Early Morning Open Thread: Dog Rescue (Reciprocated)

From commentor Felonious Wench:

This is Kira, our Lab/Beagle mix. I had made up the bed 2 minutes before she wrecked it. She’s a cat-chaser, a plant-destroyer, a midnight-barker, and a general chaos machine. We adore her.
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2 years ago, I decided it was time for a dog. I was home a lot by myself with our sons, and I wanted a dog to keep me company. I found her at our local no kill shelter; she was 9 months old, no longer a puppy, and she’d been there a couple of weeks. I had planned on getting a small dog, but there she was, 40 pounds of sweet dog, and still growing. Her notes about her said “She is one SMART dog. She was found in a backyard, playing with a group of kids.” Guess she snuck in.
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She immediately showed herself to be a big baby who loves any person who comes across her path. My dreams of a dog with a protective streak slowly faded into reality…the dog flops for belly rubs in the presence of any human.
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So I thought.
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One afternoon, our housekeeper heard Kira going absolutely ballistic in our back yard; she had a tone to her bark and a snarl she had never heard. She looked out the back window, and two guys were climbing over the fence. Kira was having none of that. She tore over there and backed them into a corner. They got so scared they immediately managed to climb our fence and get the hell out of there…
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But not before one of them dropped his backpack.
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My fears of Kira’s inability to alert me to intruders were unfounded. Turns out the men had broken into the house behind us. She had scared one of them so badly he dropped his backpack, with his ID inside. Oops. The police confiscated it, and gave Kira a rub on the belly. She flopped for them as soon as we let them in the gate.
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Yes, she’s one smart dog.



Early Morning Open Thread: New (Rescue) Puppy


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From commentor Chris S:

So, we’ve had Jack home for five days and he’s doing well, I think. I’m a little anxious – OK a lot anxious. In preparation for getting a dog, I’ve read a bazillion and three books and articles regarding training the perfect dog. He’s a good dog to start with. We haven’t had an accident yet and he makes it through the night in his crate without whining or barking and he walks exceptionally well 75% of the time. He does whine and bark when we leave the room, or go upstairs or leave the house and he’s a jumper/hugger/kisser. So he’s doing very well for such a tumultuous little life, but we (mostly me) are not. I don’t get it other than that I have unrealistic expectations after reading a bazillion and three articles regarding the perfect dog (I know lots of friends that have very imperfect dogs), which is causing me stress. Plus I want the cats to adapt and be happy. So after less than a week, I’m fighting feelings of regret. After being an animal lover all my life, having pets (at least through my childhood) and cats for the last few years, and reading inspriing stories of man’s best friend, I feel guilty for not being ecstatic at now having a puppy as an adult. So, Tara is helping me along and with a little bit adaption on my part maybe I’ll get over myself, let him be a dog and let myself love this cute sonofagun.



Open Thread: Pet Rescue By Proxy


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From commentor Michael (who lives with Lucy):

This is Mr. Ron Swannson. He is a ridiculously friendly stray kitty who followed me home. So, I got him neutered and his shots, and found a neighbor to take him in. He is super-friendly, and apparently now spends all day on his owner’s lap purring. He’s basically the best cat in the world.

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(Michael also sent me a pic of him with Ron and Lucy, but my sub-par PaintShop skills won’t let me post it here. Maybe next time…)



Early Morning Open Thread: Golden Years

From commentor Rebmarks:

15 years ago I went to the MSPCA at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in JP, Massachusetts, looking for a small, female-but-fixed, quiet, short-haired cat. I came out with an 18-month old giant male shaggy-haired, full of mats, LOUD un-fixed Male Coon Cat. As I was passing by the cages, he looked at me with those human-like eyes,and meowed pitifully.. he was talking to me! I kept coming back to him, even as I was thinking how much more suitable several other cats would be.
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They took him out of the cage and put him in my lap and he nuzzled and head-butted me and purred, and I succumbed…. Within 2 days he had scattered those mats around the apartment and was beautifully clean with gleaming white fur, which smells like baby powder when you bury your nose in it (how does he DO that??)
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But the talking? Boo meowed, and yowled and cried and moaned, and roamed the apartment by night, howling down the echoing stairwell, and generally acting as if he had lost his family in a catastrophe. And he probably had. I would call him, and he would run to me, jump on my bed, nuzzle and purr and then after 10 minutes jump off the bed and begin crying again. After two weeks of sleep deprivation, I was tearing my own hair out and ready to throw him out a window and into the traffic of our busy street. I didn’t do it, although I was sorely tempted. But I believe that once you adopt, whether it’s a child or an animal, you don’t give it back. You have to deal with what you have and make things better.
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So I called the vet and she suggested I call an animal psychologist. I couldn’t believe that I was even contemplating calling an animal psychologist! But I did it and she provided a miracle cure – on the phone, without even charging me. I don’t suggest that anyone else try this without consulting a vet, but she told me to give him 1/4 of a Benadryl pill every night for 2 weeks. Which I did. For the first few nights, I kept waking up and poking him because he was so quiet sleeping on my bed that I was afraid he was dead. After that, he stopped crying at night. He would meow during the day, but at least we could sleep at night. Early in the morning he sits by my face, quiet as a mouse, fixes his eyes on me, and if I open one eyelid a crack, he’ll meow for breakfast. Eventually I got a kitten to keep him company during the day, which helped tremendously too – Max and Boo still sleep together on the back of the couch during the day.
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Boo is now almost 17 years old. He is old and rickety, and had a stroke, and is now on high blood pressure pills. We’ve had to put a bench at the end of the bed to help him get off the bed without falling on his face. But he is still the most loving, amazing and human-like cat I have ever had – even my husband of 5 years claims cannot live without Boo now, and he would sue for custody if we ever divorce.



