The fake-out; why I’m *not* a fan.

Have you ever seen someone playing fetch with a dog and then they mime the throwing of the ball and then laugh when the dog goes running?

Yeah, don’t do that.

No seriously, don’t.

It takes a long time to earn your dog’s trust and, eventually, if this is truly important to you, it can be taught to the dog as a game. But, in general, this is just an asshole move that a dog just doesn’t understand.

So, don’t do it.

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Vacation – done wrong; and now updated to be horrifyingly depressing.

So, I had a call on Monday from someone asking if I could adopt their 16 puppies.
*record scratch* “Uh….say what?!”
Now, I remained professional, educational, and helpful – but holy shitballs, the sarcastic commentary actively running through my head during that phone call *really* tried to fight its way out of my mouth:
“Sure!? Who doesn’t have room for 16 extra dogs in their life!?”
“Uh, no.”
“We can try to market them as a crazy dog person kit? But we would need to include a pooper scooper and a dump truck of kibble.”
“Well, behaviorally speaking, I never recommend anyone adopt two siblings at the same time…..but I’ve never read anything negative about adopting two litters at the same time!”
The list of snark and head-shaking goes on.

Anywhoodle, I took vacation time from work yesterday so I could escort the fluffernauts to their big day at the shelter (spayed, etc.) and then hover around anxiously to make sure they were okay. I also took vacation time from work for today because I convinced the person with the 16 puppies to agree to getting their three female dogs spayed today in exchange for my assistance in getting the 16 puppies to the shelter as well as playing taxi for the human to go to the shelter too. I’ve convinced the AWC to meet me there with the transport truck, because I don’t see everyone fitting into the wrangler very well. LOL
Wish us luck!

Also, I think I’m doing vacation wrong.

In other news, how cute are the fluffernauts on the way to the clinic yesterday?! The a/c was blowing ON them but they still clung to the cold beverages like it wasn’t 65 degrees in the jeep!

Updated:

Yep, that was the plan, but as is the case with my life – humans plan and the gods LAUGH.
Waiting at the meeting place to meet AWC person, and the person with the puppies told me on this mornings call that she has given away 5 or 6 puppies yesterday (she told me 6, but told me she still has 11 – so the math is not computing) *sigh*
And she wants to get them all fixed, but now wants to keep them and find them homes……
One step at a time.

And now, depressingly updated:

Depressing update (seriously, if you don’t want to know – stop reading now. It is okay not to know): all of the puppies and one of the adult females tested positive for parvo virus. As you may or may not be aware, parvo is a very contagious and deadly viral disease, especially to puppies. Adults can usually survive but require intensive veterinary care (including meds, IV fluids, and occasionally a transfusion). The owner decided to have all of the animals brought in put to sleep.
I had horrifying flashbacks all night of the young daughter who loved these dogs helping me put them into the vehicle. I know in my mind that this is just a worst case scenario and that I didn’t do anything wrong. That this could have all been avoided if the adults had been vaccinated and spayed. But my squishy middle bits? Yeah, I destroyed a little girl. A sweet, helpful, dog-loving young lady who, through no damn fault of her own, just had all of her friends taken away and killed by some stranger – and this is killing me.
And don’t forget the industrial hygienist public health part of me – that part is FREAKING out because this lady gave away like five of those puppies to people, who probably have other dogs, who might be unvaccinated….
There is a HUGE parvo outbreak on island right now – this will not make it less.

Cue FoodLady Rage

The first time I heard about him was from a friend of mine who runs a vet clinic, she had approached him and begged him to let her give him two collars and two leashes because what he was doing to his dogs was abusive. She explained to me that he had HEAVY chains tied around the two dogs’ necks and was walking them around with long chains on the hot concrete with no water being offered.

I didn’t like him then, but hadn’t seen it.

Then someone else told me that he walks around with these two dogs and declares them to be service dogs. Oooookay? Well, that’s interesting. It can’t be, can it?

I still didn’t like the concept of him, but hadn’t seen it.

Then I saw him and his two service dogs in the post office. The chain made me sick to my stomach but hey, I didn’t want to get involved and start a scene. The dogs were fairly healthy. Sure, he is not doing anything correctly regarding service dog work – but at least they seemed okay.

I still didn’t like him.

Yesterday I spoke with a policeman who wanted to understand the rules regarding service dogs. I gave him the spiel and laws differentiating between service dogs and emotional support animals and he mentioned that they keep having to cater to this person because he says they are service dogs and they keep getting calls because he keeps siccing his dogs on chickens and he is suing a number of local businesses for not allowing his dogs access.

