Aug 14 2017

10 Reasons to Strutt With Your Mutt!

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10 Reasons to Strutt! 
KC’s largest dog-friendly 3K/5K event
 
1. Form a team! Invite friends and family to join you on September 17. Start a new tradition!
2. Enter your dog into the Pet Costume Contest! Only $5 to enter. We will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on stage!
3. Your registration fee ($35-$45) pays for an animal’s vaccinations.
4. You will get an updated 2017 Strutt event t-shirt! The shirt is blue and super soft.
5. All youth fundraising will be matched by a generous Wayside donor. Get creative in collecting for the waifs! Host a lemonade stand or ask a company to sponsor you.
6. Are you a runner? 5K participants will get a cool finisher’s medal!
7. Poppy’s Ice Cream truck will be giving free pup-cones at Strutt! Yum!
8. Be a Top Team! We’ve got awards for the Largest Team and Top Fundraising Team on Strutt day! Will you be a winner?
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9. Over 50 pet-related vendors in our Flealess Event Market – you’ll get tons of freebies and information on what our pet community has to offer! Be a vendor.
10. Earn fun prizes for your fundraising efforts! Check out our Prize Program here.
 
About Strutt
Strutt With Your Mutt is Sunday, September 17, 2017 in the Brookside neighborhood. We need your help to raise funds for the homeless pets at Wayside Waifs!
There are many ways you can help. Register your team today, fundraise and be a voice for the Waifs, and ask your friends and family to support you!
Stay Social!
Be sure to stay up-to-date with all things Strutt With Your Mutt! Head over to our Facebook page and be sure to “like” us!
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Upcoming Wayside Events
 August 20
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Aug 4 2017

Back-To-School Tips

When August comes around, we start thinking about school. Either the back-to-school sale, school supplies list, making sure everything’s ready, or just dreading the upcoming semester. What we might not always think about is how our furry friends in the home might understand what August means. I’m going through some tips and explaining what our pets feel like during those different schedules after summer.

Not all animals will feel this way when people start going back to work and school, but some will experience sadness and loneliness. They might mope around or sleep more. Maybe your dog starts chewing on things they shouldn’t, or maybe your cat becomes more vocal or pees in the litter box. Many people will not connect this to back-to-school time. Like some people, animals like having routine because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, if kids are playing with them all day, and suddenly they go away for long hours, it can cause confusion and stress.

There are so many ways that we can prepare for to curb this anxiety your pet might feel, and it is a great teaching moment for your children! Here are some tips that can get you through this transition.

1. Transition Time

If you prepare at least one week before school starts, the animal can mentally prepare for your absence. This could be leaving your dog inside during the early hours of the morning by themselves. Only for about thirty minutes or so, and that should help simulate school time. Another good trick is to start breaking out lunch boxes or school supplies that your dog would see when you leave them. They can get used to the items and desensitize them around it, making for an easier transition. 

2. Come up with a routine.

As mentioned above, animals are all about routine, and without it they can have severe depression or separation anxiety. To avoid that, you can start a new routine for all year round, that can benefit the children, you, and your animals. The schedule should include but is not limited to feeding, bathroom breaks, walks, and exercise/play time at set times each day. You could plan for a morning walk before or after school, and cuddle time in the evening, depending on what your schedule looks like. Coming up with a routine will reduce the stress on your animal.

3. Turn on the TV/music before you leave.

I do this with my animals, because I think they worry more when it is completely quiet. We used to turn on the radio, but now we turn on the TV for them. I usually put it on cartoons because they make the most noise and they can hear happy music. Human voices or calm music helps them adjust from seeing and hearing you all day to just nighttime.

4. Prepare special toys for the environment.

With you and the kids gone, the animals have lost their favorite playmate. If you provide toys throughout the day, and switch them out to make it fun, they will be able to transition. You can also provide food puzzles so they have to play and think while eating their food. We personally hide treats around our living room so they can have that to do as well. Some people will fill a puzzle feeder or Kong toy with peanut butter or cream cheese for an extra treat. Save those “favorite” toys for when the kids come home so they can enjoy it a little more.

5. Think about Daycare.

Sometimes dropping your dog off to daycare will help them make new friends and be busy all day. Cat daycares are few and far in-between, but you can always check to see if someone does that, but cats will not be as upset as dogs will. This will allow your dog to expend some energy, while being in good care and the company of others.

