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!


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.

A Story of Faith …

Today’s submission comes from Sue Seaton, our long-time volunteer in Centennial, Colorado.  If you’ve had a home visit done in the metro Denver area, you’ve most likely met Sue and her husband, Roy!  We’re ever grateful to them for covering the Denver area all these years. 

Roy and Carmen

Several years ago, my sister’s family put their family dog down at an old age.  She had been a great dog.  My sister Karen was very sad and quickly realized she needed another dog.  She began searching on line, all over the country for the “right dog”, a dog that needed her as much as she needed her.  

My sister lives in Michigan and found a dog in a rescue in Kentucky. She had been rescued from a breeding facility that was really just a dirty old barn. She spoke to the foster mom and was convinced this was the right dog, that they needed each other.    Two days later they made the long trip to Kentucky.  When they met “Carmen”, it was love at first sight.  They brought her home immediately and Carmen became a princess.  She traveled everywhere with them.  She never met a stranger and was a wonderful dog.  She was loved at the seniors’ home where my mom resides.  As much as the ladies loved her, she loved them. 

On February 1st, she was diagnosed with cancer and within a few days it was confirmed as Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  There is little to no treatment for this horrible disease in dogs. Karen was devastated.  Carmen was her pet and her friend.  She was terrified at the thought of being without a dog for any length of time.  She began searching on line for a dog.   She searched multiple times per day looking for a dog that needed her and would love to have a new home.  She spoke with many rescue facilities but many of the dogs that seemed suitable would disappear before she could even investigate.   Carmen had no symptoms other than swollen glands.  As luck and timing would have it, we have a cruise planned from 3/7 through 3/18.  We were all worried that Carmen would become gravely ill while we were gone, possibly leaving my niece to euthanize her and spend a great deal of time alone as well.  The family got her ice cream and burgers to eat, took her everywhere in the car and generally spoiled her all they could.  

Carmen stayed relatively fine until two days ago.  She developed a large ulcer in her mouth and stopped eating.   On Wednesday, Karen received a call from a rescue in Kentucky.  They had a dog that they thought would be perfect for her.  We didn’t know what to do. It seemed that Carmen might be waiting so her family would not be alone.  On Thursday morning, Carmen stopped eating and declared that she was ready.  Although the timing may seem strange to you, it didn’t to me.  I knew that it was God.  He had answered my prayers that Carmen would not suffer, that my sister could begin giving her love to a new dog and that my niece would not be left home alone, to experience solitary grief.  Carmen is pictured above, having fun teasing her Uncle Roy. 

Today, Karen and her family again made the long trip to Kentucky, filled with grief and sadness at the loss of their beloved dog, Carmen.  When they got to Kentucky, they met Lily Bell, pictured below.   She immediately began bonding with the family.  Within a short time, they packed up the car and made the 6 hour drive back home.  Please meet Lily Bell, pictured below.  She is not Carmen, but she just oozes a gentle confidence that could only come from receiving the baton from the one that passed before her. Have faith. 

When a door closes, a window opens.  Embrace it!  Breathe deeply!         ~~ Sue   


Lily Bell

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.

We’re a Bi-Species …

… household.  Specifically, feline and canine.  I’ve had both dogs and cats in residence for as long as I can remember.  What’s nice about having a cat around is I have an in-resident feline test for the foster dogs as to whether or not they get along with cats.  Always nice to be able to say, “Yes, this dog gets along with cats and dogs.”

Boogins, the current marble-brained feline, was adopted from the Larimer Humane Society at the tender age of eight weeks in 1997.  Raised with my then eight-year old Apso, Brittany, he doesn’t know life without dogs.

If owned by a cat … or simply fascinated by these amazing creatures … one must watch Simon’s Cat.  He’s nailed the feline persona in spades in a series of 12 animated films.  Definitely a must watch!

Simon’s Cat

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.


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.

Head high …

… and nose to the wind, little one.  Prayer flags whip in the crisp air, the lofty peaks of the Himalayas gleam in the distance … and the ancestral home beckons.  Godspeed, Lanni.

