Thursday, October 29, 2009

My new interest--making Squidoo Lenses about Ratties!

SquidooImage via Wikipedia
Now that I have this blogging thing under my belt (I have 4 blogs and write to them frequently), I have decided to explore other options online.  One of the quickest and easiest ways to get a web page of your own online is with, so I started there.  Besides, its free!

I have a wonderful lense (that's what they call a web page) there called, Rat Terriers.  Please visit and tell me what you think.  I have some really good pictures there of my little man with his tongue hanging out.  I also posted several videos of rat terriers doing weird things and there are some articles about the unique challenges to owning a rat terrier.  Anyway, I hope you visit and find the information useful.  I really had a blast learning how to make squidoo lenses.

One warning---making squidoo lenses becomes addictive, kinda like blogs get under your skin.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  Try your hand at making a lense.  You can make one about just about anything in the world and you can add really cool stuff with ease.  This one is a no-brainer!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back to Basics

Five week old Rat TerrierImage via Wikipedia

Since I have been having such a time with the new foster dog, I felt I should go back to basics and get out my dog training information.  I originally got information from here.  Although this information was specific to my rattie, I think it will work on Austen, even though he is a little more laid back than Satchmo.

Anyway, I will start his program tomorrow and we will see how he does!

I also think I will get out my information on making foods for these little ones, as my Satchmo is getting older and his stomach is much more sensitive.  Austen, on the other hand, simply is a picky eater.  If you would like a copy of the ebook on canine cuisine, you can get one too.

One of the things I struggle with most in having a rat terrier is that he moves with the speed of sound and is an escape artist.  He and Austen are ganging up on me, as I am out chasing them more than I want to be.
I found a great product and am going to buy one for each of them after the holidays.  It's called Animal GPS Tracking Solutions and with this on each one of them, I won't worry so much because I will be able to find them easily.  After I get one, I'll let you know how it works!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some cute pictures of Ratties!

Isn't this the cutest puppy?

Quite a "mood" shot, don't you agree?

Today the little man and the foster dog have gotten along fairly well.  Satchmo has growled several times and snapped when Austen tries to get a toy, but other than that it has been fine.

The house is still intact since now whenever I leave I have to put Austen in a crate.  My God!  That dog can howl.  He never makes any sound whatsoever until you put him in the crate.

My neighbor is still trying to get a job, but for now she is in a safe place.  I worry about her all the time and want to see her resettled and rejoined with Austen.  Until then, he will definitely be staying here with me!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Saga continues...

Well, the integration project for this foster dog is not going as smoothly as I would like.  I am so tired from lack of sleep.  Let me explain.  This dog tears up my house and chews up my shoes if left unattended.  So, as a way to "train" him I use Satchmo's crate at night.  This dog howls at the top of his lungs from the minute you put him in the crate until you let him out.  When you do let him out, Satchmo barks non-stop in excitement.  I am afraid that the neighbors will begin to complain about the commotion.

He is a very sweet dog.  He just wants you to hold him and love on him, but if he doesn't get what he wants he becomes a terrible monster and wreaks havoc around himself.  He is the first dog I have ever put in a crate and had a problem with.  I have even resorted to Benadryl before bed, to no avail. 

I am beginning to feel like a young mother with a toddler again.  Does anyone out there have any suggestions?  I would be very pleased to hear them, as long as they are positive and won't hurt this little foster dog.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...Image via Wikipedia
After the last post I made about my neighbor and the new foster-dog, I began researching the subject of pets and what is happening to them in this economic downturn.  Sorry to say, I did not find any news that was uplifting. 

Why is it that the first to go is the family pet?  Does no one understand the term "commitment" anymore?  I always knew that getting a pet was a full-time, 10-15 year commitment, similar in kind to having babies.  Pets are totally dependent on their owners for life itself.  How can you just wake up one day, after years of caring for your pet dog and decide to abandon it because it was more cost effective to do so?  If that argument holds water, the next wave of problems will be all the abandoned children being left at churches, hospitals, and such because they cost too much to keep.

Please read the blog post below that talks about some of these situations in California, which is an area that has been very hard hit by foreclosures.  After reading this blog, I felt sick but I was really angry, too.  Read the post and then let me know what you think about this situation, okay?

Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help
October 17, 2009

The saying, adopt a dog, save a life has never embodied a more urgent a plea. Across the fruited plain, in cities, towns and hamlets, upscale, downscale and no scale communities, dogs are being abandoned and too often forgotten.

Confused and frightened, dogs and puppies are simply left alone without food or water in foreclosed homes. Others are dropped off on lonely roads, in parks and woodlands. The lucky ones have been given to new homes and families, to dog rescues or no kill dog shelters for later adoption.

Revealing just how the severe the crisis is, Sharon L. Peters of USA Today writes, ” They’re arriving by the thousands every month, homeless, hapless victims of foreclosure…are landing in…(dog) shelters in large numbers in some parts of the country.And this is not an isolated occurrence

“We’re seeing more and more cases of people leaving their homes and dropping the dog off at the shelter and…. in the local park,” says Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends Animal Society. “Sometimes they even just tie the dog up outside and drive off.”

