Doggie Watering Fountains


People often ask me for advice when they have questions about their dogs – or if not advice, then they ask what my experience has been in regards to their question. For that reason, I’ve started a new category here Up on the Woof: The Woof on Dog Products, where I will share my experiences with different products.

This is where I’ll tell you about products that have worked for me, and my dogs, and maybe some that haven’t.

Finding the Right Doggie Watering Fountain

With five dogs in our house, filling the community water bowl can be a full time job. Over the years, we’ve tried various self-watering bowls, with varying degrees of success. The biggest issue with all of them has been that they either didn’t hold enough water for our multi-dog household, or if they did, the bowl was slimy and full of debris before the water ran out. When we moved into the log cabin, we were faced with an additional issue: the house worked on a cistern, and even though the water is potable, we haven’t always been confident of its purity. So we decided to try out a dog water fountain.

Switching from a standing bowl to a fountain may take some getting used to for your dog. When we first made the switch we had a hard time getting Waldo to drink from it. The noise and moving water worried him. He kept putting his paw in the bowl and splashing the water out.

The first fountain we tried was on the small side. It held 2 quarts of water. The pump was kind of noisy and was small and fussy to disassemble for cleaning. The filter was a tubular mesh that fit over the pump and was quickly overwhelmed with debris. As it only held 2 quarts of water, our five dogs drained it quickly and it needed frequent refilling and cleaning. I could never get it to work right after cleaning, but would have to let the pump dry out completely before reassembling and filling.

clearflow fountainThe second fountain we purchased was more expensive, but it has worked great for us. It is a K&H CleanFlow Fountain. It was  more expensive than the first fountain, but it was money well spent. The CleanFlow filters the water up to 130 times per hour. It has a quiet pump that is easy to take apart for cleaning, and holds a large stand-alone charcoal filter. The filter catches any hair or debris and the replacement filters are inexpensive. When you clean it, you can see how well the filter works! The pump can be reassembled immediately and will work right away, without a lengthy drying time.

filtersThe best part about the CleanFlow is that every size holds more than a gallon of water. We bought the largest size, which holds two gallons. Our dogs drink more water since we got the fountain, because the filtered and moving water tastes fresher. The fountain came with two cleaning brushes; one for the bottle and one for the pump. When the water gets low, a rattling noise lets you know that the bottle needs to be refilled.

When you are making the switch to a fountain for your dog, keep in mind how many dogs will be using it so you choose the right size, and remember that there will be an adjustment period for your pet.

 

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Oh My Achey-Breaky Heart-y-hide.


When Erich Segal wrote the words “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” in his best selling book Love Story, one thing was abundantly clear. Segal didn’t have a dog.

If you live with a dog, you know that “Sorry” makes up a large portion of your conversation with them. I spend an extraordinarily ridiculous amount of time  apologizing to my dogs.

“I’m sorry, it’s pouring down rain, we can’t take a walk right now.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t give you any of this, it has onions/raisins in it.”
“I’m sorry, but you have to stay home.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m not giving you a sixth biscuit.”
“I’m sorry the cabinet door hit you in the face, you should back up a little.”
“I’m sorry I tripped over you, are you OK?”
“I’m sorry I accidentally kicked you. Really. I’m so sorry!”
“I’m sorry, but we are out of treats.”
“I’m sorry, but that’s all we have for dinner tonight.”
“I’m sorry, but you have to stay out of the kitchen while I mop the floor.”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot find your favorite ball.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to take that away from you before you get hurt.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m not sharing my sandwich.”

The list goes on and on.

This week, we reached a whole new level of sorry, and honestly, I don’t know how to make this one OK. For the past two months, we’ve been trying to get Rocket Boy his favorite treats, but we haven’t been able to find it in the stores. I finally called the manufacturer to ask if they were having distribution problems, and was told that they have

                                                      DISCONTINUED THE ITEM.

NOOOOO!!!!    O.M.G.  WHY, Purina, WHYYYYYYY?
Clearly, Purina does not know that they have just ruined our peaceful existence.

