Monday, May 27, 2013

Donovan's Happy Ending

Donovan arrived in Oakland a gawky young dog with limited life skills and tiny ear nubs from an amateur's attempt at an ear crop. Foster-mom extraordinaire Rachel raised her hand and offered him a foster spot in her San Francisco home. Donovan was awkward, excitable and lacked basic understanding of how to behave in the big city. Rachel problem solved, exposed young Donovan to the thrills of the world in manageable doses and found a way to channel his excitement into excellent obedience skills. When an application came in from a wonderful couple with a chihuahua mix it seemed meant to be.

Donovan is no longer an awkward and anxious orphan. Now he is a lovely young dog with an adoring family and a tiny big sister.
Congratulations Candance and Sean and thank you little Ellie for accepting a big doofus as a brother. Most of all congratulations and thank you to Rachel for turning our boy's life around.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Jilly finally convinced one of her good friends, awesome BAD RAP foster mom Rachel, to take her out of the city for a little vacation. The camping part didn't quite happen, but I'm pretty sure it was wild enough anyway. We learned that not only does Jilly love playing with the sprinklers and hoses, she also LOVES swimming.
What is that fast moving creature way out in the creek?
Its a Jillyfish! 
Jilly ended her trip with a scenic hike overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Thank you Rachel for taking our beautiful orphan on a little early summer vacation! I know she had the time of her life.
Jilly is STILL looking for her forever people. If you are searching for a beautiful and fun friend see her bio on the available dogs page at

Monday, May 20, 2013

steeling ourselves

The barn's been rumbling with the usual clatter of dogs coming and dogs going: Farnam, Sassy, Corndog, Gum, Sammy, Elton, Corky, Diamond ... One minute they're here, dashing around as if this was always their home - the next minute their kennel is empty and ready to be swabbed down in prep for new residents. (Corky is still here, puppy Stew is leaving any day, and Diamond has a hopeful suitor with more dogs on their way in.)

Loredo is a recent visitor who spent two weeks learning about the world through the lens of our daily routine. He came from a cruelty case in Idaho, and he told us two things about himself once he landed. One: He agrees that life is definitely better without a heavy chain or noisy shelter kennels to wear him down. And Two: He let us know that he's pretty darn worn down.

Photos from evaluations at Idaho Humane Society: Idaho survivors

Life has not been good to Loredo, and his body tells the tale. Our job was to let him rest and recover some before moving to foster care. There was pacing, mournful howling, painful limping, diarrhea and more diarrhea - laundry and more laundry. We hid multitudes of pills in his food, cooked rice and scraped can after can of stool firming pumpkin into his dish, tended the gaping hole in his leg (a bad pressure sore), massaged him, bathed him and did our best to let him know that he isn't alone anymore. It was a tough two weeks for all of us, including Loredo. Finally, when his diarrhea slowed and his sleep cycles deepened, we knew it was time to send him to talented (RVT) foster mom Katie Moyer for more TLC.

Is he going to make it? We don't know. We don't say 'yes' to medical cases without steeling ourselves just a little bit. Time will tell, and along with time, a battery of tests to help us solve the mystery of Loredo's various ailments. Thank dog for compassionate foster homes who are willing to put their heart on the block while hoping for the very best.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Elton's time

During the Sad Times, Elton's house was a plastic barrel. He spent a lot of time going round and round in circles and wondering what it might feel like to move in a straight line.

He could barely believe it when the New People came by to tell him that his life had just changed.

One of his first friends in California showed him the fun of rolling around on the cool green grass. Elton hadn't felt this good since he pushed up next to his mama as a young babe.

His good memories came rushing back to him all at once in this place ... He remembered what it was like to bounce and play like he used to when he was a wee pup.

He felt safe here and slept better than he'd slept in ages.

Every day was a new discovery. There were amazing new things to smell and taste in this California place.

And new friends who wanted to chase and laugh.

One day, the big furry friend took him into the 'big house' for the first time and said, "Look - It's time for you to leave this place. Where you're going, you'll have your very own house just like this one and your very own family. You'll need to remember what we taught you about not peeing on the big house floor, and not taking food from the people's plates. You just need to do this. Watch. You lay on the floor when you're resting and you wait for the people to tell you how beautiful you are. They do that a lot. You'll do just fine, little buddy."

Tomorrow, Elton leaves for his brand new life. We all plan on missing him like crazy.

Many thanks to the staff of Walter Crowe Animal Shelter of South Carolina for getting Elton to safety. He was the only adult dog from this family of dogs to survive, so is incredibly special to all of us. Carry on in the name of your tribe, Little Man. You do them all proud!