Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Animals as Gifts

American Humane Association

The holidays are a popular time for welcoming a new furry friend into your family. There may not be a greater gift for homeless animals than to open your heart and home to them. As they do year-round, animal shelters have thousands of wonderful companions available for adoption.

But whether you are considering a new friend for you or someone else, remember that choosing an animal is a big decision. Instead of bringing home an animal right away, consider putting together and wrapping an “adoption kit.” Fill a box with toys, a bed, a leash, a collar, food, treats and a gift certificate for adoption fees at your local shelter. Then, make an event of visiting the shelter to find your next best friend!

Remember, millions of homeless animals wait for a home each year! Give the gift of life this year and choose to adopt!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So long, Duke!

Duke was found by one of Adam's co-workers a few weeks ago. We made him a SNIPSA dog, and we knew he would go quickly. There were still leads on the other beagle, Daisy, for us to follow up on. He went to his forever home on Saturday. He is now at home with a young couple and their female lab. Merry Christmas, Duke!

Full House for the Holidays

Old Mama

Sweet Camilla

We will have quite a full house this Christmas. We have our eight in the permanent pack: Mason, Colby, Sidney, Nala, Keifer, Spec, Katie, and Jilly. Dasher, Bandit, and Camilla make eleven; they are all SNIPSA fosters. Big Stan makes twelve; he is a personal long-term foster. Rudy makes thirteen; he is staying with us while his family gets back on their feet. Mama rounds us out at fourteen; she is a rescue who is eventually going to her forever home with a friend of ours.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Update on Katie Girl

Katie's confidence has been growing in leaps and bounds lately. She is much less shy around me and Adam lately. She is becoming a real companion. Like Spec, she is very food-motivated, and we sometimes catch her being mischievous.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Pitbull

We are fostering this sweet boy until his family is able to get back on their feet and find permanent housing. He has helped us to get over some anxieties we had about pitbulls and we are socializing him with people and other doggies. He is the perfect houseguest and a very gentle guy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Goodbye, Jiggy Baby!

Jiggy left us for his forever home today. We only had him for a short time, but he has been one of my favorite furbabies. He is a friend to all, super sweet, and so unique. I will miss him, but I'm glad he has a home where they can spoil him and give him more attention than we can.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Talbot AKA "Jax"

Jax & his momma stopped by for a visit the other day. He looks awesome & is very happy in his new home!

SNIPSA Angel Tree

On Wednesday, November 11 we held an ornament decorating party at AnArte Gallery in Alamo Heights. Ornaments will be displayed on Christmas Trees around town and are available for purchase. All proceeds go to SNIPSA, Inc.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update on Dasher

Since The Big Fix our Dasher has put on over 30 pounds. His skin condition has cleared up quite a bit, and his fur is growing back nicely. His paws no longer look like ostrich claws. He has been diagnosed with heartworms and a hip injury which is probably the result of being hit by a car. He will undergo surgery soon to correct his hip and get altered. Once he has recovered from his surgery he will begin heartworm treatment. He is sweet and very well-adjusted; he is housebroken and crate-trained and very intelligent. Dasher gets along with all dogs and humans and is always up for playtime.

Recent Foster Adoptions

Jack found his forever home with friends of SNIPSA in San Antonio.

Rusty is with his forever family in North Austin.

Grand Award Night 2009

Grant award night where the five finalists, including SNIPSA, competed for the $100K grant sponsored by Impact San Antonio. We did not win, but we put on a great skit and presentation. Adam and Dasher were ready for their debut!


We found this little guy at the Drafthouse parking lot on October 23. He was about to run into the access road. We believe he belonged to someone, but did not find his owner after searching. He was not microchipped. Jiggy is now a SNIPSA dog!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Now I Must Go

Send me to the Bridge I pray
when I no longer run and play.
When my limbs can't bear my weight
and dignity is stripped by fate.

Look into my eyes, you'll find
I will let you know, it's time.
You must help me from this edge.
Now it's time, I make this pledge.

I leave you for the Bridge today.
Anew, I run, I bark, I play!
We shared a life of many things
and to your heart my leaving brings;
the pain of loss, I feel it too,
but Master, know, this I must do.

I must leave first, to make the way
for you to follow me someday.
Beyond the sunset, where all pain ends
we'll meet again, the best of friends.

