Thursday, March 31, 2011

Help Heart of Texas Lab Rescue - Your $5 donation turns into $10

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue Special Fundraiser ~
HOTLAB offers a unique opportunity to double your $5 donation, what a great way to help!
For one day only, today, Thursday March 31, $5 donations made to "BECCA'S FUND FOR GINGER" will be matched by Becca's Mom! Heart of Texas Lab Rescue Website
Donate through Paypal or by check. Your $5 donation on March 31 will mean $10 toward Ginger's surgery! Please Cross Post and make your money double for this wonderful cause.
* Lucky Fiona loves to help promote various rescue groups as part of our commitment to dogs finding homes to look stylish in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dog Product We Have To Bark About

Carter Barreau getting his mud on after a romp this past month.
Oh Muddy Paws no more! Perfect for hikes or trips to the dog park this portable dog shower is the coolest thing ever. For those of you who have attempted in vain to clean a dog with baby wipes and old towels before getting back into your vehicle (guilty) you will love The K-9 Shower. Now just try to buy one. Really. Everybody is out of stock of this wonder tool. In the Company of Dogs may have more by early April, or May or June if you talk to a live person in customer service. Through the doggie grapevine we hear Craigslist has been offering some up. Amazon has none. Sigh. It may seem a bit pricey at $49.95 yes, but honestly, how much time and energy does it take to wash your dog and car interior? We think it's a good deal for your dirty dog and we here at Lucky Fiona give it a full FOUR *Very Clean* PAWS UP.,482&GEN1=Dog+Outside+Living&T1=D11140&dispRow=0&srccode=

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Takes a Village to Save One Dog

* Do you want to participate in rescue but are not at a point in your life to physically take a dog into your home? This article details the many ways and MANY PEOPLE it takes to save one dog! There are multiple ways you can assist in saving an animal companion, so get involved!

Crossposted with permission from Ohio English Setter Rescue ~

It Takes A Village by Susan England - Head Bitch at OESR

Pulling a dog from a situation where it is in danger, and getting it to a foster home and then finding a forever home takes a lot of people. My friend Shannon reminded me of this when she wrote to me about all the things she was having to organize to get Henry ready to leave for his new forever family.
First you have the shelter workers/volunteers. They put the dog up on petfinder, post the dog all over facebook, and send emails out to rescues begging someone to take the dog because it's time is up. These are the people in the trenches, so to speak.
Once a rescue sees a dog they want to pull, then they in turn have to beg for fosters, contact everyone they know who might be willing to take a dog in, and plead the dogs case in order to find it a place to stay. If a foster home is found, then the transport person has to get involved to set up transportation from the shelter to wherever the dog is headed. When you are dealing with shelters out in very rural areas, this is easier said than done. This too involves contacting tons of people and spreading the word that a dog needs a ride, and someone to go and spring him from the shelter or wherever. Setting up a transport can involve several drivers. A typical one for us from shelter to Columbus is usually 3. We are now at 7 people involved in saving this dog.
Now the dog arrives. He goes to our vet to get examined and cared for. The vet techs, front desk people, and the vets themselves all have a part in caring for this dog. Then we pay the vet. This is possible because of the people who donated money to the rescue. Often we take the dog to the groomers as well if they are really a mess. Many times different volunteers will offer to taxi the dog to the vet or the groomer, if the foster is working and unable to do so. We are now at around 14 people minimum, who made a choice to help out a dog.
The dog stays at his foster home and learns how to trust and be a happy carefree dog again. Now we get an application. An application means that a volunteer has to call and talk to the person applying, check their references, and then discuss it with several other people in the rescue. If all goes well, we set up a home visit, which another volunteer does, which means finding someone in whatever area of the country they are in to take time out of their day and go to a complete strangers house to see if everything is as it should be. We are now at around 18 people who have had a hand in helping this dog. This is all assuming everything goes right. It usually doesn't. A foster home will call and say the dog isn't working and we have to move it when we have no room. A dog comes from the shelter and has cancer, or heartworm. Adopters get angry when they get turned down, because they thought it would be like walking into Petland, and that we would be grateful for anyone to take a dog. Fosters have issues and things that need addressed with their dogs, emotions run high, feelings get hurt, we have to try and find preventative meds for all the dogs without breaking the bank, people bail out at the last minute on plans. This all requires time, energy and manpower to deal with.
If the dog is approved to adopt, another transport must be set up to get the dog to his new home. Lets say it's an easy transport and only 3 more people offer to drive. Including the adopter, lets say there is only one, and not a family, we are now over 20 people.
20 people making an effort to help one dog on his journey to a better life. Each person just doing what they can, and giving what they are able to do. It does take a village, and many hands make the work light. This doesn't include the administrative things that have to get done. Maintaining the website and petfinder pages, taking calls from people regarding fostering and adopting, paying the bills, filing the contracts, and organizing educational seminars, and trying to find time for our own dogs. Every job is important, and every piece is crucial to the process. Do not ever think that because what you have to offer is small that it is unimportant. We need all the help we can get. Even if it just comes in the form of an encouraging word.

