Our Christmas Cat – An Open Letter

To the person who owned our Christmas Cat:

On Friday, I found your cat. He walked with a limp and looked, for lack of a better word, ragged. He was friendly and had a notched ear. I was sure he was a feral, but he seemed like he needed help. So I scooped him up and carried him into my home. I gave him food and water and a safe place to sleep. He is skin and bones and so full of love.

Feral KittyToday, I took him to the vet. They informed me he is likely at least 15 years old. He is obviously too thin, missing many teeth, nearly blind, and likely suffers from numerous age related diseases. It seems I took him in just in time for his final months. My humble apartment will be his retirement home.

I am not telling you this because I assume you’ve dumped him. In fact it’s quite the opposite; I believe you loved this boy. You see, when my vet scanned him for a microchip, they found one. But it was incorrectly registered to a dog on the other side of the country. The phone number associated with it was disconnected, and thus the owner unreachable.

bathtime for the new catI feel heartbroken for your cat. I’m sure he misses you, and for his sake I have to assume you miss him too. I just want you to know that even if I never find you, I will give your baby the same love you did way back when. I will make sure his bowl is always full of food and his bed stays warm and dry. Anytime he meows I will come running. He can’t see me, but I’m making sure that he feels the love you would give him if you could. I am sorry you’ve lost your baby, and that I haven’t been able to find you. Please don’t worry about him. He’s got a home for Christmas.

Family time with Christmas CatSincerely,
Your kitty’s loving caretaker

Beach Bums

Have you ever followed people on Instagram who post beautiful photos of their dogs in lush forests or on towering mountains? No, I’m not self-promoting. My Florida dog has never seen a mountain. And if we want to avoid death by mosquito, we steer clear of forests, too. Which is really a shame. However, we do follow some of these lovely dogs online, and get major wanderlust. Thanks a lot, guys!

Brady (former foster dog) and Lana (personal dog) go hikingSee how deep that ‘forest’ is? It’s just a swamp lined with trees. Still pretty but not the same. I am getting major vacation blues. The cure?

Loki and Lana playingCute pictures of dogs on the beach, of course! Specifically, our (mini) photo session from Gulf Shores, Alabama!

Lana at the beachLana and Loki pose for a photoLoki's beach portraitLoki's beach photo seshLoki's close upHappy weekend, everyone!

Work Hard, Play Hard

If you’ve been following either on the blog or on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed I talk a lot about playgroups at the Tallahassee shelter. I love them and they are a blast, not to mention a nice throwback to my days working at a dog daycare.

Cookie and Domino playingDingo and Bella Playgroups make life more bearable for shelter dogs. Even if just for 30 minutes a day, they get to escape the confines of their small kennels and stretch their legs. They make friends, exhaust themselves, and work their brains. And when it’s all said and done and they’ve joined a family of their own, they’re more socially adept than they would have been without play time. This is a huge deal, even if it just means walking by another dog on leash is easier for the new owner.

Domino, Cookie, and Peaches playing

Domino the goofiestShelters around the country are implementing playgroups. I’m sure the same people who taught us are responsible for a good number of the other shelters, too. I’d like to thank Dogs Playing For Life! for taking the time to demonstrate to the staff and volunteers at our local shelter how to lead safe, efficient playgroups to benefit our pups. (In fact, last week was their second year presenting in Tallahassee, so many people were soaking up their advice again.) They are great at what they do and have helped so many shelters provide enrichment without tons of added costs.

Dingo, Venus, Steve-o, and Thumper playingCookie and Domino having a blastI highly recommend checking out their website if you’re interested in learning more! They have many helpful and entertaining resources. Want to help them provide shelters in need with no-cost training seminars? They are a 501(c)3 non-profit and always appreciate donations. (Not at all a sponsored post y’all, I truly believe they do wonders for shelter dogs!)

Thumper and Venus

Thumper, Dingo, and Steve-oWant to see more photos of the Tallahassee shelter dogs playing? Because I sorely need practice in fast moving photography, I’ve created a ‘Playgroup’ Facebook album on our official fanpage. Feel free to peruse, maybe you’ll even fall in love with a dog you see!

Shelter Sunday – June 7th

This weekend was a busy weekend for the Tallahassee Animal Service Center!

