Monday, September 15, 2014

Tuesday's Tails: Goldie, Goldie, Goldie...

This post is a longer one than my usual Tuesday's Tails, but please, through to the end and share if you can. <3

(Photo courtesy of HSNI)

I have mentioned Goldie - an 11-year-old Golden - on this blog on four separate occasions:

And now today's post, in which I beg - no, implore - you to please share Goldie's story.  She arrived at the HSNI in January of 2013, twenty pounds underweight and severely traumatized.  Her previous owner had abandoned her in an outdoor kennel for over three weeks - out of fear, hunger, and stress, Goldie had chewed off and ingested her own tail.

Goldie cannot be in a home with any other animals.  She cannot be adopted to a home without a fenced-in yard.  She also cannot live with a family who will leave her alone for long periods of time.  Goldie is also not house-broken.  For these reasons, she has remained in the shelter for what's coming up on two years.  Two years!  Goldie is nearing the end of her life, and she has never once known what it is to be someone's pet.  

The amazing Susie's Senior Dogs has featured Goldie THREE times.  Each post has garnered thousands of likes, hundreds of comments and shares.  The comments typically range from sympathetic ("That poor girl!") to just plain unhelpful ("If someone is going to get a dog that's not house-broken, they'd probably just get a puppy, not an 11-year-old dog...").  Most of the comments are something along these lines:  "I wish I could take her, but..."

So many buts.  It's totally understandable - Goldie is not an easy case.  However, she is a great dog.  She is smart, playful, and in great shape.  To be honest, she acts more like a puppy than the senior dog she is.  The great loves of her life are walks, water, and tennis balls.  She could make someone a great pet.  But each day I grow more and more terrified that Goldie's life will end with her still behind bars at the shelter.

The last time Susie's Senior Dogs featured Goldie, the HSNI received one phone call asking about her.  One.  Goldie deserves more than one phone call.  These are the types of cases that make me feel so helpless and so worthless - it tears me apart that I cannot make a difference, that I cannot help this girl.  I so wish that someone would step up and give Goldie a chance.  Is that someone you?

Please share.  I apologize for the depressing novel of a post I've just written...but my heart is breaking for Goldie.  Please share. <3

To end things on a slightly more positive note, check out these AMAZING photographs of adoptable dogs that Love & Luck Photography recently took at the HSNI! (All photos courtesy of Love & Luck and the Humane Society of North Iowa)

Milo, whose fur was so full of painful mats when he arrived that the staff had to stop for a break halfway through!  Don't worry, his furry head is now shaved down and he is super handsome :)

I absolutely love this photographer's work.  Amazing, right?!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Peekapoo Poops in PetCo...

Riley is in hiding today.  

Why, you ask?

Well, because he....

Yes, Riley decided to pop a squat right there in the middle of the aisle of Kong toys, becoming the newest member of the Dogs-Who-Poop-in-Petco Club.  Our 8-year-old pup definitely knows better, and we had taken him for a long walk before bringing him into the store...we think it was probably a mixture of nerves and excitement since we rarely bring him on car rides with us.

We had to do the Walk of Shame over to the little clean-up station to mop up the mess.  Riley stood there, watching and wagging his tail - no shame!

He flashed us these "I'm sorry" eyes after he did it...but he still went home without a new Kong.  Petco poopers never prosper!  (We did grab a bag of Nature's Recipe treats, though!)  

What about you guys?  Where's the most embarrassing place your pooch has ever done their business??

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your Daily Dose of Cute

I apologize for the length of time in between posts lately; Jared and I have been doing a lot of research on purchasing our current house (!!!).  Budgeting, surfing the Internet for ideas, and purging our closets and shelves to clear up space - the whole process is fun, but surprisingly time-consuming!  To make up for my absence, here are some cute photos of the dogs we spend our time with!

As you can see, Riley tends to wake up with a pretty severe case of bedhead!  He can't go too long in between groomings before he gets shaggy...he's definitely going to be due for one soon!

This is how Roxie, Jared's grandparents' Aussie, likes to ride in the car - draped over the top of the backseat with paws dangling.  What a silly girl! :)

Bella is my in-laws' Shih-Tzu/Maltese, and she is just too. cute. for. words.  She has the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a dog, and she knows how to work her looks to get attention for you can see from the pose she's striking here ;)

Can you spot the dog?!  Lots of the pups at the dog hotel I work at like to burrow up in their blankets...but this girl always takes it to the extreme!  She cocoons herself in and is sometimes even too comfortable to come outside and play - too funny! :)

Have a great rest of the week! <3

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tuesday's Tails: ARRR, It's Jack Sparrow!

First off, I wanted to thank my readers for all the wonderful suggestions they had about how to make an animal rescue stand out.  Though the comments varied, the main things most had in common were these:  professional photographs, detailed backstories, great customer service that also has knowledge of each animal, and a user-friendly website.  These are all HUGE things that we are definitely going to keep at the top of the list once we get Wags to Riches off the ground!  Thank you so much for your helpful tips <3

Now, on to Tuesday's Tails!  Most of the people close to me know that I have a soft spot in my heart for the special-needs dogs.  The ones with missing limbs or eyes...those who are lacking in hearing or in trust of humans.  Sadly, puppy mill rescue dogs often fit into all of those categories.

For this reason, I am so glad I was finally made aware of the National Mill Dog Rescue!  This organization takes discarded breeding dogs under their wing, rehabilitates them in foster homes, and eventually adopts them out to loving forever homes. They save the dogs who would otherwise be killed.  The rescue is committed to each and every dog they save, making sure that they are only adopted out to the best homes.   Bringing a puppy mill rescue into your family is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly - they are often skittish and terrified, having never experienced a real home before.  That having been said, rehabilitating and rehoming one of these dogs is most likely one of the most rewarding experiences ever!

