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Year in review

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First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.. if you don’t celebrate anything I hope you had an equally joyous week. Second, happy new year to everyone.

fireworks

No animal article today so I wanted to take a few minutes and thank all the readers who have read, shared and commented. You all are wonderful! Without you none of this would be possible.

tynote

My very first Animal Article was posted on March 3, 2012 about Cats – Communication, Food, Costs to own, etc. My very first interview was with the wonderful guardians of Oskar the Blind Cat. Which led to more interviews, I became encouraged by my friends and those who I got a chance to interview.

Here’s this year in a nutshell:

I learned about BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) thanks to the guardians of Duke Lloyd, Reggie, Isis, Morgan, Gracie and Reed.

I got three white kittens adopted thanks to my friend Diane, who I met while talking about her cat Brother the Tailless Wonder.

I got to meet Gizzmo and see the baby zombies grow from tiny little things into beautiful kittens.

I joined  the hunt to find Jamie and cried when his body was found and he was finally brought home.

I rejoiced upon hearing that Oskar has won the Friskes Best Cat Video of 2012 Award.

I cried upon hearing that the sweet cat named Penny had passed away suddenly.

I giggled while sitting down for an interview with Fatboy Babushaka.

I was taken by the wonderfully opinionated guinea pigs named Buddy, Nibbles, Nutty and Basil.

I told stories of the survivors of abuse from Mogul to Reed to Dottie to Snow

I’ve covered blind, deaf,  three-legged, extra toed, deaf furbabies from Mea to George to Phaedra to Sage and Neptune.

I had the honor of interviewing the famous Corky, Anakin and Moki

I researched all about black cats and gave Miss Smoky an article to call her own.

Each and every one of my interviewee’s stories are important, they all share love of their guardians. Many of them had rough starts. And to those I haven’t mentioned, you are all wonderful. Each and every one of you shared your story with me and I thank you.

I’ve met lots of wonderful pet guardians as well as their wonderful amazing furry family members. Not only have I been inspired by the stories of courage, bravery, saddened by their losses but given the strength by their fans and my readers to carry on. There is always another animal in need and another story to be told.

Thank you to all the friends I’ve made along the way, I hope that the journey is just as incredible next year.

2013

Changes  in 2013

The Blog will now be posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

January –  Continuing with animal interviews with some famous facebook cats and dogs

February – Celebrating our small furry, feathered and finned friends

March – Featuring animals with different abilities, three legged, deaf, blind, two legged, etc.

April – Animal Abuse Awareness month – featuring survivors of animal abuse with a very special gathering at the end of the month.

May – Guest Blogs! I’ll be covering my adventures at BlogPaws May 17-19.

Dedications:

This post is dedicated to all the ones furry, feathered and finned family members we’ve lost way too early this year.Run, fly and swim free little ones you brought so much joy to so many people and will continue to bring joy to your family. Please know you were cared for and very much loved.

rainbow bridge2

Guest Post: Hutch Piggies

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Guest Post: Hutch Piggies on their New Year’s Resolutions

Author’s Note: The Hutch Piggies were interviewed in November 21st, if you missed their interview, click here to catch up and come back. I wanted to know what the group would be up to for New Year’s so I asked them to be a guest.
 
  piggymas1

Firstly whee have to say how excited whee are to have been invited to do this. Whee can barely contain ourselves! It is such an honor but whee are a little nervous. *waves paws* Hellooooo!

Well 2012 is over, it has certainly been a funny year for efurryone. So much has happened. In a month or so Buddy will have been with us a whole year, Nutty has gotten chubbier, Mummy self published a book on animal rescue, whee lost Bingo, gained Basil and Nibbles has humilated us at the vets! Strange really. Busy even!

Mummy has been telling us a lot about these ‘New Years Resolutions’ recently. She says she has a new one every year and starts it with the best intentions. Apparently best intentions aren’t too helpful when chocolate is involved!

piggymas2

Well whee have decided to come up with some Resolutions and maybe you can help us decide which one to go for!

1) Give up eating socks.

It is a terrible habit whee all have. An addiction almost. Whee see a sock and cannot seem to help ourselves. Omnomnom! It is so much fun particually when a toe is involved. The little hoomans don’t agree but whee are trying to make them forget material things like socks and love the piggy nibbled skin they were born in!

