Fabulous Fur Friends

Must Love Animals


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A New Year, A New Dog

Happy New Year to all our friends in blog land.  I haven’t had much time lately to follow all your lovely posts so I do apologise.   I have been very involved with our rescue group – Amazing Greys – helping with the administration – answering emails, sending adoption and foster applications out, organising house checks, updating the website etc.  So I’m afraid my blog has been a little neglected of late.

But we have some good news to start the new year – we have foster failed again and will be keeping Chelsea!  Despite our best efforts, and my husband’s determination to prove that we can foster dogs without keeping them, she’ll be staying with us!

You may remember from the last post in September a few weeks after she’d arrived that she was a little CRAZY when out walking on seeing cats or other dogs, and jumps around like a lunatic when it’s walk time?  Well, she’s still a bit like that, but she has settled down a lot at home and gets on really well with Billie and Rupie – they have all become pretty good friends.

She’s quite the goofy girl and is extremely affectionate and even quite smart.  She’s learnt to sit when there’s food around (not an instinctive thing for a greyhound to do) and is no longer pushy when we sit down for our dinner.  She happily sleeps in her bean bag, or beside our bed all night and only jumps up in the morning for a cuddle.

It’s definitely more work to have 3 dogs than 2 (lots more poo to pick up!!), but she’s brought a lot of laughs into the house and she seems so happy here that it would be a shame to uproot her and get her settled with someone else.  (That’s our excuse anyway!)

So we’ve failed again – but it’s a good fail!!  Welcome Home Chelsea xx

 

 

 

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10 Years Young

I can’t believe it is 12 months since I posted “Birthday Boy”!  The year has gone so quickly, and I haven’t managed many posts since! Sadly there has been a change to the mix of our household since then (RIP Miss April) but on the whole it’s been a pretty good year. But it was a special weekend for our Rupert (Rupie) – he turned 10 years old, but is ageing very gracefully!

Rupie when he was a puppy - sooo cute

Rupie when he was a puppy – sooo cute

 

He maybe a little whiter around the face, and his run is not quite as spritely, but he’s happy, healthy and loving life, which is so wonderful to see.  He chases his sister Billie, but has no chance of catching her (she is a Greyhound after all, so I don’t think his age has anything to do with it!).  He chats away to us in the mornings and when we come home from work.  His favourite thing of all time is to ride in in the car, sitting like a little old man looking out the window.  He makes us laugh with his clown-ish ways, and we’re so grateful  he  came into our lives nearly 10 years ago.

Rupie (and his brother Ralphie – RIP) were wedding presents, which means it’s also our 10th wedding anniversary this week!  We’re both a little plumper and a little grayer too, but we’re still loving loving life and looking forward to a weekend away with our closest friends.

Rupie doesn’t like party hats or balloons, so we got him his two favourite things – a treat in a box!  He loved ripping the box, but loved the treat too!

Although the weather was cold this past weekend, the sun was shining so we took the opportunity to get out in the fresh air with Rupie and Billie.  When we were all tired and slow at the end of our long walks, Rupie was still jogging along, sniffing and playing with any other dog we came across!  We call him our Eveready Bunny! But he did have a snooze in the afternoon before bouncing around waiting for his dinner!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUR BEAUTIFUL BOY XXXX


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Harley

I work for a pet minding business in Melbourne, Australia.  I answered the phone a couple of weeks ago and on the other end was a lady who was in desperate need to re-home her 10 month old Rottweiler pup.

It’s not something that we have the resources for, but as the story unfolded, I could see that the pup had to be taken out of the situation or it would be put down.

This is the story she told me.  The dog,  Harley, had bitten her young child when he was only 15 weeks old, quite unusual for a puppy, I thought.  The vet had advised her to surrender him but she didn’t want to.  She took him home and he was behaving well around her four children.  However, their landlord had visited on the previous weekend and when he leaned over to pat Harley, he attacked him and bit his hand quite badly, drawing a lot of blood.

She said ever since then, Harley wouldn’t go near anyone in the family and had growled at her menacingly.  She had become frightened of him and couldn’t trust him around her young children.  She was pregnant again with a  child who would have special needs and she couldn’t risk her health either.  He wouldn’t eat any food, and by now this was 3 days after the ‘attack’ had occurred.  She said he looked terrible – was thin and looked sick.

Things were not looking good for young Harley.  But I couldn’t let this fellow go to the rainbow bridge without being given a second chance, whilst understanding the need for him to be re-homed asap.    I made some phone calls to a behaviourist and some rescue groups.  They agreed that it was a dire situation, and depending how aggressive he was, Harley might not be able to be saved.

