Open Thread: Cats & Dogs

From commentor Phillygirl:

Here’s the timorous but loving benny, taking in the sights of my little back yard. one advantage of having an old, fat cat is that he can’t jump over the wall. he is forever safe.
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Senior catz are deserving and grateful, too. I got my Benny from some rescue people who were at their wits’ end. Benny, age and history kind of mysterious, performed miserably on adoption days, cowering in the back of his cage and trembling when touched. Also, he was fat, and thus, like chunkier senior humans, not so visually appealing. No matter! After hiding under a rug (!) in my house for a week, he slowly began turning into a pet. Within a few months, he was a cuddler, a licker, and a belly-rub enthusiast. Mostly, these guys just need to feel safe. Then they will reward you richly, with devotion and sometimes with small, dead rodents. Get to yer shelter tomorrow.

(Since I a full-figured ginger of a certain age, I think that Benny is a fine, handsome fellow!)

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And a bonus story from commentor JCT:

I’m reading this crashed out in our RV with my own pack of beagies. We actually bought the RV because we couldn’t bear to leave them behind…
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We rescued our first beagle mix a few years ago – supposedly for our young son, but Shadow bonded to my husband and we decided to adopt a sister for her. I went to a rescue day at a vet to get a young beagle, only to fall in love with a scrawny, scarred old girl named Trixie. No one was paying any attention to her, but my daughter noticed that as Trixie walked up to the puppy cages they all ran to her like she was their mother- no matter what the breed. When we asked about her the rescue folks were so thrilled, they thought she would never be picked. She had been found by the side of the road, apparently abandoned by one of the fucking puppy mills in the area. It is hard to describe how beat-up she looked, when I brought my husband out to pick her up he looked at me like I had lost my mind. She was of course, a fabulous dog, adored everyone, slept curled up with my son every night in their private ”beagle pile” and just adored chew toys – I think the poor sweetheart had never had toys before, she used to hide them in a pile under our bed. 3 months of love and joy later she became a little short of breath and by the end of the month we had to have her put down while I held her because she had metastatic mammary gland tumors thanks to her previous life as a puppy machine. For months we were finding hidden toys. 8 years later we still have her purple leash and collar. Just last night the whole family was talking about her, while we were surrounded by our current beagles – both of whom sleep in our bed, one with her head on the pillow like a baby.



Open Thread: Senior Pet Rescue

From commentor Tony S:

My wife and I were dog owners as kids. When we moved to our house here in Peekskill in 1999, the place came with a dog. The place was an estate sale, and we insisted the super-elder beagle, Gypsy, be part of the package…
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Since then, we’ve tried to adopt older dogs whenever possible. We find them much easier to deal with than puppies, and quite grateful. We’ve had 11 dogs in 10 years. People ask us how we can deal with the short time we have with the senior dogs, but it’s much more painful thinking of them trapped in some shelter somewhere, or put to death simply because they’re not wanted.
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Here’s a pic of the current crowd. From left to right, they’re:
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Snarls Barkly, our most recent arrival, who is an estimated 9 years old and was left in front of a police precinct in the South Bronx at 4:00 am on the night of February 14th in a condition the ASPA described as “filthy,” with a broken tail, infected ears and a large tumor on one leg. It was three weeks before he would get on our bed; he spent most his time until then lying on piles of leaves in our backyard. Now he spends 90% of his time cuddled between our pillows.
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Field Marshal Montgomery Marshal Fields. Monty was in a family where the father died suddenly when his replacement heart valve failed. He went from having run of the house to being locked in a cage 14 hours a day, and cracked up in the process. He has papers of some kind, and is our only purebred. His favorite game is “I love you, don’t touch me. OK, now you can pet me. But I’ll scream.”
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Twinkle Toes. Twinkles was found tied to a lamp post on our city’s main street. She’d been there so long her paws were bloody. By virtue of seniority, she is our home’s alpha, and she knows it. She is also a differently abled puppy. She must have been hit by a car at some point. Her front paw is held together with a bolt, and her back leg is held together with a wire. Must have cost a bunch to fix her, and she wound up on the street.
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Jessicur Lynch. You can guess the time we got Jessicur. Her breed was listed as a mountain cur. She’s our guest terrier. She was sent to kill shelter in West Virginia for slaughtering chickens. Now she likes to leave dead mice as gifts for us on our bed. She’s the youngest dog we’ve adopted, and one of the craziest. I have the scars to prove it.
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When people are adopting dogs, they should really think of seniors. They’ve wound up abandoned through no fault of their own and deserve homes.

(Keep those photos & stories coming, folks — we need the respite! And why have I not received any cat pictures yet?)



Open Thread: Pet Rescue Stories

From commentor Jebediah:

We are adopting a little pup right now. We have Otto already (World’s Greatest Dog, for real) and my wife had been thinking of a companion for him. Otto is ninety pounds, she was thinking a small dog, meaning about 20-30 pounds. We ended up with Juno, a chihauhau-something mix (if you ignore the chihauhau bug eyes, she resembles a mini JRT to my eyes) that weighs in at all of seven pounds. Super timid and peeing and pooping inappropriately, although we are starting to get that under control and her personality is starting to show as she comes out of her timidity a bit. I have always considered myself a big dog person, but I am really digging this little nutbag…
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I am not particularly stoic, which might explain why I get teary every time I think of animals in shelters.
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Juno really bonded with my wife first, and when she came through the door, Juno would turn into a whirling dervish of joy and excitement, spinning from one end of the couch to the other.

