You Can Help Pets Affected by Tornado’s in Southern Indiana

Tornadoes in Southern Indiana on Friday March 2, 2012 devastated several small towns.

As a pet owner I know that I would be concerned about my pet’s welfare if I lost everything, pets are family, and a great comfort.  This timely NPR story describes the physical and emotional benefits of simply interacting with an animal.  Keeping a pet with you during a relatively minor life upheaval can be very challenging so I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who are suddenly without everything, except their pets.  In an effort to help survivors of Friday’s tornado’s care for their best friends Spay and Neuter Indians Pets, SNIP, and Pet Supples Plus have partnered to collect donations of pet supplies that SNIP will deliver as needed.

They are asking that you makes purchases of items such as pet food, leashes/collars, litter/boxes etc. at Pet Supplies Plus and leave at any of the four stores in the boxes marked SNIP Tornado Relief or you can stop by the SNIP van in front of the Greenwood PSP store on Sat 3/10/12 from 12:30 to 2:30 with “gently used” items. If you can’t make it to the store and have gently used items or want to make a cash donation for us to purchase items at PSP you can contact SNIP snip222@sbcglobal.net

SNIP is a non profit organization that provides “High Quality – Low Cost” spay and neuter services by partnering with local vets who share their passion for saving lives.  100% of funds go directly to help the animals, in this case it is the victims of the tornados.  Your donation will go just a far year round with SNIP though because 100% of your donation goes to our spay neuter services–none goes to fundraising, office expenses or employees as they have no employees! They are an all volunteer group, working locally in their communities, grassroots spay neuter initiatives.

SNIP is an IRS 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, your donation is deductible.

Anything you can do to increase donations is appreciated and I’ll do whatever I can to help get donations to SNIP.

Artie, my little Papillon, and his Tale of Survival

Rescuing my Papillon

Papillon

Artie at his cutest. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

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Artie finally learned to behave on the leash, mostly. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

I took care of a Papillon in 2003 and knew that when I got a small dog it would be a Papillon.  In 2008, I was ready to adopt.  Artie was the fourth dog I applied to adopt.  The rescue lets foster parents match their charge with potential parents and I finally measured up with Artie.  In retrospect, I’m not sure what that says about me.  I drove to Minneapolis to meet his foster parents who came down form Northern Wisconsin.  Out he came into a Taco Bell parking lot on a leash two kids were fighting over.  He was bouncing, spinning, yapping, jumping and circling at the end of the leash.  I thought he was adorable.

In my five page application I had indicated that I wanted a young and healthy dog but that I did not require that it be trained or house broken.  I can do those things, I thought.  He proved to be a bit of a  challenge.  He had separation anxiety and barrier frustration.  I gave up on crate training when I came home to his little nails bloodied because he was trying to dig out of the crate.  I adjusted to him as much as he adjusted to the house and me.  It took a good six months to house train him and that was with him tethered to my side 24/7.

Two German Shepherds and a Papillon meet

By February 2010 everyone was getting along just fine.  Artie went out one day into the yard which had and invisible fence.  I don’t know if he escaped the fence or if the neighbors two dog aggressive German Shepherds escaped theirs but either way, they met up and it almost killed Artie.  There were dozens of wounds and it was described to me as a “curtain of blood.”  He was rushed to a vet in town that happened to be open despite it being Sunday afternoon. I was working and I got to the vet’s office just in time to get him,  his medication, and pay the bill.  He was sent home with dog arthritis medication, a tube in his chest and a vague prognosis that he might make it.  On the 15 minute drive home I knew he was dying.  I took him to Airport Animal Emergi-Center emergency vet.  The emergency vetrinarian told me that Artie would have died if I had not brought him in.  There were wounds that were not sewn shut, including one that allowed air to escape his chest cavity.  The vet showed a video he took showing air moving in and out of the wound by holding a piece of cotton in front of it.  Other wounds had hair sewn into them.   He also said that he rarely needs to place chest tubes and that injuries as severe as Artie’s come in about once a month and this came from a veterinarian who specializes in emergency medicine and sees the most extreme injuries.  The good news was that there was every reason to think his chances of recovery were good.  They kept him overnight.  When I picked him up the next morning he was shaved from neck to tail and the stitches and wounds were so numerous that I never tried to count them.  He also had a narcotic patch and was heavily sedated to manage the pain.  A long way removed from the dog aspirin he was given initially.

papillon

Artie would not wear a coat or sweater or sit near anyone. Here he's curled up in a chair across the room from me.

