Tag Archives: dog rescue

Rehoming Rocket

12 Mar

Poor Violet!

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Not only did she get drenched and muddy, but her life is about to change forever.

We met at a park yesterday for Violet and her family to meet Rocket…

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…a two year old boy who needs a new home. His mom had a stroke and can’t take care of him any more and Violet’s parents want a playmate for her.

In spite of the torrential rain, things went well. It wasn’t love at first sight for the two dogs, but that rarely happens. They sniffed each other and walked nicely side by side. While they walked Violet’s family had a little meeting and decided that, yes, they’d like to adopt him.

We made a plan – in the park, in the rain – to transfer Rocket to his new home on Friday. His invalid mom wasn’t at this meeting so she needs a chance to say goodbye. We will all meet again at our vet’s office, where Rocket will get a microchip and a once over before going to his new home.

 

A story of friendship

18 Sep

I have a first period reading class every other day. The first half is supposed to be silent reading. The second half is supposed to be instruction in reading strategies, etc, though we have a little more leeway on Fridays.

Well, Friday found me deep in the book I was reading, When Friendship Followed Me Home  by Paul Griffin.

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When the clock reached the point at which we should stop, I was at a critical place. I could have stopped, but it was Friday. My former elementary students used to say “Friday is free day”, so I told my class my dilemma and asked their indulgence. They voted unanimously to continue reading all period.

Publisher’s Summary: Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books…until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library.

Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley—yes, like the comet—a girl unlike anyone he has ever met. Ben begins thinking of her as “Rainbow Girl” because of her crazy-colored clothes and her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day.

Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her.  But as their story unfolds Ben’s life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home.

Paul Griffin’s breathtaking middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.

I finished the book, just before the bell rang. If I;d been home, I probably would have cried. I made an immediate decision. I was so moved by this book, that I decided it would be my BookTalk book for today, instead of the one I’d planned. When Friendship Followed Me Home  was added to many “Next” lists.

Disappointment

12 Mar

It seemed like a perfect plan.

Earlier this week, Oregon Basset Hound rescue had been contacted by a man in Southern Oregon about rehoming his 2-year-old basset hound named Thor.

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Our adoption coordinator sent out an email to see if we had anyone approved and looking for a young dog. I answered right away, knowing I had the perfect candidate.

I had done Roger’s home visit in January. He’d lost his basset, Sarge,  a while back and was now ready to get a new family member. Roger was friendly,  laid-back and worked 5 minutes from home, so he could check in frequently on a new dog. A great potential adopter. In January, we didn’t have anything for him, but it wasn’t January anymore.

Emails and phone calls ensued and today was supposed to be the day.  We had arranged a midway point where Roger could meet Thor, who was staying with his dad because we had no foster spots available. It would be a three-hour drive North for Thor’s dad, a two-hour drive South for me, and a little more than a two-hour drive South for Roger.

And then it all fell apart.

I got an email yesterday from Thor’s dad saying he’d changed his mind. Crap. I wanted to cry. I wasn’t adopting Thor, but I was really excited about facilitating this adoption. I just knew in my heart this was going to be a good match. Instead, I had to get in touch with Roger, who was, naturally, disappointed. No one likes to give bad news and I felt like I had failed.

Roger gets to stay at the top of our list. I hope we can find another perfect match for him. I wish Thor and his dad all the best.

I’m a sucker for a good dog story

19 Feb

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Even though the subtitle of Gary Paulsen’s  This Side of Wild is   Mutts, Mares and Laughing Dinosaurs I didn’t realize it was going to be the kind of book it was. I knew it was nonfiction, but assumed it would be more like expository than memoir, which is what it is.

He got me with the first story about Corky, a three-toothed poodle no one wanted,  who could frighten off bears. It made me think for a moment, and only a moment, that maybe my next dog should be a poodle. The other stories in the book tell of remarkable animals Paulsen has encountered. Although marketed for middle grades, it is listed s 10 & up. By up, I think they mean way up:  I think many adults would enjoy reading this.

Publisher’s Summary: Longlisted for the National Book Award

The Newbery Honor–winning author of Hatchet and Dogsongshares surprising true stories about his relationship with animals, highlighting their compassion, intellect, intuition, and sense of adventure.

Gary Paulsen is an adventurer who competed in two Iditarods, survived the Minnesota wilderness, and climbed the Bighorns. None of this would have been possible without his truest companion: his animals. Sled dogs rescued him in Alaska, a sickened poodle guarded his well-being, and a horse led him across a desert. Through his interactions with dogs, horses, birds, and more, Gary has been struck with the belief that animals know more than we may fathom.

