Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not Quite Smarty Sunday!

Hi everyone! Smarty Sunday is being postponed this week because Mama is busy working on a giant project for student teaching! She has to write a book! The book has to be all about activities that people can do with their little human kids to help them do better in preschool. She was typing typing typing all night long and didn't give Sammy-Joe any time to write his Smarty Sunday post!


Luckily, we do have something cool to show you. Mama took these pictures this morning. Want to see?



Can you tell what it is? Here, look closer!

They are little foot prints! 
They look kind of like Lily footprints. But they were made in the fresh snow, before us dogs got a chance to go outside in the morning. We had a secret visitor! 
It looks like the visitor walked in a big circle...

And then he (or she) tiptoed along this ledge...

And maybe the visitor slipped on the ice! 

What kind of visitor do you think we had? A dog? A cat? A raccoon? Maybe we should set up a hidden video camera so we can see them! 

We just wanted to show you that because we thought it was kind of mysterious. And now, we have to give the computer back to Mama so she can work some more on her book. We hope all of our friends are doing good!





Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rescue Pepe!

Hi everyone! Do you remember way back during Mayzie's Rescue Me Week when we wrote about the hoarder lady who used to work at a pet store and who had 50 dogs in her house? Almost Home Foundation found homes for most of those dogs, but there are still a few left. One of them is Pepe, an eleven pound chihuahua/terrier mix who is very sweet but can be very nervous around new people.


Pepe is another one of those chihuahuas who just doesn't trust people. This has been aggravated by the fact that he was raised by a hoarder, and did not get a lot of human contact. When he sees a hand coming towards him, he doesn't know what that hand is going to do to him, so he sometimes growls or tries to bite! But never after he's gotten to know and love a person. For instance, he knows and loves his foster parents, He will cuddle on their laps, play with them, and be a wild little guy around them! He loves to play fetch, and peek-a-boo. He is great at learning new tricks, and is very interested in getting some agility training if his new family would be willing to work with him! He is also usually fine with dogs who are his size and smaller, although he is afraid of larger dogs. 


One thing our Mama said she noticed, when volunteering at Almost Home Foundation's adoption days, is that many people who want to meet a small dog will walk up, and lean over the dog. This makes many smaller dogs, including Pepe, frightened! It can be frightening or intimidating to larger dogs as well. We thought we'd share a few tips for people who might be interested in meeting Pepe, or any other new dogs. 


Remember to always ask whoever is handling or walking the dog if it is okay to pet him. If it is okay, curl your fingers into a fist, and offer your fist to the dog to sniff. Don't shove your fist in the dog's face, but hold it far enough away so the dog can be the one to move his face over to you for a sniff. If he keeps on sniffing and seems happy, or if he pushes his head under your hand to ask you to pet him, you can! 

When you meet smaller dogs, if possible, it is a great idea to sit on the floor instead of standing over them. If you cannot sit down on the floor, ask the handler if they could pick the dog up so that the dog is at your level. Sitting or crouching on the floor can be the best way, though! If the dog seems nervous, it can help to avoid eye contact. With Pepe, our Mama has noticed that whenever she is sitting on the floor and talking to a human or playing with another dog, Pepe will walk up and put his paws on her or even climb into her lap! This may be because a person who is sitting down low, and who is not looking at him, can be the least intimidating person to a nervous dog. Once the dog has gotten a good sniff of you, he'll probably be more willing to be petted! Pepe is not as nervous as, say, Bermuda, and he will almost always become friendly within a minute or two of being petted.


Here are some things not to do when meeting a dog, especially a nervous dog. Do NOT lean or bend over the dog. Do NOT put your face right up to the dog's face unless you don't mind getting bitten in the nose. (Of course once the dog is yours, it may feel natural to put your face close to his and give him kisses, and once he knows you well he probably won't mind! But don't do it to a strange dog!) Do NOT run up to a dog or approach him in a quick, startling way. Do NOT walk up to a dog you don't know and start petting him, without giving him a minute to get to know you! (This may have worked out fine for you with a few dogs in the past, but you don't ever know which dog is going to be the nervous one who will think you're trying to hurt him!) And NEVER pick up a smaller dog that you don't know. Ask first. Some dogs will let anyone pick them up. Other dogs will be frightened by this gesture. 



