ONCE UPON A TIME...Sarah Keefe and her boyfriend, Pete Millar, packed up their belongings and their cat, Souvlaki, to move from Boston to St. Louis. Millar had gotten a job at Washington University; and Keefe, a freelance web developer, was happy to make the move. “We had this great big apartment with all this space (compared to Boston), so we started thinking about getting another cat,” Keefe says. “We were looking on PetFinder.com—not too seriously at first, but it got more serious. I was looking at pictures and I saw this one named Taffy. We were looking at senior pets because we wanted a cuddly pet, and Souvlaki is really energetic. Taffy was really beautiful and photogenic...and I said to Pete, When are we going to see Taffy? and it became a running joke because we kept waiting to go. Then one Saturday, he said, Let’s go visit Taffy.” And so they did.
Oh, what fun it is to…but now, the reality of our new holiday pet is settling in. Your beautiful, cuddly, sleepy little pup has transformed into an energy-driven, biting, irresponsive devil who seems to pleasure in pooping and peeing anywhere but outside. Sound familiar?
The animal control department of Peoria, Illinois, found Dixie, a 4-year-old basset hound, on the streets with a litter of puppies. They took her in, but during the procedure to have her spayed, something went wrong and she became very ill.
After last winter, we all are assuming another bad one is on the way. There are many concerns for our dogs who have an inordinate amount of outside exposure. Obviously, there are breeds that are kenneled and spend a good part of the year outdoors. Those pets will transition to weather extremes of winter more efficiently and safely.
ONCE UPON A TIME...The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 39 small-breed dogs from Carter County. The owner surrendered the dogs after telling animal cruelty investigators that she had planned to load them into a truck and dump them on the side of the highway. Many of the dogs were in poor shape, and the Humane Society’s rescue team brought them to its Macklind Avenue headquarters for care.
ONCE UPON A TIME...Scott and Heidi Suppelsa had two purebred dogs: A beagle and a cocker spaniel. When both passed away within a span of two years, the family took a yearlong break from dog ownership. But eventually, they wanted a new dog that would be good with their two kids, Eli (now 10) and Maya (7).
Once Upon a Time...Sarah Evens was thinking about volunteering at the St. Louis City's animal control facility on Gasconade Street. "When I pulled up the website, the adoption page came up, and Kona was the first one," she says. She and her then-boyfriend, Pete Williams, started talking about getting a dog, and visited the facility. "When we walked in, he was in the first cage, so honestly we didn't look at another dog—he was the first dog we saw, and it was love at first sight." (Editor's Note: The Gasconade Street facility has since closed, and most of its dogs were given to nonprofit Stray Rescue of St. Louis for care and adoption.)
November houses Turkey Day, and that means tons of great food, lots of family time and more. Many of our pet health concerns around Thanksgiving have to do with all those scrumptious table goodies getting into the mouths of our non-discriminating pet gourmets.
Personally, I love critters. I enjoy purebreds and I enjoy ‘mutts.’ In turn, I strongly support rescue and adoption, both philosophically and in practice. Our clinic hosts the only Missouri state-licensed rescue facility owned and managed by a veterinarian. So, I applaud anyone willing to take on a rescue. It’s a wonderful action, indeed! But it often is fraught with misunderstanding and/or problems. So, when clients ask me about adoption, I like to prepare them for the processes associated with adopting a rescue animal.
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