Sharing …

… photos as promised!  Our latest foster, Sang-Po, has been in his new home since just before Thanksgiving.  During a marathon of should-have-been-done-before-Christmas errands done in the New Year, I finally got the new family photos taken.  Sang-Po joins BooBoo (a former foster), Kathy and Don in Loveland.  Sang-Po is a good boy, a loving boy … but definitely still a puppy and is keeping them on their toes!

Murphy, our long-legged boy

During the holiday season, I so enjoy hearing from folks who have adopted one (or two) of our former fosters.  Often times the greetings are accompanied by photos, which is of particular delight as many of our fosters came in and leave as young dogs so we get to see how they’ve matured.  The blond boy Murphy is now red gold … Elwood has lots of freckles and a new name (Leonardo) … Bubba has a new name (Max), a new canine sibling (Abby) and sports a thick, healthy coat.  The greatest gift is, however, knowing they are well loved and an integral part of the new family.  To those who shared photos, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lou, DaVinci (f/k/a Sterling), DeLores, Piccalo, Dean and Leonard (f/k/a Elwood)
Cindy, Max (f/k/a Bubba) & Abby

It is also a time when we must reflect on these little lives, so much more temporary than our own.  Word arrived that we lost Buddy to heart failure.  He was our foster from Casper who was placed twice by the shelter in Casper … and returned twice … before landing in rescue in Loveland.  He then went on to live in Aurora with Sonya in 2006.

Gone, too, is Ms. Frisky Boots at the grand age of 16-years old.  Her elderly owner had died and the family surrendered her in 2004 when it became painfully obvious (literally) that Miss Frisky and the four-year boy in the house could not co-exist.  Having met the child, I’d have bitten him as well.  Miss Frisky had a long, full life with Roberta and Vincent in Wheat Ridge and I know they are sorely missing her.

So it is we start the New Year.  Thankful for the families who share their hearts and homes with the rescues … and tucking away memories of those special dogs who have crossed my doorstep.  Soon, very soon, I will welcome two others as they begin a new journey in rescue.  Stay tuned!

You Win Some … You Lose Some!

Hardwood floors, my reading nook, and the usual clutter of dog toys and beds ...

The past three months have been a whirlwind … figuratively and literally.  With the home update finally completed, we moved back into the main floor over Labor Day weekend.  Amazing how much stuff one can accumulate.  And which is not fully appreciated until one has to pack and move it, be it downstairs, out in the garage or across town!  Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity are a regular stop as the clean out continues.  One more room to go (the office) and I think we’ll be back to normal.

In mid October, we traveled to Albuquerque to see the end of the Balloon Fiesta (Fri/Sat) and then spend a week at the American Lhasa Apso Club’s (ALAC) National Specialty.  Having never been to the Balloon Fiesta, it was quite the experience once the event got off the ground for the weekend.  Friday was scratched because of the rain; Saturday because of the winds.  On Sunday, we finally got to see the mass ascension of 385+ balloons … what a sight!  One of the most popular balloons of the weekend was … Spider Pig!

BOB - Cut Down Sweepstakes

On Wednesday, Dante was entered in the first-ever ALAC cut-down sweepstakes, meaning dogs who had been clipped could be shown.  Given than he hadn’t been to a show in well over a year, I was just hoping we could get around the ring with no new behaviors thrown in for interest.  When Dante was being shown and specialed, he was notorious for coming up with heretofore unknown behaviors.  Like barking at clapping … bailing off the exam table … barking at the Dobermans in the ring behind us … asking to be picked up.  Never a dull moment with this boy!  Dante was a sport and did everything I asked of him … and managed to pick up Best of Breed in the cut-down class.  His niece, Lily, was awarded Best of Opposite Sex.  That was our win.

Late October bought the freak snowstorm that dumped ten inches of heavy wet snow overnight.  Given that that majority of the trees in our yard hadn’t lost their leaves yet, they sustained heavy damage from broken branches.  We lost one tree outright and there are two others that we’re not sure will survive their wounds.  Alan spent a weekend cutting broken branches and hauling them out of the yard … just in time for the next snow storm to hit.  Not complaining — well, okay a little — as snow equates to snow pack and snow pack is water on the high arid plains of Colorado.  Our beautiful 12-year old Honey Locust is now a bit lop-sided after the snow took five fairly larges branches down, twisting them off the larger wood.  Given the struggle to get trees to grow in our yard, it was like losing old friends.

Our fav lady bug ... Tootsie!

I got word that a certain little dog was a huge hit at Halloween.  Cute as a bug … a lady bug to be exact … Tootsie took center stage with the visitors.  Here’s what I heard from Jane and Jerry:  “I thought that I would share a couple of pictures of Tootsie at Halloween.  She doesn’t look real happy in her little lady bug costume, but once she realized it was going to get her lots of attention, she was just fine with it, ha!  She is such a little love and I can’t believe we got so lucky that we found her.  She has got such a fun personality, she keeps us laughing.”  I think Tootsie was pretty lucky to have found Jane and Jerry!