If the truth be told, I should be whipped for being a faithful customer of Purina’s Busy HeartyHide. Whipped because I was on the front lines of reporting about Purina’s Waggin Train Chicken Jerky treats being responsible for the sickness and death of dogs. You can read about that mess here: Chicken Jerky is killing dogs.  I protested along with a lot of other people about their refusal to take responsibility, or even to just recall the damn treats…but secretly, I still continued to buy the HeartyHides, (which were not made or sourced in China.)… because

rocketface                                                                                 This face.

Rocket Boy is nuts about these things. (As was Troll before him, when they were called Chew Eez), It is like crack. There is a whole procedure in place at our house. Rocket Boy and Waldo each get a HeartyHide. Waldo lies down with his and waits. Rocket licks one side of his, then flips it over and licks the other side. When he is finished, Waldo puts his untouched treat in front of Rocket and trades it for Rocket’s licked one. Rinse/repeat. Rocket Boy seldom eats a HeartyHide, he just wants to lick them. He wants to lick ALL of them.

But now, that’s all over. Life as Rocket Boy has known it has changed forever.  How am I supposed to explain that to the little guy? How do I make him understand that Purina is not making HeartyHides any more?  I can’t, he just doesn’t get it. He has eight years of HeartyHide crack addiction under his (figurative) belt, and now Purina just expects him to go cold turkey.

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“Whatchoo mean der’s no more?”

I saved more than 100 empty boxes so we could take a photo of RB with them and plead our case for coupons from Purina….but I never got around to it. Tonight I stacked them all up and took a photo of Rocket Boy with them with a different aim in mind: to ask Purina how I’m supposed to explain this latest corporate decision to our boy.

He is heartbroken.

He is broken Heart-y-Hide.

They said they’ve been discontinued because of waning sales. Really? Well, you can’t blame me for any of that. I have obviously done my part. And if that’s the case, then why did I make twenty five phone calls to stores around the city today before I was able to find the last 3 boxes in the Greater Cleveland/Greater Akron area? Somebody besides me is buying them. Today, a $3.00 box is trending at $28. a box on ebay, and $15 on amazon, which indicates demand.

I wonder what’s really going on.

Speed Star 1.1536320  00
The last 3 boxes of Purina Busy HeartyHide in the Greater Cleveland/Greater Akron area, ever. And it’s not even his flavor.

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We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for the dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons,  or Cesar coupons that  you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Andy if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides in your store, for God’s sake, send them to us!

I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but that would make life a whole lot easier.

Things we need Up on the Woof

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Trouble in the Dog House


Ever since D and I became involved in rescue, we’ve been fortunate to have a great group of dogs. There is usually a core group of three or four, and they have always been tolerant and accepting of any foster pets or new arrivals. Even when we took in crazy Ben, our core group kept the peace by giving him a wide berth. Except Dillon, who always had to be in the middle of everything, and who tolerated no nonsense from anybody…including me!

PICT0402None of them have ever had obedience training, although I’ve felt like certain of them should have.

We’re having some behavior problems with Waldo that we are completely to blame for, though I point the finger at D, who lets him get away with everything, and won’t discipline him, nor will she let me discipline him. D does a lot of complaining about the dogs’ bad behaviors, or rather, she complains about the girls, which she refers to as my dogs. Only, my girls are good. They mostly follow me around and sit quietly when we are watching TV. It’s her boys that make all the racket; constantly barking for attention or treats…Waldo has even taken to kicking the trash bucket in a demand for food. We call that “beating his drum”. Just to shut them up, or make him stop misbehaving, she reinforces the bad behavior by giving in. I can’t make her understand that she is just making things worse.

It’s a good thing we never had human children together, they’d be delinquents.

At least our dogs don’t fight with each other. They do a fair amount of complaining to us about one another,  but there are seldom, if any, skirmishes. Once in awhile, Waldo will make a gesture at one of the girls,  just to mess with them, but it’s very much a big-brother-pretending-to-be-a-monster thing. “Rahr! I could eat you up if I wanted to, but I won’t because you probably taste like caca! ”

Our most recent core group is made up of five quirky individuals, each with their own unique traits, personality, and, for lack of a better word, weirdness. Dogs have come and gone, and they’ve remained steady…until now.

