Archive for May, 2011

Inspiration Named Louie

May 19, 2011

Remember Louie? He isn’t what some people would call a “good” dog. He’s energetic, strong-willed and very excitable. If he really likes you, he might even mouth at your arm to try to get you to play. He won’t hurt you, just slobber on you a bit. He is a goofball and we love him, he’s just in need of some training. All that didn’t keep him from finding a good home, where he’s getting that much-needed training, after a very long stay at Austin Pets Alive!

Jonas

Some dogs aren’t so lucky.

Some dogs have behavioral differences and challenges. Many of them dealing with problems that stem from their past lives, which sadly, were filled with neglect and/or abuse. APA! simply didn’t have the resources or funds to help them reach their full potential once we rescued them — until now!

I have joined a brand new group within APA! that we are lovingly calling “Louie’s Team”. This team’s goals are to help recognize APA’s special-needs dogs early, find them specially trained foster homes when they need a break from the shelter environment, and raise money for the training and tools to turn some of these not so “good” dogs into great dogs!

Slinky

Our hope is that this team will help save many other dogs like Louie by getting them personalized training when needed. By ensuring that each Louie’s Team dog gets an individualized adoption plan, including specific training needs, we will in turn make happier dogs while they await their forever families. We hope to increase each deserving dog’s chance of finding their forever home sooner and ultimately make happier adopters!

I hope you’ll consider making a small donation to Louie’s Team to help us get this program off the ground. With your generosity, we’ll help dogs like Jonas, Slinky and Buttons reach their full potential and find their homes just like Louie. They’ll get everything they need to be good — no, GREAT — dogs!

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Visiting Sheila

May 17, 2011

As I do every Tuesday during my lunch hour, I went to the Brodie adoption location today to take pictures and videos of the Austin Pets Alive! dogs. My little sister, Sheila, was there today, lounging in the sun with about three toys and a swimming pool full of fresh water. I think she knew who I was as I started walking toward her from the parking lot and she wagged her tail faster and faster the closer I got. That’s such a good feeling!

She is a such a happy girl! She was tossing a little yellow bear around her pen, wagging her little nub of a tail, pressing her cheek against her pen for anyone and everyone to say hello. I hope she finds a great home soon. I can just picture her curled up at the foot of someone’s bed, on a big comfy bed of her very own.

Sweet Sheila

An Update on Candy

May 11, 2011

For those of you who’ve been following along with Candy’s story and our hope to get her adopted, I wanted to offer an update.

Candy was euthanized Saturday evening. After two specialists’ evaluations said that her prey drive was out of control, one of which also indicated that Candy had the confidence to take on a human and would look for weakness in others, she did just that — nipping at a knee brace of someone who was simply spending some time with her.

The powers that be at Austin Pets Alive! agonized over the decision, but ultimately the Board decided to let her go for the good of the community. Candy wouldn’t have done well in a place where cats roam the neighborhood and smaller dogs go for walks. Looking for weakness in humans isn’t a good thing either…

It broke my heart to get the two phone calls that told me what her fate was. Only two people were allowed to spend time with her and be with her during her last moments. They fed her a yummy bacon cheeseburger and reminded her of how much those of us who knew her loved her. At APA!, she probably felt and experienced more love than she ever had in her life.

I’m happy to report that out of her situation, APA! has developed a team that will be dedicated to working with, training and placing more special-needs dogs like Candy. We’ll dedicate ourselves to finding the best resources for them, the right families and the best training. We’ll work for these dogs to find special foster placement when it’s needed. And training won’t be just for them, but also for the volunteers and families who love them. We want every dog to be loved and adopted, no matter their past.

As one of our awesome volunteers and fosters Frank said, “[Dogs like Candy] are great dogs that we all love and enjoy, but they simply need help beyond our [current] capabilities and resources.” I’m proud to be a part of this new team that works in her memory and that of others to ensure a happy future for these dogs.

Oh, Sheila: My New Little Sister

May 4, 2011

I have a new little sister at Austin Pets Alive! Sheila. I just met her last night, and I must say, she’s pretty darn cute. She’s a good sitter, but definitely needs some work on being a lady on her leash. We’ll get her there!

A Plea for Candy

May 3, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Candy

This is a personal plea. I hope you’ll share it with your dog-loving friends.

Candy isn’t doing well in the shelter environment. In fact, she’s been diagnosed by two specialists as having extreme predatory drive, pushing her to bite a couple of dogs. If she doesn’t find a home — a special home at that — her future holds a huge question mark.

I love Candy. I would take her home in a heartbeat if I wasn’t worried about my two dogs and two cats, as well as our neighbors’ dogs and cats. I don’t know Candy’s full history, and I don’t know how far her killer instinct will allow her to take her drive for prey.

What I do know is this: She has a beautiful coat. She is a cuddler and a lover to the people that she knows and trusts. She loves a belly rub. She loves peanut butter treats. She has the cutest, most expressive ears. If I could paint a perfect picture of a future for Candy, it would be on a 30-acre farm with people who are there with her a good portion of the day, where she could take care of their pesky varmint problem to be paid only in love and a warm, cozy bed.

A regular neighborhood isn’t going to be ideal for Candy. She needs the space to roam and hunt, two good meals a day and someone who will work with her, and manage her predatory drive. According to the specialists, it can’t be trained out of her. But with the right home and the right person, she can thrive.

If you know of anyone with that 30-acre farm, a small-varmint problem and love to give, I hope you’ll point them in Candy’s direction.