I spoke to a couple of lovely ladies from Homeless Hounds Rescue Group, and it turned out they had a soft spot for rotties.  They arranged to have someone visit the house that same night to assess whether they thought they would be able to re-home Harley safely. He was timid but friendly towards her so they agreed to help.

But they weren’t going to be able to pick him up until after the weekend.  When this was conveyed to the owner, she became quite defensive and said she’d rung the local council to arrange for a ranger to pick him up.  Based on what she’d told me, Harley would be destroyed straight away if he went to a pound.

Well, I went into a panic – I just felt this young boy needed to be helped.  Things the owner told me didn’t seem to gel with what the assessor from the rescue group had seen.  With some frantic phone calls, texts and tears, we convinced the owner to let him remain at her house over night and we’d pick him up the next day.  She agreed.

Harley was picked up, taken to the vet for a checkup and taken home to the co-ordinator of the rescue group for assessment. He met her dogs, her cat and her child and was sweet and friendly.

This is Harley – the so called aggressive, frightened, skinny dog who was saved from certain death!

Harley 2 Harley

 

I’ve just heard that he has a potential new forever home on 10 acres with two female Rotti’s in country Victoria!!  They are meeting him this weekend so fingers crossed for Harley that it will work out for him. 🙂

I’m so glad that I fell for the lies the previous owner told me about Harley and that I was able to assist in him finding a much more suitable home who will love and care for him.  My theory is that they got caught out by the landlord in having a dog when they were not meant to, and he gave them an ultimatum to get rid of the dog, or lose the house.  With 4 children (if even that’s true) and one of the way, poor Harley had to go, and she made up all those terrible things about him just to get rid of him.

It really saddens me that people still treat dogs as commodities to be got rid of when they no longer want them.  I don’t know how rescue groups have the strength to continue to do what they do, but I’m glad they do!

Have a happy, long life young Harley xx


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Little Wilbur

A blog post that my friend Paulette at The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap posted recently inspired me to tell a lovely story about what love and compassion can do for a dog, especially an old dog.

I work in the office of a pet minding business, Lonely Pets Club.  A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by a lady in distress. She owned a little 16 year old Jack Russell called Wilbur. She’d had a bad car accident 12 months prior and was unable to walk and unable to care for Wilbur. So he was staying with her ex-hubby but he wasn’t caring for him properly and wouldn’t let him in the house due to his incontinence. So poor Wilbur was left outside in the cold with little shelter.
Wilbur2
His mum Katherine was desperate to get him somewhere safe and warm.  So we put the call out to our beautiful carers and so many offered their help.
Jess, who had recently lost two of her own little dogs,  was the first to offer her love and is now his foster mum. She is caring for him until his mum Katherine can find a place where she can look after Wilbur again. When he first arrived, he was in a bad way, and Jess got him straight to the vet.  He had excess fluid on his lungs from lack of medication, poor conditions and cold weather. He  needed to wait another week while she fattened him up and got him a little better to have his vaccinations done and he required a blood test to check on his kidneys.  He also got a top up of medication and an arthritis injection and while he was violated for a temperature check and then again for a prostate check… he was willing to accept the apology treats the vet was spoiling him with!!  Wilbur is partly deaf and partly blind but he can still see well enough to avoid collisions and hear well enough for when Jess tells him to go wee wee’s. His incontinence is severe and it prevents him being able to follow them around the house and snuggle for very long… he hates having to get out of bed or up off the couch in the cold.
Wilbur with Jess on the day he arrived

Wilbur with Jess on the day he arrived

A couple of days after his visit to the vet, little Wilbur was looking so much better! His real mum Katherine was being a wonderful support to Jess and providing for all his medical costs.  Jess arranged for Katherine to visit Wilbur, the first time she’d seen him  in 12 months!!

Foster mum Jess said “It was beautiful to see how happy Wilbur was to spend Saturday with Katherine (his real Mum) – he was running around like a mad rat haha.

Unfortunately we have had some bad news from the vet though, Wilbur has been diagnosed with kidney disease and has been put on a special diet to take the stress off his kidneys. Luckily he loves his new food!

Happier news, he has put on more weight, his chest infection has cleared and he is running around my house and playing like he is a puppy again”.

Jess hasn’t been able to take many photos as he looks like a blur roaming around after her cats!! He has also been playing with all the toys they have around the house and loves tug of war!

He has some new jumpers to keep his little body warm when he’s not snuggling up to his hot water bottle, and wears a little nappy to prevent accidents due to incontinence caused by his medications.  So he now has free roam of the house, and love to snuggle into Jess.