6. Quality Time

It is important to re-connect with your pet at the end of a busy week. With school back in session, your dog may not get as much time playing with your family as during the care-free days of summer. Remember that even though your pet wasn’t at work or school all day, he still needs time to unwind. Consider activities like: Long walks at the park, Lounging around on the couch, Daily walks, even as the days get shorter, A weekend picnic, A weekend hike, A visit to a restaurant or establishment that allows dogs, and A special weeknight brushing.

There aren’t that many tips for keeping your pet calm and collected while going back-to-school, but this is really all it takes. August can be a stressful time for you and your family, but don’t forget about your furry friends!

Come visit Wayside Waifs!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


Jul 21 2017

Volunteer Appreciation

In many aspects of shelter operation, we would not be where we are without our volunteers. Our staff members are very thankful for the active roles our volunteers take in caring for the animals in the shelter. I thought it would be nice to showcase some of the many volunteers and what they do here that better improves the mission we all have; save as many lives as we can!

This is Dorothy Miller, and she volunteers in the Cat area. She does socializing, which is visiting with the cats, but she also does Cat to Cat featured in the picture above. Cat to Cat is where we introduce a cat to another cat to better understand if they could be in a home and co-exist together. In this picture, Jon and Bertram seem to be doing well, and they did get that coveted “Yes.” For us, we don’t need cats to love each other, but tolerating one another or just sitting in the same room can make a difference, and it increases their chances of being adopted.

These guys didn’t really interact that much, but they had a relaxed body language, and no hissing or growling. They did great, and here is a little snippet to showcase the process.

Dorothy works directly with other C2C volunteers and our Feline Care Manager to write down their interactions and experiences they have with their test kitties. She also is an avid waif watcher. Waif watching is for our Waifs that have been here more than thirty days, and need that extra exposure to showcase how wonderful they are. Currently, Dorothy’s waif is Ringo, a spunky former Beatles member who is looking for a home! 

The Waif Watchers can decorate their kennel however they like, as long as it doesn’t block the actual animal. Ringo is assisting Dorothy in product placement, as he likes his things neat and tidy. But he loves his snuggles too! We are appreciative of you Dorothy, keep being fabulous! 

Next, we have Sam Grimes. She is also a very dedicated volunteer who works with our dogs. She does a little bit of everything, between walking dogs, working with our shy and fearful dogs, bathing, and fostering. She is the Confidence College Volunteer Lead, and if you have a question about one of our shy dogs, she will most likely know the answer. Recently, she told me about Bob, a CC dog who is currently in foster now. Him and his siblings were transferred here, and had little leash skills. He was more shy than the others, so he was placed on Sam’s team. Here she is trying to get him to go on a walk. 

He is a very sweet boy, he is just a bit unsure of the shelter environment. She told me he hasn’t been outside for a walk yet, just inside. She tries with him everyday and it just so happened that the day I shadowed her was his big day! I captured his first moments outside on a leash, and he was a brave boy. You can watch it here.

We even met another CC dog Beau on our walk, and it really helped Bob’s confidence. It was awesome to see how happy he was!

Sam and her team log in a binder about their interactions with the CC dogs so they all can be on the same page. It’s a really good program that helps many Waifs find their forever home! Sam also enjoys bathing the dogs that really need it, or grooming them. She was assisted by Dianne Siegal, another fellow dog volunteer. 

Here they are giving Roxy a bath, who decided to pose a little bit for the camera. It helps to have two people at least because sometimes the dogs are less than cooperative. But they feel good and smell good after, so they get over it pretty quick! They also get a complimentary bandana for being a good sport, and here is Oreo picking his out!

A big shoutout to Sam and Dianne, you guys are so wonderful and we appreciate you!

Last, but certainly not least, is Debbie Brock, who is another dog volunteer. She is trained to do meet and greets, Dog to Dogs, she walks dogs, and she also teaches classes to new volunteers. We offer classes so people can become even more involved in our shelter, and Debbie is a great example of a wonderful teacher. She teaches the Volunteer Orientation class and the Dog 101 class, giving new volunteers an insight to Wayside and the dog area. Here she is teaching a class!

Debbie also helps out with our Canine Care Technicians if we are short or if we have a lot of dogs to care for. I’ve seen her teach a few classes, and she knows her stuff, and she is very pleasant! She loves answering any questions you have, and she continues to help new volunteers on their first or second shift as well. We have a stuffed animal that new volunteers can practice harnessing a dog on, and it’s very helpful! 

