Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Randomness

I've been sick with a sinus infection that doesn't want to go away. I'm going on week 3. My doctor is incredibly hard to get in to, and the prospect of spending my day off at Urgent Care with a ton of others with the same complaint is not on my to do list. Plus, it's the windy season here, which exacerbates it.
I'll get back to my regularly scheduled bitch sessions when the roll slows. Right now I'm trying to keep my blogs focused on the needs of rescues, since this is the time of year that we're most conscious of helping. I do have some more ass clown stories.
Boss Mans wife, who is in the end stages of a terminal condition, had a crisis the day before Thanksgiving and was rushed to the hospital. I'm having a hard time grasping that since she chose not to take treatment for this illness that she overlooked having a Do Not Resuscitate order, but apparently she did, and was resuscitated. This is going to be a rough and sad holiday season for him. I'm just hoping for whatever happens that it's peaceful and painless for her.
The two ladies I wrote about here did as I predicted and rehomed that German Shepherd puppy. They recently adopted 2 Chihuahua mix puppies and it seems to be a much better match for them so far.
I was finally able to spend a few days excavating the worst room in my house and getting it back in order. I still have some more work to do, but it's finally under control, and the Salvation Army got the benefit of stuff that I finally let go of. Everybody won on that one.
I had to work on Black Friday, not that I'd go anywhere near a store if I had the time off. Too many years of working retail. I did take advantage of a few sales, though. Hit the Hi Fi Cosmetics sale for me and my kid, but didn't take advantage of some of the other cool beauty sales. I was able to stock up on some much needed horse supplies with some of the online store sales. I just need to get my ass in gear, get inspired, and get my gifting done for the holidays.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Tis The Season Part 2

In my previous post, I mentioned that why I hate the big charity solicitations. HSUS and ASPCA don't distribute any of their funds locally. The small local "mom and pop" (usually mom) rescues usually have 100% of their donations going toward the animal-much better in my never humble opinion.
If claiming your donation on your taxes is important to you, be sure that the rescue or shelter you choose has a 501(c)3 non-profit status. Note that having non profit status is no guarantee of the quality of the rescue. There are many non-profit organizations that are a ripoff, and many stellar rescues that don't have the non profit status.
If you aren't aware of any local rescues and don't have a county shelter close by, here is a cool website. Adoptapet.com. Click on the "find a shelter" link, enter your zip code, and you'll get a list. The hard part is choosing. Aside from the links, this site has some awesome information on it.
While I'm not a huge fan of Petsmart in general, they are really stepping up to the plate with their charities program. I've seen some of what they do in action, and so far I've been impressed. Petsmart Charities
They also have collection jars at their registers, so if you're in a Petsmart, the money they collect is actually going to good things.
And don't forget the little guys when you're choosing a rescue. Small furred animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, reptiles and birds are often forgotten in the rush to help dogs and cats. A small donation to one of these rescues can help a large number of them. There's links on the Adopt A Pet page, and since I have on good authority this particular rescue is fabulous here's the link to the facebook page of My Hope's in You Small Animal Rescue.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

