Archive | September, 2013

New Face Behind Tails of Fort Collins

Hello Tails of Fort Collins readers! If this is your first time here, welcome. If you’ve been here before, then you know I’m the new kid, taking over the Tails blog from the fabulous Chrysta. As a fellow animal advocate and big fan of four-legged creatures, I’m excited to step into this great platform on the The Scoop Network.

Animals are a big part of my life — not just because I’m a pet owner to two fabulous kitties, but because I often choose to spend my free time caring for or assisting in the healing of animals. I’ve scooped the poop, spent many a night pet sitting a family of various critters, and helped rehab countless baby birds, raccoons and squirrels as a former employee of the Larimer Humane Society in the now defunct WildKind.

Beyond the “credentials”, I just truly enjoy the deep connection I have with all types of animals. It’s a big part of who I am as a person. My work with wild animals was and continues to be very meaningful to me, igniting within me a deep appreciation for all the creatures sharing our community.

So now that you know a bit more about me and why I feel drawn to serve as a community resource for both animals and humans, let’s get down to what I’m going to be covering.

Like the blog founder, Chrysta, I will continue to talk about local issues that impact pets and pet owners. That includes pet healthcare, animal welfare, community outreach and sharing unique pet stories. These are important for any community, but especially for a pet-friendly city like Fort Collins.

In addition to these hot topics, I will also cover animal training, alternative healing options for pets, equine care and therapies, local stories about wild animals and birds, and highlight non-traditional pets. I might even throw in some posts on animals totems and their meanings once and awhile just because it’s fun reading. I will still feature some guest posts from time to time, so there is an opportunity for you to learn from other animal-adoring folks, too.

So if any of this sounds interesting, I would love for you to keep reading. Have special interest topics you want to see covered, or know a great pet to feature in the “Happy Endings” installment? Just give me a shout out at katrina@tailsoffortcollins.com and tell me more. Also keep an eye out for my posts on Wednesdays and Fridays.

I’m excited to get started. Cheers to a happy week for you and your pets!

Handing over the reins

Dear readers, you may have noticed the lack of updates on this lovely blog the last two weeks. Faced with ongoing health concerns and catching a very bad cold I’ve been unable to do much of anything other than basic self care and furkid care.

My recent illness lead me to a realization- I had to be honest with myself and now with all of you. A few months ago I experienced a flare-up of a chronic health condition. I struggled to keep up with my health, my husband, my furkids, work, volunteering, enjoy life, and blogging twice a week.

Some weeks I juggled it all just fine, other weeks, well, the truth is I compromised my health trying to keep up with it all. I realized I needed to step away from writing this blog and tend to my health.

While I will no longer be the blogger for Tails of Fort Collins, I will continue to volunteer with animals including fostering for Larimer Humane Society.

Call me crazy, but despite being very ill I took in this cute little foster pup last week to make space at the shelter for pets of families evacuated by the recent flooding. Isn’t he adorable?

Tails of Fort Collins was started because of my passion and compassion for animals. I love animals, I love writing, and I love sharing it! An awesome new blogger will be taking over Tails of Fort Collins next week but you may see guest posts from me from time-to-time. At least, I hope so! Until then, take care of yourself and each other.

Zazu Chooses His Forever Home

I love reading about rescue animals that finally find their forever home, don’t you? Today’s Happy Ending comes from Robyn, one half of the team at Ask Us Fort Collins, a he said/she said advice column.

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When I was little, I longed for a dog.  My mom was a neat freak and would never allow any animals in her house.  She didn’t want muddy paw prints on her clean floors, or hair on the furniture, or (heaven forbid) pee stains on her immaculate carpet!  I would beg her for a dog, giving her a list of all the good things an animal would bring to the house.  She refused and told me that when I was old enough, and I had my own place, I could have as many dogs as I wanted.  

Fast forward to my 30th birthday.  Yes, 30, the age when you finally feel like life has started to catch up to you; and when “over the hill” is too close for comfort.  I was living with my boyfriend, now husband, in a place where a small dog could have a nice life.  It was time.  My husband was not too sure about having a dog.  He had grown up in much the same manner, but it was allergies in his household that kept the pets away.  I have allergies too, so we decided to look for a poodle mix breed at the local shelter.  These breeds are hypoallergenic and come in compact sizes, perfect for our living situation. 

I scoured the local shelters’ websites, and found a dog at Animal House Rescue & Grooming that I wanted to go look at.  This little guy was an apricot poodle mix and his name was Juno.  I decided to go alone.  This was going to be my dog.  I was going to adopt it and he would be my baby to care for.  I arrived at Animal House and asked to see Juno.  They brought him out to me, and asked if I would like to take him for a walk.  Juno and I did not get along.  He growled at me and was very apprehensive on our walk.  I got him to sit with me on a bench outside the shelter which just resulted in more growling and some unwanted splinters in my leg.  Juno and I were not meant for each other.