And I now LOATHE him.

He *is* the problem. He is someone who is not following what few freaking rules there are for service dogs AND he is being abrasive and litigious about it. Are you freaking kidding me?!

So, to any business being sued by this human I am happy to work with you, your employees, your lawyer, and even testify in court about the intricacies of service dog law including what you are legally allowed to ask a person with a service dog, what a service dog is allowed (and not allowed) to do, and when you can legally require someone with a service dog to leave your establishment.

Because, as someone who had a wonderful service dog that I still miss every. damn. day.; this miscarriage of justice is unfair, wrong, and just pisses me off.

Child/Toddler and Canine Thoughts

So, I had a bit of a revelation while hanging out with my friend’s toddler and some teeny tiny puppies – SPOONS!

No, I am not using SPOON! as a battle cry.

Tiny little puppies have tiny little super sharp teeth and I didn’t want toddler to get ouchied, but he really wanted to feed the baby puppies.

Enter wooden spoons. I taught George to spoon up some wet food and hold it out to the puppies who greedily ate. Then it occurred to me, Holy. Shit. This is how all children should be taught to give things to dogs. It keeps little hands out of mouths and helps teach dogs that good things come from wooden spoons (this is how I give meds to my dogs too) and it teaches toddlers better spoon control. It’s a win-win.

Now for my standard disclaimer:

Because all dogs, regardless of size, are capable of causing devastating damage to a child even without aggressive intent, I highly recommend all children participate in a dog bite prevention training called “Be A Tree” training and that all families practice and discuss appropriate human behavior around dogs as well as how to recognize signs of a stressed dog. https://doggonesafe.com/Bite-Prevention

Puppies

Shit, they’re exhausting. No, for real – all mothers in the world of all species get credit – that is NOT easy.

So, I wrote a post on Facebook and then, stupidly, didn’t save it before going to edit a photo to attach. I know better than that, btw, but alas…my funny 4AM writings about adorable little monsters was lost.

But here’s some cute photos!

Two Puplets & a FoodLady

So, I (apparently) give the impression that I have done everything out there in regards to animal care, but that is not true in the slightest. I am usually willing to try pretty much anything – but the majority of my experience is with the super sick or extra disgusting cases.

Not orphans.

Orphaned baby animals are THE WORST. Here I am, an ape, trying to put formula into teeny tiny mouths of another species, but don’t let them aspirate any or you end up with pneumonia (which can kill them). So, there was a woman who brought in two orphaned puppies. They were cold (which, btw, will ALSO kill them), so in the traditional Family of FoodLady way, I stuffed em in my shirt:

And then I spent 4 hours trying to get them accepted by a mama dog who still had some milk. Sadly, she was *not* a fan. But she endured it as long as I was providing a lap for them all.

Regardless, it was not a success and I pawned those poor puppies off on to a poor volunteer couple just for the night.

The next day I went to pick them up and desperately asked, are there any other lactating mommy dogs?! There was, but the owner who had surrendered her (and her sadly unhealthy puppies who didn’t make it) had called and asked to have her back; but hadn’t shown to pick her back up in 3 days. I figured, even if the owner does show up, that’s still some mama-dog time and her boobs looked painfully ready to explode anyway. The puppies got filled up with milk in minutes, but mama-dog cleaned them and looked visibly relieved and happy. They were all in a snuggle for sleeping and I felt relieved and happy for them. I kept checking back in on them and they all really seemed to be bonding.

Pictures? Oh, of course I didn’t remember to take any photos during the hours I spent in a kennel, but here are the wee little nuggets yesterday. They are visibly fatter (YAY!).

So, fingers crossed that they continue doing well.

Sadly, every damn cage and kennel is full at the animal shelter. There is NO room. Please spay and neuter your pets!

UPDATE: DAMMIT! The jerk who surrendered his beautiful mama dog and then called and said he wanted her, but then didn’t pick her up – picked her up. *cries*

So now I have the two puplets. Help!

FoodLady’s First Daydream

I’m not really a dreamer.

I never have been. I remember my mother often talking about what she would do if she won the lottery and it was always a difficult thing for me to try to do. I have always let the universe guide (drag?) me wherever it did and I just make the best of it.

I think I just had my first ever day dream and it went something like, “holy crap that sounds amazing! I think I would really like this to happen! Yeeeeeessss!”

