Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Acquisition of Kit Kat: Part I (original post January, 2011)



KitKat perches on the back fof the recliner each evening while her “Mama” watches TV

The Day Fate Stepped In

My daughter told me this story about KitKat’s rescue. I can only write her stories in the first person. I’ve tried writing her stories in a different manner  but for some reason the words just are not the same and the story doesn’t read the way I think it should. This story has an unusual twist for an ending for this cat is so loved by my daughter and the love is mutual.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

About five years ago I was working at a large multi veterinarian clinic. For some inexplicable reason, this clinic had more than its share of challenging cases that were accompanied by the most bizarre stories.  During our rare breaks, my fellow veterinarians and I often mulled over the strange cases, that came through the heavy doors. 
Midway through my already weary day, a woman rushed into the clinic carrying a tiny kitten in one hand. She told the receptionist that she had been out jogging and the kitten had fallen out of a tree.  A very strange story!  How did a tiny kitten climb a tree? I don’t think that the kitten had actually fallen out of the tree. The jogger just happened to find the kitten at the base of the tree or maybe the kitten really belonged to the woman and it had somehow been injured.  As she handed the kitten over to our receptionist, she said, “I hate cats and I’m not going to pay for its treatment!” With those parting words she made a bee -line for the door, gave it a shove and was gone in a New York minute.  Our receptionist rushed the tiny ball of fur to the back and then handed her to me. The kitten was a tiny, limp, and pathetic looking bit of dull grayish blue fur that fit in the palm of my hand. I gave it a hasty exam and noted that is was a female, severely dehydrated and in a non-responsive coma.  Clearly this was a rescue case and one that I saw as totally hopeless. I saw no hope for a tiny kitten that was barely clinging to life and looked as if it would die within minutes. And I reasoned, if by some miracle it lived, I simply could not afford to spend anymore money trying to save it’s life. I had just rescued two other cats that had cost me a great deal of money. Each one had needed a surgical specialist and even though their surgeries, medications, treatments, etc. were discounted, these rescues had put a deep hole in my wallet.

 Based on my findings and the opinions of two other doctors and  some techs, we all concluded the kitten as hopeless and that euthanasia was the only logical answer. So with a sinking feeling, I began preparing to euthanize the tiny waif. I wheeled the anesthetic machine over, turned on the gas, and began to “mask” her down. I then prepared an injectable euthanasia solution. I had the syringe in my hand and as I was ready to do an intra-cardiac stick, Dr. M. the very new graduate from Texas A & M vet school walked past. She suddenly stopped, peered over my shoulder, and said, “hey Dr Daniel what are you doing?” I explained that I was going to euthanize the comatose kitten. In a rather horrified voice, she said, “Oh my God! How could you? I thought you loved cats. Aren’t you a huge proponent of rescue. Why not try to save her.? I’ll help you with the cost and I will help you with the care of her.” I mulled over her words for a few seconds and I thought that translated into, “I’ll take her home with me.”  

Continued as:   The Acquisition of Kit Kat, Part II 
Post  and photograph  Yvonne               


Tagged , , , ,

Iron Horses- Out to Pasture


Iron replica of a foal out in the pasture

I happened to see this iron sculpture on some property owned by a veterinarian whose clinic is in the country about 12 miles from the town where I live. I think these iron horses are unique. The pictures turned out okay but the time of day was early afternoon so the light is not the best. If I knew how to use Photoshop, which I installed on my computer, maybe I would be able to improve the lighting some.

The veterinarian who owns the property where the iron horses stand has a large and small animal practice.. She sees a significant number of horses in this area. There are several horse farms that raise primarily quarter horses and there are many individuals that own one or more horses. 

Other equines consist of a donkey that might be the  herd protector of the cattle, sheep, or goats. If the herd is large there might be 2 donkeys. I just do not have any pictures of donkeys for I have yet to see any near enough the road to get a decent picture.

Post and photographs Yvonne

A different kind of iron horse


Cat Quotes, Observations

Elkie mauled by pit bull. Saved from euthanasia by Dr. D.

Boogie: arrived at our home as a feral tom. Boogie became very docile after he was neutered. Now he is a dapper dude in his tuxedo.

Gregory arrived at our home about 4 years ago. Semi-feral, very thin, fur was matted. He is now a handsome gentleman.

