Giving Thanks

Ema and Jake in the fall leaves

Ema and Jake in the fall leaves

An upate: Ema has a surgery date – October 27th! I am especially thankful for this, and I’m trying to think of the two week waiting period as a time of reflection and grace.

I have numerous things that I am thankful for every day, but this year seems especially poignant to me, because this year I have Ema.

I am thankful that Ema’s original owner was willing to turn her over to rescue. I am thankful that he reached out to us, that he was willing to take the time to search for us on the internet, make contact, and to allow us to take custody of her. I am thankful to everyone who reaches out and asks for help from a rescue, rather than just dumping their pet at a shelter, or selling them on Kijiji.

I am thankful to Eva, who drove across country, seventeen hours each way, to rescue a puppy she had never met at the request of people she didn’t know. Eva is testimony to the power that the internet can have to be so much more than just entertainment – she is testament to how we are all building communities, making bonds and even sometimes making a difference. I am thankful to every rescue volunteer who has ever offered to drive, foster or care for a dog in need.

I am thankful to Ema’s first veterinarian, Dr. Melissa Boyle, who knew enough to say to us “I don’t know what’s wrong with Ema – let’s send her to someone who can help”. In a time when so much of what we read about veterinarians is dismissive, or accuses them of being money hungry,  Vets like Melissa restore my faith in the veterinary profession.

I am thankful for Dr. Minors, another veterinarian who gave of her time and her expertise to help Ema, and who gave us answers to the hard questions about her health and her heart. I am thankful, even more so, for Dr. Minors’ willingness to donate her time to Ema, when she didn’t have to and wasn’t even asked to. I will remember Dr. Minors everytime someone tells me that all vets are just mercenary opportunists, and I will be thankful that I know this isn’t true.

I am so very, very thankful to every single person who donated towards Ema’s care. Without you, I wouldn’t be sitting here anticipating Ema’s surgical date – instead, I’d be sitting here worrying about whether or not we could afford to pay for it. I am thankful to all of those people who said “I wish I could send more”. I am thankful to every child who said “this is my allowance, for Ema”. I am thankful to everyone who said “I want to help to save her”. We are told, every day, that the internet is making us all more distant, that it has made us lose our sense of community. I don’t believe that, and I don’t think you should, either.

I am thankful to every blogger and Facebook friend who helped me to share Ema’s story, and who keep up the good fight for all of the dogs in need. Sometimes you might think “I can’t do anything to help rescue”, but every time you share a story, tweet about a dog in need, write about a rescue fundraiser and help us to get the word out there, you ARE part of rescue, and a valuable part that I am thankful for.

I am thankful to Charlotte Creeley, and to the French Bulldog Village, for stepping up and saying “We’ll help care for Ema, if your rescue can’t afford to”. Charlotte and FBV are a beacon of hope to the French Bulldogs that would otherwise have no one to champion them. I am thankful that Charlotte is a friend to French Bulldogs, and even more thankful that she’s been a friend to me and to my dogs over all of these years.

I am thankful to Sean, who had NO idea what he was getting into when he started to date me, even after I’d warned him that the dogs come pretty much first. I am thankful that, no matter how many times I’ve said to him “We need to take care of another rescue”, he’s never said anything back to me but “How can we help?”.

I am thankful to Ema, and to every other rescue I have ever taken care of. They have taught me patience and fortitude. They have amused me, touched me, made me laugh and sometimes made me cry. They have allowed me to see the very best in people, even if it means I’ve also had to see some of the very worst. Caring for foster Frenchies is a gift, and I am thankful for it every day. They add to the joy that I get from my own dogs, and they make me even more comitted to this breed, and to the friends I have made through it.

I am thankful for time. I am thankful for every day I have with Ema, and I know every day is a gift and a blessing. I am thankful to be able to share time with Ema, and to have time with her. Ema has taught me to think in terms of moments and seconds, not weeks and years.  I am thankful for that, and I am thankful for her.

Fabulous French Bulldog Stuffies!

Since someone I know (cough:Brenda:cough)  is now making fabulous custom stuffed animals, I’ve been hinting that it would be nifty if she added stuffed French Bulldogs to her repetoire.

In a serendipitous moment, I stumbled on this absolutely stunning ‘vintage’ French Bulldog stuffie on Flickr.

Whendi's Bears Stuffed French Bulldog

It’s available from Whendi’s Bears

Whendi does gorgeous custom work, in all kinds of breeds (also EllyFonts, Bunnies and Bears, oh my!).  Made from custom tinted mohair, it’s got the look of a pre loved vintage toy.

