Sunday, January 31, 2010

Canine Inspired Change - Join our Team!

I was able to join my mom and auntie Danielle at The Canine Coach on Saturday, 1/30, for the Canine Inspired Change Informational Session. Instead of a fee, Canine Coach was great and let us ask for donations for my rescuer Karen and Red Lake Rosie's Rescue! We raised $241 in cash/check donations and got lots of food and treats!

There were SOOO many people at the informational session. Mom tells me they had to close registration down and that there was close to 60 people there! WOW!! I'm so excited that there are so many people interested in learning more about how they can partner with their dogs to become an animal therapy team. Auntie Danielle shared information on the new class that's being offered by Canine Coach - Canine Inspired Change. It's a 5 week course. A pre-requisite is that you and your dog are a registered animal therapy (it can be with any of the national organizations .... like Delta Society or TDI). After you take the CIC course then you can join me and my mom (and auntie Danielle and Sharpie) in volunteering in the community. It's really cool ... we teach the kids at school about the ABCs of CIC and auntie Danielle has lesson plans developed. I even had a chance to be a "demo" dog at the informational session when auntie Danielle showed the audience how we begin each group.

If you want to learn more about how to become an animal therapy team or if you want to learn more about the Canine Inspired Change course, you can email auntie Danielle at

Remembering Shadow ...

Mom has been going through old journals ... before I got lucky and landed in her home, she had a dog named Shadow. She rescued Shadow from the country streets of Owasso, Oklahoma .. he was starving, cuts all over him and she soon discovered a gun shot wound that pierced his ear, shattered and left lead in his skull. Shadow suffered from seizures for the first couple years. He was always petrified of loud noises and especially fireworks. He hated July 4th as it would bring back horrible memories for him. Mom lost Shen to spleen cancer on September 15, 2006. Then on July 2, 2007, she lost Shadow to intestinal cancer.

She wrote the following in her journal on July 5, 2006:

"Dear Shadow,

I am so sorry that fireworks scare you. I am sorry that they send shivers through your body. That fear runs through your veins, trapped in the complex web of life. At the sound of the fireworks it's as if there is a raging river inside of you, and you are drowning. We try to throw a life jacket for you to hold onto, but so caught up in fear, you flail, causing yourself to sink further into the raging river that has ripped you from the comfort of your bed. I am just glad that this fear does not cause you to have a seizure. It's been a while since you've had a seizure. If you were to ever have a seizure again I would feel fear rush through my veins, like you have felt it.

I will always love you my sweet little boy. I am so sorry for what you have to go through. If I could take the fear away I would. I hope you know I will always be here for you. Some July 4th you will no longer be with us, and I will look back on the years we had you, and the sleepless nights of trying to hold you and calm your spirit, and my heart will ache for one more July 4th

For a month (in June, 2007) after mom was told Shadow had intestinal cancer and he was dying she slept with him on the couch downstairs so she could let him outside and comfort him and attend to his needs. She asked him to let her know when it was time for her to let him go. In the early morning of July 2nd, 2007, Shadow let her know. For the first time ever, he dug a small hole by the ashes of mom's previous animals, and burrowed his body in the hole. In that moment, mom knew, it was time. Shadow did not want to go through another July 4th.

Mom created a video in honor of Shadow ... to celebrate his glorious life. She still misses him. I tell her, Shadow is still with her and will always be in her heart, just as I am always in her heart. Click here to watch the video celebrating Shadow's life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spay. Neuter. Adopt

"Until all have homes ... Spay. Neuter. Adopt"

When I was found by my rescuer Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue in October 2008 I had just had a litter of 8 puppies. I can't even count how many litters of puppies I had before I was rescued. Now when I volunteer with my mom as we do animal assisted education and intervention work with kids, we go through this exercise where we pretend i was never rescued and that I continue to have puppies. It's a fun math exercise for the kids. It's fun now that I can use my experience as a tool to help educate. But let me tell you, it wasn't fun having litter after litter. I am so grateful that I will never have to have anymore puppies. They are cute and they are cuddly, but too many of my friends already need homes. And my mom shares that with the kids. The kids learn quickly how one unspayed female dog/cat can multiply. The kids go through this spay/neuter math exercise and learn that at the end of two years I would have been responsible for an additional 572 dogs!!! Yes, little ole me would've contributed an additional 572 dogs to the pet overpopulation crisis we already have.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Official diagnosis

