Thursday, June 21, 2012

But then again ~ Maybe I AM!

I paid a home visit to my beautiful "GYPSY" and her Forever Family yesterday. 
To say that it made me happy to see how happy and loved my sweet Gypsy is would be a major understatement!  

I can remember so clearly how guilty and sad I felt the day that Shaun and Megan drove away with the beautiful Plott Hound/mix that I had rescued from a high kill shelter in North Carolina.  It broke my heart to see the confusion in Gypsy's eyes as I walked away from the car that would take her to her new life.  I was so afraid that she would feel abandoned yet again!

Gypsy brought  me her beloved "Monkey toy" that I sent  with her to her new home.  I'm glad she had that 'little bit of me' with her to help her adjust to her new family.

She also showed me (from the comfort of between her Forever Dad's feet) her NEW fuzzy, squeaky toy.

I swear, Gypsy was proudly showing me how loved and happy she is!

As she went from Shaun to Megan to me for love and snuggles.

She is definitely enjoying being so very loved!

THIS is what I LOVE about doing canine rescue!

With JD, Gypsy and Cricket now safely and happily ensconced in their Forever homes, I am now in the process of choosing the next dogs that I will rescue and re-home.  It is a difficult process in that I look at hundreds of photos of sweet, sad, desperate, pleading, hopeful and hopeless dogs that so deserve a second chance at happiness and a good life.  It is heart wrenching knowing that I can only help a few at a time unless I get other people who are willing to provide Foster homes for dogs that I've rescued, until I place them with their Forever Families.  And money is always desperately needed to cover veterinary care and food for the precious souls that I am able to save!  

I've started a new "ChipIn" in hopes that you might be willing to help cover the expenses that each new rescue brings.  Right now, I am in the process of trying to save three, PUPPIES from the same high kill shelter that Gypsy came from! 


 All three were scheduled to be euthanized THIS WEEK!  It costs about a hundred dollars (each!) to pull them from the shelter and put them into boarding until transport can be arranged to bring them to the Bluff Country.  Then, of course, there will be extensive vetting once they are here.  None has received the loving care that they deserve so each will need to be brought up to date on vaccinations, worming, tested for heartworm and put on preventative (if, please God!) they are heartworm free, and spayed or neutered.  I'm figuring at least $200 per pup for all of that!

And that doesn't even take into consideration Puppy FOOD and toys! Needless to say, the ONLY reason that I am able to save these sweet souls in because of the kindness and generosity of people like YOU! Without your donations, I couldn't bring these innocent puppies to safety and prepare them for their Forever Homes!

Considering the fact that Bluff Country Canine Rescue has managed to save NINE deserving canines thus far,  I'd say that we're a pretty darn good TEAM!!!

Thank YOU 
 for you helping me help these puppies!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Maybe I'm not cut out for this...

Canine rescue is HARD.  It is particularly difficult for me because I get so very attached to the animals that I rescue.  I also hurt, horrendously, for the ones that I can't save.  Case in point:

Yesterday, I was notified of a group of dogs, desperately needing rescue ~ or facing euthanasia ~ in the Minneapolis area.  I contacted the shelter they were in and offered to rescue one of the dogs.  I was informed that I could not rescue any of the dogs that were scheduled to die because I was not on the shelter's "approved" list of rescues.  I offered to send my rescue policy and procedures as well as links to the Bluff Country Canine Rescue website, blogs and Facebook page, in addition to professional references.  I was informed that a rescue must fill out an application to be approved and the shelter wasn't even accepting applications at this time because it is their "busy season".  (meaning that lots of dogs are being killed)  I can't even submit an application until this Fall!  In the meantime, a young pup that I had hoped to save, was euthanized yesterday.  I sobbed for hours...

in the Rochester Animal Control Shelter

Today, Cricket (a black lab mix that I rescued in April), is leaving for her "Forever Home".  Now, that is the GOAL in rescue.  To rescue, rehabilitate and re-home companion animals.  My problem is, unlike most rescues, in my case the dogs that I save live in my house with me and my own dogs.  They become "members of my family".  I do this deliberately ~ even though I have plenty of room to put dogs in kennels.  I want the dogs to live in my house so that I can observe them closely and help them learn to be well behaved (in theory anyway!) house pets.  I want them to learn to trust the people that care for them and to learn that human companionship means love.  I will not place a dog in a home where it won't live and sleep in the house, so it is important that the dogs are comfortable and familiar with the 'rules' of being a house pet.

