Friday, December 30, 2011

Godspeed, Allie Mae

This morning, Allie Mae went to Heaven. Two weeks ago (or so), I noticed loss of muscle/fat mass behind both shoulders. I increased her food (she was back to eating everything!) yet she kept losing weight. She was not in pain nor distress until this morning (though she peed in the house for two days - totally not like her). I made a drop off appt yesterday for today when she didn't want her supper; this morning, however, she had lost neuro function of her hind legs, her front legs were splaying and extended and, most important to me, she looked scared. So, I pulled her up on my lap for a last cuddle, put her in the car with a favored blanket and took her to LaCroix and Monica. Her head rested in my hand as Monica injected her - she did not fight, she just relaxed and was gone.  She had fought to live earlier after her lipoma surgery; this time, she knew it was time to go Home. I take comfort in knowing I will see her again and certainly was blessed by the year and a half she was at Silverwalk thanks to R. and our local humane society. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another Girl and her Ball +

....when Molly T. still had her tail. She is still adorable with her docked tail; I've been able to wean most of her Xanax down to half and still use the Thundershirt when I am not home - just in case.

Thanks for idea to share this video, Pamela; Honey is so focused and ready for her ball!

The following video demonstrates what I want for Molly T. but don't know how to build. Go, Jerry!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Danke Schön, Pauley James, für meine Liebster Blog Preis

In keeping with the truly universal "theme" of this Christmas weekend, I share a photo of Layla asleep in the straw. Layla is, at best, hard of hearing but a very cheerful, quiet, fun, "fluffy" Beagle entrusted to Silverwalk Hounds by my St. Louis friend, Kelly. Layla LOVES food. When she didn't come to supper one day, I went looking for her. It was the day dogs got out the door who should have stayed in and I was sure (wasn't I?) Layla had not been one of them. Wasn't in the yard, wasn't in the field, not in the house....wait, which house? I found Layla comfortably asleep in the straw in the huge donated home made dog house. Sweet dreams, Layla! Once she realized I was there, she bounced ahead of me to her supper.

Thank you, Pauley James, for giving Dog Blessed @ Silverwalk the Liebster Award! I took German in high school, all those years ago and had to look up "award." Danke, danke :). Bloggers supporting each other not only in our writing but in our avocations and love of pets is awesome; I, er, WE are very honored.

IF I did this correctly, one should (and really, you should!), click on the award to visit Pauley James, Failed Foster Baby. He, Mr. and Mrs. share their generous home with foster dogs and PUPPIES - oodles of puppies (ti seems). One prayer for 2012 is to help more families foster pets (and maybe fail).

Part of receiving this award is to pass it on to 5 other bloggers and send them a note making them aware of their well deserved award (I blush as I say that). "Liebster" means "dearest;" this award is to encourage up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers - we want you to know your voice is read and heard :).

1) Adventures of the Unwanted Pit Bull, MAC - my friend R. rescued this adorable pibble from a certain horrible life; he is a great dog - you would like him, Pauley! R. is a photographer, as you see.

2) The St. Louis Senor Dog Project Blog - Ellen keeps us up to date on the joys and needs of the dogs being saved through this project, and not all are seniors.

3) Dobermann Daze - a new blog about Kyuss and his owner and Dobies (of which Justus is large part - 60#!)

4) Woof Connections - a wonderful small rescue doing TONS for dogs in need - meet my friend, Allie.

5) The Royal Coonhounds - they are a HOOT as they keep their Lady busy :).

Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas season 
and a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ready for Christmas

Justus and his finery being checked out by Mami de Gund and Molly T. 