I got word this week that we lost one of our fosters.  A 14-year old, she recently developed canine cognitive dysfuction (CCD) and was clearly unhappy and uncomfortable in her surroundings.  Never easy to let them go even when we know we are doing the right thing by taking their pain and making it our own.  A milestone for us as this is the first placement (that we’re aware of) that’s aged out.

Lanni arrived in rescue as a shaggy 7-year old.  Her elderly owner had passed away and the family was unable to keep her.  I recall how badly infected her ears were.  During the intake exam, I flipped her ear leathers over and was appalled at what I found … ears full of black, gunky debris.  Literally full.  I started cleaning them out, getting black chunks as large as my thumbnail.  A review of the medical records provided noted she had an allergy to corn.  The food and treats dropped off with the dog all contained … corn.  No telling how long her ears had been chronically infected.  A larger Apso, it was a wrestling match every time we dosed her ears with the Panalog.  Applying topical medication is normally not a problem for me; however, I couldn’t do it myself and had to enlist hubby’s assistance in restraining her.  Very much like holding a greased pig.

Lanni had not been socialized around other dogs and was a bit, ummm how shall I say …  lacking in canine manners.  My crew did not appreciate her shouldering her way through any situation like a bull in a china closet.  Gentle as they come, just not able to read the other dogs’ body language. 

After a short time in rescue, Lanni hit the jackpot and went to live with Elaine and her mom, Anne, where she was well cared for and deeply loved.  I know the days ahead will be a bit less bright without gentle Lanni to grace their home.  My thanks to Elaine and Anne for taking such good care of her all these years.

‘Til we meet at the Bridge, little one …


The Rhythm of Rescue …

There’s a certain rhythm to rescue, one that’s difficult to put into words.  Like waves on a beach, it ebbs and flows from day to day, month to month and dog to dog.  Long-standing protocols are put into place with each arrival, offering the new foster a sense of balance and structure.  Given that my dogs are already “with the program,” the foster is generally assimilated into the pack with little fanfare.  Fosters just fall into line and cue off the resident canines, making my job much easier.

Yesterday was a double tide day … after four months in foster care and extensive medical treatment, Bubba went to his new home.  A handsome boy with his new haircut, he amped up the charm for his new owner, Cindy.  Left in his wake are the foster parents — John and Neil — who lovingly nursed him back to health, and then had the fortitude to send him on to a new home.  Not always an easy thing and especially so when fostering for the first time (thanks, guys!).  No matter how many times we manage to let go, there will always be those fosters that we keep close to our heart.  But, as Neil put it, “Bubba’s journey isn’t finished yet.”   With Bubba’s new home, including canine and feline siblings, his travels are now complete.  Quite the road for a dog abandoned and left tied to a fence in rural Kansas.  As have all the others who have gone before, I look forward to hearing how he’s blooming in his new home. 

Late yesterday afternoon, four-year old Elle arrived from Greeley.  A stray found wandering the streets, she was taken in by a college student who attempted to find her owners.  Despite having a microchip, the effort failed as the previous owners neglected to change their contact information after a move.  Our thanks to Grace and Mike for getting Elle into rescue when it would have been easier  to just give her away or turn her over to a shelter!  And thanks again to John and Neil for agreeing to take on another foster so quickly!!

Having six dogs in the house this morning was very much like herding cats.  While everyone knows their place for the individual food bowls, they still have to mill around.  Remembering names becomes more problematic the more dogs that are underfoot and especially when two of them have the same coloring.  No wonder hubby calls them all “Larry.”  Elle was more interested in seeing what the others had in their bowls instead of eating her breakfast.  Pip finished her breakfast quickly and was quite willing to scarf down Elle’s abandoned bowl.  These three need to go outside immediately after breakfast … these two have to leave the kitchen … this one comes out of his crate where he’s just finished his breakfast.  One of the three that went outside is now standing at the back door, barking to be let back in.  Added to the ordered chaos is some sort of gastric bug that’s making  the rounds … four of the six dogs have thrown up in the past 24 hours.  So goes the rhythm of rescue …

New Use for a Onesie …

Emmy came through her spay with flying colors … no problems, no issues.  Whew!!  Always worry when the little ones undergo surgery.  Doc Sherry is great  but, I still worry and am always relieved when I get the call letting me know surgery is over and they’re doing well in recovery.

