Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's the Sign?

* The following is copied from a Facebook plea between me and Pogue's FosterDogMom who taught him sign language. I often find the basic signs she taught him do not cover all situations...

  • 5 hours ago via Friend Matrix
  • Danica Barreau ? What's the sign language sign for "Pogue it's pouring rain and almost midnight. Drop the live possum you have in your mouth and stop flipping it in the air across the backyard."
    My screaming was obviously ineffective due to his deafness.
     ·  · 14 hours ago

    • Shannon Barry Meanwhile an obedient Lily, a terrified Beatrix and a "I dont want to be in the rain anyway" Dugan all high tailed it back inside the doggie door. Which I put the insert in as Pogue was ready to bring hissing possum into my family room.
      14 hours ago ·  ·  2 people
    • Shannon Barry I then started screeching for Alex to help - who was upstairs trying to sleep as his back is out and he had to call into work. He joined my "let's stand out in the pouring rain in our underwear" party wearing Crocs, boxer shorts and a hipster Dickies jacket.
      14 hours ago ·  ·  2 people
    • Shannon Barry A new game formed where I would distract Pogue with the flashlight long enough for Alex to use the garden shovel to pick up the possum. Who at this point is playing possum complete with it's tongue hanging out the side of it's mouth. If he was a cartoon - two black x's would be where his eye sockets were.
      14 hours ago ·  ·  4 people
    • Shannon Barry Seemingly dead possum would them become ressurected while on shovel and jump off. Enough movement to interest Pogue again in chasing and picking possum. Cycle repeats with me screaming "DROP IT!" the whole time which again is useless AS DOG IS DEAF.
      14 hours ago ·  ·  2 people
    • Shannon Barry Traumatized Beatrix watched from sliding glass door pondering "When the hell is somebody going to fill out an application and adopt me? These people are obviously unstable."
      14 hours ago ·  ·  2 people
    • Shannon Barry Using corpse-like possum to lure Pogue close to him Alex grabs his collar and turns to me to take it. I quickly grab hold of Pogue as Alex tenderly places possum into neighbor's yard. (or gingerly tosses it with shovel as it is pouring rain and midnight, details are foggy at this point. )
      14 hours ago ·  ·  5 people
    • Shannon Barry So Danica Barreau - what's the appropriate sign for this situation?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Setter Showdown

The Carter Collar
The Guinness Collar
Let's Get Ready to Rumble!
It's time for the 2011 Setter Showdown to benefit Ohio English Setter Rescue! We've got two awesome collar fabrics hand picked by Carter and Guinness' Dogmoms and we will customize them to be a perfect fit on your pooch. To Shop head over to the new website Lucky Fiona and click on the shop tab to begin! Each collar purchased will fetch $10 for OESR, which is a wonderful non-profit that helps so many worthwhile animals every year. Which dog will sell 25 collars first and be this year's winner? Only time will tell, but you may not want to mention Carter holds last year's crown without getting Guin-Guin's DogMom in a fury. These ladies are serious folks, so please order today! Any questions on how to order direct on the new site? Simply email: 
To view available dogs with OESR: Ohio English Setter Rescue


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FosterDogMom Woes

Oh Beatrix. You joined our happy little household as a Foster Dog late Sunday afternoon and I think you bewitched us completely by Sunday evening. Oh, around 7:06 p.m. Remember? You did a somersault in the grass, made a little squeeky puppy sound and came running to us for safety? That's really all it took to melt our hearts. We're saps that way.
So now we find ourselves back in puppy mode. It's a familiar pattern for veteran dog guardians. It's kind of like being a hyperactive kindergarten teacher. "Where is Beatrix?" "What is in her mouth?" "Does she have to pee?" "Did you see her pee?" "Why is it so quiet?" "Is she hungry?" "How much did she drink?" "Did she poo-poo yet?" "Eww, what is THAT in her mouth?"
Alex and I have not had a single conversation in 4 days that does not begun or ended with a Beatrix's potty record in great detail. I'll spare you the details. It's super romantic.
Be we remain committed. Foster Failure is not an option. It's our mantra. Even as she snores while sleeping on your chest. Which I have to tell you is the cutest thing ever. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oh Ye Of Little Faith

