Monthly Archives: August 2012

Macho Man

In light of PETA’s recent ridiculously silly comment about how people only want to adopt pit bulls because of their “macho image,” I give you: “Cooper Being Macho.”

(And since I don’t know how to work YouTube and create my own musical slide show, please let this play in the background as you’re clicking through. )

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If you’d like to add this Macho Man to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

…and don’t forget to VOTE FOR COOPER!

~

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Rainy Day Snuggle Time

Sometimes on a lazy hot August afternoon, the stars align and the conditions combine for some serious, professional A-grade snugglin’ – a storm blowing in, a soft couch and a sleepy momma napping with a blanket.

And Cooper is just the man dog for the job.

If you’d like to add this furry professional snuggler to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

And don’t forget to VOTE FOR COOPER!

~

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In My Own Backyard

I woke up one day last week to the unmistakable whimper of puppies.

My heart sank.  I knew immediately where it was coming from.  I had heard it before.

I looked out my back window and my suspicions were confirmed. 

I counted at least six little puppies, maybe 5-6 weeks old.  I know who their momma is – she’s a repeat offender.  She’s one of the many stray dogs who roam my neighborhood, un-cared for, un-loved, and of course un-spayed.  She hangs out in my neighbors back yard a lot of the time, though she doesn’t “belong” to them (that is, they claim no responsibility for her).  And so, these puppies,  like other litters before them, will go unclaimed as well.

Since Foster Dad and I began our foster journey almost a year ago, we’ve rehomed five dogs.  Five dogs who otherwise might not have had a chance at a happy healthy life, are now in loving furever homes.  This last batch of stray puppies brought more dogs into this world than Foster Dad and I have rescued and rehomed since we started fostering.  Because of this one dog, all our efforts have essentially been canceled out – plus one more!

Talk about a deflating moment.

I see these poor puppies and I feel completely helpless.  We are absolutely not in a situation to rescue a litter of puppies.  And if they have any pit bull in them (and knowing who the daddy most likely is, they probably do), they don’t have a chance at the Humane Association or our local Animal Control – neither of whom adopt out pit bulls. 

At the same time, my heart aches for them and their mother – did Roxie come from a situation like this?  Was she born under a shed to a malnourished over-bred mother?  When she was big enough, did she finally wander off because she didn’t know what else to do?  If we hadn’t picked her up that night, how soon would it have been before she popped out a litter of her own?

I’ve had this post in “draft” form for nearly a week now, trying to think of a nice tidy way to wrap it up.  I don’t have it.  I am beyond upset at what I see going on right in front of me.  I can’t even bring myself to think about how many other stray dogs in my city alone are contributing to the pet overpopulation problem, right this moment – let alone all over the country. Every time I come back to this post to finish it up, I get so angry I could cry.  So, with nothing else to say o the matter at this moment….

…to be continued.

~

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Former Foster Update: Molly Tamale

We’ve said it before, but getting updates from our former tenants is the absolute BEST part of fostering, hands down.  I was so excited to find this note from Molly Tamale’s new dad in my inbox this morning.  Sounds like she’s really hit the jackpot this time…enjoy! ~Laura

Just a note to let you know that Molly is doing great. She has traveled to Louisville 4 or 5 times now and south Alabama once. Basically you wake her up when you get there. She travels quite well.

She loves my sister’s backyard. They have moles. Rather, they HAD moles. Molly loves to play whack-a-mole. Score: Molly 3: Moles 0. She either punches them with her nose or smacks them with a paw, never bites them.

She has also learned to run (on leash) beside me on my bicycle. We don’t go for long rides because of her short legs but about a 1/2 mile in the neighborhood to give her a good work out.

Hope you are both doing well. We’re following the continuing saga of Cooper on your blog.

Molly Tamale has found her Furever, but Cooper is still looking for his!  If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Shop ’till You Drop

As we announced last week, Cooper is running for President through Agape Animal Rescue’s first ever Democracy for Dogs campaign

He’s laid out his platform, tapped his foster brother as his campaign manager, and when I wasn’t looking he borrowed my credit card because all of a sudden he has a new outfit, fit for the campaign trail!

What the what?  Cooper, is your bow tie not presidential enough for you?  Cooper mumbled something about “campaign contributions” and “tax deductible” before he scampered off to play strategize with Oscar, so I took a look at my credit card statement to see what was going on.  I found two strange charges – one to The Cozy Critter, and another to Dog Tag Art.  Time to investigate these shops so I can see where Cooper is spending my hard-earned cash! 

