Archive for February, 2010

Goodbye February

Hard to believe the month is over already and March is beginning. The sun is making more frequent appearances, daffodils are blooming, and baby lambs are in the fields. Frolicking lambs are pretty much the cutest beings ever. I nearly drive off the road when I see them hopping around.

I was treated to a few other baby critters at work today. I was lucky enough to get to “help” with a few puppies today. The puppies were getting adopted one by one and since the copy machine in the lobby is broken, the kennel folks had to come back to the offices to get copies of medical records before sending them home.

Since it can be hard to make copies with a puppy in ones arms, I offered to help by holding the puppy. It was tough work but I managed for the sake of my coworkers.

Becca the puppy went home today!

Then I got treated to even more baby cuteness when two baby bunnies came in.

They’re on their way to foster care until they’re big enough to spay/neuter. Can’t wait to see them again!


It never fails. I can always find something to make me laugh on

Pretty sure this one is about my cat Nugget…

funny pictures - cat sneezed on clean dishes
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Another fun site for a laugh is where I found this snippet.

One last giggle for the day… This is from

Adorable cuteness and the power of moving pictures

Just this weekend I got the official word to keep an eye out at work for a dog for my parents. Last month their dog Rose died, leaving Alice an only child.

Rose came into the family in May of 1998 when my mom, my sister and I went for a trip to the mall in Salem. At that time WHS was known as HSWV (Humane Society of the Willamette Valley) and had a satellite adoption center at the mall. We just went in to ooh and aah over the cute critters and somehow ended up taking home a 3 month old pitbull puppy named Rose.

From the beginning Rose was a great puppy (which of course I credit to her previous foster home) and grew up into an amazing dog. She seemed to train herself and didn’t have most of the typical puppy challenges.

At the age of 12, Rose passed away, succumbing to a variety of health problems that eventually overwhelmed her poor old body. Rose is now buried in her front yard looking out at the lake where she loved to hang out watching the ducks paddle by.

RIP Rosiekins

Since my parents have pretty much always had a two dog household, I figured they’d be ready before too long to welcome another dog into their home.

When chatting with my mom this weekend she asked me to keep an eye out for a male boxer. It had been a while since my dad had a boy dog and he loves boxers. We do tend to get boxers in our shelter every so often so I figured one would come in eventually and I could let the parents know.

I didn’t expect to find a boxer quite so soon, but Samson a handsome 1 1/2 year old hadn’t been adopted yet. I knew he had been up for adoption but somehow missed the fact that he was still available. By the time I noticed this on Sunday, he had a hold on him for another family though. Yesterday the hold was removed and Samson was available again.

I chatted with my dad this afternoon and told him about Samson and suggested that he check out our website to see his picture and profile. As he scrolled through our adoptable dogs Bella, a 3 month old pitbull, caught his eye.

My mom happened to be in Salem today, so my dad called her and asked her to stop by to meet Samson and Bella. She pretty much fell in love when she met Bella. I did introduce her to Samson, but Bella had already made a huge impression and we took her out to visit for a while.

While mom was on the phone telling dad about how cute Bella was, I got out my camera and caught this video of her. I skimped on the editing and posted it right away so dad could see Bella in action instead of just hearing how cute she was.

The very idea of uploading a video for my dad to watch online without someone to help him navigate a computer, let alone the internet, would have been inconceivable in the recent past. But my oh my how times change. With minimal coaching over the phone he was able to follow a link I emailed to him and view this video. So proud :)

And it worked! One look at this girl and my dad was hooked. We loaded Bella up in a crate for the drive back to the coast and as of the last report I received, Bella was doing very well, she and Alice were doing well together, and mom and dad sounded completely smitten.

While she doesn’t appear to be a boy boxer, I think she’s just what they were looking for! Now they’re debating on a name. They’re not sure if Bella is going to stick and are starting the brainstorming.

So yet again, the unsuspecting Fitzpatrick family ended up with a 3 month old girl pitbull from WHS… and couldn’t be happier!

Happy Spay Day

Today is Spay Day USA! Officially celebrated the last Tuesday of February, this event brings attention to the need to spay and neuter pets to reduce overpopulation.

