Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Good beer for a good cause

Two local breweries, Blue Mountain and Starr Hill, made donations for the auction held in conjunction with the upcoming golf tournament sponsored by Virginia German Shepherd Rescue.  I didn't arrange for either donation but I had the pleasant task of picking them up today.  Lady came along.

She is such a good passenger.  She can't stand in a moving vehicle really, she's too wobbly for that, so she just lays quietly in the back.  Lady weighs only 55 pounds, so I can easily lift her in and out of the van as required and she stands and waits for me to do so.  

Both of the gift baskets are similar, an (empty) growler, a couple glasses, and a variety of other items presented in a galvanized ice bucket with the brewery's logo.  Both are very nice and greatly appreciated.  They should do well at the auction.

No, she's not having a taste, but she may be thinking of it.
I picked up the 6-pack of Blue Mountain's Kolsch, for me.

Checking out the gift basket from Starr Hill

Lady epitomizes the goals of the rescue and the need for the fundraising effort.  She's a senior dog, which are often more costly in terms of  vet care, and this one has a number of known medical problems.  We probably won't recoup any of the cost through an adoption fee because she's pretty much unadoptable.  Financially speaking, she will be a drain on the rescue even though we aren't going to do anything heroic for her medically.  But we aren't in this to make a buck, the goal is to save dogs.  She needs and deserves the best care we can give her even if it's only to keep her well fed, pain-free, happy and comfortable in a loving home for as long as possible.

Starr Hill is in Crozet, Blue Mountain is out in Nelson County.  I'm a customer and a fan of both.  Life is too short to drink cheap beer.  Lady and I say "cheers."


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nothing to say

Not much to say.  Lady's blood work came back and everything looked good.  She is getting more comfortable around here.

Highland seems to be doing well in his new home.  

Daphne is coming on Thursday to spend a few days with us. 

We no longer even pretend that Gigi will be sleeping anywhere other than the center of the bed. 

I snapped a few random pics today, enjoy.


Gallagher, Cooper, Hank

Gigi and Vince

Hank, Gallagher (behind), and Cooper

Gigi likes to go to the pasture to run
but won't run with the Gang of Four.
This evening I took her out with Vince.
Gigi and Vince after the run.
At the back door, ready to come in.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lady at the vet

I had already started Lady on some meds (Rimadyl and Doxycycline) when I got her home on Friday so I wanted to get her to the vet as soon as possible to make sure we were on the right track.  I called and got an appointment for Monday afternoon. 

She was happy to go along and she didn't seem the least bit fearful or anxious.  They took a blood sample to check basic organ functions and the like.  The vet said that xrays would be interesting but probably wouldn't change our course of treatment, so we skipped them.  She didn't think it was likely to be hip displasia and said that Lady had good range of motion in her rear legs and that she didn't seem to be painful.  There is obviously a neurologic problem; she just doesn't have much control of her back end, and it could be due to DM or severe spinal stenosis (arthritis).  Her spine doesn't seem to bend or flex and it could be that the vertebrae are fused.  Whatever the cause, there isn't much nerve signal getting to the legs and hence her lack of control.  There also really isn't much to be done about it except keep her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. 

Lady seems happy and content.  She even trots around a bit when she's out in the yard and Clay saw her rolling on her back in the grass.  I take her out with Vince, but not to the dog yard with the others because she would just get knocked over too much.  A good breeze could tip her over it seems and it's really nothing short of amazing that she gets around as well and as much as she does.  She sticks around really well and I don't think she has any interest in running off.  I can carry her upstairs easily enough, but we are encouraging her to stay downstairs with Bremo and she seems happy with that. 

We will have to wait and see if she puts on some weight now that she's getting food.  She certainly has a good appetite and I'm feeding her twice a day.  No one thinks that putting her through the heartworm treatment is a good idea.  We will put her on the monthly Heartguard.  Her heart and lungs sounded normal to the vet at this point.  We will keep her on the current meds and have added cephalexin for a skin infection and gabapentin.  I'm also giving her some doggie vitamins.  It may be time to mix up a batch of satin balls

Lady is a good, good girl.  She is grateful for everything you do for her; she gets up to greet me every time I come into the room; she gives a nice kiss.  It's like she's channeling Gypsy and Emmylou both. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Chandler and her new foster mom
We had about an inch and a half of rain here on Saturday.  It didn't rain here today but it sure did up in Gainesville when I was there.  I took the Gang of Four and also transported Chandler to her new foster.

