Sue & Lucy the Dog: Watching Life Unfold & Gettin' It On the Page

Tag Archives: dogs

Bonnets for Abigail Dog Fight Victim Finds Fur-Ever Family & Potential Fame

I shared the story of Abigail (@BonnetsForAbigail) the dog with its gut-wrenching details with you a few weeks ago. I’m glad her circumstances moved and inspired you to help. You can still help. ROCK THE VOTE FOR ABIGAIL (see below) AND EVERYBODY WINS!

For anyone who doesn’t know, Abigail was found on the streets of South Florida, and was a victim of extreme abuse. She was being used as bait in dog fighting, and had the right side of her face and entire right ear torn off and mutilated. Abigail was also anemic, infested with ticks, covered with a mix of mud and blood on her head, neck, and back legs; her multiple infections were so bad that she nearly died from sepsis alone.

Abigail was rescued, “repaired” and rehabilitated over the course of nearly one dozen surgeries and countless treatment procedures. She survived so she could thrive and live out the rest of her days loved, and loving in return.

I was in touch with Abigail’s foster mom (her initial rescuer, who runs the non-profit Love is Fur Ever Dog Rescue) just the other day. She had three incredible announcements to make on behalf of sweet Abigail —

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!

INTRODUCING ABIGAIL

Announcement 1: Out of about 100 families who originally applied to be chosen as Abigail’s fur-ever adopted family, one lucky, wonderful family was selected!

Abigail has joined her mother, father, and sister-dog (also a rescue) to live happily ever after. They are pictured here, on Facebook along with some of Abigail’s rescuers, her vet, and fans. Abigail has already started enjoying her new life, a life that once seemed impossible, and that she well deserves. BEST.NEWS.EVER.

Announcement 2: Abigail will become a therapy dog!

Abigail and her new loving family are all about paying it forward and living in the moment. Abigail has already scheduled her evaluation and will soon be attending classes and training to become a therapy dog, visiting hospitals and the like.

Good girl, Abby!

Announcement 3: Abigail has been nominated to receive the American Humane 2017 Hero Dog Award, and will soon be on her way to the ceremony in CA!

You can help Abigail and her team get there by visiting her Go Fund Me page and donating whatever you can.

WAIT A MINUTE! HOW DOES A DOG GO FROM THIS CONDITION —

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TO THIS CONDITION?! E63C2ABA-6231-49C6-AD98-334490725540

PEOPLE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN ABIGAIL’S JOURNEY. THEY STILL DO.

 

An Emerging Hero – the Pup-Arazzi Awaits Abigail

We all agree that we must end dog fighting wherever it exists. As a spokes-dog for this important cause, Abigail’s family and her team of supporters have already begun to make a difference.

Abigail already received enough votes to make it through round one of judging in the American Humane 2017 Hero Dog Awards, handily winning in the Emerging Hero category. As part of paying it forward, Abigail has selected Dogs on Deployment as her charity partner for the Hero Dog Awards.

Abigail wants to help Dogs on Deployment continue its important mission of assisting active military members and their family pets. Since Abigail made it through round one of judging, American Humane donated $2,500 to Dogs on Deployment. If she wins the title of American Hero Dog, then Dogs on Deployment will win an additional $5,000!

As of now, Abigail is among the top 7 dogs nominated for the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Award! No doubt, all the dogs are wonderful in their own respect. But I love Abigail, and I love Dogs on Deployment (I am their proud online blogger & chief editor), so I will vote for Abigail to win TOP DOG.

Will you join me in voting for Abigail now and every day through August 28?! Please? Show your support!

Click here: http://herodogawards.org/dog/abigail/  and vote for Abigail 7/14-8/28/17.

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Abigail is on Facebook @BonnetsForAbigail with over 17k followers.

Abigail didn’t need therapy, Abigail is the therapy. She loves people and dogs.

She has a mission to continue to teach forgiveness and end dog fighting.

 

 

I Support the PAWS Act

PAWS: Share the Story

“PAWS” in this case, stands for PET AND WOMEN SAFETY.

Love and loyalty to our pets will often make us go to any lengths to shelter and protect them. I was recently enlightened to the fact that many victims of domestic violence and abusive relationships (the majority of whom are women) remain in those circumstances so they can continue to care for their pets.

