Category Archives: Fostering

Foster Update: What Happened to Blind Willie

 

jack russell terrier in procone recovery collar

It’s always hard to let a foster dog go.

Are-you-sure-WE-shouldn’t-keep-the-dog drama has surrounded the departure of every single dog we have temporarily taken into our home.

Blind Willie was no different.

Smart, silly and amazingly adaptable despite being totally blind, Willie wowed us from day one. Everyone who met him while he was under our care agreed that this jack russell terrier was special – and not just because he had no eyes.

Nevertheless, the time came for Willie to leave Wayward House. Due to a home improvement project that rendered our backyard unsafe for a blind dog, that time came before he had a forever home.

jack russell terrier and golden retriever walk

Little Willie headed back to Kennel Creek Pet Resort. But he didn’t stay there long.

Recognizing that the kennel environment had never been ideal for Blind Willie, an employee introduced him to her parents.

They loved him. Luckily, the other dogs in their house took to Willie, as well.

In fact, Willie seems to be fitting in better with his new pack than he did with mine.

jack russell terrier and a beagle

 

He lives with three other dogs now – a Pomeranian, a beagle and a pug. I’m told he and the pug are inseparable.

Willie’s other best friend is a toy fish that makes bubbling noises when he carries it around. I’m told he picked the toy out himself!

jack russell terrier and a pug

Although I haven’t personally met Willie’s new parents, the stories I’m hearing and the pictures they have shared warm my heart. And they make me so glad that I didn’t hold on to my little blind foster dog out of fear that no one would take a chance on him. The right family was out there, right under our noses!

Says the daughter of the couple who gives Willie belly rubs now:

“My family specializes in loving pets that are just a little on the special side, and he fits right in. Thank you for taking good care of him for us!”

Blind Willie

Thank you to everyone who was rooting for Blind Willie all along, especially to those who helped us raise money for his eye removal surgery.

Do you find it hard to say goodbye to your foster dogs? Share your thoughts about this topic in the comments below.

Wordless Wednesday: A New Family

jack russell terrier wearing red hoodie

You haven’t heard much about foster dog Blind Willie from me lately.

That’s because he’s been busy getting to know his forever family!

jack russell terrier and a pug

jack russell terrier and a beagle

It looks like he’s having fun, doesn’t it?

Come back tomorrow for the full update on Blind Willie’s adoption!

Support the work of animal rescue by shopping Beer Paws!

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Why Is this Blind Dog So Happy Despite Wearing a Cone of Shame?

My foster dog Blind Willie is a good-tempered little guy.

He rolls with the punches – er, bonks on the head – life deals him and carries on.

jack russell terrier with southern tier brewing company beer

Willie is probably the most determined dog I have ever met. He’s scared of almost nothing and every day amazes me with his ability to get around – like a boss! – even though he’s totally blind.

However, undergoing surgery recently did dampen Willie’s spirit for a while. Although his only remaining eye was useless to him, having it surgically removed was, of course, traumatic.

In addition to pain and confusion, following surgery Willie experienced serious disorientation.

jack russell terrier in e-collar cone of shame

This sucks.

Every dog I’ve ever seen in the cone of shame has an understandably harder time getting around. The cone gets caught on things. They have a hard time judging how much extra space the lampshade requires. Relaxing with your head surrounded by plastic is awkward.

Watching a blind dog stumble around in a cone was particularly hard to watch , especially considering he got around so well before in spite of being sightless.

jack russell terrier and golden retriever walk

Whether made of soft fabric or hard plastic, I think a cone must distort a dog’s sense of sound.

Willie was obviously uncomfortable in the hard plastic e-collar, but I was hesitant to put him in a cone with more give. The worst thing I could imagine was a flimsy cone not preventing something from poking Willie right in his slowly healing eye hole.

Due to fears about that very subject, Willie spent part of his recovery, cone and all, at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, where there was absolutely no chance of his eye hole getting poked because he spent most of his time confined to his suite or on supervised leash walks.

But despite our best efforts, an unforseen complication from the surgery has meant additional weeks for Willie in the cone.

A tiny part of a tear gland was left behind during the original operation. This caused Willie’s wound to weep. For proper healing the only option was for the vet to open up the surgical site again and restitch Willie.

The first night after the follow up visit, Willie was sadder than I’ve ever seen him. He just laid in his bed and groaned. I barely got him to take his pain pill.

But as the days progressed he got his appetite back.

And then he got fed up with that cone.

