Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Visit to 3 Springs Ranch

(As you've probably noticed, we haven't had a chance to update the blog very much lately. Please visit Popeye Walkinthebark's Facebook page for more regular updates.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Popeye & Juju Fast and Furious

This was the first time a small dog has engaged Popeye in physical play.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How the Dog Bed Ate Juju

Juju continues to delight with his burrowing tendencies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Juju is Back

After about a month with Crazy Lady & Sugar, Juju is back with us so that CL & S can take on a new foster dog. Popeye & Juju have resumed where they last left off.

Monday, May 2, 2011

See You Later, Juju-Gator

It's been fun having Juju around for the past couple of weeks. Except for his habit of using the chairs to get onto the dining table, he was hardly any trouble at all. But now it's Crazy Lady and Sugar's turn to enjoy some JujuBee. They'll foster him until he's found a Forever Home.

Here are some pics of Juju during his stay with us:

And a short clip showing Juju's agility:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Popeye Chases Juju

After 2 weeks, Popeye has finally stopped growling and snarling at Juju long enough to engage in a little play.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where's Juju?

The other night, as I was working at my desk, I realized it had become quiet. The clanging of Juju's collar tag as he amused himself with his toys was no more. The other dogs had long been asleep.

I decided I should check up on Juju to make sure he wasn't doing anything he shouldn't. I last heard him in the family room but when I checked the couch and his crate, he wasn't there. So I checked his other spots in the front room--the chaise, Boomer's crate by my desk, Popeye's bed, Phoebe's crate by the door. No Juju.

Did he go to another part of the house? I looked in the hallway, thinking he might have made himself comfortable on the pile of clothes on the floor. Nope. The other rooms were closed but maybe he went in one and locked himself in. But he wasn't in any of those places either.

Well, Juju's a tiny dog and he camoflauges easily, so maybe I just overlooked him. Back I went to the front room, looking carefully behind the stuffed animals on the chaise. Back I went to the family room, looking closely at the blankets on the couches, which are the same color as he is. Still, no Juju. Back I went to through the hallway, and then I heard the little clang of his collar coming from the family room. I went back to that room and there he was. I knew he had to have been in there, but I could've sworn I checked carefully.

This exact thing happened the next morning. When I couldn't find him, knowing he was around somewhere in the house and most likely in the family room, I got frustrated. Where could Juju be?

I had been hoping to quietly catch him at his hiding place, but I finally got too fed up and just cried out his name. Lo and behold, I began to hear the soft clanging of his tag. It was indeed emanating from the family room, which is where I still figured he must be. In fact, it seemed like the sound was coming from his empty crate.

Juju had been picked up as a stray. He was skin and bones (and still is) and his nails were like talons, so he must have been a stray for quite a while. I wonder if he used to burrow like this while living in the open.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Memory of Revista

Posted on Facebook 4/20/2011:

MAJOR SENIOR ALERT! 17 1/2 Years old!!! DUMPED by Owners in a High Kill Shelter!!! (CARSON)
Blind, deaf, arthritic, old baby. :( Senior girl deserves to be on a nice warm doggie bed...not hard cement!

Her name is REVISTA! 17 1/2 Year old GSD Mix--already Spayed!
Dumped by her owners on 4/20!

This touched a lot of people, but one woman named Wendi stepped up. The following were updates posted by this kind woman:

4/21 @ 9:06 PM: This breaks my heart. I can't imagine?! I am in Los Angeles and can "pull her" if needed and help how I can please advise.

4/22 @ 8:41 AM: I am going to get her today around 1:00pm PLEASE advise shelter to hold her. Do you have a 501C3 that we can use??

4/22 @ 9:45 AM: Shelter knows I'm coming at 1pm to rescue! Giving her vaccinations now!

4/22 @ 1:27 PM: She is out and smiling! On way to vet.

4/22 @ 4:00 PM:
Very sad day. Unfortunately she was a very sick girl with a very bad internal infection. She would not have survived surgery and was in pain. I walked her in the grass, she sniffed and smiled...the vet came out to the grass, I held her cute little face in my hands, twirled her ears and held her tight. I had two wonderful friends there who were petting her also. She went peacefully without fear. Her last moments were surrounded with kindness and love....I'm pretty sad right now but know it was right thing to do. She is at peace.

I am in tears for the passing of Revista. For the fact that she had to know even a second of fear and uncertainty and discomfort after her owners dumped her at the shelter. And I am in tears for the compassion a woman named Wendi showed this dog. And for her loss. Wendi's act of kindness, especially in the face of the knowledge that Revista would not have much time left in this life (though it came as a shock to learn just how little she had), allowed a sweet dog to breathe her last breath shrouded in love.

