Sunday, May 9, 2010

Toot, Toot, Tootsie

It's been a big week or two for older and the less fortunate dogs we have been tending to in ARF. My oldest foster -- a dear snoodle named Tootsie who records say is 10 and maybe 11 years old -- was adopted. Toots has congestive heart disease. She often acts like a much younger dog -- an 8 year old, perhaps. I have adopted her out twice before to senior citizens who kept her a year or two and then asked ARF to take her back because they could no longer care for her.

I always took her back with no reservation because Toots is a good girl. I just felt terrible for her. It seemed that no one in the extended families wanted to take her in. That is bothersome to me. You would think that a son or daughter would take in a family member in need.

This time I had decided Tootsie was staying with me unless someone very special came along, which I sincerely doubted would happen.

But it did happen. Along comes a nice woman in her late 50s, early 60s who has had dogs with cancer and congestive heart disease before and has no problem letting them live comfortably with her until it is their time to depart. She e-mailed me about Toots and I e-mailed back, thinking that would be the end of it. But she persisted. She filled out an application and met Tootsie. Toots had just come from the groomers and was looking especially gorgeous with purple toe nails and a purple bow in her hair. Also a hot pink and purple scarf around her neck. The lady liked her and decided to adopt her.

I just received an e-mail from her that Tootsie has settled in quite nicely. Toots was always good about that. Bless her. She said that Toots does a happy poodle dance when she comes home from work. She said watching the dance and how Tootsie runs around and barks happily makes her think she is a much younger dog.

It makes me think that there are many, many special people in this old world.

Don't shop! Rescue!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ARF to the Rescue!

ARF members have been Rescue Rangers extrodinaire lately. One little dog, named Koehler after the doctor who helped patch him back together, is now available for adoption. He came to us with a badly broken pelvis and leg. Veterinarians and plastic surgeons (!)worked hard on him and pieced him back together. He is a sweet guy anyone would love.

Another little dog was rescued after ARF members saw it hit by a car in heavy traffic on a main street in Tulsa. They stopped traffic long enough to pick up the wounded, unconscious, 4 pound dog. They rushed him to Bent Arrow Veterinary Clinic. He came to and stirred, but was in great pain. His leg was broken in a couple of places. ARF footed the bill and he was put back together again. "Lucky" is recovering nicely and up for adoption.

What can you say about people who will go above and beyond for innocent animals who are caught in traffic, scared, hungry, helpless? The motorist who hit the little dog didn't even tap his brakes and kept on trucking. Thank heavens for people who give a darn and stop to help. And for the wonderful veterinarians and other medical personnel who donate their time and discount their fees to help rescue groups like ARF save more dogs from being euthanized.

The ARF president helped round up a pomeranian that was loose in traffic around a shoppping mall in Tulsa. When she finally caught it, she was shocked to see that it had an ARF tattoo. She checked the ARF line and, sure enough, the new adopter had left a message about how her new dog had slipped from its harness and had raced off. She returned the pom to the owner with a stern warning about cinching up a harness or collar so that the dog is secure but not uncomfortable.

This month is Spay and Neuter Month. Please spread the word to spay and neuter pets. Do a good deed this month by making a donation to a rescue group like ARF or telling your veterinarian that you will pay for a spay/neuter for a client the veterinarian feels needs financial help to do the right thing for his/her dog or cat. You will earn your stars in heaven and become a RESCUE RANGER yourself!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heartworms Heartache

My next foster dog will be a little chihuahua mix that I'm calling Tuffy because he will have to be tough through the next few months. He is heartworm positive. The Tulsa Shelter picked him up and asked ARF to take him on. This means he would be euthanized if Animal Rescue Foundation didn't step in to save him. The call went out and I answered it. I can't stand to hear about any chihuahua being euthanized. Tuffy is at the veterinary right now. They are giving him his vaccines and starting him on heartworm preventative to kill the baby heartworms first before they tackle the adult heartworms.

Heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites. They are preventable if you give your pet a heartworm preventative every month. In Oklahoma, we suggest that people keep their dogs and cats on heartworm preventative all year long because of our weird weather. You never known when you will see a mosquito! People with inside pets should keep their animals on HWP because mosquitoes come inside and they can also land on pets and bite them while on walks or outside going potty.

Once you allow your dog or cat to contract HWP, you are in trouble and so is the pet. Heartworms are fatal in cats. So say bye-bye to your cat if she/he comes up positive with heartworms.

In dogs, the heartworm treatment is fairly aggressive. If the dog is older and sickly, he/she won't live through the treatment. Young dogs can make it through, but it is tough and the whole treatment takes about three months. And the treatments are not free! Get ready for a hefty veterinary bill.

I feel sorry for little Tuffy even though I haven't even met him yet. No one was looking out for the poor, little fella and now he must suffer for it. He has been neutered, so that tells me that he was someone's responsibility at one time. Someone who was irresponsible.

The first dog I fostered was heartworm positive and that was a trial by fire! Believe me, I wondered what I had gotten myself into as I struggled to keep a young, rat terrier mix quiet and calm after she had been treated for heartworms. She wanted to race about the backyard and jump and leap at squirrels. I couldn't allow this because if her heart pumped too hard, it would pump the bits of decomposing heartworms into her blood stream and that would kill her. I got her through it, but just barely! She broke two or three knick-knacks in my living room and beheaded a statue in my back yard. I had her on a retractable leash and she bolted. The leash went taut and cut the head off the statue. I was just glad my fingers hadn't been cut off. I have never used a retractable leash since then.

If you don't have your dog or cat on heartworm prevention, make an appointment today to have your pet tested for heartworms. If given a clear bill of health, then buy some HWP. You don't want to put your dog through such an ordeal when it is so easily prevented. And heartworm preventative will literally save your cat's life.