Just as I snuggled in your heart,
you're in mine too, we aren't apart.
I watch you from afar and pray,
it's time to heal, heal some each day.

Please dry those tears and smile for me,
and know at last that I am free.
There is no pain or suffering here.
The sun shines brightly everywhere.

There isn't even one cross look,
it's not allowed here in His book.
No clouds of gray will gather here,
no storms will ever threaten.
We are at peace here,
and the Bridge is Heaven.

Author: Barbara J. Miller

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meet Dasher

Dasher is a chained, starving, and very ill dog in the city's southside. We found him yesterday while distributing fliers for this Saturday's event. He is being rescued today; we are bringing him home, cleaning him up, and getting his initial vet care. We have had a wonderful outpouring of support from the animal rescue community. Updates to come soon.

The Big Fix, Round 2


What: Free Spay & Neuter Clinic

Where: St. Bonaventure Church, San Antonio, TX

When: Saturday, October 3 @ 7 am

Why: We are offering free services to an area where strays are most prevalent in the city.

How: This event is made possible by the efforts of dozens of volunteers committed to improving life of animals in the Alamo City. We have pre-registered 100 animals, and we are ready to rock & roll on Saturday!

Race for the Rescues '09: A Great Success!

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs presenting the second-place medal to one of Adam's airmen; he placed second in the category of 15 to 19 year-old males.

There were nearly 1000 registered runners all gathered for a great cause last Saturday. It was a crazy busy day, but it was a very successful fundraiser for our furry friends. Kudos to the SNIPSA staff for all the effort they poured into this event!

New Fosters: Meet Jack & Jill

This is Jack.

This is Jack's sister, Jill.

Jack and Jill were strays who were found by one of Adam's co-workers. They are currently living with us. They are extremely sweet and well-mannered.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SNIPSA's Annual Race for the Rescues

It's that time again! The annual fundraiser and huge adoption event hosted by SNIPSA is upon us. Come on out this Saturday, September 26 to race, check out the pet fair, adoption event, and just show support for the cause. Lots of fun to be had by all! For more information, go to: www.snipsa.org

Peaches AKA "Jack"

What's a dog blog without a random cat post thrown in? Adam was "ordered" by his commander to rescue a kitty outside their building. "She" stayed in Adam's bathroom for a couple weeks, and now someone is fostering this sweet kitty. Apparently, "she" is actually a he. Haha. He was not too fond of dogs, but after some training with Adam and a couple of our dogs he does just fine. His new bff is a 100-pound doggy.


Godiva was recently adopted by a wonderful couple from Austin. We could not have chosen a more perfect home for her. We also saw Stormy girl after we did Godiva's initial home visit. She looks AWESOME! All her fur grew back in, and she is a sleek black doggy now. Hooray for two successful adoptions!


Reina was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) on Friday, August 7, 2009 upon Adam's return to San Antonio from his vacation out east. We were devastated by the news, and we have done everything to make her comfortable and happy during the remaining time that she has left with us. Adam has taken it especially hard, and he has also done so much to make her feel loved in her last days.

With Reina we have achieved what we had intended to - to give her a family that she so deserved. Even in her old age she learned to befriend other dogs, even loving them and developing deep bonds with them. We have loved her dearly, and she has been a joy in our lives. She's given us more than we could give her. She will be profoundly missed when she is gone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Talbot AKA "Jax"

While Adam was on his vacation Talbot found his forever home. He is now living with an active young couple and living a fantastic new life. I could not be happier for sweet Talbot!

Current SNIPSA Fosters

This is Rusty. He is a five year-old formerly chained dog. Rusty is a HUGE lovebug.

This is Godiva. Godiva is a six year-old owner surrender from ACS. Easiest lab ever.

This is Bandit. Bandit is a one year-old stray abandoned at a truck stop. He has an amazing temperament.

My Pup Nephew, Vincent

I went home from July 16 -23; it was a wonderful vacation. The weather was gorgeous, and I was reminded of how beautiful Wisconsin is - particularly where my family lives. I loved spending time with my awesome friends and family, including Vinnie Poo-Poo or "Pookie Bear". Vincent is a rescue from the Humane Society. He is a senior dog who had Lyme's Disease when my family adopted him. They treated his condition, and now he is living the good life.