Sang-Po was placed just before Thanksgiving … best part of that he’s still in town with friends so I’ll get to see and hear of him often.  He now lives with Don, Kathy and BooBoo.  BooBoo is one of our former fosters, our first out-of-state intake.  Arriving from Oklahoma, we picked him up late one night in Limon under a full moon that left the eastern plains awash in moon glow for the three-hour+ ride home.  BooBoo, who has been in his new home since 2003, is showing Sang-Po the ropes and adjusting to not being an only dog anymore!  Photos to follow as they get taken, in the next week or so.

It’s All In the Numbers …

Edie -- Ambassador for the Breed

On September 18, 2011, I attended the “Bark in the “Park” expo sponsored by the Arapaho Kennel Club at the beautiful Exposition Park in Aurora.  Dante’s co-owner/breeder came down with two of her dogs who had the very important assignment of being breed ambassadors.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in Colorado!

While there, we did an intake on a puppy being surrendered to rescue.  Notable in the fact it was a puppy — we rarely get puppies in rescue — and this marked our 40th foster dog.  Doesn’t seem like 40 fosters but it is when counting them down.  Of those 40, 37 have gone on to new homes.  Unfortunately, three of our fosters were euthanized while in foster care … two for unprovoked biting issues and one for medical issues.  That’s probably the hardest part of rescue [euthanasia]  because “rescue” isn’t supposed to end that way. 

Sang-Po ... a happy boy!

In any event, meet our newest foster … Sang-Po!!  Given a Tibetan name in homage to his ancient origins, it means “kind and gentle.”  That describes this boy to a “T”.  He’s a very loving dog and would like nothing better than to sit in one’s lap.  His ideal home would be one with a dog in residence — a dog that likes to play and is willing to put up some puppy antics.  A home where the new owner will follow through on the crate training and finish up his house training (he’s working diligently on the house training but he’s still a puppy and will need an owner that can provide routine and consistency). 

He’s still in the assessment/training phase of foster care and will not be placed in a home until the end of October.  However, we are accepting applications at this time.

Make sure you get my good side ... and my pearlies

Pure bred vs. well bred …

What exactly does that mean … “pure bred versus well bred”?  In my many years of involvement with rescue, I’ve had countless “pure bred” Apsos with “papers.”  Papers being a document saying the dog was registered with the AKC (or any of the other questionable registries which have sprung up to circumvent AKC’s DNA requirements).  However, having “papers” in hand does not mean the dogs in question were “well bred.”  “Well bred” meaning they had the qualities and characteristics that make an Apso “an Apso” … a dog possessing breed type.  “Well bred” meaning the breeder strived to produce a dog that could, on any given day, survive at altitude in its native homeland of Tibet (this link contains an excellent article on what makes a Lhasa Apso).  “Well bred” meaning the breeder could document at least five generations of dogs and the health of those dogs.  Dogs whose pedigrees reflect a multitude of champion relatives — not just one or two champions in five generations.  Dogs whose breeders stand behind what they produce for the life of the dog.

Next question is  … where does one find a well-bred dog?  Certainly not from a pet store as supplied by the puppy mills.  Or a “backyard” breeder  (“BYB”) who has thrown a couple of dogs together for a quick profit.  Despite the broad brush used by the animal rights movement to paint all breeders, the majority of show (hobby) breeders strive to produce sound, healthy dogs.  Hobby breeders cannot keep every dog they breed and maintain a breeding line — much like rescue can’t keep every dog that arrives in foster care.  These breeders often have retired champions, young adult show prospects that didn’t turn out as well as anticipated, or pet-quality puppies available for placement … well-bred dogs that need homes of their own.  And for much less than what you’d pay for a puppy produced in the mills and sold by a pet store. 

Always an advocate for rescue, I also believe in providing prospective families with options other than the petstore or BYBs.  A sad fact is 100% of my rescues have come from either pet stores or backyard breeders.  So even though one is obtaining a “rescue,” they were produced for profit with little thought given to their health and breed type. 

Remind your family and friends what breeding does: Every kitten or puppy born is a death sentence to a shelter cat or dog waiting to be adopted.

As a responsible owner and long-time rescue volunteer … I take an exception to the above statement. If not for the responsible, ethical breeders, good representations of my chosen breed would have vanished into the mists of the Himalayan mountains decades upon decades ago. It is only through the work of quality breeders that the Lhasa Apso has survived a forced flight into Nepal, Bhutan and India as well several genetic bottle necks and the invasion of the Chinese into Tibet.  
 
I have more than done my part when it comes to rescue. However, it is not by any of my actions that there are dogs and cats in shelters. Now, I am supposed to give up the breed I love … and have worked tirelessly for … because someone else was irresponsible?  That *all* breeding is bad and my only option is to accept what is coming out of the mills?  That my only choice is an ill-bred dog with a myriad of health problems?   Seriously??  Perhaps if the statement had made mention of “puppy mills,” it would go a bit further in educating the public.
 
Following is listing of well-bred dogs looking for homes of their own.  While these dogs are located in the western half of the US (or Canada), they can be flown to a new home.  In many instances, dogs can travel to other areas with exhibitors headed to shows.  Depending on location, a road trip may be in order.  Don’t like the full coat?  No problem … Apsos can also be kept clipped in a “wash-n-wear” version.  
 
