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I wonder if other dogs think French poodles are members of a weird religious cult. – Rita Rudner

I will admit something that is highly taboo for dog rescue activists to confess: up until a month ago, I had poodle prejudice. It’s not that I found poodles particularly unattractive or thought that they were terrible dogs. I just kind of wrote them off as pretentious people’s pets due to their foo-foo show dog cuts and their portrayal in cartoons and movies as princess-y dogs owned by high maintenance snobs. Yes, I know. I’m terrible for buying into that judgmental mindset, but I did nevertheless.

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Then something happened…

A little dog named Guinness came into my life and through his sweet, happy soul, he forever changed my mind about poodles.

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On March 5th, Guinness was hit by a car, breaking his femur, fracturing the bone just below his nose, cutting up his face, and leaving fender marks on his legs where he went skidding across the road. A concerned citizen in San Jose saw the whole thing, grabbed Guinness out of the street and immediately took him to the fire station down the road. There, the firemen wrapped Guinness in a blanket, and rushed him to the emergency veterinarian at the Animal Shelter.

Sadly, after being at the shelter for a period of time, the wounded Guinness needed rescue. On March 20th, Lisa Pochop (one of our most dedicated rescue volunteers) pulled Guinness from the shelter and brought him directly to Dr.Gurevitch (the finest orthopedic surgeon you will find in Sonoma County) to repair Guinness’ femur. The surgery went well and I picked Guinness up and brought him to my house, where Drew and I could foster him during his recovery.

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To my closed-minded surprise, he was a joy to have around and so appreciative of all the attention and care. He loved to be snuggled and would nuzzle into you and fall asleep. I was surprised by his happy-go-lucky attitude and his eagerness to please.

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He even sat patiently staring up at me as I trimmed the hair out of his face. This “haircut” somehow turned into a Mohawk due to my inexperience in hair cutting. He never fussed. He just looked at me with the most trustful eyes. Here was this sweet little poodle with all the quirky, handsome charm of a Dr. Seuss character.

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In other words, he was lovely and I was helplessly devoted to the type of dog who I would have otherwise written off as a prissy pup. That led me to realize that it was me who was the snob all along, an anti-poodle snob. How shameful!

Now, granted, Guinness isn’t a full blooded poodle, but I don’t think that really matters.

His positive attitude really helped with his recovery…

…and he stole our hearts.

Now Guinness is in his forever home with the most amazing people. I feel very blessed to have played a little part in his life and am grateful that he opened my eyes to my unfounded poodle prejudice. I apologize to all the poodles and poodle owners in the world. What a snob I’ve been!

Though I can’t promise I won’t get the urge to snicker or roll my eyes when I see dogs that looks like this…

I will try to imagine that under that overly coiffed poodle exterior is an amazing dog like Guinness. You just have to look beyond the fluff.

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Penny was found on the side of the road by Shafter Animal Control. She was struggling to walk, but had no visible wounds. The shelter veterinarian took x-rays and discovered that she has an old break in her femur and pelvis. His recommended treatment was crate rest, as she was already healing. He said Penny will most likely have a slight limp for the rest of her life, but will be able to do everything normal if she is allowed to rest and heal.

A Shafter shelter volunteer took this video of Penny when she first arrived.

But the shelter was crowded and special needs dogs like Penny don’t have the best chances for adoption. Shelter volunteers knew that after Penny’s stray holding period was up she would be euthanized. They contacted several rescue groups until they found ours.

Penny has been in our home for over three weeks now and is making a huge recovery.


Though she was very nervous and defensive around other dogs at first, she and our Nelson have become inseparable buddies.

She even got to see Petey and Nelson all dressed up for Halloween.

But the best part of it? She can play again! (For short periods of time)

Dogs like Penny are the reason why I foster: to help dogs recover and transition into their forever homes. It will be bittersweet when she leaves our care, but at least we know that we played a part in getting her on the path to a great life.

Fostering is the ultimate expression of love for dogs. It requires work, occasional sleep-deprived nights, and assorted cleaning products, but no one can say that it isn’t worth it.

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Apparently, Nelson is a little chicken plucker. I learned this, rather unfortunately, as he proceeded to chase down and pluck one of my dad’s pet chickens last weekend. The poor chicken was terrified and covered with cuts, but she survived.

A bizarre thing happened as my dad and I washed her off in the shower. Somewhere between rinsing the blood and dirt off of her plucked body and speaking to her in a soothing tone, I became increasingly nauseous. Her bare body looked like it was ready to put into the oven for dinner, yet she was staring up at me with scared little eyes. It is a strange experience to see food become something more than just meat to consume. I haven’t been able to eat meat since. I may never eat chicken again.

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Dear Michael Vick,

A judge banned you from owning a dog until 2012. Honor that ruling. It’s only another year. You can wait.

You starved-to-death, beat, and heavily abused your dogs. Your plea of ignorance is a hollow excuse and a blatant lie. You tried to cover up your dog fighting operation from authorities. You knew it was illegal.

Your justification for wanting to appeal the dog ownership ban is that your children really want a dog. Most children want a dog, but you have an opportunity to show them how to take responsibility for their actions. You made a mistake and now you claim that you are working on redeeming your image by volunteering for The Humane Society. You should fulfill your punishment if you want to show the public that you are really a changed man.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING “A Letter To Michael Vick”

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(Nelson Vs Bee)

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Update on Emmie’s Pups

Our little foster dog family is doing much better now. The puppies just hit their 5th week, so our time with them will be ending soon. In three weeks, they will become available for adoption and then I will start sorting through adoption applications, making home visits to potential adopters, arranging for spays/neuter, and, ultimately, saying goodbye.

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