So, at 16 years young, Wilbur is again feeling loved, warm and secure. And Jess has fallen big time for the little man!!

Thanks again Jess for everything you’ve done for Wilbur and Katherine xx

Wilbur and his guardian angel Jess

Wilbur and his guardian angel Jess

Wilbur in his warm bed in his nappy

Wilbur in his warm bed in his nappy

Wilbur in his stripey jumper

Wilbur in his stripy jumper

Wilbur in his red jumper

Wilbur in his red jumper

 

 

 

 

 


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Mother Nature’s a Clever Lady

After an extremely hot and dry Summer, we’ve finally had some decent rain over the past few days.  It’s lovely to see things re-freshed and green already.

You may remember the poor crispy-fried Little Gem Magnolias that were singed in the heat of January?  I thought they were gonners and nearly pulled them out….

Crispy fried Little Gem Magnolia

Crispy fried Little Gem Magnolia

 

Glad I didn’t!  I’ve been watering them for months (until the tank water ran out) and look at them now!  One has even flowered for the first time!

Fresh and green

Fresh and green

Flowering

Flowering

Thank you Mother Nature…. we’ve had enough rain now for a few days, so perhaps you could send us some sunshine for the Easter holiday?


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Run for Your Life – Part I

It’s early morning.   Jack, the three year old with long legs is woken by the first light seeping through the cracks in the wooden crate.  Slowly and stiffly he gets up and stretches – first his front legs, then his back legs and  finally gives a shake of his ears and tail. The concrete floor is cold and although his body is young, his muscles have cramped in the night with the damp air.

Jack walks outside and sniffs around his pen; nothing but some dried up bits of grass, some holes where puddles form when it rains and a rusty old bucket for his water.  He has a sip from the bucket but the water is bitter and dirty. He turns away to see what else the day might bring.

He sees Roger and Bruce, one on either side of him, and walks to their pens, one by one, sniffs a morning greeting and lies down in one of the holes he’s dug to keep himself cool in summer.

The morning ritual of clanking buckets begins and Jack starts to wonder what tasty morsel he will be thrown today.  The voice is harsh; there is no love in those words.  Jack doesn’t know what they mean, but he does know they are not kind.

The man with the clanking buckets gets closer and Jack, Roger and Bruce all jump up, eagerly anticipating their morning meal.  But he goes away again and the trio look longingly towards the man with the harsh words.  He doesn’t look back, so Jack sits back down in his hole to wait for the next time the clanking buckets come close.

Bruce

The sun breaks through the clouds and casts a shaft of sunlight on Jack’s body.  He smiles at its warmth and enjoys the sensation of his long head resting on a warm lap, with a kind hand stroking his silky head while he stretches his taut muscles along the length of the sofa.

“Good boy, Jack, ” the kind hand says, “Good boy”.

A shadow is cast over Jack’s resting place and he hears the harsh voice again.  This time he has a fair idea what it means. “Jack, Jack, get up you lazy bastard!  It’s time to show us what you’ve got”.   Jack scrambles to his feet and before he can duck or weave out of the man’s grasp, he is grabbed and a chain thrown around his neck.   Jack stops immediately. He has felt the wrath of those chains before on his delicate skin and the scars are still tender.

He allows himself to be led away from his shelter and into the room.  He can smell the familiar, yet frightening scent of fear.  He sees Roger and Bruce and knows that it’s his turn next.

Jack is placed on the treadmill and immediately he has to jog to prevent himself from being flung off the back, a fate of other friends he has witnessed more than once.  “Get running you lazy bastard” the harsh words say, so Jack runs.   Click, click, click go his nails on the moving surface. Click, click, click.

Just as Jack thinks he can’t run anymore, the harsh words say “Ok, enough for now, you lazy bastard”. The treadmill comes to an abrupt halt, nearly flinging him head over heels, and the chain is thrown back around his neck and Jack is dragged back to his pen.  It’s cold and barren, but at least he feels safe in here.  He goes inside the wooden crate with the concrete floor and lies down despite the cold.  His legs are weary and his muscles ache.  The rumble in his tummy reminds him he hasn’t eaten for two days.   Despite his efforts to stay awake, Jack drifts off to sleep, his long head resting on a warm lap, with a kind hand stroking his silky head while he stretches his taut muscles along the length of the sofa.

“Good boy, Jack, ” the kind hand says, “Good boy”.

Jack hears Roger and Bruce stirring in their pens, one on either side of him.  He gets up and stretches, his nails going click, click, click on the concrete floor.  He shakes his head and his tail and ventures out to see what’s going on.  He greets Roger with a sniff and they pace up and down their shared wire fenceline.

