A Foster Update

I haven’t really updated on Shayla, but she is still in our home.

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Shayla enjoys the quiet of our house.  She has a nice little corner in the office that she spends most of her day, quite contently.  But that’s because she isn’t really interested in human interaction, or dogs for that matter.  Her anxiety levels were so high before I got her that she can’t seem to cross that line far enough to really enjoy interacting with others.

So, last week, after some talks with the vet, we have some new, nifty things to try with her, including a little anxiety medication to help her along with a spray that will also help her feel calm.  And she is actually starting to trust me.  In the morning, she stays close to me outside of the crate, which is a huge indication!

And last night, she spent the evening following me around as I made dinner.  And she even snuggled on the couch!  Granted, she still gets very jumpy and when she is scared or startled, it takes a good hot minute for her to calm herself down, but progress is being made!

I’m so thankful for the SPCA.  They have equipped me with training, one-on-one time with the behaviorist and the vet, and all of these tools to provide the best care for Shayla. They truly love the animals that walk through their doors, and they always try to do everything they can to help give them their best chance.

I think she still has a long way to go, but she is making wonderful strides with the new tools we are using to help her.  And some day she will be in her own home, with her loving family, and all of this anxiety will be a distant memory.

 

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Another Adorable Dog Post

I haven’t been spending as much time in the shelter as I would like because I’ve been working with a foster dog, lately.  But I did manage to spend some time with this adorable little Chihuahua, named Jasmine (I call her Jazzy for short).

 

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Jasmine is a snuggle bug.  When I’m volunteering at the shelter as an Adoption Counselor, the first thing I try to do (if it’s not too busy) is go into Jasmine’s kennel and snuggle her.  As soon as I’m on the floor, she crawls into my lap and gives me kisses, in exchange for pets, of course!  She is six years old and a bit shy to strangers, but I can personally testify that she is quick to warm up to you, especially if you have a treat and a warm lap!

I’m always quite surprised to see her there each time I come by.  She is such a lovebug!  But I know she will go home soon.  Her family just needs to come by and pick her up!

By the way, the SPCA is doing something pretty amazing this summer.  Until Labor Day, all dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies are only $25.  So, if you haven’t been to the SPCA lately, this is a great reason to go!  And the staff and volunteers there are trained to help you find your next four-legged family member that will work well with your needs and family dynamic.

I mean, just look at that face…

Another Sorta Small SPCA Update

We have had so many adoptions at the SPCA this year.  It’s been pretty amazing to see such fast turnover.  I don’t get to know many of the dogs before they are already set to be adopted.  Last week’s adoption of Captain Hook was so much fun.  I would like to share with you another special SPCA adoption story.

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Meet Teddy.  Teddy came in with a lot of other dogs from a hoarding situation.  Most of the dogs were fairly socialized with one or two behavioral exceptions.  For Ted, that exception is the leash and he gets frightened quite easily.  Working with Ted on the leash usually means walking him with other dogs, which makes the task easy, since he loves being around other dogs.  A lot of his fellow hoarding buddies were being adopted last week, most of them small, but Ted got his day of adoption on Saturday.

Because we adopted him!

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Ted is a blue heeler mix.  He’s very smart.  He learned the doggie door within the first ten minutes of being home (which is a record among all of the dogs who have been in this house, even Jerzee).  He has also already learned sit, as long as there is a treat involved.  I love his ‘sit.’  He plops down, it’s so cute.

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Because of his past, he is unsure around anyone, but he will follow me around all day, falling asleep wherever I am.  We’ve taken him on two walks, and he’s unpredictable.  The first time, he was just fine for the most part. But the second time, something spooked him and he laid down in the road.  Luckily, he’s small enough that I could pick him up!

We are loving our new addition to our family.  I think it’s perfect that he’s here for Valentine’s Day.  He is definitely a sweetheart!

A Small SPCA update

I’m so excited to be sharing this post.  Back in January, I shared a post introducing Captain Hook and another post with an update that he was still available.  This sweet guy has been waiting for a home since he was surrendered in December.  The major deterrent in his case was his separation anxiety.  The dog just loves humans.

At the SPCA, they don’t have a limit on a dog’s stay, but they aren’t considered a no-kill shelter because they will euthanize if the dog has a serious medical or behavioral issue.  And the behavioral issue has to be pretty serious and destructive.

Captain Hook is an excellent example of how far the SPCA is willing to go to care for and rehabilitate behavioral issues in dogs.  He has been in the home of the behaviorist as a foster to see how he does in the home and overnight.  He has been given anxiety medications prescribed by a vet to help with the stress.  He has even been giving weight management food, fed three times a day, to help him gain weight after a serious loss of weight due to diarrhea due to stress.

And one of his issues was a crate.  He would rip the crate apart, injuring himself in the process, if left alone in one.  So, while he was on the adoption floor, he was given parts of a crate to sleep in so that he would slowly be desensitized to the fear of being in one.

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And, whenever he was being looked at by a potential family, it was required that he would speak to a supervisor to make sure they understood his special case.

Well, on Monday, during my volunteer shift, a couple came in to look at him.  A supervisor spoke with the couple as they interacted with him in the play yard.  Then, the couple looked at another dog and seemed to really be engaged with the other puppy.  Like many times before, my hope for a home with Captain seemed to be fading.

But then!  The couple asked to see Captain again, and this time, they decided they would adopt him!  They were willing to work with him, train him, and love him!  I was so happy and thankful to be a part of this adoption and see Captain go home with his family!  I cannot express enough the love that the SPCA staff has for each animal that comes through those doors, and the celebration that happens when one of our special animals finally meets their family forever.

