Monday, November 21, 2011

HOME! for Thanksgiving

Sammi is spending her first Thanksgiving in her forever home.   Who knows where the little poodle spent Thanksgiving in years past, but this year we know that she is with her favorite person, Katherine, and the rest of her new family --  including Jingle, a big, 10-year-old bunny. 

Katherine attended the third session of our  Caring Kids summer camp, the one that focused on dog training.    At the end of the five days Katherine told her pup good-bye, but she continued working on her family about adopting the tiny P-pup.   She must be quite persuasive because after a couple of days her mom called from their vacation and asked if the pup was still available.  "No, " she was told, the puppy was already in a new home.

Soon after their return, Katherine and her family visited the League.  And, there was Allison Krause!   A pretty autumn-colored poodle who had just been returned.   To the best of our knowledge the little dog had lived in at least three homes, probably more.  Katherine's would be her FOREVER home.

Katherine's mother sent a recent update --
It's been 2 1/2 months. We renamed her Sammi. It was 2 weeks before she barked. It was another few weeks before she would not cower around men. She is still afraid of most new people. We took her for her first grooming and she trembled most of the time.  I expect her to become more confident with time. But with us, she's just a sweet, good tempered pup. We just love her.

She gets 2-3 walks a day during the week and more on weekends.  Sammi goes to soccer with us and we've taken her to Great Falls Park.  Sammi is somewhat interested in our rabbit. She sniffs him but that is about it.

Katherine's mom reports that the family cat is not quite so sure about Sammi.   But I am guessing that by next Thanksgiving the update will include a photo of the cat and Sammi in close proximity of one another.  

There is much to be thankful for -- Caring Kids campers, animals in forever home, and for parents, who have never had a dog, but who make the plunge to adopt and then fall in love. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Decked Out for the Holidays!

My cats don't wear hats.   I can't imagine trying to put a hat on Micky, Merl or Charlotte.  They definitely would not allow it.  Not all cats, however,  are so uncooperative.  Meatball, who was adopted from the League nine years ago, got into the celebratory spirit just long enough so her person could take one good picture.  We know who will be featured on Meg's holiday cards this year!

With Thanksgiving just 8 days away, photos, like this one, reminds us at the League just how grateful we are for adopters who make their animals do silly things so they can share their cats and dogs with everyone they love!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gypsy Sheds Pounds and Years; Acquires BFF & Permanent Home

It is common knowledge that staff loves adoption updates.  Some animals stay at the League just a short time, typically puppies and kittens get adopted more quickly than adult animals.   Senior animals, and those with "special needs" can reside her for months.   Lately we have heard from folks who have adopted some of those dogs.   The word special comes to mind when I think of the adopters and the updates.  
In this week before Thanksgiving, it is a pleasure to share Gypsy's story sent by her adopter.  The update highlights how animals not only befriend us, but help one another.

Our 15-year-old, blind Aussie, Molly,  died in June.  My wife and I WANTED a new dog, but it became apparent Snickers (our puppy mill survivor dog) NEEDED a dog.
When we met Gypsy at the League, her temperament and confidence shined through in spite of the discomfort from being extremely overweight.  We recognized that Gypsy was exactly the dog that Snickers needed -- a dog who  knew who she was; was used to people, places and dogs... a dog like Gypsy - to serve as a new model for Snickers.
Since coming home, we've continued the weight loss diet started at WARL. We live in an apartment, so our dogs are walked three times a day. While we started slowly to allow Gypsy to acclimate to her new home, new diet, and new activity regimen, we have yet to tire her out with a long walk. Her hunched back and bunny hop has smoothed into a stiff legged trot. Her gait is visibly affected, but not her pace; she keeps up with  much younger dogs. She  LOVES playing with plush toys - the squeakier the better! And who would have thought that  a 7-year-old dog would be so into tennis balls?.
Gypsy's favorite position? Middle of the room, flat on her back, all four feet straight up in the air, watching what's going on from her upside down point of view. She even sleeps that way!
Adopting Gypsy was almost like getting two new dogs!  Since Gypsy has come home, her exuberance and playfulness has re-awoken the same exuberance and playfulness in Snickers that we have not seen since Molly passed away.

