Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten on...eh, whatever.

1. Christmas is one week away and I have...let's see...NONE of my shopping done. Wait, that's not entirely true, Brandon has his gifts...but he bought those himself. I tell myself that I work best under pressure, when in reality, I'm not sure I know how else to work. Guess we know what I'll be doing this weekend.

2. Brandon and I drove one of our shelter transports to New Hampshire last weekend. We made it all the way to Knoxville on Friday before finding out that NH had its worst ice storm in 30 years the night before. That added a bit of excitement to the trip...along with that nervous tic I developed back in "Winter Storm '93". We ran into a bit of heavy snow overnight Friday night in Pennsylvania, but by the time we arrived in NH Saturday morning, the roads were perfectly fine. That's certainly NOT to say it had warmed up.

In case you can't make out the temperature gauge on the dash display...it was 19*. At almost 11am. When we were unloading 33 dogs. Oh and pay no attention to the fact that Brandon was driving 80mph...the roads really were clear...I promise!
The scenery was beautiful, but dear GOD it was cold!

3. In addition to the 33 shelter dogs we transported, we also placed our last foster puppy Laverne with a great family out of Connecticut. Laverne is currently learning all about snow...and with another storm predicted for her area tomorrow, she should be getting her fill!


4. We also had the bright idea to add an extra night on to the transport, to make a little vacation out of it. Neither of us had ever been to Washington, DC so Saturday we drove south to Maryland and stayed just outside of the city. We spent Sunday BOOKING it around the National Mall! Of course that was after almost an hour of trying to figure out where to park the gigantic van we were driving. Finally, a police officer pointed out (after several others blew us off) that meter parking on weekends is unrestricted. How's THIS for a parking spot??



5. We had decided beforehand a few things we wanted to see: the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. That would have been a LOT to do in an average day, much less one in which 36 of the prior 48 hours had been spent driving.

The Washington Monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial:



A small part of the WWII Memorial:

The Korean War Memorial:


The Vietnam Memorial. God there were a LOT of names on that wall:



6. I mentioned a post or two ago about a HUGE Wally announcement...and I'm getting pretty damn impatient. The "announcement" was supposed to be available this week, but I've yet to find it. I'm thisclose to losing it on the next Books-a-Million employee who tells me I don't know what I'm talking about!!


7. We had two great weekends of Santa Paws photos and raised just over $700! I took Ralphie since this is his first "real" Christmas. He was NOT impressed with Santa. At all.



Sorry Santa, I'm outta here!



8. We also had an amazing flyball tournament the first weekend of December - all the proceeds were dontated to animal rescue groups/shelters and we raised $4,950!!

9. We found out last week that my brother's 11yo dog Maxine has bladder cancer. I'm not even close to ready to discuss it...I'm heartbroken. She's the sweetest gal ever.

10. Daisy is a 1yo Lab-mix who really, really, really needs your help - check out her FirstGiving page at: http://www.firstgiving.com/help4daisy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ten on Tuesday


1. It's beyond me why anyone likes puppies. Laverne is wearing my ass out. And she has a fetish for toilet paper. We've lost at least three rolls now - they were turned into confetti by her little needle teeth.

2. It's beyond me why anyone like Labs younger than 5yo. Riley (the Lab formerly known as Motley - long story) is wearing my ass out. Are you noticing a theme here? He's 2yo and while he does crate well (thank GOD!) he never. sits. still. And the amount of poop put out by an 85lb dog...yikes!

3. Speaking of Riley, I've had to add yet another vet clinic to my "You'll never see another red cent of mine" list. Really...what is it about me and heartworm treatments that makes clinics want to hassel me? There was a mix-up on THEIR end and they were quite ugly to ME about it. In the end they apologized to my rescue director (never bothered to call and apologize to ME) and I'm the one who gets to pick Riley up tomorrow. Yeah, that'll be fun. I'm sure they're looking forward to my coming back in. And rightfully so. I'm not as docile as I used to be.