Suddenly, we have trouble in the dog house. By “dog house”, I don’t mean an actual dog house. Our dogs do not live outside, nor do I believe that any dog should. By dog house,  I mean the three room log cabin we share with our dogs, which is essentially theirs, we just happen to live here too.

Last summer, we took in a new dog. About a month after that, we began having a behavior problem with Maria (of the core group). She is normally a very sweet girl, kind of paranoid, but affectionate and obedient. However, she started being a bully, not to the new dog, but to Taco  (also of the core group.) Maria is 8 years old, Taco is 15. Maria bullies by posturing at close range, cutting Taco off as she is walking, and growling and jumping on her pushing her down. They are the same size, but Taco has a bum knee, and she is also the most passive,  goodnatured dog in our group, which makes her easy to bully.

I won’t stand for bullying. Maria’s behavior is unacceptable.

Our dogs get a lot of one-on-one attention. They get cuddled and kissed, petted and fussed over. They sit in our laps, beside us in our chairs, and sleep in our beds. They are talked to and played with. They are loved, and they know it.

Speed Star 1.1537321  00

But lately, Ri doesn’t want us to give Taco any attention or show her any affection at all. Last week,  when Taco followed me into the bathroom, I picked her up to give her a cuddle. Ri came down the hall to the bathroom, and when she stepped inside and saw Taco on my lap, she had an expression of such fury on her face that I had to laugh. Her eyes absolutely blazed. If she could speak, she’d have shouted “just what in hell is going on in here?!”

I finally consulted with a trainer about how to give Ri an attitude adjustment. I’ve been instructed to give her a ‘time out’ when she picks on Taco. Additionally, I’ve been told to make sure she is fed last, and that she does not pass through any doorways ahead of Taco.

The behavior hasn’t stopped completely, yet, but it’s become less frequent.

Do you have similar troubles in your dog house? If so, how did you deal with it?

 

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We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for the dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons, Busy Bone coupons, or Cesar coupons that  you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.

There are also items that we just can’t afford, but that would make life a whole lot easier.

Things we need Up on the Woof

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Wrecked. (The story of a little yellow dog)


I’m taking a little break from my usual type of blog posts tonight to tell you a little story about something that happened to me.

I tied my little boat to the pier in 1982. It was a simple boat, but it was seaworthy. There was nothing special about the rope I used, but it was sturdy. Over the years, the rope held fast, everowboat1n when the water was choppy. But inclement weather wore at the rope, and by the year 2000, it had become so frayed that one day it snapped, and I was cast adrift, my oars still on the dock. I watched the dock get smaller as I was swept farther from shore.

I thought I might be able to swim, but I was so tired, and the water was so rough. So I sat and watched the land shrink in the distance; and soon, I knew that I was too far out to make it back to shore swimming against the current. I was unceremoniously swept out to sea, alone and adrift for weeks. I had nothing to sustain me.

Eventually I began to think about throwing myself overboard to sink peacefully to the bottom of the sea. Every day the water became more and more inviting, beckoningrowboat2 me to jump. I resisted the urge with all my might, but it was all I could think about.

Finally, I washed up on the shore of an island. I was shipwrecked there, alone, for a long time. More than a year. Every minute of every day was spent struggling to survive. It gave me a lot of time to think. I thought about who I had been, and what I thought myself to be.

“I am an artist.” I told the birds and the fish. But they mocked me. “How can you be an artist when you are not producing art?” They asked.

Good point.

“I am a writer.” I said to the crabs scuttling on the beach. They snapped their pinchers crabsonbeachat me. “How can you be a writer, ” they asked, “when you sit there like a piece of driftwood?”

So I began to pick up rocks and bits of detritus, and I formed letters on the sand.

S.O.S.

One day a small plane flew over the island. It circled and came back, so I knew the pilot had seen my message. A couple of days later, it came back again, and this time,  it dropped something. The object fell through the sky and landed on the beach. It was a package. Inside the package was a knife, a saw, and two boards. There was a note inside that said ‘Here are some tools.

