Tag Archives: animal rescue

Riddle Master Update

Ridley does not recognize Day Light Savings time. We should be getting an extra hour sleep but instead, I’ve already had my coffee because once I’m awake, I’m awake. It’s hard to stay mad at someone so especially cute though. He’s technically correct and it’s our usual time to get up and start the workday.

So, I thought, what better time to post a Ridley update? He has made a few appearances in posts but nothing substantial.

This boy is an absolute snuggle master. I’ve never had a dog that tried their best to melt into you. He loves kisses and boops my face when I haven’t given him enough. Seriously, each check, his forehead and sides and top of his nose must be kissed before he’s satisfied. He will happily sleep on top of myself or Mr. C&M which has been something to get used to. He sometimes lays his muzzle on top of my mouth and nose while I’m sleeping. I keep telling myself he’s not trying to snuff me out, but I could be wrong. There are worse ways to go.

In the beginning of October, we had a medical emergency with Ridley. What the vet thought to be torn soft tissue from a bad jump, ended up being an abscess that ruptured 36 hours later. Of course, after the vet was closed. Luckily for us, we have a vet tech friend that I was able to call. She walked us through how to take care of him until morning. If you’ve never experienced an abscess rupture, it’s horrifying, and I will never forget that smell. By the time we saw the vet the next day, they pretty much said to keep doing what we were already doing and added painkillers and antibiotics. This meant keeping him bandaged while the wound finished draining (days) and keeping him calm until the wound healed on its own.

After the initial horror show, he was a model patient. The first night, I was the only one he allowed to bandage him. The pain brought back his association of pain with men, and he would not allow Mr. C&M to touch him the first night. Later, he sweetly apologized to his dad for being mean by sulking up to him and covering him in kisses. From then on, we had no more issues taking care of him. (In the second picture above, you can see his injured shoulder after it closed up.)

November 12th will be 3 months since we rescued him. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but we’re making baby step progress. The injury definitely set him back socially. The pain triggered his mistrust of humans again. So, it’s like we’re starting fresh and that’s okay. Recovery can’t be rushed.

BEEFCAKE.

He is finally at a healthy weight. He hasn’t been to the vet since his injury, but I think he’s right around 47 pounds. (He was only 30 when he arrived at the shelter. Skin and bones.)

Animal rescue is a journey. He’s recovery won’t happen overnight, but I am so glad to have this boy in my life. He’s an absolute clown and love bug. I can’t wait to share the holidays with him. He’s going to love it.

Welcome, the Riddle Master

One of many of his growing collection of nicknames.

That’s right. We added to our clan. I don’t think either of us was truly ready (it is 6 months today since we lost Ozzy) but when I learned of this little boy, I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. I did not think Mr. C&M would come around and say yes, so color me surprised when this dog came up for adoption far sooner than I expected and Mr. C&M said, “Let’s do it.”

Formerly known as Wrigley, he came to the shelter we adopted Ozzy from in early July. He was clearly a bait dog. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s dogs used as practice for fighting dogs. To avoid damage to their “champions”, his teeth were ground down to the gums, most likely without pain killers so that he couldn’t fight back. He is covered, literally, from the tip of his nose to his missing tail tip in scars. His ears are jagged from pieces being torn off. He has advanced osteoarthritis in one elbow from some unknown injury.

These are pictures from when he arrived at the shelter. Found in someone’s yard, either dumped off or escaped from Hell. He was completely shut down. He cowered in his kennel and air snapped when anyone tried to get a leash on him. He had only known terror.

I wanted to foster him however we do not live in the county, which is a requirement. Luckily, another kind lady stepped up. She lured him out of his kennel with Timbits and livers wurst and took him home. She spent 4 weeks socializing him and teaching him that humans could be kind. He came to the shelter weighing only 30 pounds. She packed 10 more on him by the time he came to us.

He has issues with strangers touching his head and neck area. Until he knows that you mean him no harm, he will bite. He doesn’t have teeth though, so no damage is done. Despite being bit and Mr. C&M getting head butted, our meet and greet went well and his foster mom felt that we would be patient enough to give him a good home. Samus didn’t object although she wasn’t in love either.

That was a little over a week ago that he came home. Day one was a little rough. He had been neutered 45 minutes before being dropped off to two people he had met once and then went on a 2-hour car ride to a new house. I was bit a few times getting him out of the vehicle. Again, no damage. I felt bad that I was causing him so much stress, but he couldn’t live in the car. Mr. C&M couldn’t do it because he’s more afraid of men.

Two days later we could both kiss his head and squeeze his cheeks. He is an utter lovebug. He gets spooked a little easy, but everything is new to him. Every day an adventure. As I write this, he is snuggled up next to my leg after exploring what the heck a laptop was.

Please welcome, Ridley.

Mr. C&M came up with his name. An easy change from Wrigley and comes from the same games that Samus’ name comes from. Of course, Samus and Ridley are not friends in the game, I was worried it might be a bad omen. However, Samus is coming around and learning that the new kid might be fun after all.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals – Book Review

Published Date: February 22, 2022

Publishing Co.: St. Martin’s

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“The more you cry, the less you pee.”

That was the mantra Laurie’s mother instilled in her children. It might not make all the sense, but it was enough to force you to crack a smile and push through whatever it was that was bothering you. It’s a mantra that most of us could afford to take up in our lives. It was the mantra of a family forced into poverty by domestic violence and a neglectful father.

