Monday, August 31, 2009

Doggy Sleepover

What a crazy weekend. I am thoroughly wiped out.

My brother came up with his dog, Echo. This is one of the sweetest and most awesome dogs. He's very well behaved and listens quite well, even to others who aren't his papa.

My dogs look like monsters in comparison.

So the plans for Saturday included my baby shower and then some folks going to the casino for their seafood buffet - including my brother. So I volunteered to watch Echo for the afternoon and overnight. Otherwise he would have been left at my mom's house for over 11 hours. Which is not okay to me.

Timber and Trooper had a total blast playing with Echo all afternoon and evening. They weren't even ready to stop playing at bedtime, but we made them all calm down and go to bed.

But Echo could not settle himself and would not be still or sleep for longer than an hour at a time. I did not sleep the whole night. He slept right up by my head most of the time but kept waking up and licking me (which I can't stand) or waking up and just standing. Very distracting.

Then when Timber decided it was time for him to be on the bed he didn't like finding his cousin there and did some growling, which we put a stop to right away but then I was all nervous about having them both up there (Timber at my feet, Echo at my head - it was a little cramped - although hubby seemed to sleep just fine).

When we got up for potty time in the middle of the night he headed straight for the front door - he wanted his papa! I didn't get to sleep in at all on Sunday so we all got up and I took him back to his daddy and he was very happy. Just talked to my brother and last night Echo slept with his head burrowed in daddy's chest and snored all night long. :)

I'm still tired from the event. But it was worth it. The dogs had a blast Saturday and then Sunday morning they continued their play time. Timber is still caked with mud. And he's still tired this morning. A tired dog is the best kind of dog. :)

I have a few funny photos to share but need to download them from the camera. We need more puppy play times, but maybe not too many extra sleep overs.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Absolutely Heartwarming

Dogs and warriors have a special place in my heart - and when they find themselves together in battle they form bonds that most of us could never understand.

Rachel Lucas writes about Sandbag (love the name), a dog from Iraq who has been rescued.

Is that not the sweetest photo ever???

Friday, August 28, 2009

Not Cruel - But A Little Creepy

I'm not sure how I feel about this. "Creative Grooming" is apparently all the rage over in the UK with some poodle owners. It seems a little creepy, although I admit some of the dogs are kind of cute in their "disguises".

I've got to admit that the Jack Sparrow poodle made me smile. As did the Panda Bear poodle.

But really I've never been a fan of spray painting animals - even though I know people use non toxic paints that are harmless and wash out ... it just seems so weird and unnatural to me.

I definitely don't put it in the "cruel" category - even though a couple of those dogs look very sad in their photo shoots. As one of the comments in the story says, cruel is chaining a dog outside with no shelter, beating a dog, and other things that truly cruel. It's not dressing your dog up (or cutting/dying their hair.

Can you imagine Trooper as a panda bear? hahahaha

h/t Carpe Diem

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SSP Fundraiser Results

I'm so excited to announce that I raised $69.95 during the Etsy sale fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. YAY!!! I'm going to round up. *grin*

So $70 is on its way to SSP to help rescue animals from high kill shelters. I love this organization and hope you'll check out what they do and support their efforts.

Cross posting at my other two blogs.

** Edited to add ***

My contact at SSP said that the $70 I raised will help Spay/Neuter 10-14 kittens. YAY!!! Sweet kittens who can then be adopted out for a lifetime of joy. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Day!

Go shopping and benefit shelter pets in high kill shelters!

Today is the last day for the Saving Shelter Pets Etsy fundraiser.

I'll report my total funds raised from sales (including non-Etsy sales - Thanks mom!) later this week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Idea

Related to my last post about me being a busy body, but with good intentions, I had an idea.

It takes a little bit of time to write out a handwritten note to someone. That's generally what stops me from leaving notes for people (I see a lot of dogs left in cars).

What if I had little notes made up for me (or do it myself...novel idea) with a bit of info about how hot a car can get even on a cloudy day? Something small and simple with a few basic facts and maybe including a link to a website for more info.

