Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feel-Good Friday: What's the Story Wishbone?

We couldn't wrap up a week of Literary Characters on the Rescue Dog Blog without talking about Wishbone.  It's a little different than our other Feel-Good Friday posts, but I feel the need to share everything that's right about television when television is done right.

Wishbone was a series from the 1990s that aired on PBS. For those of you who don't know, each episode featured a daydream of Wishbone, a Jack Russell Terrier, as a character in a famous work of literature.  

I guess Wishbone had a bigger costume budget than Wiley has.
 I had to look up the exact years (1995-1998) but I had a pretty good guess that it was the mid-90s, because I was in college at the time studying to be an English teacher.  My mother ran a small daycare out of our house, and that's how I learned about Wishbone.

I watched it every day, and found myself shushing the kids if they got too loud. I imagined how much I would have loved something like that when I was a child, and pictured future English classes in which I could show little clips of Wishbone just for fun.

Wishbone tackled intense roles, from Romeo to Silas Marner, and didn't only portray the fun and fluff.  Alas, Wishbone has given way for a talking sponge and crime fighting turtles and other less literary entertainment.  Fortunately, YouTube has a plethora of Wishbone videos, and I'm linking to the Romeo and Juliet one right here.  I'm currently studying this play with my students, but I also picked this one because it involves Wishbone falling for a shelter dog, which of course turns out to be a star-crossed love affair.

I have never shown an episode of Wishbone to my students, because the episodes really haven't been available. Thank you World Wide Web, and my students will thank you too. Now I know exactly what to do with them on those noon dismissal days when the class periods are only 20 minutes long.

I hope you're inspired to do a little reading this weekend. Make sure you put the book down just long enough to share pictures of your sleeping pets and your rescue stories!

Literary Grab-bag

This week we've brought you Huckleberry Finn, Stanley and Stella, and Sherlock Holmes. Today we continue Literary Characters' Names Week with a round-up of some dogs I've seen on Instagram and some other dogs I know have literary names.  

Since I'm currently teaching Romeo and Juliet, I thought I'd share Romeo first. What a beauty. Of course I am partial to Aussies but still, Romeo is a good-looking dog.

My other classes are studying Classical Mythology, so here is a shout-out to Zeus. Doesn't he look like the God of All Gods?  The God of Thunder and Lightning? hahaha   What a face. Very cute.

This is Ares, named after the Greek God of War for those of you who have been away from the mythological world for awhile. Ares (dog Ares not the god Ares) is a brother to Isis, and seems very warlike here as he is pestering a two-year old to pet him while he sits on her lap.

Next we have Echo.  I'm not sure if her family picked her name based on the Greek story,  but when I was in high school my brother found a kitten. I was studying Greek Mythology in English class with my favorite English teacher,  Miss Stellfox, and felt inspired to name the kitten Echo. Since my Echo was an allusion, I'm choosing to see this Echo that way as well. Plus it gives me the chance to share her beautiful face.

And here we have Daisy, on the right. Daisy's mom is an English teacher who was giving a nod  to F Scott Fitzgerald when she picked the name Daisy. Daisy Buchanan is the physically beautiful but morally ugly female protagonist in The Great Gatsby. 

In the picture above, Daisy is pictured with her "Uncle" Guinness. Guinness is named after the famed Irish beer. Hmm, dogs and beer. . . I'm sensing another theme week soon!

Get me your sleeping pets pictures for next week, and don't forget to share your rescue story if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sherlock Wiley

 Wiley has officially declared himself a crime investigator.  Now just so you know I've been telling him to get a job ever since he destroyed his first roll of toilet paper, so if he can make some money this way that would be great. I asked him if his inspiration was Scooby Doo, and he got really mad at me. 

 He showed me exactly what he thought of Scooby. 

 He said Scooby doesn't take the job seriously enough.  This is Wiley's take at looking very pensive and serious.

 I really wondered what made him think he could be the next Sherlock Holmes. It turns out he got ahold of a story that was making the rounds on the internet all week. Peach, a canine police dog in England, was listed on official police documents as being at the scene of a crime. 

