Monday, August 16, 2010

End of Summer & Preparing for Grade 2!

Wow - this summer just flew by! My posts have been lacking and I apologize for that, but I really enjoyed taking a break from intense blogging and might carry it over into Grade 2, by only posting once or twice a week (who am I kidding - I love taking pictures and I love to blog!) WARNING: This post is ridiculously L-O-N-G, but I wasn't organized enough to break it down better. If you make it to the end, hugs to you! If not, no worries :D

Anyway, as we wind down in August, our local public school district has started school already.

Meanwhile, the girls and I were so excited to experience a bunch of *firsts* wrapped up into one! I found two teeny tiny chi's that were not adoptable, due to abuse they suffered, and were not too far off from being put down. The shelter was actively seeking a rescue org to take at least one of the two and after a couple of weeks of networking them, the rescue we volunteer for stepped up - yeah! I love our rescue! :D

So the girls and I did our first "pull" (when you do the paperwork for the rescue org to pull the dog from the shelter), we did our first "transport" (we picked them up and drove them to...our own home!), we did our first "foster" - it was only a few days, but you better believe we loved every second!

Meet "Bitsy", a red fawn colored female chihuahua, weighing in at around 3 lbs. This poor girl, about 3 y/o, was extremely underweight and her eyes had been damaged by abuse. Both eyes had been poked by an object, rupturing or piercing the cornea. Her left eye is foggy and has reddish blood built up on it. The vet isn't sure how well she can actually see and her body is trying to heal this injury. Eventually that eye will most likely have to be removed (unless it heals within a month by miracle - prayers and healing vibes for this girl are welcomed!).

How anyone could have hurt her this way is beyond me. She is the sweetest, most trusting and innocent little soul around. You can see in the above picture, even the tip of her tail is broken :( Elena attached to her and cuddled and loved her gently as much as possible and this was very healing to Bitsy.

Meet "Itsy", a male about 5 y/o, smaller boned that Bitsy, but not nearly as underweight. He is about 3 lbs 14 oz or so and a victim of neglect, not only does he have severe dental disease, but they think he had such a bad flea infestation that the hair near his tail has fallen off and his little skin, red. He also has an old wound on the side of his body, which is also missing hair and they believe he was either hit by a car, or thrown out of one, as he arrived as a stray at the shelter with bruising on his lumbar spine region. He is another sweetheart and there is nowhere he'd rather be than snuggling in a nice warm lap! Neither dog barked or growled, marked or chewed. They both were full of kisses and so grateful to get out of that horrid shelter environment. They couldn't have been sweeter!

We focused on providing them a safe, quiet and loving environment in order to begin their road to rehabilitation. We gave them both warm baths and had to remove a couple of ticks (and fleas) on Bitsy. Neither was fixed, so they slept with a divider between them, but had the run of the downstairs and outside and thrived. Here are a bunch of shots from their stay:

The girls just couldn't imagine WHO would have thrown these two away! They were our dream chihuahuas :D And so many more like them arrive at our California shelters daily. It's terribly sad.

I love this picture, because you can see all 5 doggies and Tony busy working on our kitchen project, with the girls enjoying our lovely weather. I was in Heaven during these days, surrounded by my children, hubby, and doggies :D

Itsy, like a typical chihuahua, loves basking in the warm sun :D

Even though we wrapped them at night with fleece blankets, they would come out if they had to go potty and couldn't quite figure out how to get back under the blankies, so we ran out and bought them matching shirts to wear in the evening when the temperature drops. Don't they look sweet!

Here's Bitsy snuggling in the lap of our 7 year old neighbor friend. They were both so good with kids, despite their tiny size.

Can you imagine anyone abusing this face and then throwing her away?

Here they are snuggling together on my lap in the evening...

Koda had a little crush on Bitsy because even though she had shelter shock more so than Itsy, she would suddenly get these adorable bursts of puppy energy and go running up to someone, ears flopping, and tail wagging nonstop. She was frisky and he loved it! I would leave the cage doors open for them to retreat when they needed to and Koda couldn't help crawling in there with them!

I can't express how special Bitsy is. Even Tony fell in love with her. I caught him leaning over her, petting her and praising her with that cute puppy ga-ga language when he didn't realize I was downstairs ;P

Such a snuggle bug!

Meanwhile, Koda our "little swimmer", loves to play with water and has his own puppy pool!

Here's a better shot of Bitsy's eyes. The one on the right is the one that will probably have to be removed, which will surely make her less adoptable :( Most people don't want a dog with missing limbs or eyes, but then there are people that actively seek them out so hopefully someone like that will step forward to adopt her regardless of her looks...

Koda and Bitsy playing!

Well, I was not prepared for what happened next. I knew all along that we were only fostering them for a few days and even when the girls would beg me to keep them, I would remind them of that fact...

11pm the night before we were to take them to the rescue org, I completely fell apart. I literally cried for 3 days non-stop! I was a mess and so embarrassed as we walked into the adoptions event with these two snuggled in their blankets under my arms. I could not let them go and it took every ounce of strength in me to hand them over and say goodbye (for now)! I had no idea that it would hit me that hard. They are with a wonderful, loving family - the head of the rescue org has become an *idol* of mine the more I learn about and from her. She told me that both Itsy & Bitsy are sleeping in their bedroom with them and only a few of their rescues are invited to do that! So I know they are thriving, but I just fell so much for both of them...ugh - you never forget your firsts, I guess...Anyway, I will update once in a while on Itsy and Bitsy for those of you who are animal lovers (and I know there are quite a few who read this blog!)

