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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Still Waiting

Meet Goldrush.   She is a sweet, middle-aged, medium sized dog who has been waiting for a home at the Washington Animal Rescue League since before our record-breaking Adopt-A-Thon held in early August.   She was one of only four dogs left after the  mass exodus that had adopters lined up all along our walkway waiting to choose their forever companion.   Goldrush, who loves the name Ruby, is more than likely housebroken and has obviously been around kids.  She greeted the Caring Kid Campers every day and basked in the attention they showered on her.  Since camp, WARL staff and volunteers have walked and visited Goldrush daily, but that special someone, who will love her unconditionally, has yet to walk through our doors.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

After Earthquake and Hurricane, Shelter Animals Still Need Homes

The Washington Post ran a front page article after the August 23rd earthquake reporting that the animals in the National zoo acted a bit strange before the earth rumbled.  Had folks known what they were looking at they may have predicted the earthquake based on the behavior of the flamingos and the great apes. 

Nigel and the cats, according to Max (I was not home), reacted during the event, but not before; however, Max, too, may not have known what he was looking at since no seismic occurrence was predicted for the day.  I watched the cats and Nigel during the pre-hurricane hours.  Merl went out on the screened-in porch with me just as the wind was picking up.  We sat together, but when I got up to come inside he did, too.   Typically, he may take over the chair and stay out there awhile longer, but not always.  Nigel went out for the last time Saturday night around 10:00 p.m.  The wind was really gusty and the rain was constant.   He never likes going outside in the rain and he was not thrilled to go out this time either.  He then slept in his bed as usual.     It was a loud storm, branches hit the roof and gutter, the wind howled mimicking a full speed locomotive,  but in did not seem a lot different than a typical summer storm -- except there was no thunder or maybe we just couldn't hear it with the roar of the wind.  And, it lasted longer -- a lot longer

Shelter staff reported that the dogs appeared anxious during the peak hours of the hurricane and seemed unusually calm on Sunday.  That could have been because we did not have electricity forcing us to close to the public so there weren't as many people around.  

I don't know what the animals felt during either of the two recent  natural disasters.  But, I'm glad that my crew is safe and un-bothered and the shelter animals appear the same.  The major difference is that my foursome are home, and the cats and dogs at the League are still waiting for theirs.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Blogger -- Pearl Updates the League


My name is Pearl. When I stayed at the Washington Animal Rescue League, they called me Virginia. But my name actually is Pearl.  Let me introduce you to my people; they are all in the photo with me.
 The lady’s name is Kathryn. I wake up at the exact same moment as she does every morning before the sun comes up and we go downstairs together. She puts two cups of kibble in my dish. I would prefer eggs and sausage, but she keeps giving me this other stuff. I step into my purple harness and we run off to the big field. At the big field, she takes off my harness and I just run and run and run. I also jump and leap and chase. Sometimes other people arrive and I check with them to see if they want to play. Some do. Most don’t. But the best times are when other dogs show up. Daisy is fun because she chases me. And there is little Princess. Princess weighs eight pounds, so I have to play really carefully with her.
Kathryn is a college professor, so we spend a lot of the day together. She holds my cuddly face and pets my velvet ears and tells me I’m a beautiful Pearly-girl and a sweet Girly-pearl. She reads books and clicks a computer and walks around the house all day. I have to get up and escort her whenever she moves, so I don’t always get good sleep when she’s home. When she rides off on her bike, I can finally lay down by the front door and get a decent nap.
The big man’s name is Walt. He’s my hero. When we come back from running each morning, I head straight up the steps to check on him. I am crazy about him. I am trying to learn not to jump up, but I can’t help it when I see him. When I hear his car in the driveway, I have to bark and bark. When Kathryn opens the door, I run crazy with my tail chopping like a helicopter blade. I just want to get close to his face and his hands. He’s wonderful. Every evening, we all go for a walk together. Walt holds my purple leash, and makes me sit down and stay at every corner. I’m not sure why he wants me to do that. But I would do anything for Walt.The shorter kid is Justin. Justin loves all over me. Justin talks to me all the time, and pets me, and kisses me, and plays with me, and walks with me. He tells me he will miss me when he goes out the door. Justin is always calling my name to get me to leave wherever I am, to come to wherever he is. Everyone should have a Justin in their life.
The tall kid is Trey. Trey would rather have three cats than one Pearl, so that’s why I sit near Trey as often as possible. When we ride in the car, I sit at Trey’s feet. When Justin and Trey sleep on the floor of their room, I curl up by Trey’s back. When everybody comes home in the evening, I report directly to Trey and stare into his serious eyes, or sniff his long legs.
The little one’s name is Bella. She comes over a lot. We have a special bed for her, and some of the stuffed animals around here are, apparently, just for her. I really like to squeeze my teeth around that panda and that hippo, but my people are always telling me to give them back to Bella. Bella likes to lay on my back, just singing and singing. I get up and move to another spot. She follows me and sits down next to me and leans her back up against me again, still singing and singing. What I like best about Bella is her lunch. Kathryn feeds Bella lunch while Bella walks around the sunroom playing with all her toys. So what I do is walk around behind them. I’ve scored quite a few sweet morsels off the floor with this particular strategy. Last week, we packed up and took a road trip. I am always ready for an adventure, but I’m not crazy about driving. I prefer the earth to stay still. But if everyone else is going, I’m in. I tuck myself under the back seat as far as I can go, and just wait for the car to stop.
Our trip was to the Outer Banks. I do love an adventure, but I do not love water. I am proud to be a mammal, and I prefer to keep four dry feet on firm ground. I watch other dogs dive into the surf, fetching objects thrown by people. I don’t understand why they pursue those things into that crazy water! There are so many sticks and balls on land. Why follow them into the sea?
But when the sun sets and the waves calm, the shore becomes more interesting. There are no dogs on the dark beach, but other entertaining animals come out. I chase sand crabs back into their tiny sand holes.
One night, while I was tracking those little scurrying crabs, another scent took hold of my nose. I poked at something lying at the water’s edge. Was it alive? It wiggled weakly. When I stepped back, the moonlight revealed the fin on its back. It was a shark! I had caught a shark! It was twelve inches long and half dead, but it indeed was a shark!
So I’m a shark-hunter and a crab-chaser; what else can I tell you about me? I don’t like thunderstorms. But there is a big bed that I crawl under; it makes me feel much better. I wish they would serve more bacon and hamburgers around here, but I don’t seem to be getting much of those. I’m not a fan of baths. I’m good at burying bones in the dirt. Every once in a while I dig them up to rebury them. My best friend’s name is Rocky. He is huge and lives around the corner. I love to stop at his lawn and just run and chase and run and chase. Rocky is great.
So, basically, that’s me and my life. I’m happy I was able to spend time at WARL so that the friendly folks there could introduce me to my people. Nice people should go to WARL and find their Pearl. There are many Pearls at WARL waiting for nice people.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Super Happy Ending! Noah is Going HOME!