That is a God-awful choice. I asked, “what can I do to help?”

  • I signed a petition. The link above takes you to YouTube, where you can learn about the cause from the video, and go on to sign a petition yourself.
  • I reached out to my local government representatives for support. I’m proud to say that I got this positive response from my N.C. state Congresswoman, Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.

“No one should have to choose between leaving an abusive relationship and ensuring the safety of their pets.  This is why I proudly cosponsored the PAWS Act.”

More info is available at The Animal Welfare Institute. I thank Congresswoman Adams. I hope many more congressional representatives and legislators step up.

Seems like a no-brainer for those of us with brains and a heart. What do you think?

 

 


Abigail’s story both haunts and inspires me.

“Just do something, Sue” I thought, over and over. In an effort to just do something, I’ve begun to share the highs and lows of Abigail’s journey by writing about it.

It literally sickens me to write this story, again. I am an animal lover, advocate and avid supporter of humane education and initiatives. While volunteering for, working with, and on behalf of animals, I have seen the best of people and the worst of people too.

EVIL VS GOOD

EVIL. The worst of people results in cases like this:

Abigail Before IMG_1921

The dog is Abigail, of “Bonnets for Abigail” fame. As a young dog, she was used as bait in a dog fighting operation in South Florida. 

I first learned about Abigail as part of a joint project with her group, and the non-profit group “Dogs on Deployment,” whom I blog for. Her story both haunts and inspires me. (Click on the link provided to learn more about Dogs on Deployment.)

Abigail was found mutilated.  When first rescued and brought to a shelter, it was clear that just about the entire right side of Abigail’s face and right ear were missing. Her condition was startling and dire.

The dog pictured represents many just like her, and the horrors they confront. Abigail’s rescuer was Victoria Frazer. She is the founder of, and along with her amazing team, operates Love is Fur Ever Dog Rescue, a non-profit rescue group.

GOOD. The best of people results in cases like this:

Equally as important as the “BEFORE” images above are Abigail’s “AFTER” images. YES!! I’m delighted to say this is the same dog that’s pictured above!

Bonnets for Abigail: A New Beginning

Abigail, shown rehabilitated and healed. (That’s one of her famous bonnets.)

Abigail and Victoria Share a Tender Moment

Abigail, shown healed and loved. (That’s Victoria Frazer, her rescuer.)

Abigail is a new dog now, thanks to much tender loving care, compassion, and the extraordinary surgical skills of veterinary doctor Thomas Jackson, DVM, of Pets First Wellness Center in Estero, FL.

Abigail was fostered these last few months. She has been enjoying the life all dogs deserve. Abigail currently has about 17,000 Facebook followers.

Many wonderful, loving families have stepped up to ask to be her “Furever Family.” Abigail is awaiting the announcement any day now of who that will be!

Abigail was once left for dead. Since then, she has gone on to emerge as a teacher, hero, and an award nominee! She inspires with love and forgiveness. Along with her many bonnets, Abigail also acts as an ambassador to help us all spread awareness of animal abuse and end dog fighting.

 

Animal abuse is alive and well.

Dogs like Abigail are born into a world where only pain and suffering persevere. Their only hope for relief is rescue.

Animal abuse comes in many forms, even in a thriving, civilized, industrialized society like we enjoy here in the United States. Numerous individuals, legislators and animal advocacy/rescue groups work tirelessly and successfully everyday to end animal atrocities.

Animal atrocities include:

  • puppy mills
  • “backyard” breeders
  • unlicensed, unregulated “rescuers” who hoard animals
  • dog fighting rings

And, I would even argue that the numbers of innocent dogs and cats alone that are euthanized daily in overcrowded shelters throughout the U.S. also represents an atrocity. But, that is another story for another day.

Sometimes, animal abuse represents larger societal problems. Dog fighting is prevalent in disadvantaged groups of people who are often uneducated, unemployed, and who abuse drugs. Dog fighting is done for sport and for gambling.

It has already been 10 years since 51 pit bulls were rescued from the property of NFL quarterback, Michael Vick. As part of a dog fighting ring, the dogs were subjected to cruel abuse and torture, including being shot at, electrocuted and drowned. 

After their rescue, many of the dogs survived and were given a second chance at a real life, thanks to people who got involved to help. We have made some progress since then, but there is much more important work to be done. Lend your voice, talent, money if you can. Decide to care, get involved, and take action.

