Posts Tagged ‘Pets’



best Zeke picture My beautiful, mild mannered, sweet boy, isn’t anymore. I’m shaking like a leaf and have already called my hubby, near tears.

On our walk, just minutes ago, we met a neighbor out with her 2 puppies. Her boxer-mix, a huge, but utterly sweet goofball, immediately ran to us and rolled over on his belly for a pat and good sniffing over by Zeke. We’ve done this a hundred times. Have, in fact, known each other since both the boxer and Suzie were tiny puppies.

Zeke stood over him for a moment, then without warning, attacked and bit the poor boy. Bedlam ensued with me pulling Zeke up and as close to my body as possible, while Suzie ran in terror, wrapping her leash around my legs. The owner of the boxer had to release her pup because leashes had become tangled. The goofball immediately tried to show submission to Zeke again while I tried desperately to keep Zeke from having another go at him. She finally managed to get her pup under control and away as I stood there helpless. I apologized profusely as I fussed at Zeke. The walk was over, I untangled myself and we headed back to the apartment. I was unable to see if her DSCF0911a dog was hurt seriously and have no idea which apt. they live in to go check.

I feel horrible, just horrible. I am in disbelief that Zeke would, without warning, attack another dog. Zeke is neutered, as is the boxer. Suzie is spayed. No competition for either of them. Just this morning, Zeke was sniffing a much smaller pup – I shudder to think what could have happened while I stood blissfully by.

I’ve never had a dog do something like this. Granted, I’ve had only 2 males in my life time, but I would think that their personalities don’t change like this unless they’re ill, so it’s a trip to the vet for Zeke and a muzzle in his future.

I have no idea what will happen if there is a complaint lodged against us and I am frightened for Zeke and frightened by his change in behavior. The joy in our walks is ruined for me. I’ll have to be on constant alert for other owners, especially the ones that allow their dogs off lead, and warn them about my dog. I’ll never be able to let Zeke off lead again to romp with Suzie either, which breaks my heart for them both.

What a horrible ending to the day.


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 Woman In Rollers   
With age comes wisdom… ok, I’ll bite. But does it come with grace and coordination? Nooooooooo, not hardly.
Whoever dreamed up multitasking should be shot. They are not human. I believe this just like I believe in God and Jesus. You start one job, you finish it, you move on to the next. So, it should come as no surprise that my concentration is a wonderous and powerful thing. The whole world ceases to exist for me when I am concentrating. I may look at you, I may even talk to you. I won’t remember it, or you, later. So, if you see me with a book or I am at the computer trying to write, do us both a favor and just walk away…..
With this in mind, friends and family have often times come to my rescue when I have attempted to do anything more challenging than walk and chew gum. (I no longer chew gum.)  They love me. They try to watch out for me. My husband has even gone so far as to grab me by the back of the collar to stop me from progressing into some impending diaster, like falling down or getting run over. Bless him.
As I write this, it should come as no great surprise that I do so with an ace bandage around my tender and swollen ankle. This is my second accident while playing with my beloved dogs. Last year, I hurt my shoulder while playing with Zeke. I won’t go into details except to say it wasn’t Zeke’s fault. It has taken almost a year to heal. (Cortisone shots are truely a miracle from God.) For this year’s trick, I’ve managed to tear the ligaments and tendons in my ankle. We, (the dogs and I), were having a great time until I stepped in that hole. I have a lovely blue/purple knee to go with the ankle…. (I’ve always wanted to be color coordinated).
 Hula Hoop 
After the fall, as I lay on the cold ground, I wondered if I dare look at the ankle, which was singing soprano. The dogs looked around and saw that momma was no longer bringing up the rear, but playing a new game. Two dog pile up! Yeah! What fun! Slobber, slobber, bark, bark. They wouldn’t leave momma, no sir-re bob! This was fun and look…. she’s so grateful for the way we love her, she’s crying! Awwwwww….. momma! We love you too! Slobber, slobber.
 Doggy Lick  Puppy 2 
I managed to make it up the 2 flights of stairs… thank goodness I have strong, big dogs!… and to the phone in under 30 minutes. A new record! Whooopeee! First a call to the hubby…. “Honey, I think I’ve broken my ankle, sorry!”. He simply groaned. Hubby is an OTR trucker and would be home the next day. We both wondered at the ability of our dogs to “hold it” for 24 hours. Neither of us thought it was likely, but hope does spring eternal!
Next, a call to 911. I warned them about the dogs and waited by the door for their arrival. I heard them pull up and managed to hop out the door to meet them. As they came up the walk, I could hear one whistling a happy tune. It stopped as soon as they realized I lived on the 3rd floor. So, down the stairs they helped me hobble and into the wagon. We arrived at the ER by the time the EMT and I had become good enough friends for him to tell me to stop my whining… that his money was on a sprain and I needed to stop wussing out! Suck it up! Great people doing a hard job!
Chill Pill
He won the bet, although torn ligaments and a tendon are worse than just an everyday ol’ sprain! HAHAHA  They gave me some lovely medication for pain. They wanted to give me crutches, which I turned down after I finished laughing (Can you imagine trying to get 2 dogs and me on crutches down 2 flights of stairs?!), and then sent me home in a cab. I turned down a script for more pain medication… I felt wonderful! I gave the cabbie a $5.00 tip for a $10.00 fare. I felt I’d come to love her in those few short minutes….
I managed to make 2 trips up and down those stairs before the lovely pain meds wore off. The dogs then waited for daddy to come home… I couldn’t move. And did you know that they will NOT call in pain medication after you turn it down…  that you have to go back in????? Sadists!
Hubby finally came in, ran the poor dogs down (they were so grateful), and took care of me until today. He is back on the road and the dogs and I are taking slow, careful trips down the stairs. No long walks, just far enough to do their necessary and back we go! They are going to be doing some heavy duty bladder stretching the next week!
 Hippie 1 
Blessings! Glo

