Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year -- Read & Enjoy

Toby and Cody -- an inseparable pair!
November 2009 the League took in 13 huskies who had been the victims of a bankrupt sled dog operation in Northern Quebec.  None of the dogs had ever been inside.   Placing the dogs in permanent homes was a challenging task.   Most of the dogs went to foster for a period before finding their forever homes.  A recent adoption update from Manitoba's person was signed by "Leader, Wolfpack".   Last spring I adopted 7-year-old Husky, Manitoba, from WARL. I seriously can't overstate how perfect a match Toba is for my other Husky, Cody. Like Toba, Cody was also rescued from really less than desirable living conditions and as a result had developed a tendency  to have stress-trigger seizures. He also suffered from tremendous isolation anxiety and the destructive behavior that resulted got to a  point where it was physically harming him. I had tried literally everything the Husky experts had suggested and the only other option was to adopt him a buddy. Since he's 8 and slightly arthritic I wanted a dog that would match his temperament and energy level, which brought me to Toba. I have always been drawn to the dogs with the hard luck  stories as I like to give homes to animals who aren't likely to find  an open door elsewhere. Toba's story tugged at my heart strings, and I knew that even though she's a young, spirited 7 yrs most people in the  market for a Husky are looking for young fuzzy-faced pups.The first time Toba and Cody met they instantly fell into step with each other, literally.  They bonded like an old married couple. A week after bringing Toba home, people at the dog park remarked that they seemed like they'd  been together their whole lives. 9 months later, Cody's anxiety has  not made a single appearance and he's as playful as he was five years ago. Toba's fear of jumping into cars has been replaced by boundless  excitement and she will actually shoulder Cody's 80lb frame out of the  way to be first in. She no longer flinches when pet and is actually quite insistent about receiving head rubs from all visible hands.      So glad that Toba gets to ride in the car and enjoy endless head rubs.  We, at the League, are happy for the whole wolfpack.



Monday, December 27, 2010

No Snow in Washington, But Bitter Cold and Wind are Cruel Reminders that Not Every Animal is Safe Inside

Doesn't Magda look cozy?  In her curled cat position snuggled up against a warm blanket, hers is a picture of a perfect life.     Mgada's  adopter wrote of her her first couple of days  in her new home, "just wanted to let you know that Magda is doing well at her new home.  She seemed to adjust really well; she ate right away, explored the apartment, used her litter pan immediately,and spent the night snuggling with me on the couch. She is such a sweet and smart girl! Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet and fall in love with Magda."  

What does Magda's perfect report have to do with extreme weather?   Nothing, except to remind us that not all animals are so lucky as to have a person to cuddle with.  Strays are obviously in need of immediate help, even when the weather is not freezing.  But, sometimes animals who appear to have "homes" should be reported to the authorities, too.   In the District of Columbia it is against the law to chain a dog and all dogs outside for an extended period of time in a fenced in area MUST HAVE a proper dog house.  That means, the structure needs to be off of the ground, have a door flap to guard against wind, and have adequate dry bedding inside.  Cats should not be outside. They constantly seek warmth and sometimes they find it under the hood of a recently parked car.  Those temporary shelters can turn into death traps.  Report animals in distress to District Animal Control, 202 576-6664.  To report animals in need outside of D.C.find your local animal control agency through 411 or google search. 

All animals should have a doting guardian who takes photos and writes emails just like Magda's.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Holiday Treat -- Another Happy Adoption!

From Lelani's adopter
I re-named her Mika, and she is doing great! She and my pug Tank get along splendidly! They love to play and then crash...always makes me laugh. You would have to see the two goofballs in action to truly appreciate it. She is extraordinarily loving and sweet. She is just a big goofy couch cushion! She is a wonderful dog!

