Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Adoption event

So a few weeks ago, in talking with our new "dog friends," Nichole and Aaron, I signed myself up for coordinating an adoption event this summer. This was something they did at a local brewpub a few summers ago and according to Nichole, they adopted a ton of dogs out because of it. Dogs who are in foster homes, like Brian and Bella, sometimes have a harder time being adopted, because they don't get the face time that the dogs in the shelters do. They're not as "real" to people when they're just on a website, versus being wiggly and licky and something they can reach out and pet at the shelter.

So I've been working hard, with another volunteer, to get this off the ground. We start Thursday! The owner is specific that he doesn't want all or even mostly pit bulls, so I've reached out to several other rescue groups. So far we've got dogs coming from HSI, the Southside Animal Shelter (where I might add, I got my Sidney when she was a kitten, 6 years ago), and the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. We'll be doing this weekly/bi-weekly, depending on the month. The brewpub is right by the Monon Trail, and a lot of the "foot traffic" for this event in the past came from the dog lovers out walking their dogs on the Monon, coming to see what the event and cute doggies were doing there.

Like I said, getting more involved in Indy Pit Crew, fostering, and other areas that I can help out has been such a great thing for me, and really keeps me going every day (other than being a couch potato and watching reality TV ;) ). Making a difference feels good, and I'm well aware that once I do get a job, my free time is going to be a lot more limited to do these kinds of things, so I'm kind of soaking it up while I can.


A few weeks ago, actually the day after we took Ammo to HSI, there was an urgent plea on the Indy Pit Crew message board for someone to foster a 9 month old puppy at animal control who'd been shot that morning. If no one stepped up, he'd be put down (b/c of his injuries, they wouldn't let him suffer, but don't have the resources there to get him vet care). We had an empty crate (and the rescue providing the food and vet care for him), and his story broke my heart. So off I went to pick up this guy.

Ryan quickly named him "Brian," after the dog on Family Guy (who he sort of resembles). Brian had been shot by a police officer, after he (stray) jumped up on a woman who was walking, and she fell down and hurt her ankle. We still don't know why the officer was there/why he shot the dog. He's just a puppy, and as a stray, obviously didn't have anyone to teach him that jumping up isn't appropriate. Hell, our dogs still slip and jump on people if they're overly excited.

I took Brian to the vet (who handles the rescue's vet care pro bono) the next morning, to assess his shot wounds. Turns out he was shot twice, at close range, but luckily the bullets just grazed the skin and weren't internal. Where they were located (right over his spine), if they had: he'd be dead or paralyzed. Everyone at the vet fell in love with him and were shocked to hear he'd be shot, by the cops nonetheless.

We've had Brian here about 3 weeks now, and he'll be neutered in a few days, and ready for adoption. He's just a love, a very sweet boy. Other than him trying to lick at his scabs, he doesn't have any idea (in my opinion) that he was shot. We are working on the jumping, as well as basic obedience. He's very smart, and picks up on things quickly. We've got him wearing t-shirts so he doesn't mess with his wounds (more comfortable than a "cone", and easier to keep on him). We're hoping he gets adopted quickly. If we had a giant home and property, and and endless supply of $$$, we'd love to keep him. But, that pretty much goes for every animal that comes through our house. ;) I think Brian will be an easy adoption, he has such a sweet demeanor, and a "hard knocks" story, that I think will win people over.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mutt Strut

Today was the 2010 Indy Mutt Strut. We were super excited to go, as this was our first time! I'm so glad we were part of something so awesome, that raised so much money for the Humane Society of Indianapolis (over $370,000!)

Indy Pit Crew was/may have ended up as the largest corporate team, which was so neat. We surpassed our $5K fundraising goal about a week ago, and ended up at $5,775! All the money for this event goes to the Humane Society of Indianapolis. HSI has done a lot for Indy Pit Crew, in terms of backing them with shutting down Breed Specific Legislation attempts, and our educational mission, so it's great to be able to help give back to them.

They had been predicting rain all week, and each day the chance of it got higher. We had our ponchos ready and just knew we would be getting wet. I don't think we really thought about just HOW wet we'd get! We got poured on part of the way around the 2.5 mile track, but it was a great time. Spike and Josie were troopers and behaved like angels! Despite the weather, it was awesome to see how many people and dogs came out to do the walk. And the entire time we were walking, there were tons of cars just getting there (the walk went from 11-3pm). Same thing when we left the track. Way to go Indy, to support the homeless animals!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ammo/Big Man

A few weeks ago, my sister called me and told me that a lady had brought in a dog (a pit mix) that she'd found in her yard, with his face torn up and bleeding. He was an intact male stray, so it was likely a street brawl with another dog. She paid for his vet care and my sister called me, as the lady couldn't keep him and didn't want to take him to IACC, where his chances weren't the best. I contacted the local humane society to see if they had a spot for him. They told me they had a parvo issue but could take him in about a week's time.

