Frida is Lost: Bring Her Home.

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This is one of my first fosters, Frida. When she was here, I named her “Blossom” because that is what she needed to do in order to find a good home. She was so shy she pressed herself against the back of the kennel and didn’t want to come out. And when she did, she spent all of her time hiding under my coffee table. But she found the best home I could ever have hoped for, with a poet and LSU grad student whom I have come to adore. And we are all freaked out because a couple of days ago, at their new home in New Orleans, she slipped out through a faulty gate in the yard and disappeared.

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I’m writing this post in the hope that those of you with connections in mid-city New Orleans will help look for her. She is still very shy, though not aggressive at all. I suspect she followed a food trail somewhere and got trapped in someone’s backyard. This is not the kind of dog who ordinarily wanders; she LOVES her mom and dad, rarely lets them out of her sight and is the kind of dog who, if let off the leash, runs straight home. They have invested so much time (training her) and money (fast-kill heart worm treatment) and love in her. Please help them get her back.

I really don’t like to post sad stuff, because there’s enough of that out there without me, so let’s not put this in the sad category. My brother’s dog was missing for a year and was returned healthy, safe and sound due to some fliers my mom put up in a supermarket near her house. My friend Patti’s dog hopped her fence and was on the lam for a week before someone put signs up and the woman who had him in her backyard called and returned him.

Let’s bring Frida home. (Meanwhile, I need to get that song “Bring her Home” from Les Miserables out of my head, so please let’s do this fast).

Thank you, beautiful people!

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Huckleberry (the artist formerly known as “Syrus”)

Huckleberry

Look who made it onto transport in Slidell, LA this afternoon! Yes, that’s our boy Huckleberry (formerly Syrus), about to make his way north to his forever home on Long Island, New York.  It took several weeks and three different antibiotics for poor Huck’s upper respiratory infection to go away, but he is finally healthy enough to ride on Rescue Road Trips. www.rescueroadtrips.com

Wow, was this whole thing a complicated ballet: An acquaintance from my former hometown saw him on this blog and fell in love with his picture. I couldn’t keep him in my backyard for longer than 10 days, so a volunteer pal arranged a second foster home for him. The adopter’s  big-hearted 69 year old mom lives in New Orleans and drove here to do all the adoption paperwork, pay the fees and bring the second foster home food for him and other supplies. Then when he flunked his first health check and could not ride on transport, the second foster home kept him another two weeks, lavishing him with love and letting him loll on their sofa and enjoy the company of four roommates and their Great Dane. And then this morning,Huck’s new grandma drove up again from New Orleans and brought him to the pick-up spot in Slidell. And if that’s not complicated enough, his adopters had to travel out of the country and so when he arrives in New England this weekend, a sister-in-law will be picking him up and holding onto him until they are home.

And THEN, they’ll get to meet their sweet, new boy. It seems like a lot to put a dog through, but as my rescue friend, Jill, said when she brought him to my house, “He was supposed to go Jesus yesterday.” Fortunately, Jesus was cool with waiting.

Happy Tails, Huck! No more living alone underneath a camp carport for you!

Quinn: Black Dog Syndrome

Quinn: Black Dog Syndrome

Patti says she caught Quinn saying a little prayer to help her find the perfect Forever Home.

Photo: Holly Harris

This is my friend, Patti Carson’s foster dog, Quinn, a
darling mini-black Lab mix currently looking for her forever home.

Everyone has that perfect little black dress or jacket that is often overlooked but always makes a person feel like a million bucks; Patti says that’s Quinn too.

Last October, Quinn came into the shelter as a stray and sat huddled in a corner, overlooked for months, probably because of an unconscious bias called “Black Dog Syndrome.”

What is Black Dog Syndrome? As it happens, black dogs have the smallest chance of making it out of a shelter alive because they are difficult to photograph in dim shelter lighting, and potential adopters sometimes think of them as menacing (perhaps from the way Hollywood has typically portrayed aggressive dogs over the years as breeds that come in mostly black, like Dobermans and Rottweilers). Check out this blog on the topic: http://www.cesarsway.com/community/pettravel/Travels-with-My-Dog-Casey-Black-Dog-Syndrome

When Patti got Quinn bathed, toweled dry and into the sunlight, her glistening black beauty unfolded as did her sweet, calm disposition.

Photo: Jeannie Frey Rhodes

Photo: Jeannie Frey Rhodes

Patti discovered quickly that Quinn loves children and other dogs (Patti has five dogs of her own. Yes FIVE. And Quinn fits in beautifully with the pack that Patti and her husband, Doug call “Dog Nation.”) And at 39 lbs., Patti says Quinn is the perfect size for someone who loves Labs but would prefer a more compact version.

Along with Quinn’s gorgeous, shiny black coat, Quinn sports brindle feet and tiny glimmers of gold sparkling throughout when the sun hits her back. “She is sprinkled with fairy dust,” Patti says. Adore this dog much, Patti?