Vinnie:  retired champion, on the larger size, about six-years old.  Very loving dog; great with adults, never been around children; teens would be okay.  Needy in that he wants to be right with you on the couch, etc.  Would need to be neutered.  Located in New Mexico.
 
Zach:  retired champion, almost two-years old.  Still in full coat.  Quite loving and a lap dog; enjoys sitting in the recliner with my husband and will do so for hours.  A real people dog.  Needs a home where he is an only dog or could live with a female dog.  Located in Wisconsin.
 
Big Boy —  He was 1 year on Aug. 30.  I gave him a haircut yesterday; he has a wonderful coat. His markings aren’t as red as his brothers.  I don’t think that he will be hard to housetrain as it was going good until I got sick. The brother didn’t have any accidents. He is very playful, gets along good with other dogs and kids. He is very sweet!!!  Located in Minnesota.
 
Oreo and Ready — retired champions (4-5 years old).  Fully housetrained, would be spayed/neutered prior to placement.  Oreo is very outgoing, wags her tail at everyone, never met a stranger.  Ready is more of a “got-to-get-to-know-you” type; probably do best in a home with no other males.  Located in Utah.
 
Gracie — red/white parti-color female, 10-weeks old.  Dew claws removed, dewormed, tattooed (ID), vet checked, first vaccs.  She loves to have attention and is very playful. She loves toys and actively plays with her brothers. She loves people and has had lots of interaction as she was born and raised in my family room. Located in British Columbia
 
If interested in any of these dogs, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.  Serious inquiries only … the breeders of these dogs are looking for owners that will commit for the life of the Apso.
 

Just because …

… I can. And I love this photo!!! A shot of Bella and PippyDo in their new home in Texas with friend Mazzi …

Bella & PippyDo resting after a hard day of play ...

These two bonded in foster care and, thankfully, met up with Mazzi who just had to have them both.  While I normally do not do female/female placements, these two are the exception.  And exceptionally cute … enjoy!

The house remodel continues.  Mostly at a snail’s place it seems.  While we are moved back into the kitchen, the rest of the house is yet to follow.  Appears we’ll be moving furniture in next weekend … finally!

 

When You Adopt …

I came across this saying from another rescue group, one that helps find foster homes and permanent homes for dogs in rural areas, coming from high-kill shelters …

“When you adopt a rescue pet, you help save TWO lives:  the one you bring home and the one that takes its place.”

Sharing a bed ... Leo (l), Jody (r)

There’s always a period of adjustment for the foster placed in a new home.  However, with consistency, patience and a set routine, it isn’t long before the “new dog” (literally and figuratively) just shines.

Our latest foster, Leo, is no exception.  The first couple days in his new home were a little rocky for all involved.  Jody, f/k/a Jasper and previously adopted from our group, definitely wasn’t happy with the prospect of a new roomie (not entirely unexpected).  Leo wasn’t sure what was going on.  Joan and Rich were left scrambling to come up with ways to integrate the two that didn’t include Jody growling (we have links and articles just for this scenario).  Days three and four saw “the boys” almost joined at the hip.  While they weren’t playing together, they were following each other around the house.  If one moved, so did the other and vice versa.  Yesterday I got word that Jody and Leo were, indeed, playing together and racing through the house.  Given what I knew of the two dogs, I didn’t think it would take too long before the canine bond was established between these two.

Joan, Leo & Rich

Here’s to Leo’s new life with Joan, Rich and Jody!  Many thanks to Debra and Mark of Berthoud for fostering this boy.

Leo isn’t the only winner with this adoption.   Rich and Joan have volunteered to help out in their area once they get moved and settled into the Canon City area.  Likewise, Tootsie’s new family — Jane and Jerry — have also stepped up in southern Wyoming for transports, pulls and home visits.  “Local” is a relative term out here in the west and can mean 30 minutes to three hours for driving time.  Having volunteers along the Front Range means rescue can be more effective.  Our sincere thanks to Leo and Tootsie’s families for their involvement … welcome to rescue!

Ancient Treasure …

Long a native of the Tibetan Plateau — some say thousands of years — the Apso is a relative newcomer to the Western Hemisphere.  The first Apsos arrived in the United States in 1933, a gift to C. Suydam and Helen Cutting of Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey from the 13th Dalai Lama,Thubten Gyatso.  As part of the Newark Museum’s “Centennial Celebration of the Tibet Collection,” Nancy Plunkett of Tabu Lhasa Apsos was recently invited to the to speak on the history of the Lhasa Apso with special emphasis on the Cuttings’ contribution to the breed through Hamilton Farm.  C. Suydam Cutting of Hamilton Farm provided many of the artifacts to the museum’s extensive “Tibet Collection;” Helen Cutting was a trustee of the museum until her death in 1961.  Today’s offering explores early breed history and its foundation under the “Hamilton” prefix.  [“Prefix” denotes a specific line of dogs bred under a certain kennel name.]

Clicking on the graphic below will take you to a .pdf file of the Newark Museum presentation which can be navigated by clicking on your computer’s right arrow button (>).  If you do not have a .pdf viewer, one can be downloaded (free) at this link … Adobe Reader.