I visit their website at least once a month, checking out/squealing over what new dogs are up for adoption.  Since I began browsing the site in January, one dog has been a constant there...and he never fails to break my heart.  Introducing...Jack Sparrow!

(Photo from here)

Jack Sparrow is a 9-year-old purebred Shih Tzu who was, of course, rescued from a puppy mill after years of being bred.  As a result of his sad past, he is now blind and missing a portion of his front leg - but that doesn't slow him down much!  Though he is a bit wary of strangers at first, he adores human attention...and how can anyone resist this sweet face!?

(Photo from here)

Say it with me now:  AWWWW!!!!  Or, considering his pirate name, maybe...Arrrrrr?  If you are interested in learning more about Jack Sparrow, please contact the National Mill Dog Rescue.  Thank you in advance for spreading the word about this handsome old sailor! <3

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What Makes an Animal Rescue GREAT??

As you may already know, I am on the board of directors for an up-and-coming Iowa no-kill rescue called Wags to Riches.   While the founder is still waiting to receive paperwork granting us non-profit status, the rescue is now officially an incorporation!  Though some animals have already been adopted out successfully, it's really exciting to see the organization coming together.

The founder of Wags to Riches is my coworker and friend, and she has allowed my husband (the techie) and I to create the website for the rescue.  We are trying to tackle small issues like the logo, the color scheme, the different links, etc.  And what better way to brainstorm great ideas than to reach out to my pet blogging community?!

(Photo from here)

I have a couple of questions that I would just LOVE for you all to comment on and discuss.  I am forever in your debt if you give me some suggestions and tips :)  Hugs all around!  Here we go!

What makes a truly great rescue, in your eyes?  What turns you off?  (For example, I love seeing positive, happy stories and great customer service...and I don't like it when staff members don't seem to truly love the animals.)

What do you think makes an eye-catching, effective website for a rescue?  

Do you prefer a foster-based or in-house rescue??

Got any great fundraising ideas?

And finally, what can WE do to make YOU want to adopt one of our animals?  Is it a sweet story on a Facebook page?  A professional photograph?

Any suggestions are more than welcome - we very much value your input!  (And, if you'd like to donate to this worthy cause, please click here.  Wags to Riches is still in need of donations for things like dog runs, cat condos, and beds.  Accountability is super important to us, so you will be able to know exactly where your donation is going.)  Thank you so much! <3

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Riley's Secret Hideout: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesdays

Riley here, reporting to you live from underneath Mom and Dad's bed!  It is pouring down rain out there, and even though I'm not afraid of thunderstorms, that bright lightning is interfering with my beauty sleep!  To get away from the annoying flashes of light, I like to come under here to get some shut-eye.  Sometimes Mom and Dad can't find me and start to yell my name - Teehee! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tuesday's Tails: Kiara

Underdog Rescue, MN  is a wonderful non-profit rescue group that depends solely on volunteers and fosters to temporarily care for animals in need.  Their goal is to rehabilitate and rehome homeless dogs and cats of any age and breed; many of their adoptable dogs right now are senior dogs who have been rescued from puppy mills.  Underdog Rescue's adoption process is designed to find only the best, most loving homes for their animals.  The organization has been running strongly since 2000, and since then, they have adopted out over 2100 pets!  Since they don't have a building in which to house their homeless animals, they must depend on the kindness and generosity of volunteers, who foster the dogs or cats in their homes until the right home has been found.

The organization is mostly dedicated to "underdogs" - the pups who might be passed by or overlooked if they were in a regular shelter.  These include:  black dogs (and cats!), special needs animals, pit bull breeds, and puppy mill survivors, who, due to the trauma they have likely experienced, require some special love and care.  The fosters who temporarily care for these animals come to every adoption event, ready and willing to share stories about the dog's rescue, personality, and any special needs the animal might have.  Without these dedicated fosters, these homeless animals would likely be put into a city shelter, which tend to be pretty crowded in a metropolis.

I wrote about Underdog Rescue and a lovable Japanese Chin named Kiara way back in April.  Unbelievably, this sweet girl is still looking for a forever home.

Kiara back when she first arrived at Underdog Rescue and still had one of her eyes (photo courtesy of Underdog Rescue website)

Kiara after having both eyes removed (photo courtesy of Underdog Rescue website)

At 7 years young, Kiara still loves to go for walks and have playtime...but what she loves even more is snuggling!  Quiet but full of love, she is both kennel and house-trained, and being blind doesn't seem to slow her down - she adapts to her surroundings and is able to easily navigate a house.  

When Jared and I attended an adoption event in April, Kiara was one of the featured dogs that made an appearance.  She doesn't attend many of these events, since the chaos can be a bit much for a blind dog - while many of the dogs were running back and forth, greeting potential adopters, Kiara was huddled under a metal folding chair in the corner.  I imagine all of the noise and smells were quite overwhelming for her.  I knew she would be at the event, so I sought her out immediately, eventually scooping her up and putting her in my lap...where she remained happily for nearly the entire time!

As you can see, she is quite the snuggle-bug!  It is clear that Kiara has so much love to give...if only someone would give her a chance.  Underdog Rescue adopts only to those in the Twin Cities region, in order to keep track of the well-being of their adopted dogs.  So if you're in the Minneapolis area, or know someone who is, please share this post and help find sweet Kiara a forever home.  Thank you so much for reading <3