Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scabby Dog

Billy has an itch.

I've suffered from eczema my whole life and when I was younger, my friends were all trained to remind me not to scratch as I could make myself bleed without even realizing. Now my pooch is doing the same thing and I wince every time his leg goes. At first I wondered whether he'd managed to pick up some fleas despite his monthly Frontline treatment but I've combed through his coat daily and can't find any evidence of them. Additionally, it seems to be mainly his paws and his head that are bothering him and I'm not sure that would be the case if it was beasties.

I hoped a soothing bath might help but it doesn't seem to be improving so alas we're off to the vet. In the meantime, my scabby pooch looks like he's been in some tough fights.

Ironically enough, I've had some problematic skin myself recently but I've been ignoring it due to the whole unemployment game I've got going on at the moment. I know I'm not the only one who avoids the doctor for myself but seems to visit the vet every other month!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good things come in threes - Part 3

3. The Three-Percent Challenge

Last week I posted a statistic I'd come across claiming that we need to increase the number of adoptions by only 3% to halt the euthanasia of healthy pets. Aleksandra of Love and a Six Foot Leash asked what we can do to achieve that goal (and had a fun suggestion of getting some reality shows up and running! I'll get working on that one...)

For my part, I've come up with my own "Threes" challenge and set some goals for my contributions to rescue efforts over the next year. One of the biggest challenges we face is the apparent enormity of the problem, yet 3% seems so attainable! To get there, I'm laying out my own achievable goals, each of which make a difference in some way - whether through educating others, easing the life of pups in shelters or helping to find them homes.

Here are my three times three personal action points for the next year:

1. Volunteer for a shelter/ rescue organization at least three times a month.
2. Encourage three people to get involved in rescue: one volunteer, one foster and one adopter.
3. Come up with three new ideas to promote rescue: one new partnership, one new marketing plan and one new fundraising initiative.
4. Recycle old towels and blankets into at least three new dog beds for Animal Welfare League's Intake Facility.
5. Foster three more dogs.
6. Make 3 adopt-me vests for foster pups.
7. Invite 3 friends to share their experiences in rescue/ foster/ adoption as guest bloggers.
8. Reach out to three neighbors each month with information on spay/neuter.
9. Persuade three of my readers out there to create their own "three" challenge goals!

And now over to you. Make your three as modest or ambitious as you choose and remember that every little step is a step in the right direction towards a very achievable goal.

Photo: Jeremy Lawson

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good things come in threes - Part 2

2. The Three-Way Playtime

Flower is too smart to try and play with her giant foster brothers so for a three-pooch playtime we had to bring in a visitor.

Even on a hot day, Myron is happy to oblige with a bit of rough-and-tumble, though, with a whole backyard to romp in, the wimpy creatures spent most of their time rolling over our feet to keep out of the sunshine. Buster even managed to drop his play-police role from time to time and join in the fun.

The little lady supervised from a comfy spot (and safe distance).

Good things come in threes - Part 1

1. The Three-Pooch Household

As I am now officially 'funemployed' I've been spending a lot of time with the pooches and Buster has been hanging out at my place full time. I've often dealt with multiple dogs but this is the first time that I've dealt with all the chores for three for more than a day or two. Dogdad has been crazy busy at work so I volunteered to cover most of the walking.

Hm, looks like those three find it as exhausting as I do. Sometimes it's fun trotting along with my little pack, but there are times when it's the most frustrating exercise imaginable. On a short trip out yesterday we managed to come across no fewer than FIVE territorially-aggressive fence-chargers (bad choice of route) and THREE cats ran across our path. For the most part, all three dogs are good at ignoring the charging beasties. Cats are another matter however and its the one time that I'm truly conscious of how strong Billy is. It's a two-hand job to just grab hold of him and keep him calm until we can get turned around in the other direction. Not so easy when there's two other dogs tying up your feet.

Three times the dog means three times the cuddles, so my lap is rarely empty and the bed is a big pile-up of furry bodies. All three are on different diets however so feeding time is a bit of a juggling session.

Billy of course gets his raw food, Buster is on Origens kibble and Flower gets the grain-free kibble she came with but with some wet food mixed in or she gets bored and won't eat it - at which point it's scarfed up by Billy and Buster.

The little miss is learning to sit and wait for her dinner with the other two until the word is given and the chompfest begins.

Speaking of which - Chicagoans keep a watch on the Redeye this week as a certain slobbery pooch may be appearing in an article about dog food...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flower's Big Adventure

Once upon a time Flower the Chihuahua, a small-town pooch, moved to the big city in search of a forever family. She went for walks in the park with her big foster-brother, snuggled on the couch with her human friends and met lots of lovely new people who gave her yummy treats and ear scratches. One day foster-momma took out the big black bag with the furry lining and threw some tasty chicken inside. Flower hopped in and they set off on an adventure. First, they took a trip on a noisy train.

Then they rode up an escalator.

They came out of the station and Flower looked around at streets of giant buildings. She hopped out of the black bag and walked to a busy park by the lake where hundreds and hundreds of people were dancing outside. Flower got really excited to see Fosterdad and did a happy dance before posing for a photo "backstage."

Then she went off to check out the party. Fostermom had spent a lot of time explaining that despite what people had showed her in her before-life most people that she would meet now would think she was a cutie-pie. Tonight Flower thought she would test it out and say hi to everyone! Fostermom was hungry so they bought some food and sat by the picnic tables.

Fostermom even shared some grilled chicken with Flower which meant another happy dance. Then they went for a walk to meet more people and see all the dancers.

Flower made sure to show off some of her own best moves before the night was out.

But by the time the last song started playing Flower needed to take a breather and have a lie-down to recuperate.

After another ride on the noisy train to get home it was time to snooze in earnest.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just three

When I walk along the rows of unwanted pets at Animal Care and Control or Animal Welfare League Intake it can all seem a bit hopeless. There isn't a single reason why any of them are less deserving of a home than my own dog. What I'm able to do to change their lot is so small. What chance do I truly have to make the slightest difference?

Today I learned that if we increase the amount of adoptions by only three per cent we can reduce the number of pets euthanized to zero. THREE PER CENT.

Three per cent, we can do.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Circus Dogs

It's a tough market out there when you're on the lookout for a forever home so sometimes a girl has to go the extra mile (especially when her foster-mom has been a very busy lady and not updated her blog). Daisy/Flower decided to take matters into her own hands and suggested to her foster brother that they could run away and join the circus.

Unfortunately, she has some serious concerns about Billy's work ethic so the circus idea has been relegated to Plan B. In the meantime she's going to enjoy the downtime.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who you callin' small?

You know, I might weigh about as much as my new foster brother's head, but I got mad skills!

I can frogdog with the big boys.

I have perfected the art of cute snuggling.

And if someone is eatin' cheese, I'm first in line for a share.

Plus I can snooze straight through thunderstorms, unlike that funny black dude who's hiding in the corner and drooling all over the floor. Big dogs are wusses.

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