Open Thread: Kitty Rescue

From commentor John Smallberries:

This is Fuzzy Cat, or Fuzzy Grumbles, depending on the mood she is in. She is one of four salvage cats we have – one was left on my wife’s front porch in a box as an undersized kitten, one came from the humane society as a kitten, and one was adopted from the sons of a good friend of my wife after he died unexpectedly.
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As for Fuzzy, we took her in when she was around 10 years old, nobody knows for sure. She had been abandoned by people on our street when they moved, and became rather feral. At first, she was feeding from the porch of a family with two cats who left dry food out, but when we started remodeling our house, we got her to come over and eat in the back yard while we were feeding a couple of strays that we had adopted. The other two were, unfortunately, run over but Fuzzy, who is very very smart, was way too careful.
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As she slowly got to know and trust us, feeding went from “drop the bowl and get 25 feet away” to “put it down, I will come over and you will back off” to “you can pet me while I am eating but I will show displeasure” to the point where after we got the house closed in but before we moved back she would come in, eat inside, and deign to spend the night sleeping on our bed. Yes, for a period of about two months, we remodeled the house for a stray.
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Now, she comes running up when one of us drives up to say hello, tail in the air and all rubby against the legs, has taken to begging for pieces of chicken, sleeps on my wife’s lap in the front porch, and spends the night either on the rug in front of the stove or under the dresser in the bedroom. She still grumbles and growls, and only will allow a limited amount of petting, but has remembered how to purr. At meal times,, she becomes very excited, and there is usually a bit of agitation with a lot of paw waving between her any my siamese, the Humane Society cat who my wife has designated a kleptoparasite that tries to eat out of all the food bowls. When she is begging for a piece of chicken or turkey she comes in, sits by the refrigerator and gives you the look she has in the photo. She chases a laser beam like no other cat we have.
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She has a territory that includes the our front porch, the neighbors rose bushes, and the front porch and landscaping of the lady across the street. Wanda says our two houses are the Bed and Breakfast for Fuzz – she sleeps on Wanda’s porch (bed) and eats over at our place (breakfast). She has lived with us for about 5 years now and can be a real pill, but a real sweetheart too, and we love her just like the others.



Open Thread: Cat (Plus) Rescue

From commentor Chris S:

Tara and I have two special rescue kitties with their own distinct personalities and quirks. Here is Aisha, a Siamese (darker), and Amiya, a Balinese (lighter), snuggled up in their favorite spot in the house: our bed after we get out of it in the morning. They’re moderately healthy cats, but both suffer from kitty viruses picked up from their SPCA shelter stay where Tara worked as an outreach coordinator. They’re very well-behaved cats and they don’t care much for human food or get on counters. I could leave a steak sitting on the counter and they don’t care. However, Aisha can smell watermelon and strawberries before you can even take a bite and she loudly demands her tribute. Amiya is the princess and has effectively claimed me as her own. She sleeps next to my head or my feet at night, pouts and cries when I leave for work, and gets very pissy when I’m gone for a few days. To the point where she won’t even acknowledge me for a day or so when I return.
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We’ve recently adopted a young brittany spaniel mix from a rescue center and get him on August 23rd. We’re very excited to open our home to another wayward animal that’s just looking for some love.

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Speaking of weird dietary quirks, over the past 40 years I have known three cats, in three different states, who would kill — or at least bite your hand — for jelly-donut filling. All three were old-fashioned “Louis Wain” round-faced, plush-coated girls of great beauty and extremely random background. Always wondered if it was an actual genetic glitch or just my pattern-seeking instincts.

Best wishes (keep us posted) on your new soon-to-be-housemate, Chris!



Open Thread: Rescue Dog

From commentor Michael:

This is Lucy. She is three now. My fiance got her when I went to Iraq. (I am a cat person, nominally, so this was the ultimate outflanking maneuver) Lucy was six months old and 45 pounds then; the shelter estimate she’d grow to be 90. She’s a Boerboel (South African mastiff), probably (some kind of mastiff, certainly). She’s also the sweetest girl in the world, totally content to lie on her back and accept belly rubs virtually all day. A stranger’s just a pettin’ you haven’t cajoled yet.

Looks like Lucy has your number, sir…
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