Remember What I Said…. (warning: Triggers for Animal Lovers)

…way back when about adopting animals out?

Turns out, doing it over the internet isn’t the only bad way to do it.

Someone couldn’t train their Staffie (who like any 50 lb., 15 month old untrained adolescent dog was hard to handle) and sold her on the spot for 10$ (or 20$, depending on whose story you listen too). A few days later, she was found looking like this:

Caitlyn

Caitlyn3

The veterinarians estimated she had been like that for two days. Unable to eat or drink, the bloodflow to her tongue and part of lips cut off. However, some time in an hyperbaric chamber and cold laser surgery and it looks like she is is on the road to recovery. The Vets are hoping they will not have to remove part of her tongue and lips, but she is on solid food and the outlook is good.

Caitlyn2

And the police caught the unrepentant piece of trash who did it.

Court documents allege Dodson purchased the dog, which was known as “Diamond” at the time, for $20 on May 25. A witness who said she sold him the dog told investigators Dodson approached the woman who sold him the dog and said he had taped the dog’s face with electrical tape because she would not stop barking. The witness said Dodson was laughing about the claim, court documents state.

Dodson also reportedly told the witness he had chained the dog in his front yard but that the dog had broken free and escaped, the affidavit states.

The dog was found the following day, Wednesday morning, on someone’s doorstep with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle.

Hopefully this waste of genetic material will get the full sentence of the law and be banned from ever owning another animal.

Hopefully from veterinary care Caitlyn will go to a rescue who will find her a forever home with kind, responsible human beings.

So again folks; if you must adopt your pets out, *never* give/sell them to random strangers.

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Do NOT Give Animals as Gifts!

Most of the people reading this blog are smart enough to *not* do this, but they might want to pass the word onto the less informed:

Many people think it is so cute to give a child a baby bunny or chick or duckling on Easter, thinking it will be something like this:

bren01

Awww.

When often, it ends up like this:

bored-child-22795096 Jack_exasperated

Well, last night. I saw this:

screaming-womanBlond Boy Crying

My neighbor knocked on my door shaking because the baby bunny her BF got her daughter had escaped from the huge wire dog crate he had put it in (ProTip: Rabbits are very flexible. If it can get his/her head through an opening, they can get the rest of their body through it) and was “terrorizing” them around the house.

Like baby bunnies that you can fit in the palm of your hand do.

The infant (she was like 18 months to two years old) was screaming and crying. The mother was freaking out and wouldn’t go near it because it reminded her too much of a “rat.” And the kit (baby bunnies are called “kittens” or “kits”) was of course terrified and traumatized.

I lent them a cat carrier that he could not get out of, gave him some water, lettuce and a couple pieces of carrot, and told her to tell her BF to take the bunny back from wherever he got it from. If he did not, call the shelter. When I told her how long rabbits lived, her eyes got wide. Yes, it’s an 8-10 year commitment.

DO NOT GIVE ANIMALS AS GIFTS TO UNSUSPECTING PEOPLE. If you must consider an animal as a gift, go with that person to pick one out that they actually want.

Kitten Update

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Why? Why did you take to that place where they poked me repeatedly?

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She has such good taste.

So “Miranda” (I had to come up with something for records’ sake) had her first visit to the vet yesterday and got she is feline leukemia and distemper free. (Yay!) But her upper respiratory infection (cold) means she should not mingle yet. (Damnit!)

But she is on the waitlist to get into the local no-kill shelter and by the time she cycles through that, she should be fine. I also have a flyer up in my vet’s office.

Taking the time to do it right.

Updates

Since it’s been a few days, I thought I should at least do some quick updates.

Tiny Homes

First of all, a friend of Pretty Witty Nell found this article on how some cities are attempting to outlaw living off the grid.

“Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”

Of course, that is after all the zoning laws that mandate a minimum size for lots and houses, which is why many Tiny Homes are built on trailers so they qualify as “mobile” homes to skirt around the zoning laws.

