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Date:2005-07-26 20:06
Subject:Welcome CraigsListers

A little puppy told me that I've gotten dragged into the current war between Chihuahua Rescue and disgruntled Ex Volunteers who can't be bothered to help dogs in real need.

Welcome to this site which is a combination text/photo journal of my volunteer experiences last year. It includes more than Chi Rescue though CR did receive the bulk of my volunteer hours.

Be aware that the ex-volunteers are currently breaking the law (DMCA) because they stole photos off this website and have not only reposted them on their own website but have redistributed them without permission (let alone proper credit). What's really criminal in my opinion is that they've taken my photos and tried to recast them in a sinister light by showing them alongside horrible and malicious unfounded claims.

If you take a good look at the photos as you see them here along with the rest of the photos in the series, you'll see that they're not sinister at all. Most of the stolen shots are taken in the hospital wards where the dogs are kept in cages to keep them safe from other dogs and allow them time to recuperate. Other dogs are usually new arrivals that are being isolated until their temperament and health is determined. They are later moved to join the rest of the dogs elsewhere.

I think the photo that raises my ire the most is the one of Yoda. They took my "Before" pictures and tried to insinuate that this is condition that Kimi keeps her dogs in. But if you look further on in my photo journal, you'll find pictures of Yoda looking much better at the Nov Best Friends Adoption Fair. And early this year, Yoda found his new home and can now be found on Dogster looking like the star he is!

You *will* find pictures of dogs in sorry states but that is how they CAME to Chihuahua Rescue. The pictures were taken as benchmark for "Before" or are "healing in progress" shots.

The entire place is cleaned daily and if you browse through the photos on my site, you'll rarely see any poop anywhere. Poop is a natural function and is to be expected but if the accusations were true... you'd see poop *everywhere* plus it'd be moldy and stacked several layers deep.

For the record, of the remaining pictures on the website belonging to the ex volunteers who clearly have axes to grind. What do they show?

* More shots of the hospital ward (note stacks of clean newspaper, bags of food, cleaning equipment -> all contradicts their claims, I know it's hard to see them in cages but it's no different than you'd find at a vet's office, animals are kept in cages to facilitate the healing process.)

* a messy front office (oh noes!! doesn't Kimi know that it's MUCH more important to keep her front office neat and orderly than to take care of the living creatures in her care?)

* incoming dogs in their arrival crates (one who has clearly soaked the newspaper in its crate by knocking over the water bowl... why didn't the ex "volunteer" who took the picture take care of it instead of standing around taking pictures of nothing?)

* dogs still in the recovery process (the thin white dog looked SO much worse the first time I ever saw it, hardly any fur at all, I was pleased to see in that picture that it's coming along nicely in its recovery)

There's ONE photo that actually shows poop in the cage. However consider that these people were once trusted volunteers and were allowed into the dog areas to do things like CLEAN the cages. It'd be extremely easy for them to just go in in the early morning and take the photos before the staff & volunteers have come around to clean it. Consider how much a single dog can poop. Again if their claims were true... there'd be a great deal more poop in the cage. So what you see in this photo is simply a cage that hasn't been cleaned yet.

Anyways... I know some of these ex volunteers personally and the majority of them did some pretty whacked out things. They do all have one thing in common. They wanted the rescue run THEIR way and left or were asked to leave because they didn't get their way and in some cases started sabotaging the rescue.

I never understood their attitudes. Yes we can all see some ways to improve things. However, every suggestion that I've made to Kimi that she declined to utilize, I usually later saw for myself that she was correct to do so. They turned out to be impractical or the wrong thing to do. It's taught me that Kimi's 20 years of rescue experience is nothing to sneeze at or overlook but clearly these people think they can do better than her.

If they're so hell bent on saving & rescuing dogs... let them start their own rescue group and save the chihuahuas in real danger that are being killed daily in shelters of the greater Los Angeles area.

I've volunteered at other places in the past and based on my overall experiences, I find the dogs at Chihuahua Rescue to be quite lucky. Kimi takes good care of them and she'll always have my support.

