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Posts Tagged ‘Seminole County Animal Services’

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Pookie Booth at a dog event. The last time may have been as far back as 2006! Yesterday’s SCAS Adopt-A-Thon was the perfect setting to get back in the groove. We were happy to set up behind our friends Gary & Lexy of Natural Instinct Dog Training. They had all sorts of fun taking dogs through the agility course. Looks like Ollie is photo-bombing at the bottom of the pic! She was such a good girl.

Setting up Gary's tent.

Setting up Gary’s tent.

We still had all our booth supplies in 3 bins, had 2 chairs and a tent. Once we got a new banner made, we were set. Lots of volunteers were on hand to help carry stuff from the car and set up the tent. I’d forgotten how! The volunteers for Seminole County are a dedicated and caring bunch. Most people may not even think you could volunteer for the “dog pound” but you can – and you should – they are the best!

Manning the Pookie Booth

Manning the Pookie Booth

We had brochures from all those years ago but at our old rate. So I just took a pen and started changing it. No sense wasting them.

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This was an adoption event so lots of rescue groups were on hand. Lots of different breeds and even a parrot rescue were in attendance. I’m sure some love connections were made. It was a bit strange being at an event and not having one of our dogs, especially Sam. He was known far and wide for being the cute little thing in our famous Pookie Kissing Booth! He must have given out millions of kisses. He took his job seriously until he hit his teens and his age started catching up to him. We have no one to fill those paws.

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer.  never met a face he didn't kiss!

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer. never met a face he didn’t kiss!

There were lots of cute pups… little pups, medium pups and biguns! We were set up near a swimming pool loaded with ice. The ice mostly melted but the dogs enjoyed splashing in the cool water. It’s easy here in Florida for dogs to overheat, even if it feels comfortable to us. I’m always watchful of this and ready to jump into action.

A recent track rescue greyhound partakes of the pool.

A newly off-the-track greyhound partakes of the pool.

Some of our faves from the day:This girl is an Australian Cattledog / Blue Heeler mix! Only about 15 pounds and just a doll! Good thing she had a home.

Most Adorable Mini!

Most Adorable Mini

Buddy is one of my regular clients. He knew if he sat good for me he just might score a bite of my sandwich. He did.

Most Likely To Get A Bite

Most Likely To Get A Bite

This tall drink of water is Rachel. She’s also a retired racing Greyhound. I talked with her foster daddy for quite a while. I was pushing him toward keeping her. She’s really a lovely girl. Greyhounds are lovely dogs.

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

I didn’t even catch this boy’s name but I was a victim of love at first sight. His momma was carrying him around and she said that’s pretty much his favorite thing to do, be carried around. Look at that FACE!!!

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Little Fu-Man-Chu (name I’m calling him) wasn’t impressing his brother. He said he’s capable of walking around on his own, thank you very much!

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Godfrey is one of the SCAS dogs needing to find his forever family. How has this adorable boy NOT been adopted?! I’ll tell you why… people are stupid. Yep. Just stupid. Godfrey came into the shelter injured. T.E.A.R.S. of Seminole County paid to have all his medical stuff done. He’s now healed and ready for a home. His foster dad told me people are afraid he’s going to cost a ton of money… that makes no sense! His leg has been fixed. Problem solved. Any pet, at any time, can potentially need costly medical expenses. His person has just not seen him, yet. So let’s help Godfrey find his person! He’s a cool boy.

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Our next event will be in a few short weeks. Come see us at the 11th Annual Doggie Arts Festival! Join us for one of Winter Park’s most beloved events!

doggieartsfest

*Poster art by Shari Sherman

This family & pet friendly event will be held Sunday, April 13th in North Central Park, Park Avenue and will feature pet-related artists, vendors, & adoption organizations. Proceeds benefit the Sebastian Haul Fund – helping Central Fl greyhounds reach their new families.