4. We're getting cable AND high-speed internet at home tomorrow. Yes, I realize it's almost 2009, but we gave up our cable more than five years ago. Honestly, I couldn't care less about having either, but Brandon is tired of living in the dark ages of local channels and dial-up internet.

5. We have an incredible flyball tournament coming up this weekend in Talladega - 43 teams!! That's twice as many as usual and all the profits from the weekend will go to two animal rescue charities!

6. One of our usual "awards" is a big MilkBone decorated with almond bark and sprinkles. Since I can do those at home on my own time, I'm usually the one making up all the bones. 43 teams x 6 dogs per team x 2 days = 516 freaking bones to make!! I started Saturday afternoon during THE ballgame and was able to knock out 100...so only 416 to go. Oy.

7. THE ballgame. What can I really say about THE ballgame. THE team. THE coach. THE #1 ranking in THE nation. That's all I'll say for now...because THE thought of the second game coming up this Saturday is sort of making my stomach hurt.

8. Christmas cards...do I even attempt photo cards or just suck it up and buy the boxed version again?

9. A new picture of Lula, the little gal we found on the interstate in Gadsden a few weeks ago. She's hoping for a home for the holidays!

10. Great...Brandon just called to tell me that he found a dead mouse in our attic when he was pulling the Christmas decorations down. Not only do I not LIKE mice, I can only imagine what my dogs would do if they saw one in the house! Remember the scene in Christmas Vacation (fabulous movie by the way!) with the squirrel and the Rottweiler named Snot? Yeah...that's what I envision.




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Herring...party of 11...

Me, Brandon, CiCi, Mazie, Frankie, Veronica, Lily, Marley, Ralphie, Laverne (foster) and Motley (foster) will be enjoying the holiday together. I'm thankful 1) that we're able to properly care for our dogs 2) that we're able to care for for a few of the many dogs that have no one else and 3) that WE DON'T HAVE MORE IN OUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!

Laverne will be heading to Connecticut to be with her new family in early December and Motley...well, he'll be around until late January at least.

I never thought I'd look forward to the day that I'd only have to take care of seven dogs!

Monday, November 24, 2008

To whom it may concern:

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for moving away and leaving your dog behind. In case you were wondering, he's been living in the crawl space of your vacant house. Alone. Your neighbors have been kind enough to feed him, but there were a few nights last week when the temperature dropped well below freezing.

We have him now. He's confused. And he's sick. All those hot summer months with no heartworm preventative. Now he faces a long, dangerous treatment. He has only you to thank.

I'll take care of your dog. And I'll pay his vet bills. And I'll find him a new family that is better than you could ever hope to be. And I'll tell myself every night before I go to sleep that somewhere, somehow, you'll get what you deserve.


Tallulah update


Remember the little blue gal we took to Nashville? TEN PUPPIES!! Good Lord, I have no idea how she had that many...but she deserves some sort of medal!

And her foster home loves her so much they're considering keeping her. Who would have guessed a stray, pregnant, heartworm positive pit bull could find such a happy ending?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Then. And now. Again.

Then: March 2008. 10wks old.




Now: November 2008. Just shy of 1yr old.




Handsome Dudley :-) This will be his first winter in Chicago - stay warm!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Then. And now.

Then: March 2006. 10wks old, 25lbs.





And now: November 2008. Not quite 3yrs old, 100+lbs!




His name with us was Wally :-) And I'll have a HUGE Wally-related annoucement soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A good samaritan...


found this sweet gal Monday night all alone in the middle of the street. I'll omit the exact location because we didn't make a huge production of looking for her previous owners. In my book, you snooze, you lose. She tested positive for heartworms and is so pregnant that she's about to pop. If she'd had her babies where she was found they easily would have frozen to death.

She's safe now, 200 miles away. She has a warm bed (possibly her first), a fancy purple collar and matching leash (provided by good samaritan) and a safe place to have her babies. They could come any day now. She will never live on the streets again.

