Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Saturday, September 17, 2011
For awhile now, I've been thinking that Erik really needed a dog that he could actually interact with. Mary and Daisy, our 12 and 18 pound dogs, are really too small for him. He is as gentle as he can be with them, but he is unpredictable, and they avoid him for the most part, except when he is eating, as he is a wonderful provider. Erik is a shy kid, and not really a do-er, and certainly not a risk taker. I believe he could really benefit from a friendship with a dog "brother" who could help him to gain confidence and self-assurance, as well as a lot of stimulation from the interaction. I did lots and lots of research and decided that a Newfoundland/Standard poodle mix would be the ideal dog, but YOU try and find a Newfypoo breeder!! It is impossible!!! I came close to deciding that a purebred Newfy would be excellent, but there was the issue of excessive drooling and shedding, and with a dog that huge, that would mean a MASSIVE amount of drool and hair all over the house.

So, I kind of dropped it.

I do some volunteering for our local SPCA, mostly dog walking, and I really love it. Our SPCA is a no-kill shelter and is a really nice one. The dogs are really well cared for there, and the staff are protective of the dogs, which is great. There is also a high-kill shelter in our town, the local "pound", or Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement, and unfortunately, they do not have the cartel of volunteers that the SPCA does, and they sure don't get the donations they they do. Their kennels are indoor/outdoor, so they don't get the playtime that the SPCA dogs do, in large runs with toys, etc; and they desperately need paint and amenities to make their place more homelike (if ANY shelter can feel homelike...!). It's incredibly sad.

So, several days ago, I went in to see if they needed any volunteers (like they'd say no - duh!) and of course, I had to look at the dogs. 80% of the dogs there were pit bulls. What a sad fate that breed has now, with all of the fighting they've been used for, ruining their reputation. Doing homecare, I have met a great many pit bulls, and I've never met a mean one. They are all obedient, affectionate, silly, and wonderful. It broke my heart to see so many looking so rough in this place, where the day I visited, I'd learned that 5 dogs were euthanized. :'o(

As I wandered through, I noticed a small black dog lying in the kennel with his back to me, with a bit of one ear sticking out through the chain link. It was ignoring the deafening barking of the other dogs and I was surprised that it was so calm. I said something like "Hey, buddy" to it, but it didn't move (probably couldn't hear me). I bent down and touched its ear and it SPRANG to life, wiggling and wiggling and wiggling with the happiness that only a puppy knows! I put my hand in the crack of the chainlink by the door and he licked and slurped and rubbed his snout against my hand, while wiggling the back half of him so fast I could hardly see it! It was a PUPPY! A black lab puppy, purebred, from what I could tell. How adorable was he!! There was no intro sheet on his door, so I assumed he was on hold for someone.

The pup in side of his kennel, in one of his non-wiggling
moments (few and far between).

This picture breaks my heart. Could there BE sadder eyes, anywhere??

So I asked about him, of course!! He was found as a stray in Cocoa (2 towns over) and was on a "stray hold" until the 15th. This was the 12th, I think. I went home and told Mark about him, and we both went that night to see him again. Well, to make a long story short, he liked him, too, and we put an application on him. Yesterday I took Erik out there to visit and, while the pup was really hyper, of course!, he did great in the visiting room, and seemed very friendly and unafraid of anything, even the cats, with daggers in their eyes, from the cat perch things they were on in the visiting room. Erik did pretty well too, considering the pup was pretty overwhelming, jumping on everyone, panting, excited about being out of his kennel for the first time in a week (poor thing).

Today, Mark and I went back again, as the kennel-mistress (for lack of a better term) asked if I wanted to take him for a walk, and I couldn't do that with Erik, so today he and I went for a visit. It went great!
Here we are (don't look at my enormous butt, please) (You just looked.), after letting the poor baby outside for the first time.
Here he is with Mark (who would also tell you not to look at his ...well, I guess just his self). Mark had a black lab for many years who was an extremely good friend to him, so this dog was especially special to him.

Finally, I got to take him for a walk!! (You are looking at my butt again.) I was ASTONISHED at how well he walked on a leash!!! After only 2 or 3 mild corrections, he settled in right beside me and we were able to walk with a SLACK leash!! What a GREAT dog!!!!

Now, for the very BEST part!!! This dog is going to be evaluated on Monday to be a participant at our local county jail's "Paws and Stripes" program!! They will take him and several other shelter dogs (from this place and the SPCA) and for 8 weeks, will train the dogs!! The adoption fee remains at $50!! He would leave for the program on Sept 26th, I believe, and be there at the jail for the 8 weeks, then we'd take him home. Based on how well he did on that simple walk we took, this dog should do STELLAR in that program!! Oh, I hope he's accepted!

There is one decision that would have to be made first, though... He'd need a place to stay between Monday and the next Monday, as they need the room, and with him being a puppy, they don't really want him in a shelter, as it's not good for his development. So, we could foster him for that week, or we could have them foster him at another place for the week. This is something we have not considered. Also, if he does NOT get accepted into the program, we probably could not adopt him, as we could not handle an untrained 5 month old lab puppy with me working and being as busy as I am and with Mark not feeling so hot much of the time, etc. Anyone who knows anything about lab pups knows that they are NOT EASY PUPPIES and they chew and chew and chew and chew and chew!!! So to have him 2 1/2 months older, and trained, is really something we'd need for him to be. I'm just being honest.

Sooooo... What do you think??


Anne & James said...

I think he's adorable! Your pretty funny to about the butt thing, lol

Amy L said...

You crack me up Missy! I wasn't looking at your butt......really I wasn't!!! LOL!

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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