The Beatrix is Coming! The Beatrix is Coming!
So Alex and I are getting ready to do our first fostering experience since the Great Foster Failure of 2003 where we took in 12 week old Caelan the Irish Setter. I was already to place her with a family in Wisconsin when Alex cradled her in his arms and said "WE CAN'T! I LOOOOOVVVVVEEE HER!" This was followed by 9 years of Caelan looking at me with disdain and contempt as Alex remained God-like in her eyes.
So, here we go again with a little Ohio English Setter Rescue pup we won a fund raising raffle in naming... Beatrix. Those higher ups at OESR are no dummies. (yes I am talking to you Susan England) Once you get to name one of those little balls of fur you kind of feel responsible for them. Hence when the call for foster homes came we calmly sat down and discussed it in great detail weighing all the pros and cons. Well actually I said to Alex at a restaurant "OESR needs fosters for the puppies, maybe we should foster Beatrix?" I then excused myself to use the ladies room and when I got back to the table Alex had already emailed Susan volunteering us from his iPhone. I think we can all see who the weak link is here people.
This announcement to friends and family was followed by much chiding and apparently a betting pool on how long it will take us to cave and Foster Fail with Beatrix. But I remain steadfast. I want to foster and be successful. I know it will be difficult, but finding her a perfect forever family will be a great feeling. I look at all the rescued setters we've adopted over the years and they all came from incredible foster parents. It's time to pay it forward. So until we DO place Beatrix, don't think your little comments of "When is Beatrix coming home to you?" are not going un-noticed as jabs at our fostering abilities. Our mantra remains "Foster Failure is NOT an option." I just have to keep Alex away from this puppy and we will be fine. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Events Bring Out All Kinds of Dog People

Ask me a question about setters...
just make sure it's not
This past weekend Alex and I had the pleasure of manning a booth for our near and dear rescue Ohio English Setter Rescue at a local Dog Days Event held at Cantigny Park here in the Chicago Suburbs. It was a gorgeous setting for many local rescue groups and businesses and over 5000 people came out with their four legged kids to enjoy the day.
Dogs, dogs everywhere!

But take a large group of humans and dogs and surely I will find something to report and make fun of. Here are some highlights:

* Our banners read "Ohio English Setter Rescue - Chicagoland Chapter" Pretty self explanatory, no? Well we learned rather quickly that numerous people wanted to know how long it took us to drive in from Ohio. Alex and I just started pointing to the bold printed "Chicagoland Chapter" of the banner systematically. By the time the 50th person asked we were very well versed in our speech of how the rescue was founded and based in Columbus, Ohio but has volunteers and alumni dogs all over this great land of ours. 
* Banner Misreads Part 2 - Several seemingly intelligent people stopped, read our banner and then with a straight face asked us what made an "Ohio English Setter" different than a regular "English Setter". Seriously. The light bulb seemed to go off when we pointed to Midwest Husky Rescue and explained that it was just a description of where the rescue was founded, not an actual breed of dog. Ooohhhh, right!
* No matter what, there is always an idiot with a flexi-leash at a large gathering of people and dogs. The worst offender? Our hats are off to you 20-something lady with the shiba inu who doesn't know how to use the lock setting on the leash! While reading a pamphlet at the booth across from us you turned your back on your little darling who ran into our booth entangling itself onto the rope holding up our banner. Not only was said pooch about to dismantle our display but he also created a perfect trip line across the aisle of people,children and pets walking along the corridor of booths. When are these leashes going to be banned? Honestly.
* Moments when I had to paste a fake smile on my face and nod politely as I was representing the rescue and henceforth had to act accordingly and not interject my own Head Bitch two cents.
1. While a man promoting a new dog day care facility told me he once had an English Setter that lived in his barn because "bird dogs aren't supposed to live inside the house." (wow, he seems like the perfect person to run a dog day care! Not.)
2. While lady with Greyhound Rescue complained her vet told her she had to put weight on her super skinny rescue greyhound but he doesn't understand how much dog food costs, so she's sticking to feeding the dog once a day. (I may have slipped the dog a few treats when she wasn't looking)
3. While a Mother pet Pogue on the head and then saw his "Deaf Dogs Rock" bandanna and recoiled from him like he was on fire and warned her children to stay away from him because in her words "deaf dogs bite" (Okay, I didn't zip my lip on this one. I educated her! There was only so much I could be polite about!)
4. While adults took candy freely from our table that was out for donation purposes. (amazingly every child asked before taking and put a quarter in the box, only adults boldly thieved in front of us)Nobody likes a candy-stealer. Nobody.

All in all it was more good than the above silliness. We had a lot of great people offer to help our organization and had some truly wonderful folks ask great questions about the rescue and the breed. But they aren't as much fun to talk about.Right? Sigh. 
 ~ The Head Bitch