Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Buster Breaks Free

After two weeks - yes, two weeks - of wearing the e-collar without a break - that would be night and day, folks - we've been given the green light to remove the contraption from the poor pooch's neck.

I shall scream this from the mountain tops: His eye has fully healed! The needle-in-the-eye-flicking-holes-in-the-cornea procedure worked!

And it's a good thing. Happy camper he was not. He was getting more and more pathetic looking every day. And Buster could work pathetic to the max. We are talking Oscar performance.

Buster really should be on TV. He can play the part of the neglected dog so, so very well. Buster cries just perfectly to tug the heartstrings. For example, while we're eating dinner, he'll stand outside of the dining room and cry like a poor lost puppy who hasn't eaten in weeks. If you're petting one dog, he'll stand at the edge of the room and cry - well, like a poor lost puppy who hasn't been held in weeks. If you're not paying attention to him for whatever reason, he'll stand and look at you and cry... like the psycho puppy he is.

So during this ordeal, he'd get his eyedrops, stick his tongue out at you, and go curl up in his favorite spot. Then he'd cry for attention, squint the right eye just enough to let you know that he was the sick dog, not one of the other dogs, flip you the Doggie Bird (for giving him eyedrops), and go back to sleep.

He really is precious.

Anyway, we've gone from this:

Yes. I am pathetic. Come, weep with me.

To this:

Sing along: Happy days are here again, 
my eyes they are both clear again...

"I'm just a sweet dog who would love to sit on your lap (or rip out your throat)."

Pathetic no more. Beautiful, yes. (Did you get my good side?)

We're all much happier.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sophie Finds A Home

Remember Sophie and Athena?

These little ladies started their lives in a local animal control facility. Luckily our shelter was able to pull them, and one of the staff members has been more than willing to foster them the past several weeks.

Let's face it, Pit Bull puppies are the cutest in the world. Paws down. They have the wrinkliest faces, the biggest paws, and the beefiest legs. They're just plain cute.

But Sophie was getting short shrift. It seemed that everyone was drawn to Athena. I don't know if it's her gorgeous cashmere coloring, but people were generally ignoring Sophie. I was starting to think this poor puppy had two strikes against her: She's a Pit Bull and a black dog (although she has the cutest white chin and bib). Could people really not see her beauty - that wrinkled forehead, those beefy legs, those beautiful eyes? And, although they're both great puppies, and Sophie is the bigger of the two, she's happens to be the more gentle of the two.

Yesterday, actually after adoption hours were over, a family came in looking for a dog.

For a change, this family was not averse to Pit Bulls. But they did want a puppy. Well, I just happened to have TWO Pit Bull puppies to show them! We went over to Sophie and Athena, and I figured this would be another application for Athena. Was I ever wrong. Both mom and dad said "I like the black one," and the kid, bless his kid brain, said "I'll take both of them"!

This was the most perfect family I've ever met. By Perfect, I mean, I would like to adopt all of our dogs to them, NOW. I love them. I love their son. He's five years old, a gentleman, and a gentle person. He was so gentle with Sophie, I wanted to hug him until he cried "uncle!". (I know this might sound strange, but I meet a lot of families with children, and most of the children are hellions.)

For her part, Sophie absolutely loved this kid. She would not stop licking him. They cuddled and played for at least an hour, until Sophie fell asleep in his arms.

When they were ready to leave, dad said "what do we do" and son said "we pick up our toys," and he proceeded to pick up all the dogs toys strewn around the room, even the ones he didn't take out. (I asked if he could vacuum and cook, but apparently he's still in learning mode. I told them I'm willing to wait.)

Sophie went home today to The Most Perfect Family. I'm so happy for her. I wish every dog could be this lucky. The best part is that she will be living around the corner from one of the shelter staff (who also helped foster Sophie and Athena) AND she's been invited to visit whenever she'd like. Have I mentioned that I love this family?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pit Bull Helps Paralyzed Owner Escape Fire

From my friend at Life with Dogs, a great story about a Pit Bull who saved the life of its owner. This is really a fantastic story.

Gracie Bean stayed with her owner, showing no fear of the fire, until they both reached safety. Oh, the loyalty and love of these dogs!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


What a week. Overnight, we received TWO MORE awards! Which is just wonderful, but the awards after- parties are wearing me out! :)
First, look what my friend Teal'c gave me! It's the Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award. Wasn't that pawsome of him?!
There are rules that come with this award; I have to:

1: Copy the image and paste it to my blog
2: List 10 things that make me happy, and do one of them today
3: List 10 bloggers who brighten my day - another tough one! You all brighten and enlighten!

