Chewie and Mommas are Besties!

 

CM1.jpg

The “Cutest BFFs in the Playroom” award goes to….

ECPR’s Chewey and Mommas! They love to hang out with each other, they think all of these other dogs with their four working legs and lack of wheels are just plain odd. They are in their own little wheelie club together where they joyfully roll around, or, more often, joyfully relax together while they wait to find their forever homes!

cm2Chewey is a handsome 4-year old Chihuahua mix. After receiving surgery for a ruptured disc, Chewey has been using a wheelchair, but he doesn’t let that slow him down for a second as he makes the rounds visiting his favorite people! And c’mon, who doesn’t love a guy with his own set of wheels? He is charismatic, friendly, and very sweet but he does not get along so well with cats.

Meet Mommas! 4-year old Mommas is a fantastic dog that loves people and other dogs. Mommas has lived with children – and loved them, too! Mommas is looking for a loving home that can offer her stability and support as she adjusts to her new life on wheels. As with most dogs that lose their ability to use their back end, this is not slowing her down! Mommas still has a happy-go-lucky attitude and she is always eager for new adventures. Mommas will need an adopter who is willing and able to work with her special needs. Mommas likes cats too!

If you might have the perfect home for one of these two special babies, give us a call at 206 557 4661!

DailyECPR : Iggie is ig-tastic!

Iggie.jpg

Meet Mr. Iggie, the ig-tastic chi-pom!!!

This 11-year-old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix has made the trek from California in search for his forever digs in the Seattle area. Iggie weighs about 4 pounds; yes, 4 pounds! He is an adorable little man with an easy-going demeanor and a sweet personality. He adores people and enjoys happily trotting around for his afternoon walk. When he’s not sleeping (which is most of the time), this cuddle bug is happily lazing on the lap of anyone who wants some Iggie love! Due to his tiny size and medical considerations (including cataracts), Iggie would do best in a home with no boisterous young children or energetic dogs who may not respect his space.

Iggie is currently in a foster home being a lap-tastic little mini. He is fully vetted, neutered and microchipped.

If you live in the Seattle area and would like to meet this cutie-pie, please give us a call at 206 557 4661

DailyECPR : Dealing With Losses

Eddie_2.jpgBringing a pet into our home, inviting a new member of the family to be as much a part of us as everyone else, is not a light decision to make. For me, the moment I take on the responsibility of a new pet I know I will adore them for the rest of their lives.

When I was eleven years old I brought home a kitten for the first time. I loved that kitten more than I had ever loved anything or anyone else, and miraculously that kitten loved me back. She tolerated others and sometimes avoided them but Tinkerbelle loved me fiercely. Throughout the rest of my childhood and teenage years, no matter what friends I was fighting with or who came and went from my life, Tink was a constant. There was never a night, regardless of whether or I was happy or sad, that she didn’t cuddle up under the covers with me and purr. I knew that no matter what was happening in the world around me she would always be there.

As Tink got older she started developing health problems. It began with hyperthyroid but fortunately some medication got that under control, but her difficulties kept on coming. When she was fourteen years old it fell on my shoulders to make the most difficult decision I have ever had to make as a pet-parent, the choice to let her keep struggling or to give her the peace she deserved. With tears streaming uncontrollably from my eyes and my heart sinking into the dark pit of my stomach, I sat with her for her last moments and allowed her veterinarian to help her go to sleep.

At first I resisted the idea of adopting a new pet, I couldn’t shake the thought that it would be as if I was replacing Tink and I knew that could never happen. Even though I know logically I made the right decision putting her down, my emotions fought with my logic and told me a different story. “There must be something I could have done differently, something I hadn’t tried, some way I could have saved her.”

Eventually I healed enough to consider adopting another pet. Without Tink I was lonely, I hadn’t been without a pet in a very long time and I told myself that holding on to Tink was never going to bring her back. There are so many animals out there that need loving homes and the best thing I could do to honor her was to be that person that Tink thought I was and help someone in need.

I brought home a ten month old yorkie-chihuahua mix, my first dog not including my stepmother’s dog when I was younger, but I wasn’t responsible for that animal’s upbringing and care so it was different.

