Foster Fun

Hello, troops!

Yesterday my new foster sister, Lilly, arrived, and guess what?? It looks like she is getting adopted already. I’m not overly surprised. Even without eyes, I can see that she’s a cutie patootie. She’s a Boxer Pittie mix (but she’s still sooooo tiny) and she’s deaf. She doesn’t let that slow her down, though! After she settled in, she and I had a wrestling session that cracked My Parents up. At one point, Lilly stood up on her hind legs and batted me like a cat! 

And speaking of cats, Lilly outright jumped on the big orange love lump, Ronald Weasley, and tried to tackle him. Ron outweighs the little smudge by a good bit and he’s the most laid-back feline on the face of the earth so he simply shook her off and moved on. Her attempt to face off with Claudius Maximus, the three-legged fight survivor, was an entirely different story. Claude got over his offense, though, as you can see from the photo below, which features 2 rescues (3 if you count My Dad) and 1 foster. 

Lilly has some work to do on her crate training. So far, she has peed and pooped in it, which makes her a Lillipoopian as well as a Lilliputian according to My Parents, and she far prefers tearing around like a crazy woman outside. I can understand that, but I’m not much of a morning dog myself. I like my routine, and don’t even think about playtime until I’ve had my breakfast! 

Little Miss Lilly loves everyone – she even sniffed Twinkle’s nose through the fence (Twinkle is our donkey), but Mom is keeping little Lilly mostly separate from Tonks and Moody. Moody loves to play and would be more than up to the challenge of wearing Miss Lilly out, but he’s a bit too exuberant in his antics. Mom’s afraid he might smack her too hard with a paw in his excitement. 

At the moment, I’m trying to help Lilly with her crate training. She’s crying, and I’m howling in accompaniment, but Mom is hoping my expertise as a veteran of the crate training process will soothe the savage little beast. I’ll let you know how that works out 🙂

Over to you,

Sgt. Pepper

  
  

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This One’s for Marshall

Hello, troops!

Some of you may be acquainted with my FB friend, Mac the Pitbull. Mac’s mom fights the good fight, helping educate the public about the misperceptions regarding pitbulls and extending rescue and foster assistance to those in need via Mac’s Mission. In other words, Mac and his pack are all around, salt-of-the-earth good guys.

Recently, Mac came to the aid of a very sick little Shar Pei named Marshall. You can read all about Marshall’s story on Mac’s FB page, but let me warn you in advance that it’s a sad one. They lost Marshall despite their superhuman and superdog efforts to save him. In the rescue world, losing animals is part of the equation, but it’s the hardest part, and in many cases, like Marshall’s, it’s potentially avoidable. Believe it or not, you animal lovers can help by doing one simple thing – avoiding disreputable breeders.

If you’ve read my blog posts or seen my FB page, you may know that my two Aussie sibs came from a breeder, so I’m not in a position to criticize anyone for purchasing a pet from reputable breeder. But, please, do your homework first. Check out rescue groups and shelters – they are often full of pure-bred pets if that’s what you’re looking for – and if you do decide to buy, make sure the person you’re supporting treats his or her animals well. Even though My Family ultimately decided to purchase my brother and sister, My Mom is a big proponent of the rescue system and adds to our pack through adoption whenever possible (which is sometimes more often than My Dad might like, but that’s another story).

Like Mac’s mom, who says that she didn’t consider herself a Shar Pei kind of mom before Marshall, My Mom wasn’t a Pug mom before me. I have mentioned this numerous times is my previous posts, and Mom very openly admits that I opened her eyes (hah! a little irony from the blind dog!) to the joys of being owned by a Pug. It’s a bit ironic, but she and My Dad often comment that I’m the easiest dog in the bunch. Keep that in mind when you’re considering a four-legged addition 🙂

Mac’s pack is still recovering from the loss of their beloved Marshall, and their grief is shared by thousands of Mac’s followers who, like My Mom, cried for the loss of a little dog they knew and loved via social media. Marshall touched many hearts and stretched the minds of more than a few who, like Mac’s mom, look at Shar Peis in a whole new light now. My Entire Family followed Marshall’s rescue; I can barely imagine the number of lives that little guy touched. Thank you, Mac, for sharing him.

I challenge my troops to open your minds and open your hearts to new possibilities. Wondrous things just might happen if you do. You could end up loving someone you never considered in ways you never thought possible. If you’re really lucky, you might end up being rescued by a Shar Pei…or a Chihuahua…or a Pitbull…or a Pug…or a 3-legged mixed-breed wonder dog like my Big Red cousin – the possibilities are endless!
Thanks to Mac’s pack and Green Dogs Unleashed, who is sending me a new Foster Sister this week (YAY!!!), and all the other animal-loving rescuers out there for the noble, often joyful, sometimes painful work you do. I salute you!!

