Rescue dog got your back and no pain is insurmountable.

Last year I experienced my darkest hours of despair. During those hours when my life was turned upside down, and shaken in every direction it was possible to be moved, my beloved special needs dog Jack died in my arms during a seizure. He had cluster seizures, lasting as long as 6 hours straight, and I knew his heart had to be weakened from the extreme stress placed on his body, and every time he suffered I prayed, please God, let this time be the last time. Then on that day as I prayed my prayers were answered, just not as I had hoped. His loss made my despair so much more intense and I went to a site on facebook called the Rainbow Bridge and poured out my soul and I was befriended by a kind person that lives far across the country, and through that friendship I have been welcomed into a group of friends that have enveloped me in so much love that I give thanks every day and live in gratitude for the understanding that Jack had to leave at that precise moment to put me in that place to be found by my now very good friend and kindred cat person, Tabby. Through Tabby’s introduction I have met my twin brother of another mother, Jim (he is 7 years my junior so that was one LONG labor), and this story is about him. Growing up as an only child I have always imagined what kind of person would be my sibling and he hits the mark on all cylinders so it was no surprise but expected to hear he has a rescue dog in his household that we’ll refer to as brown dog. Jim owns his own business and brought himself to success through hard work, book smarts (though he denies that fact vehemently) and street smarts, a kind heart and the ability to laugh at the world around him while laughing at himself first and foremost. He’s been planning on leaving his successful enterprise to his children who have worked in the family business since they were old enough to be entrusted with doing the job in a manner befitting the eye to quality their dad expects his customers to receive, a gift of himself he gives to everyone he meets. His plans of passing the baton to his oldest son and perhaps taking a little more time for himself, a gift for all those years of hard work and his well earned reward, were put on hold when his oldest told him the hat his dad had been preparing for him to wear all these years was not the hat he saw himself wearing into his old age and he had found a new style of haberdashery to try, and so was leaving the warmth and comfort of the family business to see the world for himself and see what hats fit his head best and brought him the sense of comfort and warmth the family business couldn’t, leaving Jim dejected. All the best laid plans now had to be rethought, and the most immediate of those was his annual vacation to the mountains where he spends the holidays every year with his wife, recharging during the down time in his construction business, renewing his soul for the new year ahead so he can be his best self for everyone. During this upheaval his wife went ahead because reservations had been made, tickets paid, but he stayed behind to take care of business. His first day at home, alone, and he walks into the house and finds it empty. No brown dog anywhere. Whenever someone is missing from home she notices and mopes, won’t eat, just sleeps in one of her usual spots, a big cushion in the family room where the big TV resides, a cage with blankets in the laundry room where she goes when thunderstorms hit, a porch swing with cushions so she can survey all that happens around the neighborhood (mostly squirrels) and a couch she isn’t supposed to be on but she thinks she owns (and according to Jim, she does….lol). To say he was stressed is an understatement because she learned to open an unlocked door and he was imagining the worst as he went and surveyed the yard, and no sign of her anywhere. He has a downstairs office but in the 13 years she has been his beloved she has never once gone down those stairs, but no one has ever been able to figure out why it scares her so. Finally as a last resort but knowing she would not, could not be there, he went, and there he found her, curled up in his office chair, nervously wagging her tail with a grin. That night she slept in his bed, curled up against his back, again, not her normal place to be. Only a beloved dog could understand the heartbreak of thinking your life is in order only to find you’re back in the middle of chaos, and walk through the fire of their own fears and inadequacies to bring you the comfort and love you so desperately need during your troubles through the gentle touch of their warm and loving spirit. Brown dog is one of those beloveds, just as my Jack was. My brother of another mother and I are indeed lucky. I wouldn’t even have the comfort of sharing in this if my Jack hadn’t gone to spirit at the exact moment so I was in the exact place for our mutual friend Tabby to find me and bring me into this experience and incredible story of love, comfort and commitment that only a special Angel of God can bring to our lives. We truly are blessed when we are loved by a dog. There aren’t words that do justice to what they bring to our life just by being. You can have this too. Just rescue one today. You’ll never be the same again. Your life will be so much better there isn’t enough newsprint for me to tell you all the ways.

And never forget it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Ingredients you never want in your Pet Treats.

