About The Foster Zoo

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We have decided to blog our adventures again. So much has changed since we last blogged. Bella and Shiloh both went to their forever homes and they are in wonderful families. June Bug got adopted. We quit fostering dogs after those adoptions because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. We quit doing therapy dog work because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. Tanker passed away June 9th, 2013. We adopted a senior border collie named Shania Tankerbelle in his memory. We still have our two cats, Sweet Pea and Little Bit. Wes has started rescuing pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart and we currently have seven. We have a camper. We camp. We have focused on giving our animals the best lives possible. We are The Foster Zoo Crew and we like to have fun.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ongoing Adventures

This is Shiloh Bug writing.  Mom says she's too tired and too busy to write lately.  She has been meaning to write about Natural Disaster Week 2011 for a few days, but just hasn't been able to do it.  For those of you who don't know, we had a ground shaking party and then a wind and rain party all in one week.  It's been adventurous in the Foster Zoo!

Exhausted from our week of ground shaking parties and wind and rain parties.

Bella and I have been playing with all the sticks Irene brought us.  What a nice lady.  Life has not been boring since she came to visit.

Topher is acting all serious, but really he is as goofy as the rest of us.

I am laying on top of the hole that we dug so Mom doesn't see it.  Bella and June Bug are playing tug of war with a stick and acting like they weren't involved.  They were involved.  They were very involved.  They usually start the trouble.

This is our new foster dog, June Bug.  She has a cherry eye, in which Mom and Dad are trying to raise money to have surgically fixed.  She is up for adoption through Bully Paws.

Adventures in The Foster Zoo have been ongoing today. We all woke up early because Tanker had a seizure and then Topher had to go to the vet for a boy part problem that turned out to be fine. We went out and dug holes while Mom picked up all the sticks Irene brought us. I guess Mom is returning them because she feels Irene was too generous. Sticks must be expensive. We got partial baths. We took a short nap. Mom took us out to train us and show June Bug the things she must know to be in our good dog club. Mom says June Bug has ADHD, whatever that is, I can't even spell it. Then mom brought us in and we all took naps in our crates. Mom's friends called to ask if they could come take showers because they are still living like the Amish people. I got sick in my crate. Mom had to clean that up. Then we went out to play again. Finally, it was time for dinner and Mom made us something special because she says we're all acting funny to her. It was really yummy and we gobbled it up. Play time again, and now it's time to rest. I'm exhausted. We didn't even go for a walk today, but boy was today fun! Dad thinks he works hard. He should try staying home with us all day. We're all exhausted.

Exhausted again from a day of fun adventures.

Once Mom gets her life in order again from the chaos of our adventures this past week, she will start writing more blogs.  Until then, it's up to The Zoo Crew to do them.  Somebody has to keep our fans informed.

Shiloh Bug

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update on Life

Wes got home from work around 3:00 this morning.  (I think.  I don't really remember because I was so tired.)  We had our ritual of Sammich Time.  Every morning when Wes gets home from work, we eat our dinner.  Wes walks through the door and says, "It's Sammich Time!"  Call us stupid, but we really look forward to this time together every morning.  We usually buy fancy rolls from the bakery at Quantico Commissary, get honey ham and Cajun chicken sliced fresh from the deli, and get low-fat/low sodium cheese.  We use red wine vinegar, submarine oil/spices, lettuce, tomato and make the best sandwiches.  We eat them with baby carrots or sometimes pita chips.  Sometimes we'll drink a Diet Pepsi.  We generally have fruit for dessert, and then a glass of milk before bed.  This is our little ritual and it happens every night that Wes works.  Surprisingly, I do not have a picture of this.  Odd, I know, since I take pictures of everything.  

This is what we look like, except we eat sandwiches instead of pizza.

Bella and Shiloh had to be picked up at 7:00 this morning from the Neuter Commuter.  We didn't have time to sleep when Wes got home, so we showered, gave Tanker his medicine, and headed to Manassas.  We were there a little early, and Wes was able to get a little shut-eye before the puppies arrived.

We are used to sleeping in the car.  Wes, many of times, will sleep in his car at work if he  has to work over,  or I'll sleep in the car while I am waiting for him to get out of work to go to an appointment.  This is just a reflection of our crazy lives and inconsistent schedules.  It works for us.

Finally, The Neuter Commuter arrived and we were so excited to see out little girls!