So Big Man, as I called him, b/c he was short but all of 60 some pounds, and thick, came to stay with us. We crated him in the garage, since he was intact and seemed WAY too interested in the cats (who are not fazed by dogs anymore, so they'll walk right up to new dogs, which wouldn't have been a good situation with this dog). Sis named him Ammo, because he was a tough dog who had to have 3 drains put in his face b/c of how badly he'd been torn up. He stayed here with us for about 10 days until we could get him to HSI.

Big Man was such a sweet guy, and a very easy going guest. He was crated 95% of the time, and didn't protest, which was great. He was super happy to see us always, and at first wanted to hump me, he was so happy to see me. A spray bottle fixed that relatively quickly. In general, he was just a happy goofy looking dog. Didn't mind us cleaning his wounds twice a day, and loved being out in the back yard, marking any and everything he could find. Ryan nicknamed him Marky Mark because of this.

Sadly, yesterday we found out that he didn't pass his temp test. He had some issues guarding his food, and didn't do well with his dog intro. Unfortunately with those two things combined, he couldn't be passed. I consulted my new comrade, one of the IPC board members, and we talked about trying a couple of options for him. But upon talking with another board member, who actually did his test, and having her explain to me in detail why she didn't feel she could pass him, though she was saddened by it, as she said he was more social than a lot of the dogs at the shelter and absolutely loved every person he interacted with, and not having the space or resources to try and take him on ourselves, we have no other options for him. I'm waiting for the call for them to let us know it's his time and my sister and I will go up there and be with him and say goodbye. This is the absolute worst, and heartbreaking, but I'm trying to stay positive and remember that he was loved by us, even if for a short time, and to work even harder for the ones we can save. Here's to you big Man, you're a good boy, a big chunk of love, and we won't forget you.

The Paige/Deal Zoo





Thurman, RIP


I started this blog today as a sort of therapeutic tool, with the recent blow we were dealt, which I'll get more into later.

At this point, we're 27-soon to be 28- and 29, and have 3 cats and 4 dogs of our own, a long term foster that we will likely adopt when I get a job again, and a short term foster we've had for 5 days now.

Our cats are Sidney, 7 (holy crap I can't believe I've had her for almost 7 years now), Lucy, 4, Garbage, 1. We lost our male, Thurman, a year ago, almost exactly. We still miss his jerky little butt. It's funny to see a lot of the same personality characteristics in Garby, and love to play with the dogs (specifically the same dog- Josie) that he had. We sometimes joke that she is Thurman, reincarnated.

Our dogs are Spike, 3, Izzie, 3, Haley, 2.5, and Josie, 2. Our long term foster (who again, as soon as I am gainfully employed once again, we plan on adopting, as she has become part of the family, and fits right in with our dogs) is Bella, 4/5. (she actually has her own blog: Our current short term foster is Brian, 9 months. Brian was shot 5 days ago, by a cop. It's believed that he was a stray, and jumped up on a woman as she was out walking, knocking her down. Not sure where the cop came from, but for whatever reason, he thought the dog needed to be shot ::shakes head:: Ryan named him Brian, after the dog on Family Guy, as he's all white with a black nose. He's a super good boy, and passed his temperament test yesterday. He'll be neutered in a couple of weeks, and I'm taking him to an adoption event next weekend, and I think he'll be adopted pretty quickly.

I'm not a fan of wishing life away, by any means, but I'm not a patient person either. I really wish we were already to the point now of Ryan being ready to graduate, and us being able to sell the house and move to the country (likely Morgan or Shelby county) and get some acreage so that we could get the pittie foster/rescue plan underway. I'm SO thankful that through the time off from work I've been able to help get involved with Indy Pit crew, fostering and doing dog/cat transports. Working with these groups and helping animals has really helped ME get through the past 6 months of being unemployed. I've met some awesome people- Ryan and I are thrilled to have new couple friends who are just as animal crazy as we are! We've always wanted to get a place with more land, since we started acquiring our pack, and now I can actually "see" the need and how we could help a lot more, even with just temporary fostering situations, if we had more land and resources to house the dogs, again- even if just temporarily. Casa Deal has become pretty full lately!

I am so thankful to have a husband who is as passionate about helping animals as I am, and as sensitive about them as well. I don't know what I would do if I was one of those people that say "my husband would shoot me if I brought home another animal." On the opposite end, Ryan is partly at fault for why we do have so many! But in all seriousness, we feel that this is our calling in life, and what we are supposed to be doing, and want nothing more than to be able to make a difference in animals' lives. These 4 legged little terds are our children, and the loves of our lives.