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KC Rescuer Not Giving Up on Special Needs Dog

A special needs dog from Kansas City needs your help!!

Mindy wants you to help her get to her forever home!

Mindy wants you to help her get to her forever home!

A few months ago, one of my close friends rescued a “special needs” dog from Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, KS.  While my friend Sam is never one to ignore any animal in need, this was one especially important.  “Mindy” was a lonely senior dog and Sam couldn’t bear to see her spend another second at the shelter.  Living at a shelter is difficult for any dog and in Mindy’s case, it was even scarier.  Mindy is both deaf and blind.

For the past few months, Mindy’s been in foster care while Sam tried to find the perfect home for her.  Thankfully, after a ton of work, Mindy has a new home to go to!  The only catch, the home is in Seattle, Washington.  Now, we have to get Mindy home!

Sam and Mindy’s new family have agreed to meet in Idaho.  So far, transportation arrangements haven’t worked out so Sam is planning on driving from Kansas City all the way to Idaho to deliver Mindy to her new family.  Okay, so you’re asking, “Where do I come in?”.  Here’s what we need:

Sam has to rent a car for the drive, pay for gas and cover her hotel stay and she needs your help to do it!  To offset some of the costs, she’s selling raffle tickets at $1 each for the “Move Miss Mindy” super-fast fundraiser.  For every $1 you spend, you get entered into a drawing to win $100 cash!!  If you’d like to help, you can buy a raffle ticket via Paypal by clicking here.  In the “to” section, you’ll be sending the money to mike.gooch@gmail.com.

If you’d like to contact Sam directly about donating, just use the contact form below! (okay, so technically the contact form will email me but I’ll pass it along to Sam)

See Mindy’s bio on Examiner.com by clicking here!

Spy on Samantha Gooch’s Facebook here!

 

 

So, you want to find a new home for your dog?

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Working in animal rescue, every day of my life I hear a billion reasons why someone wants to re-home their animal and I have at least 2 people A DAY that ask me to help them find a home for their pet.  It got me to thinking… how would my own dog stack up with these homeless mutts?  And so, here are the top reasons I’ve heard for re-homing a pet and what I have went through with my very own pooch of 13 years.

1. I had a new baby.

You had a new baby?  Let’s hope it’s more forgiving, patient and understanding than you are!  Okay, that was mean.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m glad you had a child.  Do you know how much joy a pet can bring to your kids life?  Did you know that children who are raised in homes with pets actually have less allergies?  Sadly, once someone contacts me I really can’t talk them out of finding their pet a new place to live.  If you had any idea how many pets are homeless for this one reason, maybe you would think things over.

Bowser’s story:

When Bowser came into my life, I had a toddler.  While Bowz was great with him, I did wonder how things would be when I brought a new little person into the house.  It wasn’t different because I had a Pit Bull, it was just different because I was bringing an attention-sucking monster in to our home.  It had just been Bowser and Levi for 8 years and I did worry, don’t get me wrong.  By being cautious and extremely careful once little Paris came home from the hospital, I felt better about the situation.  By making myself more knowledgeable and by not setting Bowser up to fail, I gave him time to adjust.  I remember the very first moment when everything relaxed completely.  Paris was a few months old and he was sitting in the middle of the living room floor in his ExerSaucer, bouncing around and playing with his little plastic keys.  I saw Paris jump and knock his keys off on the floor and he started to cry.  Before I could even react, Bowser was there, leaning down to pick up the keys.  He put them in his mouth, looked over at Paris and then gently laid them on the top of the ExerSaucer and walked away.  It was in those few seconds that I learned that my kids had an angel on Earth who walked on four legs and who smelled horrible after a rain storm.

2. My dog goes to the bathroom in the house.

Uh huh, and so do you, right?

Bowser’s story:

While Bowser hasn’t ever been one to have accidents in the house, on the few times that he has, they’ve been doozies.  One day, Bowser got into the trash and dug out a ziplock baggie full of pulled Pork.  Since no one was home to let him out, Bowser went into the kitchen by the patio door and he proceeded to make a huge, runny pile of doodie right there.  Smelly diarrhea is bad enough but how about you add the BIG factor here… the dog just happened to poo directly into the vent, which was cranked up on heat.  Add a few hours and I’m sure you can imagine what my house smelled like when I got home.  Not only did I have to deal with the smell but I also had to reach my arm down into the vent and pull everything out of it.  Have you ever washed crap out of a vent?

