Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Nina

I only met Nina the other day, but she’s another one of those rescues who helps to explain why people rescue dogs.

Nina

Nina is about four years old. Her owners, who were looking for a Collie/Border Collie mix, drove from Pittsburgh to a shelter in West Virginia as soon as she came up on PetFinder and, as you can see, from looks alone she is a great catch. I cannot say whether shepherding was specifically on their mind; if so, they got their wish. Nina might be the purest herding dog I have ever seen. She sticks to her family like a sock burr except to corral one small kid or another back to the pack. A game of hide-and-seek would drive her to distraction. Nina picked up the major commands in a day, of course, and any time she has a job she beams like sunshine, even if it’s just to sit and wait for a treat. Watch her posture as she goes all Lassie on Blue and a big mean Doberman.

I wish I could explain why someone would give up such a gorgeous and affectionate dog. Whatever the reason, she has a forever family now and the match is working well on both sides.








Early Morning Open Thread: City Cat


From commentor Sarah in Brooklyn:

When our cat Louie died, I wanted another cat right away. Louie’s pal, Max, was sad, and I hated having only one cat. I called one of Brooklyn’s cat rescuers (aka crazy cat lady), who said she had a kitten. We went out to her place, which was surprisingly sane considering that she had many, many, many cats and some dogs there. In one of her cat rooms were a lot of adult cats. It was a swirling mass of cat bodies, but I looked down and this little grey kitten was looking up at me, and it was all over.
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That was about 5 years ago. Strummer and Max have never gotten along well, but I adore him. He’s a secret love cat – most of the time he’s stand-offish, but he gets under the covers with me at night, curls up against my belly and purrs like a steam engine. He’ll sleep like that for hours, with his head on my arm. He’s also a champion jumper, as you can see from the picture (full disclosure: he can’t jump from the floor to the top of the door, but he goes from floor to bookcase to door with great ease). He’s an intelligent and mysterious cat, and I feel honored that he actually likes to spend time with me. He also has a really impressive set of whiskers.



Early Morning Open Thread: Dobby



From commentor JSL:

This is Dobby, aka Marmadork. We got him a year ago next week. My previous dog was mine alone, I had him before I met my hubby, and it took years to get over his passing before I thought I was ready for another dog, and this one would be ours together. We picked him out of the shelter because he was the one dog there who *wasn’t* barking and whining, and they told us he’d been there for several weeks already – his ribs were showing and we thought we could do him some good (and vice versa).
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We named him Dobby (his shelter name was “Snickers”) after the elf in Harry Potter – ’cause we freed him from the shelter – and for two or three days he didn’t even make a sound. After that he started to come out of his shell and be a little more of a frisky (and destructive – oh! the destruction!) puppy, we started puppy classes, and were well on our way to normal dog ownership.
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After a while, my husband started noticing breathing problems, and I’ll just skip to the part where we ended up in the ER. Hubby has a personal and family history of heart problems, so anything like this sends up red flags. It turned out he’s allergic to the dog. We knew he was horribly allergic to cats, but he’d never had a problem with my old dog, but sure enough, years of not having a dog in close contact meant it was a problem now to have one in the house.
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We went back and forth for weeks over what to do. Because of Hubby’s heart condition, the shots people often take to deal with animal allergies were not an option. I had managed to line up possibilities for adopting him out to people we knew, but my husband literally cried that he didn’t want to give the dog up, that he’d never had one of his own, and that we had to find a way to keep Dobby.
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So after a lot of research and patience, we seem to have found a balance that works for us. We have very strong air purifiers in the house, pulled up most of the carpet, the dog doesn’t come in the bedroom or get on any furniture, and for the most part my husband can’t ride in my car, which is the ‘dog car,’ for taking him to the park, vet visits, training class, etc.
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It’s worked out okay so far, though Dobby has gotten much bigger than the previous dog, and is, personality-wise, a total brat who will behave like an angel if you’re holding a treat, then go chew on a rug. But he’s funny and still puppyish, and despite all the stress he causes, I’m hoping that all those statistics about people with pets having longer lifespans is still true!



