Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Archive for the ‘Rescue Dogs’ Category

Bloggers Unite For Dog Rescue

Today is a very special day.  Bloggers all over the globe are focusing on one thing.

Dog adoption.

Bloggers Unite For Dog Rescue

When I heard about this event, hosted by Be The Change 4 Animals, Blog Catalog, and Dog Rescue Success, I knew I had  to participate.  My own sweet Delilah came to us via rescue.

Rescuing a dog does not come without its challenges.  Many times you don’t have an accurate history of the dog.  That was the case with Delilah.  All we knew was where she came from, and her approximate age.  We quickly realized she’d had some training, but she needed more and she also needed structure, lots of structure.

When I think back today to the dog I met that day five years ago, I can hardly recognize her.  She has grown and thrived with the love and training she has received.  That first day I really second guessed my decision and wasn’t sure I really wanted to keep her, but there’s nothing that could pry her from me today.  She’s my dog, through thick or thin.

My original thought for today’s post was to focus on one of the labs available for adoption at Labs 4 Rescue.  When I reached out to Labs 4 Rescue, I was told they don’t like to focus on just one dog as they like to be fair to ALL the dogs.  At first I was miffed, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized they were right.

So I’m not going to shine the focus on just one dog. I’m going to tell you when I checked the Labs 4 Rescue page at Petfinder they had over 129 dogs in need of homes.  129 dogs with just one rescue organization!  That boggles my mind.

I realize that not everyone can adopt a dog.  But please don’t think you can’t make a difference!  There are so many ways you can help, even if you can’t adopt.

Don’t Breed or Buy While Shelter Dogs Die.

First and foremost we must let everyone know that adopting from a pet store equals supporting puppy mills, which are cruel and inhumane.

That’s not to say there aren’t responsible, ethical breeders out there, it just means they don’t sell their dogs through pet stores.

When someone tells you they want to get a dog, tell them all the wonderful stories you have heard about rescue dogs.  Think you can’t get a purebred dog through rescue?  Think again.  I wanted a lab mix, Delilah is pure chocolate lab.

Not a lab person? Don’t worry, sadly there are rescues for just about every breed of dog.

Fostering is a short-term commitment.

Rescues are also looking for people to foster.  Every dog a rescue can place in foster care means one more dog they can pull from a shelter.  Fostering usually is a short term commitment, wherein you provide food, shelter and some training while the dog waits for his/her forever family.


If you can’t adopt or foster, maybe you could manage to squeeze a little extra out of your budget to donate to your local shelter. I know money’s tight, but even change in a jar adds up.

Money really tight?  Donate your time.  Rescues and shelters are always looking for volunteers to taxi dogs to appointments or adoption events, they also need people who can walk and train dogs, which in turn makes the dog more desirable for future adopters.

Sharing is Caring.

If none of these options work for you don’t give up, there are still ways to can help.

Most of us pet bloggers have a social media accounts, and many of us share dogs available for adoption, please share our posts on your social media networks and encourage your friends and followers to do the same.

Please help us bring awareness to the joys of adopting a rescued dog and please do share on your social media outlets.

Together we CAN make a difference.

Yes, this is a blog hop.  You can get your linky code here.

Bloggers Unite For Dog Rescue

Today is Blog the Change, an event that takes place on the 15th of January, April, July and October.

One day per quarter participating bloggers dedicate their blogs to an animal related cause near and dear to our hearts.  For today’s blog the change, participating bloggers are trying to bring awareness to a special event taking place this month.

On July 23rd, bloggers from all over the world will unite for one day, to shine the focus on dog rescue.

Since rescuing Delilah in 2007, the plight of dogs in shelters has weighed heavily on my mind.

We know little to nothing about Delilah’s past.  What I do know is she came to us via American Lab Rescue on a transport from Tennessee.  Her vet papers indicate she came from Lake Charles, Louisiana.

We do know she was vaccinated by the vet for Rabies, Bordatella, Distemper and Parvo and she was also dewormed.  That’s the only information we received.

When she got off the transport, her teats were swollen.  Never having been around a mother dog before I had no idea she’d already had a litter of puppies.  I just assumed she was a bit chubby.

She also had some very bright reddish pink scars on her feet.

