Saturday, August 30, 2008

Perchance to dream

Last night I had one of the most vivid dreams. It involved me winning a pit bull at a baseball game. (Hey you know dreams.) She was a cute and super sweet smallish female. Lots of tail wagging and smootching was going on. I remember feeling very pleased. She looked sort of like the photo above. (of a female named Pita from that needs a home BTW) My girl had less white though and was a lighter brindle. It was realistic enough that I was figuring out logistics of introducing her to my 3 already in residence. For the record I have no intentions of adding a 4th canine to my motley crew. Heaven help me if during one of my shelter trips she is actually there. (shall I admit I checked for her photo on a bunch of pit rescue websites?) Perhaps it was simply induced by the Animal Witness story I watched last night I had previously taped off Animal Planet. (which had far to much dog fighting footage if you ask me) Being a fan of the pit bull (type of dog, it isn't technically a breed) it probably brought up my desire to have one of these wonderful and much maligned creatures.


Until then, I shall wonder where my dream girl is.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pug-a-licious and toy safety

First a safety warning about ball toys with only one hole. Some of the photos are graphic:

(Thanks Hannah)

Today DS and I went to Augusta for a pug meetup with an area pug group, It is about a 45 minute drive for us. It was my first time. I tasked DS to take some photos and unfortunatly he was in a shy mood and didn't get as many as I would have liked. He said he had a great time though and it was much more fun than he anticipated. (we also did Wendys for lunch which is a treat since we no longer have one near us) Here are all of the better ones for your viewing pleasure.

This is Grumpy, also a rescue.

Missy in pink and Shadow in camo.

Another of Missy.

This is Lilly, a 5 month old puppy.

Roscoe doing a play bow to Jenny. He is 8 months old.

And Jenny deciding to play back. Pugs in attendance were:

Lilly, Missy, Lacey, Shadow, Thunder, Grumpy, Zach, Roscoe, Blue, Precious and Jenny. (I hope I didn't forget anyone.) With 11 pugs all running around playing it was tons of fun to watch.

I wish I had more and better pics but since it was Jenny's first time I was doing the eagle eye to be sure she was ok. We were in a shady spot which is great for the dogs but makes photos dark unless you use your flash. (which we didn't know how to turn on since it was the husbands camera) I would have loved to let her off leash but just didn't dare to in case she had one of her episodes. It was a beautiful park but unfenced. I'm not sure how far she would run if she had a spell. Call me a nervous Nellie. I do think it was most likely due to her ear infection but it is to soon for me to relax about it just yet. I want her to go longer without a spell before I try anything off leash for her safety. Yes I felt like the over protective mother today. It was still alot of fun and I'm sure we will do it again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Greyhounds and new stuff

Today I watched a very good video about the Maine Greyhound Placement Service. It is a rescue group located here in Maine for retired racing greys. Retired really just means they stopped winning at the track and had been scheduled for euthanization. I have been facinated by Greyhounds for years after watching a documentary about the breed. They are georgous and sweet with an interesting history and are in great need of being rescued. Once again a great example of man at it's best and worst. When are we going to stop using animals as entertainment and then disgarding/destroying them when they can't produce anymore?

Thankfully there are people like Scott Bruns, and all of his amazing volunteers, stepping up and doing what they can to help the castoffs in this case. The documentary I saw had some tough footage of racers being put down and their multiple bodies stacked in wheelbarrows being dumped into trucks for disposal. That is imagery that I will never forget. (and share here to point out that it happens EVERY WEEK somewhere to these beautiful animals) I think one day I may have one of these amazing animals of my own. Until then I will keep spreading their story to other potential adopters. They make wonderful companions. And because they have been used in racing they are already good on leash, crate trained and used to being around other dogs. They also have many good years left in them to share with you.
I know many people think they need a lot of exercise because of their racing background, but they are very content to spend their days sunbathing and snuggling on the couch. (They are sprinters and not built for endurance like other high energy breeds.)
So spread the word or consider a retired greyhound as your next best friend. Unfortunatly there will always be some in need of rescue. Can't adopt but want to help the cause? Check out their website and buy something. They raise money and you get cool new stuff.