It is nice to practice on a “calm dog” first, because some of our high energy dogs will give you a run for your money trying to put that harness on! But it makes for a really good walk as they can’t pull and the harness works against their chest which helps for a smoother trip. Thank you for the pictures Debbie, and thanks for all that you do!

These are just four of the thousand+ volunteers we have for Wayside Waifs. We are incredibly grateful of the work and care they provide for our organization. Thank you for your kindness and the waifs appreciate it as well. If you would like to volunteer with us, please visit our website here.

Please visit our waifs during our adoption hours!

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Thursday: Noon-8pm
Friday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn

 


Aug 13 2015

Meet Frida!

Hello, I’m Frida! Have you ever seen a face as precious as mine? I know, I know…I’m hard to resist, with my adorable looks and sweet personality. But I’m so much more than a pretty face. I’m a wonderful dog, looking for a dedicated and committed owner who won’t give up on me. I want to be your dog forever. I will entertain you and make you smile every single day for the rest of my life…that’s a promise! I am playful and social and affectionate and lots of fun!

I am a gorgeous, 47 pounds of pure sweetness, purebred Pit Bull Terrier. I’m already partially housetrained and crate trained. Please be patient with me though when we get home, since another change in my life is sure to take me time to adjust to. My whole life so far has been about change. As a wee pup, I was rescued by the ASPCA and brought here to Wayside. I was adopted for a few days, but things didn’t work out for me there, so I came back and spent time in a loving foster home, learning all about life as a beloved family dog. It worked, too, because I found another family and have been with them for the last year and a half. Unfortunately, they’re moving and can’t take me along with them. So now I’m back at Wayside, hoping against hope that this time we finally find each other and become family. I need you and I hope you need me too!

I’m smart, well behaved in a home, and a fun dog to have around. When I lived in a foster home, I stayed in my crate when my family wasn’t home and I was calm and quiet in there, especially when I had a toy to keep me company. In my last home, I stayed in a special room when I was alone. Sometimes I had problems with submissive peeing. A little pee would sneak out when I was nervous. My buddies at Wayside can give you suggestions on ways to help me control that, so be sure to ask! The more comfortable and relaxed I get with you, the less likely that this will be a problem. I’m an affectionate dog who likes to snuggle and I’m easy to care for. Sometimes my play gets rough, so just keep an eye on me, help me stay calm, and I’ll get along just fine. I’d love to enroll in obedience classes with you! I’m one smart cookie, so I think I’d be the star student, and it would help us bond too.

I love to play! My favorite thing is the water and I can keep entertained for hours with a hose, faucet, or sprinkler. I love baths and time in a kiddie pool, too. If you like to spend time at the lake and are looking for a water dog, I might be your gal! I’ll need daily exercise in my new home, so whatever it is that you like to do to stay active, count me in! Even if you’re not into the water, I’ll be happy going for a daily walk or run or hike with you. I just want to be by your side, so I hope you want that too! I’ve lived with other dogs in both my foster home and my latest home, but I’d still like to meet any other dogs you have before we go home together, to be sure we get along great. My playstyle is very rough and tumble, so not all dogs appreciate having me around. But if I can meet the right match for me, I might be a really great dog buddy. I’m also looking for a home without cats or small, furry animals, because I like to chase them.

I’ve lived with kids before and I do just fine with them. In my last home, sometimes I was extra protective of my dad and my 5 year old sister, when strangers came around. This is something that you can train me not to do though. It will be important to redirect me and let me know it’s time to focus on you when I start feeling protective. Your adoption counselor can give you effective ways to help me with this. Please bring the whole family out to Wayside to meet me and we’ll see how we all do together.

I wish my life so far could have been more stable. I wish I could have just been a carefree, sweet, simple puppy, adopted by the perfect family that I ended up living with for my entire life. I wish I didn’t have to spend time at a homeless shelter. But sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan, and I understand that. Despite all I’ve been through, I am a happy and fun little gal, just trying to find my way in this world. I hope you find me soon. I’m so ready for my new life with you to begin!
Love, Frida

P.S. Guess what? I decided to join the Wayside Runners Group, to keep me in shape while I’m here at the shelter. My running friends call me a natural! I run with a loose leash, keeping your pace and staying focused all the way. I notice people admiring my cuteness when I run. Afterwards, a dip in the kiddie pool suits me just fine! If you’re looking for a running partner, I might just be your gal!