Just do something.

And if and when you doubt that your efforts and support are making a difference, remember sweet Abigail and her bonnets.

 

Bonnets galore IMG_2465

Abigail loves people and loves dogs. She harbors no animosity. She has a mission to continue to teach forgiveness and end dog fighting.

Recognize your moral obligation to stop animal abuse and end dog fighting.

We can do this. We must.


Sure, “Good Grief” is Charlie Brown’s famous, exasperated expression. I’ve certainly shouted it many times over the years after people or events left me just shaking my head in disgust.  Or after I’ve tripped over my dog or cat staring intently at the refrigerator or the oven, seemingly in a trance. “Good Grief,” why do inanimate household appliances seem so fascinating to our pets?

Grief itself is a process, and one that I know well. I lost my brother in an accident and my previous, very young husband to cancer. Having worked in the Twin Towers on 9-11, I lost friends and colleagues. Like many folks, I’ve also lost both parents, and of the five pets I’ve adopted in the last 15 years, only one remains.

The actions we decisively take during the grieving process — which can last months, years, or a lifetime — can be cathartic, and help us sort through our sadness and other emotions.

After my too-young husband died, I attended a grief support group where we tackled the difficult issues head on. At one point, we made decorative Christmas tree ornaments using our photographs. I’m not a crafty person, per se, and after the project was done, I still hurt like hell, but I actually felt some relief. Every little bit helped. I was grieving but growing as a person, and plowing through it all.

In attending the recent 2017 BlogPaws Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Wanda Kruse, aka @MaggieTKat (link to her site provided: Life Through Science by Maggie T Kat), and thanks to her, once more I found “Good Grief.”  It turns out that the BlogPaws folks, with Wanda’s help, traditionally enable attendees to draw, create and display Honor Flags, following the Tibetan custom of displaying Prayer Flags. These Honor Flags help us remember our dear pet companions who are no longer with us. (More info on Honor Flags/Wanda/BlogPaws here at their site .)

I’d never heard of prayer flags and was only mildly intrigued at first. But despite my lack of artistic ability (I’ll stick to writing any day, thanks), and thanks to having a very nice dinner conversation with Wanda at the conference one night, I decided I’d create my own Honor Flag. I’m so glad I did it for my “Buddy Luv.” And for me. We both earned it.

 

 

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I had plenty of inspiration thanks to Buddy.

I picked his colors — a burnt orange, snow white, and piercing sea-foam green for his eyes — and just let it flow… that is, the flag, the smiles, and oh yes, the tears.

Many hugs with Wanda ensued. People like her restore my faith in humanity. God knows we don’t see enough of it these days. Like she said, the act of creating the flags and joining with others who are also experiencing loss can help us all heal, if even just a bit.

I’ll take it.

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Here’s the Honor Flags in progress, at the 2017 BlogPaws Conference.

My gratitude to Wanda Kruse, and to the BlogPaws folks for continuing this tradition. I know the more we continue to love our families and our pets, that the more we will ultimately grieve. But I feel taking that chance is well worth it.


 

Dogs on Deployment is a wonderful, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization for whom I am Chief Editor of their Military Tails blog (click for link). I’m going to give them a shout out every opportunity I can so as to spread awareness of their important mission.

Support our troops by boarding their pets! That’s dogs, cats, etc.!

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What is it about the power of the paw that can unite a group of strangers? I found out at the 2017 BlogPaws Conference.

For anyone who may not know – and that included me until not that long ago – BlogPaws (YES – one word!) represents a social learning community of people who share a passion for pets and charitable pet causes, and who utilize blogs and social media to connect, communicate, and educate others. (You can check out the BlogPaws official mission statement and more on their website.)

As the Chief Editor for the Dogs on Deployment Military Tails blog,  (check it out!) I attended the BlogPaws conference to represent my non-profit organization.

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Since I had previously traveled on business and attended other conferences, here are 5 things I expected to find en route/at this conference:

  1. Friendly, courteous hotel staff at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach, SC – check.
  2. Less than friendly, but trying to be courteous airport staff – check.
  3. A super comfy bed at the Sheraton – all to myself (sure, sure, I missed my hubby and the dog in the bed too, but come on) – check.
  4. Unpacking my luggage to find dog hair on my freshly pressed clothes – check.
  5. People who enjoyed talking about their pets or pet-related causes/blogging about their own/their pets’ experiences – check.

