Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From one rescue dog to another

I got a plea from my pal Jaz last night. I actually had the chance to meet her a couple weeks ago at the Highland Chuck & Don's. It was that night that my mom said I got a little crazy and was having so much fun, breaking free from my collar and running around the store like a little kid ... oh what fun! Anyway, I received a plea from sweet Jaz and I told her I would help spread the word .... after all, that's what friends are for, right?? She's grateful to her rescuer, and i am to mine [Oh, and don't forget to become my fan on facebook ... My fun fundraiser for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and The Lab continues till this Sunday! Click here to go to my fan page!]

----------------------------------
Hi Ahnung,


Just like you, my rescue group (Gemini Rottweiler and Pitbull Rescue in Madison, MN) saved me in 2008. I don’t even want to talk about my life before Gemini, but I do think people should know that I was skin and bones when I was found and someone had cropped my ears themselves. YET, I still love people…kids, adults, anyone who will pet me! I don’t hold any grudges because I know that I never have to see those mean people again. Mama Jen (I’ve learned that there are a lot of Jen’s in animal rescue!) who founded Gemini Rescue, became my special guardian. I lived with her for the past 2 years. Even though I loved living with her, I was getting worried that I would never find my forever home. Mama Jen told me to not worry, that I was meant for bigger and better things and that it might take some time for me and my forever home to find one another.

Mama Jen was right! My forever mom found me on March 7th of this year when I was at the Twin Cities Pet Expo. My new mom, Jennifer, (I told you that there were a lot of Jen’s involved in rescue!) was on the hunt for a potential therapy dog candidate and there I was, just waiting for her! I went home with her on a “trial” but I think we all knew that it was a done deal before we even left the Expo ☺

My new, very OWN mom, Jennifer, volunteers with your mom at Pet Haven. She told me all about your life and how you have overcome so many obstacles to find Marilou and now you both help so many people by being a therapy dog. I think that you are so cool! My mom and I want to be just like you and your mom someday.

I read your blog and follow you on Facebook and hope that, from one rescue dog to another, you can help me with something…

There are so many dogs, just like the two of us, who are waiting for someone to save them .Which is why I am so grateful to Mama Jen at Gemini Rescue. She took care of me for TWO YEARS and, between you and me, I am not an inexpensive girl to have around the house. I have food allergies, so I have to eat special food, the vet bills pile up and I’m not the only dog in the house… not even close!! Mama Jen tries to rescue as many dogs as she possibly can, as they are all special in their own way. She works so tirelessly and I want to help her as much as I can - so when I heard about the Petfinder.com Shelter challenge, I talked my new mom into voting every day and encouraging all her friends to do the same. The shelter or rescue group with the most votes in the nation wins a $10,000 grant!! They are currently #1 in Minnesota and 44 in the country. Do you know how many dogs Mama Jen could save with that type of money?! It’s a very easy contest - whichever shelter/rescue group has the most votes at midnight on April 18th wins. Easy, right?? The key is to get people to vote every day and on as many computers/smartphones as possible. My mom goes to the library and votes on all the computers there every weekend…it just takes her 15 minutes and she racks up another 20 votes for Gemini Rescue!

If you’re on Facebook, please become a fan of Gemini Rottweiler and Pitbull rescue. Mama Jen posts a reminder every day to vote. It’s so easy to click on the link and vote. Just takes less than 10 seconds a day!

OR

Vote here on every computer you have ( home,work, laptop, smartphone, etc)
type Gemini in the search box and MN under state:

http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3&link=ctg_ars_shelterchallenge_from_home_sidetabs


Thanks Ahnung…together we can make a difference.