Here goes - 10 things that make me happy:

1 - Treats! And more treats!
2 - Belly scratches!
3 - Chasing squirrels!
4 - The thought that I can climb trees (to continue to chase the squirrels!)
5 - Sleeping under the covers; you should hear my big "sigh..." when I get comfy
6 - Begging at the table, even though my mom won't let me :(
7 - Rides in the car - Unless it's to the V-E-T!
8 - Teasing my sister and brothers, Lucy, Trouper, and Buster (they don't seem to like it as much; hmmm...)
9 - Watching the bunnies in the front yard - I don't understand why I can't play with them...
10 - All of my bloggy friends! They're so kind and friendly, and I'm so glad to have met them!

Now I'll pass this great award on to 10 blogger friends, and they have to follow the rules, too: 1000 Goldens; Piappies World; Sugar the Golden Retriever; Dog Foster Mom; Erin & Pompei, oh, heck - I have to give it to all of my friends. It's too difficult to choose! They're all sweet and wonderful!

The Pittie Pack (Guero, Coco Chanel, Brinks, Bella, Lucky, and Tiger) gave us the Friends Forever award - how terrific is that?!

This is one I have to share with ALL of you; I can't possibly choose, because I think you are all wonderful and very, very special!

I feel so fortunate to have met you through blogging. What a fantastic circle of friends we've made!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mutts! Stand up and Be Counted!

Have you seen this yet? It's the National MuttCensus for mutts like us. I "paw-ticipated," as they put it. Follow the link below to be counted. It's your right as a mutt!

I encourage all mutt owners to Paw-ticipate in the 2010 National Mutt Census to enable a better understanding of dogs across the United States, helping us all be better pet owners and lovers

An Historical Week!

What a week this has been! The most lovely Princess the Pit Bull has awarded us the Golden Cup award!

Isn't it neato?

Thank you Princess!

Now, I'd like to pass it along to some pretty fabulous blogger friends:

Skeletor's Salvation
Therapy Dog Josie
The Adventures of Maxdog
Prairie Dogs

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank you, Tilly, for the Sunshine Award!

This has been quite a week! First, I'm tagged by Amy from House of Cats for Photo Tag, and today I received the Sunshine Award from my friend Tilly, the Rescue Dog! Many of you may know Tilly as the sweet and lovable star of the Harry Porter's Dog Tales series of books.

The Sunshine Award is given to a blogger who brings a little sunshine into someone's life. I'm so appreciative that Tilly has given me this award!

So, here's what I have to do:

- Post the award within my post. Check! (Isn't it pretty!)
- Send the award to 12 bloggers who add a little sunshine to my life. Check!
- Post links to the 12 blogs I've sent the award to. Check!
- Leave a comment on their blog telling them they've gotten the award. Check!
- Put these instructions in my post so they'll know what to do! Check!

If you're one of the 12 bloggers on the list and you choose to accept the award, just follow the steps above.

Now, the hard part is whittling the list to just 12 blogs that bring sunshine into my life! I read so many, and enjoy all of them so much. This is going to be hard...

Here goes...

Life with Dogs (haha - gotcha; this time it's real...)

Phew! That was just about the hardest thing I've ever done! Have fun, people!

Little Lamb in the Kitchen

Someone shared this with me yesterday - too cute not to pass along! I do have to wonder why she's in the kitchen, though...

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Photo Tag Time!

Well! I've been tagged by my friend at Amy's House of Cats for photo tag! How exciting is this!

Here are the rules: Go to your first photo folder, find the 10th picture, post that photo and explain the story behind it. Then, tag five blogs to do the same.

Well, this isn't a pretty picture, but it's the 10th one in my photo file:

Poor Charlie. 

Here's the story. I had bought a small point and shoot camera a few weeks before Christmas. I wanted something to keep in my pocketbook that I could always have on hand whenever I needed it. I was tired of carrying the bigger camera everywhere I went.

Well, one day, I was at the shelter trying to take a picture of a new dog who had arrived. The dog was so happy to see me that she knocked the camera out of my hand and it slammed to the cement floor. The digital display looked more like a cartoon than anything recognizable. But it was very colorful... I can't tell you how many cameras I've gone through this way. But, the good thing was that this camera was still under warranty.

I sent it back to the manufacturer, and they sent me a new camera. I was so excited to have received the new camera (it was late on a Friday night) that I was shooting away at a sleeping Charlie. This was one of her expressions of not-quite-bliss as the flash kept waking her.

Sorry, Charlie!

Now, I'm tagging:

I can't wait to see your pictures and read your stories!

More Than Love

So I was thinking. Why can't I have another dog?

Bandit is so darned cute, everyone overlooks the Pit Bulls, and Charlie would love someone closer to her age and energy to play with. He deserves a great home, and if I say so myself, I can give him just that.

