Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Christmas Twins

During the holidays, it is a great time to really focus on family and friends and pets.  It is important to remember some great holiday safety tips for our pets:

Try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
The Christmas Tree: aka the indoor bathroom for the dog! Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up pretty ill, and a trip to the emergency vet over the holidays is NOT cheap.

Tinsel: Puppies love this as it is an easy item for tug of war.  But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. Refer back to the expenses of the emergency vet!

Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Stocking Stuffers! Choose gifts that are safe.

  • We all love when our dog pulls apart the wrapping paper and dives into the toy or treat we so lovingly purchased for them.  But make sure that in wrapping up the gift, it is not something that can tear apart into little bits or shreds or shards that can harm the dog. 
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.

NO to the leftovers, or the high fat foods and most importantly, keep them away from the poultry bones.  Do not let your guests give alcohol to your pets and make sure grandma or grandpa put away their medications safely and secure.

Even you can prevent forest fires!
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface.  This goes for wires that can be chewed and lead to electrical shock, sparks or burns on the mouth.

And while you are caring for your beloved pet this year, think also of the many dogs waiting to be adopted.  

Rappa and Rawnie are two incredible girls.  They are the sweetest, most mischievous team of twins you will encounter.  Weighing in at only about 30 pounds each and they absolutely adore children!  But they did not have the greatest start to life . . .

Several months ago, the Rescue Coordinator received an urgent call from the Director of the West Virginia Chapter of Tails of Courage.  She reported that a home had been raided for a severe hoarding situation and that two dogs were pregnant and in need of rescue.  "Whatever you need." was the response given.  So Rappa and Rawnie were moved to a foster home, which was later turned into a puppy nursery as the girls decided to give birth within weeks of one another!  They received the best foster care possible and their puppies were healthy, happy and well adjusted.  The puppies, of course, were adopted, the last one being adopted mid-December.  Now these two sisters are still in foster care, without their children and wondering when they will find their forever homes. 

They are now housetrained, trained on the invisible fence and think dog doors are just great!  They adore children and are so gentle.  They can no longer have any more litters as they have been fixed.  If you know someone who might be interested in adopting one or both of these ladies -

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Adoption Events

Tails of Courage would like to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season.  Adopting a puppy for Christmas is a very controversial area within the rescue community.  We feel that since many people are going to buy or adopt a puppy as a gift for the holiday, it is important to help the families make a responsible decision and choice regarding their new dog or puppy.  Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, not just a few months while the puppy is cute and cuddly.  After that puppy chews to shreds the ribbon you so lovingly decorated him or her with, and then moves on to pull on the tree, eat an ornament and has a puppy mess on the floor . . .that little fuzzy gift becomes a reality.  Your family will all want to hold the new puppy and will likely attempt to feed it table food continuously.  We work with adopters to avoid panicking and falling into these problem areas so that the dog or puppy can make an easy transition into the family.  We are happy to help people locate a veterinarian who can be trusted, a kennel for boarding and grooming, and to answer questions and help match adopters with a trainer.....all before the puppy becomes a gift.  We have partnered with Petco and Petsmart for our holiday events, and Santa will be present to take pictures! 

Tails of Courage wants to help everyone find their forever furry friend and family member.  But we want to make it very clear that an animal is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.  All of our dogs are fixed, up to date on shots and microchipped.  We also provide certificates for a free veterinary check up with one of our trusted veterinarians.  The holidays are a great opportunity for the rescue community to educate about animal safety and responsible adoptions.  We welcome families to come to the adoption events, even if they are not yet ready to adopt, just come and ask questions.  Meet the dogs, play with the dogs, thank a volunteer!  We look forward to the opportunity to meet everyone this Holiday Season! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Traveling Tails of Courage

November 5, 2012 - Tails of Courage has begun a new section of the rescue, Traveling Tails of Courage.  Volunteers and their pets travel to a nursing home in Stamford, CT each Saturday and spend time with the elderly.  The pets do not have to be service animals, just well behaved and have responsible owners to handle them.  It has been a great success so far.  Anyone interested in volunteering can call 877-63-TAILS Ext. 703. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Basco Update 10/22/2012

