16 September, 2011

Gentleman Border Collie seeks Loving Owner

My beloved friend Ellen, who longtime readers will recall as Roo’s Guardian Angel, has had some upheaval in her life and had to make the difficult decision that one of her dogs would be better off in a different home.

His name is Deuce, and he is a gentleman Border Collie who is fully vetted and ready to go. Deuce will not only come to you fully vetted, but housebroken, knowing basic obedience (although there is usually an adjustment period with new owners) and also how to work your herd of sheep. Don’t have a herd of sheep? Deuce would also like to go on walks, preferably walks that take you to a pond where he can splash and wade and swim.

The head of a black and white border collie as he swims through some lovely clear water.

That would make his little doggy day. He will also jog with you if you are into that sort of thing. After the walk, he would like to snuggle with you on the couch while you scritch between his eyes, and then maybe you could take him on a ride in the car, which he adores. He is ready to attend even the classiest occasions in his elegant black and white which will blend right in among tuxedos.

Side view of a handsome black and white gentleman Border Collie.

He is weirded out by thunderstorms, which is the only time Ellen crates him, as having a safe zone makes him feel better about the fact that Big Sky Dog is growling at him.

Deuce gets along with other animals, including the two touchy lady dogs he lives with now, and cats! Although he will try to herd the cats for the first week or so, but then again who doesn’t want to herd cats?

Deuce, on the far left, with a tabby and white cat, a black and white Basenji, and a red Australian cattle dog, everyone happily cuddled up on the couch together.

If another dog in the house would play frisbee so that Deuce could have the fun of bolting out to get to the frisbee first, that would be divine (he doesn’t want to pick it up and bring it back, he just wants to get there first). Dog-savvy kids are also fine. He is impeccably polite about taking treats.

Deuce, on the left, runs beside a red Australian Cattle Dog with a green frisbee in her mouth.  He has a HUGE grin on his face.

He’s currently living in the Chicago suburbs, but Ellen will move heaven and earth to get him into the right home[1] so do not let distance deter you if you have been thinking “What my life really needs is a gentleman Border Collie.” Deuce would probably do best in a suburban or rural home, but an owner who is dedicated to helping him adjust and finding somewhere to throw his frisbee could make it work out in an urban home.

If you can’t take in a gentleman Border Collie, can you please at least spread the word, gentle readers?

[1] No, seriously, she will. She drove 8 hours to bring me Roo, and that was after he had pried open the door to her linen closet so he could pee all over her towels and blankets. So she will clearly do no less for a gentleman Border Collie who is not destructive or prone to peeing all over her clean towels.

7 April, 2011

Special bonus post: Puppy needs a home!

Oh my god, you must click here and go look at Arrow. Tilty head, puppy eyes, and adorable half-flopped ears!

He is an Australian Shepherd baby doll who had some spine damage as an even-smaller wee puppy, and while his breeder is committed to his rehab it is likely he will never be totally mobile. I suspect, however, that since it’s been a condition of his entire life as far as he’s concerned, that it won’t slow him down a bit. He’s currently in Northern Illinois, but transport can be arranged for a good home with someone who is right now thinking “You know, what my life is lacking is a small fluffy puppy with the second most adorable tiltyhead in the world.” (Tink has the most adorable tiltyhead in the world. Sid is working on his but lacks full commitment to turning his head sideways.)

And hey, if you can’t take Arrow, can you spread the word? Publicity is the most important thing in finding good homes for pets, so please link away! Facebook it! Tweet it!

21 December, 2010

On rescuing cats…

Or any other critter, for that matter.

I’ve been having some discussions recently about it with other people who also “do” rescue, either like I do it, by snagging cats who come to our doors and attempting to find them places to go, or by fostering and volunteering for organized rescue groups. There’s some points of common experience among us, and in questions we get asked by people, so I thought I would do Andrea’s Rules of Rescue just for the hell of it.

1) It’s hard. Sometimes, you will fail. Fosters get sick and die in your care, you fail to trap that last kitten, you have a foster that you cannot place and who does not fit in with your existing household, so you can’t offer the critter refuge. Your confidence will be shaken, your heart will get shattered. You have to be able to forgive yourself.

2) You can’t save them all. This is also a sub-point of #1 up there. You just can’t, and you have to know what your limits are in order to be fair to the critters who are already in your care. Fosters take time and money and effort, things which your pets also require, and since most of us are not independently wealthy, resources are limited. You only have so much time and money and energy you can pour into a rescue before you start short-changing the critters you already have at home, which is not fair to them in the least. You must know your limits, emotional and financial. If taking in a foster means you can’t provide for the critters already there, if it’s going to mean your dog misses needed vet care…don’t. You have an obligation to the beasts who depend on you.

3) You have to be able to let go. Every kitten and every puppy is adorable as hell, seriously. Every cat and every dog is charming. You will fall in love with every single one of your fosters at least a little bit, but since time and money are limited, every animal you keep is one less spot for a foster. Sometimes it’s hard to trust that you’re sending this critter to a good home; maybe they don’t do things exactly how you would. Whatever. Your home has limited spots where you can give adequate care, and there is always going to be another critter who needs you, so if you have a home for that foster where it will be loved, fed, and given good care, even if that family does the care differently than you would, send the critter on with your blessings.