In the distance they hear clanking buckets and they do a little helicopter dance – they must be coming towards them this time.  Jack rushes over to Bruce, greets him with a sniff and they run to the end of their pens to see if they can see where the sound is coming from.

At last, it’s their turn.  The man with the harsh words and the clanking buckets comes into view.  He has two in each hand.  He reaches Bruce first, puts the buckets downs, reaches into one with a scoop  and then flings the food at Bruce through the wire fence.  Bruce reels away in alarm but his hunger takes hold and he comes back to snuffle the morsels from the ground.  The man scoops again into the bucket and flings more kibble into the pen. This time Bruce stands his ground.

Jack is next in line. The man with the harsh words and clinking buckets flings two scoops of kibble at Jack.  “Eat that, you lazy bastard.  You’d better make us some money tomorrow”.   Jack does not understand the words but he knows they are not kind.

Frankie

The days are not long at this time of year.  The shadows lengthen and the air cools as night takes hold.  Bruce, Jack and Roger sniff their goodnights and drift into their wooden crates with the cold concrete floors.

Jack tries his best to stay warm – his long, lean body is surprisingly small when it’s wound around itself.  His long tail wraps around his legs and he tucks his long nose under it.  The cold concrete floor his hard on his bony elbows and hips but callouses have formed and protect him from too much pain.

Jack drifts off to sleep, his long head resting on a warm lap, with a kind hand stroking his silky head while he stretches his taut muscles along the length of the sofa.

“Good boy, Jack, ” the kind hand says, “Good boy”.

“Jack, Jack, get up you lazy bastard!”   Jack, the three year old with long legs and a long nose, is woken by the first harsh words of the day.

Jack jumps up as quickly as his stiff legs will let him.  He snuffles up the few morsels of kibble he’s been thrown and along with Bruce and Roger, he’s bundled off in a trailer to a place unknown, but with the familiar scent of fear.

The three are hauled onto a treadmill to ‘warm up’ before their big event. Click, click, click go their nails on the moving surface.   “Ok, enough you lazy bastards” the man with the harsh words says.  He has no clinking buckets today.   “Time to show us what you’ve got and earn your keep”.

Jack’s racing jacket is placed on his skinny shoulders and he sees Roger and Bruce in theirs.  Despite his nerves and trepidation, he does take a moment to admire how well his jacket matches his colour.    Well, perhaps today will be his day after all and the man with the harsh words might say “Good boy, Jack. ”

Jack and Bruce and Roger wait patiently in the starting yard, though their nerves are jumping around like little crickets, making every inch of their body taut and ready.

“They’re off and racing” says the starter as the gun fires, loudly enough to make anyone turn and run the other way.  Jack jumps off with a leap and bounds after everyone else.  His muscles are screaming but he knows he must run as fast as he can. He’s trying his best – he doesn’t know why, he just knows he has to.   Jack is in the middle of the pack – not losing, not winning .  One of the runners in front of him falls, he thinks it might be Bruce, and everyone behind trips over.  Jack can’t stop in time and is flung high in the air.  His long legs and tail are flailing and as he hits the ground he hears the crack.

Never again will Jack have to run for his life.

Kay's Greys_blue girl

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/2012-11-11/4355398


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Crafty

I have to admit that I’m not at all crafty, a little sneaky perhaps but not crafty.  Actually what I mean is that I prefer to buy things rather than make things!

As luck, or good judgement, has it, my hubby is very crafty – not at all sneaky – but very clever in making things.  A very handy person to have around, for many reasons.

This weekend’s good reason was that we needed a stand for our foster greyhound Billie’s food bowl.  Greyhounds are a bit like giraffes in that it’s awkward for them to eat from a bowl on the ground and it’s actually not good for them – it can cause bloat.

When we adopted April two years ago, hubby made a stand for her bowl from an old wire pot plant stand – perfect – it holds the bowl in place and is just the right height.

We have searched for a similar stand for Billie’s bowl but have not been able to find one.  So, with a little plagiarism from a greyhound facebook site, we scoured the local St Vinnies for an old chair and  for $20 found just the perfect thing.

We have recently built a very large garage in the back garden, so hubby has the perfect workspace to create very useful things.

What a greyt idea!

Amazing what a bar stool, a jigsaw, and an old bike tyre can be used for!

Perfect height for a greyhound

Nom noms!

If I was really crafty, I would strip it down, buff it up, paint it pretty colours and maybe even stencil Billie’s name on it.  But like I said, I’m not crafty!

What have you made that you’re proud of?