Bandit is a really nice dog, playful and respectful, I think he'll be easy to train, and any dog who can be housebroken in a kennel filled with dogs vying for attention has got my vote. He's a great size - about 40 lbs., not too small, not too large.

But there's so much more to having pets than just giving them a warm place to sleep and lots of love.

First of all, they need attention. I can't just push the older ones aside because the younger ones are more demanding of me. Just look at Trouper being all cute. He's such a smush face. And he does the Cute Thing really well.

Second, can I afford FIVE dogs? I just did some quick math to see what I spent over the last year on regular, every day costs of having four dogs (stay tuned to this post for the results). Nothing extraordinary; other than Buster's recent eye problem, all of my monkeys, knock on wood, are in good health.

So, what's "normal" care? Well, in my house, it's heartworm preventative, flea and tick goo, and the older dogs get joint supplements. And now that Trouper has found poop to be a tasty treat, everyone gets coprophagia pills every day.

I bring everyone to the vet for yearly exams. Now that Buster, Trouper, and Lucy have reached A Certain Age, they all need senior blood panels, which we do twice a year. Buster has chest x-rays to keep an eye on his osteosarcoma - remember, his appeared on his ribs rather than on a limb; my dogs are Special.

All four get regular vaccinations, except for the Special Boy, Buster, who can't get anything but his rabies vaccination because he's immunocompromised.

Trouper has skin allergies, so he gets a daily dose of Atopica - thank goodness for this medication - it's not cheap, but it has relieved his itchy skin and feet remarkably well. If I skip more than two days in a row, he's miserable - chewing, licking, and generally driving himself crazy.

Then, there's my Heart Dog, Lucy. She has a heart murmur, so we have to do an ultrasound each year to check its progress. She's not on any medication at this point, and we're due for this year's ultrasound. Gotta make that appointment... Look at that face! Mwaa!

Charlie is the youngest and most... Let's just say robust. If robust means getting into trouble all the time and somehow coming out the other side in one piece. She's the one who ate the potholder when she was just about a year old and ended up having emergency surgery a week before Christmas. She's also the one who plays very roughly with my older kids, and leaves them with ugly wounds. Not in a mean way, just in an "I thought you were a soccer ball" way. Of course, the other dogs don't care much for being Charlie's soccer ball.

So, here's the part you've been waiting for. It might be the cause of my persistent headaches, now that I think about it.

I looked back over my vet expenses for the past year. Including Buster's recent eye surgery, Trouper's very expensive medicine, joint supplements, Lucy's yearly ultrasound, heartworm medication for four dogs, and annual exams and vaccinations for four dogs... I've spent over $6,400. In twelve months. And that doesn't include food. The pooches have to eat. And then there are treats. And there's Christmas. And Nylabones. Gotta have Nylabones...

Hey, they're worth every penny. And I'll just be an indentured servant to my current employer until who knows when.

So - can I really afford a fifth dog? In terms of love, yes. Absolutely!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sophie & Athena

Gorgeous Pit Bull puppies; about eight weeks old. Sophie is the dark one, Athena is the creamy colored one. They're the sweetest little piglets in town.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Face of Pathos

If ever there were a dog who could be a poster child for pain and suffering, Buster would be it.

He's pretty miserable; his eye seems to really be bothering him. I'm imagining that it feels like it's filled with grains of sand. Poor guy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buster Has An Ulcer...

...on his cornea.

It's a refractory corneal ulcer, also known as an indolent ulcer or a Boxer ulcer because they're commonly found in older Boxers.

Buster is a scrappy old fella who plays and rough houses with the others all the time. If you know anything about Parson Russell Terriers, you know why their humans refer to them as Terrierists. They truly are big dogs trapped in little bodies.

I've seen Buster play with Charlie - I'm using the term "play" very loosely - he dives right in for her neck each and every time. Because he's trying to kill her, I'm sure. Charlie is at least three times his size. He has no fear. This dog has been stitched up more times than I can count.

Have you ever gotten a call from someone saying "when you get home, don't worry about all the blood; I'm on the way to the vet"? If I hadn't gotten that call, I would have sworn I'd walked into a murder scene. Apparently, Charlie had nicked a fairly important vein in Buster's ear. Another time, she pegged him just on the top of his head. More stitches. The dog has had more string in him than a puppet.

Buster is a fighter, there's no doubt about that. He's twelve. He's battled osteosarcoma. He's had parts, large parts, of his ribs removed, followed by months of difficult chemotherapy. He's lost his hair and had it grow back a different color. But he's a survivor, and I know why. I have pictures to prove it: His eyes literally glow green when I use a flash. He's a spawn of the devil.

This picture is guaranteed to give you nightmares...

But I digress.

I was starting to say that we thought he'd had a play time accident with one of the other dogs. A claw to the eye, a wagging tail smack; that kind of injury. More of a scratched cornea. But no. Not Buster. He goes all out every time.

