Monday, December 29, 2014

Rescue Shames Me Sometimes

Right around the time we lost Addie, my dear friend/rescue partner Julie mentioned that she had another friend that lost his dog too.  When she was telling me about this gentleman and how much he loved his dog, my heart went out to him.  He was the type of owner that any dog would be lucky to have, and secretly in my mind I kept thinking:  “Damn, if he gets another rescue dog, I hope he picks one of ours.”   

Now, if you do rescue, you know the type of owner I am talking about….  The type of owner that views his dog as a member of his family, it's never “just a dog”.  He is the kind of owner that is super responsible, has his dog groomed regularly, follows all of the veterinarian’s recommendations, is truly looking for a companion to share his life with, and would rope the moon if his dog needed it.  This gentleman is the epitome of a great dog owner! 

After following his story through my friend Julie, I was excited to hear this man had decided he wanted another dog in his life.  Life was too lonely, and not the same without a friend.  Julie told me he had found a breed rescue that had a dog he was in love with, he had filled out his application and was waiting to hear back from the rescue.  Well, he did hear back from the rescue.  In a curt email, telling him that he would not be considered for a dog because he didn’t have a fenced yard.  Julie was outraged about this rescue, and how they treated her friend.  I won’t lie, it ruffled my feather too, for a few reasons.

        ~ This guy applied to adopt a 6 year old Schnauzer.  It’s not as if he applied to adopt a 6 month old super active Border Collie.  It is a breed of dog that very easily can adapt to living in a condominium, being leash walked by an owner who works from home. 

     ~ This is a senior dog.  Do you know lucky you are as a rescue, if you are able put a senior dog into a household where it will be loved unconditionally as a person’s sole companion for the rest of it’s life?!  (A life that would likely be longer due to the exceptional vet care this guy's dogs receive!)      

~ The foster home that the dog was in did NOT have a fence.  Ruminate that one!  They will allow their foster home to not have a fence, but their adoptive home must have a fence?!  Pot, kettle, black much?!

 After his veterinarian called to give him a stellar reference, they conducted an hour long home check yesterday, told him he passed the home check and that he was an exceptional home, only to adopt the dog out to another family today.  That is just inhumane!

The part that upsets me the most?   

This radical rescue gives the rest of us in rescue a bad name.  I cleaned up the heartache and bad taste this so called “rescue” left in this man’s mouth.  Why?  Because it was the compassionate thing to do.  When you rescue dogs you aren’t dealing with just a canine heart, you are dealing with a human heart too, and I can assure you that 99% of the people in charge of these “radical” rescues would NOT pass their own application process if the tables were turned.  

I think in the world of rescue we often are jaded and we have lost sight of the end goal, to find amazing homes for homeless or neglected pets.  Instead it seems rescue has become a self-serving institution where control freaks with God complexes are allowed to act like dictators, because they can.  Where is the grace folks?!  We shouldn't judge folks as if we are the only ones who know how to take care of a dog, and by doing so we run the risk of alienating spectaular dog owners!

The good news in this otherwise troublesome story is that I was able to help this man find a reputable breeder tonight.  Someone who was looking to re-home one of her show dogs.  He is going to get an amazing dog that will be loved for the rest of it’s life.  Shame on the rescue who failed to see the potential of this great adopter, but congratulations to the lucky dog who will now live a life of absolute adoration.  I couldn’t be happier for the two of them!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014


Yesterday started off like any other Sunday for us, a little bit of Jesus with our friend Julie, followed by lunch with my parents, just a typical morning.  It was shortly after lunch when my sister called and informed me that her entire family was quarantined with the flu.  She wanted to know if I could deliver crackers and Sprite to their house.  Of course, I obliged.  

In the mean time, Miss K wanted to go out to the barn to ride Mia, I had a puppy that was supposed to go to it's new adoptive family, and I had about 400 arms in the fire at this point, so I decided to delegate some of this stuff to The Reluctant Farmer.  The game plan was,  I would take a load of supplies to my sick sister.  The Reluctant Farmer would take Miss K to the barn to ride for 45 minutes, and we would all meet back at home for a puppy adoption and dinner with our friend Julie. 

Then I received the phone call....