Over to you,

Sgt. Pepper

  

  
 

Happy Adoption Day!

Hello, Troops!

Today is Adoption Day – the anniversary of the day I rescued My Mom! I didn’t need eyes to see that she was the one for me when she walked into the Charlottesville SPCA that afternoon in May two years ago. I barreled right into her heart and life as we both knew it has never been the same since. 

When folks learn that I am blind, they nearly always express sympathy, which I appreciate. I’m sure I’d experience life very differently if I still had eyes, but My Family loves me just the way I am. Mom even made a list of all the things she loves about me and she recites it to me nearly every day. Here are the things she loves most about me in her own words, which betray the fact that the way her mind works is something of a puzzle, but what can I say? I love her to pieces, puzzling thought processes and all!

My curly, curly, wiggy wag tail with the black tip

My old lady fingers

My warm velvety ears with the pink insides

My chest fur

My black-tipped feet and hands

My kissing spots

My wrinkly forehead

My stubby whiskers

My crookedy Pug teeth

My pushed-in snout

My jowls

My barrel chest

My gemstone shelf (don’t even ask!)

My capuchin monkey skull

My thumbprint of Buddha (the black mark on my forehead)

And most of all…MY SOFT, SILKY EYE SOCKETS, which she pets and kisses every single day as she tells me I’m the most perfect Pug on the planet.

How about that last one, huh? The thing My Mom loves most about me is the very thing that most folks consider my disability. I’m not gonna get all mushy and overly sentimental on my troops, but I would like to ask that you all consider the possibility that the quality you (or others) view as your biggest detriment is what makes you the most beautiful being in the world to someone else out there. 

Before I leave you to mull that over, I want to give a shoutout to my cousin, Big Red, who adopted his Mom – My Aunt Amanda – two years ago today, as well! Without you, my handsome tripod cousin (seriously, see his photo below? He’s one handsome hound!) none of this would’ve happened. I owe you more thanks than I can ever repay.

That’s it for now, Troops!

Over to you,  

Sgt. Pepper

  

  

Ready for action!

Hello, troops!

I’ve been out of action for a while, I know. Mom was hunkered down with a bad case of winteritis and what’s a blind Pug to do? It’s not like I could assume control of the keyboard. Plus, I was kind of suffering from the winter blues myself. 

In between taking naps and slogging through the snow, Mom fell in love with a couple of dogs who popped up on her Facebbok feed through various rescue organizations. She tried to adopt them both, but she wasn’t allowed since both the dogs were in other states and were being handled by resues who don’t adopt outside their own states. Do I even need to mention how adversely this affected her case of the doldrums? I think not! I’m sorry to say that she grew so disillusioned she nearly gave up on the idea of opening her heart to another dog, but then a couple of wonderful things happened.

First, spring finally sprang and second, our friend Erika at Green Dogs Unleashed asked if we’d consider fostering an adorable deaf bulldog girl. Mom’s mood lifted at once, and My Family and I barely had to think about it before we answered yes. Yes, yes, YES! Our new friend came to us last Saturday and let me tell you, troops, there’s nothing to put pep in my step like having a stone fox like Miss Maddie trotting by my side! (Relax! I’m neutered and she’s spayed. I’ve just always wanted to work the phrase “stone fox” into conversation cause it sounds cool. Admit it. You’re thinking about it using it tomorrow at the office now, aren’t you?)

And, ok, no. I cannot see Maddie, but I do not need eyes to know how gentle and sweet and full of fun she is. Resistance is futile in the face of her desire to play! We run and jump and growl and pounce and play until we both collapse from exhaustion. Maddie plays with the big dogs, too, but they have a very odd codependent relationship that keeps them from participating as fully as I do. Plus, Mom says that with my ears and Maddie’s eyes, the two of us are like one super duper fully functional dog.

Here’s the best part, though – Maddie is already getting adopted into her forever family! They saw her pictures, fell in love (how could anyone resist??), and they’re coming to take her to her new home on Saturday. Will I miss her? You bet! But I’m so thrilled that she’ll have a Mom, a Dad and two Boys to call her own. It doesn’t get much better than that for a puppy, and I’m happy beyond words for everyone involved.