Read & Relax -- Paul Public Charter School Students Share Stories With Dogs & Cats

 As part of a student service learning project, students from Paul Public Charter School are spending a couple of hours each month at the League.  They help out in lots of conventional ways -- stuffing kongs, cleaning kennel cards, folding laundry -- but they also spend time reading to the animals.   Daniel came prepared with the all-time favorite, Green Eggs and Ham.  The little dog in the distance may not have been ready for belly rubs, but she was a good listener, probably identifying  with Sam I Am. 
I could not, would not, in a house. I would not, could not, with a mouse. I would not eat them with a fox. I would not eat them in a box. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

                                         A pat

and a story makes for a perfect afternoon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lots of Labs & Laughs

Cordelia, a recent WARL adoptee,
and her buddies are
decked out for the holidays!
 It's Christmas every day when we get updates like this one.
Cordelia's a great dog -- with her own very strong personality (greedy, stubborn, energetic and loads of fun).  She joined this household, and its established dog routine very successfully, and contributed positively to the energy.
  • Camden (Cammy/Cam Cam), a 14.5 year old black Labrador retriever;
  • Ce Ce (Chi Chi) a six-year old chocolate Labrador retriever and
  • Cordelia (Co Co), a five-year old yellow Labrador retriever -- all "C" names (none named by me) and all adopted!
Now that there are 3 of them, they're a true pack, and they do what they want -- including seeking me out wherever I'm located in the house and scolding me, if I am late or diverge in the slightest from their established routine.  'And I have no better sense than to laugh at everything they do. 
I started this blog so I could write about animals.  But, in recent days our adopters'stories have been coming fast and furious.  Sharing our successes is so much fun.  If the weekend weather predictions hold true, I may be sharing photos of dogs enjoying a romp in the snow.  Check back soon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Holiday Letter to Warm Your Heart

Dear Friends at Washington Animal Rescue League,

On the three month anniversary of being rescued from the horrible abuse at the PLRS "research" lab, Sweetie Pie (formerly known as "Cyclone") would like you to know he is thoroughly enjoying the holiday season and is looking forward to his first Christmas with presents and treats from Santa Paws.

Sweetie Pie is such a happy cat! I had the privilege to adopt him two months ago today. Within less than 8 hours he was exploring his new home and playing.within two days he was allowing me to pet him all over.  After only ten days he re-gained his purr; in three weeks, he started sleeping on the bed all night with me; and as of yesterday, he let me pick him up and hug him (briefly, but it was the first time he didn't struggle immediately).

He is an excellent companion. He is extremely curious, very polite, loves to talk and to demand attention. And he has a great appetite. At long last, he is able to be a cat and do all the things felines are supposed to do. Other than the blue tattoos in his ears, there is virtually no sign of the trauma he experienced and adopting him has been 100% easy!

Warm wishes to everyone at WARL for a happy new year,

Cynthia  & Sweetie Pie

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Ending Thanks to a Young Hero

Just before the Arctic cold gripped our area a 
hungry, dirty teeny kitten surely would have died had it not been for the heroic action of Daven, a teen who, not only picked up the kitten and fed her, but brought her to the League so she could be adopted into a forever home.  Daven wrote on the intake form, "I am surrendering this animal because I found her not fed, dirty, running in the street, and I felt I needed to do it."  Many people -- teens and adults -- would have walked right by the kitten figuring rescuing a six-week-old kitten was not their responsibility.  Not Daven.  Thank you Daven for doing the right thing!   The kitten, named Peppermint by shelter staff, has been adopted and will be home in time for Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who Needs Cable?

Nigel in the office figures
he will need to share his bed with
I never thought I'd adopt a kitten.   After all there are many wonderful adult cats at the League -- all waiting patiently for their forever homes.   And, every time I walk through our cat room, I imagine taking one of them home.  Since my best cat, Bruce, died in August I've thought about how Merl might like Harley, Antoinette or Tom.   But it didn't seem quite right to throw an adult cat into the chaos of my home -- busy schedules, two older male cats who don't like each other, and Nigel, a gentle, but still 75 lb dog.  Max, on the other hand -- ever the optimist, thought a kitten was just what Merl needed.  Merl was yowling all night and sedentary all day.   No doubt he should have a buddy, but a kitten -- I didn't think so. 
Things have a way of working out.  I brought home an adorable Siamese mix around Halloween.  Merl acted like the teeny kitten, Nugget (AKA Bo) was just another hairball waiting to be vacuumed.   The kitten went back to the League and was adopted with his sibling (More on Nugget later).   I started thinking that Merl would eventually adjust to living without a best friend.  And then came Charlotte -- the cutest kitten ever.   As Max said, she was what I was looking for -- a female with a round face.  Well, I had other criteria, but that face definitely got me.  I brought her home shortly before Thanksgiving.  And, for whatever reason, Merl decided that he could be friends with Charlotte.  After a few days he pounced back when Charlotte got in his face.  And, a week into her residency he took to chasing her up and down the stairs and pinning her in the center of the living room rug.  

