Passion vs. Obsession

I have been an animal lover all of my life. I have had family dogs, gerbils, rabbits. I even had an iguana for some time. As a kid, I wanted to pet every dog that I passed. And if we were visiting a friend or family member that had an animal, you can bet that is where I would be found. I also rode horses when I was younger, and I think that was the first time I was truly passionate about something. I still have a deep love for horses. Being around them. The smell of them. Even the work it takes to care for them. I love it all. I was blessed as a young child to live right down the road from a barn, and thanks to my mom & a wonderful couple that had two horses, I started riding lessons. I learned so much over those years, and they are my most cherished memories.

Me & my Granny's dog, Bess
Me & my Granny’s dog, Bess

 

Learning to ride on Stormy (obviously this was an early lesson, since I didn't have a fitted helmet yet!)
Learning to ride on Stormy (obviously this was an early lesson, since I didn’t have a fitted helmet yet!)

 

I am so proud to see my child having the same passion. He loves all animals, and they love him right back. More than one person has commented about dogs being drawn to him. I can only hope he continues to strengthen that passion as he grows up.

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Jayden & his favorite foster, Petey
Jayden learning to ride
Jayden learning to ride

I believe there is a difference between passion and obsession. Recently someone described me as “obsessed with dogs.” I believe that to be incorrect. I am not obsessed with dogs. I may joke about my life revolving around dogs, but it is just that. A joke. I have an active child, who I am often doing activities with. I have friends that I go out with. I attend church. I work a full time job. I also am a dog mom to my permanents and fosters. That is an important part of my life, but I am not obsessed. I AM passionate, however.

obsession: preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

passionate: showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief.

I am passionate about my belief that dogs should be treated as family pets. They should not be left outside to fend for themselves. They should not be ditched when someone’s life becomes too busy. They should not be killed because they are too old and someone doesn’t want to care for them anymore. I feel that all animals should be treated humanely, but I am most passionate about dogs because that is what I love the most. I am passionate about this notion that dogs are disposable, and can be abused, neglected, and put to sleep with no one being held accountable. We (humans) took dogs in, and domesticated them. WE taught them to be family pets. We gave them food, therefore causing them to lose their hunting skills. We have given them warm, dry homes to live in. They have been loving, loyal, and protective in return. So why do we still have this belief that we can dump them in the woods when we have something else come up? And if you don’t feel that a dog is a part of a family, just don’t get a dog. I do not judge those that are not dog lovers. It doesn’t bother me if someone thinks that dogs are a nuisance, or if someone doesn’t understand the love I have for dogs. As long as that person is not a dog owner.

I am also passionate about fostering, and truly believe that it saves lives. Since being a part of Last Hope Rescue, I have heard some really sad stories. I have learned about what is really going on in our communities, and just how many homeless pets are out there. Being a part of the rescue has motivated me to become more involved with the local shelter. I have cried over dogs that have been put to sleep. I have been heart broken over saying goodbye to foster dogs. But when I look at Oscar, sprawled out, on his back, legs in the air, taking up the entire couch, I think about how my life has changed because of dogs. And how I have changed their lives. I know that I cannot save every dog. I know that I can’t change everyone’s opinions about pit bulls, or dogs in general. I know that I can’t make people be responsible, loyal pet owners. But on my journey through life, I will continue trying. I will never give up on dogs. Because they don’t give up on us. I will always be passionate about dogs. That is my promise, in honor of all of the dogs that have been a part of my life.

My Foster & Perma Babies

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My ol' boy, Basti
My ol’ boy, Basti
Perma-dogs, Lucy & Oscar
Perma-dogs, Lucy & Oscar

 

 

Parks in Tallahassee

I am always looking up parks in the area, because I like to try out new places. Someone asked me about parks in the area (shout out! thanks for the idea Kat!) This list is provided on the city of Tallahassee’s website, click here for more info. I also added a couple trails that I know about.

