Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, from Tanner & Paris

My poor doggies. What they go through every year for the annual SPCA Pet's on Parade. Actually, the two that go through it are my Dad's doggies, Tanner and Paris. As I didn't have Chico when I started doing the SPCA POP way back in '05. We've won 1st place for small breed quite a few times :D and my friend's dog would win 1st for large dog's quite a few times. Haha. We had to be careful, 4Paws4Love took the show sometimes, and we didn't want anyone to think it was rigged! Sometimes my friend would even change out of our 4Paws4Love shirts before the contest even started! LOL!

I couldn't find pics from 2006, that was the 1st year (I THINK) we entered Tanner and Paris and we entered them as Rapunzel and the black knight. We dressed Tanner up as a Princess with a long blonde wig and we had Paris as a knight and shining armor. She even had a knight riding her as a horse :D

Did not enter the costume contest in 2009. I was actually hosting a yardsale for the American Cancer Society that weekend and barely made it up to the lake FOR the 5k walk.

I was not able to attend the event at all in 2011 because it was the same weekend as my wedding. I am so involved in the SPCA that the president joked I should get married AT pet's on parade. LOL!

Please share any sites you may have for adorable costumes. I'm always looking for ideas :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Kitten Update

I received a text on Saturday night with a picture and an update on the kitten that I rescued on August 30th. I wanted to share with you :)

Remember this guy?

August 30th 2011

Well, he's all grown up a little older now and ready for adoption. My friend that took him in to foster while he was soso tiny texted me an updated picture and let me know that he is now 2lbs and ready for his neuter this week. He is already out on the adoption floor looking for his furever home. I am told that his name is Sunny now, so if you go by the SPCA for a visit, be sure to say hello to him! I was informed that he had ringworm and sarcoptic mange when I found him, bless his little heart. BUT, he is 100% better now and ready for a furever home. I really hope he gets that.

Oct 2011

See the difference YOU could make? Had this precious little fur ball not been found after a storm, he likely would have died in the streets. Because we took the time to swoop him up and get him to a foster home and the SPCA, he now has a chance at life. <3

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 Happy Years

Chico & I - our signature pose

On October 18th 2006 I brought home a bundle of ferociousness (yes, even at 8 weeks) from the SPCA. I had no clue how this sweet puppy would forever change my heart.

Honestly, when I brought him home, I had the intention to FOSTER him. The SPCA was ready to neuter him and I just felt he was too small to be having surgery (though of course he met the weight requirements). As a volunteer AND board member at the time, I asked if I could take him home to foster for a bit while he got bigger, and stronger. Chico is a feisty one! The foster coordinator at the time warned me of how much trouble he'd been during the weeks she fostered him when he was too young to be up for adoption and asked if I was sure I was ready for him. OF COURSE. How could I NOT be ready for that sweet face? When I left there, I knew this dog would be mine. I was smitten. He was so tiny, but, she was NOT lying about his ferociousness. He was no joke. A little ankle biter for sure, with razor sharp puppy teeth. Sadly, he still is a nipper. He is a huge Momma's boy, and follows me 24/7 when I am home and has to be in my lap if I am sitting. It's quite embarrassing because when people tell me (and they constantly do) how cute he is, I have to warn not to pet because he is not a friendly dog. Now, don't get me wrong, a lot of his ferociousness is all in good fun, that's why when he charges barking and growling he does it excitedly with his tail wagging a mile a minute. BUT, many get intimidated and he senses that. My friends that don't let him intimidate them? He loves them! And is usually on THEIR laps by the end of the day. But still, better to be safe than sorry. He is still my precious (fur)baby boy!

While he had been healthy for the most part, he had a few seizures in January & July of 2009 which were quite scary to say the least. Thankfully he has been seizure free since I started giving him fish oil at the end of July 2010. Praise God!

I'll share a few more pictures of our signature pose :)



And, I can't forget to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Zero, the cat that my friend Sara brought home from the SPCA on the very same day.

You can read last years birthday post here

♥ Happy Birthday Chico & Zero! ♥

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guestblogging - Microchips

Laura gave me the opportunity to guest post on her blog on Monday, and I chose to post about awareness of microchipping the furbabies. I wanted to be sure to share the post here as well.


Hi Everyone!

I am Heather from Brown Eyed Bell(e), and I am a daily reader (well, I try to be, sometimes the daily part doesn't work out, BUT, I always catch back up) of Laura's blog. Laura was actually one of my very first bloggy friends. Exciting! She's such a sweetie. I have been so excited to find and network with so many other Christian bloggers; what a blessing. Laura allowed me to do my first ever guest post back in May when she allowed me to post about some of my passions in giving with cause, and she has allowed me to come back and fill a slot while she is enjoying a much deserved vacation (have fun!) with her family. Thanks Laura!

