Meet my new posse.
For the next week, I’ll be serving as caretaker for:
Charlie, an affable, seven-year-old golden retriever with a congenital respiratory disorder and a severe fear of thunderstorms.
Lakota, an 11-year-old bulldog with issues both behavioral and gastrointestinal. He’s prone to snapping (especially at Ace) and known far and wide for his frequent, most audible and highly pungent flatulence.
Then there’s Cleo: a five-year-old cat who has no issues, it seems. After hiding from Ace for two days – and what cat in her right mind wouldn’t? — she’s taken to approaching and nuzzling him, to Ace’s unending delight.
In exchange for looking after them, making sure they get their food, their meds and ample amounts of attention, I get to stay for a week in a lovely and peaceful home in Santa Fe, to my unending delight.
All four pets belong to a writer/editor and her veterinarian husband, who have gone to New York to attend a family reunion, leaving me with four animals (five counting Ace) and two pages of instructions.
What with all the medications, it’s a little complex, but I should have it all down about the time they come back. Sophie gets a pill to help deal with the effects of her chemotherapy treatment a couple of days ago. Charlie gets tranquilizers because afternoon thunderstorms tend to roll in almost daily. Lakota gets half a Rimadyl and some Beano with meals. He takes his meals in a separate room with the doors closed – in one of those bowls designed to slow down fast eaters — lest he get any ideas about snatching someone else’s.
It’s a five-water-bowl house, six counting Ace’s. Ace has adapted to the new pack. He seeks out Cleo, is amicable with Sophie and Charlie, but steers clear of Lakota, who has gone at him a few times.
The first time Ace laid him down with one paw. Two other times, Lakota jumped Ace, but, luckily, Lakota telegraphs his attacks, with an Elvis-like lip quiver first, and his bites are not too intense. I know this because the second time he went after Ace, I stuck my foot in between them. Generally, though, my “dog shouter*” (patent pending) techniques work to quell any misbehavior.
Sophie is easy to deal with, and has quickly adapted to being a three-legged dog. She was up and around the day after the surgery. But I have to be sure and immediately scoop her poop. Because of her chemotherapy treatment, her “output” will be toxic for the next couple of days, and both Charlie and Lakota tend to eat poop.
Charlie is the biggest attention seeker. He makes strange noises deep in his throat, like a two-pack-a-day smoker, because of respiratory problems and difficulty swallowing. “If it persists, and it seems like he’s choking, just hit his sides to help him clear up what’s in there,” my instructions say.
Lakota is described in the note this way:
“Can snap on occasion … If he starts to snarl at any of the others, yell ‘Hey!’ very loudly. If that doesn’t work distract him with food … In general, keep him apart from the others, especially when vying for your attention, in a close space or when food is nearby.”
It all requires some logistical forethought, some maneuvering, but after day one, it’s going smoothly. In the days ahead, I’ll keep you posted on how we all fare, and on our travels around dog-friendly Santa Fe.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, amputation, animals, beano, behavior, bulldog, cat, charlie, cleo, dog, dog sitting, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, drugs, flatulence, golden retriever, house sitting, lakota, medications, new mexico, ohmidog!, pet sitting, pets, pyrenees, road trip, santa fe, snapping, snoring, sophie, three-legged, travel, traveling with dogs, tripod, veterinarian
A three-legged dog beat out a three-legged cat in the race for mayor of a town in which I once toiled — Divide, Colorado.
Twenty-five dogs and cats entered the race, with each vote they received bringing in a one dollar donation to the local animal shelter, KKTV in southern Colorado reports.
In the end, elections officials report, it came down to a race between Spright, a small female mixed breed, and Walter the cat.
Spright received 4,755 votes; Walter racked up 4,213. Combined with other votes cast, the election raised $14,084 for the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.
Divide is an unincorporated town on the north slope of Pikes Peak. (I worked there for a few summers during high school at a property development.)
Spright’s two-year term will begin with an official inauguration ceremony at noon Sunday at the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter at 308 Weaverville Road in Divide. There will be a BBQ cookout for all candidates and the public.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cat, colorado, divide, dog, elected, election, elects, fundraising, mayor, mixed breed, news, ohmidog!, pets, shelter, spright, teller county regional animal shelter, three-legged, town, unincorporated, votes, voting, walter
Prince, a three-legged pitbull mix that played in a game of doggie baseball has won “Best in Show” at a talent competition held by one of New York City’s largest animal shelters.
