help us help zoink!

So, we adopted this little puppy named Zoink…

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He’s the cutest boy in the world.  He was born in Los Angeles in January with Type II Congenital Lateral Elbow Luxation; or, in plain English, dislocated elbows.  He was brought to the Downy shelter up there, which is a high-kill shelter that Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue of San Diego works with to get dogs out, rehab, and re-home them.  I found out about Zoink because my friend agreed to foster him while he was getting medical treatment.  My friend is in the Navy, and she had duty one Saturday, and a five-hour watch.  She asked if we could watch him, and told us that if we wanted, and if he got along with Spud and Isis (our Chihuahuas), we could continue fostering him because her schedule changed and she wouldn’t be able to do it anymore.

I was hooked the moment I saw him.  He was SO TINY!  Five pounds and seven weeks old, he was the cutest thing I had ever seen:

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AND… he got along with the dogs.  Well, kind of.  He was smaller than they were, so they were okay with him because they were in charge, so I took that as a win.  That was on February 22nd, and he’s been with us ever since.

In March, Zoink had his first surgery to pull his elbows back into place and pin them there.  We visited him on March 9th to see how he was doing:

He ended up being cleared to go home, but his pins migrated a few days later, and he had to go BACK into surgery to fix them.  That time, he was at the animal hospital for a whole week before we could bring him home, and practice standing:

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Soon, he was out of his casts and into a tube sock that I cut down and slid over his legs to keep his elbows in:

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And soon, he was standing…

And then, on March 31st, he took his first steps by himself…

Now he’s 45 pounds of pocket-pit bull, and he’s still as cute as ever:

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Unfortunately, he’s still in pain, and he needs to get his elbows fused in order to relieve it.

I have set up a GoFundMe account: http://www.gofundme.com/h495x0 for donations.  This surgery is going to run us $10,000, and we could really use some help 😦

I also had some 2015 calendars made of Zoink growing up from about 7 weeks to 9 months, they’re really adorable and would make great gifts for any dog lovers you know!  If you want to purchase one (or more!) please use the form at the bottom of this post.

 

I hate to ask you all for help like this, but if you could find it in your heart to help our boy live a pain-free life, I would be eternally grateful.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

PS: Zoink has a Google+, a Facebook, and a YouTube channel, check him out for more!

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date night for dog owners vs. date night for non-dog owners

I just read a Huffington Post blog entitled Date Night for Parents vs. Date Night for Non-Parents and while it was pretty funny, I felt like perhaps I could use this to bridge the gap between the “my dogs are my children” and “dogs are nothing like children” people.  So here it is, with the “parents” portion edited for dog parents:

“Date your spouse!” the experts always say. “Just because you’re married with a family doesn’t mean the spark has to die down. Flirt with each other! Keep the romance alive!”

That’s great advice. Really, it is. It sounds fantastic… in theory. Kind of like before you have kids dogs when you swear you’re never going to feed them processed cheap food or let them play with your phone old socks to keep them quiet for 10 minutes. But when you try to put it into practice? Well, sometimes it just isn’t practical. I mean, I’m pretty sure that when I’m brushing my teeth while wearing food drool-encrusted pajamas and telling my husband how I accidentally got poop under my fingernail while changing a diaper picking up dog poop and oh by the way did we pay the sewer bill last month?, I’m the last person he wants to flirt with.

I’m not saying it isn’t important to try to keep a connection as a couple — it is. And relationships take work. But so do kids dogs, and all the obligations that come with them. And when you’re trying to juggle all of that, it’s not usually the children dogs who are shoved to the back burner. Even when you try to keep the spark burning, it’s a whole different ball game when you’re married cohabitating with kids dogs. Going on a date, for example, only remotely resembles the dates you used to go on. Let’s break it down.

GETTING READY

Non-parents dog owners: Take a leisurely stroll around the mall because you’d like to pick up a new outfit for tonight. Oh, and maybe a new eyeliner or something at the department store. Throw in a manicure if you’ve got time. Arrive home, soak in a tub, deep-condition and exfoliate and moisturize, shave every shave-able body part while blasting your favorite music. It’s like a spa up in here. Spend ample time perfecting your makeup, hair, and outfit. Put on cute underwear. Be excited because tonight is going to be awesome.

