City Hounds

Just sniffin' around…

The Path Not Taken

Some days I love what I do for a living.  Other days, I don’t.  I wonder about other options: what else could I do?  Is it time to make a change?  Could I make a change if I wanted to?

As I’ve become more interested in animals over the past few years, I’ve thought about working with animals.  This would mean a complete career change; I have no education or experience to prepare me to work with animals.  Since I’m our only finanical support, that just isn’t really practical.

The path not taken

And, really, I’m okay with that.  I feel like I make a difference in my day job, and I generally like it. Sometimes I even love it. But I still really  have to admire someone like Ashley Owen Hill at Lucky Dog Rescue.  What she’s done and continues to do is amazing.

I’ve just started reading Ashley’s blog, but I’m already inspired by her.  She’s one of those people who took the Path Not Taken.  She left the easy road and traveled in a new direction, and she’s rescuing a whole bunch of wonderful dogs along the way.

This Thanksgiving, Ashley needs help.  She donates half her kennel space to her rescue dogs, but she needs that space for paying boarders over the holidays to help pay her bills.  If you’re too far away to take in one of her dogs for the week, then consider sponsoring a dog for the week (paying for his/her kennel space) or just making a donation.

Read Ashley’s Plea for Help

Cash is short around here this month, but I’m thinking of ways to make at least a small donation.  My instinct is usually to donate to local rescues, but I’ve been volunteering my time close to home, so I’m going to send a little cash Ashley’s way.  After all, it’s not every day a super hero like her asks for help.


November 16, 2011 Posted by | Reflections, volunteering & adoption | Leave a comment

Volunteering: CISAR

I’ve never been much of a joiner.  At least not willingly.  For work, there are some things I have to “join:”  committees, book clubs, professional organizations, etc.  But in my personal life, I’m not good at committing to causes or social events.  I’m kind of a solitary person.

I do believe in service, however.  For most of my years working in a high school, I sponsored Key Club, a service group for teens, and I did my service through them: helping the kids organize projects, chaperoning their events, etc.  Since I’ve switched jobs, I haven’t been doing much service.  Personally, our cause of choice is animal rescue, and I’ve donated money when we can, but I’ haven’t really gotten involved.

I decided it was time to change that.  I thought about volunteering at the local Humane Society,where we adopted both our dogs, but something Nathan Winograd says in his book Irreconcilable Differences made me think twice.  He pointed out that shelters that euthanize animals use our money to do so.  The local Humane Society is not Animal Control, so they aren’t using our tax dollars to kill (although Animal Control is, of course), but they do euthanize, and are very cagey about what their kill policies are.  I’ve been donating to them for years because it’s so easy to do so, and I like their sponsor-a-pet program.

What an excuse, right?  So, Winograd’s common sense statement woke me up.  A few weeks ago, Steve and I drove out to CISAR, the local no-kill shelter, to check it out.  I’d heard mixed reviews (small cages, dirty, etc.), so I wanted to check it out before I decided to volunteer.  The animal facility is an old barn, with dog kennels on the first floor and cat rooms upstairs. I was pretty happy with what I saw: not too many animals, shared indoor/outdoor runs with adequate space, helpful staff.  There were a lot of volunteers out there that morning walking the dogs, and it sounds like they try to get the dogs out of the kennels every day (my biggest concern about no-kill shelters is cage craziness). They also have a low cost vet clinic on site.

I filled out an application to volunteer, and a week later went out for the first time.  They were cleaning out the dog kennels and had adequate help with that, so I helped clean the cat rooms (ironic, since my own “cat room” at home desperately needed to be cleaned – which I came home and did out of guilt).  I was there for about two hours and really enjoyed myself.  They have great cat rooms: very clean, bright colors, lots of windows (most of which look into other rooms or the hall, but still provide a sense of openess).

This guy followed me all over the room while I was cleaning.

One cat in particular followed me all over the room, even climbing up my back while I crouched down cleaning a wall.  When I took his picture, he flopped down and swatted at my phone.  He reminded me of our Frodo – super friendly and loved people.  I couldn’t find him on Petfinder, so I’m not sure what his name is, but he sure is a cutie.

CISAR is out in the country, about 20 minutes from our house.  I hope to spend more time out there in the future, but we’ll have to see how often I can make the trip as the weather gets worse.  I’ve also been looking for chances to volunteer a little closer to home with Wishbone Canine Rescue, a local no-kill animal rescue that works under Nathan Winograd’s principles.

November 15, 2011 Posted by | volunteering & adoption | Leave a comment

Knowing Your Limits: Blitz

When I saw this face, I melted.

I love big dogs, and I’d love to adopt a senior dog.  Blitz seems like the perfect fit.  Unfortunately, Steve says (and in my head I know he’s right) we have reached maximum pet capacity.

So, he’s in foster care, waiting for his forever home.  But I can’t help imagining curling up on the couch with this guy this winter.

I’m sharing Blitz in honor of Mayzie’s Rescue Me Week!

November 11, 2011 Posted by | volunteering & adoption | 1 Comment

Put Some Pounds on Persia!

This little pup sure does need some help!

Persia is an 18 month old female American Pit Bull Terrier who came to Wishobone through a humane investigation. After the investigator visited her family they agreed to sign her over. As you can see she came to us in very poor shape from neglect- her problems stem from lack of food and attention. Although Persia’s body and spirit are on the mend she is going to require some time and groceries to get her feeling and looking good.

Visit Wishbone Rescue’s website for more of Persia’s story, including pictures of how she was found.  They’re too painful to post here.

We’re telling Persia’s story in honor of Mayzie’s Rescue Me Week!

November 11, 2011 Posted by | volunteering & adoption | 1 Comment

It’s all about the ears

At our house, we’re suckers for floppy dog ears.  I mean, how can you go wrong with a dog with floppy ears?

How can you resist those ears?

 We’re pretty sure it was Red’s ears that saved his life.  A HSCI worker pulled him from local animal control, and we’ve no doubt the ears inspired the act.

Red’s not going anywhere, but there are other ears out there that need a home. 

Bunny’s aren’t as long as Red’s, but they sure are cute!

Bunny is available for adoption from Wishbone Canine Rescue.  She’s a one year old female American Pit Bull Terrier with an unusual , red dilute tricolor coat, which is silky soft. Bunny is sweet with people and she is friendly and playful with other dogs.

And those ears!!!
We’re posting Bunny’s picture today in honor of Mayzie’s Rescue Me Week!


November 10, 2011 Posted by | volunteering & adoption | 1 Comment