Saving Artie

I wonder if you’re one of the few humans unaware of the touching 14 minute ESPN video about the stray dog that followed an extreme sports team during their competition in Ecuador. You gotta see this. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean right this very second. I promise the link will follow, otherwise you’ll click on it now and your eyes will well with happy tears, rendering you unable to read the rest of my blog. Therefore, I’m selfishly making you wait.

Arthur and team

Arthur and his Swedish teammates

I’m into cat rescue now but canines were always my first love. Now I’m an equal opportunity lover. I don’t discriminate among 4-legged, furry creatures…love ’em all. So when a friend sent me the video, I had to forward it to our volunteer feral cat feeders to remind them that, although in a different way, they too are saving lives through their acts of compassion for these sentient beings.

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A day later, Michelle, one of our volunteers, emailed to say she and her hubby, Denis, were considering getting a dog and this video confirmed their desire. It just so happened I know a gal, Kathy, who does dog rescue in Tijuana, Mexico. She’d just texted me photos of a black Labrador living on the streets. (Nothing new in Tijuana; there are hundreds.)

Tijuana dog

So when Kathy asked if I knew anyone who might consider adopting this neglected and abused dog, I said, “As a matter of fact, I do.” Michelle and Denis immediately opened their hearts to the idea of rescuing the emotionally shut down Labrador from his traumatic life as a Tijuana stray. Besides, their sons had been wanting a black Lab. Was this meant to be, or what?

In Tijuana, stray cats and dogs are viewed as vermin. They live and die in the streets, mostly ignored, starving, often stoned, kicked, even burned alive. Kathy, who has saved 107 animals there, adopted two of those burn victims. Only their scars divulge their past as they are now happy, well-adjusted dogs.

Kathy's Tijuana dog

Burn survivor, Tesla, loving life with Kathy

Kathy and dog

Kathy at home with one of her 11 rescues

Anyway, I won’t depress you with the details of what this sweet black Lab went through. Suffice it to say Kathy spent over $2000 on vet bills and organized the 11 people it took to help him cross the border and complete the 549 mile journey to his new home in Northern California.

Denis and Michelle

Denis and Michelle meet Artie

Because the dog in the ESPN video was given the name King Arthur, Michelle and her family decided their new pup deserved the same; Artie for short. Initially emotionally closed off, Artie slept a lot. Void of energy and appetite, he mostly kept to himself.

Artie's first day

Artie’s first day home

Gradually, as he realized these people are now his family and won’t hurt him, Artie let his guard down. He was introduced to toys and quickly developed favorites.

Artie settling in

Lovin’ his ducky

He discovered the warm comforts of a sofa (his new favorite spot).

artie on sofa 2

He looks forward to daily walks with other canine neighbors.

MIchelle and Artie 2

Off to meet his buddies

Artie even likes the family’s 2 indoor cats. Talk about a perfect fit.

Recently Michelle thanked us for bringing Artie into their lives, saying, “We couldn’t possibly be happier. He’s really a dream.” But I’m sure it’s Artie who’s most thankful. It’s only been a month since being home, but his transformation is astonishing; his spirit is back. There’s a spring in his step, a brightness to his eyes. Artie knows he’s safe now and above all else, adored.

And what could be better than that?

Artie and the boys

TV time with Denis, Tanner and Dylan

As promised…

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18814225

 

 

Creatures of Habit

habit quote

We’re all creatures of habit, don’t you think?

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m sure some unique souls out there don’t have routines, but I don’t know of any. Do you? I do, however, know myself and my animals. I can predict what they’ll do even before they do it because, well, it’s habit.

I’m no exception with routines. For instance, in the shower I first wash my hair, then my body. Wouldn’t occur to me to do it in reverse. Without fail, I put on my left sock before my right. I floss my upper teeth before my lower. It’s a habit for me to forget my bags when I grocery shop. Every. Single. Time.

shopping bags

Forgotten in the door of my car

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Welcome to My World

I slept three and a half hours Friday night. This is not particularly unusual for me. That’s partly because ever since menopause my body says: Who needs sleep? Why waste all that time with your eyes closed when they could be open? That’s what my body says to me and unfortunately, I usually listen.

So Friday night (actually early Saturday morning), I was sound asleep, having finally dozed off somewhere around 12:30 a.m. watching Stephen Colbert. Then one of the dogs started whining at 4:00 a.m. It was my Greyhound, Nellie.

stephen-colbert

Nellie happens to have the bladder of a camel so I know at that hour she was simply bored and wanted to go outside to eat poop off the hill, keeping me waiting at the back door until she has her fill. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not exactly psychic. I know Nellie eats poop because she returns chomping on it. Anyway, I didn’t fall for her whining this time and told her to go back to bed. Trouble is, now I couldn’t do the same.

My mind started thinking of my ‘To Do’ list for Saturday and it was a long one. So I read a magazine for a half hour, hoping it would bore me to sleep. But it didn’t. So I watched a program I’d taped. Then I watched another. By 7:00 a.m. I was still awake but starting to doze off. That lasted until 7:30 when the animals decided they’d had enough rest for the night and it was time for me to rise.

rise-and-shine

And so our morning routine began…

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Oh Happy Day! Or is it?

I think you all know how much I’ve struggled with house training my one-year-old Dachshund mix, Wally. He’s either the most stubborn dog this side of New York or not a very bright canine. I’d say maybe both.

wally-after-bath

After his first bath

My friend Patty adopted a Dachshund mix a day before I took home Wally last summer. Unlike me, she has a history with the breed and wanted a companion for her full-on Dachshund, Jimmy Dean.

jd

Jimmy Dean

Enter Ali. Hard as it is to believe, Ali is even cuter than Wally. But Patty’s pup has the same issues as Wally. Yippee!

ali2

Ali

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The Hits Just Keep on Comin’

I promise this will be my last Wally blog entry for a while. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t return him to the humane society. I’m not that cold-hearted. Frankly I’m surprised the idea even crossed your mind because it’s never crossed mine. But let me tell ya, I’m beginning to think Wally’s previous owner neglected to divulge some of the Wallster’s less desirable behaviors.

wally-on-stairs

Caught in the act

As you read last Sunday, Wally is challenged in a few areas: peeing and pooping in the house, not coming when called, chewing anything he can fit into his mouth, barking at strangers, car sickness, fear of rain, stealing food from my plate…

and-the-hits-just-keep-on-comin2

Wally’s previous owner returned him saying his car sickness was a deal breaker since he planned to take Wally to work with him. To that I say phooey! And I never say phooey. My guess is he couldn’t handle the truth — Wally isn’t easy. These days I keep reminding myself nothing worthwhile ever is. Continue reading