Love,
Jazmin

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tie Day at The Lab

Today was an awesome day at The Lab. I got to see my buddy "J" again ... our last class presentation. "J" is always so excited to see me. I was waiting for him with my auntie Paula and mom. Yes, I had a guest today. Auntie Paula came to watch me work and to hear mom and "J' give their presentation (thanks for coming auntie Paula!). We learned shortly after I got there that it was Spirit Week with the Rivereast kids at The Lab and today they were celebrating Tie Day --- so everyone had to wear a tie. I got a flashy tie with all kinds of fancy formulas on it. Mom and auntie Paula also had to wear a tie ... so did Momma MT, and we saved a special car tie for "J". He loved it!

For our class presentation the students were asked what's one thing they really like about a dog, an animal, or me?? :) One kid said "I love Ahnung's one white paw and one black paw" ... another said "I love Ahnung's face" and another said "I love how soft she is." Then my buddy "J' said I was an "awesome dog." "J" asked the class how many remembered my story from the last time we were there ... wow, they pretty much remembered my entire story: abandoned with a litter of puppies, had heartworm, gun shot wound where I still have a pellet in one of my nipples, and no front teeth because I ground my teeth down to my gums trying to find food. They even remembered that Ahnung means "star" and that it means star in ojibway!! The kids remembered more about me than the teachers!! :) We then talked about what the north star. Mom said I'm her north star ... awwww :) It was so cool to hear the kids share who their north star in life is ... dad, parents, grandpa ...

Before we left I had a chance to get lots of hugs and treats from the kids. Mom gave them a plastic spoon to put the treat on so that I wouldn't slobber all over them ... yes, I get really excited when I get treats. I also got to show them that I know how to "high five." "J' was so cool showing them how to get me to "high five." Then at the end "J" finally got me to a rollover -- that's kind of a new trick for me so it takes me a while. When I finally "rolled over" the entire class cheered in support of my pal. How cool is that?? :)

I got to give "J' a little present before he left ... a collage of photos that mom and I put together of him from the time we spent together. On the top of the collage I put a dedication to him. This is the last time we're scheduled to meet for the spring semester. I'm going to miss him. I hope I get to see him again next year. He's my pal. I love how he's always watching out for me and how kind, gentle and understanding he is with me. Thanks "J" for spending the past few months with me. You are one cool guy! :)

Remember ... i'm trying to raise money for The Lab and Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. Just become my fan on facebook and you will help raise money for my rescuer Karen at Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and the kids at The Lab. Click here to find me on facebook.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Help homeless animals and at-risk youth by becoming my fan!

Okay ... mom, tells me that she's getting a nice tax refund back. She hasn't received it yet, but i proposed this idea to her and she agreed. She's also tired of my sad look because I'm always asking her, "Why don't I have more fans?" I know life shouldn't be a popularity contest ... well, i'm not as mature and sophisticated as you think .. I WANT MORE FANS!!! So here's the deal .... For every fan I get above my starting number of fans as of today (which is 161), I will get mom to donate 50 cents (25 cents will go to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and 25 cents will go to The Lab). She said she will only do this until Easter Sunday, April 4th (by the way, do you like my photo?? Mom and auntie Laura made me wear those stupid bunny ears last easter. I tried to protest, but as you can see it didn't work!). Mom has agreed to donate a total of $300 (so that would be $150 for Red Lake Rosie's and $150 to The Lab). All I need to squeeze the most out of mom is an additional 600 fans .... WOW!!! That would just make my day ... and I could just bask in the glory of my fans :)

So if you're not already a fan, go to my facebook fan page by clicking here: www.facebook.com/ahnungnorthstar.

If you are already a fan, then what are you waiting for??? :) Click the Suggest to friends button on the left hand side of the page.

So why become my fan?? Well, here are some reasons:

- You would make me very happy, and wouldn't that make you happy to know that you make me happy?? :)
- You would help mom get a $300 tax deduction for 2010 where money will go to helping homeless dogs and cats and at-risk youth of St. Paul Public Schools
- Again ... you would make mom happy too because then she won't have to hear me complaining about why I don't have more fans!!

