Saturday, July 27, 2013

Solider's Dog Given Away While Deployed

This is such a sad story, so I'm hoping that we can all get the word out and help find this dog!

About a year after joining the Army, 1st Lt. Brandon Harker got a playful lab over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, while he was at Fort Benning in western Georgia. He named him Oakley. Describing him sweetly as "a very big baby," Harker said Oakley loved to snuggle. "It doesn't matter who it was, he'd try to crawl up on your lap." He also likes to likes to run, swim and get into most everything -- "whether it's trouble or not."

Whenever Harker was in the United States, Oakley would go with him. Most recently, Harker was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington. Whenever he deployed, his beloved dog would be left with a friend. That's what happened last year, when the lieutenant left Oakley with someone he described as a "good friend" before he headed off to Afghanistan. "Every time, while I was gone, I asked about him," Harker said, recalling how his friend would insist Oakley was "doing good (and) acting like his regular self. "I'd ask for a picture every now and then. But I never got any pictures sent to me."

Harker learned the truth as he was flying back to Washington. "What do you mean you got rid of my dog?" he told his friend. In the few days since coming back, Harker has been on a mission. He posted a plea to find Oakley on Craigslist, noting that he didn't know if the dog had been sold or given away -- something he'd been told happened in May, though Harker isn't so sure. It could have happened anytime between February or June.

Harker describes Oakley as yellow labrador retriever with a unique coat - on his face, down his sides and legs he has spots of a darker yellow or champagne color. Oakley is good with kids and other dogs. Oakley is micro-chipped and registered.

If you have any information, please contact Harker via his craigslist ad here.

Via CNN.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

11-year-old Uses Birthday Party to Help Pit Bulls

There is nothing I love more than a kid who is out to help others. Some of my favorite posts from my local shelters aren't the cute pictures of puppies and kitties, but the kids who are coming in to donate their birthday money or their allowance. It makes me so excited for our future to see a child who just wants to help make the world a better place. Check out Zachary Felts of Pauline South Carolina...

Zachary Felts of Pauline, S.C., has the following quote posted on his bedroom wall: “You can’t trust a Pitt Bull because they will steal your heart.” Although he doesn’t know who wrote the statement, the 11-year-old strongly shares the sentiment and claims it as his favorite quote. So much so, he sacrificed all his birthday presents to help pit bulls. “People think pit bulls are so mean, and they’re not,” Zachary said. “It’s just the way they are treated.”

In today’s world, Zachary’s favorite quote can stir up a little controversy. Pit bulls have been associated with aggressive behavior and are feared by many people. “There is a cultural bias when it comes to the pit bull,” said Dr. Jim Dobies, a veterinarian who owns South Point Pet Hospital in Belmont. “Gaston County has a number of pit bull mixes that are pets and they have always been the most friendly dogs to work with.”

Zachary, who has grown up with all types of dogs including five pit bulls, described the breed as “sweet,” and decided he wanted to help all the abandoned pit bulls he believes people mislabel. Zachary’s mother, Summer Felts, said that five months before his 11th birthday party, Zachary told her that instead of getting presents for himself he wanted his guests to bring dog items to donate to a pit bull rescue center in Charlotte. Although she said he loves all dogs, his heart lies mostly with pit bulls. “He gets all fired up whenever he sees the media representing pit bulls poorly. He knows how devoted and loyal they are and how they love to please their owners,” Summer Felts said.

Zachary chose South of the Bully Rescue Center because it was the only one in their region that specifically rescues the pit bull breed. South of the Bully rescues pit bulls from Chester County, S.C., Animal Control and Gaston County Animal Control. “I don’t know if I will ever have another breed,” said South of the Bully Vice President Karrie Murphy. “We all believe they are misunderstood and we are trying to change that image.” South of the Bully is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers. It was established in October to rescue pit bulls and place them in foster care until they find a permanent home. “Pit bulls are euthanized more often than any other breed,” Murphy said. The organization provides all necessary veterinarian care and needs through public donations and adoption fees.

South of the Bully will have an adoption event on July 27 at Pet Essentials on Pineville-Matthews Road in Charlotte. Zachary along with his family will attend to deliver all the donated dog items, including 300 pounds of dog food, and to get a closer look at one of their rescued pit bulls he’s interested in adopting. The staff is looking forward to meeting him. “For a kid to say I don’t want presents, instead, I want to give to these dogs, and to pick us, we were all floored,” Murphy said.