The Cozy Critter is your one-stop-shop for all things doggie swag.  They have collars in different styles (martingale, buckle, etc), leashes in various lengths including couplers and training handles, harnesses (even for cats!), treat bags, scarves and more.  All of them can all be ordered in any one of their hundreds of fabric choices, which are all organized by category so you can easily find what you’re looking for.  Their “patriotic” category explains why Cooper found his new collar design so quickly.

I was actually pretty surprised that Cooper discovered Dog Tag Art before I did.  Once I found the site I got lost in the seemingly unending designs of pet ID tags. You can browse through hundreds of designs, or you can upload a photo and create your own.  Here’s the best part – all their tags are just $11.99! 

I was pleasantly surprised at the tag’s quality.  At such a bargain price, I expected it to be a little wimpy, but their tags are actually made of recycled steel coated with a polymer that makes them smooth like porcelain. The price of your tag includes four lines of text on the back, which Dog Tag Art guarantee for life – if the text ever becomes unreadable, they’ll replace your tag at no charge.

Well, if Cooper was going to insist on doing some online shopping without my approval, at least he has good taste!  And to top it off, he learned the meaning of the phrase “shop ’till you drop.” Being this stylish is exhausting!

Don’t forget to Vote for Cooper!  A $5 donation will get you one vote, or you can vote with $20 and get this super sweet T-shirt to show your support of your favorite candidate (ahem, which is COOPER, by the way):

 

Along with his presidential campaign, Cooper is also campaigning for a Furever Home of his very own!  If you’d like to add this presidential pup to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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How do you sleep like that??

I’m pretty sure that if Cooper somehow managed to fall asleep outside in the rain, he would drown.

This wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if he hadn’t heard the camera, turned to look at me, then go back to snoozing in this position.  This dog, I swear…even in his sleep, he’s a comedian!

PS. The polls are open…don’t forget to Vote for Cooper in Agape  Animals Rescue’s first ever Democracy for Dogs campaign!

Cooper is still looking for his furever family.  If you think you’ve  got what it takes to be Cooper’s People, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Pooches for President!

“Momma, why are all the angry people on the tee-vee yelling at each other about other angry people?” 

“Well you see, Cooper, it’s an election year.  There are two men who both want to be in charge, but they have different ideas about the best way to do that.  All those people you see have each decided which man they like the best, and are trying to explain why they like that person.  That’s called Politics.”

“But why are they so angry? Isn’t there anything they can all agree on?”

“There probably is, Coop, but in Politics it seems that most people prefer to focus on their differences instead of their common ground.”

“Well, that’s silly!  I bet I could do poly-ticks better than any those people.  Heck, I already have the outfit, and I’ve got some ideas I bet everyone can agree on!  Let me see if some of my friends will do poly-ticks with me…”

After our conversation, Cooper has decided to enter the “ruff” and tumble world of politics – he’s thrown his hat collar in the ring for Agape’s Pooches for President Campaign

Cooper has chosen to run for the Re-pup-lican party, under the pseudonym Mutt Romney.  His slogan is “Go with Mutt, it’s clear cut!” and his platform is “No pup left behind.”  Now let’s meet the other candidates:

First is our incumbent candidate.  Smiley is running as a member of the Pee Party, with a platform of “Life, liberty and tummy rubs.”  Smiley’s campaign slogan is “Woof we can!” 

Finally, our Dog-ocratic candidate Sammie is going by Bark-rac Obama in this race.  Her slogan is “She’s on track, vote for Bark-rac!” and her platform is “A bone in every bowl.”

 

All three candidates have agreed to keep things pawsitive, and their campaigns all agree on the following fundamentals:

  1. Implementing a federal spay/neuter initiative
  2. Making dog fighting a felony
  3. Making chaining or tethering a felony 

With a shared platform like that, any one of these three pooches would be an excellent choice.  However we are clearly a little biased, so our vote is going to Cooper of course!   Oscar has even signed on as his campaign manager, and has tons of ideas to get Coop as much pawsitive press as possible over the next serveral months.

You can cast your vote for Cooper with a $5 donation, or a $20 donation for a vote and your very own Mutt Romney campaign t-shirt! Visit Agape Animal Rescue and make your voice heard: “Go with Mutt, it’s clear cut!”

~

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Friday Fun: Caption This!

You guys were so creative and I had so much fun reading you comments on last week’s “Caption This” post, I just had to do it again!

I was looking through old pictures for another fun one, and I found this gem that we took last fall.  This is Oscar playing in our friend’s backyard with our first Agape foster pup, Tucker.

I had almost forgotten how much fun these two used to have together.  So now it’s your turn: what do you think they’re saying?  Leave your comments below, and we’ll share our favorite(s) Monday on our Facebook page

Happy Weekend!