When I pulled Cricket from the Rochester shelter, she was extremely thin and very scared.  So scared, that while in her kennel in the shelter, she snarled and snapped at me.  By the time I got her home, we were friends.  I had intended to keep her in a kennel for a day or two until I was sure she would be OK with my dogs but as soon as we got 'home' Cricket was so happy that I proceeded with introductions and we all spent the night together in the house!

Over the next few weeks, Cricket blossomed.  Plenty of premium food put weight on her too thin frame and appropriate veterinary care brought her to peak health.  She learned to trust me and to share my attention with my dogs ~ especially Sable ~ whom she was not very fond of.  It didn't help that Sable kept growling at Cricket either.  A bit of 'sibling rivalry' there.

Cricket LOVES to play fetch and her favorite, outdoor toy is BIG sticks.  Branches, actually!  ;-)
The bigger, the better!

 As Cricket grew more confident and less insecure, she became a wonderful house dog.  She was happiest when she was close to me and became one of the sweetest, most eager to please dogs that I've ever had.

The time was right to find Cricket her own family.

It didn't take long to find someone who appreciated Cricket's good looks, athletic abilities and fun personality. We met several potential families for Cricket.  It is my job to select the one that will make the best match for a long term relationship.  I feel confident that I did that with Cricket.
But THIS is the hard part for me. 
 Saying Good-bye.

I have grown very attached to this beautiful dog.
She sleeps at the foot of my bed every night and runs to the office to lay at my feet under the desk when I pour my morning cappuccino. 

It is such a joy to see this healthy, confident dog run and play with abandon and not a care in the world!  She has even learned to ignore perceived 'threats' made by other dogs and not over-react defensively.  In other words:  she gets along well with all of my dogs.  

I'm gonna miss my beautiful Cricket!

It's scary, letting her go out into the world without me.

I don't ever want her to hurt or be frightened or lonely again.

It's hard, letting go.

Be Happy Cricket!
I will always Love you!

Gotta go cry now...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

This is just SO WRONG...!

If you follow Hero's blog:  "Canine Comments ~ aka:  SPEAK!", you may already know about what's happening in the Bluff Country of SE Minnesota.  It is SO frustrating for me to see how lack of education, knee jerk reactions and listening to negative propaganda without investigating the TRUTH about a specific breed of dog can lead to legislation that will result in the deaths of hundreds of innocent dogs without protecting the citizens of the effected community. 

 The following article, reprinted from the Caledonia Argus newspaper, will fill you in on what's going on:

