I’m in the Club!

Thought y’all would enjoy some pics of little Hero’s introduction to his new mama, who accepted him right away.

Hi there, little one. Want to join us? Plenty of milk here.

He’s up to a strapping 6.2 ounces — got a lot of catching up to do! We still have not found out the officer’s name who found him and took him to WellPet.

I'm in the gang!

Nothing can hold me back now!

If you can help with donations for his care (and the care of his new crew), we have a chip-in here:
He’s the second skull from the back, in between a black puppy and a cream puppy.

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Some rather strange weight loss milestones for Buckles

Last Friday, Buckles had a perfect weigh-in — he lost 0.6 pounds, right on track with where I’d like him to lose. Not too fast, not too slow. Yay Buckles!

Our food regimen continues as follows:
Morning: 1/4 cup of kibble (with his thyroid pill)
A couple of veggie snacks during the day (if I am home). Carrot or cucumber.
Evening: 1 cup of kibble, 1 cup of mixed veggies and yogurt (usually some pumpkin, some green beans, and some yogurt, but I try to mix things up a little to keep it interesting). Also his thyroid pill.

He doesn’t act hungry during the day, so I know the pumpkin and green beans are doing their job of keeping him full. The 1/4 cup of kibble in the morning keeps his blood sugar relatively stable too.

Now Buckles has lost a total of 3.6 pounds (down from 63 pounds when we started). Our goal is 30 pounds, I think.

This week, Buckles discovered that he can bend around and lick himself “down there” as many dogs delight in doing. Now he acts like he has to make up for lost time (!). That’s a rather odd milestone, eh? I actually had to go sleep in the other room last night because the slurping sound was driving me crazy.

And that’s when I realized that ….

Buckles also has acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that is caused by 3 things: obesity, hypothyroidism, and food sensitivities. Poor Buckles has all 3! This looks like lots of dark spots on his belly, and raised crinkly skin in his armpits. Before he lost the initial 3 pounds, I didn’t think he was itchy — but the truth seems to be that he DID itch, he just couldn’t SCRATCH because he was too big! The poor guy has been itching and itching all this time, and couldn’t do anything about it! So now I am giving him benadryl to help with the itch, and topical creams. On Friday he will have an oatmeal bath after his next weigh-in, and that should help too. We also do cool compresses on his belly, where the itch seems to be worst.

We discovered, thanks to our friend Regina (@ReginatheRVT), that Buckles LOVES squeaker toys. I don’t have any around the house because one of my dogs annihilates them within minutes, so I hadn’t seen Buckles with a squeaker before. But Regina gave him one after his weigh-in last week, and he he loved it! He had a big smile on his face as he squeaked that cheeseburger (ironically, the only kind of cheeseburger he is allowed). So now, when he rides in the car, he gets to squeak the burger the whole way.

Through it all, he is calm, affectionate, and oh-so-grateful to be safe, fed, and loved every day. Once in a while, he asks to be hauled onto the bed for snuggle time. He trembles when it storms, but he calms down when he gets his snuggles. He is a very special guy, and he is going to love getting all the attention he deserves in a forever home some day.

Weigh-in Tomorrow for Buckles!

We had a great start last week on Mr. Buckles’ Biggest Loser diet plan. He lost 3 pounds in his first week! Now, to be honest that was a bit of a shock. And I think it’s too fast. But still, it was a nice way to kick-off his success.

The first week, we were struggling with some diarrhea, which was probably from all the stressors he had been through (being in animal control, going to the vet, riding in the car, staying in another cage). He was tested at the vet and was negative for any intestinal parasites or little buggies like giardia or coccidia. So I had to take a few days to get his tummy under control. He fasted for one day, then had plain rice for a couple days, then we started gradually working up the what I would consider the “normal” weight-loss regimen for a 63-pound dog who should really weigh around 30 pounds: 1 cup of Natural Balance kibble (the regular blue bag). 1 cup of mixed vegetables: carrots, canned pumpkins, green beans. And a bit of whole milk plain yogurt.