Several residents enjoying the afternoon sun

FYI, I noticed the other day on their website that they tout Marty & Wally as an example of her hoarding dogs. I was increduluous that they had the gall to do that because it's not for a lack of trying that M & W didn't have homes yet. They needed to go together because they were attached to each other. Every prospective adopter I ever showed them to, was turned off by their puppy rambunctiousness especially since they'd outgrown the cute puppy stage. Given the huge choice that adopters had, it's not that hard to see why time and time again M & W were ignored in favor of other dogs. But at least they were safe, cared for, not in danger of euthanasia. They live with other dogs in one of many dog areas and played together all day long.

Yea it'd be nice if they got a home but I've faith and confidence that Kimi will pull another miracle out of her hat and find the PERFECT home for them... she's done it many times before. I've written about some (browse the archives) and someday I hope to find the time to write about the rest of the ones I saw.

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Date:2005-05-01 16:22
Subject:Story of Wela & Phoenix

When Wela was dumped on us last July, she was only 2 days from giving birth. She did so in the morning before anyone was awake. Sadly one of the pups was killed... probably by one of the other pregnant moms. Kimi rushed Wela and the other 4 pups to the emergency vet. I got there not long after Kimi got back and was told that the puppies were probably going to die because Wela was refusing to accept them.

I'd gotten lunch from Wendy's but hadn't eaten it yet. I took it into the bathroom where the two crates were. Wela was in one and the puppies bundled into the other. I took the top off Wela's crate so she couldn't hide from me. I sat on the floor between the crates and ate my lunch without looking at Wela. Just projected an air of nonchalance and "everything's fine". I knew the food smells would interest Wela so every so often I'd offer her a fry. Then when I got to the chicken fingers, that was what she was interested in so I gave her a bite here and there.

Part of the problem was that Wela and all her fellow dumpees were extremely frightened and not very well socialized to new people. Many of them were ready to bite you if you got too close, Wela included. For a long time afterwards, Wela was known as "Vicious Mama" which shows why I was so cautious that day.

By the time I finished my lunch, I'd worked my way up to petting her a little around her head and she was accepting of that. So then I took a puppy and held it out to her. She sniffed it and looked like she wanted it. So I placed it next to her where it could find a nipple. It started going for the gold right away and Wela was fine with it.

One at a time, after each puppy was settled in, I gave her a new one to sniff. After the first couple, I started needing to shift Wela around so there'd be a space for the new puppy to nurse. She was very accomodating and assisted me by helping to shift herself so the new puppy could nurse.

Later in the day, everyone's happy

Writing about it now... it seems so simple now but that day, it was just amazing to get Wela to take her puppies. She proved to be a very good mother. Kimi and I were the only ones that could enter the bathroom without her shifting into "Vicious Mama" mode.

Sad to say... 2 of the puppies just didn't make it. I was surprised to learn that it's actually not uncommon for a couple of puppies to die. Especially given the interbreeding of Wela's clan.

The big white girl was named Aphrodite and was the last to die. For some reason, she just never grew and then started to wither away. Nothing we did for her worked. Vet couldn't figure it out either. The tan puppy also didn't make it but she died in the 2nd-3rd day. There was some oddness around her belly so possibly doomed because of bad breeding?

Frankenbaby had died almost 3 months before. Given my feelings that the forces of the universe had decided to take Frankenbaby back and let her be reborn into a better chance at life, I couldn't help but feel that the dark colored baby that didn't match her siblings or Wela's clan was Frankenbaby reborn... so with Kimi's blessing, I named her Phoenix.

Phoenix and her brother are 9 months old now. Kimi's adopted the brother but Phoenix is still there. I've always wanted to adopted Phoenix and her mother Wela but still yet lack the home situation to do so. Perhaps someday soon... of course there's always a chance that someone else may adopt her in the meantime and that's definitely double edged for me. Would be happy for her to have a home where she can be doted on sooner but sad because it's not my home. Phoenix, from day 1 and on.

Phoenix & her brother at 3 months and 10 days

Wela's still not real socialable but remembers me and always comes to me to be picked up and cuddled. There were a couple times where I was gone for a good while so she needed a few minutes to remember me but she always did. It's doubtful that anyone else would want her since she still only likes me and K as far as I know. K loves her too but would be happy to see Wela come home with me.

Wela curled with me when I stayed over in early November

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Date:2005-04-27 22:12
Subject:Major Peeve (rant)

Gah... there's been a recent thread of conversation on the "Friends of Chihuahua Rescue" yahoo group that's really been pissing me off.