I’ve told the story previously on this blog of Rue, the baby kitten that was brought to Emerald City Pet Rescue along with her six siblings in the fall of 2015. All of the kittens were small, only a few weeks old and without a mother but Rue was by far the runt, not just smaller than her siblings but literally skin and bones. No one was optimistic about her prognosis. I have never said this out loud, not to anyone else and not even to myself, but something about the moment I picked up Rue, a kitten the size of a hamster with the tiniest limbs much thinner than even a pencil, instantly brought me back to the first time I held Tinkerbelle.

Tinkerbelle was also the runt of her litter. I got her from a pet store (don’t judge, I was only eleven) and she was the last kitten left of her litter. She was very small and she was meowing like a newborn, loud and shrill, but the moment I took her into my arms the crying ceased and the purring began. I knew in that moment that Tinkerbelle was meant to be mine. Last fall, the moment I curled sickly little Rue into the palm of my hand I felt an instant connection with her. I stayed up with her night after night to syringe-feed her around the clock, and it was several weeks before she could eat on her own. When it came time for her brothers and sisters to be adopted out, I knew I couldn’t let her go because she was already home. I know Rue is not Tinkerbelle, and yet watching Rue play, or cuddling with her in my arms and listening to her purr is the only time I feel truly at peace about Tinkerbelle’s passing. Although I wish more than anything that our pets could live as long as we do so we don’t have to suffer the heartache of losing them, the best way you can honor a lost pet’s devotion to you is by allowing yourself to love another.

Things brings me to what inspired this personal post. Here at Emerald City Pet Rescue, we’ve suffered a few very sad losses over the last week. It is NEVER easy to decide, when an animal is suffering, what is best for them. I wish more than anything animals could communicate with us in speech and tell us what they want, but the best and most compassionate thing we can do is look into their eyes and try to listen to what is inside of their hearts.

I left work a few days last week with tears in my eyes over the losses and my heart felt heavy. I hugged both of my dogs and both of my cats and I felt comforted. I am sad for those wonderful animals we lost over these last few days.

If I could try to imagine what the animals we have tragically lost would want, I believe it would be for their fellow friends to find the forever homes they so very much deserve. In rescue, there are moments that lift us up and moments that weigh us down, but I wouldn’t change being a part of this world for anything.

I will always keep those we have recently lost in my thoughts, but I will honor them by pushing forward and being a support system for their brothers and sisters in spirit who are asking us with their eyes and heart to help them find happiness. I urge everyone else to do the same, together we can make a difference in so many lives. Every single happy ending is more than worth bearing the losses.

Have a wonderful week everyone. Onward we go! 20160326_100721

DailyECPR : Rescue Dogs Movie + Adoption Event Was Awesome!

Last weekend Emerald City Pet Rescue had an AWESOME opportunity to participate in a unique and fun event. Rescue Dogs, a movie starring real rescue dogs premiered at SIFF’s Uptown Cinema in Lower Queen Anne and the catch was that anyone who attended the premiere showings at 12PM on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 was allowed to bring their own dogs right into the theater! The dogs that arrived with their owners were amazingly well behaved; I imagine they all had a really enthusiastic talking-to before heading to the show. “Okay Rover, today you get to go into a place you are normally not allowed to be in so please be on your best behavior!” The variety of dogs who came ranged from a few little yorkies to a Portuguese water dog, yet no matter what the size, all of the pooches were so very wonderful as they enjoyed the film. Why aren’t dogs allowed in theaters ALL the time?

Emerald City Pet Rescue, along with BarkHappy and MudBay was there to greet moviegoers, human and canine alike. We added to the festivities by teaming up with BarkHappy for a raffle at the end of the movie and we gave away some ECPR mugs! As an added bonus we also had an adoption event right across the street at MudBay.

Because we have a specific process for adoptions, we typically usually only bring a few animalss with us to events. Last weekend was the first time we ventured out of that comfort zone and brought a lot of adoptables with us! We didn’t know what to expect going to this new adventure but staff, volunteers and animals alike arrived at the MudBay across from Uptown Theater with optimism and enthusiasm. We were not disappointed!

