Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last week I responded to a Craigslist ad offering another small Pom for rehoming.  Since Precious, our little partially blind puppy, may lose her limited vision in the future, I felt getting her a sighted playmate might help her adjust if this happens.  So, I made arrangements to meet the lady at a local grocery store parking lot at 7 that evening. When she showed up, I knew I needed to get the puppy out of that environment.  Her boyfriend was all tatted up and had no teeth - typical meth head, two unsavory characters were in the back seat and the girl handed me a little blonde Pom dirty, full of fleas and very depressed.  I asked if the dog had upset stomach and the girl said that for the past few days she had had upset stomach because they fed her adult food.  I knew the puppy was sick.  When they asked for $150 rehoming fee I politely told them the dog looked sick and I would give them some grocery money, but certainly not $150!  They agreed and I quickly loaded the dog into my truck.  I know the money went for something other than groceries, but I knew the dog would die if I didn't get her home.

We were at the vet's office when they opened at 7:30 am the following morning.  My suspicious were correct.  The dog, named Sadie, had parvo.  I've had a lot of parvo experience and I knew her chances were not good.  Last year we rescued 8 puppies that had the disease and we beat the odds by saving 6 of them.  However, the normal survival rate is less than 50%!  Fortunately, I got Sadie in time to save her life.  She spent 4 days at the vet, and with aggressive fluid and antibiotic treatment she is now a playful happy puppy.

If you have not vaccinated your dog against parvo, please do it today.  Some dogs die with 48 hours of contracting the disease and others may suffer for a few weeks.  The biggest problem is dehydration.  The dog vomits and has diarrhea.  They are too sick to eat or drink and this makes the situation even more dire.  The only way to give them enough fluids is through an IV or subcutaneous  injections. The virus is highly contagious and you must disinfect thoroughly every day.  Bleach is the best way to kill the virus.  Use a 1:10 ratio for proper disinfecting.  The virus can stay active in the soil for up to 2 years! So be careful where you allow your unvaccinated dog to roam.  Even taking a unvaccinated puppy to a place like Petco or Petsmart is dangerous.   Vaccinate as soon as possible / spay or neuter as soon as possible -  Let's make a difference one dog at a time!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Time to Medicate!

No, I am not making muffins!  It is the way I get all the monthly flea and heartworm meds dispensed properly.  All dogs must be protected from these pests. I write each dog's name in the bottom of the baking cup.  Heartworms are a huge problem in the south.  All it takes is the bite from  one infected mosquito and your dog gets the heartworm.    Several of our older rescues have heartworms.  The treatment is so expensive that we cannot afford it.  The current price to treat a 50 pound dog is somewhere around $500.00.   Fortunately, none of the seniors have any symptoms, and we treat them monthly to make sure they do not get any more.  I am happy to report that two of our dogs that had a high positive two years ago now have a low positive.  In time, they will test negative.  We just pray that they do not have any damage to the heart while we are making progress.

Since changing to Comfortis, we have not had a flea problem.  Comfortis has the medication uniformly throughout the pill, so you can cut the larger ones in halfs or quarters to save money!   All new dogs are given a Capstar pill and a flea bath/dip before they are allowed in the kennel area.  We have not had to use chemical sprays or poison in the exercise area at all!  I hope our good luck and prevention methods continue to work.

Sometimes I think I am running a dog hospital!  At this very moment we have 5 dogs that are taking daily medication.  Some of the dogs just require a week or two of antibiotics, but others will require medication for quite sometime.  I have to have a chart so I don't forget who gets what and when!  I should have gone to vet school!!! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two cute ladies seeking a home!

Amber & Pumpkin are ready to have a family to love them.  They were spayed on Friday and now they are ready to go.  All we need are families!  They had their first outdoor adventures today since their surgery.  They wanted to play with Boudreaux.  He was very curious about the girls!  Pumpkin enjoyed searching for grasshoppers then decided she needed a bit of human companionship!  Sister Amber was a shy one today.  Amber is a bit smaller than Pumpkin, but both of these girls are going to be large.  At 4 months Amber weighs 16 lbs and Pumpkin weighs 20 pounds.  They have tripled their weight since March 15th. They are 100% purebred all American mutt!!!  They have come a long way since they were dumped in a parking lot.  They now have a full coat of hair instead of the sticky adhesive that was all over them. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Daisey and Jazz find new homes!

I just received an email from my new friend Bobbi.  She is the lady who stepped up to care for a neighbor's dog after the elderly lady was placed in a nursing home. Bobbi barely knew the neighbor, but she is such an animal lover that she just could not see the dog being sent to a shelter.  The elderly lady's family was happy to have Bobbi's help.  Jazz had been a loyal companion to their family member and they only wanted the best for her.  Bobbi contacted me in January to see if we could help her place the dog.  She was willing to care for Jazz until I had space in our kennel.  While the smaller dogs and puppies are being adopted, the large dogs are just not finding homes quickly so it has been a long wait.  When Daisey, our very large bloodhound, found a home, we had room to take Jazz.  But, lucky for Jazz, Bobbi found her a home the same week!  Now Jazz has a family of her own and another playmate.  Many many thanks to Bobbi for her dedication to Jazz.  You can see from the picture that Jazz has Bobbi's heart!