Apr 24 2015

Dog Training Tips: Excessive Chewing

How to help your little chewer 

It’s not uncommon for dogs to enjoy chewing on different objects, regardless of whether or not it’s something they should or shouldn’t be chewing on, all dogs have the natural instinct to chew.  Dogs chew on things for different reasons, some of these include: they’re bored, they’re panicking due to separation anxiety, they’re teething, they’re exploring the world around them, they’re hungry, or they just naturally enjoy chewing as a daily activity.  It’s our responsibility as their owners to try to figure out why they’re chewing and ensure they have appropriate items for them to chew on.  Below is some additional information about how to manage a dog that likes to chew a lot.

  • Puppies go through two teething phases, one when their puppy teeth or “milk teeth” start to come in at about 3 weeks old and the second when their adult teeth start to come in at about 3 months old.  It’s not uncommon for young dogs up to two years of age to continue to want to chew a lot into their teenage phase even though they are no longer teething.
  • Generally speaking, younger dogs have a lot more energy than older dogs so as a result they are much more active and need to be given constructive outlets to burn off all that energy.  If they’re not given the appropriate exercise and mental stimulation for their age and breed, young dogs can become very destructive in your home.  It’s imperative that you make the time to exercise your young dog, train basic obedience behaviors to your young dog so that they learn some manners, and give them appropriate chew bones and toys.  A tired dog is a good dog.
  • Always supervise young dogs to ensure they are not chewing on inappropriate objects and to ensure they are not choking and/or ingesting parts of the toys you’ve given them to play with and chew on.  Baby gates, crates, or keeping your dog on a leash tied to your belt are all good tools for total supervision until you get to know your dog and his or her chewing habits.  Not all dogs can play with the same toys safely so it’s imperative that you monitor your dog when you give them a new toy for the first time.  Ingested toys can cause serious life threatening intestinal blockages and the surgery alone to remove the blockage can cost a few thousand dollars at a veterinary office.
  • You can ensure that your dog is not chewing on inappropriate objects by keeping your personal items picked up and put away.  Also make sure that rooms are safe for your dog and that things like plugged in power cords are out of your dog’s reach.  Closing doors to extra rooms like bedrooms and bathrooms will ensure that your dog is not sneaking off and chewing on your things or harming herself.  Remind your children that it is their responsibility to keep their items like toys and shoes put away if they don’t want them chewed on by the dog.  It’s not uncommon for dogs of any age to want to chew things that smell strongly of their owners like dirty socks, underwear, shoes, etc. so make sure they are out of your dog’s reach.
  • If your dog is chewing on an inappropriate item, always redirect their chewing to their dog toys and bones instead of scolding them.  Scolding them will not diminish their need to chew and do something mentally stimulating; it will just teach your dog to fear you.  Instead teach them what they should be doing by offering them toys or chews that they should chew on.  See the list below of toys recommended for excessive chewers.
  • If your dog is chewing on larger items that you can’t put away like furniture, you may want to try a taste deterrent spray like bitter apple spray.  However, the best option is always going to be supervising your dog when you’re home and then redirecting them to an appropriate toy when they feel the need to chew.  If you’re not home to supervise then you may need to crate train your dog or baby gate them in a dog proof room like a kitchen or bathroom.  Some people can safely give their dogs toys to chew on while they are away while others cannot because their dog may have a history of ingesting or choking on toys.
  • If your dog is excessively chewing when you are not home and is doing things like escaping out of its metal or plastic crate and then chewing up carpets, doors, or the molding around your doors or windows, you most like have a dog that is suffering from separation anxiety and should seek immediate help from your veterinarian and a behaviorist.  Please see our separation anxiety handout.  Your dog is experiencing extreme mental and emotional distress, akin to a panic attack. Do not continue to try to crate your dog; she may severely injure her body or teeth while trying to escape out of a crate.
  • Recommended dog toys for excessive chewers*:
    • Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or wet dog food and then frozen
    • Himalayan Chews
    • Goughnuts
    • Nylabones
    • Wholesome rolled rawhide bones
    • Deer, moose, or elk antlers
    • Bull horns
    • Bully sticks
    • Rope toys
    • Tuffy plush toys
    • Leather toys
    • Red Barn or Merrick marrow bones

*Items above are generally safer if they are made in the USA compared to products shipped in from overseas, particularly animal products such as rawhides and marrow bones.  Wayside Waifs does not receive any financial reimbursement for endorsing these products.  Wayside Waifs can also not be held liable should your dog have problems while interacting with these toys.