Finally, the quickest short cut to a nervous dog's heart? Treats! Many nervous dogs will get over their stranger anxiety if you have something delicious to share with them!


If you live in the Chicago area and feel like you'd enjoy having Pepe in your family, please email plutollf@aol.com  for more info. We know you're going to love him! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Smarty Sunday: Winter Safety For Pets

Hi, everyone! Its me, Sammy-Joe, here with another super smart episode of Smarty Sunday! I can't believe its been a week already!
The other day it snowed here in Chicago, where we live. It may have snowed where you live to! Do you pets know how to keep yourselves safe during the winter? I thought I'd talk about this today, now that it is officially winter! Let me share them with you.


1. Dogs and cats...  You may love to play outside in the snow! But watch the weather, and trust your humans to use their best judgement about how long you should stay out. If it is so cold that your human doesn't want to stay out for very long, then you probably shouldn't stay out very long either. I know sometimes we don't notice the cold until it is too late! If it is below freezing, especially, just go outside long enough to do your potty business and then hurry back in. Some pets might like to wear coats to help keep them warm. But if you do wear a coat, ask your human to supervise you just in case you get caught on something! 


2. Your humans have probably heard that they should not leave you alone in a hot car in the summer. But do they know that the same goes for a cold car in winter? The car can act as a refrigerator, making it even colder inside there than it is outside. If you are left alone, you could get hypothermia. Please make sure your parents know this! 


3. If you do go outside on a snowy day, make sure you are wearing your collar with your ID tag at all times. If you go for a walk, ask your parents to keep you on your leash. Why? The snow can mess up the scents that we are used to. If we wander off and get lost, we might not be able to find our way back home using our trusty noses. If we are wearing our collars with ID tags, we have a better chance of getting a helpful human to take us home.


4. Cats... if you are allowed to roam free outdoors, do not climb into the hood of a car to stay warm. It is a bad idea! The human may not know you are there, and if he starts the car, you could be seriously injured or even killed. If you, or other cats in your neighborhood, do roam free, ask your humans to bang on the hood of their car before they start it up in the morning. This will scare away any cats that might be curled up underneath. 


5. When you come in from playing outside, do not lick your fur until your parents have dried you off! I know you probably have snow and ice on your fur and you want to clean yourself off. But the snow and ice could have salt, antifreeze, and other chemicals in it, and that could make you sick! So tell your humans to dry you off  with a towel as soon as you come in. Don't try to do the job yourself with your tongue. Have them dry your feet off well, too.


6. What if you do get lost, or sneak out, and end up being outside in the cold longer than your parents wanted you to be? You should know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and share them with your parents. If you can't stop shivering even after you get in, if your fur looks all puffed up or is standing on end, and if you seem disoriented or lethargic, you could have hypothermia. If your skin turns bright red, pale, or black, you could have frostbite. If either of these things happen, your parents need to get you to the vet! 


7. Remember, antifreeze is poison! If you see something blue on your driveway, do not lick it! In fact, tell your humans to clean up any antifreeze spills right away, just in case you forget that its poison. 


8. Do your humans use a space heater in areas of the house that are cold? Remind them that you need to be supervised whenever the space heater is on. They shouldn't leave it running when they are not in the room. You might chew the cord, or knock it over while you are running around playing, or jump on top of it if you are a cat. I know none of you would do any of these things because you are perfect angels. But still. Also, even just rubbing against the space heater could be dangerous, if the heater is too hot. Be careful with those things!


9. If you live near a body of water, be careful. You might notice that the water turns to ice, and you might feel like you can walk across it. But the ice could break, and you could fall into the cold, cold, cold water! This has happened to other dogs and cats before. So please stay away from bodies of water unless your parents are absolutely sure that the ice is thick enough for ice skating. To be sure, please remind your parents again to supervise you when you are outside, and keep you on a leash during walks. 


