Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snoopy's New Home

I had a nice drive - Snoopy was a bit confused, but she's hit the lottery....

Snoopy's new home in Memphis, TN

Memphis is only about 2.5 hrs from Silverwalk - but I had to get up, motivate, and on the road in the early (to me) morning, but we did it!

Flossy, Snoopy's Beagle sister
Snoop checks out her new digs

Flossy and Snoopy are built the same - both with stout legs, barrel round ribs, and good appetites. 

As you can see, Snoopy found the food bowl!

I've heard good things: Snoopy scratched on the door to go outside, she and Flossy settled down to enjoy one another, and Snoopy will see their vet later this week. Her new mom asked good questions, wanted to know exactly what Snoopy needed. Good girl, Snoopy! 

We'll keep her Dad updated on her progress. With his concern over her fear of thunderstorms, my rescue friend, Diana Moore, bought Snoopy a Thundershirt. It fit perfectly; we left it on for the day as she became accustomed to her new home. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Human Perspective of Rescue

Tomorrow, I travel to Memphis, TN but not alone.

Snoopy Beagle

Last summer, Snoopy Beagle came to Silverwalk. Her dad was going into assisted living to be joined by her mom after her hospital discharge. They both loved Snoopy so much that, after I checked with a friend at their vet, she was shocked I had Snoopy. "Did her dad die?" It was the only reason she could imagine for him to give up Snoopy. No, but Parkinson's is a cruel disease...robbing him of stable mobility and clear speech as well as his dog.

Mom passed this summer. Sons, when in town to visit, brought Dad out to see Snoopy and food for the other hounds at Silverwalk. Dad loved on and walked Snoopy - she is a great walker.

Just a couple days ago, seems longer, a rescue friend inquired whether I had a senior Beagle for adoption. An adopter of hers lost one of her Beagles to bone cancer; her other Beagle, a senior, was pining and mourning the loss of her sister.

Yes, I had Snoopy.

After not very many texts, Snoopy's new home was secured. Thus, our Saturday drive. Friends will check in on the dogs while we're gone.

Snoopy visited her dad this evening at his assisted living center. He was delighted to see her (his son had prepped him that Snoopy had a new home). He asked the name of her adopter, where she will live, and wanted to be sure I told her new mom that Snoopy is afraid of thunderstorms. We had a final walk through the halls and on the grounds out front, then back to supper, taking our leave. I blinked back tears, knowing he would never see his dog again.

One more thing....

In September's issue of "Dog Fancy," an article addresses the human element of rescue. Many times, most times, a dog who ends up in a shelter or pound doesn't end up there alone....I need to remember the HUMAN element of how that dog comes to us.
  • Snoopy's dad's new residence did not allow dogs, and, for his health, he needed the residence; he and his sons made the time for him to visit with and donate to Snoopy and her companion hounds' care. 
  • I have two Coonhound girls whose dad sent me an email through which I could feel the tears, he missed his girls so much, but disability and a new diagnosis made it impossible for him to keep them. He's doing what he can - sending me $10/mon. out of his small income to help his girls. How do YOU say "LOVE?"  
  • Hoss and Sadie's folks lost their jobs and home. Both Coonhounds came to Silverwalk with family hoping to take them home someday. Both, through the Boothealers Puppies for Parole program in Charleston, are adopted. Bittersweet for their family who've kept in touch. 

When I/we offer rescue or sanctuary, when we take in animals for whatever reason, we need to remember the human element who is suffering. I/we need to make ourselves available not only to the animal, but to their persons as well. Sometimes, this isn't possible nor desirable, but many more times, it is. I need to remember this.

Today, I honored that human element by giving Snoopy's dad the chance to say "Good-bye." I'm humbled and grateful for the opportunity.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Beagle Knows

Chloe is a very adoptable, very small, Beagle who just this week was returned to Silverwalk because her owner could no longer afford her. She took up right where she left off - on the right side of my chair. Oh, dear, what will the Dachshunds say when they come back this weekend?

I was watching a show on my tablet when I noticed Chloe's nose. Have NO idea what she is smelling - a multitude of us were cuddled up for the night. I used a flash because she never looked at me,just twitched her nose. Maybe I should change her name to Jeannie?

Dogs N Pawz

Thanks to Dogs N Pawz for hosting this Blog Hop!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Passive Training @ Silverwalk Hounds

Many dogs who come to Silverwalk have sketchy or unknown histories. Of the four last dogs to arrive, two, the Girls, Coonhound mixes and yes, they are sisters, are owner - surrenders. After many tears and not letting them go to hunters in his area (he adopted them at 5 weeks old and now cancer prevents him from caring for his Girls), Sheba and Rockie are here at Silverwalk thanks to Carolyn Jordan of National Great Pyrenees Rescue (BTW, if you remember Snowman, the GP who was here last year, he is adopted!). 