Tucker has found his furever, but Cooper is still looking for his!  If you’ve got enough love for the Coop, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Snubbed!

I have a confession to make.

Cooper sleeps in our bed. 

I know, I know, there are plenty of reasons that this is a bad idea.  Maybe tops among them, Cooper’s future People may not want a bed-mate.  Breaking him of this habit could prove to be a difficult chore should he get adopted into a home with a “no dogs in the bed” rule.

Believe me, I know.

But life is short, and dogs’ lives are shorter.  Fostering is tough, and we do what we do to get by.  When Cooper let us know is no uncertain terms that crate training was not for him, we had a choice to make: force him through it, or find other ways to work through the destruction and accidents.  We chose to work through them.

And Cooper’s progress really has been amazing.  The side effect of our choice is that Cooper has figured out a soft bed snuggled in between mom and dad is a pretty great place to count sheep.  No big surprise, since he’s such a love bug. He knows our bedtime routine, and he’s learned that if he’s not careful when he jumps on the bed and lands on Oscar, he’ll get a corrective growl and little nip from his big brother.  Coop has no problem making himself comfortable, sometimes spooning with foster dad and kicking foster mom in the kidneys, sometimes the other way around. Sometimes he lies on his back with is feet in the air.  Sometimes he wedges himself between the wall and my pillow, with his front and back legs on either side of my head.  Or he’ll curl up in a ball over my shoulder and lay his head on my chest with a big content puppy *sigh* and synchronize his breathing with mine…this one is my favorite.

Yep, Cooper sleeps in the bed.  And I’ve come to love it.

But then the other night, something…well, strange happened. 

My schedule is pretty crazy sometimes, so I was getting home late after Foster Dad was already in bed.  I opened the door and wasn’t too surprised that I wasn’t greeted by two waggly brindle butts – it was, after all, bed time.  From the front door of our one-story ranch house I can see all the way down the hallway to the master bedroom.   As I started to walk towards the back to say hello to my men (furry and otherwise), Cooper came wandering, sleepy-eyed, out of the guest room. 

Huh?? 

This was odd because the only (only) time I’ve ever seen Cooper in the guest room is when he follows me in there…because as I’ve mentioned before, he’s a shadow.  I went in to check it out and sure enough, there was a Cooper-sized spot in between a folded up quilt and the guest bed pillow that was suspiciously warm, as if a Cooper-sized body had just been snoozing in it moments ago. 

Foster Dad confirmed, when he and Oscar went to bed, Cooper decided to try out the guest room.  I guess he found it pretty comfortable, because he completely snubbed us that night and chose the guest room over us.  Over us!  Har-umph.  I didn’t know whether to be offended or a little bit proud of our boy for branching out and asserting some independence…

…until about 3 AM when he got startled by a passing truck and darted back into our room, where he stayed until morning.

If you can’t wait for Cooper to keep you warm at night, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Lost Dog

I don’t know if there’s anything more terrifying as a pet owner than coming home to find that your pet isn’t where he should be.  When the unthinkable happens, a million emotions will hit you all at once – fear, denial, terror, guilt, and panic.   I remember these feelings well, as I went through all of them when Tucker went on his Great Adventure, and again when I came home to find this:

…and no Cooper in the house! Thankfully, Cooper had only “escaped” into our fenced in backyard, but for several terrifying seconds, I thought he was Gone.

As difficult as it might be, it will be very important to keep a clear head and have a plan in place to get your loved one home, safe and sound, as quickly as possible.  Here are some things you can do in advance so you can be prepared if you find yourself in such a scary situation.

Keep a pre-made LOST flyer on your computer.   If Oscar were to go missing, my first instinct would be tear around the neighborhood like a crazy lady looking for him.  The last thing I’d want to do is sit down in front of a computer, looking through pictures trying to pick the perfect one to put on a flyer, and trying to remember what kind of information I’m supposed to include.  So instead, I laid it all out in advance.  If that horrible day comes, I can simply fill in a few last-minute details like “last seen” location/date/time, print out (color!) copies and start posting them around town.   When you’re making your own LOST flyer, make sure to include:

  • Your dog’s name
  • Weight and size
  • Color, description, distinguishing characteristics
  • Where he went missing
  • The date and time you last saw him
  • What he was wearing (collar, tag, harness, etc)
  • Your contact information – list multiple phone numbers, including your vet.
  • Offer a reward.  Hey, money talks.  Oscar’s LOST flyer doesn’t even use the word “LOST,” instead it says “$$ REWARD $$” in big bold print right at the top, and underneath it says “…for safe return!”  It probably would not hurt to add the phrase “No questions asked.”