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Several times a day, thoughts traipse through my head of stories I need to write. Then life happens. Bam! Scottie (my wonderful, yet pig-headed husband) spent a total of 6 days… on 2 separate occasions… laid up in the hospital! All indications from his symptoms were pointing toward him having a heart issue. This was very scary. Sure doesn’t help stress levels.

Scottie was used as a "teaching patient" for a class of EMT's!

Scottie was used as a “teaching patient” for a class of EMT’s!

They do give you cool socks.

They do give you cool socks.

Thankfully, the heart cath procedure he was finally able to have, showed his heart is NORMAL. Whew! We still don’t know what was causing his pain but knowing it’s not his heart is sure a huge burden lifted.

Right before the procedure.

Right before the procedure.

This last go around in the hospital happened to be Thanksgiving week. When you are a pet sitter (as both of us happen to be) holiday weeks are crucial and oftentimes crazy with so many clients needing us. We split our little town of Orlando into 2 distinct territories. Mine is the best, by the way. Imagine having to do both territories by yourself! This is what I had to do. We’re lucky I survived. We’re lucky our marriage survived!

Essentials... keys, George the GPS & satellite radio.

Essentials… keys, George the GPS & satellite radio.

My day planner.

My day planner.

This is just my clients. Scottie’s were on a separate list. We have 2 distinct styles of operation. He’s got his life on this tablet and in George the GPS. I am a write-it-down-kinda-gal. Doesn’t always gel too well. Especially when it’s late at night and I’m having trouble seeing and he’s getting frustrated with me on the phone because I keep driving past the client’s driveway! Thanksgiving Day was 15+ hours on the road for me. Scottie had gotten released from the hospital late the night before. Thank you, Bob W. for bringing him home! He wouldn’t be able to take back over his clients for a couple days. At one point late that night I was pretty much dehydrated and hallucinating at a 7-11 in Maitland. But, I made it. All clients made it. We really had no major issues. We are blessed with good, good client pets.

Poe is quite special.

Poe is quite special.

The highlight to my struggles (other than Scottie being ok) was getting to meet Poe the cat. Scottie’s been caring for him many years. The moment I entered the house he and I clicked. He’s got cancer which is why his nose looks weird. I spent as much time as possible loving him as I could. He even let me have a “shoulder cat” again, which has been greatly missed since losing our cat, Setzer. Thank you, Poe, I needed this.

Poe being my shoulder cat.

Poe being my shoulder cat.

During all the melee we brought home a foster dog from Seminole County Animal Services. She’s a 5 lb. Miniature Pinscher who’s just not right. So, of course, we fell in love. Imagine a teeny gargoyle with old-timey vampire teeth (not the sparkly vampires, the ugly vampires!), add some frog legs, take away a neck and you have our little Grimm. She is blind and feisty and doing excellent in the pack.

Back in October I had a long-overdue mammogram and ultrasound.  I always have to have an ultrasound. Something about having dense tissue. After getting the results my doctor sent me to a breast specialist. She did another ultrasound and scheduled a biopsy. Though lumps are common and most of the time nothing, it’s still hard to keep your brain from imagining all the various scenarios. Having thoughts of possible breast cancer during the month of October is ridiculous! It happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness month and the words “breast cancer” are being spewed from every form of media 24 hours a day! We were a week away from the biopsy when Scottie went into the hospital the 1st time. My boobies got put on hold… just for a bit. I had the biopsy this week and will get results on Monday. They really drill into your boob! The sound of the drill almost made Scottie pass out.

Love my doctor!

Love my doctor!

We’re confident all will be well.

The last few days things have been back to our normal. I got all the Christmas shopping done in under 2 hours. Will begin writing cards this weekend. Gifts will be mailed Monday. Got the house “decorated”. Oh… forgot something… our 14 year old Siamese kitty prolapsed her rectum over the weekend. Yes, her parts were falling out! She was put back together at the Emergency Vet and is now on 4 different medications. First time we dealt with that particular situation. Trust me, it’s not something you EVER want to see.

