Sunday, October 31, 2010

Popeye vs the Mitten

Goodie in a mitten (in this case, a nylabone ring) = hours of endless fun

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Green Smoothies

I'm anal about what the dogs eat. Ever since switching over to raw feeding back in the late 90's, I've spent hours and hours every month on the dogs' food, from grinding their raw meaty bones to blending their veggies, from researching what supplements to try to driving long distances to pick up enough locally raised meats to fit their own freezer. I'm like a dictator when it comes to what the dogs eat.

But I myself still eat like a college student. I rarely cook and rely mostly on eating out and mooching off what other people make. And I hate veggies. So often I've seen veggies on a dish and thought to myself, "It's great being an adult. There's nobody to make me eat my veggies." Seriously, that rocks.

As I get older though and as age and my conscience catch up with me, I'm feeling more compelled to eat healthier. Not healthy per se, that would just take too much effort, just healthier.

Somebody recently told me about green smoothies. These are smoothies made of fruits and green leafy vegetables. Everybody knows the huge benefits of eating greens. But I hate greens and so rarely do. The purpose of green smoothies is to get you to eat tons of raw greens and actually enjoy it. So you take a bit of greens, add some fruits to mask the flavor, and blend together. Blending not only allows you to drown out the taste of the greens, but it also breaks down the cellulose walls of the produce making it much easier for your body to digest. And since you're blending rather than juicing, you're utilizing the fiber as well.

This is an entertaining video I came across that explains the benefits of green smoothies.

Blending veggies is not new to me. I do it all the time for the dogs. Because of the cellulose lining, dogs can't digest whole veggies. So you have to break them down first, either by blending, grinding, processing, or some other method.

Here are some veggies I blended recently for the dogs.

I always look like a health nut when I go grocery shopping for the dogs, buying a cart full of veggies for them. Considering how I eat, that's very amusing to me.

Here's what the veggies look like after they've been blended.

Although I hate veggies, I absolutely love fruit, so when I learned about green smoothies, I decided to give it a try. I got The Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko, which is a basic starter book with tons of recipes.

Today I tried the first recipe:

1 mango (with skin)
1 cup kale (I just used a couple of leaves)
1 cup water

The mango I got had almost no flavor so I also added a banana.

It wasn't very sweet, which I was ok with, but the great thing was that the banana completely masked the smell and flavor of the kale. Finally, there is a way for me to eat my greens without making a face.

In the book, Victoria also explains dogs like green smoothies too, so you can share some with them. Our dogs like to lick the glass clean.

I always knew it was just a matter of time before the dogs inspired me to eat as healthy as they do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pit Bull Blues by John Snipe

The best pibble song ever.

With all the absolutely wonderful pibbles we have met over the past several years in our rescue efforts, it seems silly (sad, frustrating, ridiculous) that so many people have such a distorted image of them. Don't they know that the dogs they should really be afraid of are 2-legged ones from Taiwan named Popeye?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Submit your Photo in the Shelter Fan Photo Contest

The Animal Rescue Site is hosting a Shelter Fan Photo Contest. 10 finalists will be selected by judges and then will be put up for public voting. The person who submitted the photo with the most votes gets a $25 gift certificate to the Animal Rescue Site store and $2,000 to the rescue of their choice.

You can submit your favorite pet picture here:

If you'd like to use Walkin' the Bark Rescue as the benefiting organization, our location is Concord, CA, USA.

Submissions will be accepted through Nov 1. Complete rules here. Good luck!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bill Burr: Adopting a Pitbull

If you have or love a pit, you will love this video.

This was Tyler's reaction when I brought our first pitbull foster home. I was so excited to have her (she was only 8 months old and the cutest, sweetest puppy), but when Tyler walked through the front door and saw her happily waiting to greet him for the first time, he looked hard at her and then at me and his exact words were, "Is that a pit? We're not keeping her."

5 years and 50 fosters later, she is still his favorite dog in the whole world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Popeye the Grouch

He's actually playing in this video, but this gives you an idea of what Popeye's like when he's grouchy. It's much less cute when he's grouchy for real.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lila & Baby

Prince Charming's foster mom and dad also rescued a little dog named Lila. Lila had some issues with her hind legs but she improved greatly while in their care and is now able to get around almost perfectly.

It turned out that Lila was pregnant and later gave birth to one child, a boy named Baby. They are the cutest mom and son pair ever.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prince Charming the Special Needs Shih Tzu

We went to visit a lovely couple who is fostering a Shih Tzu named Prince Charming. Prince was left in the overnight drop box at a local shelter. Because he has issues with his hind legs, he was scheduled to be put down but one of the volunteers stepped in and rescued him.

Prince is about 7 years old and get along with everyone, human and canine alike. Like most Shih Tzus, he's a complete cuddle bug and loves his belly rubs.

Prince appears to have suffered some neurological damage resulting in his hind legs walking in a drunken gait. He's actually improved since he went into foster care 2 months ago, and as you can see, he can still get around and take pleasure in the simplicities of life.

If anyone would be interested in adopting him, drop a note.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our Trip to Boonville

Here's what I packed for myself for our 3-night, 4-day trip to Boonville, CA last week. And actually, only the right pouch is my stuff.

Here's what Tyler packed for himself.

And here's what we packed for the dogs.

