I’m Going Straight to Hell

shame on me

I’m a terrible animal guardian and I’m going straight to hell. I’ll tell you why…

My animals have their routine down-pat before calling it a night. I say, “Okay, time to go night-night.” The word ‘okay’ prompts all 4 mutts to jump from their coveted positions. I open the patio door and they file outside to do their business one last time. Fortunately it stopped raining last night so I didn’t have to coax anyone out. And by anyone I mean Wally. As you now know, he’s my problem child.

what else is new

I block the French doors with my foot so my cats don’t make a beeline outside. Nellie heads for the top of the property looking for fresh poop to eat. No doubt she was out of luck last night since it rained for days, so my guess is her nightly snack was inedible mush. I apologize for the gross description, but remember, I have it worse. I’m the one forced to watch Nellie attempt to dislodge the poop stuck on her back molars. It’s hideous.

Nellie at park

My poop eater

Continue reading

My Antenna Theory

Many moons ago, Jim, my ex-hubby and I had an old TV antenna on our roof, left by the previous homeowners. It was a huge metal eyesore, not connected to anything but the chimney, I suppose for support. Why it was still there? What purpose did it serve? Here’s my theory…

antenna

I believe that antenna’s sole purpose was to emit some sort of vibration recognized only by the dogs of Marin County. When they heard this silent emission, I envisioned German Shepherds jumping their backyard fences and Beagles leaping out open windows all in search of our front porch. I tell ya, if there was a stray dog within a mile, it seemed to end up at our house.

shepherd jumping fence

Now don’t get me wrong; not only did strays wander into our yard but I also spotted them (and still do) while driving about town. Knowing I’m an animal lover, Jim was convinced I enticed them with treats hidden in my car trunk or some such nonsense. I would never do that. I prefer to keep all treats in the glove compartment. Continue reading

No Time For Boredom

According to the Census Bureau, I live alone. I, however, beg to differ. Yeah, I’m currently the only 2-legged being in my household but by no means do I live alone. Not if you count 4 dogs, 4 cats and an array of foster kittens. But furry things don’t count with census takers.

Census taker

As you know, I frequently blog about my animals. After all, they give me lots to write about. One of the 8 often does something either ridiculously adorable or exceedingly frustrating…it’s a continual cycle of entertainment.

Consequently, I am never bored. Who has time for that? I’d need to pencil it into my schedule: Sunday, August 6, noon-1:00: BE BORED. I must admit it might be nice to have that luxury. When I’m not out wrangling kitties or on the tennis court, I’m at home attempting to work through my never ending honey-do list. And I’m the honey that do.

Honey do list

Now don’t get me wrong. I hire help whenever I can’t figure something out, which is rather frequently. And my neighbor Paul, Mr. Handyman, is always lending a hand or a tool. And lucky for me he has every tool ever invented. Continue reading

My Furry Problem Children

I’m thrilled to report that we’re making progress. And by WE I mean my two problem children, Skip and Wally. In case you haven’t met them, I’ll introduce you…

I adopted Skip 5 years ago after we crossed paths at Marin Humane. Late one night I was bringing in feral cats I’d just trapped for sterilization at the same moment a volunteer carried in Skip from a rescue run in middle California. It was love at first sight — I knew in that instant I had to make him part of my furry family.

skip first photo

Skip’s first photo

Wally is my latest addition, added last August to round out my other 7 adopted rescues (3 mutts and 4 felines). What can I say? Again, love at first sight. While at Berkeley Humane picking up a food donation for Marin Friends of Ferals, I saw a volunteer walking Wally.

Walking is too benign a description for Wally’s gait. More like he skips with determination and utter joy. One couldn’t help but notice him leading the volunteer, his little body pulling the poor guy down the sidewalk. Give that volunteer a skateboard and he’d have had the ride of his life.

wally-drooling

Wally’s first photo on the car ride home — moments before throwing up

Continue reading

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.

bumpersticker

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