Thursday, 28 June 2012

Story of Mellie: Care of a pet when a guardian becomes ill or dies.

 I have been a very busy dog this last week. On a conference about well being for companion animals. One topic that we need to talk about is what happens when a pet can no longer be cared for by their guardian due to illness or death of the guardian.
 Now then, humans "get their affairs in order" because they know that one day they will die or get sick and be unable to care for themselves. They make a will and their belongings are dispersed according to that will. They make plans to go into a nursing home or stay with one of their children.

But what happens to pets when someone dies or becomes disabled. Often they go to the pound.
Mellie (short for Caramel), my older sister, (and I mean old),was just such a case.
Mellie was 14 when she came into our family. She  was living the good life, the only child of an adoring mom. She was walked several times a day in a beautiful walking path just outside her home, she traveled frequently to California with her mom and to many other wonderful places. They were inseparable and loved each other very much. Mellie had expensive coats and toys and carrying cases for air travel. She was and still is a bit of a diva.

Then Mellie`s mom got really sick. Mellie no longer went for walks but she did not know why. Mellie's world came crashing down around her. Her mom had lung cancer and deterioriated very rapidly. She could no longer pay attention to Mellie for even the basics. One of her mom`s friends tried to walk Mellie but it was very infrequent.

 Shortly after Mellie's mom died , my mom went to get  Mellie as she was coming into Jack Russell Terrier rescue. When my mom picked her up she was in the almost empty apartment that she had called home with her mom  for 14 years. The poor dog was grieving, confused, angry and in a near state of hysteria. The four people that her mom had lined up at the last minute that were supposed to take Mellie all backed out. May have been because Mellie was so distressed and was snapping at people. I can not blame her for being frightened and upset. She was such an emotional mess for the first 6 weeks she was at my house no one could touch her. We were very concerned about her.

 One day, after about 6 weeks, Mellie hopped up beside my mom - it was unwise to try to pet her because she would snap at all of us if we got too close. This day she heaved a big sigh and put her head in my mom`s lap.  She asked to be petted by bumping my mom`s hand.  Mom petted her ever so gingerly and she did not snap. Mellie had decided she would give us a chance. My mom had a few tears just then because she knew what grief Mellie had suffered. It was so unfair to this little dog.

By this time my mom figured she was not adoptable and we told JRT rescue that we would keep her in our family. Mellie is now 18 and I must say in wonderful shape for an old girl. Sometimes she even tries to play with me, hopping around like a teenager. I think the old girl has a few screws loose and I am much too dignified to play with someone old enough to be my grandmother. Sheeesh.

 But the point of my story, or Mellie's story is this  - if you plan for someone to take care of your pets should you be unable to, get this in an agreement in writing  well in advance of an emergency and make sure it is someone you trust. If you think it is possble the appointed guardian will not be there for your pet when the time comes contact a rescue and get advice from them about care of a pet when a guardian becomes ill or dies. You may be able to secure a promise for the rescue to take your pet and rehome them if no one else will do it.

Tell your humans to take care of this detail right now while you are thinking of it. Pets cannot fend for themselves when they lose their guardian and they are often not at their most lovable and adoptable when they are stressed and grieving.

Look at Mellie. She has had 4 good years and she is still going strong.  But she could have been euthanized due to her age and behavior all because her guardian did not plan well for her care in the event of her being abandoned due to illness and death. Get your humans to make plans for your care right now. This is my best advice.  And help your guardians stay healthy by getting them out for their daily walks and hope you never have to face losing your loved ones.
That is all for now,

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Hot dogs

Augie here. I have been away for a few days.
 I thought I should remind everyone about hot dogs. In this heat a car can heat up rapidly. There is no safe time limit to leave a dog in the car in warm weather. There have been several deaths in the news in the last two weeks from just such carelessness by guardians.
So we know how hot the car can get and we know that dogs die from exposure to heat in a car or even being left outside in the sun with no water.
 The question is- you are walking along the street and you see a dog in the car in the heat. call the police. not 911 unless the dog appears near death. Call the police number or get someone to do it. Give the location and description of the car and license number. Stay near by. The car owner will be angry if they return and find you have reported them so no need to confront.
 The police will come and the owner will be charged. Breaking windows could lead to the dog attacking you or you being charged with damaging property.
 Make it clear when you call that the dog is in distress.
After all these warnings it amazed me guardians still do this. Leave your dog at home in a cool spot. This is a no brainer. Even I know that and I am a DOG!
 Talk to you soon.

