strengthen our bond together. It is also imperative to know that a healthy dog is a happy dog.

On AnimalWised you’ll discover a high quality channel that’s exclusively devoted to the Animal Kingdom. You’ll find all sorts of content: from training, diet or beauty and everything that can be useful for you as a pet owner or animal lover. Want to become AnimalWised? Take a look and have fun with us!

In fairness it does look like a decent video and website.

Hopefully a longer post tomorrow!

Donate to fund dogs in the Serengeti

This plea came in from Mr. Pedantry!

This came in yesterday and I thought for some time that I wouldn’t be able to publish it quickly owing to me getting my knickers in a twist.

But all was resolved and therefore I am delighted to republish it.

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Donate to fund the dogs saving elephants

Ever heard of dogs saving elephants?

In the Serengeti, a small, specially trained team of rescue dogs sniff out poachers and sound the alarm. Just 4 dogs have helped arrest hundreds of poachers, saving countless elephants being murdered for their ivory.

Almost a quarter of the elephants in the park now live in the tiny area they protect — but poaching is on the rise everywhere else and there are thousands more elephants that still need protection.

That’s why the team behind this amazing project are asking for your help to train up more of these sniffer dogs — and save double the number of elephants.

With 96 of these gentle giants killed each day, every moment counts.

Can you chip in to help?

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Whatever you can spare please contribute to the donation request.

The page to go to is here!

Here is a YouTube video to watch.

Dogs are not disposable!

It’s even a difficult title to write for today’s story.

There are some despicable people for whom having a dog is not a loving companion nor a humane business interest. I can’t define them and, frankly, they are not even worth the mental effort required to think of a term.

That makes it all the more important to share this article with you.

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Dogs Are Not Disposable

Some people dump pets that are too old, not ‘perfect,’ or to go on vacation.

By Mary Jo DiLonardo

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Published June 11th, 2021.

Blind puppy Gertie weighs just over 2 pounds. Mary Jo DiLonardo

This may seem like a no-brainer, but with all the news from overwhelmed shelters and rescues this summer, it’s probably worth saying out loud.

Dogs are not disposable.

Disreputable breeders toss out puppies that aren’t “perfect.” Some people give up the family pet when they go on vacation so they don’t have to pay for boarding. Others give up an older puppy whose cute behaviors are now obnoxious or a senior dog who may have other health issues.

That little mouse you see at the top of the page is one of two special needs puppies I’m fostering right now. She’s actually a 2.1-pound puppy that we were told is an Aussiedoodle. I still think she might be an exotic guinea pig.

Gertie was dropped off by a breeder at a vet’s office to be euthanized because she was blind. The vet contacted a rescue instead.

I also have a deaf puppy that was given up by a breeder. Many other fosters are also doubling up because the need is so great right now. Probably the biggest reason is that it’s the summer and people are traveling for the first time again in more than a year. That means it’s hard to find adopters and it’s hard to find fosters. Everyone wants out of the house.

I’ve seen messages and social media posts from rescuer and shelter workers who say they feel helpless because the requests for help right now are so crushing.

“My rescue cannot keep up trying to save them,” one wrote.

“I’m sickened at the number of rescue and surrender requests we are getting and I am completely heartbroken,” wrote another.

“We need a lifeline,” said another rescuer.

There are some news stories that claim many pandemic puppies are being returned, but the numbers don’t back that up. Instead, it’s just a crush of other reasons, many involving summer travel.

I think the hardest thing for most loving pet owners to fathom is the idea that some people would drop off their dog at a shelter on their way out of town. There’s just anecdotal evidence and no statistics about how often it happens, but it’s cited very often from disheartened rescuers and shelter workers. 

The people who surrender their pets say they don’t want to pay for boarding and they’ll just get a new one when they return. Shelter workers say it’s heart-wrenching to hold a dog while they watch their person drive away. Some will stare out the door for hours, thinking for sure their family will return.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise us anymore which is really sad,” says Jen Schwarz, one of the directors of Speak! St. Louis, the special needs rescue I foster for. The rescuers hear the story often from shelter and humane society workers.