3. My dog won’t stay in the backyard, he always runs away.

Dogs are smart and if they know they have a moron for an owner, they will continue to run away.

Bowser’s story:

His mom was a moron.  That damn dog ran away for the first 12 years of his life.  The last time he ran away was on the night of my birthday party two years ago.  No matter what I did, Bowser would get out and roam the neighborhood.  Fences, tie-outs, supervision, none of it really mattered.  Harry Houdini was reincarnated in the form of a mangy brown dog named Bowser.  The worst Bowser runaway happened after I had Bristol in 2005.  We were living in Oklahoma and because Bristol was in intensive care, I refused to leave his side.  I had friends taking care of Bowser but while I was gone, Bowser decided to run away.  My mom found him incarcerated at the city pound where the caretaker’s were scared to death of him.  I guess it was that whole “Pit Bull” thing.  Maybe even more ridiculous was the fact that I was as worried about my stupid four-legged kid as I was about my little human child.

4. I have to move.

Are you moving to Alaska or just down the street?

Bowser’s story:

Since I’ve had Bowser, I’ve lived in 5 different places in 2 different states.  Bowser has lived in both Oklahoma and Missouri.  During all of these times, I’ve never once thought about leaving him behind.  The reason?  No matter where I go, it would never be “home” without my Buckaroonie.  With him, my family and my life are complete.  Of course it would have been easy to find him a home but then, where would I have been without him?

5. I’m getting a divorce.

Really?  Good for you!!  Spouses are the devil!

Bowser’s story:

Bowser and I went through a divorce and thankfully, I got custody.  It’s a good thing because had I lost this dog, it would have definitely been my demise!  I’d be writing this blog from my prison cell while doing time for killing my ex.  Sure, divorces suck and your finances take a big hit.  But, why would any girl in her right mind part ways with the one male who always has time to cuddle, who always leaves the toilet seat down and who willingly listens to her bitch and moan and never complains?  Sure, his farts can clear a room but at least he can’t say, “Oh, the dog did it.” or “Pull my finger.”.

6. My dog tears up the furniture.

Good, consider him your interior decorator because your couch was sooo last season anyway.

Bowser’s story:

I cannot count the number of throw pillows that this dog has destroyed in his lifetime.  Within a month of buying our new couch a few years ago, Bowser ripped a 6-inch gash in the seat cushion.  Because I’m too lazy and cheap to fix it, I throw a torn (thanks, Bowser) couch pillow over the hole.  His greatest achievements in mischievousness?  He once jumped through a closed window and survived.  Yes, completely through it.  That was a fun thing to come home to.  But, the one moment that always come to mind is the time that my friend Chad babysat Bowser while Larry and I were out-of-town for a race.  Before we left, I told Chad to make sure that he didn’t leave Bowser alone because he had really bad separation anxiety and he was a wee bit nuts.  I told my friend about Bowser’s psychotic days (to be described later).  When Larry and I got home the next morning, we went to our bedroom to go to bed but the door wouldn’t open.  Once we finally got the door open, we found that in our absence, Bowser ate the door frame, chewed a large hole in the carpet, he ate our blanket and sheets, he ripped open our down-filled pillows so feathers floated around the room, he chewed a hole through our mattress and the little bastard even climbed in our closet and ripped clothes off of the hangers.  Yup, so your dog leaves hair on the couch… I’ll trade ya!  My friend’s face was priceless when I got to say, “I told you so!”.

7. My dog is aggressive towards other dogs.

Aggressive?  Like how?

Bowser’s story:

While Bowser initially had other dogs around and in his life, as he aged he became an “only child”.  Sadly, “only child” syndrome actually turned to “the dog is freakin’ nuts” syndrome.  As Bowser ages, he gets more and more nasty.  He will actually go out of his way to piss on the neighbor’s dogs when they walk up to the fence.  One day, he gave the neighbor’s white Pomeranian a golden shower while she watched in disgust.  After that, I didn’t really have to worry about the neighbor’s kid playing with my kids.  Lol.  Bowser had his worst moment of real aggression when we were at Larry’s parents shop.  We didn’t know that Max (Larry’s English Mastiff brother) was there.  Bowser saw him and attacked.  To this day, Larry still points out the scar that he has from breaking up that dog fight.  I’m sure you can imagine what a fight would be like between a scroungy Pittie and a 200-pound (or close to it) Mastiff.  That dog-fight still has Max and Bowser all riled up when they smell the other one on our clothes.  And hey, it’s only been like 4 years!

