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Riley's Rants

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May 9th 2009 8:01 pm
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In order to understand how my mom is dog’s best friend you need to understand a little about her personality. My mom is incredibly independent and stubborn and hates to ask for help. Hates it! She would rather move a 100 pound book case or fix something herself than ask for help... except when it comes to saving dogs' lives. Mom is shameless when asking for help with saving dogs. She will ask your brother’s roommate’s cousin for help if she needed it. But it’s because she opens herself up, becomes vulnerable and asks for help that she is able to do so much.

For the past 3 years mom and has been working at the local shelter for 2-3 days a week (in addition to her full time job). She awakened a sleeping giant when she started working there and is very passionate about shelter dogs and adopting. So much so that’s it’s probably a bit annoying to some. ;)

Mom has pretty much done it all; worked/volunteered at the shelter, fostered, transported, pulled dogs from other shelters, adopted, and advocated. Some of her bigger accomplishments include getting dogs pulled, transported, and adopted from several states away. But she couldn’t do it by herself. Dogster has been a huge part of mom’s rescue work. She has met countless friends and like minded individuals who have played very important roles in almost all of her rescues. The first was Gypsy, am emaciated husky mix who she fostered and got accepted to a husky rescue in IL thanks to the help of fellow Dogsters, who also helped transport Gypsy to the rescue. The latest rescue involved getting a 3 legged pit bull puppy from Nebraska to Ohio- Dogsters were responsible for getting the pup from Nebraska to the Iowa/Illinois state line, that entire transport and rescue could not have happened without the help of Dogsters!

A sad lesson mom has had to learn is to pick her battles... but when mom decides to fight, she has yet to loose. She has saved several German Shepherds, 2 huskies, and 1 pit bull from her own shelter, not only getting these dogs into rescue in different states but also opening up kennel space for other dogs. She has also pulled 3 dogs from shelters in other states and gotten them into foster/forever homes. When mom puts her mind to something you better not stand in her way, but you can always help her along the way.

Mom is tireless when it comes to improving the lives of “her” shelter dogs and getting them into great homes. She says it is her passion and her definition of passion is never being satisfied with status quo and always striving for improvement. She researches enrichment ideas for the shelter, recruits and trains volunteers, developed and teaches a class for shelter dog walkers, and is starting a behavioral assessment program for her shelter so that animals are better matched to potential adopters. In fact, it’s amazing she has time to spend with us!

So that’s it, my mom rocks, but so does Dogster and its members. Mom is truly humbled and blessed by the fine folks she has met and friends she has made. She doesn’t know what she would do without some of these folks in her life, and she certainly knows that a few lives have been saved because of those folks!



June 4th 2008 10:52 am
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I think one of the greatest areas of frustration in being a dog or a dog owner is the language barrier we face. If only there were times of open communication where nothing was left to interpretation! As a human we are often concerned with our dogs' happiness and health. How do we know they are truly happy? In times of sickness we wish with every fiber of our being that our dogs could tell us how to make it better. There's no doubt that dogs are much better at grasping human communication than we are at doggie communication but still they must be so frustrated when their humans just don't quite understand.

But then there are moments... brief, precious moments where there is clear and perfect communication. These moments often consist of pure, unadulterated joy and happiness. These moments are the moments you treasure and you keep close to your heart. These are the moments where there are no questions as to happiness for the look in the eyes tells you it is so.

And that's the way I feel about Riley's new profile picture. It was a magic moment of relaxation and happiness captured in Riley's face and snapped in a photograph. I realize how lucky I am to have a keepsake of this perfect moment where there is no language barrier, only joy.


It appers I am famous!

December 10th 2007 1:00 pm
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Check out this hot piece of tushy! Me I, of course, would prefer a much more flattering pose but hey, I'll take all the exposure I can get!

Mom has been really happy with me (except for the little thing about continuing to get kleenexes out of the bathroom trash). Raven and I have been playing a lot and I don't think it's such a big deal that she's here. In fact, I actually enjoy the fact that she's around! Imagine that.


Mom's B-day

October 24th 2007 8:52 am
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So last week was crazy! Long story short- mom went down to Kansas and pulled 2 dogs from a high kill shelter down there. One hung out with us all week which meant I had a lot of alone time since I'm not too super excited about having strange dogs in my house. But as of Sunday they were both gone! Woo hoo! I have my house and mom back!