Someone who adopted a dog from CR 5 years ago wrote in to complain that her roommate who "wanted a chihuahua to rescue" was upset because Kimi was taking too long to finish the adoption for the dog she'd picked out, Autumn.

Esqueeze me? When you *adopt* a dog from CR, you're not *rescuing* it, you're simply adopting it. It's already been rescued... saved... what have you... by Chihuahua Rescue who accepted the commitment and obligation to take care of the dog for the rest of its life. The only thing the prospective adopter is doing is offering it a home where it'll get more personal attention than at the rescue cum sanctuary.

Anyways... right after I responded... another volunteer chimed in to report that the impatient prospective adopter had already gone with another rescue.

Well that right there... in my opinion... tells me that that's not the person I'd want to adopt a dog out to anyways if it were my choice. If they're too impatient to wait for a dog that they chose to adopt (which would indicate that they feel a BOND with that dog) then these people are more likely to be turning around and dumping the dog back into the shelter system within a year or two.

I'm also rather irate with the person who did the emailing because why is she wasting our time bitching about this when it's already a done deal? I got even madder when she responded to the thread and proceeded to belittle CR's achievements and efforts through thinly veiled "compliments".

I know I have a real thin skin when it comes to these kind of people but that probably because my ire is already on alert because of the other people who take it much further and waste tax payer dollars and Kimi's time and their own... trying to get CR shut down.

My god people get a clue... if Lt Spears could find any merit to these complaints... He would have shut Kimi down long ago. All that happens is that he is forced to go out there as much as once a week to "investigate the complaints". I just want to stick a nail studded clue bat up all these people's arses, it makes me so mad...

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Date:2005-04-06 14:58
Subject:Polar Opposites and a Happy Ending

Polar Opposites and a Happy Ending

While I can never seem to find the time to write out the stories here. I find myself repeating them over and over in various forms via commenting in dog related LJ communities. Recently I wrote about a pair of owner turn in experiences and decided to flesh it out and then repost it here.

In my experience at Chihuahua Rescue, owner turn-ins which make up most of the incoming dogs I've seen usually involve the owner bringing the dog to the premises. However, last year early on in my time at CR, K asked me to do a couple of pickups within a couple days of each other and what was particularly striking for me was how opposite the situations turned out to be.

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Date:2005-03-31 00:59
Subject:Fifi's Tale

This is a followup to my recent crossposting in various communities about the sad fate of Madonna's chihuahuas.

One of the dogs, Rosita, died from complications of having her face beat in. I'm told what happened to her face is very similar to what happened to Fifi's.

Fifi is one of Chihuahua Rescue's permenant residents. CR's also a sanctuary for those who would otherwise be put to sleep.

Everyone wants to adopt Fifi because she just looks so darling in the picture with her bent muzzle but she's definitely one of the harder cases at Chihuahua Rescue. It took her a long time to get used to me and that was just with me walking around and through the area. One day I took a chance and walked up to her cause I saw her head poking out of her self made cave. I called her name in a friendly voice and just about fell over when she crawled out of her blanket den and came eagerly to the edge of the bed to be petted. Tail wagging and all. I was able to pet her on the head and upper back and bit and even hold her though I was very very cautious.

Normally, Fifi growls and menances anyone who dares to come too close. It's easy to avoid her because all she wants to do day in and day out is to sleep nestled in a self made den of the blankets left out in the playground for that dogs to cuddle in. It's rare to see her walking around or even to see her at all. Most people don't even know she's there.

So even with this "breakthrough" between me and Fifi, it's still very touch and go... sometimes she violently crabs at you for disturbing her, sometimes she comes up for some petting & treats, but then it's another game of chance as to whether she'll stay calm for it or erupt into a frenzy of tail chasing. It's like she feels a phantom tormenter at her back and when she gets petted, she gets confused and thinks that it's the tormenter back to hurt her. I'll draw back and stop and soon she'll stop and go back to wagging her tail and being all "pet me pet me". I must note that when Fifi erupts into a biting frenzy... it's not me that she's trying to bite but her own tail? That's what makes me think that she feels this "phantom" behind her because it looks like she's trying to bite something that's touching her from behind.