Misty in the back of my van

There was lightning, thunder, and hard, driving rain.  I had to put the four dogs back in the van and got completely drenched in the process.  Chandler's new fosters arrived to pick her up and another volunteer arrived with Misty.  Misty came from a shelter in Maryland and is similar to Lady in age, condition, and lack of care.  Very sad to see, but she's a nice girl and I brought her to meet another transporter who took her on to a new foster home where at least she will have love and care. 

The adoption event was a washout for us, but I had to go to do the transports anyway.  It probably cleared up as soon as I left, but I was completely soaked at that point and was just wanting to get home and into some dry clothes.  I may have found someone willing to take in Gallagher as a foster, so that's a good thing anyway.

After handing off Misty, I headed home and decided it was time to give Lady a bath.  She was pretty smelly, something that I'll have to address with the vet this week.

After the bath she got a new collar with some bling and then she settled down on one of Bremo's beds.  All of the household dogs seem to accept her.

She smells better now and she must be feeling better.  She's pretty perky and doesn't seem to be in pain, but she just doesn't have any control over or muscle tone in her back legs.   I will call the vet tomorrow to schedule an appointment, but it sure looks like DM (degenerative myelopathy) to me. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Overnighting and transport

I picked up Chandler from the Charlottesville SPCA today.  She's just spending one night here, however, and is moving to another foster home tomorrow.  I'll take her up to Gainesville along with the Gang of Four.  It will be a full load, but Lana, Hank, and Cooper can ride together in the rear of the van, leaving the two crates for Chandler and Gallagher.  I'll be passing Chandler off to another home, but will be meeting another shepherd up there and bringing her back down here to pass off to yet another foster home tomorrow afternoon.

Chandler is a wild child, no leash manners, and she seems to be countersurfer too.  But she's friendly and gets along well with other dogs.  She was fine being crated in my office on this rainy afternoon.  I put her and Trooper into the dog yard for some exercise but it started to rain again.  He went into the shed, she stayed outside and got soaked, so I closed them both into the shed while we went out for pizza and beer.  She will come back in and up to the crate for the night.

Chandler is a beauty.  She's more red than these pics show.  Appears to be about 2-3 years old, and acts more like 1-2.  Hopefully she will be a relatively fast turnover for the foster home.  She was vaccinated at the SPCA, tested negative for heartworms, and she was already spayed. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


from the Charlottesville SPCA
It's about two weeks before our vacation, which is NOT the time to be taking in any new dogs.  But I took in Gallagher from the Fluvanna SPCA this week.  He's a nice guy and I have no regrets; he's been an easy mix with the other fosters.  On Wednesday I got an email from the Orange County shelter about a senior female shepherd, Lady.  She's nine years old, painfully thin, very weak and wobbly rear end, and she's got heartworms.  And then today came an email from the Charlottesville SPCA about another female shepherd.  If my hair was long enough to pull out, I would have been doing so.  Instead I just did the silent scream and cursed the local populace that breeds and dumps dogs on a whim. 
Lady, from the Orange County shelter

I drove up to Orange on Friday afternoon when I should have been working to meet Lady.  I was pretty much expecting to find a dog on her last legs and was assuming that I'd be recommending euthanasia, or that I'd pull her from the shelter just to give her a few good final days.   The only pictures I had seen of her were taken through the wire door on her run, so I didn't have much of a sense about what she looked like. 
Lady has Emmylou's coloring, markings, and
her long, slender build.

She was a "field surrender", which means the owners called the county ACOs (animal control officers), to come and pick up their own dog. The gutless fucktards didn't have the decency to take her to a vet to be euthanized, or even to bring her to the shelter themselves.

