Aug 29, 2008

Grandma Chihuahua Terrier Mix Needs Home

This old girl here has been at the shelter for weeks. They didn't have the heart to put her down, because she is soooo sweet and we are still hoping to turn up an owner. She had to get this old somewhere!

But she has been declining at the shelter. She was full of fleas and wouldn't eat right, so I decided today to take her home over the long weekend while I'm trying to find her at least a foster home, if not a permanent one.

She even is on local TV (thanks Kelli!), but so far...nothing. I'm going to use my Miss Dolittle Newsletter to spread the word. Around 300 people have subscribed to it, so hopefully we'll find her a home this way.

By the way, if you have not subscribed to my newsletter, there is a lil form on every front page of the sites listed in my signature.

Now here's Grandma. I estimate her age to be about 12 years old, Chihuahua Terrier Mix (and yes, I"m sure that is cataracts in her eyes, she can't see well at all, but is not blind):

Aug 26, 2008

Doogle Chihuahua Update

Doogle has been with us for 6 weeks now. He's neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed, has all preventions and tests done. Short of having his teeth cleaned, he's all set. He gained some confidence, is respected by the other dogs in the pack here, is happy when he sees people and he minds very well.

He already knows how to "dance" and give a "hi 5", to "come" and "stay" too.

And he KNOWS when to look cute too LOL:

Meet Chip the Baby Raccoon

He arrived 2 days ago with pretty bad diarrhea. After I switched his formula, gave him some Bene Bac, and de-wormed him, and now he is all back to normal. I named him Chip:

Aug 24, 2008

Rainbow Wildlife Rescue is taking shape

We have the fence up (thanks Kelli, Yann, Tommy, Megan, and Don!!! ) and the freshly welded cage frame with 2 large and 1 small compartment.

Now I'm saving up for the galvanized hardware cloth to put on, some sheet metal for the roof, some 2 x 4s for the bottom frame, concrete, and privacy fence panels for the back part of the fenced in area, which will also function as back walls for the enclosures.

Then I have finally more room for different animals! One enclosure is just not enough! I hope to be able to get this all done by the end of this year or before next spring starts.

here without cage

Aug 19, 2008

Opossum Time

4 of the 5 opossums decided to move into the squirrel house which I had put up in anticipation of putting the squirrels out there after the opossums were released:

Aug 18, 2008

Honey and Doogle Updates

I let the pictures and the movie speak for itself:

Aug 13, 2008

Stephenville needs a Dog Park - Petition!

Target: Stephenville City Council
Please support the creation of an enclosed, off-leash dog park in Stephenville, TX!

Our beautiful and fast growing City of Stephenville, Texas, does not offer a place where responsible dog owners have the opportunity to let their dogs off leash, nor are there enough Animal Control Officers to enforce the law and City Ordinances regarding the animal and human welfare.

As a result, dog-related incidents are increasing due to more dog owners moving to Stephenville.

A dog park would not only provide a safe place for owners to exercise their canine friends, but it would also provide a place for the community to meet and share a common interest.

The letter to the Stephenville City Council that you are signing:

This petition, supported by the undersigned constituents, is directed to the respected Members of the Stephenville City Council and other concerned City Officials.

Our goal is to support the designation and construction of an enclosed dog park at the proposed area across from the tennis courts with the back to W Long St (between the pavilion by the swimming pool and the washed out concrete road that crosses the river, behind the wooden dock).

Map of proposed area for dog park

We, the undersigned constituents of Stephenville, Texas, respectfully urge you to authorize the funding required to establish an off-leash dog park to be created at the location described above, or any other suitable location within the City Park.

