Wednesday, February 26, 2014


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of telling you about Bonnie. What I really liked about Bonnie's story is that it wasn't a rescue story in the typical sense but rather was more about the lengths that Brittany was willing to go to so that she and Bonnie could stay together. If you didn't read the story I really encourage you to check it out here.  Today, we get to meet Bonnie's brother, Karter. 

Once Brittany and her boyfriend were ready for another dog, she decided, after fostering several,  she wanted a female. 

She went to the Humane Society in March of 2012 and saw Karter there, but she decided to pass since he was a male.

 However, when she went home she couldn't stop thinking about that 15 lbs under weight and heartwarm positive guy, and she ended up taking her boyfriend in to meet him.  

 They hit it off right away, which was important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that many of the other dogs there seemed a bit intimidated by men. 

Brittany learned that Karter was a stray from a small town known for a lot of backyard breeding.  

He wasn't aggressive and didn't act abused, but he was very food-obsessed. 

Now, lots of pets are food-obsessed. Heck, Jenny will steal right from a cooking pot if I turn my back for a minute, and she's a cat! But Karter's food obsession is a bit more intense than that.

 He eats anything. Anything.

 Did I say anything? Because I meant everything. 

They have to watch him super closely, because according to Brittany he will eat "rocks, poop, plants, carmex, ink, toys, batteries, trash, etc."    Wow.

The worst incident was when he got into a poisonous Sago Palm tree and ate it. 

He got extremely sick and had to be rushed to the emergency vet in liver failure! How terrifying!!  He had to stay there for a few days but he's obviously all better now.

 Today the worst holdover from his food-obsession is to begin reminding Brittany and her boyfriend about 30 minutes before dinner that it's time for him to eat. And heck, Wiley does that to us too. Even my own stomach betrays me that way.

Obviously Brittany takes lovely pictures.

 I have just a little bit of the story that remains, and that is to explain how Bonnie and Karter get along. But I am going to keep you in suspense until next time and use that part of the story as an excuse to share more of Brittany's amazing photos. 
You can follow her on Instagram @brittanyv326 to see what she can do.

Thanks Brittany for sharing Karter with us! Everyone keep your rescue stories coming. I know I'm a bit behind and only posting 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6 but I'm still here and willing to put your stories out there. It's just this pesky thing called a day job that's been taking up a lot of my time. BOL.  

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend Warriors

How did Wiley and I (and Jenny) spend this beautiful weekend?  Why thank you for asking! The Northeast finally had a bit of a thaw, and we did our best to take advantage of it.  While Hubs was away at Kutztown University's first baseball tournament in Newport News, VA (they won of course), it was up to me and the furkids to take care of business.  It started with dealing with the large slabs of ice falling off of the rubber roof. 

As the temperature climbed to a balmy 45 degrees and the sun shone unobstructed the many layers of snow/ice began to slide en masse and land right outside our door. I didn't want Wiley and myself to get crushed so I had to knock it down as best as I could.  

We also took advantage of the nice weather to actually hang out some laundry! Wiley was thrilled with anything that kept us outside and involved me throwing his ball. 

Another project I had to tackle was painting the bathroom. Jenny helped me by sitting in the bathtub scratching insanely for a long time. This is a little snippet, but you have to watch it just to see the look of death she gives me at the end.  

The weather offered a good chance to get Wiley down to the pet store for a bath. Good news for me, bad news for Wiley!

He is just so dejected when he has to get a bath, even though we were using lovely homemade soap that Carrie gave him for Christmas. 

He especially hates the blow dryer. 

Oh heck, who am I kidding? He especially hates everything.

Giving him a bath alone gets tricky. You can see how wet my sleeve gets from trying to maneuver him while washing him, even while wearing their huge plastic apron.  The light gray at the very top of the picture is the dry part. The rest is soaked.

Here's a picture of him doing the patented dog shake.

After it was over I told him to pick a treat. Now, I always tell him this, and with each successive trip he calms down more and more and is able to show a bit more interest. This time he actually knocked a box off the shelf. Sorry it's blurry but i didn't expect him  to be moving.

It was a type of treat he's never had before, and at first I thought it was a coincidence so I pointed out some other ones. He sat down right in front of them! Ok, then. I guess those were the ones he wanted. BOL.

I had to run into Lowe's to get paint rollers. I was gone less than five minutes (I know people get ornery about dogs in cars-it was 45 degrees out and all four windows were open like you see here. He was not going to overheat.), and when I came back I sneaked up to the car from a different direction and quietly said his name.  This was his response.  Awwww. 

