Friday, December 21, 2007

Pets as Christmas Presents

I work in a rescue, and we have had alot of people coming in to get pups and kitties as presents. While I am not against pets as presents simply on principle, I do think that alot of people do not go in thinkin of it as a long term commitment. One of our fosters sent this poem to us that I think is a great example of what can happen.

Marley, my helper at work, agrees!

Forgotten Dog's Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
With no thought of the dog filling their head.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap
Knew he was cold but didn't care about that.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter!
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears

He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick.
Last year's Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick.
More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name
And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain.

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Let's find this dog a home where he'll be loved by all.

I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear.

The gift of a dog is not just for one season.
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons.

In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed.

A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain.

And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
"You weren't given a gift! You were given a LIFE!"

Author Unknown

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let It Snow...

Well, I am trying to get pictures up, but since I cannot get Internet access on my laptop here at my parent's house, and all the pictures are on there...I may just have to wait.
I went skiing Tuesday for the first time this season, and wow my knee hurt!!!! Tom found this funny sticker that I really agree with..

A diamond is forever?

I really hope that clears up, I want to be able to ski!!! And this year, since I am skiing at PCMR, I can't look like such a fool. Imagine being hauled off the mountain by one of Tom's friends. Sad, sad. I skied down with a torn MCL last year (I didn't know it was torn, though it really hurt) to avoid being a 'stupid call' that the patrolers are always talking about.

Sterling, Sterling. I cannot get him to walk on lead with his vest on. Food, desensitisation, praise, coaxing, nothing has worked!!! So I have not been able to take him anywhere, as it really doesn't look good if you try to drag a puppy around on a leash. So hopefully it is something he will outgrow. That is what the vet thinks.

Sterling is loving the snow!!! I do not have a fenced yard, so to let him run through it without dragging him with me, he has been going out on the deck. He just runs, back and forth, back and forth, eating snow as he goes. So cute!

We got Hugo some Ruff Wear booties (they even have Vibram soles!), since he gets balls of ice between his toes, even when we trim the fur around his paws. He pranced around for a bit, but ignored them once we got to the park! I will post pictures of his booties later (they even match the color of his pack)!

Marley is happy as always, and Dante really likes being inside more than out. Too cold! Tom has to work Christmas Eve day and Christmas day, so I think I will go ski some runs with him both days, as I have them off. He is at Payday though, so I may try and go get the fast-tracks pass upgrade, so I do not have to wait in line!!!!

Well, pictures will come soon. Happy snow days!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hugo and Shane

During February, my rescue received an email saying there had been a litter of very young puppies dumped at the humane society of Utah. They did not have the resources to care for the pups, as they still needed to be nursing, and were going to euthanize them unless a rescue could take them. I drove down to Salt Lake the next morning and picked up the five pups. Three females, and two males, one of which was the runt.

When I got back to the store, I said I was worried about the smaller pup, and volunteered to foster him. After checking with Tom (who was getting very used to my random foster pups) I said I would take him and one other to keep him company, as they do better together. I went back and forth between the other male and one of the females. I finally decided to keep the brothers together and home we went. They were 3 weeks old.

A day at the base of PCMR.

Many sleepless nights followed, with Tom and I bottle feeding and constantly cleaning up after the pups. After they had gotten somewhat bigger, they moved from the cat carrier to the bathtub, which proved an excellent spot, because when they made a mess, we could just wash it out!
Getting into trouble. They are 6 weeks old here. Hugo is on the left, Shane (Otis) on the right.
Tom became very attached to Hugo, the larger male, and decided he wanted to keep him, and possibly train him as an avalanche dog. Shane (Now Otis), went to one of Tom's co-workers who lives just up the street.
Hugo is a great dog, whom Tom calls "my buddy." He is very responsive, and has been fun to train. The most fun we have had is playing hide-and-seek. Hugo gets so excited he almost cannot contain himself!
Hugo, the first dog for Tom, and the second in our little family.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Well, I really should be doing some last minute studying for my final at 10:30, but I am just about through with school, and besides, it is stress management!

