Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Amicable Divorcees Seek (Separate) Families.

Look at him, he hogs the whole picture. Can you blame me for being done?

Athena: It's not that I don't love him any more. It's just that, well....

Ben: It's time.

That's my ball! Don't touch that!
Athena: See what I mean? He won't even let me finish my own sentence. I need to go out my own. I need to figure out who I am. Without the puppies, without him. I just need a family of my own. Just mine. At times I can be shy with new people but I've always had Ben and the puppies to hide behind. It's a big world. I need to go experience it.  It's great if my new family has another dog, maybe some older kids, that would be fine. Just not...

Ben: Me.

Athena: Do you see what I mean?

Ben: She over-reacts. She steals the tennis balls. We don't room together here but we have play dates sometimes. And she steals all the tennis balls. I have to hide in the bushes to get away from her. Then she just follows me right in and we wind up sitting in the bushes together. It's not...

Athena: Healthy. Progressive.

I'll have a human like this, please.
Ben: She gets so upset when I finish her sentences but she just verbally bulldozes me. Is there a shrub anywhere?

Athena: Oh please. Look, Ben's a little shy too. We've always just  hid behind each other. When they separated us here we both got a lot braver. We didn't seem to miss each other - they would make sure we went home together if we did. It's not like we fight - we don't. We just do better without each other. But Ben's a good guy. They call him Gentle Ben for a reason. He's a sweetheart. Loves to cuddle with his friends. Loves the pool. Loves to play ball. In fact if I don't take all the balls.....

Ben: Then I might actually get to play with one. So you steal them all. If not a shrub some underbrush would work.

Athena: We just need to get away from each other. I'm four years old, he's five. We've spent a lot of time together but it's made us stagnant. I want a family to go hiking with. A ball that I can chase without having to argue for days after about whose ball it was. Maybe a kiddie pool I can enjoy without him taking up the whole thing.

Ben: Don't even get me started on her and the pool. I'd like to be able to be in a pool without her stepping on me. I'd like to not have to hide in the bushes any more.
This is my 'I need a belly rub' face.

Athena: We're past the point that couples counseling can work. Two families. We need two nice families, preferably on the athletic side who..

Ben: With tennis balls..

Athena: WHO maybe like to hike, go bike riding, and understand that we're a little shy at first. Who....

Ben: I like belly rubs.

Athena: Two SEPARATE families. SEPARATE. They don't have to know each other.

Ben: She's like a big lap dog.

Athena: Please come meet us. Soon.

Ben: I'll be in the bushes if you need me.

Maybe she won't see me...

I'm so over this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Very Special Happy Dog Seeks Happy Now - Applicants Must Be Able To Enjoy The Present.

Update! Valentine has been adopted! Thank you to everyone who passed this on or spread the word about her. More updates on Valentine coming! 

My name is Valentine. It's very important you don't feel sorry for me. Before I tell you my story, I need to know you won't feel sorry for me. What's past is done, the future is unpredictable. It's the now that matters. So don't pity me. Just help me find a happy now, okay? Because I am a happy dog and I deserve that. I'm not sad and sorry for myself and I don't want to be around people who are sad and sorry for me. I want to be around people who hand out treats and like to play and have warm laps.

The beginning was rough. I lived with my two siblings outside. We loved each other a lot and we played but we really didn't get any people-type care. When we were rescued there was no food or water. We don't need to focus on that - I certainly don't - but it's where I came from. It's over now. I like to focus on things like squeaky toys and giving my friends here kisses. If I'm a bit shy at times, it's likely because I came from that place. We don't need to talk about it any more. It's over.

I am a young dog. We bounce back from such things quickly.

Things have been wonderful since I've been rescued. I was brought here, to Humane Society Silicon Valley and they pamper me. I'm pretty spoiled. There's food all the time and soft beds and play time and I've made a ton of friends. I have my choice of laps to sit on. They even sent me to a doctor. At the doctor they listened to my heart. Most hearts goes thumpa-thumpa-thumpa. Or something like that, anyway. Mine goes thummpa...........thuuuuumpa........thuuuuummpa. Apparently this is not so good so they sent me to a special doctor. One who deals with dogs with special hearts. Because I do have a very special heart.

It turns out that while my heart is very big and full of love, it's also very big in a not-good physical way. I won't get too technical about it but it's very faulty. We're all a little flawed in our own way, aren't we? But my faulty-ness means that I probably won't live too terribly long.

Did I mention I don't want you to be sad? I'm not sad. Dogs live in the now. Go ask a dog what he's planning to do tomorrow. We don't make plans. We just enjoy the present.

