Adoption Time, Part 2: His Name Is…

Gayle and Jeremiah_Sidney NEThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

His name is Jeremiah, and no, he’s not a bullfrog! Back in the early 1970s, a song by Three Dog Night rose up the charts and remained at #1 for several weeks. “Joy to the World” starts off “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine….” See the delightfully-cartooned video below:

 

 

On my post last week, I mentioned that my husband and I were adopting a new dog and the reasons for that. I also mentioned we planned to re-name the dog. Greg and I had a list of names; ones I liked he didn’t and vice-versa. So, we began looking at other possibilities, including “Yaddy” (Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals award-winning baseball catcher); “Jackson” – a town in western Wyoming (we had “Cody” already, another Wyoming town, so that was out); and “Joseph” (our other dog is Mary, but that just seemed too strange to have “Joseph” as well). So, we explored other options. Because we are Christians, we went through a list of Biblical names (of course, Mary, is in the Bible, so another Biblical name could be appropriate, just not “Joseph”) – we decided “Jeremiah” fit.

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Jeremiah, formerly Stormy

The name means “exalted of the Lord,” or “appointed by God.” We truly believe this little dog was appointed to be ours – we went through many inquiries about dogs not only at this facility (Hearts United for Animals), but also via a few other, more local, shelters and sanctuaries. “Stormy” at that time was the one still available. And, perhaps he will be exalted living in our house – certainly he has been from the horrible conditions of a puppy mill. So, as I mentioned in last week’s post, new home, new life, new name. He is still learning his name, but he’s a smart little guy, and he’s quickly learning a lot of new things: commands, like “sit” and “come;” housetraining (puppy mill dogs are rarely, if ever, living in a home – generally they are kept in tiny cages outdoors; and how to interact with cats. He is also learning about toys and cuddles – and liking both!

Everything is new to him. He barks at the TV. He is afraid of going down steps (but he’s acclimated to going up them, hopping like a rabbit!). He’s never been groomed except at the shelter with just scissors, so his trip to the “doggie spa” yesterday was frightening. Thankfully, and as I suspected would happen, our Mary-dog has become a wonderful “big sister” – she is helping to teach him many things, including (1) going potty outdoors is more fun than indoors because there are trees and bushes to smell and a big yard to explore; (2) a person’s hand is not always for abusing, but most often (at least in this household) for affectionate pats and pets; (3) sleeping on a comfy bed is WONDERFUL; and (4) having friends, both human and other animal, is FANTASTIC!

Jeremiah rode very well in the car from Nebraska to Wyoming; we overnighted in North Platte so we could all have a break. Considering his background, Greg and I were happily surprised that our new dog didn’t get motion-sick. I held him on my lap for a while and then he rode sweetly in the backseat beside Mary.

Mary and Jeremiah
Jeremiah and Mary in the Nebraska hotel room.

This is our first puppy mill rescue dog (you can read more about this nasty places on my pet blog from this week: www.gaylemirwin.com/blog). Mary was adopted through English Springer Spaniel Rescue, but she didn’t come from an abusive, horrific, neglectful background; she was loved and cared for but her special person died unexpectedly, and therefore, the rescue helped to re-home her. Cody, our cocker who passed last year, was a stud dog, and at 10, the people let him go; so though his background was somewhat similar to Jeremiah, Cody was treated better and was housebroken and used to, at least some, affection. He was turned over to the Casper Humane Society. And Sage had just recently lost her home due to a divorce. So, each of our dogs have their own story; each also came from a different place and a different state (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nebraska).

I’ve christened Jeremiah with a middle name: “Story.” It’s similar to “Stormy” and therefore, has a familiar sound to his previous name, but, most importantly, it reflects what I do (write stories) and the fact that he, story and dogs like him, have a story. Needless to say, there will be a “Jeremiah Story” book one of these days!

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Jeremiah in his Wyoming home after his vet visit and groom appointment.

The journey continues. Travel, a new home, vet visit, and doggie spa, all in less than one week. “Jeremiah’s Journey” is probably a great title for a book — maybe I better get on that pretty soon!

What pet adoption stories do you have? What ones have you written? Or is there one you should write if you haven’t? Do you struggle with names for your book/story characters as Greg and I did with our new dog’s name? How do you come up with names for your characters?

 

Gayle_signing photoGayle M. Irwin is an award-winning Wyoming author and freelance writer. Her inspirational pet books for children and adults teach valuable life lessons, such as courage, perseverance, friendship, and nature appreciation. She is also a contributing writer to magazines and newspapers, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the August 2017 release Chicken Soup The Dog Really Did That? Gayle is a pet rescue and adoption advocate. Learn more about her and her work at www.gaylemirwin.com.

