Friday, August 31, 2007

Football and Flyball!!

The only thing more exciting than Nick Saban's debut as the new head coach at The University of Alabama is Marley officially starting flyball practice tomorrow...okay, maybe it's not more exciting, but at our house, it's damn close!
Veronica has been competing for almost three years now - training a dog with ZERO ball drive to run flyball wasn't an easy task, but we did it. And yes, our Retriever couldn't care less about a ball. She also hates water. Freak. Thing is, Veronica runs for us, not because she particularly likes it (as opposed to the Border Collies in our club who live and die for a tennis ball). She could probably outrun any dog in our club at Doggie Funzone ( - it's a lure course) but in flyball? Nah, she takes her own sweet time. And see the last picture of her at the box? Yeah, that's not even close to being the right way to trigger the ball!
That's Mazie in the first picture - we worked her for almost two years hoping that she might compete one day, but it's not in the cards. 1) Mazie has bi-lateral hip dysplasia and while the exercise has made an amazing change in her daily activity (and held off hip replacement surgery so far!) she can't run for long periods of time and 2) Mazie is the canine version of Rain Man. She can learn complex series of commands. She can hide a toy and go right back to it weeks later. But she can't seem to make the connection between the jumps and the box. She can do one or the other but trying to combine the two is overload and she resorts to her OCD action of spinning in circles. Always counter-clockwise, thank you very much.
Then there's Marley. Long body. Long legs. Ball drive. She's a flyballer's dream. Unfortunately, she's also still a puppy and a bit of a spaz. She's easily distracted - in basic obedience, she had a crush on our instructor Philip. She would totally ignore me and just stare at him with her big cow eyes! So, step one in our quest for a flyball phenom is harnessing that crazy energy...the races only last about 20 seconds on average so I don't even need a long attention span to work with!
Now, are you ready for some football???? ROLL TIDE!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shelter transport update!

Of the 24 dogs we transported only 12 days ago, 17 were dropped at the New Hampshire Humane Society in Laconia, NH ( As of today, 13 of them have been adopted!!!

Amazing when you consider that their fate here was sure death. Lucky dogs ;-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Michael Vick finds Jesus.

And I have to wonder if Jesus slapped him in the head and asked, "What in the hell were you thinking?! You obviously missed the part about 'that which you do unto the least of these, you do unto me'!!"

He's got a whole lot of redeeming to do...good thing he's got some free time ;-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Meet Marley

I've introduced Lily (see my "Stress Colitis" post) and told you a bit about our current foster Georgia, so now I'll introduce Marley. She's the youngest of our bunch and will be a year old in September. I picked her up the week before Thanksgiving 2006 from a vet's office in Montgomery. She was 10 weeks old and had been living in his kennel for about 6 weeks. In case you're wondering, a 10 week old puppy that has lived in a kennel for 6 of those weeks is a nightmare to crate train - 10 months later, we're still fighting that battle. We took Marley because 1) she looked almost exactly like our earlier fosters Mason and Mina who were both adopted FAST and 2) because the stupid vet was trying to give her away to anyone who walked into his clinic. In the six months we had her listed for adoption, we received maybe 3 inquiries on her and they were all given the polite, "Over my cold dead body." So Marley joined Lily in the category of "Fosters that never left."

Marley is 50lbs (most of that being her super long legs) and the only one of our dogs that has no identifiable breed. We're guessing a terrier of some sort, but that's all we've got. We call her our Alabama Brown Dog and she'll soon be running flyball with Veronica.

M. Vick

Another great article re: Michael Vick who, in case you've been living under a rock, will be pleading guilty for his crimes on Monday, August 27th.

Also, to inject a bit of humor, an ebay auction for Michael Vick football cards...that have been chewed up by the "artist's" dog! Last time I checked, the bid was up to $400 and the proceeds will be donated to the animal shelter of the purchaser's choice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Top 5 ways we knew we were back in the south...

5. There was a Waffle House across the street from our North Carolina hotel last night.
4. A man named "Catfish".
3. Big girls wearing tank tops riding motorcycles.
2. It's still 90 degrees with 70+% humidity at 11 p.m.

