Tag Archives: animal rescue

Me and my “disposable dog”

Bailey, the day I brought her home from the shelter, January 22, 2011. She was six weeks old.

13WHAM News did a story tonight on what they called “Disposable Dogs,” puppies and dogs that irresponsible backyard breeders keep producing and then bringing to the shelter. Sometimes it’s day old puppies; sometimes it’s the mother dogs who have been bred till they’re no longer useful and then dumped; sometimes it’s adult dogs people bring home and then turn over when they’re bored with them.

Reporter Jane Flasch said in the story that about 1028 pit bulls were euthanized in 2011 at Rochester Animal Services. I volunteered at RAS for a year – an experience I absolutely loved but also one that broke my heart every time I was there. (I only stopped volunteering when I had to get a real job, which lasted a few weeks. Then Scout got sick, Bailey and Bandit had their turn of events, and I wasn’t able to go back. But I digress.)

The report included not just interviews with people like Jenn Fedele, founder of Pitty Love Rescue – the story incorrectly identified Jenn as a breeder; she is most definitely not a breeder – but also photos taken in the tech rooms at RAS of dogs being euthanized.

Seriously, having just had to put my darling Scout to sleep after a battle with cancer, I did not need to see that. But maybe you did, so that you could understand how serious the problem is.

As I watched the story, one thing stood out: had Bailey not come home with me on January 22, 2011, she would have been one of those statistics. Continue reading

Photos of Bailey and Daddy’s field trip

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David took  Bailey out today for some fresh air and exercise so Scout, Bandit and I could have a peaceful afternoon. I took Scout and Bandit for a walk to the library to return some books, and then left them home while I ran an errand. I confess: it was a relief to take those two without having to worry about Bailey home in a frenzy, and to not worry about the dogs fighting while I was gone.

Bandit’s chest is still really swollen, and I think the stress is taking its toll on Scout. So we just hung out and let everyone rest and have access to their favorite napping spots; Scout’s been blocked off from both my office and behind David’s recliner.

And while we were having a much needed, restful and tension-free day, Daddy and Bailey were having  super romp. They went to Mendon Ponds park, Ganandogan, and Hemlock Lake. I think they both needed some outdoor time; she’s never had an wildlife adventure like that.

So far, we’re still on eggshells. David has one more day of vacation, so tomorrow we’ll have another day keeping the dogs separated, and then on Wednesday  Bailey will begin boarding. We’re still checking a couple of places; I want her to be someplace where she’s not “in jail” but we also are really strained financially.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, dog-wise. Ranks right up there with making the decision to put Natasha to sleep after her battle with kidney failure. This time, though, Bailey is healthy and a wonderful dog with a serious challenge that makes it impossible to live with us. But she’s not impossible to live with the right home. In fact, the right home is going to be wonderful for both her and her new family.

Rehoming Bailey – knowing when it’s time to let go (with UPDATES)

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It is with a very, very heavy heart that I report that we’ve made the decision to find a new home for Bailey. It’s not because she’s a bad dog. It’s because she and Bandit are like oil and water, and it’s become very clear that they can’t live together in the same house peacefully or safely.

I’ve sat down a few times to tell the whole story of Bailey, but it’s too difficult to think about losing a member of our family, and to think about how confusing this must be for her. For now, I’ll just tell you about Bailey and what a great dog she is in the hopes that someone out there may need the loving canine companionship she can give. Continue reading

I’m blogging at Patheos.com

If you’ve been wondering where I am lately, here’s some big news: I’m recently taken over the Heavenly Creatures blog at Patheos.com, where I’m blogging about animals, life and spirituality! It’s a fun new writing opportunity, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to write about something I love and (hopefully) make a little money at the same time. Check out the new blog at http://www.patheos.com/community/heavenlycreatures!

Scout gets to play some soccer with real soccer players

Today was the kick off for the next round of the ASPCA’s Shelter Challenge, and Rochester Animal Services hosted a little party in the park, with special guests from the WNY Flash women’s soccer team.

I headed down to take some pictures for the dog blog, and I debated bringing Scout. You know how much he loves to play soccer in the backyard, and how good he is with the ball. I thought he’d have some fun. But I also know how squirrely he gets in strange situations and crowds, and I didn’t want to overwhelm him in the heat, either. So I left him home.