Summer said Zachary’s excitement was not curbed by the fact he wasn’t getting presents. “He was so excited at the party,” she said. “He was ecstatic as though he was opening presents for himself.” Many guests brought both a donated item and money in case he wanted something for himself. “He took that and bought more dog supplies,” Summer said.

Zachary, who is a fifth-grader at Glenn Springs Elementary School in Pauline, has decided what he wants to do when he grows up. “I want to have a rescue organization,” he said.

via Charlotte Observer

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Firefighter Captures Kitten's Rescue on Helmet Camera

If you want a little pick me up today, check out this heartwarming video of a firefighter's rescue of a tiny kitten.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rescue Me! (from the bath...)

I recently decided that for the sake of our sanity and pocketbook, I need to learn to groom Astrea myself. When we lived in Folsom we had a fantastic groomer, Maureen. She was wonderful. Her prices were reasonable, she didn't double book, and she treated Astrea like the little princess we tell her she is. The first time I took Astrea to be groomed Maureen was at a big box pet store. The place was loud, there were lots of dogs and Astrea was terrified. If I remember correctly she peed on the floor she was so scared. When we went back six weeks later Maureen remembered how Astrea reacted and booked her at a time that was not so busy. Once there were no more dogs around she took Astrea off her leash and just let her explore the salon and see that it's not that scary. That's what got us hooked on Maureen. When she left the big box store and went to a smaller shop 30 minutes away, we followed her. Unfortunately, now were two-and-a-half hours away and that's just much to far for us to drive for a haircut. I've tried a groomer locally, I gave them two shots, but they just are cutting it.


Please don't make me take a bath.

So, now here we are trying to navigate the world of grooming a dog who barely lets me give her a bath. One of the things that I always loved about taking Astrea to see Maureen is, when she would come back her hair would be soft like when she was a puppy. I've never been able to replicate that feeling when I give Astrea a bath at home...until now! I'll be honest, I never would have thought that dogs need conditioner. I know how important it is to caring for my own hair, but never thought that my dog may need some of the same level of care.


This past weekend we tried Viva la Dog Spa Rescue Me! Deep Conditioner and I am in LOVE. Not only does it smell fantastic, once Astrea's coat dried it was so incredibly soft. I couldn't stop petting her and telling her how soft her fur was! A few years back Astrea had a little skin infection on her back end and her hair never grew back the same. It's always been coarse and tough. I was thrilled that even that tough, coarse spot felt fantastic! I can only imagine how it will feel after we use it a few more times. I was a little scared to even attempt to groom Astrea, but if this conditioner is a preview of what it will be like, I think we'll be ok! If you want to try Rescue Me! Deep Conditioner - check out the Viva la Dog Spa website. I also loved that I didn't feel like I needed to use a ton of the product on her. I started with just a small dollop in my hand and worked that through, and it was definitely enough to really get all over. Makes me happy to know that the bottle we have will last us through several baths!


Look how pretty and clean I am!

UPDATE: It's been just over a week since I used the Rescue Me! on Astrea and she STILL FEELS SO SOFT! I just cannot get over how fantastic her coat feels! I'm sure Astrea isn't excited for her next bath, but I can't wait! I have a feeling things are just going to get better and better from here!!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

All you need is love...and a dog.

It's amazing what a little love can do to heal. Norman was 16 years old, abandoned and on the brink of death at the shelter. The chances of a dog in his condition being adopted were slim, but luckily, one family saw something in Norman. Look at his before and after!


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cory Booker Helps Rescue Dog Trapped in Crate

I have a slight obsession with Newark N.J. Mayor, Cory Booker. Sometimes I think I should move to Newark just so he can be my mayor. I love how in touch he is with his city and how quick he is to get out and really show how much he is willing to help the citizens. This story is just another example of why he is amazing.

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker personally intervened Thursday evening to help rescue a female pit bull that a neighbor said was locked in a crate for four days.

Booker, currently running for the U.S. Senate, was heralded as a hero last year after he helped a neighbor out of her burning home. The popular Garden State Democrat swooped into action again Thursday after reading a tweet from @shankdog3000.

"@CoryBooker Is there anyone in Newark NJ who can stop the torture of a dog? There is a dog who is locked in a small crate on a vacant lot," the user tweeted.

"Where? I'll go investigate now," Booker responded. The resident provided an address. Booker arrived at the scene and reported to his 1.3 million Twitter followers that the dog was "in rough shape" and "in a tiny cage."

Scott Crawford of the Humane Society told U.S. News that Booker called for assistance after scoping out the scene himself. The dog snapped at rescuers and a "snare pull" was used to safely extract the animal from its cage.

