Oliver’s Progress

As many of you already know we rescued a German Shepard just over three weeks ago. He is a wonderful dog. His health has improved well and his progress continues.

Just for reference this is a photo from the shelter just before adpotion:

Oliver at the San Diego Humane Society before adoption.

And here he is on June 22 at home:

Oliver as he recovers his health 6/22/21 at his new home of 3 weeks.

He is young boy and is quite the handsome gentleman. What a treasure!

Meet Oliver

The San Diego Humane Society listing for a pup now named Oliver.

As many of you dear readers know we lost our beloved Gilda to old age on April 19. She was an amazing Belgian Shepard whom we rescued done 14 years ago who lived until almost her 17th birthday. When she passed I knew that another dog would come into our lives at some point. Most likely a dog that needed help just as she had.

Last Monday May 24 a video popped into my YouTube feed from the San Diego Humane Society. I clicked play and then made a comment that he was a handsome boy.

The very next day on Tuesday I was scheduled to meet with my friend and SDHS philanthropy representative Carol to make a donation in the honor of Gilda. It was a beautiful day and we sat out on the patio to catch up since Covid had kept me away from an in person meeting for more than a year. I even got to meet the SDHS President, Gary Weitzman’s, new Shepard pup as we got caught up on all the changes around the shelter as well as the new programs that are in the works.

After we met, Carol took me on a tour of the medical facilities and then at my request, the adoption floor. I wasn’t looking for Stubbs but recognized him immediately from his You Tube video when we walked past his kennel. He seemed sweet but was way larger than I have ever even desired a dog for my home, much larger than Gilda ever was and she was large for me. We kept on moving and I saw many more dogs. There was a chihuahua that caught my eye but nothing clicked that bell saying this is the one. We said goodbye and I went home.

However Stubbs and the Chihuahua both stayed on my mind. So on Wednesday I e-mailed Carol and she put me in touch with an adoption counselor. I set up an appointment to come in and meet the two pups Thursday morning.

The chihuahua was definitely sweet and much more my cup of tea, but Stubbs needed help. Turns out he had been found abandoned and tied up to a coffee shop railing in the La Jolla area of San Diego on April 25. Severely malnourished and underweight he had mange, mites, pyoderma, ear infections, severe skin infections, diarrhea and had very little fur left anywhere on his body. He was a dog that should weight 80-85 lbs who weighed in at 54lbs upon admission. By the time I met him and in these photos he has gained 10 lbs and you can still see every bone in his body.

Oliver, AKA Stubbs, at the San Diego Humane Society.

I didn’t adopt Stubbs at that moment but I made an appointment to come back Friday afternoon at 3:30 so The Better Half could meet both. As many of you know, Friday morning I received the news our beloved Anne Marie had passed away. I was devastated. At least I had something to look forward to in the afternoon.

The Better Half came home from work and off to SDHS we went. The adoption counselor greeted us and asked which one we wanted to meet with first. I said Stubbs. We were escorted into the agility yard and Stubbs was brought in. He was just a wonderful gentle soul who exudes love and joy even though he’s in such poor condition and obvious discomfort. It was a match. Ken looked at me and said “this is what we do, we rescue those who need us the most”.

After some paperwork, he was in the car and off to Petsmart for supplies we were going to need then home to meet the pack.

Strange people in a strange car, but he warmed up quickly and by the time we got home he was realizing he was safe and he was loved.

Meet the pack he did and he did very well, although Patsy still isn’t very joyful about it but she will warm up.

Oliver became his name in that short trip home as Oliver means “of the olive tree” and the olive tree means “Friendship”, he couldn’t be a friendlier guy. It just fit. He is adjusting well, knows how to sit and stay, is verbally expressive like a husky when interacting and he has not yet barked. He’s been to his new vet and has a dermatologist consult next week. He walks well on his leash, has had two baths and just a few days later he seems more comfortable in his skin.

Oliver at home, even though there are Pads on the floor of his temporary room and so far he’s seems to be housebroken.

Oliver is just a big goofy gentle soul who has a forever home with two men and 5 little dogs who love him.
He’s even a gentleman when riding to the vet!

Co-pilot Oliver

My heart is filled with joy. Oliver is a gift of love and joy!

When our pets die

Rainbow Bridge – Author Unknown

Gilda came into our lives as a stray whom we rescued some 14 years ago when she was about 2 years old. It was actually a very long, stressful and convoluted story but we were fortunate to legally adopt her from her owners with the help of our local shelter. She was also fortunate that it was my car she stepped out into the road in front of that day. I first wrote about her HERE and also celebrated her 12th birthday HERE .