When I got downtown, there wasn’t a big crowd (it’s hard to compete with opening day of Bills training camp). So I went home and got Scout.

I’m so glad I did! He was happy to get in the car, happy on the ride, and when we got there and he saw the soccer balls? In doggie heaven.

Forget about the people and the other dogs. All he saw was the ball. I dropped the leash, kicked him a ball, and away he went. Kaley Fountain of the WNY Flash spent some time with Scout running up and down the field and kicking the ball. A few times he looked to me as if to say, “This is OK, right?” Yup, it’s OK. Go, Scout, go! And then away he went.

If she had been up for it, I think he would have gone home with her.

Scout and Kaley Fountain from the WNY Flash

The girls had to take time for some photos with the shelter dogs, and then Scout went to play with the guys doing the soccer clinic. No kids? A dog will do.

It was a great day for my happy pup. I’d been worried since we found out he was sick that he might be prone to injury or something. But this week Dr. Hall said that she’d let him be a dog and not to worry.

You know, God really does take care of things, even our dogs. I know it seems silly to some people, but watching my pup out there running around made me so happy. I know God cares about him even more than I do and I’m glad his last days – if these even are his last days; I think he’ll be here till Christmas – are filled with the things he loves.

It was madness today

It was madness today at the shelter. Total madness. From the moment the doors opened until closing time, it was non-stop telephone, adoptions, questions, and other Saturday activities that keep the place hopping.

I left completely drained, only to come to find some madness of my own.

I left Bailey in the crate, as usual, and per my daughter’s repeated suggestions, covered the crate with a blanket to give the pup that “cozy den” feeling. On top of the crate was a basket that held some towels and other extra things for the crate, some square pieces of wire snap-together shelving that I sometimes have to put together to keep Bailey out of areas of the living room, a pillow, and Bailey’s overnight bag.

This is what I came home to find:

She’d managed to pull the blanket off the crate onto the floor, toppling everything. Then she pulled the blanket into the crate. Then she tipped over her water bowl, pulled the potty pad around and crumbled it up, and then pooped in the crate and on her toys. She even managed to poop on a Nylabone and then somehow kick the bone out of the crate.

Needless to say, she’s not a happy camper in her crate.

For the next couple of hours, all three dogs were wound up to mach speed. There was wrestling and whining and barking. Bailey peed three times in 15 minutes. She pooped in the living room and started to eat it before I could pick it up. She also pooped in Bandit’s crate, which was a new trick even for her.

One of the dogs managed to cut or scrape themselves while outside playing; I found a few drops of blood in the snow. But neither Scout nor Bandit will let me examine their paws and everyone seems to be acting OK, so it might have been the remains of another hawk attack on the birdfeeder, although I didn’t find feathers. Then again, Bailey eats everything so she might have gotten to them first.

Either way, it’s been an exhausting day. Exhausting.

And now … Scout and Bandit are sound asleep together up in the spare room, Bailey is zonked out on the couch, and all is quiet. The tea kettle is boiling and I have a Pop Tart in the toaster oven and Hercule Poirot in the DVD player.

A little puppy love looking for a home

Puppy love

This weekend, we took in a foster puppy. You can read the whole story on the Bark Around Town blog, but trust me. It’s one snuggly, barking, peeing bundle of fun.

Bailey is a 6 wk. old Pit Bull/German Shepherd mix who was brought to the shelter because her owner was trying to dump … er, find homes … for two pups left from a litter. That the pups shouldn’t have been leaving their mother at 6 wks. goes without saying. For responsible dog owners.

One volunteer took a pup for her brother, who wanted a Pit Bull pup. I took the other to foster while Pitty Love looks for a home.

She’s a beautiful dog, and my hope is that Scout and Bandit can help her learn how to be a good dog. Well, Scout can anyway. Hopefully Bandit doesn’t teach her how to eat from the fridge or lick dishes from the kitchen sink.

If you’re looking for a pup, maybe Bailey is waiting for you! Here are more pics:

Bailey and Bandit, snuggled on the couch


Look how little Bailey is next to Scout!

Bailey is one snuggly puppy