Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does your dog bite?

How do you respond to the question "Does your dog bite?"
I always tell people that they HAVE teeth, so they CAN bite!  

I honestly don't even understand why people always ask me that question!  
They're dogs!  
Just don't do anything that deserves a bite and you won't be bitten. 

Disclaimer: My dogs have never bitten anyone.  But its not a matter of ability.  

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Before I started fostering, I thought I would get attached to every dog that brought into my home.  I thought it would be absolutely heart wrenching to say good bye to each dog.

But that wasn't the case.

In fact, oftentimes, it was exciting to see them go!  Yes, I was sad, and yes I loved them all.  But,  this meant that I could make my way back to "Doggie Death Row" and find a new soul to save!

That was, until I met Elliott.
Elliott was my love.
To this day, I cannot think about him without wishing I would have never let him go.
This was my first glimpse of Elliott:

The head of the rescue emailed all the volunteers to see if anyone wanted to foster him.
And I was the sucker that agreed.
Elliott got his name, because he looked so pathetic and nasty that he reminded me of ET. I thought it would be mean to name him ET, so ET transposed into Elllllliiiiiotttttt.

I'll be honest.  I have no idea why I agreed to even take him in.  He was a black, male Pit Bull mix and that is one of the hardest combinations of factors to adopt out.  On top of which, he had severely bowed legs from malnutrition and had a nasty case of demodectic mange!
But I went and picked him up anyway.
And I immediately fell in love with him.

Elliott stayed with us for months -- April until August, 2008.  It was by far the LONGEST I ever kept a foster.  He received daily ivermectin injections for the mange, he was on a slew of antibiotics and pills.  He even had to undergo eye surgery for severe bilateral entropion.
This dog was a mess!
Elliott was quickly dubbed with his "Christian name" of Elliott James Stinkbottom, because he smelled so badly from the mange!  He was also often referred to (adoringly) as Smelliott!!
But, this puppy had a sweeter disposition than any I have ever fostered.  He was intelligent, snuggly, he was loving, well-behaved and so calm.  He oftentimes slept in our bed -- much to the chagrin of my husband and the raging jealousy of Hank and Marla!

But, he was so perfect!

I desperately tried to get someone I knew to adopt him.  If I couldn't keep him, I wanted to at least be able to stay in touch.  But that wasn't about to happen.
When the day finally came that I received an outstanding application for him, I was devastated.  He had been with us for so long, I couldn't imagine parting with him!
But the applicant had excellent recommendations from both his vet, his landlord and his neighbors.  He understood his breed and was willing to do further surgeries if necessary.  He was going to give my boy a wonderful home.
I was heartbroken, but I said goodbye.

I had fostered a lot of dogs, but never shed a tear when one found its new home.
I bawled when Elliott left.

A few weeks after Elliott went to live with his new family, I emailed his new owner to get a progress report.  I was devastated to learn that Elliott James Stinkbottom was now called "Nacho".  Yes, as in the Mexican treat.
My sweet, perfect Elliott was now Nacho.

I know I did what was best for him.  And I know that because I said goodbye, I was able to foster many more dogs after him.  But, nonetheless, I regret that I let him go.
I sincerely wish I would have found a way to be able to keep Elliott as my own.

Letting him go is my single foster regret.

Elliott, I love you.  I hope you are doing well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Designer dogs and my gag reflex

Time and time again, as I cruise Petfinder or walk through the rows of kennels at Animal Control, I will come across a dog that didn't mature the way its 'owners' thought it would.  
"My Labradoodle wasn't supposed to shed." "This Puggle was supposed to be smaller than it is." or "This Huskashnoodle didn't keep it's blue eyes."

Gag me now.  

The age of  "Designer breeds" is well upon us and its a bit of a crisis!   I have to vomit a little when I hear the name "Labradoodle," "Cockapoo," "Puggle" or any other oodle, doodle, uggle combination that has been rocketed into our society boasting of a "purer gene pool".  

I'm not going to get in to the biology of breeding two purebred dogs - mainly because I don't know how to create a punnet square on Blogger - but listen up, folks!! There is no way to determine what characteristics puppies will have when you mate two completely different breeds!  You can end up with any combination of the characteristics of the parents!    Oh, and to clue you in, breeding two faulty dogs will not give you healthier offspring!  How do I know that they are faulty?? I know because no responsible owner or breeder of faultless animals would be creating these godawful puppies with godawful names. 

Let me get back to my beef with the name...
Why is it that I have such an issue with these designer names, exactly?  
Surely I couldn't have it out for mutts, could I?
Absolutely not!  I love mutts.  What I hate are unscrupulous breeders and gimmicks!!

The following are a few reasons why I shudder at the mention of an oodle, doodle, or uggle:

Designer dog names perpetuate the misconception that these hybrid dogs are actual breeds. However, these designer breeds are in no way actual breeds and are only produced by irresponsible breeders -- and in many cases puppy mills. By using "designer breed" names and perpetuating the idea that these are real breeds, you are simply encourage people to buy dogs from irresponsible breeders and contribute to the suffering of millions of dogs in this country.

So quit it.

You do not have a Maltipom, you have a Maltese-Pomeranian mix.  Its not a Labradoodle, its a Labrador-Standard Poodle Mix. AND FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, Its not a Puggle, its a Beagle-Pug mix!!  --And and might I add that this is one of the more unfortunate mixes I've seen.

If you must call your Lab/Poodle cross a Labradoodle, knock yourself out, but know that I might just vomit in my mouth.  

Friday, February 12, 2010

RE: Earlier Post about Puppy Mills

She got shut down, y'all.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hybrid dogs and my Blood Pressure

I've been wanting to write a post on hybrid dogs for a while now - and my blood pressure is high enough that I think I just need to buckle down and do it.
However, it might be too high, and my panties may be too bunched -- so I am going to calm down a little and revisit this subject in a few days.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It is my goal...

to find somebody to love these dogs.

I recently decided to try and make a video of including some of the images I have taken over the last several months.  Every week I do my best to visit my local Animal Control and volunteer as a photographer. The images I take are used on their Petfinder Website as well as being forwarded to various rescues and animal organizations.
It is such a small thing to volunteer, but it is my goal to raise as much awareness about these animals as possible.  The best way I know how is by photographing them.
Sadly, as I look through the files of my "Death Row Dogs",  I know that far too many of them left Animal Control through the back door -- instead of in the arms of a new, forever family.

So many animals die needlessly in shelters (one approximately every 8 seconds) because of needless breeding and above all: ignorance.
Please be a part of the solution.  Spay and neuter your pets, and remember:
Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die.

Click HERE to view the video.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Local Puppy Mill

When does it end??  The complete disregard for the animal's welfare is unfathomable.
This woman owns a grooming salon in Bourbonnais near my house
"Magic Touch Grooming".  It is disgusting.