“They don’t want to pay for boarding or can’t find anybody to take their dog,” says Schwarz. “It’s basically being selfish.”

And people might think they’re doing their dog a favor by taking it to a shelter, hoping they’ll get adopted by someone else. But typically, if shelters have to euthanize for space, they’ll turn to owner-surrendered pets before strays because they know no one is looking for them.

“That’s the sad reality,” Schwarz says.

The other thing that happens often is people asking to have the family pet put to sleep because they’re too much hassle.

“That happens a lot. The kids are gone, they want to travel, the dog’s too much, and they have it euthanized,” Schwarz says. “That’s worse than dumping it at the shelter.”

Rescuers are saving as many as they can and that’s why I have one puppy sleeping behind me in my office and one napping in a playpen in the living room. Soon everyone will head outside for a game of tag where I’ll make sure everyone gets a chance to win.

And the only thing disposable here is an awful lot of very tiny puppy poo.

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When Jen Schwarz says: “That happens a lot. The kids are gone, they want to travel, the dog’s too much, and they have it euthanized,” I wonder what a lot is numerically. Anyone know?

The stories from the shelter workers breaks hearts here as well. Dogs are so intuitive; so smart. It is no surprise that they will stare for hours trying to work out what has happened.

Another loving dog story!

It just goes on and on!

Here’s another article by Lily Feinn about a rescue dog. Once again it was on The Dodo and once again I am republishing it.

I make no apologies for doing this as we can’t have too many stories of loving dogs in our lives. So without further ado here it is.

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Abandoned Dog Has The Best Reaction To Finding A Loving Family

He slept right in between us the first night we got him, and from then on, we knew in our hearts he was our dog.

By Lily Feinn

Published on the 1st July, 2021.

Mikayla Sengle and her boyfriend, Anthony Noto, weren’t planning on adopting a dog. But when Wylie suddenly came into their lives, it seemed meant to be.

Last month, Noto was on his way home from work when he passed by a dog park near an apartment complex. In the back of the park, a white and brown pittie sat all alone, looking confused. 

As Noto approached the dog, he noticed that he wasn’t wearing a collar and looked a bit banged up. 

“He looked lost, but at the same time, he seemed like he was on a mission to find something,” Noto told The Dodo. “When I walked over towards where my work truck was, he came up [to me] all innocent with his head down, seeing if I’d accept him.”

“Maybe I was what he was looking for,” he added.

Noto slipped a loose rope around the pup’s neck and walked him around the area trying to find his owner. But when no one recognized the dog, Noto put him in his truck and drove him home.

The pup didn’t seem to want to upset his new friends and was determined to show Sengle and Noto that he had the best manners.

“With people, he would wait for them to give the OK to lick and pay attention to people,” Sengle told The Dodo. “He seemed extremely relieved and happy. He got a bath and some treats as soon as he came home.”

“He instantly would look at my boyfriend for permission for everything,” Sengle added. “When he got home and ran in the yard, he was thrilled. It seemed like he never experienced the opportunity to be free and fun.”

The first night, Wylie slept in bed between his rescuers, as if to make sure they wouldn’t leave him. And he’d never been more comfortable and happy in his life.

Sengle posted on social media searching for the dog’s family, but when she finally received a response, it broke her heart.

“A young girl reached out to us and basically said that it was her friend’s dog and [her friend] had seen the post and said she no longer wanted him anymore because he was annoying,” Sengle said. “She even begged us not to give him back if they did reach out to us because they used to hit him and were not nice to him.”

Sengle and Noto kept Wylie for the five-day stray hold, giving the owners time to claim him. But when the week was up, there was no question that he was staying with them — forever.

Sengle and Noto thought their family was complete, but now they can’t believe that they got so lucky.

“He is a very sweet dog and a great companion,” Sengle said. “My boyfriend and him grew a bond almost instantly. He slept right in between us the first night we got him and from then on, we knew in our hearts he was our dog.”