Minnie the Chow aka Un-hound, was left in a heart stick pound in TN. Heart stick is a terrible way to be killed. With much support and delivery right to Panera here in Cape, Minnie, 12 years old with probable hip dysplasia and heart-worm positive, is making her way among the hounds. We don't know WHY she was left there. Some negative comments were left on her Facebook thread; sometimes, life throws a bad curve, and you do only what you think you can do. Sometimes, owners are cads. Bottom line: she is safe at Silverwalk thanks to the interventions and donations of several people, will see Dr. Seiler again this week for Xrays of her hips, and is doing better on her Deramaxx and glucosamine/chondroitin. 

Jumper nka Juniper (is that OK, Alice?) came to Silverwalk from Safe Harbor. I saw him out there and casually mentioned to Alice, so, if you need the room, I'll take him at Silverwalk. Boom - he is here. Not thrilled with being in a crate, won't stay on my lap but will jump up on my chair and settle himself next to me on the right. Cutie pie, looks like a Puggle with the Beagle side dominant. 

I start passive training with all dogs when they arrive. As you read above, all have varying backgrounds, all have different ages and medical conditions so each needs space to show me and the Pack who they are aside from being surrendered or lost from a family somewhere on their way to Silverwalk. 

Passive Training

What about passive training?
  • Anytime a new dog comes to Silverwalk, I first let them be. I don't expect anything beyond not hurting other dogs or myself - they go in and out as they watch and learn from the other dogs, and I watch and learn about them.  
  • I watch their interactions with the pack: with whom do they contend/play, and who does well with whom. 
  • Particularly with the Girls, I had an adjustment curve. It's been a long time (relatively speaking) since I brought in two larger dogs who essentially are puppies (16 months old). Oy, vey! I had to step back, keep them at distance (didn't know how they would do in the house and they were presented to me as "bonded").  After a few days of watching, adjusting, intervening only when necessary for general peace, I started to ask for more. 
  • They both now go into their crates at mealtimes. I did not actively train them for this; they learned over days this was how they were fed and they got no food outside their crates. Hounds love food so there you go.
  • They are not terrifically bonded and are adoptable separately but are house trained as well as couch savers - they will prevent your couch from levitating.
  • Minnie and Juniper also know the food will be in their crates and Juniper follows suit, though I need to leave his door open (Minnie has some food guarding issues so she is crated before the food is distributed; most go into their crates as I distribute their bowls).
  • Because of watching and observing, I learned Minnie needs to be put up first so others can be fed safely.

I strongly believe in letting dogs be dogs first; only after they are comfortable in their skin here do I start asking with more formal training.

When you add a new pet to your home, consider passive training, especially if you have another dog or cat to lead the way for the newbie. Your observations and conclusions by letting that dog learn to just be a dog will serve you all well. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Organize the Mischief!

God is tired of me saying "this year I'm taking back the house (from the dogs)." So, She sent me, in particular, 3 friends who are not letting me slack off, who set up plans that are followed, and who keep me going each week: Susan, Abigail, and Cheryl.

Susan came out to help clean and fosters Gidget for Silverwalk. She has a good head on her shoulders and is great to bounce things off. She is ready any time I call. 

Gidget, happy former Momma dog, living with Susan

Cheryl first fostered then adopted Lenny aka Pirate. She and her son decided to help me and Silverwalk once a week starting this summer; Cheryl and I are organizing my papers - Colton has helped walk dogs, clean out the breezeway, and today, put up a dog run between two trees so Halle can move w/o going over the fence. Cheryl took home plans for a badly needed brochure. Today, she's the one who said "pitch" when I dithered about keeping something. 

Lenny aka Pirate, losing the sight in his only eye

Abigail fostered and adopted Herman during my surgery last December. She involved me in speaking at her high school about "A Dog's Purpose." She and her husband are cleaning, mowing, repairing, and, Abigail's special mission, taking care of Halle. Today, Halle was walked, then got a wonderful bath she needed and enjoyed at Busch Pet Products. Wednesday, it's Minnie the Chow's turn! Abigail and Darnell are here at least twice a week. 

Herman Miller who thinks food IS the stuff of God

I have other wonderful volunteers but wanted to share these three with you all today. THANK YOU to all volunteers, wherever you help out; we couldn't do it without you. 

The BIG PLAN is to have an open house here at Silverwalk in September. We have our work cut out for us but with the volunteers I have who won't let me slack off, we will meet the goal of celebration!