Thursday, September 29, 2011


Here's a way to search for an adoptable pet in your neck of the woods!

Find and help adoptable shelter dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dogs v. Cats

Well, folks. We've crossed over to the dark side. We took in a foster cat. My better human half is good with cats, and he figured a cat would be lower-maintenance foster animal.

I, on the other hand, was a little unsure. I've never had a cat before; in fact, I was pretty certain I'd be allergic. I've also been under the impression for the last [insert how old I am here] years that cats are slinky little things with ulterior motives and shady personalities. Nevertheless, like dogs, they too deserve warm homes, so we thought we'd give a try when someone asked for our help.

When sweet kitty Franky came to us, I immediately posted his picture on Facebook thinking I would be inundated with comments along the lines of Oooh, Ahhh, and I want him! What I heard was the exact opposite—things like Dislike and We're not friends anymore. Then there were the people who told me they wouldn't dare come over my house again for fear of going into anaphylactic shock. (To their credit, some kind-hearted cat people defended the feline race.)

But I was still left thinking—what have I done!? 

Within a few hours of bringing Franky home, I realized what the cat people were talking about. Not only are cats low-maintenance, they have their own way of showing affection. By mid-week, I was convinced that all of my life, I actually have been a cat person and just not known it. (At one point, perhaps after a couple beers, I might have also convinced myself I was a cat in a former life. Might being the key word here.) 
  • Loves to just hang out at home and doesn't really see a need to go outside? Check.
  • Generally would rather hide when the going gets tough? Check.
  • Requires only small doses of human interaction? Check.
  • Obsessively clean? Double check. 
Then, a couple days after this hypothetical realization, I started to see some of the drawbacks of cats. The litter pan started to stink up the whole house. The sweet kitty went crazy kitty on us when we tried to get him out from under the bed. And who ever thought it was a good idea to keep a nocturnal animal in your house? But the final kicker was when I came home from a long day at work and just wanted an exuberant, I'm-so-happy-to-see-you ball of energy to greet me at the door. 

Instead, Franky hid under the bed. He only came out when I brought him food and to use my legs to scratch his side. Sure, he didn't need me to rush home from work to keep him company. He didn't need me to walk him in the pouring rain. In fact, I generally get the feeling he doesn't need me aside to fulfill his sporadic needs of hunger or play. 

So my verdict is this: There are moments for both, and there might (again, the hypothetical might) even be a place in my home for both. Since you've read this far and are probably throwing your hands up at the fact I'm taking the easy way out by calling this a tie, if I had to make a final ruling, in more moments than others, dogs still rule and cats semi-drool. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Jen, Vicki June, and Ashley are our giveaway winners! Please email me at kim [dot] greene [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address, and Purina will ship the products to you. Thanks for participating!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Call for Purina Giveaway

Today's the last day to enter the Purina Giveway. All you have to do is follow the blog publicly and leave a comment on the product-review post from Saturday.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honey's Five Days

Five days. That’s how long animals have to find a home when they enter one shelter in South Carolina. If you know about the overpopulation of pets that fill these shelters, you know the odds are not in the their favor.

Things were not looking good for this sweet Lab, Honey. We’re not sure how this lovable girl found herself in such a horrible circumstance. All we know is that she was an “owner surrender,” a mama who recently had a litter of puppies.

Volunteers with our rescue saw Honey on the shelter’s Facebook page. Lab lovers, they immediately knew they had to save the dog.  When a rescue pulls from a shelter, the rescue pays a fee to have the dog vetted (spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines, etc.) Then, transport is arranged to get the dog from the shelter to the rescue.

Honey arrived in New Jersey last weekend into the loving home of the volunteers. We ended up taking Honey mid-week because they had their hands full when a nasty groundhog bit one of their personal dogs.

As soon as I posted Honey’s Petfinder profile, interest started to come in. I contacted one family in particular who was interested in Karina back in the spring, but they weren't able to take her because the timing wasn't right. (And it just seemed to fit because Honey is a blond Karina.)

Can you guess how long it was between the time Honey stepped paw in New Jersey until the time her new family’s application was approved? You got it—five days.  

Don't get me wrong; they're all not that quick and easy to adopt out as a sweet yellow Lab. Had she been a bully breed or a BBD with the same disposition, it would have taken longer. But they all deserve more than five days—they deserve a lifetime. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Purina Giveaway!

The folks at Purina were kind enough to send me some product samples to try out with our foster dogs. I told them I would review them here, and, in exchange, they're going to give free Purina products to 10 lucky readers! 

All you have to do is read this post, publicly follow this blog, and then leave a comment with which of our foster dogs you've enjoyed reading about the most. There are no right or wrong answers; 10 winners will be picked at random. Winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, September 22nd, so please comment before the end of the day on Wednesday.

First, I have to disclose that the box of these items was in the basement when the flood waters of Hurricane Irene started to rise. So the wee-wee pads, well, I couldn't salvage them, but I can vouch that they absorbed water—and lots of it.

But I was able to save the stain and odor eliminator spray. We got good use out of this with Zazu. We usually use the orange Nature's Miracles for accidents in the house. In contrast to the orange zest smell of that spray, the Purina spray has a fresh linen scent. I followed the directions by soaking up the urine, spraying the carpet heavily, and then scrubbing. It seemed to do the trick. I checked back a few days later and did not detect a urine smell. (But after all these foster dogs, we've decided it's time to rip out the carpet and put in a hardwood floor!)