We're calling her Tallulah. But Cinderella would have worked just as well :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I have to admit...

I'm getting a HUGE kick out of all the people threatening to "move to Canada" after Obama's win last night. Uhh....huh? If it's socialism you long for, stick around. I predict that in 12-18 months, we'll all feel like we've moved to Canada. And you won't even have to leave the comfort of your own home.

If the libs want to run this circus I say toss 'em the keys. The Republican party has four years to make some serious adjustments, four years to figure out how exactly they lost touch with the people they were supposed to represent. It's a long road, but that's MY hope for America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Somebody shoot me. Please.

Dogs. Sick. Vomit. Snot. Diarrhea. Everywhere. ALL of them. We've learned that our Bissell Pro Heat 2X is the VERY best money we've ever spent. My patio on the other hand...it may have to be sandblasted once the epidemic is over.

It started on Sunday the 26th and hasn't stopped yet. I guess sending dogs to daycare is just like sending kids to daycare - germs abound. And buddy, we're covered in them.

CiCi - recovering from the flu
Mazie - recovering from the flu, suffering from kennel cough
Frankie - suffering from the flu
Veronica - suffering from the flu AND kennel cough
Lily - recovering from the flu
Marley - recovering from kennel cough
Ralphie - recovering from kennel cough

I've made my vet's car payment this month in exchange for antibiotics and cough suppressants.

Dear God, PLEASE let this end soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ralphie says, "Don't forget to vote!"


In Alabama, you can confirm your polling place and print provisional ballots at http://www.alabamavotes.gov/. I was hoping our polling place had been changed to our local civic center, but nope. I'm in one of the county's largest cities and we're still voting at a small church. Seriously, they have maybe 10 tables set up for you to complete your ballot. And the parking lot...don't even get me started on the size of the parking lot. We're planning to be at our poll by 6am and I suspect there will already be a line.

All polls are open from 7am - 7pm and as long as you are in line by 7pm, you should be allowed to vote.

No matter which party you're affiliated with, REMEMBER TO VOTE! I won't be voting FOR either major candidate...but I'm certainly voting AGAINST one of them. Hey, maybe I should just write Ralphie in...

Happy Howl-o-ween!


It was obviously a slow adoption day for us on Saturday...but come on...animals in costumes...does it get any better than that?! Man...was that cat PISSED...!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 on Tuesday...

1 & 2. Laverne:

And Shirley:

I got them free at WalMart last Wednesday night. I've lived in the same city for the last 10 years and I've always been thankful that our WalMart parking lot isn't full of "Free Puppy" trucks every weekend...and this is why. Because when I see one, I end up pissed off. And I end up taking puppies. This family started with NINE. God only knows where the other seven are now. And of that seven, how many will reproduce? How many will be hit by cars? How many will be lost without identification? All because they were given away in a WalMart parking lot to anyone who wanted one.


3. Ralphie graduated from Level II Obedience last week in spite of his inability to "stay."

It was his awesome on lead heeling (which goes out the window in public) and his hilarious recall that saved him. We'll start Level III (in preparation for the Canine Good Citizen test) in a few weeks. In the meantime we'll be sitting in on the new Level II class in hopes of polishing up that "stay."


4. Ralphie also had a great weekend at Shelby Humane's Bark in the Park. Only one lady jumped away from him like he was a rattlesnake (freak) and we had MULTIPLE people comment on how well behaved he was.

Veronica, on the other hand...not so much. We were performing hourly flyball demonstrations in an attempt to attract new club members. Veronica made the first jump...and the second...and the third...then made a sharp left directly over the lane markers to mingle with the crowd. I didn't tell people that she'd been competing for almost four years now...or that she has five titles. Didn't think that would be good publicity for our club. What a clown.

Then there was Clarence...he at least got the ball off the box...before making a beeline for the lake...


5. We've been taking advantage of Brandon's "benefits package" at his new job - four of our dogs went to daycare last week, some went more than once. All in all, it would have been about $200 that we could never afford otherwise. And the saying "a tired dog is a good dog"? Yeah, that's 100% TRUE.