Our thanks to Nancy for sharing this rich and visually beautiful presentation.  Her historical research punctuated by the detailed photos and artwork captures the heart and soul of the breed.  Only by appreciating the past can we carry the breed forward into the future …

Lhasa Apso ... Bearded Lion Dog of Tibet

Another One Home …

Tootsie, Jane & Jerry

Tootsie had the good fortune to find her forever home in late June.  Jane and Jerry from Cheyenne made a special trip down to meet Tootsie at our rescue booth at the Fort Collins Fire Hydrant 5k … it was love at first sight!!  Ten days later, she was on her way to Cheyenne.  I have no doubt that Tootsie is loving her new home and being a part of a family.  Whether she’s ever had that in the past, we’ll never know … but it is certainly her life now.  She’s settled in and is doing quite well … and probably getting a bit spoiled, if the truth be known  lol.

You’ll note the background in the photo is a change up from our usual “family photos.”  That’s because our house is down for the count for the time being.  We’re in the midst of a home update which included taking out all the carpet and putting in hardwood throughout the house.  Between the carpet’s age, all the dogs, and the pukin’ cat, it was either replace it or go to hard surface.  We chose hard surface and haven’t looked back … most likely because there isn’t anything to look back on.  To get to hardwood, we had to completely move everything off the main floor.  With the exception of what’s in the kitchen cabinets, literally everything is either in a box in the basement or sitting in the garage, covered with a sheet.  Even my “kitchen” is in the garage, making cooking a real challenge as it’s either microwave, grill or crockpot.  Today, all the sinks in the house come out as the new counters will be installed on Monday.  Alan keeps reminding me I should be thankful we at least have one functioning sink … in the garage.     :::sigh:::    Obviously, his morning routine to get ready for work doesn’t include a sink being handy!

A Good Day …

… to be a dog in Colorado!  That was the theme for our rescue booth at the Larimer Humane Society’s Fire Hydrant 5k in Fort Collins on June 11th.  We had a beautiful Colorado day for the event — bright blue skies and light breeze.  Our fosters, Tootsie and Leo, were in attendance putting their best  paw forward.

Our thanks to the foster families who brought them up for the day!  Deb and Elle brought Leo and then participated in the 5k which is a fund-raiser for the Larimer Humane Society.  Kay and Dave were in attendance with Tootsie.

As it turns out, Tootsie met her soon-to-be family at this event … Jane and Jerry who made a special trip down from Cheyenne, WY just to meet Tootsie.  We’ll be posting more on that later!

I received a special treat for the day … Jaime who came up from Denver just so we could visit with her and Mae-Mae!  She’s done well in her new home and is, how shall we say … just a tad bit spoiled  lol.  Some more photos from the day …

Leo, Tootsie and Kay
Dave, Kirby (f/k/a Ruffy) and Alan
Leo ... lookin' for love!

Leo is a 3-year old neutered male who would do best in a home where he had no exposure to small children or grandchildren — older teenagers would be fine.  He is current on vaccinations, tested negative for heartworms, is on a HW preventative, had a rear dewclaw removed, and a microchip implanted.  Leo gets along with dogs and cats alike.  His ideal home would be where he had a canine friend that likes to play.  Leo is also crate trained and house trained.

If interested in Leo, please contact:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.

2011 Fire Hydrant 5k in Fort Collins …

Once again, we’re signed up to have a rescue booth at the Larimer Humane Society’s Fire Hydrant 5k in Fort Collins on Saturday, June 6th in Edora Park.  More information can be found below ….
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Fire Hydrant 5 Event Information

 Click_here_to_register_button 

Join us for the 21st annual Fire Hydrant 5, the county’s largest family- and canine-friendly 5K pledge walk/run of the season.

Prior to and following the walk/run, join in the fun of the Pet Expo featuring over 40 pet- and family-friendly booths, Fido photos, paw painting, and more!

Fire Hydrant 5 is looking to be bigger and better than ever this year! New this year is Paul and Kama’s Dog Show Mix-Up!  Enter your dog in a host of fun contests – both silly and serious – from best pet/person look-a-like, best pet trick, best doggie kiss, best singing duo and more!

Register as an individual or form a team! Your participation and the additional money you raise through pledges will help us care for the nearly 12,000 animals that come to Larimer Humane Society each year.

Event Day Schedule

The 21st Annual Fire Hydrant 5 will be held Saturday, June 11, 2011 at Edora Park in Fort Colllins.
7:30-8:15 am     Event-day Registration Open
8:00 am-Noon Pet Expo
8:30 am 5K Run start, walkers to proceed behind antique fire truck following run start 
9:00-10:00 am   T-shirt Exchange at Registration Tent; come trade for your perfect size!
10:00-10:30 am 5K Top Finisher awards presentation
10:30-11:30 am Paul & Kama’s Dog Show Mix-Up

How Do I Register?

Registration is now open for the 21st Annual Fire Hydrant 5!  Visit our registration site to register online, or download the event brochure

General Pre-registration (through June 9th) – $30/person

Event-day registration $35/person
  
The first 500 participants will receive a Fire Hydrant 5 goodie bag, and the first 700 participants are guaranteed an event t-shirt.
 