One of the things I share in common with Laura is the love we have for our pets furbabies. You may have seen Laura mention her dogs, Zia & Samson, are her other children. And if you are a fellow animal lover, you understand. Today I am going to share with you a story about microchipping. The good, and the bad not so good.

I am a strong supporter of microchips in animals. As a volunteer @ my local SPCA, I have seen first hand animals being reunited with their owners after just a few short hours of being lost, all the way up to being reunited years later. Can you imagine?! It's amazing when a family dog is reunited with its owners after years of being gone. I've even picked up strays myself and had them scanned only to find a mircochip. YAY! makes finding the rightful owner that much easier.

BUT, while microchips are great, I do want to make sure as pet owners, we are all aware that they are not a guarantee that your pet will be found. Just because a dog or cat has been microchipped does NOT always mean it will find its way home. I  myself am a prime example of that. I lost a cat once that was microchipped. The system let me down.

Here is the story (I'll try to keep it on the short end). It happened in August of 2006. Now, if you've ever read my blog, you know August is a hard month for me. It's the month my mother passed away. In the past, I used to get pretty depressed come August. Well, August of 2006 was extra hard as not only was I already sad but I also had come down with a bad cold. I was out of it and not nearly as attentive as usual. You see, I have indoor/outdoor cat's (side note: I have cat's that have lived their life as indoor outdoor cats and are 15+ years old, it doesn't shorten their life-span), so, it's not uncommon for me not to see one for a few days if it's hanging out in the backyard. One day, I realized it'd been a few days since I'd seen one of my cats. I asked my boyfriend at the time, and my Dad, if they'd seen Lucky, and no one had. I immediately went to work making signs for a lost cat. I posted them locally.

A day or two later, an elderly woman from the 55+ community behind our house called me and said she'd seen my sign up at the laundry mat, and that she'd seen a cat like mine get taken away by animal control. She said they (apparently) had a feral cat problem in the trailer park and that one of her neighbors put traps out, caught the cats, and called the pound to come pick them up.

And, that's what happened. My cat had been picked up by animal control.

Problem? None of my cats wore collars at the time. I naively thought that a microchip was sufficient. SO, they came, picked up my cat (that did NOT even remotely resemble a feral, he was a fat, neutered, well taken care of) cat. They picked up my cat that was microchipped... and you know what happened?

He was put down (euthanized) before I ever even realized he was missing.

It hurts my heart when I remember that time. I don't place blame on the shelter, as a volunteer at my local SPCA, I understand the over crowding that goes on at any given shelter. What upsets me is that I do feel like the ball was dropped. My ex boyfriend went to the shelter first to look for Lucky, he told me he didn't see any cats that resembled him. The next day, I drove up there myself and I also took the address of the location where he was "supposedly" picked up at. They typed that address in the system and an abundance of cats popped up. They told me I definitely had a trapper on my hands. The lady from that address had trapped and turned in an abundance of cats. As they were scrolling through pictures I saw him. I saw Lucky! I said "that's my cat!!" and she said "hold on, lemme check the status" I was standing over her shoulder as we scrolled through the pics, and again, being another volunteer from another local shelter, I knew the terminology and I could see on the screen the "due out" date which had already come and gone. My heart started beating faster, and the tears came. I told her "if your screen is right, he is already gone". 

Lucky's animal control "mug shot"

Then the hysterics started. I was a bawling mess. I remember crying and asking "don't you guys scan for microchips?!" and what the worker answered will forever stick with me. She said "unfortunately ma'am, time doesn't always allow" Wait a minute! What?! REALLY!? Yup. That is what she said, that time didn't always allow them to scan. Now, granted, this lady was a young girl, probably a volunteer getting service hours for high school, however, I truly believe what she said to me to be true. I don't think she even realized what she was saying was wrong, and she likely got in trouble or fired for what she told me. They sent me to the back to speak with a director after that. The director "assured" me they had a three tier system for checking for chips, that they scanned at intake, they scanned before they went out for adoption, and that they scanned one last time before euthanasia. While she assured me that was the case, the words from the lady up front will always haunt me. I truly believe what she said, that "unfortunately, time doesn't always allow".  It's sad because it makes me wonder how many other times this has happened (I only personally know of one other case, thankfully I was able to help them find there dog at animal control BEFORE it was adopted out, or worse, put down) and someone's family pet was put down before they made it there. I don't know how long your local shelters hold pets, but for our local animal services, healthy pets WITHOUT a tag at intake are only held for 4 days, pet's that come in WITH a tag are only held for 7 days. That's not a lot of time friends.