The dogs and cats that came with us to strut their stuff really hammed it up! Tiny young pup Valentine Lee put on her “cute-face” (let’s be real, she never takes it off!) and won the hearts of nearly everyone who stopped by, but even better than that our little lady charmed one family so much that she got a contract! Mister Chico with his giant personality in a little body was next to win the hearts of a new forever family and the rest of the fur-babies that attended received so much love from the flow of visitors that they didn’t know what to do with it all! People were pouring in to visit with our pooches and kitties starting at 11AM all the way until 3PM on both days. Needless to say, the animals got a very good night’s sleep after all of the commotion!

We want to extend a special thank you to MudBay for being such wonderful hosts. Their adoption event section is stylish and comfortable for both humans and pets and their staff is amazingly kind and helpful. The event wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a success without them!

If you live in the Seattle area and you’re considering adopting a pet but did not get the chance to attend our adoption event, remember that all of our animals are posted on our website at emeraldcitypetrescue.org as well as on Petfinder and AdoptAPet. We always have an abundance of precious furry faces in need of forever loving homes!

DailyECPR : Breed Stereotypes

We’ve all been exposed to breed stereotypes over the years. Some are just “general heresay” while others are actually harmful to the willingness of others to give certain breeds a chance. Take the pit-bull for example; banned by almost all renters, generally spoken of in the general public as if they are mean, dangerous dogs.

I can honestly say that every pit-bull I’ve ever personally interacted with has been sweet, friendly, intelligent and playful; innocent fun-loving dogs who really enjoy human companionship. It is unfortunate that sociopathic dog-fighters focus on this breed simply for its naturally powerful jaws, but to me, assuming that pit bulls are naturally aggressive dogs is akin to assuming every naturally muscular man has great potential to be a bully. Did that sound like an unfair assumption?

Small breeds such as chihuahuas also have a “reputation” of being “yappy” and even aggressive. I have met some chihuahuas who were very protective and barky, and I have met countless who are mellow and friendly toward everyone they meet. I am a firm believer that breed is no indicator of an animal’s aggression level, and that all you can really determine by a dog’s size is how easily a young pup can accidentally knock you over if they get overexcited during playtime.

Without further ado, here’s an excellent website that addresses some unfair breed stereotypes, and debunks them! Its a great source of education to get past the gossip in order to get the real facts, which is extremely important and helpful when trying to make a decision about what type of dog would be the best fit for you and your household 🙂

Bad to the Bone, or Misunderstood?

DailyECPR : An Editorial; Mistakes and Triumps as a Pet-Mommy

IMG_0395           As a dedicated ECPR employee I have a lot of passion for writing about our precious adoptable animals, the events we create and participate in, our amazing staff and volunteers, and more. In addition to keeping everyone up to date with our adoptables and happenings I now bring you all a first-person editorial series about being a pet parent; the mistakes, the hiccups, the milestones, the joys and the day by day learning that goes along with caring for and loving furkids!

Growing up I considered myself to be a cat person. I still adored dogs but my cat-focused obsession stemmed from the fact that I adopted a kitten when I was eleven who became my best friend in the world, the one living being that was always there for me, never judged me, never betrayed me, never failed to cuddle when I needed a hug. Having such a trusting relationship with my precious feline was incredibly important to my emotional development, especially during those tough teenage years. Tinkerbelle was my best friend through and through.

I had always wanted a golden retriever but my mother didn’t want dogs in her house. When I was a teenager, my stepmom got a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and I adored Willie but he was her dog in the sense that she was his caretaker. I loved playing with Willie and spending time with him but it’s not the same type of relationship you have when you alone care for an animal full-time.

IMG_0197            In the early 2000’s a movie blasted through the theaters called “Legally Blonde.” (I LOVE that movie by the way.) The main character Elle Woods played by Reese Witherspoon had a pet Chihuahua that she always carried in a purse.

Naturally, the popularity of Chihuahuas BLEW UP! Everyone realized how adorable it was to have a little purse dog you can dress up and carry around and suddenly an abundance of Chihuahua puppies had new homes, designer wardrobes and jewel-studded collars.

