Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goodbye Suzie

We are fortunate at the Justin Animal Shelter. We have the luxury of being able to hold animals for longer than many other shelters. However, sometimes we have to make hard decisions. Sometimes we have to make "the list" - those animals who will be euthanized. Sometimes we have to euthanize due to space limitations. Sometimes we have to euthanize an aggressive animal. And sometimes we have to make the decision to euthanize when an animal begins to deteriorate emotionally and or behaviorally. We were not full, she was not aggressive, but she was definitely deteriorating. She had been in the shelter for almost 7 months. Even though we provided walks, kongs for unstuffing, rawhides for chewing, and other dogs to play with it wasn't enough - she needed a home. The shelter is not a home, at best it is a stopping off place on the way home. She had become unresponsive to the shelter workers, she spent her days either staring off into space like a despondent person, or digging at the concrete floor and biting at the wire fence in an obsessive attempt to escape the confines or her 10 x 10 run. Today we said good-bye to Suzie. I will miss you pretty girl. Wish we could have done better for you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Attention Span of a Cornflake

This foster puppy

has the attention span of a cornflake.

In spite of that fact,

he is very cute, in a clown-like way.

I can help you make him yours. You'll have more fun than a barrel of monkeys...

Let me help...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blue Moon's Lucky Chance

I dunno why, but it just seemed to me that he should have a fancy sounding name. Parvo -puppy does not seem adequate. Since he is blue and white and very lucky to have received another chance for life he shall be named "Blue Moon's Lucky Chance". His call name is Chance. I did not know, but he is potentially still contagious for the next 2 weeks, so he could not go back to the shelter after being released from the animal E.R. Saturday night. He currently is residing in my laundry room, and being a Very Good Sport about the whole thing! You may recall the E.R. vet did not want to euthanize him even though the City would not fund the treatment for parvo virus. I knew the treatment would be expensive, I did not realize how expensive. The E.R. Hospital offered to treat him for what they would have charged for the initial exam + euthanazia. In all the total cost of the grace extended to this little one was just under $2000. Wow!

Now all he needs is a forever home!

Taking a treat.

What a cute face!

Can't wait to get out from behind these bars

Did I mention that he is cute, potty trained, and needs a home? How 'bout it? You could be the one to give this story the truly happy ending it deserves.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Play, We Rest

Gus and Gracie playing in the snow

Gus and Gracie and an Orange Juice container



Bill did not spend too much time in the snow. Probably had something to do with his height perspective.

Exhausted puppies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Someone failed this puppy - big time!

Got a call from a concerned citizen at about 4:45 this afternoon. A dog has been sitting up against the outside of the neighbor's fence for several hours and it might be sick. Thank you for calling, I'll be right out to check.

Sure enough there's the dog, right where the caller said it would be - against the fence, in the mud. I approach, and see it is just a baby, a pit bull baby, - he doesn't look good at all. Try to pick him up, cause he's not gonna move on his own - he screams and I reconsider my original plan. Go to the truck get a towel and something to wrap around his sweet baby mouth to muzzle him. More screaming, but I get him into the cage in the back of the truck. Now what? Clearly he is in pain, and I can not take him back to the shelter in this condition.

It is after 5, all of the regular vets we use will probably be gone for the day. Sure enough they are, so it is off to the emergency vet with the precious little puppy.

We have called ahead, so they know we are coming and have agreed to see him without up front payment. We are ushered into an exam room - puppy promptly throws up on the floor. The vet tech suggests they will probably want to do a test for parvo. I explain the city doesn't have the funds to treat this puppy if he is really as sick as he seems to be - probably all we can do is make him stop hurting. She understands what I mean and puts the parvo test on hold for now. She takes his temp and tries to get his pulse. Now we have bloody diarrhea in addition to the vomit - the vet insists on the parvo test. Makes sense to me, but I want them to know the city won't be
willing to pay for treatment.

They test him. I sit on the floor, his head in my lap, his body on a towel to keep him off the cold fake wood floor. We wait - me and the sick puppy, I have to keep shifting my legs to keep them from falling asleep. I stroke his soft baby ears, and try to think of a name for him. He should have a name, it just isn't right for him to be nameless. I can't think of anything suitable. He sleeps, I listen to his soft puppy breathing, and am sad because I don't think this is going to end well. The vet comes into the room. Yes, he has parvo. In fact the vet says he has probably been sick for 4 or 5 days, and is so dehydrated he probably wasn't going to last much longer. Probably been throwing up and having diarrhea for several days, but no one noticed, or no one cared. So I prepare myself to say that I want to be with him, to hold him when they euthanize him. But first he needs a name...

Then a surprising thing happens. The emergency vet says she has talked with the owner of the clinic and they would like to treat this puppy for the same price that they would charge the city to euthanize him. I am surprised. I know this is a good deal. A very good deal. She says she expects he will have to stay at the hospital for several days, but they would like to do this. She thinks they can save his life. I hesitate for a moment, because I know that even if his life is saved he still does not have a home. He is a puppy - a shelter is not a good place for a puppy to grow up. We already have two pit bulls at our very small shelter. Two pit bulls that have been there for quite some time. Two pit bulls that no one has looked at. He might have a life, but what kind of life? The moment passes and I smile and say - it's a deal! I fill out some more paperwork, whisper good luck to the puppy, walk back out to the truck, and start thinking of a suitable name for this puppy whose luck may have just turned around.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big Teeth

And lots of noise.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Former Shelter Dog

Graduate Number Three

If you have read much of this blog, you know that I enjoy taking my dogs to agility classes.

I am proud to announce that dog number three is now a Beginner Agility Graduate. I have pictures and a certificate to prove it!!

Bill waiting to do agility

Always up for a treat! Thanks, Terri!

Sailing through the tire.

Over the broad jump.

Coming out of the tunnel.


Bill's good friend, Bebe.

3 on, 1 off?

Dogwalk. What a brave little guy!

Flying through the weave poles. Looks like all of his feet are off the ground.

2 on 2 off, just like it is supposed to be!


Proof of Graduation!

In the absence of my usual photographer (who was working so that these dogs can go to agility classes), I would like to thank the very capable, Mike McIlraith, for dealing with my temperamental camera and taking such outstanding photos. Mike was attending graduation with his outstanding wife, Terri, of team Terri and Sami

By the way, if it looks like winter in these pictures, let me assure you it was a very cold and windy day on a hilltop on the North Texas prairie!! Brrrr!!

Special Shelter Dogs

We currently have two special ladies at the Justin Texas animal shelter looking for two equally special homes.

Suzie came in as a stray on July 29, 2009, and currently calls the shelter her home. If you do the math, Suzie has been in the shelter for a little over 6 months. Often dogs who are in a shelter situation (translation: loud, stressful environment) begin to display undesirable, stress related behaviors. Suzie has been able to take it all in stride. She plays well with others, and has incredible dog to dog social skills, of course she loves people as well. I would classify her as "bomb proof" around other dogs. Cats however, not so much... If she is so incredible why has she not been adopted? Because people come in, look at her and say: "yikes a pit bull!" And so it goes...

This little darling is called Shasta. She came in as a stray on January 20, 2010. I truely like this sweet gal, too! She is such a wiggle-butt it is difficult to get a picture of her. She really loves people (alot!). She gets along well with other dogs. Shasta has not been around as long as Suzie, therefore we have not had the opportunity to observe her interaction with as many different dogs as Suzie. So far there has been no indication that she is anything but friendly with other dogs. No one has shown any interest in adopting Shasta either.

If you think you might need a little more pit bull in your life, consider one of these special girls! I'd be happy to help you explore the possibilities!!