**drumroll please**


Brandon and I will be headed back in 8 weeks - we're going to make a week long vacation out of it so I hope we're sent back to Laconia. I've already found lake cottages to rent!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Laconia, NH

NH Humane Society - Laconia, NH

Top 5 reasons I'm moving to Laconia, NH.

1. It's noon and it's 73 degrees.
2. Laconia is called The Land of the Lakes - I think I would really enjoy telling people that I'm from The Land of the Lakes.
3. It's beyond beautiful here.
4. The shelter is FABULOUS.
5. Did I mention that it's only 73 degrees??

God I wish I were the type to just pick up and move - I think Laconia could grow on me.

The first thing you should know about New Hampshire...

it's actually a bit chilly in the morning here! I could easily be convinced to least until October or November.

We just dropped the first 7 dogs in Stratham at the NHSPCA and we're headed to the NHHS in Laconia now (and hour or so away).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How to pack a van with 24 dogs...

McGuyver style - it's a very delicate balance in here! Crates are stacked two high and two deep.

From the road - pictures

From top to bottom: 1) Virginia mountains - probably only impressive to an Alabama girl like me. 2) Our Cheewaawaa passenger. 3) Drooly, the carsick dog - and yes, she was sleeping like that. 4) Barky, when she decided to remove her own collar. By the time we found somewhere to stop she had chewed it apart.

From the road - Part 2

God, we're finally leaving Virginia...the state that just won't end! Of course that means we're on to Pennsylvania which is really just a bunch of dark nothingness. We had a bit of rain just outside of Roanoke, a bit of barking when we stopped for dinner but otherwise it's been a very uneventful trip. And we're more than half way!

Following up with pictures...

From the road - Part 1

We’re 4 hours into our trip and we’ve already stopped twice – once for lunch and gas and just now to dig a collar out of Barky’s mouth. I thought the metal microchip tag was a goner but I found it in the sea of newspaper confetti in the bottom of the crate. You’re probably wondering if someone seriously named a dog Barky – no, but with 24 dogs in the van, we’re calling them something that fits. So far we have Barky (right behind the driver’s head of course), Drooly (I tried to give her a half and Ace but her crate-mate ate it – oops!), Mama (self explanatory), Baby 1 and Baby 2 (they go with momma). Everyone else is calm and quiet – bless their hearts!

Oh and did I mention that it’s HOT? The van is master jimmy-rigged with portable fans, but at this point, they’re just circulating the hot air. Meanwhile, we’re freezing up front with the air blasting in an (futile?) attempt to cool the back.

So, only 20 hours to go…and that’s just until we get there!!! I should also mention that it’s my birthday and though it smells a little funny in here right now, I can’t think of a better way to be spending it ;-)

More later!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An open letter to Michael Vick...

Anyone who knows anything about me can probably guess how I feel about Michael Vick (and all thug rat bastards like him), but I simply could not have said it better than Peter Shankman - a CEO and PR guru in NYC.

Check out his open letter to Michael Vick:

That says it all.

I think I love this man.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In the words of country legend Willie Nelson...

On the road again, going places that I've never been.
Seeing things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again.

My friend Whitney and I head out in 48 hours - destination: Laconia, New Hampshire! And yes, we're driving. Straight thru. In a Humane Society van. Filled with dogs. 25 dogs to be exact. Hahahaha! This is the ultimate in "crazy dog lady" adventures!

Shelby Humane Society has a shelter partnering program with three shelters (and various rescue groups) in New Hampshire (see for more information on sponsoring a dog for our trip). Having lived in the south my entire life, it's hard to wrap my mind around an animal shelter that has a waiting list for dogs. But I've been there and I've seen it for myself. Empty runs. Volunteers with no dogs to walk. People waiting in the parking lot for our vans to pull in. All this is the result of companion animal registration requirements, strict spay/neuter laws and education. It's a world away from "yard dogs" and animals left to fend for themselves on the side of the road. It's a world away from people who want their dog to have a litter of puppies so their children can "experience the miracle of life." It's a world away from here. And it's like heaven.