Now that we have a spay/neuter clinic it is great to begin this year being able to celebrate Spay Day five days a week all year long!

For our first Spay Day USA event we were able to offer the Tom & Mon Cat Special which allowed people receiving government assistance to have their female cats spayed for $20 and males for $10. This sepcial was funded by a grant that subsidized 217 surgeries at these prices. In less than two weeks all of the available appointments for this special had been booked!

It is always nice to fix cats before the breeding season begins to help prevent oops litters. I wish we could wave a magic wand and double our capacity to fix all the cats on our appointment books now so they don’t have to wait weeks.

But even as it is, we have fixed over 350 cats so far in our clinic, which will certainly help as this kitten season approaches.

Dog 101 – Week 1

Well here he is, Julio after a busy, busy day. This is all he has been able to manage since we got home this evening.

Today was our first day of training class. We signed up for class to give Julio more experience in social situations. This session of Dog 101 also has two of my coworkers’ dogs in it, so it was fun to have the WHS small doggy gang together. I also feel guilty for not taking Julio to classes before this, so hopefully it’s better late than never. And after over a year and a half at WHS I hadn’t taken Dog 101 from our amazing trainer Annie. Put this all together and the time was right to sign us up.

Taking Julio to a Monday evening class means that he has to come to work with me, which presents its own set of challenges. He doesn’t mind hanging out in my office while I’m in there, but tends to notice when I’m gone and complains about it. Shrilly. Today he actually did a bit better at this and was able to stay calmer when I walked out of the room.

Libby also spent the day in my office, although you’d never know she was there. She’s the nicest, mellowest girl who loves her bed in the corner.

Libby is so good, she makes pretty much any other dog look like an unruly maniac. So Julio seems especially vile compared to her.

One nice thing about Libby is that she doesn’t put up with Julio’s naughtiness. She grumbles right back at him and tells him to shut up. Then Julio will flirt with her which is pretty cute.

The other critter in the office is Kaser’s fish, Zen. Zen is a very peaceful companion, who also makes Julio seem ill behaved in comparison.

It’s really cute when Zen hangs out in his house.

So even before our 6pm class Julio had a busy day hanging out at work with me. It’s hard work being the soda machine monitor. Our Coke machine is on the wall outside my office. I had no idea how frequently people bought soda from it until Julio started coming to work with me.

The thunking sound of the soda being dispensed, which I have apparently tuned out for a year and a half, sets Julio’s alarm sensors off and brings out a round of barking. Guess that’s another behavior we can hopefully work on.

When class time came I gathered Julio’s variety of mini treats and we headed down the hall to join the six other dogs in the class.

Well, no miracles were achieved by simply walking into the training center. Julio treated all other participants to one of his full fledged shrieking episodes. It is always fun to see people’s expressions when they hear this for the first time. It’s a combination of amusement, shock and thankfulness that their dog isn’t capable of making such a horrendous noise.

I was actually pretty impressed at how well Julio was able to focus for the first half of class. There were definitely moments of distraction and more shrieking, but he was able to pay attention and work on the exercises we were supposed to practice.

But halfway through the class, the sensory overload started to hit along with all the treats to the belly. Without being able to motivate him with food (he even turned down the peanut butter spoon Annie gave him) we weren’t able to work on too much during the second half of class other than just being in a setting with lots of people and dogs. But we was much quieter during this time.

By the last five minutes of class, Julio was curled up at my feet exhausted. When it was time leave he did perk up and was able to show off a decent “wait” at the door.

When we were chatting afterward, Annie said Julio did better than she expected. We survived and I don’t think I have permanent damage to my eardrums, so that was probably successful.

After class, Julio had a mini play session with Falco and Zume, his chihuahua classmates. Watching the three of them run around the offices was pretty amusing.

Julio was practically comatose on the drive home tonight and even survived a trip though the drive through with less drama than usual. I’ll share the story of the Taco Bell incident some other time.

Here’s to five more weeks of the Julio Improvement Project!

PS – For a small taste of Julio’s sounds, check out Trent’s website. Keep in mind that this is just his whine and not his actual shriek. Happy listening!

Thanks Liz!