It was strange to have only ONE small dog around. Especially when that one dog is old and cranky - not like the cuddle bugs I am used to. He is well cared-for and loved to bits. Here is a picture of Vinnie:

And Vinnie in the family portrait:

July 11: Chain-Off 2009

Adam, Wally & Wally's new dad

This year's Chain-Off was another success. Several media outlets came out to check out our event at Brackenridge Park. I had never been there; it is really quite lovely. I kind of think of it as San Antonio's own Central Park. I brought out Ilya, who had been rescued off a chain the very night before the event. Some of our friends came out to show their support as well. Even Wally boy, a formerly chained dog, came out with his new dad. We had a small adoption event afterwards at the Joske Pavilion. All in all, a good experience

Adam & Ilya

Friday, July 10, 2009


We had no way of knowing; we did everything right
We saw you and loved you with all of our might
And now you are sleeping in the deep endless night
We'll never forget all your joy and your light

Rest in peace, sweet baby girl

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chain-Off 2009

Dear friends & family-

Hope this blog finds you well & happy. It's once again that time of year when we participate in the annual Dogs Deserve Better Chain-Off to raise funds & awareness for our furry friends.

We invite you to come out to the event on Saturday, July 11. You can see Adam chained up between 6 am and 6 pm at Brackenridge Park. We are also hosting a dog fair between 5:30 and 9 pm at Joskes Pavilion. There will be rescues, vendors, food, drink, and music. Come on out & support our cause! Don't forget to bring your furry friend!

Also, please visit our fundraising page if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation. Thanks for all your support!



Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Own Big Bad Dog Bite

I got bitten by one of our foster dogs on Wednesday night. Adam was introducing two dogs off-leash in the backyard. About five minutes into the introduction a fight broke out. I ran out to help. I tried to grab one of the dogs, but he didn't have a collar on making things harder. I tried to pull his back legs out from behind him, but he locked them up. Then Adam handed me the other dog by the collar (who was still being attacked). In his frightened state, he reached around and bit my right wrist. YEEEOUCH!

I cleaned it well and started taking antibiotics immediately. In terms of pain the first day was the worst; the pain made me nauseous. Sleeping was very uncomfortable for a couple nights. Thankfully I have not developed an infection, and it is feeling better every day.

From now on I'm using a broom or a hose to help break up a fight...!

18 Animals and Counting...

Well, hopefully not "and counting"! We're not the Duggars. Haha.

Right now we have:

Seven dogs of our own
Six Foster dogs
Five kittens

Things are INSANE! Our goal - ok, my goal - is to get back down to our seven plus two or three foster dogs. Even that is quite nuts.

Yesterday we took a day trip to Corpus. We transported a foster, got into some mischief with Tami from DDB, visited our Hunter boy, and somehow came back with five kittens and a stray dog. A good time was had by all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meet Georgie - DDB's Newest Rescue

A fellow SNIPSA foster and volunteer informed us that one of his neighbors had moved out of her home and left her dog behind - chained up in the backyard as he had always been. Given that Adam is the local DDB rep, people often refer these types of situations to him. We drove by today to check it out. He is well-fed by the neighbors who share his duplex and the SNIPSA volunteer, although he is infested with fleas and probably heartworm positive. He is coming to our home tomorrow. If anyone is interested in fostering him, please let me know. Our maximum capacity is twelve dogs; any more and things get really crazy. He will be number twelve, but we were holding that spot for Max, a collie mix who has been at Waco animal services for a year and a half. Georgie has already been accepted in SNIPSA's program, so his needs will all be provided for and he will be placed with his forever family.

Georgie Boy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Big Bad Dog Bite

Well, we thought it was about time to try putting Reina and Nala together again. Reina was previously labeled as extremely dog aggressive; she "did not get along with ANY dogs". After working with her and a trainer for a couple months last summer - and many visits with our dogs - she gets along with all of them except Nala. Because of this she cannot have free reign of the house; she lives separated by a baby gate in Adam's office.

I broke up a fight, or rather, an attack on Nala last summer and caught the brunt force of Reina's teeth on my left hand. I hesitated to go to the hospital, because of the repercussions for the animal. When it started to show signs of infection, we were off to the ER. The hospital filed a dog bite report, and we were contacted about quarantining Reina. Well, someone must have dropped the ball on that one, because no one ever followed through. We lucked out.