Gilda was a Belgian Laekenois and Belgian Malinois cross. She had been purchased by a young family in our neighborhood to be a guard dog. Belgians are a special breed that can be difficult for inexperienced dog owners to handle. It was not a good mix and she found herself in a horrible situation. I won’t go any further into details except that by the time she stepped into traffic in front of my moving car she was malnourished and maladjusted. At the moment my eyes landed on her I didn’t yet realize the blessing the universe had just placed into my path, I just knew I had to get this strange and frightened dog to safety.

After many healthy years here with us, Gilda started her decline about a year ago. It was slow and she had many wonderful days, but she had some struggles too. It’s when the struggles outweigh the good days that we owners have to make that final hard choice. Last Saturday it appeared it was about time to call the vet for the home visit, by Sunday evening it was obvious. Monday morning at 8 am the phone weighed about 20 pounds as I dialed the number, fortunately they had a 12 noon opening for the same day.

Monday was a beautiful day and The Better Half had the day off. We were able to open all the doors and windows and spend the morning right here on the house giving her her favorite treats, help her out into her yard for a few last trips and lounge on the floor with her in her comfy bed. We were all blessed as the breeze blew through the house and she could part this life peacefully with us and all her sibling dogs at her side.

While we will never see her beautiful sparkling eyes again in this life, we know we will on the other side. She was the most loyal, loving and gentle soul that anyone could ever be blessed with in life.

Goodbye for now Gilda. Please say hello to Mitzi, Virgil, Diva, & Nina for us. We love you and look forward to the day we can hold you close again.

Gilda with Fearsome

Gilda with Hazel

 

Gilda and Nina

Her eyes

Godspeed.

Why?

Why do I get up in the morning?

Why do I go to work?

Why do I work hard?

Why do I strive to get better?

Why do I save?

Why do I?

I do because when I do, I get to help those who cannot speak for themselves. I get to support the San Diego Humane Society. That’s why!

Thank you SDHS for giving me my Why!

If you are so inclined you can donate by clicking   HERE  thank you!

Macklemore Christmas

It’s Christmas Time – Macklemore feat. Dan Caplen – 2019

For those who regularly read throughout the year, you will see why this video resonates with me at this time. Christmas will just be different without our dear Mitzi and Virgil this year for we will deeply miss them.

Hazel, may your first Christmas with us be amazing.

Love, hugs and wet kisses!

In remembrance of Virgil and Mitzi 

Hazel

Ethel or Gertrude?

Naming dogs ain’t easy.

What would you name this adorable girl?

Ethel?

Gertrude?

Darlene?

What name comes to your mind?

The first three photographs were from the San Diego Humane Society website. The fourth photo is from my iPhone when I met her in person this morning. The name given her upon her transfer into SDHS August 13 up until her adoption this afternoon at 5 pm was Riley. She doesn’t respond to Riley and we don’t think it fits her.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we adopted a dog today?

This summer has been one of loss for us after first losing Mitzi back in June and then losing her brother Virgil unexpectedly last week. The better half wasn’t so sure me going from shelter to shelter was the best way to deal with my grief. I mean after all we still had 5 dogs. However I saw our girl to soon be named on the SDHS website when grieving the day after Virgil passed and was immediately taken with her.

I went to SDHS to take a look at her that same day last week and she was asleep when I found her so I went out to talk to the receptionist and find out more. Her story goes like this:

She apparently was at a shelter out on El Centro CA (about a 2-3 hour drive east of San Diego out in the desert) where they have way more dogs than adopters. SDHS contracts to take 30-40 of this shelter’s dogs headed for euthanasia monthly in order to lessen the number of dogs needlessly killed in that community. She was a lucky one on August 13. She arrived here, was spayed and then went up for adoption.

She was adopted fairly soon thereafter, but was returned back to SDHS as she reportedly did not get along with the man of the household. She was shortly thereafter adopted again and then returned after she snapped at one of the children who had swatted her with a flip flop for peeing in the house. It was after that return I found her last week.

After hearing her story I had to think about it as dogs that have bounced in and out can develop behavior issues, or ones they have can be reinforced or exacerbated. Plus was it healthy for me to bring a dog home the day after Virgil had died in my arms? The next day I was extremely busy with work. The day after when I went to look for her and she had been adopted. I was glad to hear the news.

Last evening she popped up on the SDHS website as having been relinquished by her owner. This morning I couldn’t stay away, I had to know what had happened. Apparently the third adopter had her for five days and discovered she was allergic to our girl who has yet to be named and returned her yet again.

Saved from euthanasia only to become a boomerang.

