Monday, December 20, 2010

Masuka - To be Adopted

Masuka - our special, fluffy foster. 
Masuka has found his forever home in time for Christmas. He's going to house with other dogs and cats, and two animal lovers... He's staying with us! Just kidding, but he's found another home with lots of other four-legged friends and some two-legged ones who will give him an extra special life. I will miss Masuka dearly - he snuggled with me all night and doesn't seem to mind being the only foster kitty here right now (Dexter and Morgan have moved to another foster home). Masuka has been at my side all day, chasing my slippers and coming up for snuggles. It will be hard to say good bye... if only we'd had room for just one more kitty...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Meet Miss Morgan

Morgan, like her sibblings Dexter and Masuka, will be at the Chinook Petsmart this Saturday from 1-3pm to meet with potential adopters! A handful of other ARF kitties will also be there, including Jinx and possibly Pita and Finnegan.

Morgan keeps up with her brothers and is super playful. She loves to cuddle too. Morgan had a rough start in life, but she's now happy and healthy. She gets along with other cats and doesn't mind the dogs in the house either. Like the rest of the litter, she also loves the humans in the house too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Am I a kitty?

No, but you look like it in this picture. We think Tewks was trying to look like a kitty so he could play with the kitties. Sorry dude, you didn't fool anyone.

Tewks is significantly improved and is VERY mobile. He's a busy little boy and will require an active family to match. He'll be available for adoption later this week... just in time for ARF's big Adoptathon and Blow-out-Sale on Saturday and Sunday at Petsmart, Chinook location (there is also a cat adoptathon on Sunday at the Copperfield Tail Blazers from 1-3pm). For more details on all of these exciting events, see the ARF page.

Monday, November 29, 2010

And...another new first for us!

So we've fostered puppies, and we've fostered kitties... but never both at the same time... until now.

"Tewks" technically isn't with us for that long - we're taking care of him
until he gains more strength and until he's old enough to be fixed -
then he'll move to a 'real' foster home. Unless we want to keep him ... I mean, "keep" as in "keep fostering him" not "keep him" as in adopt him - we have enough!

We're also fostering part of a litter of kitties from Southern Alberta - 3 grey fuzzies (2 males & 1 female) and 1 grey & white fuzzy male. We're still figuring out their names so check back in the next few days. They are also young and not ready to be adopted yet.

It's funny to watch the new kittens with the fluffy puppy. I bet if they spent any amount of time together they'd become fast friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A change of pace... Again

At this moment I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest foster puppy. "Wait a minute..." you ask... "I thought you were retired!?" - and this is true... or maybe we made a 'career change' as we switched to fostering ARF kittens. But all of our foster homes are full, I don't currently have any kittens, and we just couldn't say no to little "Tewks."

Tewks will be our second 'special needs' dog. We fostered "Foster" early this year. Tewks has 'swimmers syndrome' so he can't walk on his own even though he's six weeks old. This will be a new experience for us as we help him gain strength. He can't stand up on tile, wood or laminate floor so the exercise pen is set up in the kitchen with grippy, rubber mats to cover the ground. He should arrive any minute now.

ARF, and most other rescue groups, is full (both for dogs and cats) and the need for additional foster homes is great. The frigid and unforgiving Calgary weather has only made things worse. For more on a recent ARF rescue during the cold snap, check out another ARF volunteer's blog: (warning, content is disturbing).

Monday, November 22, 2010

I blinked and now they're all gone!

Well, it sort of feels that way. Lil Chase and his brother Walsh have just gone to their forever home, another young couple adopting their first cat companions together... so sweet. But it's not just S & T that will love them and spoil the, but their extended family as well. We're so delighted to see the two of them go together as they'll continue to keep each other company for years.

I can't help but feel a little sad to see these little pumpkins all go, but I know we couldn't keep them, and I know that all six of them have gone on to great, loving homes. Thank you to all of you who opened your homes to an ARF "Marmalade" kitty. What a great story.

These little guys first came to our attention at 4 weeks of age, but none of the local rescues had room. They stayed with their mom and kept feeding until there was space in a foster home. I knew they'd find their place, so I'm so happy we were able to take them in. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was desperate to find them a foster home and now they've found their forever homes.