2) Giving up bar biting.

Another terrible habit! Whee are always biting the cage bars to get Mummy’s attention and nothing ever stops us! But if whee don’t do that then what else will whee combine with loud squeaking to get her attention?!

3) Vow to lose the built up Pigmass fat.

Well Winter brings with it less garden time. In fact it stops garden time because the changes of temperature going in and out of the house can make us piggies unwell. That means all runs happen inside. Which means whee have cuddle cosies and fleece blankets. Which in turn explains our Winter laziness and build up of chubby! Mind you, losing weight requires running, exercise and focus. Three things whee all lack skills in! Hmmm maybe something else?

4) Give up complaining.

Oh now whee really are expecting the impossible! Whee are British piggies, like hooman Brits complaining is in our nature! If whee didn’t complain so much there would be far less on our blog. And Mummy messes up often enough that whee need a good moan about her occassionally!

Well whee give up! What are your New Years Resolutions and what do you suggest for ours?

Hope you had a magical Pigmass and wishing you the happiest most wonderful New Year you can imagine!

Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil
xxxx

Links:

Their blog – http://www.hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com

Their very first interview with a fellow piggie – http://hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/our-first-interview/

Author’s Note: I wanted to say a very special thank you to the Piggies for sharing their new year’s resolutions with us.

Meet The Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

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Meet the Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

How many purrtectors of DragonHold are there?

There are presently 13 Purrtectors of DragonHold.

1. Bunny- A greybie who was born with a leg twisted backwards and an autoimmune disease. The leg was amputated and she has lost almost all her teeth from the disease.
2. Tiki- Was wild when found. I trapped and tamed her and she is a love. She is a bobtail.
3. Rowen- She was in a petting zoo at a Ren Fair on a really hot day. I begged the owner to give her to me cause she was dehydrated. I finally paid him $40.00 to get her, rushed her to the vet and they managed to save her. She is also a bobtail.
4. Moaning Myrtle- Myrt was about 2 weeks old when I got her as a foster. She was a bottle baby. My room mate fell in love with her so she became his Christmas present.
5. Gunnery Sgt. Pepper- Gunny was also wild. I trapped him and tamed him. We think he is related to Tiki but from a later litter.
6. Sassafras- Sassy was found under a cafe at about 6 weeks old. She was another foster that we couldn’t part with.
7. Bandit-  She was found in the middle of the road covered in fleas and starving. The vet thinks she has some genetic issues. She is a year old now and the 5 month old kittens are bigger then her.
8. Beavis- He and his brother were dumped up the road. Unfortunately his brother didn’t make it but he is thriving. He is a bobtail.
9. Big Boy- He was a feral cat living behind the pizza hut. It took me 6 months to get him tame enough to throw him in my car and bring him home. He is a barn cat and follows me all over the farm. He is the only outside cat and the only one not neutered.
10 & 11- Willie Wonka and Billy Bad Azz – Brothers found on the road. They were fosters but I don’t think we can let them go. Billy is a bobtail.
12 & 13- Hannible and Garfield – There were 3 of them but I placed 1 in Ohio. They are supposed to be fosters too but I don’t think they are leaving either. They are siamese bobtails.

How did they come to live at DragonHold?

All of them are rescues. Some were fosters that never left.

How did you come to start rescuing animals?

I have been rescuing animals all my life. I own a horse rescue and volunteer with a cat rescue.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do more to help animals in need?

If you can’t donate money, donate time with your local shelter.

Do the purrtectors receive any fan mail/presents, if so where?

Our address is  1346 Garner Hollow Rd. Pulaski, TN 38478

Are you currently fostering any kittens? If so what do the others think of the visitors?

I was fostering 5 kittens. One has been placed in Ohio. The other 4 will probably stay here. Some of the other cats like them and some don’t but nobody hurts anyone.

And how you ended up with 13?

I never planned on 13 lol. It just happened.

When did you get started with the first purrtector?

Bunny is the first. 2005

Where did the name Purrtectors of the Dragonhold come from?

DragonHold is the name of my farm. I raise English Shire Draft horses and also own and run a horse rescue.

Are there any fights that break out?

Yes, we do have squabbles but no one ever gets hurt.

Are there any that are inside/outside or does everyone stay inside?

All except Big Boy are inside cats. Big Boy stays outside since he is still very feral.

