Tag Archives: Rescue Pets

My interview with rescue-owner friends Robby & Cody, about life with dogs in LA & their newfound passion for animal rescue

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Cody & Robby with their rescued crew! Adopt shirts found on Etsy! 

 1. Can you tell me about each of your dogs & how you acquired them?

Alice, our white Havanese/Maltese/Chihuahua mix, was rescued in January of 2009. I rescued her before Cody and I were together. My friend had rescued a dog that soon gave birth to a litter. The litter was going to a shelter in Belmont, so I drove two hours to an unknown area and I took the runt. Originally she was meant for my younger sister but we had such a strong bond that she ended up being more mine than hers.  When Cody and I moved in together, she came with us. She has become the model city dog.  She behaves like a cat, lazily lounging around the house.

Fritz, our tan Wire Fox Terrier mix, was found on craigslist in February of 2013.  A woman in Fullerton was gifted him but her landlord wouldn’t allow her to keep him, so she was eager to find him a home before taking him to a shelter.  We were not 100% positive we were ready for another dog, but something told us we should see him. Upon meeting him we quickly realized he was in a very dangerous living situation and was actual taken away from his mother at far too soon; he couldn’t have been more than four weeks old. The owner would not answer any questions regarding the parents. To be honest, she was not acting normal and looked like she was under the influence. Our gut told us regardless of how this person ended up with the puppy, we had to get him out of that environment.  It was quite amusing watching one another bottle-feed a puppy the size of an apple, but we did it. Fritz still suffers from being taken so early from his mother and has developed classic separation anxiety behaviors. This is when we really began seeing the consequences of animal cruelty. However, Fritz has one of the most playful personalities we have seen in any dog. He’s still, and will always be, a puppy at heart.

Luna, our blue merle Australian Shepherd, was found on December 12th, 2013. This experience was a true eye opener for us and completely life changing.  I pulled over to take a phone call from Cody and upon doing so I noticed a dog with no collar emerging from the bushes covered in blood. My first thought was that she was hit by a car. I pulled a blanket from my car and slowly called to her.  She stared at me for a few minutes then walked my direction and collapsed at my feet. I took her to our vet and the physical assessment was gut wrenching.  She was severely dehydrated, sunburned, malnourished, infested with ticks, fleas, parasites, dog mange, fly strike, and a total of thirteen open wounds.  And on top of all that, she was lactating. They couldn’t get a viable stool sample from her because all she passed was Styrofoam.  The vet gave her 48 hours to live had I not found her and said her chances of survival would depend on how quickly we could find her a home, but it was unlikely that someone would want to take a dog in this critical of a condition. She would likely die in a shelter from infection of her wounds before anyone would take her. I thought that being a Hospice Nurse, I would care for her if these were to be her final days.  Wound treatment on her took me a few hours daily. I slept on the living room couch for nearly two weeks watching Luna slowly recover. Every night I saw a dog that was broken stare at the floor and corner of the walls, never attempting to make eye contact. She found refuge underneath our Christmas tree but would pant, cry, tremble, bark and pee in her sleep. I contemplated multiple scenarios in which I would ultimately find her a home. We couldn’t have another dog, right? After 9 months, she is 100% healthy, doubled in weight, and found a forever home with us.

2. How do you make life work having dogs in LA?

It definitely wasn’t easy at first, especially when you have three! We often felt in over our heads, but we are very fortunate to have made it work now. We live in a two bedroom townhouse, which fortunately has a big shady patio where we have built a large grass box. We rely on daily walks and weekly hikes.  We also look for dog-friendly establishments and frequent the dog park. Our weekends tend to revolve around taking them somewhere. Luckily we both have flexible schedules so they are never alone too long.  Robby’s parents also live close by and they have a huge yard with a rescue pup of their own. We call them our very own “Doggy Daycare”!

3. How has having pets changed your lives?

They remind you to breathe. When you walk into your home and are feeling overwhelmed with the outside world, they sense that and they just know how to make it better.  Where else can you go where you are always welcomed with excitement and love?  Everyday for us is paws and licks when we come home. They also help with our own anxiety and insecurities, not to mention keeping us active. We just can’t imagine not having them.

4. Now that you are pet-owners, have your attitudes or opinions changed on any particular subject matters or issues? If so, what are they and why? 

Absolutely.  We have a few. Obviously we are pro dog-rescue and we try to advocate it as much as possible. Then there is backyard-breeding and puppy mills. It is incredibly devastating to hear how many dogs are euthanized annually. You hear something outrageous, like 1 dog or cat is euthanize every 6.5 seconds.  That’s gotta strike a chord! It’s outrageous that people pay $800-$2000 and even more for a dog from a puppy mill when there are so many waiting to be adopted from a shelter. We have fostered two other strays and found them forever homes.  My subconscious is always scouting for strays. We visited a shelter once and the whole time we kept sending photos to everyone we knew that loved dogs. If we could we would take more, and hopefully one day we will!

