Sunday, October 23, 2011

sienna haiku

snuggling snoring pit
swims after neon balls
munches on carrots

happy pit bull awareness day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FOUND: missing dog in portland, OR

Got this info on a missing dog. Her name is Luna. Spread the word. ***FOUND***
***Missing Dog from Colorado went missing in SE Portland this weekend**** 
Please help with any details or knowledge. "Luna" 8 yrs old, German Sheperd mix, 75 pounds. She is fast and she is very shy. 
Call Rachael at 314-910-1510
Sorry I do not know anything else other than her family is desperate to find her. Please contact them with any info and forward to any Portland, Oregon contacts. 

Friday, May 13, 2011


Ellie’s whole past is a mystery to us, like any adopted shelter dog. We got glimpse of it here and there, like her mysterious companionship with kayotes, her fears of certain men and cigarette smokers, and a few tidbits from her rescuers about the town she was picked up in.
We knew she had a microchip. It’s taken us awhile to get her information from it, and we had to get her rescanned. When was rescued, the rescue called the person who had her microchipped and told them they found his dog. His reply was, “You mean Black Dog? I don’t want her.”

My sympathies went out to her. Unwanted is something no one wants to be. Ellie is endearing at first, she gives out hugs and shakes pas, but she’s an independent dog a lot of the time. She’s the opposite of Sienna, who demands and insists upon loads of attention. Ellie likes to hang out under the bed or on top of the bed a lot, and she may lie by my side, but if I notice her there or talk too much to her, she bolts. She likes to remain in the shadows, at least when she’s not chasing squirrels.

Back to the name. Her shelter that the rescue got her from called her Sheba. She had no response to that name. She had been named Ellie Mae by the rescue, wisely so because it’s a cute name and I think names do catch people’s eyes when they surf adoption sites like Petfinder.

What’s in a name for a dog? It’s the connection you have with them. It’s the one thing you say that is just for them. It tells them that they are wanted, called for, desired, and you need their attention. With Sienna, she didn’t know her other name (dare I utter it…Tagra…ick!), so she was happy for the fresh start. Same with the kitties. I never knew Zuki’s other name, if he had one, and it remains a mystery. He listened to the name Zuki, so it wasn’t a big deal. But sometimes I’d try to call him other things, thinking one day I’d hit on his old name.

Today I received the letter from the microchip company. It had Ellie’s original name on it, “Daisey”. At first, I laughed. I called Chris to tell him. Then I read further and realized her birthday was listed as her being 10 years old. My first instinct was confusion, because we assumed she was very young, at the most 5 years old. Her microchip was only purchased in 2009 so this is likely still be a mistake. 

After registering her name and age change with the company, I hung up the phone. Both dogs were upstairs, doing their own thing. I decided to call out, “Daisey”. I heard the footsteps down the stairs, fully expecting it to be Sienna, who comes to pretty much any name we shout out in a doggie-loving voice, perhaps due to her being overnicknamed. But it was Ellie. Tears fell out of my eyes and I ran to embrace her. With that name, I was able to give her some link to her past. I called her Daisey a few more times and she still responded. I am sad because obviously at some point she did bond enough with someone who called her Daisey, and that person is no longer in her life. I doubt it was the cruel man who said he didn’t want her. Perhaps it was a shelter worker. I don’t know who, but it gave me hope that at some point before us she’d known love. 

Ellie will still be Ellie to us. But to someone out there, if you are reading, your Daisey is loved.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

weekend highjiinks

This weekend was full of highjinks. Yes the pups and Foucault gave me some mom's day treats, notably some incense to cover up certain odors that seem to eminate from the litter box. Thanks guys.

Usually I take Ellie on a walk after sundown and she's a dream walker, I barely even noticed she's with me. She keeps a great pace. Sure, she sniffs here and there but we've got a system down. Today when Chris had to go to meet someone and suggested I bring her along (to get ou tof his morning dog walk duty) I agreed. I had forgotten how she can be in daylight.

All went well for awhile other than some fear of the noiser streets and buses that she's still a little skittish of. Then she sees a squirrel and all heck breaks loose. Here she is, caught on tape.

When she does that I just have to ride it out until she calms down a bit. Or evacuate the area. She's got blinders on and nothing can distract her. This sort of thing really hurts my back so I have to brace against something like a tree to help hold her back. Ugh.

Foucault  was a sweetie at times, cuddling on my lap while I caught up on some of my favorite shows. He's a Gleek just like me.
Although the non song portions were putting him to sleep and I caught these funny eye movements on video.

Then he decided to swipe at Sienna a few times as she went by. Which doesn't phase her much.