Well, here are 5 more things I was not necessarily expecting to find en route to/at the BlogPaws conference:

  1. Running into very enthusiastic fellow pet lovers/bloggers heading towards the same conference, all covered in various pet hair, while still at the airport, en route – check. 
  2. Receiving my official “I Pet a Therapy Rat” pin, since, well I did – check.
  3. Being upstaged at dinner in the grand ballroom by a cat dressed in haute couture – check.
  4. Receiving an enormous bag of swag that Lucy, my Jack Russell Terrier will be boasting to her pals about at the dog-park (Actually we had that mother-daughter talk, and Lucy graciously agreed to donate most of the goods to a local shelter. You can see her delight in this decision in the pic I’ve posted above) – check.
  5. Meeting hundreds of people who enjoyed blogging/talking about their pets, pets’ experiences, pet-related causes, non-profits (like Dogs on Deployment), innovative / wholesome / savvy / nutritious-delicious / fun / educational pet products and services – check and double check.

Whew.

At the BlogPaws conference I met people from WA to ID to NY (yay, NY, my home town!), who represented different educational backgrounds, career interests, political parties, cultures and ideologies, but all of whom agreed that they connected deeply with animals and loved them in one way, shape or form. Whether they shared their pet’s daily adventures via a massive social media following, presented cutting-edge technologies and services that are revolutionizing the way we interact with and care for our pets, or enlightened us on the important work of animal rescue and rehab groups all across the U.S., every unique individual brought something to the table to be shared and appreciated.

We were all better served for having attended the BlogPaws conference. Many people didn’t know about Dogs on Deployment, for example, and how we help active duty military families remain together with their pets. I was fortunate enough to meet several vendors who are eager to hear more about this important cause and get on board somehow. I was also lucky enough to meet many attendees who will turn into advocates, partners, colleagues and I hope, friends.

Last but certainly not least, I found “Good Grief,” thanks to Wanda Kruse, aka @MaggieTKat. More on that in my next post.

This proud pet owner, animal advocate and dog-hair covered writer is so pleased to have been at this valuable conference. All that I’ve taken away from it I will in turn give back to my furry friends in the hopes of improving more lives.

Power to the paw-ple, I say.

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Did somebody say chicken wings?? Make mine spicy!

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Superbowl 51 (OK — excuuuse me, “Superbowl LI”) will be played this coming Sunday, February 5, 2017. Enough of these Roman numerals. Smart dogs have decent math skills, but come on already.

So Lucy the dog and I were just wondering what some of your favorite foods have been to eat during the Superbowl?

  • chicken wings
  • sliders (tiny burgers, really)
  • pizza
  • chili
  • ribs
  • guacamole and salsa with chips
  • other

We’d love to know if you care to share in the comments?

In our household, during previous Superbowl games, at least one or two of these items has made its way onto the table — followed by Lucy trying to jump onto the table. Just how high can a Jack Russell jump? Four feet and up, easily. And this one has a good running game!

To be fair, Lucy is just as concerned for the Puppy Bowl 2017, to air on Animal Planet. And as an animal lover and supporter of rescue groups and humane education, I have to give everyone involved credit.

All dogs involved in Puppy Bowl 2017 are available for adoption through The Sato Project. WONDERFUL NEWS!! READ MORE:

https://www.facebook.com/HuffPostGoodNews/videos/vb.202163013203224/1275809152505266/?type=2&theater


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While it is the general consensus that we’ve got it good here, and we love you (that’d be both cats and the dog — me, Lucy) there are a few things under review. In case you weren’t aware, yes we pets do meet together in solidarity. Here I am at our last business meeting, taking minutes.

We are bewildered. Periodically, it seems to upset you to no end to find mysterious, nasty, sometimes unidentifiable piles of “stuff” we leave behind the house and on our property. OK, so these piles range from bile, to vomit, to remnants of half-dead bugs, and at last, to about fifty shades of poop. Collectively, we all think this is pretty cool, but you do not. To that we say, shit happens, get over it.

Second item, regarding cleanliness and your endless quest to have us all groomed properly. We find your efforts really sweet and rather amusing. Really, you must have noticed the places where we lick ourselves. And our breath? All right, yes we all have exceptionally bad breath, but if it doesn’t phase us why does it bother you so? Probably best to just leave us be.

