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Discussion Starter #1
Hello friends! Back from another day of driving. Drove 2 hours for Tulip's new home today. Everything went well; she wasn't nervous or shy at all which made me proud. She was rolling around on her couch when we left LOL. And as for my beloved Frankie, he is now with a family who has experience with unsocialized dogs; and he's already sleeping in bed with them. He's got another brother his size; and an elder large breed dog as a BIG brother. Both rescues as well. I love seeing their pix on Facebook as every update gets better and better...
We picked up our next two fosters today. Both had been in foster care at the last home as well and had been there for a while; they're shy and both need time to get used to people. Well... I've always had good luck helping this type bloom. Both like me already; just have to find like-minded people who know how to treat these kind. The black and white guy with his tongue out (teeth pulled) is 7 years old and is Joey. Then the younger merle is... Merlin (lol.) The question I had about ears is; does anyone else's pets have "notched" ears? I've heard of some breeders doing it to identify pets; but to me that sounds outdated. Not to mention it looks very.. sad. =/ You can see both of Merlin's ears are split at the top and a good sized piece taken out. But it's symmetrical, so I can't imagine it was an accident. I've heard of the practice but didn't know it was still done. Just makes me feel like he was treated like "livestock". =/ Maybe I'm way off, I just have had a lot of dog experience and hadn't seen this.
Not the best pix; I'll take more as they 'integrate' more but this was right as we arrived home and I put them in our dog room to explore.














Thank you for looking.
 

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Hey guess what?! You finally got the merle you always wanted. I do believe Merlin should be a failure tooo haha
 

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I have no idea about his ears Kat! It does look symmetrical which would make you think it was done purposefully. :( But maybe he got in a fight with another dog and his ears ripped. (In exactly the same place, yeah right) ;) Very interesting, I'll be interested to hear what you find out.

And I've been meaning to tell you ... GREAT JOB on the rescuing and placement! I am really impressed by your ability to get a dog, keep him for a little while and then place him. I have seen some rescues keep dogs for years and years. Sometimes never place them, and then they end up with a million dogs.

Just wondering if you have insight on how you are able to place these sweeties so fast and so successfully?! You are doing a great job.
 

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I waas thinking the same thing as Tracy. The notches on the Merlin ears look symetrical...hmm...I can't see them on the other pup Joey... busy you are with the foster pups
 

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They are sooooo adorable. Is it just my imagination or am I just putting something there that I think myself, but when I look at the eyes of the pics of all the rescues I see on here there is just something in their eyes that says, "I have been through a lot in my life." I surely don't know anything about the notches, but the first thing I thought was I seriously hope a vet didn't do that for someone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is gonna sound bad but I think my "success" in placing has come down to me being a huge.. unspayed female dog... when posting my ads. And, low adoption fees. When I post any ads (mostly on Craigslist) I list everything upfront, and everything I expect upfront. If they're fear aggressive, have accidents, etc. And I list all of my requirements like the home visit to deliver, the return contract, all that stuff. I make sure they know these dogs cannot just be adopted and resold, which seems to be the awful part about CL in general. And, my adoption fees run just between $45 and $65. I KNOW firsthand that this is not much; and may not deter all of the freaks; but they never get passed the first step of filling out the app. I don't hear back from (seriously) about 80% of the people who email me once about a dog. If I do though, I try getting to know them as best as I can. I do know that even if someone has enough money to care for their pets and have some for emergencies (I do call vet references too) some people just don't want to spend $250 at a rescue. (That's the average price around here.) They want to put $100 at least into supplies, treats, toys, anything for the homecoming. My goal is only to cover the cost of gas and occasionally food (I just get one big bag of TOTW for all fosters) and I'm happy. I don't really have much else for 'overhead,' they live with me and my others so I don't have separate accommodations. I just talk to people; I don't treat Applicants like customers (at least, not after the Application is submitted lol), I get to know them as friends. If you look at my wall you'll recognize all the dogs on there, and in the Home Sweet Home album of how they're doing. Rob's made references many times on how we're like the Godparents of these dogs; since if anything happens they come back to us. And I do see it like family. I love doing it; I love sharing the love of chihuahuas with other people. (I mean obviously why am I here daily LOL) but I just love having likeminded friends.
I have horrid anxiety issues, OCD, but I have a special knack for finding the right people and that's why I do it. The longer they're here the harder it is for me to part with them; so I evaluate their personalities and do my best to describe them in TONS of detail to the people who are interested. I want people to know upfront what they're dealing with and that many of these dogs do have trust issues. While I will take any back; my goal isn't for them to be tossed around more and bounced back. Which is Joey's case, I guess he was adopted out once already and returned because he wasn't adapting. And I can probably guess correctly that it was more of a case where the owner wasn't willing to give him a chance; or at least not long enough of one. There is a lot of demand for small dogs around here; it's just a matter of figuring out which ones will actually be in it for the 'long haul.' Most people can't predict the next 15-20 years of their lives; so I just want to find people that I know will make the dog a priority with whatever happens; like me.
I guarantee you, the day I have children I will be just ecstatic to help them learn how to be around small dogs; so many of you here with kids and chihuahuas are such an inspiration to me, you have no idea.
Wow I'm rambling. =P
 

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I have heard of shelters 'notching' cat ears after being neutered and returned to the wild, but this pup certainly wasn't in that catagory. Some ID method a shelter/rescue used?? Thanks for being so good at this rescue stuff---I'd sure fail if I tried it! Sue
 

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They have that new foster dog look for sure--I know that look. I am looking forward to future photos when they are feeling at home. As for the ears--that's a new one on me. The only time I saw notched ears--only one ear--the poor Chi had survived a pit bull attack. Good luck with them,a nd thanks for rescuing.
 