While waiting in line to pick up Bella and Shiloh, we noticed a bunch of buzzards in a dead tree behind the animal shelter.  It was really creepy and it made me feel like we were on the scene of a Supernatural episode.  

Finally, we made it to the front of the line and I found our little girls.  They were in their crates.  They were not barking or making any noise.  They were just observing what was going on outside.  They were just as excited to see me as I was them.

Bella and Shiloh did really well in surgery.  We had to pay a little extra for Shiloh Bug because she weighed over 50 pounds.  Shiloh is a whopping 53 pounds at six months old.  Bella is 49 pounds.  They were only about 20 pounds when we first got them.  Bella and Shiloh are growing up to be big girls!

This was no BS Adventure.  This adventure was total BS.

Once we got home, they settled in fine.  They slept most of the day.  I haven't had any problems with them licking their incisions.  Topher seems to know they don't feel good and he hasn't been playing too rough with them until this evening.  I have had to really watch them all because Bella and Shiloh are wanting to do too much playing.  I am afraid it's too early for them to run and rough house a lot.

 They did the same thing to you that they did to me?

 Poor Shiloh Bug didn't feel well at all.

 Waiting for our dad to fix up our new crates upstairs so that we can go to sleep.

 I'm glad I didn't go on the Neuter Commuter.

Wes signed up for his last class to get his CCAF Degree.  The Air Force requires a degree from the Community College of the Air Force in order to move up into higher ranks and positions.  He will graduate with a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.  He has been focusing on a major in Emergency Management for his Bachelor's Degree and he is not too far from it.  He originally was going for Accounting, but this is more up his alley.  We really enjoy helping others.  He and I both enjoyed organizing the clothing drive for victims of the tornadoes in Alabama and delivering supplies to them earlier this year.  We both love doing therapy dog work.  Once we get the puppies certified as therapy dogs, we want to work on the Red Cross Crisis Dog certification for all four of them.  With our background in EMS, Search and Rescue, the FEMA certifications we already hold, and our therapy dog work, a Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Management really sparks Wes' interest.  Since we plan on staying in the area where we live once Wes retires from the Air Force, there are several job opportunities for him with that degree.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is located right here in Washington, DC.  If all goes to plan, we will be set for Wes to start a second career in a field he really enjoys and has worked hard for.  If all goes to plan.  The last four years have really taught us that life is not what we plan.  Our lives are controlled by a bigger force.  

My dad was discharged from rehab today.  He is doing well.  My mom and dad have the best neighbors ever and I thank God everyday that they are there to help when I cannot.  They have been taking care of my parents' house while my dad's been in the hospital.  Mom and Dad's next door neighbor is retired and will be checking on my dad throughout the day while my mom is at work.  That takes a lot of stress off my mom and off of me.  It is hard for me to leave my life here in Virginia and travel to Georgia at the moment.  Wes and I are involved in too much.  The only way I could go down there is if I took all the animals with me.  Tanker gets medication four times a day and Wes is rarely home to be able to give it to him.  As much as I would like to be able to go down and take care of my dad, it's just very impractical right now.

We are picking up our new foster dog tomorrow morning.  I know a lot of people think we are crazy for the vast number of animals we rescue and train, but this is what we enjoy in life.  Our new foster dog's name is June Bug.  She is an 8-month old Pit Bull Terrier.  We are fostering her through Bully Paws, the rescue that we fostered Boomer through.  We are really excited about little June Bug.  My Bully Paws friends call her an Itty Pitty because she is so small.  She is only 35 pounds and they don't think she will get much bigger.  We have a passion for pit bulls and pit bull mixes because society labels them as such bad dogs.  We have friends with pit bull therapy dogs.  Boomer would have made a great therapy dog because he was so sweet, gentle, and smart.  We have never met a bad Pit Bull.  I, personally, am a herding dog person.  I love Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, etc.  Wes and I love rescue and Pit Bulls are in dire need of being rescued.  With Breed Specific Legislation, too many great dogs are being put down.  If we can save just one, we know we have made a difference.

 June Bug has a heart shaped nose.  So cute!

June Bug has a cherry eye that needs to be surgically fixed.  Once Bully Paws raises the money for the surgery, it will be fixed before she is adopted out.  June Bug is good with kids, cats, and other dogs.  He current foster mom described her as a little love bug.  We are excited to foster her!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bella and Shiloh's Six Month Birthdays and The Neuter Commuter

On Monday, August 15th, Bella Bean and Shiloh Bug turned six months old.  I can't believe how much they have grown and learned since we first got them.  They were just shy of three months old when we picked them up from our friend in Alabama.  They were born from a stray border collie that had wandered onto her farm.  Their daddy was a big black lab.
Bella with one of her litter mates.