Some of my favorite quotes and my observations of cats:

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” — By Albert Schweitzer

There is nothing better, when feeling down and out than to listen to some calming music while petting  a cat that is sitting in my lap,  with another cat perched on the arm of my recliner and one more cat draped around my shoulders. This is the epitome of relaxation which allows me to forget about my worries for awhile.

“Cats are rather delicate creatures and are subject to a good many ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffers from insomnia.” — By Joseph Wood Krutch

Well, one thing is for sure. Mr Krutch hit the nail on the head. As I watch my cats sleep,  I’m so envious. They literally sleep about 16 to 20 hours- give or take an hour or so according to age. The older cats sleep until time to eat, groom, and go to the bathroom.. If only humans were able to sleep so easily with seemingly not a care in this troubled world!

“I had been told that the training procedure was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.” — By Bill Dana

Cats are intelligent beings. Mine let me know when they are hungry. One cat sits in a chair at the table and watches my every move as I attempt to eat breakfast. One cat touches my arm and looks into my eyes (never make eye contact with a cat unless you want to find yourself surrendering to that look of “feed me now.”) Shooing the cat away only causes guilty feelings so after I have taken several bites of my breakfast, I get up and feed my cats. After I feed the cats I still feel guilty because I did not place their needs before mine. So, definitely cats actually know how to train the dummy that “lives with them.”

“For me, one of the pleasures of a cat’s company is their devotion to bodily comfort.” — By Compton McKenzi, Sr.

I’ve had a cat/s in my life since I was a toddler (and other animals as well). And it never fails to amaze me how my cats seek the warmest, sunniest, or softest, pile of clean laundry on the kitchen table. One or two will settle in for a nap after picking the perfect site. The cats just seem to exude contentment with their furry self tucked into a ball. If a cat or two decides to nap on the clean laundry, I often find myself their servant, for I simply do not possess the will to move them- they just seem so content and happy in that particular spot.

Post and photographs: Yvonne


Betsie was caught as a feral kitten by a wealthy lady. She asked my vet to euthanize her after learning that the kitten had ringworm. “I can’t bring that into my home. My vet asked me to take Betsie. I spent $200 to rid her of ringworm.

Tagged , ,

The Herding Group: Part I Border Collie Original post: November,2011

Rocket walking toward me


In Texas, the most popular of the herding group appears, at least in my area, to be the Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog,(Blue Heeler or Red Heeler) and the Australian Shepherd.
I love dogs that belong to the herding goup. But I am drawn to these dogs in a special way. I suppose that I like their agility and intelligence. 
A little knowledge can help you make the right decision about whether to adopt a herding dog. Will the dog be suitable for his/her/family’s life style? Can you meet the demands of these high energy dogs?  If you adopt a herding dog please make a  COMMITMENT FOR THE LIFE  of these wonderful dogs. Don’t be guilty of adding to the number of animals surrendered to a shelter.

Rescue groups try very hard to save as many dogs as possible from almost always a sure death. But even rescue groups have limits and most times can only pull (take an animal from the shelter) as many, as these individuals can care for in their homes.

The number one issue with the herding dog is that (almost) all of them are extremely smart, highly energetic, agile, love to play, and require some type of activity that provides an outlet for their energy. Simply put, most of them need a job or an activity that gives the dog and the owner fun and satisfaction. IF THESE NEEDS ARE NOT MET- 98% of the time the dog becomes bored which leads the dog to become destructive,  bark incessantly, dig up the yard, might become a biter, and in essence will have become a nuisance and no longer a pet but a pest. At that point, the owner, will be tired of dealing with a dog that appears neurotic and is too difficult to manage.

1.  BORDER COLLIE-  These dogs are quite different from other dogs breeds mainly because their PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR IS HARD WIRED. This incredible dog comes in different coat lengths and various color combinations. The most popular color is black and white. Other colors include merle, white with spots/patches of black or brown, solid black, and red and white.  Some  Border Collies have been taught to follow more than 200 plus voice commands. One Border Collie in Europe can follow 500 word commands.  CHASER:  A Border Collie (in the USA) that is 7 years old and knows 1,022 words (nouns).  

This breed was developed  for herding sheep.  Arguably, the Border Collie is the best all around dog for herding sheep.  These dogs are said to possess the ability to make rational decisions: “think for themselves” or figure out what move to make that will result in a favorable outcome. And, as many people know, this dynamo is adept and excels at frisbee and agility. Some of the champion frisbee dogs in the U.S. were adopted from a shelter.