* Pictured above is Andy - he is currently available for adoption. To see his profile go to
He is an incredible dog and I personally assisted in his transport. My small piece of the puzzle of finding him his forever home. Pass the word along about him, won't you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

This Month's Creature Feature!

* Does your pooch have a special skill or accomplishment? We want to hear about it! Send us a little write up and photos and you could be our "Creature Feature" of the Month! We are proud to feature Duke and Ruger, two wonderful Friends of Lucky Fiona. In honor of all they do and for being wonderful ambassadors of the breed we are making a donation in their honor to Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Rescue Check out the website to learn more about rescue efforts for these magnificent dogs! Thanks to Elizabeth for submitting this article and teaching us all a bit about what makes her dogs so special.

Duke and Ruger are Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs also affectionately known as “Swissies”. They are a multi-purpose working breed and back in Switzerland were used on farms from everything to carting milk to the market, herding livestock, and guarding the family farm. In current day there isn’t a need for the dogs to participate in the activities they were bred for, but many of the breed clubs encourage owners to have their Swissies participate in activities to allow the dogs to do what they were bred to do.

Duke, Ruger, and I have participated in various working activities and it is so neat to see the dogs try something new and just take to it because it’s in their genes. Lately Duke has been focusing in Drafting and Ruger has been busy packing. While we became involved in these activities because of the breed of our dogs, they are activities that any breed can participate in. Before participating it is very important to make sure that your dog is in good health and a proper age.

Drafting can be done for fun as well as attending trials for the dog to receive titles. With drafting, it is very important to start slow and get the dog used to the cart and make sure they are completely comfortable and confident around the cart. We start this by throwing treats in the cart and when they are doing great with getting treats out of the cart, we walk the dog next to the cart. When they are comfortable with that, that’s when you can finally hitch the dog to the cart. When the dog is first hitched to the cart it is important to make sure you don’t have the dog do tight turns, just make nice big circles and when they’re doing well you can start to make smaller circles. It’s also very important to make sure the cart and harness are the proper size and fit. Duke’s harness is from Wilczek Woodworks and his cart was made by my husband.

Packing is a great activity to do with dogs and it allows them to carry some of their own necessities. Like drafting, this activity can be done for fun but a dog can also receive titles for meeting certain criteria. We always start off with the dog wearing an empty pack for them to get used to it. Once they are comfortable with the empty pack we add a little weight to each side (and it’s important to keep the weight on each side as even as possible). Ruger absolutely loves packing and it is great exercise for her. Ruger’s pack is from Ruff Wear and it has held up very well.

It’s so wonderful to watch your dogs do something they love doing as well as being a great way to form an amazing bond between you and your dog. There are a lot of great references online and books in regards to both carting and packing.

You should all be happy to know that thanks to Shannon, Ruger has a collar that matches her pack (no more clashing) and Duke has one that matches his drafting harness! Thanks Shannon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We Love A Rave!

It's difficult to see but Carter's green 'Psycho Bunny' collar coordinates perfectly with the moss and new spring grass. Thank you, Shannon, for making certain my pup looks great whatever the environment!
- Danica (Carter's DogMom)