Now I've heard of dogs similiar to her that were prone to similiar outbursts and they've gone to understanding homes and have done quite well there. I do wonder how Fifi would do in a home environment. But generally the applicants who want Fifi are looking for a family pet type dog of which Fifi is not suited for. Fifi needs to go to someone who's willing to adapt to her special needs and forgive her her craziness. Certainly they must be prepared that they may just be getting a dog who'll spend her days hidden away somewhere, coming out only for food and bathroom trips.

Fifi peering out... is it safe?

What's going on?? (It's a Saturday and she's looking in the direction of the fence which is a few feet away. On the other side is the area where the public is admitted to during "Visiting" hours. Normally it's quiet but there's a commotion going on of people voices and dogs barking.

A rare moment where Fifi's out and about... she's interested in what's going on but isn't about to brave the crowd for a piece of my brother's burger. If you can't spot her, she's standing on the right partially under the plastic lawn chair.

Fifi on another day, out and about. Just remembered her corkscrew tail. There's another shot that shows it even better.

Anyways... dogs like Fifi are what make me really glad that a place like Chihuahua Rescue exists. They own and run their own kennel so that they can provide a sanctuary for the "unadoptables". I've heard all the negative rants about rescues which often seem to stem from either A) They only take in the adoptables and/or B) They loot the shelters for the best picks. I can certainly understand why rescues do either because it takes a lot of time, money and effort just to do rehoming for dogs. So when a rescue takes in the abused and torn apart dogs and only goes to the shelter to get dogs in their 11.5th hour... they rank very high in my book. Especially when I know that they've got astounding success at PLACING these unadoptables. These poor dogs do get a second chance at love and at least a peaceful safe life til their new home comes along.

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Date:2005-03-27 23:47
Subject:Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds!: Happy Easter

[Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds!] (Permanent link to this entry)

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Date:2005-03-01 05:39
Subject:Rainbow Bridge: Ruby Cadillac

I belong to a bunch of dog communities on LJ and was shocked to learn that a pitbull had been murdered. Shot to death on their own property by a neighbor who'd apparently let the pitbull hysteria get to him.

Ruby was on her own property just let out to go pee. Facts indicate that she was standing still which is how the man managed to shoot her right between the eyes from a good distance away. Ruby's "sister", Corona was shot in the leg and is thought to have been running away from the guy once Ruby was killed.

Just utterly horrific and heartbreaking all around. To learn more, go visit the website that was set up in Ruby's Honor for the purpose of bringing her killer to justice: Murdered Angel

Murdered Angel

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Date:2005-02-15 21:50
Subject:Random Rant

People who refuse to spay/neuter their pets even if they don't intend to breed. And those who do... most of them are just doing it for "fun"... casually and all claim that they can find homes for the litters.

Just makes me insane with anger .... I want to show them all the pictures of dead animals in the garbage cans at animal shelters... puppies & kittens included who could have gotten that same home instead.

If I want puppies... I'll get one from the shelter, there are plenty of pregnant females who arrive in shelters all the time. It's a bullshit excuse to breed your favorite pet to get "another Rover" because children are NOT clones of their parents. Why bring more animals into the world when there ARE PLENTY of ones in need getting killed everyday because some of the homes they could have had were taken by puppies/kittens produced by these assholes who refuse to look at the bigger picture.

Animal Planet even promotes this irresponsibility by producing segments for That's My Baby that show a family letting their pet breed just to show their kids the miracle of birth. Now I do approve of when That's My Baby shows segments about respectable breeders and their litters or zoos or etc. But I think it's irresponsible when they promote the casual home breeding.

Reference Links I'd like to shove down these people throats: Brutal stuff - don't read without a tissue box handy or a bucket to throw up in.
My Name is Sam - heartbreaking account of one dog's euthanasia.
Fate of a Dog - in an alabama shelter, a picture slideshow with accompanying text narration.
Description of a Doggie Gas Chamber - also has 2 pictures of containers full of killed pets
Horrible story about what one county "shelter" does - specifically want people to see this video link of a gas chamber being loaded and used... with healthy looking dogs AND PUPPIES
"Lovely" article about what happens to excess animals - hits a lot of hard points but doesn't address the core issue that we have to get the pet population under control so there's no need to dispose of thousands upon thousands of animal carcasses.
Job Description for Mesquite, NV Animal Control Officer - take a look at Job Duty #16
More horror stories about a animal pound in Montana

Unable to find a link for my "favorite" picture ... a shot of landfill where bags of dead animals had busted open spilling out their contents.... most prominent in the picture is a dead German Shepherd mostly out of one bag.

