Friday, October 22, 2010


Well here we are again, one week from Halloween. The night of goblins, ghosts, pumpkins, candy and ringing doorbells. I know most of this has been said many times before but if one new reader changes a plan and saves a dog, then I'll repeat it over and over.

Chocolate is not good for dogs. It is toxic if a dog ingests too much. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate, pure cocoa used for baking is the most toxic and in very small amounts. Keep Halloween candy out of Fido's reach. If your precious furry baby happens to ingest a snack size milk chocolate candy bar, it is probably not reason to panic and rush the dog to the vet to have his stomach pumped.

One year, many years ago, Kelsey ate two of those candy bars that people used to sell door to door for charity. You know the ones - skinny and long, wrapped first in foil, then covered in white paper with the name of the charity printed on the outside. Well I was getting ready for a Halloween party when the pre-teen knocked on the door. I bought two and laid them on the table right by the door while I went back to my fake nails.

Well Kelsey knocked them both off the table with her outstretched paws and had herself a wonderful treat. I called the emergency vet and they gave me weight ratios of dog to candy.

So here I go pounding on my next door neighbor's door (dressed as a Spanish castanet dancer I might add). "did you buy any of those candy bars earlier, I panted?" "Yeah, why do you want it?" he asked concerned for my sugar levels. "No, I just need to know much they weigh!"

Stop laughing!!!

Anyway, it turns out that Kelsey at 25 pounds could have eaten 3 of them before toxicity became an issue. All she had was a stomach ache and diarrhea. So, before you drive the ambulance or before you give your poor dog something to make him throw up over a chocolate kiss, call the vet!

Be mindful of costumes too. Don't use anything that ties or binds the dogs head, ears or feet. Did you know that hats indicate a dominance over the dog? So you may want to skip the cute little crowns too.

Only take your dog with you through the neighborhood if you are fairly confident that he or she is not quick to startle or bolt. Children love to walk their dogs but not many 6 year olds can hold on to a leash being jerked off their arm by a startled dog running for dear life from something making Frankenstein noises or from a white sheet gliding down the street.

Crates are a great place for your pooch to be safe while you and your family go make fools of yourselves in the spirit of the season!

O.k., so here's a new take. One of our volunteers carved pumpkins to look like her bostons! Pretty creative ah?


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Someone once told me that at the birth of their third child, they were concerned because it was no longer an even match in their house. Two parents, two arms each, two children. Balance was easy to maintain. Sometimes the same can be said for adding the third, fourth, fifth dog and so on. Everyone has their limit or they should anyway. I am most comfortable with two. When I had three, I always felt like one was being left out. Some of our rescue members do fine with 5 or even 7. Organization is the key with this number and routine. One of our more famous foster Mom's coordinates up to 9 temporarily with the precision of a military troop. I bow down to their abilities.

I only have one right now and know that someday number two will make their appearance, particularly since number one is bored a lot of the time. He is forever trying to engage in play with my 18 year old cat. His need to play also results in day care once a week. This evening is the most peaceful of my week.

Moochie, adopted from BTRNC in 2008 and renamed Spike sounds a lot like my Riley. He was non stop energy and hard to manage. He even got thrown out of his first obedience class because he was more interested in playing and disrupting the other students than learning good behaviors. Hearing the stories about Spike and what his new Mom kindly referred to as mischievous pranks, BTRNC encouraged the family to add a playmate.

In 2009, Sweet Pea was brought home from a shelter and the rest is history. Spike and Sweet Pea are inseparable. When they have to be separated, their reunion is marked with joyous tail wagging licking and other physical contact. They play constantly and then when they wear themselves out, both are content to take up the WHOLE couch and cuddle together for the evening.

Every dog is different. Some do better as only dogs either due to dominance or a bad experience with another dog. Then there are others who thrive on the friendship of one or more of their own kind. If you have one in the second category, consider this success and reformation of a formerly mischievous Spike. Hmmm..... maybe I need to take my own advice.

Have a blast Spike and Sweet Pea. We are so glad you found each other and your family!

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I have heard this phrase a lot recently and I do not know who to credit for coining it first. Usually it is said when discussing the many family members and friends it takes to coordinate raising a child these days. Particularly when there are multiple children who have to be in multiple places.

It takes a big village to coordinate a rescue too. We have volunteers scattered all over NC, SC, VA and a few much further away. Volunteers foster, transport, provide nursing care, hospice care, emotional support and behavior modification to the hundreds of bostons that have passed through BTRNC. Our volunteers have friends and family of their own who often provide assistance in many ways.

Elvis and Priscilla, a VERY bonded pair who are both heart worm positive recently came into rescue. Their foster family had been very insistent that they would only foster ONE boston at a time. That was at least until now. Their most recent foster had gone to their forever family so their doorstep was open. In this case, two came as one and they reluctantly agreed under the rationalization that these two were so bonded, it was like having one large dog.

While they were making their way, very far away, another volunteer knew someone who knew someone... Anyway, there was a large crate involved. The crate had belonged to someone who no longer needed it. She gave it to one of our volunteers who sent it on a transport from state to state. The crate arrived at Elvis and Priscilla's destination just in time to provide this pair a place to stay safe and be together.

Even more important, they began their treatment for heart worms. I've blogged about that subject before. But as a reminder, the shots are painful and expensive and you must keep the dogs still to avoid the development and movement of a fatal clot. What better way to keep these two quiet then by letting them be together in a crate made for two! Funny how things work out.

Pieces of a puzzle of need come together every day in rescue. We would not be here without it. Elvis and Priscilla will soon be heart worm free and ready to take on the world. The final piece in their puzzle is a forever home. Maybe you could also look at it as one big dog and complete their puzzle.