Maybe I made it seem like winter is terribly dangerous for pets! But winter can still be a lot of fun. Just be careful, and make sure you stay warm enough and are supervised, and you'll have an awesome winter!

Thanks for reading Smarty Sunday, everyone! I hope you feel smarter! 



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mama Keeps Leaving!

Hi everyone! We've actually been doing pretty good at our promise to write at least two posts a week... but those posts are usually Smarty Sunday, Rescue Me day, and Wordless Wednesday! The reason for this is kinda good news and kinda bad news.
The good news is... Mama started student teaching! She will be student teaching for five weeks at a preschool program for at-risk kids, and then for ten weeks at another school. She really loves it! She thinks the kids are so little and cute, and the days go by really fast for her. That is also why it is hard for us to keep up with posts... by the time she gets home, Mama is too exhausted to type!
The bad news is... Mama started student teaching! Yeah, we know we said that was good news. It is good news for Mama, but bad news for us! We miss when she used to stay home with us for most of the day! She used to snuggle in bed with us until almost lunch time,  take us out several times a day to play, share breakfast and lunch with us, and talk to us all day. Sometimes she would go to school or work for a few hours, and then come home. 
Now she has to be gone seven hours a day! She gets up early, takes a shower, takes us out to play, shares her breakfast with us, and then leaves. We are always so sad when she leaves. 
Here is a picture of the doggies among us, missing Mama.


Mama says she misses us too when she's gone. She says she thinks about us all day. She says! But who does she share her lunch with now, we'd like to know?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rescue Gypsy Rose!

Hi everyone! We're still keeping good on our promise to write about an Almost Home Foundation dog who needs a home each week! We don't know if you remember Bermuda, who we wrote about during Mayzie's Rescue Me Week. Bermuda, by the way, is still waiting for a home, and is the only dog we've written about for Rescue Me posts who hasn't been adopted yet. So if you live in the Chicago area and consider yourself a chihuahua whisperer, please contact her foster dad by emailing him at c22036@email.mot.com, or calling him at 224-715-2526.
But today we wanted to tell you about another dog, who happens to be Bermuda's foster sister! Her name is Gypsy Rose, and she is a very unique looking little rat terrier mix. Her black head, on her scruffy white body, causes some people to comment that she looks like someone put her together with spare parts! Gypsy Rose was rescued from a kill shelter in Chicago, where she was in line to be euthanized. Thank goodness Almost Home Foundation got her before that could happen. It would have been a real waste of a very sweet three year old dog! 
Some people think Gypsy doesn't get along with other dogs. However, she really does get along with most other dogs! When big dogs walk up to her she sometimes gets intimidated and barks at them. She also barks a lot while playing. But she does enjoy other dogs much of the time. She lives with three other dogs (including Bermuda) and she has regular playdates with as many as seven dogs at a time! 
The other day while Mama was volunteering, she wandered over to where Gypsy Rose was. While Mama was sitting on the floor talking to another volunteer, Gypsy ran up to her and jumped into her lap! Gypsy licked her face, then ran and got her little stuffed toy and brought it to Mama to throw for her! Other volunteers mentioned that Gypsy was one of their favorite dogs ever because of her playful and affectionate nature. Gypsy loves kids, too! She's also crate trained and house trained. 
Gypsy wants you to know that if you meet her at the adoption show, and she's barking a lot at other dogs, she is probably just excited! Dogs never have their best behavior at the adoption show. It really brings out the worst in them! But even if you meet her at the show, she'll lick your face and want to play with you, and you'll see what an awesome doggie she is. Ask a volunteer to walk her to a quieter area of the store, so you can spend some special time just with her when she's not so overwhelmed by the crowds!
Gypsy Rose lives with Bermuda, so you can contact her foster dad with the same contact info above. He'd love to hear from you about either one of the dogs! Remember... Gypsy Rose is looking for just about any person or family who could open up their hearts to a great, playful dog. Bermuda is looking for a patient person who understands chihuahua issues, and is willing to take the time to earn her trust. (That could take anywhere from twenty minutes to a day, if you have time to spend just with her, with no other dogs and few humans around... and some doggie treats would really speed up the process!) 
Both Gypsy and Bermuda are anxiously waiting for their forever homes! We hope you find them soon! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Smarty Sunday: Trust Funds For Pets