Eileen Drennen of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought it all home in with an actual case history “One abandoned dog Lt. Mary Lou Respess can’t get out of her mind is a Chihuahua. He’d been tied up so long, said the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter manager, his collar had gotten embedded in his skin and had to be surgically removed. He’s one of hundreds whose owners have left them behind.Small enough to fit in a shoe box, this Chihuahua’s guardians saw fit to abuse and desert their tiny dog.

While we are sympathetic to the plight of folks who are suffering as a result of the economic and mortgage meltdown we have zero tolerance for cruelty and neglect as demonstrated here.And this abject cruelty and neglect extends across dog breeds and sizes as well.

In Stockton, California, Evelyn Nieves of the Associated Press wrote, “The house was ravaged by owners who trashed their home before a bank foreclosed on it. Hidden in the wreckage was an abandoned member of the family: a starving pit bull.The dog found by workers was too far gone to save …

”So what can be done? 

Here’s a few suggestions:
- The ASPCA suggests that you try to find someone to foster or adopt your dog. Check with your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.
- Make the effort to find a no-kill shelter. It’s extra work but it is your responsibility. There is no excuse for taking the easy way out when your dog’s life is at stake.
- Contact local dog rescue organizations to see if they can help you find a home.
- Advertise your adoptable dog in a dog-specific classified ad listing. Screen potential adopters carefully. Rescue groups can help you with a set of questions such as: where the dog will live and what would be a reason for them to get rid of a dog . Do not advertise “free dog” in your ad as there are unscrupulous people who will take free dogs with little regard for their well being and some have even sold family pets to animal testing labs.
- Contact your veterinarian. He/she may also be able to find a new home or temporary guardian for your dog. Never drop your dog off in a crate or box on the veterinarian’s doorstep as this can be unsafe. He might escape or suffer from a lack of water or temperature fluctuation before help arrives.
- Contact your local animal shelter or animal control facility to see whether it will accept your dog and assist in finding it a new home .
- Support legislation in your area:  California, one the of states hit hardest by the sub-mortgage meltdown is considering Assembly Bill 2949, which would allow bank representatives to immediately seek potentially life-saving help for animals abandoned at foreclosed properties. The bill is supported by the ASPCA and the California Animal Association. 

It is never OK to leave the family pet to fend for himself. There are options and we should all be compassionately vigilant to help educate those facing economic hardship that will tear them from their home and split up their family. Many people will welcome the help at a time when they simply don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Others, sadly, will not be responsive to help and will continue to take the easy way out by abandoning their dogs. That’s where all of us have a responsibility to work within our own communities, with dog rescues, veterinarians and dog shelters to help re-home man’s best friend, when his family, in an act of inexcusable cruelty, forecloses on his love and loyalty and he is left behind.
Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help « Chihuahua Pups
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dog Problems

I came home today from work only to discover that the foster dog had eaten my shoes and destroyed my blinds in the living room window. Since these particular blinds are about 80" across, I hate to think what they will cost me to replace. The shoes will be cheap compared, I think.

The new dog's name is Austen and he just went to the vet last week to get shots and wormed. He is a mess. As soon as I can, I hope to get him in to the "beauty parlor" for a shampoo and cut since he can barely see with all that curly hair in his eyes.

I don't know what got into him today. This is the first time I have had any issues with him since he came to visit us. My Satchmo is not acting crazy and seems resigned to having a "friend" living in HIS house. He has even let Austen play with some of him toys--just not Baby!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Foster-dog Competition!

Okay, we have a dilemma at our house. It seems that the current economic downturn has affected us, but in a more positive way than my neighbor. Due to the death of her husband and caring for her invalid mother, my neighbor--who is a very wonderful and giving individual--has been unable to obtain regular work. With the passing of her mother in June, she began looking in earnest for a job. Now, this is a well-educated woman with 2 master's degrees and who has been a director at a youth shelter for pregnant girls. She cares deeply for others and never complains about her current situation. I used to see her up at 6AM out walking the dog so she could go to the Workforce Center to look for a job. She did this daily for months until she had exhausted her unemployment benefits, and had racked up over 100 applications and interviews. She finally succumbed to depression and a sense of worthlessness caused by being unable to find work. She couldn't even find a job a Walmart or McDonalds because she was "over qualified".

Well, the bottom line is that she was evicted from the apartment next door to me this week and is now homeless and living on the streets. My heart is broken, I cannot think of anything so horrible. When she left, she timidly asked me to take care of her little dog so she wouldn't have to lose him too. She initially was planning to take him to the Humane Society, but I don't think another loss was something she could bear. I, of course, agreed to foster Austen until she gets back on her feet and can come reclaim him. He is a Malti-Poo (sorry for the spelling) and adorable. He is about 1 year old.

So, to the story of this post. He and Satchmo are trying to make friends, he is trying more than Satch, but Satch is an old man and rather grumpy. Anyway, we now are a two dog household and I'm not sure how my little man will adapt. I have to say that Austen is delightful. He is quiet, he is gentle, he minds well, and he is sort of housebroken. He seems to be settling in well. The only thing I see is he is also an escape artist and I seem to be having to chase him down and bring him back home frequently. I am working on this as we speak.

I will let you know how this turns out, please pray for my neighbor. She is now one of those statistics we hear about on the nightly news. Now when I hear about the economy, those stories have a face. I am sad and angry and I miss my friend next door.