A.J. Henry Park -this park is located in the Killearn area. It is a smaller park, with a few trails. It also has a playground, and a lovely boardwalk around a large pond. The park can be quite busy with walkers, especially when it is warmer weather.

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Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park-I have not been to this park before. The city describes it as: “Over 600 acres of pristine wetlands and trails in this beautiful park.” There is a park fee required for entrance, and it is located off of North Meridian road. This park is where the Red Hills Horse Trials are, so I’d be willing to bet that you may run into quite a few horses there.

Lafayette Heritage Trail Park- This park is absolutely beautiful! It is located in the Piney Z area. There are lots of different trails, with little outlets for fishing. There is a playground for kiddos. You will see LOTS of bikers, joggers, and dogs. It is a busy parked, so you are likely to not come across any loose dogs. (I mention this because I used to have a dog (my Basti) who was not a fan of other dogs, and it would usually ruin our outing when we ran into unleashed dogs!) If you can make it out to this park, I highly recommend it. It is SO pretty!

Miccosukee Greenway-I mentioned yesterday that I went to this set of trails on Saturday, with Chelsea (check out that post here!) There are a few entrances for this park. I use the one that is off of Fleischmann. These trails are popular with bikers, however I have been a handful of times and have never felt that I was in the way (like I do at Tom Brown!). There is also an open field that is nice (pictured below), with one little bench. The trails are very shaded, which is really nice for the summer!

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Tom Brown Park -This is the largest park in Tallahassee, and has all kinds of things to check out! The park has an awesome main playground, as well as another smaller one. The park has many trails, some specifically for bikers. There is a paved path you can also walk/jog along, which runs alongside the train tracks. Of course, there is also the dog park. There is a little small fenced area for the smalls; and a bigger fenced area for the larger dogs (meaning not puppies or chihuahuas). The big part has a small plastic pool, a few benches, and lots of shady area. Just outside the fence is a hose where you can clean your dog off. Very nice since they can get quite dirty!

San Luis Mission Park-This is over on the Tharpe & Ocala St side of town. There is a large fenced in area for the dogs, no smaller area for the little ones though. There are also a few paths you can walk on. If you park near the restrooms, the dog park is just a little up the pathway. I have only been to this park a couple of times, and it was busy every time. I have also noticed loose dogs on the paths.

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Maclay Gardens-This park is located near the Killearn, Thomasville Rd. area. There is a fee for entrance, including for pedestrians, bikers, and cars. The Gardens are gorgeous, especially in the Spring, as the flowers and trees are blooming. This park does allow horses, and also has a playground and an area for swimming. Dogs are only allowed in specific, designated areas, and must be on leash at all times.

There are definitely other parks and trails, many that I don’t know about yet. I am always looking for new places, especially ones that are much less busy. Lucy LOVES to run, so places where I can let her loose are the most fun for us. If you know of parks or trails in the area, please share!

Also, I highly recommend joining the Tallahassee Walkabulls for their pack walks. It is a good way to let your dog socialize in a positive, organized manner, and they are always trying out new parks!

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Friday’s Facts: Why do dogs hiccup?

I don’t know about you, but I HATE getting the hiccups! They are just plain annoying! It makes me wonder what dogs think when they get them. So, I did some research on dogs and hiccups, and here is what I found:

-Hiccups are a result of a diaphragm spasm. The air rushes suddenly into the  lungs and may affect the vocal cords, producing the hiccup sound.

-Puppies get hiccups often, although any aged dog can get them as well.

-Common causes: eating too quickly, excitement, stress

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-Rare causes: respiratory defect, asthma, heart condition

-An episode of hiccups can be brief, but could also last up to several minutes or even hours. (Yikes!)

-Assuming they are from a natural cause, here are some at-home remedies to help your pup: massage your dog’s chest, distract him with a toy, have them drink water, take a walk. Or, just ignore them, since they will go away on their own.

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If your dog is experiencing hiccups for extended periods of time, or has any additional symptoms (gagging, vomitting, etc), then you should consult your vet.