** To help with Revista's medical costs, you can send a donation to Wendi at
puppylovela(at) through Paypal. Please note Revista.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet Juju Bee

Like pitbulls, we suspect chihuahuas also get a bad wrap in their own way. The few hooah-hooahs that have stayed with us have been delightful and not at all the yappy, extremely hyper misbehaved dogs their breed may often be stereotyped as.

Juju Bee, our latest rescue from Lake County Animal Shelter, is a doll, as you can see from this video.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Foster Sneak Peek

Here's a little sneak peek of our latest foster. More to come. . . .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meet Brodie

A couple of weeks ago, after receiving another email from Lake County Animal Control about dogs scheduled to be euthanized due to lack of space, we (and when I say "we", I really mean "Robin," Fosterer Extraordinaire) offered to take any dog who was good with dogs and cats, since Robin has both.

Generally, when we make this kind of open offer, we get pits, pit mixes, nondescript black dogs, older dogs, or dogs with some quality that makes them harder to adopt--always wonderful, lovable dogs, just bearing an appearance that most adopters aren't looking for. And those are exactly the kinds of dogs we try to help -- the ones that are overlooked.

It speaks volumes about the desperate number of unwanted pets lingering in overcrowded shelters that the dog Lake County gave to us this time was this fellow:

Eventually dubbed Brodie, he is currently a 5-month old, 35lb fox hound or coon hound mix. A happy-go-lucky boy.

Brodie, along with an SUV full of other rescued dogs, traveled from Lake County to Marin to Oakland, where I picked him up and eventually got him to Sacramento. I say "eventually" because somewhere along the way between Fairfield and Sacramento, my phone hit my GPS and redirected me back home to Antioch without me realizing it until I hit Martinez. So what was supposed to be a 2.5 hour ride in traffic between Oakland and Sacramento became a 3.5 hour ride in traffic.

Good thing Brodie was great in the car and spent most of the ride napping. My back was almost killing me by the time we got to Robin's place, but Brodie was rearing to go.

Brodie is your typical lovable puppy. Mischievous, good natured, and a total lap dog. He was just neutered and will hopefully find his perfect home soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Weekend with Max

Max stayed with us Saturday and part of Sunday. Crazy Lady has done a great job with controlling many of his bad habits and he turned out to be less troublesome than I expected. He was a delight to have over.

Pics here:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Maxwell

Every day, dozens of dogs die in overcrowded shelters in less than a 5-hour radius to the Bay Area. These include purebreeds and little dogs, dogs that you wouldn't normally think would have a problem being adopted. But the reality is that especially in rural areas, dogs come into the shelters at an alarming rate yet there are rarely any adopters at all.

For most of these dogs, their only chance of survival is to be transported to more populated areas, where there are more potential adopters. Yet who does the transporting?

This past Saturday, a dedicated group of volunteers, people just like you and me, who have full-time jobs and families of their own and I'm sure a hundred other things they could spend their time doing, worked together to save over 30 dogs. Under the organization of one amazing coordinator named Jennie, 3 transporters split the drive between Bakersfield to Santa Rosa, over a 9-hour route. They picked up 3 dozen dogs from 5 different shelters and transported them to 4 cities where over a dozen rescues were waiting with open arms.

One of those lucky dogs was A843504 from Kern County Shelter in Bakersfield.

He has since been knighted Maxwell. I drove 50 minutes to pick this little guy up at one of the drop-off points of the transport. I scooped him up in my arms and put him in the backseat of the car. He was a little nervous and unsure of me but within 2 minutes, he was ready for a cuddle. Within 10 minutes, he had chewed off the harness I just put on him.

"Who me?"

Yes, you, you little stinker. That harness held memories. It was the first harness I ever bought for Popeye.

"Oh. Sorry."

You're not getting off so easily, mister. It's bath torture for you.

Not by my hands though. Remember Crazy Lady & Sugar? They fostered Pip until he was adopted.

They had so much fun, they asked to do it again. So where was I? Oh yeah . . .


"Is it over yet?"


Crazy Lady & Sugar will be putting him through his paces until a good home is found for him.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cookie: A Happy Found Dog Story

A few months ago, our mail carrier knocked on our door and told me about a stray dog she saw along her route, just a few blocks away. Out in the cold rain I went and back I came with Pip, a little long-haired chihuahua.

Today, the mail carrier knocked on our door again and told me about another stray she saw. I'm starting to get scared of answering the door when she knocks. This time, it was a pit who was following a woman and her dog. "Very calm and friendly." I never meet calm & friendly strays.

But I grabbed a leash and a small bag of dog treats and followed the mail carrier in my car to where she saw this dog. The dog, a black & white pit, was just hanging out with a woman and her dog. Not really interacting with them, just hanging out. She was indeed calm. The woman clearly didn't know what to do and was relieved that reinforcements arrived.