I spent the next two months using the tools. I fashioned myself two oars, and when they were finished I bid farewell to the birds and crabs and rowed away from the island toward civilization. It was hard, exhausting work. I ached all over. I stopped often to sleep, and when I slept, I slept deeply.

One night I dreamt I was in a dark little bar with some friends. It was no bigger than a hallway. There was someone I knew there, and she was wearing a gorilla suit. Then the door opened and a little dog walked in. At least,  I think it was a dog. It didn’t look like any dog I had ever seen. It was tiny, and had a very large head. It looked up at me. Way, way up.

“That dog should be yellow.” I said. The gorilla nodded.

When I finally made it back to the mainland, I was a changed person. Everything looked different. “Who am I?” I asked the stranger in the mirror. “I used to be an artist. How can I call myself an artist if I am not making art?”

I said this over and over during the next year. I said it to myself. I said it to my dogs.
But making art seemed too intimidating. One day I saw an article in a magazine about an artist who made paintings the size of a postcard. That seemed almost doable. ‘Small art is better than no art.’ I thought. ‘Maybe I can make small art.’

“How can I call myself an artist if I am not making art?” I asked my lifemate.

“Make art!” She said.

One day while my lifemate was at work, I gathered my art tools. I sat for a long time and just looked at the paper. “What should I paint?” I asked myself. “What do you want to paint?” The paper asked.

The only thing I could think of was the weird little dog in my dream.

So, I painted.

peasm

When my lifemate came home, she saw the painting on the table. “What the hell is that?” She asked.

I smiled. “Exactly. ” I said.

     I’ve been painting my yelodoggie art since 2003, after a long, painful, debilitating depression. At first, the painting had simple titles, but since I love words just as much as art, the titles became playful and clever twists on the Latin name for the domestic dog, Canis familiaris.

     I began writing in earnest in 2006, and have authored six books in the past decade. My books are available from amazon (see the links on the right) and my yelodoggie paintings are for sale in my etsy shop. The originals sell off pretty fast, but there are always prints available, and at a cost that everyone can afford. Selling my books and paintings is how I feed myself and my dogs, so please, take a look.

ydpaintings

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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Only You Can Save Your Pet


Tonight (Feb 4) when I checked for updates on my Facebook page, Lost & Found Ohio Pets, this was one of the most recent posts:

Kane

The most recent update on the post was at the bottom. Kane had been put to sleep at the Lucas County Dog Pound. You’ll note that this notice was shared to my page by the dog’s owner on Feb 2., and that the update was today, on the 4th.

The reason why I am calling your attention to this, is because from the time Kane went missing on the 31st, to the time he was put down at the pound, was 4 days. You’ll also note by the photo, that Kane was a pit bull or pit bull mix, which did not work in his favor. Additionally, you will note that the lost notice says he was wearing a red collar.

Now, I don’t know for sure, but my guess would be that in that short of a time, he arrived at the pound with his collar on. Even if there were no tags attached, it would indicate that he belonged to somebody.

That didn’t save him.

I don’t know how crowded the Lucas County Pound was that day. But even if it wasn’t full, they have to plan for the next day…so the stray, unidentified pets that have been held for three days are on the kill list. If they had to choose…they’d keep the ones that they felt were the “most adoptable”.  Since 75% of the pit bulls who enter shelters are killed…my guess is that ‘pit bull’ is not on their most adoptable list. And how Kane responded in that strange, scary, noisy place would have been another factor in deciding his fate. If he acted afraid, or withdrawn, or agitated, or if he were injured, he was a goner for sure. (Do you know how your pet would act at the dog pound?)

This listing and the outcome breaks my heart.

There are 4 things that might have saved Kane’s life, and that is why I am blogging this. To LET YOU KNOW that ONLY YOU CAN SAVE YOUR PET.

Don’t fool yourself by thinking that your pet will never go missing. Let’s face it: accidents happen. No matter how safe we try to keep our pets, they get out. They run. They explore. If they are fortunate enough to be picked up by animal control, their time is limited. And nothing stands between them and death, except YOU. Give yourself, and them, the best chance of being reunited.

1. License your pet. Today. A license is their ticket home if they end up in Animal Control, and it’s Ohio law.

2. Keep an updated I.D. on your pet at all times (if possible)

3. Microchip your pet – AND DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER THE CHIP with your information. AND DON’T FORGET TO UPDATE your info if you move, or if your phone number changes.

4. If your pet goes missing, there are lots of groups like Lost & Found Ohio Pets that will help you get the word out…but nothing can take the place of your presence. Check your city pound, and your county pound DAILY. You must go there IN PERSON…because the way you describe your pet over the phone may not be the way the person fidofrontcover_thumbwho answered would describe your pet. Take a photo with you. Give them multiple ways to contact you.

These four things can mean the difference between life and death for your pet.

For more tips on what to do when your pet is missing, or how to prepare yourself for the possibility, pick up a copy of Finding Fido. [also available on kindle] Every pet owner should have one. 100% of the proceeds from sales benefit the Beagle Freedom Project.

Posted in Animal Advocacy, Random Woofs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Why There’s no Place for Ego in Rescue


NEWSFLASH: Animal rescue in all its incarnations is about the animals, not YOU.

Yeah, that seems like a no-brainer, but I am astounded by the number of people I come across in rescue who are all about being congratulated or about winning some kind of imaginary competition in their own addled brains. It happened again yesterday, and this time it really set my hair on fire.peter head on fire jared hindman

Some of you  may know (and if you don’t, you should), that I am the founder of the Community page, Lost & Found Ohio Pets on Facebook. I’ve written about my community page here before, and about why I started it.

I have met some wonderful people since then, some whom have volunteered to help me admin the page. My co-founder is Annie, who helps me create procedures and educate the public. Rox puts in hours each day reviewing the posts people make, making sure she has complete information and then sharing the posts to our timeline. Karen and Amanda crosspost the listings. Denise scans the page for comments indicating that a pet has made it home, and moves those pets into our ‘Home Safe’ albums. Brianna texts people who have listed their pets and follows up with them to see if the animal (or pet’s family) has been found. (People are not so great about posting when their pet’s case is resolved.) I do some of all these things, plus keep a database of the animals and file every animal’s  photo and info in monthly albums for easy viewing and updating. We all devote many hours to the page.

Since the page began in lostFebruary of 2013, more than 4,000 animals have been posted and shared on our page. How does sharing work? Well, if you click ‘share’ on a Facebook post it puts that post on your own timeline, where your friends can see it. Unfortunately, Facebook will s how the post to only about 12% of your Facebook friends, but hopefully, some of them will share the post from your page, and 12% of their friends will see it. As you can imagine, it’s kind of a snowball effect, allowing a single post to be seen by thousands of people…making that animal more visible, and therefore, more likely that someone, somewhere, will have some information about the missing pet.

Facebook might just as well have been created for the purpose of rescue. Rescue groups were quick to discover the possibilities, and have used the service to help millions of animals worldwide.

Lost & Found Ohio Pets is not the only such service on Facebook. There are hundreds. There are at least a dozen pages just for Ohio pets. Each page has their own followers,  – admittedly, there is some overlap – but it ends up being a very large network. From the beginning, we have done whatever we can to work with those other groups to give our pets and theirs more visibility. This effort has not always been reciprocated.

Yesterday, a popular and successful page had a run-in with one of my admins. Our admin posted in the comments under one of their listings that the pet’s family should also post their information to Lost & Found Ohio Pets. This prompted the following response from the admin of that page. I’m posting it word for word:  “Why in the world would you encourage someone to utilize your page that has no history of reunions?!

First of all, the statement is blatantly false. We’ve been instrumental in plenty of reunions, and have received hundreds of messages from families thanking us for our service. Secondly, it is unkind.  Don’t want to work together? Say so. Don’t make false statements about us. When the admin told me about this, I messaged the admin of that page to ask why they would malign Lost & Found Ohio Pets when we should be working together.

foundThe conversation that ensued is what set my  hair on fire. I’m not one to malign other groups, and usually when I have something critical to say about a person or group, I don’t name them…but this was so over the top, that I am not going to pull any punches. The group is Pet FBI (formerly Pet FBI Ohio).

Pet FBI is a good group. They have had a lot of success. They are a group that has a website with an online database where you can post a lost or found pet, which they also share on their Facebook page. They are not the only such group that operates that way. They are also for pets nationwide, not just Ohio. They work just as hard as we do to get lost animals home, but they use a method that we do not.  There’s no rule that says everybody in rescue has to do things the same way! We list Pet FBI in the notes on our page, as another place people should go to post their missing pet…because we are all about networking, and want people to use every avenue available to them BECAUSE GETTING THE LOST PET SEEN AND HOME IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT.

I was very discouraged to learn during my conversation with their admin that there is some mighty ego at work, and I’m sorry, but there is JUST NO PLACE IN RESCUE FOR EGO. Ego hinders the mission.

When I asked why that admin maligned our page, she wrote Don’t comment on our page suggesting people utilize your page. Simple as that.

At face value, I can understand that. When you have a web page you don’t want to direct people away from it, you want to keep them engaged. But we’re not talking about business, we’re talking about rescue. And getting pets home requires getting the word out to as many people as possible.

When I said that to Pet FBI Ohio’s admin, she disagreed. Apparently, they don’t want to work with other groups. The admin said Pet FBI has been around since 1998 as a CENTRAL location to facilitate reunions of lost and found pets. Way before Facebook and before you created your FB page. You are doing a disservice to lost and found pets in Ohio. If you truly cared about lost and found pets in Ohio you would suggest pet owners and finders that post on your page utilize our free lost and found pet database.

Wait. Don’t we already do that? And let me get this straight…didn’t this admin just tell me out admins should not suggest on their page that people also utilize our page…but she wants us to tell people on our page to utilize their page? What is wrong with this picture? She thinks I don’t truly care about lost and found pets? I hate it when people tell me what I do and do not care about….especially people who do not know me.

And, most aggravating,  to say that we are doing a disservice to lost and found pets in Ohio? Maybe she should say that to the families of these pets: posted and shared on the Lost & Found Ohio Pets page who made it home safely just in the past 6 weeks.
home

I’m not saying we are 100% responsible for these happy endings, but I am saying that our page was instrumental.

When I discussed this conversation with my co-founder, Annie, it set her hair on fire too. She said How dare anyone take anything away from a missing pet or their owner. I would have said as much. There is no such thing as a success rate, this isn’t a game. This is pets and people suffering with lost pets, and time is never on your side when your pet goes missing. Making friends in the cross posting and networking community is imperative to a safe return. Many of the dogs can be euthed in a pound as a stray the day they enter. What disservice is being done here? Not to mention in 3 days someone else can adopt your dog. That would mean we post everywhere, in every way as fast as possible. Not all pages can keep up, so having many avenues is necessary. I would not have been able to stop that conversation with as strongly as I feel about limiting dogs in pounds. When there isn’t a success story what the fuck does she think happened? Time, views, networking, was not on the side of the owner and pet and I guarantee many went to pounds and what happens next no one knows!”

That’s my philosophy, and I’m sticking to it. Network, network, network. Don’t think you can do it yourself, because going it alone actually limits the chances for the lost animals.  Work together.

If you stayed with me for this whole post, thank you. Honestly, I had trouble with this post tonight. I asked myself ‘Is airing this disagreement ego-driven?’ I’m not really sure. I just know that networking is what gets lost pets home and saves pets’ lives, and that’s what matters.

Please network. Please use every avenue available to you when you lose a pet. And quit keeping score. It’s not a competition, it’s a mission.

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Your One-Stop Update on 2015’s Posts


Thank you all for following me during 2015, and sharing Up on the Woof with your friends and family. Every year the blog gains more readers, and I appreciate everyone’s stick-to-it-iveness.

I was looking over the year’s posts and saw that I could provide updates on many of them, so here you go…a follow up to much of what was written about this year, working backwards.

IN OCTOBER, I wrote about the botched store set-up at our local Walgreens, and asked my readers if I was crazy, or not so much. The results of the poll were:

70% said  not crazy
20% said other (but only one person commented)
10% said  definitely crazy
0%   said  maybe a little crazy

dog on bikeAlthough the store manager promised me that they would reset the pet food aisle after Christmas due to my concerns, when I checked the aisle at the beginning of November, it was already reset. So apparently, the squeaky wheel does get the grease. Advocacy – 1 , Stupidity – 0.
pawprints
EARLIER IN OCTOBER, I wrote about a dog that I had intended on liberating (ok, stealing) from her current home, but the night before I planned on putting events in motion, the family surrendered her to me.

Zoey is a 9-year-old rat terrier. She is doing great. She had a number of medical issues: she was urinating uncontrollably, and drinking gallons of water. We had the vet run a series of tests to diagnose what wasZoey and me wrong, and it turned out that she had a raging infection from a mouthful of rotten teeth. Valley Save-a-Pet helped us take care of her medical expenses. We scheduled her for a dental, and when everything was said and done, they had to pull every one of her teeth!  

She is a velcro dog…she sticks close by my side  24/7, sleeps in my arms and crams into my chair with me. It didn’t take her long to figure out that I am the Dog Ma. She is deliriously happy here.

pawprints
IN SEPTEMBER, I wrote about dog rescuers, and what drives them. I told the erniebertfureverstory of Bert and Ernie, two terriers who had been abandoned in the woods, duct taped inside of a crate. JJ’s Ruff Roads took the boys in, and  I hooked rescuer, Ramona, up with Valley Save-a-Pet, to help with the cost of their medical. By November, the little guys were adopted together! They are happy in their furever home where they have (I think) 3 canine siblings.

 

pawprints

IN AUGUST, I wrote about my Jack Russell Terrier, Lammy Lamb, and about her end-of-life care. We helped her get to the bridge on August 10. I thought my heart couldn’t hurt more than it did when I lost Dillon in 2007, but I was wrong. I miss her very, very much.

She is the only one of our dogs who was not cremated. We couldn’t afford it at the time (her end of life care was pretty expensive), so we decided to bury her in the yard. We have never done that in the past because we never knew if any given yard would still be ours in the future. This yard is not likely to ever be disturbed, though, whether we are here or not, so we gathered up all the cremains of the pets that had gone before her…cats and dogs. We’d been carrying those cremains around for more than 20 years. We dug a nice grave, and D. lined it with soft branches full of leaves, and we wrapped her in a blanket and laid her on the natural bed. We surrounded her with the cremains of 15 other pets, and laid them all to rest.

lamb shoes

It was a weird feeling to me, to know that she was lying out there in the yard, in the dark. I talked to my friend, Bob Tarte, about it, and he said he always felt that way, too when he buried a pet…like his love was buried out in the yard.

Christmas was hard without her, but we hung her Lamb ornament on the tree like always.  My heart still aches for her.

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snoopy thanksIN APRIL, I wrote about who deserves to have a pet, and it dovetailed into an accounting of the woes of pet maintenance expenses. A number of readers made donations to help us care for Lammy Lamb, and for two months there were cases of the expensive food we were feeding her shipped directly to our door. I can’t adequately express how grateful I am for your (collective) help.

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IN  MARCH, I wrote about dogs that are left outside in the winter,  and about how I was willing to give up a relationship with another human if that’s what it took to save a dog. Well, that appears to be exactly what happened. Although the dog was surrendered to me, the former owner (a family member) has seemingly cut off all ties with us. He won’t take our calls or our texts.  C’est la vie.

That post also discussed the group Dogs Deserve Better, and the good work they’d been doing to help chained and penned dogs.

In the past, I have asked you for your support of DDB…now I am asking you to change your focus slightly.

DDBMODDB’s CEO and Founder, Tamira Ci Thayne left the organization, and what has happened since then under new management has been baffling.   Tami has written about some of organization’s bewildering decisions during the past couple of months, the latest of which, dumbfounded me. The HQ has cut loose one of their best reps, Melody Whitworth, who has spearheaded  DDB Missouri for the past 8 years. This was, among other things, a breach of contract. With DDB funding pulled from Melody’s 27 current rescue dogs, she is in need of donations. Every donation helps, no matter what the amount.

I am looking forward to see what 2016 brings Up on the Woof. I hope you’ll stay with me.

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