I'm sure it would anger some folks...but if even just ONE person reconsidered leaving their dog in a car on a 'moderate' day it could make a difference.

Even on winter days I hesitate to take the dogs out if it's sunny out because the car can still get warm (and Trooper is especially sensitive to heat). But I think these little cards would be mostly for spring/summer/fall days.

Thoughts? Too busy body? Obnoxious? I don't mind being obnoxious. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yes, I Am A Busybody

Running my errands on the weekend is getting more and more difficult the closer my due date approaches, but I struggle on. As I made my way to one grocery store (I had to make a separate trip because Wally World didn't carry what I wanted) I ended up parking next to a car with a doggy inside.

The windows were cracked, and it was cloudy at the time. But I had just heard on Friday about a woman who forgot her dog was in the car ... a black lab. The lab died in the less than hot weather when left in her car for 2 hours. She was devastated (apparently inconsolable...I would be too!) and the story breaks my heart.

So that was on my mind as I watched this dog panting. Yes the windows were cracked. But as I sat there with my door wide open my car felt increasingly warm and uncomfortable.

I don't normally leave notes for seems kind of obnoxious, but this time I did. It was a simple note and just mentioned that a woman just lost her dog in her car on a very similar weather day and cars can get over 100 degrees very quickly.

I hope the note was taken in the spirit it was intended. By the time I'd come out of the store, the car was gone, but so were the clouds. My car was extremely uncomfortable and warm. Even with windows cracked a dog would not have been safe inside.

And I do, shamefully, admit to having left my dog in the car on a semi-warm day...I HATED it and rushed to get back...I also parked under a tree, left water in the car, and cracked the windows much more than I was comfortable. Even then it was too warm for my liking and I avoid doing it whenever possible. When temperatures reach into the 80s and 90s our dogs don't go anywhere in the car if we plan on leaving the car for any reason. Or, one of us stays inside with the AC on full blast.

There's no reason for a dog to die in a hot car.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Am I Just Being Paranoid?

As my due date gets closer and closer I've started thinking more and more about how our dogs are going to handle all the changes that come with a new baby.

Specifically I am most worried about how Trooper will react.

He's my sweet baby boy and he's a total mama's boy. And he's shown a tendency to be jealous, but it is always toward other dogs. He doesn't go to daycare anymore because he kept starting fights - but only when the 'girls' (the workers) were out with the dogs and he wanted their attention.

When we fostered Bullet he was definitely jealous, but he had a great time playing with her and there weren't ever any fights. When we adopted Timber they definitely had some time of establishing alpha, and there were several snarling fits that resulted in some blood draws (most of it my husband's blood actually). And there were times when we would be giving attention to Timber and Trooper would growl. It lasted a few months and seems to be over, although he still tries to butt in when the other dogs get attention (something he also did as a puppy...very doggy rude and something we didn't tolerate).

When the baby gets here...he's going to be sleeping in our bedroom in a playpen / bassinet thingy for a little while. I keep having this vision of Trooper hopping up and pulling the baby out. Is that sick? He's never shown ANY aggression toward people or children. In fact he usually ignores kids and goes right for adults when he wants attention.

Maybe I'm just being irrationally paranoid as a soon to be first time mother. My mom isn't helping though. She never let us have dogs growing up and while she likes our dogs - she doesn't love them the way we do. And she's extremely worried about how Trooper will react and makes little comments that just make my paranoia come to the front of my brain.

I guess I need advice and reassurance that there's something we can do to make the whole situation easier on everyone. I'm not worried about Quinn or Kodiak...they've been through tons of change and don't ever seem phased. Plus they're too old/cripple to try to jump up on a crib or bed. Timber I'm not sure about but I'm not nearly as worried about him as I am Trooper.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Can Be Done?

I saw a brief news story this morning while getting ready for work about a couple who were found dead and are suspected of being killed by a pack of wild dogs.

This makes me so incredibly sad.

