Category Archives: SPCA

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?

A Little Dog-related Update

Nothing really major has been happening of late in my doggie world, so I thought I would just update all the little random tid-bits.

  • My SPCA volunteering has gone down for the time being due to renovations being made at their shelter site.  All of the dogs have been moved to another SPCA site that is on the other side of the metroplex, making it hard for me to get there easily.
  • I was going to foster a dog with the SPCA starting last week, but the best thing happened.  He got adopted!  I actually wrote about him in an SPCA post (his name was Chico)
  • I continue to pet sit this year more than last year, and I’m loving it.  Right now I’m petsitting but I usually wait until after the family has returned from their vacation to write about it.  So, that may be a future post!
  • My dogs are as crazy as ever.  It’s been raining all week, and while they have a doggie door to give them the freedom to go outside, they prefer to spend most of their time inside when it’s raining.  It’s suppose to rain for the rest of the week as well, so I’m hoping to take them out for a nice long walk once the rain as cleared!

I’m really blessed to be able to do these kinds of things, the kinds of things I love doing.  I’ve always loved dogs and always had them in my life, but now my life is just so amazing, being able to take care of rescues and care for dogs that are part of a family.  It really makes my heart happy.  But best of all, I love my two furry pups who love to snuggle with me on a bad day, help me with my fosters, and follow me on all my adventures.

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Do you love dogs?  What is your favorite animal (pet or wild)?  

My 8th Foster

This is a happy-ending story.  Meet my 8th foster, Martie.

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Martie was extremely shy in the shelter.  In fact, last November, when I met Martie, she wouldn’t get off of her bed in her kennel.  People had to pick her up and take her outside, where she was a little more comfortable, but still wary and anxious.  In fact, I actually wrote about working with Martie in the shelter in this post.

So, after that post, Martie went into a two month foster with someone else over the holidays.  While I was fostering my seventh foster, I got a call from the SPCA saying that they wanted to see how Martie handled the change of moving to a different foster.  Since I worked with her before, and I knew what to expect, I agreed.

Within the first day of her foster time with me, she bonded.  She would follow me around, run and jump around in a playful manner, and interact with my dogs.  Now that we knew she bonds easily to a new person, we needed her to overcome the last obstacle, the shelter.

As soon as she comes into the shelter, the sights and sounds overwhelm her and she would shake and retreat into herself.  She wanted to be right by my side.  So I took her out to the play yard and we ran and played there.  I took her back two more times, focusing more where she was most comfortable, outside in the play yard.

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When I took her back to the shelter the last time, so she could be put back on the adoption floor, she was still unsure. I had a long debriefing talk with both the previous foster and the behaviorist to figure out what would best suit her into getting adopted.

Well, I’m happy to say that last Sunday, she was adopted by a sweet, loving family with three other dogs.  She is going to do so well, and I wish her the best in her new home!

Have you ever worked with a timid dog?

 

SPCA Afternoon

I haven’t been to the SPCA in a few weeks.  I don’t go when I’m fostering, which I was doing for two weeks in January.  And then last week, I was sick for pretty much the entire week (and I’m still dealing with it…it has to be the weather changes).  Anyway, this week, I did manage to spend some time with the pups at the SPCA, so I have more pretty pictures to show you!

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This is Rocco.  He was super calm and a little clingy on our walk.  He didn’t pull at all, but he was right up next to me through most of the walk.  I think he’s just a big love.  He loved getting petted and loved on.  Such a sweetie.  (Also, he was adopted too!  Yay!)

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Charlie is a bundle of energy.  He’s also pretty smart as well.  He sat really well, and was patient when I put on his leash for our walk.  He’s not very keen on other dogs, though.  However, when it was just us, he was very sweet, just enjoying the afternoon, taking in all the smells on our walk.

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Dem is gorgeous.  She was also very patient when I leashed her.  She didn’t jump at all and knew the sit command as well.  She was so sweet.  I know I say that about pretty much all the dogs I encounter, but they really are just sweet dogs.  I can tell how much they just long to have a someone to call home!