Seems I’ve not been able to see Becca and Cass much. Glad to have my barn mate, Gary, to pick up my slack when life comes calling. They are the reason for this blog though it’s turned into so much more. I will leave you with the latest pics of them, taken a few days ago. They are happy, healthy and best of all loved.

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Becca the Beautiful.

Becca the Beautiful.

Cass my Princess.

Cass my Princess.

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We begin this New Year saying goodbye to an old dog. Dixxy Blu told us quite clearly her time here was done and she needed our help to move on to whatever the next phase may be. You’d think after having to make this decision over 30 times it’d be easy, but it never is, no matter what the circumstance. I sit here now, surrounded by the remaining pack members all napping peacefully and I feel the definite energy change. Scottie and I hadn’t realized how huge a presence Ms. Dixxy projected. The whole house is subdued.

I’ve told her story before but it deserves to be told again.

We attended an adoption event held by Seminole County Animal Services in early Spring 2010. We’d recently adopted a senior Cattledog from them and the workers really wanted to see how she was doing. So, Scottie, Barby, Eva and I embarked on a little adventure. We weren’t there more than five minutes before people started telling us about two Cattledogs in a shelter in Melbourne, FL. Every booth we stopped at someone mentioned them. “Two older girls, one red, one blue; may be related, time’s running out!” That’s the power of Internet.

Dixxy in her shelter run.

Dixxy in her shelter run.

Joolz in the shelter.

Joolz in the shelter.

We did not need or even want another dog, much less two and much less two female Cattledogs! I saw the shelter photos and my heart broke. Scottie’s heart broke even more. I left the decision up to him. They’d been there twenty days and no one showed any interest. They were in danger because the shelter needed room for more dogs. Sheltering is a vicious cycle of saving lives and ending them. Before long they were hitching a ride to come home. (Much appreciation to Cheryl Lynn Vaughn of Ruff  Rescue for arranging everything.)

From the moment we met these two we knew they were special. We sure couldn’t understand how their family had walked away from them, much less in the middle of the night from the horrid drop box. Shelter night drop boxes are designed so cowards can leave their pets without the scrutiny of others. They did leave a note – “This is Dixie & Jewel, they are good girls.”

Starting their new lives as Prince girls.

Starting their new lives as Prince girls.

Being good girls was quite the understatement. On our way home that day we stopped at Twistee Treat. (Scottie cannot drive past one!) They both laid quietly in the back of the Scion and took turns licking their cone. Quite impressive. They both had a myriad of obvious health issues: missing hair, inflamed skin, creaky bones, abscesses. Nothing we couldn’t handle. Everyone assumed they must be related and we settled in on the mother/daughter dynamic, Dixxy being Mom. She was older (estimated to be 10-12 yrs. when rescued), Joolz was more around 8. Hard to tell sometimes, though, especially when you’ve been rode hard and put up wet as Dixxy had been.

This shows what rescuing is all about. Look at those faces.

This shows what rescuing is all about. Look at those faces.

Their distinct opposite personalities didn’t take long to emerge. Joolz was the flower child, loving everyone and everything. She did pirouettes of joy constantly. Dixxy was a tough, tough, tough biker chick. She took no lip from anyone, not even our “boss dog” Eva. They came in as if they’d always been part of us.

Eva (front) can't believe this old lady's staring her down!

Eva (front) can’t believe this old lady’s staring her down!

Dixxy grew more and more beautiful everyday. She was a sweet as she was tough. She would shiver with happiness just to be scratched. She would give gentle kisses even if she’d just snapped at one of the other dogs. She was a control freak! This is a good trait to have as a herding dog. Six months after acclimating to the family, her big health problems began. She healed from a massive dental overhaul, we were treating her thyroid issues and creaky joints but cancer decided to rear it’s ugly head. Dixxy had never been spayed. Most older females will develop either ovarian or mammary/breast cancer if they haven’t been spayed. It’s all about the hormones. We found extremely aggressive ovarian cancer in Dixxy.