Nine dogs competed in Friday’s contest at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Prince impressed the judges most with his feat of catching three baseballs, the Associated Press reports.
The nearly 2-year-old dog lost one of his legs and had a pin inserted in another after being struck by a car.
Gail Buchwald, ASPCA’s senior vice president of the adoption center, says Prince’s disability doesn’t hold him back.
”He struts his stuff like a winner,” she said.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptable, american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animals, apsca, baseball, best in show, dogs, mix, new york, pets, pit bull, pitbull, shelter, three legs, three-legged
By day, Army Maj. Steven Hutchison — a Vietnam veteran who came out of retirement at age 59 to fight in Iraq — was rough and tough, crusty and disagreeable, a man with little respect for the rules.
He violated one of them nightly, sleeping with his arms wrapped around Laia, a stray yellow puppy he had taken in from the streets.
Hutchison died in May, killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his truck — the oldest soldier to die in the Iraq war. But Laia lives on.
Laia was transported back to the U.S. by Operation Baghdad Pups, preserving not only the pup, but — as described in the Detroit Free Press yesterday — the memory of Army Maj. Steven Hutchison, as well.
“Whenever Laia was around,” Hutchison’s “demeanor and personality changed 1,000%,” Sgt. Andrew Hunt wrote in an e-mail to Hutchison’s family. “He was never without a smile; he was so much happier in life.” When a senior officer ordered Hutchison to get rid of the dog or face disciplinary action, Hutchison sent her into hiding with a friend at a far outpost on the border of Iran. The puppy broke free and ran away, returning one day to Hutchison’s base with a broken leg.
The day Hutchison was killed, Laia was spotted chained up outside a tent by Jerry Deaven, an employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Detroit. He was visiting Iraq to research terrorist funding.
“What’s going to happen to her, now that the major is gone?” Deaven asked. A few members of Hutchison’s team said they wanted to take her, but they were getting redeployed. “If I didn’t take the dog, they would have had to put the dog down,” he said. Read more »
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amputation, bomb, casualty, detroit, dog, dogs, homeland security, iraq, jerry deaven, laia, major, oldest, operation baghdad pups, soldier, soldiers, steven hutchison, three-legged, war
A year ago, it was a struggle just to keep up on family walk. Now, with help from doctors at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and some state of the art technology, Cassidy has the ability to run again.
Since getting an implanted prosthesis in his leg in July, 6-year-old Cassidy has been back to the vet school several times to make sure the implant was fusing with the bone, making it stable enough to support what would eventually become Cassidy’s right hind leg. On Tuesday, doctors fitted Cassidy with a titanium leg complete with a running foot that will replace a temporary peg leg Cassidy has been wearing.
Steve Posovsky, Cassidy’s owner, said the dog’s artificial leg has gotten a lot of attention. “You can’t even walk down the street,” he said. “People take pictures of him, you get stopped constantly … ‘What is this, how did it happen? I’ve never seen it before. Can I take a picture with him?’ It’s non-stop.”
The new titanium prosthesis and its padded “foot” are designed to be more lifelike than typical artificial limbs, allowing Cassidy’s leg to bend naturally. A carbon fuse inside the prosthesis allows for rotation of the leg and guards against undue stress on the implant.
Doctors say the technology is moving in the right direction for eventual use in humans.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artificial limbs, bone, cassidy, dog, dogs, foot, fuse, implant, leg, medical, north carolina state university, pets, posovksy, prostheses, prosthesis, technology, three-legged, titanium, veterinarians, veterinary
A Florida family’s three-legged pit bull-Lab mix returned from playing in a wooded area near their home Monday with an object in his mouth that turned out to be the corpse of a one-armed infant.
Tonya and Henry McGill, of Milton, say they noticed their dog Coco digging. As Tonya went over to see what Coco had found, the dog — who had her left front leg amputated when she was 10 months old — came back out of the woods and “kind of laid the body at my wife’s feet,” Henry McGill said. “At first she didn’t know what it was because it had dirt on it and everything.”
Once the couple realized it was a human baby, Henry McGill, who had been power-washing the house, immediately dialed 911. He said the baby was naked and missing its left arm.