October 22, 2012 - Basco Update.  Basco received his heartworm treatment and is doing fantastically well.  He traveled from Kentucky up to Pennsylvania on an overnight transport from Friday to Saturday.  He rode shotgun as my transport buddy when I picked him up and enjoyed himself greatly attempting to climb into my lap while I was driving on the highway.  Luckily he was tethered so the whole ride pretty much consisted of my driving and him sticking his rather large boxer face as close to mine as possible.  While it had been reported to me that he is a very friendly dog, and I generally have little to no fear around any dog, there is still a small amount of fear that creeps in when a dog just stands with his face right up next to yours for over an hour.  I could feel, and of course smell, his puppy breath on my cheek.  He never barked, never licked my face, just stared at me and out the window beyond me.  Occasionally he would turn around and try to sit and then decide he preferred watching me intently.  A family with another boxer was introduced to him that day for foster and possible adoption.  So far we are told all is going well.  Basco, who was slated for possible euthansia at a shelter, is now healthy and in a home, safe and happy.  He is really a gorgeous dog.  Everyone comments on how gorgeous a boxer he is and what a great personality!  We are still raising money to cover Basco's medical bills.  Thank you to those who have already donated, to those who drove transport, and to those who worked to find Basco a foster home with potential adoption. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Please Help Basco

October 12, 2012 - Basco is a rescue from a kill shelter in KY. He is currently safe in foster care but he is heartworm positive and we need to treat him before he can go to his forever home. He is an awesome dog. To read up on Basco, go to

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012 - I check the ING Charity site daily, but still no postings with information on how to register TOC for the marathon.  I'm hopeful it will be up soon.  In the meantime we are continuing to put together Tails of Courage: Run Your Race and to train for marathons and triathlons.  I for one, run with my 2 year old daughter in her sport stroller.  In a few weeks, I will start with bike training and will get a kid seat to attach to the back of the bike for her.  Hey, we train how we can, and it's inspiring.    We will be participating in Barktoberfest at Willow Street Vocational Technical School in Willow Street, Pennsylvania on October 20, 2012 from 10 AM-2PM.  There will be a low cost vaccine clinic, adoption event, microchip clinic, games, food, t-shirt sales, etc.  Should be a good time.  We hope to see everyone there.  And keep up your training!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 3, 2012 - My posts have been scattered lately I know.  We are working on some new projects in the rescue and it's more time consuming than I realized.  It's now after 10 PM and I'm up writing the blog, texting volunteers and chatting on facebook.  The rescue has some amazing dogs at the moment, and several litters recently born if you can believe it.  Shouldn't puppy season be coming to a close?  Apparently not as we get daily calls for help.  We are starting up two new programs in the CT chapter of the rescue.  The first is Traveling Tails of Courage.  Volunteers go with or without dogs to local nursing homes and the VA hospital.  We currently go weekly to a nursing home in Stamford.  Anyone interested in volunteering with that program can shoot us an email. The other program is for runners and marathoners, triathlon and ironmen competitors.  It's called Tails of Courage: Run Your Race.  This one is dear to my heart.  I am currently completing my first month of training for a triathlon.  I have lost 15 lbs and have added weights to the routine.  It's intense.  I'm getting advice from some people who compete and am training with an experienced marathoner on one side and a U.S. Marine in the other corner.  TOC will pay the entry fee for any runner but they must wear the TOC RYR logo somewhere and try to raise funds for the rescue.  We are still putting together the logo but should be able to laungh it very soon.  I can't wait to release it to the website!  On a tougher note, a foster dog has run off and we can't seem to locate her yet.  Her name is Lady and she is posted on our site.  She is about 7 years old and a lab.  She is very sweet but hard of hearing.  She was last seen in Strasburg, PA.  Well, the computer battery is blinking.  If anyone is interested in either program, I look forward to hearing from you!  Also, if anyone has suggestions for triathlon training, I really look forward to hearing from you!! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

You are stronger . . .

September 18, 2012 - Around this time of year, it is always tough as it is the anniversary of Septermber 11, 2001.  It takes a bit to prepare for the day, and then a bit to recover from the day.  Anniversaries can be so difficult.  You never know what the right thing is to say to commemorate the event, or the right thing to wear, and always leave plans until the last minute.  This year I spent the evening with my daughter quietly.  Something about the innocence of a child and the fact that Dora the Explorer incites squeals of laughter in a 2 year old makes it all OK again.  As for the rescue, boy are we gearing up for some amazing events and fundraisers.  I have gotten it in my head that Tails of Courage must enter the 2013 NYC Marathon and have already begun training - 3 weeks now and going strong.  No, we are not yet entered, in fact, the nice people at ING have not even emailed me back yet about it, but I have no trouble bugging them until I get an answer.  I have lost 14 lbs and am doing that app, Couch to 5K which is awesome and connects with your playlist - mine is called Running.  I take my daughter in a running stroller every other day and she loves it.  It gives me time to organize my thoughts and to dream about all the great things we will do as a rescue.  I still can't believe that only a few years ago it was just a few puppies being fostered in my den, and today we are three chapters strong, with dozens of volunteers and we save sometimes 50 dogs a month!!  Thank you to everyone for supporting us and for helping us to grow.  It means the world to us, and to our furry friends!

