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Friday, July 25, 2014

Shelter Pets

I visited the Story County Shelter today and though the cat room was closed due to illness I did get some photos of some dogs and a couple of rabbits that I’d like to share with you today.

This tri-colored, wirehaired terrier type dog is a friendly but very active dog. I could imagine him making a good family dog with children who have a lot of time to walk him and play with him. Perhaps he’d be a good fly-ball competitor :)

This beautiful girl is lab-sized and friendly but a little laid back. She seemed to be camera shy too. Every time I pointed the camera at her she turned her face away. While the other dogs barked away she simply wagged her tail and smiled in a doggy way. I think she’d be a nice quiet dog to sleep on the couch with you.


Then there’s this big happy fella. He may look like a Beagle but he’s nearly 6 foot tall when he stands on his back legs. He was just so happy, happy, happy. He must have a little Lab in him.

I tried to get some photos of this unusually colored Cocker Spaniel but he was wary of me and wouldn’t hold still. When I lowered myself to his height he calmed a little and licked my hand. I think he would be best in a home with responsible, understanding adults. He’ll also need some socialization so he isn’t so afraid of people. His color though is so cool. It’s somewhere between buff and liver. Not exactly sure what to call it.

And finally I caught this adorable black and tan Dachsund in the front room just coming in from his walk by the lake. He’s just so darn friendly I couldn’t get a very good picture of him. He just wanted to lick me and be petted rather than have his photo taken!

Then I just couldn’t resist capturing shots of these two bunnies. I don’t know much about bunny breeds so I can’t tell you what they are but the lighter colored one is a neutered male and seems pretty friendly but he didn’t want to face the camera. The darker bunny is a female and just about the most lovable furball I’ve seen. I could just hug her for hours. And those adorable cheek tufts…..what more can I say. I didn’t ask but from the looks of their cages they seemed to be litter-trained


Okay, so if you live in central Iowa stop by the Story County Animal Shelter and adopt one of these loving pets. In a week or so the cat room should be open again and there’ll be plenty of cats and kittens vying for your attention. Fortunately there are about 6 kittens in the front room that are available although I didn’t take any photos of them.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July - A Hard Month

July is a hard month. After waiting months for summer to take hold we are suddenly bombarded with 90 degree temps and high humidity. Some days it is hard just to breath. But then we are rewarded with weeks like the one forecasted next week: clear skies and highs in the 70s!

Thai, my mom's Siamese, and Gabbie

Life is like that. Just last week I was struck by the irony of July 8th. It is a day for celebrating Gabbie’s entrance into my life in 1977 just one day after the day that was supposed to be the end of the world (7-7-77). She was, at most, 3 weeks old and a spitfire of feline fur. She quickly became my best friend, closer to me than any human could ever be.

But July 8, 2008 brought an end to my physical life with Effie after 16 years. I’d spent nearly 12 years trying to convince her that domestication was way better than her feral life. When she finally agreed to give it a try we had only 4 years left together for a close friendship. I was so lucky that she had already given me her best with her babies, Mewdy Blue and his siblings.

Pixel in 1998
Today is the anniversary of the day in 2000 when Pixel’s pancreatic cancer invaded her brain and I had to let her go. Pixel came into my life as an adult in the feral colony but didn’t stay feral long. I’d trapped her for spaying but afterward, when I opened the carrier to change her bedding and add food and water she purred and rubbed against my hand. She’d taken almost no time at all to choose domestication. I’ve a much longer story about her life but for now just know that she was a special girl.

Only picture of all 6 of Tiggy's babies
In 1980 the clinic I worked for took in the stray animals from local animal control and many of them ended up on my family’s acreage. We all thought that Tiggy was already spayed because we’d felt what seemed to be a spay scar on her abdomen. Only a few weeks after she “appeared” on the acreage I realized how wrong we’d been. On July 12 she delivered 6 unusual kittens. Lando Calrissian and Yoda developed normally to robust longhaired cats. Pirate, Figaro and Zeit Geist, however, suffered from muscular dystrophy. (Princess disappeared at only 2 weeks of age).

Tiggy's babies all grown-up

My sister adopted Pirate and Figaro died early from Panleukopenia (he was vaccinated). Yoda had been the runt of the litter but with my TLC he became the largest of them all. Unfortunately Yoda disappeared only a week before I moved into to my first apartment. Lando and Zeit both experienced mast cell tumors and yet they both lived to old age. Zeit even had a urethrostomy at one point but lived to 16. Lando was my longest-lived cat, to date, finally succumbing to his mast cell tumors at age 19.

Zeit Geist & Yoda

Lando Calrissian
Then there’s July 13th.  What else can I say except that Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of the day Mewdy Blue left me. How does one cope with such a traumatic, dramatic loss? I remember a line from the Lord of the Ring movies spoken by Frodo, “Some hurts go too deep.”

Effie and baby Mewdy Blue
Baby Mewdy Blue