You can also look online and find templates for creating a LOST flyer.  One good one I’ve found is PetBond.com.  All you do is fill out some information about your pet, add your contact information and upload a photo, and it will generate a .PDF of a flier for you that you can print out yourself.  PetBond even gives you the option to include little tear off strips at the bottom with your contact info.  Oh, and it’s free, which is always a bonus.

Chosing the right photo.  I cannot stress enough how important a clear, up-to-date, color photograph of your pet is on a LOST poster.  Take a look at these photos of lost dogs that I pulled off Craigslist:

I don’t even know what’s going on in this picture.

Those dogs could walk right past me on the street and I couldn’t recognize them from these pictures.  How big are they? Are they male or female?  Do they have a collar on?  Even if this information is listed elsewhere on the flyer, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Now compare the photos above with these:

These pictures are clear and in focus.  The second one even has a person in the photo with the dog, so you can easily tell how big the dogs is.  Some people might not be able to recognize a dog that running down the street is 40 lbs, but they will be able to tell if the dog comes up to their knee or the bumper of a truck. 

If you don’t have any good clear current pictures of your pet, stop reading right now and go snap a few. Go ahead, we’ll be here when you get back. 

Oscar’s photo for his LOST flyer.

Microchip, and register!  We all know how important and easy it is to microchip your pet.  However, just as important is making sure that the chip is registered and up to date with your current contact information.  Earlier this summer, a dog got picked up as a stray and taken to the Nashville Humane Association.  The dog had a microchip, but it wasn’t registered.  After the dog had been in the slammer for a month, a man showed up with his two daughters to search the rows for their family pet.  When they came upon this dog’s cage, the man started screaming, “My dog is here! You have Irene!”  Irene is now home safe and sound, but she could have been home a month sooner if her microchip had been registered. 

Oscar has a HomeAgain microchip. They send us e-mail reminders every few months to make sure our information is current.

Dress for success.  We all make sure our pups are sporting a collar and ID tag when we take them out on the town, but what about right now – look at your pup snoozing at your feet, is he wearing his collar and tag?  What about when he goes out in your fenced in back yard?  Your dog has an astronomically higher chance of coming home if he is wearing a collar and tag.  As cute and cuddly as our pups are when they’re au naturale, what if someone breaks into your home and lets your dog out?  What if there’s a fire and your pet escapes with his life, but without identification?  If your dog is in the backyard after a bath, what if there’s a loose board in your fence and he wriggles his way to freedom, or what if your meter reader didn’t latch your gate all the way?  Your pet should always wear visual identification, even when he is safe at home – just in case.

Make a sign for your front yard.  This next tip I can’t take credit for.  I saw this posted on Facebook by fellow foster blogger and pit bull advocate Our Waldo Bungie.  Talk about a forehead slap moment, I can’t believe this had never occurred to me before!  

Even as I, after finding lost dogs in my neighborhood, drive around looking for someone who may be out and about looking for their dog or posting signs, I never thought of putting a sign in my own yard if I lost my furbaby.  I suppose you could do the same thing if you find a dog, as folks who’ve lost their pets will probably be driving around the neighborhood searching.

Use the Internet.  Get together a list of websites that help find lost dogs.  Does your local online paper have a lost/found section?  Does your neighborhood group have a e-message board or list serve?  How about Facebook?  In Nashville, there is a Nashville Lost & Found Pets group that has helped reunite many pets with their owners.  Learn about what online resources are available to you in advance, so you’re not wasting time scrambling to sign up for accounts and join groups when your pet goes missing.  Petfinder.com no longer offers a classified section, but they do have links to articles offering many more tips and steps to take if you lose your pet.  Of course, there is also Craigslist, but…

Beware of phishing.  It’s sad that people would take advantage of someone who is clearly in an emotional state, but it does happen.  If you choose to list your e-mail address on your Craigslist ad, be careful of e-mails you might get with vague information or odd wording, such as “I have information about your pet!” or “I’d like to pray for your pet.”  Chances are, these are less-than-legitimate, and these people are betting that you are letting your emotions overrule your better judgement. Responding to them could get your e-mail account hacked.

“I like my home and my couch, I don’t ever wanna be lost!”

Hopefully we will never have to go through the nightmare of losing Oscar or one of our foster dogs.  But if it does happen someday, I know that we are as prepared as we can be to deal with it.  What other steps would you or have you taken to find a lost pet?  What’s worked well for you?  Is there anything you would add to this list or do differently?  Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Remember, our foster pup Cooper is still looking for his furever home!  If it’s you, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

 ~

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