8. My dog acts weird.

As weird as you?

Bowser’s story:

There is no limit to the weirdness of this dog.  For those of you who don’t know, I found Bowser at a truck stop after I had recently lost a baby.  Because of that profound loss, Bowser became my baby.  I carried him around, he went everywhere I went, we shared suckers and ice cream cones and he lived “the life”.  Unfortunately, I also made him batshit crazy.  He had horrendous separation anxiety (I mean, he did jump through a CLOSED window) and he ate weird things.  One Christmas, he ate all the glass balls off of the bottom of the Christmas tree.  I woke up one morning and they were gone.  After a trip to the vet, I knew for sure that my dog was smuggling them in his belly.  Surprisingly, he lived through that, unscathed.  After a few incidents of “batshit crazy”, I went to the vet and I asked him for help.  That old Oklahoman said, “That dog is beyond help.  You’d be doing him a great favor by putting him to sleep.”.  I asked him what I could do besides that and he wrote me a prescription for Prozac.  For 3 years of his life, Bowser popped Prozac like they were tic-tacs.

9. My dog throws up everywhere.

Stop forcing him to watch Project Runway!

Bowser’s story:

You have no idea what puke “everywhere” is until you’ve lived with my dog.  If you’ve made it through the blog to this question, you already know that my dog does a lot of things that he shouldn’t.  He ate glass Christmas ornaments!!  But, he also ate everything else that wasn’t nailed down.  After another trip to the vet, Bowser was put on a medication that the astronauts use in space for nausea.  I don’t remember the name of it now because it was like 10 years ago but I do remember that it wasn’t cheap, at all.  When your dog barfs enough that he’s on spaceman meds, come whine to me then.

10. My dog gets into the trash.

What dog doesn’t?

Bowser’s story:

Some dogs like bones, meat, carrots and treats.  My dog likes paper plates, McDonald’s wrappers and tampons.  As Bowser has aged, this phenomenon has become out of control.  What once rarely ever happened, is now an everyday occurrence.  If I don’t go all “white trash” and put my trash can on the kitchen counter before I leave for work, the dog will have the can over before I can pull out of the driveway.  If I don’t remember to shut the bathroom door, I get to come home to my teenage son’s look of complete disgust over the sight of a mostly eaten tampon laying in the living room floor.  (try explaining that one to your 8-year-old son)  My dog is the “john” and our trash is the cheap whore that taunts, tempts and teases him.  He doesn’t want to be bad but give him the right opportunity to screw up and he will.  Just like a male.

11. My dog is sick and I can’t afford the medical bills.

There’s something called “resources“, check them out!  For more info, check out the tab Animal Rescue/Pet Related Info at the top of my blog.

Bowser’s story:

Vet bills suck, no question.  But don’t we owe it to our pals to help them?  I can think of a ton of times in Bowser’s life where vet expenses got to be too much.  In his lifetime thus far, he’s had prolonged prescriptions for Prozac and nausea medication, he nearly died from pneumonia after a boarding stay while I was on vacation, he had a testicle burst and he had emergency surgery for testicular cancer, his bladder filled with stones so bad once that they had to go in and actually take his bladder out and scrape it and now, Bowser has cancer and some other “unknown” medical condition.  Since March, I’ve spent a few thousand dollars on vet exams, x-rays, prescriptions and over-the-counter meds.  Since March!  It’s a huge burden and financially it’s excruciating but I owe this dog a debt that could never be repaid.  The least I can do is try to save his life, like he’s saved mine.  The important thing for you to know is that there are resources out there to help you in your pets time of need.  If you’re in the Kansas City area, check out the Animal Rescue tab at the top of my blog.

12. I got a new dog and my old dog doesn’t get along with it.

Yes, this is actually a common excuse.

Bowser’s story:

Don’t get a new dog.  I learned this myself a few years ago when I was fostering a Pit bull puppy.  Bowser is an only child and he doesn’t want to share his toys or couch with a “dog”.  So, I won’t make him!  He was here first.

13. My dog won’t stay out of the litter box.

All dogs eat cat poop.