So like I was saying, we were giving it another go tonight with the girls. Not ten seconds into their little get-together Reina charged at Nala. Adam instinctively broke it up, but got bitten in the process. He has two wicked teeth marks in his left forearm. I could tell he was immediately in shock; all the while still holding the girls apart.

We immediately started contacting people for alternative ideas to going to the ER. If we go again this will be reported, and she already has a bite history. The possible outcomes would not be good. Of course I encouraged him to go, because his well-being comes first, but he is keeping it as a last resort.

SNIPSA's vet tech and office manager - I'll call her S - came through for us. Well, she and Dr. B. She went to Dr. B's house and had him write an antibiotic prescription for Adam. Keep in mind Dr. B is a vet. Haha. They understand where we're coming from and why we can't go to the hospital yet; they totally take care of us.

Yay for S, Dr. B, and Dr. S too, for that matter!

Animal Cruelty Report

Here is the email I sent yesterday to the animal control officer we know...

I found this dead dog on the way to work on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 7:15 am. It was located in a vacant lot on Commerce street between San Jacinto and Trinity. It appeared to have been dumped there. There were no apparent signs of starvation or external injuries. The circumstances of the animal's death seem suspicious. I reported it to 311 at approximately 7:45 am for dead animal pick-up. By 2:00 pm the dog had been removed from the lot. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.


The pup I named Trinity...

Welcome New Additions - Talbot & Godiva.

Talbot was a stray in one of Adam's co-worker's neighborhoods. Adam went over one day to vaccinate his co-worker's foster dog, Emma, and he came home with Talbot. Talbot is an extremely sweet boy; he is a black Lab mix.

Godiva is a total sweetheart. She is a chocolate Lab mix who had a history of being aggressive with other dogs. However, Adam is quite the miracle worker, and she already loves all three of our dogs who she's been introduced to. If she can be "rehabilitated" in any home, it's ours for sure.

*Pictures to come soon!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Farewell to a Few Furry Friends

Stormy girl and my Molly McButter went to their forever homes last weekend. Sir Wally went to his forever home last night. Right now our foster dogs up for adoption are: Big Stan, Spec, and Talbot - our newest addition.

Adam and his Stormy girl

Me and my Molly McButter

Gorgeous Wally Boy - his SNIPSA glamour shot

Adam has our next couple fosters lined up to come into our home. One of them is a chocolate lab named Godiva; apparently she is pretty aggressive, so we'll see what kind of progress we can make with her here in our home.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Upcoming SNIPSA Event

SNIPSA will host an adoption event on May 30 at the Starbucks on Broadway and Joliet in Alamo Heights from 9 am to 1 pm. Come on out to check out our furry friends! Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Permanent Pack

Four year-old male Weimaraner-Lab mix
This is Mason half-asleep on his fourth birthday.

Three year-old male Chow mix

Three year-old male Husky mix

Five year-old female Collie mix

Five year-old female Rottie-Collie mix

Nine year-old female Rottweiler mix

Seven year-old female Pointer mix

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wally & Molly

Wally and Molly are the two newest additions to our household. Wally previously lived the sad life of a chained dog, but his owner surrendered him and his three backyard companions during SNIPSA's "Big Fix". Wally is a rare red Rottweiler mix. He is a sweet boy, and right now he is gaining his strength so he can undergo heartworm treatment.

Molly is a terrier mix puppy who my students found in the schoolyard last Tuesday. We have not had any puppies around, so she adds a bit of spice to the pack. She is very intelligent and she gets along with all the big dogs. I am thrilled to have a tiny cute dog around.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Big Plans, Small Blog

This is an email I sent Adam when I first put up my blog...

I have big plans for this small blog. I want to add a list of the furry babies who have crossed our path. I want to add a list of resources and talk about upcoming events. I want to add pictures and other dog blogs I follow. I want to put paid banners up and a link to donate. And of course, I want to chronicle life with the pack and the rescues. I was even thinking you could make cameos on my blog...! :-D I want to inform, educate, and entertain. We can even use it as a tool for recruiting volunteers and fosters. The sky is the limit.

Caring for your Dog

1. High-quality food and treats, fresh water at all times, bowls
Buy the highest quality food you can afford; your pet will be healthier and live a longer life. Stainless steel bowls are nice; they can't turn into chew toys for the dogs.