And that's really only half of it. I had a list of over 2 dozen things that we had to bring for the dogs, mostly Popeye. First, we have Popeye's "emergency kit" that we keep in the car at all times. A spare wheel for his cart, baby wipes, an extra belly band, spare parts for the cart and tools to change them, an inflator for the tires, and some water.

Since Popeye needs to be manually expressed and I have a bad back, we have our own portable "changing station," which consists of a plastic baby pen and a crate divider.

Then we've got the stroller, which we ended up not using, but it stays in the car wherever Popeye goes just as a precaution. There's also his cart of course, and that white bin is used to elevate his water and food bowl so he doesn't have to bend forward so much.
3 plastic bags of belly bands (40 total), and luckily there's room for the humans' stuff.

But wait, we're not done yet. Lots of extra blankets and towels in case Popeye has some accidents. Also, tons of rugs because we don't know if the flooring at the cottage is going to be too slippery for Popeye to walk on. We brought 13 rugs but next time, we're going to bring more.

Luckily, we were able to borrow a cargo box. Oh, and don't forget the 3 dog beds.

And of course the food. I individually packaged each meal ahead of time.

6 feeding times, 3 dogs--that's 18 individual meals.

Popeye takes a lot of supplements with his meals. I included as many of the supplements as I could with the meals, but some supplements I kept separate because I wasn't sure how they would do frozen with the meat. Rather than bringing every bottle, I packaged all the powder supplements in little ziplocks for each meal.

Of course, there was one supplement that I did mix in with the meat whose capsule shell ended up getting warped. Usually I can bury the capsules in the ground food so that Popeye doesn't notice them. But because the shells were warped, he was better able to pick them out. So every meal ended like this. 36 pills down the drain.

Once we got to the cottage, we immediately set up Popeye's changing station outside.

And we made the inside more dog-friendly.

A sheet over the little spare bed in the corner, dog beds on the floor, elevated water bowl, and a path of rugs. The floor turned out to be textured stone, which Popeye has no problem walking on. But we still put out the rugs to provide some cushioning for the times when he goes nuts and bounces around on the floor.

There's no such thing as packing light when it comes to the dogs. But it was all worth it because the trip went off without a hitch. Popeye tends to always have some little mishap, even at home, whether it be a seroma, a new scrape somewhere on his body, an allergy flare-up (which he actually did have but we managed to control it with meds), or heaven forbid an injured leg, which happened when we took him to the Giants ballgame a couple of months ago. But none of that happened. Nobody got injured or skunked or infested with fleas. I was nervous about the trip but it ended up being a good one.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Emily's Adoption Ad

"Lab 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....."

That was the email we received about the dog that would later be known as Emily. We weren't in a position at the time to take in another dog, but we vowed to help in some way. With just those 2 pictures and the few words from a shelter worker, in less than 2 weeks we managed, through networking and fundraising, to raise all the funds needed for her double surgery. People from all over the country came together to help this nondescript black dog that none of us had ever met.

Our rescue was eventually able to bring Emily into foster care, where she lives with another dog, several cats, and an unexpected visitor in the form of a kitten only a few weeks old.

Emily truly is one of the sweetest dogs you'll meet. She is very well socialized and loves all people, especially children, and dogs and cats. She thinks people exist to give her attention and her best friend was Cosmo, the little kitten, until he himself was adopted. She is also great with other dogs, playful and submissive.

Emily is about a year old and approx 35 lbs. We're not sure what her exact mix of breed is but she definitely has a herding streak. She sometimes tries to herd the resident dog, her fosterer, and even the cats. But she is always gentle about it.

Emily had FHO surgery on her hip and a pin inserted in her front leg. She will probably never have full use of her front leg, but is still able to move around and play using mostly her 3 other legs. Probably ideally, a home without a long flight of stairs would be best, though she may be able to navigate them when the occasion calls for it. She is able to use the doggie door without any problems and otherwise gets along just fine. No additional medical care is needed, though it's always helpful to just be aware of any potential changes that may occur over the years.

Emily is crate trained and housetrained, though she may need a refresher course in a new environment. She's spayed, microchipped, heartworm tested negative, and current on shots.

If you're looking for a sweetheart of a dog, one that loves people and gets along with other pets, Emily is it. She is mild-tempered, well-socialized, playful, and happy. Due to her young age and willingness to please, we recommend at least basic training so that she develops into a model canine citizen.

Emily is currently being fostered in SACRAMENTO. If you are interested in meeting her, please send an email to request an adoption application which will be reviewed prior to scheduling a play date. There is a $200 tax-deductible adoption fee which helps to cover a portion of each dog's medical cost.

For lots more pictures of Emily, go to:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Buckeye

This past weekend, we visited a little peace of doggie heaven called The Other Place in Boonville, CA. 4 cottages, fully fenced, on 500 acres of hillside with a little pond. The cottage we stayed in was called the Buckeye.

This was Popeye's first trip and I was very nervous. So many mishaps could happen. He could strain a leg, like he did when we took him to the Giants ballgame, have a really bad allergy flare-up (he actually did have a flare-up, but luckily we got it under control with meds), tip over in his cart and hurt himself.

But the 4 days, 3 nights ended with no emergencies. Nobody got hurt. Or skunked. Or car sick, except me on our way back home through the winding road of Hwy 128. It was nice to get away, since we rarely ever do. And now that it's over, I can let out a big "Whew!"