Never one to settle for an unsatisfactory situation, Willie made his frustration clear. He strutted angrily around the house and rolled his head on the ground through the cone, somehow even managing to loosen one of his stitches.

The vet recommended Benadryl (we use generic brand Walfinate) to calm him down and reduce any itchiness from the healing wound. I decided it was also time for a more comfortable cone.

Luke has an actual Comfy Cone, but it’s way too big for Willie. So, I took the little guy to Brookside Barkery, and two women spent a long time helping me find the best fitting ProCone Recovery Collar for Willie.

jack russell terrier in procone recovery collar

While I know that a panting dog is not necessarily a happy dog, I couldn’t help but feel he was happier in the ProCone when I took this picture just after we left the store.

He also seemed to sleep much better that night. (Thanks, Walfinate!)

It’s been almost a week since we got the ProCone, and I’m happy to report Willie doesn’t really need it anymore. He’ll likely have his stitches removed in the next few days.

Then, I hope we can find someone to adopt him!

If you live in the Kansas City area and have interest in adopting Blind Willie, contact me via the form below.

Help me help more dogs like Blind Willie by supporting my business. We donate a portion of all profits to animal rescue.

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How to Honor the Memory of Your Dog

This is Dixie.

Dixie

She’s a friend of Luke and Scooby, although they never got to meet her nose-to-nose.

We got to know Dixie, through her mama, my friend Miranda, who lives in Georgia and blogs at WOOF! Tails from St. Simon’s Island.

Dixie didn’t have a great start to life. She was part of an unwanted litter born to a dog who belonged to a family but mostly just roamed the countryside around their home. Miranda tried to get Dixie a home with another member of that family, but he didn’t think the little brindle pup was very pretty.

So, she went home with Miranda instead.

She became a good companion to Miranda’s other dog Brutus, and they all loved each other through good times and bad.

We’ve gotten to know Dixie, Brutus and their pug brother Boney over the past couple of years as Miranda and I reconnected.

Unfortunately, during that time first Brutus and then Dixie have made their way to the rainbow bridge. Dixie’s journey there involved weeks of chemo followed by a blessed – but short – remission.

My heart broke for Miranda and her husband Joe when Dixie’s cancer came back. But they savored every moment with her until she became too sick to enjoy her walks, a good meal or even a good night’s rest anymore. Even then, the decision to say goodbye to our pets isn’t easy, I know.

But as they said goodbye to Dixie, Miranda and Joe made a the decision to honor her memory by helping other dogs.

They did this in two ways.

  1. They adopted another rescue dog.
  2. They encouraged their family to make donations in Dixie’s name to rescue organizations.

 Can you think of a more righteous way to celebrate the memory of a beloved pet?

You might know the dog Miranda and Joe adopted. He’s kind of a blog star – Moby, the most recent foster project from Our Waldo Bungie.

Although she was a Georgia dog, I’m also incredibly appreciative as I report that part of Dixie’s memorial money also came to Kansas City. Miranda’s family made a donation in her name to the organization to which my foster dog belongs, the Wayward Dog Foundation.

How will you honor the memory of your pet? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Help Me Help My New Foster Dog

Blind Willie Christmas Tree

My new foster dog only has one eye.

It doesn’t work.

In fact, Blind Willie’s big, old, useless eye will have to be removed very soon, and Wayward Dog Foundation is currently raising funds to help cover the surgery.

Eye trouble is one of the health issues common in Jack Russell terriers. Although I do not know Blind Willie’s entire history, I do know he has been seeing impaired for most, if not all, of his life.

willie and scooby

For this resilient and tenacious little terrier, though, his disability isn’t that big of a hurdle.

In fact, the 8-to-10-year-old dog gets around a heck of a lot better than Scooby the elderpin. Willie can go up and down stairs; he can hop on and off of furniture and he can use the electronic doggy door – all without help from people.

willie and luke

Little Willie also knows how to sit and speak for a treat. He’s a pretty good snuggler and content to rest for most of the day.

But at some point every evening he gets a burst of energy. During these periods, he’s a force to be reckoned with – if you are a Kong toy or a vacuum cleaner.

jack russell terrier blind

Willie has been in rescue for a few months, since he was surrendered by his former owners to the Wayward Dog Foundation.

After one failed out-of-state adoption, we are hoping to place Willie somewhere in the Kansas City area. He really does need a special home and a family who will be patient with him but who will also treat him like a regular dog.

Before Willie can be adopted, however, he does need to have his remaining eye removed. It is ulcerated and over time will cause Willie increasing discomfort. The sooner we can remove it, the better.