Santa Rosa County Investigators combed the wooded area where the body was found, WKRG-TV reported. An autopsy has been conducted but the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing details at this time.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amputated, arm, baby, buried, coco, crime, digging, dog, florida, infant, lab, labrador, milton, missing, mix, naked, one arm, one-armed, pit bull, police, three-legged
“This is one of those adoptions that really makes us tingle,” write Steve Smith and Alayne Marker, friends of ohmidog! (you can find them in our blogroll) and proprietors of Rolling Dog Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Montana.
Rolling Dog Ranch, which I paid a visit to last fall, isn’t so much a temporary shelter for animals as it is a permanent home. Generally, the chronically sick, disabled, discarded and unwanted animals that end up there live out their lives on the 160 grassy acres near Ovando, Montana.
But every once in a while, caring folks adopt one, or, in this case, two.
When Cristene and Duane J. from Hauser Lake, Idaho (pictured above), came out to the ranch last month to adopt three-legged Kasha, they also met — and fell in love with — blind Shep. Back home with Kasha, they couldn’t stop thinking about Shep, a little German Shepherd from Afghanistan.
It was only a couple of weeks before they emailed to say they wanted Shep, too. Recently, they took him home as well.
Shep is a former resident of the only animal shelter in Afghanistan. In May, he made it to Rolling Dog Ranch.
“Shep is a tiny thing for a German Shepherd, a result no doubt of chronic malnutrition when he was in the womb and then a puppy,” Smith writes in the latest ranch newsletter. ”Although the shelter in Kabul had been feeding him for the couple of months they had him before he came to us, he was still terribly thin when he arrived — so we can imagine how emaciated he was originally.”
Cristene and Duane now have two RDR dogs at their home in northern Idaho, which includes 50 acres of fields, wetlands, forest, three acres of fenced lawn, and a lake for swimming.
Rolling Dog Ranch rescues and shelters disabled animals, giving every resident — be they blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, or animals with neurological and orthopedic disabilities — a second chance.
“Although these animals may have disabilities, they do not consider themselves handicapped. They just want to get on with life and enjoy themselves,” the Rolling Dog Ranch website says. And based on my visit last year, that seems to be exactly what they’re doing.
Here’s a slide show I put together then:
(Top photo: courtesy of Rolling Dog Ranch)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 18th, 2008 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: afghanistan, alayne marker, animal sanctuary, animal shelter, blind, deaf, disabled, dog, dogs, german shepherd, handicapped, injured, kabul, kasha, montana, ohmidog!, ovando, rolling dog ranch, shelter, shep, sick, steve smith, three-legged
I was driving down Century Boulevard when I spotted them — a homeless man, judging from the Vons grocery cart he was pushing down the sidewalk, and a three-legged pit bull in a service dog vest, hobbling alongside, her leash tied to the cart.
I made a u-turn, saw him walking down Hawthorne and, after one more u-turn, pulled my rental car alongside the man and dog as they turned down 101st Street.
His name is Mike Reed, and his dog’s name is Topaz, and as we sat on the sidewalk and talked — next to his bottle of King Cobra malt liquor in a black plastic bag — Topaz, weary from a just completed walk, snoozed on the concrete, wearing a service dog vest that said “Don’t Touch Me, I’m Working.”
Reed has had Topaz for five years. He takes care of her. She takes care of him, helping him cope with life on the streets — the kind of life that can turn violent at any second, and on Aug. 31 did just that.
On that day, he and Topaz found themselves standing innocently in the middle of a confrontation between another homeless man and officers from the Inglewood Police Department.
Reed had just met the man minutes earlier — after the man entered a store and an employee noticed what appeared to be a gun in his pants. Police were called, and tracked the man down. Not knowing whether Reed was an accomplice, officers put Reed in a squad car. Topaz remained on the sidewalk, leashed to Reed’s grocery cart.
As Reed decribes it, police told the suspect to put his hands in the air. The suspect raised and lowered his hands two times. The third time he lowered them, he reached for what police thought was a gun, and a barrage of shots followed.
The gun turned out to be a plastic toy.
Four or five shots struck Topaz, one shattering her hip bone.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 14th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amputation, california, dog, dogs, found, grocery cart, homeless, inglewood, killed, los angeles, lost, mike reed, missing, pets, pit bull, police, recovered, relationships, service dog, shooting, streets, streetsmarts rescue, three-legged, topaz, violence, von's