The Border Collie is rated as highly trainable, possesses a high degree of intelligence, and is  quick to learn.  These are dogs that are very sensitive and punishment or a harsh voice will get you no where fast. Good basic obedience is a must and if you do not have the time to train this dog and/or enroll the dog in an obedience class and give it plenty of exercise with a job to do, then PLEASE DO NOT GET A BORDER COLLIE. The Border Collie can become an integral part of your family. They make excellent pets and like being around people but always give them something to do:  catching a frisbee, chasing a ball, herding some sheep or goats or agility for at least an hour or more per day will keep your dog happy.  I can not stress enough, the importance of proper socialization and at least basic obedience combined with sufficient exercise.

The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge is shown on TV about 2-3 times a year. I watch the program each time it is aired. The dominant breed in agility and frisbee continues to be the Border Collie. The dogs, to me, are unbelievable. But so are their human owners/trainers. These dogs display a level of skill that takes years of training:  The winner of the frisbee contest was a BC from Japan whose owner/trainer is just 21 years old. Human and dog worked as one.  This dog performed some incredible tricks that were jaw dropping.

Where to find a Border Collie puppy/or adult dog?  Look no further than your local shelter or rescue group for a BC. PLEASE NEVER BUY A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE( these puppies most of the time come from puppy mills).  If you want to spend lots of money then do your homework and purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder. Never buy a puppy unless you can visit the breeder’s home and ask to see the mother and the father of the puppies.  The condition of the adult dogs speaks volumes.  Are they clean and free of ticks and fleas? Is the living area or the kennel clean?  Does the owner have a relaxed manner and does he or she make direct eye contact when answering your questions? Has the puppy received any kind of socialization ?  Can the owner produce authentic records of vaccinations?  Ask to speak with the veterinarian who handles health issues for the breeder’s dogs. Make sure that you are really speaking with a veterinarian or better yet visit the veterinarian in person and ask for proof of vaccinations, de-wormings, and other health issues. Unscrupulous breeders are known to give false vaccination and registration papers. (See story of “Saving Annie” and you will get a good dose of reality from this post). How does the puppy interact with you? Do some research on the Internet and learn as much as you can about dogs in the herding group.

Rocket in his favorite place      10/13/2011  12 years old in this photo

My rescue of sorts:  I read the pets ads in the paper each  day as well as the lost and found. About 6 years ago I noticed an ad for a BC to be given away. The ad said he loved to play frisbee.  Why would someone give away a frisbee playing dog?  They are such fun to play with and to own!!! I noted that the ad would be in the paper for a few days, disappear and then reappear. Of course that peaked my interest. Mystified- I watched for the ad for about two weeks or more. I finally called the number and the owner said she had given the dog away three times but that he was not working out for the latest adopter. She told me that he was (7) years old, loved to play frisbee, was terrified of riding in a car, and that ” we are giving him up because we are moving to a house next to a golf course.”  I could see that the family had little regard for the family pet. Her five year old daughter, she said, loved the dog and she wanted the dog to go to a really good home. “We don’t want to give him up but he just can not go with us to our new house.” I thought this was a poor excuse to give up a dog, so why not, I thought, continue to live where you are so that the dog can remain a part of your family? However it was not my place nor my intent to question the woman.  There was one thing for certain- she was adamant that the dog would not be moving with the family.

I had always wanted a Border Collie and even though I had four other dogs, I for some ridiculous reason thought I would be the one to save this dog from a  terrible fate that the owner could not envision. I reasoned that if he had not worked our for three other people then the woman would just give him to anyone and the outcome would surely not be in the dog’s favor.  So over the phone and sight unseen I said, “I will take him and give him a good home.” I  gave her a brief history of some of my  pet experiences and rescues, etc. and the woman seemed relieved. “A farmer has him right now. He was about to bring him back but I don’t want him back anymore. I’ll give him a call and tell him to bring him to you.”  Believe me that farmer and his wife brought the dog over within an hour. I was waiting in the front yard when the people arrived in a pickup with the dog in a crate in the back of the truck. I helped the man get the “orphaned” dog from the crate and the first thing that I noticed were his eyes: wild-eyed and glassy which to me denoted utter fright: a fear of the unknown and desertion- from living in a home where he was cherished by a little girl and then suddenly going to live at different homes all within a few weeks.  “Well, I’ll tell ya. This fella runs off and he barks at my wife’s cat.  Won’t stay at the house. No, I didn’t put him in a fenced yard. He acts wild.”  Thought he might be good company but he just don’t seem to like me. ” The farmer handed me a small bag of dog food,  leash,  frisbee, and a stainless steel food bowl.  As the man got in his truck his parting words were, “hope ya have good luck with him. I reckon he needs patience and we don’t have none of that. Too  much trouble to deal with a dog that acts  just plain stupid. ” And with his parting words, he and his wife were soon out of sight.  I stood in the driveway looking at a beautiful  black and white Border Collie who was very traumatised. He was shaking and I assumed it was from the ride in back of the pickup as I remembered the woman saying that he was afraid of vehicles.