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I use to be mortified to be associated with Mississippi. But, after having lived there for over 20 years, I consider it home. There is still a lot wrong with MS, but there is a lot right also. I miss the slower pace and the southern hospitality. I miss my friends. And I am always cheered when I see anything that points to progress the state is making.
The following story caught my eye and I am pleased to see the state finally taking the rights of animals seriously. It reflects positively on Mississippians and the change in the way they view people, their state and their view of rest of the world. The changes may be slow, but they are getting there.

Gulfport Success Story: Boy Toy

Easy Boy wasn’t exactly the poster boy for adoptable pooches when he first came to the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM). The elder pooch wasn’t looking too adoptable, and wouldn’t even raise his head when someone came to the door of his run. Shelter staffers worried over his future—until they discovered the secret to his hidden vitality—as soon as the toys came out, Easy bounced after them with the enthusiasm of a young pup.

By the time Bryan Ladnier and his wife paid a visit to HSSM, Easy Boy had perked up. “He was alert and active,” Bryan remembers, “and as soon as he caught my eye, he grabbed the toy lying in front of him and brought it to the gate.” Easy Boy kept eye contact with Bryan while his tail wagged playfully. “We took him for a short walk,” says his new dad, “and the decision was sealed.”

The welcome committee at Easy’s new home—a pack of six rescued pooches—accepted the newcomer with a minimum of fuss. Of course there had to be a rearrangement of sleeping spaces. “Easy needed the reassurance of sleeping near me to help him adjust,” says Bryan.

Now Easy sleeps just about anywhere he likes, and mingles happily with Cupcake, Prissy, Sebastian, Harley, BoBo and Shadow—and the humans in the pack. “Easy will often appear at my side just looking for a pat on the head,” says Bryan, “and my daughter is always happy to keep him chasing after his Kong. It’s the same toy he carried in his mouth the day we found him.”


Blessings! Glo

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DSCF0666.JPG Our First Snowfall in 2008

It started snowing last night around 10pm. The dogs and I went out and watched the flakes fall, they took care of their necessaries, and back up the stairs we went. Wet, cold and happy.

When I looked out again around midnight, there was several inches on the ground. I couldn’t resist. I bundled up and out we wentDSCF0664.JPG again. Zeke and Suzie were cautious; step, sniff… a few more steps and sniff again. Suddenly, Suzie was overcome with excitment and the chase was on! Slipping and sliding, Zeke on her heels, down the sidewalk and into the field we went. Ears flying, she ran in mad circles. I threw a couple of snowballs and they were promptly chased down followed by looks of confusion…. “Where’d it go?” Soaking wet, puffing out big breaths of steam, back up into the warm apt. to dry off. Two DSCF0672.JPG hours later… back out!