His understanding and admiration of animals is well known, and in This Side of Wild, which has taken a lifetime to write, he proves the ways in which they have taught him to be a better person.

OBHR Calling

26 Jan

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“Hi! My name is Adrienne and I am  volunteer with Oregon Basset Hound rescue. Our adoption coordinator forwarded your application to me and I am calling to touch base with you and see about setting up a home visit.”

I’ve made that call 4 times in the last two weeks. It’s been a year since OBHR had an application that called for me to do a home visit. Suddenly, we are inundated with applicants.

It might have to do with this guy.

Sherman

Sherman is the youngest dog we’ve had posted for a while. Most people who have lost dogs want a younger dog who will be with them a little longer than an older dog might. It’s understandable. When I lost Louie, six years ago, I said the same thing, which is why I ended up with Lucy.

Sherman’s adoption is pending. He’s on a visit with a family that, we hope, will be become his forever home, and who will work on his tendency to chew things.

We’ve rehomed one other dog, Ellie, since the start of the year and have another looking for a new home.

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Walter is a little older and needs to be an only dog.

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And there are probably two more coming in shortly, a bonded pair, that cannot be separated.

2016 might be busy for OBHR.

Try, Try Again

31 Aug

If at first you don’t succeed

Try, try again.

Teachers start back to school today. Although I have already been in quite a bit, today if my first official day at my new school. It took me two tries to get to middle school, interviewing in the Spring of 2014 unsuccessfully, then again in Spring 2015, successfully.

Some books are like that, you pick them up, abandon them, then pick them up again later, only to love them. This happened many years ago with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. 

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My sister sent it to me and told me how much she had loved it. I read the first chapter, questioned my sister;s judgement and set it aside. A few months later I picked it up again and it was like reading a different book. I was hooked.

I had this experience recently with Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin.

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It was Rose’s voice that irritated me the first time. Rose is the autistic main character and narrator who has an obsession with homonyms. And that obsession made me put the book aside the first time I picked it up. I picked it up again this week, persevered and I am glad I did.

Publisher’s SummaryRose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

What really made this book worth reading is seeing how Rose really steps outside her comfort zone after Rain disappears, to do the right thing, even though she knows it will make her very sad.

Fiona’s 7th Gotcha Day

9 Aug

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Seven years ago today, I drove down to the rest area south of Wilsonville where I met a volunteer with Oregon Basset Hound Rescue who would introduce me to Fiona for the very first time and then let me take her home.

It wasn’t an immediate match made in heaven moment. Fiona didn’t make eye contact. She didn’t try to run away and she wasn’t aggressive; she was just pretending it wasn’t happening. She paid attention to a flower stem nearby, but totally ignored me. She gave a little more attention to Louie, who I’d brought along to make sure they’d get along. They didn’t romp and play, but they were civil.

So, I packed both dogs into the backseat of my car and drove home.

Fiona spent the first three days sitting behind a chair in the living room. She peed, but didn’t poop. I was starting to worry.

And then magic happened on the third day.

At some point that day, she pooped. I’d already sent off a worried email to the OBHR folks wondering if I should take her to the vet. She pooped before I got a response. The real magic happened at bedtime. Although she had followed Louie & I into the bedroom for the first two nights, she chose to sleep on the floor. On the third night she jumped up into bed with us and I cried tears of joy. I knew everything was going to work out just fine.

So, here we are, seven years later. Fiona sleeps on the floor most nights now. She is arthritic and likes to stretch out and sleeping on my bed doesn’t allow for that.  We spend days on the sofa together, though. There is enough room there for her to stretch out on my left and Lucy to curl up on my right. Sometimes the space in between for me is tight, but I take it.

She is old now: 14-1/2. That is very old for a basset hound, whose average lifespan is about 9-12 years. Her back end is wobbly and most walks are only around the block. If she is really perky, we’ll go two blocks. She sleeps a lot and sometimes she sleeps so deeply, I check to make sure she is still breathing. So far, so good.

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She was at the vet yesterday because she has a bit of a skin issue right now and I was worried it might be ringworm. It was a new vet because Fiona’s vet of seven years has moved. Dr Klau did a thorough exam, since it was his first time seeing her. She was down a few more pounds. One eye is cloudy, but she can still see out of it. Her heart and lungs sounded good and her abdomen felt just like it should. Fortunately, the skin thing isn’t ringworm, but a bacterial skin infection, so she is on an antibiotic that I hope does the trick to make her feel a little less itchy.

I often joke that she is so stubborn and so expensive that she will live to be 20. May it be so.

