Barry White, My New Love

I took my new enrichment dog, Barry White, on the Stray Rescue group walk


We stopped at a place called Paradise Cove

The white dog in front is my former enrichment dog, Boogie Pilgrim


Barry and I then headed to Forest Park.

Where he relaxed










and smiled


I love this dog!IMG_5898

He needs a home!


Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

How do animals in cities with temps below zero survive without someone like Randy Grim and Stray Rescue?
On Saturday night and into Sunday, St. Louis got 10+ inches of snow.  Teaming up with the Mayor, Randy made a plea on the news to bring pets inside.  Any pets found outside, even in backyards, would be confiscated and the owners fined. I think only a few people were given citations, but Randy and his staff were busier than ever rescuing stray dogs. On Monday morning the temperature was -8 with a windchill of -20.

(You know you’re an animal person when in extreme weather all you can think about are stray and missing dogs and cats. It breaks my heart.)
Thank you, Randy, for what you do.
Here are pictures from some of his rescues:
Larry can’t believe that entire packs of stray dogs are running around and living in abandoned houses, but in some areas (especially East St. Louis), believe me, they are.
This poor guy, Francis, was not rescued in time; he passed away soon after.

One grateful pup
This poor guy had to be sedated and muzzled. He got into the car easily when rescued, but at the shelter he refused to get out, growling and baring his teeth. Apparently he liked the warmth of the car and thought he was being forced back out into the cold.  No worries, little dude, you’re safe! 
This boy, named Zero, was picked up off the streets by a police officer, who has since decided to adopt him for his little boy.
These babies, and their momma who was tied up, were all rescued.
And then there’s this….





I wish all dogs had such a choice.

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

The Stray Rescue staff started a wonderful system to track enrichment time spent with the shelter dogs to ensure each gets equal time. It’s not a perfect system, since some dogs are more popular with volunteers and hence they have more “fans,” but this way the love is spread more evenly as the staff fills in the gaps where needed.
There’s a key for us to follow. W = extra walk / E = enrichment outside of the shelter (park, home, etc.) / CR = car ride / A = time in apartment / Y = play time in yard / R = run
The red colored marker is for volunteers and the black marker is for staff, but the red pen got lost and the volunteers started writing “vol” next to the letter.
Some dogs are not allowed extra enrichment for various temporary reasons.

I love that Paul, an enrichment staff member, encourages staff to spend time with red collar (staff only) dogs by offering lottery tickets. These dogs don’t get a lot of enrichment time because volunteers aren’t allowed to take them out. The goal is for the dogs to become purple collar so anyone can enrich them.

My own dogs fight over enrichment time with me. Here’s how it goes:  Stella comes and sits on my lap first. KC immediately comes over, plops herself right on Stella and squeezes her out as if she’s not even there. “What? Stella? Where? I don’t see a dog.”
Poor Stella. And she’s so submissive. She quietly backs out and walks to the other end of the couch. 
And waits for her daddy to get home.

Raise the ‘Woof’ Wednesday

This past weekend we hosted our 2nd annual Santa Paws Party.
Here was the Facebook invite so you can see what it’s about:
Welcome all to the 2nd Annual Santa Paws Party!! 

My awesome co-hosts and I first want to thank all that attended/donated last year, we were able to raise over $650 cash for CIC as well as a TON of goodies to help them through the winter! We are hoping this year will be an even bigger success!!

As many of you already know, winter is quickly approaching and many of our four legged friends will be out wandering the streets trying to find shelter. We would like to help ease the burden for one lucky rescue and provide them with some cash donations and/or new and gently used items. We will place several small independent rescues into a Santa hat and at the end of the night one lucky rescue will be drawn. That rescue will receive all the donations gathered that night.

We ask that you bring an item or two or three or MORE from the list below, and in lieu, the Food, drink and fun will be provided! (scheduled to reappear are the Apple Pie Shots!! YUMMMM) 

Rescues that will be placed in the hat are: 4 Paws 4 Rescue, Gateway Pet Guardians, St. Animals Pet Adoptions (SAPA), Act Now!, DCAWS, St. Louis Senior Dog Project, Partners for Pets, & 5 Acres.

