I Pledge to Be the Change for Pets

27 09 2010

In the last couple of weeks there has been much discussion and many a recap of BlogPaws West, held September 9-11 in Denver, CO.  Unfortunately Hamlet and I did not attend, a real bummer since the conference was held right in our own backyard.  I was volunteering that weekend for a run/walk to benefit Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and helping my friend get everything organized, as she is the event coordinator for the Denver affiliate.  I didn’t blog about it since it wasn’t dog related but my friend Amanda did a nice overview of our weekend here.

I tried to follow the BlogPaws action via Twitter and learned a bunch of great tips and and found a few new awesome dog bloggers to follow.  But the thing that stuck with me the most is to Be the Change for Pets.  I have blogged about Be the Change before but I’ve decided it’s time to get my hindquarters in gear and take some action to help animals in need.

I’m trying to come up with some pawesome ideas about how I can raise money, spread the word about animal adoption, and be a general do-gooder for our favorite four-legged friends.  Since so many pet bloggers have come up with such creative and fun ideas to truly and positively change pets’ lives for the better, I feel the need to follow suit and so something equally as cool.

Last week I was bopping around on Twitter and learned about an extremely unfortunate incident that resulted in a rescue dog being shot and killed by a police officer at a Washington D.C. street festival on Sunday, September 12th.  The dog was a Pit Bull / Shar Pei mix named Parrot and he was being fostered through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, based out of Washington D.C.  You can read the full story here from i Love Dogs.

Hearing of Parrot’s tragedy got me thinking about what I could do to honor such a sweet dog who had such an unfortunate and untimely end to his life.  I immediately thought of Be the Change for Pets.  I may not yet have my super cool and über-creative way of helping pets but in the meantime I can do something.  I can make a promise to Parrot, to every other rescue dog, and to every pet in general.

1. I promise not to judge a dog (or cat) by the name of his breed but by the content of his character.

2. I will promote rescue dogs and rescue organizations and the many benefits of adopting pets.

3. I will protect animals in general and do my best for those in need.

4. I will be the change.

Promise, promote, protect, be the change: if you’re a regular reader of Green Eggs and Hamlet, I’m sure you’re not surprised at these four points.  The unwritten rule is number five, I love Boston Terriers and all dogs animals.  So while you might not be surprised, I feel good about having these four points written down to remind myself of how I can make a difference in this world.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep working on my super cool and über-creative method of helping pets and you’ll be the first to hear about it when my plan is ready.

Are you excited to Be the Change for Pets?  What do you do to help animals in need?  Got any ideas for me to raise money and spread awareness for pets in need?  Jot them down in the comments; Hamlet and I are eager to hear ’em!


Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week

25 09 2010

I’m a last-minute arrival to the party but still want to help spread the word for Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week (September 19-25), the latest challenge for Be the Change for Pets.  The good news is that you can adopt a “less adoptable” pet any old time; you don’t need this week to get you into gear.  The goal, according to BlogPaws, is to “help homeless pets who often get overlooked.”  I prefer to think of it as Dr. V does from Pawcurious – Adopt a Seriously Adoptable Pet Week.  After all, just because a pet is older, doesn’t get along with other pets, or has a medical condition doesn’t mean it isn’t a great pet.  It’s simply harder for shelters and rescues to find home for these types of gals and guys so that’s why Be the Change for Pets is getting the word out about them.

Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week

a.k.a. Adopt a Seriously Adoptable Pet Week

First I want to tell you about a great Boston Terrier I found on Petfinder named Cindy Lane.  At nine years old she’s a senior gal but what she lacks in youth she makes up for with her golden personality.  She was surrendered by her owner when the husband went into a nursing home and the wife could no longer take care of Cindy Lane on her own.  Cindy Lane is being taken care of at Pets Miracle Network in Wright, Kansas and has been there since August 24, 2009, that’s 366 days as of today.  Spring this girl from the shelter!  She is litter box trained and good with other dogs until they come close to her crate.  Give her a nice comfortable home to live out the rest of her days.  Read more about Cindy Lane on her Petfinder listing.

Cindy Lane Less Adoptable Pet

Cindy Lane with a spring in her step.

This next pet is from my favorite local animal shelter (right here in Denver, CO), MaxFund Animal Adoption Center.  This sweetie pie is a Beagle named Scoobie.  He was found wandering and no one came to claim him so the folks at MaxFund are taking care of him until he finds his forever folks.  Why is dear Scoobie less adoptable?  Because he’s an adult, estimated at 8-10 years old and has an adrenal gland disorder called Cushings Syndrome that requires daily medication.  Don’t worry, Cushings Syndrome is not life threatening so Scoobie will be A-ok as long as he gets his medicine.  Scoobie’s an easygoing pooch who likes to nap in the shade and get love from his people.  Adopt this local legend and make him the happiest dog in Denver!  Read more about him on his Petfinder listing.

Scoobie Less Adoptable Pet

Scoobie with a smile for miles.

Finally, we’ll wrap up this love fest with a few reasons why “less adoptable” pets are so great, courtesy of Petfinder.

  • Older pets are mellower – you don’t have to worry about your lamp getting knocked over!
  • Physically challenged pets are often unaffected by their handicap – but you still look like a hero!
  • With “bad reputation” breeds, you get the chance to prove people wrong with your great dog!
  • Dark-furred pets make it easy to accessorize – black goes with everything!
  • Pets with behavioral issues allow you to form a tight bond as you overcome obstacles together!
  • Big dogs are easier to find when it’s time to go to the vet!

Good luck and happy pet hunting.  If you adopt a less adoptable pet (or any old pet at all), send Hamlet and me an email and we’ll be sure to post your story right here on GE&H!