Bowser’s story:

I can sum this one up really quickly.  If you think that your dog’s appetite for kitty bi-product is horrendous, imagine being me.  One day, I saw Bowser getting into the cat litter box.  When I got onto him, he tried to yank his head out of the box but the lid caught on the top of his head.  When Bowser lifted up, the top came off the box and it fell to the floor.  Never one to disappoint, Bowser didn’t end the embarrassment for himself there.  He then looked up at me with a grin and that’s when I noticed the piece of cat poop lodged in the gap where he was missing a bottom tooth.  When your dog smiles at you with turd dentures, you can talk to me about the terror of poop eating dogs.

13 reasons, I had 13 reasons to re-home Bowser and you know what?  None of them are legitimate enough for me.  Over the course of 13 years together, I can easily think of 13 things that I hear all the time that definitely pertain to my dog.  Yet, still I go home every night and open my door to find a couch covered in dog hair, torn couch cushions on the floor, clumps of toy stuffing all over the place and once a month, a stray tampon here and there.  If it weren’t for those little things, my life would be so boring.  Yes, dogs can be a huge pain in the ass but the thought of life without them is just too painful to bear.

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Dogs… can be a pain in the ass!

Dog Needs Ride from PA to FL After Owner Killed on Interstate

A dog needs a ride from Pennsylvania to Florida after his owner was killed on Wednesday while he was stopped to help a car accident victim.  The dog was with his owner at the time of his death and thankfully, a tow truck driver saved the dog from ending up at the pound.  Now, Rancid needs help to get back to his family in Florida.  Please share their story!!

The Aftermath of Success

It’s been almost 2 days since Chumley (his story will be coming soon, check back later for it) made it back home to Colorado and now I sit here wondering, “Now what?”.  I know he’s gone and he’s back with his family but I guess I am not ready for his story to be over.  I’ve caught myself numerous times, just as I am about to post another Chumley status on Facebook or make some reference to how awesome his story is.  Yes, I know, it’s over.  The world has moved on and I should, too.  I wish I could but I guess that I am just “stuck”.

Chumley’s story was extra special for me for a number of reasons.  The main reason is that he happened upon me while I was “off guard” and contemplating my place in rescue at all.  It was an accident, right?  That whole, “right place-right time” thing?  Or was it?  If you believe in what so many do, they claim we are all here for a reason.  During the course of my 33 (I think) years of life, I’ve come up with a billion reasons why I am here and a zillion thoughts of what my real purpose is.  So, are we not here for one singular purpose?  I’m thinking we aren’t.  Our sole purpose in life is to make as much of an impact as possible.  So really, it’s one thing with a whole waterfall of work.

After Chums left for home and I got the word that he was safe, I knew it was time to move on to another needy case but I still seem to be in neutral, going nowhere.  Do I reverse back to the chaotic life of rescue?  Do I shift down in to park and get moving on to something else?  Or, do I just sit here stalling on the brake hoping that my foot gets tired enough that it slips off and I am moved by some other force?  If I’m not holding myself back, where exactly will I go?  I think I already know the answer.  I’m that car stuck in a hole while you wait at the longest traffic light ever.  You sit there holding on to the brake and eventually, you get tired.  The car seems to be stopped so you ease off the brake to see if you can just sit there without doing anything.  You slowly ease your foot off the petal and then BANG!! you roll backwards into the car behind you.

Rescue is a gigantic pain in the ass.  Think of the worst hemorrhoids ever.  Half of your intestines are hanging out and try as you may, you can’t really get them back in.  It hurts, it burns and you can’t stop thinking about it.  Every once in a while you catch some relief but most of the time, it’s always right there waiting to catch you off guard.  By stepping back for a while, I am sitting on that cushy donut-butt-pillow-thingy and it’s honestly not giving me much relief.  The need to “fix” things is still there.  The intensity is still there, although muffled at the moment.  The urge to return things to normal hasn’t went away.

The one thing I do know?  As long as there are animals in need, they will scream to me.  I will try to block my ears and try to protect myself from the screams of anguish and despair but I know I will still hear them.  It’s not going to go away.  As long as there are animal abusers, neglectful owners, and irresponsible people, I will always be needed and I will always hear the screams for help.  What to do now…

Get off the butt-pillow, yank my foot from the brake and slide that bitch into reverse.  I’ve got shit to do.  As long as society is irresponsible, I’ll live my life in reverse.  One step forward, two steps back.  One life saved, 2 more lost.