Do they all eat kibble or do they get some human food?

The kittens are on kitten food and the others eat dry food. Bunny gets a special diet of canned food blended with water ( like soup ) since she only has 1 tooth left. They all love people food but we don’t give them much. They do get treats every morning when I get coffee.

Are there any stand out leaders of the group?

Bunny, Tiki and Rowan are the leaders.

Do they have a special place where they like to hang out?

My bed is the favorite spot.
sorry for all the questions, but I like to get a glimpse into how things run in the house with that many cats.. 🙂 Things run well with the 8. The kittens are starting to learn where they fit in. They still sleep in a big double cage since they haven’t started using the big cats litter boxes. Once they all do that they will no longer be caged at night.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/ThePurrtectorsOfDragonHold
 
Author’s Note:
I wanted to thank the guardian to all the purrtectors of the Dragonhold for sharing a bit about them and herself. Good luck on the fosters. 

Meet Zee & Zoey

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Meet Zee & Zoey

Zee

How old are Zee & Zoey?

Zee just turned 7 on September 7th and Zoey turned 4 on April 9th.

How did they come into your life?

I got Zee as a kitten for my fiancé, Dan, in 2005 when he moved in with me as a “Welcome to your new life” gift and Zoey came to us after the passing of my 18 year old cat, Kit. I had always wanted a Bengal, but did not want to get one while Kit was ailing because they are a very active breed and I did not want to cause undue stress on Kit. After she passed, Zee became very depressed and needed a playmate, so we decided it was the perfect time to get this incredible breed of cat that I had always wanted – they bonded instantly and it was love at first sight.

Which one is Zee and which one is Zoey?

Zee is our Maine Coon and Zoey is our leopard inspired Bengal.

Why did you decide to write a book about them?

I had always wanted to write a book, but like so many others with dreams, I put it off thinking, “Yeah, maybe one day I’ll get to it,” without actually believing it. Well, completely unexpected, one day did come in the form of two major events – Zee and Zoey had an unplanned litter of kittens together before I could get them spayed and neutered. The other event – I was abruptly laid off and had a lot more free time on my hands.

Prior to the layoff, I had been emailing  various family members, co-workers, and friends documenting the growth process of Zee and Zoey’s kittens with a humorous narrative that was complimented by photographs taken by my fiancé, Dan, who was also laid off on the same day from the same company. These emails were sent out religiously every Friday morning and soon became a sensation, with people clamoring for a book about my feline family.  At this time, the economy was in its beginning stages of the economic crisis that we are currently facing and most people were in a fragile, weak, and vulnerable frame of mind. It seemed my emails were giving them a much needed smile and laugh in light of the very serious and bleak times and I was enjoying the opportunity to share my writing skills.

Zoey

Without warning, during this timeframe, I was laid off and it resulted in a deep and dark period for me as I quickly realized I had no real value in an economy that was not looking to hire a woman in her late forties and I was in no frame of mind to write the book that I now had all the time in the world to think about. As is with life, often those events that we least expect or least understand, turn out to be a path for something far greater. Those kittens that were unplanned, actually became such wise teachers to me and after a long personal struggle, because of them I literally had my epiphany moment and found the strength, passion, and courage to follow my dream to write a book and that is how and why The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary, my first published book began. I wanted to share my positive message about how special cats are and the book became my tribute to them and how they made me a better person.

To make the book an extraordinary journey as the title suggests, not only is it a humorous, warm, and heartfelt story, but each and every page is filled with stunning photographs and custom artwork.

Where can people find the book?

It is available through my website at www.zeezoey.com or online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Is there any chance of a book tour and getting the book pawtographed?

I did a book blog tour last year, but as far as a traveling tour, that is something I cannot afford at the moment. I am a self-published author who has to work a full time job to pay the bills! All books ordered directly through my website can be autographed and come with a custom bookmark and leopard print tissue wrap that makes a gorgeous gift.

Were you always an cat lover?

I cannot remember a single moment in my life that I have not been consumed with my love for cats.

How have Zee & Zoey changed your life?