Early Morning Open Thread: Dogs of A Certain Age

Good news from commentor William F: A few weeks ago I emailed from NYC with a request to help me find a good home for my dog Richie. I got a few responses from your readers and one of them happened to be the perfect guy for Richie. Thank you for helping him find a good home.

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From commentor Jim M:

When my wife and started dating, she owned a 147-pound German Shepherd Dog, “Duke.” Duke was an awesome, brilliant dog. He died in August 2006 at age 8 from gastric dilatation and volvulus. 4 months later, we were watching the local all-news cable network New England Cable Network (NECN) when the morning show featured the monthly Boston Animal Rescue League adoption candidate.
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There she was, thin, scared but alert and clearly with it – Perdie, a shepherd/greyhound/collie mix. She had been in the ARL shelter in Boston for 2 years. This was her last chance. We looked at each other and nodded. It was time to get another dog.
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We met with her at the ARL shelter. She was skinny, but healthy, and at age 9, just recently spayed. Her previous owners had hit some financial difficulty and had to give her up, we were told. That day, we hung out with her in the shelter’s auditorium (it’s a former elementary school). We put her through her paces: sit, lie down, speak, stay, paw, come – all perfect.
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We took her home and began to integrate her into our family. Luckily our daughter Kate – a vet tech – was home for Christmas to provide some welcome advice and counsel. Of our 2 cats, Stop-It was the most affected, hiding out in the cellar for 2 months, emerging at night to eat and go out. Eventually my wife, Roze, put her territorial foot down with Perdie and made it clear that in this house, the female HUMAN was the leader of the cats, not Perdie. And things were great from then on.
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We knew going in that at 9 years old and eventually 55-60 pounds that Perdie would be a part of our family for 4-5 years at best. But that was OK with us. We were moved, and Perdie has proven to be a wonderful pet and companion. Stubborn, quirky, but loving and loyal.
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On Thursday, Feb. 24, our son called to say he thought Perdie was having a stroke. Turns to have been the first of 5 seizures over the next 24 hours. The vet says most likely a brain tumor, meningioma. She’s on phenobarbital, and seizure-free since then. But clearly this is the beginning of the end for our poor old gal. She has moments of lucidity through the drug haze, and can still walk – albeit slowly and shakily – eat, and is still mostly house-continent.
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Prognosis is 2-4 months, according to Teh Google. The cats, Storm and Stop-It, act as her escorts as she paces around the house, and when we walk outside. Every once in a while she’ll walk up to us and look at us with recognition and the smile you see in the attached pic. She’s not in pain. We know we’ll have to say good-bye soon, but not quite yet. Our mission was to give her a good quality of life for whatever time she had left starting on that day in 2006. And here we are 4.5 years later, mission accomplished, but not one we’re eager to see end.



Chicago Area Dog Bleg

From commentor Moses2317 (aka Winning Progressive), whose dog Bard was featured here on February 14:

Saturday evening my wife and I found a stray dog in the street that didn’t have any tags. We took her in, and have tried to find her owner (posted signs in our neighborhoods, comments on various Facebook pages for local dog groups, visiting the local dog parks, etc.) to no avail. The dog has a microchip, but no one had registered it and the microchip company can only trace it back to a breeder that has gone out of business.
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We can only keep the dog for another day or two, due to the fact that we have our own dog, are taking care of a father with dementia, and are going out of town in a couple of days. So, we are looking for a good home for her somewhere in Chicago or the suburbs.
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The dog appears to be sweet and friendly. She’s about 20 pounds and house trained. She appears to be well taken care of, well groomed. On walks she has been friendly with babies, toddlers, men, women, and other dogs. She has also been friendly with our own dog in our own apartment.
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If people are interested in taking this dog in, they can e-mail me at winningprogressive@gmail.com. We would like a reference so we can make sure we would be giving her to a good home.