Here's a picture of one of the litter when they were four weeks old - this would be either Turtle or Drama.

The house is quiet. I already miss them....when will the next ones arrive!? Not soon enough.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chase & Walsh *may have found their forever home!*

Wow - it has been busy! We're currently down to two kittens - and those two just met with a family that's looking for a new addition... or two! It looks like these little guys may go to a home together after all, so they'll be able to play and snuggle together always. Ah, cute. This will be great for Chase - this was a super social litter, but Chase is just a wee bit more reserved than his littermates. Walsh will help him feel safe, secure and happy.

We'll keep you posted. Keep your paws crossed:)

Turtle is adopted!

Wow, what a busy day! This afternoon our little friend, Turtle went home with his new family - another awesome couple getting their first pet together! I remember how exciting that was! We are super, super happy for K & D as they bring Turtle into their life together. As with all our adoptions... we look forward to updates of how this little pumpkin is doing:)

Drama is adopted!

Drama met his forever home at an ARF animal showing at Petsmart and today he made the move to his new home - an awesome couple who will show him lots of love and cuddles. He left in his brand-new carrier on his brand-new bed, and is looking forward to his brand-new life with his new family. We're so, so, so excited for Y & T as they adopt their first pet together.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Babs & Murphy are adopted!!!

Lil Babs and her brother Murphy have just left with their forever family. They fell in love through the blog, and then Murphy sealed the deal when he curled up on their laps and fell asleep. It's meant to be! The house always seems quieter after an adoption and although we'll miss that pair, we're so happy for them and their new parents!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visit the "Marmalades" at Petsmart (Chinook) this Saturday from 1-3pm

The "Marmalades" will join several ARF puppies and ARF dogs at Petsmart (Chinook location) from 1-3pm. Come and see for yourself! They're even cuter in person! Turtle, Chase, Drama and Walsh will be there ... Babs and Murphy will be adopted Saturday morning!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A forever home?

Two of the "Marmalades" may have found their forever home! At this point we're not sure which two... could it be Babs? or Walsh? or Murphy? We'll find out soon. We're so pleased that these two lucky kitties will go to their forever home together, and to a really great couple that will show them a lifetime of love.

Turtle loves adventure!

Well, the whole litter is coming out of their shells and they're even warming up to the dogs. But Turtle is definitely Mr. Adventure. He quickly learned to climb over the baby gate that blocks the cat room off from the rest of the house. Once mastering this, he was climbing over that gate at every opportunity. There's still some hissing and spitting at the dogs, but they're getting used to each other.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is "Babs"

Lil "Babs" is the only girl in the litter. She's also the most distinctive looking as she has a tiny little fluff of black fur on her side. She is true to the ginger kitty trait of being super cuddly. She is often the first to seek our attention and she loves to snuggle. She also loves to play fight with her brothers, and chase them all over the cat room.

This is "Turtle"

He's not always sleeping like he is in that picture - but he is always that cute! Little Mr. Turtle is cute as a button and absolutely loves to play and snuggle. He looks just like his brother "Drama." They are quite the pair! Any of these little guys would love to go to a home with one of their littermates!

This is "Walsh"

Walsh and his littermates all look very similar, but Walsh's coat and face are just a tiny bit different, so it's fitting that Walsh is Walsh - as in Billy Walsh from Entourage. He also has a sense of adventure and today went right up to one of the other resident cats to introduce himself. In time, I think he'll be snuggling with them! Walsh has a cute little face and when he's finished playing, he loves to snuggle.

This is "Murphy"

Little Mr. Murphy looks just like his brother, "Chase" except that he has a thicker tail. He has beautiful orange tabby stripes, and orange spotted tabby markings on his belly. It looks like someone painted his white belly with orange polka-dots! Like his sibblings, Murphy is cute and cuddly, and he lives with other cats and dogs (although they are still getting used to their other four-legged house-mates!)