The Humane Society isn't giving up on me. They say that they know someone is out there who will give me a great life, even if it may not be very long. Are you that person? Can you love me for as long as I have knowing it might not be very long? I have to take some medicine every day but aside from that I am a very normal young dog. You would never guess that there's anything wrong with me if I hadn't told you. And I have a lot of love to give.

If you think you could be that person, please call my friend Nichole at (408)262-2133 ext. 120 and she can arrange for us to meet.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ask Zen

HSSV's Zen answers some of your most pressing kitty questions in a new blog segment called:


Dear Zen,

I have an adult cat at home and have been thinking about adding another kitty to our family.  How will I know if they will get along?

Double Trouble

Dear Double Trouble,

Being more of a single cat myself, I can't speak from experience (other cats give me the heebie jeebies).  However I can give you some advice I've heard from my human friends here at HSSV.  First impressions are everything in the cat world -- hiss just once at the wrong feline and you may have found yourself a lifelong frenemy.  So a proper introduction is the best way to ensure your old cat will adjust to a new sibling tantrum-free.  Just follow these steps:

Step 1:  Let your new kitty adjust to the house in his own room for about a week before starting any introductions.

Step 2:  Switch scents!  Preferably, switching the towels near their food dishes.

Step 3:  Feed them near each other -- one cat on one side of the door, the other cat on the opposite side.

Step 4:  Play cat switch!  With your old cat safely tucked in another room, let your new cat out to explore for a few hours!

Step 5:  Encourage them to play through the safety of a crack in the door or a baby gate.

Step 6:  After two separate exercise sessions, open the door, feed the kitties near each other and then get the toys out!  Let this experience be FUN!

Read more about cat introductions here.  Good luck, Double Trouble!

Dear Zen,

I need help!  Ever since adopting my cat, I haven't slept a wink.  He insists on playing and causing a ruckus all through the night!  Do you have any advice for a sleep-deprived new cat owner like myself?

Feline Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

Don't fret, your cat is still adjusting to his new home!  We are a nocturnal animal, after all.  But we can easily transition to be daytime kitties with a little help from you.  Instill two good-sized playtimes into your day -- one right when you wake up in the morning, and the other right before bed at night.  Create new vocabulary during these playtimes: "Playtime!" and "All done!"  When gone during the day, hide little treats around the house or in a puzzle toy to keep him busy.  Before bed, use your new command "All done!" so he knows that you are not going to engage with him anymore.  Soon he will learn that nighttime is not the best time to get attention.  With this new daily routine, you and your new friend will be on the same sleeping schedule in no time!

Have a question for Zen?  Ask in the comments below!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dog Blotter: Crimes and Demeanors On The HSSV Adoption Floor

At Humane Society of Silicon Valley we have many breeds and ages of dogs available. They all share several common denominators: They are all great dogs. They all need homes. And they all occasionally get into mischief. These are their stories.

Monday, August 5th, 1108 hours: Staff responds to a call of an assault on a squeaky toy in our dog park. Respondents find Dante, a two year old chihuahua mix, in an altercation with a lavender stuffed Wubba. It is unclear who started the altercation though it's noted that a volunteer flung the Wubba in the direction of Dante. No action taken as Dante did not seem to be in any danger and the consensus between staff and volunteers was that the Wubba had it coming.

 Wednesday, August 7th, 1643 hours: Report of a dog down in the Adoption Suites. Respondents find Sparky, a 2 year old Labrador Mixed breed, receiving a belly rub from a volunteer. Due to the lolling condition of his head and wagging of tail it was ascertained that he was enjoying this. As Sparky can be shy with new people and appeared to be very comfortable and happy, it was agreed that said belly rub would continue and respondents assisted in rubbing belly for awhile.

Thursday, August 8th, 1300 hours: Caller notes strange debris left in dog park, appearing to be a mop of some sort. Upon investigation, it was found to be Tee, an 18 month old mixed breed having a bad hair day. Suspect mixed breed was in the company of a volunteer who confirmed that Tee was not a cleaning implement but instead a dog of dubious heritage with an endearing personality but an unfortunate coiffure. Arrangements were made for her to visit the grooming department in the near future.

Friday, August 9th, 1023 hours: Two unruly, menacing tennis balls reported to be at large in small dog park. Upon arrival it was found that Bandit, an eleven month old chiweenie, had performed a citizens arrest and apprehended both tennis balls. It was decided to leave both balls to their fate and allow Bandit to provide appropriate punishment, primarily in the form of being chewed on, flung, dropped in the water bowl and possibly rolled in mud as well.