 


Dec 4 2014

“Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks”: Chatting with Gabby Munoz, Canine Behavior Manager at Wayside Waifs

While I met with Gabby Muñoz the other day, two tiny Chihuahuas explored the office, having just been surrendered by their owners the day before. Gabby pointed out that they were curious and friendly, but nervous. Their ears were set back, and they were a little shaky.

Some dogs who come to Wayside Waifs are more than a little nervous. Abandonment, abuse, or neglect may leave them not knowing how to interact with humans or other animals. They may guard their food or overreact to unfamiliar stimuli, or shy away from contact altogether. Wayside Waifs hired Gabby as an expert to help the more troubled dogs trust again, behave more appropriately and become good pets.

All of Gabby’s work is based on scientific research, in keeping with her academic background. She earned her Masters in Biology with a Zoology concentration from Western Illinois University. She has also always been a “dog person,” and is the owner of two rescue cocker spaniels now.

Gabby told me about a Wayside alum named Frank, a yellow lab/Shepherd mix. His owners had used physical dominance and punishment to try to control him. In response, he had become aggressive, to the point that many shelters might have given up on him.

The staff started Frank’s rehabilitation simply by showering him with treats and positive reinforcement and then ignoring him when he wasn’t behaving. Positive reinforcement works much better than punishment in changing anybody’s behavior. After lots of work with Gabby and the other patient humans at Wayside Waifs, Frank’s behavior had turned around. He was ready to find a forever home, and he went home with a retired man in a successful adoption match.

Because I didn’t associate Labrador retrievers with fighting behavior, I asked Gabby if certain breeds are more aggressive than others. She told me that breeding did bring out certain personality traits, but that a dog’s experience plays a large part as well. Many American pit bull terriers, for instance, can be excellent pets. Wayside Waifs carefully assesses the behavior of all dogs that come to the shelter.

I had read before that owners need to assert their dominance as the “leader of the pack”- something I probably don’t do with my two rescue terriers. Gabby explained that this idea came from studying wolf behavior. But although dogs are related to wolves, they’ve evolved to behave quite differently. She said that they best owner-dog relationships are, like any relationship, based on “co-respect.”

Gabby assured me that my dogs could definitely learn more from obedience classes at Wayside Waifs, even though I’ve had them for a while. The shelter actually offers three levels of classes: one for puppies, one for dogs and an advanced course to help dogs obey even in the presence of distractions.

Although any dog can learn a lot, Gabby said, their basic temperament will not change. A shy dog can learn to interact with others, but may never be the life of the party. A boisterous pup can learn to calm down, but may never be a couch potato.

Dogs have their own personalities and quirks, just like people do, and they deserve to be loved for who they are. After all, they love us for who we are. And isn’t that what we all want?

-Stacey Donovan
Contributing Writer


Feb 3 2014

Quick Tips for Wintertime Potty Training

potty trainingPotty training your pup can be trying business. So, what do you do when you add snow or ice-laden ground to the picture? Although a wintery mix can complicate things, taking some basic measures can help ease this transition. At Wayside Waifs, we know a thing or two about potty training, and we are here to share some quick and simple tricks that should have your pooch potty trained before you can say “spring” and by the time the flowers are in full bloom.

Potty Training Pointers:

Create a Potty Zone.

When there is snow on the ground and you are trying to potty train your canine, be sure to clear off an area that facilitates your dog’s needs. The area does not have to be huge, but you will want to be certain it is large enough that your dog does not feel cramped.

Send Cues.

One of the most important parts of potty training is sending your pooch the right cues. You want potty time to be unlike any other time. So, when you grab your leash or head to the yard, be sure to get down to business. Saying commands like “Go potty,” or “Do your business,” just before tinkle time is a good start. A rule of thumb? Be firm and consistent with your commands, so your dog associates them with potty time.

Praise, Praise, Praise.

Once your pooch gets it right, going potty outside upon command, make sure to let them know they have done a great job. That’s right; after they finish their business, remind them how good their behavior is. Treats are another form of positive reinforcement; however, just remember to dish them out immediately after the proper behavior occurs.

Learn More

Looking for a canine companion? Wayside Waifs has a number of pooches that would love to find a permanent home. These pointers should get any pooch on the road to becoming house trained in a short matter of time.


