Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I haven't posted lately, and I am sorry to admit that the reason I haven't posted is because I haven't been doing ANYTHING with my dogs. There's lots of cat-harassing and lots of sleeping in sunlight and lots of holding down the couch, and not much else. I took the holiday session off from training classes. I wanted to go back with all, or at least two, of the dogs once January rolled around. The session is nearly upon us, and I haven't signed up, and don't think I can afford to put anyone in class until spring, at least. Christmas, taxes, insurance, heating bills, higher cost of everything, blah.

Fin's been walking around all morning with pieces of cat claw stuck in his face. I thought it was fuzz until I finally just checked it out. No, it's claw tips. Oh, Fatboy. (Why do I call him Fatboy? He's really quite slender. Not an ounce of fat anywhere on him, in fact. 'Cept maybe in his head.) (Aw, that's mean.)

One of the PAWS volunteers made a video montage of some of the animals who were fostered or adopted from PACCA/PAWS (our animal control facility, though in a few days the contract is going to the PSPCA) this year. You can see Fin and some of my foster kitties around the 2 minute mark, right after the cat in the chicken hat, whee. Fin also makes another guest appearance towards the end.

View this montage created at One True Media
PAWS Tribute 08

Nothing much to say, but I didn't want everyone to forget that we exist!

Monday, December 15, 2008

That trust? Was misplaced.

Last night Sean, unbeknownst to me, decided to try leaving Finley out of his crate while we slept. I would have recommended against this, because I find it difficult to trust Finley's judgment as to what constitutes appropriate play with cats or what features are the hallmark of a good chew toy (red, rubbery, filled with peanut butter) vs what features are the hallmark of, say, dirty diapers (white, papery, filled with urine-soaked gel substance). I won't leave him alone for twenty minutes, let alone eight or nine hours.

Well, The Man thought it was a good idea, and since I was already sleeping, it was the perfect opportunity to fail to ask me my opinion. I'm sure if he had tried really hard, he could have pretended to ask me, and then pulled up a mental image where I made Spock eyebrows at him and asked if he had perhaps suffered some sort of head injury that he neglected to tell me about. (Which, I freely admit, is probably why he didn't ask me.)

And this is why, when we got up this morning, we found poop by the front door, urine in puddles across the living and dining rooms, the trash can upended and its contents, including chicken bones and broken glass, strewn across the kitchen floor, with certain choice morsels (dirty diapers, meat-scented styrofoam, veggie scraps) taken to the only clean spot left in the dining room and shredded into miniscule bits. Oh, and the cat scratching post/bed/toy upside down and in pieces on the kitchen floor.

I haven't laughed so hard since, oh, yesterday, at least. Hey, he didn't eat any walls or furniture, like SOME OTHER DOGS would have done when THEY were puppies. (Tuni, I'm looking in your direction!) (It's okay, baby, I hated that ugly sofa anyway.) Even so, I felt a bit like the parents in those 80s films where the parents go out of town and leave their kids at home, and the kids have a house party for about 800 of their closest friends, and destroy the house. At least in the films, the kids usually make an effort to clean up and hide their destruction. Not so with dogs. They're too busy being happily bloated with garbage to have a sense of shame about the whole thing.

The husband, on the other hand... *makes spock eyebrows in his direction*

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finley the Goat, Eating Tin Cans for Breakfast

While I was upstairs changing diapers and getting the little dude dressed ( a chore in and of itself when the kid's favorite word in all existence is NO), Finley countersurfed a can of black beans, gnawed a hole in it, and chowed down on the delicious bean juice.

I came downstairs to find a mangled can and shredded bits of label strewn all over the first floor, my living room reeking of beans, and three dogs obsessively licking various spots on the carpet.

So, guess they had fun while I was off parenting, then, huh?

Sunday, December 7, 2008


After our beloved Nonnypenny died of cancer in the spring, we really needed a third dog again. Two dogs are cheaper and easier to care for than three, and I didn't necessarily want a third dog, but poor Tuni was going slightly crazy. She and Polly don't have compatible play styles and Tuni has a high need for hours of play with dogs on a daily basis. Without it, she gets anxious and squirrelly and just plain weird. We HAD to get a third dog.

