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Shiba Rescue


For my birthday, I got a business card holder with new business cards from my BFF. Why? She and her husband, Rob, have recently come to run the Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue. Their friend, Pam founded the organization in 2009, Rob became an officer and Paula was a very active volunteer. Late last year, Pam decided she needed a break from the rescue and wanted to become involved in horse rescue. When my BFF and BFFH (Best Friend Forever Husband) told me they needed a third officer and asked if I would be interested.  What could I say? So, the business cards officially marked my new involvement as secretary for Tri- State.

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What is Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue? It’s a very small non profit 501.c organization located near Dayton, Ohio, dedicated to rescuing mainly shibas in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.

They are a small organization and have no physical facilities. The dogs they rescue are fostered by volunteers. Tri State makes sure that the dogs have all their shots, are tested for heartworm and chipped. Any medical issues the dogs have are addressed by Tri-State. This is a HUGE job because most of the dogs come from kill shleters where dogs have been found abandoned. Many have been neglected or mistreated. Most come from puppy mills where the dogs have had no socialization with other dogs or people. Sometimes, the mills surrender breeders who are of no more use to them.
Before Rob and Paula got involved with rescue work I had no idea what a puppy mill was. I got dogs from neighbors who had pups.  I  never bought one from a pet store in my life.

So, what is a Puppy Mill?
This is a term for a breeder who raises dogs purely for profit. Certainly, all breeders want to cover their expenses in raising champion dogs but mills go to extreme measures. Females are kept in cages their whole lives. In some cases, the cages only allow enough space for the dog to lie down. The dogs are bred, the pups taken at 8 weeks and the females are bred again. They receive little or no medical attention. A female can produce up to 50 pups before she is discarded or killed. The pups are shipped to pet stores. Pups that are not sold are often shipped back and either kept as breeder bitches or killed outright. No one loves these dogs. No one pets these dogs. They never set feet in the grass, run after a ball, romp in the snow or get loving pats and baths. It’s a pitiful excuse for a life.
Photos here are from the LCA website, that is Last Chance for Animals.

These are not shibas but dogs from other breeds. LCA is another non profit,  but it is dedicated to education about puppy mills and investigating breeding practices as well as investigating other animal abuses.   The Humane Society also has information about puppy mills and tries to help animals in need.

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Rescue dogs from the puppy mills are sad cases. It’s a loving mission to give dogs who have had miserable lives some good years.   And, let’s face it, most folks want a cute puppy, not an older dog.   Shibas are typically sturdy dogs and can live 14 to sixteen years, often 18. After years in a mill or in a home where they have been mistreated and abandoned, they certainly deserve a “furever home” where they are loved, the opportunity to play, to be outside and to love in return.
Shibas were originally bred in Japan as hunting dogs. they are a small breed, have short hair and come with cream, red, sesame or black and tan coats. They usually get along well with respectful children and are fiercely independent. They are a proud breed and their stance shows that.

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About Paula and Rob (BFF &BFFH):   Rob has a career working on computer systems. Paula is a full time Fur-Mom. They raise Shiba show dogs of their own, some gorgeous dogs with terrific personalities. They are not a puppy mill by any stretch of the imagination. Their breeder bitches may have one or two litters before they retire and The pups are loved and cared for and get lots of attention. The moms remain part of the household and are cherished.
In addition, they open their home to fosters, which is how they got started with Tri-State. Their own dogs are not treated much differently from their foster babies except that they are trained for shows and participate in shows and fosters are not bred.

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Paula has her hands full, taking time each day to exercise and play with every dog. There is no “dog” smell or institutional smell at their house. Every water bowl shines, every bit of bedding is clean. She keeps a watchful eye on any medical issues the fosters may have and she and Rob both interact with them, teaching them to play and helping them lose their fears to get them ready to go out in the world to their adoptive homes.
They both train their own dogs, preparing them for shows. Both are very involved in the Warren County Kennel Club and with classes at the Warren County Fairgrounds. And, if a dog goes missing near or far, they are both active in dog searches no matter what the weather.  No matter what the work load, an important part of every day is playtime.