I have no idea what actually happened to her, whether she had been abused or had spent time on her own and gotten stuck.  I suspect she was either a breeding dog that someone threw away, or a breeding dog that escaped, which would explain the scars on her feet.

Delilah is a wonderful dog.

Granted she has not been without her challenges but I’m a person who typically rises to the challenge.

Her original name was supposed to be Delilah Arwen, but it just didn’t ring.  So I named her Delilah Rose.  I call her my second-hand rose and still can’t believe someone actually tossed her away without realizing her full potential.

Having experienced the love and laughter she has brought into my life, I know with certainty that any dogs I have in future will be rescued dogs.

I know rescuing is not for everyone, but there are other ways you can help.  By donating time or money to a shelter or rescue, fostering when you can. One dog pulled from a shelter and placed into foster care means there is space for one more dog in the shelter.

I know not everyone blogs, but I know you are all on either facebook, twitter or pinterest.  Would you please help us spread the word about July 23rd?

SPREAD THE WORD – BLOGGERS UNITE FOR DOG RESCUE – Promote dog adoption on July 23rd! #BtC4A

And on July 23rd, please share our blog posts on your social media networks and to help raise awareness.

This is a blog hop, if you are interested in linking up you can get your code here.

Just One Day

Today was Just One Day.

I feel really bad that I haven’t posted about this event before now.  When I first heard about it I thought what a great idea, liked it on facebook, shared it when I saw it pop up in my feed, but totally forgot to blog about it.

In retrospect I should have blogged about it sooner so YOU could have blogged, tweeted, and shared it yourselves.  Ah the best laid plans.

If you haven’t heard about it, let me share their goal from their website, “We are asking animal shelters across the USA to take a pledge not to kill any savable animals on June 11, 2012. For Just One Day, “Euthanasia Technicians” will put down their syringes and pick up cameras. Instead of injecting animals with lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital, they will photograph them and post them on the Internet, on Facebook, on twitter. On June 11, 2012, they will market their animals to the public, they will reach out to rescue groups, they will host adoption events with discounted rates, they will stay open for extended hours, and they will ask their communities to help them empty the shelter the good way.”

Their facebook page had a map of the United States with a color chart at the bottom.  Each color represented a number of shelters and as shelters joined the cause, colors changed and the update would say, “California just turned pink.”  It was exciting to see the amount of shelters participating in such a worthwhile cause.  California was the winner with 41 to 50 shelters participating.

My facebook page kept getting updated with the exciting news like this, “More exciting news: Roanoke Valley SPCA in Virginia reports 33 adoptions on a day they are normally closed. They report adoptions at the municipal shelter, which is also normally closed. And they report a full parking lot. Way to go Roanoke!

Meanwhile, one shelter ran out of animals after their 186th adoption in Florida, another shelter was emptied in Tennessee, another in Arizona report lots and lots of empty cages as animals are being adopted in droves! “

When I took a look at the map I realized every single state had organizations that participated. Some of the shelters were reporting they don’t have hard numbers on how many animals have been adopted because their computer systems just couldn’t keep up, they won’t have hard figures until tomorrow.

I’m not sure when there will be a total number but I just can’t wait to hear about it.

Now doesn’t THAT warm the cockles of your heart?

Happy Gotcha Day Delilah!

It was Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and exactly five years ago today, when you joined our family.  Quite honestly I had no idea what we were in for.

We had agreed to a two-week foster-to-adopt contract, just to make sure you were the right fit for our family.

That first day was horrific, you were wild, crazy and out of control.  I cried on and off the entire day, and was fairly certain you weren’t the right dog for us.

What we wanted was a companion for Sampson, someone to keep him company and play with him while we were at work.  But most of that first day Sampson wanted nothing to do with you, which made me cry harder.  Of course when you two finally started to play, you guessed it.  I cried some more.

That first day I don’t think I really liked you.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep you.  But after dinner you sat in the kitchen and your eyes would close, but you wouldn’t give in to sleep.  It was almost as if you felt like if you fell asleep you would wake up and it would all be a dream.   It was at that moment my heart melted.

I felt so bad for you.  I looked at the harsh scars on your feet and wondered how many humans had failed you already in your short life and vowed then and there that I wouldn’t be another one.  I called you to me and coaxed you to lie down and finally you slept.