Friday, 15 June 2012

First Aid Kit for Pets

Good evening,
 Here is a list of first aid items that may help you in a time of emergency with your pet. You will feel much better knowing you are prepared should someting happen to your pet. Please always err on the side of caution and take your pet to the vet if you suspect he/she is ill. Any bleeding, crying when eliminating, vomiting more than a few times, blood in stool  or vomit, dizziness or disorientation, feverishness to name only a few conditions.
 I would like to have my vet - Dr J Pittaway comment on the special risks of summer. He and Dr Watters are  great vets. Dr Pittaway has been my doctor for many years.
 I hide under the chair when I go to see him. He always gets down and coaxes me out. He expects me to play hard to get and there is always a cookie in it for me!
Important Phone Numbers
Put these on the fridge and in the first aid kit
Veterinary clinic phone number and directions to the clinic
Emergency clinic phone number and directions
Poison control center phone numbers
Equipment and Supplies
Muzzle, or roll of gauze for making a muzzle
Magnifying glass
Nail clippers and metal nail file
Styptic powder or sticks, Kwik Stop, or cornstarch
Nylon slip leash
Eye dropper or oral syringe
Cotton swabs
Cotton balls
Clean towels - cloth and paper
Rectal thermometer
Lubricant - KY Jelly-keep hair from a wound
Disposable gloves and protective gloves for you
Syringes of various sizes
Needle-nose pliers
Grease-cutting dish soap
Bitter Apple or other product to discourage licking
Pet carrier to suit the size of your pet – I carry one in the car in case of emergencies involving an animal
Towel or blanket to use as a stretcher, another to keep your dog warm during transport (some pharmacies and camping outlets carry a thermal blanket)- these are perfect, compact and fit into a fist aid kit
Cold packs and heat packs (wrap in towel before using)
Stethoscope - listen over left side of chest

Bandaging Materials
Square gauze of various sizes - some sterile
Non-stick pads
First aid tape - both paper (easily comes off of skin) and adhesive types
Bandage rolls - gauze and self adhesive wrap
Band-Aids (for humans)

Nutritional Support
Rehydrating solution such as Gatorade
Bottled water
High sugar source: for diabetic animals - honey packages

Wound disinfectant Hydrogen Peroxide
Triple antibiotic ointment for skin
Antibiotic eye ointment – purchase at drug store
Eye wash solution (squirt bottle) saline solution – buy at drug store
Never use Tylenol  some dogs tolerate Aspirin for pain-consult your vet before including
Antidiarrheal medicine such as Kaopectate
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions (obtain dose from your veterinarian)
Cortisone spray or cream,  - available at drug store
Ear cleaning solution pet store
Hydrogen peroxide (used to make a dog vomit - only use as directed by a veterinarian)
Activated charcoal to absorb ingested poisons (consult your veterinarian before using) – call vet  immediately
Get a thermal lunch bag for your first aid kit and keep one in the house and one in the car
*Watch the expiration dates on any medication, and replace as needed.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Good morning,
 I have been away for a few days. Lots of gardening to do in this lovely weather. Mom and I have moved on from Rescue Dogs Match. We wish them well as they work to save homeless pets. We will be working with another rescue TBA. Stay tuned. Some of the topics I would  like to cover over the next weeks are:
  • First aid for pets - what should be in a first aid kit and what should not
  • Dietary issues - and some great recipes! Safe foods and unsafe foods
  • Summer safety
  • Story of Max and Scout
  • Story of Caramel (Mellie)
  • Planning for pets in time of owner adversity- illness, death, job loss- should you relinquish and how
  • Integrating a new or rescue dog into your family
  • Your elderly dog
  • Where to get pet health care on a budget and for low income families
  • Dental Care 
          and more......