This is a little about Marley, my second dog (co-owned with Tom). I got Marley as a foster over Memorial Day weekend this year. We were also fostering a Giant Alaskan Malamute, and had just adopted Hugo one month prior. He was the only brindle puppy from his litter, which I was told was a mix of Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland. Later I went down and saw his parents. His dad was definitely a Pyr, but his mom looked like a Lab/Golden mix; I just couldn't find the Newfoundland in her! Marley house-trained himself in about 3 days. He was rather amazing about that. But we had to deal with some separation anxiety, and we are still working on that and a reliable 'come' command.
He is a great dog though! Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with OCD in both shoulders, and has ended up not being quite the free dog I thought he was! Oh well, he gets to stay as my wonderful dog, hopefully we can do some therapy work.

Because of his beautiful long-coat brindle coloring, I think he may have some Anatolian shepherd somewhere in his family tree; but I do not know for sure.

Well, I will continue with stories of my pups later, time to study!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Finals Week

Well, things are drawing to a close.  My last final is tomorrow morning, and then I am free!!!  For 3 weeks at least.  In other news, Sterling has been having some trouble with walking while wearing his puppy jacket.  I think he interprets it as a staright jacket that completly restricts any movement.  So, I am having him wear his jacket while inside, and when he gets food!!!  That is the highlight of his day.
Hugo and Marley seem to be having a good time without me around; they and Tom are liing the bachelor life!   

Marley's favortite spot!

We have a Guide Dogs for the Blind Christmas party on Saturday, should have some good pictures from that!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Dante, my sweet little boy! Dante is my first dog (that I raised), and defies all pre-conceptions of how a small dog acts! He runs in the snow, out-kikes the big dogs, and loves to play! He is also very sweet and submissive with children. I don't really know where he picked that up! I got Dante June 2, 2006. He went to class with me, came hiking, and traveled with me to MN the first few months I had him.

At the time I got Dante, we were raising a litter of kittens for Summit County Friends of Animals, the local rescue. They were 4 weeks old, Dante was 9 weeks, and they loved to play! There were six kittens in the litter, Milo (whom we kept), Andrew, Oreo, Rose, Kiwi, and Bear.

Here is an action shot of Dante and Rose.Milo loves to get into places he shouldn't.
And the mixing bowl has been popular with others too. Here are Zeus and Venus, two kittens bottle-feed and fostered last year.

Oh! Sterling is barking, off to let him out!

Finally some Powder!!!

Well, finally the snow is here! The dogs have been having a great time, and it makes going to the park shorter, since running through 2ft of snow gets them worn out!

In other news...finals are coming up for me, making me somewhat cranky! But playing with the pups, or watching Dante and Sterling chase each other around the couch always gets me going again!

Tom made the front page of the ski utah website, is on the PCMR websit, and was on TV. They got a nice shot of him doing tele through the powder. Here is the video link

I think this is why he loves being a patroler so much!

Now back to studying...

Friday, December 7, 2007

New puppy

On November 17th, 2007, Tom and I got our first Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy. His name is Sterling, and he is a male black lab. He was born on September 10, 2007 to Denzel and Parkay. He has a brother, Shaw, in our club, Summit Guide Dogs. Another sibling is his brother Sparky who is being raised in the Utah County club.

I should have worn a white shirt! All of our club members who got black pups were wearing dark shirts! Sterling was 13.5 lbs when we got him.

Getting Sterling from the puppy truck.

We are slowly working towards housetraining. Sterling seems to have a very small margin for controling his bladder, when he has to go, he has to go right then! This has meant a couple accidents where he has pee'ed on people, myself and Tom included. However, he is very smart, and has learned kennel, come, sit, wait (to a small degree), and no! We are well on our way to a good 'Do your buisness' response as well!

Thats all for now. More stories to come about Sterling and my other amazing dogs; Dante, Marley and Hugo.