This morning everyone was out. Playing with their dogs, pulling sleds, having snowball fights. Everyone had a huge, goofy grin… “Hey! How you doing? It snowed!” “My dog can’t figure out whereDSCF0673.JPG to go to the bathroom either!” HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Fresh birdseed out in the feeders and my, look at the rush! My turn, my turn, my turn! The cardnials are too quick and shy to get their picture taken. If I could just keep the furballs still, maybe I could sneak a quick one of the cardinal. No DSCF0671.JPG such luck!

Dogs and I are drying out and getting warm. Fresh coffee for me and a nap for them. I plan on joining them shortly.

Is there anything more fun than the first snow fall of the year?



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Animal CSI

Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian

Dr. Merck outside of the “Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit” with many of her tools—an evidence collection kit, evidence tagging kit, UV light, x-ray machine, and a photography kit for identifying evidence at the scene.

Because of TV shows like CSI and Law and Order, real-life jurors expect forensic science to back up all the evidence presented to them—and animal cruelty cases are no exception. ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian Dr. Melinda Merck, who testifies as a forensic veterinary expert for animal cruelty cases around the country, literally wrote the book on using science in investigating animal cruelty!

To spread the word about her lifesaving work, we held a live chat with Dr. Merck in the ASPCA Community. The following questions and answers were taken from the online discussion:

How did you get involved in veterinary forensics?

Dr. Merck: My interest in this field mostly evolved from seeing cruelty cases in private practice, including working with rescue and animal control groups. In 2000, the felony animal cruelty law was passed in Georgia, and I joined a group called Georgia Legal Professionals for Animals, which conducted educational seminars on the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty. I had to do more research for these seminars and started working with medical examiners and studying forensics. From there it grew to more work with more cases, and eventually I joined the ASPCA!

What does a forensic veterinarian do?

Dr. Merck: Evidence associated with any crime has to be analyzed and interpreted in the proper context. In order to properly identify evidence, analyze it and interpret the findings, you have to know animals and animal behavior. This is what I do and what I bring to a crime scene. I am an animal expert investigating crimes against animals—I conduct crime scene investigation and then the examination of the victim (which is the animal). And then I work with investigators and prosecutors to develop the case and bring it to court.

Dr. Merck tests suspected blood stains with phenolphthalein, which will cause real blood to turn bright pink in color.

What kind of evidence do you look for?

Dr. Merck: The evidence I find varies with the type of case. I actually examine the crime scene as well as the animal in most of my cases. I am looking for evidence that can show me if a crime happened and what event took place. I look for blood evidence, trace evidence, fluids, weapons, poisons and so on. I look for clues to what type of weapon may have been used—I actually take a rubber cast of any wound to match to any suspected weapon. I use a UV light to look for fluid, fibers and blood. I also use something called Blue Star, which fluoresces hidden blood a blue color. For hoarding, I look for evidence of how long the animals have been in those conditions, what diseases or types of neglect they are suffering from. We take ammonia readings in those homes, which can be toxic to humans and animals. I also look for insect evidence (yes, I get excited when we have maggots!) because they are the most accurate way to determine time of injury or death. I work with several forensic specialists to analyze these types of evidence.

What are the tools/instruments you always have on you when you’re at a crime scene?

Dr. Merck: I actually have several crime scene kits. For buried remains, I have special tools to excavate a grave, including a collapsible grid from which to take measurements, a GPS unit, a sifter for all dirt removed, a tool to collect soil samples, and all my evidence jars and bags. For collecting insects, I have a net for live insects, special jars and preservative fluid, and a group of ID cards to identify the insects. I have special thermometers for the animal and the environment, a large UV black light, magnifier, Mikrosil rubber casting material, trace evidence lifters, Blue Star, phenolphthalein to trace blood, and all sorts of tweezers and evidence containers. When I come to a scene, I never know what we are going to find or need, so I have to have everything!

Tell us about your book, Veterinary Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Veterinarians and Law Enforcement.

Dr. Merck: I wrote this book to provide a more detailed resource for veterinarians, though it can be a valuable resource for investigators as well. It covers the legal system, crime scene investigation, recognition of all types of cruelty and how to collect evidence, testing and determining time of death. I have certainly a lot more to add for the next edition since I finished writing a year ago! I am working on several areas of research and documentation of injuries, including skeletal remains. We do not have the equivalent of forensic anthropology in animals, which is why I am very interested in developing that side.