And as a side note, so many of these rescue organizations are in need of loving and dedicated foster homes. This literally affects the number of dogs or cats they can pull from the shelters. If you can find it in your heart to foster, even for short term, you can save a life! And that sure feels great! If there is a breed you are interested in, google rescues for that breed in your area and some will come up. Otherwise, many organizations take a variety and you can contact them and let them know you would like to volunteer to foster! Some fosters are only a week or two and others can be longer, if the animal doesn't find its *furever* home right away, but even if you can only give a short amount of time, the time that animal spends in detox at your home, learning to trust again, that the world is kind, etc - the better for that animal! Don't be shy, you can make a HUGE difference to the life of that dog or cat (or rabbit, etc)!

Some of our cousins were here for 2 weeks and we had a blast with them! For those who reside in So Cal (or those coming out for a visit), who want to try non tethered pony rides, I'd recommend going to Griffith Park and enjoy riding the ponies ($3 per ride around the lap twice), the little train ($2.50 per person to ride around), and so much more - there is a carousel, horseback riding through the mountains, vintage trains, and lots of other fun to be had at the park!

Afterwards, we drove through the park, where you can find the Los Angeles Zoo, which is small, but has beautiful botanical gardens and directly across the parking lot is the Autry Museum which has some fun exhibits for kids! This is an interactive one representing the Chinese who came to work the railroads and the hardships and predjudice they endured. There is a kitchen, clothing to try on, a meditation house, and a Chinese restaurant. I couldn't find my nice camera, so excuse the poor quality of the horse pictures, and these...

On the grounds of the Autry museum, we spotted this gorgeous Fig Beetle struggling to fly. My niece is showing off it's striking green metallic colors.

Hey go Italia!

Back at my dad's the kids swam and got some early surf lessons from my younger brother.

Back at home, the younger doggies played!

We also lost some teeth this month - both Elena (who lost her third one) and Koda - his little teeth were so small, we never found any, but here is one of his molars! Yes, the tooth fairy is coming to leave him a toy ;P

And here is what the tooth fairy left for Elena and Charley (the small Ostheimer baby deer to go with the large deer family they got for xmas from their grandparents)...

And finally, I've been planning for Grade 2. I will hopefully post my general schedule this or next week. My blog will also get a bit of a make-over to make way for Grade 2!!!! Can't wait!

And a tidbit...another giveaway to celebrate Grade 2 will be announced shortly, so stay tuned!


  1. Those are some very remarkable firsts, your rescue story is truly wonderful, it is so much that you are giving!

    I am excited to see you beginning 2nd grade, it was such a great year for us. Many stories from our Saints and heroes block made such an impression on my daughter.

    And thanks for entering the book giveaway, I hope you can find the story to share with your girls someday.
    Renee :)

  2. I cried just reading about those sweet puppies! That's why I know we can't be a foster home. It would just be too hard for me! But we do help our shelter and rescue groups in other ways. :)

    Looks like a great summer, and I can't wait to see what you're doing for grade 2. The Dudimus isn't there yet, but I love to see what other families have planned - never hurts to look ahead.

    Thanks for an amazing blog!

  3. looks like you have been busy squeezing the life out of summer, way to go! I'm sorry to hear about how sad you were for itsy and bitsy's departure. Your girls seem to have had fun on the ponies. Can't wait to hear what you are planning for grade 2!

    I left you a message before about how you had inspired me to adopt a shelter dog, well we have welcomed a new member to our family of the furry varitey. However it is not a dog and it didn't come from a shelter. I will be posting about her soon but if you'd like to know more please email me. I wouldn't have kept her if not for the email you had sent me before, so thanks.

    P.S. esmeralda thanks you too..


  4. Renee - thanks for the comment and for the great book giveaway! Will have to hunt that title down :D And so excited to check through your blog to see your Grade 2 posts. My favorite source of inspiration is the mommas who've *been there - done that*! so I'm excited to read your great blog!

    FroggyMama - AWESOME to hear that you help out at the shelters, etc! It took me until this year to really get my emotions to a place where I can get involved and even though I cried so hard when we gave up those two fosters, I told my daughters that we can't let our tears stop us from saving more lives, though we sometimes have to step away and regroup. So we do what we can, when we can. I'm so happy to hear that you are exposing your son to the rescue plight and the love you give those shelter animals might be the last love they ever know or else it is working towards keeping them sane in there so that they will be more adoptable. (((HUGS))) to you, Mama!

    Kat - Oh I'm SO excited to hear your story!!!! I can't wait to find out who the newest member of your family is and will email you tomorrow :D Esmeralda sounds adorable...and I'd love to make a special needle felted gift for you for your rescue!!!! (((HUGS)))

  5. What sweet little dogs! I can't imagine how anyone could be so cruel. I'm glad they got some good lovin' from your family-- sounds like exactly what they needed!