On this Friday morning, as we keep our focus on the holidays, we turn to a charming discovery on the Richardson Animal Shelter website and later we'll discuss the challenge of saving three dogs that currently call Dallas' historic Fair Park their home.
These dogs, if not rescued from their park plight, may find themselves in the city shelter.
Keep in mind that at Readlarrypowell.com we support people finding animal friends any way they can find them -- but we recognize that animals in city shelters face a challenge that animals in a rescue group don't. (And, in fact, many rescue groups spend a lot of time saving these animals from city shelters, bless their hearts and their pocketbooks.)
We were tapped into the Richardson shelter site HERE because we were doing some fact-checking and happened to find these two holly jolly critters available for adoption. That dog in the full Santa suit is Lacy, said to be a German Shepherd/Lab mix. She, obviously, is unaccustomed to wearing a costume, but is willing to do what it takes to find a good home.
That other pup is Jagger who may be a mix of assorted breeds, but whatever he is, he's got what we refer to as the "Happy Tongue Syndrome" and he seems to be perfectly OK with the jaunty Santa hat.
Both are on the available list in Richardson.
How interesting is it to find a dog named "Comet" showing up for adoption just as the season of the 8 tiny reindeer comes into full glory? Yep, there's Comet, a 2-year-old Yellow Lab weighing in at 60 pounds and waiting for a home since Nov. 18. (He's currently residing in the city shelter at 1818 Westmoreland at I-30 in Dallas. Call 214-671-0249 or 214-670-8246.)
The official scouting report reads, "He is a big goof of a dog, but loves to play and get attention. Comet would do best in a home as the only dog or with a submissive female." On Comet, as they say.
And, there's this other seasonal resident -- Salem, a black cat who some might think would be more suited for Halloween. But, it has been our experience in the Readlarrypowell.com household that the black cats, the famous original Bob and the subsequent Annabelle Bob, are every bit as holly jolly as the other critters. The report on Salem read, "I'm a spunky guy and love to run around and play. I was brought to the shelter because my previous owners could no longer care for me. I have been looking for a new family since November 26th."
Finally, how about that photo of the dog with Santa? That was shot on Dec. 6 at a fundraiser with critters from the White Settlement Animal Shelter and we received it courtesy of MaryBelle Denton, our tipster with the West Side Animal League.
As you can see from the picture, this little dog knows how to treat Santa Claus. Lot's of licking, some wiggly tail waggin' and an attitude of "I'd be your friend even if you weren't a mythical hero."
The little dog is one of two Lab sisters who visited Santa that day. They are in the White Settlement shelter at 209 Bollinger Blvd. in White Settlement, on the northeast side of Fort Worth. Call 817-246-1043. Visit the White Settlement website at www.wstx.us and click on Animal Shelter.
And, you can get info about adoptions and the West Side Animal League and its support of the White Settlement animals by e-mailing email@example.com.
HUNTER'S PREDICAMENT: Hunter, as you can see from this photo, has had something unfortunate happen to him. He is a 19-month-old Golden Retriever/Lab mix who is the Service Dog in a Farmers Branch household where he can do a lot of good.
But on Nov. 25 Hunter jumped the gun on getting out of the family van at the right time and went racing off across the street to greet some neighborhood dogs.
We get his story from Kathy Langhorst-Tienter. "I tried to catch his leash only to have him dash in front of an SUV."
Hunter and the left rear fender collided and that sent the dog flying and screaming in pain to the other side of the street.
He was quickly taken to a vet. Shattered leg was the diagnosis.
Kathy has MS. Her husband, Joseph Tienter, suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. They have trained Hunter to be their service dog -- he has been filling the gap left when their previous service dog, the beloved Jacob, died from cancer 3 years ago.
Hunter is young, sometimes impulsive, but dedicated to his humans. "Hunter helps me walk during the day," Kathy says, "and helps his Dad walk at night to help keep my husband's muscles and joints moving."
The problem right now is getting Hunter back into walking condition. He underwent surgery on Dec. 4 to put plates and screws in his broken leg and he's working on recovery from that.
The challenge now is financing the medical care. Kathy says the folks at Valley View Pet Health Center have set up a "Hunter" account to help them pay for their dog's care -- the bill is pushing beyond the $2,000 mark now. Donations have come in from a church and from acquaintances. But, as you may suspect, figuring out how to pay for Hunter's care is left up to Hunter's disabled humans and money is pulled many ways this time of year. At their household, Hunter's care is the primary goal. (To donate, you can send a check to Valley View Pet Health Center, Hunter's Fund, 2561 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX. 75234. Call the clinic at 972-247-2242.)
Or you can get in touch with Kathy for details on the case and the recovery. Her MS medication knocks her over until about 11 a.m. each day, she says, so after that time of the morning you can call her at 972-245-7878 or e-mail her at ElginKathy@msn.com.
STRAYS AT FAIR PARK: The three dogs in question are "strays" now, but there is a move on to get them into safe custody so they won't wind up facing a bleak fate.