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Alice, Fritz & Luna

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Maddie’s Story – National Dog Day

On a lazy afternoon in November, my husband came to me and said, “Let’s go to the shelter and get another dog.” Needless to say, it took me less than two minutes to gather my belongings, jump in the car, and head to Arizona Animal Welfare League. It only took a couple of options before we saw Maddie and knew she’d be coming home to the Enright family.

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Maddie at 2 months!

 

After a week of getting settled with our new pup, Maddie developed Kennel Cough. We quickly got her on medication and by the time she was ready for her next check-up, the doctor discovered that Maddie had caught Pneumonia. This was the start of what would quickly turn into her unfortunate health pattern. We later learned that Maddie was born with an autoimmune disorder that weakened her immune system. Over the last two years, she’s not only had Kennel Cough and Pneumonia, but she’s had Giardia, Mange, Valley Fever and a battle with Incontinence.

Maddie's after she recovered from surgery

Maddie after she recovered from surgery. We told her the shaved-leg-look was in style! 🙂

Maddie has proved that she is a fighter. She’s such a happy dog that brings so much joy to our lives. It was a process getting her back to health and she’ll forever be on medication, but we don’t care. She lights up our life with her personality. It’s only fitting that Maddie’s birthday this year (today) falls on National Dog Day. Happy Birthday Maddie girl and Happy National Dog Day to all the dogs of the world!

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Maddie with dad at the vet

 

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Pet Fitness & Obesity Prevention

Ok, I admit it… when my dogs give me “that look” I can’t help but offer up a treat. Even when they do something cute or sweet, my heart goes into melt-mode and all I want to do is spoil them! This week, Cocoa & Maddie had their annual vet check-up and sure enough, I was told both of them needed to lose a little weight.

Obesity amongst humans is obviously on the rise. Poor food choices and lack of exercise has lead to this growing epidemic in our culture. Did we forget about our pets? We’re doing the same thing to them! According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. The medical and physical conditions associated with overweight or obese pets include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Respiratory and heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis and joint problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer, particularly intra-abdominal cancers
  • Shortened life span of up to 2½ years, according to APOP.
Stop pet obesity!

Stop pet obesity!

Seeing our pets every single day makes weight-gain so gradual that we become blind to it.  I was! I already saved my dogs by getting them out of shelters, so I want to continue saving them by keeping them fit, healthy and away from obesity!

A few tips to get your pet on the right path include:

  1. Regulate the amount of food you give your pet.
  2. Choose healthier treats like Lean Treats for Dogs.

    Lean Treats

    Lean Treats

  3. Get your pet active by going for walks, runs, or playing with a ball or frisbee. It’ll let them get out their energy too!

Be a responsible pet owner and remember that your pet relies on you for their health! Making these changes only mean a longer life for them and a longer time with your best friend!

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Dogs + Babies

To me, dogs are pretty much the cutest things on the face of the earth. Put a baby next to one and well, you have yourself a match made in heaven. I don’t have any kids of my own yet and I don’t exactly even have baby-fever. One of my best friends, Sara, just had her first baby girl last week so now it’s pretty much all I can think about! I also have the famous napping duo Theo & Beau to thank for my obsession. Here are some of my faves:

(Photos found on Pinterest.com)

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My All-American Baseball Dogs

We are the purest definition of a baseball family. My husband Barry is in his 8th season of professional baseball, which means we’ve traveled all over the country for his career. While we enjoy the experience, one of the struggles with this lifestyle is the uncertainty of where we’re going to live and which team we’ll be on. Each year we get to make new memories, meet new people and visit all sorts of new places in America. By we, I mean myself, Barry and our dogs, Cocoa & Maddie.

Because of this unique lifestyle, Cocoa & Maddie have already lived in 4 different states and 7 different cities. They’ve lived in houses, apartments, hotels, cabins and of course, have been frequent visitors of dog boarding facilities. They’ve driven (well, with us) across the country and have seen more parts of America than most people will ever see in their lifetime.

With each new city comes the scavenger hunt of finding all the pet-friendly places and the closest dog parks. The Bring Fido app has been a lifesaver! One of my favorite parts during the season is when the stadiums have Bark in the Park. These are the nights I get to bring my “kids” to the game with me. A stadium filled with people AND dogs is pretty much the coolest thing ever and watching the girls watch their dad on the mound is absolutely melt-worthy.

Cocoa + Maddie at watching dad's game

Cocoa + Maddie watching dad’s game

A career in professional baseball brings lots of pressure and lots of ups and downs. When Barry goes on the road and I’m left alone in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar people, it is so comforting to have the company of my dogs. In the same way, when Barry comes home from a long road-tip, the squealing and panting he’s greeted with at the door, is true unconditional love.

Barry with his girls

Barry with his girls

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Barry & Maddie

My Cocoa

My Cocoa

 

I can’t wait to see where else this life takes us and what new American adventures are created for these all-American pups! Happy 4th everyone!

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