Quote of the Day

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Animals and Instincts

I don’t understand people who don’t have pets.  I guess it goes back to the way we were raised.  We always had animals in the house.  Cats, Dogs, Fish, Hermit Crabs. . . we even brought home a class rodent, although in a house full of cats, let’s just say the rodent was lucky to go back to school.

For those of you who haven’t had pets let me tell you something. Animals and humans share an amazing bond with one another.  Animals enrich our lives.  They entertain us.  They keep us going when things aren’t the best.  Sometimes they can be the only reason we get out of bed in the morning.  They truly are our friends.

When I had a child, I was worried just a bit about how the animals would react to my son, but it didn’t take long before they welcomed him into our herd (or for some, learned to tolerate him.)  It never ceases to amaze me how well our animals behave with our son, who is not always on his best behavior with them.

Our dog suffers the brunt of it.  When he learned how, the babe, started telling our poor dog “No” to everything.  He bosses her around and tells her what she can and can’t do.  He puts his hats on her, puts Tupperware on her head, lays on top of her, steals her toys, occasionally tries to ride her, pulls her fur and ears on occasion and she just takes it.  She has never growled at him (although when he was very small she growled at me for blowing raspberries on his tummy because she thought I was growling at him.)  If he gets too rough, she licks him in the face to occupy his hands or walks away from him.  She also plays tug of war with the babe, or takes him for wild chases around the house.  The babe, in return for their exchanges, is in charge of feeding her dinner every evening.  (And he also shares all sorts of goodies with her, whether we want him to or not.)

Sadie accompanies us to the park every time we go.  We take her to the dog park and then the babe to the kids’ park.  In the old days of the dog park before my son was born Sadie would run around wildly if she didn’t want to leave when I wanted her to, but now a simple “It’s time to go bye-bye” is all it takes for her to accompany us to the gate to leave.

Yesterday when we were at the park Sadie became very interested in one of the incoming dogs. I had let the babe out of his stroller to run around since it was just us, and two other dogs and humans we knew.  (Normally I never let him out of the stroller because there are too many dogs and being a toddler he doesn’t quite understand that 1. Not all dogs are nice and want to be pet and 2. The dogs could hurt him).

When the new dog made an appearance Sadie played her normal greeter at the gate.  She is very vocal and one of the incoming dogs was also being very vocal, but in a way that made me slightly uncomfortable.  I left the babe with a friend and pulled Sadie away from the gate to let the new dogs in.  There owner kept the leash on the questionable dog.  A dog being kept on leash at the dog park is never a good sign.  Sadie went to sniff the dog and he growled.  Sadie is a herding dog and has a thing for trouble dogs at the dog park.  She tends to try to herd the trouble makers away from the main pack.  I have broken up a few dog scuffles at the park (usually over toys) and know my limitations.  A child, a stroller and a dog is too much to handle if things get uncomfortable so I made the decision to put the babe in the stroller to head over to his park.  Sadie stayed near the troublesome dog until I called her to go bye bye.

I’m glad that we left when we did.  I got a text not much later that the troublesome dog had gone after my friends’ dog after we left.  I am grateful for animal instincts and mothering instincts and that the combination of the two kept us safe yesterday.  So, if you’ve never had a pet I highly recommend one.  (Although if you already have children sometimes it’s better to wait until they are a bit older than toddler age to introduce one).  Every little boy (or girl) should have a dog (or cat).008

Texas Litter Control Needs Your Help!

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One of my favorite rescues and low cost spay neuter clinic, Texas Litter Control, needs your help!!!

http://www.gofundme.com/texaslittercontrol

Texas Litter Control has outgrown it’s building. If you do not know who we are please follow the link below to see our mission statement.

