Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tank will be featured on Cesar Millan's FB page!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 'Possums

Last week, as I walked out in to the back yard to close things up for the night, Mazzy the dog-wolf was insistent that she needed to stay out by the kennel.  Usually that means their is some kind of critter out there.  I found I was right when she strolled over with a baby possum in her mouth.  She dropped it in the long grass by the never used BBQ (not even once this year).

I stopped long ago going out to check out the "dead thing". Sometimes they are not dead.  And I'm not picking it up, not in a million lifetimes.  I leave a note for the hubster to shovel it up and catapult it into the vacant lot behind ours.  The hubster is convinced that having dead, rotting rodents around the perimeter of the yard will deter future critters from committing the same transgressions as their predecessors.  Like the old head on a pike routine in the middle ages.  I don't think it works but the hubby is not convinced.

Mazzy is now almost 12 years old now, with bad hips and arthritis, but back in the day, she would get sometimes two or three critters every night.  Nutria originally had come to raid the apples and plums that had fallen on the ground, but as winter sets in more, the 'possums are far more troublesome than the veggie eating nutria.  The 'possums come for the chickens.

Sorry, I digress. Where was I?  Oh, the "dead thing".  The Husband came home from work, ans I told him about the "dead thing" and where it should be.  He went out there, and no possum.  Not unusual.  Mazzy has a weird way of killing things.  She doesn't tear anything up.  She just squeezes it with her massive jaw until it stops squeaking or whatever other noise it's making, then she leaves it on the ground.  since 'possums, well, "play 'possum" it's hard to tell sometimes.

Meanwhile last night the man decided to traipse about the yard, looking for a place to pee.  (He also thinks that if he pees around the perimeter of the yard, the pesky rodents will stay away. That theory was disproved and recorded in this post.) While tromping out to the fence line, he came upon the possum that he couldn't find the other night.  Then he looked over to his right and saw another one.  Then another one.  I seriously think I need to mow the yard, because these things looked as if they had been their a few days unnoticed by myself or the other dogs.

In total, their were three young 'possums dead in my backyard jungle (er; GRASS).  Good job, Mazzy!

Now if I could only trust her with the chickens, I could set her to guarding the hen house.  The husband and myself spent the better part of an hour getting a very big and fat adult possum out of the nesting box in the coop late the other night. Johnny Cash, our big Cochin rooster was absolutely no help.  He flew the coop before his ladies even had a chance to squawk.

I actually didn't do a whole lot that night to help either.  Oh, I was there.  I gave good advice on how to hold the shovel my husband was wielding.  But other than that I just stood back and giggled to myself while watching him in his headlamp, mock-jabbing at it, while loudly yelling "hiya hiya, GIT!".  It eventually "git"ed, and all was calm again.  For a while at least.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When The Going Gets Tough . . .

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Pet Owner:

Thank you for contacting us animal rescuers, shelter volunteers, and foster-homes about your inability to keep your pet. We receive an extremely high volume of inquiries and requests to accept surrendered animals (and none of us is getting paid, OK?). To help us expedite your problem as quickly as possible, please observe the following guidelines:

1. Do not say that you are "CONSIDERING finding a good home" for your pet, or that you, "feel you MIGHT be forced to," or that you "really THINK it would be better if" you unloaded the poor beast. Ninety-five percent of you have already got your minds stone-cold made up that the animal WILL be out of your life by the weekend at the latest. Say so. If you don't, I'm going to waste a lot of time giving you common-sense, easy solutions for very fixable problems, and you're going to waste a lot of time coming up with fanciful reasons why the solution couldn't possibly work for you. For instance, you say the cat claws the furniture, and I tell you about nail-clipping and scratching posts and aversion training, and then you go into a long harangue about how your husband won't let you put a scratching post in the family room, and your ADHD daughter cries if you use a squirt bottle on the cat, and your congenital thumb abnormalities prevent you from using nail scissors and etc., etc. Just say you're getting rid of the cat.

2. Do not waste time trying to convince me how nice and humane you are. Your co-worker recommended that you contact me because I am nice to animals, not because I am nice to people, and I don't like people who "get rid of" their animals. "Get rid of" is my least favorite phrase in any language. I hope someone "gets rid of" YOU someday. I am an animal advocate, not a people therapist. After all, for your ADHD daughter, you can get counselors, special teachers, doctors, social workers, etc. Your pet has only me, and people like me, to turn to in his or her need, and we are unpaid, overworked, stressed-out, and demoralized. So don't tell me this big long story about how, "We love this dog so much, and we even bought him a special bed that cost $50, and it is just KILLING us to part with him, but honestly, our maid is just awash in dog hair every time she cleans, and his breath sometimes just reeks of liver, so you can see how hard we've tried, and how dear he is to us, but we really just can't . . ." You are not nice,
and it is not killing you. It is, in all probability, literally killing your dog, but you're going to be just fine once the beast is out of your sight. Don't waste my time trying to make me like you or feel sorry for you in your plight. 