Council looking to ban any new pit bulls within the city limits

3 Comments 06 June 2012

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By Charlie Warner
Argus Editor
Spurred on by an attack of a pit bull that resulted in the death of another dog and injuries to its owner, the Caledonia City Council spent considerable time discussing the creation of a dangerous and vicious animal ordinance last week.
According to Caledonia Police Chief Kurt Zehnder, Helen Olson was walking her miniature pinscher along the 800 block of East Grove Street on May 8 around 1 p.m. when a pit bull attacked the small dog, mauled it and ultimately killed it. Olson sustained injuries to her hand as she attempted to pull the pit bull from her dog. Her injuries required medical attention.
The pit bull was taken into custody by City Animal Control Officer Mike Gavin and observed for 10 days. The dog had all its shots. But it was discovered the dog had a micro chip identifying the animal as a potentially dangerous dog. The micro chip was placed in the dog, per state statute, following an attack that occurred when the dog was not living in Caledonia.
The dog has been put down.
“We need to put our foot down on this issue,” Zehnder told the council. “I was there. I saw what happened. It was horrendous. What happened to that small dog made me sick. We were so fortunate that a child wasn’t involved. We could have had a fatality.”
Gavin told the council that the only breed of dog he has had issues with are pit bulls and half-breed pit bulls.
“I believe the background and the breeding of this type of dog makes them quite vicious. This is one breed of dog I really don’t think we want in our community,” Gavin said. “What happened on Grove Street is indescribable.”
Zehnder said there are other cities that do not allow pit bulls. He cited Minneapolis as one major municipality that has zero tolerance for pit bulls. He added that pit bulls are illegal in the state of Colorado.
“People have had many bad experiences with pit bulls,” Zehnder said. “That’s why they have zero tolerances in many places.”
City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely said City Attorney Tim Murphy recommended that a separate ordinance dealing with vicious dogs be prepared and approved by the council.
It was pointed out that pit bulls currently in Caledonia will be grandfathered in. But, like all dogs,  they must be licensed, which will help Gavin and the local police department keep better track of them. But no new pit bulls or half-breeds will be allowed within the city limits.
The topic will be revisited at the June 11 council meeting and the new ordinance possibly approved.
Now, I don't intend to minimize, in any way, the horror of what happened to Ms. Olson and her beloved miniature pinscher.  The truth is:  what happened to Ms. Olson and her little dog is a travesty!  The dog that attacked and killed that poor little min-pin, while it was innocently (and legally!) walking down the street, should not have been running loose!  Why was he running free?  Where was his owner?  What had happened in that Pit Bull's past to cause it to be so viscous?  And WHY was a dog that had been previously designated as "dangerous", because of a previous attack, not under supervision??? 

Although I can understand the knee jerk reaction of the Caledonia City Council, in it's effort to keep the city safe, the FACT is:  Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) DOES NOT WORK!  It will not keep the citizens of Caledonia or their canine companions any safer than they were last week.  Don't take my word for it.  Here's what the National Canine Research Council has to say on the subject, from a video tape posted on their website.  It is an interview with Bill Bruce, Calgary's Director of Animal and By-Law Services and he is discussing ineffective dog laws such as breed-specific legislation, pet limit laws, and mandatory spay-neuter, and why these broad based forms of legislation are INEFFECTIVE:   
National Canine Research Council Interview with Bill Bruce on Ineffective Dog Laws

The National Canine Research Council, is an organization that is committed to preserving the human-canine bond. They publish, underwrite, and reprint accurate, documented, reliable research to promote a better understanding of our relationship with dogs.  The following is their view on "Responsible Pet Ownership Laws".
It is my sincere hope that the City Council members of Caledonia, MN., will not react out of passion caused by a horrific incident but that they will make an informed, educated decision based on what is good for ALL of the residents of Caledonia ~ both human AND canine.

To be continued...

Friday, June 08, 2012

It's gonna be a HOT one...

 I apologize in advance if this post ends up being whiny.
But I HATE the heat!
And it's supposed to get hot today and stay hot until next week.

As in ninety degrees (F) and high humidity.

I know.
There are places where the temperatures are even higher.
But this is HUMID heat.

  The kind that just sucks the life out of you!

Anyone that knows me knows that I am the world's biggest baby, when it comes to being hot.
I am uncomfortable with anything above 70 degrees.
Heck!  I keep my thermostat set at 50 degrees all winter long ~ in MINNESOTA!

I hate sweating.

The dogs and I have a date at the beach this afternoon!
I made this video yesterday when I walked Cricket (one of my rescues who is available for adoption) down to the creek near my place...

I may just JOIN them today!
If only we didn't have to go OUT in the heat and humidity to GET to the beach...

It's only JUNE!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Whirl-around Wednesday...

I don't believe that I have ever had a dog that chased (and caught!) it's tail quite as enthusiastically as Cricket.

Have a FUN Wednesday!


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