Today he had to have multiple punctate keratotomy to provide a suitable surface for his cornea to grip so that it would stop slipping and tearing and start healing, like a good cornea. This is a pretty neat procedure, and takes just a few minutes - while you watch! 

The doctor takes what amounts to a needle and starts flicking at your dog's eye. Did I mention this all happens while you watch? Now, I can watch open heart surgery, or brain surgery, or whatever - these things don't bother me. But I felt so bad for Bussie as the doctor was flicking away at his one eye as the other was looking straight at me, picturing a pork chop and planning my demise.

So. Atropine once a day for four days (to kill the pain of being poked in the eye with a needle a hundred times) and neo/poly/grami drops twice a day for two weeks. Revisit in two weeks to see if this worked. If not... I'm not sure what the next steps might be. 

Oh, yeah. And it's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone. He has to wear one day and night. Can't take a chance of messing up the procedure.

Paws crossed that this worked and Buster is on the road to recovery!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bandit Steals My Heart

Don't you just want to kiss those lips?

 But I think five dogs would be just too much.

Skeletor Update

Skelly's vet describes him as "happy and talking"! His foster mom and dad promise more updates as details become available. Phew! I hate close calls...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Paws & Prayers for Skeletor

Skel's foster parents started him on his heartworm meds today, but Skelly had a reaction. He's at the vet right now being treated, and he needs our paws and prayers very badly.

Hey, big guy. You've done so well, this far. You can pull through this, too!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Vick Ick

The man who never ceases to amaze, Michael Vick, is at it again.

He claims to be "humbled" as a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which he received at a banquet earlier this week. I wish he were served as the roast. Merriam-Webster lists the following as the definitions of "humble":
1: not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive
Nope; Vick misses that definition by miles.
2: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission
Ohhhhh-ho-ho boy; he really should have checked the dictionary before using this word.
3. a: ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: insignificant, unpretentious
Hmmm... I agree, but I don't think this is what Vick was going for. As a matter of fact, Mike's probably living pretty large these days with all that dough coming in.

The Philadelphia Eagles have exercised their 2010 option on Vick. I'm not a sports expert, but no matter how you look at it, Vick wins. The Eagles paid Vick a $1.5 million roster bonus this week, and whichever team picks up the bonehead, whether it's the Eagles or another NFL franchise, Vick will get the remainder of his 2010 salary. How much, you ask? Oh, just $5.25 million for this convicted animal killer. (Click on the link to see a pic of Mike posing with a nun. Note that they're not touching; otherwise, it would be a pic of a pile of dust and a nun.)

But the fun doesn't stop there!

Spike TV has added Vick to the cast of Joes vs. Pros Great. No info on how much he'll make from his appearances, but I'm sure it's not pro bono. He just doesn't strike me as the type.

I don't usually hold grudges like this. I hate him for making me hate him. But he's so good at cultivating hate for himself, isn't he.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Princess Zoe

It is said that Zoe is 17-years-old.

She was found by animal control wandering the streets; they called our shelter and of course we took the regal lady in. Who could resist such beauty and resilience?

Lovely Zoe shuffles at a pace comparable to Tim Conway's Old Man character from Carol Burnett (if you're not familiar with this character, think molasses). 

She can't see that well, so she thinks your hand ALWAYS has a cookie in it (yes, her teeth are quite good, thank you!), and her hearing isn't what it used to be, but she can definitely hear. She has a great appetite, and she does love her treats. Or your fingers. :)

Zoe enjoys a room at the shelter rather than being in the general kennel area, where you can cuddle her for hours; she doesn't mind. We're very proud of our 17-year-old Pit Bull, Zoe!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering...

... This is what angels look like when they're asleep.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Bedtime

When Charlie is ready for bed, she lets you know by sticking her head under the comforter. It's sort of like your mother telling you that's it's time to turn off the lights, there's school tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Petition to Free Brindi - She Only Has EIGHT Days Left!

Brindi is set to be euthanized in EIGHT days. 

She had a scuffle with another dog in which they both received minor lacerations. Is it fair that Brindi be euthanized? Hardly. Please sign this petition to save her life. Her owner is broken-hearted and beside herself; she's been fighting for her release for over a year.

Monday, March 1, 2010

License Plates

I brought Charlie to the vet on Saturday for her regular exam.

As we drove into the parking lot, what I thought was a crazed man raced in behind us. As it turned out, he  just wanted to let me know that he loved my license plate. He told me he's had Pit Bulls for 30 years and loves them to pieces.

He complimented Charlie on her lovely physique (he had nothing to say about mine, not surprisingly), and off he went.

Pictured below is the gorgeous Francois, a Pit Bull/Mastiff mix. Talk about kissabull lips! 

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