I knelt beside him and looked into his eyes that seemed to speak volumes: sadness, fear, trauma; the whole works of a dog that had been thrown into the unknown. I ran my hands through his thick glossy fur and stroked his head for a few minutes. I hoped with all my heart that he would believe that he was here to stay. So, I was now the owner, of a very fearful Border Collie who was probably trying to understand what the past two weeks were about and why he was no longer with the family that he had known since he was a puppy. 

 I learned quite a few lessons from Rocket. He gradually adapted to his new home and eventually bonded with me. He was a quick learner and I wish that I had had more time to work with him. One of the first things I did was help him overcome his fear of getting into a vehicle. I used treats as a reward. Within two days time he was jumping into my vehicle and ready for a ride.  It was just as simple as that.
Rocket continued to bark not just in the morning but throughout the day. I had to do something about the barking- so I purchased a large metal crate from Tractor Supply ( which had the best prices). I put Rocket in a crate in a spare bedroom. This stopped the barking. It seems that Rocket just wanted to be in the house and to be part of a family again. I did not trust him with my cats so he was always supervised when out of the crate. I put him in the crate while I was at work.  During the day he was free to roam the fenced yard with the other dogs. It took several years before I felt he would be okay around the cats.
He goes wherever I go in the house and at night sleeps beside the bed near me. I am sure that all of this would have transpired much sooner had I not been working at the time. Rocket is not a perfect dog but then I never expected perfection. I just know that I have given him a good life- he gets to play ball- no more frisbee because he began limping and I realize d that his age was a factor. So, he gets to chase a ball around and doesn’t have to jump. His biggest love was to catch a ball or the frisbee but now, I roll the ball so that he doesn’t make any jumps to retrieve it. For the past 5 years the golf cart appears to be his favorite activity. Sometimes he beats me to the cart and is the perfect gentleman as he sits down opposite me and eagerly waits for the  ride to begin. Our property is a hill and a  shallow valley, so I use the cart several times a day and Rocket is always on the cart ready for a ride. I find it ironic that his former owners moved to the edge of a golf course and now the dog they once owned rides in a golf cart several times a day.
Rocket is now about 12 years old. My vet said he has the heart that sounds like a young dog. I really was happy to hear those words. HE DOES GET HIS EXERCISE. When I go out to feed the animals he races around and around the yard as if he is rounding something up. He has worn a path that looks like a cow trail. The trail  is quite visible. At any rate he is getting his exercise and he is a happy dog. He always comes when I call him to the house. That look of fear? Well that vanished after a few days. I believe that he knew he was here to stay . I am so glad that I made that rash decision to take him- sight unseen that day.
Photos and post:  Yvonne  
 Addendum: This post was written in the fall of 2011 about the same I learned that Rocket was in renal (kidney) failure. I was able to keep Rocket going for approximately 8 months. I used Ringer’s lactate IV fluids ( which is also given sub cu (subcutaneous) under the skin with the needle inserted between the shoulder blades. I also gave him vitamin B12 and B complex under the skin.  There are  two medications that can be used but one is very expensive. The other medication Rocket, could not tolerate at all. In June, 2012 Rocket was euthanized after 2 days of not eating and not  being able to stand up. I know he was ready to go to doggie heaven.  I miss Rocket a lot. He was not my dog for his entire lifetime but I think he liked his home with me. And, I would like to believe that he loved me, as much I loved him.

Rocket: declining in health but still very alert


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keeping Your Pet Safe from Predators (Original posted April, 2011)

Living in the city, the suburbs, or in a rural area, has given some people a preconceived idea that there pet is safe from just about all dangers. After all we are living in very modern times. However, despite modern times and the progress that man has made, the laws of nature are still around, just about EVERY WHERE.  Laws of nature, are what they have always been, except the wild animals that lived and hunted in the woods, along creeks, and river banks now have to compete with humans for their very survival. Survival means finding and living on the fringes of what was once a place where a particular animal had suitable habitat to hunt food and raise its young. Since we humans have now encroached where these animals previously lived and hunted, we have diminished greatly, the ability of these animals to live and find food so that the species is perpetuated.