I was thrilled to see this dog had a tag. First sign that she wasn't dumped. The tag had the name "Cookie" in large bejeweled letters, and on the back, it had a crossed-out phone # and 2 teeny phone #s written with a sharpie that were barely legible. For you petowners out there, it's great that your dog has a tag and that anyone who might chance upon him will know his name, but really, that's about the least important information you can provide about the dog. Make sure the contact info is updated and readable because that's what may save his life.

Cookie wasn't uberfriendly like most pits are. She wasn't bouncy or tail bashing waggy, but she was mellow and well-socialized. She got into my car with just a little bit of enticement with treats, and I took her home and put her in the backyard, where I gave her a ton of water and a bit of food. I wasn't sure how long she had been wandering (she was covered in dry poop--obviously she rolled in something nasty just like Boomer likes to do).

I tried calling what I thought to be the number written on her tag but it was disconnected. I then brought out my microchip reader to see if she was chipped but of course she wasn't. Then I tried to call Animal Control to see if anyone had reported a lost dog but of course the local AC is closed on Fridays (and Mondays and Sundays).

All the while I was making plans in my mind about everything I'd have to do if no one claimed her. She was well-behaved, knew "sit" at least, and she quietly followed me around the yard while sniffing everything she could. She was so mellow, I thought for sure she was an older dog.

If she was going to stay, I'd have to introduce her to the dogs sometime. She seemed fine with the woman's dog she followed so I wasn't too too nervous about introducing her to Phoebe at least. Phoebe gets along with everyone. But I had the penny shaker in hand just in case something bad happened.

I need not have had the slightest qualms. Cookie, calm and self-contained up until now, absolutely lit up the moment she saw Phoebe. Their powerful tails almost seemed synchronized as they swooshed their tails as hard and as fast as they physically could.

In the meantime, I began to change the digits in the phone # I originally called. The 5 could've been an 8, the 4 could've been a 9. I called 3 more numbers, left 2 voicemails, and got another disconnected line. The first person to call me back said she didn't have a dog. But the second person immediately asked, "You have Cookie?" Bingo!

Cookie had been spotted with another dog. But the other dog was skittish with strangers and took off. Turns out these dogs jumped the fence this morning. The other dog returned home, so maybe Cookie would've gotten safely home as well without our interference. But I'm glad I got involved anyway.

I dropped Cookie, with Phoebe tagging along, off at her house about a mile away. She went back to being the calm lady. I had a nice chat with her Dad, who told me that he himself had found Cookie wandering the streets with nothing but a harness just a couple of months ago. Despite putting up flyers and reporting a found dog with AC, nobody claimed her so he just adopted her. I made sure to suggest getting a new tag.

I'm glad this story had a happy ending and that I was a part of it. It was a pleasure hanging out with Cookie and I already have a soft spot for her. And on my drive back home with Phoebe, I passed this:

It always gives me a good blissful feeling to know that people really love their dog.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

UTI Free

5 urinalyses later (the first 2 were positive, the last 3 were negative) and Popeye is finally officially declared UTI free. Of course we'll still get him tested every few months since his incontinence and immunosuppressent drugs make him more susceptible, but we must be doing something right. And we have been doing a lot:

- expressing him more often throughout the day (6-7 times/day)
- adding lots of water to his raw diet. He rarely drinks from the water bowl so this way we make sure he gets plenty of H20.
- supplementing with d-mannose daily
- adding apple cider vinegar to his meal daily
- supplementing with Tract-Ease Herbal Formula
- supplementing with Cranberry Wellness Pet Supplement periodically

Yes, this is probably overkill but that's the way I tend to roll. I also check the pH level of his urine with pH strips almost every morning and night to make sure the levels are consistent. I would do it more often but it's not easy expressing a 2-legged dog while trying to hold something in his urine stream. Although I probably could just put the strip on my shoe as his pee often lands there.

pH levels normally change throughout the day, so they may read high during 1 test but normal during another test. For this reason, any single test is pointless; it's the general trend that matters.

For Popeye, his pH tends to be in the 8 (high-alkaline) range right before bed but 6-7 (normal) in the morning. If this changes on a regular basis, it might be time to get him rechecked at the vet. But hopefully that won't be for a long long time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


We are busy busy bees right now, so here are some quick updates:

Sassy had her surgery to remove her spleen, which had a large tumor attached to it. The whole thing weighed almost 10 lbs! She is recovering nicely from the surgery now. The biopsy determined that the tumor wasn't quite cancer per se, but something called fibrohistiocytic nodules. The nodules range from benign (stage 1) to malignant (stage 2). Sassy has stage 2 and 3-5 chemotherapy sessions of doxorubicin intravenously administered are recommended to help minimize the risk that they become malignant in the future. Sassy's surgery cost over $2500 and the chemo will be extra. This is the main reason I am such a busy bee right now as I've taken on new work to help pay for this.