Parents Dog owners: Rummage through your closet to find something flattering that you don’t wear every day. Get pissed off. Settle for something. Wish you could take a leisurely stroll around the mall to buy a new outfit. Realize the kids dogs have used eaten your eyeliner as a crayon; make a mad dash to Target use a thin line of eyeshadow instead. Arrive home, look at the clock, freak out because the trip to Target seriously ate into your time budget. Shower quickly, swiping over your legs with a razor, hitting up your pits and bikini line if you have a couple extra seconds. Ignore kids dogs pounding on door play-fighting loudly under the bed. Decide whether to blow-dry your hair or just put it up wet. Put your hair up wet because the dogs are afraid of the blow-dryer. Slap on some makeup. Squeeze into some sort of fat-reducing underwear. Hope you don’t sweat through get dog hair all over your blouse with all this dashing around. Be excited because as soon as you’re able to leave the house, tonight is going to be awesome.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

Non-parents dog owners: Grab purse, cell phone, keys. One last quick mirror check. Open door. Exit.

Parents Dog owners: Make sure the kids dogs are fed and the kitchen isn’t a wreck no food is left out for them to cry over while you’re gone. Leave emergency numbers and special instructions for the sitter wrangle the dogs together and try to get them into the proper crates. Tell the kids dogs goodbye. Wonder why the hell they’re acting barking like you’re about to permanently abandon them. Give hugs and kisses turn on lights and TV, adjust security camera to check on them while you’re out, and try not to get food hair or snot drool all over your decent outfit. Pry clingy children from legs shut crate doors. Slip out the door. Realize you forgot your phone. Come back in and repeat clingy-children barking debacle.

THE DATE

Non-parents dog owners: Go to a high-end restaurant or an upscale bar. Order without looking at prices. Enjoy laughs and animated conversation about movies and current events. Check your phone periodically to see if anyone has “liked” your check-in on Facebook. Discuss where to go next; the night is young and the options are endless!

Parents Dog owners: Go to a chain restaurant because you have a coupon (or go to a high-end restaurant, but order the chicken because it’s cheap). Feel frivolous because you order an apple-tini with your meal. Rejoice in the fact that you don’t actually have to cut up anybody’s food deal with begging, or tell anyone to get out from under the table or stop blowing bubbles in their chocolate milk trying to get on top of it. Check your phone periodically to make sure the sitter hasn’t called dogs have settled down in their crates. Promise you won’t talk about the kids dogs. End up talking about the kids dogs. Keep checking the time because you’re paying the sitter by the hour you can only be gone for six hours, and anyway, you’re getting tired because 11:00 is way past your bedtime and the kids dogs woke you up at six this morning.

AFTER THE DATE

Non-parents dog owners: Return home; decide whether to end the date or take it further. If it ends there, go inside, remove makeup, put on comfy clothes, let out the fart you’ve been holding in. Go to bed. Sleep peacefully. Wake up whenever. If it goes further… light candles, pour wine, put on soft music, and reveal that cute underwear and those nicely shaved legs. Bow chicka wow wow!

Parents Dog owners: Return home. Fork over cash to sitter, trying not to cringe about how much money you’ve spent on this date in total Let dogs out of their crates to the whirling dervish that is their wild and unstoppable excitement. Look at children sleeping let dogs out to run and poop and marvel that you missed them, even though you were excited to be away. Remove makeup, peel yourself out of fat-reducing underwear, put on comfy clothes. Yawn. Decide whether or not to devote a few minutes to “spousal intimacy” with the dogs in your bed with you, or just go right to sleep. Drool all over pillow until child dog wakes you up in the middle of the night for a drink/to tell you about a nightmare to be let out/to tell you there’s pee in the bed poop on the floor. Wake up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast for hungry children let dogs out again because, duh, who else is going to do it?