So his weigh-in last Friday showed a 3-pound loss. He is definitely feeling more chipper. His waddle has a bit of the strut about it now. And he’s beginning to try to kick up his heels in the yard, just a bit.

This past week, I fed the same as above, except I added a 1/4 cup of kibble in the morning to try to keep his blood sugar more even (insulin production can encourage fat storage).

Tomorrow is our next weigh in. Wish us luck! I’ll tweet from @DREAMRescue and send a picture. I’m hoping for another 1/2 – 1 pound. Nice and gentle, but steady, loss for my sweet man.

DREAM Update

We had a tough year in 2010. Our president (that’s me) was diagnosed with TINU Syndrome (an autoimmune disease) in March and has been down for the count pretty much ever since. The rest of our FABULOUS board of directors has scrambled to fill the gaps, all the while keeping as many dachshunds as we can away from the needle. It has been a bumpy road, but we’ve learned a lot — about each other, about the importance of compassion, about patience, about how important it is to do work that is important to you.

I’m getting back into the swing of things, slowly. We have a board retreat coming up at the end of February where we will reconnect, and figure out how to make 2011 a better year.

Thanks to all of you who have hung in there with us during all of this upheaval.

Top things DREAM dachshunds are thankful for

I polled all the dachshunds in DREAM’s foster homes, and they all were thankful for something different!

Eli was thankful for tennis balls, which he now chases as much as possible (sometimes for hours), and for his foster mamas who throw the ball for him.  Over and over and over. And over.

Stan was thankful for his new foster dad, who is teaching him about the crate being a safe place.

Nicodemus is thankful that his teeth don’t hurt any more. And for his dashing eyepatch.

Wendell is grateful that he has a safe place to sleep, with other dachshunds around.

Sweetness is thankful for her arthritis medicine, and her warm bed.

Fritz Gerald is grateful that he isn’t with that lady who turned him into DREAM, carrying the new puppy in her arms that she had just bought from a breeder.

Maci is thankful that she has someone to sit next to on the couch and watch movies.

Miss Dolly is grateful for her bed and her pretty yard.  That’s all she really needs, she says.  She is retired.

Zap! is grateful that everyone he meets loves him as much as he loves everyone he meets.

Yodel is thankful to be in a foster home with no other dogs.  He likes all the attention all for himself. And for being so good-lookin’.

Zucker is thankful that someone came to get him after he was so scared and all alone on the street, and turned him into a vet who then found DREAM.

Jerry Beasley is thankful that anyone puts up with his grumpy old self.

Missy is grateful for her foster mama, who loves her old old face with her tongue sticking out the side.

Simon is grateful that he doesn’t have all those heartworms anymore.  They made it really hard to breathe.  And for the people who are going to adopt him tomorrow.

Brandy is thankful that her mom didn’t take her to the vet for the “blue juice” when she moved into an apartment that didn’t take dogs. And for DREAM.

Havarti was grateful for the training he is getting at Canine PHD to help him not be so scared.

Tonka is thankful for the dog park.  When can we go again?  And for his foster sister Delia, who plays “wild mustangs” with him.

Angus and Nessa are grateful that their dad’s friend knew how to find DREAM when their dad died, so that they didn’t go to the shelter.

Fella said he was grateful not to be in that dark  garage any more, where he spent 4 years before coming to DREAM.  Also warmies in his crate to help his arthritis.

Shannon is thankful that such a nice lady wants to adopt her, even though she has had skin cancer.

Rosie is grateful for her understanding foster family, who drove her around so much when she needed those surgeries on her mammary tumors and her bad tooth.  She feels so much better now!

Pumpkin is grateful that she and her 8 babies are not in the animal control anymore, and the babies are not sick.  That is no place to have your babies! (Soon she will be grateful that they are all in their forever homes.  She is tired of nursing.)