What is the worst case you’ve ever been involved in?

Dr. Merck: Hands down, it was the puppy torture case in Atlanta in December 2006. Two young men, ages 17 and 19, broke into a community center that had just been refurbished in their apartment complex. They destroyed it by breaking windows, walls, the computers and so on. Then they took a three-month-old puppy and hog-tied her with duct tape, muzzled her with duct tape, poured paint on her, tried to light her on fire (unsuccessfully) and then placed her in an oven and baked her to death. Then they brought children in to see the puppy in the oven, and threatened them not to tell. It was the most horrendous case I have seen. The case was taken to trial, where we got a hung jury with 11-1 for conviction. A re-trial date was set, and three days before the start the defendants pled guilty on all counts (1 burglary, 1 criminal damage to property, 1 animal cruelty, 3 child cruelty, 3 terrorist-like threats to children) and received the max on all counts to serve concurrently, which amounted to 20 years—10 to serve in prison and 10 to serve as probation. They also had disturbing juvenile records—one committed arson and the other had sexually assaulted a child.

What’s the best part of your job?

Dr. Merck: The best part of the job is when we succeed—this can mean a conviction, successful intervention or when the animal is now protected from future harm. I work with a group of investigators and prosecutors who support going after the criminals who commit cruelty—that continually validates what I am doing and keeps me motivated.

How are you able to stay strong when you know the animal you’re working on is the victim of abuse?

Dr. Merck: It is certainly difficult to work with these cases because they represent the ultimate breakdown of the human-animal bond. I think my work as a veterinarian has helped me because you learn to compartmentalize in order to do your job—you cannot succumb to emotion while working on an animal or case. For cruelty, I turn it into a puzzle that I have to solve. My goal is to gather evidence to find and successfully prosecute the offender. I realize that what’s done is done and I have to work toward justice. It is very hard because of my empathy for animals, but the best thing I can do for them is be their voice.

To read the complete transcript from this list, visit the ASPCA Online Community.

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Brrrrr! The fog is rolling in and it’s freezing outside! Not that I haven’t been looking forward to the colder weather coming back. At my age, hot flashes are a way of life… global warming, my butt. It’s from all us menopausal women!

My furbabies, Zeke and Suzie, are insane with joy over the cool temps. You can see it in their smiles and in their mad dash down the stairs for their walks. Never mind that momma may break a leg! Or that I have blue hands and have lost all feeling in my toes! Happy, happy, joy, joy is their mantra as they jump, run and tangle their leashes around my legs!

So, after I finish this hot, delicious coffee, I plan to take a long, warm soak. Of course, I’d enjoy it more if both dogs didn’t take their positions by the tub and stare at me in horror. Look! She’s in a tub of water! And no one forced her! Whine, wimper…howl! Stare, pace, wimper and whine. Howl. They will continue these activites until I snap and begin yelling at them as I climb out of the tub. At which point, they will begin to jump up, frantcally licking me as if to say… Oh, momma! You’re alive! We were sooooo scared! HAHAHAHAHAHA I got your towel… let’s play chase!

It’s gonna be a long winter!

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Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how hard it is is to get a decent picture of a black puppy? Granted, she is never still, but you’d think I could get just one good photo.

dscf0630.jpg  Treats dscf0615.jpg

Zeke & Suzie are never better behaved than when the cook, (hubby, Jeff), is handing out treats. He has their complete attention. Now, if we could just get the same behavior on Miss Suzie’s walks….

My dogs are like my children used to be when they were small… I am not allowed bathroom privacy, talking on the phone uninterrupted or any other activity without one or the other trying to get my attention by crawling on my lap. This continued with my kids until they moved out… then they developed radar and called each and everytime I was occupied.

dscf0629.jpg  dscf0627.jpg

We had a wonderful Christmas. I had decided not to get a tree or decorations because of our little Miss Suzie’s tendency to chew, pull, rip and tear anything she can get her mouth on… she’s getting better, but I just didn’t think she could resist a tree.

Jeff made Christmas perfect by bringing home a miniture tree with lights and a nativity scene a few days before Christmas. We placed them on the  bar…Suzie can’t reach that high yet. Although Jeff gave me several very nice, very expensive gifts, the tree and nativity were the presents that made this Christmas special for me and the best I’ve had in years. I am so blessed to have this man for my husband!

Here’s hoping that each of you had a Christmas to remember!


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