Friday, September 25, 2009

The Ambassa-Dogs (AKA The Tinies)

Olive and Baci are my heartbeats, and together act as Ambassa-Dogs for the Sanctuary. They are both toy fox terriers. They have worked with me at the Farmer's Market booth (I am quite sure they have waaaay more friends than I do!), traveled across the country to help me pick up residents for Hundenruhe, and come to school to read with my students. They are even famous! Our friend Barbara Techel was kind enough to include them in her book, "Frankie - The Walk 'n' Roll Dog". I could not have been more blessed with amazing companions.
Olive came to me via a wonderful rescue group called Southern Hope in Atlanta, GA. Stacey and her daughter gave her a great start after her original owners, an elderly couple, recognized that perhaps a puppy didn't suit their lives as well as they originally anticipated. Thankfully, they gave up Olive (then Daisy) to Stacey, and eventually when Olive was nine months old, I flew down to Atlanta to adopt her and fly home. She rode in the cabin and charmed everyone! Since she came to live with us in December, Olive is named after the title character in the book, "Olive - The Other Reindeer". She is now six years old, and weighs only six pounds!
Baci (formerly Rusty) was going to be euthanized at the Wisconsin Humane Society because they thought he had a chronic skin condition. Thankfully, it was simply that he had been pulling out his hair due to stress when his owners kept him in his crate for ten hours a day while they were at work, so he soon was back to normal after coming to live here at one year of age. I commend his owners for realizing that this was not the life for him, and giving him the chance for a different kind of life. They did a wonderful job with his early life, because he came to us delightfully snuggly, housebroken, and with the cute trick of doing spins for treats! He is tiny, tiny, tiny, weighing only 3.5 pounds! His name means "kisses" in Italian (he loves both giving and receiving!), and he is named after the Perugina chocolate by that name that comes wrapped in love notes.
The tinies have their own car seats in my car, and love being packed up (yes, dressed up, too!) and taken with me whereever I can get away with bringing them! Lucky, lucky me - to have been able to have four heartdogs in my lifetime - two have passed away, and two live with me now.

Da Girlz

Twiggy (top) and Metoo (Mimi, below) are our girls. Both girls were supposed to be foster dogs, but ended up staying for good. Twiggy came to us as an owner-surrender via the Wisconsin Humane Society. She was going to go live with Mama Wendy in Illinois, but she wasn't very polite to Mama Wendy's other dog, so she came back home to Hundenruhe. We decided that she could stay, because little Miss Mimi needed a friend. Twig is five, and is a toy fox terrier. She has a few white hairs on her forehead, so I tell her that's where the angels kissed her to remind her to be good. She loves playing fetch more than anything else on the planet, and runs like the wind on her stubby legs, tryng to get her toy, and barking to scare off any birds flying overhead. (How dare they fly over "her" house!)
Mimi is a puppy mill puppy, and is another dog saved by our vet's office. She came to us covered in ugly sores and raw skin due to a condition called atopic dematitis. Due to the dermatitis and her lack of early socialization, Mimi didn't get handled much by her previous family, causing lasting developmental and social problems. With a lot of ointment, oral medication, special food, and love, today Mimi is a healthy four year old rat terrier, but she still can't handle strangers of any kind or children. So on the day before Mimi was set to go to her foster home in Minnesota, she crawled up on Dan's lap, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Me, too? Can I stay, too?" Soft-hearted Dan consented, Mimi got a new name, and she is a lasting reminder of why puppy mills need to be put out of business. She will always need to be put in a separate room when we have guests at the sanctuary because the stress makes her ill. Mimi's great with Dan and I, however, so she will have a loving home here until she goes to the Bridge one day (hopefully) well into the future.

Da Boyz

These are my "little men". We've had Oberon (Obie, on the left) and Skylar (Skye, on the right) since they were six weeks old. I can't believe that this week they will turn 8 and officially be seniors with the rest of the crew. Obie is a little "off" and must take meds for his anxiety, and Skye is the boss of the pack here - sometimes a little too bossy! When they were tiny, they couldn't sleep without each other, and now they want to be as far apart as possible. Obie has always been my little "tank" - chunky and cuddly - constantly rolling over for belly rubs, and loving to rock on the outdoor swing. Sky has always been my "smoochie" - kissing and pushing his way in to give his version of puppy hugs - pushing himself against you as tightly as possible. They are a joy, and were the only puppies I ever purchased (or will purchase) from a breeder. They are rat terriers - a challenging breed - and are no healthier or have any better temperaments than those pups we have rescued. a pup...adopt!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Almost Forgot Sadie!

We call her "Sadie No-Trouble". She is a darling, darling rat terrier girl who is 16 years old. Though she suffers from a wee bit of dementia (has her "spells", don't you know!), she still frolics behind me like a little filly when we go for walkies in the big field. She has just discovered pets in the last year, and is constantly at our fingertips now. Sadie thinks that Baci is her baby, and is often nearby, keeping an eye on his royal tininess. Her human mom passed away, and we are happy that she was able to find her way north to Hundenruhe.

Don't Throw the Frisbee!

This is our little Frisbee (my handsome boyfriend). He came to Hundenruhe Haven via our amazing vet's office. Originally, his name was Frisky, but it didn't seem to match his charm, so we renamed him Frisbee. His human dad brought him in for his rabies shot, and decided to have him euthanized instead. The wonderful techs and doctor convinced his dad to surrender him, and he came to live with us instead. Fris is in the later stages of congestive heart failure, so he doesn't waddle out to the fields with us anymore, but he still yodels his "hellos" and gives tiny kisses on our noses every day. He enjoys napping on his futon couch and letting everyone know when we come home and rise in the morning. He is 12 years old.