I brought him back inside and let them know that things weren’t working out.  They asked if I would like to take a look around the shelter.  I followed them to the room they had Juno in.  There were 3 other dogs in the room.  One of them caught my eye.  He was white, fluffy, and smiling at me with the sweetest face I had ever seen.  “Who’s that?” I asked. “I didn’t see that dog on the website.”  They told me that his name was Zazu; and he had just come in the day before, which is why he was not on the website yet.  He was a poodle/bichon/terrier mix.  I immediately asked if I could see him.  They put me in a little room with him, and I fell in love.  He was a busy boy; he sniffed around, nudged me and wanted to examine the contents of my purse.  I had to have him; but it was a big decision, so I had to talk to the husband first. 

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I came out of the visitation room glowing and wanting more information on Zazu.  They took me aside and told me that Zazu was a “special needs” dog.  He’d had three seizures in the past year; so it was nothing major and no medication was needed, but it was definitely something to be watched.  They told me that the older lady who brought him in had adopted him a year before, and felt that she couldn’t deal with the seizures.  They explained that while he was having one of his seizures, he growled and nipped at her.  She told them the bond was broken and she no longer wanted Zazu.  It broke my heart to hear this news.  How could she just give up on him? 

I had a lot to think about.  I had never owned a dog, let alone a special needs dog, and I was worried I wouldn’t know how to take care of him properly.  I went home to discuss things with my husband.

Zazu was an abused dog.  He was so matted when he first came to Animal House that they had to shave all of his hair off.  Without his fur, he looked like a little bird; so they named him Zazu, after the little bird in the Lion King.  I was named after a bird too.  I felt like it was a sign.  I brought my husband in to meet Zazu and we took him on a walk, laughing the whole time at how energetic he was.  We decided we still needed to discuss the decision further before we committed. 

Two weeks later, we were set to take a vacation to Las Vegas for my birthday.  We had decided to wait to adopt a dog until after we returned, since we would have to find a dog-sitter and felt that would be too confusing for the new member of our family. 

While in Vegas, we saw a live production of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay.  The show took our breath away and the one actor that stood out from the rest was the talented man who played Zazu.  I walked out of the theatre, turned to my husband and said, “I am getting Zazu.” 

Another two weeks passed and finally, Zazu was in my arms, and in his forever home.  We’ve had him for two years and he has not had one seizure.  We have talked with many dog owners and vets who all suggest the seizures must have been environmental.  Zazu went from one abusive situation to another, and then finally to a loving, healthy home.  He is 8 years old and I am determined to fill the rest of his life with happiness and more love than he has ever had.  He is the perfect dog.  He doesn’t bark, wet on the carpet, or shed.  He is friendly, loves to snuggle and play, and is the life of the party.  He wakes me up every morning with a nuzzle and a kiss.  My life is complete now, and hopefully so is his. 

The best part of this story is that my mom LOVES HIM.  She even doggie sits him from time to time AND lets him run all over her immaculate house.  I never thought I would see the day.

Do we choose them, or do they choose us?  I think we choose each other.  

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Share your happy ending!

I’d love to share your story and feature your pet on Tails of Fort Collins- just send me an email at chrysta@tailsoffortcollins.com !

Back from vacation- the cats missed me most!

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and today’s my first day back to work after spending my Labor Day weekend at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia!

Isn’t the best part of coming home from vacation being greeted by your furry children? Though I must admit that while the dogs were happy to see me after 4 days away, it was the cats that missed me most. The cats have been practically glued to me since I got home. So much for cat independence!

I thought about this a bit and realized the dogs are really fine as long as someone is at home taking care of them, in this case my husband, whereas cats miss specific people. I’ve never felt as loved as I do when my cats will not leave me alone for a second!

When you go on vacation, how do your pets behave? What happens when you come home?

When I left for my trip I had ideas in my head about writing a riveting and engaging blog post when I arrived home but I have to say if the month of August has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I do, indeed, have limits and I can’t do all the things I want and plan to do. What I’m trying to say is, hey!, today is my regularly scheduled posting day and all you’re getting is this lousy post. I hope you find the fun in it, even if it isn’t everything I wanted it to be. The transition from vacation to real life is still in progress!

Not enough, huh? Well, here’s a cute photo of Tiger sleeping with the baby dragon I brought home from Dragon Con!

Tiger and dragon

And just in case a photo of a cute cat isn’t enough for you (why wouldn’t it be?), here’s a photo of me and Edward James Olmos from Dragon Con. So say we all!

EJO