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Interview with the Rescue Dogs Match Co founder FAQs

Tonight I am going to address some of the  Frequently Asked Questions of the ladies that started Rescue Dogs Match, Brenda and Jan. Jan will answer the questions tonight. If we don’t answer a question and you would like to know more please comment on the blog and I will be pleased to answer.
How did you and Brenda decide to start the Rescue?

After helping other rescues for several years and wanting to help all pets we decided to create our own rescue - non breed specific. And not just dogs but cats and any pet in need. We will not turn away any pet in need.

What does it mean to you?

It is a lot of work but so rewarding when you know the life of a homeless pet is saved and we meet people along the way that inspire and encourage us. We have wonderful volunteers and our adoptive families are just the best
How many dogs have you placed for adoption?

Since January when we officially got our name and started doing rescue under Rescue Dogs Match we have placed more than 15 dogs- including some for other rescues and 5 kittens. We need funds and fosters to do more and be ready for the emergencies that inevitably happen- such a sick or injured pet.
Do you have many volunteers?

Not enough! At present we have 6 or 7 with various availability but more are always needed. Volunteers and fosters are the heartbeat of a rescue. We cannot do it without them. Most work and so hours are limited but we need help with transport, vet appointments delivering food to fosters, fundraisers, administrative work- you get the picture.

Is it hard to get donations for a Dog Rescue?

Donations are hard to get in the beginning until we are better known and have more fundraisers. It takes time to get the websites, blogs, email accounts and networking with others established in order to be known to a larger audience- and we all work full time so this work all happens in our spare time.

Where do the dogs and cats come from that you rehome?

Most are strays from the pounds. Some are owner surrenders for various reasons. Circumstances change- sometimes people can no longer take care of a pet due to owner sickness, job loss, death of an owner.

Are the dogs in a kennel?

Our pets are all in foster care. We have no physical building to house the pets.

How do you know your rescues go to good homes?

We screen all of our volunteers, foster homes and potential adoptive homes to be sure the pets are in safe loving environments. Most of our animals have been through rough times and we must ensure they are safe in permanent good homes. That being said, should something go wrong our adoption agreement states that we take the dog back if there is any reason the new owner cannot keep the dog for any reason and no matter how long ago the adoption.

Augie: Well that's all for now Jan.

Jan: Thanks Augie- great talking to you - spread the word - we have a few puppies we are helping  to locate homes and our Boxer mix that is coming into foster this weekend.

Augie: I am proud to be your dog ,Mom, and help all the needy pets we can get grrrrreat homes. Till the next time, this is Augie signing off.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Good Wednesday evening to all,
Beautiful Brock will be coming into our rescue on Friday. He is a year and half old Boxer/Mastiff (we think). He is handsome with a lovely auburn brown coat. He is going to need a foster for awhile. Pictures of Brock to follow once he gets spiffed up for the camera. So look for Brock's photo op on Saturday and more information on his unique doggy personality.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Introduction to Augie's Blog

My name is Augie and I am a 14 year old Westie Bichon cross. This is my first posting on my brand new blog. I am a wise old soul and thought I would share my years of learning with those of you who love animals. I will share health tips, training tips, how to find the perfect companion pet ( through rescue, of course!) research on animal welfare and suggestions for great publications on animals.
So why am I doing this now? My mom and her friend have a dog rescue and I would very much like to do my part in helping homeless pets and pets in general stay happy and healthy. So, along with my mom and the volunteers at Rescue Dogs Match I will be posting general tips about the well being of pets - dogs in particlar since that is my area of expertise. I do know a little about cats too.
 About my Mom.
She loves animals and has worked hard to help homeless pets find safe and loving homes for many years . Three of my siblings are rescue dogs. So we walk the walk.
With the beginning of the new dog rescue Mom and her friend Brenda have taken rescue activity to a whole new level. I am very pleased that I can contribute, so watch for my advice postings and many other companion animal related posts. From time to time my mom will help me with the posts.
We are so looking forward to sharing stories and information with you. I would suggest you visit Mom and Brenda's web site at