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I don't know how you do it so quickly Kat.
Most animals I take in have some kind of behavior or medical issue, if not
several. So the time that I get them vetted(shots, treatments, spay/neuter),
the time that I train them, the time that I work on rehabing, it all takes a while,
so this is the time I use to find the right family for the dog/cat, it's a long
process. I interview several folks, before making my decision. There are
people here in the city that have bad motives, yet they know exactly what to
say, what references to give, etc, anything just to get the dog they want,
whether it is for animal testing, dog fighting, sadistic things, etc. So to weed
out all the bad, takes a while. Which works out just fine because in the
meanwhile I work with the dog on whatever needs to be done before
placement. For example Kat, what do you do if you have a food aggressive
dog? Do you just tell the folks the dog's "issue", so they work it out? What
about when it comes to medical treatment and surgeries?

thanks :)

 

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Discussion Starter #16
I haven't had one food aggressive before. Some possessive-aggressive issues in general but not so much with diet. I suppose I would do what I always believed; hand-feeding the dog. Sounds nuts to some people but this helps the dog establish the fact that it is you who is offering it, not taking it. Some dogs take that for granted if it's just dumped in the bowl, and their natural instinct to be possessive of it is somewhat expected. But even if I'm able to curb a behavior here, I am completely honest with people in telling them so that the too can learn how to handle it rather than accept to it. To me, the dog just being in the home is only the first step; I usually keep in communication for a while answering questions, or referring them to this one helpful chihuahua forum I know. =P
As far as surgeries, I don't cover costs of it if the dog is in the new home though. If they were actually surrendered back to me then yes we would be the ones to take care of emergencies. That's a risk I'm fine with; I would rather the owner be honest and return the dog to at least GET treatment; than neglect it because of financial issues. But this is also something I go over with people in advance too, as I want/expect the same dedication out of them. Everything I do is about communication; telling them in detail everything about the dog; as well as preparing them for some expected (AND unexpected) things that could come up. And it's not just teaching; I've learned a lot too. People have inquired about some of the fearful dogs and have had better advice that's worked for me than I knew of before, simply because they'd had more experience with it than I have. Dealing with anyone online is a huge risk; it's just about knowing what bases to cover and what signs to look for. and truly getting to know them and how much they're willing to commit. It's a lot of work, but it's the only thing I do. Lots of ads, emails and phone calls while Rob is off working. I work maybe 1 day a week at 2 different jobs but otherwise I'm home with them. I feel more in place with them than I do out with a bunch of people. I'm a very weird person who's found her niche and the one thing I can be passionate about. (Or, obsessive about, and I can make some good come out of it lol...)
 

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Kat, you and LS and all the other people who rescue really amaze me. My hat is off to you both!
 

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Same as Tracy! You two are remarkable! I love my animals, even the cat! But to try to help so many! You are doing a great thing!! And not to mention the patience!!
Thank you
 

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Thank you for such a quick answer Kat. :)
I agree keeping contact is extremely important. All of my rescues
are my responsibility for life, I am always there for questions and
always willing to take any animal back, without judgement.

What I meant about treatments, surgeries and spay/neuter is
what do you do when the dog that comes into your care needs
these things? Do you take care of them before placing the dog?
Because this is one of the main reasons it takes me a while to
place a dog, vaccines take time, since they can't all be done
at once, treatments against whatever issues the dog was having,
spay/neuter surgery and recovery time, etc. And these are just
basics, if the dog is ill then it takes even longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oh I get what you mean. Well, since I'm just getting dogs transferred from a rescue, they come to me already vetted. I've only had a few that came to me without (those were strays found by friends etc.) and in those cases they are here longer. Felix was here for quite a while since he came with no vetting. But for the most part I usually get them AFTER all treatment is completed. Tulip for example had heartworm so was treated for that prior to her coming to me. If someone were to give me a dog directly and I couldn't take care of the issues on my own I would pass it to the rescue as well to ensure that any treatment was needed, since they qualify for more benefits than I do without being a licensed non-profit. For the most part though the dogs come to me with more mental/social problems than physical ailments; which is why I take in the ones that are otherwise 'hard to adopt.' I don't have a ton of money but I do have a ton of time on my hands so I'm able to offer that at least. The only 2 jobs I've successfully been able to keep is a doggy daycare and 2 different vets for over 8 years total.. but this is a much more worthwhile way to spend my time lol. And Rob is behind me all the way; I couldn't ask for better support.
 
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