 

cody-cabin-cover2   bookcover_tail-tales_front-cover   Chicken Soup book_Dog Really Did That_2017   Mary Book Cover   Mary Ranch_Front Cover Option

My Name is Leonard

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

My name is Leonard. I am a beautiful, buff male kitten, if I do say so myself. I haven’t hadunadjustednonraw_thumb_1bd much of a life up until now because my sisters and brothers and I were turned over to the Humane Society. I had to share a big cage with lots of other kitties. I tried to get them to play but they weren’t too much fun.

A couple of days ago I was neutered, and if you know what I mean, you know I didn’t appreciate it much. Someone put a sign on my recovery cage that said I was up for adoption. I might have liked a couple more days to recuperate, but no one asked me.

The other day some people came in with a Service Dog (a Shih Tzu) and one of my handlers unadjustednonraw_thumb_200came in to get me and put me in a room with the people and the female dog named Patty. I tried to get her to play, too, but she told me to go fly a kite, so I sat on the man’s lap, and then sat on the woman’s lap. I was on my best behavior – after all, I wanted a forever home. I wasn’t sure about the dog, but I figured if she tried to bug me I’d just use my claws to let her know just who is boss.

I was very excited when I found out I was being adopted. Dreams of all the kitten chow I could eat and maybe at least one toy that is just for me floated through my head. I wasn’t too fond of the ride home, because they put me in a box. Can you imagine that? A box! Even if it said Cat Box I wasn’t too impressed.

When we got home I did get some toys just for me but the dog kept playing with my feathers and bell toy. That first day I got to know my new parents but Patty the dog acted very uppity.

I ignored her. My dad loves his coffee and I like to share it with him. Mmm, what a goodunadjustednonraw_thumb_1b3 taste. It has cream in it and, well, everyone knows cats like cream. I found a favorite place to take a nap but my mommy got a little upset with me. It’s the dish drainer, just long enough for me to stretch out.

Patty sits on my dad’s lap all the time. So I thought I’d show her who is boss. I climbed all around my dad’s head and then cuddled up next to the dog to be nice. She jumped off the chair – not very polite if you ask me.

I spent another day exploring the camper I am staying in for the summer. There are lots of places to hide and I like to torment Patty because she can’t get in the spots I can. Yesterday I finally took a nap on my dad’s chest and Patty stayed in his lap. Later she let me lay by her but she still doesn’t want to play with me much. I guess I have to be patient.

Update: My family has moved home from the lake for the winter and I’m happy to say I unadjustednonraw_thumb_1a2finally won over that darned dog. We have lots of fun together now, running through the house chasing each other, grooming each other and sleeping together. If my mom would settle down a little it’d be nice. She really doesn’t like it when I jump on the kitchen counters or the table. She squirts a water bottle at me and since I don’t like it I get down. But if she only knew the places I explore when she’s gone! I try hard to get out of the house every time the door is opened but so far I haven’t gotten very far. One thing I just love – when Patty has to go outside she gets a treat when she comes in. My dad gives me three little treats first and then gives Patty a bone. I’ve got it all figured out now and I stay close to the door when they go out ‘cause I really like those chicken treats.

That’s all for now, except I really love my new home. I feel very lucky to live with such nice people and Patty. I’ll keep you posted.

Books by L.Leander:

Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders Video Trailer

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

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Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer

Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Book Two)

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13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing

Linda's book

 

13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an Ebook

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You can also find L.Leander here:

L.Leander Books

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

L.Leander’s Book Reviews and Interviews

Twitter

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Google+

The Cat Lady* Writes Again

MOW BOOK LAUNCH 003 (3)

Posted by Kathy Waller

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You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does — but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you’ll hear grammar that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it’s the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it’s the sickening grammar they use.
~ Mark Twain,  A Tramp Abroad

 

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Ernest Davis-Waller on back of recliner

I’m sitting in my recliner, feet up, laptop on lap, Ernest Davis-Waller stretched out on the wide overstuffed armrest to my right. His left foreleg stretches down so his paw rests against me. He’s making biscuits on my leg. Clothing doesn’t protect me: his claws pierce my flesh. I take his leg, move it up to the armrest. He reaches down and resumes making biscuits. I move his leg back up… he reaches down… If only he didn’t look so pleased with himself. But finally I give up. He’s had a difficult day. I guess.

William Davis-Waller is in the hospital. Friday night I noticed he was limping a bit, and I knew what was wrong. Saturday morning, the veterinarian diagnosed diabetes. We fed him special food the rest of the weekend and took him back to the vet early Monday morning to stay until his glucose stabilizes.