They have changed my life in ways so profound that I cannot possibly express the scope with enough justice in mere words.  While I originally thought writing a book meant you wrote the book, and then sold the book, I soon came to the realization that it was actually a springboard for something far greater as my world began to expand through social networking avenues. I have become a strong voice in the world of cat advocacy to help educate on cat responsibly, spaying and neutering, dispelling the misconceptions of feral cats, and so much more. Due to my conviction, I just wrapped up my first fundraising event called “Zee & Zoey’s Cat Ruler of the World Contest and Campaign for a Cause” where I raised close to $9000 in prizes and donations for six shelters that popular cats of the blogosphere were campaigning for.

Do you support any charities/shelters/rescues/organizations? If so which?

I am currently the secretary of a newly formed non-profit called Pawsitively Humane, based out of Miami, Florida that was created to help decrease dogs and cats found on the streets and increase shelter adoptions. I support organizations such as Amazon Cares, Riverfront Cats, Abandoned Pet Rescue and too many more to name.

Is there anything else you would like to add about Zee & Zoey or yourself?

What I want people to take away from myself and Zee and Zoey is that we all have the ability and power  to make a difference to make the world a better place for our feline friends. Whether it is donating financially, spreading the word through writing and blogging about issues such as spaying and neutering and TNR programs, donating supplies, volunteering your time, fostering, or anything else you can think of – it all adds up. The worst thing we can do is think that because we are only one person that we cannot make a difference and should not bother trying..

Links

http://www.zeezoey.com/ – Zee & Zoey book website
http://zeezoey.com/blog/ – Zee & Zoey blog
Author’s Note: I would like to give my sincerest thanks for Miss Deborah for taking the time to do the interview. Photos were used with permission.

Meet Roxy

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Meet Roxy

How old is Roxy?

Roxy is now 3 yrs old approx.

Where did the name Roxy come from?

I named her Roxy because of her stripes & markings along with a tail that doesn’t match
in color to the rest of her. I said she looked liked she was all dolled up for a party & looking foxy so
of course she became Foxy Roxy.

How did she come into your life?

Roxy had a very rough start in life. She came to me in the winter of 2010 when it was
extremely cold in the Northeast. I had been putting food out for a few strays or feral any little one looking for a meal. Roxy showed up everyday about the same time. In the Spring when I could stay out longer I was able to gain her trust and In April 2011 I was finally able to catch her take her to the vet, get her spayed and bring her inside.
All was well Roxy was living the good life for the first time in her life. She was adapting well but still a little “odd” for lack of a better description. In Jan of 2012 Roxy  began to act strange. Hiding under the bed wouldn’t eat and then she started having seizures. We took her to our vet and after several tests they could not find out why she was having these seizures. They sent us to a Neurologist in Red Bank NJ. He took one look at Roxy told us the type of seizures she was having. Of course he couldn’t be sure without an MRI. So it was scheduled for the next day. We drove back up to Red Bank almost 2 hours from home after the MRI to hear the news. Roxy had a large mass on her  brain behind her left eye. Which made sense because she was having trouble with keeping this eye open for a few days prior to the seizures. The surgery was going to be very expensive but Dr. Glass felt that he could remove the mass. We decided to do the surgery so it was scheduled for the following day which was Wed Jan 18th

The surgery was a success and the tissue was sent out for testing. Roxy would be able to come home the following Monday.

On Monday we drove back up to Red Bank to pick up Roxy. She was so thin and weak but happy to see us. She had a huge incision on her head with staples and a cone. She would have to wear the cone for the week and needed round the clock meds. We bought a large dog crate for her to recover in. We put it in my office where I make catnip toys and
work so I could keep my eye on her. Roxy did well and  was such a little fighter for only 5 lbs of kitty. She had temporary blindness from the surgery and she handled it well.

The following week we took her back to get the staples out and find out the diagnosis. I expressed my fear to Dr Glass that she was deaf since the surgery. At first I thought she was going to be blind but her eyesight was improving each day but she wasn’t responding to sound. I would shake the treat bag and no Roxy. She stopped greeting me at the door, I would walk right up to her and she would sleep away. I was pretty sure she was deaf. This was confirmed later that day by Dr. Glass.

Dr. Glass got the results of Roxy’s tests that day as well and he was “shocked” to say the least. Roxy had FIE (Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy) which is a nasty neurological disease contracted by outdoor kitties. The cats are infected with the larvae of the bot fly. In Roxy’s case she inhaled the parasite which traveled to her brain. The strange part is the timing of when she became sick. The bot fly lays its egg in July, August and September but in these months in 2011 Roxy was indoors. The parasite must have been ingested the previous year. So this puzzled Dr. Glass as it is not common for a cat to live that long after being infected. Like I said before Roxy is such a little fighter.