Team-Up!
Gather your friends, family and co-workers!  Special team pricing of $20/person is available for groups of six or more.  Teams do not have to stay together on the course—walker/runner combos are welcome!  Teams may register online or via the event brochure. If you are a team captain, you may invite team members through your online team website, or feel free to download the shortened registration form for hand-out to potential team members. All team members must complete a registration form.  For more information about team registration, email our development team today.
  
Cat Nap
Are you unable to participate on event day?  Register to Cat Nap!  Cat Nappers may register online or using the downloadable event brochure, and will enjoy all the benefits of an event-day participant including the ability to raise pledges and form and/or join an event team. Cat nappers will also receive the commemorative 21st Annual Fire Hydrant 5 t-shirt for their support!

Can I Bring My Dog?

Yes! Dogs are welcome at the event, but not required! Come alone or walk/run with your dog. All dogs participating in the walk/run must abide by the following guidelines:
  • They must be leashed at all times
  • They must be current on all required vaccinations and licensing
  • Please use a 6-foot or shorter, non-retractable leash
  • Poop bags will be available; please make sure to pick up after your dog
  • Aggressive dogs are kindly asked to stay at home

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Look for the prayer flags on our canopy!!  We’ll have our two fosters, Tootsie and Leo, in attendance and … just maybe … they’ll have the same success as Jackson did in 2009.  He found his new family at this event!

It Never Fails …

Tootsie

As my former rescue partner can attest, it never fails that rescue emergencies arise when we’re out of town or getting ready to leave town … my recent trip to San Antonio was no exception.  In day four of the trip, I get an email about an Apso mix in the Canon City shelter who needs to be transported to a rescue NOW or face euthanasia.  A flurry of emails and phone calls ensues; she’s being transported on Thursday to Denver for pick-up at 12:30 p.m.  Great.  My first day back at work and there’s no freakin’ way I can meet the transport at that time.  Recalling Kirby’s family said, “If there’s anything we can do …”, I make a call with fingers crossed.  Kay, ever so gracious, interrupts me pleading my case by saying, “We can go get her!”  Not only did they go get her, but they also set about to get her cleaned up with a bath upon their return home.  And then offered to foster her when it became readily apparent she was a very sweet girl.  What a blessing for both “Tootsie” and rescue!

Tootsie actually arrived with the name of “Stubbie” … she’s missing her left front paw.  Given what I know of anatomy and as confirmed by Doc Sherry, the missing paw is genetic in nature.  In any event, she gets around quite easily and even navigates the doggy door in the foster home.  After much discussion between two vets and two groomers, we’ve come to the conclusion she’s an Apso-Yorkie mix.  From her transfer paperwork and the various emails with the shelter in Canon City, it appears she was a transfer in from a shelter in New Mexico.  Quite the traveled little dog!

She underwent a spay about ten days ago and is healing up quite nicely.  We opted for the laser treatment on the incision — something new at the clinic — which was touted as promoting faster healing.  By all accounts, it is doing just that.  Anything that can help them heal faster is definitely worth the extra $15.

The day after her spay, we got an email saying that one of the other dogs on the transport had come down with parvo.  Definitely not someplace we want to go!  Although Tootsie had a parvo vacc at the shelter in April (probably her first ever in her short life), we scrambled and got her in for a quick booster per Doc Sherry’s recommendation. 

Tootsie is a sweet little dog.  She is very much attached to her foster family and plays with the other dogs in the house.  A quick study, she’s picking up very quickly on the housetraining and sleeps the night through in her crate with nary a peep.  She would probably do best in a home with adults and one other dog.  If interested or would like more information on her, please contact me at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.

Tootsie is about as loving and low-key as they come … just a great little dog.  In a phone conversation with Kay, she mentioned that while one initially feels sorry for Tootsie and her obvious disability with the missing paw, one quickly realizes that she has known nothing else so her life is “normal” … she gets along just fine, thank you, and does everything that a dog with four paws can.

Our thanks to Kay and Dave for stepping up to the plate to help rescue when Tootsie desperately needed a ride to a new life.  Angels come in many forms …

Jumping In …

… and trying  to get everyone up to speed.  Lots of things going on in the past month, including a trip to San Antonio to escort Pip to her new home and a major home renovation just getting underway.  I have a feeling that “caught up” will be elusive at best and a return to “normal” will be greatly wished for about day three of the hardwood install.  Never mind the paint and tile work afterwards.

Bella, Mazzi and PippyDo

I flew little Pip to her new home in Texas with Mazzi and Bella as well as meeting up with long-time Shuh Tzu cyberfriends.  Seven of us have been corresponding for years (some for over a decade) and we meet up whenever the opportunity presents itself.  This is the first time so many of us have gathered in one place and it was great to finally meet everyone.  Bella was ecstatic to see her little friend again and a good romp was the first order of business.