This morning I met the most sweet little girl in person. She’s about 3 years old, is overweight at 14 lbs (at her size she should weight 9-10lbs), gentle, trusting, loving and very easy going. I left to think some more and get some work done. I went back before my personal training appointment and put a hold on her until I could return. I returned and had another one on one meeting with her and the bond was made. I cried tears of joy as I signed the paperwork and then sobbed tears of joy when the adoption counselor placed my newly purchased pink collar and leash on her for me to walk her out.

She strutted proudly out of SDHS, hopped right into my car and clung tightly to me all the way home.

She may have struck out three times after her life was spared, but on her way back to the dugout she somehow managed to cross home plate. She who has yet to be named has a new forever home. A new forever home with five other dogs that accepted her right into the pack.

Standing at the back Door of her new home.

San Diego Humane Society or SDHS has not euthanized an adoptable animal since the summer of 2014. They have committed to taking in all animals from other organizations in San Diego County to prevent the euthanasia of any adoptable animal in our county. This mission makes San Diego County one of only very few counties nationwide, or localities worldwide, with zero euthanasia. SDHS also takes in animals from our neighboring counties, thus saving the lives of pets beyond our county’s borders. Without SDHS expanding their mission, our new little girl would otherwise have met an early and unnecessary death.

If you would like to support such an organization as SDHS in their no kill mission, please click HERE.

Thank you!

First year

Just over a year ago we fostered then adopted Phoebe.

Shortly after Phoebe joined our pack, Betty came home with us as a foster. As either you know or guessed she was also permanently adopted.

The Better Half, Phoebe, Betty and Fearsome

Both Betty & Phoebe were rescued by the San Diego Humane Society from a horrid hoarding situation. Today more than a year later they are happy healthy little girls.

Abner(looking away), Phoebe, Betty & Patsy

Originally 92 Yorkies were found confined in a dark filthy room within a home here in a San Diego Suburb. They became known as The 92 Yorkies. Several weeks later another 30 or so were discovered hidden in a back room of a restaurant that the residents of the house owned. Then again several weeks after that one of the guilty owners was arrested in a motor home in Nevada escaping with yet another 40 or so Yorkies.

Betty and Phoebe were in that last rescue out of that escaping motor home.

We take a moment to honor the San Diego Humane Society for their heroic efforts and to also congratulate Betty & Phoebe for their first anniversary as part of our loving pack.

When all was said and done and the pregnant females all gave birth the total of rescued Yorkies came close to 200. We are honored and blessed that two of those came to our home and my father in law adapted a third one named Apple.

Apple

Apple and Fearsome’s Dad-in-Law

Someone is 16!

Over the weekend, May 5th, our beloved Virgil celebrated turning 16. Due to my busy schedule he had to wait until last night for his fresh baked cake.

Happy Birthday Virgil!

It was worth the wait.

Grown men cry

We cry when we feel.

We cry because we are vulnerable.

We cry to heal.

We cry with gratitude, or sadness, or joy, or hope, or grief, or pain.

We cry to love.

Today has been a spectacular day around us. My feelings have flowed freely. From joy and gratitude to grief and sadness. I’ve experienced beauty and inspiration as well as bewilderment and confusion.

New art in the alley today beside my barber.

Inspirational sign on the sidewalk I passed this afternoon.

Crystal blue sky above me as I walked.

Our last selfie together just now.

I write as we wait. Nina has had a good day but her health has continued to slide. It’s time.

Grown men cry.

What of life?

Nina is still with us and peaceful in her bed.

Nina sleeping 12/28/17

It is a quintessential winter Southern California day. Crystal clear blue skies, bright winter sun and 72 degrees F. Nina has spent some time on her patio today, eaten well and napped in her beloved corner bed. Our housekeeper, whom Nina adores, is here cleaning. The other dogs are napping and occasionally barking at the construction workers doing the remodel next door. All in all a nothing unusual beautiful day. It is peaceful with just a little stimulation.

Planning it out couldn’t have turned it better. Our dog sitter who was with me as we rescued Nina together is out of town. Nina adores her as well and she will be back in San Diego tomorrow. She is coming over to be here with us when the veterinarian arrives about 5 pm. Tomorrow is forecast to be as beautiful as today. The Better Half already had scheduled the whole week off, so between the two of us someone will always be home tomorrow.

Earlier Abner and Patsy tried out the comfort of four beds piled together when or housekeeper was busy cleaning…

Patsy (with toy) and Abner reinact the Princess and the Pea. 

The joys of life are abundant around here. It’s not gloom and doom. It’s sweet, with the bitterness of reality. The big questions loom. Why? Why are we here? What? What is this about?