Anyways... since mom has been super busy and not spending much time with us she took Monday and Tuesday off to celebrate her birthday which was yesterday. On Monday she cleaned and ran errands and then Raven and I got to go to Big Indian Rec Area where we spent almost the entire time running off leash. Mom said Raven and I were crazy, like we hadn't been hiking in weeks.

Yesterday was even better though. We jumped in the car and met Grandma at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in NE City. We walked on a 2-mile prairie trail, got a big drink and then relaxed in the car while Mom and G'ma checked out the visitors center. They came back out and then we hung out in the shade and had a snack. After that Raven and I had to hang out in the car for awhile but evetually we got another walk at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. The trees were so pretty! Raven was obsessed with the squirrels so that sucked a little bit for mom (I'm a good girl and have great leash manners so G'ma walked me). Finally, we loaded up one last time and left for home. Mom said she had a great day and was happy that she got to spend it with her girls and her mom.

That evening Raven had to go to class so Mom left me with a bully stick. She said she bought it specially for me for being such a good, patient girl last week.

Can it be Mom's birthday all the time??? I kind of like how the day turned out. ;)


The Adventures of Itchy Butt and Belly Girl!

August 27th 2007 8:36 am
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Mom came home from hunting and gathering yesterday (she calls it grocery shopping) and I was all 'scratch my butt' and Raven was all 'rub my belly' so mom says she should write something for us and call it The Adventures of Itchy Butt and Belly Girl. *sigh* Mom, thinks she's so clever...


One Big Itch!

August 22nd 2007 11:38 am
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I am just one big itch right now. My paws itch, my belly itches, my butt itches, everything itches. I am allergic to ragweed pollen which is saturating the air right now. Mom really wants to avoid a steroid shot this year but I am starting to make myself bloody with scratching. At least mom can commiserate a little, she got sick this weekend and now she is one big snot bubble. Hee hee. Oh wait, I guess it's not nice to laugh at mom. So Mom is one big snot, I am one big itch, and Raven is... well, lucky!


Dog Days of Summer

August 5th 2007 6:45 pm
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I have no idea why they call this time of year the dogs days of summer... no self-respecting dog I know of enjoys this type of weather. Even more silly was the skin-folk news that talked about the dog days and showed a picture of a bulldog!! If there is any breed that really doesn't do well in the heat it's a bulldog.
Mom noticed that I've really slowed down this summer, at least she's pretty sure it's just the heat. Everything else is going really well I'm just not as peppy on walks and get worn out pretty quickly. I always come alive again during the fall. And when mom gets her butt out of bed to take us to the dog park in the morning Raven and I are always extra playful and run around a lot. So yeah, it's the heat- it sucks. Literally, it sucks the energy right out of me!


Love Tagged!

July 19th 2007 11:24 am
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I have been love tagged by my pals Mellow and the N'walins Gang. I love you guys too!!

Now I have to choose 3 pals, tag them, and tell why they are so terrific! It's so hard to pick just three!

Well, first I am going to cheat and tell you why Mellow and the N'walins Gang are so great.

Mellow's mom is just the best- smart, witty, funny, sweet, but doesn't put up with any crap! ;-) Honestly, one heck of a loyal friend who has the biggest heart. I got close to Mellow's mom during the Kansas 6-pack madness last Christmas. I wish I could have helped more than I did but maybe if I had the girls wouldn't be where they are now and I think they are right where they are supposed to be.

The N'walins Gang was also in on the 6-pack rescue. I don't even have the words to describe how great the leader of their pack is. She has a great spirit and always pitches in to help. I admire her greatly for all the work she does helping to find lost pets even though they may be thousands of miles away.

I am going to tag-
Takoda- I first met Takoda's mom when I was looking for a rescue to take Gypsy. Gypsy's story is amazing and you can read it all on her page. Long story short I couldn't have saved her life without some Dogster help and Takoda's mom was one of the first to step up. She helped transport Gypsy to Illinois and even let her stay over night. Later when she single handily drove to KS to pick up the 6-pack I was awe-struck. She went to great lengths to ensure those girls were out of danger and taken care of properly.