Texas Litter Control has performed 13,000 + spay and neuter surgeries for the general public and people on public assistance in Montgomery and Harris county Houston ,Texas. TLC has also opened 2 separate adoption locations where we have placed 300+ abandoned and homeless animals into forever homes. The state of Texas has an exorbitant amount of homeless and stray animals on its streets and our city pounds are forced to euthanize hundreds of animals on a daily basis paid for by our taxes. We need to educate the public! As it stands Texas Litter Control can only help a small amount of people at one time and our wait list is 2 months long. TLC has been given the chance to move into a larger facility in the same area so that we can continue our fight against pet overpopulation on a bigger scale.
THIS FUNDRAISER is to expand and purchase additional surgical tables, dog/ cat cages and surgical equipment.
This expansion will allow us to perform an extra 3,000 surgeries a year. For every animal we sterilize COUNTLESS are saved!!
Real Texans Don’t Litter… Please spay/neuter your pets!
TexasLitterControl

Spring Brings Ode de Skunk

Spring is the time when you start seeing all sorts of little critters meandering about.  Around us, spring means the perfume of skunks starts to permeate the air.  If you have been fortunate enough to never have had a close and personal encounter with a skunk thank your lucky stars!  If you are like me and you have had a few encounters you understand when I say once you’ve smelled skunk spray up close and personal, it never smells the same again.  I still choke just a little everytime “ode de skunk” fills the air.

My first encounter with the mighty skunk perfume was thanks to our loving dog. In the wee hours of the dawn during her morning potty break she encountered her first skunk.  The sun hadn’t made its appearance yet so I didn’t witness the event, but as I called the dog to return to the house I heard a yelp from the far back corner of our yard and Sadie came running towards the house full speed.  She had some sort of goop on her snout. I went to wipe the goop off with her foot towel when the smell hit me like a freight train.  Really?  A Skunk?  What the heck do I do now?  Remembering a Co-worker had stated his dog had had numerous encounters I texted him for a remedy, I let my boss know I was going to be in a little late to take care of my little problem, and then I called the vet for advice… This is when I learned how to deskunk the dog.

First I washed her off with dawn dish soap.  Then I mixed up the following recipe of three things I actually had on hand…

1 qt of hydrogen peroxide
1/14 cup of baking soda
1 TSP dawn Dish Soap

I mixed the ingredients in a bowl and took them outside to the dog.  (I highly recommend you keep the stinky offender outside during this process.)  I put all the mix on the dog.  I was told the longer you leave on the mixture the better so I put her in her kennel and left for work.  I came back at lunch to rinse her off and then bathed her with the dawn again.  I toweled her off and left her in the sun to dry. The difference in smell was amazing!  There was still a slight hint of noxious odor, but unless you leaned in for a good sniff she was now worthy of re-entering into the house.

Some words of caution

  • I have read that hydrogen peroxide can bleach fur so you shouldn’t leave it on the animal too long.
  • Do NOT get the misture in the animals eyes, if you do flush immediately!
  • Do NOT save the mixture or make it ahead of time, the combination of ingredients can become unstable and explode.

I really hope you never have to use this recipe, but in case you have an adventurous animal… at least you have it!

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It’s Kitten and Puppy Season!

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If you own critters, PLEASE, be a responsible human and get them fixed.  I worked in animal rescue for 10 years and it never ceases to appal me when people let their animal have a litter of puppies or kittens and then expect the offspring to become the problem of a rescue group or shelter.

Newsflash: If you don’t want 7 puppies or kittens, you need to have your dog or cat spayed/neutered!!!!  If you don’t those 7 puppies or kittens are your problem.

I once watched one of my fellow rescuers on the phone with a women whose cat just had kittens…the conversation went something like this:

Rescuer: Well Mame, where did the kittens come from?
Women: Oh well my cat had kittens.
Rescuer: Why didn’t you have your cat spayed?
Women: Well I wanted my children to witness the miracle of life
Rescuer: Well now you should take the kittens down to one of the shelters and your children can witness the miracle of death.
End of call…

YOUR ANIMALS are YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.  Act accordingly.  There are many low cost spay/neuter programs available to help you with this.  There are too many homeless animals wondering about this world and not enough homes to adopt them all.  Help stop perpetuating the problem and get your animal fixed!

If you’re around the Houston area check out my friends at: http://www.texaslittercontrol.org/