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How about a couple of stories about dogs from Tri State? If you want to see more stories and pics, visit Tri-State’s web page

This is Kobi.   He is such a sweetheart that his foster family fell in love with him and decided to adopt him.   He is one lucky guy.  He looks pretty comfy to me in his new home.

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Here is Maude. She is a sweet senior gal who has a lot of medical issues that include seizures from neurological problems. She will never be adopted out and does not have much time left to enjoy her new life, but what little time she does has left will be spent with someone who loves and cares for her.    Tri-State will cover all her medical expenses and care for her until it is time she crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

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Here is Wiley. A shelter in Kentucky contacted Tri-State and offered them the opportunity to take him.  His time was up at the shelter. He was supposed to be a quick turnaround dog, that is, ready for adoption when they took him but when he came to Tri-State he had kennel cough and giardia. Paula and Rob have addressed his medical issues and he should be ready for adoption soon.   Here is an interesting side note about Wiley.  Sometimes, when a rescue is medically cleared and just needs some socialization skills, Paula and Rob may take them to attend one of the classes.   Wiley, being cleared went to the final obedience class with them last week.   To their great surprise, he passed all but the last step that a dog needs for certification!   Someone, at some time must have taught him to sit, shake, stay and so on.   He will be a wonderful adoptee for some lucky family.   norrisdogwiley.jpg

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Running a rescue takes a lot of time and love not to mention a LOT of cash. If you love dogs and want to help, even in a small way, what can you do? Would you want to be a volunteer or help transport dogs? Or you could donate. Tri-State’s web page has a donate button. They also have an address listed there. You could send a gas card. Those are used when volunteers transport dogs from one state to another.

Maybe you would like to foster a rescue.   You could ask about that.  You must, however, have time to give that would help an animal gain the social skills needed to go to a new home.

If you don’t have money to donate and you shop at amazon or Kroger, you can help in a small way just by signing up and doing your regular shopping. Go to Amazon Smiles or this link for Krogers grocery store rewards program  and choose Tri-State Shiba Inu. A few pennies from every dollar you spend will be donated to them. Trust me, those pennies add up. If you want to find out other ways you could help, shoot an email to Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue.  

My BFF and BFFH spend a lot of their time, not only caring for the dogs but screening volunteers and adoption papers. They want the best possible homes for the dogs and have to ask a lot of questions to make sure the adoption is the right fit for both the adoptive parents and the dogs.
Rob might drive 3 hours to pick up a single rescue or several dogs. These trips are hard on dogs and drivers. Dogs must be crated for their safety and the driver cannot stop for breaks because a dog who has been caged is almost sure to run at the first opportunity and you would be miles from the resources to catch him.

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Paula may spend many days a month at the vet and caring for a dog who has medical issues. Her days are filled with interactions with dogs who may be fearful of going through a door, being outside or dealing with their new found freedom. Everything is new to a puppy mill rescue. Remember, they have not been outside, seen snow, played with toys or socialized with other dogs.
I’m proud to be a even a tiny part of this group.  If you want to know more, visit their web page and for sure, if you are a dog lover “like” their Facebook page.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | animals | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

B is For BEWARE


Pagan Blog Project 2014:
B is for Beware

Beware does not just mean “watch out”. There is a meaning others don’t often remember Be ‘ware……be wary…….be AWARE.

Awareness is a practice we all need help with. So many people get caught up in just surviving or in nonsense television shows, phone texting, gaming, problems, depressing situations, breakups and…..well,  the list could go on and on. Some of us are only aware of ourselves and forget about Being Aware of the world around us, particularly the natural world.