Crawford said the dog is "bouncing off the walls" at the Humane Society's Newark shelter and is "a little scary right now," but expressed hope that its behavior would improve. He speculated that mistreatment in the past might have caused the dog's poor temperament.

Stray and rescued animals only receive names seven days after being taken in by the Humane Society, Crawford said, per a New Jersey law requiring a one week window before shelters assume ownership of the animals.

It's not yet clear if the dog will be offered for adoption. "She's very aggressive right now. We're going to see how she comes around," Crawford said.


Monday, July 01, 2013

Would you sit in a hot parked car for 30 minutes?

Dr. Ernie, a veterinarian, decided to see what it's like to sit in a hot parked car for 30 minutes on a 95 degree day. Remember this if you see a dog in a car or consider taking yours along, even for a short trip. The car heats up so quickly, even after just 5 minutes.

Source: Dogington Post

Friday, June 28, 2013

Man Risks Life to Save Dogs

Whenever I hear about these tragedies, I always think, what would I do if Astrea and Ora were home alone? I imagine I would do exactly what this man did...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Justice for Stormie

It is absolutely unfathomable to me that anyone could treat a living being this way. Please, if you are in the Sacramento area, share this story, get the word out and help find the garbage that did this to Stormie.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hi Friend.

This past weekend we got a bit of a surprise. Loading my sister's trunk we heard the most pitiful kitten cry I've ever heard. It took a minute to figure out where it was coming from, and then I saw this little babe poke his head out from the undercarriage. Not sure where he came from, or where he went once we finally got him to come out, but so thankful he made himself known before we started the car and drove away...
car cat

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It takes a few minutes for the exciting part of this video to happen, but man... I don't know how this person holding the camera stayed so silent and still!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ora - My Social Butterly

Miss Ora is always trying to find friends...or trophies, I'm not sure which. On Sunday my dad caught her trying to "play" with a baby squirrel. First she rolled around and tried to look sweet. Then once she earned a little bit of trust, chased the baby squirrel into a bush.



A couple hours later she walked into the house with a lizard her mouth. I tried to save the lizard, tried to distract Ora, but she was not having it so I shuffled her outside. Luckily, Ora doesn't have a teeth anymore, so she didn't do any damage to the lizard. She spent the next half and hour outside catching and releasing the lizard until she got bored and decided to come in for a nap. I saw the lizard a few times throughout the day and he looked like he was doing just fine.

And just for fun, because it was a nice day on Sunday, here's a little "family" picture...


Friday, June 07, 2013

Chica is missing!

One of the worst feelings in the world is not knowing where your pet is. If you've never experienced this, you are lucky!! Brandi Glanville, one of the stars of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is trying to find her missing dog, Chica. Earlier this week, while out of town, Glanville got a call that her house had been broken into. The only thing missing? Her precious chihuahua Chica. To make matters worse - Glanville has been receiving phone calls from people claiming to have the dog only to find out they are just being cruel. She is so desperate to bring Chica home, Glanville is offering a $10,000 reward! So, if you live in the Bel Air, Los Angeles, Encino area - keep your eyes peeled. Chica has a collar with a number.

Photo from TMZ

Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet Freida!

Have you met Freida yet? Poor Freida was deserted in a ditch. She was tiny, matted, and sick. Luckily after a good samaritan found her, she was taken in for care by Forgotten Felines of Maine. Freida has a condition that has left her with a non-functioning liver and an enlarged gallbladder. She also had to be shaved due to her matted fur. Now that she's being treated for her liver condition we're hoping she continues to improve and live a long life. And while she works to get there, how cute is she in her little clothes?





If you want to help with Freida's mounting medical bills, please make a donation to Forgotten Felines of Maine. You can also follow Freida's story on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mobile Monday - The Vet is Exhausting

Ora is officially a toothless cat. When I took her for her annual check up we made the decision to remove the few teeth she had left. When I took her back for her check up, she decided to curl up and take a nap while we waited. It's so rare that I get to cuddle her, doesn't she look sweet?


Friday, May 24, 2013

Cat Castle!!

Astrea and Ora have been very spoiled the past few months with a huge yard to play in and neighbors who give them lots of treats. We're going to be finding out own place soon and I'm afraid I might have to make one of these for Ora as a peace offering.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Colorado State Pet

Way to go Colorado. This is a great honor for shelter pets and such a wonderful way to encourage people to adopt, not buy, their next family member.

Colorado Makes Shelter Dogs and Cats New State Pet

KREX News Room, John Dias

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Governor Hickenlooper signed a new bill into law making shelter dogs and cats Colorado’s official state pet.