Hi, its me, Sammy-Joe, writing to you for this week's Smarty Sunday! This week I want to ask you a serious question. 
If something horrible happened to your humans... for instance if they got into a car crash and died, or went into a long term coma... who would take care of you pets? 
At Almost Home Foundation, whenever someone over the age of 70 wants to adopt a pet, they have to designate someone who is willing to sign a form saying they'll take over care for the pet if anything happens to the senior citizen. I think that's a good idea because the over 70 crowd is more at risk of things like heart attacks, strokes, etc... and while we all know that just having a pet can reduce that risk, it is important to make sure that an adopted pet doesn't end up in another shelter, or put to sleep, if something does happen to the elderly owner. 
Older humans aren't the only ones who die, though. We all hate talking about it. I hate the idea of losing Mama, as much as she hates the idea of losing me! But it could happen. And if it did, who would take care of me, Trixie and Lily? Of course we have Gramma and Grampa who would automatically take care of us, but if they weren't around, who would be next on the list? 
Some humans handle this by setting up a pet trust fund. There are a few humans who get a little carried away with this. For instance, the actress Betty White plans to leave her $5 million estate to her pets! (We hope some human is going to live in that estate with them, since pets have trouble going to the store to buy pet food, filling their own water dishes, and stuff like that!) 
We don't expect Mama, Gramma or Grampa to leave us the house. Most humans handle things more simply, by adding a few lines in their will naming guardians for their pets, and by possibly leaving a trust fund that would be given to the new guardians in order to pay for the pets' care. 
Sixteen states allow people to set up a legally enforceable pet trust. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. (Not Illinois! Boo!) In these states, you can put together a very specific trust that outlines how your pets should be taken care of. If your dog goes to doggie day care, and you want him to be able to keep on going there every day, you can state that. If your four cats are very attached to each other and you want them kept together, you can state it. You can specify everything from what your pet should be fed, to where he will sleep, to how many walks a day he should be taken on. You should also name a few people who would be willing to carry on these wishes. (Is there a friend or family member who will promise to either adopt all four cats, or foster them until she finds a wonderful adoptive home for all of them together? Does the person willing to adopt your dog actually live somewhere near the doggie daycare your dog loves?) Adding a fund will make sure that the people in charge of caring for your pets get paid a certain amount of money, on a regular basis, for the rest of your pets' lives. It is also a good idea to decide a "remainder beneficiary." That just means, if your pet dies, and the money you left for his care has not run out, someone else can get it. You might name the caregiver you chose for the pet, or the animal shelter you adopted the pet from, for instance. 
If you don't live in one of the states that enforces pet trusts, you could still make arrangements for your pets! This works best if you have people you trust and you know will carry out your wishes. Simply add a clause to your will naming someone (and maybe a back-up person as well) who you want your pets to live with if you die. Then you can leave the instructions for the pets care to that person, along with the amount of money you think will be necessary for the pets' lifetimes of care. 
Both a pet trust, and a will, are legal documents, so you should prepare them with the help of an attorney. You should always make sure to talk with everyone who you plan to involve in your pets' care. Learning that your great aunt has died and, as a surprise, left you in charge of her seven dogs, twelve cats, four parakeets and two horses might make a funny movie, but in real life it will put your pets at risk! Talk to the people you love about how they care for pets, and what they'd be willing to do for your pets. (If your brother hates cats, or your daughter's dog training methods are way different from yours, find someone else to care for your pets!) 
A third way to do this, without necessarily needing a lawyer, is to enter into a Pet Protection Agreement. Basically, this is just a legally binding contract between you and a person you choose. It specifies everything you want for your pets, and the amount of money you would like to leave the person. You can also specify whether you want the plan to be put into action if you are incapacitated, have to go to a nursing home where no pets are allowed, etc. You and the other person both sign it. That makes it legally binding. A good place to do this online without an attorney  is at Legal Zoom. There is a small fee, but not as much as an attorney. Legal Zoom asks you to name two or three people (one person to be the guardian if anything happens to you, and one or two extra people to take over if anything happens to that person) and also an organization or shelter that you'd like to leave the pets to if all of the other people are unable to take care of them. (That's pretty unlikely, but you should cover all your bases!) 
Hopefully, nothing will ever happen to your humans, and you will never have to worry about going to live with someone else. But you should still talk to your humans about this, just in case something happens to them. It will give you all peace of mind, knowing that you'll be safe and cared for no matter what!
I hope you liked this Smarty Sunday! Now tell your humans to take good care of themselves and stay safe so that they never have to use this information!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hey, We Remember This Stuff!