Saturday, August 10th, 1722 hours: Open container in a public area. Complainant reported drinking in a heavily populated area. Upon arrival Pogo, a fifteen month old chihuahua mix, was found to be enjoying a cold beverage in a play pod. Volunteer had provided the beverage to Pogo. After sampling, it was determined the bowl contained water and not vodka gimlets and therefore was legal. No attempts were made to perform a breathalyzer on Pogo as he is a dog.

Sunday, August 11th, 1004 hours: Reported cookie larceny. Suspect Priscilla, a 1 year old terrier mix, was observed sneaking cookies that had fallen out of a staff members pocket. Though suspect appeared to be familiar with frisking procedure, we declined as she appeared to have already swallowed the evidence, does not have pockets and can be uncomfortable with invasive handling. Suspect was given more cookies for being very brave with strangers.

Dante, Sparky, Tee, Bandit, Pogo and Priscilla are all available for adoption at our Milpitas Animal Community Center. All were found to be wonderful, law abiding canines who would make a great addition to your family. Come visit them today.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

He Should Have Been Prince Hugo.

Wanna play tuggies?
When you look like Hugo it's easy to be misunderstood. While the best words to describe him are 'goofball' and 'marshmallow' he can be timid in new situations. Timid in a chihuahua is one thing. Timid when you weigh 90 pounds and have a head the size of a Volkswagen Beetle is another. Even Hugo's shaking, cowering timid can look scary if you're not used to extra large dogs. Once he's comfortable, he's a very sweet, very bouncy boy. Before he's comfortable he's a quivering pile of terrified. A very large quivering pile of terrified.

Hugo's met a lot of people but he still hasn't found the right fit for a home yet. He loves to play fetch, he's fine with handling and will do anything for a cookie. In thinking about who would be a great home for such an awesome, loveable dog who deserves the best, one thing comes to mind:

There might be a little drool on the carpet. No worries.

The Royals.

Why would Hugo be an awesome dog for William, Kate and little Georgie?

They're a young couple with a lot of energy. Hugo would be an awesome running partner for William. He'd love to go for walks with Kate when she's pushing the pram. While he's generally recommended for older kids due to his size and energy level, we offer training referrals to help the family integrate a large dog into the home.

He looks smashing, doesn't he?

They like to travel. Hugo loves to go places and do things. True, he can be a little shy at first but with gentle introductions he does wonderfully. All he needs is his tennis ball and his people to feel at home. And if they have to leave him alone he does just fine - no anxiety there.

They own their own home and have landlord rights over most of their country. This is a huge bonus for an extra-large pittie. Renting with bully breeds (or any large dog) can be difficult. A lot of landlords have restrictions on size and breed. Not only does the Royal Family not have to worry about that, they can also get around potential breed restrictive laws by banning them as Williams' grandmother also happens to be the Queen of England.

My word, he's a heavy chap.

In a perfect world, they'd be rushing over to bring him home. Unfortunately that doesn't seem very likely. They've been a little busy lately, what with the baby and all, and importing dogs from the US can take a while. Hugo is ready for his forever home now. He's been doing very well learning his basic commands and is always ready to make new friends over a game of fetch.

If you're looking for an athletic marshmallow of a dog and like your pooches big and regal, come down and meet Hugo today. Bring your throwing arm and some treats and prepare to abdicate your heart.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Waiting for Jeffrey: Tips from the Contessa

If you haven't already met her, HSSV's very own

Barefoot Contessa
(aka Tess)

is waiting for the love of her life.

Just like Ina Garten, Tess is a sophisticated lady who knows what she wants out of life -- to make you feel all warm and gooey inside.  They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  Tess believes that there are a few other tricks to winning someone over.

# 1: Show off your skills

She may not know how to make the perfect challah, but she can attack a laser light like nobody's business. 

# 2: Never reveal your true age

Tess doesn't let a little arthritis slow her down, she won't hesitate to jump right into your lap for some cuddles. 

# 3: Always look good

Ina Garten has a staff of make-up and hair stylists help her look fabulous before she gets in front of the camera.  Tess does not.  And she still rocks a photo shoot.

# 4: Establish yourself as the Queen of the house, to avoid confusion

A Barefoot Contessa should always rule the roost, and Tess is no different.  She wouldn't mind reigning over a calm child or two, but other pets?  Off with their heads! (figuratively, of course.)

So if you prefer the aroma Eau De Cat over the scent of slow-roasted filet of beef with basil parmesan mayonnaise, come meet our Contessa.  She's here, waiting for her Jefferey.