Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spay, Neuter Day! Feb. 27

My all time favorite video addressing the need to spay and neuter; no dog leaves Silverwalk intact. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

HA! says Ava...

Oh, Wyatt! the dog with the BIGGEST Stuffie wins - and it is me, Ava
What was nice about setting up this photo of Ava is I was able to red-eye out her left cherry eye. Wish it were that simple in real life!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guarding Me

Denali - Border Collie who has my back
I never get a dog as a guard dog. I don't know how to properly train one, I won't adopt any out as guard dogs, but some dogs just guard naturally.

Denali is a Border Collie (mix or pure-bred, I don't know; I thought she was a Spaniel type till many people told me differently). After getting her "hound" legs here at Silverwalk, she finds me to be her "herd." She doesn't make me go anywhere, but she follows me, staying by my side and keeping my back no matter where or what I do.

When looking for a pet, first look for a dog, cat, or other animal who will fit your lifestyle; sometimes, they may change it, but carefully consider the activity level, age range (OLD DOGS CAN BE TRAINED!), your family (number and ages of children, prior exposure to pets). Most times, you'll get more, in a very good way, than you bargained for.

Like "old, 14 year old dog so traumatized in animal control, she was chewing on and making her paws bleed." I said, send her to me....a bargain: house trained, will sit to a hand signal, is only 11 y/o at most with great teeth, ready for a home - and she has my back :). 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In All Things, Give Thanks

A dear friend was reminded a while ago to take time for her own animals as well as those she rescued. It's not that she didn't care for them - not at all - but, like me, she easily got caught up in the bustle of finding homes, vetting adopters and dogs, working to put food on the table and in the dog bowls, taking dogs to adoption events, etc.

What I take away from the January challenges is to pay attention and appreciate those dogs who belong to me. They are MY dogs. I care and live with the sanctuary dogs and MY dogs together in a pack, but need to carve out time for MY dogs, so they well know Mom :). After losing three of MY dogs in the last quarter - overwhelming, heart-breaking; the losses rocked me back to fundamentals.

Anyone who has read or perused back posts knows Justus, my hound/Doberman mix. I also have Danny Quinn, the blue eyed, chocolate and tan, double dapple tweenie Dachshund who is asleep on my lap right now.  I adopted Danny as a yearling from a now good rescue friend who pulled him from a puppy mill. His coloring is not a good color to breed, which most likely spared him many years of misery. Danny is my resident poopaholic - has been from day one. YECH.

Danny Quinn

Annie Beagle has been with me since she was maybe two. She was a stray, rescued and vetted by a wonderful woman whose female GSD would not let any more dogs in her home. So convicted was she to save Annie, she sponsors her for life: all vet and food bills for Annie go through her champion, Angie. Annie is my Energizer Beagle - she can still zoom with the best, has HER spot on the back of the couch, and loves to clean my nose....

Annie Beagle  - in repose

Healing my heart is my unexpected new Beagle girl, Keen. She was found a stray in the road and taken to Safe Harbor; Alice offered her to Silverwalk, since I am the Beagle sanctuary. She was to be up for adoption, but sometimes, somehow, a dog comes along who crawls right into your heart and soul - such is Keen. Unfortunately, she is a fence climber; she spends most of her days exploring with Shiloh and Mami - sigh. But, she comes home; first time she climbed out, she came to a brand new name and a brand new person; I pulled her into my lap one morning when, miraculously, she had stayed in the yard while I worked overnight - she took some time to relax, but boy, then did she - has a nice snore. She's MY new girl.

Keen  - looks a lot like Annie

And yes, there are several sanctuary dogs who may as well be mine since I know they won't be going anywhere else. However, I need to remind myself to cherish each dog, each life with whom I'm entrusted - MINE or sanctuary.

For those of you who are horse enthusiasts, Keen is, indeed, named after Keen, the dressage phenomenon with Hilda Gurney in the '70s.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blessings in Fur

I sit here at my keyboard weeping. Cyrano Beagle's low back pain is back; his hind legs are crossing, but not toeing over. We treated this conservatively earlier this year with success and could repeat again but I think it is his time. I weep because this old dog, sent to me by a rescue friend from a very poor situation, demonstrates great dignity, sense of place (MY crate, please!), sense of self-worth (my best house trained dog is this old blind Beagle), and graceful aging.

Newbie Wyatt with senior Cyrano Beagle

I adopt out the young dogs. They come through and go to their new homes. On a rare occasion, an older dog is adopted with cheers and a full heart, but usually, they stay with me at the Sanctuary for their lives. They are one reason I keep my pack smallish; too many dogs upset and confuse the elders (for example, newbie Michael Beagle, a very intact 2 y/o male, wants to hump Pink Floyd, who has a stiff, arthritic spine and cannot tolerate this behavior even if he wanted to).

Newbie Michael Beagle

I understand why families want younger dogs. They want dogs to grow up with them, to celebrate life, birthdays, anniversaries, adventures with them for as many years as possible. I understand because I have Annie Beagle, Danny Quinn Dachshund, and Justus Whineramer, all whom I acquired when young and who will, by the grace of God, be with me for many, many years. Annie is already greying in her face at about 7 years of age; Justus will turn 3 on Valentine's Day this year - of course, I have no clue when his true birthday is, so I chose for him, and Danny continues to charm visitors with his blue eyes and greedy loving character.

