Saturday, February 28, 2015

Guest Blog: Saving Mousey

(This week's guest blog is from Stephanie Ladeira, our VP of Development) 

Mousey after a bout with the pooch left him nose-less.

I hated dolls when I was a child.  I wanted animals and more animals. I loved animals more an anything. It’s why I work in animal welfare today.  I can’t stand to see an animal neglected, abandoned or unloved.  Animals bring comfort, joy, unconditional love – the stuff of life.

Now that I’ve graduated to helping and loving real animals (and working at Humane Society Silicon Valley) my stuffed animals are packed away.  Mousey, my favorite stuffed animal, lives on a high shelf in my closet. 

My husband and I were watching Toy Story 3 recently. The plot focuses on the toys Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their friends dealing with an uncertain future as their owner, Andy, prepares to leave for college.  The story is just heartbreaking – the animals tossed aside, potentially being donated to some horrible daycare center where children who don’t love or care for them will wipe snot on them and chew on them, accidentally ripping off their arms, carelessly leaving them in the rain…

I paused the movie to fetch Mousey from the dark closet.  He needed some cuddling and I needed to reconnect with the comfort and unconditional love I felt from him my entire childhood.  I remembered that when my mom would tell me I could sleep with only ONE stuffed animal Mousey was my first choice almost 100% of the time.  He was my go-to, my snuggle buddy, the cloth that absorbed my tears, he-who-was-squeezed during happy times. 
Mousey gets a bath during his rehab.

I held Mousey, absorbing his comfort for the rest of the movie. Afterwards my husband Paul and I went upstairs to bed with our real animals – three dogs and one cat – all rescued from shelters and rescue groups across California.  I slept soundly, comforted by my evening with a loving husband, four live furry animals and a reconnection with one of the best parts of my childhood.  The next morning the crew and I got up before Paul. 

As I wandered into the living room with my coffee I was devastated to see that someone had ravaged Mousey during the night.  His nose and snout had been destroyed and his insides were strewn across the living room.  I felt terrible for not protecting him. I cleaned up the living room and put Mousey back in the dark of my closet. For days I was ravaged by guilt. His nose was never found. Not even in a poop in the backyard days later.

Fast forward a bit: at an HSSV event, I met Beth, a woman whose purpose is to rejuvenate dolls and stuffed animals so they can continue to be played with and loved.  Her patients have been mauled by pets and loved nearly to death by children and adults. They come from all over the globe, sent in by the people that love them to be rehabilitated. All return to their families ready to be loved and played with for many years to come.  She does amazing work.  See for yourself.  I made arrangements for Mousey to travel to Beth for some treatment. 
His 'heart' - made from original stuffing.

It then occurred to me that what Beth does with stuffed toys is what we do at HSSV with real animals:  Over 76% of the animals we rescue each year need care in order to be ready to be loved by someone new. Be it a dental cleaning, behavioral rehabilitation or major medical help, they all need a little TLC (and occasionally even some stitching up) to be made whole again.  These animals should not be thrown away – they have so much love left to give.  And we, too, approach each of these animals as an individual in need of specialized care.

Beth at Realms of Gold took an injured Mousey, lovingly repaired his physical ailment, restored his heart, provided him with a restorative “spa treatment” and made sure he had a home (my home) to love and protect him for the rest of his days. 

It’s exactly what we do at HSSV.

A restored, happy Mousey back with Stephanie. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Daily Sweet Potato Update: The Butt Is Hairy And The Home Hunt Is On!

First, spend 23 seconds watching this. You'll be happy you did.

As you can tell, we're beside ourselves with the news...

You know I'm happy when I smile big enough to park a VW in my mouth.
That our makeover-in-slo-mo-social-media superstar is finally ready to find her own place. If you didn't see her earlier blog, you should. Sweet Potato, the unflappable and perpetually grinning pibble puppy who came to us with scabs where her hair should have been, has completed enough treatment that she's ready to move to permanent digs. 

You can tell I'm not happy when I have sunflowers on my head. 
Since she started her journey with us, the six month old has been appearing daily in her own hashtag (#dailysweetpotato) on social media where the world has watched her go from hairless butt to home-ready princess. 

Forget those Disney cartoons. We make way better princesses.

Along the way she met Awesome Foster Mom and her BFF Benjamin...

He's like a friend and a sofa all wrapped up in one..
Then bunked with Little Hooman and her peeps. Sweet Potato and Little Hooman became so tight that if we could find her another home with little hoomans she'd be delighted.  Little hoomans drop food, are amicable to face kisses and like naps so they have a lot in common with Sweet Potato.

Read the bit about the hippos again, Little Hooman...
Despite the fact she now has hair on her butt she still needs a wee bit more treatment. Which is why we're looking for a foster-to-adopt situation. Basically she'd be moving in with her new family permanently but we'd be helping get her through the last few weeks of treatment for demodex, the non-contagious skin issue she's been recovering from. 