He spent the next week at our regular vet, St. Francis’ Pet Hospital, (Artie and I can’t say enough good things about St. Francis’s Pet Hospital and the staff there) during the day for monitoring and at home being hovered over by me at night.  After the narcotic pain patch wore off he seemed to be in a lot of pain despite strong pain medication and sedatives.  One morning when he went out to go to the bathroom he ran straight under the front porch and would not come out.  It was 6:00am and about 20 degrees.  No amount of enticing, pleading or bribing would coax him out.  He growled and bit at me when I tried to get to him and moved away if I tried to go under the porch after him.  He was under the porch in the freezing cold, virtually bald, his wounds were dirty, he was obviously terrified and I was at a loss.  This went on for nearly two hours.  My brother, Matt, came over to save the day, and Artie.  After Artie bit him and drew blood, Matt got a long 1×1 board for himself and one for me.  He then crawled under the porch, which runs the length of the house, and used his board to block Artie from doubling back behind him and force him towards me at the other end.  We both used our boards to close off his retreat and slowly shrink his avenue of escape to an opening right in front of me on the outside of the porch.  When he came out I grabbed his collar and I’ll never forget how he bit, growled and cried.  It was awful.  His disposition did not begin to improve for about a week and he was very leery of anyone touching him for months afterwards.  The best explanation I heard for his behavior from the time he went under the porch to his return to normal (Artie’s version of normal at least) was that the poor little guy was trying to hide from the pain.

When Artie lept from the floor to the back of the couch for the first time month’s later I knew he was fully recovered.

Papillon Power

Papillon picture in black and white

Artie, my Papillon, surveying his kingdom from the back of the couch. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

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Artie earning his keep guarding The Critter Mobile.

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Hanging out in the hammock. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

 

 

 

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Taking a well deserved rest after a hard day at work.

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Artie showing of the coat he happily wears these days.

Mary and Bella, feline cold war.

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” I was here first.”

Mary:

I was happy as an only cat for years.  I had my mom to myself and when she could tear herself away from me and I was provided with, Amy a pretty good substitute servant.  I like her because she appreciates my need for treats and a lap.  Then the unthinkable happened.  Bella, another cat (and her human-training them is so hard) moved in.  We disliked each other immediately.  It was MY house, she did not belong and I made that clear, but my efforts were in vain, she’s still here.

cat
“I like it here, except for Mary.”

 

Bella:

Moving is very stressful for me but once we settled into our new home I made myself comfortable and began a campaign to rid myself of Mary.  I thought this would be simple, she’s kind of soft, always playing sweet to the humans, never putting them in their place.  Humans require intensive training and follow up sessions on a regular basis to remind them who is in charge.  This includes but is not limited to swatting and hissing in the middle of a required adoration session to keep them on their toes.  This is sometimes followed up by allowing more affection immediately or simply walking away.  You have to keep them guessing.  The same tactics, modified to terrorize a cat, were be employed for my Rid the House of Mary Campaign”.  Thus far this has only resulted in much hissing and growling the humans discourage for some reason.

 

Mary and Bella:

This battle for dominence continued until the most unthinkable thing in the world happened:

 

 

Labrador retriever
“My name’s Millie and I love my new home.”

 

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Our out and out war had to be altered to a cold war, allowing us to join forces occasionally in a covert operation to rid our home of this vile creature.  We have tried everything from blaming any and every thing the humans dislike on the dog, ignoring the humans as punishment and attacks on the enemy.  Alas, we are still at war but considering that cat’s are far superior to dogs, we will eventually prevail.

Until we do we now look forward to our humans leaving because the dog leaves too.  Training Amy the substitute is an ongoing process but she’s preferable to the dog.

 

Bella the calico cat
“It’s exhausting being a cat.”

 

Mary the cat gettin gpets
“Lap time with Amy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rommel the Rottweiler and Nina the rescue – the Happy Critters behind Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc.

The humans that belong to Rommel and Nina have been my friends since before Rommel and Nina owned them.

rottweiler and cat under couch
Rommel as a puppy under my couch next to Domino, my cat with his first, favorite toy that he did not want to share.

 

This is a Polaroid of Rommel under my futon hoarding a toy back in 2000 when he was the size of my cat Domino.  I of course immediately insisted on being given the position of Aunt and Puppy Sitter.

 

Rommel the Rottweiler was often my house guest while his parents traveled.  Shortly after they got Rommel they of course had to get him a sister (one pet is never enough), Nina, the Flat Coated Retriever Mix (?) who they adopted from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.  Now when the humans traveled I had a house full, 5 dogs and a cat plus a feral cat colony outside. I loved it.

 

“We are best friends.”

When I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2003 Nina and Rommel were at my house.  They were scheduled to come stay again during the early part of my recovery but that was no longer an option.  Their humans hired a Pet Sitter to come into the home and care for Rommel and Nina while they were away.  What is a pet sitter I asked?  They explained, I did some research and knew right away I was not returning to my job refinishing furniture.  My surgery was February 6, 2003, I started Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. in March of 2003, thanks to the first Happy Critters, Nina and Rommel.

rottweiler cute pic
“I have a foot fetish.”

 Rommel has a foot fetish, when you walk, he puts his nose right on the top of your shoe and grumbles and sniff’s, as you try to walk.  He gets over this in a few minutes.  It’s cute, when you don’t trip over him an fall.  As with most Rotties I’ve met he can not get enough love and attention.  If you stop moving, he will be there presenting you with an ear or a stub of tail to scratch.  If you sit down, it’s time to be prepared for kisses.