3. Do not try to convince me that your pet is exceptional and deserves special treatment. I don't care if you taught him to sit. I don't care if she's a beautiful Persian. I have a waiting list of battered and/or whacked-out animals who need help, and I have no room to foster-house your pet. Do not send me long messages detailing how Fido just l-o-v-e-s blankies and carries his favorite blankie everywhere, and oh, when he gets all excited and happy, he spins around in circles, isn't that cute? He really is darling, so it wouldn't be any trouble at all for us to find him a good home. Listen, we can go down to the pound and count the darling, spinning, blankie-loving beasts on death row by the dozens, any day of the week. And, honey, Fido is a six-year-old Shepherd-Lab mix. I am not lying when I tell you that big, older, mixed-breed, garden-variety dogs are almost completely un-adoptable, and I don't care if they can whistle Dixie or send smoke-signals with their blankies. What you don't realize is that, though you're trying to lie to me, you're actually telling the truth: Your pet IS a special, wonderful, amazing creature. But this mean old world does not care. More importantly, YOU do not care, and I can't fix that problem.

All I can do is grieve for all the exceptional animals who live short, brutal, loveless lives and die without anyone ever recognizing that they were indeed very, very special.

4. Finally, just, for pity's sake, for the animal's sake, tell the truth, and the whole truth. Do you think that if you just mumble that your cat is "high-strung," I will say, "Okey-doke! No problemo!" and take it into foster care? No, I will start asking questions and uncover the truth, which is that your cat has not used a litter box in the last six months. Do not tell me that you "can't" crate your dog. I will ask what happens when you try to crate him, and you will either be forced to tell me the symptoms of full-blown, severe separation anxiety, or else you will resort to lying some more, wasting more of our time.

And, if you succeed in placing your pet in a shelter or foster care, do not tell yourself the biggest lie of all: "Those nice people will take him and find him a good home, and everything will be fine." Those nice people will indeed give the animal every possible chance, but if we discover serious health or behavior problems, if we find that your misguided attempts to train or discipline him have driven him over the edge, we will do what you are too immoral and cowardly to do: We will hold the animal in our arms, telling him truthfully that he is a good
dog or cat, telling him truthfully that we are sorry and we love him, while the vet ends his life.

How can we be so heartless as to kill your pet, you ask? Do not ever dare to judge us. At least we tried. At least we stuck with him to the end. At least we never abandoned him to strangers, as you certainly did, didn't you? In short, this little old rescuer/foster mamma has reached the point where she would prefer you pet owners to tell her stories like this:

"We went to Wal-Mart and picked up a free pet in the parking lot a couple of years ago. Now we don't want it anymore. We're lazier than we thought. We've got no patience either. We're starting to suspect the animal is really smarter than we are, which is giving us self-esteem issues. Clearly, we can't possibly keep it. Plus, it might be getting sick; it's acting kind of funny.  And we don't want to spend our money on a vet. "

"We would like you to take it in eagerly, enthusiastically, and immediately."

"We hope you'll realize what a deal you're getting and not ask us for a donation to help defray your costs. After all, this is an (almost) pure-bred animal, and we'll send the leftover food along with it. We get the food at Wal-Mart too, and boy, it's a really good deal, price-wise".

"We are very irritated that you haven't shown pity on us in our great need and picked the animal up already. We thought you people were supposed to be humane! Come and get it today. No, we couldn't possibly bring it to you; the final episode of "Survivor" is on tonight."

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Pet Owner, for your cooperation.

Sincerely, Your Pet's Future Foster Mom

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kimberly Cousteau and Her Side-Kick Rosie; Survivors of Shit Creek & Beyond

I took all 4 dogs to the dog park yesterday.  People think I'm crazy but it's all in a days work so to speak.  Plus, I get to treat myself to a over-priced, gourmet coffee from the coffee-hut near the dog park.  It's kind of like my payment to myself for cramming the dogs into the SUV and hauling us all down there.  Buttercup, the chi mix is kind of a douche to other dogs no matter what their size, so I had to keep her on a leash.  But every one had fun.  