This is "Drama"

This is my little buddy, "Drama." His name suits him to a tee. He was one of the first to really show an interest in his human companions and now he's my little snuggle bug. They're all pretty adventurous, but Mr. Drama leads the pack. He has a cute little orange polka dot on one of his front paws, that's how we know that "Drama" is "Drama."

This is "Chase"

This is "Chase," as in "chase" my brothers and sister.... as in "chase" pretend mice and as in "Vincent Chase" from the tv show Entourage. Chase looks just like his brother Murphy, except he has a thinner tail. The two of them have super cute, spotted tabby markings on their belly. I call them the polka-dot belly kitties.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Turtle, Chase, Drama, Murphy, Walsh & Babs

Well, assuming we've got 5 males and 1 females, the new orange litter (the one I've been desperate to foster since the Alberta Spay Neuter Clinic (ASNTF) at the beginning of October) has been named after Entourage characters: Turtle, Chase, Drama, Murphy, Walsh and Babs. Don't ask me who's who - I have no idea. I know the girl is the orange & white with a little wee bit of black hidden into her fur... but the rest are all orange and white tabbies. Give me a few days to figure out who is who!

For now, they have their own room. The dogs (especially Beadie) and the cats (especially Kaz) are very interested, but the orange kitties get Christmas tree tails every time they see the other creatures in our house. Again, give them some time - it's only been a few hours.

I think these guys are about 9 weeks old. These lucky guys have been inside their whole life and I think they'll fit right in. More soon.

If you want to read more about the Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force clinics that I've participated in this year, check out my other blog at:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sasha is adopted! Now there are none!

Wow! what a busy day! Sasha made her debut at Petsmart today. Little did I know that she already had an application, so today she met her forever family - an awesome family that will love her and cuddle her, and have a kitty friend for her to play with. They're already getting ready to spoil her rotten!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sasha will be at Petsmart! Saturday 1-3pm (Chinook Location)

ARF animals go to Petsmart at Chinook every Saturday between 1-3pm so that potential adopters can meet animals available for adoption. Cats very rarely make these public appearances as the environment can be stressful, especially for cats that don't live with dogs. But for cats or kittens that live with dogs, it's a great way to introduce them to potential forever homes - for this reason, Sasha will be making her public debut this weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

We're down to 1! Lloyd is adopted!

Sasha is all by her lonesome (she's sitting on my shoulder as I blog). Lloyd was adopted tonight by a teenage girl and her family who just adore him. He's going to another home with other dogs and cats and lots of love, so he'll be right at home.

Sasha may make her Petsmart debut later this week (Saturday, 1-3pm at the Chinook location) - we'll keep you posted. She'd love to go to a home with another ARF kitty, or go to a home that has another younger kitty to play with.

"I thought you were 'retired'?"

It's true. We are "retired" from dog fostering. It doesn't mean we don't love puppies! Risotto and Italia are the last of the Italian litter - their littermates were all adopted this week... so if you're interested, get your application in! We're just puppy-sitting these two for a few days. That gives me my puppy fix and reminds me how much work it is to foster dogs!

Risotto (M) is the blond with interesting eyes. They appear to be part blue and part green so you have to look at them twice to really figure out what colour they are. Italia (F) is the smaller of the two. She's super cuddly and a little more adventurous than her bigger brother.

Yuki and the kitties

So Yuki has come around, and on her own terms (like those pictured here) she likes to interact with the kittens. She even let Lizzie and Sasha "nurse" from her before Lizzie was adopted. The kitties love her crate, but she seems to be trying to tell them it's hers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dog-loving kitties

Matti got a new bully stick and the two remaining kittens were also interested. Matti shared briefly. Lloyd didn't really eat it, rather just played with the end of it while Matti nibbled away. Then Beadie devoured her whole bully stick, came back and stole Matti's and the fun was all over.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lloyd - the cat that loves dogs

Well, the whole litter is good with our dogs, but Lloyd really loves Beadie and curls up with her every night so we'd really like to see him go to a home with other animals, dogs or cats or both.