Bella and Shiloh's first outing after leaving Alabama.  The went to Petsmart to get collars and leashes.

On our way back from Alabama, we took Topher and Tanker to visit my mom in the counseling office where she works at Collins Hill High School.  Bella and Shiloh came with to meet everyone.  They did not know how to walk on a leash yet, so they had to be carried.

A wild bunch in the counseling office!

With time, and lots of outings, Bella and Shiloh learned to walk on a leash.  They learned to sit, wait, stay, and down.  They learned to come when called.  They enjoy car rides, but still get car sick sometimes.

They have taken a lot of naps.

They discovered new things.

They find water in unexpected places.

They sleep on top of crates.

They have learned to love the cats.

They go on a lot of car rides.

Adventures wear them out!

They have learned that when the rooster alarm goes off on our phones, that it's time for Tanker meds and everyone goes to the kitchen for treats.

With lots of walks, they eventually learned how to walk nicely on a leash.

Which makes them tired.

They chew on sticks.

They play with toys.

They play with the cats.

They share their food.

At six months old, they are bigger, smarter, and and well-behaved dogs!

 For the puppies six month birthday, I made everybody special food.  They got ground beef mixed with cottage cheese, green beans, corn, and carrots for dinner.  That was mixed in with some of their kibble.

Full bellies mean nap time!

Now that the puppies are six months old, it was time to get them spayed.  Our vet quoted us $300 to $600 per puppy, which is outrageous!  I talked with some of my animal rescue friends, and one good friend who volunteers with the Prince William SPCA told me about the Neuter Commuter.  There is a low cost spay and neuter clinic in Shenandoah Valley that performs the surgeries for an affordable price.  Prince William SPCA facilitates transport between here and Shenandoah Valley so that their services are available to residents of Northern Virginia.  We signed Bella and Shiloh up.  It was only $65 per puppy.  We also paid to have them microchipped because I feel that microchipping is important for all dogs and cats in case they get lost.  We spent less than $200 for both puppies!

Bella and Shiloh were very well behaved in the parking lot.  They were a little unsure at times because there were a lot of barking dogs there, not to count the ones inside the animal shelter that were barking.  Bella and Shiloh listened really well to us, made eye contact when we spoke to them, and followed commands.  We were very proud at how well they did!  They are going to make great therapy dogs!

Wes saying goodbye to his little girls as they got lifted up on the bus on the wheelchair ramp.  How cool of a program is this?  A bus designed just for dogs!

I commented on Prince William SPCA's photo of the Neuter Commuter on Facebook and they replied back to me with, "Lindsay: Bella & Shiloh are beautiful girls -- so friendly & well behaved!"  I am pretty proud of them for that!  Many of the dogs there were older than Bella and Shiloh, yet not nearly as well behaved.  When training our dogs, it's always nice to hear opinions on how they are doing from other professionals.  That compliment made our day!  Bella and Shiloh are going to be great therapy dogs!

I was a little nervous about sending Bella and Shiloh off for surgery and leaving them overnight.  One of the volunteers there was a border collie lover and trainer.  He fell in love with Bella and Shiloh.  The amount of attention he gave them eased my mind and assured me they were in good hands. 

It was nice that Wes and I were able to get uninterrupted sleep today.  Wes has been working 10 to 12-hour night shifts lately and we are both tired.  I always stay on his schedule so I can spend time with him.  The puppies don't usually sleep throughout the day and they wake us up several times.  As nice as it was to get a full day's sleep, I miss them!  I didn't realize how boring life would be without them!  Topher and Tanker don't get in trouble.  Topher and Tanker always do as I say, are easy to train, and can sleep for many hours at a time.  As nice as that sounds, I have now realized that life without puppies is BORING!  The Foster Zoo is not a Zoo without the crazy little monkeys.  BS Adventures are fun!

 All we do is sleep without the puppies here.

 Come on, Tanker!  Play with me like the puppies do!


                                                                                                  Cats rule, Dogs drool

Bella and Shiloh come home tomorrow morning and I'm sure they will be tired and sore.  I'm sure if we ask them, they won't call this a normal BS Adventure.  They'll say that this adventure was BS!  Poor girls.  We will have to pamper them a little extra over the next few days.

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