Mom’s been taking lots of pictures so we can remember Maddie once she heads out with her new Family. It’s been hard for her to get a good shot since Maddie doesn’t sit still for very long, but she’s pretty happy with the photos in this post. And My Boy is already angling for another foster pup. He’s hooked on the fostering process. (So am I, but don’t tell Mom – she gives me extra love if she thinks I’m feeling neglected).

Stay tuned for my next update. Over to you,

Sgt. Pepper

 

 

A healthy dose

Hello, troops!

You won’t believe it, but Mom took all of us out for a hike in the chilly weather last week. Things were getting pretty dire around our house what with the huge lazy bone Mom was developing thanks to several days of gray skies and yucky weather. She was grumbling (rather loudly) about suffering from a lack of vitamin D (can you believe the D doesn’t stand for dog?? I know, right?!) and we were taking our fair share of pack naps, which I personally didn’t mind, but Mom was getting downright snappy. And if you’ve ever experienced life with a snappy Mom, well…you know how dicey things can get.

So when the sun popped out last week Mom carpe-d the heck out of the diem and bundled us all in the car. She did this not once, but twice! She even dragged My Boy out of the house and made him come along! And there are few things Tonks, Moody and I love more than going on a hike, except getting ready for a hike, and taking a car trip to the park where we go hiking, and riding back home again, and…oh, what can I say? We love every minute of it! We don’t even mind that Mom sold our Landcruiser last year and bought a Prius (she is a woman of extremes, this Mom of mine). Sure, there’s a little less wiggle room, but we all fit just fine with the seats folded down. Sometimes I even offer to climb up front and navigate, but you can see why Mom doesn’t think that’s a very good idea.

I can’t see the sun when we hike, but I can feel it warming my fur, and I can feel the difference in Mom’s mood after she spends some time outside and gets a healthy dose of that vitamin D that doesn’t stand for dog. As for me, I’m a pretty consistently happy little guy as long as I’m with My Family, especially My Mom. Whether we’re snuggled on the couch or trekking through the woods on a cold winter day, I’m just thrilled to be a part of it all.

Take care of yourselves this winter, troops. Don’t let the gray days get you down, but if they do, here’s hoping you have a warm Pug to snuggle with!

Over to you,

Sgt. Pepper

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Therapy begins at home

Hello, troops!

I’m pleased to say that all the humans in my pack are healthy, but I cannot say the same for My Kitty Cousins, unfortunately. It all started when Ronald Weasley came down with the sniffles, which progressed to a full-on cold, complete with a hacking cough, lots of sneezing and runny eyes. In the midst of the worst of it, Ronald Weasley snuggled up next to me for some comfort and My Mom managed to snap this shot.

A few days after Ron turned the corner, Hermione came down with the same cold, and she, too, seems to take some comfort in snuggling with me. Though My Mom has yet to catch that action in photo form, she has remarked on the comfort I’m providing just by being me. I must admit that’s a nice feeling, and it’s what led me to become a therapy dog in the first place. Having pack members under the weather is never a happy occurrence, but at least I can help ease their discomfort somewhat…and I get some nice snuggles in the bargain!

Stay healthy out there, troops!

Over to you,

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Keeping the blues at bay

Hello, troops!

I hope you’re all staying warm as January unfolds and frigid conditions become the norm across much of the country. The chilly temperatures, combined with gray skies, can really do a number on you two-leggers, I know. My Mom has been more inclined to nap these days, which is understandable. Curling up on the couch with three warm dogs and a cozy quilt is an enticing proposition so it’s easy to see why she succumbs. (Of course, I may be slightly biased, given that we Pugs love a good nap or ten throughout the course of a day).

And yet there are times, like this morning, when Mom has enough of the winter doldrums. She got everybody (including My Boy) ready and hauled us out for a hike, frigid temperatures or not. Every member of the group – well, except for me – could see his or her breath, and the frosty ground crunched under our feet the entire way, but it sure was nice to be outside! I could feel the sun on my fur, and moving at a purposeful pace got my blood flowing!

Back at home, My Boy set about a very dreary-sounding task – studying for exams, and My Mom cooked lunch and then helped him study. Unburdened by such concerns, we dogs sacked out and snoozed. I’ve posted a picture here of Moody, my brother from another mother, enjoying the aftermath of our frosty hike.

Stay warm, troops, but don’t overlook the benefit of braving the cold to do something enjoyable on these chilly winter days. You’ll feel better if you do, and just maybe passing the time in a fun way will help you weather the season a little better.

Over to you,

Sgt. Pepper

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