Have you worked in a shelter before?  Do you get teary eyed when they get adopted?

First Foster of 2016!

I foster dogs as a behavior foster for the SPCA.  Typically, I work with socialization cases, cases where the dog hasn’t had much interaction with humans.  But when there aren’t any of those cases, sometimes I pick other needs or behavior issues that need to be addressed through fostering.

So this is my new foster.  His name is JV, and he’s a little over 3 pounds, and he’s a little over six weeks old.

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I know, I’m in trouble.  This dog is so cute, and he knows it.  He’s in fostering because he’s too young to go through the neuter surgery and too young for some vaccinations.  But he’s also a bit of a punk as well.  Apparently, he had other fosters who were unable to keep him because of his behavior.

DSC_0015.jpgHe needed to learn boundaries with other dogs, which my dogs are excellent boundary teachers.  He also needed to have some boundaries with humans as well.  He’s what we call spoiled, which is totally understandable with that little face.

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He’s actually coming along quite nicely.  The dogs have put him in his place.  He isn’t barking at everything anymore.  While he used to chew everything in sight, he is spending more time with the doggie bone instead.  And he will even allow us to put him in his crate without constant crying to come out.  (Although when I do let him out, he goes running straight into me, burying his head in my shirt or my neck, or making his home in my lap.)

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I still spoil him.  He spends a lot of time in my lap (in fact he is there right now).  And I carry him around at times (although that’s mostly to keep an eye on him while I need to do something else).

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He will definitely be a hard one to say goodbye too, but I’m sure he will find a home right away.  I mean, how could he not?

Have you fostered any dogs?  What are some ways to make the parting easier at the end of the foster time?  I might need advice for this one!

And We’re Back!

Because of all the travel and holiday craziness, I’ve missed a couple of weeks working with the SPCA.  Almost all of the dogs that I have worked with have been adopted, and there is a whole new set of pups there now (plus puppies who will soon be on the adoption floor).

I have been trained to do several things at the SPCA.  I work with dogs at the shelter and in fostering in my home who have anxiety or shyness.  But I also work with potential adopting families, answering questions about the dogs, as well as take the dogs out after dinner for one more walk before bed.

This week, I was walking with this dog after dinner when a family came in to see her.

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Her name is Tiger Lily, and her brindle coat looks like tiger stripes.  While they didn’t adopt her that evening, I know she will go to a home soon.  She is fun and full of energy.  We played with her in the big play yard.  She has the best time running around and leaning into people for quality petting.

I didn’t manage to get pictures from any of the other dogs on the floor, but I checked the website and some have already been adopted today!  It makes me so happy to know that these dogs spend so little time on that adoption floor before going home with their families.  Even Tiger Lily has only been on the floor for a few weeks.  I know she will find her home soon!

Do you do volunteer work?  Did anyone make a new year’s goal to get involved?  I did that last year with the SPCA and it has been an amazing experience!

Let’s Hear It For the Boys (Chihuahua Edition)

This week, I worked mainly with Chihuahua mixes at the SPCA.  They all managed to pose so nicely, so I thought I would show them to you!

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This is seven year old Leo.  His ear is cocked like that all the time.  He’s a little shy, but loves to go for a walk.  He brightened up immediately when I took out his leash.

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This is four year old Chico who is a sweet gentleman.  He jumped up on the bench next to me.  As soon as he knew I had treats, he showed off his ability to sit patiently.

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This is six year old Animal, who is a Chi Chi Pom Pom.  He loved to sit in my lap and snuggle.

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This is six year old Bolt, who is actually Animal’s brother.  He was a little more timid than his brother.  But once he warms up to you, he’s a wonderful loving lap dog.

These are sweet, loving dogs who will make amazing additions to loving families one day.  I’m so glad I got to spend time with them this week!

Have you ever owned a Chihuahua?  a designer breed?

Also, have you taken my survey yet?