We get the story from Dealey Campbell, Curator of Education at the Dallas Historical Society -- it's headquartered in the fabulous Hall of State Building at Fair Park. That's the building with the giant golden archer in front -- the Tejas Warrior, its called. You may have seen it while crossing that boulevard through the park to get to the car show or the corny dog stand next to Big Tex during the State Fair.
These three dogs (and we're working on getting photos) seem to have free run of the place, though Dealey says they spend a lot of time near the Hall of State and the Museum of the American Railroad -- there are two sentinel dogs they visit at the railroad museum. And, says Dealey, that side of Fair Park is "much quieter than over near the Museum of Nature and Science... I am assuming they get their water from the lagoon or the esplanade fountains."
Red Dog is known to leave the park to look for food, though staffers are trying to get the dogs into a feeding routine.
Dealey says that "working at Fair Park means that we see a lot of strays. Many people who work down here ... have picked up, fostered and/or adopted homeless pets we've stumped upon over the years -- myself included."
There seem to be more strays recently, she says, and Red Dog and her two female companions seem to "have decided that Fair Park is their new home."
They all appeared healthy when they first appeared in October, but nowadays they "are skinny and starting to show signs of mange."
There is construction in the park and some of the workers "seem to go out of the way to terrorize 'Red Dog' and her friends. The result is that the three girls are increasingly skittish and less likely to come anywhere near us."
So, folks, you can see from this that there is a genuine need for veteran rescuers to help the History people save three dogs.
"Her face is raw from her incessant rubbing of it on her kennel door," says Patricia. "She's affectionate to say the least. tipper is about 3 months old and is much like a rag doll when picked up. This cat is the most tolerant animal I may have ever met."
You can adopt that tolerant cat from The Colony. Call 972-370-9250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, by the way, The Colony Animal Control is hosting a Happy Holidays Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic on Saturday. The shelter is at 4720 E. Lake Highlands in The Colony.
To see The Colony shelter's website click HERE.
THE GOLDEN GUY, ER, GIRL: We've mentioned a senior Golden Retriever boy who has been rescued from the Richardson Animal Shelter. "The Golden Retriever got pulled today by the rescue," tipster Deborah Trevino reported to us last evening. Then she added,"'He' turned out to be a 'she'. ... They had it wrong in their computer."
FIGHTING A NOMINATION: The Texas Humane Legislation Network has distributed an action alert in hopes of stamping out any possibility that Barack Obama would name former U.S. Rep Charlie Stenholm of Texas Secretary of Agriculture. The THLN doesn't see him as animal friendly. Catch the details at www.thln.org.
MILO'S PROGRESS: Nancy Underwood, out tipster on Milo, the dog struck by a car in Carrollton, reports that the little guy is still having leg problems but they may go away with time. He seems to be adapting to his new physical situation -- one eye, bad leg (for now) -- and getting around pretty good.
"Personally," Nancy writes, "I'd be excited to have a one-eyed tripod dog!" She figures someone else might be, too, so if you'd like to audition to adopt Milo, e-mail email@example.com.
"Everyone at the clinic is in love with him and says he is a very sweet boy," she says. Also, people have donated more than $2,000 to his care and, as Nancy says, that is "an awesome testament to your [donors'] generosity....Thanks for saving this soul for the holidays -- it's the best gift there is."
THE EARS OF TEXAS: Our tipster Frank Chism, an SPCA of Texas volunteer whose heart belongs to the boxer Shakira, keeps an eye open for ears on our behalf and he's found these sets.
The little Jack Russell mix is Rambo, a 2-year-old, currently awaiting a new home at the SPCA's McKinney facility. "Although not extraordinarily large," Frank writes, "These ears are nonetheless noteworthy! True to his breed, Rambo is a bundle of energy and fun and very smart. I'm sure he'd love to party in the new year with his new forever family."
And, oh, my, that second dog. His name is Roughneck and he's already found a home. He was in the Dallas SPCA facility in November when he was "adopted by his forever family in time for the holidays."
Then, Frank ends his description of Rambo with this: "I just wonder, are those ears aftermarket or original equipment?"
CONTEMPLATIONS: A question from a civilian: Why are soldiers' shoes so much shinier than civilians'? ... Personal notion: I really miss visiting the now-closed Buhrman-Pharr Hardware store at Christmas in Texarkana. Closed a few years ago. The the once-elegant Christmas windows are empty. Regarding windows: Neiman Marcus' downtown windows have gotten a little gimmicky the last couple of Christmases, though this year the walls of vintage Christmas cards as backdrops are pretty and evocative of less-threatening times. .... Today's contemplations are brought to you by "End petlessness" Products, the proper gear for animal fans. You can visit the catalog by clicking HERE. These are gifts with a purpose -- nobody can read the slogan on a pair of socks you get for Christmas, so these shirts, hats, tote bags, etc., are plainly marked with a noble message. "End petlessness." It is a catchy slogan any time of year. Though, of course, stray reindeer need homes, too. Not sure they need candy canes or egg nog, but I understand a healthy reindeer enjoys a cup of coffee and a nice slice of fruitcake. Oh, wait, that's me. The reindeer are on their own and I'm staying off the roof.
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