There is the distinct possibility that I made die if I do not get one. Seriously.

Although, I might just pull through, if I can get one of these –

brindle stuffed French Bulldog toy

Just looking at his ittle tiny face makes me go all “squee!” and girly from the overwhelming rush of cuteness.  He’s made by Lollihops, who has an Etsy store so jammed full of stuffed toy sweetness that I get faint just looking at the first page.

I heart her Peke stuffy so much I might have to go and get a Peke, just so I can justify buying it.

Lollihops stuffed Pekinese Dog Toy

Yes, I am the kind of person who gets dogs to match my toys. Don’t you judge me.

Richmond BC Bans Pet Store Sales

The city council of Richmond, British Columbia, decided unanimously to ban the sales of puppies and kittens  through pet stores.

As usual, a few vocal pro-commercial breeding proponents objected strenuously to the proposed legislation, saying that a law banning sales of animals in pet stores would lead to a ban on puppies and kittens being sold by responsible breeders. City council, however, heard well balanced testimony that made the point quite clear that no responsible breeder ever sells to pet stores, and that pet store stock comes almost universally from puppy mills and high volume “puppy farms”.

From the Vancouver Sun:

“The City of Richmond showed such leadership being the first in Canada,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the B.C. SPCA. “We’re really hoping that this is something other municipalities will see as the progressive way to go.”

Councillors voted unanimously for the amendment, initially proposed by Coun. Ken Johnston last year, after hearing from more than a dozen delegations. It will be brought to council for preliminary approval on Oct. 12, followed by public consultation.

Pet-store owners would be given until next spring to sell or remove all dogs.

Chortyk said the decision will help prevent the breeding of puppies in puppy mills, where they are subject to cruel and inhumane conditions.

“Pet stores will always tell you that they only deal with reputable breeders and family-run breeders, but our experience has been just the opposite,” Chortyk said. “Pet Habitat, for instance … get their dogs from the Hunte Corporation, which is a massive puppy broker in the U.S.”

Read more:

Katherine Heigl Says “Yes” to No Kill

Jason Debus Heigl Foundation's Compassion Revolution Press Conference

The list of celeb-u-tards who are also Peta spokes-wanks is so long that even the scientologists are jealous, which is what makes Katherine Heigl’s news announcement so fantastic.

Instead of jumping on SpaceShip Peta, where killing pets equals saving them, Katherine has stepped up and donated $1 million dollars to no kill shelters, and to low cost spay/neuter programs.

From Reuters:

The star of Warner Bros.’ upcoming film “Life As We Know It” is kicking off a pet initiative to increase awareness and help curb the pet population crisis. Each year 500,000 animals without homes are sheltered and euthanized in California, costing the state $250 million.

“What’s happening is not only inhumane and morally reprehensible, it’s economically irresponsible,” Heigl said. “Killing is not a solution.”

The project is in association with the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which was named after her brother who was killed in a car accident 24 years ago.

In addition to the contribution to spay and neuter programs, the JDHF will continue to support Learn to be a Best Friend (a training and education obedience program); transport programs moving animals from local shelters where they would be euthanized to humane societies, rescue organizations and “no kill” shelters; and continue to promote pet adoption.

Cesar Millan of National Geographic Channel’s “The Dog Whisperer” joined Heigl in the announcement.

“I think we have to work a little harder and call ourselves a dog lover country,” he said.

Happily Ever After for Peanut

Peanut and Denise

Peanut and Denise

Peanut, our Frenchie foster -slash- whirling dervish house guest, went off to her forever home over the weekend. I got her as far as Beamsville, and FBV foster volunteer Karen took her to Buffalo, NY, where she met up with Peanut’s new mom, Denise.

As sad as we are to see her go (right up until Saturday morning, Sean kept mentioning that “Peanut didn’t take up any room – we might as well just keep her”. There’s also the chance he might have hinted that we could give Sailor a dye job and send her instead of Peanut), it’s nice to know she has a home where she can be the divine diva she’s always wanted to be.

Peanut now lives in Massachussets, with mom Denise and big brother, Romeo. She’s also managed to snag herself an honorary “Grandma and Grampa”, and she obviously knows which side her bread is buttered on, because our lap shy little girl instantly crawled up onto Denise’s dad’s lap and made herself right at home.

Manipulation, thy name is Frenchie.

Happy trails, Peanut – long may you spin in circles, my adorable little weirdo!