Buy Biscuits for Willie

One of the ways that I am helping to raise these funds is through the sale of Beer Paws Beer Biscuits.

beer paws package

Until the funds are raised, $1 from every 6-oz bag and $2 from every 12-oz bag of biscuits sold will be donated to Willie’s fund.

Click here to place your biscuit order.

Note: A portion of sales from all other Beer Paws products sold in February will be donated to the Beer Paws rescue partner of the month Paws Up Rescue of Nebraska.

How I Got Named the Rescue Stork

When I asked Zach if I could bring Princess the chihuahua mix home for the night, that’s all I meant.

One night for me to get to know the pipsqueak better so that I could get some photos that would show the world how wonderful she is.

Princess collar

But we kinda fell in love with Princess.

And she kinda fell in love with Zach.

So at the end of night two, he gave her permission to come home with me every night until she was adopted. I did not protest.

As foster dogs go, Princess was a dream. After getting over some first night jitters, she settled in like she owned the place. Here favorite place to perch was Zach’s chest, and she was satisfied to cuddle there all evening. She preferred to sleep in her own bed at night. She didn’t yap when we put her in a kennel. And our dogs didn’t seem to mind having her around at all. In fact, the extra “competition” at dinnertime seemed to kick Scooby the elderpin’s appetite into high gear, which was just fine by me.

And my plan worked.

princess 1

Having Princess at our house naturally resulted in a flurry of adorable tiny dog posts on my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Finally, my friend Katie, who had been intrigued by Princess since she first came into the Wayward Dog Foundation, couldn’t resist anymore. She had to meet the little dog.

So, I packed up Princess in a carrier three days before Christmas. It wasn’t hard to guess the final outcome…

Katie says when the rescue stork showed up, her little family became complete. You can read her take on it over at Pigtales Blog.

What’s Been Going On

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.

Overstacking my plate is a natural tendency of mine that reached new levels in the past few months.

But I don’t want to whine about my self-inflicted busy daze. I want to share some things I haven’t had time to write about. This could take a few days.

Let’s be honest.

After Charlie Machete, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever foster a dog again at Wayward House. Too much emotion and self-doubt surrounded the whole concept. What if we didn’t pay enough attention to our own aging forever dogs? What if we got too attached? What if we failed another dog?

I’m not kidding here. This stuff is heavy.

But I am so tied into the rescue community and have such a heart for dogs that I could not help myself from helping.

The opportunity to contribute to animal rescue was most definitely a motivating factor in the establishment of my business Beer Paws, which gives back a portion of all sales to the cause.

So was the creation of the Wayward Dog Foundation a few months later.

WD logo

Yet from spring to December, I only ever brought one adoptable home for the night.

That was Razzy, on the night before he was adopted.

long-haired dachshund

Through the rest of the summer and fall, I kept helping. I raised money. I networked.

Then, in November, I technically had a foster dog again.

He was black.

His name was Charlie.

He never made it to my house.

Charlie the poodle

Charlie the miniature poodle went straight from KC Pet Project to boarding at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, as a guest of the Wayward Dog Foundation.

He barely lasted a week before bewitching my friend, Kennel Creek owner and Foundation co-founder Chris Sailors. (I think PJ Ruth of MOSH Pit KC must have somehow known that would happen when she called me about the poodle she encountered mid-surrender in the shelter lobby.)

Although a far cry from the challenge we faced before, this rescue win – and the successful rehoming of Foundation dogs Buckshot, Penny and Razzy – emboldened me.

So, a few weeks later I got real brave.

I told Zach I wanted to bring a Wayward Dog Foundation adoptable home “just for the night.”

You will never believe what happened next (unless you follow me on Instagram or Facebook and have already seen the evidence).

Come back tomorrow for the full story.

1,000 Likes = $100 for the Homeless Animals of KC Pet Project

Do you want to help homeless pets this year?

There are many ways to do it. One is really easy. All you have to do is click Like.

Throughout the month of December, I have been rallying fans to help my Beer Paws business page reach 1,000 Likes.

If we can do that by December 31, Beer Paws will donate $100 to our featured shelter of the month, KC Pet Project.

KC Pet Project is the non-profit animal shelter that serves Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of animals pass through this program every year, and following many years as a high-kill shelter, KCPP achieved no-kill status this year.

Establishing more foster parents for pets has been one key to the program’s improvement. I’m happy to say that a dog was pulled into foster under my name just a few weeks ago – and adopted soon after.

Charlie the poodle

Another key element of KCPP’s success has been the establishment of play yards, where dogs get more exercise and socialization. Earlier in the month, the shelter had to raise $40,000 to improve the play yards to be in line with state standards.