In creating a Dog Park, we hope to accomplish multiple goals:

  1. To establish a fenced in, off-leash Dog Park where well-behaved dogs can exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or annoying people, property, or wildlife.
  2. To develop a beautiful, well-maintained space, open to all dog lovers and friends who are willing to uphold the park- and city's laws, rules, and restrictions.
  3. To view this park as a community project, in partnership with the City of Stephenville, designed to satisfy the needs of dog-owners and non-dog owners alike.
We request the City of Stephenville to authorize adequate funding to provide appropriate fencing, including a double gated entry to prevent dogs from bolting, water availability, garbage cans, and signage so that this park can be constructed as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, no off-leash dog parks currently exist in the fast growing City of Stephenville. Just as other taxpayers enjoy convenient public swimming pools, jogging trails, golf courses, and playgrounds, dog owners need a place to exercise and enjoy their pets in an off-leash environment.

Further, such a park will benefit the greater community in the following ways.

  1. It is in a dog's genes to travel with the pack to earn food and to socialize with their own kind. A dog deprived of these basic needs is restricted from releasing energy through exercise and socializing, and will in most cases develop behavioral problems. Aggression, nuisance barking, and destructive behavior are just a few of them. A dog park will allow the responsible dog owner to fulfill these basic needs.
  2. Such a facility would increase general park utilization and build bonds within the community.
  3. The park could also act as a venue to stage pet adoptions, dog obedience training, and educational programs promoting an improved quality of life for all of our community dogs.
  4. Those who care enough to attend dog parks are usually registered voters, educated people, very attractive to local businesses. Such citizens attract others like themselves to live in the area, continuing the trend to increase revenues to local business and to the tax base.
  5. Once the off-leash park is constructed, a core group of community activists including the creators of this petition do commit ourselves to its continued maintenance (e.g. organized periodic cleanup efforts).
Again, we would appreciate your consideration in constructing an enclosed off-leash dog park at the Stephenville City Park.

Statistics show that over 35% of all households have dogs, and the average number of dogs in a residence household is 1.43 dogs. This means a community of 10,000 households has over 5,000 dogs. A dog park serves a similar proportion of the community population to that of children's playgrounds and athletic fields.


The Undersigned

This petition was created by Birgit Sommer (me) in response to the recent dog shooting at the City Park. Here is a link to the Empire Tribune's story about the incident:

Tarleton officer shoots dog in City Park

Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:08 AM CDT
An off-duty Tarleton police officer shot a pit bull he claimed was about to attack his children in Stephenville City Park Monday.

According to Jeff “Chili” Alexander, he and his children were playing in the park near the tennis courts when four dogs, none of them on leashes, started playing in the stream that runs along the north side of the courts.

Brianna Reyes, the owner of the pit bull, and another girl were with the dogs. Reyes admitted the dogs were running loose and playing in the water, but said they were not acting aggressive toward anyone.
Witnesses in the park at the time of the shooting backed up Reyes’ claim.

Aug 8, 2008

Squirrel Rescue in Stephenville, Texas

Today I want to share 2 videos with ya'll. One is about how to feed a baby squirrel in case you have found one and can't turn up a rehabilitator and the other one is how to identify the gender of the squirrel.

For more information on what and how much to feed a squirrel, please follow THIS LINK!

Aug 7, 2008

Opossums, Doogle and the Gang

Doogle has recovered nicely from his surgery and doing great.

Took Sandy and Butters to the vet today. Sandy had to have the pressure in her eyes measured because of the severe glaucoma...well guess what? It was almost gone! So the meds are working and we'll keep up the treatment.

Butters' skin problems turned out to be minor, no reason to worry there either.

I put the opossums out into the enclosure today for the first time...boy did they enjoy the climbing privileges!

And last but not least: I got 3 baby squirrels, 2 boys and a girl, eyes still closed. Pictures tomorrow!

Here's a movie of the opossums and then 18 seconds out of the life of Doogle, on his level, eye level that is:

Somebody posted this on today. Even though I do not quite agree that dogs think and rationalize the way it is written, the story does have quite an impact, I think. It makes one think twice and that's what counts:

How could you

Posted on
Date: 2008-08-07, 2:16PM CDT

You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask, "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.

