Don’t Let Cute Fool You

So it’s been nearly 4 months since I adopted Taffy, a 2 1/2 year old female Chihuahua mix. If you remember, I’ve already blogged about her twice. And although she simply can’t be much cuter, she’s not exactly what I expected from our initial meeting. In other words, don’t let cute fool you.Taffy cute 2

Now don’t get me wrong. I adore that little pain in the ass who’s only slightly bigger than a gnat. But when all is said and done, Taffy misrepresented herself when we first met. Yes, she’s a sly one, that gal. She caught my eye with her adorableness, but I wasn’t alone. On walks at the shelter, nobody passed by who didn’t comment on that sweet face. Her cuteness is like a magnet pulling you in. And trust me, she uses it to full advantage.who me

While I fostered Taffy after she had puppies, she was on her best behavior. I mean, she’s no dummy. She saw a sucker coming and thought, here’s my chance to escape the shelter and go home with this lady who I bet has a bunch of animals I can play with. And she was right.

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Here We Go Again

Last month, a few days after my sweet Nellie died, I took a detour at the animal shelter through stray dogs. Small dogs and puppies are housed in a room near strays where potential adopters view the pups from a windowed hallway and subsequently fall in love at first sight. And that’s where I first saw her.Taffy in bed

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t need another dog. Nellie is irreplaceable, as are all my pets. But I remembered a cute adoption dog I’d seen recently and thought I’d stop and say hello. Turns out he’d already been adopted, but as I went to leave, there in the last run sat a tiny red dog politely staring back at me with equally tiny eyes. Her kennel card said “Phoebe.”

Phoebe’s feet and chest are white, with a stripe running from her nose to the top of her head and with ears far too big for her. In a word — adorable. So I said, “Well, who are you?” Not a peep escaped her mouth, which, by the way, sports an overbite. Still, she inched forward, her fluffy tail swaying back and forth like one of those feather dusters.Taffy on firepit

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Love at First Sight

Here’s a good one from early 2013. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself and let me know if you agree!

I learned recently that there is such a thing as love at first sight.

I can’t speak for Skip though. For him, I might have been just a welcomed relief to being alone. He may have simply wanted someone to hold, kiss and comfort him. Regardless, I gladly accommodated.

In case you’re wondering, Skip is the latest addition to my animal family. He’s a one-year-old Corgi/Spaniel mix and I smile just looking at him.

Skip

Skip

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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