Sep 23 2009

I Can’t Save Them All But I Can Try

One of our foster kittens

One of our foster kittens

We all love our pets and while watching them grow to become an individual, it is nice to reminisce about their younger days.  The potty training, the half-eaten shoe, or the nibbles on my toes at night somehow become pleasant memories.  Now they are all grown and my house is full, but I still have more love to give.  Therefore, I now foster to give others the proper stepping stones to fill someone else’s house and heart.  I am still able to get the joy of when my animals were young, but through my fostering experience.

Animals can go into a foster home for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they just need a little more socialization or attention, or maybe they need some extra care for medical reasons.  There are times when an animal is sick and does not recover.  Along the way of the seventy-something animals I have had the joy of fostering, some were lost.  My heart was broken, and I said to myself that I would never foster again.  But walking through the shelter day after day, I still find the need to love more.  Picking myself up after the sadness and despair of losing something I was nurturing somehow becomes easier.  It is clearer that there is a greater good to what I am doing then just how I am feeling at the moment of my loss.  Sometimes the fact that you cannot save them all is played out harshly.  I recall the feeling in my younger days when I felt invincible, nothing bad would ever happen to me.  Now, the years have gone by and realizing that I am just human as been proven.  Life happens and it is up to me to get up and dust myself off.  Realizing through my loss that I have more love to give becomes more and more relevant. 

The reward I get from seeing my foster animals go to forever loving homes outweighs the sadness once felt for the ones I couldn’t save, though they are never forgotten.  We all have experienced life’s ups and downs, but the warm and fuzzy feelings drive us to move on.  Hearing the purring of kittens or seeing the innocent faces of puppies is the best medicine for a broken heart.  Saving them all is not always an option but the animals I can save; will get me through a lifetime.

Written by Kristin Sampson
Foster Care Coordinator at Wayside Waifs

Sep 18 2009

Honoring the Memory

The Gazebo at Wayside Waifs

The Gazebo at Wayside Waifs

Have you ever thought about what you will do when your pet passes away?  If you haven’t, don’t feel bad.  It’s not something most people like to think about.  Our pets are members of our family, giving us constant unconditional love.  Whether they are ill or old it can be a heartbreaking experience, whether you know its coming or not.

Last week I received a call from a woman who was completely devastated at the loss of her beloved pet of 17 years.  He had died at home in her arms.  The traumatic experience and crushing grief was making it difficult for her to even think clearly.  She had no idea what to do or where to go.  She just knew to call Wayside Waifs.  I spoke with her about the options that Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services offered, and explained to her that that it’s completely normal to grieve the loss of her best friend.  A couple of hours later she brought her dog in.  We walked through the cemeteries for a bit while she shared funny stories about her loyal best friend.  The thought of burial was appealing to her, but she couldn’t bear the thought of not having him with her.  She decided an individual cremation was more suited for what she wanted.  She decided to do a paw print impression of her dog, took a clipping of his hair, and created a beautiful shadow box to honor his memory in her home. 

The same woman called again the other day, just to say thanks for all the care and compassion she received from every member of the Wayside staff.  She is still having a hard time dealing with her loss, especially when he’s not at the front door to greet her.  But having somewhere to go that understood her grief and shared her love of animals made the process seem easier. 

Wayside’s Pet Memorial Services handles these situations on a daily basis.  Our staff realizes that every family is different.  That is why we offer a variety of services to customize for every situation.  No matter how simple or extravagant, all the animals that come to us are treated with extreme compassion, dignity and respect.

Being able to to help people when they are grieving is probably the most rewarding part of my job.  We strongly encourage families to visit us or go to our website to learn more about the options available to them.  We understand these decisions are difficult, so knowing what options are available to you and pre-planning before tragedy strikes can make all the difference in the world.

Written by Jackie Gabbert, Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services

Sep 12 2009

Inspiring Story from Adoptathon

Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee

Adopter Ed brought tears to our eyes today at Adoptathon.  He boarded a city bus at six a.m. this morning, and then walked two miles from the bus stop to finally get to Wayside Waifs.  Ed wanted to find a new companion for his 15-year-old dog, Skippy.   Skippy’s lifelong “girlfriend” passed away a little more than a week ago, and he’s lost without her.  Ed said he didn’t want Skippy to spend his final years alone. 

Ed heard about our Adoptathon on TV yesterday, and hoped he could find another “couch potato” at Wayside Waifs.  When Ed met Brenda Lee, it was love at first sight.  He thinks the full-figured six-year-old Miniature Pinscher will be the perfect match for Skippy.  Brenda was a staff favorite here at Wayside Waifs, and was smiling as she waddled out the door. 

One of our fantastic volunteers, Katie, gave Ed and Brenda and lift back to the bus stop.  She said she sobbed the entire way back to Wayside Waifs, because she was so touched by Ed’s story.  