Although that particular fiscal goal was met, there is always a need for donations to the shelter.

The $100 Beer Paws will donate, in addition to a percentage of all online sales for the month of December, will help feed and keep warm some dogs and cats this holiday season while they await their forever families.

By participating in my Like campaign, you can help this all happen.

As of this writing, the Beer Paws fan page has 771 Likes. That’s not bad, but time is running out.

We have 13 days to get 229 Likes. Will you help us get there?

To sweeten the deal, I’m offering a giveaway, open only to people who like Beer Paws on Facebook, and something else cool just got added to the pot.

katty de lux calendar

My friend Katty De Lux, a fetching pin up model from the Paris of the plains (aka Kansas City), put together a 2014 calendar that she has been selling as a fundraiser for KC Pet Project.

So the winner of this giveaway will receive a bunch of Beer Paws swag and a Katty De Lux calendar.

Beer Paws

Check out the Rafflecopter widget below. The first thing it will prompt you to do is Like Beer Paws!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also help support KC Pet Project by making a Beer Paws purchase this month or by purchasing the Katty De Lux calendar.

A New Organization for Pets in Need: The Wayward Dog Foundation

It was only a matter of time before we made it official.

Over the past few months, I have been working closely with my friend Chris Sailors, owner of Kennel Creek Pet Resort, to find new families for several dogs.

Some of the dogs, like Razzy the dachshund and Buckshot the min pin, came from shelters.

long-haired dachshundmin pin

Some, like Bentley the Australian shepherd and Princess the Chihuahua, came from homes in which they could no longer stay for family health or financial reasons

In addition to working directly with some dogs, we have also networked (with your help!) other animals on behalf of individuals and other rescue organizations.

At some point, Chris and I decided we were spending so much time figuring out which dogs we could help, how to help them and how to promote the efforts of others in animal rescue that our project ought to have its own name!

That’s how the Wayward Dog Foundation was born.

The Wayward Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization based in the state of Kansas. It exists to connect pets and people through adoption and to support the efforts of other animal welfare organizations.

adoptable chi-weenie mixThe Foundation is a separate entity from WaywardDogs.com, my company Beer Paws and Kennel Creek Pet Resort. But you can bet on much continued partnership happening between all three!

In order for our Foundation to be a success, we will also need help from people in the Kansas City community and beyond.

I have consistently been amazed at the encouragement and support my blog readers have demonstrated for any project on which I have embarked. I hope that you will find this endeavor worthy of the same.

Right now, I just ask you to help me spread the word about the Wayward Dog Foundation and also share the stories of the people and pets we seek to help, as I share them with you.

Our website is not finished just yet, but you can like Wayward Dog Foundation on Facebook!

If you are located in the Kansas City area, you are also invited to attend the Foundation’s very first event.

Chiefs Watch Party Flyer

Beer Paws and Kennel Creek are holding a “revenge party” for Kansas City Chiefs fans next Sunday. You can help us root for our hometown team, enjoy free halftime snacks and enter a raffle benefiting the Wayward Dog Foundation. Admission is free.

Click here to RSVP to attend our Chiefs Revenge Party.

Meet Boris the Boxer Mix

Who couldn’t love a face like this?

adoptable boxer mix

Boris the boxer mix is a stately gentlemen who is currently interviewing potential candidates to become his new best friend.

Don’t be fooled by the look of gray around his muzzle. Boris’ pearly white teeth confirm that he’s just a naturally distinguished looking guy. He’s about three years old.

Boris

Boris loves people. He is working on his leash skills, and he already knows how to sit and shake.

Last night, I met Boris for the first time during a Beer Paws event.

Boris volunteered to greet guests as they arrived, and he looked great in his turquoise Beer Paws bottle opener.

I was so impressed by his calm demeanor and the gentle way he interacted with everyone, including children.

Boris table

Boris is available for adoption through State Line Animal Hospital in Leawood, Kansas.

However, he is currently taking a break from the shelter environment and spending time at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, as a guest of the Wayward Dog Foundation. (What’s that? I”ll tell you more about it this weekend!)

Please share Boris’ story with your network! If he looks like the right dog for you or someone you know, check out his Petfinder profile.

Your Chance to Meet Boris: Unless he is adopted by the time the Kansas City Chiefs take revenge on the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 1, Boris will stop by the Tavern at Mission Farms in Leawood during the game. Kennel Creek and Beer Paws are hosting a watch party there for the game that day. Click here for more details.

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