At about one year old, Quinn loves to play, but she is finished with that challenging puppy stuff that keeps dog owners awake at night. And the best news is, Quinn has tested NEGATIVE for heartworms, and is house trained, crate trained, spayed, current on her vaccinations, and micro-chipped. And for all of this, her adoption fee in Baton Rouge is only $100 through the rescue group, Friends of the Animals ( www.fotabr.org ) Friends of the Animals, as I’ve said before, does great work, and can always use donations if Quinn has stolen your heart but you’re not in the market to adopt (Any donation “in honor of Quinn” is greatly appreciated and will help offset funds spent on her care and those of other shelter dogs they will help).

For an additional fee, Quinn can be shipped to the Northeast on Rescue Road Trips (www.rescueroadtrips.com), which will transport my former foster dog, Syrus (now Huckleberry) this week. (He passed his vet check and got his health certificate to travel! Hooray!)

Photo: Jeannie Frey Rhodes

Photo: Jeannie Frey Rhodes

While Quinn is full of life, Patti says she is also a cuddle buddy and happiest when snuggled next to her humans or sleeping at their feet.

Patti is selective about who adopts her foster dogs, preferring they will live mostly indoors in homes where they will get plenty of love. If you need a Quinn in your life (and the above describes you), please contact Patti at 225-505-9831 or email her at pdcarson@cox.net.

Or please pass this along to a friend. While Patti and Doug will hate to see Quinn go, there’s another dog waiting at the shelter for them to save. So treat yourself to an easy, sweet and fun dog like Quinn.

UPDATE: Quinn has had FOUR families call wanting to adopt her since this story was posted. This weekend, there will be meet and greets and Patti will decide which lucky family will get her. Thank you for caring about Quinn and for helping to share her story.  

Here she is below with the lucky family who adopted her today:

 

Quinn: ADOPTED!

Quinn: ADOPTED!

 

Quinn loves all. Including men with glasses and hats.

Photo: Holly Harris. Quinn loves all. Including men wearing glasses and hats.

The Most Coveted Little Dog Bed

The Most Coveted Bed

The Most Coveted Little Dog Bed in the House

These are my dogs, Luna (L) and Crespo (R). Luna was found by a dumpster by my neighbors a few years ago, and Crespo was my 12th foster dog last year. And Crespo was what we call a “Foster Fail.” In other words, I fell madly in love with him and had to make him mine.  (I’m saving that story for a book, so stay tuned).

 

Anyway, I just thought this picture was funny because there are FOUR dog beds in the house and three of them are large enough to accommodate all of Crespo. But the one in my bedroom is the one that everyone wants to sleep on. And so, even though Luna is a Cranky Pants about sharing her space, these two often jam themselves onto this little square cushion. What a couple of weirdos.

I’d love to hear the weird stuff your dogs do.

 

Meet Rocco

Rocco, the night he got to June's house. Very happy to be out of the shelter, but still a little confused. Thought he'd stick by the front door, just in case those five cats and two chickens didn't like him.

Rocco, the night he got to June’s house. Very happy to be out of the shelter, but still a little confused. Thought he’d stick by the front door, just in case those five cats and two chickens didn’t much like him.

Say hi to Rocco, one of the most laid back easy-going fellas around.

Last month Rocco’s owner dropped him off at the shelter saying he had to work 24-hour shifts and Rocco was tearing up the house while his human was gone.  (Personally, I have yet to meet a dog that can go 24 hours without taking care of business, and I can’t say I could even pull that off myself).

“Don’t make this harder than it has to be,” Rocco’s owner said to the intake person at the shelter. I think that meant he didn’t want to hear the chances of Rocco making it out of the place alive, which frankly, were slim.  The shelter is overcrowded and Rocco’s owner said he was 13, not exactly the puppy that most people want to adopt when they go to a shelter (though each of the three vets who have examined him since says he appears to be between 8-10, so maybe the owner lost track of time).  I’m not sure whether the intake person told him or spared him, but either way, Rocco’s human left him there and went home alone.

It would be easy to judge a person harshly for dropping off a senior dog at a kill shelter, and especially one as sweet as Rocco. But not everyone has resources like a back yard and a doggy door if they find themselves needing to work a 24 hour shift, nor the wherewithal to find a new home for his or her pet. And there are people who do far worse to pets they can no longer keep. So I’m grateful that Rocco landed at the shelter, and then on my Facebook page. And then in the home of my friend, June, who agreed to foster him when I shared his picture and said I wasn’t able to foster him myself.

The good news is, Rocco has been sweet and angelic at June’s house, tearing up nothing at all and even ignoring her five cats and two chickens with whom he shares the backyard for hours at a time.

Further good news is that I brought Rocco on WAFB, a local tv news station that gives our shelter dogs exposure and helps them get adopted, and someone who works there  expressed interest in adopting Rocco himself.

But in the interim, two things cropped up:

The first was that Rocco developed kennel cough from the two nights he spent at the shelter. (Fortunately, that is nearly gone now).