Lloyd's Petsmart Debut

ARF dogs to go Petsmart every Saturday between 1-3 so that potential adopters can meet them in person. On very rare occasions, a cat makes an appearance. Today Lloyd and I decided to try it out. I didn't advertise it on the website in case he really hated it and we left quickly. But, Lloyd stayed for the whole time and even interacted with a few of the puppies, especially Zara (apparently Zara has cats in her foster home).

And yes, for those who didn't know, ARF does have cats!

These kitties are flying outta here! 2 more adoptions!

What a week! Ari left on Sunday and then yesterday I had calls about some of the other kittens. Lizzie ended up joining Ari (and apparently Ari is super happy to be reunited with his sister!), and Sloan went to a home with another cat earlier today.

Lloyd, being the dog-loving cat (he enjoys cuddling up to Beadie, one of our ARF dogs) that he is, made his unofficial debut at Petsmart today. He was a rockstar! He wasn't freaked out by the dogs (or people) at all and spent most of the time cuddling in my ARF hoodie. He did interact with Zara and Avery and made quite an impression on one family so who knows - he could soon be adopted too! That just leaves Sasha...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Adopt-a-thon and 1 Adoption!

In a matter of minutes, the first of the five Cardston kitties will be adopted. Ari could have been adopted twice yesterday through ARF's Adopt-a-thon at the Ranchlands Tailblazers. His new family is on their way to pick him up. I'm gonna miss the little Mr. Personality, but maybe this means there's room for one more!

I'm hoping the siblings will also find their forever homes soon too.

Ari goes to a home with other dogs and another cat, which is just perfect for him. If anyone else is looking for a cat that had experience with other dogs or cats... check our Lizzie, Lloyd, Sloan and Sasha!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home from the vet and ready for adoption!

The kitties are home from the vet and are now ready to go up on the ARF website. That will make them officially available for adoption! Beadie, our resident dog, loves kitties, and was so happy that the cats were home. She waited patiently for them to come out of their crate.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Silly Sasha posing for the camera

Run! Jump! Chase! ... cat naps.

Meet Lizzie (as in Lizzie Grant)

Little Lizzie is my favorite. I love her little markings on her face. I call her 'the painted one.' Her markings are not white like Lloyd's, rather peach like her brother Ari. She has peach on her paws, face, and flecks of peach through her coat. She also has subtle grey tabby markings.

You may sense a difference in the kitties' names - they're named after characters from Entourage rather than characters from the Wire. We'll reserve those names for the rare occasion that we foster a puppy in the future! (Lil Bunny Colvin last September was the exception to this!)

Meet Sasha

We adore this all grey female kitty. She's a mixture of playful and cuddly and has beautiful subtle tabby markings.

Meet Sloan!

Sloan is a total charmer. She has this cute little white beauty mark on her face, a white belly and little wee white socks. She's the calmest of the litter and just loves to catch some zzzz's next to her human or feline companions.

Meet Lloyd!

We love this little character. Actually, he's the biggest of the litter, and probably the most curious. He loves, love, loves to wrestle with his siblings! He hardy sits still so it's super challenging to get a good picture of him!

Meet Ari (as in Ari Gold)

Ari is the only peach kitten in the litter. He's supper cuddly & mischievous like any little kitty. He follows his human companions around and keeps them entertained.

Cardston Kitties

Our five Cardston/Blood Reserve kitties will be fixed tomorrow and ready for adoption soon afterwards. Fostering kitties is much easier than fostering pups (although I do miss them!) and it's also very entertaining.

Our 5 little 9-wk old kitties include 2 boys and 3 girls, all domestic short hairs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wellness Clinic on the Blood Reserve, Southern Alberta

For one weekend, the community centre in Moses Lake was turned into a makeshift animal hospital for a clinic run by the Alberta Spay & Neuter Task Force. The clinic provides free spays & neuters, vaccinations, and when available, pet food.

Thunder, half coyote, 8 years, and mom to 3 surviving pups

Thunder is apparently part coyote and loved by her family, but they couldn't take care of her three surviving pups from her latest litter. She's 8 years old and her teeth are in bad shape - but I just love her - she was one of my buddies this weekend and I'm happy to report she's been fixed and vaccinated, so the neighbour's dog (whom we couldn't catch) won't get her knocked up again.