Years ago my beloved Tinkerbelle passed away after many medical complications. I was pet-less for a while, but losing the best friend I ever had left a hole in my heart that wasn’t getting any better. I knew I could never replace how special she was to me but when I felt ready I decided to adopt a new cat. I visited a rescue with the intention of bringing home a kitty but my eyes drifted instead toward a tiny little dog. The moment she noticed that my attention was on her, she raised her ears which seemed much too large for her head in the cutest way possible, locked her giant, sad eyes on me, and yawned. That was it. I knew instantly without a doubt that Lily was my dog. I could almost hear her saying, “You’ll be my new mommy, right?” Yes. Yes I will.

Lily, now a 5lb Chihuahua/Yorkie mix, was ten months old when I brought her home. She was a few months past that especially young puppy stage but she still had a lot of growing and learning to do. At ten months she was still a puppy. As a first time dog owner that had no prior experience raising a puppy, especially a small-breed, I went only with what I saw on “Legally Blonde”. I instantly bought Lily a jewel-studded collar, tons of dresses and doggie shirts, and yes, the dog purse. Lily instantly became my best buddy. Although she could never replace Tinkerbelle in my heart, she found a place all her own and we became inseparable.

As all first-time parents do, I made a few mistakes with Lily. As much as I love bringing Lily with me everywhere, she gets very anxious when left alone, so much so that it triggers her anxiety to a concerning level. I let her sleep in bed with me right away upon adopting her. I brought her shopping. I rarely walked her on a leash other than to take her outside to potty. I allowed her to become so dependent on me that if I so much as leave a room we are both in, she starts crying her little heart out.

In spite of my mistakes with Lily, I feel very fortunate that she is patient, loving, and a near-perfect dog in reference to her disposition. She couldn’t be sweeter if she tried. Little kids can tug on her ears and tail, and carry her around awkwardly and she allows them to. Handicapped people can hug and kiss on her and she is quiet as a mouse and endlessly accommodating. She doesn’t growl or nip. She handles new situations with nonchalance and isn’t fazed by much.

Working in rescue has really shined a light on just how lucky I truly am because I don’t feel like I can take credit for Lily’s amazing disposition. I coddled her a lot when I first brought her home. I took her a lot of places, but I didn’t pass her around from person to person or expose her to playtime with other dogs. She spent our early travel and errand days looking out at the world from a dog purse.

Pay attention everyone because I’m about to write the most important sentence of this editorial. Small dogs are still dogs. There it is, right there! One more time : Small dogs are still dogs.

Would you exclusively carry a German shepherd in a purse? Would you exclusively carry a Saint Bernard in a purse? Would you assume your Akita is too delicate to go on walks in the big bad scary outdoors? I’m guessing most of you said no in your head.

Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Pomeranians, terriers etc; they may be small but they are still dogs. They still have all the same desires, instincts and needs that large breed dogs have, for the most part. (You probably don’t need to take your Chihuahua on runs twice a day to give them enough exercise, but you get the point!) Eventually, I started putting the leash on Lily and taking her on walks. She LOVES it! She loves running up to people and other dogs and saying Hello. She loves sniffing all of the glorious outdoor smells, peeing on bushes, and digging in the dirt. She is a dog. Here at the rescue, she enjoys going into our playroom and playing with the other dogs. She has a habit of picking a “favorite” dog and following them around for as long as I’ll let her (hours if she had the opportunity!). Since I have learned and grown as a dog-mommy, I’ve been able to let Lily be the dog that she is and I know she is happier and more enriched because of it.

Again though, I don’t consider my experience, nor my dog, the “norm.” As we are a rescue that currently focuses on rescuing small breed dogs, I see a LOT of dogs come through here that, for all I know, may have very well come from inexperienced pet-parents who let their tiny pooch’s behavior slide just a bit too far. “Oh look my four-pound dog is growling, how cute! Let’s encourage her, isn’t it funny!?” But it’s not so funny when that dog starts biting you, or others. This is not their fault. They are not bad dogs. They have simply not been taught boundaries, manners, or been given the security of a dependable, loving home and caregiver.