She was given three months to live.

Dixxy & her 3 lb. boyfriend, Gus.

Dixxy & her 3 lb. boyfriend, Gus.

It was no real surprise but those three months turned into nearly three years! Yes, our tough girl simply had too much zest for life to let a little cancer get in her way. She had a tumor pop up on her leg. She chewed it off herself. She had a tumor pop up on her eyeball. (You can see it in above pic.) It ended up rupturing, twice, and she didn’t even flinch. Never came back a third time. She loved chewing on bones and rolling around in the grass. If the younger dogs started wrestling she would pull her tired, old body up and jump right into the middle of them. She ate tree roots like there was no tomorrow. Maybe she had found some magic in those roots? She was a joy.

Lounging in the yard during her final days.

Lounging in the yard during her final days.

When you hear a calling in life you have to follow it. We were called to help the old and sick. We help them have faith in people once again after utter disappointment from those they depended on. We help them feel safe. We help them find joy. And when the time comes, we help them have a dignified death surrounded by love and respect. This is the part that scares the bejeezus out of most  people. We don’t look at death as something to fear, it’s gonna happen, make it a wonderful thing. We look at the blessing of the time we have with the old ones.

Joolz says goodbye to her Momma.

Joolz says goodbye to her Momma.

Oh, to have known Dixxy when she was young! As amazing as she was old, it’s difficult to imagine what she was like young and robust. She had to have kicked much ass and I say that in the most respectful way. We cherish having known her at all.

This expression is Dixxy. Cutting those eyes and giving "the look".

This expression is Dixxy. Cutting those eyes and giving “the look”.

As is my usual, Dixxy’s things were put away. The counter has one less bowl as I get food going and family traffic no longer has to step over her bed. She preferred to be right in the middle of everything. But this morning it was just too empty looking upon “her spot”. I put her bed back. It wasn’t too long after when I saw her daughter.

She looks lonely in her Momma's bed.

She looks lonely in her Momma’s bed.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~ Dr. Seuss

We are smiling because Dixxy happened and she happened to us.

Dixxy Blu a gem of a cowgirl.

Dixxy Blu a gem of a cowgirl.

Dixxy’s song.  Pearl Jam – Just Breathe

“Nothing you would take, everything you gave…”

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It’s just impossible to understand. I suppose there’s truly loving your animals and then there’s looking at them as possessions. I would give up any possession to assure the health, safety and happiness of my animals. As a matter of fact… I have. Scottie and I sacrifice time and again to care for those we truly love.

Cass & I have an unbreakable bond.

Now I have to show you the result of someone not truly loving their animals or even feeling slightly responsible. Again, I don’t know the people involved. The owner is an elderly and ill gentleman but there is an able-bodied caretaker on the premises. One must drive past these horses to leave the house. Neighbors must drive past daily. No need to be a horse expert to see there’s a problem. There is a history of neglect on this property. It finally caught up to them. An anonymous complaint was called in to Seminole Co. Animal Services. Gears got rolling once the officer on scene alerted his boss to the situation. Rescues were in place the next morning to remove the horses that were signed over.

Momma & baby Paso Fino horses before leaving for rescue.

Eighteen horses were in total. Fourteen are now safe. These are the four my friend Terri opened her farm to. They will now get food, veterinary and hoof care and simple attention. Just in one day of having some basic needs met, they are brighter. Their potential is trying hard to shine through the the bones and ragged coats.

The yearling filly now named Chica.

Her Momma, Sierra.

A baby so young should not know such hunger.

Chica is cautious but curious.

Momma could very well be carrying another baby. There were 5 stallions/colts on the property.

A horse’s lifeline are their hooves.

These have long been neglected.

Chica’s never had hoof care.

The matted tails are the worst we’ve ever seen.

The protruding bones speak volumes.

Hundreds of pounds underweight. Backbone & hips.

Absolutely no muscle on this baby.

Chica’s backbone & hips.

Pretty grey mare is in better condition. Now named Gypsy.