We are grateful for adopters who recongize the best in their new friends!  Check back soon, more Thanksgiving updates to come.......

Monday, November 7, 2011

Responsible Student Does the Right Thing!

Pictured right to left -- Gisselle and Charlie and Jocelyn and Pelusha
When Gisselle toured the Washington Animal Rescue League with her summer program she saw many cats and dogs who needed homes.  She learned that there are too many animals and not enough homes, largely because cats and dogs multiply so quickly.  Gisselle learned that responsible guardians spay or neuter their cats and dogs.  Gisselle went home that day and told her mother that they had to get their cat spayed.   Although their cat gave birth before they made an appointment, Gisselle was determined to not only get her cat spayed, but she urged her mom to call the League to make appointments to spay or neuter the mom cat AND her kittens! That way, when the kittens go to their new homes there is no risk that they, too, will be adding to the overpopulation crisis.  GREAT WORK GISSELLE!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dobi is HOME!

Dobi at the shelter
This is a remarkable adoption update that reads like an action adventure.   In order to get the full picture I am posting excerpts from a series of emails sent to Natalie Kahla, our adoptions manager, from Dobi's adopter.  Dobi's rescue, post-adoption, shows the importance of acting immediately, networking, and following every lead when an animal goes missing.   We are ecstatic that  Dobi is now safe and sound in his forever home!

OCTOBER 23 -- As of 5:30, Dobi has been missing. While I was out my friend opened the front door for another person and Dobi dashed out of the house. They took off after him for three blocks before they were out run. I contacted 24PetWatch and filed a report on them, giving them his microchip number. After searching for over three hours with the help of friends and neighbors and local police officers who notified other officers via radio, we ended the search contacting Animal Control and the Washington Humane Society.

Dobi is wearing his collar and his blue harness. He has eaten a little today and has had a little water as he was still skittish and shy this afternoon. He slept with me under my arm last night and has responded a few times to a specific whistle I was in the process of teaching him.

He was seen running past Georgia Avenue and up Rock Creek Church Road NW (towards the direction of Columbia Heights). I have notified neighbors and everyone I have come upon tonight. I will continue to look for him tomorrow morning.

OCTOBER 24 --Still no word on Dobi. I put up about 300 posters around the area he was last seen and all over Columbia Heights.   I posted ads on craigslist and the MPD allowed me to post his flier in front of the main desk so everyone entering the station can see it. A very caring person who saw my flier recommended I join a facebook group called Columbia Heights Dog Park which is a popular dog park nearby. The group has almost 200 members of very involved dog lovers in the community. I have checked with the Humane Society of Washington and Animal Control. 

OCTOBER 25 -- Today was looking up a little better. I was putting up more fliers at a gas station on Georgia Ave posting when I ran into a UPS guy and asked him if he had see a dog. He asked me if Dobi was very small. I said yes. He asked if he was very scared and skittish. I said yes. He asked if he had a "blue thingy" and made a gesture around his chest imitating a harness. I said yes. He said he saw him at 50 Irving (Veterans Hospital at Washington Hospital Center) with a man around 3:30 pm (today) who looked "nervous like he wasn't supposed to have the dog with him" which is why he caught the UPS man's eye in the first place. I went straight there with a friend. We talked to a security guard who confirmed seeing the exact description of Dobi and I gave them a stack of fliers and spoke with an officer who refused to double check the security footage because there was "no way of confirming that dog is really yours".

NOVEMBER 1 --After one week, my baby is home!!! Dobi was found around 11pm tonight by a man on his nightly run on Rock Creek Church Road. Dobi was dodging in and out of the fence and he recognized him from the posters and called the number on the flier. A woman walking her dog came by shortly after, and it was her dog that lured Dobi.  She was able to pick him up and called the number on the flier. Dobi was in my arms by 12:37am. He has lost 5-7 lbs but has his appetite and enjoyed a peanut butter treat on top of his food. I removed 17 ticks from his chest. He has a small scratch on his nose and tip of his ear. The collar he had on him was a very worn and dirty one, NOT his original. His bright blue harness was also not on him. HE IS HOME!