Speaking of helping rescues, check out my new t-shirt from PRoNE. (I think I am going to make a habit out of buying new shirts from rescue groups. I get clothes and support good causes. It's a win, win!) Here is the front,
and the back. Jenny is also sporting a new collar from that we picked up at The Loyal Biscuit Co.

My son said he would prefer she have a camo collar but I didn't think that camo was girly enough for her. He got a PRoNE shirt in Kahki. And a new pug book also from the PRoNE site.
It has some great info and pics.
This years Boatyard dog shirt. This was last years winner, a border collie named Kylie. Hopefully next year Trumans photo will be featured.
Here is a pic of Jenny cuddling with Jack on DS's bed. If you look close you can see his hot spot near his tail. Let's just say my vet saw alot of us this week. He also got a bit of a new hairdo I will share photos of later.
And Missy doing what she loves, hoarding all the chewies and taking turns with them.

P.S. To Caveat. I still can't leave a comment on your site for some reason. And yes you talk about politics but it is DOG related so it passes muster. LOVE your stuff! VBG :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We are the champions

We won!!! Truman the shelter dog is the official 2008 Boatyard dog winner. Check out this photo of him in action during the competition. (photo by Daniel O'Connell)
Youthlinks Hound Wins Boatyard Dog
By Broadreach Family & Community Services Dan Bookham

ROCKLAND (Aug 11, 08): Two weeks ago, none of the teens on the Youthlinks Boatyard dog team had ever trained an animal. Two weeks ago, Truman the hound had never been trained beyond basic commands. Today thanks to his Youthlinks handlers, their advisors, and his intelligence and sweet nature Truman is the 2008 Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Boatyard Dog champion.

Youthlinks exists to help connect local adolescents with the volunteer needs in their communities, so when the opportunity arose to raise awareness about animals in need of a home at the Humane Society of Knox County (HSKC) the teens and staff naturally jumped at the chance. It didn't hurt of course that the awareness project promised to be a lot of fun.

At the end of July a group of Youthlinks participants taking part in the program's free community service summer camp teamed up with the HSKC, professional dog behavioralist Marie Finnegan, (**Oops slightly wrong info. I am a dog trainer, not a behaviorist.**) Rockland's Loyal Biscuit Co., and a hound named Truman and began training to take part in the Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Boatyard Dog competition. The contest has become an attendee favorite, and consists of obstacle courses, jumping in and out of dinghies, a "freestyle" performance piece by dog and handlers, and at least half the team finding themselves jumping into Rockland harbor.

Under the guidance of Finnegan, Youthlinks Program Manager Caitlin Schick, and staff at the HSKC the teens transformed themselves and Truman within two weeks into a confident, disciplined and fun-loving team with a kid/canine secret agent skit that ended up stealing the show.

To the sounds of the James Bond and Pink Panther themes Truman and his handlers cleared the obstacle course, leapt from a tippy dinghy, disarmed secret agents, kissed a femme fatale, responded to commands in a multitude of languages, knocked a villain off the dock, and resumed their cover as an everyday family and their dog. After a tie-break performance crowd acclaim lead to Truman and his Youthlinks team mates clinching the championship.

"Not many adults would feel comfortable standing in front of a huge crowd trying to lead a young dog through a complex routine while performing themselves" said Youthlinks Program Director Amie Hutchison, who added "To be able to do so with such confidence and showmanship that they won the whole competition speaks volumes about the quality of the teens who live in our communities."
Truman, the 2008 Boatyard Dog Trials champion and loving hound in search of a family, is awaiting adoption at the Humane Society of Knox County. Youthlinks' free summer camp continues for two more weeks; regular after-school programming resumes in September.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services located in Rockland that provides community service, leadership and enrichment opportunities to all youth ages 11-17 from anywhere in mid-coast Maine. They are funded primarily by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, and foundations. All programs are free for participating youth. For more information on Youthlinks, visit or call 594-2221.

Back row, from left to right: Youthlinks Program Director Amie Hutchison, K-9 Solutions' Marie Finnegan, Youthlinks Program Manager Caitlin Schick, Margo Arruda, Lexi Moody.Front row: Miles Swanson, Jordan Carpenter, Truman (not pictured: Emma Spencer). **Also not seen is his underdog cape made by my mom. It was fabulous.