So, that’s what I learned about hiccups. I hope you learned something too!

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Sassy Update!

I heard from Sassy’s new mom, Jan, today! She says Sassy is doing great! Jan’s son visited with his dog, Bailey, to meet Sassy over the weekend.

Bailey & Sassy became fast friends, and even look similar:

sassy & Bailey

Jan’s dogs are doing their best to get used to Sassy (she is energetic, and sassy afterall!). The cats are getting brave, and trying to see what she is all about. Sassy gets a bit overly excited though, as she’s never met cats before. Jan is wonderfully patient, and knows that they all will soon be buds!

In the meantime, Sassy plays with the cats’ toys:

Sassy Update2

Jan ended her email by saying: “I really love her to death and am so happy I found her!”

I am so thankful that Sassy is now in a fantastic home, with someone that will give her endless love and patience. Endings like this are the reason I love fostering dogs! Thank you Jan!!

Sassy & Duke

 

(To read more about Sassy’s history, click here!)

I have a dream…

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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a dream…that the word “abuse” would disappear from our vocabulary. That no animal or person would know the feeling of an angry hand or a harsh word. That every being would have a warm, safe place to call home. And that we all would know unconditional, unfailing love and loyalty. What is your dream?

 

Weekend Update

Quick weekend update!

Sassy went to her new home today! The adopter, Jan, has to go out of town at the end of this month, so basically we are doing a two week trial adoption. This will give Sassy & Jan time to get to know each other, and to see if Sassy gets along with the resident cats and dogs. Sassy will come to me for doggy-sitting, that way she doesn’t have to be watched by someone new, right after going to a new home. If all has gone well, then Jan will pick Sassy up on her return, and they will officially be a new fur-ever family! Good luck, my little sassy girl!

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Sassy, sitting pretty!

 

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Everyone got to have a little cuddle time, since it was Sassy’s last night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Lucy & Oscar will just be hanging out, enjoying this beautiful weather. Lucy is attending her first pack walk tomorrow with the Tallahassee Walkabulls! What will you be doing this weekend? Whatever it is, enjoy! 🙂

 

Lucy
Lucy
Oscar
Oscar

 

Doggie Dreams!

I am sure all of us dog owners have seen it, when a pup is passed out sleeping and they start growling, twitching, etc. Lucy even often wags her tail! Many people believe that the dog is dreaming when these things happen. How do we really know though?! I found a great article on this topic. Click here to read it! It suggests that dogs do in fact dream, most likely about that day’s events or common dog activities. It also includes a funny story about a dog who woke up in the middle of a dream!

I believe dogs do dream. Of course, how clear or vivid they are, we will probably never know. I always like to come up with ideas of what they are dreaming about, just like I tend to imagine what their life was like before coming to the rescue group. Here are some pics of the pups, catchin’ some zzz’s!

