Saturday, June 30, 2012

Serena's Gotcha Day

Thanks for the mouse and the house!
On June 30, 2006 we brought Serena home as a friend for the Dude. He had been driving our older cat Daisy crazy after his best friend Lilly had to be put to sleep after a severe illness. We found Serena at the Kitty City Adoption Center, which is run by SPIN, or Stray Pets In Need, at Pet World in Natick.

Ooh, what's over there?
 Serena had just been spayed after having a litter of kittens. She had been found with a colony of cats living in an old mill building, and SPIN fostered her until she had the kittens and they were old enough to go to homes of their own. The adoption counselor suggested Serena as she was friendly, playful and would not be intimidated by a pushy tiger cat, plus she was the same age, only 1 year old.

This bird is cool too.
At home, Serena hopped out of the carrier and instantly started playing with all of the cat toys. The Dude and Miss Daisy looked horrified, and weren't sure what to do with this weird new cat. Daisy gave her disapproving stares and Serena was smart enough not to bother her.

Miss Daisy does not approve.

Dude, I totally see you.
The Dude decided to go with sneaky ninja attacks. You can see how well that worked. I think Serena was relieved when we got Ozzy and Cocoa, as the Dude then had someone else to focus on instead of constantly mounting really obvious sneak attacks!

This ladybug is super cool.

Serena still seems like a perma-kitten with her round face and squeaky little voice. She has soft bunny fur and tends to bunny hop instead of running, which is really cute, but does tend to get the dogs' attention. She is a sweet little cat that loves to cuddle, but she'll definitely stand up for herself, whether it's against a tiger cat now twice her size or an overexcited punk dog who wants to play chase.

Happy Gotcha Day, Serena Maria Antonia Sanchez! (Not that anyone asked, but she was named Serena at SPIN, the Mr. added the rest, and no, our last name isn't Sanchez, though that would be cool.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Boys

The Dude notices that Duke is lurking.
The Dude knows what Duke wants.

"Duke's making that face again, isn't he?"

"You're going to make us move over when we just got comfy, aren't you?"

Ozzy abides.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Older cats rock!

This is Winston, an 8 year old DLH (Domestic Long Hair), possibly a Maine Coon mix. He was adopted from Buddy Dog some time ago but his owner passed away, so he's back to find a new home. He loves people but would prefer to be an only pet. He's very friendly, a video of him purring is here.

  You can really see Winston's beautiful fur in this shot of him testing out a newly donated bed.

This is Star, a 12-year-old female DLH. Star is friendly with other cats and people, though she can be a bit nervous around little kids. She's a cuddly lap cat who will make a great companion for a quiet family.

This is Ella, a 5-year-old female DLH. Ella was used to being an indoor/outdoor kitty, but now would prefer to be an indoor cat. She is friendly, enjoys attention from people and playing with her toys. Ella is looking for a quiet home with adults or a family with kids in their teens.

I've heard people comment that they would rather adopt a younger cat that they would have longer or that would be more playful. After adopting The Dude as a teeny 2 1/2 pound kitten that used to get stuck behind bookshelves or under the stove, I'd much rather have an older, calmer cat!

We adopted Ozzy and Cocoa as 7 year old cats and they're still fun and playful at 12 years old. One of my first cats lived to be almost 17, and she was active and healthy until the end. I don't miss looking for our little maniac kitten, as he's now a 5 year old 16 pound tiger who's pretty easy to find. Serena is our permanent kitten at age 5 with her round face and squeaky meow, plus she still chases her tail!

Buddy Dog Humane Society does have many younger cats with short hair and different colors, but if you're looking for a fluffy love bug, go meet Winston, Star or Ella as soon as possible!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Practice space

The Blue-Eyed Devil and the She-Devil
Maggie is nervous sitting near the big scary man's amp. (She thinks most men are scary.)

Maggie thinks the scary men and Mr.Man will return soon.
Duke thinks the Marshall is cool.
Duke realizes Maggie might be right.
The punks decide to stay for practice since it is their basement.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fleas, Ticks or Worse

We live in an area that has a lot of deer ticks. Duke already had Lyme disease when we adopted him from the shelter, so he went through a course of antibiotics. Both dogs have been on Frontline Plus since we got them, plus Interceptor to prevent heartworms since picky Maggie will not eat Heartguard chews. We didn't think too much about it, just took preventative care once a month. That was until three weeks ago.

Zombie dogs
 Midday Saturday I applied Certifect, a new flea and tick repellent which our vet said was more effective than Frontline against ticks and is made by the same company. By Saturday night both dogs were completely lethargic and didn't want to go for a walk or eat. Sunday morning Maggie woke up in a pool of pee and had trouble walking, she could barely use her back legs. It was too early in the day to call the vet, so I went online and found out that many dogs have had similar or worse reactions.