Although pet adoption rates in Mesa County are already higher the other areas, officials are hoping this will bring more awareness to these pets looking for a good home.

This proposal was brought forward by Colorado schoolchildren and officials at Mesa County Animal Services tell NewsChannel 5 they’re excited about that feature because these kids are future pet owners.

“I think that the animal-human bond is very strong,” said Penny McCarty, director of Mesa County Animal Services. “I think that we respect that in our community.”

McCarty says the community is already so supportive of local pet agencies, but she's thrilled Colorado has named shelter dogs and cats the official state pet.

“Last year in our community, we adopted 2,226 animals,” said McCarty.

“We need to get all of these dogs that have been lost, a new home,” said Jacee Apple, new dog owner. “Make sure they get a nice family that is going to take care of them.”

It’s not just adoption rates McCarty is hoping will increase, but also help raise the bar higher for an already soaring amount of missing pets that are brought back safely to their owners.

“Our return to owner rate is 70 percent, which is more than double the national average,” said McCarty. “We have a good community of pet owners.”

Officials want this new trend to spread to other states in the future.

This new law did come with some controversy, as opponents are saying that this could create an area for business transactions and that some of these animals may not even be from our state.

Source: KREX TV

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mobile Monday - Hawaii Fun

My friend Frankie and I spent a week in Kauai to celebrate my 30th birthday. Of course, I fell in love with some of the animals we came across on our adventures...


We took a boat ride to the fern grotto and met this little love.


After the boat ride we had a luau and watched the beautiful peacocks strut around.


This was my favorite kitty. He lived at the home where we got our massages. There was also a dog named Hoku that I didn't get a picture of, but he was my favorite dog we met. Partly because he walked all crazy like and partly because his name meant star!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Marine Reunited with Dog

On my lunch break at work the other day I was reading the news and this story caught my eye. I had to share it and realized, this was the happy ending that was going to get me back into the swing of posting for you all. Such a beautiful story of people working together to make a Marine's dream come true. Way to go Iowa!

Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach reunited with his dog after tour in Afghanistan

Jens Manuel Krogstad, Des Moines Register

DES MOINES, Iowa - Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach said he wasn't going to cry in uniform.

His were among the few dry eyes today in the State Capitol rotunda. Dozens of people, including Gov. Terry Branstad, attended a surprise reunion (video below) between Gundlach and Casey, a golden Labrador that served with him in Afghanistan.

Gundlach, 25, and Casey, 4, forged a bond in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan's south Helmand Province, sweeping roads for bombs.

"About midway through, I told her if we made it out alive I'd do whatever it took to find her," Gundlach said. "I owe her. I want to take care of her...I'll just try to give her the best life she can have from here on out."

Gundlach and Casey last saw each on June 3, 2012. Casey had gone on to serve in the Iowa State Fire Marshal's office. Gundlach is enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, his hometown.

Gundlach had traveled to Iowa under the impression that he would have to plead his case before a government committee to get Casey back. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds said he wasn't surprised Gundlach made the trip.

Last night, Gundlach told Reynolds that he last saw Casey 333 days, 14 hours and 20-some minutes ago.

"The first time I talked to him... (Gundlach) said, 'I would swim to Japan to get my dog," Reynolds said.

The reunion was made possible by the Iowa Elks Association, which donated $8,500 to replace Casey with another dog at the State Fire Marshal's office. Casey's General Store paid for Marine Sgt. Kyle Williams to travel to present Casey to Gundlach. The trio served together in Afghanistan.

Despite their time apart, it appeared Casey remembered Gundlach well. Her paws slipped out from under her from excitement when they saw each other, and her tail wagged throughout the 30-minute presentation.

As Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds explained the dangers Gundlach and Casey faced during more than 150 missions together, Casey placed her front paws on Gundlach's shoulders and licked his face.

"It touches your heart," said Elaine Haugen, 68, the wife of a Vietnam War veteran who attended the event. "We really have no way of knowing what those two experienced. We only surmise that we do."

Source:Des Moines Register

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Astrea is 4 today!!

I have been very, very absent from the blog lately. We've had some big changes. We moved. I started an amazing new job this January. And things have just been CRAZY. BUT I couldn't let Astrea's birthday pass without a post, so I'm using this as a new start to keeping up the blog! Here are a couple photos from today.


Astrea's Sweet Potato Banana Cake


Enjoying her birthday treat!

I promise this is the beginning of regular posts again! Lost of fun to come in 2013!


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