Both for the couple and their family, but also for the dogs, if it is true that they are responsible. The news mentioned that the dogs might actually have an owner, who is away ill in the hospital. If that is true it is even more sad to me. I can't imagine not having someone take care of my dogs if I'm not able...let alone just letting them roam loose.

It's very difficult for me to imagine a pack of wild dogs doing something so horrible, even though in the logical part of my mind I know that dogs are animals and when in a pack revert to that wild nature. It's perfectly logical that they could do something like this.

I do get nervous sometimes walking Trooper by myself with no protection. I know that he can be aggressive toward other dogs if the need arose, but I don't want him to have to protect me from an aggressive dog. And I know we have a couple of dogs who wander loose - one is an un-neutered Chow. Makes me think that I should start carrying pepper spray...or a gun.

Authorities are planning to trap the dogs and I'm sure they will be put down. *sigh* Does it seem like it's a hopeless cause to try to rescue unwanted animals? Sometimes it feels incredibly overwhelming.

But I can't think like that! One dog at a time. That's why I love Saving Shelter Pets - you get to actually see the dogs they are working to rescue. Don't forget about their fundraiser.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dogs on Duty

I love working dogs, regardless of the duties they do...police dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, service dogs, whatever. Dogs are amazing creatures and seeing them work at various duties is an incredible thing.

Listening to the radio I heard an interview with the handler of Kurt, an FBI chemical explosive dog. It was a really great little interview so I decided to see if they had information about these wonderful dogs online and sure enough - they do!

Each FBI bomb dog has their own web page - which is as it should be. They deserve all kinds of recognition for their work keeping people safe every day.

I think all the chemical explosive dogs are beautiful but Disco caught my eye because he's the only one who isn't a black dog. I wonder why that is. Maybe something about black dogs makes them better sniffers. *shrug* I have no idea.

Bismark also caught my eye because he's the only non-lab dog. He's a German Shepherd and sure is handsome.

I think that working dogs often get overlooked when we think about the safety of our country. We're blessed that these fabulous creatures exist and enjoy doing their jobs to help us.

Forgiving Michael Vick?

I wrote about my torn feelings on the Michael Vick situation a few weeks ago. I'm still torn. But I'm leaning towards acceptance of his new role with the Philly Eagles and hopeful that he will become a spokesman against dog fighting.

On Monday, Michael Medved talked about him on his radio show and made some very valid points toward forgiveness.

One of which was that of visibility. If Vick were NOT allowed back in to play football, he would disappear from the spotlight. His return is bringing a LOT of attention to dog fighting and the horrors of such a "sport". Maybe this attention will show other lower income youth growing up the way Vick did that it's not right. I hope so.

Additionally, the Humane Society sent out a newsletter, and wrote a blog post, in semi- support of Vick's supposed turn around.

I also spoke about giving Vick the chance to fulfill his pledge to help us reach at-risk youth in America’s cities and to steer the kids away from the alleys and abandoned homes where street fighting festers.

The words carried promise. And I’m happy about that. But still, they were just words.


But he has a chance to add a new chapter to the biography, as long as he is committed in the months and years ahead to using his celebrity to bring awareness and to persuade boys and young men to love their animals instead of fighting them.

It's been an interesting day of Vick news.

Even the Obama Dog Blog wrote about the issue. I think the writer did a fabulous job outlining the issue and expressed many of my own feelings.

I realize that Vick grew up exposed to dog fighting. It was exciting, it was part of the culture. Even cool. So maybe it’s too much to expect that at some point the light would go on and he’d realize these choices are not only wrong, they’re horrifically cruel. But with each new fight, each additional act of abuse or torture or killing, he chose to proceed.

We all have the ability to make choices in our lives, regardless of the culture we are born into. Take the so called "sport" portion of dog fighting out of this for a moment...I believe it's cruel in and of itself but an argument *could* be made for a cultural aspect (i.e. bull fighting, cock fighting, and other things I find fairly mean).

