Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Tale of Two Kitties, The Riveting Conclusion

The last time I wrote in depth about the cat and kittens I had described the process of moving them in. Now they've moved out! 

I've named the mama cat Jenny, and I will talk about why at a later date because there was a lot of thought that went into that name. Anyway, Jenny and the kittens settled into the guest room, aka Amy's room, better than I could have hoped.

 They took to the litter box immediately. 

The kittens liked to hide when I would come in but time and patience and FOOD improved that situation. Each day I continued to bring one or more cats downstairs for some Wiley time.

The kittens really disarmed him. He was so curious yet so scared.

It didn't help that at first they tried to crawl under him and nurse!

Wiley also ventured into their room each night as we spent some quality time together.  

He really took his time figuring it all out.

Although I frequently referred to them as Thing 1 and Thing 2, in truth I called the one with the white Creamsicle and the all tiger-striped one was called Richard Parker. 

I knew both their new owners would rename them so it didn't matter too much in the grand scheme of things.

If we had kept this one I would have named him something other than Creamsicle because there's already a Creamsicle in my brother's family.

But it suited him temporarily and since I knew it was going to be hard enough to give him away I didn't want to spend too much time and energy thinking of just the right name.

This guy was named Richard Parker after the tiger in Life of Pi.  

He has such a beautiful pattern. So stripey. Is stripey a word?  It should be.

I love how they looked so much alike on their heads, with the deeper stripes above their eyes.

Eventually I gave the cats the run of the upstairs during the day, and only put them in the guest room at night. 

I was very lucky that my friend Laurie loaned me the cat tower that they enjoyed so very much.

Jenny figured out how to open the door and started to venture downstairs a bit, but luckily the kittens didn't catch on until their last day at the house.  Here's Creamsicle towering like Godzilla over this Noah's Ark music box on top of our hutch. 

This weekend the kitties went to their new homes. I will follow up on them for sure so don't worry. 

I know Wiley already is wondering where they got to, as is poor Jenny. The vet assured me that she would have separated from them in nature and that 10 weeks is an acceptable time to send them to their new homes but I still feel bad. 

Sending the kitties to their new homes will finally allow Wiley and Jenny to relax and get to know each other, and I know it's all for the best.  Wiley was very anxious whenever the kittens were out and about, and Jenny was very protective.  However, when animals are a huge part of your coping mechanism for depression, it isn't easy to part with this:

 And especially this:

Of all the backyards, in all the towns, in all the world, they walked into mine.

It's all going to be alright. Right? Good. Glad we cleared that up. 

Send me your stories please! Email me at

And just because this is Wiley's blog, I'm including this gratuitous picture of him sitting up for a carrot. Why? Why not?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Feel-Good Friday: Feline Frolicking

Well as some of you know, I've been fostering kittens. The time has arrived for them to venture out into their new homes this weekend. Please join me in sending your thoughts and well wishes to these two kitties that everything goes well. I will write more about them and their new homes in the future, but for Feel-Good Friday I wanted to look at how far they've come in the past month. This video is one I took the first time both of them came out from their hiding spot at the same time. It was so cute, and so precious, I just knew I wasn't going to be able to resist their cuteness in the future. Click on the picture below.

Now this video is one I took last weekend. These kitties beat the snot out of each other and chase each other all over the upstairs, sounding like a herd of elephants. However in this particular video you'll see Thing 2 get a look at his shadow and try to attack it, and then change his mind and go after Thing 1 instead. Mama just sits on top of her perch placidly. Click on the picture of the mama and her babies below. 

I knew it would be hard to let these guys go. However, I know they are going to great homes and I will keep you posted on the transition. In the meantime please email your stories to me and your pictures for the latest Photo Share, described here.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Ok readers, we have a lot on the horizon but we need your help. The Rescue Dog Blog shares user-generated content and you are all USERS. What?  I said users not losers. The next few months are going to be ripe with photo opportunities for your pets. First of all, Halloween is coming, and don't think for a minute I won't be sharing pictures of your pets in costumes.  Here's an early preview from a friend on Instagram. You can follow her @parrishl0721.

In addition, of course, I'll be looking for some fall-themed pictures to share throughout the month of November, like this pawsome picture of Lizzie.

And finally. . . the topic of our next photo share: DYNAMIC DUOS. I know it can be a challenge sometimes to get a picture of your pets together or your pet hanging out with a friend, but that is the subject so you have to just make up your mind to do it. Or sneak up on them while they're sleeping, like I did with Thing 1 and Thing 2. 

Some of you may have seen this picture before, because I shared it on the blog's Facebook page. It's the closest Wiley and the mama cat have gotten for an extended period of time.

So, there you have it readers. Wiley and I have given you your next challenge, or shall we say challenges? Now remember, for Photo Shares we accept all submissions, rescued or otherwise. And don't worry if your pets are "posing" like Wiley is here. If there are two pets in the picture we'll take it, even if it's your pet and someone else's on a playdate.

Email me your Photo Share submissions, AND your rescue stories, at Or check out the other ways to share by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome Owen!

Rosco is one of the first dogs I featured on the blog, and I will forever have a soft spot for him. 

I've known his mother Katie for a long time, first as one of my students, then as a friend, and now as a colleague too.

 As long as I've known her I've been telling various stories about my dogs, and she has patiently listened even though her family were never really "dog people." I guess after listening to me and our other friend Michelle (mother to Kami) go on and on about rescuing she got bitten by the bug, and went to Hillside SPCA for Rosco. 