After realizing that Roxy would be a “Special Needs” kitty from now on. I turned to the internet and Facebook where I found lots of kitties with Special Needs like Roxy. One of Roxy’s first friends on Facebook was Bella the Beautiful Blind & Deaf Cat.

Does she have any fursiblings?

She lives with three other kitties…Grease a 16 yr old male all gray, Lilli she is 8 and a calico (still a little
feral).  and her big sister NeveRose (snowshoe siamese).  Roxy loves her sister. They are always together and
NeveRose helps her all the time. Roxy follows her around and looks to NeveRose for guidance.

How did you find out that the surgery made her deaf?

We discovered she was deaf a few weeks after she healed from her surgery. She didn’t come running when we
shook the treat bag, she stopped greeting me at the door, she could sleep through anything including mealtime if
we didn’t wake her up and finally the vacuum cleaner test.  Roxy was deaf.  So she now wears a bell on her collar
this way even if we don’t see her we can hear where she is. Since she can’t hear it doesn’t bother her at all.  We
make sure she doesn’t miss out on anything, we go find her.  We try not to come up behind her so she doesn’t get
startled and jump.  She loves to ride in the car with her sister NeveRose.  They really love each other and she would
be lost without her.

A bit about Roxy’s mom:

I have a Cat Business called Kitty Collage. I grow Organic Catnip and make Catnip Toys. This was the beginning of our “Gift Packages for Kitties with Special Abilitites/Needs”.

Each month Roxy and I pick out kitties like her and Bella and we send them our “Gift Package”. Some of them are Oskar the Blind Cat, Mea the beautiful kitty that’s Blind, George the handsome Deaf & Blind just to name a few.

We love what we do here and we have met so many wonderful Facebook friends (cats and humans too)… Roxy has adjusted well to being deaf. She has lots of Facebook friends lives with three other cats and I can’t imagine life without her. I always said she was sent to me for a reason and I am so happy that she was sent to my back door..

How did you get started with Kitty Collage?

I have been growing catnip and making catnip toys by hand for over 10 years. I used to do lots of Craft Shows but
with the price of gas and the economy I cut back and started my little Etsy/Shop to see how that would do.  But that
too was slow until Roxy came into my life. Then I began to send out our Catnip and toys to cats like Roxy (with special
abilities/needs) that we met on Facebook and my business has taken off ever since then. I give out lots of toys each month along
with bags of catnip.  When donate items for auctions to help raise money for kitties in need.  When people shop with the
cats & I they are helping us to help kitties.  We love what we do and hopefully after the first of the year we will have our
very own website….
UPDATE: Roxy did have one more surgery in the beginning of October for ORS (Ovarian Remnant Syndrome)  She is doing really good now and is  finally gaining  some weight.

Dedication:

Dedicated to the loving sweet memory of Miss Irene Brown, who left her family too soon.

Fly free little one.

Links:

Kitty Collage Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KittyCollage

Kitty Collage Etsy- http://www.etsy.com/shop/kittycollage

(Credits go to Fatboy Babushka’s Salon for this picture… used with permission) 

Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Roxy’s wonderful and creative mom. Not only for emailing me about Roxy, but I had gotten a catnip treat as a prize from another cat friend so I was honored to do the story on Roxy. What an amazing little brave little girl. Photos used with permission and they belong to Kitty Collage unless otherwise stated. 

Meet Buddy

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Meet Buddy

Buddy shortly after being rescued

How old are you Buddy?

I’m almost 2 years old. Come November, they’re going to be singing “Happy Birthday to Buddy” again.

What type of dog are you (if you know)?

I’m a handsome, charming, and flirty little boy. Oh, did you mean breed? I’m a terrier, maybe with a little yorkie mix. And did I say cute?  I have a couple of girlfriends, you know?

Would you mind sharing how you came into your mom’s life and what happened to you?

 I was born in Georgia. A big dog came along and grabbed me by the neck one day, and shook me up. Some people went and reported what happened to animal control and they came to my house looking for me. When my owner said he wasn’t going to get me any care, and that he would just as soon let me die at home, animal control took me.
Eventually I was rescued by a local rescue group up North. When they asked for a foster for me, mommy volunteered, but someone else beat her to it. Then as luck would have it, the foster mom I had needed to find an emergency replacement and mommy came into my life, but only as my second foster mom at that point.
As time went on and mommy tried to find the best home for me, it became apparent that I was falling in love with her and the rest of my family too (human and canine). Then as some applicants were checking me out, it too became apparent to mommy how much she was falling in love with me. She says it was my eyes. She knew she would not be able to look me in the eyes and say “goodbye Buddy.” So here I am.  Everyone says they saw it coming.

Whirlpool Therapy

Do you still go to therapy? If so how often?

I’m done with therapy finally. I had about 6 months worth of therapy as soon as mommy got me. Then I had surgery too, and Botox injections. We tried everything. But about 9 months down the road I hit a platuea so we stopped. I was kinda glad, cause I hated that loud, swishy tub they would put me in (whirlpool).

Is there an address where people can send you fan mail and/or help donate towards your therapy? (if you accept mail and/or donations)

I live at 20 Grover Street, Succasunna, NJ 07876. I don’t need therapy anymore. I love fan mail, especially from cute, pretty little dogs. Woof~

What advice do you have for other dogs that are disabled?

Never give up. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I couldn’t move at all when I first came to mommy. Now I can use a wheelchair, I can leap with my rear legs, I can flip over. Always believe in yourself. And just because we’re special, doesn’t mean we can’t be happy, loved, and enjoy life.

Is there a link where other pet guardians can find a therapist for their pet?

Not that I know of.  I would just say that mommys and daddys have to turn over every stone and look high and low like my mommy did.

How do you like your wheelchair? Was it specially designed for you?

I love my wheelchair. It took me awhile at first. But I can outrun mommy if she’s running away from me with a treat in her hand. It is custom made by Ruff Rollin Wheelchair for Dogs.

How many siblings do you live with? Do any of them have disabilities?

The last I counted, there were 6 canine and a guinea pig that I’m close with. We have coockoo-crazy Caleb. Does that count?  What about selective hearing? Other than that, no.

Are there any links you would like to share for causes or shelters that you support?

You can follow me on my facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Buddyonwheels.com).  I am a big advocate against animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.  I don’t like MEAN MONSTERS.  I strongly oppose puppy mills, dog fighting, pet shops, and not altering your animal. One particular shelter that I support in raising pledges is the dogs at San Bernardino Animal Shelter. You can find them on Petfinder.com.  They are located in Devore, CA 92407.  They have the highest kill rate at 87%.  That means only 13 dogs out of 100 ever walk back out those doors again to freedom.  The epidemic of unwanted dogs in California breaks my heart.

Buddy and his wheels

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Author’s Note: I wanted to thank Buddy and his guardian for taking the time to answer the interview questions and supplying some wonderful information on this little guy. All pictures were used with permission. 

Meet Pixel Blue Eyes

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Meet Pixel Blue Eyes

hello!

How old are you?

I will be five years old in December.

Where did your name come from?

“Pixel” comes from the fact that Mommy is a photographer and has been for many years. I am named after the pixels in digital photos, which are the smallest individual section of a photo or video. Millions of individual pixels make up one digital photograph. The “Blue Eyes” portion comes from the fact that my eyes were almost completely blue for the first couple years of my life. Now, my eyes are blue just in the center, then it fades to a green color, then a golden hazel with a dark brown line around the edge. Different lighting makes my eyes look different from photo to photo.

How did you come into your mom’s life?

Mommy saved me from a bad backyard breeder situation back in 2008. I was very sick and quiet. I was in with a bunch of the other puppies. They were all so loud and barking and jumping. I’d waited my whole life for my Mommy to come for me, and then one day…there she was. I just sat and regarded my Mommy’s face. She says I stared right into her soul. We’ve been inseparable ever since. It took awhile to get me back to health, and to get my stained paws white again, but Mommy took great care of me and I became a very happy little girl, knowing I was safe in the arms and home of love.

What type of dog are you, or do you know?

I am a miniature schnauzer, probably with a little Jack Russell thrown in there for good measure. My good friend Morgan the Pitbull made me an honorary Pittie a few months ago so I hold that with great honor…does that count as part of my breed? *Smiles Big*

I see you are an advocate against BSL, what would you like to say about it?