Dave with Ruffy, Max and Maggie (l-r)

Just before I headed to Texas, Ruffy (n/k/a “Kirby”) went to his new home with David and Kay in Loveland.  He joins two other Apsos — Maggie and Max — and settled in quite nicely.  Long the queen of the house, Maggie decided Kirby is a little prince and allows him special privileges.  Like sitting on the back of the couch and watching out the same window.  And playing with her toys.  Life is good!!

To top it all off, we have a new rescue coming in this afternoon … Leo … a 3-year old male that doesn’t appreciate  the 3-year old human in the house.  More on him later as we get him vetted and settled into rescue.

Canine Influenza …

American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue – Colorado Gets Grant to Vaccinate Dogs for Influenza

Petfinder.com Foundation furnishes funds to protect rescue dogs from canine flu.

TUCSON, April 2, 2011 – American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue – Colorado now has help in protecting dogs against canine influenza virus (CIV), a highly contagious disease that spreads easily from dog to dog, especially those in close proximity. The rescue received a grant for the vaccines as part of a Petfinder.com Foundation program to build community immunity against this respiratory infection. The foundation partnered with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, a global animal health company and makers of the NOBIVAC(r) Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine, to fund the grant.

Because CIV is relatively new, most dogs have not built up immunity to the disease. Dogs can get the disease by being exposed to those that have it, as well as playing with toys or drinking from bowls used by other dogs. People can also unwittingly spread the germ if they come in contact with infected dogs.

“Shelters and rescue organizations are often the first places that new diseases already in the community become evident. Dogs come in from the community and are released back into it, and often move to and from states with confirmed cases,” said Liz Neuschatz, director of the Petfinder.com Foundation. “Canine flu can be a real problem for shelters, where one sick dog can cause an outbreak through an entire facility. We are pleased to be part of this effort to help protect the community by providing canine flu vaccine to American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue – Colorado.”

Dog flu is a growing problem throughout the U.S. It has been confirmed in 35 states so far, but tracking the disease is hard because it is so difficult to diagnose. Dogs are contagious before they show any symptoms. By the time the dog starts coughing, it’s too late. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, and some will get more serious infections, such as pneumonia, which can be fatal.  Dogs that go to doggie daycare, boarding facilities, groomers and shows and are vaccinated for canine cough (Bordetella) are also at risk for canine flu.  Information about canine flu is available at www.doginfluenza.com.

The grant for Building Community Immunity seeks to protect all at-risk dogs in the community, including those in close proximity with other dogs, as is the case with shelters and rescue facilities. It also provides greater assurance to adopting families that their new pets will be healthier and much less likely to be sick or get more serious, and sometimes fatal, infections. The grant further links Petfinder.com member shelter and rescue grant recipients with local veterinarians to protect all adoptable dogs in their care. The program promotes veterinary visits for wellness exams and, when appropriate, the second dose administration of Nobivac Canine Flu vaccine.

About Petfinder.com Foundation:
The Petfinder.com Foundation was created in 2003 to respond to needs of its Petfinder member shelters and rescue groups and to assist them in ensuring that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home. The vaccine grant will help keep dogs healthy and adoptable. 

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health:
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, based in Boxmeer, the Netherlands, is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative animal health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health; subsidiaries of Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station NJ, USA. For more information, visit www.intervet.com.

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Our thanks to Petfinder and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health for awarding us this grant!  We know that CIV has already arrived in Colorado.  Dogs contracting CIV become sick very quickly and require immediate medical attention.

It’s raining …

… dogs.  Seems like every time I pick up the phone, it is someone wanting to relinquish a dog.  Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough foster homes to get them all into rescue.  We were able, however, to take these three in … Pip, Bella and Ruffy.  Pip has been here a while; Bella arrived the 26th of February and Ruffy, March 18th.  Their stories echo the many who have passed through previously.  Pip was a stray; Bella and Ruffy both came from households with small children where there weren’t enough hours in the day to meet all the needs of the little ones … be they two-legged or four.

Pip (l) and Bella (r)

Tomorrow, Bella leaves for her new home … Texas!!  While we normally do not take part in out-of-state adoptions, Bella’s placement is with a very dear friend (Mazzi) and I know she’ll have a great home.  Pip is equally fortunate.  I’ll fly her down to San Antonio later where she’ll take up residence with Bella.  These two get along fabulously and I’m sure Bella will be apsolutely delighted with Pip’s arrival.

If you’re looking for a young, handsome guy, you’re in luck!  Available for placement now, is this boy … Ruffy.  At 16-months old, he’s a real charmer and would make a great addition to any family.  He’s neutered, working very hard on his housetraining, and gets along with dogs and cats alike.  If interested in Ruffy, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.  And thanks to our newest foster parents — Debra and Mark — for taking him in!

Ruffy

A Toast …

… to a new star in the heavens tonight.  A beautiful, shining red star.  It is, indeed, fitting that we raise a glass of red wine to honor her memory.  Or, perhaps, to drown our sorrow at her passing.  What she added to our lives cannot be measured except by the heart. 

Fly now, once again whole, to the high and ancient mountains … the ancestral home beckons.
 