Congratulations to Juno for getting the home she deserves… and to Otto, Jebediah & his wife for making a friend for life!

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Pet photos and brags used to be a regular feature here, but I think John lost most of his backlogged “stash” due to a FYWP glitch. If you want to see your darling(s) highlighted here, email me pics — my address is near the top of the right-hand column.

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And a note from commentor Pasquinade:

International Homeless Animals’ Day: Make a Difference
Saturday, August 21

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Some suggestions…
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Check out local animal groups’ Facebook pages. Often they post about animals in dire need of rescue at the kill shelters, or lists of supplies needed.
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Thrift stores are great for blankets, towels, etc., especially if they have 50% off days, like my local stores do. Additionally, I’m always on the look out for cat-related items to brighten the rather dismal environment of the local high kill shelter.
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Post notices asking for volunteers at senior housing centers. It could result in more volunteers, and perhaps some adoptions.
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Skilled at grant writing? Digital photography? Get shelter cats and dogs pictures on Petfinder, etc.

Anybody want to tell us more about “International Homeless Animals’ Day”? Are there events scheduled for your community?



Early Morning Open Thread: Me & My Shadow

Thanks to commentor Moe99 for the perfect clip to go with Cole’s complaints about velcro-bonded rescue dogs:
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Early Morning Open Thread: More Like This, Please

Sometimes all you can make is a little gesture. Sometimes that little gesture looms very large

Nearly 10 years ago, a lovable German shepherd/golden retriever mix named Bailey was put up for adoption. For Sharon Conlon, the timing was right… a longtime friendship blossomed. But a year ago, her life got a lot more difficult. “I lost my job and I was finding it harder and harder to pay for everything,’’ the 66-year-old Quincy resident said recently. “I went through my unemployment and then my 401K.’’
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Meanwhile, Bailey’s health took a turn. The dog had kidney disease and kidney stones, and was placed on a special diet available only through the vet. Conlon didn’t have the cash to meet Bailey’s needs but refused to give up her buddy. “I’d starve first,’’ she said.
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Enter Fairy DogParents, an organization that helps dog owners keep their pets when times get tough. Conlon read about the Duxbury-based group in a regional magazine. “They’ve helped me with Bailey’s vet visits and with his food,’’ Conlon said. “It’s been a godsend. I didn’t know there was anything like this out there.’’
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Duxbury resident Marlo Manning is the dynamo behind the nonprofit, which she founded in March 2009 following the death of her own dog. “Ladybug had been a rescue dog and had tons of diseases,’’ Manning said. “When I went to get her ashes, I told the vet tech I was used to the expense of my dog, so could I be a silent donor for someone else? The vet tech mentioned a newspaper story about all the pets being surrendered due to the economy.’’
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That story was the spark. After a good deal of research, Manning found only a handful of organizations nationwide that offered support to owners to help them keep their pets. By June last year, Fairy DogParents was up and running. “When people say those words, ‘I’m bringing my dog to a shelter because I can’t afford to take care of him,’ that’s when Fairy DogParents comes in,’’ she said.
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Manning operates with just a couple of volunteers, storing supplies at her home and making most deliveries herself. “We’re still small enough where I can name every single dog we’ve had,’’ she said. To date, the group has helped 32 dogs stay in their homes…
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Referrals have come from shelters, rescue organizations, and even food pantries. “The MSPCA has us on their website, and they refer to us all the time,’’ Manning said. She has developed financial connections with area pharmacies and veterinarians, and her organization foots the bill for everything from cancer treatments to simple annual wellness visits, along with the cost of medications.“The money is given directly to the vet or pharmacy,’’ she said. “The dog owner is responsible for 15 percent of the cost.’’

And, yes, Fairy Dogparents has a website, set up for Paypal donations.



Another Open Thread

I was lucky enough to remember to put the camera on the end table next to the chair, and caught these snaps. For those of you wondering what the wild and crazy decadent nights at Balloon Juice HQ look like, this is it:

I can’t believe it was just a little over a year ago and I was debating whether I should get a dog. If you don’t have kids, you owe it to yourself and the animals to have pets. Trust me, your quality of life will go through the roof.

And while we are at it, don’t forget to get your Balloon Juice swag at the CafePress store. All proceeds (and by all, I mean 100%) go to the lovely folks at Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue to support their mission.



Pet Update

Tunch is back and a little pissy. His tail is partially shaved from where they removed the fatty lump.

The stray I found yesterday has no issues with cats, which makes me more convinced she is someone’s pet who somehow got loose. She completely ignored the cats at the vets office, and after sniffing Tunch lost interest. She also has no chip.

I guess I am just going to have to hang “found dog” signs along the route I was traveling.