This means that some animal species have learned to adapt and to become an opportunist. Some animals adapt, to an ever changing natural habitat and have learned how to supplement their food sources with the spoils of what man has made available to them. So now we are faced with predators that  the streets and yards of the city dweller or the suburbanite. Here the predator has learned that it can find food. And the food just happens to be that dog or cat that is allowed to roam free because its owner just can not bear the thought of restricting their pet’s freedom. After all, why not let that pet get a taste of running free through those trees and down to the creek for a swim. The pet owner really has no concept of what awaits little Fifi or Fido. Lurking just around a tree or bush is a fox, bobcat, or coyote lying in wait to grab some food for itself or its young.

So the pet owner is dismayed when their cat or dog does not return to the house and where, oh where, did that pet stray. Did someone steal the pet or did it get lost? The answer probably 90% or more of the time is that the cat or dog was grabbed by a predator as an easy meal.  Since the wild predator knows other meals are probably in the same setting, it will begin to frequent the suburban  semi wooded neighborhood. Some of these predators have become bold enough to come into areas where there are no homes- just businesses. Here too, the predator finds a meal in the form of discarded food in trash cans and feral cats that live in the city.

Yes, sad to say but this is not a new phenomenon. Its been going on for many,many years and the sudden disappearance of pets is happening everywhere. Years ago, a lady told me that she and her family were visiting a farm with their small dog. As they walked about the property the family stood atop a tank, (pond) dam and from out of nowhere a coyote grabbed their small dog and all the family could do was shout and watch helpless as the coyote took their beloved pet away to eat as an easy meal. After all, the coyote did not even have to chase anything down. The predator saw a meal and turned it into an opportunity.

How did I arrive with these so called facts?  I have read articles concerning pets and predators. Game wardens and other wildlife experts have given me information about the problem. I myself have lost several cats and I am 99% sure a coyote,  bobcat, cougar, or fox caught them. Our home is in, what could be considered a wooded area where these predators live, in undeveloped habitat. There are also deep ravines and creeks (streams)  My husband was  always slow to close the backdoor so a cat at times would slip out to the great outdoors. I worked the evening shift for not quite 35 years and I have seen coyotes and fox running down our driveway at night. I’m sure my “lost” cats met their demise in the jaws of  a predator. I now have special wire enclosures which  built by a carpenter in two  places where my feral cat colony lives. My cats  have the fresh air and some freedom  outdoors but as the same time  safety. In fact my “cat barn” was highly praised by various people.

There are numerous ways to safeguard your pet from a predator. 1. Do not let your small  to medium size dog outdoors without you holding the leash. 2. Do not leave uneaten dog food for the raccoons are stray animals. 3. If you have a cat/s DO NOT ALLOW them the freedom of the great outdoors.

Now you are probably thinking that a chain link fence would keep your dog/s safe or that your cat NEVER LEAVES THE YARD. I don’t want to burst your bubble but coyotes, fox, and bobcats can and do climb fences to go after prey. And as far as trusting your cat or dog to never leave the yard is akin to letting your toddler play near the street and expecting  that your child JUST WILL NOT GO AND PLAY IN THE STREET. After all, you told your child that “Mommy will be right back and you stay right here in the yard.” Just as your child is not immune from being kidnapped by an evil person or hit by a car, your child does not have the ability to remember he/she should not play near or go into the street. This is the best analogy I can think of, even though all of the afore mentioned is gruesome and depressing.

Your pet is like a child. It is vulnerable to all manner of harm besides getting run over by a car, attacked by a stay dog, shot by an animal hating neighbor, or stolen for pit bull bait, sold at a flea market with fake AKC papers,  sold to a laboratory, or cults that practice witchcraft and that use pets (most often a cat) for sacrifice. So you say you’ve never heard of such.  This also is a reality, although it is difficult to say how prevalent  in various areas. More things to make you really cringe: great horned owls, hawks, and eagles are capable of picking up a cat or a very small dog.