Lady meeting Gigi, no problems. 
Gigi wanted to play with her but Lady isn't up to that.
When they brought her out I was immediately struck, not by her terrible condition, but by how much she looked like our late Emmylou.  I knew instantly that I'd be bringing her home today, and I did.  I'm not sure what we can do for her, but she had some dog yard time, met Gigi, had a good meal with some meds, and got some eye drops for an infection.  She's very thin, but her rear couldn't support much more weight than she has anyway.  She tried climbing the stairs up to my office but needed some help.  She made it, however, and she's asleep in a crate behind my desk right now.  I'll get her to the vet next week and we'll take it from there.

The Charlottesville shepherd is named Chandler, and she's a beauty (see pic, top left).  I'm going to meet her on Saturday and I think I've got a foster home lined up for her.  This is a beautiful dog and she came in as a stray.  She was wearing a collar but no tags, and a flea collar.  And they tell me that she has already been spayed.  Now can anyone tell me why the asshole owners never came looking for this dog?

After I got Lady fed, I took the Gang of Four out to the pasture for some mowing and romping.  I missed getting them out yesterday, but they made up for it today.  Those dogs really run. 

Another blurry pic, and a butt shot, but I love this one.
Hank and Cooper, on the run.

The Gang of Four during this evening's pasture mow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


His name is Gallagher, I pulled him from a shelter today as if we weren't going away in less than three weeks.  He's a shepherd mix, black shepherd, mixed with what I don't know, but he's a nice dog.

Apparently his owner died and he took off, or more likely, the decedent's family turned him loose and sent him on his way because they were contacted and made no effort to get him back.  Nice folks in Fluvanna County, good family people.  (Is there a font for sarcasm or is it even necessary?)  This is why I don't do a lot of local adoptions. 

Lana, Hank, Gallagher, and Cooper

Anyway, Gallagher is a nice boy.  He has now been neutered, wormed, and vaccinated.  I brought him home today and put him in the kennel next to Hank, Lana, and Cooper.  After a couple hours of barking (Hank) I just opened the gate between the kennels and let them all together.  Then we all went out to the pasture to run, play, and mow. 

He liked the water tank.  He seems happy enough, why wouldn't he be?  He played well with the others and took his place in the new Gang of Four. 

Running with Hank

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Possible adoption(s)?

Saturday afternoon I drove Cooper up to meet a family who lives near Culpeper.  Great folks, great home, and they seemed very interested.  They wanted to think about it, so we will see what happens.  If this doesn't happen I've had another inquiry and will just put him on the web and post him with the lab rescue group.  I have to believe that someone will be seriously interested in this great dog. 

Sunday I drove to Front Royal to a VGSR adoption event, taking Hank, Lana, and Highland.  Another VGSR foster/volunteer came to meet Highland and she went home with him.  If all goes well this week, I expect he will have a new home.  

He was really good today, much less stressed than last week.  He rolled over and gave belly to several people, which I really didn't expect today.  I have purposefully not posted him on the VGSR website yet because I know he will generate a lot of inquiries that I won't be able to answer.   Just posting him here on my blog has generated some interest and will probably result in an adoption.

Hank and Lana were cute and adorable today, as always.  And today, as always, they had no interest.  Patience is a virtue, it's just not one of mine.  I've really no choice but to be patient, and fortunately these guys are fun, easy fosters.   

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dog wash

I took Gigi, Cabell, and Zachary to a fund raiser dog wash today benefitting the Companion Animal Fund (CAF).  They have done a lot for rescue groups in this area and I wanted to show some support, and I also wanted to get some of my dogs cleaned up. 

Cabell is the most cooperative dog.  He will let a woman do anything to him, he didn't even try to get away from the water like he does when I try to bathe him here at home.

Zachary is never all that attentive to me (he's Clay's dog), but he sure was there today because Clay wasn't around, he didn't know what was happening, and  he wanted to make sure I didn't try to leave without him. 

He was good about it all, though, and came home a cleaner dog.

Gigi was scared but I stayed with her, and her coat makes bathing her a very quick process.  She doesn't shed like the hairier boys but she sure does pick up a lot of dirt and dust out in the dog yard.  She was shiny and sparkly when it was over, and she got a pretty yellow bandana.

Back home, big smile, getting checked
over by Trooper and Bremo