Here is the updated design for my tiny home, the fourth version:

HousePlan2

I moved the couch to give me more continuous space for the kitchen for the dogs to move around in (they do love to play and thump about, I’ll walk them as per usual and hopefully have a yard as well, but they will still need space inside), but I could not get past that choke point into the study area. Once I actually measured that out between two pieces of furniture and tried walking through it, I realized it was impossible. It was passible, but not not to live with everyday. Also all the appliances under the counter in the kitchen took away under-counter space for pots and pans, plus a section for the trash, recycling and a small compost container. So I needed another place to put the compact washer. (I’d like a combo washer dryer unit, but damn those are expensive.)  So I gave up that block of stairs and a wall for a straight staircase. It also opens the entire space up. In this video, the person has set up a pull down projection screen and projector, so I will use those and my laptop for my viewing pleasure.

I was going with SIPs, but then I thought about moving it (which is a factor) so will use a board interior, painted white. It will have strength and flexibility. With SIPs I might have to worry about the joins between the panels being offset or coming apart.

I figure between the first floor + sleeping loft – staircase = 219.5 livable square feet. (And then there is the storage loft in the front.)

Kitten Update

The kitten is doing much better, cleared of her cold. Her sinus congestion was so horrible it took her about a week to clear it completely and stop snurgling. (Kinda nice to know cats can have horrible colds that make them look inelegant too.) With my next paycheck I will take her into the vet make sure she does not have feline leukemia, then start the adoption process.

One month, minimum.

School

Term paper, term paper, term paper. 15 pages on various lunar Goddess around the world. At least the ones I can find lots of citable information on.

Met with my Anthropology advisor to get things straightened out with my transfer credits to prep for graduation, which at one free class a semester (we get them as a benefit to staff) is still years away. *le sigh*

Anti-Human Trafficking

The new club is going well, getting organized, electing officers, getting recognized by the university, trying to figure out what we can do. I’m working on getting a speaker from the Polaris Project to come down in the Spring and liaising with other clubs (Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science and Geography) to let them know we are here. We’re also going to help out with an anti-trafficking conference in the ENC.

I’m glad I did this. My natural inclination is to lean toward environmental causes, and I still donate and spread the world about those. But with my anti-social nature, doing something with human beings is probably good for me and more importantly, hopefully, for them.

So there’s a lot on my plate

Congratulations to WhatCatyDidNext’s son, who completed his degree.

Well done!!

Old Flash Drives: Humanity’s New Attic

The things you will find…

Fanfic drafts from myself and a few friends.

Recipes:

Almond Cookies (“Biscuits” for you Blighty-Typies)
This is pure, unadulterated indulgence, but the light almond flavor makes them “you can’t eat just one good.”
1 cup butter, softened (you can use margarine to assuage you guilt if you must)
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp (and a wee bit) almond extract (do not get carried away.)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup ground almonds. (I just by a 6 oz. bag of sliced almonds and beat and mash them up in the bag until they look ground and pour the whole thing in.)

Cream together butter, sugar, and almond with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and then add a bit at a time. You will have to mix with a spoon after a certain point.
Chill for two hours. Roll out on floured surface to 1/8th inch thickness. Use cookie cutters or water glass. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

An OC from my X-Men FanFic days:

Pania

Breakdown of a journal article on the Plague of Athens:

Thucydides Syndrome Reconsidered: New Thoughts on the “Plague of Athens”
Morens & Littman

List of euphemisms for “Vagina”

vageuphemisms

Note how many more “Your vagina is scary” than there are “Your vagina is awesome”s. WTF is up with that? 😦

Music (I can’t actually post the files)

Initial descriptions of comic book characters created for ComcVine (I did a couple X-Characters and the initial descriptions of Fables and the Endless.)

Like the rest of her siblings, Delirium is neither a mortal being or a god, she is the personification of delirium (or madness) itself. Her realm is almost completely formless, containing colors, shapes, feelings, smells, thoughts, that mingle freely and without cause. Even she can become lost in her own realm. At its center is a sundial with the words “Tempus Fangit” (Time Shattered) on it.