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William Davis-Waller watching PBS

William and Ernest came to us from Austin Pets Alive, which rescues cats and dogs from the animal shelter and fosters them until the cats and dogs are ready to rescue people like the Davis-Wallers. They were six months old when we got them, Ernest first, and William a month later. They hit it off immediately and spent the first night practicing for the Daytona 500–from the bed to the floor to the closet to the bed to the floor to the closet, round and round and round, trampling the humans, all night long.

Five days after they met, Ernest developed a tummy complaint and was admitted to the hospital. Within twenty-four hours, William stopped eating and lay limp and unresponsive in my lap. I took him to the hospital, where he was found to be running a high fever. Ernest was better but not ready to be released. I left William and went home.

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Ernest and William sharing recliner

That afternoon, I called to check on William. He was fine, said the vet. She’d put him in the cage with Ernest, and in a couple of hours his fever was gone and he was all perky and eating like a horse. She wanted to keep both over the weekend.

By Monday, however, things had broken down a bit. Ernest, it seems, had told William in no uncertain terms that the cage wasn’t big enough for both of them. According to the veterinarian’s assistant, he used some pretty sickening grammar.

William was moved, post-haste, to his own accommodations.

But back at home, they teamed up again, brothers in arms. And for the past seven years, except for the night Ernest spent at the emergency veterinary clinic–he ate ribbon again–they haven’t been separated. Until this week.

I dropped in this afternoon to check on William and, just in case, told the vet about his dependence on Ernest. He was doing well, his glucose level was down, and he would be ready to come home in a few more days. And would I like to visit him?

William on piano, where he is not supposed to be
William on piano, where he is not supposed to be

They put us in one of the examination rooms and closed the door. William didn’t say hi, how you, no pleasantries at all. Nothing. Instead, we wrestled. He wanted off the exam table. I sat down and held him on my lap. He wanted back on the exam table. He purred twice, for a total of four seconds, and only trying to get me off guard so I would loose my hold. In short, he wanted outta there.

The worst part was that for the full half-hour we were together, he engaged in projectile shedding. I’m used to that, it’s what cats do at the vet’s, but it’s darned uncomfortable when you’re using both hands to corral the beast and can’t spare one to get the fur off your tongue, where it shouldn’t have migrated to in the first place.

William by himself
William by himself

The really worst part, of course, is that he has diabetes. When he came to us, he was all ears, tail and tummy, and he vacuumed up every bite we gave him. He grew into a larger cat than I’d expected him to, based on his small, tapered feet, and the ears, tail, and tummy shrank to proper proportion. But he continued to put on weight. I knew he was becoming a candidate for diabetes. And though I tried to take weight off him, I wasn’t consistent in my efforts. Being a good parent means you sometimes have to do things neither you nor your child, nor your cat, enjoys. If you don’t do those things, you end up feeling guilty and doing things you both like even less. In this case dealing with needles and syringes and blood tests.

On the positive side, the veterinarian told me something I didn’t know–that with proper treatment, diabetic cats sometimes improve and can survive without insulin injections. Like Type II diabetes in humans? I asked. Yes. That makes sense. And now we have something to work toward.

And I can go to bed tonight without worrying that William is running a high fever because he’s lonesome for Ernest.

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Ears, tail, and tummy

There was a post on Facebook yesterday that claimed the position you sleep in reveals something about you. If you sleep flat on your back, you’re quiet and reserved and have a high sense of self-worth. If you sleep on your side, you’re calm and laid-back when you’re awake. If you sleep on your back and snore, you’re irritable (reasonable, since you possibly have sleep apnea, but that’s not quite the same as being reserved or laid-back).

I don’t know how I sleep–except that in the morning the sheet and blankets are usually on my side of the bed. I’m afraid to ask what that means.

But for the most part, the position I sleep in depends on two things:

  1. how cold I am; and
  2. how many cats occupy the space that rightfully belongs to my legs.

I’ve taken so long moseying through this piece that Ernest has abandoned me for David’s recliner. He may or may not go with me upstairs to bed. Whatever happens, I know that for tonight, at least, one of my legs will be assured a place to stretch out.

But I’ll be glad when William comes home, even if it means I have to sleep sitting up.

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*I’m not really a cat lady or even a cat person. I’m a dog, cat, horse, parakeet, cow, and chicken person, and I would like to be a raccoon person but I’m smart enough not to try that. But I can say, with Mark Twain,

When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
~  “An Incident,” Who Is Mark Twain?

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Mark Twain’s thoughts about cats appear at http://www.twainquotes.com

Making an Impact – Part 2: Use Your Passions to Influence Positive Change

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

I am a writer and a speaker. Through these endeavors, I can make an impact. But, I also make an impact by my deeds.