Shelter Hours
:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm 

 


Jan 20 2012

The Amazing Transformation of Izzy

The day Izzy was rescued

The day Izzy was rescued

Commitment…  Patience…  Unconditional love…  Acceptance…  Powerful words with serious meanings.   But, all must become a basic way of life for anyone who is considering adopting a puppy mill rescue.  Some puppy mill rescues may eventually become fairly “normal” dogs, but others’ spirits have been so battered and broken that they will never truly recover, leaving them with permanent physical and/or psychological scars that will affect them for the rest of their lives.  Some will come with medical issues due to lack of proper nutrition, veterinary care and sanitary housing, while others will be plagued with psychological issues, most commonly an intense fear; both of people and of new situations.  And, due to their endless confinement, all will have a lack of understanding of the appropriate protocol for elimination.  Many will get better, but far more will not.  At least not completely.  But, now, thanks to the rescue efforts of Wayside Waifs, many puppy mill rescues are being given a second chance at life in a home where they will know love unlike anything they could ever imagine. 

 It was November 3, 2009 when 21 frightened and horribly neglected dogs were rescued by Wayside Waifs from their previous lives of pain and misery at a puppy mill in Camden County, MO.   As I watched them being impounded that day, I found that my heart was especially touched by two emaciated poodles; one gray and one cream colored.  It brought tears to my eyes to see their dirty matted fur, their incredibly long toenails, their filthy, rotten teeth, the wounds on their bodies from having to fight for their food, their swollen and stretched out mammary glands, and their wasted and worn out bodied from years of over-breeding.   And, more heart-wrenching still was seeing the dreadful fear in their eyes as they stood trembling at the uncertainty of their fate.  No matter how gentle the touch or how softly and kindly the words “It’s going to be OK” were spoken to them, they still could not comprehend that they were safe and that they were now beginning their journey to a life that would be filled with goodness.  In their frightened little minds, the past had proven to them that only bad things ever happened, so how could this scary new world be anything but a continuation of their previous life in hell?  Fortunately for them, time was on their side, and each would be allowed to adjust to their new-found freedom at his or her own rate.  Over the next couple of weeks I would often visit with my two little favorites; the gray and cream colored poodles, along with several others too.  I would spend some time just being with them every day, trying to help with their socialization, always telling myself that they would all be going to wonderful, loving homes, and that I would have to let them go, because the two dogs I already had at home were enough. Eventually, each of the rescues began their migration from the holding side of the building over to the adoption side, and one by one they started leaving Wayside, to a new and better way of life. 

It was one day in late November when I went to visit with one of the poodles that I found she had a new “roommate”, because her previous little buddy had recently been adopted.  Who was this pitiful looking schnoodle, and how in the world did I miss seeing her before now!!!?  “Darma”, as she was named by the staff, was cowering in the corner, pressing hard against the wall, trying to get as far away from me as she possibly could.  I reached out to let her sniff my hand, but coming from a place where no human contact had likely ever been kind, she had no intention whatsoever of coming anywhere near me.  But, Whispers, the cream-colored poodle, would now readily approach me, so I just continued to visit and snuggle with her, allowing Darma to skeptically look on from the security of her corner.  She looked so sad and lonely huddled there in the corner, but in all honesty, it was the sorrowful, pleading look in her eyes which, in the end, totally captivated me.  Regardless of everything I had told myself about not needing another dog, I really knew from the very first moment I saw her that she would eventually be coming home with me.  And, thanks to Wayside, I have come to discover a reciprocal love from an adorable puppy mill rescue who has come to mean the world to me.

So, I read as much as I could about adopting a puppy mill rescue, and after purchasing a couple of baby gates and placing a dog crate with the door left open in every room of the house, (so she would always have a safe haven close by), I thought I was well-prepared to bring home the newest member of my family.  I quickly learned, however, that nothing I had read had fully prepared me for life with a puppy mill rescue.  On the day of her adoption I went to her kennel, slowly opened the door, and gently lifted her out, at which point she immediately began to fight to get away from me.  So, I clutched her tightly to my chest, and just sat down on the floor with her and spoke to her in a calm, soothing voice, and once she relaxed and ceased to tremble I felt we were ready to go home.  I placed her in a travel crate, knowing that the car ride home would be particularly frightening for her, and that confinement while in the car would be the best option.  Nearly everything she would encounter now would be completely new to her, and for her, every one of those things would be absolutely terrifying.  It was heartbreaking to see the almost constant fear that she was suffering, but I was certain that, over time, she would eventually overcome those fears.  There would be progress.  It would be slow, but there would be progress.  Dedication…  Commitment…  Patience…  Unconditional love…  Acceptance: Progress… 