Kai-La-Sha Alright Alreddy     11/06/97 – 3/21/11
 
 
 

How Do You Know …

… when it’s time to let a beloved companion go?  As pet owners, we must all face this difficult decision if we are to keep the promises made long years ago.  To keep them safe, to keep them warm, to keep their best interest at heart no matter how difficult.  Whether it’s the first time or the fifth time, it never gets any easier.

Today’s post is more for me than anything else.  We’re struggling with the question of euthanasia for our old girl, Ali.  She has severe OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) that’s bordering on self mutilation.  She’s always had some element of OCD but it has become markedly worse in the past year.  Nothing we’ve tried in the past or the present has helped to a great degree.   The current medication as prescribed by a behaviorist from CSU is losing its efficacy.  She’s miserable — we’re miserable.  As a self-admitted control freak, it is exceedingly difficult for me to concede that I can’t “fix” this.   No matter what happens, I do not want to look back on this time and say, “I waited too long”  as that means the dog has suffered.  Needlessly. 

My beloved Ali ...

The time has come to pony up and repay Ali for all the years of joy and unconditional love.  To take her pain and make it my own, freeing her from the ravages of time and a deteriorating mind and body.  I do not make this decision lightly … and I weep with the knowledge she will soon be gone, no longer my little red shadow.  Ali holds a special place in my heart as it was through her that my involvement with the breed became a journey of education into what truly makes an Apso “an Apso.”

Many years back I saved the following article and, from time to time, have pulled it out to share with friends struggling with the same issue.  Or to prepare myself for what was to come with a foster so badly damaged it was beyond my best efforts.  This day, it soothes the angst of impending personal loss … 

How Do You Know When It’s Time? 

I don’t subscribe to the idea that dogs “will let us know when it’s time,” at least not in any conscious sense on their part. For one thing, I’ve found in my years of counseling folks who have ill pets and often accompanying them through the euthanasia process, that this notion is often interpreted in a way that puts a lot of pressure on people when they’re already stressed and grief-stricken. “What if I miss the signs? He looked miserable yesterday but not today. What if I act too soon or not soon enough? How could he ever let on that he wants it to end? But maybe I’m deluding myself that he feels better than he does.”

Dogs are not people. We lovingly anthropomorphize our dogs during our time together and there’s no harm in that, even quite a bit of reward for both them and us. But the bottom line is that they are not people and they don’t think in the way people think. (Many of us would argue that that speaks to the superiority of dogs.) These amazing beings love us and trust us implicitly. It just isn’t part of their awareness that they should need to telegraph anything to us in order for their needs to be met or their well-being ensured. They are quite sure that we, as their pack leaders, operate only in their best interest at all times. Emotional selfishness is not a concept in dogdom and they don’t know how hard we sometimes have to fight against it ourselves.

Dogs also have no mindset for emotional surrender or giving up. They have no awareness of the inevitability of death as we do and they have no fear of it. It is fear that so often influences and aggravates our perceptions when we are sick or dying and it becomes impossible to separate the fear out from the actual illness after a while. But that’s not the case with dogs. Whatever we observe to be wrong with our sick dogs, it’s all illness. And we don’t even see the full impact of that until it’s at a very advanced point, because it’s a dog’s nature to endure and to sustain the norm at all costs. If that includes pain, then that’s the way it is. Unlike us, they have never learned that letting pain show, or reporting on it, may generate relief or aid. So they endure, assuming in their deepest doggy subconscious that whatever we abide for them is what is to be abided.

If there is a “look in the eye” or an indication of giving up that we think we see from our beloved dogs, it isn’t a conscious attitude on their part or a decision to communicate something to us. It’s just an indication of how tired and depleted they are. But they don’t know there’s any option other than struggling on, so that’s what they do. We must assume that the discomfort we see is much less than the discomfort they really feel. And we do know of other options and it is entirely our obligation to always offer them the best option for that moment … be it further intervention, or none, or the gift of rest.

From the moment we embrace these animals when they first grace our lives, every day is one day closer to the day they must abandon their very temporary and faulty bodies and return to the state of total perfection and rapture they have always deserved. We march along one day at a time, watching and weighing and continuing to embrace and respect each stage as it comes. Today is a good day. Perhaps tomorrow will be, too, and perhaps next week and the weeks or months after. But there will eventually be a winding down. And we must not let that part of the cycle become our enemy.

When I am faced with the ultimate decision about how I can best serve the animal I love so much, I try to set aside all the complications and rationales of what I may or may not understand medically and I try to clear my mind of any of the confusions and ups and downs that are so much a part of caring for a terminally ill pet. This is hard to do, because for months and often years we have been in this mode of weighing hard data, labs, food, how many ounces did he drink, should he have his rabies shot or not, etc. But at some point it’s time to put all of that in the academic folder and open the spiritual folder instead. At that point we are wise to ask ourselves the question: “Does he want to be here today, to experience this day in this way, as much as I want him to?”

Remember, dogs are not afraid, they are not carrying anxiety and fear of the unknown. So for them it’s only about whether this day holds enough companionship and ease and routine so that they would choose to have those things more than anything else and that they are able to focus on those things beyond any discomfort or pain or frustration they may feel. How great is his burden of illness this day, and does he want/need to live through this day with this burden of illness as much as I want/need him to? If I honestly believe that his condition is such, his pleasures sufficient, that he would choose to persevere, then that’s the answer and we press on.

