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

 

 

My Mutts Have Issues

So my friend Annette and I decided to take our mutts to the beach for a day of frolicking in the sand, surf and sun. I only took 2 of my 4 monsters because Nellie’s old and might not make it out of the car before needing a nap and Callie is fear aggressive, an affliction which doesn’t translate well around people. Or other dogs. Or pretty much anything that moves. So Skip, Wally and I joined Annette and her perfectly behaved German Shepard, Tess.

tess2

Let me just say there must be something wrong with me because my mutts have issues. I prefer to think they’re just flawed little creatures who zeroed in on my inclination for adopting not-so-perfect beings. Either that or I’m a crappy guardian.

take-your-pick

Nellie, however, is nearly perfect. Emphasis on nearly. She does have a tendency to use table corners as appetizers so that’s a check in the flawed box. Good luck finding a piece of wooden furniture in my home lacking her teeth impressions.

nellie-sleeping-on-sofa

Nellie’s favorite pastime

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Should Have Stayed in Bed

Due to the fact that I just didn’t get to it this week, here’s an encore blog from a couple years back. Hey, you probably don’t remember it anyway so it’ll be just like new!

What a morning.

I ask you, have you ever had one of those days when you realize pretty early on you probably should have stayed in bed longer? Or maybe not gotten up at all? Continue reading

The Joys of Fostering Ringworm Kitties

So as if having 7 animals isn’t enough, I’m one of only a few people at the humane society willing to foster ringworm cats and kittens. Consequently, I often have a room or two filled with the little buggars. By buggars I mean the kittens, not ringworm. Personally I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not an actual worm. That would be disgusting. No, it’s just a fungus, like athlete’s foot.

worm2

Not this kind of worm

Since ringworm is contagious to people and other animals, I have to keep these cats isolated. Luckily I have 4 bedrooms so I’m an instant ringworm B&B of sorts. Come little kitties, stay a while. Relax. Chill out while receiving weekly sulfur dippings and daily oral meds.

cat b&b

This is the life

At first I wore a smock and gloves when handling my 5 ringworm domestic kitten fosters but quickly tired of that. So now I hold them with abandon. To hell with ringworm! So far so good. I’m rash free as of this writing. Just in case, I have a tube of Lotrimin waiting in the wings. I’m nothing if not prepared…

Lotrimin

Smartly, I let humane society staff perform the particularly stinky sulfer dips. I have my limits you know. But I do give the kittens oral meds each morning along with meds for my aging Greyhound. And then there’s the feedings. With 12 stomachs to fill, I don’t get to eat and run anymore. I feed them, scoop cat and dog poop, give meds, grab a bite, then run. I’ve become good at organizing my mornings.

sulfur dip

Stinky sulfur dips

Ringworm cats are unadoptable until they’re symptom free and getting them to that point takes weeks. But I don’t mind. Actually, ringworm is the easy part. That’s because I’m used to fostering feral kittens, not domestics. And believe me, there’s a world of difference. Continue reading

It’s All Greek to Me, Part 2

I have to warn you I’m writing this on 5 hours sleep over 2 days. I’m not a great sleeper since the wickedly strong grip of menopause found me. Also, I just returned from Greece on an animal welfare mission. So between that and jet lag, I barely remember my name.

who am I

Normally, I try to inject a bit of humor in my posts but this one may be different. One thing I know: it’s hard to find anything amusing when animals are suffering. I‘m just saying. But I promise our journey in Greece ends on an upbeat note. Don’t worry, you won’t be crying into your Sunday morning coffee as you read this.

Greece Mykonos

Beautiful Mykonos

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