 (A list of suggested items for dogs and cats was provided in the invite)

So, guess how much we raised this year? A total of $1,250 plus all of this…

For a large rescue like Stray Rescue, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but for the smaller rescues this really helps. The amount of money they spend on vet bills when rescuing, say, a heartworm positive dog or a cat hit by a car is astronomical. So I know the winning rescue this year – Gateway Pet Guardians – appreciates our efforts.  And I say “our” because Kelly lists a few of us as co-hosts, but the party is at her house and she really does all the work. I’m honored to be her friend.  She’s shown time and again that people are capable of doing a great deal more than they think they have time for. 
I can just picture her face if someone says they don’t have time for something.  She’d be like…
Three of Kelly’s four dogs and one of her five fosters (yes, nine total, not counting the boarding clients she had that night)
“Santa, is that YOU?”

Kelly’s fiancee John giving Heidi some love before the party starts

Kelly’s own pup Zeus (left) and Wilson, one of two boarding clients 

Sally and Titus, two of Kelly’s fosters

Twelve-week-old Titus struttin’ his stuff for the guests

Old man Lee, a boarder

My friend Sandy holding Stassi, one of Kelly’s newest fosters 

Kelly and Stassi
Some of the gang
Gateway Pet Guardian’s Jane Posen demonstrating her gratitude for winning this year’s “haul”

It was a great night, with many wonderful rescue people coming together, enjoying good food and drinks, and supporting each other in their efforts to save animals. May next year’s Santa Paws Party be an even bigger success!
Another positive outcome from the night? It looks like Titus and Stassi, two of Kelly’s fosters, are going to be adopted by party attendees! LOL

Our Month in Pictures – October

You know it’s a slow month when I post pictures of myself with friends at a hookah bar. But it was such a fun experience. Have you ever been? My friend Katie is the best at making people do things outside their comfort zone. So when Katie, Jan and I had lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ranoush, we ordered things like shish tawuk, chicken shawarma, and baba ganoush. Then Katie insisted we try a hookah. I thought she was nuts, but all of a sudden the waiter was telling us the flavors and bringing the hookah to our table. We were cracking up.
“Is this even legal?”
“We’re not really doing this, are we?”
“Take a picture of us!”
By the way, it’s molasses, fruit flavoring (we picked watermelon and bubble gum) and a little tobacco. It’s actually pretty good. It’s like having dessert without the calories, since it leaves a fruity flavor in your mouth.

We ended up having the best time…eating great food, laughing, and trying something new. We even did a little shopping afterwards. Who would have thought lunch could be so fun. Thanks Katie! Crossed off “Experience a Hookah Bar” from my Bucket List.
My niece’s (Larry’s sister’s daughter) teacup micro Maltipoo, Phoebe, came over for a visit. Stella absolutely adored her and was sad when she left.

KC, who wanted to eat Phoebe at first but eventually tolerated her for the hour she was here, had surgery last week to remove the mass on her back. It was about the size of a silver dollar, but to get clean borders, they made the incision big.
Biopsy results:  Grade 2 mast cell tumor
Translation:  On a scale of one to three – one as benign and three as malignant – KC’s tumor is a two, and it’s actually a low grade two so it’s closer to a one. This means she’s likely to get more masses, so we’ll keep a close eye on her and remove any new ones right away. If it was a grade three they would send her to an oncologist. If it was a one it would be totally benign and they wouldn’t worry at all. Her stitches come out on Wednesday, and otherwise she’s doing great.
I wanted to share this picture I took of Stray Rescue pup Nelson Hull. He is just the sweetest!  Apparently Brett Hull found him somewhere and brought him to the shelter, so they named the dog after him. Nelson Hull must have been adopted already, because I can’t find him on the website. I knew he wouldn’t be there long.

My last enrichment dog, Phycox, is still available.