 

Nina loves affection just as much as her brother but, unlike Rommel who more or less outgrew his toy obsession, Nina takes the prey instinct to new heights.  She quickly progressed from disemboweling squeeky toys to taking on raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, geese, ducks and swans with varying degrees of success.

rottweiler and rescued dog
“There are geese in my yard-I MUST go.”

 

Rommel, Nina and their humans are family to me.  Rommel is now a spry 12 years old and Nina is ageless it seems.  My friends added two children -of the human variety- to their family recently.  I am not qualified to care for those types of critters but I have non the less appointed myself Aunt Amy again.

 

Thank you Rommel, Nina and your humans for helping me make something good come of something so bad and leading me into the post-cancer part of my life.

“I think Aunt Amy’s here – treats!”

The Story of Bella Mia, My Bischon Frise – Rosalynn DeFelice

 

Beschon Frise

Grandma Rosalynn and Bella Mia her Bischon Frise on the porch in strawberry season.

My Grandma Rosalynn DeFelice wrote this story of her beloved Bella Mia when I asked friends and family if they would like to share their pet stories.  She typed it on a typewriter so I have uploaded it just as she gave it to me.

 

Bischon Frise

Even dog people like kittens, a little.

"Let's see if you are an acceptable human."

This is Emma, the newest and at present, the youngest, Happy Critter.  I thought her tail was at attention while she was inspecting me but it pretty much stays that way all the time.

Here she is having fun with her big sister Inky.  I’ve been caring for Inky for a couple of years now.  Today was the first time she came out to meet me at the door.  Our relationship progressed from her hiding from me to meeting me at the door today.  I think she has decided she will get no attention with Emma around unless she comes on out.

KITTEN ATTACK!

Kitten attacking finger.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking hand.

Emma seems to have enjoyed our first meeting and I didn’t loose to much blood.  The best part about Emma, aside from that tail, is that she has breathed new life into her big sister Inky.

Please keep getting puppies and kittens so that I can restrain myself from adding to our furry family.

 

Chloe’s Mutt Strut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Chloe the Pug at the Mutt Strutt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Chloe, the 10 year young Pug, has been a Happy Critter since 2003. She took her human to Mutt Strut on Saturday May 1st, 2011 to strut her stuff and benefit her cousins at the Humane Society Of Indianapolis. Chloe persuaded her mom to walk the entire 2.5 miles without her mom needing to carry her. (Carrying Chloe helps her mom feel safe in strange places.) She did have to let her human rest and get a drink a few times but she is nonetheless very proud of her human for her assistance in helping the homeless animals.

Chloe and her mom dedicate their Mutt Strut to Cooper, who was surely walking along side them in spirit.

Pug Power at the Brickyard.

Chloe burns up the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

If I didn’t share my home animals……

 

If I Didn’t Have a Dog…or Cat…………

I could walk barefoot around the yard in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and
laminated. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would
be hair-free.

When the doorbell rang, my home wouldn’t sound
like a kennel.

When the doorbell rang, I could get to the door without
wading through all the fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and the bed any way I wanted
without having to consider how much space several
furry bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would have enough money, and no guilt, to go on
a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians
as I put their yet-unborn grandkids through college.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with
baby gates and makeshift barriers.

I would not talk baby talk: ‘Eat your din din’…’Yummy
yummy for the tummy’… My house would not look like a daycare center, with toys
everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,
treats, and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,
W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, O-U-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, S-U-P-P-E-R,
and C-O-O-K-I-E.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as
outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think
having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I would look forward to spring and the rainy season
instead of dreading ‘mud’ season.

I would not have to answer the question ‘Why do you
have so many animals?’ from people who will never
know the joy of being loved unconditionally by the
closest thing to an angel they will ever encounter.

……………………………..How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Facebook page Dedicated to Foster Pets, Rescue and Adpotion

Miss Kory "Likes" the Amy's Happy Foster Critters page she inspired!

I created a Facebook page devoted to foster pets called Amy’s Happy Foster Critters. I created this page so you can choose whether or not you’d like to hear every detail about any foster pet I might encounter. Many of you will hear more then you care to straight from me. Others lucky enough to be spared that, may, like me, spend your time feeling so sorry for the pet that you try to convince yourself and everyone you know they NEED to adopt. So, this new page is not for the soft hearted or those on my speed dial. I just hope it helps even one pet find a forever home.

Please share it with anyone who is interested in adoption, fostering, rescue or other animal welfare issues.  You never know when that special pet will choose it’s human!

Miss Kory my Foster Dog from Indianapolis Animal Control

I picked Mis Kory up at Animal Care and Control lsat night.  She is spayed, current on her vaccinations, temperament tested and looking for her forever home.  I will post more information about her personality and temperament as I get to know her.  Please pass this along and consider volunteering, fostering, donating, or adopting with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control as they are over loaded and woefully understaffed.