Monday, August 30, 2010

Giants Dog Days of Summer 2010

Boomer got to play with Sugar and Crazy Lady while we, along with fosterer extraordinaire Robin, took Phoebe and Popeye to the Giants Dog Days of Summer at AT&T park in SF. Phoebe of course was 100% well-behaved and Popeye was a pleasing 97%, only growling at the pug that stood in line in front of us.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Popeye Gets a Massage

Because of the way he moves, Popeye's body is more prone to being stressed and strained. So equine and canine massage therapist Victoria Tugwell of comes to work on him every month. Not only does she do house calls, her prices are surprisingly affordable, she does an amazing job, and Popeye loves her.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coming Together for Emily

It started with an email from Dana at Merced County Animal Shelter. The email listed a number of dogs requiring rescue. Emails of this sort come in every day, and sometimes it takes a special effort to not feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of animals that need help. Everyone knows they exist and that thousands of good pets die every year because somebody let them down. But the thought is usually an abstract one. It's something you know, but unless you're actually exposed to situations like these first-hand, it's often not something you feel.

I admit I don't open every single one of the these kinds of emails. I know there's a limit to how much I can do, and no good can come from focusing too much on what I can't do.

This particular email from Merced Shelter I did open. After a quick perusal, my attention came to rest on one particular dog. A nondescript black one, labeled as a pit mix--already 2 strikes against her chances of being adopted--but also requiring $1200 for surgery on a broken pelvis and leg.

The brief description provided was:

"Lab/Pit mix female. 10 mos. old. The sweetest dog even though she is badly injured. A/C sent to private vet who said she has a broken pelvis and broken leg. Needs FHO and pin in leg. Vet will do surgery on both for $1200.00. MUST HAVE RESCUE OR FINANCIAL COMMITMENT BY MONDAY OR A/C WILL PICK UP AND EUTHANIZE. Vet staff are in tears over this one as she is such a sweet dog....."

I received that email about 8 days ago. It was a Sunday and her time was almost already up. We do not have the resources in our own home to take her in, but when you can't help one way, you help in another. I felt compelled to at least make a push to get her the funds for her surgery. That would at least increase her chances of being rescued.

So I posted her on Popeye's Facebook account. Nothing more than a copy and paste of those 2 pictures and the short description. She did not even have a name.

That day, Monday, 3 donations came in. A far cry from the $1200 needed, but it was 3 donations more than what we started off with. I contacted Dana just to let her know that somebody was working on raising the funds, hoping to buy more time.

The next day, Tuesday, I reposted on Facebook. By now, the vet was accepting donations directly on her behalf so I included this new info. She was also given a name--Emily. A few more donations came in, but still nowhere near enough.

A couple days later, Thursday, I decided to hold a fundraising drive on our treat website, something I never even thought to do before. All profits generated by sales for 3 days would go towards Emily's surgery fund. The orders immediately started coming in.

By then, Emily's Facebook posts had generated a surprising number of followers. Not massive, but when you consider we are most of us strangers living in different parts of the country, and that Emily is a dog that none of us have ever met, it was fairly incredible.

By Friday of that week, the vet's office informed us that another $550 was needed.

When I called this Monday morning, they told us another $270 was needed.

Within a couple of hours of posting that update on Facebook, we were told that the remainder of the balance had been paid! In just over a week, based on nothing more than 2 pictures and a few sentences from a shelter rep, $1200 was raised for a dog that could have been easily overlooked in any shelter. Most from people I've never personally met, friends and fans of Popeye, friends of friends, long-term and new customers, all across the country. How amazing is that?

This is how one person can make a difference, because it was the total sum of every individual involved that allowed us to reach our goal. Because of the dozens and dozens of people who reached out in their own small but ultimately huge way, a plain black dog named Emily is one step closer to starting a new life.

Emily has had her surgery and is recuperating nicely at the vet for now. We're still trying to find a foster home for her, but at least the first obstacle--and it was a big one--has been overcome, thanks to the combined efforts of so many people.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We Won!

The most incredible thing! I almost can't believe it! We are one of the Grand Prize winners of the Petfinder World's Best Pet Parent Photo Contest!

That means the rescue will receive $10,000! At the very start of this contest, we pledged to share any prize money with a few other animal welfare groups and now it looks like we've all won!

$1,000 will go to Animals Ilan Rescue, a small grassroots rescue effort in Taiwan. Seven came from this group. Abbie, my contact with the group, whom I have never met in person but feel like I know, is one of the most dedicated rescuers I've coordinated with.

$1,000 will go towards the medical care of any dogs needing it at Lake County Animal Shelter. We have pulled a few dogs from this shelter, and Marnette and Sara there have always been so devoted in getting each dog to safety.