Hi everyone! Look what finally happened here in Chicago! 
"Do you remember this stuff, Lily?"

"I think so! Its so c-c-c-cold!"

"Its coming down harder. Mama says I'd better put on my tiny little Pawz Dog Boots!"


"It smells pretty good!"

"I think it tastes like ice cream... without the sugar! And without the cream!"

"Hey you two, quit eating all the snow!"

"Oh no, I think we stayed outside too long! I'm turning into a snow dog!" (Does anyone know how to get these little snowballs off of scruffy dogs?)

We hope everyone else is having lots of fun in the snow, too! 





Monday, January 9, 2012

Rescue Daisy Dukes!

Hi everyone! As promised, we are writing about another Almost Home Foundation doggie who is waiting for a forever home. This past weekend, our Mama had the pleasure of hanging out with Daisy Duke! This cute little dog is a mix of a random assortment of terriers, with some Shih Tzu tossed in for good measure. She doesn't remember much about her background, because she was transported here from a kill shelter in Pittville. That place sounds unpleasant, doesn't it? She's a shy, mellow little girl who spent most of the time at the adoption show cuddling on Mama's lap. Occasionally she would hop down from Mama's lap, walk around a little, and investigate things. Then, usually if she heard a bigger dog barking or if she suddenly felt insecure, she would put her paws up on the edge of Mama's chair and ask to be picked up! (Of course Mama obliged! She adores lap dogs!) She was happy to let everyone pet her, including small children, although towards the end of the show she was tired and got a little growly. (She wouldn't bite or anything. She was just being cranky and missing her foster mom!) She gets along with most dogs as well, including the three that she lives with now. But she's not particularly playful. Even though she's only four years old, she really prefers being quiet and calm and getting attention from humans. Her other hobbies include shaking the stuffing out of her stuffies (just like Lily!) and chewing on rawhides. (Who doesn't love a good rawhide?) As an added bonus, this little smarty pants is already house trained! 
Little Daisy would enjoy having a home with anyone who loves cuddling with a small dog. She will be ever so grateful if you'd just hold her in your arms, scratch her behind her ears, tell her what a good girl she is, and promise to love her forever! 
If you live in the Chicago area and are interested in meeting Daisy Dukes, you can call  847-312-9908  or email sheldn8@aol.com for more information. 


We do have some good news, also! Remember during Mayzie's Rescue Me Week, we mentioned a dog named Coco who had been with a hoarder and had been deprived of human contact and love? Well, he finally found his forever home! Mama was there when the people picked him out, and she says it couldn't be a better home. The two ladies who adopted him already have three dogs, and they adopted two more. The first dog they adopted was Biscotti, a bearded collie who Mama worked with and fell in love with two weeks ago. But they also wanted a smaller, quiet dog, who would spend quality time with a lonely, homebound older woman who lives with them (I think its one of their mothers). The two ladies adore dogs, and one of them works at home so she can be with them all the time. So both Biscotti and Coco will now live out their lives surrounded by love! LuvDuv, who we also wrote about in this post, was adopted too, but we don't have all the details on her. Isn't it wonderful when doggies find great homes?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Smarty Saturday: The REAL Dolphin Tale!