I was reading and came across the IloveDogsSite.com and a great article they had about the ingredients that you never, ever want to see in your pet’s treats, and I thought it important enough to share with you so you know what to look for when you’re buying treats. It’s easy enough to make your own treats, from buying chicken breasts, slicing them thin and making jerky treats to finding special biscuit recipes that you can bake up for your beloveds that have all the good ingredients from your kitchen so you know what you’re giving them. But their list of never, ever give to your pets ingredients is as follows:

1. Brewer’s Rice: People often turn to rice as an ingredient for upset doggy tummies and sensitivities. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you are feeding treats with brewer’s rice, you’re not getting the grain you think you are. Brewer’s rice is a processed rice product that’s lost most of the nutritious ingredients that whole grain rice (ground or whole) offers. The only reason pet food companies choose brewer’s rice is because it’s cheaper than the healthier option.

2. Corn: It’s becoming common knowledge that corn is a popular dog food ingredient that should be avoided. The hype isn’t a myth! Corn is holds no nutritional value for our dogs and is a grain dogs are commonly allergic to. It’s simply added as a filler and takes up space that healthy ingredients could be using.

3. Meat Meal: There are many types of meat meals, such as fish meal, poultry meal, pork meal, liver meal, and bone meal. What exactly is “meal”? Well, it turns out most companies don’t even know. Meal is essentially animal parts, but the origin of said animal parts and their quality are widely unknown. Any kind of animal can be included, so long as they are dead, diseased, disabled or dying prior to slaughter. It has been uncovered that certain companies use roadkill and animals euthanized at shelters for ingredients to make their meat meals. Not only can this “meat” contain cancerous and infected tissue, it can contain rotting and putrified tissue as well. So if you see this ingredient anywhere on your dog’s food or treat label, it’s time to find another option.

4. Salt: Just as you should hold the salt on your own food, you should avoid dog treats and foods that contain salt as well. Salt is added for the same reasons as sugar – to make the treats more enticing to our pets. Salt is a necessary mineral – but it doesn’t need to be added since it’s found in other ingredients used for the treats. Salt can also be listed as sodium chloride on the food label.

5. Sugar: We know what you’re thinking – why would anyone put sugar in a dog’s food!? We feel the same way. But unfortunately, many dog food companies put sugar in treats (and other food) for dogs. It’s completely unnecessary, and can lead to health problems such as hypoglycemia, obesity, tooth decay, cataracts, and more. Some pets will even become addicted to the sweetened foods and stop eating their regular meals. Don’t be fooled if you can’t find “sugar” in the ingredient list; it can also be under sucrose, cane sugar, caramel, and corn syrup.

So there you go, the list is conclusive. It’s simple enough to look for these ingredients on the package and if they’re listed, find another treat to feed your beloved. Or make your own. After all, they’re family, right? It’s the least you can do for the ones that give you so much and ask so little in return.

And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Adopt, don’t shop, especially with cats. Too many don’t make it out alive.

I posted a funny on facebook with a photo of two cats side by side, one long haired that was short and squat, the other no-haired that was tall and thin, and the caption read “cats come in solid and liquid form.” Someone commented they’d been to a cat show once, and never again, because of the mistreatment of cats to get them to that state of beauty. I admit I had never once given any thought to cat breeding because there are so many cats available at any given moment, so who would breed cats? Apparently there are people doing just that just as there are dog breeders, making money off the backs of their animals. I find this information incomprehensible. The number of cats that are dumped in the country to fend for themselves, every single day, is staggering. The reason why they are dumped in the country is because there aren’t enough people to adopt them out of shelters so there is no room at the shelters because people can’t be responsible to spay and neuter, so there are a lot of really cute little kittens that grow up to be full grown cats that live 15 to 20 years if they become someone’s beloved, a long time to be loved and cherished. I’m grateful to have that love for that length of time, but since I have six cats in my charge it makes it difficult for me to take on any more, so any of you that haven’t spayed or neutered your cats you’re creating problems for the rest of us responsible people that would give anything to take them all in but can’t. Then I ponder the breeders that do this for a living, and I cringe at the thought. Do you know how many cats that go into a shelter are rescued by their human parents? 2 to 5 percent. How sad is that? That means the other 98% or 95%, whichever number you choose to use, are either put down or if they’re lucky, end up in a no-kill shelter and kept in a cage until some kind soul comes along and adopts them, hopefully forever, but some times until they decide it’s not how they envisioned and returns them. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard and the lame excuses they use upon their return. I don’t know whether to cry or get angry. This is why I can’t carry a gun. Because as far as I’m concerned especially these individuals that promise to love and care for this soul and then bring a senior animal that should be cherished for the last of its life into the shelter for us to care for into eternity, well, I believe they are the ones that are useless to this society and we’d be better off without them. So it’s just best that I go about living as a non-violent member of society because there could come a time when their behavior will become so egregious that I just might not be able to help myself. I believe I have enough self-control, but I just can’t put myself in the position to ever have to find out. So today, if your animals haven’t been spayed or neutered, please do the rest of us a favor and be the responsible one and take care of business. If you have, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you have dogs, adopt a couple of cats. If you have cats, adopt a couple of dogs. Through you we can make this problem of overpopulation go away. Remember, if it’s to be it’s up to me.