Now, please note – I am aware that it would be almost impossible for this to become reality. (Look at me, already killing off my very first “someday!”) But how amazing would it be to have a dog-training facility and dog park like this one?

https://dogsforlifevb.org/our-story/

Besides the training facilty, I would want to put in a self dog wash station, charge $15 or whatever to get the use of shampoo, conditioner, towels, and ergonomic wash the dog sink/tub (and rubber apron! LOL).

The dog park would be critical, I would want a water feature for the dogs to play in, a sand pit for them to dig in, LOTS of shade and seating. We could have a picnic-type area and fire pit area which could be rented out for dog-friendly private parties. Also, a doggie playground with some *very* basic agility equipment.

Inside the training facility there should be a dog training book lending library and reading nook – because that sounds amazing to me.

A comfortable barn-like dog boarding facility and an area to raise puppies to train for balance-assist and blood sugar alert service dog training for those in need, especially veterans and the elderly.

There it is, my dream. It would be a metric crap ton of work. But hey, maybe someday, right?

POOL!

Cleaned and filled up Dobby’s pool. He dove in as I was filling it. Just so happy and thrilled to be in his pool; splashing around and rolling around.

Meanwhile, inside the home: Three of FoodLady’s pack and a fancy foster shiver and quake while pretending they are invisible because they are CERTAIN it is a new and terrifying bath-system.

To Love a Rescuer

[A found poem, and I have been unable to find who wrote it.]

To Love a Rescuer

To love a rescuer you must love all of her. You must love the scars covering her body from panicked and hurt animals she was trying to help. You must love her fractured heart, that has been broken so many times she no longer even takes the time to mend the pieces.

To love a rescuer, you must embrace her grit and determination, and know that although she fights a war she can never win, she can and does win a few battles. You must love the tears she will shed over those she lost. You must give her comfort that she refuses to accept, as she blames herself for things she could have never foreseen.

To love a rescuer you must acknowledge the rage she feels towards the world at times, and know that anger is driven by a love of life too few have. You must give her space and room to cry and mourn for the losses that others have caused out of carelessness or cruelty.

To love a rescuer you must understand her passion to heal and save is a calling, not a choice. You must accept that to save animals is part of her soul and without that she could never be happy.

To love a rescuer you must be patient. You must accept her work comes first. She will forgo sleep, forgo food, forgo her life for animals in need. She will work tirelessly until her body and mind fail her completely and she cannot go on.

To Love a rescuer, you must be strong. You must not be threatened by her focus and love of animals. You must accept that the things you love about her, the strength and convictions and loyalty are also what drives her sense of duty to animals in need; you cannot have one without the other.

To love a rescuer you must never ask her to choose, because she will, and it will not be you.

Thank you to whomever wrote this.💜

Fancy!

So, on Friday, May 17th I stopped by the animal shelter to drop off a case of cat food, and long story short, this is a foster dog Sandy (who I inexplicably call “Fancy” and yes, I do sing the Reba song to her daily!).

She was *very* starved and spent the first couple weeks resting and gaining weight at the animal shelter. Then, once she had energy she started to get bored (and stressed, which was leading towards additional health problems) and they asked if I could foster for a short time.
She had never been in a house before, but we are doing well with potty training (amazingly well actually!), she has “sit” down, walks on a leash well, and gets super duper excited about wet food (and we are talking vibratingly levitatingly levels of excited; she has to sit before she gets her spoonful – but I can’t swear she isn’t hovering (in a pretty little sit) about 3 inches off the floor). She also has an unfortunate affinity (and by affinity, I mean a true and deep yearning sort of love) for dirty laundry and shoes which she doesn’t damage but does immediately take outdoors. I have spent many an awkward time laughingly searching for missing wardrobe pieces in the front yard. She also attempts and spectacularly fails to take bowls of kibble outside quite often with hilarious kibble-splosions, and just looks so dang happy and proud to have all of her riches spread around her!

Little Miss Fancy is all heart, love, and trepidatious excited joy. She came from hellish abuse and neglect and while there is a not-small part of me that would love to find the person who starved her to the point of almost death and hurt them for the pain and suffering they caused her, a slightly larger part of me understands that hurting someone else won’t increase that person’s empathy towards other living creatures and *if* that person has the ability to empathize, the only thing that could possibly help is education about animal care. For now, this little girl is getting healthy and learning all of the things that will make her a wonderful and loving companion.

Please keep this little Fancy dancer in mind if you are ready to adopt a loving and special dog into your life.

Here is her before picture taken around April 19, 2018.