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All photographs by Mikala Sengle.

It shows again how quickly a dog can open up the heart strings of us humans. As Single and Noto remarked above, they now can’t believe they were so lucky. It’s how we feel about our dogs. It’s how countless others feel about their many, many four-legged loved ones!

Dogs too can form perfect friendships

Dogs are such a special species!

I know this has been said before and no doubt I will say it again many times but dogs frequently bond closely with other dogs. There’s no knowing, frankly, what triggers the friendship but we humans can see it so clearly.

Take this recent article published on The Dodo about a dog and his sister.

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Dog Knows Just How To Help His Anxious Sister When She Gets Carsick

Dogs are too pure for us ❤️

By Lily Feinn

Published on the 25th June, 2021

Meet Eddy — a dog who knows exactly when his family needs a little extra help.

Ashley Karlin adopted Eddy, a black Lab, from a shelter two years ago as a companion for her senior dog, Daisy. And since that day, Eddy and Daisy have been inseparable.

“Eddy and Daisy play like siblings. They egg each other on and run around in the backyard together,” Karlin told The Dodo. “They sleep next to each other and sometimes on each other.” 

The 95-pound cuddle bug is also extremely perceptive. Eddy can sense immediately when something is off with a member of his family — and he hops into action.

Eddy uses this skill frequently when traveling with his sister. Daisy has always had car sickness and gets anxious when it’s time to go for a drive, but Eddy is a pro when it comes to soothing her.

“When she lies down in the back seat and starts to drool, Eddy lays the opposite way so he can rest his head on top of hers,” Karlin said. “If he doesn’t do this, Daisy constantly gets up, lies down, gets up, lies down on repeat until she vomits.”

“I think Eddy just has a sense of when others aren’t feeling well and he’s always there to comfort her,” Karlin added. “We’ve noticed every time they lie down together like this, she doesn’t puke and usually will fall asleep.”

Eddy also monitors his mom to make sure she’s OK and is always the first to know when there’s any change. 

“My husband and I recently found out I’m pregnant, and one of the signs that tipped us off was that Eddy constantly would put his head on my tummy,” Karlin said. “Eddy has [also] on numerous occasions woken me while sleeping to alert me that I was going hypoglycemic, even though he’s not trained to do so.”

Eddy is always there when his mom or sister needs him — and they can’t picture their lives, or car rides, without him.

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All photographs by Ashley Karlin

This is yet another example of the caring and bonding that dogs make. Make with many other dogs and many of us humans.

They are an example to all of us!

And another case of ex-rescue dogs bearing no scars!

Will it ever be normal again!

These are strange times!

We made a plan for evacuation but just a plan.

We are relying on a Level One call, a Be Ready call, to finish off the packing. Of course we hope that never comes but at least we have done the planning.

The Dodo had a great article the other day and I wanted to share it with you all.

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Dog Refuses To Eat Snow Cone After Mom Orders The Wrong Flavor

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Published on the 11th June, 2021

Lola’s story started when she was taken in by a local shelter, but when she was spayed she experienced rare complications that left her unable to walk. She started to recover very slowly, and after a few months, she was taken in by Big Hearts for Big Dogs. The rescue found her a foster family who could commit to taking her to physical therapy every week, and they fostered her for two years — before deciding they couldn’t pretend anymore and officially adopted her into their family.

ANNIE BELANGER BURLEY

Now Lola lives on a farm with her forever family, where every other animal has a rescue story, too. She’s blossomed into the weirdest, most personality-filled dog her family has ever met, and they wouldn’t have her any other way.

Annie Belanger Burley

“We have had her for six years, but she’s been ‘ours’ for four,” Annie Belanger Burley, Lola’s mom, told The Dodo. “We have no clue how old she is, but she literally doesn’t age. She has the most amazing temperament, but she’s a total weirdo! She requires being tucked in at night. She’s goofy, she snores when she’s awake, other dogs think she’s growling, but she’s really just breathing. She has looks that could kill. Sometimes her happy face looks like her mean mug.” 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola’s family loves her so much and loves to spoil her whenever they can. One of her favorite activities is going out for snow cones, and she always gets so excited, even if she’s not always sure how to show it. 