Still too thin but not as bad as the others.

This sweet girl is Lilly.

She has a wound on her nose. Probably from a halter left on too long.

Lilly has a sponsor. Thank you Gayle! She has a thing for bays.

Lilly keeps herself a bit away from the others.

She seems somehow sadder than the others. Maybe she’s the one who recently birthed a baby only to have it die w/in 24 hrs.? The complaint wasn’t called in soon enough.

Their foster barn is a safe & happy place.

They can actually graze on acres of grass!

This rescue was a joint effort between horse lovers extraordinaire! When the call came out everyone was up for the daunting task before them. It was a long, hot day of rescue. Loading untrained, scared horses onto trailers is not for the faint of heart. It’s dangerous. It took time, some skill and a little luck but the 3 mares and filly were loaded and sent to Terri’s farm. John and Missy of  JM Horse Rescue worked together with Tia of Ridin Dirty Ranch & Rescue and the Seminole Co. Animal Services officers to load up the remaining 10 horses! Bless Tia for taking those stallions/colts. And thank God, no one got hurt! When you do animal rescue, oftentimes you just have to have faith things will work out. You go get the animals out of harms way and worry about the rest later.

A young stud colt getting used to a halter.

His 1st steps toward a new life!

Each of these horses will need work and more importantly, time. None seem to be trained but their medical needs are the most urgent. This costs money. Money the rescues don’t have. We know more horse lovers will come forward to help these babies begin new lives. Please go to JM Horse Rescue to donate. (You can also find them on Facebook.) If you want to help geld the stallions/colts please contact Tia 352-638-0432 or email:  talbert590@aol.com.

Keep checking the blog for updates on Chica, Sierra, Lilly & Gypsy!

Chica, Sierra, Lilly & Gypsy

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WhooHoo!!!!!! Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS) has been selected as one of the 108 shelters in our country to be eligible for this awesome opportunity! What is the challenge? The $100K Challenge is a national competition to inspire animal shelters—and those who support them—to go above and beyond to increase pet adoption, reunite lost pets with their families and save more animals’ lives. Cool, huh?! There are an estimated 4,000 – 6,000 animal shelters in the US. Being one of the participating shelters is an honor and… well… a challenge! It’s a challenge the staff and volunteers at SCAS are more than willing to take on.

$100K Challenge info!

Starting TODAY (April 5th) visit Vote To Save Lives and vote EACH DAY for Seminole County Animal Services until April 16th. You must be at least 13 years of age and have a valid email address. This is the important part!!!!!! The first time you vote, you’ll need to confirm your email address by responding to the confirmation address you provide – If you don’t do this, your votes won’t count!!!

Blinky SCAS alumni

Why help SCAS? The short answer is they are the absolute best animal shelter in the state of FL! I began working with them in 1994, not long after they acquired a new shelter manager named Mary Beth. She was and continues to be the driving force that saves countless lives and makes families complete. She also… just so happened… to pioneer how shelters could and should utilize rescue groups. Yeah, she’s pretty awesome!

Mary Beth & the famous swimmer pup, Harper

Did you know the Taco Bell chihuahua came from SCAS? Well, our Taco played the part of the stunt double to the world-famous Gidget.

I know this to be true since we fostered Taco and sent him in a limo to Miami to audition to play backup to Gidget. There were even a few shots in the famous commercials I could tell were him, saw his boy parts! He was a professional actor and lived a happy life with his trainer and Gidget.

The now famous Dolly The Pitbull and Harper the Swimmer Puppy both came from SCAS.

This is not to mislead you that a pet you adopt from SCAS will become a television star or internet celebrity. The odds of that are probably pretty slim.

Setzer & Kobay SCAS alumni

But any pet you adopt, if you invest your heart and time, will become all the superstar you ever needed. 🙂

Jill SCAS alumni

So join us in this effort to allow all the stars to shine.

Jay Bird SCAS alumni

Vote everyday for Seminole County Animal Services!

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