If, on the other hand, I can look honestly and bravely at the situation and admit that he, with none of the fear or sadness that cripples me, would choose instead to rest, then my obligation is clear. Because he needs to know in his giant heart, beyond any doubt, that I will have the courage to make the hard decisions on his behalf, that I will always put his peace before my own, and that I am able to love him as unselfishly as he has loved me.

After many years, and so very many loved ones now living on joyously in their forever home in my heart, this is the view I take. As my veterinarian, who is a good and loving friend, injects my precious one with that freedom elixir, I always place my hand on top of his hand that holds the syringe. He has chosen a life of healing animals and I know how terribly hard it is for him to give up on one. So I want to shoulder that burden with him so he’s not alone. The law of my state says the veterinarian is the one licensed to administer the shot, not me. But a much higher law says this is my ultimate gift to my dog and the responsibility that I undertook on the day I welcomed that dog into my life forever.  ~ Hilary Brown     Reprinted by permission of the author

Sweethearts!

This photo was sent to me by Emma’s adoptive family … awwwww, aren’t they sweet?!?

Emma (on the right) was surrendered to us as a one-year old.  She had never been housetrained and was basically living her life as a yard dog during the day and crated from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.    Adopted by Michelle, Emma now resides in Texas.

Our waif from Greeley …

… hit the jackpot with a new home in Berthoud, Colorado.  Recent transplants from Illinois, Debra and Mark are enjoying our typically mild winters.  Contrary to popular belief, the foothills and plains of Colorado are not coated in snow the entire winter.  The mountains, however, are a different story and we love to hear that our mountain snowpack is “above average.”

Elle is settling in to her new home with little fanfare.  Their resident cat, however, may have a different opinion of her new “roomie.” 

Here’s what Deb and Mark had to say about Elle’s first week …

Hi Vickie,  Elle has been here a week.  She has been a good dog.  She and Debra have bonded and she follows her around like Debra wanted.  She goes outside but is subtle about wanting out.  We take her out often.  We have found two bad habits of hers.  One she would be a car chaser.  When cars go by she runs across the back yard like she is chasing.   But she never goes out alone and can’t leave the yard so it is not a problem.  She doesn’t do it while on a leash.  The other bad habit is she is a beggar.  She begs at the dinner table.  We have not given her anything but she has to be scolded when she stands up. The crate is going much better.  She still whimpers but for a very short time.  She figures she is going to spend the night in there.   When we leave she will still howl. You can hear her in the garage.   Other than that she is a great companion for Debra.  She and the cat are getting along great.  Elle wants to play more but the cat ignores her when she is not interested so Elle  just walks off.  She is eating better now.  She started off eating one time a day.  But she eats twice.  Loves her greenies. They are much cheaper onliine than at pet store.  Everything is good.  She is right at home now and is learning her boundaries.  Debra & Mark H.

Besides Elle getting a new home, we’re excited to welcome Debra and Mark as new foster parents for our organization!!  Thank you for stepping up to the plate and opening your hearts and home for a dog that needs a second chance at a new life.  It is only through our foster homes that we are successful in this endeavor.  Again, welcome!!

2011 Rocky Mountain Cluster …

This is unabashedly a repeat of last year’s post (and the year before, et al )  … the same information holds true for 2011!

Once again, we’re gearing up for the largest dog show in Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Cluster held February 18-21 at the National Western Complex (Expo Hall), 4655 Humboldt in Denver. The Premium List, which contains information on the show, parking, maps and entry, can be found here … Premium List.  The actual times for judging and the ring numbers are not disseminated until just a week before the show; we’ll post a link to the judging program when available.

Update:   As promised, the Judging Program is available and here’s the line up for the Apsos:  Friday, Ring 9 at 12:15; Saturday, Ring 4 at 10:35; Sunday, Ring 6 at 12:25; and Monday, Ring 6 at 9:40.  Please note that Ring 6 is in the basement.

If you’re thinking of attending, please be sure to give yourself plenty of time for parking, getting into the facility, and then finding the right ring and some chairs (rings are marked by numbers on tall poles).  Parking, depending on where one finds an open lot, can run anywhere from $5 to $10 — and it may also be a very long walk!  Entry fee to the Expo Hall is $5.  Please note that dogs not entered in the show are not allowed on the site.  If considering crowds/parking, Friday or Monday would probably be the better of the four days to attend.   As the largest show in the region, the selection of vendors and their wares is pretty amazing … if it’s dog related, you’ll find it at this show!  From art prints, to clothing, to grooming supplies, to dog beds, to K9-related jewelry, to crates and tables, it will be at this show.  Might want to bring the plastic along (and keep in mind that the vendors start packing up on Monday for the return home).

Besides the conformation competition, one can also find other venues such as Rally, Obedience, and Agility. These are generally held in the Events Center which fronts 47th Street; Rally is held on the 3rd floor of the main building.  Hope to see you there … it’s a great reason to come out and support the breed!  If you need more information, please feel free to contact me at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.