So, my suggestion to you is; please, on top of making sure your pet is chipped (you can get a deal on this from local shelters and vets, just ask) it's always a good idea to make sure they wear a collar 24/7. This is something I still struggle with. My dogs at home don't wear their collars unless they are going out for a walk or something special (normally they are in our fenced back yard) BUT if they were ever to dart out the door, or escape from the back yard, without a collar, their chance at survival or being returned is slimmer. As for cats, I know there is often the fear if they stay outside that their collar will get hung up and they'd choke. They make "break away" safety collars that you can buy specifically for that purpose. SO, if your cat jumped a fence or crawled under, and got caught, the collar would break and set them free. I've went through quite a few of these so obviously my cats are up to no good outside. :D In all seriousness though, these are things that we sometimes forget to think about as pet owners. And also just as important, if you ever find a stay, take it to your nearest vet or shelter to get scanned and checked for a chip. If your pet is already chipped, be sure every time you take it in for a routine check up, etc, that you have the office scan them and ensure the chip has not migrated (they can do that!). This is why it's important that all shelters do full body scans. The chip could be anywhere!

I know this was a super lengthy post, so I thank you for sticking through it if you made it this far. If you are an animal lover, please be sure to check out my pet blog, 4Paws4Love. Thanks again Laura, for having me here today!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Unexpected vet bills....

that's usually how they happen.

My weekend has consisted of about $250 worth of unexpected vet bills! My precious furbaby Chico is not feeling well AT ALL. 

After our 1 mile walk on Wednesday, he came home and puked. It wasn't hot, so I didn't think he was over heated, but I figured I'd keep an eye on him. Well, the next day, I saw him circling the back yard so I watched where he went to the bathroom at and we over to check it out (oh motherly duties) and I was shocked to find bloody diarrhea. I called my vet immediately and took him in. My favorite doctor was in, I trust her with all my furbabies. She told me he felt fine, didn't exhibit any real discomfort as she felt around his tummy, and she gave me some packets of nutritional powder stuff I could mix into his food to help build back up the good bacteria in his gut. She also gave me a 3 in 1 medicine, it's anti diarrhea, antibiotic and something else that I forget. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I asked if it'd effect his seizures in any way and she said that while rare some dogs have had neurological issues before with high doses but she actually changed my prescription from pills to liquid so I could more accurately measure the dosage. Well, again, being the hypochondriac that I am I decided not to give him the antibiotic and just see if he'd start feeling better...usually after a day or two the tummy issues pass. Not this time. I didn't see him puke at all on Thursday or Friday (not to say he didn't, I just didn't see it). And Friday he was still acting playful and happy, eating his food with the powder mix. Today came and he woke up not feeling well at all. He puked again and when I saw him go outside, he still had bloody diarrhea. SO, I called the vet again. We didn't want to take any chances of him getting dehydrated since the clinics are closed tomorrow. My vet told me they had an opening at 11:30 but when I asked who was on call, it was a doctor that I am not a fan of. SO, they informed me one of the ladies I did like was on call at their sister office in Polk City. Off we went. My husband drove us out there.

The doctor did her exam, there was some blood, and let's just say Chico was not happy with what she did and yelped a lot (all the while breaking my heart). She ran some blood tests just to give me peace of mind (keep in mind I just went through the dilemma I blogged about last week when my friends dog was immediately put down due to a stomach tumor!!) The blood tests all came back clear which was good. SO, she sent gave him a shot while there for anti vomiting and also sent me home with three different pills. Now he has 3 pills and 1 liquid that he has to take daily for awhile. Bless his little puppy heart

The Thursday bill was $83 and some change, and today was $164 and some change. Grand total of $267 and some change.

This is one of the many reasons I caution people as they go to add a pet to their family. It's not all fun and games. Unexpected medical bills DO arise.

I just hope my Cheekster is feeling better soon, now would be awesome, but I'll take tomorrow. :D He just got done eating some boiled chicken and rice and is sleeping in my lap as I type this.

NOTE: Check out Laura over @ Between the Lines on Monday! She will be on vacation, and I am happy to help with a guest post dealing with furbabies!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The weather is changing....

and that means more walks! :)

Due to Chico's seizures I don't take him on long walks during the hot summer months (which lasts almost all year here in Florida) BUT, the weather is changing. Slowly but surely, fall is in the air. Here are a few photo's I snapped of our 1 mile walk yesterday.

got the evil eye, like "mom really?! stop with the pics"

our signature pose <3
 I am so happy the weather is cooling off enough to where we can still walk at 10am and it's cool enough to not overheat. For awhile, you'd have to walk at 6am to not overheat and I am NOT a morning person! Now, I just gotta get Bullseye a proper fitting harness so he can walk with his bubby! They really are two peas in a pod and our family was blessed immensely when I found him  he found us in March.

I hope your furbabies are enjoying this cooler weather as well!