Here’s to 2011 …

… and whatever it might bring!  Always nice to get the trappings and rush of the holidays behind us and start with a new slate.  Which generally puts us in the mood to start pitching and cleaning while stuck in the house with the cold and snow.  Ever mindful of April and taxes, we sort into three piles … pitch, donate or keep.  Hopefully most of it is designated pitch or donated!

Taking time for neither taxes or winter, rescue plugs along.  Here’s an update on Bubba to start the New Year!  Now known as “Max,” it sounds like he’s doing very well in his new home …

Wanted you to know that Max went to the ophthalmologist — Dr Nusbaum at VRCC — last week and checked out fine.  She thinks he is about six from his eyes and believes that his condition was caused by his eyelashes turning inward and sweeping over his cornea.  There is scar tissue there now so no discomfort.  She changed his drops and he is a happy camper.  Met Sadie’s doctors and staff and made some new friends!  He was quite a hit!  Dr Nusbaum was upset when she read the initial vets report, she noted that he was homey … I couldn’t tell what that word was so had skipped over it.  She said he definitely is not homely and she wished that the vet could see him now.  Told her we won’t go back to Kansas as he had a bad experience there!
 
He is doing very well, seems like he has been with us forever.  He and Sadie walk around out in the yard on patrol and he watches the cat with a great deal of interest.  We are getting ready for Christmas so he will get some new toys!  Hope to see Neil and Kip over the holidays.   ~~ Cindy
 

The vet that made the “homely” comment was at my clinic.  And, in her defense, Bubba was looking pretty bad that day.  He’d just come off a two-day transport from eastern Kansas — dubbed “the transport from hell” because of vehicle and people problems.  During his overnight stay in Kansas, he’d gotten a haircut with a pair of scissors.  Poor boy had clumps of hair — sticking this way and that — and a totally bare spot on his butt and hindquarters.  Thick, blackened and scaly, the bare skin looked like it belong to an elephant instead of a small dog.  Added to the overall picture was his sad face.  Yup, poor Bubba looked pretty homely.  Just like the frog that turned into a handsome prince, Bubba bloomed with a little TLC, some hair growth, and a professional hair cut.

Elle

Next up is Elle (pronounced “El”) who arrived in rescue the day that Bubba headed home with Cindy.  Found as a stray on the streets of Greeley, it soon became evident that she had some issues with separation anxiety.  Not the destructive type, however.  Elle’s anxiety manifests itself in … howling.  Throw-the-head-back-and-howl-to-the-heavens howl.  With a set routine and someone home a good portion of the day, her behavior has greatly improved while in foster care.  We believe she will continue to improve once she settles into a home where she feels loved and secure.

Elle is a spayed four-year old female.  She is house trained, crate trained and current on vaccinations.  If interested in adoption of this *very* smart little dog, please visit our adoption page for information on our adoption procedures and the application form … Adoption Process.

Misery from Kansas … Part II

C.A.R.E. transport
C.A.R.E. transport

As we pull out of the Petco parking lot with Emmy in the back in a crate, she starts to whine, cry and dig.  Alan and I just look at each other with the silent thought, “I hope that doesn’t continue the entire way home.”  One can only imagine what it must have been like for the transport vans with 20 dogs (+/-) in each one coming across Kansas.  My guess is once the initial miles are laid and the vehicle settles into the hum of the road, the dogs all quiet down.  Sure enough, that’s exactly what Emmy does within ten minutes of our departure.                   

Upon arrival at home, our dogs are run outside, given potty treats and allowed to calm.  Because we have prepared for Emmy’s arrival before we left, getting her into the house and comfortable is a matter of long-established routine.  She’s taken outside on a leash and walked in the yard until I know she’s fully toileted.  I bring her in the house and she goes into a wire crate in the front room that’s covered on three sides with heavy towels.  While I’m getting food and water set up in the crate, the other dogs slowly check her out.  Ali and Frankers are old hands when it comes to integrating fosters into the pack.  As long as the new dog is well socialized with other dogs, there are few problems.  The house turns in for the evening around 10:30 p.m. and Emmy is moved to a crate in our bedroom.  She goes in with no fuss and — to our surprise — sleeps the night through.  That certainly can’t be said of all new fosters!                     

The next morning Emmy is fed along with the rest of the dogs in the kitchen … she’s ravenous and quickly cleans her bowl up.  Not knowing what she’s been fed, how much or what her digestive status is, I start her out slowly.  What I don’t want is to overload her system with quality food, causing a bout of diarrhea.  A call is made and she’s lined up for her rescue exam in two days … exam, heartworm test and dewormed at a very minimum.  I take photos to document her condition.             

Because I was advised Emmy appeared to be housetrained, she is allowed to be off leash (tether) in the house the next couple of days.  Also making the freedom possible is the fact she sticks to me like glue so monitoring her toileting habits is easy.  She’s plumb wore-to-the-bone tired and spends much of her time sleeping.  Between running the streets for who knows how long in Kansas, the malnutrition and a stressful trip across two states, there isn’t much energy left in this little dog.  The second night she disappears from the office where I’m working.  Ever mindful of the ongoing toilet training, I go looking for her and this is what I find … she’s found the best spot in the house.  Imagine the long sigh that surely had to come from her as she settled into the down comforter and slipped into a peaceful sleep.                    