It’s not as easy as you think

Your dog wags it’s tail as you load it up in the car, happy to be able to go on a fun adventure with you.  You arrive at your destination and your pooch is wagging his tail, licking your face and bouncing up and down with excitement.  “What are we doing, huh, huh?”  You reach for your pet, attach its leash and leave your car.  The sad thing is that your dog doesn’t really comprehend what’s going on.  He’s just happy to be by your side.  You walk gingerly toward the door of the animal shelter, confused and maybe apprehensive about what you are about to do.  In your head, you run through all of the questions and all of the answers that you think you already know.  Resigned to the fact that there is nothing more that you can do, you open the door to the shelter and you walk in.

As you stand at the desk, explaining your story and completing your necessary paperwork, your dog still stands at your side, anxiously awaiting what fun surprises are in store.  A voice booms over the intercom that tells staff at the shelter that a new intake is waiting.  Before you have a chance to process what is happening, someone walks up and introduces themselves to you and your dog.  In that moment, the world stops and your head reels.  The staff member takes the leash from your hand, extends some courtesies and then walks away with your dog in tow.  You again tell yourself that you are doing the right thing and that your dog will have a better life.  You had no other options, did you?

Sadly, there are options.  Options that you didn’t consider.  Options that you didn’t even know about.  What is worse than missing the options is the realization that what you thought was in the best interest of your dog, was actually one of the worst experiences your dog will ever have and one that they may not survive.

The shock of going from life at home with you to life in a shelter is overwhelming to any dog.  What was once peaceful and comfortable is now chaotic and cold.  The shelter is full of whining and barking, whimpering, death and despair.   The dog that once laid out on his back, wrapped in a blanket on your couch is now laying on a cold kennel floor.  The dog that once ran through your yard with the wind in his hair now sits in a cage, sometimes days on end, without ever seeing outside.  He sits shaking in his own urine and feces with no end in sight.  He begins to cry, lonely and scared.  As someone passes his cage, he reaches his paws through the bars in an attempt to say, “Hey you!  I’m not supposed to be here!  I have a family that loves me.  You’ve made a mistake!”

The nights turn into weeks and the weeks into months.  With each day that passes, more and more of the life inside of him disappears.  The sparkling gleam of joy once always prominent in his eyes is now gone, replaced with a haze of depression.  No more does he extend a paw, asking for reconsideration.  He now lays in his cage, passing the time in the only way he can, by dreaming.  He dreams of the days when he used to lay in your lap and all of times he would chase that tennis ball through the yard.  The only thing he has now is memories of the life he once had, the life that he doesn’t understand how he lost.

One day, someone walks up to his cage and for that moment, he realizes that maybe he gets to go home.  Finally!  You have come back for him!  He tries to muster up some hope as he walks into a room he has never seen before.  He looks around, trying desperately to find you.  “Where are you?”  Someone picks him up and lays him on a table.  The stranger ruffles his hair and tells him, “You’re a good boy.”  Out of nowhere, he feels the sudden pain of a needle prick.  Instantly, his mind floods with memories of you.  As his heart slows, his last thought is of you.

Millions of dogs and cats meet this very same fate.  While you think that changes in your life or your dog’s behavior force the issue of you leaving them at a shelter, ask yourself if you will be satisfied with the outcome.  Most pets that arrive at the shelter will never leave.  If they can survive the rampant illnesses and depression, they may be adopted.  Some owner relinquishments don’t even have that opportunity, some are euthanized on intake.  Can you walk out the door of the shelter knowing that you could be handing out a death sentence?

There are always other options.  Contact rescues in your area, call your local shelter and ask them for referrals for help.  Whatever situation you are in, there are others who have been there, too.  There are countless people who will work to help you keep your pet, whether that would be in the form of assistance covering medical expenses, training to overcome behavior issues or just some extra help providing dog food.  Resources are out there, you just have to ask for help.  It’s always your best option.  And if all else fails, send out a plea for help on Craigslist.  There are plenty of crazy animal lovers that are 110% willing to help ease your burden and ensure that your dog or cat has a home for the rest of their life.

**When using Craigslist be extremely cautious!!  Please only use it as a means of obtaining assistance with vetting/behavioral issues/obtaining assistance with dog food or finding low cost spay/neuter or vaccinations.  Craigslist is not a good place to post your pet in an attempt to find a new home.  Numerous medical facilities, dog fighting rings and experimental groups use Craigslist to obtain dogs and cats for their own sick and twisted use.  If you absolutely need to rehome your pet and you’ve exhausted everything, as a local animal rescue for help.  You can find a list of animal rescue groups on Petfinder.com.**