Gunner, Row Your Ham Ashore

23 09 2010

Gunner is one of Hamlet’s best friends.  He’s a yellow Lab who loves to run, swim, eat stuffed animal ducks, retrieve, and hang out in the back of the Jeep while his owners do yard work.  One of those owners is my bestie, Teresa.  So we’re like four peas in a pod – me and Ham, Teresa and Gun.  Don’t worry, our pod is extra big to accommodate four instead if two.

Since Gunner loves to swim, Teresa often takes him to the reservoir (Chatfield, for you locals) and sometimes Hamlet and I tag along.  Chatfield State Park not only has a dedicated dog park but also a dog lake (probably technically a pond, but I think “lake” sounds so much better) that is perfect for yellow Labs and their Boston Terrier companions.

Chatfield dog lake Gunner Hamlet Puggle

Hamlet trying to catch up to Gunner, a Puggle trying to catch up to Hamlet...everyone loves the dog lake!

Hamlet is usually just a wader, preferring to hang out in the water that’s just a few inches deep rather than exercising his doggie paddle capabilities.  This wading was a marked improvement over last summer when he barely touched the water.  However, on our last couple of trips to the dog lake he’s become a full fledged swimmer, going after Gunner and trying to steal his training buoy (a.k.a. floating orange thingy).

Dog Lake Chatfield Res 1

Hamlet gets his swim on at the dog lake at Chatfield Reservoir on a beautiful Colorado day.

A couple of weekends ago a few more people (Mike, Teresa’s husband Steve, Teresa’s sister-in-law Mandy, and another bestie of mine Amanda) came along with Teresa and me to the dog lake so I was able to take some pictures while Hamlet was still well watched after.  Unfortunately with jumping wet dogs, a Great Dane who stole the buoy and took it across the lake, and a pseudo lifeguard rescue by me to save Hamlet after being dunked by some sort of terrier, I got less than stellar photos and not as many as I’d like.  I’m hoping for another trip before fall really settles in when I can take some better shots but until then these will hopefully paint the general picture of the Boston Terrier-Lab cuteness.

That’s my bestie Amanda on the left side of the picture (doesn’t she have a lovely right side?), Mike in the black shirt, Steve in the white shirt, Teresa in the black tank top up ahead, and Mandy holding the buoy and therefore being the most important person EVER in the eyes of the dogs.

Mandy B. holds buoy Chatfield Res

These pups are buoy-obsessed.

Hamlet swims pretty fast for a dog whose legs are only about seven inches long and who has no tail for that awesome rudder-like action.  By the time Gunner has retrieved the buoy and is on his way back to shore, Hamlet can usually catch up with him.

Hamlet catching Gunner swimming Chatfield dog lake 1

Swim, Hammy, swim!

Hamlet then likes to make his move.  He swims with all his might and makes one big push to try to catch the buoy sticking out of Gunner’s mouth.  He really loves to grab the white cord that’s on the side of the buoy.  If he can grab this then he just hangs on and leisurely dog paddles while Gunner “rows him ashore.”

Hamlet catching Gunner swimming Chatfield dog lake 2

Note the white cord on the left side of the buoy. That's "Hamlet's handle."

Most other dogs at the dog lake have tennis balls, frisbees, or sticks brought by the owners for acquatic entertainment.  However, none of them can resist the F-U-N that is retrieving the orange buoy.  It’s bright, it floats, and is nice and visible even when far away.  Here’s a black Lab-mix-looking guy trying to get in on the action.  He then stole the buoy and was growling and refusing to give it back or share.

Chatfield dog lake black dog wants buoy

"Hey, that buoy is awesome. I'm going to move in for the kill."

We happily returned to fetch after the black dog’s owner intervened and wrestled the buoy from him.  Steve threw the buoy far out into the lake and Gunner and Hamlet made their splashing dives into the water.  Just as Hamlet was swimming off to buoyland, some sort of terrier caught up with him and dunked him underwater.  Yes, I said dunked.  It was like the black spot on Hamlet’s head was a sign to this other dog, “dunk here!”  I was terhorrified – terrified and horrified!  Terrified that Hamlet went underwater and horrified that the other dog’s actions seemed so…deliberate.

I don’t have any pictures of this situation because in my terhorrification I shoved my cell phone (a.k.a. picture taking device) at Teresa and madly waded into the water to make sure Hamlet was ok.  I lifted him out of the water and held him while the other dog (terrier dunker extraordinaire bully) jumped at Hamlet in what I could only take as his way of saying, “I’m not done with you! Now I’m going to eat your little Ham legs!”  The terrier bully’s owner then stepped in, semi-apologized and dragged off her dog to another side of the lake.

The saddest part was seeing Hamlet’s face right when he surfaced after the dunking.  His eyes were WIDE.  I realize his eyes are always wide and buggy but I mean you could see the whites all the way around from 10 feet away.  It was like he surfaced, took a big gulp of air, and yelled,”Mom, help!”  At least that is what I heard in my head.  So then I went wildly wading to the rescue.

Hamlet was physically fine.  I think he might have been a little shaken up but I’m sure it was worse for me than it was for him.  I kept him on shore to rest for a couple of minutes and then let him go back to play with Gunner.  He seemed a little more timid about swimming into the lake, like he preferred to go back to just wading around, but again this could just be my motherly, over-analyzing instinct talking.  Although, I don’t think so, based on the way he acted last weekend at the annual doggie day at our swimming pool.  But that story is for next time.

*For the record, I don’t blame the terrier bully’s owner.  Dogs will be dogs and things happen when you’re in public places with lots of canines.  I do blame the Terrier bully, but I only hold a small grudge. 🙂