Sophia's Choice

Sophia came to us with her sister Iggy (who we renamed Peggy) when they were 11. They had been the consolation to two children who lost their father in a tragic accident, and when the kids went to college, their mom decided that she didn't want the dogs around anymore. So sad. So, Peggy and Sophia came to Wisconsin from Indiana along with Rudy. Unfortunately, Peggy came to us with a rare form of lung cancer, and died within a month of arriving. Some good did come of her death, though, as our vet was able to learn about her type of cancer and let her go peacefully while she was under anaesthesia. Sophia is now nearly 14 and continues to charm our household with her throaty bark and silly wiggles. In the picture above, she is using New Year as a pillow. Sophia lost 17 teeth in her dental two weeks ago, poor darling. It hasn't slowed down her eating, though!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A New Year

New Year is a beautiful male greyhound who will turn 14 on December 4. He came to us shortly before his birthday last year, when his human mom and dad became elderly and unable to care for him and his sisters. New Year was quite the racer in his day, and won a lot of money for his owner. However, attempts to make little New Years failed (thankfully) and Newly was retired to a life of leisure. Newly is riddled with arthritis in his knees and hips - pain meds are dulling the pain for now, but even good food, pain meds, and nutriceuticals aren't keeping up anymore. Though he has brief joyful romps in the field, he pays for it later with soreness and pain. When his pain outweighs his joy, we will help him to the Bridge.

Uncle Mort

Uncle Mort is a 14.5 year old Italian Greyhound/Terrier mix. He's a little goofy, but in a nice sort of way. He, too, had to wait for a few days with his poodle companion before someone discovered that his human dad had passed away. Maybe that's why he's kind of odd, or maybe he's always been odd - we'll never know! He has no teeth, just like Roody, but fortunately for him it doesn't seem to slow his eating down or make his tongue hang out! Mort has recently discovered that he enjoys ear scritchies and other pets, so he's become a bit of a velcro dog lately. He also is quite accomodating to the other dogs who want to share his bed - I think that he enjoys the warmth and companionship. He's a sweet old guy, and we're lucky to have him around.


Rudy is our 16 year old Italian Greyhound. He has been with us for three years now and is originally from Indiana. Rudy's former human mom had dementia for the last few years of her life, so Rudy's care was sporadic. He tends to bark when he wants just about anything, but especially for his breakfast and dinner. Poor guy, when his human mom died, he had to stay there with her for awhile until her family discovered that she had passed on, so that had to be rather traumatic, too. Rudy is happy now (though still quite quirky and strange!) and enjoys pottering about the yard and sleeping on the cushy beds. His age hasn't slowed him down one iota, however, and he can still jump as high as the countertops to steal bread and rolls!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's Tulip

Tulip entered our lives after a sad start. She spent the first fourteen years of her life without a name, a breeder beagle in Iowa. When her puppy-making years were over, she was turned loose to fend for herself in the fields. When the local sheriff tracked down her owner, he claimed the younger dog that she was running with, but wouldn't accept Tulip. Tulip found herself in a temporary home in a one-room cabin, filled with cages of other puppers. Rescued by caring friends, and transported by Jean and Dave, Tulip found her way to Hundenruhe Haven. We named her Tulip (LuLu or Tulli for short). When she arrived, she was in pretty tough shape. Her teeth were worn down, she had spinal spondilosis, a fracture in her spine from being kicked or hit by a car, double ear infections, and she was quite underweight. She didn't know how to play and didn't know that being petted was a good thing. I am happy to report that Tulip is now the poster pup for Hundenruhe Haven. She is 16, runs and plays (including playbows), hunts down imaginary rabbits, checks the fenceline daily, and loves to be petted and kissed on her forehead. Hundenruhe Haven gave her a name, a purpose for being, a warm bed, and love. She gives us her sweet smile, gentle gazes, and undying loyalty. A fair trade.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Meet Roody

I thought it might be nice to introduce the residents here at Hundenruhe over the next few days! We'll start with the oldest, and work our way down to the youngest, shall we? The oldest dog is Roody, who is 17 years old. He is an Italian Greyhound, and came to us via the Fluffy Butts Rescue Resort in Iowa. My very patient mother and I drove to pick him up in August of this year, and he has been adjusting to life on the farm ever since. Roody's human mom decided to give him and his "sister" up when she had a life change. His rat terrier "sister", also 17, found a lovely home with a couple who will give her tons of love for the rest of her days. Roody had his last two teeth pulled and his manly bits removed shortly before he came to live with us. For awhile, his amorous ways were a big bother to our other Rudy, but he has settled down now to a more calm and contented existence. He must be handfed due to his very narrow muzzle and no teeth, but it is a nice chance for he and I to bond together twice a day, so I don't mind. Welcome to Hundenruhe, Roody!

Welcome to Hundenruhe Haven!

Well, I'm going to try this blogging thing again. Hopefully, it will be a place to keep everyone up to date with the sanctuary. Pass along this link to your friends, so they can keep up too!
Today is gorgeous on the farm. It is a lovely, autumn morning - the last cutting of hay is in huge rolls in the field, the trees on the ridge are changing, and the thunk, thunk of walnuts hitting the steel roof can be heard all over the land. The dogs and I took a lovely walk through the crisp leaves and sparkling dew this morning before heading back inside to get everyone fed and steep a lovely pot of Zen tea to start our day. Even New Year the greyhound managed to get his arthritic hips and knees going this morning for a short burst of chasing Roody in the field. The peace and contentment surrounded us this morning and I am filled with gratitude for the blessing of another day with the dogs here on the farm.