We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.

Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said, "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. T hey understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar, as he screamed, "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked, "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured, "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said, "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her.

It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

Aug 6, 2008

Doogle, Hummingbird, and Painted Bunting

Doogle is neutered, yeah!!! He's at home, feeling ok, ate a lot and sleeps a lot. He had his ears cleaned, and nails clipped, and was de-wormed, and is a new dog, except for his teeth. They have to stay brown for a while longer until we can afford to have them cleaned. Now he's ready to start training!

Edouard paid us a visit to day and dropped a little bit of rain. It could have been more, but it's better than nothing. And the most beautiful birds came out into my garden. I managed to film 2 of them..a Hummingbird (in slow motion towards the end) and a Painted Bunting;

Aug 4, 2008

A HOT day in Texas

WOW it was hot today! The heat index climbed all the way up to 110 F! I felt so sorry for the back yard dogs out here and had a hard time not trying to imagine how many dogs are being chained outside without water....but I couldn't let myself think that way!

Then I received an email from Honey's new owners and I smiled for the rest of the day! It does not happen often that I get to find out what happened after an animal leaves my place, so this is a very special treat for me.

And it makes it so much easier to let go. I have permission to post this picture:

I can tell that Jacob has found Honey's weak spot already, otherwise he would not have her favorite kind of toy in his hand, the BALL! Honey and the ball equals a looot of fun! Add a baby with a cookie, and Honey is in paradise, lol.

Thank you so much for letting me be part of this, Susan, and thank you Jacob for letting me post the picture! A lot of people have followed Honey's story and they are going to love the happy ending.

I also have some sad news...our little coon baby Bumble passed away about an hour ago. I have no idea what happened, but he refused to eat this morning and it went downhill from there. He then seized and was gone. He never even got to open his eyes.

Another bitter-sweet day.

I took 5 kittens to the shelter today for adoption, which leaves me with 2. One that is still too young to be adopted out and another one I hold back for the new owners to come back from vacation on the 10th.

The younger kitten started to have diarrhea...I just hope it's not feline leukemia! Just have to wait and see.

More tomorrow! I have planned to release the 2 ducks tomorrow!

Aug 2, 2008

Life without Honey

Life without Honey has been different today. I thought of her just about every 5 minutes for 4 1/2 minutes. But I also smiled a lot remembering her. Putting away her food bowl, seeing her old collar, finding her toys all over the place no other dogs would ever play with....I sighed a lot too :).

Olliver, Olivia, and Butters have been looking around more than usual too:

The kittens are almost weaned and ready to go up for adoption:

Here's the loudest and feistiest and the only one that does not belong to the litter, all the rest are siblings:

Look at those eyes! It's a shame that they color will most likely change:

Doogle is doing great too and so is Sandy and the wildlife. Not much to report today other than that we got a lil sparrow, but he seems to be too severely injured to make it through the night. On the other hand, they have surprised me too, so we'll see tomorrow morning!

Aug 1, 2008

Good news and bad news

Today went by with a laughing and a crying eye.

Honey found a new home. From now on she is taking care of a 19 year old boy in a wheelchair who needs a companion during the day. This was EXACTLY what I had imagined for her, so it felt more than right to let go, but my heart is still a bit heavy.

Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened :)))))))!

She has been such a delight to take care of and I am grateful that I was blessed with her presence for solid 8 months. Have a good life, Honey! I miss you!

On a lighter note: I took Doogle to the Vet today. His heartworm test came back negative!! WHOOHOO! That was the green light I needed to get him started on his vaccinations and schedule his appointment to get neutered for next week Wednesday.

Unfortunately the fundraiser has not yielded even 10% of the cost we need to cover, so if you can spare 5 Dollars, please consider making a donation in Doogle's name!

Also, his brother is still up for adoption and residing at the Erath County Humane Society. Here is his ad:


Small Young Male Dog

Erath County Humane Society, Stephenville, TX