Me:  "Hello?!"
The Reluctant Farmer:  "Where are you?!"
Me:  "Um, in my sister's isolation hut of a house."
RF:  "How soon can you get to the horse barn?"
Me:  "I'm about 30 minutes away.  Why?"
RF:  "You should get her soon.  The horse is bleeding."
Me:  "Bleeding?"
RF:  "Yeah, from her vagina."
Me:  "What?!  How did that happen?"
RF:  "Um, I don't know.  But can you hurry?  She's bleeding."  
At this point she confers with a person in the background and it is decided this injury was caused by a kick from another horse.
Me, wanting to know how big of an issue this really is,  "Is this like a hemorrhage sort of bleeding or more like a dripping blood sort of bleeding?  
RF:  "It's kind of like a fast dripping sort of bleeding."
Me:  "Well, call the vet and apply pressure.  I will be on my way shortly."

We hang up.

The phone rings again.

Me:  "Hello?!"
RF:  "Hi."
Me:  "Hi.  Did you call the vet?"
RF:  "No, I think you should look at this first.  I don't know anything about horses and I don't want to call the vet if you don't think it's needed."
Me:  "Well, where you don't know anything about horses, you are medical so I am sure you can apply some pressure to make the bleeding stop, and I am confident you know about vaginas.  If it was my vagina, I would want you to call my doctor.  Call the vet."
I hear her sigh, followed by "I will just wait for you to get here.  Hurry."

At this point I am angry.  I am trying to take care of my sister, who looks like death.  I am asking questions about the horse's undercarriage, but can't get a solid answer.  And no one is owning the decision to call the vet nor are they applying pressure!  (This was a legit concern of mine at the moment.)

I quickly leave my sister's house and then call my friend Erin who lives just down the road from the barn.  Erin is not only my friend, but also one of our small animal veterinarians.  She has horses of her own, and I knew she could get there quicker than me, assess the bleeding situation, and make a decision for me.  Graciously, she agreed to drive over, take a look and said she would call me.

The word back was:  "Yeah, this is a one-in-a-million kick.  Your horse has a deep laceration across her butt, a 2 inch laceration to the vulva, and what appears to be a laceration to the inside of her vagina.  I can't get a real good look though because she is not very happy."

Oh joy! 
 Just what every woman wants this holiday season, lacerations to her "lady business"!

I call the vet, and God bless that woman, she comes out assesses the situation and gets right to work.
She sedates Mia, something I would want if it was my vagina, cleans her up and starts blocking the area with lidocaine so she can suture her back together.  We chat while she works, and on occasion as ladies, we cringed for the poor old girl.  

Later in the car on the way home, I caught myself grumbling about owning horses under my breath, and then I stopped myself.  How do you thank the 1300 pound beast that keeps your child safe?  You give her a great life, which includes excellent vet care, and you sympathize with her as only another woman could do, beacuse at the end of the day, no female person or beast wants a laceration to that region.  

Now as a horse-mother, I must discuss with Mia the fact she needs to find a nicer group of friends to hang out with, but we will save that for a day when she feels better.  There is no use in adding insult to injury....

Monday, December 1, 2014

DIY: Disinfectant Wipes

This weekend was one of those weekends that I really did not want to get out of my pajamas.  I was on-call for the hospital, which forces me to stay close to home, and honestly I just felt like home is where I needed to be.  

Even though it was a stay in you pajamas sort of weekend, we still got a TON of stuff done and our house looks AMAZING!  This is largely in part to my new DIY disinfectant wipes.  

After I fixed breakfast this morning, I reached under the kitchen sink for my Clorox wipes, popped the top and GASP!  I was out of wipes.  This could not be.  I can't survive without those little gems!  I then remembered that I had wanted to try a recipe I had been working on for DIY disinfectant wipes anyway, and after a quick little review, I discovered I had everything readily at my fingertips to give this a try.  

      To do this you will need:  
Old t-shirts, cut into 6 x 8 in. squares
    1 c. of water
     1/4 c. of alcohol
      1 1/4 T. dish soap
       4 drops of essential oils
           A container with a lid 

First I put all my fabric squares into the container.  I then mixed the above concoction, poured it over the fabric squares, and finished!  

I used several of these today, and loved that I could throw them in the washer tonight, and re-use them.  The only thing I didn't care for was the alcohol in this mixture makes the smell strong, hence the essential oils, so I am working on another recipe and will post it after I try it.  The strong smell and re-usability, out weighs paying $3.99 for a container of the name brand wipes though, so over all it was a DIY success!  


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