So you see? Bringing romance into your relationship is important, but becomes slightly tricky when kids dogs — and everything attached to having them — are thrown into the mix.

I think until they’re older for their lifespan, I’ll just be thankful for Netflix and popcorn, and the fact that my husband doesn’t care so much if my legs are stubbly or my outfit is old.

Just as long as there’s no poop under my fingernails.

Much thanks to Rita Templeton, the original author of this article.  Rita, if you’re reading this, it means that you’re awesome, and I hope that my blatant plagiarism is seen for the admiration it represents and not because I’m trying to steal your thunder (okay, maybe a little bit of it, until I get picked up as a blogger for HuffPost or HelloGiggles).

why did you even get a dog??

So my neighbors got a puppy.  A cute little scruffy off-white thing that seems like he’ll be about 15-20 pounds (I can’t tell, I don’t really know how old he is, maybe three months?).  Anyways, they’re gone all day, so this puppy is not only locked in their backyard, but he’s also tied on one of those rubber-wrapped wires.  Well, this morning, I was awoken by the poor thing screaming bloody murder.  I seriously thought he was injured.

I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and ran out the backyard so that I could look over the fence and see what the hell was going on.  At first I was confused, he was just sitting there, and when he saw me he started wagging his tail.  I rolled my eyes and thought “great, another neighbor who leave’s their dog outside all the time, so it’s going to bark for no goddamn reason…”  But then I tried to get it to come closer, and it wouldn’t move, which I thought was odd, he was so happy to see me.  Then I saw the line, doubled up, behind him.

I went out the front door and rang the doorbell, I didn’t expect anyone to be home, but I wanted to scream at them if they were.  No answer.  I went around to the side and saw the poor thing, stuck.  Then the other neighbor’s dog came up to the fence and started harassing both the puppy and me.  PS: Leaving your dog outside all day makes it aggressive, do you really want a pissed off dog?  News Flash: it’s pissed off at you!

So I called the San Diego County Animal Control emergency number and told them there was a puppy in distress with no access to water, shade, or shelter, and they said they’d come straight away.

Ironically, the officer arrived just as I typed that.  He went in and freed the puppy from his predicament, and said all he can really do is leave a note that the dog needs to be tied a different way.

I’m disgusted.  Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right, and it shouldn’t be legal!  If you are going to be gone so long that you need to leave your poor dog outside alone all day, don’t get a fucking dog!  A dog is your dog all the time, you don’t get to just treat it like a “thing” that you pay attention to when you want or feed when you have to.  I wish people could understand the absolute love and joy that I get from my dogs, and how much I (willingly!) sacrifice for them.  I wish people would stop treating dogs as something they’re just “supposed” to have, and only do the bare minimum.

Irresponsible pet ownership is only eclipsed by deliberate animal abuse or neglect in my book.  I realize that in other parts of the country it’s different.  I’m from Maine, it’s cold as hell up there, no one in their right mind would leave their dog outside all day in the winter… okay, most people.  I’m sure they still get the occasional asshole that doesn’t realize that if he’s freezing his hairy ass off, so is his dog.  I know that in the South, a lot of people have dogs for working on farms and hunting, and I get that that is a working relationship, those people have dogs for their livelihood.  But just because you have a sporting dog, doesn’t absolve you from treating it right.  That dog had better be used for sport if you’re going to treat it that way.  Simply having one doesn’t mean you get to be a dick.

Then there’s the mild areas, weather-wise.  “Oh, I can leave my dog(s) outside all day because they won’t freeze to death!”  These are the people I despise.  I don’t even have words, it makes me absolutely sick, the way people here get dogs, leave them in the yard, and turn them into antisocial, aggressive, dangerous monsters.  God forbid one of these things gets out!  There’s a Labrador two streets over that is absolutely vicious.  A Lab.  At least 75%.  Labs are not aggressive dogs, they’d attack you with kisses before anything else, but this one is absolutely fucked in the head.  He’s completely nuts.  The result of growing up outside, having no stimulation, likely being teased by passersby, and trained to be aggressive by his owner(s).  It makes me sick to my stomach.