The Zaleski family was the kind of family that made you think of the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses.” They had the idyllic life. Except that behind the scenes, the husband was a serial cheater and became a wife beater. When the mother had enough, she packed up her kids and moved into a house on the verge of being condemned. With absolutely nothing but their mother’s ingenuity and determination, they made a shack into a home. One of their mother’s many jobs to make ends meet was that of animal shelter employee. Her heart the size of her attitude, she would bring home the animals that were going to be euthanized and nurse them back to health. Thus began, the original Funny Farm.

When I picked this book up, I thought I would mostly be in for numerous tales of animal rescues. While there is a plenty of those, the story of the Zaleski childhood stood out as the most fascinating part for me. I binged 130 pages the first time I sat down with it.

Anne McNulty was an amazing woman, who raised good children and saved numerous animal lives. The book is a great testament to her character and the continuation of animal lives rescued in her name by that of her daughter at the current Funny Farm.

My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir – Book Review

Published Date: January 15, 2019

Publishing Co.: William Morrow

Pages: 245

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My mission is to rescue. My hope is that one day I won’t have to.”

If you’ve heard that quote before, there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls & Parolees. This memoir belongs to the feisty, red-headed woman who started Villabos Rescue Center, first rescuing wolves and wolf hybrids, then turning to one of the dog’s with the baddest reputations, the American Pit Bull Terrier. Currently, the rescue houses close to 400 dogs of all breeds and employs parolees to help with all of the work. It takes one tough person to hold all of that together.

In My Life Among the Underdogs, we get a peek into Tia’s life before starting the rescue. First, being raised a cowgirl by her stepmother who taught her to depend on no one else, to a drifting young adult, to an exotic animal trainer, to a dog trainer for Hollywood, then to rescuing full time. All of this while giving birth to and raising two beautiful daughters, who would become strong, independent and compassionate just like their mother.

We also learn the life stories of some of the top dogs of Tia’s life. These chapters were both uplifting and heartbreaking. You learn about these wonderful, resilient creatures and all they taught both Tia and humanity and then, you hear about their passing. How can that not tug at your heart? If you’ve had a dog, you’re probably all too familiar with that pain, so it’s impossible not to relate.

There are not too many people in this world that I truly idolize but, Tia Torres is one of the them. Life spent rescuing animals is hard, I’ve dabbled in it myself, no where near the size that Tia has. While rewarding, at times it can be absolutely soul crushing. You have to look the worst of humanity in the eye, not engage to the best of your ability and just get the poor, tortured animal the fuck out of dodge. It’s a hard thing to dedicate your life to. Animal rescue workers are more prone to depression and suicide, and it’s understandable.

I hope to see more memoirs from Tia Torres or anyone on her rescue crew. It helps bring more people into the rescue fold, even if it’s adopting instead of shopping, every changed mind is progress and we still have a long ways to go.

My one complaint, and I don’t think I’ve said this since I was little, is that there are no pictures! I mean, I want one million dog pictures, but if there could have just have been ten or so, that would have been great. I loved hearing about these amazing dogs but I would have also really liked to see their cute little faces.

A House Covered in Fur

It’s been awhile since any of my adorable critters have been featured on the blog. Not for any lack of cuteness but because they’re mostly featured over on Instagram. (I fully admit that Instagram is a lot more fun that I thought it would be.)

I’ll do a mini-intro for each pet for anyone new to the blog.

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Blanket thieving once again.

Zelda, our second pet together. (The first being a rat named Wednesday.) We’ve had a love/hate relationship. She likes to do bad things. But since we’ve moved to the house, we’ve seen a whole new cat. We now have a nightly ritual that if I’m not in our bedroom at the correct time, I hear persistent mewing.

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Snowed in.

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Meanwhile, this one likes to make snow angels.

Ozzy, our first dog together. We’re dog people, thru and thru. We adopted Ozzy from a high-kill shelter in Flint. Michigan when he was 10 weeks old. He was malnourished, dehydrated, had roundworms and mange. He’s the first animal that I nursed back to health and 100% the reason I got into animal rescue. By my own estimation he’s lab/chow/pit bull mix. He’s a big, laid back baby who kicks all the ass at cuddling.

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Brisk morning romp in the yard.

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Gaming with Dad.

Samus. Oh, Samus. We were planning on getting a second dog a year later than we did. My grandpa was dying, I was depressed, my husband decided I needed someone to take care of who couldn’t take care of themself so I wouldn’t dive further into depression. His irresponsible coworker at the time had a new litter of puppies. Inbred puppies. Mom had had one litter of puppies by a neighbor’s dog, they kept a male puppy and when he was old enough, he knocked up his mom. She’s 3/4 mini-Aussie and 1/4 Rottweiler. To top it off, mom stopped nursing the puppies at about 5 weeks and the people couldn’t handle the puppies cries so they locked them in a bathroom. One which, they did not clean and eventually threatened to throw them all out in the snow if the people who wanted one didn’t come pick them up. That’s how we came to have a puppy at 6 weeks old who shouldn’t have been separated until 8 weeks. She’s an adorable pain in the ass. She’s high energy of course but also has anxiety and OCD, along with severe trust issues.

Ms. Piggle Bottom

Today Samus turns 2 years old! She’s my curve-ball of a dog. All my life I’ve had dogs that were laid back and kind of dopey. She is high energy, neurotic and thinks every stranger is out to kill her. But regardless, I love the pig’s feet off of her! (She has about one million nicknames in relations to pigs because she behaves and makes sounds like one.)

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