I immediately found that she didn’t actually need a crate in every room.  The only crate she ever would flee to was the one that she sleeps in every night.  Every “first” for her was incredibly difficult, and many of her fears of those “firsts” remained fears throughout the “seconds”, “thirds”, “fourths” and beyond.  The first time I put a leash on her she flopped around like a fish out of water, but it didn’t take her very long to adjust, and now she walks on leash really well.  Progress…

Her reaction to every new experience was to bolt, not really knowing where she was bolting to, or if the path that she was choosing was safe to take or not.  Everything she experienced initially sent her scurrying; the vacuum, television, doorbell, dishwasher…  She no longer runs to hide from any of those things, although she does still prefer to keep her distance from the vacuum.  Progress…  Rain, snow, walking on the grass, or just being outside, were all horribly frightening to her at first, but now she loves to go out in the back yard, as long as I go out there with her.  Progress…  Once-in-awhile she still will have an accident in the house, but that is rare, so in that regard she is getting better.  Progress…  She has even learned what “go potty” means, and knows to eliminate at that prompting.  But, if I take her outside and she doesn’t actually need to go at the time, she will still squat when I say “go potty” and then come running over to me to receive her snuggles and praise.  She’s no dummy!  And, as terrifying as the first few baths were for her, she really doesn’t mind bathing now at all.  I found that giving her treats while bathing her provided her with something she desired to such an extent that she would willingly tolerate a bath, if she had to, in order to receive those treats.  Now, every time I even just pull back the shower curtain, she comes running into the bathroom and puts her paws up on the side of the tub – just in case it happens to be her bath/treat time.  Progress… 

Izzy today

Izzy today

I am fortunate in that I can take Darma (now *Izzy) to work with me every day.  Her comfort zone is under my desk, and although that is where she stays all day, except for when we go out for a walk, I still feel it is better for her than being at home, alone in her crate all day.  *So, how did Darma come to be known as Izzy?  When Izzy first came home with me, she still had her puppy mill look – a skinny, frightened pooch with dirty matted fur.  So, I thought that this “not quite beautiful on the outside yet” little girl needed a beautiful name, so I named her Isabella.  So, I groom, and I try to get her to the “beautiful” look, but after every bathing and grooming she immediately shakes her body and rolls around on the ground, only to rise up looking terribly scruffy and completely unkempt.  So, I decided that shortening her name to Izzy was more fitting to her crazy and cute, yet messy and disheveled look.

Nothing makes me happier now than to see her running at full speed around the back yard, sometimes chasing after my other schnoodle, and sometimes just running for the sheer pleasure of being able to run free.  Progress…  She is my constant companion, and in the comfort of her home, her eyes are bright, her stubby little tail is constantly wagging and she runs and plays like any “normal” dog.  Progress…  But still, whenever she encounters other people, or faces new situations, she reverts back to being that scared and distant recluse that made her way into my heart back on that cold November day. 

Oftentimes, when she is sitting on my lap, I will look into her soulful and hurt-filled eyes, and wonder of the fear that is behind them, and the painful memories that time can never erase.  It infuriates me that she, and so many like her, have been forced to endure a life filled with horrible torture and unspeakable pain, all so that some selfish, greedy breeders can make a buck.  Yes, hundreds have been saved, but sadly, thousands remain imprisoned, daily suffering a fate that is far worse than death.  We can’t give up on them.  Wayside Waifs will not give up on them.  One by one by one we will do our best to offer these survivors the life that they deserve.  And, to all of the other Izzys out there – We will not forget you.  We will not abandon you.  We will not stop fighting for justice for you.  We will not.  WE. WILL. NOT.  Progress…

 

Written by Karen Brown
Lead Development Associate at Wayside Waifs


Nov 28 2011

Find Grrr-eat Gifts at Whiskers & Wags!

Looking for the purr-fect gift for your kitty?  Does your dog crrr-ave toys that keep him busy?  Whiskers & Wags, Wayside’s Pet Boutique has grrr-eat gifts for your furry family members!  We just received several new holiday toy items in the store, as well as new leashes and collars!   Proceeds from all purchases benefit the animals at Wayside Waifs!