Here is Truman showing off his beautiful lobster collar and leash set donated by the Loyal Biscuit Co. and made by
Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show bounces back after soggy start
By Daniel O'Connell and Emily Sapienza
**Snippet of longer article:
That excitement is not lost on the public who come from near and far to attend the event, the apex of which is the World Championship Boatyard Dog competition held Sunday morning.
Six teams of dogs and handlers competed in this year's event, though one team was made up of a pair of dogs.
After the event's obstacle course was completed, teams also performed free-style acts of both daring and obedience. In one such act, handler Kip Boetsch fired a toy lobster out of a mini cannon into the water, whereupon his dog, Captain Caleb, fetched it from the water.
Two teams were tied after round one. Kelvin and Cody, two Chesapeake Bay retrievers competing on the same team, were tied with Truman, a hound mix that is currently up for adoption at the Humane Society of Knox County.
Judges Dr. Bjorn Lee of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates, Lucinda Lang, a spaniel aficionado, and Holly Sherburne, editor of Downeast Dog News, scored the dogs on the first round of competition. The free-style tiebreaker round, however, was judged through audience applause.
Kelvin and Cody brought professional experience to the competition; they were trained as Chesapeake safe harbor rescue dogs. (**More wrong info-they are dogs adopted from the Safe Harbor Chesapeake Rescue Group. Perhaps they are trained rescue dogs but I think there was some miscommunication or assumptions made based on the groups name.**)
Truman, on the other hand, was the product of a home-town project: Students from Youthlinks, a youth enrichment program based in Rockland, had worked with Marie Finnegan, the resident trainer at the Humane Society of Knox County, to train Truman for the event.
After competing in the tie-breaking free-style round, Truman won the event with overwhelming applause from the audience. Truman is still available for adoption at the Humane Society of Knox County.
End of Boatyard dog stories. :-) What a great ending to a very busy two weeks. The kids all did a fabulous job and much fun was had by all, including Truman who loved all the attention lavished upon him. Hopefully his new home can keep up with his rock star status. I only wish I had video to share.
Jenny is doing much better today and we haven't had any more episodes since Sunday. Our fingers are crossed that it was related to inner ear issues and not neurological after all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A problem with Jenny

The boatyard dog show was fabulous. I will have photos and news soon I promise. Unfortunatly something else has cropped up that is foremost on my mind.

So last night around 6pm Jenny had a weird episode. She started screaming and running around trying to hide while evacuating her bladder and bowels. The only word to describe her was terrified. She came out of it after a few minutes and I figured she either heard a strange sound that triggered a bad memory or had a sharp pain from a current ear infection (that I was going to call about Monday morning) or maybe even snagged a nail on the heater vent while walking over it. I kept a close eye on her and took note of time and place and surroundings to try to figure out the trigger.

Fast forward to today. Same thing happens around 3 pm. Only this time it started while she was sitting right next to me on the couch. OK that was pretty weird so I call the vet. We decide to wait until morning to bring her in. Cut to 4 hours later and she has another episode. I call the vet and say I would rather bring her in now. She seems ok when we go in but a bit timid which is unusual for her. Normally she is a pretty confident girl. We talk about inner ear pain and decide to do bloodwork just in case. It isn't a typical presentation of a seizure in her opinion tho nothing is impossible. They take Jenny out back for the draw.

I hear her having another episode. The vet comes out and says that now she has seen it in person it does look like it might be neurological. By now my nerves are shot. I hate seeing her go through this and the neurological scenario doesn't sound good. They give her a shot of a steroid for the skin and the ears and medication for me to use. The bloodwork should be back tuesday. (thyroid test and full blood screen) Instructions to time all future episodes and keep a log. If it is epilepsy then we can try phenobarb after the bloodwork comes back. (Her glucose was normal)

She did eat her supper fine when we returned home. She has had two more episodes since we got back but the last was milder which makes me hopeful.

Best case scenario is it is inner ear pain from the infection and not neurological. Second best case is it will be something we can control with medication. I refuse to think about other case scenarios at this point. I have to admit part of me is freaking out. I love this dog so much and I haven't had her nearly long enough. (I should say we, she is technically my sons dog) She is 2 and a half and we have had her for almost a year.