Given that we’ve had lots of experience over the years with dogs and surgery, we’ve added a few tricks to our bag when it comes to keeping them from licking or scratching their incisions.  First up is the Elizabethan collar (e-collar) which is used only in worst-case scenarios.  Looking like an evil cousin to an ugly lampshade, it is cumbersome, uncomfortable, and inhibits mobility, eating and drinking.  Forget the dog sleeping in a crate with one of these as you’ll both end up losing sleep.

A humane alternative to the e-collar is the Bite-Not Collar.  Looking like a short stovepipe, it keeps the dog (or cat) from accessing wound areas on the body.  It is much more “user friendly” and allows full mobility.  On occasion, we’ve had a long-bodied dog that was way too limber and could bend enough to access the incision site.  That’s usually when we do one of two things:  employ the use of a “onesie” or revert back to the e-collar, with the onsie being the preferred method.

Since Emmy didn’t seem to be too interested in irritating her incision, I opted to go for comfort.  She definitely didn’t like the Bite-Not and wasn’t the least bit cooperative when I put it on.  And then couldn’t get comfortable with it in place.  The onsie, however, was perfect.  I put it on “backwards” so the crotch snaps up on the rear and not underneath the belly.  With the right size, one doesn’t even have to make a hole for the tail, just snap it to one side.   This also makes for a quick adjustment with a clothespin to hold the flap up for potty trips outside.

Emmy in her onesie

Thankfully, there are other alternatives to e-collars on the market now, including a soft cone collar, an inflatable collar (the one we purchased leaked from first inflation and was returned), as well as the soft donut-type collars.

Fun at the Expo …

What a fabulous day … and in a nice location with great parking!  The event was well attended by the community.  Emmy managed to steal the show and Bubba was a hit with the crowds.  You might recall that Bubba was found abandoned, tied to a fence in Kansas.  Emmy, also from Kansas, was basically abandoned by her owner —  left to fend on her own, she was starving to death when she arrived in rescue.    

Emmy, sporting her best bandana
Emmy, sporting her best bandana ...


Emmy, Bubba's foster dad, Neil, and Bubba


I got to see Magoo’s adoptive mom as well as Linda and Jackson (another of our foster dogs).  We made some contacts with other groups and was invited to set up as a vendor at two other events … our local feedstore will be setting up an adoption event and was made aware of the 2 Million Dogs program which partners up canine and human cancer research, which will be hosting an event on November 7th as well.   

Loveland's 2010 Pet Expo


Please keep Emmy in your thoughts for this week … she’s going in for her spay on Monday, September 20th.  In the past five weeks, she’s:  gained weight, blossomed into a great little dog and is growing new coat.  Red-gold coat, to be exact!    

Many thanks to our Apso friends — old and new — who came out and visited with us … we had a great time!   

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 …

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 …

Unsung heros …

… come in many forms.  And our rescue organization couldn’t function as efficiently nor as effectively without their generous help.  This post is to gratefully recognize the contributions of those who make rescue possible in all ways.

Michelle, who adopted Emma and then became a foster home in Northern Colorado.  She is also our Webmistress, taking good care of our website.  We’ll forgive her for moving to Texas.  Sue Seaton in Centennial, covering our home visits in the metro Denver area.   Jackson’s Mom (another of our foster dogs), Linda Gattis, who stepped up and answered a desperate plea to foster an 8-month old puppy (neither house trained or crate trained).  John and Neil who wanted to honor the memory of their Stoli by becoming a foster home.  They’ve worked wonders with their first foster, Bubba, and we’re thankful to have a foster home in the area again.  To those who have opened up your hearts and homes when needed … thank you!