Lily could have easily become a problem dog beyond just her separation anxiety. There are many behavioral issues she could have developed simply because I was too inexperienced at the time to understand that sometimes with puppies, you need to show them tough love. Sometimes you need to let them cry in their kennels so they learn that it’s okay to be alone once in a while. Put peanut butter in a kong toy. Make their crate a fun experience and not a traumatic one. If they growl or nip, you need to correct them. Say “no” to nipping, but also understand that as puppies, they are teething. If you say “no” to your fingers, give them a toy that they are allowed and encouraged to chew on instead, instantly. Say “no” to something, but immediately say “yes” to something else. If they display inappropriate behavior or if they are not listening, put them in a time-out or refuse to pay attention to them until they adjust their behavior. For example, if a dog is jumping on you, ignore them until they calm down or sit nicely, THEN love on them and tell them what a good dog they are.) As soon as they do what you’d like them to do (stop trying to nip your fingers, quiet down from crying in a crate, etc) reward them. Let them know how good they are being.

Take your dog on walks. Yes, even if they are a 3 pound Chihuahua. Let them smell and explore in the outdoors. Let them play with other dogs. Let them meet new people. Give them as many positive and new experiences as you can, as often as you can and you will have a wonderful, well-adjusted dog.

Lily is amazingly forgiving with me for my early mistakes with her. She is a tiny, precious little chorkie, but she is still a dog and still needs to do doggie things. I love her so much for so many reasons, but what I find most incredible about her is that despite the mistakes I made with her, she knows that I love her and she loves me back unconditionally.

I recently added a new puppy into my family. She is even smaller than Lily at only 2lbs right now, charting maybe 4lbs as a fully grown Chihuahua. I know I will make mistakes with her, too. I’ll sometimes cave in and cuddle her when she’s crying because it breaks my heart, but I’ll try to be strong and wait until she’s quiet before I let her out of her crate so she will learn it’s not a punishment being in there, and that she will be okay. I’ll remember to be firm when she nips at me and say NO, but I’ll immediately present her with a toy or a chewy and praise her when she starts chewing on that. Lily, my best friend, my guardian angel, my faithful, understanding, patient, forgiving companion, helped me learn a lot. I can’t wait to see what kind of dog my puppy will grow into. I hope she’s half as loving and forgiving as my precious Lily. I hope she realizes what an amazing big sister she has and I hope she looks up to her. I hope I can be a good enough pet-mommy to never let either of them feel like they are second best, I want them to both feel equally loved and cared for. I will try not to coddle her for her small size and let her get “down and dirty” sometimes. I will pass her to strangers and not hover. I will let her play with other dogs so she learns to interact with them in healthy ways. I will still make mistakes, but I love them enough to try and learn every day and ultimately that’s what being a mommy is all about.

You don’t have to be perfect to be a good dog-parent. No one can know everything, or always make the perfect choices when it comes to their pet. Just love them the way they love you. Do what you can for them. Be willing to learn what you don’t know. Be willing to help them learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Pay attention to your dog, they will tell you what they need but don’t let them walk all over you, either. Find a balance. Realize that what you have with your dog is a relationship.

As John Grogan, the author of “Marley and Me” says, “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.”

DailyECPR : All The New Guys

LiveStreamEvery Wednesday, here at Emerald City Pet Rescue we’ve begun a habit of inviting people into our facility virtually via a LIVESTREAM broadcast of the puppy playroom. We broadcast every Wednesday at 3:30PM PST via the app PERISCOPE. Simply click on the photo to the left to watch!

We love to show off how adorable our adoptable dogs are! Can’t make it when it’s Live? No worries, it’s always available for playback for 24 hours after the broadcast ends!

Today was definitely fun because we have a LOT of new dogs in this week! We have a litter of six chihuahua mix puppies from California that are only three months old, a bonded pair of pekineses, a super friendly young, tiny chi named Junebug, an older lap-loving chi mix named Simba, a minpin named Dobbie, and more! These dogs are friendly, mischievous, sweet, playful and loving; perfectly adoptable and waiting here at our SoDo facility for their forever homes.