You only have till next Sunday, so please (pretty please???) become my fan or suggest to your friends to become my fan. Let's get mom to write a check for $150 to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and another $150 check to The Lab!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Play! Play! Play!

I had the greatest time this afternoon playing ... I'm learning how to play really, really hard! The kids at The Lab ask mom if I ever bark ... she tells them the only time I bark is when I'm wanting to play. She's right! That's when I have to tell Mister i'm ready to play ... he's such a goofy boy. Missy also wants to play but i'm not quite sure about her yet ... we're getting better at it. Most of the time it's Mister and Missy tearing around the yard but today I decided to join in on the fun! This afternoon mom let us tear around the backyard. They don't care .... momma MT said something about putting new grass in. I'm sure after that happens we won't be able to have these crazy afternoons tearing around the yard. Guess we'd better enjoy it while we can :)









Mom took a movie of the 3 of us playing. You should watch my quick moves :)


video

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting ready for our big presentation

Last night, mom and I were asked to give a talk (okay ... mom talked, and I got to roam around and get lots of belly rubs!) on what it takes to become an animal therapy team. It was at Pampered Pooch Playground where I go to get my spa treatments with auntie Jenny. Of course, I got to get my special spa treatment yesterday so that I would smell good and feel soft for our big presentation last night. Auntie Jenny is so much fun. After she's done giving me a bath, trimming my nails (and NO, mom would NOT let her paint my nails pink!) and blow drying my velvet coat :) then I get to roam around wherever I want. She lets me follow her around Pampered Pooch and say hi to everyone. I heard mom say to uncle Keith and auntie Jenny, "she acts like she owns this joint!" Well ... I do, don't i??

I also got to meet Gulliver who is up for adoption through Pet Haven and is being fostered at Pampered Pooch. He's definitely a bundle of love!! If you want to meet this sweet boy he'll be at the Pet Haven adoption event tomorrow (Saturday) from 10 am - Noon at the Richfield Petco.



Gulliver with uncle Keith (who owns Pampered Pooch).

Anyway, back to me!! :) I got lots and lots of loving yesterday. Uncle Keith even told me he would be willing to work with mom on making an "Ahnung documentary" ... now how cool is that?? A whole movie about my life as a therapy dog! Uncle Keith knows how to make movies ... you know, the fancy kind of movies. Mom only knows the basic stuff, but that's okay, i love her anyway. He's going to have to follow me around. He said he would bring his "high def video camera" the next time I go to Pampered Pooch for spa day. Yesterday, mom used her tiny little camera ... it's better than nothing.



So here's a short movie clip of auntie Jenny giving me a bath .... i just love, love, love auntie Jenny!!

video

and here's a movie clip of me with Heather (the trainer at Pampered Pooch). She was really impressed with how I didn't jump and said i was the perfect therapy dog!

video

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hospice is about living

Soon, mom and I will begin volunteering in hospices. I have previously posted this (or maybe mom did ... i can't remember anymore! :) but with passing the interview yesterday at Allina and knowing that it won't be long before we can begin our work, I wanted to share Catherine Curran's story and the work of a fellow therapy dog, Sasha. Catherine's purpose was to create a video at the end of her life.

From the FoxTwins website: "Dying to me is not frightening at all," Curran said, nine months ago. "I'm kind of looking forward to what's coming." She had just entered hospice. She had pancreatic cancer. It was the beginning of what she called "the adventure of a lifetime."

"I just want to see what's happening," Curran said. We live in a society that likes to avoid the subject of you know what. But Catherine Curran hopes to change that, by allowing us to follow her journey to the end.

"I want to touch other peoples lives, let them realize, hey, it's just another part of living," she said.

She could try to fight the cancer with all her might and with every available means of medical technology. Instead, she'd rather focus on living her remaining days as comfortable as possible, at peace with the inevitable.

"I enjoy living and when I die I'm going to enjoy that too," Curran said. "I think there is a hereafter."

Catherine's adventure will include regular visits from Dave Kettering and therapy dog Sasha, who Curran calls a "big, fluffy angel."



