Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oil Still Spewing

The last time I wrote about the BP oil disaster was May 3rd -- still nothing good to report, the oil is still spewing.  Oil balls have been found as far as Florida.  No end is in sight.  The number of dead birds keeps increasing -- even worse, no telling how the birds, and other sea and marsh animals,  who have survived so far will fare.  It's painful to think about, let alone look at the pictures of oil covered pelicans, dead fish and scarred beaches.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

British School of D.C. Students Raise Money and Buy Needed Clippers for the League

Students from the British School of D.C. didn't want to just help the animals, they wanted to purchase something very special and very much needed for the Washington Animal Rescue League.  It all started when the students heard League veterinarian, and mother of two British School of D.C. students, Dr. Rebecca Maddinson speak about the League's mission -- to rehab, rehabilitate, and rehome animals.  The School Council, comprised of children from each class, decided that the nearly $500 raised through an  an Easter Egg Hunt for the primary school children of the British School of Washington should go to purchase something useful for the shelter.   They agreed on three pairs of clippers -- useful, practical, and very much needed.  Earlier in the year, the Medical Center's clippers disappeared.   It's impossible to groom extremely matted dogs without the proper tools. 

The British School of D.C.'s Primary School Head Girl, Mina Turunc, & her counterpart, Head Boy Alejandro Di Napoli visited the League to present their very much appreciated gift to the medical center.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Don't Forget to Brush

I admit it.  I don't brush my cats or Nigel's teeth.  And, that's bad.  Dr. Rosen, the League's Medical Center Director, has shown me numerous times how simple it is to brush an animal's teeth.  Just pull  the gum away from the teeth, brush back and forth with yummy chicken flavored toothpaste and finish the job by giving your animal a treat!  Yes, a treat.  Dogs and cats should get a treat after brushing.  Imagine chowing down on a chocolate bar after brushing?  Maybe we would all brush more often.

Well, truth be told, even though I've been shown, and even though the steps sound fairly easy, I don't do it.  And, the result is not pretty.  Each and every one of my three cats end up getting their teeth cleaned at the animal hospital, which means that they have to be put under anesthesia in order to open wide.  Today, stinky breath Merl, not only had his teeth cleaned, but he had several pulled.  Ouch!  Regular brushing probably would have prevented the extractions -- sorry Merl.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kitten Spends the Night -- Nigel Amused, Bruce is Not

Bruce is still feeling pretty crummy, so I decided to do something to perk him up.  I brought home a kitten.  Just for a night.  A kitten would definitely perk me up.  Especially this one.   She's a ball of energy.  She's like the energizer-bunny with extra batteries.  She likes to run, even though her back right leg is obviously deformed and doesn't work quite right.   Well, Bruce thought my idea was a really, really, really bad one.  He hissed.  He hissed  loudly.  He used every muscle in his face to hiss as loud as he could.   Nigel, on the other hand, was quite amused.   The kitten, named Jubilee, will be looked at by an ORTHOPEDIST surgeon next week (a doctor who fixes bones) to see if she needs surgery, and if so, what exactly will be done.  In the meantime, someone else took her home for night.  I haven't heard how her old cats reacted.  Hopefully, they were more welcoming than Bruce. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's in a Name?

There are lots of lists out there that document the most popular names for cats and dogs.  Many of names that show up are also the most popular names for babies.  One list shows The top ten names for male cats and dogs as:

Top ten names for female animal companions are:

Another list still puts Max as #1 and Jake as #3, but has more traditional "kitty names" as numbers two and four -- Tigger and Tiger.  Smokey, Bear, Kitty, Shadow, Simba, Sam, Sassy, Lucky and Misty are on that list, too.  I've yet to meet a kid named Shadow or Lucky.

More popular names that double as popular names for newbornds include: Riley, Roxy, Ginger, Gracie, Oliver,  Cooper,  Abby, and Tucker.

We name each animal who comes into the League.   We've had a cat or dog with every name featured on those lists, plus many names that appear on other lists and plenty of names that don't appear on any list at all.  We rearely recycle names, so we need lots of names because we take in lots of animals -- that's why we end up naming animals after products like Eggo and places like Flint  or after other animals like Zebra -- We are always looking for new suggestions.  Names that sound good; names that a cat or dog will respond to.  Got an idea for a terrific name?  Email your name suggestions to me at debbie@warl.org.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading Pick -- Owen & Mzee

Who knew that a baby hippo and an aged tortoise could be good friends?  Can't say I ever thought about such a pair until reading Owen & Mzee -- The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by 6-year-old Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu with remarkable photographs by Peter Greste.  Nor did I know that adult hippos, weighing in at 8,000, are the most dangerous animals in Africa or that an Aldabra Tortoise, is the largest species of tortoise in the world and can live up to 200 years!! 

When  Owen, a  600 pound baby hippo, was separated from his mother during a Tsunami in December 2004, rescuers went to extraordinary lengths to save him from the deadly salty water (hippopotami live in fresh water) and  transport him to Haller Park, an animal sanctuary outside of Mombasa (in Africa), home to more than 150 large animals living on 150 acres.  And, it was after that dramatic rescue that the young hippo met and befriended Mzee, a 130 year old tortoise.  Caretakers noted that Mzee was not a particularly friendly animal, he was a loner who initially hissed at Owen and crawled away.  But in less than 24 hours, the two became friends.  And, the story of their unique friendship was heard throughout the world.

For those, like me, who missed the original news reports, the book is a wonderful telling of the complete story of the rescue, the introduction of the two animals and their lasting friendship.  It is also complete with information about both species, the geography of Kenya and Malindi and a description of Haller Park.  An enjoyable read for friends of all ages.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Drink lots of it in this heat. Make sure that all animals have plenty of fresh, cool water,too. Fill the bird bath, change the water often for any animal who is outside for any length of time. And, another thing -- car rides are off limits for dogs if it means that the dogs have to wait in the car for even a minute. I've decided not to take Nigel anywhere until this desert heat breaks. The back of my car doesn't have vents, so while I can cool off in the front of the car, Nigel could be baking in the back.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flynn and Friends Find a Forever Family

UPDATE!! Little Flynn, the kitten who was almost forced roadkill because of a couple of uncaring teens who tried tossing him into a busy street, is happy in his forever home. Less than 3 months old, Flynn has been rescued at least twice in his short life. Once, when a passerby "bought" him for $20 from the uncaring teens, and most recently by his forever family. Soon after Flynn came to the League, a couple interested in adopting two kittens, encountered a teeny gray and white problem. Little Flynn was in the same kitty condo with an adorable pair of siblings, and the threesome were stuck together like glue.

Could they be separated? Yes. Would the League let the couple adopt all three kittens? YES!!

Within hours we received our first update complete with happy home photos. Cooper, Izzy and Flynn are snoozing in their new home, can you pick out Flynn?