Monday, May 13, 2013
With being an author for Dogster/Catster and my own blogs, it's hard to build an audience when you're obstinately avoiding modern technology, aka the Twitter. I've had plenty of things "tweeted," but I have no clue what they say. So I gave in and reactivated my Twitter account. I've updated it, so it no longer sports a picture of my 19 year old self with a shaggy hair cut. I've added details about myself. I think I'll even make a tweet. Or tweet a twit. Or twit a tweet. Whatever.
So if you're all modern and stuff, feel free to follow me or like me or whatever you do when you pretty much stalk someone on Twitter. I'll try to stalk you back, or at least keep up with your hash tags and @'s and what-have-yous. I added a link, but for those of you that are Twitter savvy, I'm just me, meghanlodge...or rather @meghanlodge!!
Now back to my fat screen TV and my computer with a mouse that still has a ball. :)
Sunday, April 14, 2013
By the time dogs make it on to the adoption floor, they've been at the shelter for a little while...long enough to learn when feeding time is and the normal routines of the shelter. They've been walked on leashes and handled daily for a while, and are much easier to photograph at that point...at least in comparison to Day 1. I don't always get good photos of them, case in point the photos in this blog post!! That aside, I try to get the shots I can in hopes of increasing their chances of adoption.
Monday, March 4, 2013
|Axle and Remi on a play date.|
|Axle and Fry napping.|
In the meantime, the woman's husband came up and asked if I needed any help. Axle quickly positioned himself between us and issued a low warning growl. I apologized, but the man seemed very understanding. He said that he had no problem with a dog being protective of his owner. We talked a bit more, then I walked the dogs home.
I was really embarrassed, to say the least. Axle had made quite a butt of himself in front of strangers, and he's a pit bull. He's supposed to be a breed ambassador, right? He's supposed to disprove stereotypes. And there he was, an anti-social growling mess.
The more I thought about it, though, the less bad and the less embarrassed I felt. This is because I thought about what all Axle has been through during his two short years - A LOT!! It's all documented throughout the blog, but here it is in a nutshell:
Axle lived with Otto for a year. Axle was only 4 or 5 months old when the fights started. We thought it was because they weren't neutered yet, but neutering didn't change things. We tried training, crate-and-rotate, you name it. We found out the hard way that Otto was the problem - he was unstable and human/dog aggressive to such a degree that we couldn't leave the house without a muzzle on him and a very strong, very secure leash. Axle learned from Otto that it didn't matter what he did, he would be attacked. We thought things would get better with Bobob (shelter dog), and they did...until Axle woke me up one morning because Bobob was having seizures. Bobob never woke up. :(
|Axle and Spudet|
After Bobob, we adopted Spudet. Things seemed to finally be working in our favor. Axle and Spuds got along beautifully...until the day she tried to kill him. He still has pink, hairless scars on his legs where she tore his flesh. Everywhere else (neck, ears, face, chest, thighs) has grown white hair over the scars.
|Axle and Remi|
All of those things are enough to make any normally play-doh-like dog at least a little bit dog reactive, but that's not all Axle has been through!
|From L to R: Leela, Remi, Fry, and Axle|
|Me and my lover boy!|
There's really no reason Axle should have to be so perfectly behaved. Look at everything he's been through! I do the responsible thing - I let other dog owners know that Axle is a Dog In Need Of Space, and we avoid dog parks.
Am I wrong for thinking this? Thoughts?
PS New neighbors, if you ever read this, you seem like really nice folks and your dog is cute and all, but I don't see any play dates in our future!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
We caused a bit of a stir in the neighborhood this past weekend. Actually, we kinda gave the whole town something to talk about when we drove from Pavo, through Thomasville, and then into the outskirts of Cairo with a building (yes, a building) on the back of a tow truck. Now, this isn't just any old building. It's my childhood playhouse. It has almost 20 years of history!!
When I was 3 years old, my parents built a "storage shed." Of course, I helped! I spent two days hammering on one nail!! That Christmas, my dad carried me out. I was wearing teal footie pajamas and a red cowboy hat. I thought maybe I had a present hidden inside, but surprise, surprise, the present WAS the building!! It was my very own playhouse, an 8x8 wood building with a porch and shingled roof. I was really uptown!! My two cousins and me played for years in that playhouse.
In '98, was moved to the pasture and used as my horse barn. In '00, it got moved around to the backyard and fencing was attached to it so it could be used as part of a chicken pen. By this time, I was calling it my "clubhouse." In '03, I put up a poster in it that I had bought at the Scholastic book fair. It was a poster of two Cavalier Spaniel puppies with bubbly purple letters that read, "Puppy Love." I was so proud of that poster! It stayed in my room for a year after I bought it ('02), then was moved to the clubhouse once I got "too grown up" for it in my room.
In '04, my dad wired it for electricity and installed a light. I had plug-in outlets for lamps, fans, or even a TV. That year, one of my BFFs came to spend the night. I think she was the only one that thought it'd actually be cool to camp out in it!! We ate junk food and watched the Omen movies and Interview with a Vampire. We had to go back in the house to go to the bathroom - which meant a 30 yard dash in the pitch black of the country night. Don't forget, the little house was still part of the chicken pen, with the back wall having a roost mounted on it. If you've never been around chickens, suffice to say they are never quiet!!
In '05, the playhouse served as my music room while I taught myself to play violin. I know that saved my parents' ears!! I got my learner's license in '05, so the building was soon retired to the status of storage building.