My passion is pets, and I help various rescue groups. One way I assist is by transporting adoptable animals for different organizations. The middle of October I drove a Great Dane to Sheridan, about 160 miles north of Casper (where I live), and met the couple who was adopting him. I helped make that adoption happen for Big Dogs Huge Paws in conjunction with other transporters who brought the dog out of his foster home in Colorado. While in Sheridan, I met up with a woman who was transporting and transferring a Newfoundland from a shelter in Montana to Big Ceclia transport_Big Dogs Huge PawsDogs Huge Paws for foster care and eventual adoption. Went north with one dog, returned south with another. I transport for various rescue groups when they have need for someone in central Wyoming and I’m available. I’ve helped English Springer Spaniel Rescue, Big Dogs Huge Paws, Boston Terrier Rescue, and others. I find great joy in knowing a dog’s life was saved through rescue and adoption and that I can have a part in that wonderful work.

I also support such organizations by donating a percentage of my book sales to them. Because pet rescue and adoption are my passions, and because I write inspirational dog stories for children and adults, I named my business, Waggin’ Tales. I therefore associate rescue endeavors with my writing and speaking business, so it’s only logical to “tithe” part of my earnings back to groups who do such great work – saving and helping companion animals.

Best Friends SignMy husband and I recently spent time at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in southwestern Utah. The organization began more than 30 years ago with a few couples who shared a common vision: ending the killing of healthy dogs and cats by saving lives through medical treatment and procedures and through adoption. To say these people had purpose, passion, and perseverance is an understatement! Now, more than 30 years later, they are growing, with offices and adoption centers in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and soon New York City. Best Friends impacts and empowers a movement. Through their endeavors and services, individuals and organizations can take part in conferences and educational workshops to grow or begin their own pet rescue groups, rippling the effect and mantra of “No More Homeless Pets” and “No Kill.” While at the site last weekend, I volunteered at Cat World – I spent time playing with and loving on several cats in need of new homes, and even walked a cat on a leash on the sanctuary grounds and took two others on strolls through the woods in baby/cat buggies! The day was filled with sunshine, blue sky, and twittering birds, appealing to both me and the cats! I definitely plan to return and volunteer again one day – and for a longer stretch than I was able to do last weekend!

Chet Cat in Buggy_smallerAs writers, we are able to make an impact, and coupled with our words, our actions and our deeds can influence positive change. Just as the founders of Best Friends, and the countless others who are involved in pet rescue have helped reduce the killing/euthanasia of healthy animals from 17 million during the 1970s to about 5 million today, we can all work together for the good of humanity and all of creation. Yet, as with that 5 million number, we can still do much better – and together, bonded by a common cause, purpose and passion, we will. But, to make that happen we need to inspire others: not yell, name-call, spit, and hate, but bind together in unity, as people who share a planet with each other and with animals.

Today I’m speaking with two groups of students at a private school. I’ll be talking about how humans interact with the environment and how we share things in common with nature and pets (the needs for food, water, and shelter, for example). I’m looking forward to hopefully positively influencing these kids because they are the tomorrow’s decision-makers … as well as influencers upon their peers and their families right now. I want these kids to know and appreciate the beauty of nature, the intelligence and sweet companionship of pets, and to appreciate both. I hope I can make that impact upon them… and on others in the future.

That impact can be upon strangers, our families, friends, even our pets. Our dog Cody became very ill the day prior to our scheduled leaving SW Utah. We rushed home (as rushing as one can do on a 13-hour drive) and got him into our vet the next morning. We’ve since learned CoCody at Best Friends_smallerdy has a mass on his spleen — not operable at age 17 1/2, so it’s just a matter of time. Cody has been our dog for nearly eight years, and though somewhat plagued with health issues, especially after about age 14, I believe Greg and I have made a positive impact on his life, especially to have lived this long — mCody_Porchany dogs don’t make it to 17+. We will continue to cherish and spoil him for as long as he is with us. Perhaps taking him to Best Friends and having this one last big adventure, will provide that big doggie smile til the very end.

How do you stir up and use your passions to influence positive change in your community, your state, your region, this country and/or around the world? Writers give voice through words on a page and from chapters in their own lives – add the written word to actions and you, too, can instigate a major movement for the common good!

Gayle and Chet Cat_Buggy_Best FriendsGayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She is also a contributing writer to five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, writes for WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric Network), Crossroads, Creation Illustrated, and Our Town Casper magazines, and for the Casper Journal and River Press newspapers. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. She has a passion for pets and volunteers for and donates a percentage of her writing revenues to several animal welfare organizations. Her speaking engagements include presentations for children and adults about the lessons people can learn from pets. Visit her website at www.gaylemirwin.com.

SageBigAdventureFront-small   Walking_FrontCover_small   Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014   Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final    Dog Devotions 2 Book Cover Sage Advice CoverCody Cabin_New Book CoverImage