The prosecution then sent a request for "PC Peach"to fill out a witness statement, not realizing Peach is a dog.  The officers had some fun with this, deciding to fill out the report on Peach's behalf. Check it out:

Well when I read this I could not stop laughing. I saw it for the good-natured joke it was, although I'm not sure the prosecution feels the same way. You can read the full story in the Daily Mail here.

Wiley, however, was affronted at the implication that a dog's witness statement would be so simple and silly. He is determined to be viewed with more respect, and I suppose that's why he's going for Sherlock Holmes instead of Scooby Doo. He approached his first case with caution.


He took some notes and consulted his assistant. 

And then he got kind of tired and decided to rest.

Then he regrouped. He said "Watson-I have an idea. Get me my detective clothes!" 

Once he was suited up, he was ready to solve crime and look damn good doing it.

And so folks, there it is. Wiley has become a part of Literary Characters' Week on the blog, joining Huck and Stanley.  He is now going to be an investigator, and he will happily serve you in whatever capacity he can, although his specialties are locating tennis balls, carrots, and especially toilet paper. He will find that toilet paper no matter where it's hidden.  


 Too bad he wasn't available a few weeks ago to figure out who did this.  However, what he's really looking for is . . . your rescue stories. HA! How do you like that segue?  Get me your personal rescue stories, and don't forget to contribute to our next photo share, which will be posted next week. The theme is sleeping pets. Any kind of pet is welcome, even if it's not rescue. Sometimes we just really need to look at cute pictures of animals, period. Case closed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stanley (and Stella)

I've officially declared it a theme week here on the Rescue Dog Blog. What's the theme?  Literary characters.   Hey-I'm an English teacher ok?  I wish blogging paid the bills but it just doesn't cut it.  

Yesterday we had Huckleberry Finn as our rescue. Today I present to you. .  . Stanley.  As in Kowalski. As in A Streetcar Named Desire. 

 His shelter name was Conner, but when Niki brought him home to her other dog, Stella, she just couldn't pass up the chance to rename him.  Here he is when he was still at the pound:

Will you look at that face?  Poor Stanley was in the pound for about six months, put on "the list" and taken off again quite a few times. Just when it was almost too late a rescue organization called Big Hearts Little Paws in Scottsdale, Arizona saved him and put him in a foster home. 

 Niki wasn't looking for a second dog but when she saw Stanley's face on Facebook she knew he was destined to be part of their family. They were a little nervous about how he would fit in with Stella, who is in Niki's words, a "senior Diva,"  but take a look and see how that worked out.

Here's a very interesting fact. Stella is a pure-bred Chihuahua with a sticker price of $1200.  Just for fun Niki had Stanley DNA tested last month. The results came back 100% pure Chihuahua. No difference between him and Stella.  I really need to share this quote from Niki: "Since we have had Stanley, he has opened our eyes to how fantastic shelter dogs are. I can't imagine buying a pet from a pet store. Never!"  PLEASE please consider Niki's experience. You can be breed loyal and still rescue!  Niki cannot imagine their home without this guy:

He and Stella make a fabulous pair, although I think Stanley might have gotten into some happy pills here:

We are not quite finished with this story yet. Niki has opened her home as a foster mom, and it's a story worth hearing, but a story for another day.  Today just think about how Niki saved Stanley's life, how Stella got her groove back, and the fact that there are pure-bred dogs waiting for you in shelters all over the country.

What is your rescue story?  Share it with us, and share photos of your sleeping pets for next week's photo share!

Monday, February 25, 2013


I'm so excited to share today's rescue. First of all, the name alone is EPIC.  Huckleberry Finn.  It sounds beautiful to an English teacher's ears. My whole life I have kept a running tally of literary names that I would like to use on a dog. Wiley's personality matched exactly none of them. lol

This isn't about Wiley, though, this is about Huck and Ashley. Huck's name in the shelter was Bear, but like so many of us rescue parents do, Ashley picked something else. She said she thought, "What better name for a dog that was once a vagrant and has been adopted into polite society?"  Darn it! Why didn't I think of that!?!

Anyway, Huck's got a big case of anxiety.  He doesn't like to be left alone, and luckily Ashley doesn't have to leave him very often. She's got a supportive husband and mom, so Huck has supervision most of the time. Huh, Huck reminds me of Leroy.