Sienna was a little out of sorts this weekend and didn't want to eat for a day, which she does periodically. Whenever I get too concerned, she perks up and eats again. I wonder why she does this but I've just come to realize she fasts about once a month and it usually works out ok.

Hope your weekend was fun!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Foucault gains a year

Foucault turns 4 years old today! My little kitty sure is growing up. He was a skittish little kitten of 5 months when we got him and now he's evolved into a lovable lap cat. Who still gets frisky now and then.
 He has a penchant for napping in odd places...
 like boxes or bags.
 Or his favorite, the laundry basket turned cat bed.
 Jumping onto tiny spaces.
 And just looking adorable and handsome.
Happy Birthday to our little buddy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sienna Bunny

Happy Easter from Sienna Bunny! The only way she'd play along today was getting a real carrot. She loves her veggies. 
 Since I couldn't find my store-bought bunny ears, I made some out of felt, marker, ribbon, pipe cleaner and at first tape then needle and thread. Not too shabby. Ok, a little shabby...shabby chic.
Here's a video of some munching. Hope it works, I just used blogger instead of going through Youtube.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a Happy Earth Day as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

6 months of mange in pictures

Poor Ellie. It's been a rough ordeal for her with her mange. Even though her itching has been better since January, which is a huge relief for her, her fur has been falling out much past that. We think this is the last of it, because it's hit almost every part of her body. Looking back at old photos of when we first adopted her, I realized how fluffy she was! That's how her coat is supposed to be. We'd forgotten just how fluffy she used to be. And after the our recent trip, she looked really thin when we saw her, but she hasn't lost weight, just fur.

I didn't take these pictures specifically to document her mange, and she doesn't really like the camera, so when she was itchy, the last thing I wanted to do was torture her more. When she was at her most bald with raw red wounds, I was pretty emotional about it. In fact there are large blocks of time with no picture of her. Me trying to protect her pride. By showing this, I'm not trying to embarass her, I think she's gorgeous in all ways. I just want to document her recovery and tell others that it takes time to heal from this vicious stuff.

September 2010
Full coat, with a few itchy patches which we thought were from flea bites.
 Full coated in October, more camera friendly. Still itchy, but no fur loss.
October 2010: one big ball of fluff!
Christmas 2010: she was miserable. Look at that raw red elbow.
January 2011: finally getting treated with anti-mange meds, although she had been on prednizone for the itch before.

Itch caught on camera. Sienna is perplexed.
 Fur falls off in droves. Baldy chest.
February 2011
She's lost a lot of the lower fur, but her "mane" neck hair remains
Later in February
Her hock fur falls off in patches.
 Neck fur still think, hind area looks skinny because the fur is falling off.
Febraury 2011
Leg fur growing back, elbow wounds healing, still patchy in other areas. Still got that big mane!
Early March 2011
Chest fur grows back, yippee!
Most recently, end of March 2011
Body fur thinner, neck hair falling out and thinner.
 We can actually see her collar, that neck/mane is so thin! Belly fur coming in thick.
Her ears are still shedding a bit. We use a furminator (which she hates) to get the fur off.

I hope to post many many pictures this summer...let's hope her full coat is back in full glory!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

paws from the trip

While we were gone, we had an opportunity not just to visit our human loved ones, but their four-legged companions as well.

First up, Lily, we we arranged for adoption with my husband's dad. He was uncertain about getting a cat, but we knew he'd be a great home for a cat. Lily wasn't getting along with other cats and was in a rescue where she didn't have a lot of space to call her own because of her need to be isolated.

When she first came to live with my father-in-law, she was a shy girl. Now, about 10 years later, she's as friendly as can be! She comes to cozy up to new people and doesn't even mind being chased by a one-year-old tyke.

 Gonna get that kitty!
Almost got ya!
I see her!
Can't reach....kitty too high!
Smart kitty! Just out of reach. Lily loves being queen of the house.