The TORTURE inflicted upon the dogs has nothing to do with culture or "sport". The torture is just that - unnecessary cruelty (is that redundant?) for the sake of inflicting pain and suffering. That should be an obvious no no in any culture. Regardless of how someone is raised - anyone should know that it is wrong to electrocute a dog's privates or hang them.

I don't buy the excuse that something is okay because it's a cultural difference and those of us who disagree are being ethnocentric (i.e. female genital mutilation). Some things are just WRONG no matter why or where they are done.

I hope that Vick's re-entrance to football will lead to a greater awareness of the animal cruelty that exists out there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let the Fundraising Begin!

I'm really excited for this fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. It started Sunday and I've got my eye on a few items from the participating vendors.

Do you think this picture would be cute in a baby boy's room? We've finished painting the walls blue. And the crib is ready to be assembled. I just don't have a lot of stuff for the walls, and I don't want too much "baby" stuff...I want the things we get to grow with him.

It's funky and artsy but still kid related. And 20% of the purchase price will go to SSP.

I've already gotten an order through my own shop and I'm so excited to be able to contribute to the fundraiser.

Think ahead about what gifts you may need for the holidays or upcoming birthdays and please consider supporting this wonderful organization.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Pacific Northwest Weiner Dog Rally

Too fun!

Weiner dogs aren't my favorite...I've gotten bit more by that breed than any other, but it was long before I was comfy with dogs so it might have been my fault. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Amazing Story of Survival

Coming to us via The Cat Dog Log, a story of an amazing horse. I've read it before but it is such an incredible tale that it warms my heart all over again.

You Gotta Meet Molly

I love horses and wish I lived closer to my grandfather's farm so I could ride more (when I'm not pregnant of course). They intimidate me, but I try to ignore that and just enjoy their beauty. There are several places around my house with horses and I always smile when I see them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raising Funds for Shelter Pets

Are you looking for a great gift for a birthday? Or maybe you're a little like me and look for Christmas gifts year round.

Here is an opportunity to find some great handcrafted goodies and raise funds for Saving Shelter Pets.

Starting Sunday, August 16 and running through August 26, all purchases made from participating Etsy shops will have 20% of the price go to Saving Shelter Pets. This is a WONDERFUL organization where they work super hard to save animals stuck in shelters. I personally love their Puppy Program.

Tune in Sunday when this fund raiser starts...I'll post the link to all the shops (including mine!) who are participating. There are some great ones!

Starting Fresh

The old Home Zookeeper blog is sort of being held hostage by 451 Press. No one really knows what is going on and I have no idea who to ask questions to about buying the domain name.

So I decided to start over here on Blogger, which I like better than Word Press anyway. I'm more familiar with it. Not only that I have total control over links and ads (or lack thereof). Hopefully the blog loads better for people (including me!) without the gazillion ads that I wasn't so fond of on the old blog site.

While I enjoyed getting a few dollars a month for blogging about animals and my doggies, I'm glad to be free of the restrictions. I don't have to worry about not having enough words in my posts anymore! Not that lack of wordiness has ever been an issue for me. :)

I'm considering adding Project Wonderful ads to this blog...if I can earn just a couple of dollars a month I want to put it toward a new blog design. I have no idea how much it would cost to have someone design me something nice, but these templates from Blogger are boring.

I did go and grab many of my old posts from the old site, because I wrote them and I liked them. Anything prior to yesterday was on the old site and I copied it over here. It was quite a trip down memory lane. And the agility posts made me very sad. But we're moving on.

So here is to a new beginning!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, Let's Try This

So I just ranted on my other blog about how 451 Press shut down operations, leaving all of us who blogged for them out of luck...unable to even log in to our blogs to write a last post or say goodbye. It is very lame.

I love writing about my dogs and animal stuff and I would have kept writing at that address even without payment. But I can't.

I have no idea how long the other address will work ( but I'm going to try to copy/paste all the posts I've written into this new blog. I hope it works.

Keep your fingers crossed!