“We go to Pelican Snowballs in North Fort Myers a few times a month,” Burley said. “Her favorite flavor is chicken broth served with a Milk-Bone on top … When she gets excited, it’s usually with her eyes. She has a grumpy face the majority of the time.” 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola and her mom were getting snow cones recently, like they always do, but this time, Burley decided to order Lola a plain snow cone because she’d had an upset stomach the night before and she didn’t want her to overdo it. She figured Lola would still enjoy a treat even if it wasn’t her normal order — but she was wrong. 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola sniffed the plain snow cone, then stared at her mom and made it very clear that she had absolutely no intention of eating it. It wasn’t the right flavor, and she refused to compromise. 

“She refused to eat it the entire way home and glared at me in her usual side-eye,” Burley said. 

Annie Belanger Burley

Instead, Lola let the snow cone melt right next to her. She decided it was better to stand up for what she believes in rather than eat it. She’s strong in her convictions.

Annie Belanger Burley

Even though Lola didn’t get her snow cone that day, there will be many, many other trips, and hopefully, her mom can redeem herself in Lola’s eyes by ordering her the “correct” thing again next time.

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To be honest if it were not for our dogs (and Jeannie) I don’t think it would ever be normal again.

But one can stroke and cuddle a dog or six and cuddle up to Jeannie and forget about the outside world for a tad!

And it’s a lovely story!

 

The terrible scourge of puppy mills.

Personally, I think these should be banned in all countries!

Yes, I know that sub-heading is me being away with the fairies, but one can always hope.

The reason behind the heading and the topic is that on the 21st June this year Dexter sent me a guest post for including in this blog. Nothing gives me greater pleasure, so on with the show!

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Well well, Fancy that.

By Dexter.

This blog is on a subject that I have wanted to tackle but haven’t had the chance or insight to do so. Until now.

Puppy mills are an abhorrent method of producing large sums of money at the detriment to the dogs involved. I discovered that Fancy, who is one of the Wirral & Cheshire Beagles was used in a puppy mill. As I wanted to write something on this subject, I asked for the kind assistance of her mum, auntie Karen, who has been wonderful and extremely helpful in helping me write this blog. I cannot say “enjoy it” as I hope that you find it predominantly thought provoking and enlightening as to these terrible practices.

Thank you for allowing me to ask some questions about Fancy. When we spoke you told me that she was a puppy mill dog. Can you let me know a little more about her position before she came to live with you?

She had been in a puppy farm, kept in a concrete pig pen and had 3-4 litters in just over 3 years. Many of her pups died of Parvo either there or within 24 hours of being picked up for their new homes.

That sounds awful. Do you know how old she was when you met her?

They told us she was about 5 but she turned out to be 3.6 years. She was 4 on Valentine’s Day.

So, by my calculations, she was about one year old when she would have been forced to have her first litter. This makes me feel very sad.

How did you find out that Fancy was up for rescue and rehoming?

We saw Fancy on a “Beagles missing, found and in need ” site on FaceBook and we fell in love with her immediately. She had such sad, dark eyes and it occurred to us that she had never known a day’s happiness or been loved. There were so many people applied for her we didn’t think we stood a chance. However we were contacted by Many Tears twice that week and, because I’d previously had a home check and had 2 kind caring beagles, we were chosen.

Please help me, please!

We drove over 10 hours that day to Llanelli, Camarthenshire and met her in an area used for meet and greets. She was petrified of us but not my beagles, Eddie & George. She just ignored them. There was no eye contact with us, nothing. She just paced up and down and cowered in a corner. When it was time to take her home she had to be cornered and caught to get a slip lead on her. She just wet herself. It was heartbreaking. My husband Alan carried her to the car where she laid down in the travel crate. She didn’t sleep but just kept very quiet all the way home. She came from a real lowlife puppy farmer. He’s a multi millionaire who posts “his” beagles or pups running free on fields. In actual fact they’ve never seen a blade of grass. The BBC did an undercover investigation on him.