I think he often dreams of relaxing outside in a sunny patch of grass! He is so laid back, and always loves to just chill!
Sweet, sweet Petey! I think he often dreams of relaxing outside in a sunny patch of grass! He is so laid back, and always loves to just chill! I can’t imagine his dreams having too much action in them!
Ahh Lola! I think she dreams of being wrapped up in a hug, on someone's lap. She is a major cuddler, and just loves hugs to reinforce what a good girl she is!
Ahh Lola! I think she dreams of being wrapped up in a hug, on someone’s lap. She is a major cuddler, and just loves hugs to reinforce what a good girl she is! (And she was actually sleeping like this, with her eye open!)
Sassy loves to sleep on the couch..so much so, that she will walk around aimlessly, waiting for a spot to open up! I believe she dreams of running free in a park, with LOTS of dogs to play with. She loves to play, and bark, and have fun!
Sassy loves to sleep on the couch..so much so, that she will walk around aimlessly, waiting for a spot to open up! I believe she dreams of running free in a park, with LOTS of dogs to play with. She loves to play, and bark, and have fun!
My lil Oscar. I like to think that he is dreaming of running along side Sassy (he has a major crush on her). I am sure, in his dreams, he frolicks easliy, with no limp, and can keep up with the big dogs for hours on end! I think he also dreams of big, fat steaks to eat. He LOVES food!
My lil Oscar. I like to think that he is dreaming of running along side Sassy (he has a major crush on her). I am sure, in his dreams, he frolicks easliy, with no limp, and can keep up with the big dogs for hours on end! I think he also dreams of big, fat steaks to eat. He LOVES food!
Lucy, my pretty lil princess! Since her tail is often wagging in her sleep, I think she is dreaming of being at a kid's party, where she gets to cover everyone in the vicinity with kisses! She is the most social dog I've ever know. She truly wants to say hello to EVERYONE, and bounces like a kangaroo at the sight of any human that looks her way!
Lucy, my pretty lil princess! Since her tail is often wagging in her sleep, I think she is dreaming of being at a kid’s party, where she gets to cover everyone in the vicinity with kisses! She is the most social dog I’ve ever know. She truly wants to say hello to EVERYONE, and bounces like a kangaroo at the sight of any human that looks her way!

So, tell me, what do you think? Does your dog do anything silly while sleeping? Do you think they are dreaming?!

 

Thursday Funnies: Dog Shaming!

Yesterday’s post was a little serious and a lot of venting. So, today I thought I would keep it light and simple! I love the dog shaming trend. The pictures crack me up, and I definitely know some pups that could have some secrets told (ex: my mom’s devilish Chihuahua!). Here are some funny ones that I found (disclaimer: all of these were found online. I did not take these pictures, and I do not know the dog/owners). Enjoy! 🙂

"I ate an entire stick of butter and I don't even feel bad about it."
“I ate an entire stick of butter and I don’t even feel bad about it.”
"I went into the bathroom to eat garbage. The door shut and I panicked... -Mack"
“I went into the bathroom to eat garbage. The door shut and I panicked… -Mack”
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“I defeated the “cone of shame” in 3 days. Mom got me a new one…challenge accepted! -Otis”
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“While my mom put the leash on my brother, I lifted my lef and peed on her. Then we went out in the snow.”
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“I ate Mom’s X-mas craft instructions. I am a jerk. -Rohan”
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“I chased and barked at the Fed-Ex delivery guy, who got scared and ran. He tripped in the yard and fell on his face. Mom says I should be ashamed of myself but I’m not. -Maggie”
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“I am a naughty inconsiderate chapstick eater. This is my 3rd tube this week!!!”
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“I stole 2 large pieces of Naan bread meant for tonight’s dinner. Then I ran outside and barfed it all up…and then I ate that. I have no shame. -Oakley”
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“I got out and stole Santa from our neighbor’s porch.”
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“I like to eat Mom’s dirty undies and then puke them up in the middle of the night 3 days later.”
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“I peed on my owner’s leg at dog obedience class!”
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“I ate Santa’s face off. “Merry Christmas” -Chip
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“I got myself stuck in the bathroom today and I panicked!”
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“I ran away and got “arrested: for playing INSIDE the super market.”

 

If you would like a dog of your own to do silly funny things with, take a look at some adorable Adoptable Pups!

Look! Adoptable Pups!

I don’t have much to say today (shocking, I know!), so I thought I would just give adoptable doggies some special attention. All of these dogs are in need of forever homes!

The below pups are currently with Wakulla Animal Shelter (If you are interested in any of the below pups, please email FriendsOfWCAC@gmail.com. This shelter is at full capacity, and therefore these dogs are at risk of being put down TODAY. Please consider opening your home to one of them, even if just as a foster!)