Hi everyone! This is Sammy-Joe. We haven't had a Smarty Sunday for a while, have we? I thought I'd do one today. Do you mind if we have it on Saturday this week instead of Sunday? Great! You're going to love this one. 
A few days ago our Mama went to have a slumber party with her human cousins, who are only 9 and 7 years old. While she was there, they rented the movie Dolphin Tale. Mama is crazy about all animals, including dolphins, but she usually avoids watching animal movies because she hates when animals die. Luckily, this sweet movie had a happy ending! 
Mama, her cousins, and her cousins' parents were all charmed by this movie... especially at the end, when there was a little paragraph telling them that it was based on a true story! However, Mama wondered exactly how true this movie was, since she knows that Hollywood sometimes takes real life stories and changes them around. For instance, when she was a kid she watched a movie about a little girl who taught a flock of baby geese how to fly, and was excited to hear it was a true story... but was sort of disappointed to learn that the person who taught the geese how to fly was not a little girl at all, but a grown adult man. 
Mama rushed to the computer and did some research. It turned out she was right... Hollywood did change the story around a little! She thought the real story was worth sharing with you. 
Winter is a real dolphin who really did get entangled in a crab trap and had a near death experience.The baby dolphin was rescued by workers from Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who did not include any ten-year-old children or mischievous pelicans. The little dolphin's tale really did have to be amputated, and she did learn to swim without it by wriggling around like a snake. Thats a cool story. But the even cooler part of the story begins in 2007. 
The hero in the true story... besides Winter, of course... is Katrina, a little girl who was born with  proximal femoral focal deficiency. This is birth defect in which the hip end of the thighbone does not develop. Katrina's right leg is not as long as her left leg. In fact, her right foot hangs where her left knee is. By the time Katrina was in third grade, she had had suffered through multiple surgeries and body casts. At school, she was a quiet kid who had trouble fitting in, and was teased by the other children. (Our Mama knows how this is... she too was tormented by the other kids when she was growing up!) It didn't help that Katrina had a prosthetic right leg that was painful for her to wear. 
To try to brighten Katrina's life, her parents allowed her to pick a place for the family to go on vacation. She chose... like most kids would... Disney World! Her mom found out that a small aquarium was near Disney World and thought it would be a nice add-on to the trip. Katrina's mother had no clue that this visit would change Katrina's life!
The aquarium was Clearwater Marine Aquarium. There, when visitors viewed Winter, they learned that her injury was the result of human carelessness. The idea was for people to realize how their actions could effect animals. But what Katrina noticed was the "stub" where Winter's tale used to be. A stub, Katrina thought, that was similar to her own leg. She and the little dolphin locked eyes, and Katrina fell in love! 
After the vacation was over, Katrina couldn't stop talking about Winter. She begged her parents to take her back to Florida. Forget Disney World! Katrina wanted to see her dolphin friend! Katrina's mother called the CEO of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who the family had gotten the chance to meet during their visit. She let the CEO, David Yates, talk to Katrina and update her on Winter. The two began talking daily, on the phone and through text messages. Katrina could also watch Winter every day on the aquarium's web cam. 
Katrina also traveled back to the aquarium many times in order to see Winter.  She was adopted as an unofficial member of the staff, and got to roam the aquarium, sort of the way Sawyer and Hazel did in the movie! She got to tell Winter's story to visitors. Now Katrina felt like she fit in... with Winter, and the others who loved the dolphin. She had a purpose. Being part of Winter's life brought Katrina out of her shell. 
In the meantime, Winter had become more and more famous. Other people with physical disabilities, including children, felt like they connected with Winter. Winter also had a new prosthetic tail, designed by Dan Strzempka. He, too, had a prosthetic leg, which had inspired him to become a prosthetic designer. 
When Dan Strzempka met Katrina and saw her ill-fitting, painful prosthetic leg, he offered to make her a new one. The new prosthetic leg, like Winter's tail, was more comfortable and didn't cause her pain or give her blisters. The prosthetic even had a Winter T-shirt embedded in it, so Katrina could always carry Winter with her! 
When Warner Bros heard about the story, they decided it was Hollywood-worthy. They spoke with Katrina's family and bought the rights to the story. The family imagined that the story would be changed a little, but not so drastically! The star of the story was not a little girl with proximal femoral focal deficiency, but two children with healthy legs. When Katrina found out that she had been written out of her best friend's story, she was angry. However, her mother tried to rationalize that, since the story was raising money for Winter and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, it was okay. But even her parents agreed that it was kind of rude of the movie makers to leasve Katrina completely out of the movie-making process. They never included her in any interviews, or to the premiere, or offered for her to be an "extra" in the movie. They never mentioned her name at all. 


Katrina is twelve years old now, happy and healthy. She is now able to be physically active, riding horses and jumping on the trampoline. She would like to write her own book about her experiences with Winter... if Warner Bros will allow her. (They own the rights to her story, remember?) 
Mama is glad she can tell her cousins that the real life Winter story has a "kid hero" in it. Sawyer and Hazel are fictional, but Katrina is real! And so is Winter. (By the way, Winter starred herself in the movie.) 
We love watching Winter on her website, See Winter. Our favorite web cam is the one with commercials. Its brighter and clearer, and you can even make it fill up your whole computer screen. You can see Winter chillin' in her swimming pool with her best dolphin friend! 
Thanks for reading Smarty Sunday (on a Saturday,) everyone! I hope you liked it! 
Edited to add: If you look in the comments of this post, you'll see that Katrina Simpkins actually commented! We are so excited that she read our blog! She wanted everyone to know that, even though her feelings were hurt that she was left out of the movie, she completely supports the movie itself because it is about her best friend Winter, and because it will help Winter and the aquarium. So, nobody go boycotting Dolphin Tale or anything drastic like that! Our Mama loved it and hopes to watch it again, so maybe we'll see it too! Also, Katrina let us know that there is a documentary, called The Little Dolphin That Could, that tells the completely true tale of Winter. Katrina is included in that documentary and is very proud of it Its available in the Clearwater Marine Aquarium online gift shop (and probably the real gift shop, too, if you go there) for $14.99. We think we might buy it! Katrina, if you read this again, thanks for visiting our blog!

Monday, January 2, 2012

We Know A Doggy Hero!

Hi everyone! We wanted to share a few happy stories (and one sad one) for the new year!
First, we know we have mentioned our neighbor dogs, Andi, Betty and Finn, before. They live next door to us. Betty and Finn were adopted together from a local rescue organization that specializes in saving senior citizen dogs, and Andi is a giant yellow lab was adopted as a puppy and is now a year old! We always play with them through the fence... especially Andi, who cries with excitement and tries to jump over the fence every time she sees us!
The sad news is that Betty got so old and so sick that she had to go to the Rainbow Bridge. She had a softball sized tumor in her stomach. Even when she was the sickest of sick she still mustered up the energy to bark ferociously at us whenever she saw us! (She had anxiety issues.) We are really going to miss her. But we know Finn is going to miss her the most of all! The two of them were best friends, ever since their days of being in a cage together at the shelter. They would wake up each morning and give each other kisses.
The news about Betty was sad for us to hear, but we also heard some very cool news about Andi! Andi's human aunt had been very ill and had had to have surgery recently. She was staying at Andi's family's house while she recovered, along with her own two dogs, so that Andi's human mother and grandmother could take care of them all. One day Andi's aunt was fast asleep on the couch. All of the humans were used to the aunt sleeping a lot lately and were trying to be quiet so she could get her rest. But Andi had a bad feeling all of the sudden.
Andi jumped up on the couch and started crying and licking her aunt like crazy! The other humans yelled a Andi to get off of her aunt and let her sleep. But Andi wouldn't give up! She just kept on whining and licking her aunt! When the aunt didn't wake up to complain about the gigantic yellow lab on top of her, the humans got worried and checked on her. Andi's aunt was not breathing!
Quickly the humans dialed 9-1-1. But before the ambulance had arrived, Andi's aunt woke up. Andi's vigorous licking had revived her!
It turned out Andi's aunt suffered an allergic reaction related to her surgery, which caused her to stop breathing in her sleep. To the humans, it just looked like the aunt was sleeping peacefully. But dogs have great hearing and can actually hear humans breathing all the time, so Andi was able to actually notice when that sound wasn't coming out of her aunt any more! If Andi hadn't been there, her aunt would have died. Needless to say, the humans treated Andi to a nice, big rawhide bone that night!
Of course, Andi has no idea that what she did was heroic.


In other news, we read on Facebook about this cool project called SharePet. It allows you to "virtually adopt" a pet, and post it on your blog and Facebook page. Then, when we or any of you want to spend money online for things like pet supplies, flight, hotel reservations, and even things you buy at sites like Amazon.com and Buy.com (There are a ton of sites on there) a percentage of what you spend will be donated to the shelter where that pet is, in order to help support that pet. The percentages are different depending on the sites. Some will donate 2%, some up to 20%! You can also share the pet on Facebook or Twitter to get others to notice him or her
We thought this was a great idea. Mama has a special place in her heart for bully breeds, but she knows we probably won't have one any time soon, for a variety of reasons. So she thought virtually adopting one would be a great thing to do! We found Precious, an American Staffordshire Terrier who is currently lost in Yonkers. Well, shes not lost, exactly, but she's in the municipal shelter! (The Yonkers, NY shelter is a "kill shelter" but not a high kill shelter. They say they only euthanize dogs who are considered unadoptable because of age, illness, temperament, etc... although a news article about them mentions that they do sometimes have to euthanize healthy pets to make room for new arrivals.  They have  recently raised enough money to build a brand new shelter that will allow them to take more animals, and give them better living conditions, including a larger outdoor area for play time and agility activities. The Yonkers Humane Society also helps out by taking their overflow pets.)
Precious has a similar story to Trixie! Like Trixie, she had a litter of puppies when she was brought to the shelter. And like Trixie, she was left behind at the shelter to take her chances. The weird thing is that Precious's previous owners kept all of the puppies (they probably planned on selling them) but dropped off Precious at the shelter. Unlike Trixie, who was on that shelter's list to be put to sleep within ten days, before she was rescued by Almost Home Foundation, Precious is not in immediate danger. However, she still wants to have a real home, instead of living in the shelter! Her profile says that she is a sweet, housetrained dog who gets along well with humans and some dogs. If you have other dogs you'd have to introduce them to see if they get along. Obviously this is a dog for someone who has experience with Precious's breed. Not many details are available about her, but if you are thinking of rescuing an American Staffordshire Terrier, we think you should visit her Petfinder profile and give the shelter a call to find out more about her. Also, if you are going to do any shopping online, please come to our site, find Precious's picture on our side bar, click it, and then click on "Buy and give." You'll be able to choose a category for what you're looking for. Amazon.com and Buy.com are also listed in all of the categories. We really hope maybe this dog will catch someone's eye! Thanks, everyone! 






Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our Wild New Years Party

Hi everyone! We had a really wild New Years Eve party last night, as you can tell by this photo! 


Although we are clearly having tons of fun in that picture, the dogs among us did not like it when the huge BOOMING noises started outside! We got really nervous and didn't know what to do. Both of us were pacing around, trying to squeeze our bodies underneath Mama's legs, trying to hide behind her back, and even trying to climb on top of the table for some reason! Finally we found a comfortable position that made us feel a little better and safer...

We have no idea why Mama found that so amusing! She took about 90 pictures!


Here's to a great 2012!
Love, Trixie, Lily and Sammy-Joe

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