'Tis The Season

The holidays are upon us. My mailbox is loaded with brightly colored catalogs (not just Cabela's) and of course the inevitable charity mailers looking for donations. They include a "free gift"-usually mailing labels, and the picture on the front page, in all the gory detail, is of an abused animal with sad looking eyes. Since we can't do a hands on rescue, we feel the need to send them a check to help out.
Here's the problem: very little of that check we send actually goes to the animal. Maybe 3 cents on the dollar, if that.
Those mailers, especially with color pictures cost at least $30,000 to print up and mail out, and the price goes up with how much crap is included in the envelope. By the time the costs are paid, the administrative staff gets their checks, the actual animal only gets about 3 cents of every dollar donated. The law states that it must be disclosed in the mailing, and you'll find it, in very tiny print only a fly can read, buried at the bottom of the back page of the mailer. Most people can't get past the pictures and the large bold print horror story, which is what they are counting on.
If the horse rescue I help out had that kind of money to spend on mailers, all of the residents would look like centerfolds for Horse Illustrated. If most local legitimate animal rescues had that kind of money, there wouldn't be wish lists for any of them. Hell, a banner year for us was having enough to send thank you cards to donors during the holidays.
While certain "big box" rescues do get a ton of media recognition and billions of dollars in donations, there are thousands of "mom and pop" (usually mom) that do help more animals than most of these combined. Particularly high on my shit list is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). You can find more information about them, and their affiliate companies  here and here (pdf)
I plan on doing some future blog posts about rescues and donations, including choosing who to help and other non cash donation ways of helping. Rescues are needy all year long, so if you are stretched thin by the season of giving, it's okay to wait. Toss those mailers in the trash without reading them (or grab the free return address labels) and find a way to give where the animals actually get the full benefit of what you're giving. Whether you're moved by the plight of the wild mustangs or wish to help unwed cats, you can give where it's most beneficial.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Get. Them. To. A. Vet.

During the month of November we see a lot of dogs with Parvo. Although Parvo can happen any time of year, when the seasons are changing the most seems to bring out more cases. The symptoms of Parvovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, not eating and general listlessness. This results in severe dehydration that can be fatal if left untreated. There are other viruses that can mimic Parvo symptoms.
If your dog vomits more than once in a day, it should be examined by a vet. The sooner, the better. Small dogs especially should be seen immediately as they can dehydrate much more quickly than larger dogs.
The sooner the dog can get medical attention, the higher the chances of survival. Don't wait 3-4 days and expect the vet to be able to save a half dead dog.
Even with vaccinations, a dog can still get Parvo.  The vaccine is not a 100% guarantee that a dog won't get sick, since being a virus, there are different strains. Vaccinated dogs have a higher rate of survival.
An older dog can still get Parvo. Most people think of Parvo as a "puppies only" disease but it really isn't. Puppies get it more frequently due to the fact that their immune system is immature, but it's still possible for an older dog to get it.
A dog can get Parvo without being around other sick dogs. The Parvo virus is very hard to kill, and it can attach itself to just about anything. One of the reasons why I change clothes between work and being around other dogs, even my own. Parvovirus travels.
After the first year puppy shots, an adult dog needs regular booster shots. Check with your vet and find out what is recommended. We do yearly boosters in our area. Vaccinating is much less expensive than a hospital bill.
Do NOT vaccinate a sick dog. We've had a few people lately that rush in to get their dog vaccinated when the dog is actually sick. Never a good idea, as a sick dog has a compromised immune system. Not only will the dog not get immune to the disease, it may get sicker.
A healthy dog does not have diarrhea, vomiting, no appetite, or act listless. At the start of any of these symptoms the dog should be seen and treated.
If today was any example, it's going to be a rocky couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Captain Oblivious

My son loves my work stories.
I usually get home from work just as he is off to start  his day and he always requests a story about my day. His mother's son, he's got my warped sense of humor and rebel without a clue attitude. He's more quick witted than I can ever hope to be. One chink in his armor is male logic, which he can't help.
You'd think when I walk in the house after work in street clothes and barefoot, having started the washing machine before I even get in that he'd have a clue how my day went.
Some years ago, he and my daughter were on baseball/softball teams. I had them get ready while I fed the horses so I could get them to their respective games on time. My daughter runs out to show me a red mark on her arm. He'd whacked her with his athletic cup. I explained to her that the bigger problem was that the thing had never been washed. I never could find it on laundry day, and couldn't figure out where he hid it. So she runs back in the house to tell him how disgusting he is. A few minutes later he runs out. "Mom, I don't know what the big deal is. I wasn't wearing it when I hit her with it!"
One day, I pick him up from preschool. Only he and I are in the car. I ask him a question. No response. About 3 minutes later he pipes up with "You talking to me, mom?"
That's when I realized he was perfect husband material.