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012 - Giblet!  Whoo-hoo I'm Giblet!  Oh Oh Oh, I like squeaky toys!  My brother and my sister are neat.  Hey is that a treat?!  Ummmm......oh and bones......I like bones.  I don't like it when my sister sits on my head.  I do like laps though, good places to sleep.  Oh....squeaky toy!.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012 - It took a few days of coaxing, but I did manage to get Tick Tock to give me her words. 
Tick Tock - Hi there, nice to meet you.  I really do like people, and I am very grateful for being saved.  I come from South Carolina and was found paralyzed by ticks.  A team of amazing, and not squeamish, people spent several hours picking hundreds of ticks from my body.  Don't worry, those little buggers did not give me Lyme!  I sat in a shelter for a bit, and then drove up to Pennsylvania with some nice people.  Suddenly, there I was, surrounded by a bunch of dogs and being taught an invisible fence.  Wow I do not like to go near the line that zaps!  I am a gentle soul and really just want a quiet home to call my own.  I really enjoy walking on a leash and curling up in the sun.  Being abandoned to be eaten alive was pretty traumatic but I'm willing to give life another shot if you are....

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 - Sometimes in rescue we don't take the time to stop and listen to what our rescue dogs are trying to tell us.  We know they have stories and backgrounds and we become so accustomed to telling people we don't know their past, focus on their future.  Having spent a little over a week really listening to the thoughts and feelings of some of my foster dogs, I encourage you to just sit with your pet, or your foster and appreciate that they do have a past, they have a story.  And we are given the privilege of being a part of their future and of that story.  Thank you for taking the time to listen with me. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9, 2012 - Hi there, I'm Muffin, or Muffins as some call me.  Well, never did a blog entry before, never really had anyone pay attention enough to my thoughts long enough to share.  For the first time in my life I'm allowed to be a lap dog which is confusing and amazing at the same time.  It's so exciting to have people pay attention to me and not just ask me to be a stuffed animal.  I was purchased I'm told and spent most of my puppy time in a crate because no one had time for me.  Now that I'm 9 months old, the people who passed me around a bit, said that they acknowledge they have no time for me and gave me over in the Petsmart parking lot to a nice group of people....who immediately had some smiling man stick me with a needle!  Honestly, is this any way to treat a puppy....well, yes, I'm told it actually is.  I do NOT like getting a bath, but I am grateful not to have so much fur sticking out oddly.  Cutting my nails is not my favorite thing either, but I am glad they no longer curl under by my paws, it was tough to walk.  I adore children, I like to be gentle with them because they are fragile like me.  I really do like people, and want to spend time with them.  I am currently in a home with a lot of other dogs and they are all very nice, but to be honest, I'm partial to the quiet and am a little overwhelmed.  I still like my peaceful me time, but I do love this thing called affection......I think that's all I really have to share for now, thanks for listening. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, 2012 - Heath - Hi there I'm Heath!  I'm a puppy!  I love to run and play and swim and play....invisible fence, I know the invisible fence!  A leash is a chew toy I can take with me on walks!  Ok, so I'm not housetrained BUT I am great in the bath and I LOVE LOVE LOVE KIDS!!  Kids are so cool, they are small people with sticky fingers to lick.  My brothers and sisters and I were handed over to a nice group of people called Veterinarians.  THEN, we went to a very cool place with lots of other dogs to play with.  And there were cats, lots of cats, very neat little creatures who I like a lot.  THEN, we moved to a place called Pennsylvania.  All of my siblings have been adopted into their new homes.  I know I'll get there.  Someone will want me, I'm handsome!  Until then, I'm learning all kinds of neat things and playing with lots of other dogs. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012 - I had a nice sit down today with Keeta, the sweetest southern belle.  I will provide translations to her story as those of us up north may require.