Danny Quinn Dachshund
Justus Whineramer

a younger Annie Beagle

Yet, I choose to bring in older, less adoptable dogs such as Betty Boop Bagle RIP, Cyrano Beagle, Pink Floyd Beagle, newbie Angel Beagle, Walter Brennan Black and Tan Coonhound...not only would they perhaps not find homes mostly due to age, but I really, truly love the older dog. And I love them more as I see myself age. Many of these dogs not only are older but they have disabilities, too:
  • Ellie Mae RIP was deaf in her final year, 
  • Cyrano Beagle is blind, 
  • Peanut has mammary tumors which prevents me from spaying her (she's in heat now - oh, joy), 
  • Pink Floyd has severe spinal arthritis...
This does not lessen them as dogs anymore than our infirmities lessen us as people. They are still whole and good in their unique selves; they bless my life every day even as they break my heart. Hug your pets tonight - remember the short time they will be with you, whether they live to ripe old age or are taken early. Fur blessings each day. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Quiet (sic) Week at Silverwalk Hounds

I've decided that part of my posting problem is my Internet creeping lack of attention - much easier to troll Facebook or watch a streaming show on Netflix than to put thought through hands to keyboard and type with any sort of coherence. I can't rule out work hours, too. I know everyone is busy but I have a hard time getting enough sleep between shifts and my squirrelly beloved hounds. Sigh. I'm considering ways to stem this tide....any suggestions are welcome. Personally, I'm thinking work offline developing posts, then post for the week unless a timely event occurs.

With a nod to Garrison Keillor, it's been a quiet week at Silverwalk Hounds.

My last post was a week ago; last Saturday night, I entered the ICU Zone for three intense (and yes, I'm using the word twice) shifts. I don't know what's going on but there are a lot of very ill people out there and it's not only the flu.

On Wednesday, I took Sydney and Gidget Beagles to meet a potential adopter. She brought her senior Beagle, Katy, along so all could meet and Katy could make her choice of companion. We humans, of course, are only the facilitators of our dogs' lives and the sooner we acquiesce to this reality, the better. Gidget didn't thrill Katy; in fact, Katy's hackles barely lowered while they were together sort of; they each did their own thing. I put Gidget Cutie Pie back in her crate and pulled out Sydney. Katy heard him before she saw him; he exited with a resounding Beagle bay. All I can say, as we rounded the car where we were able to see Katy, is she was thinking "Hubba, hubba!!" She and Syd met nose to nose, put those noses to the ground and acted joined at the hip walking together on a "trail." Her mom and I both dropped jaws. Sydney Beagle has a home. Most amusing. 

Sydney Beagle
Gidget Beagle

Back to work Thursday night....nuff said

Friday afternoon, another potential adopter came to Silverwalk to see Lemon Drop Beagle. She had lost her 14 y/o Beagle/Cocker Spaniel dog a year ago; wasn't going to have another dog till she saw Lemon on Petfinder (and she needed another dog, else why was she trolling Petfinder?). We had a long talk about expectations - Lemon Drop is home on a weekend trial; I'll hear Monday yay or nay about her staying. I think they will do fine as does her adopter but she needs to be sure. She's going from a young dog who grew up with her, whose habits she knew and loved to a brand new dog with whom she gets to grow all over again. 

Lemon Drop asleep behind my shoulders

This morning, Saturday, Justus and Annie Beagle (two of my personal dogs), had a long awaited photo shoot with a photographer friend, Rochelle. Annie was interested in everything but being still for photos; Justus sits as asked, uses his head and ears, and tolerated props. He was a joy; Annie was her usual sweet, very curious, always in motion, self. Will be sure to share some photos when I get them. 

Justus - photo ham
Annie "Energizer" Beagle - OK, not in this photo but in LIFE

After lunch, I tried to get nails trimmed on Katniss and Snoopy at my friend's pet product store but they were swamped with nail trims, baths, meeting with the trainer - wowza! I'm never there right when trims start so it's my own fault. We left and I did some errands, then took the pups to our Petco where I knew some of the new (to Petco) groomers. She was able to trim their nails - Snoopy even did well with her and normally she is very skittish; I was able to meet up unexpectedly with Alice of Safe Harbor, Silverwalk Hounds "parent" organization. We had a good chat and checked out some of the dogs from the Sikeston Humane Society there for adoption. All in all, the day worked out well.

Katniss Beagle
Snoopy Beagle - hates photos

Two more dogs coming in tomorrow, Sunday, from my friend Tena at Kennett Humane Dept. - a Beagle and a Beagle mix, then a final Beagle girl on Monday after she sees the vet. 

BeagleMix - those eyes!


Actually met most of my January challenges - Justus was walked 5 times, nails were done at home and Petco, two baths done (OK - had outside influence for those!) and training continued. After dogs leave for any reason, at meal times I leave their bowls in their places but turn them over as I adjust to our new normal :). 

Have a great week - hope to be back here soon.