Check ’em out!

A fun assortment of dog rope toys that will keep your pooch busy for hours! Price: $10 ea.


Naughty or Nice?  You decide!  Each ball has nice on one side and naughty on the other. So fun!  Price: $1 ea.


Colorful plush dog toys are tail waggin’ fun! Price: $5 ea.


For our feline friends these zany cat bouncers feature a fun mouse attached to a “springy” tree. They are guaranteed to be the cats meow!  Price: $5 ea.


These are sure to be a hit!  Handpainted ornaments feature different breeds of cats and dogs! Quantities are limited and new ones are coming in each week!  Price: $10

Shop Whiskers & Wags, located in the Harold & Marilyn Melcher Pet Adoption Center at Wayside Waifs!

Store Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday -Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.


Sep 29 2011

Meet Bandit!


Hey there everyone! I’m a super handsome and sweet lovebug named Bandit, and am so happy to meet you! I am a 4 year old, 79 pound Dalmatian/Pointer mix, and I’m waiting for a brand new home. Actually, I’ve been waiting awhile now, so very patiently in my kennel, for you to come for me. I break the hearts of some of the volunteers here as they’ve watched me do this waiting game thing. I just stand at the door of my kennel, oftentimes with a toy in my mouth, and I wait.

I’m such a nice and good looking dog! My looks are stunning, what with my black and white coat, adorable face, and cute little paws that prance with joy. I’m at least partially housetrained too, because I know to go to the bathroom as soon as I get outside! I may need a refresher when we get home, but I’m well on my way. I’m trying to do everything I can to be a good boy and hope that someone will want to take me home.

I came to Wayside as a transfer from another shelter where they didn’t have enough room for me. I’m happy to be here, don’t get me wrong, but what I really need is a real home. It’s hard to get a good nights sleep here at the shelter and it’s hard for me to relax in my kennel. I am well behaved, though, and I don’t jump around and bark and act crazy like some of the dogs do. Still, I do want you to notice me. Please?

I am strong, athletic and active. And at 4 years old, I am in the prime of my life! I love to go out for walks, although sometimes I get excited and pull on my leash. I do much better with a harness, if my pulling is a problem for you. Being stuck in my kennel all day just isn’t the life for a dog like me, that’s why I get so anxious and pull. After a run in the park, I calm down quite nicely and don’t pull nearly as much.

I’m quite friendly, social, gentle and playful. I know how to sit for my treats. I love people, but I do have a little bit of an independent streak in me, too. This isn’t a bad thing, because it means I won’t be constantly bugging you for attention. I can keep myself entertained, as long as I have a few toys and room to play. I happen to love to play FETCH! I’m great at the game, too by the way. I always love to have a toy in my mouth. It is calming for me, and it shows that I’m always ready for a game! Because I like my toys so much, I would probably do best in a home without children under 12. I’m not the best at sharing, and small kiddos don’t always understand that. It is called ‘resource guarding’, but, it can be a really easy thing to work with me on. Trainers and adoptions counselors at Wayside have information about how to help me get over my need to guard my favorite items.

As far as other dogs go, I can sometimes be a wee bit bossy. I’m not afraid to show other dogs that I like to be in charge. Because of this, I definitely need to meet any other dogs you have before we all go home together. Of course, my dream home would have me as their only dog. And I think I’ll be enough to keep you happy and loved, so you won’t miss not having another dog around.

The other day, I was chosen to be the Wayside greeter dog, welcoming all the customers to Wayside. You have to be a volunteer favorite to be chosen for this important job. And I was a true gentleman, calm, cool, and collected. I enjoyed the attention, showed off my tricks, loved it when people commented on my cuteness. And when a thunderstorm rolled in, I wasn’t phased a bit. Nope. No fear of thunderstorms from this boy! Unfortunately, you didn’t come for me that particular day, maybe you stayed away because of that storm, but I know you will come soon. I have faith in you.

I’m a pretty simple boy, just looking for a family to be a part of. Daily exercise, fresh water and food, a clean dog bed, someone to pet me and tell me I’m a good boy…that all sounds so wonderful. And in return, I’ll be the most loyal of companions to you! I will be grateful to you and love you with everything I’ve got. No one will try harder than I will! What do I need to do to have you stop by and meet me, instead of passing me by? Until you come, I’ll continue to wait here in my kennel.

Love, Beautiful Bandit

ps WATCH MY VIDEO!


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