She is one of the most regular of recurring characters throughout the series. It often spoken of that long, long ago, perhaps millions of years, she was once Delight, but why or when that change occurred is not known. Her appearance changes frequently with the only constant being that one of her eyes is blue while the other is green. She speaks of random topics and it is hard to get her to follow a thread of any conversation, though through the meanderings often comes insight. Her childlike appearance and nature makes her seem an innocent, but she is far from it, visiting mortals in their worst moments of madness.

Delirium was responsible for setting Dream (Morpheus) on the path that ultimately led to his downfall. Wanting to find the prodigal brother Destruction, Delirium convinced Dream to help her look for him through Destruction’s old friends such as Ishatar, the Goddess of Love and War, and his nephew, Dream son’s Orpheus. During an encounter with their eldest Brother Destiny, Delirium revealed that she knew why her transformation from Delight into Delirium took place, even when Destiny did not and that if necessary, she could pull herself together for short periods to speak with clarity.

When Destruction left, he hinted the Delirium would go through yet another transformation. He left her with his companion, a dog named Barnabas that had been a man.

More recipes:

Tomato Bisque
This recipe is a little more complicated, but it is worth it! And you can store it for a quick fix later.
Ingredients for tomato soup concentrate part:
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 stalk chopped celery
1 small carrot, chopped
2 lbs of tomatoes, chopped with seeds removed
2 cubes of bouillon (I used vegetable, but you can use chicken or beef just as well)
1-2 tablespoon of sugar (depends on how sweet you want it, yes folks this is the secret of why tomato soup tastes like tomato soup and not tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Ingredients for roux:
1/2 cup Butter
1/3 Flour
1 quart Milk (anything down to 2%)

Cook:
In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion, celery, and carrot in a little butter, margarine, or oil until soft (onions translucent). Add tomatoes, bouillon, sugar, salt, bay leaves, parsley, basil, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Let cool, pour in blender and blend until smooth (you might have to do this in 2 batches).
If you are serving it all right away, clean out pot. Make roux with butter, flour, and milk. (Melt butter, add flour and stir until it starts to become golden, *slowly* add milk. It will become a thick paste at first, then becomes thinner. It’s up to you how “bisque-y” you want your soup. Perhaps you want a smaller batch of the bisque and want to go heavier on the tomato.

OR:

You can freeze the tomato soup concentrate in smaller batches/containers after you have finished blending it smooth. Then you can then take it out in the morning to thaw while you are at work. When you get home you can fix a small portion of the roux, add the thawed concentrate, and let warm while you fix a grilled cheese sandwich or a nice salad, and there’s dinner for one or two.

Horrible poetry (No, I won’t post it)

Sheet Anchor (quick notes on working a ship)

Sheet Anchor – Ship

Sheet Anchor – Weather

And of course old pictures:

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Older pictures

Gerard

Really Old Pictures

BabyPic0002

(Whaddyaknow, the past really is sepia-toned.)

And more music:

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Needhams
Needhams are a traditional Maine confection, a coconut candy rarely found outside the state. Usually the only way to find it is to buy it on line for exorbitant prices. It sounds like Mounds bar, but they are richer and more solid. They are great to have around or give as gifts during the Holidays.
There is a lot more to traditional Maine cooking than baked beans and Lobster Rolls, but only one name in it. That is Marjorie Standish. Her Cooking Down East books are a standard in any Native household with a kitchen worth its salt. This is her recipe:
– 3/4 cup mashed potato (yes, potato)
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
~ 2 (1-pound) packages confectioners’ sugar
~ 1 stick margarine or butter
~ 1/2  pound + (I like coconut so I add more) of flaked coconut
~ 2 teaspoons vanilla
Peel and cook potato to make 3/4 cup mashed potato (not seasoned). Add salt. Using a double boiler, place stick of margarine or butter in it and melt over boiling water. Add mashed potato, confectioners’ sugar, salt, flaked coconut, and vanilla.
Mix well then turn into a buttered jelly roll pan. Spread evenly. Place in a cool place to harden. Do not let them sit too long, such as leaving them overnight. They will dry out. When hard, cut into small squares.