Lucy and pack were an even bigger help with the Gypsy rescue! She provided that necessary link between me and a husky rescue. She made it all happen and then kept me updated on Gypsy while she was at the rescue, which was only a short time because she got adopted!! I will forever be thankful to Lucy's mom for helping us place Gypsy in a great rescue and for keeping me updated on her adoption. I think about Gypsy often and she will always hold a special place in my heart. Lucy's mom also resides in that space- she ended up not being able to help with the transport because she was in the hospital, and she even had the gall to apologize for it! Silly human! Being in the hospital is a pretty good reason to miss out on a transport. ;-) No worries, Gypsy got there just fine. We wish nothing but the best for Lucy and her pack.

Taco- Taco's mom is just a great person. Very active in rescue and fostering and she is always trying to help out. Even though she promotes rescue and adoption and sticks up for homeless dogs she always does so in a polite manner- never getting mean or judgemental. We should all look to her as an example of how to conduct ourselves when communicating with others.


An unhappy 4th

July 3rd 2007 8:55 am
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Ok, I admit it, I HATE 4th of July. Hate, hate hate! See, fireworks scare the poo out of me. Well, actually it scares me so bad I refuse to go outside and poo! So mom has to get a little creative around this time of year. For the past two days we have driven out to the "country" around 8pm to take our walks. I get to do all my duties and then I can just go to bed when it gets dark. It's nice in the country, you can hear and see everything but not fireworks so I actually enjoy my walks. Thanks Mom!


An oldy but goody!

June 13th 2007 9:20 am
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Mom made this list with a little help from a few other Dogsters.

Top Ten Misconceptions about Shelter and Rescue Dogs!

1. They have issues.
While sometimes this may be true, the majority of shelter/rescue dogs have previous owners with issues: not enough time, not enough money, they are moving, they got a divorce, they had a baby. These owner issues in no way reflect on the dog. Even if a dog’s history is not known they often don’t have any serious behavioral issues. And every dog has their quirks, even purebred champions!

2. They don’t know how to behave.
True, some shelter and rescue dogs don’t know some neat tricks like sit, down, and stay but it’s because no one’s taken the time to teach them! Most of these “behavioral problems” can be fixed with a simple 6-8 week obedience course.

3. They are sick.
Not true! Many dogs, even owner surrenders, don’t come with the proper vaccinations; however most shelters and rescues get an animal fully up to date on vaccinations, and will not adopt out sick animals until they are well. Also serious diseases are tested for before the animals are adopted out.

4. Shelters only have big dogs.
While smaller dogs tend to get adopted sooner than larger dogs there are always smaller dogs coming in. If you are interested in adopting a smaller dog speak with your shelter or rescue and fill out an application so that when a small dog comes in they can contact you first. Also look for breed rescues that specialize in certain breeds.

5. They are all mutts, or there are no purebreds in shelters.
While there are often several mixed breed available many owner surrenders end up being “purebred” dogs. While these dogs may not have papers attached to them they are often a purebred dog. Statistics vary but at least 30% of dogs in shelters are purebreds, and every type of breed there is can be found in a shelter or rescue somewhere.

6. They are all older dogs.
Hardly. Once again puppies tend to be adopted quickly but puppies come in all the time. Follow the same advice as for small dogs. Also many dogs tend to be relinquished when they reach their “teenage” years and are no longer a cute puppy. Most of these dogs are 1-2 years old and still have a lot of life yet to live. Even if there are a lot of senior dogs, these dogs need good homes too and can be a great addition to the family.

7. They were all abused.
While sad cases may come in from time to time most dogs at the shelter have not been abused. Some are just shy from being in a stressful environment. If anything these dogs were neglected but not abused.

8. Only puppies from unwanted/accidental litters end up at shelters.
Puppies from "planned" breeding can and do end up at shelters, it's not just accidental litters.

10. Shelter dogs can't be/aren’t potty trained.
Often shelter dogs cannot be let out often enough and are forced to go to the bathroom in their kennels. For some dogs (young, old, small) asking it to go more than 8-10 between bathroom breaks is just too long. These dogs can still learn the rules of housetraining once adopted. Same rules apply to housebreaking shelter dogs as to a puppy from a breeder.

Shelters are scary, dirty, sad places.
Yes, there are bad shelters where conditions are less than desirable. However, many, many shelters are clean, bright, and generally happy places. These shelters are also full of people willing to help you find the right dog for you!

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