Now some people would say why go to all that trouble for a dog?  We all know why. Huck's positives far outweigh his negatives. We don't give up on the people in our life who have anxiety (or in any case we shouldn't) and Ashley is prepared to do whatever it takes to make Huck happy in his furever home.

I think his tail is wagging in this picture!

Huck likes to sit in the front bay window and watch for the mailman, whom he loves! He likes to go on runs, climb trees, scale fences, destroy toys, sleep under the bed, and lick feet. I hope no one is ticklish in their house. My parents' dogs sometimes lick feet and I cannot deal with it. I start laughing before their tongue touches my foot.

Huck has a lot of fears, including the word "rope."  By the time Ashley rescued him he was about two years old, so who knows what he endured before finding such a great home? Looking at the beautiful pictures Ashley has shared, I think we can assume the people in his life now make him very happy. I think he's smiling in most of these shots!  Much thanks to Ashley for sharing this story, and to her and her family for saving Huck's life and making him so content.  Just look at him:

I think it's a good time for one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes: 

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” Oh Mark Twain, you cynical so-and-so.  How I adore you.



Ok people, get me pictures of your sleeping pets for our next photo share. You know the ones I mean, the ones that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like Huck up there. Or the ones that make us laugh out loud.  I'm waiting.   If you haven't shared your rescue story yet, please do. If you have, share this site with someone who hasn't and encourage them to contribute.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday's Gratitude: Snuggle-Bug

Every Sunday I like to post something about which I'm grateful. Today I am feeling pretty happy that Wiley is a snuggle-bug.  He likes to cuddle, and he doesn't let his size or the size of the furniture stop that in any way.

When I was growing up my family had female dogs, and they were always unbelievably affectionate. My husband had Mac, who when we met was about 5 years old, and he was about as male as dogs can get.  He would give a few kisses to a privileged set of people, mostly my husband and me. He tolerated a few hugs each day from me, and as he got old he would occasionally lie next to me on the sofa. I loved Mac as much as I loved all my dogs, but he was not snuggley. A humper, yes, a cuddler, no.  I'm sure there's a joke to be made there about the typical male but I'm going to take the high road.  

Wiley was over-the-top cuddley from the moment we brought him home. This is one of the earliest pictures I have of him, taken within the first day or two.

 He shoves his way into bed, he sits anywhere and everywhere he can try to fit, and he uses every tool he has to soften us, most notably the sad eyes and the head nudge. Boy am I a sucker for the head nudge.  Here he is sitting on my lap on the recliner, leaning across my laptop. I was trying to get a good picture with the laptop camera but this is all my little T-Rex arms could manage.

The other day I lay down on the pullout sofa, using a small couch pillow for my head. Wiley immediately jumped up and tried to figure out how to share the pillow. Below he is casually leaning on it as though there is plenty of room for both of us.

Next he snuggled his face right next to mine so we were cheek to cheek. I couldn't get a good picture because he was lying on my arm.  This is the best I could do.

He then maneuvered until he could get one paw over my shoulder, pictured below.


Note the tennis ball he had to bring with him as well.  Finally he had to get his outside paw around me, which involved a lot of stretching and groaning, until he settled on this:

Then he fell deeply and soundly asleep, probably the happiest dog in the world to be snuggling with me AND the tennis ball.

The other night my husband came to bed and found this:

We were both asleep and he turned the light on to take our picture.  It didn't seem to phase Wiley in the slightest but I could have done without it.

I am very grateful that Wiley likes to be so close to us. He snuggles with our visitors too. I'm not sure how they feel about it but I don't really care either. :-) What Wiley gets out of the closeness I may never know, but I feel calm and relaxed and loved, and who doesn't want to feel that way? 

 You know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Wiley probably gets the same thing I do out of it. Doesn't he look calm, relaxed, and loved?

 Ok, readers, I'm off to snuggle. Don't forget your homework: pictures of your pets sleeping. I've already gotten some great ones-I might even have to make this photo share into two different posts. I hope so! I love when I get so many pictures to share. Remember this is for pictures of any of your pets, regardless of species or rescue-status. If you do have a rescue story to share, you are always welcome to do so too!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What did you miss? 2/17- 2/22

There's a cuteness overload this week. Not just with our posts, but with the video I'm going to share too. I don't know why I laugh so hard when people dub voices over animals but I go nuts for that stuff.  Make sure you read until the end and check it out.