Buttercup is thankful for her nice quiet foster home in Savannah. And that her eye doesn’t hurt anymore.

Mouse is thankful that her foster home has a big ramp, because she is too little for stairs, and their doggie door is on the second floor!

Starling is grateful for FOOD.  But she doesn’t like her foster mama’s tricks to slow her down so much.

Manchego is grateful for the lady who found him at animal control and called DREAM.  And also for his foster dad who is taking care of him while he finishes heartworm treatment.

Brady is thankful for bellyrubs.

Kirby is thankful that the lady at the dogpound found DREAM, because the mean man who dropped him off at the pound knew he’d be put to sleep that night and left him anyway.  And he’s just a baby!

Olivia is grateful that she isn’t in a scary concrete run anymore at animal control.  No place for a teeny chiweenie!

John-Boy is thankful that he is going to a foster home today that has another young dog that loves to play play play!

Duncan is thankful that his foster mom understands that he doesn’t mean anything by it when he tries to go on an adventure.  (And for his new harness.)

Mattie is thankful for her adoptive mama, who drove up to see her from Columbus and is going to take her home as soon as her heartworm restriction period is over.  And for her foster mama who took care of her during all of that.

We at DREAM are thankful for all the people who love the dachshunds and care for them their entire lives.  We wish there were more of you.

I am thankful for our foster homes, who show these dogs so much love (sometimes for the first time in their lives), and then send them on to their forever homes, so they can help the next dachshund who needs them.

AH, a rainy fall with dachshunds

HowlOWeenie is behind us, and it was glorious.  We now turn our sights to fall, when a young rescuer’s thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of ….. murder, mayhem, and rage at the machine.

No, not really.  But there are a few things I’m pretty hacked off about right now.

1.  Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He vetoed a bill to outlaw puppymills.  Seriously, Arnold? A “responsible breeder” is not going to have more than 100 adult dogs on his / her property.

2. Stories I heard today about a certain county south of Atlanta where—

A) they “adopted” a mama dachshund and her 4-day old puppies, along with an unneutered male, to a backyard breeder.  Georgia law says that dogs coming out of a shelter must be altered by the owner, but this shelter is not one of those that follows up on that.  So, nice life coming for that crew!  And not even any registration papers for the puppies.  So these will be cheap puppies.  And that means, they will get no vet care, because that costs money.  Nice!

B) one of the county commissioners let his unneutered dachshund run free.  Picked up by AC several times.  Last time, didn’t come claim him.  So eventually a rescue got him.  Dog was heartworm positive, had all the intestinal parasites.  And who knows how many litters he’d sired on his adventures. County commissioner is suing the rescue group.  Wanted his dog back.  But the dog had died because it wasn’t healthy enough to survive the heartworm treatment.

I know there are a lot of crazy rescuers out there.  There are some animal rights nutjobs, and there are some overzealous people doing overzealous things.  But when we are just trying to save the lives of the real dogs that are right in front of us, and the “authorities” not only don’t help, but actively oppose, it makes my stomach hurt.

Recent victories:  Rosie from Chattooga County.  Sassy from Dekalb County.  Lester from Fulton County.  And getting another tomorrow.

HowlOWeenie 2009 is upon us!

Hope you’ve got your dachshund’s costume fitted!

Hope you’ve exercised your dachshund’s tail wag muscle!

Hope you’ve practiced your starting block technique for the race!

Hope you’re prepared to satisfy your shopping urge at the artist market – and packed lots of cash and checkbook!

Hope you’ve packed your lawnchair so you can relax for the Roxie Watson bluegrass!

Hope you’ve stretched your tummy for lots of hotdogs!

Hope you’ve limbered up for the dachsie hokey pokey!

Hope you’ve memorized your best dachshund joke!

Hope you’ve practiced your “Dachshund Idol” trick!

Hope you’ve perfected your howling duet!

Howl-O-Weenie is here! Click for complete details and schedule!

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