This is Abby. She is a lab/bulldog mix. What a great mix of breeds!
This is Abby. She is a lab/bulldog mix. What a great mix of breeds! This pretty girl is well behaved and has no known issues.
This is Bear. He is a lab mix. As you can see, he is a playful, lovable pup!
This is Bear. He is a lab mix. As you can see, he is a playful, lovable pup!
Meet Tahoe. He is a  Chihuahua, and is cute as can be!
Meet Tahoe. He is a Chihuahua, and is cute as can be!
This beautiful girl is at a major risk today, if someone doesn't step up for her. She is sweet  has no behavior issues!
This beautiful girl is at a major risk today, if someone doesn’t step up for her. She is sweet, and has no behavior issues!
This silly little girl is Tyson!
This silly little girl is Tyson!
Meet Beauty! Is there any question as to why that is her name? Her face is so sweet!
Meet Beauty! Is there any question as to why that is her name? Her face is so sweet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following pups are Last Hope Rescue dogs. They are all fully vetted & microchipped prior to adoption. Adopting one of these dogs helps LHR pull and save more shelter dogs, because it opens up a foster home.

 

This cute pup is Prince! I personally have met him, and he is SO sweet!
This cute pup is Prince! I personally have met him, and he is SO sweet!
Meet Blondie! She would love a forever home!
Meet Blondie! She is too pretty, and would just love a forever home!

This is Maggie! She is a little thing, that LOVES to cuddle. She has come so far in learning that the world is NOT so scary, and deserves a family to call her own!
This is Maggie! She is a little thing, and LOVES to cuddle. She has come so far in learning that the world is NOT so scary, and deserves a family to call her own!
Daddy is a handsome American Bulldog. This is probably my most favorite breed! They are goofy, playful, and So sweet!
Daddy is a handsome American Bulldog. This is probably my most favorite breed! They are goofy, playful, and So sweet!
This beautiful Lab is Elliot! How could you not love that face?!
This beautiful Lab is Elliot! How could you not love that face?!
This is Pi! His brothers & sisters were adopted, and now he wants his own home too!
This is Pi! His brothers & sisters were adopted, and now he wants his own home too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are MANY other dogs available within the shelter and the rescue group. There are also some kitties too, if that is more up your alley! While adopting a dog should never be a rushed decision, many of these pups are at risk of being put down due to shelters and foster homes being full. If you have been contemplating the idea, then offer to foster. It is a great way to see how a dog would affect your daily life…and you may just fall in love! If you aren’t up for adopting or fostering, then I ask that you just share this. You never know who might be up for a new pet!

I joke with my family & friends that they HAVE to follow my blog (seriously, follow me guys), but the reason I ask for people to follow and share, is so that the dogs can get as much exposure as possible. Helping with LHR events allows me to meet these dogs personally, and it breaks my heart that there are so many sweet, wonderful dogs missing out on being loved. There are MANY pure breds in shelters & rescues (especially Labs!). I promise, you can find what you are looking for in a dog, if you just visit local shelters and rescue groups. You’d be surprised at the love and loyalty rescued dogs will give!

If you are interested in any of the featured dogs, please feel free to email me or the above groups. You won’t be sorry! 🙂

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Weekend walks and such

Good morning, and happy Monday! (NOT!)

We had a great weekend, even though it rained most of the day on Sunday. Sassy and I attended our first pack walk, with Tallahassee Walkabulls, on Saturday! Pack walks are an excellent way to socialize your dog, and allow them to be part of a pack. This is especially great if your dog has any type of issues (fear-based aggression, anxiety, shyness, etc). Sassy was happy and confident as always, and enjoyed her time out on the trails!

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In other happy news, my brother & his girlfriend decided to officially adopt Petey! (Read about their meet & greet here!) They think Petey is a great dog, very laid back, and perfectly well-behaved! Here are a couple of pictures of Sam and Petey hanging out:

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I really thought Petey was going to be with me as a long timer, and I knew an adoption would be hard on my son. Petey is definitely his favorite! So, the fact that Petey has now been adopted by someone who will give him a fantastic, active life, AND it is within our family, is just amazing!

That’s all for today! Feel free to share your weekend adventures. And don’t forget to click the “Follow Me” button! 🙂