Should we loose ourselves in contemplation of the unknown? Or should we just enjoy the moment even though we know the inevitable?

My answer? Enjoy the moment.

I believe there is one sole purpose for life. The purpose I believe in is love.

I am here to love. I am here to share. I am here to give. I am here to serve.

What are giving, serving and sharing? Love.

I am here to love. Period.

Responsibilities of pet ownership

Last October marked the 3 year anniversary of our adoption of Nina. Nina’s owner had passed away and she had been left outside for a year behind an empty house. Her story starts HERE.

That was the day I discovered her. She was an older dog but full of energy, happy and playful. I wrote more about our decision to formally adopt her in this follow up POST.

We never really knew how old Nina was, but she has become a very old dog. In the past 6 months there has been a rapid deterioration. If you look back at her previous post there was a spark, a happiness and energy. Unfortunately due to age this is Nina today:

Nina on December 27, 2017. Official age unknown, estimated age 14-15 years.

Nina has a warm comfortable home that she has loved for the past three years. She has had regular medical care, dental care and grooming. She grew all her hair back after adoption and never had a flea again. She gained weight, ate well, played, walked and rarely ever barked. She had a short but happy life here.

I write because the time has come. We must make that decision that every loving pet owner never wishes to make.

She is confused. She’s not able to walk well. She can’t see nor hear. When she is able to walk, it is in circles as she has developed vestibular disease. She is often incontinent. She eats, but needs assistance. She appears uncomfortable.

We may not have to do it today, but we may. I just got the number for an in-home euthanisia Vet. I’m about to make the call to ask the questions and possibly schedule.

With tears I write. With written words I gain strength.

UPDATE: The in home appointment has been made for Friday 12/29 at 5 pm.

Luxating Patellas

Our beautiful little recent family additions, Phoebe & Betty, came into our home due in part to their continuing medical needs …and honestly because I fell in love with them.

Betty & Phoebe

They weren’t just your average three pound cute little homeless 1 year old Yorkshire Terriers who would have been adopted before they even made it into the shelters. They are both medical needs fur babies who had grade 4 Medial Luxating Patellas. In other words the inbreeding that occurred to create smaller than normal dogs in the puppy mill to which they were born, led them to have a hereditary birth defect where their tiny little knee caps aren’t in the groove on the front of their tiny knees, but off to the insides of both legs completely leaving bone on bone scraping.

Thanks to The San Diego Humane Society, these two escaped the hell of a total of 170+ Yorkies being hoarded in one house that was obviously breeding and selling to boutique puppy markets. They had been at the shelter since February under contestant medical care for severely infected ears & hernias while they awaited medical fosters. We came along in May and fostered them to adopt, starting with Phoebe and adding Betty 5 days later, and adopt we did. We are blessed with the means and the ability to give them the surgeries they will need to correct their birth defects.

Successful is what their surgeon said when he called me after each one had their first leg operated on. Complicated was a term he described their tiny tiny knee cap surgeries. Betty’s being a bit more involved than Phoebe’s more straightforward anatomy defect. Their surgeries were yesterday. We will not see them for about 10 days. Last night was lonely in my bed without them. The surgeon’s wife is their physical therapist and will keep them to manage their pain and to get them started on the road to recovery. Once they can bear weight on the leg with the cast and can take a step they will get to come home. She will work with us training us to continue their therapy and meeting with us to check progress and add more excercises.

In six weeks they will go for their second surgeries to complete the needed repairs. In about 8 months we will complete their therapy and have two almost normal tiny 3 lb Yorkies who will be able to have long, healthy and hopefully pain free lives.

A day of giving

Our recent additions to our family, Betty & Phoebe, were two of the little Yorkies rescued from the same horrible situation in which Rylee was found.

Betty

Phoebe

Most shelters would simply have euthanized Rylee when faced with more than 180 dogs in a single rescue. Not San Diego Humane Society, SDHS has been at zero euthanasia since July 2014. Their mission is to stay that way making San Diego County, which is the size of Connecticut, a no kill county. They are even taking in animals from shelters outside of San Diego County in order to prevent unnecessary euthanasia beyond the borders of San Diego.

That’s why we have stepped up our game and have committed ourselves to donating at least $5,000 annually to support them.

Even if you don’t live in San Diego, is it possible that you could spare $25 to help the wonderful mission of San Diego Humane Society?

If you have just a little extra, please open your heart and your wallet and just click HERE.

A little will go a long way to help those who love us but can’t speak for themselves.

Fearsome, Betty & Phoebe thank you!