My parents, loving and helpful as always, suggested we come and get the old playhouse and they would build themselves a new storage building. That's what landed us following my husband's coworker through town, the tow truck loaded up with my childhood playhouse. One of the little boys that lives behind our house told his family we were building a tree house. He later told them he rode his bike down to see us and we told him we were going to park our cars in it. So cute!! Everyone had to take a peek at the playhouse making it to its new home.
Like my parents, I like to take care of my things. They always taught me that, if you take care of them right, things can last a lifetime. The old playhouse will turn 20 this December. She's due a wood treatment, but otherwise in great shape. I'm hoping she lasts another 20 years, long enough for our possible future children to enjoy. (By then, we'll have a shop and garage for storage.) Axle and Remi are very happy to have more room in their bedroom, too!! :)
I just gave Axle and Remi new collars on Axle's birthday. Remi's old one has her rabies tag, and one of Axle's many other collars has his. Axle is due a new ID tag since his is worn beyond legibility. Both Axle and Remi are micro-chipped, but a tag could get them home way faster, especially since some people (believe it or not) don't know to have the dog scanned.
Next, I tried a screw-hook-thing. He got it undone. I really don't know how he did it, but he did. The only thing I have found that he cannot undo is the tradition 's' hooks that come with rabies tags. I have to put them on with pliers, and they're a beast to get off. That means I'm on the hunt for something new to attach tags with. It needs to be durable and Axle-proof. I haven't tried many products because I'm worried they won't work and I'll have wasted my money, so that's where you all come in.
What do you use to attach your dog's tags? Below, I've listed some of the items I'm considering. Any input is greatly appreciated!!
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I guess this is as good a time as any to introduce everyone to our newest family member, Lord Nibbler. Let me start by saying this - I couldn't picture myself ever voluntarily going to a shelter and adopting a cat like Nibbler. I always wanted a grey cat. Well, I wanted a short-haired grey cat with big yellow eyes. Instead, I have Nibbler. Or maybe Nibbler has me.
According to our vet, Nibbler is about 7 months old. He's also a bit of a mess, and I don't mean just his personality. Nibbler is, quite possibly, the result of inbreeding. He has a host of issues, the most obvious of which would be his two front paws. They are contracted at odd angles, something typically called "tendon contractures." It's a birth defect that can often be corrected if caught at birth. The correction process involves a lot of time, patience, and a slew of splints to stretch the legs back into as normal a position as possible. Nibbler wasn't so lucky. At 7 months, his anatomy is developed enough that his legs would have to be broken to even begin to attempt correction. Considering his health, age, and mobility, the vet and I did not think surgery would be a good idea.
Nibbler also has scoliosis which results in a short, twisted tail that he often wags like a dog when he is happy. The scoliosis and tendon contractures result in him ambulating like a rabbit, often hopping on his back legs. He'll also engage one or both of his front paws in a slightly antalgic gait. Surprising or not, he cannot "meow" like our other cats. He makes almost a peeping/purr noise (imagine a baby wookie) or screams like a rabbit. In fact, he has so many rabbit-like traits that we have begun jokingly referring to Nibbler as a cabbit, or a cat/rabbit hybrid. Designer breeds? So last year. Cabbits are the new designer species!
He goes back tomorrow for the rest of his vaccines. The vet gave him a mostly clean bill of health - FIV/FELV negative, heartworm negative, and a healthy weight. He did have a severe case of tapeworms, and signs that he had had a severe flea infestation. (When he came into our house, the first thing I did was bathe him and put flea meds on him.) While there were no fleas on him the day of his first vet appointment, he had patches that were almost bald, as well as those raised bumps that appear when so many fleas get on an animal. His skin was also very tough - a sign of living outside and possible dehydration.
Nibbler is certainly a hot mess, but what struck me about him is that he's a survivor. He's beyond that, really, because he doesn't feel sorry for himself, he doesn't play the victim or the unsung hero. He's just a cat. He eats, he plays, he sleeps. He's incredibly sweet and social, which was honestly a surprise to me. He quickly adjusted to our two dogs and two other cats. Heck, he's even adjusted to walking on a leash/harness...well, when it's going the way he wants to.
That's one of life's great lessons, though. People like to can it into cute catchphrases about lemons and courage, but it's so much more simple than that.
Nibbler was the first cat of his kind that our vet had met in person. (She thought he was pretty darn amazing.) She said the only important things right now are to make sure he maintains an ideal weight and is comfortable in his mobility. He could live for months, a few years, or even 20+ years, there's really no way to predict that.
I never thought I'd have a disabled pet in my life (I didn't consider Otto, who was deaf, to really be disabled.). If only I could get him to use the litter box, everything would be peachy!! (Suggestions welcome.) Currently, he is peeing on a puppy pad, but he insists (to the point that he'll move anything in his way) on pooping on the tile bathroom floor...though he sometimes opts for the hardwood. I've tried pan, round, and covered boxes. Boxes with steps, boxes without steps. *sigh*
Anyway, pardon the rambling post to introduce you to Nibbler!! Signing off with a cute picture of Fry and Axle snuggling. :)
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Dogster, that is. You can read the article here: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/i-love-my-dog-more-than-husband Take some time to read the other "Doghouse Confessionals" on Dogster's website. Some are funny, some are sad, but all of them are moving in some way.
I'm sure you noticed there's a third cat name (Lord Nibbler) these days...more on him in another post.