Lastly, and this item is just from me, Lucy the dog. I’ll pause here to again remind you of how incredibly cute I am.

Image” …, yes we pets do meet together in solidarity.”

To the question you always ask “Does Lucy want a cookie?”  I say, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Milk bones. They are one fine snack treat!! But… as a maniacal (Parson) Jack Russell Terrier, my energy and anxiety level exhausts me, and so sometimes after a long day of being me, I would prefer that you consider asking me instead, “Does Lucy want a flame-broiled burger, medium rare?”

We hope you will give careful consideration to our suggestions and demands. But if not, well admittedly, it’s not like we could really do anything about it. We send you our appreciation and…

Much Love, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY from the Pets
XOXOX

Happy Mother’s Day One and All, from Lucy’s Mom

 


As my owner is still cursing the polar vortex, I decided that I’d jump on the blogging bandwagon in her place. My name is Lucy, the Jack Russell Terrorist. Here is my latest pic. Sure, I slow down a bit in the winter months, but that’s me buried in the blanket somewhere.Image

It was reported in the news this week that new technology has been developed in Europe that will translate the thoughts of dogs like myself into words for humans to understand. On behalf of my canine counterparts worldwide, I just wanna say “Genius, … seriously.”  I previously thought that having you twits out working all day, year after year, on my behalf was brilliant, but you’ve just kicked it up a notch. Sure, stay outside now with your snowblowers, shovels and ice picks while I cozy up here, chillaxing on the couch and offering my point of view on this research data.

Lucy the Dog’s Point of View on Latest Research Data
One of the researchers used language like “ionic current flow” when strapping the helmets on the participating dogs. Honestly.

I’m flattered, but maybe you should all be researching genomes, or cures for diseases, climate change, that sort of thing.

Well, well, let’s review a few commonly held beliefs about us dogs for starters, OK humans?
BELIEF 1:  “A dog only wants to please it’s master.” This is a basic premise of any basic obedience program. FACTOID 1: “SOMETIMES TRUE.” Would rather lick myself, wreak some type of havoc, or do absolutely nothing at any point in time rather than do anything for the sake of being obedient at any given moment. Let’s be real, I’ll get a damn Milkbone outta you eventually.

BELIEF 2: “Certain dog breeds have overtime exhibited superior intelligence”. FACTOID 2: “TRUE, but then there is the ever present ANOMALY.” As it turns out, this is true of my breed, the (Parson) Jack Russell Terrier. They are generally very smart dogs. Pursuant to this fact, I am indeed the anomaly, and frankly, not all that bright. Just ask my tail if it agrees. I chase it daily, whilst I run in endless circles to the point of exhaustion. So next time you guys are out there searching for your dream dog, check closely for the Surgeon General’s warning that comes stamped on us. It reads, “may not adhere to breed standards.”

BELIEF 3: “Dogs don’t really seek out ill behaviors or enjoy being ‘bad’ out of spite. Acting out is an indication of anxiety or some other underlying behavioral problem.” FACTOID 3: ” KINDA TRUE” I personally begin my day with yoga, meditations and prayers. I contemplate the many ways I can consider being good, or at least not evil. This includes wondering how I might avoid the temptation to eat the cats’ food instead of and/or in addition to my own dog food. I simply find it compelling and enticing and so I eat the damn cats’ food, even though I know it’s exhibiting bad behavior, and that it’s gonna really piss you off, again. Listen, the cats are fat anyway, so you may as well just think of it as a favor from me, to you all. You’re welcome! Oh wait, no what’s that, I don’t get gratitude –  I get grief?

Anyway people, listen, all this analyzing is making my tiny brain hurt. I’m told that the Spring will make its way here in just a few weeks, and so I must reserve my energies so that once the warmer weather arrives, I can go back to being my lunatic self, endlessly jumping and running amok and continuing to watch all you humans develop ways to understand me better. I’m flattered, but maybe you should all be researching genomes, or cures for diseases, climate change, that sort of thing.

Seeing as I’m hopelessly adorable, I thought you’d all appreciate seeing me in all my glory, sans blanket.

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Now, where did I hide that Milkbone — love those things?!!

Namaste, LUCY