I saw this video on the ASPCA facebook a couple days ago, just in time for me to send it out to all my friends, because the club I'm in at school is starting a blanket, towel and toy drive this week. It's super cute though and I just had to share it and remind you all - if you're doing spring cleaning, don't throw away those old towels and blankets - or anything else your local shelter could use! As long as your items are clean and in a useable condition, donate them to your local shelter! The animals and volunteers will be forever thankful for your contribution!
Don't know what your local shelter needs? Here are some ideas:
I promise, I will get back to regularly updating soon. Just a few more days of school to get through then we're back to normal. In the mean time... last night I decided it was Ora's turn to wear my favorite Easter dress. Astrea and Jameson were both at one time subjected to the dress, it's only fair the Ora wear it too, right?
Ora has been wearing the same shirt for several days and it was in desperate need of washing. I decided while I washed the shirt, I'd slip the dress on her. She's dying to be free of clothes, but I knew even five minutes without a shirt on and she'd be licking those stitches right out of her back. So i'd just put the dress on quick and that would be that. Easier said than done apparently. No sooner than I got the shirt off, Astrea was jumping at me trying to rip the dress out of my hands. Astrea fought me the whole time I was putting the dress on Ora. As soon as I got it on her Astrea JUMPED ON ORA! She was trying to rip the dress off of her! Ora quickly ran and hid under the table. Astrea tried to get to her, but the chairs made it difficult, so she then proceeded to sit in front of the table crying until I took the dress off Ora. I put her cute pink and black shirt back on and all was right in the world again. Due to the distress that Ora wearing the dress caused, there is no photo of her looking hilarious in it. So... if anyone is in need of a cute Easter dress, let me know, I have one that no one in this house wants to wear!
I rarely watch TV in the morning, but yesterday morning I just happened to turn on Good Morning America. On Thursday Astrea had her six-month check up and of course, we discussed Astrea's teeth and gums. So, I was excited to get a nice helpful crash course in teeth brushing. For those of you who have never brushed your dogs teeth on your own, this is a great video for you...
I've been a little absent this week from the blog. It's the last two weeks of school (and my last full semester as a law student!!) so things have been busy, busy, busy. Lot's of late nights and early mornings and not enough time for cuddling. Astrea has been a little upset because it's thrown off our normal daily routine. Usually our morning involves her waking me up at around 6:30 to go on our morning walk, breakfast and then cuddling on the couch until I have to get up and get ready for the day. On Wednesday we got back to normal. Little Miss Ora has not been involved with our morning cuddle sessions up to this point, she'll usually come lay with me while Astrea eats but then she leaves. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up on Wednesday from a little nap and not only found Ora on the couch with us BUT cuddled in between Astrea and I!! I wish I could have got a better picture, but here is the best I got...
The black blob to the left is Astrea, the black blobs to the right of Ora are my legs, I call this ultimate spooning!
After I got Ora she developed some skin issues. While the issues have improved, they have continued so she's got some bald spots and some owies on her back. Because it's been going on for so long we decided to go ahead and get her a biopsy just to be sure it's nothing big and scary. In the meantime, the vet decided the easiest way to help while we try to figure out whats going on is to have Ora start wearing a shirt. With a shirt she can't scratch or lick and make things worse. At first she was not happy with me...
Then she realized it wasn't so bad and just relaxed.
Then I decided to take advantage and pull out the clothes Astrea wore as a baby.
At this point, she's spent most of the day sitting in the window showing off how cute she is for the neighbors. And I'm happy to report that the biopsy came back clean, so it's likely an allergy causing her ouchies.
Whenever I receive emails or see posts about animals that need homes I want to take them in. It would be ideal if I could, but then I'm sure I'd end up on Hoarders some day and it would be all bad. But, I realize since I can't take in every dog I see that needs a home, the next best thing I can do is spread the word.
Meet Arrow. He is a darling Australian Shepherd puppy. Arrow is looking for the perfect home with someone who has time to provide for his special needs. As a very young puppy Arrow suffered some spinal trauma and as a result, has partial paralysis of his hindquarters. Luckily, he does have bladder and bowel control. With help he can stand and take a few steps before toppling over, otherwise he uses his front legs to get himself around. He is currently receiving twice weekly acupuncture, weekly hydrotherapy, and is doing regular physical therapy in an effort to help him regain as much use of his back end as possible. He is showing significant improvements, but will likely never be completely mobile.
Arrow is a sweet little snuggle bug and he needs a very special forever home that will continue therapy as necessary and will give him a fabulous and accommodating life. He is currently in Northern Illinois, but the folks looking to adopt him out will figure out transport to make a really, really good home happen. **Update: Arrow has been adopted.
There has been a lot of news surrounding Patrick, the puppy who was found starved in a plastic bag left to die in a dumpster. Lucky for Patrick he was found literally just in time. He's been doing better everyday and I have no doubt will end up in a loving, amazing home when he's ready. Unfortunately not all dogs are as lucky as Patrick.
Meet Snoop. This photo is of Snoop when he was first brought into what he thought would be a loving home. This beautiful little guy never had a chance with the owners he was stuck with. He was found last week starved to death on an Oshkosh, WI sidewalk. I'll spare you the photo here, but be prepared there is a photo of Snoop as he was found on the change.org petition site.
This horrible, uncaring owner was identified to police through an informant. That informant led police to the home of Bryan I. Hutcherson, 19. Shockingly, Hutcherson is reported to have told police that the puppy was too stressful and "too expensive" to feed. Instead of surrendering the puppy to an animal control facility, the man and his girlfriend reportedly watched him starve to death before their eyes.
Apparently little Snoop was kept in a wire cage measuring 2 ft x 3 ft - the cage was kept in the couple's living room. The informant told police that the puppy was covered in feces and shaking the last time that he was seen in February. Snoop received nothing to eat, from what his owner told police, he apparently received nothing for over a month.
Hutcherson told the police that he decided to lay the sick puppy on the sidewalk, just 2 blocks from his home, last Thursday - the puppy was so weak that he could not raise his head from the cement. A necropsy showed that the emaciated puppy's organs had systematically shut down as a result of the starvation.
Hutcherson was held on a $1000 bond and will have a preliminary hearing on April 14. He could face fines of $10,000 and up to 3.5 years behind bars. In the court of public opinion, his name will forever be associated with that of a person with no heart. His unidentified girlfriend is also facing charges - her case has been sent to the Winnebago County District Attorney.
Rest in Peace Snoop. Please stand up for Snoop. Sign the change.org petition or send a letter to Prosecutor Scott Ceman (fax: 920-236-4952/email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and Judge John Jorgensen (fax: 920-303-4784). Let the authorities know that you will not stand for a slap on the wrist for this type of behavior. Change in our laws starts with us standing up and letting our government officials and legislators know that we want harsher punishments for animal abusers. So, take a minute sign the Petition or send a letter and then email your representatives and let them know about Snoop's story and that you want our laws to punish these individuals harshly for abusing defenseless animals.
It's only 9am and my monday isn't exactly going to plan, the animals however are loving it. First, Astrea decided that my lap was the best place to sit, even if that's where the 80 pages of reading I'm working on were sitting first...
And then Ora decided that my glass of water was now hers...
I think maybe I need to just take a cue from Astrea and go back to sleep...
I like celebrities with their cute animals. I LOVE celebrities who give back and help animals. Katherine Heigl is on the love list.
A few weeks back I read this article about how she's expanded her furry family once again. If you don't know, Katherine Heigl and her mother founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in honor of her brother who was killed in 1986. JDHF operates to eliminate the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference, and ignorance. Their primary focus is the greater Los Angeles area, for now. JDHF took in a puppy, Rufus, that had been used as a bait dog in a dog fighting ring. Poor little thing was left with injuries ranging from puncture wounds and abscesses around his neck area to splintered neck vertebra. When Heigl learned that Rufus would be required to wear a full body cast for at least a few months, she decided to take him home with her. Hopefully Rufus has fit in nicely with Heigl, her husband Josh Kelley, their daughter Naleigh and all their other furry family members.
I've made no secret of the fact that Astrea likes to talk, a lot. I laugh when I pick her up from daycare, they often write on her Pawgress Report (yes that's what it's called!) how much she loves to let everyone know when people are walking by the big windows. She is very protective and definitely makes a ruckus when she thinks she needs to. As much as I'd like to say it's cute, it's really not. She drives me crazy some nights until I just beg her to be a quiet girl. I had heard about Calming Collars from a Pawcurious giveaway. I looked into it several times, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I gave in and finally bought one. And boy does Astrea look cute in it...
But the real question everyone has for me is... DOES IT WORK? Well first let me say, it smells fabulous. Calming collars are all natural, which was one of my main requirements in my quest to reduce Astrea's barking. Calming collars are stuffed with herbs and smell like a little piece of heaven. I have no doubt that the calming collar calms me down too. Now, back to the point. Astrea has two main triggers for her barking - people walking by our house and the television. After the collar arrived she started wearing it all the time. I wasn't sure if it was working or not at first. I thought it was, but I thought maybe I was just telling myself it was working.
Then I heard the mailman arrive one day. Astrea hates the mailman, she jumps in the window and barks her face off at him. That day she never once went to the window. She went about her business like nothing was going on outside. From there I was hyper-aware of people walking by, simply to notice if Astrea reacted. At least when I'm home, she is rarely bothered by people walking by anymore. Every now and then a barking dog or crying baby will get her but for the most part she totally ignores the people outside.
TV is a little different since it's in the house. I've got a handle on what she hates on TV - Santa Claus, Michael Jackson, animals, bad guys, Petsmart commercials (and commercials with similar music) and some other things I'd rather not say. When I see something that will get her barking I try and change the channel before she goes nuts, but I'm not always quick enough. However, with the collar I started to notice she is easier to redirect and calm down. I'm quite amazed with how quick she quiets down and stays quiet.
Now the ultimate test of whether the collar worked or not came when Astrea and I went to Carmel for a weekend. We had been having some crazy storms in California and they were not getting any better. We were enjoying a nice night in the storm with our friends Frankie and Indie. I love the sound of a good storm, so we were happy to just sit and listen. When went to bed things got bad - the winds picked up, hail started to fall. In Frankie's old wooden house Astrea was a little scared. She never really experienced a storm before and she was not liking it. She couldn't settle, kept moving around the bed, jumping up and checking things out. I couldn't figure out what to do, and then it dawned on me - she doesn't have her collar on! I ran out and grabbed the collar from where it was drying by the heater, she'd worn it outside in the wet grass earlier in the night, after I put the collar on her it was amazing. Astrea walked to the foot of the bed and laid down, waited a minute or two and then got up and moved to cuddle with me and with in just a few minutes she was asleep. I was absolutely amazed. I honestly didn't think it would work that well, but by golly it did!
So...calming collar experiment? SUCCESS! Well worth the $32 investment.