Wednesday, July 6, 2011


After about a year of fostering ARF dogs that came from local kill shelters, I decided it might be an added benefit to the overall effort to choose a dog that had been at the vets for a really long time as a foster. Some of these dogs had no particular problems but were just stuck in their little cages for more than two months by the luck of the draw.

But ahh, the dogs that ARF occasionally takes from puppy mill closures. I really find those the most rewarding and I wanted to tell you why. I got this idea when Hector jumped up on my leg yesterday.
However, first you need a little bit of background.

All puppy mill dogs are not the same, any more than all pet dogs are the same or all people are the same. Some come to us in good health and some are already friendly—we try to refer to this type as breeder surrenders, but sometimes we slip up and call them puppy mill dogs too.

The saddest puppy mill dogs are the ones that have been neglected. They may have health problems or untreated injuries. Almost certainly they are dirty stinky messes with matted fur when we get them. Many have been in cages for their entire lives, rarely given a break and usually only for the time required to breed them to get more puppies. Some have been in crowded conditions and some have suffered physical abuse. Some have had poor diets—not enough food or poor quality food—that leaves them with skin conditions. They are frightened of people because they have rarely seen them but they usually get along well with other dogs.

ARF took on a group of these sad little creatures in early December, 2010. It included five Pekinese and a few Long-Haired Chihuahuas and Yorkies. We named the one of the male Pekineses Hector. He was three years old and so frightened of people that if you opened up his crate and reached in, he would turn his whole body away from you and plaster himself against the back of the crate, holding on the best he could with his paws. Hector had a severe infection in his right eye and it had to be surgically removed. So in addition to learning how to live a civilized life, little Hector had to adjust to life with one eye.

If you think about it, a life in a cage in the back of a veterinary office is a better life by far than the one Hector had before he joined ARF. He was cleaned up, fed good quality food twice a day, and learned to walk on a leash so he could begin the process of housetraining. He was not fond of cold weather but he made good progress and by early March, he would come to the front of his cage to get a treat and wag his tail in approval.

So it took this little guy three months to get this far and it was time for him to learn about home life. I took him to my house on March 3 where he joined my two permanent dogs and one other foster dog. He may have been the head stud dog at the puppy mill, but he was sweet and submissive to the rough-house crew of dogs he met here. His “role model” is Max, a 12 year old miniature poodle I adopted from ARF two years ago and the calmest of the group.

I kept a short soft leash on Hector so I could catch him in the house or yard. At first he would run from me but he always ran back to his crate and dived in as he felt safe there. In a couple of weeks, he was happy to come up and lick my hand if I reached down to him, but he was still scared about being picked up and would flop around like a fish once his feet were off the ground. He still wasn't fond of being outside and would sit by the back door as soon as he was done with the business he went out to do.

In a month, I could pick him up with no flopping and he would sit in an easy chair with me while I knitted fancy socks for up to half an hour at a time. He recognizes his name and wags his tail when talked to. Usually he will come when called.

However, Hector slept most of the time. Hey, I know dogs sleep way more than people, but Hector was the most consistent snoozer that I ever had. I am certain of this as he snores, not sounding like a freight train but you can hear him with the TV on. So I think Hector was pretty happy but still not a snuggler and still too shy for most people to consider adopting him.

I started taking him to ARF's Saturday PetSmart show. At first he was definitely scared but in the course of a couple of months, he has come to like it as long as he is in his crate. He is alert to all the PetSmart commotion and will lick any fingers that are stuck in his crate where he can reach them. He is no more frightened of children than of grown-ups and he continues to improve slowly.

A little more than six months after Hector first arrived, I took him to Bent Arrow Vet Clinic for a blood test to see if his sleepiness might have its roots in some kind of infection or illness. Happily, there were no signs of serious illness, but he was somewhat anemic. A course of antibiotic pills was prescribed.

Now Hector is a terrible pill taker. Traditionally, I can throw a heartworm pill down a dog's throat and gently hold his muzzle closed until he swallows it. A Pekinese has such a short nose that this maneuver is almost impossible. So I have to wrap Hector's pills in a small piece of cheese—he likes the individually wrapped slices of American cheese very much.

As of yesterday, Hector has been taking his antibiotic for a week. He knows what time of day he gets the pill and waits by the refrigerator until the cheese comes out, then gobbles up pill and cheese in just a few seconds.

Yesterday Hector jumped up against my leg while we were outside. Just a little thing in one way but now that you know all the background, you can see how far he has come in six months time. He did not have enough leg muscle to jump up then nor did he have enough pep then nor did he feel the happiness toward a person then that I could see in his big-mouth smile yesterday. Just a little thing but it touched my heart in a big way.

