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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!

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My Best Friend

My best friend is pretty special and he’s way cooler than your best friend.

My best friend leaves muddy paw prints through my house and permanent paw prints on my heart.

My best friend is hard of hearing when I yell at him but he can hear a cheese wrapper open in the next town.

My best friend passes no judgment on me when I’m at my worst, even though he knows I judge him every time he eats cat poop.

My best friend always forgives me even though I’m not so quick to forgive his love of used tampons.

My best friend showers me with kisses… after he’s been licking his butt.

My best friend destroys many of the possessions that I own but he replaces them with the best repayment of all… love.

My best friend never smells good, especially after a rainy day.

My best friend shares my love of the old sitcom Alf and he proves it by being in character and trying to eat cats.

My best friend always tries to play with me, even when he doesn’t feel his best.

My best friend never hesitates to sing along to whatever I am singing to.

My best friend never leaves me hanging when I try to give him a hi-five.

My best friend is eager to meet my friends and he shows it by sniffing their crotch and then offering to shake their hand.

My best friend loves the taste of trash.

My best friend never growls, even when I dress him up like a devil for Halloween or when I put a hair tie on his ears and call him “Onion head”.

My best friend listens to everything that I say and then he goes and finds something else to do.

My best friend licks away all of my tears.  Who needs a Kleenex when you have a great buddy like that?

My best friend leaves skid marks on the carpet but surely it’s only because he knows the carpet is brown.

My best friend has the worst breath imaginable.  But who could have good breath after eating all the trash, tampons, cat poop and doggie ass?

My best friend is scared of snowmen.

My best friend expects a treat when he comes back inside from going to the bathroom.  It teaches me a life’s lesson.  Out with the old, in with the new!

My best friend is 80 pounds (75 on a skinny day) of pure sexy.

My best friend proves all of your stereotypes about Pitbulls wrong.

My best friend can only sleep on a pillow because the floor just isn’t good enough.

My best friend gives me more joy than a million dollars could ever buy.

My best friend knows how to melt my heart… and then make me hand over my Skittles.

My best friend’s favorite flavor is red.  Red Twizzler’s, red Skittles, red gummy bears, red suckers.  RED

My best friend makes me laugh even when all the world around me says that I should cry.

My best friend helped me raise 3 children.  He also helped me mourn the loss of three babies that never made it here to meet him.

My best friend is the best brother ever, even if it is to 3 humans.

My best friend doesn’t have to update his Facebook status for me to pay attention to him.

My best friend could never cut his hair without me noticing because if he did, I would be like “WTF, how did you cut your hair?”

My best friend is the best “best friend” I could ever ask for and he’s my DOG.

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!!

Ben: The Deserving, Deserted Kitty

On Monday, I was made aware of a cat (named Ben) that had been found in the Blue Springs area.  The cat had been scanned and a microchip was found but all of the information for the owner was outdated.  Most of my friends know to contact me when this sort of thing happens because I have a “knack” for finding owners.  One of my best reunion stories was the one of Chumley (which you can read the first story here and read about the reunion by clicking here), where I tracked down an owner who had relocated half the US away.  Chumley was missing for many months and his home was in Colorado!  Anyway, when someone tagged me in the Facebook post, I was happy to help.

Monday night, I started running through websites that house public information.  This includes (but isn’t limited to) Pipl.com, Spokeo.com, the Missouri court records system, various county Assessors and Recorders offices and by utilizing very specific terms in Google.  It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to specify Google searches, just by using quotations around what they search for.  After plugging in the owner’s name and putting it in quotations, I found a link to a possible Facebook profile.  The name of the owner is NOT a common name and the fact that I found someone who matched the name and city, I was sure that I had found who I was looking for.  I roamed through every single photo on the person’s Facebook, searching for signs of the kitty.  No kitty pictures.  I then moved on to reading the person’s posts, saw where she had tagged her mom and I pulled up the mom’s Facebook and I searched all of her posts and photos.  Again, no sign of kitty.  When I was done, I messaged both the possible owner and the mother.  Resigned to the fact that a miracle probably wouldn’t happen, I went to bed and hoped for the best.  I don’t know how many times I got up that night and looked to see if I had a response.

The next day, I started calling every possible phone number that I could find.  I was met with wrong numbers and disconnected lines.  When I heard that the great lady that found the cat couldn’t keep him inside, I panicked and convinced myself that I was so close to finding Ben’s owner that I couldn’t risk him getting lost again.  I messaged her and asked if she could re-catch him and keep him somewhere safe because I just knew I had found the owner and would soon get a response.

When my calls to possible phones were no good and I didn’t get an answer from the possible owner or her mother, I freaked out completely.  I remembered seeing on her Facebook that she worked at Quik Trip and so I set out with the task of calling every single QT from Blue Springs to Independence.  No one had heard of the person that I was looking for but one man offered up a number to the corporate office.  Thinking I had nothing to lose, I called the corporate number and an amazing woman answered the phone.  I explained to her that I was not seeking any personal information and that I did not need a phone number or a location for an employee, I only wanted to get her a message because I thought that we had found her cat.  Thankfully, the lady on the other end of the line was receptive and helpful and she promised to call the employee right away and pass along my info.

I sat and watched the clock… time kept passing and I hadn’t heard a word.  Then, my phone rang.  I jumped to grab it and found the familiar voice on the other end of the line.  It was the lady from QT corporate again.  And then she said:

I spoke to the employee and she confirmed that she did have a cat named Ben and he was micro-chipped but that she had sold him and no longer owned him and didn’t know who did.  And then what cut me through to the core, “and she isn’t interested in being contacted to help”.  The apologetic tone of the lady’s voice told me that she felt horrible about the former owner’s decision.  She told me that the lady didn’t want to call me but that she felt compelled and that I should know.  I thanked her and hung up, with anger vibrating through my body.

How do you own an animal at any point and not have one care about what ultimately happens to them?  How can you know that they are in need and ignore it?  Refuse to help?  I can’t understand it and don’t want to.

After trolling Craigslist, I found a post from October which matched Ben’s description.  Unfortunately, the post was not for a “lost” cat but rather a “found” cat that had been staying around outside someone’s home.  The lady that found Ben called around to the local shelters and no one had reported a cat missing.  Craigslist has nothing.  If the owner didn’t care enough to change over the micro-chip info, do they even want Ben back?

The lack of compassion of some people just really irks me.  I can’t believe that the health and safety of a prior pet isn’t of concern.

Ben is now looking for a new home.  He’s been a stray for at least a week, confirmed.  Ben’s an orange tabby male who is already neutered.  Right now he is located in Blue Springs, Missouri.  If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping this poor fella, please email me at darathrene@gmail.com.  As I mentioned before, the lady that found Ben can’t keep him inside because she already has two cats who will not accept him.  She has made him shelter and a bed outside of her home, she’s giving him lots of love and attention and Ben is still hanging around, waiting for someone to love him.

Poor Ben! He needs someone to love him forever!

 

This is Ben, outside of the home where he has been staying as a stray since last week.

 

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