He’s so sweet. I’m going to take a break in November. I can’t stand having so many of my enrichment dogs still at the shelter. Madame Butterfly, one of my dogs from last year, is still there. So are Kiddo and Phycox.

And my dog for this month is Barry White…

Even though most of my former enrichment dogs are assigned new enrichment buddies, most people work full time and aren’t able to see them as often as I did. Plus, I’ve made a connection with the dogs and feel I should visit them. That’s four dogs worth of guilt right there!
So next month I’m not going to get a new dog; I’m going to focus on the ones I already have and just hope they get adopted. Soon.
Eric…remember him?
He had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his scrimmage yesterday in Tampa, FL. Larry and I are going to see him play in Ocala on November 13, and then he’ll be home for Thanksgiving. 
He’s doing well in school and has made friends. He likes his basketball teammates, but he’s become good friends with guys on the baseball team and with girls on the volleyball and softball teams.
Yep, that’s Eric in a shopping cart. 
I don’t ask questions.

Defending NJCAA National Champion CF Men’s Hoops 2013-2014 schedule set

The defending NJCAA National Champion College of Central Florida men’s basketball team had its 2013-2014 schedule announced recently.
The Patriots will kick off their regular season home slate with a game against Pasco-Hernando on November 2.
CF’s non-conference home schedule also includes games against State College of Florida-Manatee (November 5 and December 14), St. Petersburg (November 13), South Georgia College (November 16), Hillsborough (December 4), Pensacola (December 13), Palm Beach State (December 15) and Polk State (January 11).
From there, the Patriots kick off conference home slate on January 22 against Daytona State.
CF will have a pair of conference home games against FSC-Jacksonville and will face DSC and rival Santa Fe one time apiece at Patriot Gym.
The Patriots have five home games against teams that made the state tournament last season, with two of those matchups coming against Manatee.
CF rallied from a 23-point deficit to knock off SCOF 105-103 in Ocala last year, before rolling to a win over the Manatees in the opening round of the state tournament.
SCOF, along with another state tournament team from a year ago, Palm Beach State, will be CF’s foes during the Florida Colleges Men’s Basketball Shootout.
Meanwhile, the last team to knock off CF at home back in 2011, Pensacola, returns to Ocala for a game this season, as does Polk, a state tournament squad from a year ago.
As far as road games, CF will make out-of-state trips to South Carolina and New York for games this season.
The Patriots will face USC-Salkehatchie, a national tournament team from a year ago during their trip to the Magnolia State and will also embark on a trip to the Big Apple for the second consecutive year.
I’m going to make a separate post for this later because I have a ton of pictures, but today I crossed off “Attend a Woodchopper’s Ball” from my Bucket List. 
Let’s just say it involved tractors, chicken shit bingo, baby donkeys, pie contests, and moonshine samples.
Only in Missouri.

And I can’t go without posting a picture of baby Will, who’ll be 7 months on Halloween.


Pee On My Roses, Swim In My Pool

Summer is over
the pool soon closes
next year the pups
can again pee on my roses
The shelter provides housing
vet care and food
but a pool and sunshine
can change anyone’s mood!
Away from the chaos
away from the noise
a dive into the pool
to catch frisbees and toys
An hour or two
provides small bits of fun
shelter dogs know how to
show how it’s done
After some play time 
back to the shelter they go
but not until kisses 
they give so we know
how grateful they are 
for the time that was had
and to remind us 
to be hopeful and 
 not to be sad
For one day a home 
of their own will be found
with a plastic pool 
or one in the ground
In their place in the shelter 
a new dog will be
and in my pool they’ll swim
and in my roses they’ll pee
As volunteers we know
what a difference we make
in the lives of shelter dogs whose 
sanity is at stake
All it takes is an hour
to give here and there
for a lifetime of love
of which we’ve got plenty to spare
When over the dogs 
we do make a fuss
We’re not sure who gets more out of it…
or us?

Thank you, KC, for sharing your pool and my husband for being understanding 🙂