2. Shelter, bed, crate (as needed)
Your dog should spend as much time as possible indoors. It increases the quality and length of their life. If outdoors they should have a place where they can take shelter from inclement weather; it's the law. When indoors pups will generally be happy to sleep anywhere - some like a nice puppy bed. Crates can be handy when you have to be away, when pets are still being housetrained, or when they are sick or injured and need to be contained.

3. Monthly preventative treatments
A topical flea treatment/preventative (about $10/month) and oral heartworm preventative (also about $10/month) should be given at the same time every month. You can get it from any vet. You can also get a two-in-one product such as Revolution, which is convenient and saves money - it is about $10/month.

4. Yearly wellness exam
Your vet will check to make sure your pet is well and healthy. They will give appropriate vaccinations and check for heartworms. This exam is very important for the health of your pet.

5. Leash, Collar, ID tag, registered microchip
An ID tag and microchip are invaluable if your pet goes missing. It is important to check your dog's collar every couple months to make sure it still fits properly. You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar comfortably. It should not be too tight or too loose. You should also register your pet with the city. You will need to provide proof of a current rabies vaccination and registered microchip.

6. Spay/Neuter procedure
Responsible pet owners alter their animals. It decreases health risks for them and helps keep animal overpopulation down - a major problem for the city of San Antonio.

7. Grooming items
Oatmeal shampoo and a good brush are really all you need. If your dog has floppy ears you might carefully clean them out with q-tips from time to time. If your pet is active their nails will usually wear down on their own. You can clip them or take them to be clipped as well. Teeth brushing is optional, but not necessary if you feed them quality food.

8. Toys
Nyla bones and Kong toys tend to last longer and provide hours of enjoyment. Supervise your pet to make sure they don't ingest parts of toys.

9. Love, Attention, & Exercise
Dogs are highly social creatures and loyal without end. The more affection you give them, the better your relationship will be. They should be played with daily, and highly active/anxious dogs should also be walked daily.

10. Training
Potty training and commands are fairly easy to teach with positive reinforcements. Praise your dog with a high-pitched voice when they do good, and give them a stern 'no' when they are doing wrong. Treats are also good reinforcements.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Big Fix - a Great Success!

The rescue organization we primarily work with held their first ever free clinic yesterday. It was a tremendous success! There were tons of committed volunteers on hand to make sure everything went smoothly. It was totally nuts and busy for 16 hours, but I loved every second of it. They originally planned to do 75 surgeries, but they did 106. We just couldn't say no to the walk-ups.

They altered the animals, vaccinated them, and microchipped them. San Antonio is the worst city in the country for euthanizing healthy dogs and cats (strays), and we held the clinic in the worst district in the city who represent the most euthanizations in town. Cra

Adam is also the local rep for a national anti-chaining organization (Dogs Deserve Better), and he got someone to surrender four chained-up rotties who were at the clinic. They all belonged to the same woman; they were just things to her. Sadly, two of them are heartworm positive. They are all already accepted into our rescue program, so they will receive all the medical attention they need. They are our new project. One of them, Wally, even came home with us. He is the sweetest boy ever; he is a rare red Rottie. Pictures to come soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Big Fix

Tomorrow SNIPSA is hosting a free spay and neuter clinic at St. Bonaventure church for people in the 78244 zip code; I believe that's district four and the district that has the most animals euthanized. Last Sunday, May 3rd, we distributed about 300 flyers to the neighborhood near the church. That's in addition to the 200 flyers Shannon and Becky distributed a few days before that. 700 flyers went out to the church congregation that same Sunday.

During the week I translated consent forms and discharge forms. Last night I made thirty-five reminder calls. They will be performing about 100 surgeries tomorrow in addition to giving rabies vaccinations and micro-chipping.

I am so excited to be part of this event. Hopefully there will be many more events like it in the future for SNIPSA. It is a huge undertaking and a very admirable one at that.

In similar news, someone anonymously donated $600,000 to the city for spay and neuter clinics. That's 12,000 surgeries. It is not a cure-all by any means, but it really warms my heart to hear about that. Some people do care.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recent Highlights

April 4
"Special Dogs for Special People" SNIPSA event at Alzafar Shrine. No adoptions; it was a quiet event.

April 20
Took Driver the Cat out to Rachel's for temporary foster care.

April 21
Adam went to Austin for the presentation of anti-chaining legislation. He met other DDB folks up there. Unfortunately, it did not make it out of committee.