Charlotte settled in
the minute she moved in.

We don't have cable TV.  Definitely no need now.  When we aren't watching Merl and Charlotte wrestling, we are playing with Charlotte, throwing toys toward her, dragging, a cat dancer for her to chase, or saving her from precarious places like the center of a huge house plant.  Sometimes we just watch her sleep.  She is very cute when she sleeps.   Charlotte is more entertaining that 120 television channels and she snuggles!

One Picture is Truly Worth a Million Words!

Every dog needs a couch and person to call his/her own.  Cammie's new guardian reports "I've really enjoyed our first month together". 

More updates coming -- this is truly a joyous holiday season for many of our canine and feline alumni!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Very, Very Heartwarming Update

In September, the League took in 30 of the more than 200 dogs and cats surrendered to officials after the USDA began an investigation into allegations of neglectful living conditions and cruel abuse of the animals at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. in Gates County, North Carolina.   While people may disagree on whether or not there is a need for animals to be used in research, no one can justify the way the North Carolina lab animals were treated.  An undercover investigation by PETA documented horrible incidents of blatant cruelty.  The dogs and cats were were force-fed some substances and subjected to having others smeared on their skin—one such smear test caused seizures, blindness, and bleeding from the nose in 57 cats—but they were also allegedly routinely abused by their caretakers who screamed at them, sprayed them with water and chemicals, dragged them through the facility, and threw them into cages.  Thankfully, all of the horror is now past history.  

Muffin and Cookie lounge comfortably
on the sofa in their forever home
The update from Cookie and Muffin's person proves that animals are extremely resilient and forgiving. Why would a once tortured animal trust a human being?

From their new home --

"....Cookie is such a loving little thing, she is my dream cat and Muffin is not far behind. Cookie likes to sleep on my neck with her little face right next to mine. Her whiskers tickle my nose. Muffin also comes around and wants loving but she is my explorer and my guard. They both follow me around. They play together and are so funny and I enjoy playing with them. Muffin jumps on top of Cookie and "grooms" her followed by rough and tumbling play...."

All of the lab cats were placed in homes and most of the dogs have been adopted, too.  A couple rat terriers are still waiting at the League for their forever homes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Cyrus -- the Great Recycler

Two updates in one day -- more good news to be thankful for. 

There is a book in this one, maybe a series.   This update is in fact excerpted from a much longer tale called "Oh Cyrus!".  

I have began to refer to Cyrus as the "Great Recycler". Clearly, he gets just as upset as I do about the constant junk mail arriving at the house everyday. In fact, he dislikes it so much that he has developed a very firm position on it.

Each day the mail comes after I get home from work. As I hear the sliding door on the mail truck I feel a cold chill down my spine. Cyrus-who is normally watching me (watching him) lolls his tongue to dare me to get the the mail slot first. We wait each other out...

Tension is building....

I bolt for the door and he bolts first-EVERYDAY. Personally, I think 4 feet vs 2 is an unfair contest. I should at least get a head start! As Cyrus runs for the door, the other animals panic and try to get out of the way. I have seen one of the cats actually try and climb drywall to keep from being mowed down.

Once Cyrus gets to the mail slot he takes it all in his big mouth (slobber and all) and starts to shake it back and forth. At this point, I have to take it-and he knows it. My only goal is to get the important mail (usually bills so I should really just skip it), but Cyrus likes to keep it and demolish it. Minutes pass as we are locked in this daily tussle. Eventually (being the good dog that he is) he relents and gives me the mail. In return, I give him the junk mail to tear up. Once it is torn into tiny little pieces, it breaks down into garden compost easier. Even while Cyrus is having a good time he is respecting the environment-that's great recycling!

Prescott Update

Remember Prescott, my office buddy?  Well,  he is still keeping up-to-date with the latest technology.  This picture, sent by his forever person, shows Prescott, the computer geek, cat-napping on the job.