In any case, when she arrived it was a lovely Sunday evening last July 2020. So we sat outside and watched her exploring and sniffing around the garden. She kept hiding in a corner if we looked at her so we stopped. It took 8 long days before I touched her and that was only because there was a wall behind her. She went to the toilet in the house but thanks to Eddie & George she soon got the hang of going outside. They were fabulous with her and soon realised she wasn’t a boarder but a new sister. I certainly couldn’t have done this without them and the beagle field.

Is this OK? Is this what I am allowed to do?

What sort of condition was Fancy in when she arrived? I am going to assume she wasn’t in the greatest shape, given her life up to her time coming home with you?

She was in a bad condition when we got her. She had a dull dry coat and was very underweight with her ribs showing and tail between her legs. It took a few days for her to eat and she’d only do that if we weren’t around. When I first took her to the beagle field she spent the whole time pinned up against the fence. Nothing the beagles did bothered her, only the actions of the humans. I think it took about a month for her to trust one person and let them touch her. Eleven months later and she is still very wary of people she doesn’t know and she will cower away.

That sounds awful, and so sad. Looking at the pictures she seems to have come some way on her path to rehabilitation.

Yes,it doesn’t take much to win her round. A belly tickle, something tasty and she’s your best friend.

Give us a cuddle, says Jay.

How long did it take for Fancy to stop going toilet in the house? Was she called Fancy when you met her at the meet & Greet? 

She did her toilets in the house for about 4 days. Maybe twice a day then just first thing in the morning. It tailed off after that as she went out every time with her brothers. Yes she already had the name Fancy I rescued a kitten on the A55 motorway many years ago and she was called Fancy.

You’re safe now, Fancy!

You said that Eddie & George immediately knew Fancy was in need of some help. Did they act as if they were guardians to her, showing her the ropes if you like, and making sure that she felt at least some comfort with them.

Definitely. They gave her space from day one when she needed it. Even at the busy beagle field the others knew as well. She never got the initial newbie rough welcome. They all love her very much. Beagles know these things.

Welcome to the clan, Fancy.

Erm, when did you start to see a real breakthrough in her feeling more at home and less scared of all sorts of situations? What was the thing that made you think “you know, Fancy is feeling a bit happier”.

I lay that lead next to her for about a week. I started to show it to her and make a big fuss like it was a toy. She was petrified as she’d only been put in a “rape harness”. She’s still wary of it but can’t get out of it thank dogness.

A week from A to B

If you could give people a simple message regarding getting pups from a mill what would it be? Apart from “dont do it” that is. 

I’ve given many messages of support to people thinking of puppy farm rescues. Don’t ever give up on them because of their fear. Beagles are so loving and trusting of us the good times far outweigh the bad and no mistake. I have a friend who 12 days ago adopted one with identical problems and the difference in her each day is amazing. Day 12 today and she was dying to jump into his arms when he got home but held back and did an excited dance. We all love his daily updates.

I wish I knew the answer to the puppy mills question I really do. They’re clever people who advertise their pups as living in loving happy homes with caring owners. When in reality they use dirty filthy concrete pig pens where they receive no vet care whatsoever. People see the advertisement and pay a large deposit, when the time comes most travel hours and they won’t leave their puppy their a minute longer so will take them home and face the consequences. Many die over 24 hours and some will be saved by a good vet. One of Fancys pups and owner I know so I know how she was fooled. She knows others.

May I ask about Wirral & Cheshire Beagles generally. Are you a registered charity and, if so, with whom do you work and co-operate?

Yes the beagle group is a charity. We give £1000’s away to beagle charities each year. Mainly Unite to Care where we got ex laboratory George from and Many Tears who are absolutely fabulous and rescue so many ex breeding beagles.

Beautiful!