Since the program started last fall, SHS has sent close to 500 dogs north. Once they arrive at the receiving shelters, they're in quarantine for 7-10 days for health reasons and evaluations. After that, the majority of the dogs are adopted within the week. 500. Adopted. All of them. And we're not just sending up the cute, fluffy, small breed puppies. Our first trip included two 6yo hound-mix sisters, at least one Chow-mix and several very non-descript black dogs. These are dogs who surely would have been euthanized here. But in New Hampshire, the shelter workers made a huge fuss over each and every dog we pulled out of our van - big or small, black or white, young or old. They were happy to see all of them!

Our last trip was to the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham ( close to the Atlantic coast). We left Birmingham at 9:00 a.m. and arrived at the shelter the following day at 9:00 a.m. This trip will include Stratham again as well as the New Hampshire Humane Society in Laconia ( in central NH). Once we unload the dogs, we have the lovely task of cleaning out the van - it's really not as bad as it sounds - and then we're on our way back home. We're planning to stay in the Hartford, CT area Friday night to have dinner with friends and then we'll likely stop somewhere around Knoxville on Saturday night.

We have everything we'll need - air freshner, caffeinated drinks, satellite radio and a laptop with a Verizon air card. We'll be blogging from the road so check back frequently!

Monday, August 13, 2007

My new camera!!

I'm so excited to have my new camera - for comparison, my old digital was 2.1 megapixels. Yeah, that's pretty old. Keep in mind that I'm an accountant by trade (NOT a photographer) but luckily I have a house full of willing (or unwilling as the case may be) models. From the top, that's Lily in 3-D, Marley hiding in our custom made (by Brandon) end table/dog bed and finally, Miss Georgia. She had her first trip to Pets Supplies Plus for a bath last night so she wasn't very happy with me by the time I got around to taking her picture.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

If you think people are surprised that I have a pit bull...

you should see the looks I get when the subject of tattoos comes up. Is it because I'm an accountant? It's not like I have a full sleeve or or my husband's name on my's ONE, SMALL, SIMPLE tattoo. On my foot, of all places. But if people are surprised that I have a tattoo, they're certainly not surprised that it's dog related ;-)

In animal rescue, you have to constantly remind yourself of the animals that you ARE able to help - if you dwell on the ones that are lost, you'll never get out of bed in the morning. The teardrop is my way to remember the ones I couldn't save. They at least deserve that.

We also lost one of our own dogs earlier this year - January 6th to be exact. Pepper was our 14 year old Lhasa Apso and he'd battled congestive heart failure for the last few years. His health declined fast and we were forced to make the awful decision to put him down. We know, without a doubt, that we did the right thing...that didn't make it any easier. We've shed a LOT of tears over Pepper since then...but we'll NEVER forget. Godspeed sweet Pepper - we'll meet you at the Bridge.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

You don't know fun...

until you've had a dog with stress colitis. Meet Lily (pictured above with her celebrity lookalike, Ed, the crazy hyena from The Lion King) she's our American Pit Bull Terrier. Go ahead and *gasp* - that's what most people do when I tell them that I (a white, female, middle class, college graduate, job-holding, homeowner) have a pit bull. Lily is also special needs. She was seized by the Tarrant police when she was only 8 weeks old as part of an abuse case. 4 years later, we're still battling her demons - fear aggression, selective dog aggression and now colitis.

She's a love at home, with us, on a strict routine but the slightest change triggers the colitis. Colitis - inflammation of the colon. It's as bad as it sounds. And it smells even worse. She needed to go out twice during the night last night, each time barely making it to the door. But, as always, she'll be fine in a day or two...until then I'll continue to wipe her butt and clean my floors. Because that's what you do for those you love.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Because I need a few more things to do at work...

and because something about MySpace scares the hell out of I am. But unless my dogs learn to type, don't hold your breath for timely posts!

Meet Georgia (pictured above) - if you're in the market for an awesome American Bulldog, she's your girl! Brandon and I have been fostering her since early June while she's undergoing heartworm treatment. She was found with one pup living on the old baseball field at Samford University. It's obvious to me that Georgia was once someone's dog (she's housetrained, knows a few basic obedience commands) but it's also obvious that she wasn't well cared for (evidenced by the puppy and the heartworms). But, no matter. No one was looking for her and if we're being honest, I wouldn't have returned her if they were - she deserves more than that.

Georgia will be available for adoption at the end of August (once her heartworm treatment is complete) and her profile can be seen at or .