April 25
Walked with SNIPSA in the Flambeau Parade with all the pups. Wonderful exposure for SNIPSA.

April 26
Took Driver the Cat to Sally's for long-term foster care.

April 27
Went to the Humane Society for the open forum featuring the mayoral candidates discussing animal welfare issues in San Antonio. Not horribly impressed or convinced by any one candidate. Micro chimps. LOL.

May 2
"Woofstock at Waterloo" SNIPSA event in Austin. Shannon received an award and a grant. It was a bit warm for the pups - not to mention the humans.


I'm so tired my eyes are burning. I feel super cranky. Here's why:

12:00 am - come home from quinceanera

1:00 am - go to bed after some web surfing

1:02 am - jump out of bed because the dogs start fighting

1:02 - 2:00 am - take care of the nasty gash on Spec's belly as a result of said fighting

2:00 am - go back to bed. again.

2:01 am - get up to clean up the pee I realize I stepped in; someone got a little overwhelmed during the fight

2:15 am - decide to go to sleep on the couch near Spec so I can moniter her through the night. discover that Katie is actually the one having accidents in the living room. clean that up, too.

3:45 am - wake up extremely ill. i will spare you the details.

4:00 am - back to sleep for the third time.

7:45 am - awakened by Stormy crawling directly on top of me and simultaneous barking from Stormy, Colby, and Sid. Lovely.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea and Spectre were surrendered to us after being chained all their lives. Spectre is a joyful lab mix who is now a SNIPSA dog and lives with us. Sweet Pea is a gentle Pit Bull who is being fostered in a local home. Good Pit Bull rescues are hard to find and completely swamped, so the unwanted and unloved pit bulls in this town have a rough break.

Sweet Pea switched foster homes today. Her previous foster family dropped her off to be fixed this morning, and Adam picked her up this afternoon. She rested comfortably in our home and was briefly reunited with her sister, Spectre. Adam is now dropping Sweet Pea off at her new foster home. The situation is up in the air, but they hope to offer her a forever home if things work out right. Here's hoping she will never have to make a pit stop at our home again. Pun intended.

PS - I am surrounded by eight sleeping furballs here in the living room. It would be ten if Reina and Big Stan weren't in their bedrooms. :-D


Adam is the local rep for Dogs Deserve Better, a national anti-chaining group. A week ago he got a report of a seriously ill and emaciated chained pit bull. He made three attempts to get the owners to contact him. Finally, we resorted to reporting it to the Animal Control Officer we work with. She went out yesterday and told them they had two options. One - surrender the dog immediately. Two- face serious charges and we would seize the dog anyway.

They surrendered him immediately and we picked him up right after work. He was the most emaciated dog I have ever seen and to boot he was carrying around a 40-pound abdominal mass of fluid. He kind of looked like those African children who are all bones and big belly. He couldn't even walk or support his weight, and his breathing was very labored and shallow. We took him home and waited an hour to see if our rescue vet's plane would get in from Houston (she was out of town). She was delayed, so we took him to the urgent animal care clinic.

They saw him right away and almost immediately called us back to speak with the vet. We knew it wasn't good. He had massive heart failure and treatment would extend his life only a very short time and the quality of life would not be great. His condition would deteriorate regardless.

We opted to euthanize him, and we were there for his last breath. It only took about ten seconds. He just went to sleep very peacefully. He was very much loved by us. We named him, took him as our own, and showed him true love and affection in his final moments. For Walter, there were worse things than death. Rest in peace, Walter. We will never forget you. We will continue on in your memory, so that your loss is not in vain.

Big Stan

Adam took Big Stan for a home visit on Sunday. There was a lady who absolutely wanted another big dog to play with her lab. She was so excited to meet him, and we really hoped it would stick. Stan was on his best behavior, but her other dog, the boxer mix, did not like Big Stan at all. They got into a scuffle and he left a gash on Stan's ear. She really really wanted him, too. Sigh. No dice for Big Stan. Someday he will find his forever home. Someday.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Saturday

We woke up with the pups and did a full 'pup shuffle'. A pup shuffle is letting them all outside in turns so that no one who doesn't get along is outside together, and then making sure they all have food and water. It takes quite awhile these days.