I’m not saying I don’t go totally overboard with my dogs, I realize that I’m the crazy dog lady and that I’m a bit obsessed, and that not everyone is up to being so wrapped up in their dogs, but I have to point out, I have some happy, loving dogs.  I love sitting at my computer and doing work while one (or both) of them is snuggled up in my lap under a blanket having a snooze.  When I finish school and go back to work, one of my requirements is that I be able to bring my dogs, or else telecommute.  And I’ll get it.  Guaranteed.

Unfortunately, I have to go again because the poor puppy is howling once more, and I want to make sure the thing isn’t dying, so if you’ll excuse me…

PS: if you don’t ever hear from me again, I’ve probably been arrested for theft…

no, i didn’t drop off the face of the earth…

Wow. I haven’t written anything in a long time. I used to be able to just write, but now, I’m finding that I’m not reading as much either, so I threw myself into a new book. I was looking up “Practical Magic” on IMDB because I watched it yesterday, and learned it was based on a book. How did I never know that?? I have always loved that movie! So I downloaded it. I’m going to do a pre-finished-the-book-review and say: it’s okay. The story is better than the writing, and I think it’s going to be one of those that I actually like the movie better than the book. (And don’t tell me it’s because I saw the movie first! I saw “The Hunger Games” before I read the books, and I think the books are loads better!)

I miss writing. I haven’t been working on my story either, mostly because I’ve kind of hit a plot wall, maybe I’ll work on some other areas, this is the first time I’ve actually written an outline, so I have most of the story laid out, and I suppose the order in which I write them doesn’t matter… I could also start What Would You Do If I Pooped In Your Shoe? or The Jew That Saved Christmas, I did get a new app called “Inspire” that lets you paint some cool stuff, I actually did a primitive little drawing the other night:

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I think I could illustrate a children’s book with it, it would probably be easier on the iPad though, the bigger screen helps.

Oh! Speaking of the iPad, the whole reason Dave bought it for me – school – is nearly upon me. One more week and I start class, so I’ve started getting everything settled, all my accounts, I’ve been trying to get my dang books, but they’re not available yet, hopefully on Monday. Monday! Yes, I have an appointment with the VA on Monday to finish my enrollment in their healthcare system! Thank God I got my 60%, I was calling around trying to find a health insurance company that would cover me. Nope! None of them would. TriCare takes pre-existing conditions as well though, so at least when Dave and I finally take the plunge, I’ll have that option too. A friend of mine said the VA told him he couldn’t be seen until September for something… I’m not entirely sure what in the world he was trying to get seen for, but it couldn’t have been anything routine or life-threatening. I don’t know, sometimes I think people just don’t understand the process, and that ignorance gets them in trouble in a lot of places. I still want to start my “Fight Ignorance” movement, but I would prefer to have a few other people on my side before we go public. I just want people to think, please! The things that come out of some people’s mouths (or Facebooks) these days are just ridiculous. Buying into the propaganda, the rumors, the outright lies! I don’t pretend to be some beacon of amazing intelligence and flawlessness, I make my mistakes and get stuff wrong all the time (like the Affordable Healthcare Act, I totally thought that was going to be a terrible idea because I’m so against ObamaCare, but after I did some research, I realized its a good thing! The only people that are going to have a problem with it are the lazy people who just want to be lazy. The people that work and can’t afford healthcare right now will be happy, because now they can!) but some people raise being wrong to an art, they revel in arguing things that are totally untrue and then get angry and venomous when you call them out on it. I hate those people. I really can’t stand them. I say, do your research, get it from several sources, recognize that there are two sides to every argument, two opinions for every fact, and that not every resource is going to be unbiased. I like to be Devil’s Advocate, I prefer to use logic to see how both sides of an argument can be right, and then use my personal ethics and the values I have to make my own decision, but I’m never really firmly planted on one side or the other… Well, maybe in cases of animal abuse, I can get a little venomous about my little babies, here’s a new picture, by the way:

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They’re ridiculous 🙂

Anyway, I think it’s time to go engage in some productivity, maybe… Maybe I’ll just have a bagel… And a glass of sangria… And watch “Practical Magic” again…

why i like my dogs more than people

Every once in a while I read, hear, or see something about the way people treat their dogs and it makes me sick. Recently, there was a dog out by a casino out here in San Diego that was SHOT for no apparent reason. It was a puppy, it was not attacking, and my suspicion is that some ignorant asshole thought it was a nuisance and decided to get rid of it. Sick, sick, sick…

But then there’s the lesser things that upset me: dogs left outside or in kennels all day, the massive amount of stray dogs that wander San Diego (especially on the street a friend of mine lives on, though I can’t tell if they’re all stray, or if the residents there just let their dogs wander the streets, which also pisses me off).

Why have a dog? Seriously, I want to know from people who leave their dogs outside all the time (excluding working dogs, I understand that those are not owned for the company they bring, but I still think its stupid to work with dogs if you don’t actually LIKE them…) but why would you get a dog and then leave it outside constantly? What’s the point? I dated a guy for a while that I used to visit all the time at his parents’ house, and I didn’t know for the LONGEST time that they had a dog. He lived outside, was chained to a dog-house, and I think he was visited once or twice a day for feedings – that’s it. He was a golden retriever, he was estimated to be about 9, and his fur was so matted he had dreadlocks to the ground. Luckily, they were amiable to my asking to adopt him, and the day I took him home to my parents’ house, he got more attention than he ever had. He was like the toy a kid doesn’t care about until another kid touches it. I was so disgusted. When I got him home, he pee’d EVERYWHERE, and we realized he was INFESTED with fleas and ticks, so we isolated him for one night until I could get him to the vet the next day for shots, grooming, and a flea-dip. When I brought him home from being groomed, he looked like a Lab. Remember I said he had fur TO THE GROUND, they had to cut it all off, and practically shave him, even his tail. But you have never seen a happier dog. Despite his advanced Lyme disease (a disease commonly carried by deer ticks, especially in the East) which caused him SEVERE joint stiffness and pain, he was SOOOO happy. Hank (my mom said he needed a macho name, so she renamed him) was always smiling, always happy to see you, and once we got him potty trained (two days, I kid you not) he fit right in, even down to staking his claim under the kitchen table at mealtimes.

You want to know WHY they kept him outside? Be cause he didn’t LIKE IT inside. That’s what they told me. That dog was over the moon to be in my parents’ house! Maybe he didn’t like being in YOUR house, or maybe you mistook his need for training as unhappiness to be inside, but EVERY dog wants to be inside with his master where he is loved and safe. Dogs are pack animals, social creatures, they just want to be with you. I guarantee this because as soon as I sit on my couch, my two Chihuahuas hop into my lap and snuggle. They love me, and I love them, like I would children.

A few people have said my dogs are spoiled, and I can totally accept that, they have a million toys, the run of the house (when someone’s home, I crate them for their own safety, and my peace of mind, when we leave) and sleep in our bed – under the covers, mind you – every night. I’ve even been known to put a little bacon grease in their food, and turn on the hearing pad that’s usually for my back so that they can be nice and warm and snuggly.

So yeah, they’re spoiled.

But the love I get from my two little babies is UNMATCHED by any relationship I’ve ever had. They love me unconditionally, I’m their pack leader, they look to me for everything, food, shelter, and love, and I’m happy to give it all for the love I get in return. My mom once said she likes her dogs more than she likes most people, and I totally agree. People are selfish, stupid, inconsiderate, rude, and sometimes just plain mean. A dog doesn’t get into power struggles with you. A dog doesn’t cut you off on the road. A dog doesn’t care what you look like or how you dress. A dog won’t judge you, but will love you for you. Even if you’re a shitty owner, they STILL love you! And those are the situations that make me so sad. The love is unconditional regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of care.

And so, I leave you with an amazing tale of valiant, loyal, and most unexpected behavior from a Pit Bull a woman did not even know:  Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman & Child From Attacker.