Little Baby A loves animals, although her petting is more like a grab at this point. She has a dog "brother" but I didn't get a pic this time, and going back through my old pics causes too much heartache because there's dozens of my now fur angels Zuki and Heather.
 Zoe, pictured here with Baby A is my aunt-in-law's dog, a dachshund. She followed baby A around while we visited. Baby A loves the dog crate and puts her toys in them. She also has been known to be found napping in the dog bed. I foresee this in my future if we ever have human kids.
Another cousin's dog is Zeus, a dog whose breed we aren't sure. Love his underbite. 
Here's Baby A petting Zeus. Zeus is a barker, but it helps protect Chris's great aunt who is home alone sometimes. It's sometimes a nice warning to have a bark and feel a little protected by that woof. (I'm starting to appreciate it from Ellie.)
The theme of this post is beginning to be babies and critters. This is my sister's cat, Sid Vicious, who is mostly sweet but does have a little mean streak in him. He's a bird hunter, leg crawler, and lap cuddler. Now he also has a baby in his family. I'm not sure he's too thrilled about that.
This dog isn't taken care of by anyone I know, but was spotted outside a vegan ice cream shop and I couldn't resist his cute face. The woman he was with just adopted him from the shelter and wasn't sure his breed and was going to get him DNA tested because he's so interesting looking. I almost wish I had gotten her info to know the results. Any guesses?
And finally, Layla. She seems sweet from across the room, but watch out, she's a hisser! She actually attacked my leg as I walked by. I want to love her and rehabilitate her, but she's just the kind of cat that does the best with just one person. She loves her human, my cousin, but isn't too fond of anyone else. She's a tiny kitty and was found on the streets of Brooklyn, malnourished.
 I'll love you from afar, Layla.
Many of my and Chris's family members have rescued cats and dogs. I appreciate that their hearts are big enough to take in an animal that has had a troubled past or isn't "purebred." Rescued animals are the best!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

traveling without the crew

One of the worst parts about adoption companion animals is having to leave them if you go on a trip. Sometimes you can travel with a dog or cat in tow, but for us, we go by airplane often and it's safer not to bring them.

I worry a lot, but less when I have a capable person in charge. I am so lucky to have found some great people who love animals and I can be actually enjoy my trip. A few not-so-good things have happened while we were on trips and it really helps having the right person to help.

Since I'm about to leave all three of my critters and Chris is coming with me, I thought I would write up a little bit about how we cope with departing our loved ones.

Dog care
We found an amazing place that takes dogs kennel-free. They have rooms to stay in and a large open field to play in. This was very important to us because Sienna does NOT do well in kennels. In the past we had friends care for her but because of her likelyhood of being desctructive, and two trips where things went wrong, we feel better paying someone to care for her. She has special needs.

Now she is really used to where she goes and loves it. When we get there, she barely looks back to say goodbye!
Sienna at her home away from home

This trip will be Ellie's first time there. She doesnt' have the same issues with space as Sienna, and she might not mind a kennel because she loves to be in tight closed spaces at home (under the bed, desk, etc). But she needs her activity and will love the field. We hope since Sienna is there, she will adjust well.

When Zuki was not able to walk well, the vet took him for a medical boarding while Chris was away and I was unable to carry him. He had a lot of special needs and this was the best place for him. I trusted the other caretaker, but with other dogs there Zuki was at risk of being trampled a bit and it was just too much to for one person to do.

Before each trip, we fill out a card with any information that's changed and how much they get fed and any medications. We pack their food and Sienna's jacket. They already have the information on our vet and medical files.

Cat care
For cats, it's usually best for someone to come to the house, although for cats with medical needs, the vet may be able to do a boarding. There are also kennel-type places for cats for those who think that would work better for their cat. Try to find one that gives the cats time to stretch their legs outside of a pen if you choose that option.

We have always tried to find someone who can watch our cat who is local or a neighbor. It is ideal to have a neighbor who also had a cat (or two) and then we can swap cat care with them. Since we live in a pet-friendly triplex, we have been able to find someone to do this here and there.

When leaving the cat (or cats in the past), we always make sure to check to see if the house is safe. In the summer, we have to think about keeping the house cool enough but also secure so they can't escape. Secure plastic bags and cords cats could chew.

We also leave directions, even if we have gone over it with them. The directions include:
  • Food amounts and how often and what to feed
  • Water bowl location 
  • Litter box instructions
  • Cats favorite toys or ways to interact with them
  • Numbers for the vet, emergency numbers, and our numbers
It is a good idea for the cat sitter to come over briefly to see the cat and to see where things are kept. One time a cat sitter could not find the food and had to get more. These things happen! It's a good idea to have extra food around in case you get delayed on your trip. (Which also has happened.)

I don't suggest just an automatic feeder for anything longer than two days. Something could go wrong with it or your cat could be hurt. The water bowl could dip, etc. Someone needs to come by, even if briefly to see that all is ok.

My worry for this trip is that it's Foucault's first time all alone since now his cat sister Heather died. He doesn't care for other people as much as us, so he usually hides from cat sitters. I hope he gets a little braver and comes out a bit to play.

Hope this information was helpful. Do you have anything to add? Information on other critters that might have different needs, like mice or birds?