My Mommy and I believe that Breed Specific Legislation is just as wrong as labeling a human as either dangerous or a bad person based on how they look. I hope this is okay to say, but you could take two photos of two men with blond hair, blue eyes, same height and general look and hold them side by side. One could be a famous actor that everyone loves and the other a criminal. You would never know just by looking at them that one could be dangerous, and it would be crazy for all the blond haired, blue eyed men to be discriminated against because one of them was a criminal. So, my belief, with all my heart, is that a dog (and everyone) should be judged only by their actions, not how they look, where they come from, or what breed they might be. Mommy has photographed many Pit Bull type breeds at the shelter she volunteers at, and she has gotten far more kisses and loving hugs from them than anything else. If you come at a dog aggressively, he/she will respond in the same manner. All that any dog needs is a loving, caring, gentle and patient heart to give them a loving home.

What would you like to tell people about tail docking?

 

Tail docking is a terrible practice in which various breeds of dogs get their tails removed when they are merely days old. There is no logical reason for it, no matter what tail docking supporters say, and it can cause life long problems in some dogs, as it has for me. Not many people realize that tail docking involves the severing of muscles, spinal vertebrae, tendons and nerves. For me and other dogs many other dogs with docked tails, any excitement or stimulation such as being happy to see Mommy come home, or trying to do other dog things, will send shooting nerve pain and stinging into the tail nub tip. It is like the dog is constantly being electrocuted or poked with a sharp stick. Mommy has spent years trying to help me, and has a long list of symptoms to look for (that a dog is having issues) and ways to help them cope.

There are many symptoms and behaviours that a dog can exhibit when they are having docked tail pain. Here are just a few signs that a puppy or adult dog is having pain, irritation or difficulties with a docked tail:

1. Biting, licking, ‘chasing’ or whining at the tail or back end.
2. Hiding under a bed, or in a crate. Isolation from the family or laying alone in a back room.
3. Difficulty potty training, either on paper or outside. Often difficulty having a normal BM, including running away from a BM as it is occurring.
4. Unexplained potty accidents, even if they are potty trained.
5. Redness, inflammation or scaling at the tail nub tip. I am 4.5 years old and mine still gets red and inflamed at times.
6. The dog acting like they are in trouble or are being punished, including crying out, yelping, or even nipping at someone who tries to pick up the dog, or touch the back end near the tail.
7. Getting excited over a loved one coming home or a fun play time, and then suddenly yelping and ‘going after their tail. Whenever I’d get excited to see Mommy my tail would give me a fit. I couldn’t even show how happy I was to see her without my tail stinging and hurting me. Excitement runs through the nerves in the tail nub as a dog wags with joy.

Things you can do to help ease the stress from the stabbing and stinging nerve pain of a docked tail include:

1. Setting up a ‘safe place’ where the dog can go to such as a crate, or a bed that is just theirs. Make sure you can easily access them if needed. I used to go under the bed, now I have a little crate I can run to if need be and Mommy can come comfort me.
2. Putting a sweater on the dog (amazingly this distracts me from biting at my tail).
3. Help your dog snuggle into a comfy bed and gently wrap them in a blanket if possible. Sit and comfort them.
4. Talk to your vet about your concerns. I am on Neurontin for the nerve pain and I just started taking a natural supplement called ‘Composure’ that has Colostrum, the natural occurring hormone that puppies get from their mother when nursing. Mommy saw a marked difference in me on the very first day.
5. Corrective surgery is an option, and one that my family is now going to do for me. We’ve tried every other avenue and now we must take this final step to make my quality of life better.
Make sure your vet takes you seriously, and if you feel your concerns are not being addressed…go talk to another vet. Docked tail issues are real and valid, and you owe it to your dog to do all you can to help them. I would be honored if everyone went to my “No Tail Left Behind” page (www.facebook.com/NoTailLeftBehind), LIKE it, and help me spread the word and help other dogs that have had their tails docked live a full, happy life. My page is also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NoTailLeftBhind.

Do you have any videos of your tricks that you can do so that you can show off for my readers?

I sure do have videos to share! Here are some links to my favorite videos…
1. Pixel practicing her latest trick of knowing her left from her right. Left paw command is ‘Ask’ and right paw command is ‘Paw’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgLXTVdo0-Q
2. Pixel making her Mommy laugh with her trick “How Does A Car Go?” trick – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUprOKEuPK0
3. A video of me last year doing a few tricks. I’ve since mastered them a little better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_UaDkySYt4&feature=relmfu

What was the hardest trick for you to learn?