You’ve given me a run for my money these past five years,  but along the way I’ve learned a lot from you.

I’ve learned that giving up is not an option.

There is more than one way to get what you want.

Embrace life, live it to the fullest and do it with enthusiasm and joy.

Meet your challenges head on, no shying away.

If you have a bad day it’s OK, tomorrow is a new day, you can start it with a clean slate.

I’ve learned that even if you are afraid, come out fighting.  If you look and act like the biggest and baddest most everyone believes you are.

Almost every problem can be solved with a piece of dried liver.

We’ve been through a lot these past five years, sometimes when I think about how far you’ve come, I’m overwhelmed with your progress.  You really are pretty amazing and I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world.

Happy Gotcha Day Delilah, I’m sure glad we did.

You and me on your first day. Notice my red rimmed eyes.

Aliens Took My Dog

That’s exactly what I thought yesterday morning.

While I was in the bathroom getting ready for work Delilah came in.  I pulled out my rug and threw it on the floor and said, “Down.”

Down she went.

I told her to stay, so she got herself all comfy and stayed.

Granted it wasn’t good enough for a show stay, but she did stay.  Even when I left the bathroom and went to check to see if my eggs were boiling.

Once I released her we went to the kitchen to get breakfast.  Even though she was dancing and jumping until we got there, she sat at the edge of the kitchen and waited while I got her breakfast.

She didn’t move once.

After breakfast the eggs were ready to be peeled. This can take me about 10 minutes because 1) I peel them while they are hot and 2) I make all my breakfast eggs at the beginning of the week, I also make a few for Hubby which means I made 14 eggs yesterday morning.

I peel the eggs directly over the garbage can.  Sometimes Delilah’s right there with me, trying to reach into the garbage and take out what I’m putting in there.

Not yesterday morning.

While I was peeling eggs Delilah sat in the doorway watching me.   At one point a piece of shell flew off and landed on the floor, I watched her from the corner of my eye.  She looked at it and then made the decision to leave it.

A minute or two later she looked at it again and I saw her head move as if she was going to get up and I said, “ACK,” and she left it alone.

I had no other options than to 1) reward her for such excellent behavior and 2) come to the conclusion that aliens had taken my dog.

Never fear, they brought her back late in the afternoon.

Just in time to help me make dinner.

How did your Monday go?


Yesterday I wrote how I have been giving Delilah massages and it seems to be something she really enjoys.

I was inspired by a post at Peaceful Dog, in the post Kirsten had included a link to a previous post where she wrote about TTouch with her reactive dog Lamar.

If you haven’t heard of TTouch here is a brief explanation “TTouch can help you understand and influence your animal with your heart and hands in a way that develops trust, creates a harmonious relationship, and changes unwanted behavior.”

There is something in the TTouch that releases endorphins which we all know are what helps us with our moods.

While I was reading Kirsten’s post about TTouch I realized I have been doing this with Delilah without even realizing it!

I probably do this three to four times per day, Delilah will come up to me and I place one hand under each of her ears and rub in a circular motion.  After 30 seconds or so I get a really deep sigh, like she is relaxed or content.  Which is exactly what Kirsten described.

First thing in the morning as I am trying to get ready for work, she comes into the bathroom looking for attention.  I rub her ears.

When I come home from work, before or after her massage.  I rub her ears.

After we are settled in bed, I reach for Delilah and rub her ears.  She stretches out across my feet and looks up at me.  I drop a kiss on her head and rub some more and then the deep, contented sigh.

All is right in her world.

What do you do when your dog is amped up?  Is there something special you do to help calm him/her down?

It Takes A Blogville To Raise A Delilah

Sampson and Delilah go to daycare twice a week for half days.   They don’t do a lot at daycare, they like to lie around and sleep (much like they do at home) and occasionally they get up and play with the other dogs or interact with Sara or her mom, Sue.

Hubby and I know this, which is why we dropped them to half days.  I feel that even though they lie around much of the day they are stimulated more by the comings and goings at The Mellow Mutt then they would be by sleeping their day away on our couch.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but Delilah has issues with dogs behind fences.  In the case of daycare it is dogs in crates or dogs on the other side of certain gates.

The Mellow Mutt is set up as such:

(I hope you can get the idea from this ‘drawing’.)

The drawing is not to scale, so along the right wall of where it says “fenced area” there are crates.  These are mostly used for the grooming dogs but sometimes someone needs a time out or certain dogs just like to sleep there.

When I drop Delilah off I have to make certain there are no dogs in the fenced area or in a crate with the door shut, if there are she will charge up to the crated dog, and bark like a lunatic, baring her teeth and snarling.  To say this is disturbing to me is an understatement.  To manage this I just make sure that she remains on leash and is guided through to where she needs to be.

Lately she has continued this behavior at the gate. Which brings us up to Friday.

When I picked them up on Friday a man was coming in with his big yellow lab, Tyson.  Dianne (one of the groomers) had to hold Delilah back as Tyson went through the fence, once he was through she was fine.  Sara clipped her on leash and handed her out to me.  I keep her on a fairly short leash in the retail area because she likes to shoplift shop.

Typically I’ll stand there chatting for a few minutes before I leave, which is what I did on Friday.

While I was standing there, Tyson came up to the gate and Delilah charged him.  I was so caught off-guard that I reacted poorly.  I yanked her and I pushed her down and told her NO! ( I’m not proud of this, but if I’m to help her overcome her issues I need to be honest with myself and with you on how I handled this.)  We left almost immediately after.

Yesterday while working the Labs 4 Rescue adoption event, I had the opportunity to really sit down with Sara and discuss Delilah.  I found out that when Delilah went at Tyson on Friday, she actually bit him through the gate.  Sara said he had a puncture in his lip and two teeth scratches on his face.

I feel horrible.  I offered to pay for any vet bill but Sara says the owner was ok with it.  Really?  (I wouldn’t be, but that is a topic for a different post.)

I told Sara that I don’t think me pushing Delilah down is the proper way to deal with this issue and I don’t believe it helps Delilah with whatever is bothering/scaring her about the fence/gate.

Since Delilah is like the biggest Alpha female I’ve ever heard/seen, Sara thinks she is disciplining the other dogs at the gate.  Sara thinks that Delilah thinks she owns the place and it is her responsibility to monitor it.

We decided it’s in Delilah’s best interest to not go to daycare for a week or so and see if that doesn’t help alleviate the issue.  I’m not really sure a break will work but I’m willing to give it a shot.

I’m anxious to hear what you think about this?  Have you heard of dogs with this issue?  Have you heard of any solutions that work?

I have no problem keeping Delilah permanently out of daycare, but I know Sampson enjoys going and once again it would be Sampson who misses out on something he enjoys because I just can’t get a handle on Delilah.

Whadda ya say, Blogville?  How would you help this dog?

The Dogs Got Out….I’m So Done

Relax, it’s not my dogs.

I saw this on a friend’s facebook page.  In the comments she said she was thinking about adopting one of her dogs out.

Seems her two dogs are jumping the 6 foot fence to get to the Boxer next door, and this is ticking off the neighbors.

I went to her page and left a comment, oh and of course  I threw in a shameless promotion of this blog, by posting a link and asking her if she read it.

Later in the evening we had a facebook chat and I found out, the dogs don’t jump the fence when someone is outside with them.  Hmmm this means you would always have to be outside with your dogs, which in my opinion is counter-productive to having a fenced in yard.

She said she was the primary care-giver seeing she was home during the day, and she was frustrated.  It had been a bad day.  I told her I could relate to that and posted a link to my Defeated and Lost post.

I suggested tethering the dogs when she wasn’t able to be outside with them.  I also told her I would throw the problem out to my readers and see if any of you had any suggestions.

Last night when I signed on we chatted again.  She had spoken with her husband and they were going to invest in an electric fence.  Her husband has installed and used electric fences before.

I totally forgot about how we solved our problems last winter with Delilah going over our fence.

In the winter of 2010/2011 New England got smacked with gobs and gobs of snow.

We have a five-foot fence in our yard.  We got so much snow you could literally step over it in some spots.  We have a chocolate lab who did precisely that.

I tried tying her out, but stupidly gave her too much room and she went over the fence on her leash!

Hubby went out to Home Depot and bought some deer fencing and some sturdy sticks, then he used zip ties to secure the deer fencing along the top of our fence.  Basically he made our 5 foot fence about 7 1/2 feet high.

It looks like this:

Our ghetto fence.

Our ghetto fence.

I know it looks ghetto, but we are set far back from the road, it is only the back yard that is fenced in and it keeps my dogs safe.

I said I’d throw it out to you, so here it is.  Have you have an issue with your dogs going over your fence?  If so, how did you handle it?   How would you work with your dog to stop them from going over the fence?

All Is Revealed….

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I would explain why I’ve been sort of absent from blogville lately.

I was in Florida for a dear friend’s son’s wedding.  I know, I can’t really believe it myself, me with my terror of flying, but I actually got on a plane and left my babies behind with their dad.

I made sure to have my flight leave later in the day, so I had the morning to take Sampson and Delilah for a nice long walk. I left last Thursday.

But never fear, just because I was gone does not mean I wasn’t thinking of my puppies and all of you.

Of course I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t have a story (or two) to share with you.

While I was in Florida I took the opportunity to visit with as many people as I possibly could and I had the opportunity to stop by our dear friends, Ron and Mary.

Hubby and I met Ron and Mary many years ago through my aunt and uncle.  Of course since we got Sampson and then Delilah we haven’t really traveled that much, so it has been almost 8 years since I’ve seen them.

When we first met Ron and Mary they had a Rottie named Jessie.   The first time I met Jessie I put my hand out to pet her head and she growled at me.  Which scared the bejesus out of me.   Jessie has since passed over to the rainbow bridge, so imagine my surprise today when I was greeted by Magnum.

Hey, I'm Magnum, what's your name?

Magnum actually liked me.  Once I sat down he came over and sat his head on my lap.

I got me some puppy fix. 🙂 And I also got Magnum’s story…..

Ron was on his way somewhere when he saw this Rottie on the side of the road.  Ron said to him, “I’m going to run my (insert errand here because I can’t remember it) and when I come back if you’re still here, I’ll take you home.”

Well as you know from the picture, Magnum was still there on Ron’s way home.

Ron and Mary took Magnum to the shelter/pound to see if anyone had lost a dog.  Apparently he had already escaped from the pound, but his story was he was found on a road with a collar that had “Knows German Commands” written on it.

Well you know how this story ended.  Magnum is now in a great home and loved very dearly.

There is another story of course, but it’s really long and I don’t have all the details yet….so it will have to wait for another post.

So what’s been happening in your world?  I’m going to do some blog reading in the next few days but if I’ve missed something really important, fill me in. 🙂

Shadow Dancer

I always thought it would be cool to have a skylight in my bedroom, until I actually had one.

On those days when Mr. Sun is up well before he should be, everyone else in the room is up as well.

While the sound of raining drumming on the glass doesn’t bother me, it keeps Hubby awake.

For the first three years we lived here, we talked about purchasing some kind of blind to cover the window.  But they’re very expensive and any time that kind of funding was available it seemed something more important came up.

Finally last year in desperation, I designed a type of skylight covering myself.   (No, I can’t show you because Hubby says I should patent it.)

Did I forget to mention there’s a skylight in the bathroom attached to our bedroom as well?

Ooops, yes there is.  But this skylight does not have a covering 1) because I wasn’t that ambitious and 2) the sun does not shine directly in our eyes when we are trying to sleep.   Besides, I usually try to shut the bathroom door at night.

But sometimes I forget, or Hubby goes in there after me and doesn’t close the door.  Yes, I’m going with that.  Hubby does not close the door.

This was the case this morning, somehow the bathroom door was left open.  The weatherman had predicted a ‘Wintery Mix’ for last night/this morning and lo and behold, for one magic moment in his life he guessed right.  So while Mr. Sun rose, he didn’t shine because he was blocked by clouds.

Still as night gave way to early morning and dawn crept over the horizon, a vibrant, always vigilant chocolate lab looked up sleepily and saw something move on the side of the bed.

Ever the protector, she stood up and growled, which is when I opened my eyes and caught her…

I don't know what you are, but I don't like you in our bedroom.

growling at her shadow.

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