To sum up I am so happy that Fancy is now safe and loved. It is wonderful that she will never again suffer the privations of puppy mill life. It is sad and wholly awful that she had to suffer in the first place. If people didn’t buy from puppy mills, then there might be a chance that they are prevented of their ability to operate. Please please think before making a decision to adopt a dog. Puppy mills are awful and make our lives a misery.

Thank you to Fancy’s mum for her wonderful help on what is a very difficult subject. Without her help, I couldn’t have written this.

Safe! We will look after you!

ooOOoo

As Dexter says:

Rescue dogs sometimes have a bad reputation. Cross breed rescue dogs sometimes seem to have a worse reputation.  I wasn’t dangerous or bad. I was unlucky. Now I am enjoying life in my forever home and I am sharing my contentment with whoever will read my tails.

This is the essence of what having a dog in one’s life means.

I can’t voice Jean’s and my disgust at puppy mills. It is beyond terrible. All you and I can do is to never entertain buying a puppy where the commercial legitimacy is uncertain.

If in doubt, don’t!

This will make you smile!

A lovely tale from The Dodo.

I was looking through my LfD future posts folder and came across this story about a rescue dog in Kentucky River, in Kentucky, a long way from here ( Merlin, OR).

But that doesn’t diminish in the slightest how beautiful this story is and how generous are the management and staff of Home Depot.

Read it and see what I mean. Thanks to The Dodo for publishing it.

ooOOoo

Dog Is Literally The Cutest Home Depot Employee Ever

“She finds who needs her and gives them that smile” 😍

By Lily Feinn

Published on the 11th June, 2021

When Heaven first went to live with Jackie Rakers, she was scared of everything.

The scruffy rescue puppy from Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter had had a rough start to life and was nervous around strangers and loud noises.

Luckily, her mom found the perfect place to help her come out of her shell — Home Depot.

JACKIE RAKERS

“The Home Depot runs started as a way to help her with her fears,” Rakers told The Dodo. “She was nervous about new places and new sounds, so we’d go for five minutes and she’d get all the treats. Then we started going longer and longer and exposing her to more and more things within the store.”

The large, dog-friendly store was the perfect place for Heaven to socialize, and the pup was such a good girl on her visits that she earned her own tiny employee apron.

JACKIE RAKERS

Now, Heaven knows that when the apron comes out, she’s about to go to her favorite place.

“I keep it in the car so we are always ready,” Rakers said. “As soon as she can tell we are in the parking lot, she just quivers until I put [the apron] on her and then she takes off towards ‘work.’”

“She walks around like she owns the place,” Rakers added.

JACKIE RAKERS

Heaven has become a bit of a celebrity at her local Home Depot, where all the staff knows her by name, and there’s even a picture of her in the break room.

And while she may not be an official employee, when she’s at her favorite store, she offers excellent customer service.

“She walks around minding her own business and then suddenly insists on meeting someone,” Rakers said. “She just sits and stares. They always end up saying how they needed that pick-me-up. It’s like she has a sense of who needs to be shown they are loved that day — and one of her favorite places to do that is Home Depot!”

JACKIE RAKERS

Heaven loves running errands with her mom, and everywhere they go, she finds someone having a rough day who needs her smile.

“She was scared of everything, but with a lot of training and patience she learned to trust and now it’s like she pays it forward,” Rakers said. “She finds who needs her and gives them that smile and a cuddle.”

JACKIE RAKERS

The only downside of all their Home Depot runs is that every time they visit, Rakers comes up with a new home improvement project. But all the retail therapy is worth it when she sees how happy Heaven is and how far she’s come.

“She’s the perfect example of what happens when you meet someone where they are at and love unconditionally,” Rakers said. “She went from so scared and so sad to the happiest dog.”

ooOOoo

Thank goodness our local Home Depot here in Grants Pass (Oregon) don’t have a Heaven in the store. For if they did Jean and I would be in the store every day of the year. OK, maybe a small exaggeration but only a small one!

Seriously, Home Depot are to be congratulated. It’s good for the store. It’s good for the employees. It’s good for the customers. But it is fantastic for Heaven!

Just love this story!