Most pagans try to practice a one-ness with nature though I have heard people complain that because they live in urban areas, they do not have ready access to parks, forests, blah blah, whatever. Actually, if they opened their eyes, their senses, the natural world is all around us and is in great danger often because of our lack of awareness. This was brought home to me this week when I read a blog post from Debra,  of Breathe Lighter Blog. She posted about a wildfire near her home and work. I commented and we began a dialogue that ended with both of us lamenting the lack of awareness, the carelessness that can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage from wildfire, to say nothing of the terror it causes for wild life. They lose their homes, their food sources and fires scare them to death.

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I believe that everyone who enters or drives through a wooded area should have to watch a virtual reality program and experience, through the eyes of a creature, the terror of fire in the woods.   Maybe people would think twice before throwing down that cigarette or leaving a campfire unattended.

Is it carelessness that causes these fires?  Or is it a total lack of concern or awareness for anything that does not directly benefit or entertain us?

We could ask this same question about that chemical spill in West Virginia’s river last week.   There was much publicity about thousands of people with no water but not much about thousands of wild creatures and livestock who had no other recourse but to drink tainted water.

We can learn so much from creatures around us.  It’s winter now and no matter where you live, you can feed the birds who struggle to find food and water.  Watch and learn.   In Ohio, we have the beautiful cardinals, my personal favorites.   They are ground feeders and the males are very very cautious when they feed.  They fly first to the trees and perch high, eyeballing the ground for predators.

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Then they jump to lower branches and check out the action from there.  They whistle to the female and she perches high in the tree branches.  Only after he has checked out the ground for safety does his mate  come down and eat while he watches from above.

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You can learn a lot about love and caring just by being aware of these little guys.  AND, in the summer, if  you can learn to whistle like they do, they will perch above you on the telephone wires and answer your whistle.   My grandchildren get so tickled when my cardinals come.  ” Mimi!” , they will shout, “your friend is here!  Come and talk to him!”

We build and build and encroach upon animal space.   They struggle to survive as human habitats take over their space.   I awoke one night to find an unwelcome visitor in my kitchen.   A skunk had come in through my dog door and was scarfing dog food out of my Jack Russell’s food bowl.   When I asked him what he was doing in my house, he looked at me like I was foolish, shook his head and walked out the door.   He had to be completely starved to come through that dog door, knowing I had a very feisty dog in there.

I learned a lot about “reputation” that day.   My dog had hidden in the bedroom when that skunk came in.   Once I thought about how hungry that skunk  must be, I checked online to see what he might eat.   I began to put all my scraps on a plate, vegetable peelings, leftover salad and fruit peelings, mashed potato and macaroni and rice leftovers, anything but meat.

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I found that he was living under the crawlspace of my house, driven so close, I suppose, because of lack of  food.   I learned a little more than I wanted to know about his sex life when my house filled up with his musk late one night.   Apparently, skunks not only shoot off their scent when frightened , but when sexually excited. I definitely had to put stop to THAT!  I could not stand the middle of the night adventures of his bachelor pad!

I began moving his food plate farther from the house each night.   He would waddle out to eat and entertain us with his antics.  Skunks are very playful little critters.   Finally, when I had moved his dish to the back of the yard, he left the crawlspace and moved under the toolshed.   Whew!   Thus began a nightly ritual of sharing a plate of scraps with whatever creatures are passing through my yard.   We have had the fattest little groundhogs and chubby possums (even though I think they are creepy looking I still feed them) and much entertainment from our creatures.

Even in an urban area, you can see how the natural world would take over if we humans were not around to interfere.   Humans are actually insignificant creatures in Mother Nature’s world.   All of our buildings would crumble to dust if we disappeared. And, all of our technology cannot equip us to compare with the natural instincts and senses of wild creatures that adapt to whatever obstacles we put in their way and still survive.

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Be aware      Be ‘ware    Watch and learn from the world around you.   There are many lessons out there.   You will connect with your spiritual beliefs in a stronger way by studying the tribes of “people” who walk on four legs, fly or crawl.

January 24, 2014 Posted by | folklore, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments