Friday, November 11, 2011

Roxy, n/k/a Ava

Roxy was on the PTS list for so long. Weeks. She was put into a foster home and I guess the rescuers just figured she was safe there, so they disregarded her and went for all of the other dogs on the list. Every day people would cross-post her picture, but no one stepped up to take her. She was sponsored early on. People fretted about her demise. But no one made the call. Except me. I emailed and said that I had to babysit my dog-reactive old foster Lulu, then I had to find a home for Mitch, and then for Tess, and if no one spoke up for her by that time, I would take her. I told her foster I was Roxy's "fail safe." She would not be put to sleep.

And here I am breaking another one of my rules - I will not foster any dog that looks like my beautiful Remy the Rottie. I still cry for missing him.

But Roxy, now called Ava because her foster mommy in SC said she didn't answer to Roxy but likes Ava, she's a special girl.

First of all, she didn't have ANY issue with Teddy Bear the big-mouth. He barked once or twice, and she didn't even blink. And she is QUIET! Yay. Even when Teddy is a big mouth barky dog.

She was also good with Scotchy the cat. He has learned not to run from the foster dogs, but to sit and give them the evil paw wave of death if they get their big, wet, dog noses too close for his comfort. She didn't even try to sneak up and eat his catfood! Now THAT's a good dog!

She is one of the sweetest little girls! Her ears are so expressive. She perks them up and looks like a German Shep when she is curious, which is alot. Then when you call her or reach toward her, those ears go down into the "love-me" position and she gives kisses and would sit by your feet all day and night. What a lovebug!

Sadly, she is making Joel sneeze like crazy. I gave her a bath, swept up the floors, and turned on the air cleaner, and he took a Claratin, but it's still not entirely better. Her only other issue is a housebreaking failure. She has gone pee and poop in the house just in the two hours we've been home. But that's not uncommon for the first night off the 13-hour long transport - her little system is all distressed. We'll see how that one goes.

Good thing she's an amazing dog. She will make a wonderful pet for someone, hopefully before I get too close to her.
You know as soon as I said that, I was attached already. How do you say...FOSTER FAILURE!!! After rescuing more than 50 dogs, I have hit foster failure. Ava (also Evie) will be staying with me. She has already passed her Canine Good Citizen Test but still has serious trust issues with strangers, especially men. I can say that she is finally housebroken and feels safe peeing somewhere other than on my bed! 

More "not my dogs"

Several new dogs to add to the list of critters I have helped to rescue:

Mitch the Miracle Dog 

I am not a particularly religious person, but sometimes I feel that my actions are guided by something greater than myself - something with a divine plan which I am destined to execute. Such is the case with Mitch the Miracle Dog. I felt compelled to look at the list of dogs already put to sleep. I usually don't do that, because there is not much that can be done at that point - it's too late. Not only did I look at the list, but I clicked on Mitch's picture and read all of the wonderful things that the shelter volunteers had said about wonderful he was on a leash, how well-mannered he was, how absolutely lovable he was and what wonderful family dogs walker hounds can be. What a shame I thought. So I looked to see when the page had been updated - 38 minutes. That's kind of a long time. But just to push it, I emailed the shelter director and asked "Is he really gone?" She responded, "No, he's right here" (in the euthanizing room.) So I pulled him. I broke my rules again and pulled him despite the fact that I had no where to put him. And of course I had to juggle dogs when he got to NJ. But he found a wonderful home, so it's all good for that little coon hound sweetheart of a dog! Thank your angel for watching over you - and just in the nick of time.
Wilma the flat-coated retriever was saved because she is a black dog - usually the first to be put down at a kill shelter - just too many of them. But Susan volunteered to foster her, so she made it out to NJ.
Amber the little chi boy with the crazy ear - he's a wild little one that gets all the other dogs in Nancy's house riled up.
And the hound twins, Charlotte & Chris, possibly Anglo-French hounds. They are the hand-picked rescues of Steve & Melissa, our newest fosters. Charlotte is smaller and very demure. Chris is Capt. Adventure and is energetic and boisterous like a typical boy. Both just cute as can be. So glad they are alive!
Thank you CODAR fosters for taking these babes in when my house was full!


My Dream Dog

Tess The Dane (mix)
I always wanted a great dane. When Remy died, I looked up the local great dane rescue and was devastated when they would not adopt out to me because we don't have a fenced yard. So when I got the opportunity to foster Tess, a 10-month-old great dane/lab mix, I begged my husband to let me do it.

What I learned is that alot of people say they always wanted a great dane, but most people have no idea what they are getting into!

People call great danes the gentle giants. Tess was a classic example of this. The caveat is that they are, in fact, giant. They don't realize that when they step on your other dog's head it is not very nice or fun for the other dog even if they were just playing. And when they stampede through the house the way playing puppies do, it sounds like a herd of horses. (Not nice for the neighbors.) She is also very skittish - way beyond the point of shy. She startles easily and isn't terribly good about meeting new people, especially men, although she does warm up pretty quickly. She is neurotic about her potty habits - like she will only go in one place. You can walk on leash for 40 minutes, but she will hold it until you get to her special place. And danes eat more food than a normal three times as much. A bag of dry food that would last Teddy a week was gone in two days.

So although it was wonderful to get so many applications for Tess, I was relieved when one of the applicants had a great dane already. THEY would know what to expect!

I had very mixed feelings the night before I took Tess to her new home. I so wanted it to be perfect. And I wanted it to be not perfect so that I had an excuse to bring her back home to be my dream dog. I cried. But when I arrived in the suburbian home outside of Philly, I found that I was right in my initial reaction - it was the most perfect home I could have ever hoped for for my dream dog. The other dane chased her for a minute or two, and then they ran around the huge, fenced yard together for hours. There was no power play for toys or attention. She was super comfortable with all of the family members as if she had known them her whole life. I didn't even cry as I left - she was looking out the sliding glass door and wagging as if to say, "Thanks so much! This is great!" I got an email saying they played all afternoon until they finally flopped down in two tired heaps in the living room. How great is that??

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Help us Save Cider the Tree-Walking Coonhound!
I think Cider is the most beautiful Tennessee tree-walking coon hound ever! She's from Greenville County Animal Control in South Carolina, the place I often pull my rescues. Unfortunately, like many rescue dogs from the south, just like my last rescue Punky, Cider has heartworms. This was a big problem, because dogs with heartworms aren't allowed to come into the state of New Jersey to be with her new CODAR foster family, but it became a bigger problem because the medicine is now off the market. Thankfully, due to the hard work of my friend, rescuer Angela Gschwind, a vet was located in Easely, SC who has some of the medicine and has agreed to treat Cider! Now we have only to raise the funds. We thought we had it just about wrapped up, but one of our donors backed out, so we've come up short.Please help us bridge the gap by clicking on the chip-in. Paypal will help you send funds. So easy to help a loving dog in her time of need!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Snickers the Interim Foster

Since there was a delay in Punky's transport, I've taken Snickers as my new little interim foster from Tennessee. She was from a hoarder, one of those people who starts out meaning well but somehow ends up with way more animals than they can possibly care for in a reasonable way. Unfortunately, she went from bad to worse, and ended up at an animal control facility with a gas chamber. Fortunately, it is the facility that CODAR often pulls from, so she and seven other lucky dogs got a ticket to NJ this weekend.
I selected Snickers because although she was very timid, hiding in the back of her crate after they unloaded her from the transport, she edged her way out into Pam's yard, and within a few minutes she was leaping through the grass like a little bunny. She immediately went to check out the other rescues and Pam's dogs with her tail up and her ears alert. Some of the other pups had their hackles up and were afraid, but she was cheerful and curious as she interacted with all of the others. Also, she did not bark.
We had a pretty long day at the jewelry store, and she spent alot of time hiding behind the big chairs in the front of the store. She eventually got comfortable with me, but was very jumpy when anyone else tried to touch her.
She did enjoy sitting in Maggie's lap, so I would say she's good with kids like Maggie who is ten. There were some other children in the store in the evening, three boys, and she mostly stayed under the desk but was interested in what they were doing. Generally speaking, she was afraid of many things, especially while out on a walk. I wonder if she has spent much time outside. She also seems unfamiliar with a leash, but she adjusted quickly to walking with her harness, and she did pee outside. There have been no accidents indoors to date, but I cannot say for sure that she is housebroken. She is very fearful of cars and loud noises. At one point I thought she had tried to nip Joel, but it was just a sudden jerk of her head when he tried to pet her - no teeth and no growling. She had a similar response to Francis, and appears to have some trepidation about men, but again, not in an aggressive way, just fearful.
She had no trouble meeting Teddy Bear, who can be something of a bully when new dogs arrive at home. She seemed very comfortable walking in our yard before bedtime, and she settled right into her crate in Maggie's room without so much as a whimper. She slept right on through the night until about 4:30am when a big crack of lightning/thunder woke everyone in the house.
This morning her demeanor is much more relaxed. She and Teddy Bear have developed a nice play routine where they jump up on the sofa and she dives under or around or over him and he spins around to face her. It's a nice, gentle, but energetic game. She does not bark at all.

She really is a lap dog. She loves when Maggie holds her belly up like a baby and pets her stomach. She lets her head fall back and her eyes close and looks like she is in dog heaven. She reaches up and give little tiny kisses.
I would not hesitate to say that this little dog is going to make a great companion. She is a little shy right now, but she really warms up to people and is a very lovable little girl. She is open to all the dogs I have seen her with, and plays very nicely with a dog much bigger than herself. She is quiet and seems to require very little attention, but loves being held and snuggled. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Martin, yet another "not my dog"

Nancy is getting really ticked at me. She is one of my fellow fosters with Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue. I hooked her up with her first foster dog Loki, and I helped find a forever home for him just a few short weeks after his arrival in NJ. Her next foster was Martin, the cutest little doxie puppy ever, from a CODAR transport from Tennessee. But unbeknownst to Nancy when she went to pick him up from CODAR on Saturday morning, I was already on the phone working his adoption! By late afternoon she begrudgingly brought him over to Red Bank to meet his new owners, Christina & Charlie, who are tickled pink with this little 8-week old darling! Now he's "Jack."

Allen the Boxer - another "not my dog"

Monday was Allen's lucky day!

Several weeks ago, after Hurricane Irene, we had a fill-in guy on our trash collection route. He saw me out in the yard with Lulubelle and asked if I did dog rescue. Then he asked if I ever got boxers, and I said "just all the time!" He wanted a young male, since he lives in a house full of girls with another one on the way. Of course that meant I could only find females on the rescue list, so I set it aside and waited to see what might come up.
But this weekend there were so many dogs on the red list in Greenville. I felt so bad for the director, knowing that she would have to make that horrible choice pretty soon - which dogs were going to have to be put to sleep. So I emailed and asked if there were any particularly nice dogs that she didn't want to see euthanized. She pointed me to the photo of Allen - a MALE BOXER!! And a handsome one at that!
So I got on the phone as quick as I could and called Beth at the town clerk's office to track down the trash guy. Turns out he'd lost my card and was grateful for my call. He and his wife agreed to take Allen, sight unseen! They thought he was even better when they saw his picture. I can't wait to get him transported to New Jersey!

Lulubelle the little pink girly dog - UPDATE

Lulubelle is still with us, heading into week 4. I know some foster homes who have had a dog for months, but I have trouble believing that this beautiful little girl isn't just flying out my door. Last night she slept on the foot of Maggie's bed. This is good, but this is also bad because Maggie is becoming attached. Lulu is definitely good with kids and even good with cats.
Every day I take Lulu to work with us at our retail jewelry store. She accompanies me to the post office, to Elsie's or the Bagel Oven, to the bank. Lots of people in town recognize her now and fawn over her and tell her how beautiful she is. She stops to greet everyone (even if they don't necessarily look like they want to be greeted!) She is Miss Congeniality. Lots of people say they want her, but still no applications for her adoption. What's up with that?
She is totally housebroken, crate trained, super trainable (comes with an assessment from Urban Dawgs - copied below) and is without a doubt the friendliest foster dog I have ever had. She is also a fun, playful puppy who walks well on a leash. She is not a dog-park dog, meaning you can't really let her off leash because she dislikes strange dogs, but she can be introduced to other dogs and could certainly live happily in a house with another dog. Teddy Bear is going to miss her terribly when she goes. They romp together like old pals. And they clean each others' faces in the morning when they get up. SO cute! She is also very good with my cranky old cat, Butterscotch, who generally avoids my foster pups, but stands his ground with Lulu and even tolerates her wet puppy nose inspections. Butterscotch doesn't really go for the flying, bouncing puppy play, but there's no harm in it.
Most of the time, Lulu camps out sleeping in the cushy chair at the store. She is so quiet you'd hardly know she is there. Except when customers come in, she slides off the chair and gives them the whole-body wag greeting, and then goes back to sleep. Good dog. Perfect dog really.
Lulubelle is a socialite. She needs companionship and is NOT the dog to be left at home alone for a long, sad day. She needs to be someone's go-everywhere co-pilot. Surely there is a family with a pack of kids who needs a dog - or a young guy or gal who wants a dog to follow them everywhere - or a shopkeeper who would like a greeter-dog. So who is going to make this dog their own?

Urban Dawgs/Pitbull Guru Assessment by Drayton Michaels:

Lou Lou Belle is a great, small, quiet and easily adaptable dog. Here are her stats below. 

Name Lu Lu Belle
Terrier mix
Age 4 – 5 months
Female – Spayed.
Weight – 30lbs
No apparent dietary issues, allergies or health concerns. 

Rescued in Greenville SC transported to NJ. 
Currently lives in quality foster home with one dog, one child a teen. 
The neighborhood is active and busy with people and dogs.

Working on Sit – Down – Leave it – Touch – Stay 

Generally Quiet – Likes chew toys – Tug – knows drop it relatively well. 
Responds well to prompts

Not jumpy unless people bend over and gets super duper baby talk – a little is all you’ll need with this dog. 

Not barky – May bark upon seeing dogs on leash. Easily brought under threshold with “leave it” or a simple prompt. Fast bounce back – seconds after reactivity Lu Lu Belle is back to sniffing and on her way. 

Walks like a dream – very little pulling – easily reduced with gentle stop start and or lengthen – shorten leash. 

Overall Assessment – 
Lu Lu Belle would do well in a home with dogs and kids or as a companion for a couple or single adult. 
As long as they are committed to a kind consistent approach and are looking for a dog to have as a companion she’ll fit right in. 


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pitbulls - Puppy Number 11

One of my first dilemmas was this: Do I pull dogs from high-kill shelters where it's easier to kill (did I say "kill?" Oh I'm sorry, I meant "euthanize.") the dogs than it is to make an effort to work with rescues and find homes for them, or do I work with those shelters that are kill-shelters but who work closely with their communities and with rescues to place as many dogs as they can and to kill as few dogs as possible? My decision was to mostly pull from Greenville County Animal Control in South Carolina. They have developed a really good system for taking in large quantities of dogs (and cats) sometimes up to 150-175 dogs PER DAY in the summer. They manage to deal with kennel cough, mange, and parvo virus outbreaks. And the director of dog rescue, Lauren, is really good about helping me with accurate temperament testing, which is super important when you have a dog with issues like my Teddy Bear. I like to save the ones that are shelter staff favorites...dogs with great personalities in not-so-exciting bodies. Some people call them the underdogs. Pitbulls are almost always underdogs. Which brings me to my second dilemma and my most recent foster puppy: Lala.
Lala is a four-month old pitbull mix. Maybe a mix, but there is unmistakably, undeniably pitbull in her appearance and her personality. The dilemma is, do I take a dog like Lala who more than any other dog needs me to help her find a home and is one of the most likely dogs to be euthanized just because of a label, or do I just keep pulling the doofy, happy-go-lucky, easy-to-place golden retriever, lab and border collie mix puppies that are super-easy to find homes for?
Here is what I have learned about her in the last week:
First of all, she didn't respond to the name Lala, but does come when you call her Lulu or Lulabelle in a southern accent, sickeningly sweet, sing-song voice. Lulu was billed to me as the most loving dog in the shelter, which she absolutely people. When she sees someone coming down the sidewalk, she begins to wag her whole body. She will accept the slightest (even unintentional) invitation to climb into your lap and kiss your face or any bit of bare skin from the feet up - whatever is within reach, or lick your clothes if there's no skin she can get to. She adores my Maggie and is even more smoochy when Maggie giggles. The markings on her lips make her look like a little girl who tried to put lipstick on herself, so she even looks smoochy. She's definitely a people dog, and there is not the slightest bit of aggression towards people...absolutely ZERO aggression with kids, even when they are running and rough-housing...not even a nip.
She is not so warm to other dogs though. It took me and Ian quite a long time, standing out in the yard in the rain, holding Lulu and Teddy Bear by their harnesses and trying to calm them with bacon training treats while they lunged at each other, barking wildly. We finally brought them into the house and continued the treat-giving, setting up the baby gate between them, and slowing working them toward each other between more bouts of wild barking, snarling and lunging. Until finally we could drop one leash and let them explore a tentative interest in one another. There was a little more snarling at feeding time. But by the evening, they were romping on and off the livingroom sofa as if they were lifelong friends. So I can say that she will do OK with other dogs given the proper introduction. To anyone else, it must look and sound a little scary when she and Teddy Bear are rough-housing, but I never worry about stepping into the middle of it or putting my hands in between them.
Today we went for a walk around Red Bank with Drayton Michaels from Urban Dawg. We came across another dog in front of Zebu that was off-leash. Lulu was a little startled and barked, but Drayton drew her interest away with his hand and she forgot the other dog almost instantaneously. She then walked by two pomeranians and a sheltie without even noticing them. Yay!
In terms of other training, Lulu is a great dog. She is very interested in pleasing her people. She understands "NO." This is especially important because she is a curious puppy when it comes to the cat. She wants to stick her big, wet puppy nose into the cat's butt, which the cat is not having. So "NO" will spare Lulu's nose leather from being swiped by the claw of doom.
She's not much of a chewer, although she did get one of Maggie's flipflops today. I'm actually happy about that because I've been yelling at Maggie on a daily basis to put them away and not leave them laying around the house. (Thanks, Lulu!) Mostly she is happy with the dog toys that we have...bones, rawhides, tennis balls, tug-o-war ropes, kongs, etc. She doesn't really need to look elsewhere for things to play with like shoes and furniture!
She is also not much of a barker, unlike Teddy Bear. She is certainly alert to things moving in and outside the house, but is quiet. She'd be a good apartment dog.
She is crate trained and is quite happy to amble into her crate and curl up for the night, although she won't turn down an invitation to sleep in the bed! She also likes to sleep on the chair by the window in my room. And she makes it through the night without accidents.
Generally speaking, she is housebroken. She still has an occasional pee-pee in the house, but as long as I take her out on the leash every couple of hours, she does her business immediately outside.
Really, she's a great pet on so many levels, but I need to be sure that she gets placed with someone who is a strong, calm, consistent dog owner. Today Drayton said that she is a "soft" dog who never needs you to raise your voice to control her. She is so willing to please, and when I saw Drayton handling her, I could see that with training she could be an amazingly obedient dog - like a therapy dog or one of the dogs you see in agility trials.
Ideally, she will find a home with someone who just wants a super-loving dog - just one dog by itself or maybe with cats and/or kids. She is a sit-on-the-couch-with-you and kiss-your-face dog. She will love you forever, and I love her enough to find that person for her even if it takes a little longer.

Punky the Beagle - not here yet but needs a home!

He's here in NJ and he has his forever home!!

Meet Punky! He's not in NJ yet, but he's coming...soon...

This is Punky leaving Greenville Animal Control the first time. His rescuer found out shortly after that that Punky is heartworm positive. That's an expensive vet bill. Sadly, the rescuer had taken other dogs that also had expensive medical issues, and she left Punky at the vet with an enormous boarding bill, so the vet had no option but to return Punky to Animal Control. How sad would that be, to be sprung from doggie prison, sent to the vet where the staff just loved him to pieces, only to be returned to the concrete kennel/cell at animal control. I couldn't stand the thought. So I pulled him from the redlist.

Then I found out that New Jersey and New York won't allow heartworm positive dogs into the state. This was a problem! I had someone who was willing to foot the bill for his heartworm treatment (thanks Pam!) but I needed someone to keep him while he is getting the treatment, which takes anywhere from 30 to 90 days - YIKES! I called Taryn, who does short-term boarding when dogs need to leave animal control and wait for a transport, but she was full, so she referred me to Sally. What a blessing! I had such a hard time trying to find a vet. The first one who initially had Punky won't work with any rescues anymore since it was such an awful experience for them both emotionally and financially. Then I got a referral to another vet who is self-proclaimed "not the least expensive." They also planned on a 60+ day treatment, which would be prohibitive given the boarding situation.
Sally took the time to go out and check other local vets for me, and got Punky all squared away. She is taking care of him during his treatment, which is no easy task. He's not allowed any kind of strenuous activity because the dying heartworms could dislodge and he'd have a heart attack. But she's great with's a couple of pictures of him after he got back from the first set of shots:
Everyone I have spoken to, the staff at Animal Control, the staff at the vet's office, and of course Sally, they all tell me that he is the cutest, sweetest little beagle boy. I just know that someone here in NJ will fall in love with him the minute they see him. He already has a huge following on our rescue network. Wouldn't it be great if he had a home already lined up and waiting for him before he even gets here? Sad for me, because he would become one of the not-my-dog rescues. I would never have the pleasure of getting to have this little snuggler stay with us. But so much better for him, and that's what really matters. That's why I do this. So let's get the word out! Find this little boy a home!!
Sally emailed to tell me that he'll get his last set of shots on September 22, stay overnight at the vet, and then he's ready to travel to NJ after September 23. Maybe he'll come to live with YOU?

Not My Dogs, sort of

Sometimes my work as a rescuer seems so overwhelming...there are so many dogs, and to do the best work, I can only help one at a time. So this week I decided the best thing I could do was to recruit other people to join me in my puppy rescue efforts. The following dogs are not my rescues (sort of) but they are safe because I was driven to save them:

 Loki, on the left, is an American Bulldog/Dalmation mix. Elsa, on the right, is a Catahoula Leopard Dog/Pitbull mix. Both are going to be big dogs. They've been fostered together for a while now and totally love each other.

Elsa & Loki came to me from another rescue in South Carolina. These dogs had been in animal control and were pulled to safety by Jenn K. Unfortunately, in terms of finding their forever home, they had no more luck with Jenn than they did with animal control. Every day they were looking less like puppies and more like grown dogs. Every day it was seeming less likely that anyone was going to come forward to adopt them. So I petitioned my fellow CODAR fosters to find someone here in NJ who would take them in. Thank you Nancy and Kim!! As an update - Loki has already gone to his forever home with Devi & Jarrod and their kids, and we are hopeful that as soon as she is ready, Elsa will also join Loki to live in Ocean County in their forever home TOGETHER! How wonderful is that?!

The next dog I helped is Cannon. He's another plain brown-wrapper cast off dog, but he needed someone to sponsor him (pay his pull fee) so that another rescue could take him from the shelter without having to worry about paying any fees. Other folks, including my friends Heidi & Thomas, contributed to Cannon's transport fees to get him out of South Carolina and on to a place where he is more likely to find someone to adopt him.

Interestingly, after seeing the rescue work that I was doing, networking online with dogs like Cannon, my friends Heidi & Thomas (OK, mostly Heidi!) decided that maybe it was time for them to get their very own rescue dog. Enter Petunia, an 8-lb little beauty who was a puppy mill girl. Sadly, like most puppy mill breeders, her owners had not taken very good care of her. She was transferred to another holding facility after the bust, and then on to another rescue, before she was loaded on a two-day transport to NJ. The stress of her former life and all of the passing around was too much for this frail, little girl, and she became very ill. She is living in Staten Island now, but her health is shaky. She has a severe giardia infestation, a collapsed trachea, an upper respiratory infection - possibly pneumonia, and is being medicated for extreme anxiety and stress. She is not eating much and is coughing 24/7. Her new family is trying very hard to bring her back to health, but it's very hard on all involved. So sad, and yet, I'm so grateful that she finally has someone who loves her like the baby that she is.
This is what Holly's foster mom had to say about her:
Holly is 17-18  inches from paw to shoulder and a beautiful brindle mix that when the sun hits her she shines like a dappled copper penny! (I think Penny should have been her name....) Her white chest blaze and white dipped paws are charming and she is a very slender and gracefull 30 or less pounds at this writing. She was understandably a bit timid at first meeting but has proved exuberant when introduced to my CODAR canine rescue Snow Angel and my Maine Coon feral rescue cat Lucky; She absolutely loves to play and knows how to throw toys in the air and put them in your lap to elicit a she knows how to do this having been in a shelter for the last three months simply speaks to her adopt- ability as far as I am concerned. She was a dreamboat on the ride home in the transport crate in my car
> and has willingly gone into the open wire crate that I set up for her in my "animal room". She has also invited herself into my rescue Angel's transport-style crate that stays in my Living Room.  Thus far, Holly is toy, food and water non-aggressive but I will monitor closely in the coming days as we all acclimate her into my family and animal household.
We tried to take new pictures of Holly to post on the website but she could not sit still from excitement! The existing website photo of her standing at attention at the kennel is wonderful but I think it makes her look so much bigger than she really is. I was so surprised at her smaller size when I picked her up from transport.  She is very slender and graceful. I was also surprised at her elongated snout and ever so slight droop in her jaw. I think it hints to a lab or hound mix in her background!
Holly has constantly followed me around the house, tries to sit on my lap and now sleeps at my feet whilst I do this computer work. Having been in a kennel for the past three months, I am sure that she will need intensive  house-training and I will work very hard upon that.  I can say that she seems to know what a stern "NO" means and I have been spending the last several hours reinforcing the word "down" so she does not jump over the pen and gates that I have set up to keep her contained in her space.  I keep telling myself : "Good Luck With That"
as she is quite the agile one and apparently has never had to be told NO on this.... her rescue kennel gates were surely much higher than my 36-48 inch convertibles :-).
Holly's medical records and micro-chip info are in hand and she appears to be healthy and very, very adoptable.   All in all, I think Jen did a really good job on this pull and I thank you JEN, Pam and CODAR for giving me the opportunity to support your worthy efforts. 

Holly was adopted this weekend at the Aberdeen Day adoption event!

The last of my Not-My-Dog Rescues is actually ten (that's right - 10) puppies. Greenville Animal Control was inundated with baby dogs over the weekend and things were looking really bad. So many puppies on top of all of the usual dogs aged young to senior and everything in between. So I put in some calls. No one at CODAR could take them in - we're all full. The Monmouth County SPCA had just built its puppy wing but could not take any more until the end of the month, but Briain, the director of the new puppy facility, also made some calls and connected with Sherri at Homeless Paws NJ, who agreed to take the ten pups. What this involved on my part was getting Homeless Paws NJ all signed up with GCAC, finding someone else to network to find the funding for pull fees and transport fees, coordinating the transport, picking up the dogs from the transport (after waiting two days during an earthquake), bathing 10 stinky, flea-covered puppies at 6:00 at night and driving them down to meet their new foster parents in Forked River!! Thankfully, my husband and daughter were really helpful with the bathing and drying, and Maggie kept the puppies happy from Red Bank to Forked River and helped me move them from our car to the fosters' car in the pouring rain.

So, 14 dogs rescued. None ever saw my own doorstep, and I will not have the responsibility or enjoyment of caring for them, but in my own little way I helped them along to safety. In many ways, this kind of help was much harder than just agreeing to pull one dog and take care of it until it finds a home. It was much more short-term labor-intensive. Lots of hours on the computer and phone. Lots of stress about whether people were actually going to show up to take them when they arrived in NJ. Lots of worry about the puppies on the transport. Lots of fretting about poor Petunia. Even though they are not my fosters, I still love and worry about each one - times 14. Whew. I probably won't do this kind of rescue again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Puppies Number 9 and 10

I have one big restriction in my puppy at a time. That was all well and good until this past week. I was all set to take Kelly the little cow-girl. (Seriously, am I the only one that sees the resemblance?) Anyway, I had pulled her from the animal control in Greenville, SC after another rescue failed to pick her up on time. She looked so small and scared in the photo, and I  really felt sorry that she had been waiting in vain for so long for a rescue that was not coming.

And then I saw the pictures of little Blackberry. The same age as Kelly, but only 10lbs. He was found as a stray at the Blackberry Public Dump, and dropped off at the animal control center. Such a sad life for a young pup. So I pulled him, too. Here's what he looked like at Greenville Animal Control:
I put out an email to some of my fellow CODAR fosters to see if anyone could take him, and I got a confirmation that someone would take Blackberry. Unfortunately, on the day the transport arrived she decided not to take him due to some unforeseen medical conditions with another pup in her household. Joel looked at me and said "You better not be bringing two foster dogs home." So I spent the night at Mom & Dad's house.
Well, that all worked out OK because Mom knew a gal from the yacht club who was really wanting a nice, sweet, big galoot of a dog (which was Kelly to a T) and she loved her right away. Here's a few pictures of Kelly and Blackberry at Mom & Dad's house:

A happy ending for little Miss Kelly the CowGirl. 
Blackberry stayed with us in Atlantic Highlands, but not for too long. He is at home with his forever family now, living in beautiful Fair Haven and travelling to horse shows with his family on the weekends. Spoiled puppies rule!

Puppy Number 8 - Hazel

Right after I got back from my friend Ryan's wedding in Alabama, our rescue group, Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue in Keyport, NJ, got a transport of 20 dogs from Tennessee - yes, 20! So that Saturday morning Ian and I drove up to Pam's house to pick up a pup. I was originally planning to take one of several black puppies that were all little baby puff balls, but when we got there we were greeted at the gate by little Hazel. She jumped up lightly on Ian and gave him this look as if to say "Are you here for me?" We looked around the yard at all the puppies and other dogs, but we kept coming back to Hazel. The clincher was when Ian saw her sample someone's coffee cup and didn't get caught! Ian likes clever dogs. So out we went with Hazel.

Hazel turned out to be a nice playmate for Teddy, although we only had her for a few days. I took her to the adoption event at Petsmart and we were only there for about an hour, and that was enough. She was adopted, along with Roxie the timid big beagle mama. Her new owner, Michelle, and her family are so in love with these two beautiful beagle girls.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Puppy Number 7 Stays in the Family!

The puppy that was Precious #2 is now April, and she is going to be staying with my very own brother, Chris! This is great, because he was really ready to have a furry companion, and they took to each other right away. She goes to work with him almost every day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Previous Pups - numbers two and three

Polka Dot was the name Maggie gave our second foster pup. We took her to an adoption event at Petsmart the day after we got her, and discovered that her littermates were parvo positive, but she was not, so they gave her a booster. At the same time, we ran into a lovely woman who had lost her dog sometime earlier, and while she had been fostering cats, she missed having a dog. I asked if she wanted to hold Polka Dot, and she fell in love.

We ended up having to keep her for two more weeks until she was fully clear of the possibility of parvo. Below are two pictures of Polka Dot at her forever home.

 After that we got another really great dog...a mix of Aussie shepherd and weimaraner. Again we met up with a prospective adopter the day after we got her, at an adoption event. It was a couple who already had a few dogs, but she fell in love with this pup and even said she was going to call her Lucy. They filed their application, and were approved, so we started calling her Lucy. But then they backed out. So we kept her for about three weeks. At that point, we were really considering keeping her. We had modified her name to Luci-fer, because she was really quiet and sweet, but then if you weren't looking, she'd be getting into something! She was very smart, and she and Teddy were great playmates. But along came an adopter who wanted TWO puppies from the same litter. That hardly ever happens, and we agreed that it would be great if Luci-fer could stay with her sibling forever.

Another happy ending, but we'll miss that little girl!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bobbie the Bobtail Puppy

 To say "good with kids" would be an understatement. This precious little mutt (no telling her makeup) is the friendliest little girl! She just wants to LOVE everyone, but especially my daughter. Usually our foster puppies stay in my room, but this one has set up residence in Maggie's room. That's a good thing, because Teddy Bear (aka Teddy Monster) is the only one who doesn't like her. She did fine with Mom & Dad's whippets, and she did fine with Butterscotch the cat, who even rubbed up against her chest to let her know she was duly owned, and she even did well with the guinea pig. But Teddy is having none of this friendly dog stuff.
This is not how we expected things to go, and I was mightily disappointed because I thought she'd be a great playmate for Teddy. But we're working with it as best we can. Our little bobtail already has an appointment to check out a forever home this afternoon, but in the meantime our house is divided by a baby gate and Bobbie is lapping up as much attention as she can in the little girl bedroom.

Here she is crashed out on the end of Maggie's bed - that's one tired little girl after two very long days of transport. (I would say two tired little girls, but you know Maggie is not tired - ever.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This is Bobbie. She is from Greenville, South Carolina, but will be moving to the Jersey Shore soon, to live with us while awaiting her forever home (which I am hoping will be my neighbor!) Somebody thought she would look cooler if they cut off half her tail, which they did with less than medical precision. So she wasn't the prettiest dog in the shelter. In fact, nobody was even interested in looking at her even though the shelter staff thought she was just the sweetest thing on the planet. So maybe I root for the underdog sometimes! Watch for news of her arrival in future posts!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Puppy Number Five Has a Good Day! (finally!)

WE HAVE PUPPY PLAY! Today was the first day that Puppy Five started to come around. He was hungry when he woke up, hungry enough to eat some dry dog kibbles. Then he ate some canned Newman's Organic dog food. Then he ate the cat's dry food. And it all stayed down!! And then on our morning walk we had piles instead of puddles. (Oh thank goodness!)
But the best news is that now he's getting some nutrition, he's got some energy and is a little less fragile, and he wants to play! I was so sad because he didn't really seem to know what toys are, or how to play with Teddy Bear, but it seems he was just recuperating from the whole ordeal of being stray, and being in a kill-shelter, and being transported, and moving into a new environment. Can you blame the poor little thing?
Now we'll see how his little personality develops, now that he's a in a safe place.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Min-Pin (not), aka Puppy Number Four

Our last foster (puppy number four) was a little black and brown girl from Tornado country in Oklahoma. I heard a rumor that some of the shelters were taking up to 300 dogs per day after the tornado/flood tragedies, some strays and some owner surrenders. Most times I can't justify an owner surrender, but after losing everything, sometimes people just can't keep up one more obligation, something has to give. And for that I am sorry. The only thing I could do was take in one lost pup.
She was so traumatized. Part of a litter of four, all of whom were trembling, little wrecks, she just wanted to spend the whole day in my lap. She cried if I left her alone. In fact, the first full day I had her, I had to go into the City, so I left her with Ian for the day. Apparently, she did nothing but cry and piddle (mostly on cloth or paper surfaces that were impossible to clean up,) leading Ian to refer to her as the Evil Little Rat Dog. We thought she was a miniature doberman pincer (minpin) so we called her Min-Pin, which is just more specific than Puppy. But then we found out she was a cross between a doxie and a whippet. So we just adjusted her name to Minna, in spite of my rule of not naming a foster pup.
I was so worried that she wouldn't find someone who would understand her special needs. There was a big guy at my gym who loved her, and she loved him (as much as she could.) But he works in an office that wouldn't be a good place for her, and he just couldn't figure out a good way to keep her. So in the meantime, I took her with me everywhere in a little quilted cloth bag over my the grocery, the liquor store, the dentist office...everywhere. And I worked at socializing her and potty training her, until at last she would accept being held and petted by strangers and even by a pack of small kids at my daughter's school playground.
She bonded hard to me, just like all of the four pups bonded to their foster moms. It turns out that one of her siblings was being kept by her foster parent, and the foster parent's sister in law wanted Minna, so they'll be able to see each other. Even better, the sister in law works at home, so Minna has a nice, quiet, permanent lap!
Although I am not really a miniature dog kind of person, I will miss little Minna because she loved me so much. I will think of her when I wake up, how she would stretch out on her belly and army crawl up the bed with her tail going back and forth slapping the comforter!

Teddy Bear (aka The Keeper)

Teddy's first day at home 11/24/10.
 Teddy Bear is our permanent rescue. He was sent to us by our last dog, Remy, when I was getting frustrated enough to just go buy a puppy at the store, Remy told me to wait. He said that everything would be OK in the morning. When I went to the vet's office to drop off a copy of Remy's rabies certificate, they said they just got a call from someone in West Orange who needed to find a home for a little, fluffy, white pup. So of course we went and got him. He was about four months old, weighed 23lbs, and was losing all of his puppy teeth.

He is not the easiest dog. When people ask what kind of dog he is, we say he is a barky dog. Actually, we think he is a soft-coated wheaton terrier mix. He now weighs about 50lbs. We had him shaved for the summer, and his groomer at Paw Palace said she clipped him to look like a Clydesdale, which he does! Everyone remarks on how cute he looks. What they don't know is how willful and stubborn he is. Such a handful! But then, I remember when Remy chewed the cable tv cord, my glasses, etc. and when Tyrone dug up my housemate's scarlet sage bed (4 times.)

He loves having a playmate, which is why we do the foster dog thing. It usually takes a day or two for each dog to settle in, and then Teddy knows it's time to PLAY! Here's Teddy with our first foster dog, Tatum.
The best playmate was Luci (aka Lucifer) who was an Aussie Shep mix, but they played so loudly together I'm sure my neighbors were relieved to see her move on to her forever home! We were seriously considering keeping her, but a lady who wanted two pups from the same little asked for Luci and her sister, and I couldn't deny her the lifelong company of her sibling.
Minna was also a good playmate for Teddy, but she found a perfect home, too, with someone who works at home and can let her sit in a lap all day long.

Teddy is the dog with the ear that sticks up. That's his trademark, whether he's long-haired like a sheepdog or shorn like a clydesdale.

Puppy Number Five Update

The little puppy boy is doing a bit better today. Yesterday he kept all his food down (although he lost his lunch today.) Unfortunately, it still all comes out liquid on the other end. I'm trying some meds from the vet though, so we'll see if that helps. He's a clever puppy, so I have to really work to hide the pill or he detects it and spits it out. Tonight he liked the organic cat food that I bought by accident thinking it was just a smaller can of dog food. Oops.
I'm learning a little more about his personality, too. He's much more reserved than any of the other pups I've fostered. He shies away from people when he is outside, as if people are to be considered dangerous. He walks with his head low and his tail down. It makes me sad to think that he might have been astray for a while, even though he's younger than four months old. But tonight, while I was reading in bed (A Dog's Purpose) he was laid out near my feet, belly up, with one front paw crossed over his chest and his back legs all splayed out, just as relaxed as he could be. When he is introduced to someone new, if they speak gently, he approaches and wags easily. Actually, he wags quite a bit as you can see.
He is a very good natured and gentle boy. He is unusually calm and quiet for a pup his age. I can't say that he is interested in the company of other dogs, because he doesn't really understand what it is to play. This is a source of constant frustration for Teddy Bear! He does like to run toward the cat, Butterscotch, but usually decides within a few feet that it's not a good plan and veers off in another direction. He did get close enough to sniff this morning, which Scotchy tolerated. He is also good with our 10-year-old daughter, Maggie, who loves to rub his belly when he is upside down.
Sometimes I try to imagine who will adopt my foster puppies, reasoning that if they don't provide a better environment than I do, then I should just keep them myself, which is a losing argument because every adoptive family has been the perfect situation in each case, so I have been happy to let them all go on their way. With this one, I think he would be a nice pet for a single person...someone who wants quiet company. He keeps to himself mostly, but responds nicely if you approach him. He likes to lay in bed with me, but not on me. He likes his own space. He is also very comfortable in his own crate. He's a good boy, for sure. It will be nice when he is a happy boy, too. He's just waiting for the perfect circumstance.