4) It is easier to place kittens and puppies than cats and dogs. It is sad and mercenary, but you have a pretty narrow window of maximum cuteness in which finding a home will be much easier. For instance, I was pretty damn optimistic about placing Juniper. He’s little, he’s adorable, he loves his stuffymouse and he purrs a lot. He has a home lined up. Noodlehead, who is currently in quarantine in my bathroom, has a slightly bleaker outlook: she is a mildly cranky adult cat with very common coloring. Realistically she may never be placed, although I’ll try once I know her FIV/FeLV status. Luckily there is a place for her here, although keeping her may mean I have to cut down on rescue. But still: place ’em while they’re little.

5) The good: people will surprise you with their compassion and generosity. You will succeed in saving critters and finding them good and loving forever homes. Sometimes these good and loving homes will even drop you a note from time to time and you will get to see the tiny kitten you placed become a 25 pound muscly and good-natured monstrosity of a cat. Take heart from these victories, these little lives snatched back from the jaws of death.

24 August, 2010

Dog Pimping!

OK, so it’s not an emergency where a dog is going to die horribly if she doesn’t get a home, but it is a dog close to my heart.
A dark sable German Shedder lies on a rug, smiling at the camera and her head slightly cocked.  A ginormous baseball-lookin toy is between her front paws.
Zille’s mama Danca is 8 years old and looking for a retirement home. She is safe and cared for at Blackthorn Kennel but Christine really feels she deserves a cushy retirement gig where she doesn’t have to argue with other dogs about who owns the ball. Because Danca does. Also that ball. And that one. And that bone, and that bone, and that bone… Danca gave her daughter Zille not only incredible sweetness and heart, but a deep desire to own ALL THE TOYS.

She is housebroken and does not try to eat the furniture. She has more obedience on her than you will ever get without spending zillions of dollars, but she speaks German so you may need to take some language lessons if you want things more advanced than “sit” and “down”.

Here’s her page at the kennel. Please don’t be intimidated by the working pics, I will personally vouch for her kindness to humans. Schutzhund dogs are not randomly aggressive, they are tightly focused working dogs who don’t bite unless you ask them to. Don’t ask her to bite, and she won’t. In fact, Christine thinks she would probably look at you funny if you did ask her to bite someone, unless it was a scary someone trying to break into the house.

I could go on for days, and if I thought Danca would fit here at the Manor I wouldn’t even be making this post, I’d be playing with Danca out in the yard. But one bone-hoarding dog (Hi Zille!) and one bitch with a huge ego (Hi Tink!) are enough for any one family, so here I am humbly asking that if you have a spot in your heart for an older Shedder girl who would really like a comfy dog bed, a climate-controlled house, and ALL THE BONES AND BALLS EVER, well, you should get in touch with Christine at info@blackthornkennel.com. Tell her I sent you, and she will probably throw in, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE, some ridiculous story about me trying to steal her puppies.

The ideal home for Danca will feature a person of her very own who will baby-talk to her and give her ridiculous nicknames and smooch her nose and ruffle her ears, at least one cushy dog bed (or maybe she could share yours?), a big pile of bones and balls and toys that she can hoard to her heart’s content, and as many games of fetch as you can reasonably fit into the day. Also periodically you should re-scatter the bones and balls and toys so that she can have fun collecting them all again.

Oh and here’s Christine’s own pitch, which is much less entertaining but probably more helpful than mine:

She’s good with small dogs and cats, neutral and fairly gentle with kids (she likes them just fine but is not “in love” with them), friendly or neutral with people of all sorts. She is not aggressive with humans over food or ball and has a rather gentle mouth when taking treats from you. She’s got basic housetraining and housemanners and doesn’t chew on furniture. She loves her food and her ball and if you have either one she’ll snap into WORKING! mode for you. She’s very good in a crate in the house–quiet and content. In the kennel she gets bored and starts playing hockey with her food bowl or the water bucket and may throw them around and bark at them for entertainment. :)

She’s in great shape and has no known health issues. She’s a small, dark sable female (55 or so pounds). In general she is neutral to other dogs, male or female, but she won’t tolerate another dog trying to push her around. Mostly she just wants to be allowed to carry her ball everywhere. She’s available to a good home after being spayed.

11 August, 2010

One is the loneliest number…

With Emmett and Zeke (Astute and Intrepid) at the vet last night, I thought I should sleep with Badger to keep him from being too lonely, given that he was distress calling and all.

Never again, gentle reader. Who would have thought that one little kitten was much more difficult to sleep with than three? But he was. He snuggled me ferociously, kneading with tiny kittenpaws (and claws), he tried to get me to play with him, he meeped at me if petting and interaction was not forthcoming. I finally fell into a fitful sleep around 2130 and then got woken up at midnight for round two, at which point I moved out to the futon in the living room where the adults welcomed me with peaceful snuggling. There is something to be said for being cuddled by a total of 200 pounds of dog and 8 pounds of cat.

In other news, are you in the midwest? Do you need a dog? Allow me to introduce you to Grace! She is a sweetheart being fostered with some people I know in Kansas, and she is looking for her forever people. Her ideal home would have no small animals in it, as she has some prey drive going on, but she lovesloveslooooooves people and would like nothing better than some people who want to pet her and let her stay near them all the time. Check her out, hey? And pass the word along if you have a midwestern friend looking for a sweet girl to hang out with.