Anyway, all that is to say that we shared this picture of Rosco way back in the spring. 

Now we are pleased to announce the moment has arrived!! 

Owen Gabriel arrived on September 12 and is settling in nicely to his new family. 

He joins mom, dad Matt, Rosco, and Moose, a kitten who came to live with Rosco this summer.

 She (yes, it's a she) is a rescue from the Hillside SPCA of course! 

When Katie and Matt went to pick a kitten Moose had "goopy" eyes and looked like she really needed someone to step in and nurture her, and that's kind of Katie's specialty.

Tiny little Moose and big lug Rosco get along great, although Rosco is so gentle with her that at times, when she's biting his tail and hanging on, Katie and Matt have to encourage him to tell her to stop.

 He mostly looks at them with a questioning expression, then licks Moose until she is too wet to keep tormenting him. 

Just two years ago Katie and Matt said "I do." 

Now they have a whole different life and they seem to be settling in wonderfully! 

I hope they keep us up-to-date as Owen and Moose get bigger and Rosco takes care of them all.  

I also just have to share this picture of Katie's sister Julia, who is spending some quality time here with both of her nephews and her niece. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

 Much luck and love and many blessings to Katie, Matt, Owen, Rosco, and Moose!

 Please email me with your rescue stories!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday's Grab-Bag: Hercules and Craigslist

Readers you know I try to keep the blog as upbeat as possible and today is no exception. I am going to tell you a happy story about a beautiful dog. However, I would be remiss if I didn't use today's post to caution you about getting animals from the classifieds or Craigslist.

In other words, DO NOT GET or GIVE AWAY PETS THROUGH THE CLASSIFIEDS OR CRAIGSLIST. Hercules was advertised on Craigslist, and he is the subject of our post.

Zoe got Hercules when he was just 5 weeks old (not from Craigslist). He was a bit young, but it was that or to the pound for him so she took him. 

She presented him as a birthday gift to her then boyfriend. The yellow lab/German Shepherd Dog mix was playful and bright, and mastered a number of commands as she and her boyfriend worked with him.

 Below is an adorable video of puppy Hercules with his basic commands. Just click on the picture.

Zoe and her boyfriend spent every waking minute with Hercules. They both lifeguarded, so they even took him to the pool with them.

As time went by, however, the dynamics of the relationship started to change. Zoe's boyfriend told her she had to stop working with Hercules. She wasn't to feed him, call him, or work on any of his commands with him. He didn't give her any explanation, but rather would just yell at her if she whistled for Hercules or coaxed him. 

 Obviously this didn't sit well with her. Her boyfriend lived with her, or otherwise wouldn't have even been able to have a dog.

One day, her boyfriend casually mentioned that someone had offered him $850 for Hercules. Zoe's intuition, after her boyfriend's protectiveness of Hercules from her and then this statement, told her something was very wrong. She was especially curious why someone would pay $850 for a mutt.

She started to search the classifieds and Craigslist and guess what she found? A yellow lab/German Shepherd mix named Hercules for sale for $850, and her boyfriend's contact information.

YIKES! WHAT THE CRAP!?! She was steaming, obviously, not to mention heartbroken I'm sure. The good news is she found out about it in time. 

She didn't even confront her boyfriend about it. Instead, they broke up, giving him no choice but to move home with his dad, which meant no dogs. 

Zoe got to keep Hercules and to this day her boyfriend doesn't even know she saw the ad. Hercules is growing up into a wonderful dog and she is thrilled to have him, as we are thrilled he wound up with her.

It would be great if we could tell ourselves this was a rare and one-time sort of thing, but the truth is there are far too many stories out there like this. You can click this link to "Animal Rights Action" or even just do a quick Google search and you will be able to find more links than you would ever want to about stories like this.

Not only might the animals belong to someone else, as in this case or the MANY cases where pets are stolen right out of their own back yard, but when you give animals away they can become bait dogs, dogs used to fight, used as live food, sold again for a profit, sold to animal testing labs, or used in "animal crushing" videos. Yes, that's a real thing. 

Please don't support these practices. Go through a shelter or rescue organization. Use If you have to give up your pet, don't give it away free to a stranger. You're better off taking it to a shelter if you can't find someone you know and trust. If you can't save it from death you can at least spare it from cruelty.

Of course, the best thing to do is research the costs and responsibilities of getting a pet before you commit to it, and to spay/neuter it right away when you do get one. If some unfortunate circumstance arises where you find yourself with a pet in need of a home, exhaust every possibility you have. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, vet, church, Facebook friends before you even consider an ad in the paper or on Craigslist. And don't give it away for free. Charging at least a little something will weed out some of the more nefarious people.

Getting back to this beautiful dog and his smart mommy Zoe, you can follow her on Instagram at @zoe_odien. It's worth following her just to see Hercules' tongue!

Wiley and I want to thank Zoe so much for having the courage to put herself out there by sharing this story. It's not easy to talk about past relationships that we feel were mistakes, but she did it just so we can see the dangers of and potentially unethical users of Craigslist and spare animals(and their rightful owners) the possible fates that await them. 

Please share your story with me. If it's not as dramatic as Hercules and Zoe's that doesn't make it any less relevant! Readers come here because they love animals and they love happy endings. If you have those two things we want to know about it.

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