6. Speaking of Brandon's new job...he was offered his old job back. An internal investigation turned up no evidence that he should have lost it in the first place (well no shit!). Needless to say, he will NOT be going back. And it really pays to have a fabulous friend who is also an attorney practicing employment law. Stick it to 'em T!!


7. We're placing the next to last puppy from a litter of seven later this month. We get the very BEST applications via our courtesy listings on Double Dog's Petfinder site out of Connecticut. Sister will be headed to Bristol, CT and will be living in the same neighborhood as one of our other placements!


8. Took pictures of this guy last week for a vet who is trying to place him. He has a head the size of a watermelon!


9. Finally got my flu shot (see last week's 10 on Tuesday). Made me sick. Blah.

10. In case you've been living under a rock, Alabama is ranked #2 in the Associated Press poll this week! I think I love Nick Saban!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here's a #10...

that I could have used yesterday.

10. Every year there seems to be a frantic shortage of flu shots. I fall into one of the groups that is recommend to have an annual flu shot. So I called my allergy/asthma doc yesterday and was told that they haven't received any vaccinations yet but that they'll add me to their call back list in case they get some in. Then on the way home, I passed the Walgreens by my house and saw, "FLU SHOTS - OCTOBER 2ND 1-7PM" flashing on their sign! WTF?

Me thinks the problem is with the distribution rather than the production.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More of Jack - for Carol










10 on Tuesday

And look, it's actually Tuesday this time!!


1. I spent the weekend in Chattanooga, TN with Veronica for the Chattanooga Chomp's Crazy Train flyball tournament. V had a GREAT weekend in spite of the yeast infection she's battling in one ear. Maybe not her fastest times but she was consistent and I'll take that any day!



2. B starts a new job on Monday. It's a long, ridiculous story but it's worked out in the end. He'll be working at our training facility and the best part...his "benefits package" is being able to take our dogs to daycare and free enrollment in classes! Sweet!! That's especially good news since...


3. It looks like Ralphie might be repeating Level II Obedience. Not because he's bad, but because I sorely underestimated the amount of time and effort that I would have to invest. Given that we really only practice one day a week, he's doing FANTASTIC! I'm just not sure it's enough to convince me that Level III is a good idea at this point. The "stay" command just isn't in his vocabulary...and "down stay".... ::snort:: The down stay usually ends in my standing on his leash which basically pins him to the ground. When he gives up, he rolls over on his back and grins up at me. My hysterical laughter doesn't exactly help matters.


4. Roll Tide!! Alabama 41 Georgia 30 - I was sure I was going to have a heart attack in my hotel room Saturday night!


5. Meatball has been adopted! Yay for him - he deserves a home where he can wander freely and now he has just that. And I have my second bathroom back - no more sitting on the toilet waiting for an 18lb cat to jump in your lap!


6. Click HERE to see my lovely sister, brother-in-law and nephew. Hey, just because he's furry doesn't mean he's not my nephew! My friend and fellow rescuer took these wonderful photos in San Clemente, CA.


7. I'm sick of political emails. I don't want to see pictures of Sarah Palin in an American flag bikini (though I realize that many of you do!) any more than I want to read about Barak Obama being an Islamic terrorist in disguise. I simply don't care. In my world, politics is one of those subjects that isn't up for discussion. I've educated myself on the issues that I feel are important. I know who I'm voting for. Email propoganda is wasted on me.


8. If I ever complain about not having enough work to keep me busy (we're talking about my paying job here...my regular life is plenty busy!) please punch me square in the face. I've been complaining for oh, about 18 months. And I'm now eating those words. Every. Single. One of them!


9. Who? Me? LOVE that red nose!


10. If I leave 10 blank...it would really only be "9 on Tuesday" and that just doesn't sound as fun...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who is the animal?