Three dogs is a fantastic number of dogs to have, but it gets difficult when you want to take them out for a hike or on a drive (especially with that giant carseat in the back of my car). My dogs are great on the leash separately. Together, they're all over the place. They're not tiny little dogs, so that can be frustrating. We'll only take them out two at a time (one person per dog), which means someone has to stay home. I hate leaving someone home! They stand at the door or bounce in their crates, crying piteously. Sad faces peer at me. "How could you leave US behind and take THAT one? Betrayal! Heartbreak! I'm calling CPS (Canine Protective Services)," they threaten. Also, sometimes they eat the front door in frustration. Two dogs are easier to have adventures with than three. Actually, one dog is easiest to have adventures with, but one dog? Where's the excitement in that?

I think today I'm going to break out the yummy meaty bones and crate a dog or two, put Finley in his cute little green sweater, and take a walk along the brand new nature path that they just opened up in the nearby park. It should be very pretty, with the ice and the snow on everything.

Total change of subject time! I saw a flea on Tuni yesterday. Augh! Time to break out the Frontline. I think I only have one tube for dogs and two or three for cats, so I need to buy, um... an awful lot of it.

For Christmas this year, won't someone buy me something useful, like a year's worth of Frontline for 3 dogs and 5 cats? I would be ever so grateful.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thank you

The recent news that the City has taken the animal control contract from PACCA and awarded it to the PSPCA has created a bit of an uproar here in Philadelphia. I have mixed feelings about the situation. The PSPCA has more funding at its disposal, but PACCA/PAWS has made huge progress in the past few years, and has an intensely dedicated core of employees and volunteers who will stop at nothing to help the animals in their care, even given the many limitations they face.

Neither organization is perfect; none is. I'm not going to claim otherwise. However, I have been so disheartened by the folks who have taken the contract news as an opportunity to crawl out of the woodwork and express their disgust with PACCA and its employees. These jerks use the anonymity of sites Craigslist to blast PACCA's shelter for being filled with "ugly pit bulls." They blast the employees for sending dogs to rescue. They claim that PACCA adopts out dogs with known behavioral issues, just because the behavior evaluator has a soft spot for big dogs. The amount of misinformation and hatred is just plain depressing. Oh, and if you have something to say, how about you stand up and own your words.

So, PACCA people, this is for you:

Johnny, thank you for giving my dog a chance, even though he is an "ugly pit bull" with deeply cropped ears, and terrifies people who can't see past his color and his breed. Thank you for evaluating him and seeing what he really is, and deciding that he was worth saving.

Natalie, thank you for working so hard at getting him (and countless others like him) out to foster, so that he did not have to spend even one more day than necessary in a cage in the shelter.

Sylvia, thank you for taking him into your home and taking such good care of him. Thank you for putting up with my indecisiveness, when it looked like he and Tuni weren't hitting it off the way I'd hoped. Thank you for trusting me to love him and care for him the way he deserves.

To all the volunteers, thank you for your love and dedication to the care of the animals of this town.

Knee-jerking pit bull haters, this part is for you:

Screw you. You don't deserve a dog as sweet, patient, and wonderful as my "vicious," "ugly" pit bull, anyway.

That is all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Slackeriffic, that's me

Oh my goodness, I have been slacking on the blog. I have all these half-finished posts written up, and then I never get around to posting them. And believe me, it's not for lack of funny anecdotes. That dog is hilarious.

In the past week we had a vacation, puppysat, went to Thanksgiving dinner, I picked up another litter of mom and kittens from the shelter, and I placed my first momcat in a great home.

I have in my house what any "normal" person would consider an unfathomable number of cats. I mean, we are way past everyday crazy cat lady territory and into call the state and bring the white coats territory. The thing is, although I can't imagine life without cats, I'm not even sure I like them all that much. Oh, I love them and adore them, but they're a pain in the ass. They've got no concept of the rules and they break all my stuff. So why do I have fifteen of them right now?!?!? Does it make a difference that ten are fosters, most of those are kittens, and they're all sequestered in their own rooms and crates? Do you know how much litter and food we go through in one week?!?

Oh, and it's definitely ringworm, for the record. He's got another spot on his leg. Well... getting that out of my house, that's going to be fun. Let's hope some of my guys are resistant to it. *sigh*

Would you be able to send this squidgy little guy to the euthanasia room? I don't think so!