I washed both dogs to remove as much of the Certifect as possible, which had spread an oily coating over most of their backs. Here is a list of potential side effects from the European Public Assessment Report:

"Dogs may show some temporary reactions at the site of application (discolouration, hair loss, itching or redness). The itching and hair loss can in rare cases be more extensive. Dogs that lick the treatment area may salivate, vomit, have blood sugar levels higher than normal, be more sensitive to stimulation, lack energy, and have a slow heartbeat or slow breathing. These signs generally resolve without treatment and within one day. Certifect must not be used on sick animals (with systemic diseases such as diabetes, or with a fever) or convalescent animals. The medicine should not be used in rabbits and cats.
Certifect should not be allowed to enter surface water, as it may be harmful for aquatic organisms."
Certifect and other "spot-on" flea and tick products are designed to disrupt the nervous systems of fleas and ticks, "which results in uncontrolled activity of the central nervous system and death of these parasites", according to the  EPAR. They can also affect the nervous system of the host animal in some cases. Maggie was lucky that her symptoms went away over the course of 48 hours, and she didn't have seizures, heart issues, vomiting or permanent nervous system issues as some others have reported. She did have a bladder control issue last year, which we thought was a UTI (urinary tract infection) or spay incontinence at the time. We now realize that all "leakage" issues coincided with Frontline application, and our vet has said that we can never use these types of products on Maggie again as she is too sensitive. We won't use these types of products on any of our animals now, as the cats are indoor only and I don't want Duke to have to go through what Maggie did. We're trying a cedar oil flea and tick repellant spray recommended by Save a Dog, a local shelter that advocates holistic treatment rather than chemicals. Hopefully your dog won't have an issue with flea and tick treatments, but if they start having some of the symptoms mentioned and your vet can't find another underlying health issue, ask if it could be a reaction to the "spot on" product.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mosh pit practice

Maggie: "Hey Duke, check this out"
Duke: "THAT'S headbanging?!?!"

Maggie: "Oog, I feel dizzy." Duke: "Yeah, you look weird too."

Saturday, June 9, 2012


The other day someone at work asked if they ever get puppies at Buddy Dog, since they rarely see any on the website. New dogs have a quarantine period, plus they usually need shots and basic vet care, so by the time puppies are ready to be posted on the site they've already been adopted by people who have walked through the shelter. The same is true of kittens versus adult cats. 

Anyway, here are a few of the puppies and younger dogs available at Buddy Dog

These cuties are Valky and Vieques, 3-month-old male Weimeraner mixes. For more information about these puppies or to check their availability, please call or visit the shelter and speak to an adoption counselor.

This is Boris, a 1-year-old male Corgi mix. He is playful and has an awesome personality. Boris is crate-trained and knows how to sit on command. He is good with dogs with similar energy and older kids, but hasn't been 'cat-tested" yet. This smart little guy will make a great companion for an active family.

 This is Bones, a 1-year-old male Sheltie mix. He is playful and happy, he was found as a stray and came to Buddy Dog to find a new home! Bones is good with older kids and he seems to be housebroken.

Okay, I couldn't resist this face, even though she isn't a puppy! This is Pooh, a 6-year-old female Labrador mix. This sweet girl came to the shelter because her family was ill and could not take care of her. She is housebroken and seems mellow and laid back. She is used to a fenced-in yard, and she loves to go for walks. She hasn't had much exposure to other animals but she is good with kids ages 10+.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Punks

Duke channels young Elvis, Maggie is thinking Black Flag crossed with The Misfits crossed with Slayer.

Gimme Gimme Gimme, Gimme some more.....meat and bones!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Whisker Walk!

Maggie and Duke are going to the Whisker Walk, as there are at least 45 different shelters and rescues participating, plus over 50 vendors. A list of the groups, sponsors and vendors is here, most have special raffles, auctions and events at their booths. We found Lupine leashes for Maggie and Duke for only $7 each last time, there are lots of other great deals on gear and lots of treat and food samples. There are a bunch of food options for people too, from all sorts of grilled food to carnival food like cotton candy, candy apples and fried dough. Good thing there's a walk, there is ice cream too!

Preregistration for the walk is from 11am to 11:30am for those who are walking to support a specific organization and are turning in the donations they have raised. The line up for the actual Walk is at 11:50, with a Blessing of the Animals before the 1 mile walk at Noon, which is over mostly flat terrain.

There will be Frisbee and Flyball demos, a Reiki demo and Reiki for your dog and amazing pet photographers. CMDART, the Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team, has set up an agility ring where you and your dog can try out real agility equipment. There is a Canine Carnival where you and your dog can win prizes playing Tennis Ball Fetch and other games. There is even a "poop bag" raffle, where a deposit of a bag gets a free raffle ticket to win a pair of F1 Boston racing passes - who doesn't love indoor go karts? There is much more to see and do, it is really worth the trip!