Then there are the folks who have gone above and beyond to get a dog to us … Tom the Trucker, picking Mae-Mae up in Missouri … the wonderful ladies, Linda and Lisa, at C.A.R.E., bringing us Bubba and, just this past Tuesday night, Emmy, from Kansas … Marilyn Whisman from Wichita who cared for and got Emmy to the pick-up place … Pat from Pueblo who made sure little blind Magoo was safe and made his way to Castle Rock for the pick-up … the ladies from Denver who delivered Elvis to us after he’d been wandering a Capitol Hill neighborhood for weeks, a matted mess … Rachel from Sterling who made the trip to Fort Collins with Sterling (hey, it seemed like a good name for a stray!) … Odean, watching over the breed from cyberspace, scouring online shelter listings for Apsos in need and getting the word out to various rescue groups.  Those of you living in the West know that “local” is a relative term.  “Local” meaning 10 miles or 200 miles and it is no small feat to arrange or coordinate some of these transports.  For those who have journeyed on behalf of a dog in need of rescue … thank you!

As a non-profit rescue, we operate solely on adoption fees and donations … funds which are used only for medical treatment on incoming dogs.  To the foster homes who have provided — out of their own pockets — food, toys, treats, bedding, crates and whatever else it takes to successfully integrate a dog into a home … thank you for making sure the needs of your fosters are met in all areas.

Last, but certainly not least, the folks who have so generously made monetary donations or given discounts or goods so we can continue our work … Dr. Sherry, our fabulous vet at NorthShore Animal Hospital … Kathy, who knows our heart, sending donations and words of encouragement … Michelle’s Mom and Uncle Skip, watching our work from Pennsylvania … Trudi, who remembers us on Ka Tu’s “Gotcha” anniversary date … Connie Spears … Vickie Gallagher … our friends at Schering-Plough who donated the folders we use for our adoption packets … Jan Bloomenrader (who also adopted Kersey) and Judy Wendt (who adopted Magoo).  Thank you for remembering this ancient breed in your charitable giving.

Look in the mirror folks and gazing back you’ll see the face of rescue in each and every one of you … thank you!

In closing, this post would not be complete without a humble thank you to the “DogDaddy” … my husband, Alan.  It is with his assistance and blessing that we’ve been able to care for the many fosters over the past decade — and we simply couldn’t do it as well without him.  He’s the self-appointed poop picker … rides along with us on dog runs … cleans up messes — and messy bottoms … scootches over in the recliner, making room for yet another dog … and no longer rolls his eyes when I tell him we have another foster coming in.

I Follow the Lhasa Road …

This hauntingly beautiful reflection was sent to me by a very dear friend who is a talented writer and an Apso owner.  She has graciously allowed me to share the following with our readers …

Please note both the photo and the sentiment are under copyright and your respect of same is appreciated.

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.

Tales from the camp side …

Water dawg

Ahhhh, summertime and the camp sites are calling!  We returned home Sunday evening from a four-day camping trip which included two days on the river in a canoe.  This year’s trip was taken with my adult niece and her family, as well as one of Alan’s co-worker’s and his family for a total of six adults, four children and one dog … Dante.  Our outdoor activities generally include the dogs whether it be camping, hiking, bicycling or canoeing (where *everyone* wears a life jacket).

So we’re sitting fireside the third morning in north central Nebraska on the Niobrara River at Smith Falls State Park.  So “north” that we’re literally ten miles from the South Dakota border.  The river is the highest it’s been in years due to recent rains … rains that have caused lush growth in this already verdant river valley.  Having lived in Texas for 10+ years, I’m phobic about fleas, ticks and chiggers.  Dante was dosed with Frontline days before we left town and there are at least three cans of bug spray along.

It’s a cold morning and all the adults are up, imbibing on the first pot of French-pressed coffee.  Dante is fussing in his ex-pen so “Dad” decides he needs a lap to sit on. A warm lap.  A warm lap and a belly rub … what more could a dog ask for on a cold morning??  Ever aware that we’re in tick country, Alan starts checking Dante for bugs as he’s belly up.  The ensuing conversation …

Alan:  Honey, I think you’d better come check this out.

Adult Niece:  :::walking over:::   What’s that?

Alan:   I think he’s got ticks!

Niece:   His belly is covered in them!

Alan:   How are we going to remove them?

Me  ::::walking up for belly inspection::::    We’re not going to remove them …

Alan (indignantly):   Well, you can’t just leave them on him!!

Me:   Ummm, yes I can … those are his nipples!!!  And he’s got eight of them, by the way.       :::::dissolving into laughter:::::

That’s what I get for taking cat people camping in bug country …