I have lots of things I want to share and pictures to show, but tonight I’m taking a break. I figured I would at least share what Liz posted.

Liz Marek is the amazing cake creator who made the delicious and beautiful cupcakes to help WHS celebrate the opening of our spay & neuter clinic. Liz blogged about this on her website

To get right to her blog click here.

Sweet cupcake dreams to all!

Legally Blond

This is one of those movies I can watch again and again. I also love musicals, so when I found out that Legally Blond the musical was coming to Portland I was ecstatic.

Tomorrow night my mom and I get to go see the show together. I can’t wait!

At work the other day someone shared this article about the dogs in the show.

Spoiling Julio

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s Davenport’s Day, time to check out our store to see what fun things my pets *must* have.

I took Julio to work with me today and had him help choose goodies. I wanted to get him a yummy chewy to hopefully help keep him entertained and quiet. (My backup plan of putting him in the car today was thwarted by the sun making a surprising but cheerful appearance.) Julio got his pick from our many baskets of yummies and chose this.

I couldn’t resist getting him a toy too, so he now has a chirping chicken cat toy. He wasn’t too interested in it, but I figured he’d like it better at home where he can steal it from the cats. In his opinion, something is always better if it’s taken from someone else.

When we got home though Dante was the one who desperately wanted the chicken.

"Please, please, please can I have it??"

Eventually Cecilia noticed that the toy was here and came over to investigate.

By the way, this particular toy has a very sensitive sensor that starts the chirping. I got to listen to the “peep peeps” pretty much the whole drive home. Next time I may wait to take out the battery tab until I get home.

The most exciting thing I bought at Davenport’s today was better than any treat or toy. It’s a chance to spend time with, bond with and train Julio :P I signed us up for one of our shelter’s training classes – Dog 101. Several other staff have signed up their little dogs so we’ll have a pack of tiny dogs running amok in class – I can’t wait!

Our trainer Annie is amazing, but I haven’t taken her class before so this will be great. Our first day of class is Monday. Hopefully Julio doesn’t end up with a dunce cap!

Happy Valentine’s Day

What a fun Valentine’s weekend! Yesterday was our speed dating event which was fun and even got covered in the newspaper.

Today was a book launch party for A Valentine’s Anthology, written by three local authors. One author is a wonderful volunteer who even auctioned off a “write in” role as a donation to our annual auction. Today’s event was full of book sales, book signing, munchies and door prizes. Now I have my next book to read :)

Libby the Wonder Dog assisted by drawing names for the door prizes. Libby is pretty amazing, but I now wonder if she can read. She managed to focus on drawing out the names of staff members! Thanks Libby for drawing mine. I got to give my stuffed Valentine’s puppy and chocolate to Trent as if I had planned on a gift for him all along.

Oh, and we had 17 adoptions yesterday and another 16 today. Lots of pets got to be someone’s sweetheart this weekend!

Pibble Poses

This week we get to dog sit my parents’ dog Alice. Alice was my foster dog for about a year when she was an undersocialized puppy. Now Alice is about 6 years old and a happy dog when she’s in familiar surroundings. When I take her to work with me, she stays in her crate and won’t emerge until it’s time to go home. But at home she’s a playful girl who has lots of interesting quirks.

One of Alice’s quirks is the strange positions she will end up in. I constantly wonder how she can be comfortable…

Last time I visited the coast to see the parents, Alice demonstrated her couch sitting technique.

I wonder if she has a spine

Another common view is the Frog-Legged Alice, demonstrated here just this evening…

Pretty sure she doesn't have hips either

And yesterday Alice showed me a new one – the Couch Perch.

I was watching a movie and she hung out above me, snoring with her eyes open.

Just to prove that sleeping isn’t all she does (even though she’s snoring next to me at the moment)…

Alice can be pretty hard on toys but loves things that squeak. It can be hard to find things that she doesn’t instantly destroy. She can puncture a tennis ball in less that 10 seconds.

The Wubba she played with today held up really well and even retains its ability to squeak after Alice’s play session. Wubbas, another treasure from Davenport’s Den. Alice may need one of her very own… and they come in different colors. I might have to shop tomorrow!