What should you know if you'd like to take this internet phenom and angel pibble home?  

First of all, she's the best dog ever and is much beloved by volunteers, staff and pretty much everyone who crosses her path. 

Also she's amazing with other dogs of all sizes. Bigs, littles - bring 'em. She loves to play. Her best friend is a six month old Rhodesian Ridgeback. 


And she has the most amazingly adorable tongue nubbin that sticks out when she's happy or sleeping.


Because she is still getting over her skin stuff, potential adopters should expect that she'll need baths on a regular basis and that they'll need to bring her back here for medical care until that's done. We'll cover the medical care but they will need to be a Sweet Potato taxi to her medical appointments.

Foster mom? Can we talk about this bath thing? 

They also need to know that she is still a puppy. While she's a champ about housebreaking and chewing, she does need her playtime. She's a shorty-snorty mellow pooch but teenage dogs will be teenage dogs. She loves her walkies and park time. 

So if you'd like to throw your hat in the ring to be considered for the best pooch ever, call Casaundra at 408.262.2133 ext 183. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Five Reasons HSSV Is A Utopian Society Compared To Your Office.

It's time for the mid February let down. 

The holidays are over, that sugar high from Valentine's Day candy is starting to crash and stretched out in front of you are numerous weeks without one single holiday. Shouldn't National Pistachio Day merit a day off? Why doesn't it?

For most of us, it's time for the late-winter drudgery that lasts until Easter arrives with it's daffodils, tulips and another epic sugar high.

Nothing really brings out various grumbles about the workplace like a dearth of upcoming time off to look forward to. 

Which is why, in a non-gloating, most helpful way, we would like to point out the difference between your workplace and life in the dog area of HSSV. To wit, we offer five exhibits to prove our point and make your Monday - the first of many Mondays without a three day weekend - happier. And if these exhibits plant a wee little seed in your head about bringing some of this happiness home with you than all the better. 

#1) The Many Ridiculous and Adorable Play-Faces of Rex

This is just my warm up face...
So cute, so coy, so far removed from that strongly worded email you received about getting spreadsheets in by the end of week. Rex hates spreadsheets. The last thing he wants from you is a spreadsheet. 

Ermaghawd - the play-march!
He would like you to scratch his butt. Which sounds way better coming from your newly adopted dog then from whomever is demanding that annoying spreadsheet. 

#2) Max's Ability To Be Equally Delighted With Or Without The Cone Of Shame. 

I'm a happy guy. 
You only get casual dress Fridays? The rest of the week you're stuck in some configuration of uncomfortable and unflattering office wear that absolutely no one sees except the weird guy in the cube next to you who eats his Cheetos way too loudly?

I have a lamp on my head but I'm still a happy guy. 
Max feels your pain. He understands. Which is why, despite having a large satellite dish on his head, he's going to keep smiling for you. He's going to be a brave camper about unflattering, inconvenient garb. Heck, he'll even agree with you when you go off on that tangent about how this is Silicon Valley and most workplaces don't care if you show up in a toga. Plus he promises to eat Cheetos silently, without even chewing, if you'll just throw him one. 

#3)  Everyone Here Happily Shares The Blue Octopus* of Glee.

Who can be unhappy with such a gleeful octopus? 
This isn't like the office coffee maker, where everyone has to be unhappy all the time. That one guy makes toxic mud. The woman down the hall dumps it out and makes brown water, which is even worse because at least you can add an ice cube to toxic mud whereas brown water is just completely unredeemable. Here we have many toys but only one Blue Octopus of Glee, which Chase enjoys sharing a laugh with....

Who can sit still with such an amazing octopus around?
and Remy enjoys tormenting. There's enough Blue Octopus to go around. No one pulls the legs off and ruins it for the next dog. Everyone just appreciates the fact there is a Blue Octopus of Glee to be passed around. Can't we all just share? Can't everyone take a page of wisdom from the Blue Octopus of Glee's book? 

#4) Because Everyone Dances When Things Are Awesome. 

I can't, I just can''s all too much...
A tennis ball AND a fetch-y stick? Get down! The sun on a lovely day? Shake it like Shakira! When was the last time you got to do a dance break when you got an actual Swingline stapler instead of the Office Depot brand? Wouldn't everyone look like you like you were nuts?

No one here would look at you sideways here. In fact most of our pooches would join right in. A good stapler? Rejoice! In fact you should probably break out those Cheetos that Max was hoping you had. 

#5) Because Wrestling Matches and Throwing Things Are Highly Encouraged.

You want to work out that budget dispute mano-a-mano? Maybe settle the copier issue with a good old thumb wrestle? Even take a dodgeball break and throw some stuff around instead of having another meeting? Good luck with that. Let us know if you still have a job at the end of the day. Here, however, here such things are encouraged....