Adam went to check on an emaciated and extremely ill chained-up pit bull. This was his second visit; he slipped the dog a heartworm prevention/medication treat and left a note for the owners. If they don't contact him in 24 hours he will give the go-ahead to the Animal Welfare Officer who he has already contacted. The officer will then give them 24 hours to take the animal to the vet; if they don't he will be seized immediately.

While Adam did that I:

*cleaned up the house a little
*gave Stormy, the foster, her cocktail of meds
*brushed a couple dogs
*made a phone call to our rescue vet
*lured back naughty Sidney after he slipped under our back fence

Later this afternoon we paid Tyson a visit out at the ADL. We also visited our favorite shelter manager. The shelter is moving in a different direction; we will see how it goes over the next few months.

As far as animal rescue, Adam got a call today from someone who is fostering a pit bull for "us". She was freaking out because Sweet Pea was chewing on her stuff. Umm, maybe this is not someone who is the best candidate to be a foster mom. Just a thought. He talked her into keeping her until Tuesday when she gets fixed, and then we can move her into another foster home. I was emailed by a co-worker about a stray cat; by the time I called her the cat had escaped their backyard already.

Spectre and Stormy are doing well in our home. I think Katie is going to be a Moran after all. We'll see. Stan has a home visit tomorrow - fingers crossed! No dog has ever been more deserving of a forever home.

We have never been busier with animal rescue. Every day there are phone calls and emails with tips about neglected, abused, chained dogs. It feels like what we are doing is only a drop in the bucket, but if there are others who are putting drops in the bucket maybe one day it will come close to being full.

Friday, April 10, 2009

FAQ about the Pack

Are they all indoor dogs? Don't they mess up the house and ruin everything?

Yes, they are all indoor dogs. We don't believe in dogs living outdoors 24/7. No, they don't mess up the house. They are all housebroken, and they actually like to keep their living areas clean just as much as we do. There are accidents occasionally, but it is not a regular occurrence.

Don't they eat a lot? Isn't it expensive to feed them?

Our own pack of six go through forty pounds of food in ten days. Three bags of dog food per month is not expensive, and we even purchase high-quality dog food. We are diligent about keeping up with monthly and yearly preventative care. That combined with their good food keeps them healthy and keeps our costs down.

Do they all get along?

For the most part they all get along. They are a pack, which is how they should live. They are highly social and there is a hierarchy. Of course, there are squabbles here and there as is the case with any social creatures.

A Puppy Tale III

When we met we had three dogs between us: Mason, Nala, and Keifer. Right as we started dating Adam rescued Sid after he was dumped at the dog park, putting the grand total at four dogs. For a year we had a pack of four. Seems like such a small number now. Ha.

Right around Christmas 2007 Adam picked up Colby from the southside. He was supposed to go straight to a shelter, but I couldn't bear it since it was Christmas and all. Adam pointed out that Colby did not know it was Christmas. We kept him anyhow.

In June 2008 we decided to take the plunge and adopt number six - Reina. The Animal Defense League of San Antonio originally had 100 Hurricane Katrina animals, and after nearly three years at the shelter she was the only one who had not been adopted. Being big, black, and old were three strikes against her. We figured she should have a good home for her last few years. And besides, if you're gonna have five why not have six?

We have become increasingly involved with animal rescue, and we have met some wonderful dogs and people in the process. There are so many ways you can get involved in the process. You can help animals receive the vet care they need, improve their current living conditions, even foster them or help re-home them. We currently have three fosters who we are hoping to place in their forever homes. Yes, that puts our grand total at nine right now. It is a bit complicated, but we make it work. People say we are crazy, but crazy is a relative term. Look at the shows like Jon and Kate plus Eight or Seventeen Kids and Counting. Having more children than average is a lifestyle that is not only possible but also rewarding, and the same goes for having more dogs than the average family. Maybe we should have a reality show. Nah, that would be boring to watch.

And it all started with Mason. Oh, Mason.

A Puppy Tale II

I should start this blog by mentioning that up until a few years ago I was scared of dogs and never really like them much. I never had dogs while I was growing up, so that's why I was scared of them. Mason himself terrified me on a regular basis during the first year I had him. He was quite the mouthy puppy, and I couldn't get this little creature to stop nipping me and everyone in the house! To this day no one can believe the transformation that has occurred in my feelings towards dogs. I went from never having a dog - and never wanting one - to having many of my own and being very involved in animal rescue. Now I can't imagine my life without dogs in some capacity.