Then dip in the following chocolate mixture.
Chocolate Dip:
1 (12-ounce) package chocolate bits
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cake paraffin/jelly wax (2 1/2 -by- 2 1/2) (Yes, the same paraffin you melt to use on top of jelly)
(I know this sounds weird, but I have tried it without and the chocolate doesn’t set very well. Makes them very messy to eat. iIt is necessary and it does not affect the flavor of the chocolate much, if at all.)
Use double boiler again. Place paraffin in top over boiling water to melt. Then add the two kinds of chocolate. Allow chocolate to melt. Stir well to mix ingredients.

A toothpick or cake tester (or a fork) may be used to dip the Needham squares. Hold each square above chocolate mixture after dipping so the square drains well. Place on waxed paper to harden. Make sure to fill in any holes in the chocolate shell, or the coconut filling with dry out. Recipe will make 60 good-size Needhams. This recipe halves easily.

 

 

 

Never Give an Animal Away Over the Internet

Warning: Triggers for pet lovers.

This weekend, animal lovers in Quincy, Massachusetts dedicated a park bench to Kiya, a pit bull who is better known as “Puppy Doe.”

Kiya’s original owner was moving and decided to give her away on Craigslist, posting a “free to a good home” ad. Kiya was taken by a woman who then “flipped” the dog, selling it to someone else.

Months after her owner gave her away, this dog…

Kiya

…was found in a park looking like this:

9/19/13- Appeal for help in fatal 'Puppy Doe' dog torture case.

…with injuries so horrific, so purely sadistic, she had to be euthanized.

(What kills me about abused dogs is they always look so confused, like they can’t figure out what they did wrong that someone would hurt them this way. They don’t understand.)

Nor is she the only case of people cruising Craigslist and similar sites for animals to profit from or abuse.

http://our-compass.org/2012/04/11/free-to-a-good-home-craigslist-dog-killer-sentenced-in-west-virginia/

http://www.wave3.com/story/20320106/craiglist-animal-abuse-suspect-pleads-guilty

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/10/questions_after_accused_kitten.html

http://www.cbs46.com/story/17758400/dog-flipping-could-be-a-concern-for-pet-owners

Several groups have petitioned Craigslist to end pet adoption on their site, but they refuse.

If you must give your pet away (and sometimes financial circumstances or family issues dictate that):

1. Give yourself time to find them a good home. That means the pet is the first factor in your decision and the first thing you are making plans to deal with. Don’t get woobly and clingy, “Oh, I just can’t deal with it…” now. You will not be doing them any favors. Immediately start the process. Do not wait until the last minute and then give the pet away to the first person who e-mails you. If you do not have a friend or family member who wants your pet, you need a month, at the minimum, to find your pet a good home.

2. Contact a no-kill shelter. Often you will be put on a waiting list as they adopt pets out and room is made for your pet. (This is part of why you need to give yourself time.)

3. In the meantime, approach local rescue groups. There should be at least a couple. See if they can foster and place your pet. Or if they can find a home while you hold onto her or him. (Another reason why you need time.) Work these two angles at the same time. No one in either the shelter or the rescue group is going to be upset if your dog or cat finds home through someone else.

4. The last resort is to surrender your pet to the local city/state animal control/pound. Then advertise them on Craigslist and the local paper and Petfinder and everywhere you can, saying, “Here is a great pet, and you can get them at the Main Street Animal Shelter.” With all of three of avenues of adoption, going to shelters and rescue groups, people are being screened,  paying to adopt and leaving an entire record of personal information behind. You will not find sadists cruising these venues.