If you made it thru the dog fighting episode of BONES on Fox last night you probably saw this commercial. If you didn't see BONES last night you should really try to find a download of the program. It seemed to be loosely based around the Michael Vick story, though those involved in the fighting weren't celebrities.

The story line was sad, but I think it's all too common. Dogs exploited for entertainment and profit. It's clear to me who the animal is...I wish it were clear to everyone.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coincidence?

Remember Ruby? The little Doxie-mix foster we pulled from the shelter back in November:


The same shelter now has this little dog named Sophie:

Sophie was picked up by animal control in the same area where Ruby was found. Sophie is approximately 3yo and based on a few...um...physical features, I'd guess it's been about a year since her last litter. Ruby was 1yo in May.


Coincidence?? My guess is NO!


The good news is that Sophie is headed to New Hampshire on my transport this coming weekend - otherwise, I'm afraid Brandon would have had a fight on his hands!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ten on Tuesday...

Yeah, I get that it's actually Wednesday...but it's also been more than month since I updated so this is by far the easiest way to do this!


1. We recently had a very successful fundraiser at Art Buzz - if you're not familiar it's great for a girl's night out (though men are welcome too). You BYOB and they provide the canvas, paint and inspiration. You leave with a painting...and a slight buzz depending on your drink of choice :-) We chose the painting, filled the class and Art Buzz graciously donated more than $300 to our rescue group! Check them out at http://www.artbuzzbirmingham.com/. My blue dog original below:


2. We spent six days in the San Diego area with my sister and brother-in-law during August. The weather was amazing (no wildfires or earthquakes = amazing to me!) and we had a great time.





3. It was nice to have a break from the dogs, although we owe our dogsitter an astronomical amount of money. Our dogs are pets, but managing a small herd is also a part time job. It was nice not to think about feeding times, pooper-scooping or medicine. We did get to have fun with my sister's dog though - Ozzy is a hoot:



4. We spent the better part of one day at San Diego's Wild Animal Park. I was super excited but I had no idea it would be as incredible as it was. Learning about their captive breeding programs and their endangered animals...I could have spent the entire week there!



5. I also go to visit with a few friends while on the west coast - two I'd met, and two I'd not met before. Pizza with Sam and Brandon and the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Melissa and Chris. Boy there were some total freaks out there...!



6. Hollywood was followed by a night at Knott's Berry Farm. I could have done without one of the two rollercoasters I rode, but it was quite entertaining to hear my husband and brother-in-law screaming like little girls!


7. We got a call from our dogsitter near the end of our trip and I cringed when I saw her number come up on my caller ID. She generally only calls when there is a problem. And when there's a problem, it's generally bad. But this time (thank GOD!) she was calling because she had exciting news about Lily - Lily willingly went for a walk with her husband! Now, most of you are probably thinking, "Okay....that's a big deal because...?" Lily is, among other things a fruitcake. Even on her behavior meds, she loves me, Brandon and our dogsitter. She tolerates our vet. That's where it ends with her. So her going on a walk with a man she's only met once before (and she didn't particularly care for him then!) is HUGE in LilyWorld.


8. We returned just in time to start scrambling for Hurricane Gustav. Thankfully, we're far enough north that our biggest concern is usually evacuee traffic, but I spent last Saturday in Mobile. Several of us drove the shelter vans down to help evacuate their adoption floor. 41 dogs and 11 hours later, we made it back home. We weren't able to clear the entire shelter, but we did our best and made the load a bit lighter for the employees who braved the storm at the shelter.


9. Birmingham did receive it's fair share of evacuee traffic. The hotels are full and the Red Cross has at least three large shelters set up. I spent a few hours yesterday in the Civic Center parking deck helping care for dogs that came in with the shelter evacuees. For the approximate 200 families staying at the Civic Center, we had dogs from three families. THREE. How many people left their pets behind? How many felt they didn't have a choice? Didn't we learn anything from Katrina?
10. And finally a hilarious picture of Ralphie sporting his business casual look (the tie and collar say business while the lack of pants says casual):