MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Foster Kittens Go To Forever Home; Boulder Humane Waives Adult Cat Adoption Fees

 Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

AGE: 13 years
SEX: Female (Spayed)
It's time for a little plug for our local humane society, who does an absolutely fantastic job with homeless animals ... and this precious face is just one of them. For the month of June, Garfee, along with many other adult cats, is available from The Humane Society of Boulder Valley -- for free.

This is how The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is honoring Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, by giving cats away in June. Great for them! Isn't this a super way to decrease the number of homeless cats, as well as euthanasia? The Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) is waiving the adoption fee for all adult cats (age 6+ months) for the entire month of June.

HSBV won the ASPCA’s $100K Challenge, a national contest designed to inspire animal shelters across the country to save more lives. During the three-month challenge, HSBV saved a total of 2,640 cats and dogs according to the Boulder Weekly, an increase of 968 over the same period in 2009. Periodically waiving adoption fees for both cats and dogs was one innovative way HSBV found to help homeless get into their forever homes.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley provides shelter and care to more than 8,000 animals each year. 89 percent of these animals are successfully adopted or reunited with their guardians.  HSBV's behavior modification program, which helps shelter dogs and cats overcome behavior problems, and their foster program, which makes it possible to help more animals by providing individualized care to those with special needs enhances their success rate.

HSBV's successful adoption programs allows them the ability to open their doors to thousands of animals in other shelters throughout our region. These animals would otherwise be facing euthanasia due to overcrowding or lack of resources.  HSBV partners with 55 regional animal welfare agencies, and are part of the national Rescue Waggin’® program sponsored by PetSmart Charities.

Martina discovers the bathtub
We have fostered for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in the past -- dogs and pups primarily, after Maggie died. We fostered one kitten, and one only, years ago. Why did we stop? Because our Cinnamon literally had a "hissy" fit that didn't quit.

Last week we had the absolute pleasure of fostering 2 precious sibling kittens from HSBV, Monster and Bear, who we re-named Martina and Yoda. I must admit Martina reminded me of Cinnamon at that age, both her very present "I'm a little pistol" facial expression, and her spunky personality.

Tom NOT getting involved  :>)
Tom was letting me do this one -- my responsibility, right? OK, true, I did most of it, but take a look at this. You think he didn't love it? And then there was Maddie. She SO wanted to play with them, play bows and all. She could hardly stand watching them play together without jumping in. Yoda seemed pretty fearless with Maddie, and sniffed noses pretty early on. Martina always came to Maddie from behind, and did a little back hunch and hiss when Maddie approached her head on. Until the last couple of days, that is. But Martina's initial caution with Maddie sure didn't stop her from turning Maddie's wagging tail into a toy!

I'll keep watch over them. Can we keep them?
They brought much joy and laughter to Tom, Maddie and me during their 5-day stay in our home. I returned them to the shelter on late Friday for their spay and neuter on Saturday. That, of course, was bittersweet. I couldn't imagine the two kittens going to separate homes. They were truly each others' favorite toy, and I said so on the foster write up I did for them to go with their paperwork. 

Yoda on their bed in bathroom
Their photos went up on the internet late Saturday. They went onto the adoption floor on Sunday. I watched the website like a hawk, hoping for a fast adoption.On Monday I was gone most of the day. When I came home, Martina and Yoda's photos were gone! I called the foster department at the shelter, but it was after hours. I emailed. Had they been adopted? Together?? I waited a long 24 hrs. before I saw the email I'd waited and hoped for:

"Hi Dawn, The two kittens you had did in fact get adopted yesterday, and they went to the same home. I hope that is good news."

Good news? Are you kidding? I was elated!!

If you live in the Boulder area and are interested in fostering animals in your home, visit Boulder Humane Foster Volunteer. To check out the wonderful cats and dogs available for adoption, visit HSBV's website.  I wish you wonderful lives in your new forever home, Martina and Yoda! And much, much LOVE!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pit Bulls: National Dog and Nanny for Most of America's Early History

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life 

Pitbulls are one of the most misunderstood and mistreated breed of dogs. Sadly, many cities ban them, resulting in countless and senseless pitbull euthanasias. But 100 years ago pitbulls were used as nannies for American children, as the following photos from YW Grossmman's wonderful blog post show. How did we come to turn on this breed? Here is an excerpt from Grossman's post and a few of the photos.

Please visit this amazing post and photo blog on pitbulls by YW Grossman


"Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Dog”. For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults..."

Please visit to read the full post and see the rest of Yanah Grossman's amazing photo blog of pitbull's with children 100 years ago.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For Suzie, The Lucky, Loved & Rescued Street Dog from Taiwan

For Norm and Helen ... In Loving Memory of Suzie

I met Norm and Suzie the "street dog" about 10 years ago, at the Brewing Market, next door to McGuckin's Hardware, every Boulder dog's favorite store. I wrote about these fun dog places that I frequented with Maggie in my book. Norm's love for Suzie jumped out, their bond palpable. I recognized Norm and Suzie's bond ... it was that same deep soul mate connection I had with Maggie.

Through the years I have always been struck by this pair, and Norm's tremendous commitment to Suzie. You see, they met when he was doing business in Taiwan so many years ago, and he did what it took to bring her home with him to Boulder, CO. I have not yet met Helen, Norm's wife, but I know she, along with Norm, is missing this wonderful soul, Suzie, with all of her heart, too. This is the slideshow tribute Norm and Helen put together for their precious Suzie. Suzie passed on May 13, 2011.

Norm and Helen, I am so very sorry for your tremendous loss. The life you gave Suzie was beautiful. Every street dog should be so fortunate to be loved and cared for as you did this furry angel, Suzie. I hope the gift of life and love you gave Suzie remains forever in your awareness and offers comfort to your hearts.