Thank you Ed, for making the journey to Wayside Waifs.  We wish you, Skippy and Brenda Lee all the best!  We can’t to hear what Skippy thinks of his new lady!

Sep 9 2009

Announcing the Fall Adoptathon!

See you at the Adoptathon!

See you at the Adoptathon!

Thanks to our friends and media partner 106.5 The Wolf, Wayside Waifs is proud to present the Fall Adoptathon!  On September 11,12 & 13, all adoptions will be half price!  This is our 3rd year for the Adoptathon and its always a tail waggin’ good time.  Last Spring, we sent home over 260 animals to new fur-ever loving homes and we are hoping to do it again!  

Wayside Waifs has over 300 animals in our shelter and 106.5 The Wolf will be broadcasting live all weekend to help our furry friends find their new families.  We will be closed on Thursday, September 10th to get all of our animals ready for adoption, but we will open bright and early on Friday morning at 6 a.m. to start this wonderful event. 

“There is an incredible selection of animals in our shelter, people will see unique breeds they may have never seen before,” said Ashlee Parker, Communications Manager at Wayside Waifs.  “If you are looking to adopt, now is a great time to come to Wayside Waifs.”

Here are our special Adoptathon hours:
Friday, September 11   6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 12   8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 13   Noon – 6 p.m.

Sep 4 2009

A Date with Your Dog

Cohen & Satchmo at the drive-in!

Cohen & Satchmo at the Drive-In!

Do you have a penchant for pooches?  Are you a dog devotee, a K-9 Kisser, a dog lover and most importantly, a dog parent?  If you are , like me,  you are probably always looking for ways to spend more time with your four-legged buddy.

Recently, my husband and I participated in the now cliche “stay-cation”.  Our week at home, however, was renamed the “dog-cation”.  All things dog: parks, parks and more parks, restaurants and movies!  Drive-in movies to be exact.  Remember when you were a kid- brown grocery bag full of popcorn, sweatshirts, blankets, pillows, bad sound system and watching the teenagers in the next car over rather than watching the movie?

When we considered the drive-in, it had been years since either of us had been.  Do they even allow dogs?  We decided to give it a shot, willing to call it a night if our buddies weren’t invited.  It turned out to be the perfect night.  Our dogs were welcomed at the gate with dog biscuits and free entry.  We were not as lucky, doling out $9 each for the double feature!  After we overcame the dogs steaming up the windows, and the bad sound system we really relaxed into a fun night on the town with our dogs.

While our dogs easily settle in and are willing to lie around, I realize that not all dogs are equal.  Here are some tips:

1. Plan ahead.  Leashes and collars for everyone.  Choose a spot to park near the outer edge so you have easier acces to potty spots and don’t forget the poop bags.

2. Never leave them alone in the car when you need to take a potty break.

3. Make it fun event for them.  Fill a couple of Kongs with tasty treats and bring a few busy bones.

4. Bring water.  I like filling a decent sized Tupperware dish and remove the lid when they get thirsty.  This prevents spills during travel.

5.  Bring a dog bed for them to snuggle during the movie.

Have fun and remember to always practice good dog etiquette!

Written by Barbara Poe, Adoption Program Manager at Wayside Waifs

Sep 2 2009

Pheromonotherapy & Your Feline Friends

We all know stress and anxiety can make us feel crazy, but did you know that our feline friends also experience stress and anxiety?  Have you ever wondered why your cat suddenly scratched up the carpet?  Did you ever want to know why he decided to pee on the couch?  Have you ever stopped to think about why she started to over-groom and cause a bald spot?  Did you ever consider the reasons she hides for days when you redecorate?  All of these “problems” may be caused by stress and anxiety.

There are a lot of tips and tricks you can try to solve any of the above problems, but pheromonotherapy is a possible solution that many people have never heard of.  When cats are relax and comfortable, they often will rub their face on people and objects.  This bunting deposits pheromones which convey safety and comfort.  Feliway has developed a synthetic version of this pheromone that also conveys a feeling of safety and comfort.

Feliway has been used to treat a variety of problems caused by stress and anxiety.  Certain instances of house soiling, scratching, aggression between family cats, fear of new people and over grooming all have improved with its use.  Feliway comes in a diffuser (similar to a plug-in air freshener) and in a spray.  I had great luck using a combination of the diffuser and spray when my cat Basil started to urinate in the house.  By plugging in the diffuser and spraying the places where he was urinating, he started using his litter box again. 

No solution will work 100% of the time on 100% of the animals, so pheromonotherapy may not work for your cat, but I think it is definitely worth trying.  Always remember, it is necessary to first consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions behind the stress, anxiety or house soiling.  There isn’t a trick or pheromone in the world that can solve a medical issue.

Written by Joe Hinkle
Manager of Behavior & Admissions at Wayside Waifs

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