Happy Gotcha Day, Miss Fiona!

 

 

 

2015 Oregon Basset Hound Games

21 Jul

July brings the dog days of summer. Literally. The Oregon Basset Hound Games is always held on the third Sunday in July.

The planning team was a little short-handed this year and the weather was hot, which Oregonians fear and loathe, but the show must go on, and it did with gusto.

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As always, the Games opened with the limbo. Although bassets are low riders, their tails prove to be their downfall in this event.

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There are several highlights. Everyone  loves the costume contest. Everyone of the two-leggers that is; the results are inconclusive for the four-leggers.

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The poor lithe dalmatian in the middle kept trying to remove her hat. Others were more cooperative.

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Aside from their sad faces and stubbornness, basset hounds are infamous for two things: laziness and howling. Naturally, there is a Marathon Napping contest.

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Some years, there seem to be more barkers than howlers. This was not one of them.

My favorite event is the last event: Synchronized Swimming. The concept is simple. Lead your basset to the kiddie pool. Convince him/her to get all four paws in the pool. Get out on the other side and cross the finish line. Unfortunately, base hounds hate water and most refuse to get into the pool. Watching the owners try to convince their dog to get on the pool is hilarious.

 

 

 

 

Watkins: A story of hope

7 Jun

The online basset world has been buzzing lately with the story of Watkins.

About a month ago, the president of the Buchanan County (Virginia) Humane Society, Stephanie,  was contacted by a neighbor about an abused and abandoned dog who had been dumped in a ditch. Stephanie and her husband went out looking and, when they finally found him, rushed him to their vet.

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Although this picture looks idyllic, the dog was in terrible shape and the vet, Dr. Rasnake, felt he might be near death. She estimated the puppy to be approximately 4 months old and a  basset- walker hound mix. They got him on an IV and admitted him to the Buchanan County Humane Society’s ICU. They named him Watkins, after the street where he was found

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and started sharing his story. Law enforcement was contacted and the investigation is ongoing.

Watkins has not had an easy time. He had to have emergency surgery for a twisted bowel. He is still on a feeding tube because he is not yet interested in food. But he continues to heal. His FB fans all over the world celebrated when he finally pooped. He spent a few days at the Virginia Tech vet hospital, but has returned to the Buchanan County Humane Society’s ICU. People are finally starting to use the words “full recovery”, though he still has a long road of healing ahead of him.

 Here he is yesterday, with Stephanie.

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I deliberately chose to post few pictures of Watkins. You can click on his name above to see his FB page that show pictures of his progress. You might be horrified at how he looks today, but know that he looks so very much better than he did a month ago.

Watkins has FB friends all over the world now. He also has huge vet bills. Fortunately the vets looking after him are not talking about the bills. They are more concerned with saving this little man. If you would like to follow Watkin’s story, you can do so through his FB page, which Stephanie updates regularly.  You can also help by making a donation online HERE or you can donate directly by mail:  Buchanan Co. Humane Society C/O Watkins PO Box 2611 Grundy, Va 24614.

With all the horrible things going on in the world the life of one puppy might not seem like much. I often worry that my dogs have better health care than many people around the world. Watkins is certainly getting more help than many people. Some people might question why so many people care about Watkins when so many people suffer. It is true that many problems in the world deserve our time and energy. Maybe by reaching out to help a puppy we can soften our hearts to the point where we reach out and help humans as well as animals.

So think about it. If you can’t help Watkins, what can you do to help someone, or something that needs help closer to home. What time, talents or treasures do you have that you can use to help alleviate suffering somewhere in this world.

14, 15, 16

30 Jan

Sunday is February 1st, 2015 and Fiona will turn 14.

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 There were some points last year when I worried she wouldn’t make it to this auspicious day. I worry a little, too, because both Clara and Louie died when they were 14. Fiona has a tumorous lump on her back that is now bleeding. Fortunately, she just had bloodwork  done and it came back good. Dr. Davies, our vet, has given the green light for the surgery that will remove it. I’ve scheduled that for President’s Day.

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Sunday, February 1st is also my first official day as a member of  ALA’s 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award committee. I’ve read a few debut novels and the committee has had some initial e-mails back & forth, but today it all becomes official. I’ve already booked my flight & hotel for the ALA Annual meeting in San Francisco, where I will meet the committee members for the first time and we’ll really dig into the job. But, for now, I am simply reading. Unfortunately, I cannot write about any of them, not until Feb 1, 2016 when my term ends. I am keeping careful track, so, when the time comes, I can share things I think you will like.

 

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YA author, teacher, nerd

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