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I’m so thankful to volunteer at this organization and to be a part of uniting pups with their families.  Congrats Captain!  I know you will be well loved!

SPCA Update

I am officially sick this week.  Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with 102-degree fever, so the blog post is going to be short, but I wanted to give you an update on the dogs from the last SPCA post.captainhookavailable

Captain Hook, as of me writing this post, is still waiting for his forever family.  They have been working with him at the shelter, though.  He hates crates, and they are slowly desensitizing him to crates (leaving one open in his kennel and then slowly putting it together so he is used to it.  They also have him on anxiety meds which helped a lot.  It just goes to show how much these dogs are cared for while they are waiting.

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Tank was adopted only a few days after my last post!  This is the usual experience for most of the dogs at the SPCA.  Captain has been there for almost 2 months which is pretty long.  I’m so glad Tank went home!

 

Dogs at the SPCA

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As one of my new year goals for the month of January, I’ve been volunteering at the SPCA twice a week.  I wanted to show you some of my favorites over the last week or so, and what it’s like for a lot of the pups that go through this shelter.

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This is Captain Hook.  Yes, he came in with that name.  He is 9 months old.  He’s an absolute sweetheart.  I’ve shown him to a couple of families, and he’s incredibly gentle and loving to young kids.  The only problem that keeps cropping up is that he has separation anxiety.  He doesn’t like to be in small places, so a crate isn’t the best place for him.  His previous owner said he can be quite destructive if he is put into a crate.  I know that there is going to a be perfect family for him.  One that will be able to be around him most of the time and provide him with wide open spaces for him to play.

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This is Tank.  He’s a gentle, sweet pup, but incredibly shy in the shelter environment.  He’s a little older (5 years) which sometimes can make it harder to find a family.  He’s also heartworm positive, but as with most pups like this at the SPCA, the treatment is covered for whoever adopts him.  He loves to be petted.  During one visit, I sat with him in his kennel and he laid his paws on my leg while I was petting him.  He loves the attention.  His lower energy and kind spirit would be a perfect addition to any family.  He’s great around dogs and kids as well.

I worked with these two dogs the most this past week and a half, basically because all the other dogs were being adopted so quickly!  Turnover is pretty high at the shelter.  I did work with some other dogs/snapped a few pics of dogs that were adopted quickly.

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This is Harley.  He was a Boxer/Mastiff.  He reminded me a bit of Scooby doo.  I was drawn to him because he reminds me of my own Brindle boxer mix, Loco.  Except that he is a lot big and stronger!  I walked him around outside on the one day it “snowed” here.  I felt like he was walking me!  But he was still quite gentle.  He never once pulled hard.  I’m so glad he was adopted to a good family.

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Of course, puppies don’t really stay in the shelter very long.  This litter had nine pit bull mix puppies.  When puppies come through, all of the litter share names with a certain theme.  Sometimes it’s a TV show, or each name starts with the same letter.  This particular litter was named after salads and parts of salad.  Crouton, Blue Cheese, Mandarin, Tomato.  It was pretty adorable, although I’m guessing that the families who adopted them probably didn’t keep those names.

I am so glad that I can volunteer for such a loving organization.  Every time a dog or cat (or rabbit or ferret sometimes) gets adopted, the whole building celebrates.  Each animal is cared for by the veterinarians, vet techs, behaviorists, staff, and volunteers.  I hope that Tank and Captain Hook find homes perfect for them soon.  Until then, I know that they and the other animals will continue to be loved!

Do you adopt from rescues?  Have you ever volunteered for a rescue organization?

International Volunteer Day

Yesterday was International Volunteer Day.  So, I thought this would be a perfect day to spend a couple of hours at the SPCA.  I’ve been debating whether or not to get back into volunteering there on a more regular basis.  Since we will be trying to get pregnant next year, I don’t want to commit to something that I will have to stop doing once I get a positive pregnancy test.  (And I realize that you don’t have to stop doing things like that early in the pregnancy, but I’m not sure what the next pregnancy will involve considering my background).  However, that’s not going to stop me from volunteering until then!

Anyway, on to the pups!

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These two cuties are pair-bonded.  That means that they won’t do well being adopted separately.  Usually, dogs who have grown up together are more likely to be pair-bonded.  They can stop eating and get very sick if they separate.  These two have to separate to eat because they each have a different diet of food (one has some health issues), and it’s hard for them to eat without being able to see one another, so they are put in kennels across from each other during meal times.   In fact, because of the health issues, they aren’t available for adoption right now

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This is Tonka.  He was a super sweet and super shy dog.  He came from a family that had him since he was a puppy, but a new addition to the family is allergic to dogs.  So they surrendered him to the SPCA so he could have his best chance at finding another loving family.  He is timid around strangers and loud noises, but he warms right up to people.  In fact, he was all snuggly with me by the end of my time there yesterday, and we had only just met!

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This is Jasmine, a beautiful terrier mix.  She has squinty eyes in the picture because it started raining towards the end of the day.  When we got back in, I dried her off with a towel, which she loved.  She is absolutely sweet, loves belly rubs, and loves to cuddle.  I know she will find a great family soon!

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I love volunteering with the SPCA of Texas.  Not only are the dogs awesome, and I get to help them find awesome families, but the staff is so supportive and caring as well.  There were a few who knew what happened to me when I lost my daughter, and they are always checking in on me when I come to volunteer.  I’m so thankful to get to volunteer at such a wonderful organization.  It was an excellent way to spend International Volunteer Day!

Do you have a favorite place to volunteer?

Do you have any pets?  Were any of them from rescue organizations?