 Next post I’ll give you some ideas of how to protect your pet but allow it fresh air and some freedom with an attached wire enclosure that has added reinforcements so that a predator can not chew its way into your cat or dog’s playground. In the meantime peruse the Internet and type in cat enclosures and see what information you can find. If you are ingenious, you can make your own to attach to a portion of the back of your house. An enclosure can be made into an attractive safeguard for your pet.  After all, your cat or dog deserves to be safe. Is your pet more or less a member of your family?

I highly recommend  the book, The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton. ( web site photos and blog are excellent (  ) It is a great read and wonderfully written by a young and gifted writer and photographer. This book will give you a perspective about the coyote from a different view point but at the same time the writer informs the reader how destructive the coyote is to ranchers.  I can add farmers to that as well. I was born and raised on a black land farm in Central Texas and I know from personal experience what coyotes can do to vulnerable livestock, poultry, and house pets.

So better to be safe than sorry.  Keep that furry member of your family safe.

 Post: Yvonne

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Just Dog Photos

Puppy:  Border Collie x Australian shepherd  (my favorite dog.) A rescue also.

Rocket 10/2011


Dancer Smiling as she waits for a cart ride

Dancer is “smiling” in this photo. She is one one smart cookie and is an excellent watchdog. She is a rescue from a Ft. Worth, Texas kill shelter. Dancer was rescued day prior to being euthanized. I will never be able to fathom how people can be so callous, selfish, and cruel toward an animal that will love you as no other being can.


Mixed breed (mutt)

                                      Gweenie was my dog for about 2 years. When my sister’s dog died, Gwenie went to live with my sister. 

Australian cattle dog

                                        Zoey was put over the fence into my yard as a puppy. She is an  EXCELLENT guard dog. Loves to play.        

Muddy holding a stick in his paws

                                           I found Muddy as a puppy  at 12mn on a cold night.  Please excuse the poor crop. (But I’ll leave it here.)

The Pitifull Pittie Puppy (and) How Could I Say No? (Original post: March 8, 2012 11:51pm)

Before you decide to peruse or read this, the puppy in this story was a foster.  This little story for me had a bittersweet ending for I had become attached to “Spotty” and knew that as soon as he was strong and had gained weight and provided that he did not get sick, I would have to give him up to another rescuer who drove him to Austin,TX and then turned him over to another rescue organization. To this day I worry about who adopted him and if he is in a caring home that can provide for his needs and not allow him to be stolen as a fair number of pit bulls are. I think I did a very good job of getting him to a healthy weight and vigor and a puppy that was socializing very well with people, dogs, and cats,  when I had to give him up.
For various reasons, I wrote this story in detail and it is a long read if you choose to read it in entirety. Scrowl to the bottom of the story for two pictures that were taken about 2 weeks before I gave him up for adoption.

 The last week of December, I arrived  at my vet’s office with one of my older cats that needed pre-dental labs. As I entered the office I noted that my vet’s wife was not behind the desk. In fact no one was in sight nor did I hear any voices. Then as if by magic my vet’s wife and another woman emerged from an exam room and as they made their way toward me, I could see that the young woman was carrying something wrapped in a blanket. They continued talking about the something that was in the blanket and then stopped about three feet from where I was standing.

The crux of the conversation: Ms M. “well I can’t keep him here because we have some parvo puppies that are being treated. So that is out.” The young woman, “well you know that I do fostering for the shelter and I had some parvo puppies and the germs are still in my house, so I can not keep him either. I just can not bring myself to take him to the shelter because his chances of making it would be pretty slim since he is so young and undernourished.” As I stood there next to my cat in the carrier, suddenly both women looked at me. Ms. M. did not hesitate for more than 30 seconds when she took the puppy from the woman’s arms and said, “here Yvonne, you are perfect and you’ll take him won’t you?” My mouth wanted to say no but the puppy was already in my hands. I looked at the puppy and then at the two women who now were looking at me with pleading eyes.  Of course, I knew that I had been had. Well, to get on with this little story. Ms. M. told me to hold on and  then ran to the back and got a small fuzzy blanket which she wrapped around the puppy. “Yvonne, I’ll vaccinate him for free and do any labs or what ever if you take this puppy.” I looked at the puppy again and saw that it was no less a white pit bull with a black spot above his tail and some small black dots scattered over his back. Right then and there I should have made another deal to get free lab work for my cat but I did not have the sense to even think about it. I simply blurted out, “this puppy is so thin and looks pitiful. He’s going to need some fast care to turn him around.” Ms. M. then told me that, yes indeed, the puppy’s temp was 2-3 degrees below normal.  I knew that he needed some rapid intervention.

