Thursday, March 26, 2009

ABC Nightline Investigates Puppymills

This Friday, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppymills. Here's the blurb that Bill Smith from Main Line Animal Rescue has asked that people crosspost to spread the word:

Well friends, once again, the cat is out of the bag - or should we say the dog out of the hutch! This Friday night, March 27, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppy mills!

ABC Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi and investigators from Nightline travel the byways and back roads of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - visiting numerous puppy mills and filming Main Line Animal Rescue's volunteers as they rescue breeding dogs and puppies from Lancaster County's notorious Amish commercial breeding facilities.

This promises to be a very special program. If you are involved in rescue, advocate on behalf of the millions of puppy mill dogs interned in our nation's commercial dog breeding facilities, or if you just simply love animals, you will not want to miss this.

Sharyn Alfonsi interviewed, on camera, an Amish breeder while touring his facility - a first for network television. With approximately 500 dogs housed on his property, this commercial breeder speaks openly about an industry cloaked in secrecy and suspicion - the cruel factory farming of man's best friend.

PLEASE tell your friends, your family, your coworkers - ABC Nightline investigates puppy mills - this Friday at 11:35 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Please take the time to forward this to all the rescues, shelters, and legislators in your area.

It has been almost one year since Oprah's puppy mill show aired. That program received the highest viewer response of any Oprah Show in years. Now we need to spread the word about this very special Nightline. Only by educating as many people as we can, will we be able to help these animals. And after you watch the program, please don't hesitate to contact ABC and Nightline to thank them for casting such a strong light on the plight of our nation's puppy mill dogs.

(The photo above is of Tilly, a dog who spent 6 years as a PM breeding bitch)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodbye, Chava. Hello, Sally.

Our dear sweet Chava went home yesterday - always a bittersweet event. Her confidence, loving nature and dash of sass really won our hearts and we have been a little bummed this weekend without her here, making us laugh.

The good news is she really hit the jackpot in homes. She is now an island girl, living on Vashon - a large island in the Puget Sound. She joins her mom and a cat named Garbo and will now go just about everywhere with her mom. You originally knew this pup as Laika, but the name given to her by her new mom, "Chava", means "sweet little one" in Romanes (gypsy). Anyhow, even though we are sad to not have her with us, we know that she is destined to lead a long, happy life full of love which is just what we want for her.

To keep us busy and not so sad, Sally Ride has joined our family. Sally is Armstrong's sister. She was being fostered elsewhere, but that foster mom had 3 very ill puppies on the way to be fostered and didn't want Sally to be exposed to whatever it is that the pups had. It worked great for us because Armstrong is one of those puppies who squeals and cries constantly if he doesn't have a buddy to hang out with. I am SOOOO glad that he will have a young, active fur-brother at his new home to keep him company. They will be the best of pals.

Here you see the two pups sound asleep in the puppy playpen we have behind the counter at the pet store. They spent plenty of time wrestling and playing with customers and then conked out for a couple hours in the corner of the playpen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The latest

A lot has happened in the 7 days since I last posted. Last week Armstrong finally joined our family and as you can see in this photo he is cuteness incarnate. He's also hilarious with his short little legs and sausage roll body. For the first couple days he was quite sad to be away from his momma and sister for the first time, but Chava quickly took on the big sister roll and kept him so busy wrestling that he didn't have time to cry. This is the Armstrong that was in Texas with his sister Sally Ride who I've been posting photos of in Flickr when his first foster mom sent them to me. He's about 9 weeks old now and in a couple weeks he'll be neutered and ready to go to his new home where they are anxiously awaiting his arrival. He'll join Sprocket there, a previous foster of ours and I'm so happy he'll have a young dog to play with as he gets quite worried when he is alone.

Chava is growing like a weed and today she was spayed. She's recovering well this evening, kicking back and seemingly pain-free and happy. She still will need to continue with the mange treatment and today we found out that she has a yeast infection on her head as well so she'll need to start an antifungal, too. She's maturing into an incredible dog - confident, playful and kind - and her new mom is lucky indeed to have such a wonderful pup joining her family.

Since there are 3 mangy and somewhat ill black and tan foster puppies winging their way to Kathy's house tomorrow, Sally Ride will be joining our crew after all. Chava will be going home on Saturday so for one crazy day we will have 5 dogs in the house, three of them puppies. I don't know how those moms with 6 or 7 foster dogs do it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Money Hungry: Part 2

Today was absolutely beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest so while I've been home to watch them, the dogs have been playing outside and loving it. I was out there doing poop scoop duty while they played and guess what I found? Yep, a piece of the dollar bill that Frodo ate back in January. Does the United States make sturdy money or what?!

The little scrap of paper was digested, pooped out and then left to the elements: rain, wind and a couple bouts of snow. I was just cracking up. Frodo is notorious for eating things he shouldn't and my landscaping is dotted with left over bits of his naughtiness. Ah the surprises of Frodo's technicolor poo. lol
Here's the half he left on the living room floor that I posted the photo of awhile back:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rocket Man

I received some great photos of Rocket awhile back and I don't think that I shared them. As you see in the photo he doesn't lack for toys or comfy dog beds.

Although he is still a bit sensitive about his leg that had surgery, he has started using it regularly and will walk with most of his weight on it. His mom takes him for walks each day to help him start using it more and that has definitely worked. She also throws the tennis ball for him in the back yard and he gets so excited he forgets to pull up his leg and will run on it. On the way back with the ball in his mouth he can get quite dramatic about pulling it up again.

I saw him last weekend and where the muscle had atrophied a bit from not being used, muscle is starting to build up. His mom is doing an awesome job getting this guy into tip top condition and his dad makes sure that he gets lots of lap and cuddletime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow angel

Snow, typically rare in Washington, is getting to be a bad habit this winter. Once again we were dusted with the white stuff and Chava had the chance to experience her first snow. She was not impressed.

At first when she walked onto the deck she turned around and ran back toward the door. Thanks to the leash that wasn't an option so she stood still and shivered, hoping I'd take pity on her. Nope. I carried her off the deck into the grass for her bathroom break and she started walking through the grass like it was mud or something - lifting her little legs as high as they would go with each step. Finally she made it under the fir trees where the ground looked pretty normal. In this photo you see her trying to hide out under a fern, only to discover that there was snow on top of it that fell on her.

When the ordeal was over and she was finally back in the house she ran around in circles like a wild child, ecstatic that things were still normal inside the house - well as normal as life can be with three rat terriers running around.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Salted Dog

I work at a small independent pet store that specializes in natural products, and last week we got in a couple of new products by a local company named DerMagic that are specifically for dogs with dermatitis issues. After watching the video that came with the products to educate employees I have to admit that I was skeptical. It was just so cheesy and anytime I hear a bunch of people saying "nothing else worked, but this stuff is AMAZING!" I roll my eyes. I decided that my mangy little foster pup Laika (now named Chava - Shawvuh - by her future adopter) would be a great test case. Demodex is pretty difficult to treat. So I bought a bottle of the lotion and started applying it to her head area twice daily.

Okay, so now I'm a believer. Within 2 days her head was no longer scaly and the bumps were going away. It has a little sulphur in it which tends to stink after all the nice smelling oils and aloe soak in, but sulphur is something that homeopaths often use in formulae for flea treatments, etc., so it probably helps with the mites that cause demodectic mange.

Anyhow, the lotion is easy to apply to her bald little head, but hard to get on the patchy areas on her legs and back. We also received some of the Dead Sea salt bath salts that the company makes and I decided to give the salts a try because that would get to the areas that the lotion couldn't reach. My son brought up the towels and we braced ourselves for the bathing ordeal.

Chava was so pathetic. She scrambled the entire bath, trying to get out of the sink. Water and shampoo was everywhere when we finally wrapped her in a towel and prepared for part 2 of bathtime. We dissolved the salts in the sink and then set her back in, much to her horror. Her eyes screamed "NO!!!! No more! No more!" and she whined and squeaked as we poured the salty water over her, rubbing it into her skin, and then finally rinsing her off. My son held her wrapped in a towel and she stared at me with a look of betrayal and then turned her head under my son's neck as if to say, "well, at least he still loves me."

Five minutes later after countless bouts of shaking herself dry, Chava is back to herself, bouncing around as if nothing happened. Little does she know that she will have to go through the salty part again in a couple days.

For more bathtime photos check out her set of photos on