She's an old gal so it took her longer to recover. We warmed her up with blankets and a heating pad, and kept her tongue and gums moistened with water.

Surrendered kittens, two weeks old

Two week old kitten (approx.) wasn't drinking from the mother cat and was really cold. A resident of the Blood Reserve and I each took turns warming the two little grey kittens up and feeding them formula from a syringe until we got them to nurse from mama cat (herself not much more than a kitten). This guy is so small he's like a mouse.

I wanted to bring home this litter and the mom to foster, but they might need round the clock care for a little longer - so they went with Pound Rescue and I brought home a litter of weaned kittens instead that will be available through ARF when they are old enough to be fixed.

There's more to animal rescue groups than just adoptions

This was my second clinic with the Alberta Spay & Neuter Task Force. I volunteered with them in September 2009 for one day, and had also signed up for the June 2010 clinic but it was cancelled due to flooding. My participation was motivated by two things: first, as a volunteer with ARF I wanted to develop a better understanding of where most of our rescued animals come from. Secondly, our first ARF dog, Beadie, came from the Blood Reserve Wellness Clinic in June 2009.

I volunteered at both clinics with a mother and daughter who adopted our third foster dog, Kima. We didn’t know each other before, but since they adopted Kima we’ve become friends. They’ve met a number of our foster puppies and have taken care of our zoo while we’ve gone on vacation.

The Blood Reserve Wellness Clinic is held twice annually and provides free spay and neuter surgeries, free vaccinations and limited amounts of pet food. The operation requires a massive amount of volunteers, many of whom are highly skilled (vets and vet techs). The others typically come from various Calgary-based rescue groups. The September 2010 clinic had volunteers from the ABSNTF, AARCS, Pound Rescue, the Humane Society and ARF (possibly from other groups!). The three day clinic is paid for through donations and grant funding (I believe!). Volunteers make the three hour drive south and typically stay overnight in Cardston at their expense – but it’s more than worth every penny.

This year’s clinic was held in a community centre – basically a big gymnasium that housed an area for crates in line for vet checks, an area for sedated dogs in crates, a big area for surgeries, an area for animals recovering after surgery, an area for animals to be picked up, an area for sterilizing equipment, laundry and for paperwork. Vets and vet techs do surgery beneath the basketball nets under the newly purchased trouble-lights.

Volunteers, myself included, wash crates, walk dogs, nurse kittens, tend to dogs as they recover and wake up etc. Some run into town to do laundry at the Laundromat because the clinic uses so many old towels, sheets and blankets. Others transport young puppies to another facility to reduce their chances of illness.

The first day of the clinic is the most interesting. Teams of volunteers go door to door in the various communities explaining the clinic – the concept is familiar and well received. Community members give permission to have their animal fixed. They can also surrender animals, and permission must be granted to remove an animal from any home. Some dogs have never been in a crate or on a leash, so getting them rounded up is interesting. From here, they go back to the clinic facility with their paperwork and are eventually see by a team of vets and vet techs, and the correct dosage for the anaesthetic is calculated based on the animal’s weight. The first day starts at 10am (after a drive from Calgary) and ends around 10pm. On the second day, volunteers arrive to walk the dogs after a night in the crate, clean crates and get ready for the surgeries. Vets arrive and the process begins. Animals fixed during the morning surgeries can pick up their animals in the afternoon (or have them dropped off). Families are given instructions on how to care for the animal following surgery. They also receive food, typically donated by manufacturers or individuals in Calgary.

More and more people respond that their pets are already fixed when volunteers go door to door. Progress is being made. But there is no shortage of heartbreaking stories. I transported a 4-5 month old puppy for AARCS; the pup had had a collar tied tightly around his neck – so bad it had left an open wound. A 12 year old dog came in with a fractured foot (old injury, healed) and quills to the same leg. He was too old for his surgery, but had the quills removed.