On Sunday I updated you on Wiley's health after his surgery, and on Monday I told you about what happened when he ATE a birthday party invitation I needed.  Tuesday we shared Snickers, a beautiful and naughty full bred Chihuahua who is a rescue. Wednesday was our Spoiled Pets photo share, and at the end of that post I told you about our next request, pictures of your sleeping pets.   Thursday I posted happy pictures of lucky dogs in their furever homes via Instagram, and Friday was the nutty tale of Tucker, a rescue dog who has a very important but crappy job.

Another update for the week:

Hubbie has encouraged me to promote one post per week on Facebook. It's only $5, and while I know there are 100 other uses for $5, I decided to try it for a month and see if it was worth it. I'm happy to share with you we have reached 200 likes on our Facebook page!

Blog traffic is also way up. Before we were getting on average 90 visits per day, but would go up to 150 when people shared their rescue stories on their own Facebook page. Now we are averaging 130, with spikes at or near 200 on good days. Considering we launched less than three months ago that excites me! If we keep sharing and keep promoting just imagine how many people will get to see the real life benefits of saving a rescue!  If you like a post, share it.  Make sure you like us on Facebook and encourage your friends to do so too!

One more thing. . .share with the blog. I am looking for pictures of your sleeping pets for our next photo share, and I always need your personal rescue stories too.  Now. . . your weekly dose of free laughs via video, click below.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Feel-Good Friday: Tucker's Nose Knows

This isn't a story about an adorable pair of cheetah/dog friends.  It's not a heart-warming tale of dogs helping veterans, or a heroic anecdote about a life-saving canine.  It's a story about poop. POOP. And it made me feel good when I read it.

Every part of the story of Tucker was eye-opening for me. That a dog can smell whale poop (academic name: scat) in the SEA, that there are people who ride around all day looking for whale scat, or that whale scat can tell researchers every essential thing they need to know to help with conservation efforts for sea-life, all came as a surprise to me. 

The best part of the story is that Tucker is a rescue dog. He was a stray wandering the streets of Seattle before he became the only dog in the world trained to successfully sniff out Killer Whale scat. His territory  is the Puget Sound. If you watch the video I've provided, one of the crew explains that looking for the scat is worse than looking for a needle in a haystack, because at least the needle stays still. The scat is in the process of moving and sinking.  Yet Tucker can find it from one nautical mile away.

At some point in the future I'd like to further explore and discuss a dog's sense of smell here on the blog, so I will keep the crazy statistics to a minimum. A dog's sense of smell is so sensitive compared to ours that if we used our sense of sight to explain the difference we would find that what we can see at 1/3 of a mile away a dog could see just as well 3000 miles away (NOVA).  To clarify, I'm not saying that's how much better their vision is, I'm saying that if the two senses were comparable and similar that's how it extrapolates.

Tucker's greatest reward comes in the form of a ball. If you get the chance watch the video; it's only three minutes long and it really is a great feeling to see how happy it makes Tucker to do his job.  It's hard to wrap our brains around why and how much dogs are better than we are at smelling, but it really doesn't matter, does it?  I mean I don't think any humans are anxious to take Tucker's job anytime soon.

Click on the picture below to watch the video:

Speaking of conservation, I'm not sure how many of our readers this applies to, but if you fish, or you know someone who likes to fish, send them to the CRO Flies blog. It is written and maintained by a couple of young and enthusiastic fly fishermen who are trying to foster a love of the sport and the principles of catching and releasing. They are also licensed guides so people in the Mid-Atlantic region might be interested in those services.

Anyway, that concludes Feel-Good Friday. Today's post was intended to reinforce that no dog should ever be written off, because his or her purpose may not be evident to us, but someone else might have the perfect use for that pooch. Tucker is no longer homeless; hours and hours of time are saved in the research process, and the whole ecosystem benefits.  Have an awesome weekend but don't forget your job: I need pictures of your sleeping pets! Get to work!