It just goes on and on....

So yea that's why I get so angry when I read/hear people talk about why they won't spay/neuter Fido for any of the many bullshit reasons often given.

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Date:2004-12-08 06:31
Subject:Twas the Night Before Xmas

(found in an online community for pitbull fans)

T'was The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and the shelter was dark,
The whole place was silent, not even a bark.
The dogs were all locked in their pens for the night,
The staff had gone home and turned out the light.

As I lay my head down on the cold concrete floor,
I fondly recalled the home I had before.
The family I loved who loved me right back,
We'd shared everything from a secret to snack.

Things couldn't be better at this time last year,
But that has all changed and now I am here.
I won't see the tree, the lights or the snow,
I'm scared and alone, my spirits are low.

The others like me weren't put up for adoption,
A new family and home, for us isn't an option.
We've been locked up in cells as if we're all crooks,
We don't deserve homes because of our looks.

Not Diesel, or Bingo or the young one named Percy,
Deserve to be loved nor shown any mercy.
While families celebrate with holiday cheer,
I know in my heart that my end is near.

The vet will arrive, the lights will go on,
By the time you awake, we all will be gone.
A stranger will come and take me away,
I'll never awake to see another day.

As I at last close my eyes I'll shed you a tear,
The fond memories, with you, I'll always keep near.
The only thing I've ever asked of dear Santa Claus,
Is to stop all these unfair and ridiculous laws.

You said without me, your life was not full,
So why does it matter that I'm a "pitbull"?.
In my dream Santa shouts when he's finished his deed,

-- Author Unknown

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Date:2004-11-03 06:18
Subject:Back but not back

I've been back in CA for several weeks now. But I haven't really been to the rescue at all since I live an hour's drive away now instead of 5 minutes. I wasn't making the drive before because I waiting for my checks to start again and had to be very conservative with gas (it's a 1/2 tank roundtrip).

I had to drive to Burbank to vote since I was registered at my Dad's place. I'm sure I could have voted in Ventura somehow but there were enough reasons to go ahead and make the drive that I just did it anyways.

Since I needed to give Kimi something, I stopped by Chi Rescue and a 10 minute stop ended up being several hours. She was hungry so we went to eat which was nice because it gave me a chance to catch up on going ons and it was amazing all that she had to tell me from just the past 2-3 days!!

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Date:2004-10-04 15:57
Subject:Captain's Tall Tails: He is...

Silly Putty in my hands!!

Never met a dog that was so content to be mauled before!

[Captain's Tall Tails] (Permanent link to this entry)

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Date:2004-09-17 17:12
Subject:Dog Letters to God

Dear God - Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God - When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it going to be the same old story?

Dear God - Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

Dear God - If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God - We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God - More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God: When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God - Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God - When I get to Heaven, may I have my testicles back?

I find these very funny though I don't like the last one because it's born out of human male's obsession with their balls and not one that male dogs share.

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Date:2004-09-07 14:28
Subject:my last day

today is my last day of summer. i went to chi rescue and did nothing but play with the dogs -- Ryan

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Date:2004-09-06 15:39
Subject:Farewell Igor

Just discovered that Igor has passed away during my absence. I've been out of touch with the folks at the rescue but I was browsing idly around the website when I noticed a note on the Thank You page about a donation by a fellow volunteer in "memory of Igor".

He arrived 3 years ago having been dumped because he was "too old" at 17 and I think cause he was starting to rack up the vet bills. I met him several months ago when the hospital ward was set up next door and he was moved in because he was no longer able to walk well. I spent a lot of time after that holding him and petting him and helping to administer painkillers so that he was comfortable.

Farewell Igor, you lived a long life (20 years!!) and I hope that it was a good one!

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Date:2004-08-26 22:37
Subject:Hillybilly Goodness

Poor ole' Jethro who was flown in from Arkansas on our dime was the unfortunate victim of a terrible dog attack by a part wolf and another big dog. Worst part that it happened around 9ish in the morning and he wasn't found til 4pm during which he was hanging onto life despite a hole in his chest.

By the time he got to us, he was in a bit better off shape but it's only thanks to his owner's sister in law that he made it this far because the owner didn't want to pay the vet bills to save him. Apparently the owner wasn't really much of an owner to Jethro and treated him like a posession to have on display but not use/interact with. Anyways, our good Samaritan stepped in and contacted us and took care of everything on the AK end including getting him on the plane.

I went and picked him up from LAX and the poor guy was just terrified. He submitted to petting and my nearness but once he got to the kennel and was given his own space, he avoided human contact like crazy. We were started to think that he'd suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation issues when he had the hole in his chest.

However, Kimi pulled off another miracle and found someone willing to take him.

What's so great about this is that I'd realized that while Jethro wanted nothing to do with us two footers, he always became very interested when other dogs came near his pen. Kimi wasn't sure but didn't say no so I tested my theory by putting first Captain and then Nora (not at the same time) in with Jethro.

In each case, he got really excited and was eager to meet them but sadly neither of them really cared about him after the initial sniff. I knew Captain would be that way because he doesn't care about ANY other dog (except Tex, for some very odd reason he just had to show Tex who was boss). Nora, I didn't know as well but I was hoping she'd be a little more friendly than Captain was.

Anyways, so basically I was sure of the fact that Jethro was destined to only really enjoy doggie company for at least a good long while since he never warmed up to anyone despite all our attempts. And his new home? It features a number of fellow ex Chihuahua Rescue residents and apparently he's already through the roof in happiness.

Here's a quote from his new human guardian:

"So far all the guys are getting along. He had a good dinner and a good nights sleep in my bed with buddy, dennis, yardley, brandy, and tiffany. He has taken to emily and slept the morning with her when ashley and i went to church. He is now in her arms being loved. He even likes the cats. So far he has been a love."

Turns out I guess I was wrong about the human aspect. He's already opened up to their love!

Jethro's just another in a long string of amazing miracle stories all architected by Kimi! She takes the broken ones that everyone else wants to put down and heals them and finds them new homes where they'll be loved and cared for and most importantly, understood and helped with their scars physical or pyschological.

This is what makes me so devoted to Chihuahua Rescue and Kimi and I'm proud to be a part of it and it's definitely one of the most meaningful things I've done in my life.

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Date:2004-08-26 21:10
Subject:Weakest Link

Just what does a game show have to do with dog rescue?

Had it on tonight in the background while I was working on a project for Chihuahua Rescue. Fortunately despite my extreme distance from Chihuahua Rescue right now (I'm in Pennsylvania), I can still help with a recent major change there. They are switching from open adoption periods on Saturday to only adoption by appointment where everyone is prescreened first. Obviously, the best way to get the applications is by having them fill it out online rather than snail mail or fax. So that's what I'm working on....

Back to the game show... turns out that tonight's episode on Game Show Network features Olympians and apparently was filmed in 2002 because it specifically features winter olympians and based on year references... it's '02.

Anyways they're playing for charities and Tristan picked Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and somehow managed to survive to the final round which I'm watching right now. Right now it's 0:2 after 3 questions.

Final question... it's close... 1:2.

and she lost. Oh well.

I certainly highly approve of her charity choice though if I'm given a chance to win beaucoup bucks for a charity, I'd go with Chihuahua Rescue. or perhaps a rottie one?. Eh I'd personally prefer to use the money to get a place of my own to adopt the a bunch of the not so adoptables from her.

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Date:2004-08-20 15:13
Subject:Rainbow Bridge: Igor

Just discovered that Igor has passed away during my absence. I've been out of touch with the folks at the rescue but I was browsing idly around the website when I noticed a note on the Thank You page about a donation by a fellow volunteer in "memory of Igor".

He arrived 3 years ago having been dumped because he was "too old" at 17 and I think cause he was starting to rack up the vet bills. I met him several months ago when the hospital ward was set up next door and he was moved in because he was no longer able to walk well. I spent a lot of time after that holding him and petting him and helping to administer painkillers so that he was comfortable.

Farewell Igor, you lived a long life (20 years!!) and I hope that it was a good one!

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Date:2004-08-05 04:54
Subject:Living Example

Gah... this post is for all the people out there who get outraged and upset by the high standards of rescuers for potential adopters. You know who you are.

About a week or two ago, we get a new arrival. He's an owner turn-in and K is talking to the owner.

K = Chihuahua Rescue's President & Founder & Hero, Kimi Peck
O = Owner turning in his dog
The following is paraphrased as it was heard 2nd hand.

K: Well we'll find him a good home.
O: Oh I KNOW you will!
K: Oh?
O: You turned me down last year when I came to adopt.

ARRRGHHH!! Turns out that K actually was able to remember him and that she turned him down because of a bad feeling. Talk about good instincts... she turned him down and he obviously went out and found someone willing to adopt a dog out to him and now here he is turning the dog in because he doesn't have time for the dog anymore. Fucking bastard!!!

Now I'm sure that we turn away some people who would be good homes but what most people fail to understand or get even after we painstakingly try to explain it to them is this:


We're not interested in how fast we can turn over the dogs and get those adoption fees. Some rescuers are and while I think that's unfortunate, I just hope for the best for those dogs.

What we ARE interested in is finding the best *safe* and *loving* homes for our dogs so that they never have to go through the trauma of losing their homes again.

The people that I dislike are the ones who don't think of adoption as making the same kind of commitment as adopting a child. Granted you don't have to do AS much as with a child but a pet is not a disposable commodity.

Anyways I could go on ranting but mainly I just wanted to tell the story about this owner who is just the perfect example of why we ARE so strict. Oh and btw... the dog in question doesn't seem to be too perturbed at his new surroundings... goes to show just how attached he'd become in a year's time. I've had dogs become attached to me within days!

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Date:2004-08-05 04:42
Subject:Rainbow Bridge

There have been a lot of crossings lately.

First, I was devastated to learn just now that a dog I'd come to know via an LiveJournal community passed away. He was not even 3 years old and had been a rescue who got very lucky. My heart goes out to his human friend because I couldn't imagine losing Captain so soon. I know he'll go one day but I've been heartened by the fact that he's hardy and has no apparent health issues.

In the meantime, please go visit Rocco the Snaggletooth and learn how wonderful he was.

Sunday, I finally woke up from my Sleeping Beauty like slumber (slept just about all weekend) to learn that a dog I knew and had assisted with in rescue had been killed that morning by another dog. I was devastated to learn that especially given the history of the dog. The people were kind enough to ask if I wanted the collar to remember her by and I was grateful for that. I shall put it in Frankenbaby's new box when I get it.

I've also been dealing with deaths of several sick dogs who I've helped try to fight to live but one by one they passed. Yesterday, another did and I just became sick.

It's so hard. Death is natural and comes to all of us but it's still really hard sometimes especially when you get attached. Again I'm grateful to volunteer with an organization like Chihuahua Rescue who is *no kill*. Many rescues think of themselves as "no kill" but won't take anything that isn't immediately adoptable. How "no-kill" is that? I understand that most rescues operate out of their own homes and don't have space to give to dogs that need sanctuary but when these people criticize Chihuahua Rescue for being one of the few rescues who says OK to all the ones who aren't adoptable, it gets me boiling mad. Their logic is that she's causing other adoptable chihuahuas to get killed because she fills up her kennel with unadoptables.

Bottomline, the rescue community is a bunch of catfights sometimes or like a community of shrews. Kimi's able to do something for the less adoptable and so she does and I commend her for it. I just wish these other rescuers would stop spending their time backbiting Kimi and focus on their own dogs.

But back to the subject at hand... I was inspired by a comment on Rocco's LJ memorial to start lighting virtual candles on Riding In Cars With Dogs for the dogs who cross the bridge. Sadly, I lit 5 tonight. The candles only appear on the homepage of my website so be sure to visit it if you haven't already seen it. Also, I think I will expand the site to include a memorial section with eulogies where appropriate.

Update: I went ahead and built it. Check out the Rainbow Bridge.

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Date:2004-07-31 23:34
Subject:Adonis, the new supermodel?

Friday was an interesting day... I'd stayed over at CR again because I was up late helping with stuff and also I wanted to sleep with Captain. K had asked me if I wanted to with her to a photo shoot and I said sure.

I didn't know what it was about but when she decided that she couldn't go and asked me if I would, that's when I learned the details. Someone had seen the beautiful longhaired dog that we got a month or so ago on our website. As of Friday, he is now named Adonis. Anyways, they wanted to use him in a photo shoot and would make a donation to CR for it so K agreed because a donation is a donation. However, she would only trust me and one other to take the dog for her and it was a good thing I was there.

Adonis had at first been very nervous and wouldn't come near you. Same for his brother who I've tenatively named Butternut. His brother's more skitchy than Adonis and Adonis has actually really warmed up to us and calmed down. That's why K agreed to it.

In any case, it took a while for K to get in touch with Amy who was the one coordinating Adonis's involvement with photo shoot to find out where I was to go. When she got in touch, she found out that they were running behind so we asked her to call us when she was ready and I'd go down there with Adonis. In the meantime, Adonis sat on the wooden bench and I sat on the floor and alternated between taking pictures of him and "sleeping" with my head on the blankets next to Adonis. Got some really nice shots!

Anyways, I finally got so faint with hunger that I left to go get food at Wendy's and of course Amy called right after I left and for some reason, my cell phone didn't show a missed call from Kimi until after I had sat down with my food and started eating. Weird. I rushed back and grabbed Adonis and looked up the directions online and then off we were.

Interesting drive straight through North Hollywood, Hollywood, and West Hollywood to get there! But got there we did and safely too.

Walked into the photo shoot around 4:30pm to find that they still weren't ready for us. That was a relief because it took me a while to get there and I didn't leave until well after Amy called.

Amy was very nice and made it clear that if Adonis needed ANYTHING she would get it for him. She went over the paperwork with me, releases and all, and I gave her all the info I knew and then signed and all that. The place looked like what you'd expect from what you see in the movies... the stage setup in a warehouse like room with couches for lounging and well stocked snack table plus all the typical paraphernalia for photo shoots. Was definitely an experience :D

What I really wanted to know was which model was going to be posing with Adonis so that I could start the process of getting him used to her so that she would be able to hold him. Finally found out what model would be holding him and she was already sitting next to me. He had already snapped at her when she overdid the "reaching fingers out for him to sniff". I don't think she was really experienced but to her credit she didn't freak out and was still willing to try and get him comfortable with her.

Once I realized that she was THE model, I panicked because would I be able to convince Adonis that she was alright? If I couldn't then I'd have to call it off because no point in putting him through that kind of stress (or the model).

I ended up setting him on her lap with his head facing me and my hands around his head so I could block him from trying to bite her if he tried. He didn't... he was nervous (Rescue Remedy wore off) but he settled in after about 5 minutes and so then we just settled in and waited. I did remember to snap a couple of pictures so we had something to remember it by.

When they were ready, I let her carry him over to the stool and then they were doing adjustment of pose and trying to decide what positions when the photographer suddenly said "Um, is that blood on his belly?"! I rushed and scooped him up and determined that it was coming from his rear paw around his nails. Figured it was a "quick" issue but I was really puzzled since we hadn't tried to clip his nails I think ever!

Was also mortified to realize that he'd bled all over her skirt and part of her sleeve! They were understanding about it so they said... I had rushed off to the bathroom so basically if there was anything wrong I didn't get to hear about it. Amy was very nice and even helped me clean his foot off. I was able to see that the nail had rotted up at the top of the nail. Clearly it had started breaking off at that point but not all the blood vessels had atrophied. I think when the model got up and carried him over, the nail caught just enough on something that it opened an exposed blood vessel. I was watching very carefully and there was nothing she did that was careless!

Anyways, someone was helping me to find something to bandage his foot with. As long as you didn't pull down on the nail and "open" the crack, it would stop bleeding. Amy comes back in and says that they've decided to just go on without him and that we could go ahead and go. Oy I felt bad because this might have ruined a nice way for CR to get donations with the friendlier charges. Oh well, at least Amy said that they would still pay us for coming down so this trip was at least worth it. The nail break would have happened eventually, it was just bad timing.

So I brought him back to home base where Arlette the wonderful vet tech was working on the pet hospital which is setting up next door. She took care of Adonis's foot which involved just yanking off the nail which was basically hanging on by a few vessels and then dousing liberally with styptic powder and bandaging. I had re-dosed Adonis with a couple more drops of Rescue Remedy to help him through it. I don't think it was painful at all for him because he never once gave an indication that he was in any pain. He was just content to be cradled in my arms and hugged.

So that's the story of Adonis's very short supermodeling career! You can see the rest of the pictures I took though in the album for July 30th in the Photos section, or just click the thumbnail:

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