Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let's Keep in Touch

Best Friends!
 Our adoptions department sends a questionnaire to adopters once they and their new-found friends have had some time to adjust.   Usually we get an update about a month after the adoption. This photo of Midnight recently came to us; she obviously has had time to settle in and has done so quite nicely.  

Midnight  was adopted from WARL in 2009. She has grown up a lot and has turned out to be a loyal dog who is equally loving & caring. As you can see she gets along very well with our other pet Morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Heavy Drama Sequels

Two of my very favorite books are Dog Lost by Ingrid Lee and A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin.  Both stories are compelling page turners that cause the reader to root wildly for the horribly mistreated canines.    Both books have those "Oh No" scenes that are like a severe blow to the gut.   Recently I read Martin's  Everything for a Dog, the 2009 sequel to A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray.   It, too, is a page turner but the set-up of the story is much different.  A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray is a tragedy told by Squirrel, a cast-off pup separated from her sibling Bone.   Everything for a Dog is Bone's story, but he shares the spotlight with two other narrators -- Henry and Charlie -- boys whose stories are intertwined with Bone's in an unexpected, jarring  plot twist.   Both stories end happily, but the structure of A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray is far more statisfying than Everything for a Dog.  That said, neither book should be missed.

Ingrid Lee's 2011 book, Cat Found, is written in a similar fashion to her gripping, highly acclaimed Dog Lost, but it can't quite live up to Ann Martin's praise of the first book, ""Much more than a breathless page-turner. It's a brutally honest novel depicting the world of dogfighting in a wicked light but tempering any scenes of cruelty with an entire community of positive characters. And Lee brings together her winning, motley cast, human and animal, for a wonderfully heart-rousing ending. I loved it."  Lee's descriptions of the feral cat colony in Cat Found is accurate, but her characterizations of the many cold, heartless working class people are wooden and stereotypical.    A more accurate and engrossing read about a boy trying to do right by feral cats remains the absolutely perfect story, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.

Thursday, October 20, 2011



 Yesterday I promised a happy shelter story and today I am delivering not only happy, but cute -- MAJOR CUTE -- thanks to an adopter's adorable update. Little Bocci recently left the shelter for his forever home, and already has a bed full of toys. I don't know for certain, but given that the League is hosting a Howl-O-Ween event on Saturday, October 29th, complete with a really, really spooky haunted hospital, I wouldn't be surprised if our next Bocci photo update is one of the little guy in costume. What should he be?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I was driving to the League this morning when I heard a radio report that I hoped was a bad- pre-Halloween prank.   The reporter said more than 50 wild animals were running loose in an Ohio community.  Apparently the large cats, bears, wolves, giraffes, camels and other exotic animals were let go or escaped from a local wild animal park.   When I got to the League I did a quick Google search and found that it was no joke.  According to an Associated Press story, "Police warned people to stay in their homes, and ...officials hunted down and shot nearly 30 of the 48 of them overnight under orders to shoot to kill."  

What reason could there be for a wild animal park to be located in a residential area in Ohio?    It is doubtful that cheetahs and  Bengal tigers would live in the wild with wolves, grizzly bears, giraffes and camels.  Do wild animal parks serve any purpose? This was a horrific tragedy waiting to happen.    

Check back soon for a happy shelter story.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Busy Weekend

Friendship Hospital for Animals celebrated their 75th anniversary with an absolutely awesome adoption event.  Their goal was to place 75 homeless cats and dogs into permanent, loving homes.  From 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday  a steady stream of special folks opened their hearts and homes to kittens, cats, puppies and dogs.  Some of the animals were even adopted by Friendship staff!  The mom cat and kitten who visited me  in my office  last week went home to a mom and daughter duo.   I think that the kitten's forever name is now Clementine, mom's new name was still  being discussed at the time of the adoption.

Charlotte Van Gogh

Our shelter is nearly empty.   But, as always, we will be full by tomorrow.  League staff are traveling to other shelters today to pick up animals ready to move into their forever homes.   Hope those homes are safer than mine.    Here is a recent picture of Charlotte relaxing on the piano bench.   I am happy to report that no major mishaps have occured since Charlotte's mysterious ear hacking episode last month.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not Just One Happy Home -- But Two!

Boo Radley posing
Sometimes adopters write long missives, sometimes they send a sentence of two that says it all -- this is forever!  Such is the case with  Boo Radley's (formerly Humm) update.  Not only does the handsome tabby have a new name, but being named after a classic literary character is bound to make him just a tad more regal -- why, just look at this handsome pose. 

Boo Radley (formerly known as Humm) is very happy in his new home and is the best cuddler on the planet. I am so grateful! I am absolutely head-over-heels in love.

Who is Boo Radley?  Besides being a much loved tabby, Boo Radley is an important character in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

Tamale on the steps at HOME!
We heard from another tabby living a happy life  in a perfect, forever home.  Tamale was a staff favorite.  Tamale was here for a long, long time.  When he first came to the shelter in February 2011 he had a tumor that was removed by a veterinarian in our medical center.  While in the hospital, Tamale endeared hmself to everyone.  He was a model patient during treatment.  And now he is the perfect  cat in his perfect new home playing not-so-perfect cat games with another possibly perfect cat!

Tamale  and Pepper are doing very well, and have graduated to the 'thundering' stage of play and chase together, up and down the stairs, and we often can't imagine how some of the rugs got into the the state we find them in.

We have many more cats and the shelter looking for their perfect forever homes.  Two of them, a mom cat and her rambunctious kitten are in my my office.  They will be at our BIG adoption event at Friendship Hospital for Animals this weekend.  Stop by and visit Autumn and her wild mini-me kitten.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And They Lived Happily Ever After....

Okay, so how many time have I written WE LOVE ADOPTION UPDATES?    I am going to write it again.  WE LOVE ADOPTION UPDATES!   Recently we got an update from Denise detailing Emmy's new life.   It is a beautifully written, happily ever after tale that is sure to have many more chapters.  I thought of Denise's update when  I attended a lecture at the League Monday night where Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), emphasized the importance of providing lots of enrichment to guarantee an animal's emotional health -- in other words, doing fun stuff. 

Denise' update highlights lots of fun stuff...
Within six weeks, Emmy began greeting dogs on leash and playfully swatting at beagles in our complex corridors. Two months later, she attempts to enter any silver sedan we pass, as she assumes Danny is behind the wheel and ready to take her on our next adventure. She adores prowling after geese on the National Mall, trail walks through the forest of Dumbarton Oaks, or splashing through the water of the Shirlington Dog Park’s river. She’s put on ten pounds of pure muscle and can outrun any dog except a Vizsla.