Miss Daisey has a wonderful new family as well.  A lovely young newlywed couple adopted her last week and took her home today.  She will be the center of attention and the only dog in the household.  I know she will be spoiled rotten in no time!!!  It was a bittersweet time today as I handed the couple her leash.  I admit to a few tears as I will miss that bloodhound howl and her big goofy ways.  But I am overjoyed at the new home for her.

Monday, May 9, 2011

He's Back!!!

Tarzan is back at Swampy Paws!  This little dynamo has been our foster dog on and off for several months.  He doesn't do well in a shelter environment so I was asked to foster him. He becomes aggressive, barks continuously, and is just really really stressed.  I had returned him to the shelter on Monday after he snapped at my son and was acting as if he wanted to bite him!  On Friday I was volunteering at the shelter and my heart sank as I approached his small kennel.  He was visibly depressed, but when he saw me he started wagging his tail and acting cute and sweet.  But I was resolved that I would not keep a dog that had such serious adoption hurdles to overcome.  So, I left him there. My gut told me that this was not the right decision for Tarzan. Yes, leaving him there would make my life easier, but what would it do to him.   We are so very crowded that I just could not see keeping a dog that may take many months to find the right home.  He needs a family that will be patient with him.  He isn't a mean dog, just a frightened one at times.  He puts on this big bad show when he is in a wire crate because he feels vulnerable.  He loves to run and play fetch and then curl up on my lap. He just needs a lot of loving!

Then on Mother's Day, I stopped in at the local Petco to make a couple of new tags.  I could hear Tarzan barking even before I could see him.   I  could  hear the stress in his bark.  I walked over to the area where the adoptions were located.  Once he saw me he quieted down and started wagging his tail.  Everyone was happy to see me because it meant quiet in the store!  I guess the "mother" in me took over and I brought him back to Swampy Paws again.  However, this time he will not be going back to the shelter.  If we can't find him the perfect home, then he will just stay here. 

My son reminds me that we are getting far too many dogs that may just end up being permanent residents.  I think I will have to do a big marketing campaign asking people to sponsor a dog.  Basically it will mean an adoption without taking the dog home!  I can send regular pictures, emails, and take the dog to visit their sponsor.  They could even have the dog for the weekend!   All the sponsor has to do is contribute toward the dog's care.  We are in need of additional kennels so perhaps someone could donate a chain link kennel if they could not have a full time dog.  Oh well.. my mind is racing about all the possibilities. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2nd Chance at Adoption for Daisey and Tiny!!!

Just last weekend I placed Daisey and Tiny in prospective homes.  Unfortunately neither of the adoptions were a good fit and both dogs were returned.  It wasn't Daisey's fault that the little Chihuahua that ruled the house just would not accept a big playful dog in the backyard!  The family's little dog would have absolutely no part of a dog on her premises.  She spent the days sitting at the patio door barking at Daisey.  I certainly could not blame the owners for making the decision to return Daisey.

Tiny's story was mentioned in an earlier blog.  This time Tiny is in a home with a another small dog and a single lady.  I am hopeful she will adjust to her new surroundings.  The new owner was very patient with her during the get acquainted meeting.  She understands Chihuahuas and will work with Tiny to help her feel confident and safe in her new setting.

Daisey will be going to her new home next week.  She was adopted today, but the lovely young couple wants to make sure they get the proper size dog house for her and finish the fencing so when she arrives everything will be ready.  They are making her a place with a raised bed, a fan and lots of shade!  I really liked the way they were concerned about her safety and comfort.

An update on Precious - She is doing GREAT!  At her last vet check, the pressures were down a bit and she had gained 3/4 lb.  Wow, does that dog have energy!  I am working on getting her calm enough to be held.  She doesn't like it and will struggle to get free.  Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that she is up in your arms so she could injure herself if she were to jump down.  Hopefully with a lot of patience and positive reinforcement she will realize that being held is a good thing.
I have been really busy with the gardening.  In addition to our traditional row garden, I have a raised bed area.  I love working in the garden and reaping the rewards of home grown vegetables.  In our traditional row garden we have green beans, red beans, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, okra, beets, field peas, green and yellow squash and tomatoes.  The raised bed garden also has all of the above plus cucumbers, herbs, carrots,  lima beans, bell peppers, cantaloupe, asparagus, a variety of dwarf  fruit trees, fig trees and muscadine grapes.  So you see, I stay very very busy!  The kennel work, the farm animals, and the yard take all of my time. Oh well, it keeps me out the mall......

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You can now make Comments!

A dear friend of mine noted that she could not make comments on the blog.  Well, I apologize.  It was my fault.  I am new to all this blog stuff and I had not checked the correct box when setting up the blog.  Now you can leave me comments/ask questions, etc.  Thanks Michelle for letting me know that my settings were a problem.

I am taking pictures today and will post updates on Precious and the rest of the pack later.  The recent vet visit for Precious showed her eye pressures were down and the medicine is working.