5. Another thing you can do while dealing with these groups is to place flyers in veterinary offices (that’s a big one a lot of people miss) and pet stores. The people who contact you, get as clear a picture of your pet’s future life as you can, ask about children, other pets, how much time they will spend with your pet, ask who their veterinarian is (that a nice indicator question). Insist on seeing their home. If you do decide to give them your pet, ask to see their driver’s license and take that information down. Some people also charge a “rehoming fee” as another means of discouraging pet flippers or abusers. Be nice, be apologetic (“I’m sorry, but this is my dog and I want to be sure she is well-cared for…”) but firm. True pet lovers will understand and be open to that. If anything feels hinky, say you will think about it and walk away. (Again, why you need time to do this.)

There are ways to make sure that your pet is safe and happy in their new forever home, you just need to take time and be conscientious.

If there is a tiny ray of sunshine out of all this, it’s that many states, including Massachusetts, have toughened their animal cruelty laws and judges are not being shy with handing those sentences down.

Now I will try to cheer you up a bit: I was fostering a pit bull who was a very sweet girl, but L.A. was in the grip of Pit Bull paranoia and nothing was coming through for her. So some friends in Oregon said they would take her if I could get her up there. My car certainly was not going to make the trip, so I flew her up. This was post 9/11, so of course TWA was inspecting everything. I got stopped at the check-in counter by two security guys.

“We’re going to have to ask you take the dog out of the crate mam’.”

“Oh O.k.”

“What kind of dog is that?”

“She’s a pit bull.”

One security guy looked at the other. “That look like a dog to you?”

“Yup, looks like a dog to me. Have a nice flight.”

My Thundering Herd

If you ask a dog owner about their dogs, you will never get a brief answer. Augustick was so kind to inquire, so here are my girls and their stories.

Pilot Pilot

So elegant, so noble. So not her.

Pilot is the big brindle & white one. I found her wandering down the street as a stray in 2006 when she was six or seven months old. All long legs and floppy ears. Malnourished and covered in fleas, but happy as a lark. I turned her into the pound and when no one claimed her I took her back. There was just so much to her that pointed to a great dog, too great to have such a short life. At the time I was researching the pilots of Wilmington Harbor during the American Civil War, thus she became Pilot. At first I thought she was four or five months old, but after getting fed regularly, she put on 12 pounds in ten days and all her puppy teeth dropped out. The lack of food had delayed her maturing. She is now a 60 lb. bundle of high energy love. As my vet says, “she runs wide open.” She once sprained her tail wagging it too hard. That’s the kind of personality she is: No half measures. She is a Boxer mix, probably with Dalmatian as despite technically entering senior-citizenhood (she turned eight this year) and getting walked for an hour everyday, she still has more energy than most two year old dogs. (And the spots under the white parts of her fur were another tip off. Those became more prominent as she aged.) She’s a big doofus, but loves people and thinks everyone exists to love her.

She’s also my stubborn little rebel. She is the dog who *knows* she is not supposed to nose around the counter, but the instant my back is turned…

PilotNaughty

She gets down as soon as I tell her to. And she sits and waits to go out and has to down-stay to eat. It’s the game of pushing what she can get away with.

She’s my wild woman. My bud, my pal. My bestie.

PilotBuddy

Unfortunately, having been jumped a few times in her youth by dogs whose owners would not train them, socialize them or keep on a leash, she is now not very good with other dogs that challenge her. We went through extensive training and socialization, but even then the trainer said she has to be supervised in play. That she and Taeda get on so well (even to the point Pilot will let Taeda roll her) is one of the reasons that Taeda was a keeper.

 photo PilotTaeda2.jpg

“Look mommy! I have a friend!” (Note the tail blur.)

Taeda is the smaller, red dog. She is a Pit Bull mix who was living wild in the woods around the apartment complex for at least four months. She was so shy of people no one could get near her. No one even knew what gender she was. I just called the dog “Tyler” and fed her/him everyday when Pilot and I went on our morning walks. Eventually “Tyler” began following us though our walk. Dogs are pack animals and I think she was just so lonely she just wanted some company, despite being so scared. We went early, while it was still dark, so much of the time I could not see and often not even hear her. Stealth dog. They followed so close I would accidentally hit them with my heel as we were walking, but she would shy away if I put my hand out. So we just had a silent shadow following us everyday. At one point, the neighbors had animal control set up a trap for her. For some reason, I woke very early (like 3am) that morning and took Pilot out. We found “Tyler” in the trap. Because she was a Pit mix and so scared of people, it was a death sentence. Animal control would hold her for three days to see if any owner claimed them and then put the dog down. I let her out. After that walk, she began playing with Pilot. Eventually it got to the point where she would let me pet her and I was able to get a leash on her and bring her inside.

Taeda2

My delicate flower. (She is actually. But this is was the first day inside the apartment and she was 35 lbs. of solid muscle. She’s since slimmed down.)

This is after she had settled in a bit.

Taeda

That’s when I discovered she was a girl. I switched “Tyler” to “Taeda.” Taeda is Latin for “pine torch/pine bough” and it’s part of the Latin name for the Loblolly Pine, which were the trees she was living under for months. And I have to tell you, that red is perfect camouflage for the woods. It is the same red of dried pine needles. The first time Pilot and I encountered her, we walked within five feet of her and only saw her when she got up to move away after we passed. That happened twice, the second time when we were looking for her.

Stealth dog.

Then she stayed in one spot in the house for four months. I’m not kidding. If she did not have a leash on to go outside, she went to the foot of my bed and stayed there.

I had never seen anything like it. It took months for her to start exploring the rest of the apartment, almost two years before she would ask for attention and over two years before she would compete for it. I have never encountered such a timid dog. She wasn’t terrified, it was never that extreme, just extremely shy and timid.

I don’t know what had happened to her before she came to us. I have fostered abused dogs before, including a Pittie that had been used as a bait dog in a fighting ring. She didn’t act like an abused dog, more like she had very little human contact. She had at least two or three litters before we found her (and it was a good thing we got her in when we did because she was going into heat again) but was only two years old or so and healthy. The way she stayed in one spot for so long makes me think she was physically cared for, but kenneled for most of her formative life. It’s possible that she was part of a fighting dog breeding program. (She is very fast and agile, which are desirable physical traits for the scumbags in dog fighting.) They started breeding her before she got to full size, before they realized she was going to be small. When they saw she was only going to be 35 lbs, they dumped her. (Gods only know what happened to her puppies.) That’s the prevailing theory anyway. I’m also close to a hospital/medical school/research center so it is possible she escaped from medical research facility.

The gentleman at their boarding kennel thinks it may not be so dramatic and that she simply may have been a feral dog for most of her life. Maybe.

And she was silent. Utterly silent. I began to worry that someone had cut her vocal chords (as some bad owners do to keep their dogs from barking), until one night one of the cats got near her food bowl and Taeda warned them off. That was a shock. She has a low voice for her size. But in two years, I have only heard her bark two or three times.

Really stealthy dog.

Taeda2

(These are early pictures, she is on a martingale collar now.)

And she groans when she stretches. It’s adorable.

Now that she has her confidence in the house, we are working on her confidence out of the house. It’s time consuming because I have to work with her one on one. (It’s hard to work on getting her confident while Pilot is hogging the limelight.) She’s clever,  more gentle and the best barometer I have ever had. If it is going to rain, even if the skies are clear at the moment, she has to be dragged outside.

*picture missing*

No! It might mist and I will be slightly damp!

But after sleeping rough for months, I guess she has earned the right to be persnickety about the weather.

But she is so sweet and when she is happy, she is the happiest being on the planet. She has this sort of running bounce (or bouncing run) that thumps her paws into the floor that really does make the two of them sound like a thundering herd. And she is just *so* excited to be loved. I’m still getting to know her.

So that’s me rattling on about my dogs.

PilotTaeda PilotTaeda2

PilotTaeda4 PilotTaeda3

My girls.

And then there are cats, of course: Sabre & Ghost.

Sabre and Ghost photo SabreandGhost2_zpsc6d180b2.jpg

Those are another set of stories. Sabre, found with a broken jaw and one dead eye under a hedge, and Ghost, pulled out from under a car in the last stages of hypothermia.

So anyone else want to talk about their furkids?