                     

During the rescue exam on Friday, it’s found that both eyes are infected.  Not a surprise given the redness present or the fact she’d not been groomed regularly (if ever at all).  She’s a good girl and patiently endures the poking, prodding and blood draw for a heartworm test.  Our biggest surprise, however, was finding out she’s in heat!!  Alrighty then … will have to let hubby know that under no circumstances are Dante and Emmy to run together.  And if it does happen, then he’d best be getting his hands on one of them pretty damn quick!  Will be interesting to see how Dante — as an intact male — handles himself while she’s in heat.   Because of Emmy’s severely emaciated condition, she can’t be spayed any time soon.  Better that she’s in heat now while we’re fattening her up than in three to four weeks when we go to spay her.                    

All lined up at the cookie bar …

Over the next three weeks, Emmy settles into the household routine.  Within a week, I start seeing sparks of what her personality is … she loves to play with toys, will race around the yard just for the joy of it, and gets along with the rest of the pack.  She really is house trained as well as crate trained so the transition is pretty uneventful.  Since she’s not gaining weight as quickly as I’d like, I end up at the local feed store in search of a high-fat/calorie puppy food.  I hit the jackpot … they’re very generous with their samples packs when I explain what I’m looking for and why.  I begin to see a “softening” of her bones as she starts to fill out and is further substantiated when I pick her up … she’s definitely gaining weight!  I keep telling her she’d better hurry up and grow some hair, too, as winter is on its way.         

Misery from Kansas …

In early August, I was contacted about a stray in Wichita, Kansas.  A three-year old female in bad shape, to be exact.  “Emmy” had wandered up to an office building where one of the workers (Marilyn) took pity on her and attempted to find her home.  Her “owner” — and I use that in the lightest of terms — was located whereupon she promptly advised that she didn’t want the dog, didn’t want it to begin with (it was given to her), and she wasn’t taking the dog back.  She did, however, keep her long enough to sell the litter of puppies Emmy had recently whelped … and then went on to state she didn’t have money to take care of the dog.    

Matted coatMarilyn took poor Emmy to a groomer to see what could be done with the horribly matted coat.  A complete shave was in order, taking the coat off in a pelt.  Based on her condition, it was  highly doubtful she had been ever groomed.  Pretty bad when one realizes that Emmy is three-years old.  Amazingly, she had few skin issues and no fleas.  Oftentimes, severe matting will actually pull chunks of skin out as well as setting the dog up for bacterial skin infections by holding moisture to the skin.   Once the coat came off, it was painfully apparent that Emmy had been on low rations for some time … her bones jutting out from all angles.  Nursing her pups had taken every bit of reserve she had and then some without sufficient or proper nutrition.    

Marilyn contacted me and we began the mad scramble to get Emmy to Colorado on the next C.A.R.E. transport, just days away.  She had to have current vaccinations and a health certificate to be accepted onto the transport.  Arrangements were made to get her vetted, a health certificate issued, and then to the pick-up place and on the van.  Thankfully, Marilyn was quite close and able to accomplish it all with a minimum of trouble.     

Via phone calls and email, we were advised the C.A.R.E. transport vans would be pulling into the Petco in east Aurora around 7:30 p.m.  Unlike the late evening when when we picked Bubba up, the north parking lot was full of people and vehicles, awaiting their new charges.  Some are rescue organizations, others are adoptive families there to pick up dogs coming from other rescues.  I later find out that, on this particular evening, 41 dogs are coming in on two vans … 41 chances for a new life in the West.  Grayhounds, Cockers, Weinie Boogers, Mastiff, Catahoula, assorted Terriers, Labs, Pyrs … it’s like a rainbow of dogdom.    

Emmy
Emmy …

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was pulling up and finding my vet, Doc Sherry, waiting there as well to pull four dogs off the transport … two adults and two puppies.  I’ve used her as my vet for going on a decade now and we have a great working relationship.  Sherry and I stand chatting until the vans arrive; she says she wants to look at Emmy before we head back to Loveland.  Once I get Emmy off the van, gather her paperwork and have a chance to really go over her, I’m appalled at what I find.  She is, literally, starving to death.  With a grassy area close by, we make a potty run as I’m sure it had been quite a while since the last relief stop.  Sherry, who has her dogs watered, pottied and loaded, swings by our vehicle.  She, too, is disturbed by Emmy’s emaciated condition.  Her eyes are infected and we’re hoping that she hasn’t developed dry eye as well.  During the exam, Sherry bends down and whispers in Emmy’s ear, “I’m so glad you are going home with Vickie.”  

Stay tuned for Part II …

This isn’t Kansas anymore, Toto …

 … that’s what “Bubba” from Columbus, Kansas will be saying late this afternoon when his transport crosses over into Colorado!!  This is the not-so-little guy that was abandoned and tied to a fence in rural Kansas. He was taken to a vet, who contacted us for a possible transfer. We found a transport and he’s headed to a new life in the Rockies!

And what’s *really* sweet is this transport makes regular runs from MO, KS, AR, NM, NE and OK to Colorado, moving pets from rural areas to rescues and already-approved adopters for a small donation.

Now all we need are some more foster homes in the northern Colorado area …

Update:   Poor Bubba … like the wicked witch of the East, he got waylaid in Kansas.  Luckily it wasn’t a falling house, however.  Seems the air-conditioned van he was traveling in was pulling a trailer of household goods (the drivers were in the midst of a move) and the trailer had a flat tire.  In Kansas.  In 100 degree temps.  They ran through a half a tank of gas keeping the dogs cool while the tire was being changed.  Given the late hour and the distances involved, the decision was made to stay the night and bunk up, giving everyone a much needed rest.  Hopefully, we’ll get to meet Bubba tomorrow.