I ran from the clinic to my truck, put the puppy in my lap, turned the heater on high and made my way home. I took quick peeks at the puppy as I drove and he looked up at me with dark listless brown eyes that seemed to say, I’m safe now.” Yes, I projected human emotion into the eyes of this pitiful puppy. Swaddled in a warm blanket he still felt cold as I ran my hand over his body. I had never seen or touched a puppy so thin.

I just happened to have a helper that day. I asked him to set up a large wire crate in the den.  I filled two hot water bottles which I wrapped in towels. These were put in the carrier which was placed in the large wire crate. I put the puppy that was still wrapped in the fuzzy blanket on top of the hot water bottles and closed the door of the carrier. I then hastily soaked some Purina EN canine in warm water and then added a tad of feline Purina EN to that mix which was then placed in a shallow bowl. I offered  very small amounts about every 30 minutes until he had eaten about a cup and one half.

For additional warmth, I used portable reflector light with a 75 watt bulb that I rigged above the doorway of the cat carrier. I then opened the door of the carrier so that the puppy could feel the additional heat.  I replaced the hot water bottles with a heating pad. That evening I removed the heating pad after he was suffiently warm but left the hanging light in place.

The puppy was dehydrated.  I warmed a liter of Ringer’s Lactate in hot water in a small bucket and gave him about 75 ml  (2.5  ounces).  An 18 gauge needle is inserted under the skin between the sholder blades. Sub cutaneous is a quick method to hydrate. IV is better but the process is more difficult and involved. The warm fluids helped increase his body temperature.

By mid-afternoon of that first day he was more alert. I continued to offer small amounts of food every 2 hours. Clearly this puppy was starving and would have died that day had he not been rescued him.  Ribs, hip, and shoulder bones protruded from his frail body. There were probably too many puppies to compete for his mother’s milk. Being the runt of the liter he should have been taken into the house and given supplemental feedings along with allowing him to be the only puppy to suckle for a few minutes. That way he would be getting immunity from the mother’s milk. The temperature that morning was about 38 degrees and windy. That is when she intervened and took the puppy to my vet’s clinic. The day of his rescue the young woman who had been feeding he neighbor’s dogs noted that the did not eat nor attempt to suckle. He was lying next to an old shed. The weather that day was windy and 38 degrees.

I have yet to figure out how people have such disregard for an animal, that only wants some food, water, a warm place for shelter and at least a pat on the head now and then. These individuals had purchased a pit bull female and then a male but said to the rescuer, “we had not intended for her to have puppies.”  What a crock of dodoo. The town where I live has pit bulls coming out of the kazoo. It seems to be a status symbol among some groups of individuals. They just get a dog and toss it out or chain it in the back yard. This city has animal control but the laws are not enforced- just for some people. 

After his little body was warm he either slept or watched the action in my house.  He lay on his stomach with his head barely visible. I could see that he was taking in all the sights and sounds of the house and of my other dogs.  Spotty adjusted completely that first day. He did not whine, yelp, or bark for attention or food. Of course, I did not give him a chance to cry for food. His cage was cleaned with fresh newspaper at least twice daily.  I gave him lots of attention so that he would be accustomed to handling and petting. And lastly I allowed him to socialize with my Australian cattle dog and to come in contact with the cats.  

 I am still angry that I had to give him up even though I knew I could not keep another dog. I become too attached. I have other animals in my care. I am too busy. It is too demanding emotionally and physically.  I vow to never foster another dog.

Spotty the pit bull foster puppy

Spotty the pit bull foster puppy

Post and photographs Yvonne



Tagged , , , , , , ,

I Call These Mellow Yellow (slideshow)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It seems that lots of native plants in my yard that flower in the fall tend to be yellow. I titled this post Mellow Yellow and I suppose you could say the colors are sort of mellow. I thought it had a good ring for a title. You know one that you speak and it sort of rolls off your tongue because it rhymes.  All of what you see here, I either dug from the wild, bought at a nursery, or the birds carried the seed.  The blossoms on the fall bloomers tend to last about 6 weeks or more.  Some plants, of which I know not the name just keep on blooming- sort of like the Ever Ready bunny. The photo of the  China berry tree is lousy. The  light was not good and I don't use photo shop except for to edit to black and white or sepia. I included a few butterfly pics. I do not know the names of these little jewels. I am sorry. Too lazy to look them up.