I've got $5 on the little guy. Never underestimate the power of puppy-annoying. 
And even perpetrated by the staff and volunteers who enjoy chucking things hither and fro as much as Bixby enjoys chasing them.  

It flies! Like magic! 
The moral of this story? Everyone has to work to put kibble on the table. Nobody's workplace, no matter how cool, is actually utopia. Which is why you need a dog to come home to. 

*while we can't promise the same magnanimity that the Blue Octopus of Glee inspires here, we should note we have them for sale in our Whole Pets Store. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Call me the dude, duderino

Meet the Big Lebowski of cats.  
Her name is Hesperia, but truly and henceforth in this blog,
 she will be referred to as simply "The dude".
 Not the dudette 'cause she a female, but the dude.
Why? Because she encompasses his very being.

Please put this on and get in da dude mood:
Feel them dude vibes. 

She is the coolest of cool. She is the dude of cats.

The actual dude dude of all dudes there ever was.

She is the man and she'll express her feelings about furniture decor. 
 Yeah, that rug really tied the room together. 
Promise I won't pee on your rug.

We call this dude yoga.

The dude likes gazing on at the world, and just being. 
The dude knows no occupation, only occupying your heart.
"I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, 
His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if 
you're not into the whole brevity thing".

If you're looking for the colossal of chill, the Everest of ever resting,
please check out the one, the only, Hesperia, da dude of cats.
The dude abides.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Playing Hardball: Some Frank Talk About Other Reasons To Fix Your Pet...

In case you didn't know, February is spay/neuter month. We're doing all sorts of cool promos to encourage you to come in and get your pooch fixed at a wicked discount here or at vets in your neighborhood. Is your pet not fixed? Will you be in next week? Because you need to be. Is your pet a Chihuahua and do you live in certain San Jose zip codes? Forget the discount, we'll fix your dog for free.

Unless you live in a very small box that's buried deep underground somewhere in flyover country, it's highly unlikely that you haven't heard all the legitimate, scientific medical reasons to fix your pets. Cuts down on marking, fourteen times less likely to run, etc etc. If that hasn't convinced you to fix your pet, we're going to get very, very honest with five additional reasons to fix your dog that no one will actually tell you. But we will. Because we're good like that.

My eyes - Can't un-see that...

1) No one wants to look at Brutus’ danglers. And if you do, you’re creepy. In the absence of stuffing your dog into a pair of tighty whities, there’s no way to avoid subjecting the public to the sight of your dogs pendulous cajones dangling. No one wants to see that. Seriously.

Look how I'm lying. If I was unfixed, guess what would be resting on this blanket?

2) You know those things are touching your sofa, right? And flopping around on your kitchen floor. No one wants to walk around your house barefoot, sitting on your furniture is a little dubious, too. Is that a sweat mark? Oh. Oh no.

This is just....awkward.

3) The thought of your pet having a sex life is disturbing. It’s like the idea of teddy bears mating. Pets are for cuddling and loving and companionship. Be amazed by how cute or smart or friendly your dog is. Please don’t be amazed by what a stud he is. That makes people wonder about you.

This is even more so.

4) It’s awkward to be confronted with evidence of your female dog receiving a visit from Aunt Flo. Oh look, there’s blood on your floor and your pet is rubbing against legs in a suggestive manner. That doesn’t make anybody feel good. In fact it makes them feel icky.

We're sitting her waiting for homes and you're making MORE?
5) Pet overpopulation is killing homeless animals. While we're don't euthanize for time or space, most other places are not as lucky. Looking for a puppy? Great! We’ve got some. And if we don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, we’re sure one of the other tens of thousands of rescues or shelters will. Think you’re going to make a mint selling them? Good luck. We’re becoming a more humane nation and  more and more folks think shelters first when looking for a new pet. For for certain breeds like pitbulls and chihuahuas, the bottom has fallen clean out of the market. Shelters are stocked full of baby pits and chis.

Don't be icky. Don't contribute to overpopulation. Just fix your pet. And do it cheaply this month.

bulldog photos courtesy of  ©  |

Friday, February 6, 2015

Global Purring Is Real!

 Global Purring...

Have you seen the signs? Have you felt the purrs?

They're out there...purring. Warming our hearts with their melodic kitty chirps and cheek rubs of love.

It's dangerous, they're making us go "Ouu" and "Aww" too much and oh my goodness we're all just gonna burst!

This global purring is warming the world! But what can we do to make change?

I fear if we don't do something to contain the purrs we will all soon perish into a pool of mushy gooey gooey kissy faces.  

How can you prevent this cat-astrophe in your community? Well I'll tell you. 

Go try and put out the flames of purrs by adopting a cat. If each one of us adopts one cat and keeps it's purr power sheltered in individual homes we might just survive.

Rise up brothers and sisters of Terra. 
We must fight the claw and win!