Also I want to give  a shout-out to Lowe's for having this rescue dog magazine in their checkout line! How cool!

The best part of the weekend came today when Wiley went for a walk with Rosco. 

Now, I've already shown you their first playdate. It went about as good as it could given Wiley's neuroses about anything new and all other dogs.  So today I told him we were going to go with Rosco, and we had to go outside and wait for him to get here. 

Wiley was vigilantly on the lookout.  

Imagine his surprise when Rosco showed up with his brother Owen. Owen was surprised to see Wiley too. 

 Rosco and his dad Matt led the way, while Katie, Owen, Wiley, and I walked side by side. 

Wiley doesn't do well with other dogs behind him. Occasionally during the walk he was almost side by side with Rosco, but I was having such a good time chatting with Katie and Owen that it didn't even occur to me to take a picture.

After the walk I wanted to take some cute pictures of Rosco, but he was still so excited. Here you can see him say "But I don't want to sit down Dad!"

"Ohhhh, okay." 

"Oh hi buddy! Were you with us this whole time? Cool!"

Check out Rosco's tongue.

Finally the moment came for Wiley to meet the baby. A real bonafide baby. Wiley did well with Charlie (click here to see), but she was starting to toddle around. Owen is not quite six months old. Katie is pretty dog savvy so she gave Wiley time to come up to Owen on his own.

He was very interested. 

 Katie made sure Owen couldn't grab Wiley or scare him with his hands in any way. 

Then there were many kisses.

"We ever gonna get one of these Mom?"

Wiley and Jenny did a great job of keeping me company while their dad was away. Wiley even insisted on crawling up on my lap late at night when I was passing the time by doing a jigsaw. He did not fit, but he sure acted like he did.  That would be his back you're looking on on the left of the picture.  Both he and the laptop are sharing my lap.

I couldn't have really asked for better company. It's hard to get lonely with him on my lap and Jenny grooming my head as I try to sleep. Yes, that happened. She is so weird. I do not have pictures though. haha.  Would you settle for this picture of her lying on the shower curtain (currently down due to painting)?

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Feel-Good Friday

As the 2014 Winter Olympics come to a close most people know that the attention the event itself received was pretty negative.


 Personally Wiley and I were extremely disappointed with everything we heard about Russia leading up to the games, beginning with their treatment of the GLBT community, continuing through the exploitation of the people and resources of various locations there,  and obviously extending to their treatment of the stray dog population. If you don't know what I'm referring to, here is a link, but I warn you it's so sad I can't even describe it here. 

To make a long story short, there are a lot of dogs in Russia looking for homes, and they need them pretty quickly. Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic Skier who earned a silver medal, has gotten a lot of attention over the past few days- not just for his skills on skis, but for his special heart.

photo courtesy of The Today Show

 Not only is he adopting a puppy, but he is also working with a Russian billioniare named Oleg Deripaska to get more dogs back to America and many others into a shelter Deripaska had built. Click here to read an article from their story featured on the Today show.  This coverage also talks about the many other Olympic athletes who have stepped up to try to help.  

 These two pictures of Gus are ones he tweeted, so if you'd like to see more you should follow him @guskenworthy.

When athletes do these things, we should be forever grateful. They have an audience and a sway that most of us do not. Seeing these people reach out to lost and lonely dogs calls attention to the need to rescue our pets instead of buying them. 

One organization that is also trying to help is Athletes for Animals. This group was started by David and Kelly Backes. They promote adoption and safe, pet-friendly practices like spaying and neutering, while simultaneously raising money for various animal causes. 

David is a professional hockey player who plays for the St. Louis Blues and the US Olympic Team. In these pictures he is with Alex Pietrangelo, a Canadian hockey player. Look at how these rivals put aside their differences to help the dogs in Sochi! 

These pictures are from Athletes for Animals' Facebook Page, which you should check out when you get the chance. Any high-profile positive attention brought to our cause is so encouraging! 

It's important to note former athletes and journalists now in Sochi, like Amanda Bird, a press officer for the US Bobsled team, are part of the effort. In fact Amanda said she's hoping to adopt an older dog because she knows the puppies will have plenty of interested takers. Brava Amanda! 

Sochi's dogs may have been on their own before The Olympics got there, but we can hope and pray that through the publicity brought to the situation, they'll be better off when we leave them than when we found them.   In fact, wouldn't it be great if we could say the same about all of marginalized groups in Russia? The athletes' response to the dogs in Sochi reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes, which I have displayed in my classroom.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
 "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."   Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.


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