But never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Canine cancer is treatable if caught early and you know what to look for.

I have known more people that have dogs that are suffering from cancers lately, just as I know more people that are suffering from cancers lately. I have known folks that have taken their beloveds to canine oncologists for treatments, and found months of additional life where I didn’t think there would be any life at all. So today when I saw an email from Dogtime.com that listed the symptoms of canine cancers I thought it important to share because the sooner you get your beloved in for treatment the more reliable the cure. So, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation says there are 10 warning signs your dog might have cancer:

Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow

Sores that don’t heal

Weight loss

Loss of appetite

Bleeding or discharge from any body opening

Offensive odor

Difficulty eating or swallowing

Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina

Persistent lameness or stiffness

Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.

If your beloved has any type of growth or shows any of the symptoms listed above, get them into your vet immediately. Don’t delay to see if it resolves itself because the time you wait could be the difference between a curable disease and an incurable nightmare. Being aware of what is normal for your beloved is your best tool for keeping your home happy. The additional expense you’ll incur by waiting is not worth it. You are stepping over dollars to pick up pennies for every day you delay. The pain you’ll suffer in emotional baggage because you’ll beat yourself up for not saving your best friend when you had the chance is simply not worth it. I know because I’ve been there. Our first white Shepherd, Wolffie, died from an exploded spleen due to cancer that showed no symptoms until it was too late. That didn’t stop me from beating myself up for months afterwards. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. But nothing was bringing him home. Now I spend my time educating people on how to check the color of the gums of your beloved as soon as they begin to look lethargic so you know if they’re suffering from internal bleeding, the signs of something big that I was blind to so you don’t find out too late it’s time to call the vet, a sign I missed. They should be bright pink, by the way, and you should check them today so you know what they look like, because you don’t want to guess when you need to know. Life is exponentially different for all of us, and health begins with our diet and keeping our immune system healthy. It works for us and it works for our beloveds. We need them just as they need us. It’s a partnership in health that benefits us both. So be vigilant, and take good care of your best friend so they can be there for you when you need that love. It’s a special gift we just can’t take for granted.

Never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Adopt, spay and neuter, but no more breeding. Please…

Every day I see photos of dogs and cats that are in peril of dying if no one adopts them, then I read a post on facebook by someone that says they want to breed a certain breed because there simply aren’t any available there and I wonder, how can this be. How is it possible that there are people that still want to make money breeding dogs or allowing their cats to be not spayed or neutered, bringing more babies into the world, when so many are suffering. I know it’s not because they’re heartless people, at least not these folks, because I know them. They’re not puppy mill people. So what is it? Do they not get the message that all of these animals deserve a home and love? That the love these animals have to give is not dependent on what they look like on the outside, but what they have on the inside and what you give to them? It is so depressing that I simply can’t ponder it for long because there is no answer to my question. I look down at my Zoeybean and think of all the love she gives me every day, and I’m so grateful someone gave her up and I was smart enough to grab her up. And my Action Jackson, my God, the gifts of spirit that I continue to receive through him, even though he went to spirit well over one year ago, continue to astound me. He brought so much love into my life there aren’t words for me to begin to put name to it all. Even if I tried to name all the people that are in my life because of him, the paper would not have enough newsprint to print them all. I am so blessed because I chose to adopt rather than shop. Someone gave up these special souls but I was the one that was blessed with the gifts they brought into my life. I will never be able to repay what they gave, or continue to give, to me. I am the luckiest person in the world. And don’t even get me started on my cats. I am the luckiest person I know. You can be too. You don’t have to look far to find love. I have found the love of people through my love of animals. It’s the miracle in my life. Let the miracle of love work in your life. Go to your local shelter and adopt today, and bring the miracle of love into your life. Don’t wait for luck to knock at your door, go find it, today.

And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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