They also sent along this giant pet hair roller. My family has a dry-cleaning business, so I know the value of these things! I had fur on my black pants, and the brush picked it quite easily. I'm not sure I noticed a difference between this and a regular lint brush, but it definitely took up the fur.

Remember—you must publicly follow the blog and leave your comment between now and Wednesday to be entered into the giveaway! Good luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

ADOPTED: Zazu the Gymnast

Zazu turned our home into the floor of a gymnastics competition—vaulting off the sofa, flipping over chairs, making the coffee table into a balance beam. While she was lovable and affectionate and sweet, it was apparent that this dog needed exercise. She needed a yard and another dog to tire her out. She did not need to be cooped up in our condo all day long.

Because we can usually make good estimates of how long it will take for a dog to get adopted based on its age and breed, we figured Zazu would be doing back flips through our home for several weeks.

We were at our first adoption day for only about half an hour when a dog-loving couple came looking to add a third dog to their pack. They knew right away that Zazu was the one. They had a yard, a wealth of dog experience, and plenty of canine friends to tire her out. Zazu, who sat in a Virginia shelter for three months, was adopted within a week. Sometimes things just work out that way. 

And what’s better than that? Zazu (now Talula) lives right around the corner from us and her people have granted us full visiting rights to see our Olympic-champion foster dog. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Zazu's Ears

Take a look at Zazu's left ear. (Her left, your right)
A warning: This is not my usual warm-and-fuzzy post. Its content may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

Our next foster, Zazu, has arrived. But before she even got here, my colleague, Amanda, pointed out something in Zazu's shelter pictures. She seemed to have slits cut into her big, floppy ears. 

We started to put the pieces together. First, Zazu was from a rural shelter in Virginia. Second, she is, without a doubt, a hunting dog. (Although I don't know what she is for sure, I'm labeling her as a Treeing Walker Coonhound mix.) With that, we started to Google terms like "ear marking" and "ear tagging."

The notch on her left ear went straight through;
the notch on the right ear is in the same location,
but didn't seem to go all the way through the skin.
Now I've heard of tagging animals to track their migration. I've also seen tattoos inked into the inside of laboratory dogs' ears. But I've never seen slits like this before. From my research, I believe this is what hunters call "ear notching." It's used to identify dogs of a particular hunter's pack. (It's more commonly used with pigs. It's also used to identify feral cats that have been spayed/neutered.)

If we were talking about piercing/marking/tattooing a dog's ears under sterile conditions where the animal feels little to no pain, this would be a different story. But I happened upon web sites and message boards where hunters discuss ear marking/notching/branding, including this board from about branding. I hope they are the minority, but I fear they are not. 

One poster said, "Microchips may be state of the art, but a brand can be seen by all and a theft deterrent in itself. At the very least, if a branded dog gets stolen the sorry SOB gets a reminder every time he looks at the dog that the dog isn't his." 

Another poster asks if other hunters sedate the dogs at the vet, themselves, or just hold them down. One reply says, "We've always just held them down without sedation, they'll whine a bit, but it isn't too bad." 

Another reply puts it bluntly: "I 'juice' them, and cut nuts at the same time if they need it. 'Juice' makes things much easier, for branding and castration." (By juice, I'm assuming he means liquor.)

And then there's the site in which a hunter describes in detail how he brands his dogs. His message to "animal huggers" seem to be written just for me: "You animal huggers can already quit your whining about how much it must hurt, and that's why they struggle when they are being branded, and all of that whiny baby garbage. If you were going to PM me about what an a$$ I am to do that to a dog, and it ought to be done to me, save it. I'm telling you from experience that it don't hurt. I wear the same iron as my dogs - I belong to them as much as they belong to me. They'd give their life for me; to return the favor is the least I could do."

Well, I have a few responses to the conglomerate of posters I have quoted here. First off, I'd like to see YOU merely "liquored" up, have a brand scolded into your ear, then have your nuts cut off. Then I'd like you to tell me that "it don't hurt."

Second, sir(s), I am the "SOB" who "gets a reminder every time he looks at the dog that the dog isn't his." You're right. Zazu isn't mine. In fact, she was found sleeping in a roadside ditch with her sister nearly starved to death. After that, she spent 3 months in a shelter. Perhaps you could have claimed her then if she was such an important member of your pack. 

And now she is currently napping next to me on my bed in suburban New Jersey. I look down at her ear and I'm reminded she's not mine because I would never do such a thing to a dog. She's not mine; I'm taking care of her because I care about dogs, and I care about her. She's not mine; I'm just glad she's no longer yours. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PUP-DATES: Calendar Photo Contest

My love of pup-dates can not be understated. It's so rewarding to hear how these near-and-dear-to -my -heart dogs are doing. Luckily, pupdates have been plentiful during a week when I've been in desperate need of pick-me-ups.

Why this week? Our rescue is holding a photo contest for adopted animals to be featured on a 2012 calendar. Many adopters have sent in photos of their pooches along with some quick updates of how the dogs are doing.

Wookiee (now Chewie) sounds like the world's best dog. He is one mellow, hairy dude who loves playing with his brother, Zeus. He's gained about 10 pounds since November, which he desperately needed because he was all fur and bones with a case of whip worms when we had him. His adopter says Chewie is a real nature lover who stops and smells the roses outside.

Karina (now Winnie) is really settling down in her home. Her separation-anxiety and dog issues seem to have abated. Her adopter sent me a bunch of pictures to browse through in an effort to pick the best ones for the photo contest. In all of them Winnie is either at work with her adopter or commuting to work. (Sounds like my own life!) Regardless, they were all adorable, but this is my favorite one.