Monday, March 15, 2010

Passed the hospice volunteer interview!

Mom and I went in for our interview at Allina Hospice today -- mom had to fill out lots of paperwork and get reference forms sent in for us to volunteer as an animal therapy team at Allina hospice. Today was our interview with the volunteer coordinator, Judy. We passed! I think she really liked me, and I really liked her. After our interview Judy asked if we could go to the back and meet the rest of the team. They apparently wanted to meet me because they've been following my blog!! How cool is that??!!! Well, if you're reading this blog I just want you to know that i'm so happy I got to meet you today and i'm excited about volunteering at Allina!

Well, before we can start Mom has to complete a 3 day hospice volunteer training at the end of April. We can't start till after that ... I guess that's okay because i'm pretty busy anyway volunteering at The Lab! They told me at Allina that i'll have to have a picture taken so that I will have my own photo ID. I love it!! :) I'll put my pretty face forward for them :)

When we got back from the interview I got to hang out in the backyard. I love the sunshine. Mom lets me hang out in the back yard for as long as I want. Sometimes I like to stare up at the squirrel in our neighbor's tree, but most of the time I like to just sleep. Yes, I know ... it's not a surprise ... that's my favorite past time. I like to sleep. A girl's got to get her rest ... I'm not as young as my brother Mister and I don't have all his energy so I need my beauty sleep. Tomorrow I have to volunteer bright and early again at The Lab. I have to be there at 7:45 in the morning again. We have to volunteer before mom has to go into work (her paying job!) then over her lunch hour we have to go back again for another small group that mom is facilitating. I know i'm going to be tired but I think mom is going to be super tired too. I'm going to make sure that she gets to bed really, really early tomorrow night.

Then on Thursday night i'll be at Pampered Pooch Playground at 6 pm with my mom who will be offering a free therapy dog informational session. Click here for more info. I believe the Thursday session is full but there's going to be another session offered some time in April so you can put your name on the list to be contacted for the session in April. At this session you'll learn more about what it takes to become an animal therapy team so you can do the awesome kind of work I get to do!!

Okay ... time to go to bed.

Later friends ..

Love, Ahnung

Monday, March 8, 2010

Work day again!!

I worked again at The Lab today. It was such an early class ... too early for me!!! But I made it. We met with two classes .... they are such great kids. Mom went over body language and how dogs communicate. We also got to practice breathing while they got to pet me ... it teaches them how to calm down and destress. This one kid just loves me so much and he's really smart ... he asked if he could be mom's assistant. At the end of the class they were given a writing/vocabulary exercise. The teacher gave them my name 'Ahnung' as the word to write about. And they learned that my name means star in ojibway so they learned that the synonym for Ahnung is star. One kid wrote the following sentence "Ahnung is an awesome dog and so is Marilou." Her teacher smiled, and asked, "do you mean Marilou is an awesome dog too?" I winked at the kid and said "I know what you mean" as he grinned.

In the next class they got to hear my story and learn about body language and communication. They got to practice coming up to me and meeting a new dog. They also got to practice using hand signals to get me to sit and to give them a high five. When I went around to say hi to each of them I got hugs from a few of them. This one kid said "I smelled like a noodle." I think he meant it in a nice way. Mom always makes sure I smell good and feel soft before I go to "work." I've just never had anyone say I smell like a noodle :) Maybe next time some one will say I smell like a rose ;-)

I'm working again tomorrow over mom's lunch hour. She's facilitating a small "dog group." Then i'll have a couple days off before I have to work again.

And I don't know if I've told you that mom and I are applying to volunteer as an animal therapy team at Allina hospice. Mom had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and ask a couple people to send in volunteer reference forms (hopefully they said nice things about us!!). We have an interview scheduled for Monday. If we pass the interview then mom will have to go through 3 full days of hospice training before we can start volunteering. I'm really looking forward to it.