Tagged , , , ,

Monarch Butterflies Love Frostweed. Rerun: Original -posted 11/14/2012

Monarch on fall blooming native Frostweed. Photographed September, 2011

Monarch on fall blooming native Frostweed. Photographed September, 2011

Migrating Monarch nectaring on native Frostweed.  Photographed September 26, 2011

Migrating Monarch nectaring on Frostweed.
Photographed September 26, 2011

058I’m so sorry folks but this is a post that is an old one. But I see that WP did not recognize the original post date. I needed to rework this post due to some errors of spelling, etc. and the fact that these were done as a gallery posting. And the photos did not come out as a slide show as I had intended. I had goofed mightily and thus pulled it from the blog where it has been sitting as “private.” So tonight, February 25, 2014, I worked on “reworking” this post. 🙂 Anyhoo so much for all that.

Around September the The Frostweed, a native, begins blooming. This dependable and very hardy plant is a nectar source for many species of butteflies. I’ve allowed it to grow in all its wild glory and in one area it is at least six feet tall. The tall ones grow along a wooden fence and receive the benefits of the neighbors lawn sprinkler system. Under the Cedar Elms and Live Oaks it is much shorter and maybe grows to about three to four feet tall. These areas where the shorties grow is much drier with dappled shade.

Some fifty years ago I planted maybe two plants that I dug from the wild. This past year I created a space of plants that caters to the butterflies taste. With the arrival of about five Mexican Butterfly Weed plants, the Monarchs all but ignored the Frostweed and instead zeroed in on the colorful Mexican butterfly weed which serves as a host and nectar plant for the Monarchs,

Freezing temps of 18-20 degrees killed the Mexican Butterfly Weed, a tropical flower. And, possibly a few other flowers of first year plantings that did not have an established root system. Now, I will have to buy new plants. I don’t mind spending a little bit of money. Anything to help the dwindling number of Monarch butterflies. Conservation practice is always a good thing no matter how small the effort.

Below is a link of one of my blogging friends, Stephen Gingold who is a superb photographer. Please check out his blog. His photos are a real treat. The first photo that appears when the link opens up is of a plant called Frostweed that grows in northeast, United States.

Monarch butterfly nectaring on Frostweed.  Honey bee in background. September 26, 2011

Monarch butterfly nectaring on Frostweed. Honey bee in background. September 26, 2011

Monarch Nectaring on Frostweed growing in my yard. September 26, 2011

Monarch Nectaring on Frostweed growing in my yard. September 26, 2011

  Monarch butterfly     (honey bee in background)

Monarch butterfly on Frostweed 9/26/2011

 Monarch feeding on Frostweed, growing in my yard.  October, 2011

Monarch feeding on Frostweed, growing in my yard. October, 2011

Monarch butterfly on fall blooming native Frostweed

Monarch butterfly on fall blooming native Frostweed

Tagged , ,

Cat Photos (original post July 4, 2011)

Bobbi dilute calico

The Mommie Cat
The Diva
(Frankie) A loving cat. Domestic long hair (not a breed) category for cats of mixed breeds

 Photos  Yvonne  





Some Photos of Butterflies and Flora (Slideshow)

There are a few things in my yard that look kinda pretty. Most of, if not all the photos are of plants that I  grow for the birds , butterflies, and wildlife. These pictures were all taken late summer and up to about the last week of October.  I continue to struggle with creating a slide show. I have way too many photos and folders and I find that I am still hunting for certain pics. I  must get organized. Yep, I know what my problem is,  I just don’t know how to fix it. I do know that I love far too many of my photos that are not all that good. Therefore I must learn to delete more, right?

Note: Did you read that LouAnn? Organized to some reasonable degree. Obviously I am deficient in that category! 

slide show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , ,

The Dogs At Play (click on photos to enlarge)

I was off to a good start and then I don’t know what I did but then things went downhill  fast. But I don’t give up easily and I  WILL MASTER THIS IMAGE THING FOR A SLIDE SHOW. I think.   The Australian cattle dog plays rough. She goes for the hindquarters on the labs. Puppy the bobtail border collie x Australian shepherd  (he was born with a short tail) manages to play but yet is agile enough to not get in the thick of things. Kippy the little short brown and white dog merely observes. He is smart not to put himself in the midst of all the biting. The black and white border collie merely stood  ( he died in June, 2012 -age 13 1/2 years)  aside as if he were bored.   Photographs and post: Yvonne

Puppy: “I’m dog tired. I quit.’