I had quite the dog day today:
  1. Clementine to Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary on her way to prison - the dog training program; she was quiet on her way to her cell. She will be excellent. 
  2. Seymour PH and Sheila to the groomer (and not often enough). I had a rebellion when my planned exit fell apart; three dogs got out - placed two back in the house, snagged Margie on the road; she missed breakfast but had a great bath at the groomers!
  3. Took Justus and Herman Miller to vet; Justus needed updating on his vaccinations with a microchip. Herman needed a heart-worm check - which he failed :(. Will plan to re-treat him in January. 
  4. Justus, on the other hand, was a card; I told Dr. Ann about his response to a squeaker - she found a toy and smack! his butt hit the floor right in front of her when he heard it. We had a good time. 
  5. While at the vet's, the groomer called so I picked up the three oh! so good smelling and soft dogs, added them to Justus and Herman and drove home - where we are now relaxing, listening to Chanukah and Christmas music. 
I'm tired but in a very good way! Doesn't sound like much...Walter put himself into a Beagle crate (twice) - I need to nominate him to that Chinese circus with the contortionists. 

The dogs have toys, I have new pajamas, the weather is holding (just) but no snow; we missed that Plains snowstorm. I've been in a few of those - not fun at the time but later, a blast!

Two feet of snow

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Beagle Lady

I finally got my hair cut on Thursday, after which I wandered the mall awhile window-shopping and picking up a card for my hairdresser. On my way back to the salon, I stopped to look at some well done wood carvings. As I was chatting with the sales person, a very attractive young woman touched my arm (I mention her looks because the only attractive thing about me at the time was my hair). She said to me, "Aren't you the Beagle Lady? I saw a TV segment about you." "Yes," I smiled, "I am." "Thank you so much. I have a Beagle.  I cried watching it. Thank you for what you do." Can you hear my heart skip and my feet get lighter? That TV segment is 3 years old yet still remembered. Thank you for caring for your Beagle and taking the time to give encouragement to me and all rescuers.

Then, THEN, Friday, doing errands, I check my phone and see a message from Scrappy; a rather cryptic message. She (yes, Scrappy is a she!) passed forward this lovely award given to her by Dachshund Nola. Oh, my.

There are rules to follow, which I am only to happy to do so. Scrappy shared this with five blogs (per the rules). I read them all and am so honored.  I need to share 10 things which no one knows about me. I am taking "me" to mean me as Roberta and me as Silverwalk Hounds.  Here goes:

1) My first love is the HORSE! Luke Skywalker (Thoroughbred) and Silver Dancer (Paint) are the reasons I have this small acreage.

2) "Silverwalk" comes from the names of my horses - Luke SkyWALKer and SILVER Dancer - Silverwalk.

3) Before moving to MO, I lived in MN, SD and MT. Believe me, this is the South (at least to this Yankee).

4) I like autocross; my favorite car is a Triumph Spitfire.

5) My mom made adopt Olive, a Beagle mix.  The horses and cats weren't enough; I needed a DOG.

6) I had a lot of cancer and surgeries; I use a stomach tube to eat everything, even water.

7) After Oliver,  I just kept adopting dogs till I decided I needed to do something MORE - like find them homes of their own, ergo Silverwalk Hounds aka Silverwalk Beagle & Hound Sanctuary, Inc.!

8) My youngest sister Nancy in Fairfax County, VA, runs the Shiloh Project - she works with at risk children and dogs together. She is so awesome. She also leads a band "Katz and the Stray Dogs."

9) I like science fiction, submarine boat stories and almost anything else...BOOKS rock.

10) When I am home, all 20 dogs sleep in the house - you may have guessed that from the photo a few entries back :).

The next expectation is to pass this award forward to 5 other blogs - there are so many I enjoy! but here goes:
I read and enjoy a diverse number of blogs, mostly dog but some relating to simple living, keeping life beautiful and God centered among them. Thank you again, Scrappy - I am so enjoying your Christmas wishes. 

Now, join the Saturday Blog hop! (I started this entry on Friday, so...)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Please Read, Pray and Donate

Sandra and her human family are safe; so are two of their 7 rescue dogs but 5 are at the Bridge after a fire destroyed their home. Please chip in; I shudder to think how I would be feeling were this to happen to my pack.
Thanks to Pauley James, Loving for a Living, Two Pitties in the City (all in my blog roll) and others for making us aware of this tragedy. I know our community is holding them in prayer and donating as much as we can.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kennel Up!

Lady Bird resting in her crate - loved this dog who now has her own home and cancer :(

Annie Beagle keeping watch on top of the breezeway crates; note the reinforced windows;
they prevent anyone from breaking glass (no one ever hurt)

The dogs are fed. I am having lunch. The dogs are building character - so parents tell children when they need them to do something good for them which they find distasteful: like remaining in a crate for more than an hour.

Yep, the dogs are spoiled but if they are to be good adopted dogs, they need to stay comfortably in crates at least for 4 hours and preferably overnight. It is tough on me, though. I used to do this all the time when I worked 8 hour nights - everyone became accustomed.  With the 12 hours, not so easy (though Walter will stay in his crate for hours as long as he is in the house!).  Now, in the afternoons, I expect most everyone to remain in their crates for at least an hour or more. My ears sometimes take a beating but thinking long term, I want to comfortably say, "Yes, go shopping and do errands; she will be fine in the crate."

No one tries to tear apart their crate or even break out (OK, Walter has, does, but not in the crate he uses for meals - so far). I see no separation anxiety but that of learning a new task when they don't want change! Sound familiar? The ones I do let out for now are Molly T. (am willing to bend for her mental/physiological health; doing good) and Hickory Dock so he won't pee in his crate or his neighbor's. He then pees in the breezeway in front of his crate - even when the weather is nice outside. Take a hint, Dock!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fur Blanket

The electric blanket I had last year literally went to the dogs, yet, for some reason, I am not missing it much this year....

How many dogs can you count on my lap? I am in my recliner with the footer up.  Toasty!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Santa Came!

Lady Bug
OK, he was a she with a young daughter: they brought food, presents, toys, and holiday cheer to the Silverwalk dogs.  R. adopted two dogs last spring - she came to look at Lady Bug, then was smitten by wee Taffy "let me hold her" and I don't know how much Taffy actually has walked since.  Despite having two dogs at home, daughter wanted to come see the puppies - and was the first to hand me a couple lovely, soft blankets. Oh, Merry Christmas - unexpected and greatly appreciated.

Sheila Sheltie enjoying gift of new blanket

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Walter, "New" Dog!

Mr. Walter Brennan, black and tan Coonhound gentleman of advancing years, visited the vet Monday for his
  • neuter
  • heart worm test (positive - dang - but I thought would be)
  • nail trim (all black, oldie thick)
  • teeth clean
I picked him up in the late afternoon, drizzle and cold surrounding us. He was pretty dopey - went right to his house crate to sleep.  Later, I moved him outside to do his business; he did both (yeah!), then back to his crate; gave him a food filled Kong with a bowl of water....he slept all night long!

His breath stunk; I thought he was missing some teeth. Not really - those in front are worn down to the gum-line (hmmm.....long time in a pen, perhaps chewing on the wire? - we once tried to put Cane in a pen at Safe Harbor; as Alice and I watched, when he could not open the pen with his feet/nails, he tried to rip it open with his teeth; he returned to Silverwalk); no teeth removed but you can see for yourselves what he put up with:

before - look at the back teeth especially - eeuuw!

However, NOW he is eating like a champ - I fed him up slowly to be careful with any gum pain as well as anesthesia recovery but here are Walter's sparklers after his dental:

after - what a transformation!

Walter is doing much better in the house, too. Yesterday, I started leaving his crate door open; he cautiously explores the house, then goes back into his crate to sleep; when he eats, he heads for his breezeway crate - smart dog (food driven dog!).  Today, he has full access (the bathroom door is closed) - no knocking down baby gates, no clearing off counters - just coming out for loving, looking and back to sleep. He was coming along well before his surgeries in the house. Oh, I think he is feeling better. We will address his heart worm treatment in January; I give him Heartgard monthly. He will make a hound lover a wonderful companion - has enough bay to satisfy, is loving and friendly to all and would love to lay at his owner's feet. 
Walter Brennan, Coonhound - great dog!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dog Rescue and Transport

Transporting tiny puppies takes a warm vehicle, stops for momma and ensuring all get to their destination safely. They did! but

....the tiniest one, the one a girl named Tinkerbell, died...try as her foster mom did in a very short time, this wee one, who had spent two weeks in a cold, damp shelter before being transported, left our world to join God. We are all sad but we know we did the best we could....Godspeed, Tinkerbell.

Tink's siblings and momma Lana are doing well in WI.  Some wanted pictures - here they are:

Lana, above and puppies!
The puppies were kept in the same crate the entire trip; their bedding was changed as needed and momma Lana had access to them in every vehicle.  We liberally used hand sanitizer and washed momma's feet after she did her business to keep these wee ones safe.

Claire on her multi-night stay during transport
I consider it a wonderful privilege to participate in dog transports - moving dogs at risk from one area of the country (U.S.) to another. The longest a dog traveled (in which I was involved) was from TX to WI; she is a Bloodhound named Claire. Claire was adopted by a woman in WI. I was going to WI so Claire was transported to me staying a week (she CEMENTED my love for Bloodhounds) before I took her with me on a prior planned trip to WI where mom met us.

I told Claire's mom I had a hard time giving her up! She charmed everyone at the rest stops along I-57 in IL and played with Margie here at Silverwalk.

Margie and Claire
 If you can't take in another dog or have one at this time, transporting is a great way, for a few hours on the weekend, to get a good dog fix, meet other dog lovers and varying breeds. There are groups in Yahoo! Groups for dog transport; on Facebook, there is Alabaman Crossposter with a map where people can put their name and town so transport coordinators (those talented and persistent souls who pull together routes, rules and drivers) can find drivers for their areas. If you are at a loss where to look, contact me and I'll point you to someone who needs you.  There is a wonderful group called Pilots for Paws; these are pilots who want to fly and help dogs in need! Way cool - so, if you know any pilots...

But be careful out there: I once read how a woman was stopped by police in a Southern state like GA, I don't know why; when asked what she was doing, she said "transporting." OMG - SWAT, helicopters and more police cars till she was able to demonstrate and convince the officers she was legitimately transporting dogs, not drugs.  LOL - I believe it was true!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Blog Hop

I have a road trip in the morning - early morning. I'm meeting a rescue transporting a momma white GSD and her 2 week old puppies. Oh, my - they don't even have their eyes open yet; they are going from Memphis, TN to White German Shepherd Rescue in WI all in one day. We have "orders" to be sure our vehicles are very, very clean, to use sanitizer and paw wipes for mom 'cause these babies are too young to have had any shots or immunity. My car doesn't know what hit it this evening. It is supposed to rain so I hope it is gentle without thunder and lightening both for driving and my thunderphobes at home.

Molly T. is out of her Buster Collar (she "busted" out of it; it was on her, then she came in yesterday without it) and her Thundershirt. She did well without the Collar (which I have yet to find), she's been "neked" all day long today with some spinning and I am decreasing her Xanax dosage very slowly. I throw the ball for her at least a couple times a day just to help her focus her attention on anything else but her tail, which looks good; time for the stitches to come out.

As a last endeavor this evening, I cut Monk's nails. He does very well though I hear him nervously swallowing. Most of his nails are black; I'm careful to not quick him. He is unsure about taking treats from my hand - he will occasionally but this evening, I would put one on a paw, he would eat it, then I could give him one from my fingers. He is coming along - thank you for your help, Mami de Gund!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What is Silverwalk Hounds?

Silverwalk Hounds is a sanctuary - any dog who comes to me has a home for life, whether or not they are adopted. I am limited in the number of dogs I can take in by the number of rooms in my home (per the licensing law under the MO Dept. of Agriculture).

Unlike rescues who have separate spaces for the animals, my home is my space. I have one outside pen which Walter was using (note the past tense; being the resourceful Coonhound he is, he learned to slip under a weak spot in the chain link; did you know Coonhounds can collapse their ribs? Oh, yeah). Otherwise, everyone is in my house and yards/field at varying times.

I have over an acre fenced in for the dogs. I can gate off the back yard for most but some smalls and, again, Walter, slip back and forth (it amazes me to watch him do this; like Hoss, he turns into a shape-shifter). I do this to separate dogs into smaller packs as well as having some inside and others outside at differing times of the day when I am home. At night, when I work, the smalls are in the house and the bigs have the heated breezeway and the back yard: their space is lessened to help my neighbors' sleep as well as avoiding being seen from the road when I am not home.

Welcome to Silverwalk, which includes Silverwalk Hounds

Is my house a mess when I come home? Oh, yes - I work a minimum of 13 hours each shift; not many can "hold it" that long. First, I let them out, then I clean!

These dogs need homes. I know how much better they do in their own home even though they seem comfortable here. For most, living in a large pack is not normal; living with their family was!

I weep with joy each time I send one to a home - most do not look back :).


  • Dino has visited but stayed in "his"truck; his owner and he are tight as a tick.
  • Sunshine, a little dog who ran to school everyday when the bell sounded, found her child on an Easter weekend. I handed the leash to her girl, Sunshine looked up at her, they both walked to the car without a backwards glance - as it should be. 
  • Lady Bug and Taffy were scooped up by a woman who adores them both. 
  • Most of the dogs going through the prison program are adopted by people who work at the prison (Hoss, Sadie, Todd, Reagan) - Stella and Phoebe were not, yet qualified to test for their Canine Good Citizenship title. 
  • Darby went to a home 5 years ago; when I put the puppies Look Jane! and See Sally online, Darby's folks called wanting See Sally, telling me they knew whenever they got another dog she would be from Silverwalk. 
  • Mikey nka Sparky went to CO, making me an entire family of friends! Joy, his mom, initially looked at him because her son's name was Mikey. 
Joy, Mikey, me

Some never find homes here on earth - they go to our heavenly home:
Harry and a Wubba
  • Cane - whose age and arthritis caught up with him and whose guardianship I still miss. 
  • Dooz - a 15 y/o German Shepherd mix, found guarding the body of his deceased mistress, lived two more years here as one of my adopted dogs
  • Harry - whose love affair with Wubbas got him Wubbas from in and out of state. 
  • Victor - a majestic older yellow lab who succumbed to cancer; we never woke him from the anesthesia
  • Sammy - my first yellow lab who never found a home but lived here till she could barely walk - she was stoic; because of her gentle nature, I have a thing for Labs, esp. yellow. 
These are only a portion of the dogs who have been part of Silverwalk and enriched my life in a multitude of ways. Rescue is not easy, as you saw in my last entry about Phoebe.  Not all be saved, not even in a no-kill sanctuary; souls like Phoebe and Bodie are rare. They and all knew love, affection and a home sanctuary before leaving this earth. 

We who are in rescue know homes are out there for every one of our animals. It is up to us and to you to help us find the right home for the right dog. It is up to us to educate, support, teach, pass on tested theories to those who adopt, foster and volunteer. It is my pledge to work very hard at this in the New Year. It has always been a focus - getting a dog into a new home is just the start; as I hear from my adopters, keeping them there is a reward in friendship and education for us all.  

In the mission statement of Silverwalk Hounds, I want the dogs and their adopters both to be very, very happy for a very, very long time. 

Louie - a one person dog and I was it

Cane, Safe Harbor dog at Silverwalk
I wanted to let you know what happens here - we train, I work on manners/ pack integration, socialization using classes and last weekend, bringing in a pack management trainer from St. Louis; I take dogs to adoption & community events, I work online through Petfinder, and other adoption sites; I work with our local Humane Society from where Herman Miller, Taffy, Chloe Princessé, Queenie, Darling Clementine, and Louie, my heart dog RIP, came.  I have very few volunteers and one super foster home. Silverwalk Hounds is a division of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary where there are about 200+ cats and more dogs. 

Hounds make very good pets - they are not just for hunting any more, especially those who are here at Silverwalk. Please share our story, our links, our hounds who need homes.  And thank you!