Noah, a two-year-old tabby, is going HOME.  We are always excited when animals are adopted, but Noah's adoption is particularly exciting.  Noah came to the League after tornadoes devastated his hometown of Joplin, Missouri. He flew to D,C, with our Director of Adoptions.  Noah, who  is FIV positive, was the only cat still available after a big adoption event in Missouri where more than 700 animals found homes!  Jamie, who helped out in Joplin for two weeks after the tornado, couldn't leave Noah behind.  He is such a special cat -- friendly and super affectionate.  He shows no outward signs from the disease, but he does need to be an only cat or go to a home where another FIV cat resides.  And, that is exactly where he is going.  A loyal WARL donor read about Noah and concluded  that she could offer Noah the perfect home.  We couldn't agree more.  The adopter has a long history of providing a wonderful home for cats, including her 4-year-old FIV positive cat.  Noah's life reads like an adventure story, complete with a happy ending.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Training Camp 101 Concludes with Campers & Pups Graduating with Honors

Pepe is an A+ student during training time with Satchel, Abe
and Frank, a loyal WARL volunteer.
Friday marked graduation day for four adorable nearly 8-week-old pups -- Pickles, Pita, Pepe and Pier (also know as Pepper).  The wee-little ones sat, stayed, touched markers and even did tricks.   The fast little learners were taught by eight very able campers who spent the week at the League's first-ever Caring Kids -- Dog Training 101 -- Camp. 

Four pairs of campers were assigned a pup for the week.  The campers prepared the pups' special training space, cleaned up after their accidents, and worked with our Behavior & Training staff to have the little terrier mixes ready for adoption at the end of the week. 

All four pups were quickly adopted, including Pepe who now lives with  Abe and Satchel, the camper brothers who fell in love with their protege during their five days at the League.   When  mom, dad and sister met Pepe they, too, fell for the biggest pup in the litter.  But, there was one deciding vote yet to be cast.  Mookie, the family's 14-year-old lab, had final say.   After a successful meeting it was unanimous.   

Thursday, August 4, 2011

CAMP

This week Caring Kids -- All About Animals -- Camp campers have met cats, dogs, snakes, alligators, owls, bats, turtles, and other interesting animals -- even a pair of hissing cockroaches.  Today we are journeying to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, MD where we will meet rescued farm animals.   Check back later in the month to see pictures of the campers and animals. 

Many thanks to camper, Ariana, for showing up the first day with a check for the League.  She asked that her friends  make donations to help the animals rather than give her birthday presents!  The animals, and WARL staff, greatly appreciate her generosity.