I welcome any thoughts that might help if anyone has gone though anything similar. In the meantime I am asking for good thoughts sent our way.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Up to no good

That's what my mom used to say if us kids were quiet for to long. "They must be up to no good." Yes I admit I have been a very bad blogger. Not posting regularly is one of my pet peeves for other favorite blogs and here I am guilty of it myself. Well I do have a pretty good excuse, I am tuckered! Plus I have been undercover on a secret mission. You can check out the details here: (Reposted from the Village Soup website)

Boat Yard Dog Entrant Unmasked as Youthlinks Double Agent
By Broadreach Family & Community Services Amie Hutchison & Caitlin Schick

ROCKLAND (Aug 1, 08): In a breach in Youthlinks’ super-sensitive security system, the identity of secret canine operative Agent K-9 has leaked. The agent’s real name is Truman, and he is an adoptable two year old hound mix from the Humane Society of Knox County. His mission, which he chose to accept, is to be briefed by Youthlinks summer camp secret agents (under the direction of Marie Finnegan, a trainer with K-9 Solutions) to take part in the Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors’ Boatyard Dog Trials. To compete as Agent K-9 in the trials, Truman is being trained in cutting edge spy tactics: stealthy physical maneuvers, courage, patience, charming the ladies, and finesse in all things.

The recruiting of K-9 Solutions’ Marie Finnegan for the Boatyard Dog Trials mission was a strategic move by Youthlinks worthy of James Bond himself. Finnegan has volunteered her expertise as the Humane Society of Knox County’s resident trainer for years, helping dogs with their behavior and manners so they can become better candidates for adoption. Her skill under pressure makes her a natural mentor for Agent K-9, who will need to negotiate dangerous obstacle courses, treacherous dingy-hopping, and a secret freestyle event with panache.

Youthlinks campers have been working with Finnegan every day for two weeks on a crash course spy school, readying Truman for his debut. Because every good secret agent needs the right equipment, Rockland’s Loyal Biscuit Co. generously stepped up to outfit Truman.

For reinforcement, campers are also training a double agent, a one year old Walker hound mix named Brady, who will act as a stand-in if Truman is thwarted by enemy sabotage. This cunning move has ensured that an Agent K-9 will be ready for competition, campers will have gained training experience, and two adoptable dogs are ready for welcoming families.

On the day of the mission, campers will lead the canine super-spy through the gauntlet of events at the Boatyard Dogs Show with the hope that a lot of training, frequent socialization with children and other dogs, and a little press will grant Agent K-9 the ultimate finale to his extreme mission; a loving home.

To watch Truman and his team of spy trainers in action, attend the Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors’ Boatyard Dog Trials on August 10th, 2008 on the Public Landing in Rockland. The event will commence at 10:30 am.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services located in Rockland that provides community service, leadership and enrichment opportunities to all youth ages 11-17 from anywhere in mid-coast Maine. These programs help youth learn skills, build self-esteem, cultivate social responsibility, develop leadership abilities and connect to their peers, to adult mentors, and to their communities. Youthlinks is funded primarily by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, and foundations. All programs are free for participating youth. Call 594-2221 or visit for more information.

Emma Spencer of Rockland works with Truman, aka Agent K-9 (Photo by Caitlin Schick)


Unfortunatly being in secret ops means a lack of free time usually spent doing other things like keeping up with e-mail and blogs. I just can't do it all! (Not if I want to sleep that is. Trust me, you don't want to see me with out any sleep.)

* And here are some cute pics of Jenny in her new winter outfit courtesy of Lauren and The Loyal Biscuit. (To keep her warm of course, I lack fashion sense of my own let alone for my dogs.)

To bad we don't have touch-o-vision. It is so soft!
"Hey who turned out the lights?" (Yes file this under stupid things people do to their pets. I couldn't help myself. And yes I think it is cute. No animals were harmed in the taking of this photo.)

Now my ears can stay toasty too.

You can almost see her thinking "Are we done yet? I have things to do." She is such a diva. Thanks Lauren!!