You can read more about Hector and the puppy mill in ARF's July 2011 Newsletter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Throw Away Animals

We have a dog in the system now that was "kicked out" of his home because his owner got married and his new wife's doxie doesn't get along with Cozmo. Cozmo is a Great Pyrennes mix. Housetrained, leash trained, very sweet. The owner dumped him on his "grandparents" and they called ARF. They will keep him for a couple of more weeks and then they are going out of town, so that means Cozmo will go to a shelter.
ARF doesn't have a space for him. He won't tolerate a crate and he has been known to fight with small, bossy dogs.
It's infuriating to be in this position. But it happens all too frequently. Instead of taking responsibility, people dump dogs and cats as if they are not living creatures. Cozmo seems lonley and confused. They show him on Saturdays for half a day at PetSmart and he seems to be asking, "Why are we here? When am I going home?"
Breaks my heart.
If people could dump their unruly kids on volunteers like ARF, there would be tens of thousands of kids asking, "When am I going home?" The only thing that keeps a lot of people from dumping their kids is the social stigma and the law.
Pets aren't so fortunate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pets Need Warmth Too

Are you warm, cozy and safe? Now how about your pets?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Naughty or Nice?

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays make sure your furry friend isn't left out in the cold. If you plan on traveling don't forget to make arrangements for your furry friend. The vets we work with provide pets with excellent care and a dose of holiday lovings while you are away.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bow Wow Bazaar

The Bow Wow Bazaar and Silent Auction will be held Nov. 6, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Promenade Mall. This will be a great way to find Christmas gifts and help save more homeless animals.

Some of the great items you will be able to bid for include:

  • Having Your Dog and/or Child on the cover of Tulsa Kids
  • Driller Sports Package
  • Oilers Tickets and Working the Penalty Box
  • Tulsa Opera Tickets
  • Dinner for Two or More at Tulsa Premier Restaurants
  • Theater Tickets
  • Cinema Tickets
  • Department Store Gift Cards
  • Veterinary Care
  • Dog Training
  • Dog Grooming
  • Cat Care and Comfort Products
  • Dog or Cat Boarding
  • We will have something for everyone!
  • Dr. Kim Huckaby from Bent Arrow Veterinary will have a booth at the event and offer free pet advice. South Memorial Animal Hospital will offer information on alternative medicine for pets.

    Come by and get a Wags Bags, full of coupons and other goodies!

    We will also have some dogs there that need new homes and you can fill out adoption papers during the event.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    A True Treasure

    They say one man's trash is another man's treasure but pets are not disposable. This is not the first animal to be tossed out like garbage and sadly she will not be the last.
    This sweetie and her sister were dumped in someone's yard. They could have starved or been hit by a car but now they stand a chance to get the love they deserve. Could you be the one to turn their luck around?
    Summer and Autumn are white and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mix puppie. Their estimated date of birth is March 2010. PUPPIES UNDER THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS CANNOT BE ADOPTED OUTSIDE OF THE IMMEDIATE TULSA AREA. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Events for Animal Rescue

    Every Friday in the month: Come see our adoptable dogs at PetSmart, 71st and Garnett, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

    Every Saturday in the month: Come see our adoptable dogs at PetSmart, 41st between Yale and Sheridan, 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

    July 23: RBC at 71st and Garnett, fundraiser. 11 a.m until 2 p.m. Come see some of our adoptable dogs and donate money to help us save more unwanted pets.

    July 24: 11 a.m.-5 p.m, Woodland Hills Mall. We will be in the middle of the mall along with some of our pets looking for a home. Come by and buy a t-shirt, have a dog tag made, or fill out an application to add a new furry member to your family. Stop by for some fuzzy loving and fresh baked puppy treats. Adoption is the loving option!

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Puppy Fever?

    Fight puppy fever by fostering a litter of puppies or kittens in need of homes. Do you need a new puppy to become part of your forever family? Please consider rescuing from your local animal shelter or rescue group. These sweet little chihuahua babies will soon be available for adoption at

    If you are considering breeding your dog, visit the dog pound nearest you. Ask how many dogs are put down monthly. Suitable, permanent homes are difficult to find for every breed. Even these adorable little guys would be abandoned and homeless without rescue organizations like ARF. Litter upon litter of puppies are born into a world of abandonment and starvation.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010


    ARF is hosting an Easter Extravaganza Photo Session! Hop on down the Bunny Trail and have Easter photos taken of you and/or your furry family members!
    Saturday, March 20
    9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
    South Memorial Animal Hospital
    7924 East 55th Street (55th and Memorial)
    in the Physical Therapy Building
    (which is behind the main hospital building)
    Allyson Fuller of Picture the Moment Photography, a fantastic dog photographer, will be on hand to capture every cute pose. We will have accessories available, such as bunny ears and bunny outfits, for your dogs (or you!) to wear if you want to dress them up for the occasion.

    Each 15-minute session will cost $25 per dog or family and include one 8x10 or two 5x7s. Allyson will choose the best pose for each session. Free dog massages will also be available for the posing pooches. Cats are welcome too! We don't discriminate!

    All proceeds will help us save more dogs from kill shelters, so please book your session today.

    Call the ARF line at 622-5962 and leave a message. Someone will return your call and book your photo appointment!