So my mom took me to the specialist yesterday to remove the stitches in my ear and to learn more about the details of the results of my biopsy. My official diagnosis is "chronic granulomatous and necrotizing dermatitis with epidermal ulceration and serocellular crusting." Wow! Isn't that a mouthful!! The specialist translated it to my mom (and to me)! Essentially, she said some of my cells are dying. As they looked the various layers of my skin/tissue (or dermis) she said it showed first inflammation, then hemorrhaging then eventually dying. They weren't able to see any cancer cells or any living organisms other than secondary bacterial infection. She said she has seen granulomatous but has never seen it isolated to the ears or a particular area. She admitted this is the first time she has seen anything like this. So the the not so good news is that they still don't really know what's causing the bumps on my ear. The doctor did say she thinks that there's something going on with my immune system. The plan for now is to keep me on this one of kind antibiotics to see if it helps. I'll be on it for 2 more weeks. If that doesn't help then she wants to try another antibiotic. And if that doesn't work then we need to discuss some other possible next steps, including steroids (which mom isn't too thrilled about!).

For now, it doesn't bother me and I don't mind my cute little cauliflower ears :) The kids I work with don't mind it either. Yesterday while volunteering at The Lab with this great group of 3 kids, I got lots of hugs. I showed them that I now know how to "high five" which they really liked! This one kid said I smelled good and that my coat was so shiny! [Many thanks to Pampered Pooch Playground and auntie Jenny for letting me come in for Spa Day on Sunday]. A couple of the kids also got to carry my pal Sharpie .... me??? i'm a little too big for them to carry!

And don't forget! If you want to learn more about what it takes to become a Pet Partner team so you can join Sharpie and myself in the volunteer work we do in the community, sign up for the informational session this coming Saturday, 1/30 from 1 - 2 PM. For more info you can check out the Pet Haven blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Expressive Ears

For those of you that have been following my blog (and maybe my mom's) ... you'll know that I have had these crazy lumps/bumps on my ear that the doctors couldn't figure out what it was ... something they've never seen before is what one doctor said. Then I went to a specialist and said it could possibly be an autoimmune disorder or maybe even some form of cancer. I think it was stumping people that it's ONLY on my ears. They sort of look like cauliflower ears :) Well, I had a biopsy last week and mom just heard back. The great news is that it's not cancer or some autoimmune disorder. They put some fancy long name to it which mom will learn more when we go for our follow up next week. All I know is that I will get to keep my expressive ears because who knows what they would've done if it was cancer!!

So to celebrate the great news I thought i'd share with you some of my photos with my various expressive looks!! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love my life ...

and I love my family ...


Mister and Henry

with Momma MT

with mom (volunteering at The Lab)

Monday, January 18, 2010

If you could see into my Soul

Mom wrote this before I came into the picture (I thought i'd throw that in there as i'm sure you're wondering why MY photo isn't on the poster!!).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Canine Inspired Change Informational Session

Hey everyone! We're going to be hosting an informational session on how you and your dog can become a pet partner team and join the Canine Inspired Change team .... can you imagine, you would get to do what Sharpie and I do??? :) It's going to be on Saturday, 1/30 at 1 PM at the St. Paul/Como Canine Coach location.

There's no cost to attend the session .... the only cost (and it's optional but I would highly recommend you consider it!) is a donation (monetary or anything a dog or even a cat would like!) to help my rescuer Karen Good at Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. You can visit their blog for what they need most. I'll be sending supplies and monetary donations to rescuer Karen at Red Lake Rosie's Rescue, along with lots of slobbery kisses and maybe a few photos :)

Click on the image below to get a larger view of the flyer.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My new business card!!!

Oh, I am so excited! I have a business card now .... thanks so much to Ash Temple (okay, to me she's my auntie Ash) for designing my card. She rocks! You should check out her website. I highly recommend her ... she does some cool work! Fyi, she recently designed Pet Haven's first annual report and everyone just loved it!!

anyway ... here's my new business card. I just need to get mom to get them printed for me so I can started handing them out when I'm volunteering :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Introducing the Canine Inspired Change Team!

In 2009 lots and lots of good things happened to me: I was officially adopted by my mom (January 3rd, 2009 to be exact!), she let me rest and took care of me till I got over heartworm (and all the other health stuff I had to deal with!), I started training and went through Obedience I, Obedience II and Therapy dog class through the Canine Coach.... and in December 2009 I officially passed the Delta Society Therapy Dog evaluation and am a registered therapy dog! I have been volunteering at The Lab in St. Paul Public schools working with EBD youth. I've volunteered just with my mom, but lately have been volunteering with auntie Danielle and my pal Sharpie of the Canine Coach. As a result of that we are now creating something brand new ... auntie Danielle, Sharpie, my mom, and me are the first members of the Canine Inspired Change team, or as auntie Danielle says, Team CIC for the cool kids!! :)

Stay tuned for more information on the Canine Inspired Change program and how to get involved! In 2010 we'll be going out and making a difference in our community .... four paws at a time along with our 2-legged partners :)