However, apparently Rosie wasn't finished with her adventure.  When we got home, I was unloading the dogs from the rig and I *thought* I had all the leashes in hand.

Rosie thought, "Hm, I feel no tension on the leash.  I wonder what would happen if I step this way?" Step, step step, "I'm FREE!  LATER LOSERS! WOO HOO!" As she tears off down the road and follows her nose straight to my neighbors place.  

When she got bored looking for my neighbor's Labrador, she followed her nose to the nutria infested , nasty-ass slough that leads a mile down the way to a log pond.  Lovely.

The only way for me personally to get back there was to backtrack to the gate, then backtrack again to the only opening in the wall of blackberry vines that I could get through without gouging my eyes out.  Meanwhile Rosie is happily bounding through the knee deep "water" like a deer.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Boing-splash, Boing-splash, leap up, splash, boing. 

As I stood on the bank of this lovely-smelling goop stream, Rosie would come within 5 feet of me, then bound happily away, dog-smiling the whole time.  Back and forth, back and forth.

I finally decided enough was enough.  The last time she tangled with a nutria she got beat up pretty bad and has the scars to prove it.  I wasn't going to let her get hurt again; no matter how stupid she can be sometimes.

I was extremely thankful I had my BOGS on, as I then found a long metal pole thing that was laying around, for my balance, because the last thing I wanted was to fall up to my neck in this shit.  Literally, shit too.  I actually saw nutria poop floating by.  {{SHUDDER}} 

I gingerly stepped into the water and received the awesome experience of feeling my boots fill up with cold, slimy "water".  Using my pole as a depth checker and also to fight off any rabid nutria that might decide that my ankle looked tasty, a proceeded to try to follow Rosie as she bounded down the quagmire.  

I cannot begin to describe the smell of this liquid, shit filled stream I was walking through.  Let me just say that I almost horked.  Seriously.  Shawshank Redemption ain't got nothin' on this stinky, stanky, sticky, shit.

After about 15 minutes of me following her, calling her and cursing the demon gods of dogs that make them think every thing is a game, I decided that although I wanted to keep an eye on her, I also was going to need help and I did not have my phone.

I waded as fast as I could, about 25 yards from where I was, to the opening in the brambles and climbed up the bank with watery, goo filled boots that probably weighed 15 pounds a piece.  After emptying my boots as well as I could, I ran-squished my way to the only gate out of three that was open, and then back-tracked a block and a half to my house to get my cell phone.  

After a panic filled call to my husband at work and a neighbor, I was off to go back after Rosie.  I needn't have worried about not being able to re-locate her, I just headed towards the area where all the pissed off geese and ducks were coming from.

The neighbor, her husband and son came to help; thank goodness.  They didn't have to bother with going around fences, they went over them.  Barbed wire be damned.  

I made it back to where they had jumped over the fence, slogging through the muck and mire and discovering a whole mess of wild roses that I had no other choice put to plow through.  By then the splashing noises had stopped and the water fowl had stopped bitching.  As we re-grouped, it came upon me all of a sudden like.  

My four-shot fancy-dancy coffee had kicked in.  Have you ever seen an almost 40-year-old woman run through a shit filled stream wearing shit-stream-water filled boots, clamber up an embankment and run a block and a half to a toilet while trying not to crap her pants?  My neighbors have.  And now you can imagine it.  Your welcome.  

Anyway I digress, after narrowly escaping that embarrassment, I was back to the water, dredging back up to where I had last left off.  Meanwhile the neighbor guys had tracked her to the pond, where she turned down another slough and made it to the street behind mine.  Instead of following in Rosie's footsteps I decided the best course of action was to trudge back to my street and try and meet up with them.  

Before I was even half way to the embankment to get out of the water, the neighbors called and reported that they had her.  After chasing her into their own yard and all over a field near their house, she finally was just too tired to play any more.  

Gee I wonder why she was so tired.  She had only been running all over the dog park for an hour and then sloshing through the nasty Nutria River for three hours.  

So, all is well now.  We got baths, food, and naps.  And Rosie has a meet and greet today with a potential adopter.  Thank St. Rocke.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Six days sober.  

I'm not preachy.  Well, I guess I sort of am, but not about this.  

I have yet to share my story at a meeting, but when I do, ya'll be the next to hear (read) it.

I just wanted to at least put this much out there.  

My name is Kimberly and I am an alcoholic.