$2,000 will go towards the medical care of some lucky pits rescued by an incredible man named Tyler Nasise in San Diego, CA. I first heard of Tyler last year when he saved a pit puppy named Smokey who suffered from acid burns so terrible that he not only required surgery but had to wear a tshirt for 7 months to protect his skin. I was in awe of Tyler then, but since then, he's gone on to rescue several other pits with severe medical issues. He chronicles each dog's journey on Facebook, so check him out if you have a FB account:!/profile.php?id=100000137453553&ref=ts

Aside from the prize money, this contest was important to me because it was an opportunity to share a glimpse of Popeye's journey with a wider audience. As you can imagine, the sight of a 2-legged dog garners a lot of attention. I remember one time, we took him to a crowded beach in San Francisco. One woman came up to me and said that her dog had had cancer in one of his legs. Rather than amputate, because she thought a dog could not live happily without all 4 legs, she had him euthanized because she believed it was the kinder thing to do. She said that if she had seen Popeye before that, she would have known differently.

It was a sad story. I think that if people could just see Popeye, they'll come to realize the capacity that pets have to live life to the fullest, despite having a bit of a handicap, and maybe more less-than-perfect animals (and what is "perfect" anyway?) will be given the opportunity to do just that.

Kudos to Petfinder for turning this into a win-win situation for everybody involved. I didn't think it was possible for them to come up with a solution that would make everybody happy, but they did it. I'm glad that Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue also received the grand prize and that the other finalists will have another chance to win. We're all on the same team ultimately, with the same purpose, and our rescue is no more or less deserving than any other rescue.

A big big BIG thank you to everybody who voted! Popeye had supporters not just across the country but as far as Guatemala, Brazil, and Tawain. I am almost, but not quite, speechless and want to express my utmost appreciation to everyone who participated. That includes Tyler P, my "Bub," for taking the winning photo, helping to write up the 500-character essay (it's harder than you think!), and maybe most importantly, for listening to me blather on about the contest almost nonstop since it started. I know he's grateful that the contest has ended early for us so that he doesn't have to spend another 38 days listening to that.

And to think, we almost didn't enter because we didn't think we'd have a chance of winning. The power of teamwork and the inspiration of a spunky 2-legged dog named Popeye.

Cheers to all the "World's Best Pet Parents" out there! We've been fortunate enough to know so many!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet Bella, the 6-Mth Old Pit

This is Bella. Bella is about 6 months old and was surrendered by her owner. She has demodex mange with awful scabs all over her body, especially on her head. Part of her front right paw is missing so she walks with a limp. It does seem to cause her pain sometimes so the vet may think she'd be better off with that leg amputated.

She's not quite as happy-go-lucky as most pits on initial meeting, but as you can see, she gets there.

Bella is under the care of Paw Printz Pitbull Rescue, which is where we adopted Phoebe from.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cosmo Kramer - Needs a Foster / Adoptive Home

He's cute, he's cuddly, he's Cosmo Kramer the little kitty cat, and he will wrap you around his tiny paw in no time. Undaunted by dogs or other cats, Cosmo is fearless. He's about 9 weeks old and is a very sociable cat. If you or someone you know is looking for one awesome kitten, Cosmo really needs a home. He's currently in Sacramento.

Dolly the Pitbull

A beautiful song, a beautiful story, a beautiful dog named Dolly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

OT - Soldiers' Homecoming

This video is not related to dogs, but I think everyone here will appreciate it just the same.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Popeye & Phoebe Share a Drink

After a run in some open space at Contra Loma, Popeye & Phoebe share a cold one.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Buddy - Adopted!

Buddy was adopted a few weeks ago by a fantastic lady in Concord named Carole and her cat, Topaz. Topaz was against the idea at first, but she's coming around. Buddy wants to play with her but she isn't having any of him yet.

Buddy gets to go to work with Carole and meet new people almost every day. That means his life is filled with his 2 favorite things: car rides and people. We're so happy for him.

And here's a video taken back when Sugar stayed with us for a night. Sugar loved Buddy and was the first dog to get him to play.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Popeye & Comet Play Tug

Tug is Popeye's favorite game. So now that Comet is starting to play, Popeye says they can be friends.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wake Up and Meet the New Puppy

This is hilarious. Make sure your sound is turned on.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Comet and Phoebe Play

Comet (formerly Junebug) is staying with us for the week. She was one of Tyler's favorite foster dogs of all time -- but that was before she peed on our 2-week old memory foam mattress last night.

Here she is having fun with Phoebe.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Contra Loma