Thursday, January 21, 2016

Italian Greyhounds

Best moment ever <3
I love Italian Greyhounds.  They are beautiful, elegant, delicate and extremely loyal little creatures!  You can imagine my delight when an overwhelmed breeder surrendered 23 to the shelter that I work at!  They were well taken care of for the most part, she just had too many and turned to us for help. Included in the group were a pregnant momma IG, and a mom with her seven 5-week old babies.  A coworker called dibs on fostering the mom, and although I really wanted to foster the mom and puppies I just knew it would be way too much work and decided to pass.  I did take my picture with a couple of the teeny tiny iggy pups before they went to foster though!

The next morning the foster parent brought 2 of the puppies in for a check up because one was not eating and seemed unthrifty, and the other had had multiple seizures in the middle of the night.  The prognosis was poor for the one that was seizing so she was humanely euthanized, and I was asked if I wanted to foster the other.  How could I say no!?  A fellow Italian Greyhound fanatic that works in the hospital found a food that the puppy gobbled up, and took care of him until I could take him home that night - she named him Ithaca.  

Ithaca was such a little teeny tiny guy weighing in at about 2lbs...the size of a kitten!  He had wound in his right eye, and my job was to give him eye medication, make him eat, and most importantly keep him warm and loved.   When I walked in the front door from work that evening, Cameron asked if I need any help bringing any bags inside, and when I said "Yes, please.  Oh and I brought home a puppy!" I could tell he was excited, and a little nervous that we'd have another IG in the house and that I might want to keep it!  As soon as the carrier came through the front door Stan was SO EXCITED!  He was wagging his tail so hard and barking and sniffing!  It was adorable.  I set the puppy up in his room and warmed up his blankets and some food and I just couldn't get over how cute he was.  All he wanted to do pretty much was sleep, which was understandable considering the couple of days he had.  I set my alarm twice that night to check on him but he was only up and about once and had pooped and peed on his puppy pad and then ran through it like a maniac!  I cleaned him up then held him while I warmed his heating bottle up in the microwave, and before the 2 minutes was up he passed out in my arms.  I've honestly never had such a motherly moment!  Ithaca was the smallest, youngest being I had ever cared for and it just warmed my heart that he fell asleep comfy in my arms. 

 Cameron had to work the next day, but he hung out with Ithaca before I left and sent me the most adorable photo of him in front of the fire place - IG Heaven!  After less than 24 hours his eye was already open and looking better.  I loved the picture so much!  Not wanting the puppy to be alone for too long, I went home over lunch.  As soon as I walked in the room he started twitching and foaming at the mouth.  Slim has had seizures before but this looked a little different.  Just to be on the safe side I decided to bring him back to work with me so a doctor could examine him.  Then when I was done thinking my thought he had a full on seizure - there was no mistaking it.  It was traumatic because he's so teeny tiny.  My friend Megan lives a block away and she had driven me home for lunch and was on her way over to meet the puppy.  Less than 5 minutes after she got there he had another seizure.  When he was done we got in the car to head back to work quickly, and in the car he had another seizure...4 seizures in less than an hour :(  I knew it wasn't looking good for my little friend.  We got to work and when the veterinarian came in to examine him he had another one.  She gave him diazepam to stop it, but after talking it over we decided it would be in his best interest to help him along peacefully.  I said my good-byes and they took him from the room.  I found out later that he had another seizure, even with the diazepam, when they left. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Holiday Card and Outtakes

Every year for the holidays my photographer husband comes up with a creative way to include the entire family in our Christmas card.  Since our newest addition to the "Smith Farm" is our kitty that we fostered, then adopted, he became this years highlight!  When we first brought Blue home his name was Wren, but it just wasn't sticking.  "Blue" is such a great name because we get to use it so many ways!  "You're my boy, Blue!" (for those who don't know it's from the movie Old School) or "Big Blue" because we are avid NYG fans and he happens to be big...and blue!  And now "We're having a BLUE Christmas without you" (c'mon everyone knows Elvis)! 

Friday, January 15, 2016


It's crazy to think that it's been only, and already, 2 years that I decided to make a change for the better and eat a more plant based (vegan) diet.  I actually had to go back through my facebook time-line and find a picture to confirm.  At first I though it was only a year ago, but at the same time I'm thinking "what took me so long!".  It's too bad that the word "vegan" has such a negative connotation.  I remember thinking being vegan was not only weird (okay well I am!) but also so far out there.  I mean, how could you live without eating meat or cheese!!

I started seeing things so much differently when I started working at the Oregon Humane Society.  Here I was devoting over 40 hours a week to a cause that I passionately believed in, but did my love for animals stop at dogs and cats?  And chickens just because I had them as pets?  A couple of weeks after I started we rescued a group of cats from a hoarder.  I remember being appalled at the conditions that these furry friends came from, but I also left thinking "how about the animals we eat every day".  How can I be so dedicated to bettering the lives of cats and dogs, only to clock out and eat a dead pig or cow that came from comparable (if not worse) conditions?  It's a very touchy subject for most because nobody wants to face the hurts, I know :(  I had a few vegan coworkers that I started talking with, and one of them gave me a book to borrow called The China Study.  My husband hadn't read a book from start to finish in years, but he really enjoyed it!  A few documentaries and books later, and we were both sold on the vegan lifestyle.  We balance each other out perfectly because I do it for the animals, and he does it for the health benefits.  As a bonus, the both of us are in the best shape of our lives!  My husband ran his first triathalon in 2015 and I ran two full marathons in addition to 4 other road races!