Despite my former feelings about dogs, I always had a fantasy about having a black lab puppy of my own. Don't ask me where that came from; I have no idea. Having had Mason for over three years now, however, I don't think he is lab at all. Our best guess is that he is some sort of Weimaraner mix.

Anyhow...back to the ways this dog has influenced my life. From the moment I got him I have treated him like my child. He went to the best doggie daycare in Minneapolis when I was a student. Having a large dog limited my housing options, so finding an apartment in Minneapolis and then San Antonio was a bit of a task. Giving him up or leaving him behind was not an option. When I adopted to him, I committed to him for his lifetime.
Mason and I moved to San Antonio on our own in July 2006. Being less than impressed with the doggie daycares here, I was forced to start taking him to the dog park every day after work. Little did I know that Mason was leading me straight to my husband! We met at the dog park, started talking and dating, and the rest is history. Everyone says it is just like a movie...

To be continued...

A Puppy Tale

It all started with Mason. Oh, Mason. This dog has shaped the course of my life over the last few years...

It was a series of unplanned events that led me to adopting this black ball of energy. I never planned to study abroad a second time which left me 'homeless'. I never planned to crash at my parents' house after that second study abroad. And finally I never planned to work at a deli that summer, where I would meet the co-worker who was giving Mason away.

The conditions to be able to adopt a dog were perfect. I lived in a large home in the country with a large yard where my landlords were my parents and my roommates were my siblings who were eager to have a puppy. I was a senior in college and actually had disposable income (what's that?). After having all this pointed out to me by my co-worker, it was on the back burner of my mind for several weeks. After the second or third time she asked me about adopting her neighbor's puppy, I decided to run it by my parents. They were fine with it, so I arranged a time to go pick him up.

If I had known I was picking up a 12 week-old 35-pound demon dog I may have reconsidered the whole thing. I thought I was picking up a tiny furball that I could hold in my hands. I got my first glimpse of him as he came barreling at me, jumped on me, and put a hole in my t-shirt with his puppy claws. Ugh. What had I gotten myself into??

To be continued...

Monday, April 6, 2009

I am an Animal Rescuer

"I am an Animal Rescuer"
By Annette King-Tucker

Wild Heart Ranch Wildlife RescueClaremore, Ok

My job is to assist God's creatures.
I was born with the drive to fulfill their needs.
I take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures without planning or selection.
I have patted many a mangy head with a bare hand.
I have hugged someone vicious and afraid.
I have fallen in love a thousand times.
And I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body too many times to count.
I want to live forever if there aren't animals in Heaven, but I believe there are.
Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind?
Some may think we are masters of the animals, but the animals have mastered themselves... something people still haven't learned.
War and abuse make me hurt for the world, but a rescue gives me hope for mankind.
We rescuers are a mostly quiet but determined army, and we are making a difference every day.
There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan, nothing more rewarding than saving a life, and no higher recognition than watching them thrive.
There is no greater joy than seeing a human or non-human baby play who, only days ago, was too weak to eat.
By the love of those who I've been privileged to rescue, I have been rescued.
I know what true unconditional love really is, for I've seen it shining in the eyes of so many grateful for so little.
I am an Animal Rescuer.
My work is never done.
My home is never quiet.
My heart is always full.

A Day in the Life

5:00 am - wake up

6:00 am - leave the house w/ Adam & Spectre, the foster, following behind

6:30 am - pick up my student's dogs, Link & Pretty

6:45-7:30 am - check in Spectre, Link, & Pretty to get fixed at the animal clinic

7:45-1:30 pm - work, work, work

1:30-3:00 pm - waste 90 minutes of my precious time trying to go to a dr.'s appt. that my insurance messed up

3:30 pm - pick up Link & Pretty from the clinic and take them back home

4:00-5:00 pm - decide to head back to school for the staff meeting

5:30 pm - pick up Spectre from the clinic

6:00 pm - arrive home at long last...12 hours after I left.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Well, this is it.

I am officially on blogger. I loved blogging on myspace, but have since stopped using myspace. It doesn't do it for me like facebook does. Ha. I can't bring myself to write 'notes' on facebook. It doesn't quite seem like a blog to me; it's not a continuous story if you will.

I hope to use this blog to clear my head of the minutiae of daily life, share interesting updates with friends and family, and most importantly share my experiences of life with the dogs and animal rescue.

More to come soon!