Keeta - Hey ya'all!  My name's Keeta and I'm a Kentucky gal, recently moved to farm country Pennsylvania.  I was found by some real nice people, chugged full of pregnant! (very pregnant)  I was there in a shelter with loads of other dogs barkin and carrying on.  I mean, every dog should have a few fleas, but these critters were hollerin like a stuck pig!  (No one is perfect, and yelling a lot) So then, I'm moved again to a real nice home where I got to rest and then, in two shakes of a sheep's tail, I was givin birth!  5 little puppies, no biggern' my paw.  And boy can these pups eat, just growin up like weeds.  I was busy as a stump tail cow in fly time!  (Very busy)  Then I'm told we're moving again.  So packed up we go, and headed north above the Mason-Dixon to Pennsylvania.  I learned this contraption called an invisible fence.  What a terrible thing, there I am walking along, enjoying sniffing, and suddenly zap, I'm just caught with my pants down and haulin tail away from that part of the property!  I reckon this is a good way to keep us critters from wanderin off.  Down south, we find it hospitable to visit the neighbors, but I'm told not to up here.  I do love children and think they are just the bees knees.  Cats and other varmint don't bother me.  I love to curl up on your couch and sleep, and to walk politely by your side on a leash.  I'm told I'm a very gentle gal.  Now that the kids are growing and getting ready to head off to their new homes, I would sure love a chance to find mine.  Come by any time and we'll set for a spell and have a real nice time. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3, 2012 - Isabell - Well, not really sure how this happened, I mean, wanderin' the big apple,  minding my own and suddenly bam!  Thrown in with a bunch a otha dogs in this big buildin' in Harlem!  I'm a good New York kid, never hurt nobody.  I'm told I'm actually pretty friendly.  I like to play with things, a little street ball, chill out with my peeps.  Oh yea, I am awesome on a leash, forget about them Westminsta' pups, I can roll with da best of em!  And now, after a really long drive out of the city, here I find myself, in the country!  There's nature out here, and it's pretty cool.  I learned this thing called an invisible fence, yea, there's no fence, just this thing that makes a weird noise when I go near I don't go near it!  I'm finally able to eat as much as I want, I'm told I'm a little thin which is all the rage in NYC but out here I guess they want a little curve on us ladies.  Oh, and there are kids in the area, lots of kids to play with.  So there you have it, I love the city, I love the country.  Gotta love New York! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012 - Day 2 of my blogging adventure.  Yesterday in the rescue we cleared out the garage of which I'm sure our garbage men are thrilled this morning.  Surprise!  We are set to receive 8 pallets of dog food on Saturday from Purina and have called in a team from our sister rescue, A Tail to Tell, to help us unload all the food.  No news from Abby adopter, she is considering other dogs as well, so we will continue to hope. 

Rocky - Well, I went shopping one day at the Rockvale Outlets in Lancaster, PA, minding my own business and wandering around window shopping when suddenly I was arrested!  I found myself in the clink and given 3 hots and a cot.  And then, bail was set and a nice lady let me ride in her car to visit another nice lady...or so I thought.....I found myself then on a cold table, and the room was spinning.  When I woke up I felt lighter, and happier.....and my fleas and ticks were gone!  These people really know their stuff.  Then, I was allowed back in the car!  What a treat!  And then, and this part is so cool, they put a collar on me and I was allowed to run and run and run and then run some more around outside with lots of other dogs.  I showed them I am housetrained, no accidents, and I am determined to show off my great leash skills.  I love bones, I love toys, I love to play.  OH, and I am the best jumper!  I heard yesterday my people say that since I am such a snuggler (yes ladies, I do cuddle) and love kids so much (yup, family man too) that I should start training as a therapy dog.  No clue what that is, but I love a challenge!  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012 - Each day we will be sharing the deep thoughts of dogs in the rescue.  I have never written a blog before and feel the dogs have many great things to say, so they will be assisting in writing this blog.  As this is the first official blog, today we will share the thoughts of Abby.  As a little background, Abby was rescued from a shelter in South Carolina.  She was the mom of 9 puppies who she raised and who all have been adopted into wonderful homes.  Abby had a mangled leg which she dragged around, likely from being caught in a hunting trap or being hit by a car.  The shoulder had been dislocated and her toes were broken.  The muscles had atrophied because it had never been set or healed correctly.  Abby's leg was amputated a month ago.  She was also heartworm positive and has gone through 2 months of treatment. 

Abby - Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  I am heartworm free today, having completed 2 months of awful pills and other things I had to swallow every day.  While I accepted these with grace, I can tell you it was awful!  I have discovered that I LOVE to sleep on the bed with my people or on my bed on the floor but am not much of a couch dweller.  I feel so light and airy.  I was told all dogs have 3 legs and a spare, so I gave up my spare.  Oh, and I saw on Facebook that my kids are doing well.  So nice of them to check in once in a while!  It's been a little tough because I was told 2 adopters were interested in me but changed their minds.  Everyone said not to worry, and sure enough, today someone else has asked about adopting me.  Paws crossed!!!