I would say the hardest trick was the “How does a car go?” trick, where I make my voice sound like a revving car engine. It took me over a year to master it. We had a great time practicing and working on it.

The hardest command though, was ‘Wait’, in which I stop whatever I am doing and stand or sit still. Mommy taught it to me for protection, so that if I am in any danger or risk, she can get me to stop immediately. It took me forever to get it, and not think I was in trouble or something. She ALWAYS makes learning fun, and always made that command a positive one, so I’d know I would always be safe when she said it.

I see that you won Nurse of the Year in Virginia for 2010 & 2011, how tough was the competition and how did you train to win?

I have a natural ability to know when someone is ill, hurt or in distress, often before they know it, and I am compelled to comfort and attend to them until they are well. I was able to detect that something was wrong with my Mommy’s neck early in 2010. After the doctor corroborated and identified my findings as compressed discs and a bone spur in her cervical spine, I was promoted to full time nurse and got my special uniform. I knew there was something wrong with my grampy’s heart about a month before he had his heart attack. Every time I was near him, I kept sniffing his chest and trying to identify what was wrong. Grampy survived, thank God, and as I cared for both of them while they recovered, I was honored to be named Nurse of the Year in Virginia for 2010, and doubly honored in 2011 for my continued dedication to the sick and injured. I care for all patients, be they human, animal or stuffed animal. Everyone deserves a chance to be well cared for.

Are you competing for the Nurse of the Year in Virginia of 2012?

I am not sure what this year holds for the 2012 title. I did alert the family to something being seriously wrong with my uncle Jessie over the last few months, and now he is having trouble walking and is being cared for by our wonderful vet.

Is there anything the readers can do to help you win?

I am known in the Facebook doggie community as Nurse Pixel, and have had several people and animal pages request my tending to someone in need. It is a real joy for me. If someone I have tended to were to write a little letter about how I helped them, that would be a great honor.

Do you accept fan mail/presents?

I certainly do and have in the past. I am so humbled that anyone would want to write to me or send me something. It is my goal in life to help share all the joy I can, and in turn, I have had many people bring me joy in return. Just the other day (Oct 9), a Facebook doggie friend from South Africa sent me a copy of the calendar that he and his Mommy did for a large rescue place there. Along with the calendar was the most beautiful hand made elephant shaped key-chain made of silver wire and blue beads. I absolutely LOVE it!
My email is pixelblueeyes.blog@gmail.com and my mailing address is P.O. Box 764, Marion VA 24354.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I wanted to share that Mommy volunteers and takes pet portraits every single week at our local shelter and then optimizes the photos, creating posters for the pets and putting them on the shelter page. I help her get things ready for her next photoshoot every week, like helping her make doggie bandanas and lay next to her while she works on making the pet posters. The shelter page is www.facebook.com/SmythCountyAnimalShelter and the page where Mommy has started celebrating the dogs and cats who find a true forever loving home is at www.facebook.com/RealShelterPetPortraits. It is so rewarding for us to be able to help them, but sometimes it is certainly heartbreaking. The real reward is that we have helped over 70 dogs & cats, puppies & kittens find homes since July. What an amazing thing to be able to do!

UPDATE: 

I just celebrated my 5th birthday. Now we are getting ready for Christmas.

I have some wonderful news I wanted to share with you. I am so excited! Mommy just found out that I am one of 100 dogs chosen to be featured in Life and Dog magazine for my ‘No Tail Left Behind’ campaign about tail docking. The article is about dogs ‘changing the world’, can you believe it?? It is going to be in their March 2013 issue.

Links:

Pixel’s Blog – www.pixelblueeyes.blogspot.com
Pixel’s Facebook Page –http://www.facebook.com/pixelblueeyes
Facebook Page dedicated to education people about tail docking- http://www.facebook.com/NoTailLeftBehind
Real Shelter Pet Portraits – http://www.facebook.com/RealShelterPetPortraits
Author’s Note: A huge thank you goes to Pixel & his mom for answering the interview questions and providing me with wonderful information about tail docking and sharing the videos of his tricks. All photos and videos were used with permission.

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