The second was that upon further examination, one of the vets discovered two lumps on Rocco’s groin and one inside his cheek. These have to be removed and biopsied because nobody is going to want to adopt him without knowing what is going on.

The good news is, the vet gave us a very reasonable price to do the surgery ($260) and if I can raise the money with your help, we can move forward and assist Rocco in losing these tumors and finding his forever home. Even a donation of $5, $10, or $20 will help enormously, as I know there are many of you big hearted people out there willing to give up a Starbucks coffee or two on Rocco’s behalf. If you are willing to help, please visit www.fotabr.org

Please designate your donation “In honor of Rocco.” Once the funds are collected, we’ll be able to schedule his surgery. Any funds collected in excess of Rocco’s surgical expenses will go towards helping other dogs and cats that this rescue pulls from the shelter.

Friends of the Animals is a terrific organization that holds off site adoption events for shelter animals (where they are more likely to be adopted than at the shelter, which is far from the center of town), pays for heartworm treatment, collects supplies needed at the shelter, and has purchased a double wide trailer to accommodate approximately 50 nursing cats and kittens during their quarantine period as well as 20 other domesticated cats. And SO much more. They have also assisted me in placing many of the foster dogs I have had over the course of the past 18 months.

Please leave a comment below if you’re willing to help Rocco and please share any stories of your own senior dog(s). I love senior dogs! I have an 11 year old Lab and I think senior dogs are so special. They are past all that puppy silliness and they’re just happy to lie around and give you loving looks and tail thumps all day long.

I’ll keep you posted on the fundraising effort for Rocco and keep you updated on his health and (hopefully) good fortune. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Big thanks to June, for taking Rocco in, and to Paula Schoen, for forming Friends of the Animals http://friendsoftheanimalsbr.org which has helped so many cats and dogs who have drawn the short straw in life to move onward and upward to the lives they so richly deserve.

Thanks for caring.

Rocco, about to make his television debut. Not at all nervous. In fact, a total natural.

Rocco, all smiles as he is about to make his television debut. He is a total TV natural.

Syrus (now Huckleberry): Day 13

Huckleberry, fattened up and  relaxing in his new foster home en route to his Forever Family in New York.

Huckleberry, fattened up and relaxing in his new foster home en route to his Forever Family in New York.

So the truth is, I haven’t updated you on Syrus, whose name is now Huckleberry, because I’ve been nervous. Nervous because I did something I’ve never done when fostering before: I adopted him to someone (fabulous) who lives more than 1,000 miles away. And the logistics have been a little complicated. I haven’t wanted to share because I’m holding my breath that it’s all going to go off without a hitch, but enough with the superstition. You care about Huckleberry too, so we can all cross our fingers and toes and hold our breath together. Alas, here it is:

About a week ago, my adopter (who wishes to remain anonymous for now) sent her 70 year old mother up from New Orleans to officially adopt our boy. Her mom, the most delightful woman you can imagine, arrived with a huge bag of nutritious puppy food for Huck and a blankie and other goodies for his stay with the next foster and we went up to the shelter together for her to do the paperwork. The reason he went to another foster is that I was only able to have him here for a week due to my work schedule. And the adopter’s mom couldn’t keep him at her home. And also, because I wanted him to be in a place where he could live indoors and practice his good house manners, as well as recuperate in a warm place from his kennel cough and snotty nose. (He’s on round two of antibiotics for that, bless his heart).

So Huckleberry is doing great in his new foster home from what I hear, and he’s house trained and crate trained and coughing less and enjoying the company of a Great Dane too. And if all goes well and he gets his health certificate from the vet in the next couple of days, he will ride on the transport with Rescue Road trips (www.rescueroadtrips.com)to his fabulous new home in a beautiful little fishing village in New York on Long Island.

I ask you to send our boy good, healing energy so that he is well enough to make the trip. And that every requirement is met so that he can get on that transport and be on his way to his new life.

Addendum: Looks like poor Syrus flunked his pre-transport check-up because he still has the remnants of kennel cough, despite two different antibiotics and a week on each. And no health certificate, no travel north to his Forever Family. Hopefully, his foster can hang onto him for another two weeks until the next transport when he is 100% with certificate in paw. A stay at an animal shelter for an unvaccinated dog or cat can be an unbelievable germfest. I’m just grateful Huckleberry continues to improve, because a lot of dogs and cats die in shelters from the disease they can all spread around there. Please make sure your dogs are vaccinated for Bordatella (aka: Kennel Cough) every six months, even if you don’t board them. If they ever get out and picked up by Animal Control, even a brief stay in a shelter can be a death sentence.

Huckleberry with Camelia on our "goodbye for now" walk.

Huckleberry with Camelia on our “goodbye for now” walk.

Huckleberry's new collar, with tag that doesn't let him forget his Louisiana roots.

Huckleberry’s new collar, with tag that doesn’t let him forget his Louisiana roots.

Huckleberry's new grandma (or MawMaw as they say it).

Huckleberry’s new grandma loving him in my garage .