Saturday began with a blood drive, where donors received a “Golden Ticket” for a FREE ADOPTION! Since it had been 4 years since I donated, I decided it was time. So now I have a ticket for an animal I have no business adopting. But you never know, there are some incredibly cute dogs….

Adoptable Heeler puppies

It’s so hard to understand why people buy dogs when gems like these puppies wind up at shelters.

At the same time there was also at yard sale a the shelter. Unfortunately, even though I was literally right there, I didn’t make it. It seems my body thinks I need all my blood, and pitches a fit when I disagree. How selfish!

Saturday evening the Animal Shelter Foundation hosted an event called Pints for Paws. What’s not to love?! Beer, adoptable dogs, and the proceeds go towards the city shelter. I was there for a couple of hours with Michael. We wished we could have stayed a little longer, but I did my best. I just couldn’t handle the summer heat after giving blood in the morning. My apologies to the friends I insisted go and then didn’t even last long enough to see. At least y’all got beer!

At Pints for PawsAnd today of course I got to help with the shelter’s play groups again. I met a few more dogs one on one, though I was too tired to tote around my good camera.

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Happy Days Ahead For Sunny!

Oh my gosh. Has it really be three months?! I’m so embarrassed. Time flies, doesn’t it?

But we’re here and now (as we always are) and there is no better time or place to slip right back and pretend as though I wasn’t MIA for far too long.

So, there is a little bit of catch up – some of which I’ve honestly forgotten. Most importantly, Sunny found a home! A wonderful home!!

Sunny with his new adoptive momma.Sunny is in Gainesville now, which I’m sure is quite a shock to his little Tallahassee self, but I don’t think he’s too out of place. 😉 His new mom has a huge yard for him, bought him toys he can have all to himself, and of course has already found him a pack of doggie friends. Not to mention, I can’t say how thrilled I am to have already received some pictures and updates!

Sunny with his foster mom (me, left) and his adoptive mom (right)I will miss his goofy antics and his super sweet personality, but I am happy to know he is going to someone who will also appreciate all of the little things about him. The following are all pictures his mom sent to me of him in his new home. Look how spoiled he is! I couldn’t be happier for him. He finally got the life he deserved, and it makes my heart swell.

Sunny's ride home

He was excited for his new life as early as the car ride to his new home! Smart boy!

Sunny in his forever home Sunny in his forever home Sunny in his forever homeTo all who had been following Sunny’s story, thank you. He is truly a lucky boy to get such a great second shot at life. His is the story we hope all rescue dogs will get to tell. There are a million great animals out there in need of forever families. Please remember: adopt, foster, volunteer, donate, or share to help every one get the happy ending they deserve.

-Kayla and Lana

Sunny’s Guest Appearance With TPA

Last weekend a local rescue called Tallahassee Pets Alive hosted an adoption event and allowed my Sunny to be their guest of honor. (Not exactly how they worded it, but I thought his title needed a little more drama.)

Tallahassee Pets Alive Adoption Event FlyerHe sat patiently in a pen for 5 hours while I awkwardly hovered like the helicopter mom I may or may not be. Okay, definitely am. He was a true gentleman, never barking, and never denying a passerby attention. Kids pet him the wrong way and he didn’t flinch. Other dogs barked and he did not respond. He ‘smiled’ for photos and gently took treats from any hand that offered. And because I brought a baggie full of cookies, there were lots of treats.

20141206_1118082While I’ll admit I was tempted to leave his side long enough to grab a cheeseburger from across the street (Burger-Fi, yum!), I’m glad I stayed because this confident side of him is something I rarely see. When Miss Lana is around her reactivity is often reflected in his actions. I’m relieved to know without her, he is fully functional. No offense to my kid.

Sunny at the adoption eventSunny shone like the star he is and I am both pleased and sad to say he has two adoption applications! I am forever grateful to Tallahassee Pets Alive for giving me to opportunity to show off my bae, and super nervous about saying goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, I have met one of the potential adopters twice, and I love the idea of her taking him home. From what I can tell, several aspects of her lifestyle are similar to mine, which makes me hope that the transition wouldn’t be too difficult for Sunny.

Sunny was chill at the eventI know he is ready to go to a real home. He has come a long way and no longer needs me to coddle him. Sunny did a great job at his first (and hopefully last) adoption event. No worries – I’ll keep you all posted with any updates!