Volunteers from Pound Rescue and AARCS spent much of Saturday rounding up more animals and sorting out where the many surrendered dogs and cats could go. At least three vehicles of volunteers returned to Calgary full of crates destined for AARCS, Pound Rescue, Pawsitive Match, Misty Creek and ARF. I don’t think they will find homes for all the kittens so we took in one litter for ARF. Adult dogs are also hard to place but as of yesterday, I think a foster home had been found for all, or most of the adult surrendered dogs.

Our day started at 7:30. I left Cardston around 6:30pm and drove to Calgary for a series of drop offs. I think I went to bed around 1am – with one puppy in the dog room (went to the vet Sunday morning) and the litter of five kittens getting cozy in the second bedroom.

The work of the Alberta Spay & Neuter Task Force wouldn’t be possible without donations, sponsorship, grant funding, and the contributions of various rescue organizations, including the Calgary Humane Society and ARF. The ABSNTF will hold another clinic for Siksika Nation over the first weekend in October. The next clinic for the Blood Reserve will be held in June.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Matlock is Adopted! (and we are 'retired')

Well, our days of volunteering every day have come to an end and the feeling is bittersweet. After months of back and forth on whether we'd adopt a second dog (and retire from fostering), we got one pup we just couldn't give up. Actually, a second pup we couldn't give up, because we were "Foster Family Failures (FFF)" with Beadie too just over a year ago. Matlock is a great fit for our family, and camping just proved that even more. We're looking forward to many more trips together - although we may need a bigger vehicle...

But today was odd and I felt a little lost as I wasn't taking a puppy on a day visit, or taking a puppy to Petsmart. I was out of the loop. ARF has helped me feel 'at home' in Calgary and I'm experiencing a really profound sense of loss in our 'retirement' - there were actually tears - no joke. I haven't felt this way since leaving Ottawa and the Children's Garden in Robert Leggett Park - a project I was heavily involved with, and very sad to leave. The difference with ARF is that I'm still in the same city, but have chosen to take on a different role within the organization.

I can't wrap my head around 'never' fostering again - I can't really stand to think that! I do hope to babysit the odd foster dog when ARF foster parents are out of town, or foster again when our schedules are lighter. For now, I'll have to find something else to do with my time!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Doggy Date

Matti and Beadie took first-timer "Tee-bo" to the dog park today. Without hesitation, all three of them were in the water and became fast friends. Teebo is a rescue dog from California, brought to Calgary through Little Mutts Rescue (a great option for people who want or need a small breed dog!) Matti has transformed in the last few weeks since we first started bringing him to the dog park (he used to run away from all the dogs). Now he owns the park and loves to hang out with the other dogs. His forever home should be prepared to keep taking Matlock to the dog park, and keep introducing him to new things as he is still timid around things that seem strange to him.

Matti walks twice a day, and usually one of those walks is off leash (at least part of it). He also gets at least one really big walk at one of the bigger dog parks each week, sometimes more often. A good dog is a well-exercised dog and a dog that isn't able to grow bored.

Stolen Pics:)

I have "borrowed" some pictures from a friend because I couldn't resist putting them up here because they're such great pictures of Matti enjoying life in the mountains!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Answer to Chad

I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your ARF dog. It took me a long time to get over the loss of the two dogs in my profile picture. Matti actually really reminds me of the blond terrier cross. I do think Matti would eventually be a good jogging partner, although you'd have to wait until he was full grown. He's much better on leash now (less walking in front of you at every step!) I do think Matti will be a really good family dog. He doesn't do a lot of mouthing and he's cuddly, but he gets very excited and does a lot of jumping up at the moment. He has only had very limited exposure to children (the odd time approaching kids when on leash or at the park). So he'll really benefit from continued training. He knows to sit and shake a paw (for a treat) at the moment. As with any dog or pup, I wouldn't leave him alone with young children, and would make sure the children were also being taught how to behave around a dog.

Matti also loves his foster sister, and would do well with another young dog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chillin' by the Campfire

Fun times around the campfire! Matti curled up with Beadie in the tent and we're happy to report that he slept through the night each night. In fact, both dogs were exhausted by 8:30 or 9:00 each night, and slept close to 12 hours in the tent while we chatted around the fire. Matti saw deer on the trip... and was a little freaked out by them!