Pip survived getting snipped (ie. neutered) and has been adopted. He shares his new home with 2 boxers and a fellow 5lb chi.

Isis' brother, Otis is entered in the Bissell Pet Photo Contest. Every week, the 5 photos with the most votes advance to the finalist stage. After 13 weeks, a Bissell panel of judges will select the top winners among the finalists. Finalists and winners get a whole bunch of goodies, including spending money and Bissell products. The winning pet gets his/her photo on a Bissell package, and top winners get a grant to donate to their favorite charity.

Vote for Otis every day through Feb 1 at:

And maybe enter your own pet photo. Who wouldn't love to see their pet on the box of something?!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sending Good Vibes to Sassy

Sassy is a senior dog who was surrendered to Lake County animal shelter last year. For 11 years, she lived with a family who fostered children on a regular basis. She slept with a cat every night. Then her human parents got a divorce, had to move, and decided they couldn't keep her anymore. Sassy was so sad at the shelter.

Then an awesome woman named Wendy offered to foster Sassy for our rescue, even knowing that there was a distinct possibility that Sassy wouldn't ever be adopted due to her age. We visited Sassy back in June and were thrilled to see her so happy and loved and still as sweet as ever.

This past Sunday Wendy told me that Sassy coughed up a tiny bit of blood and that her belly felt swollen. Worried about the possibility of bloat, a life-threatening emergency, it was decided that Sassy be taken to the vet immediately. Eventually an ultrasound was taken and it was discovered that Sassy had a massive tumor on her spleen, so enlarged that it was pressing up against her kidney and liver.

Tumors on the spleen can't really be accurately diagnosed as benign or malignant unless the entire spleen is removed and biopsied. Dogs don't really need their spleen so its removal doesn't really affect much. Unfortunately, the surgery is costly, around $2000-$3000. If the tumor is benign, the removal of the spleen solves the problem and the dog can resume her normal life. If the tumor is malignant (ie. hemangiosarcoma, one of the most aggressive types of cancer), the removal of the spleen buys the dog about 2-3 more months before the cancer attaches itself to another, more vital organ. Even with chemo, the prognosis is generally only about 6 additional months.

Samson, one of my 2 first dogs, a german shepherd, had hemangiosarcoma. His spleen was removed and brought him back to his normal self for 3 months. I will always cherish those extra 3 months that we were able to share with him.

After discussing it with 3 different vets, we decided to go ahead with the surgery for Sassy.

Not every vet is comfortable with performing a splenectomy, and Sassy's vet was one of them. Based on the recommendation of a trusted acquaintance and creator of (a site with tons of practical information on dog diet and health issues--we often refer new adopters to the site to assist them with selecting a good quality dog food), I called Oak Tree Vet in Danville. I was told that they could perform the surgery and to have Wendy bring Sassy in right away because of the risk of the tumor rupturing.

Tumors on spleens have generally come out 50/50 benign vs malignant. The doctor explained that the fact that Sassy's tumor has gotten so large (it must have been growing for a long time) without any other symptom of something being wrong (until very recently, there hasn't been any change in her personality) is actually a positive sign that it may be benign.

As I write this, Dr. Arnott and his staff are trying to clear his schedule for the rest of the day so that the surgery can be performed asap. I'm pleasantly surprised and very much gratified at the care everyone there has already shown to Sassy.

Sassy will have her surgery either this afternoon/evening or first thing tomorrow morning. We wish her & Wendy the best. Send them as many good vibes as you can.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Luxating Patellas

I've heard of lots of dogs with luxating patellas who required surgery, and I expect it's just a matter of time before we get a dog with this condition. I knew it related to the knee but that was about it. Here is a very concise and informative video explaining what exactly a luxating patella is, how you can recognize it, and what can be done to minimize the need for surgery.

Full link, which includes a summary of the main points provided, here:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Popeye Makes Taiwan News

Thanks to Princi for letting us know that Popeye made news in a Taiwan newspaper today:

It's in Chinese but you can use Google Translate for a rough translation to English by going to and then copying & pasting the article link into the box.

Popeye is also featured on the Animal Rescue Team Taiwan website:

The Animal Rescue Team is the organization that first provided Popeye with a chance to find a happier life, and they made all the arrangements and covered all the costs to fly him to the US. They are an amazing team, founded by husband and wife schoolteachers, Joseph & Maggie, and their son Antony. They never turn their backs on any dog and frontman, Joseph, isn't afraid to get down and dirty if it means saving a dog's life. Given how many strays litter the streets there and the lack of animal cruelty and spay/neuter regulations, you can just imagine what a truly dedicated organization this is.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Rescued a Human Today


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2011 Rescue Me Dog;

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Popeye & Phoebe's Leg

Happy new year!

Popeye celebrates by gnawing on Phoebe's leg. I think it's a Taiwan Dog thing.