Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dog Hospice - My Lovely Lily

Nearly ten years ago -- Jan. 2, 2000 -- in a serendipitous fit of insanity, I brought into my chaotic life a long limbed gangly rescue puppy of questionable heritage. A diamond shaped white spot on her neck made me think of Diamond Lil, and hence, Lily entered the menagerie. (photo 1 from January 2000: from left: Finney the Sheltie, Zena at age 6 1/2, author holding 10 mo. old Sophie and 2 month old Lily, Callie just turned 3 and Maeya, the then queen of the pack at 8)

Whatever her genetic makeup, Lily and my youngest daughter Sophie grew up as puppies together. They shared toys, floor time and vied for my attention.

Lily started as a cocktail party dog, segued in her middling years as an intimate dinner party dog, and because I put effort into it, settled into her role as a dinner party girl.

She taught subsequent dogs -- some permanent members, others for shorter stays -- the way of her world. And she was just, fair, clear and direct. Once you earned her trust, she was yours for life. You can't ask for more than that.

It's hard to put into words all that she has been in her 10 years. What I do know is she has advanced canine hemangiosarcoma, discovered 10 days ago. Her time is measured by days or at most weeks, and there's little to do but make her comfortable.

While her energy level is fading and she is steadily losing weight despite efforts to feed her more food and lots of treats, she still savors lots of petting, ear strokes and car rides. She greets all visitors and still nudges old friends for more of that petting. I am grateful I can modify my schedule to spend lots of time with her, and I can only hope that she stays comfortable until the end.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fetching as an adjective

We've talked before about behavioral chains and how the game of fetch is a great way to define a behavioral chain link by link -- 1. Toss object (or direct dog to get object). 2. Dog goes to object (speed a variable of course -- saunter, run, hurl, etc.). 3. Dog picks up object. 4. Dog brings object to person. 5. Dog hands object to person. If your dog isn't fetching, figure out which link or links are missing and fix those first.

Here and today, hours before the holidays kick into highest gear for millions of celebrators, I mean

fetch·ing (fěch'ĭng) adj. Very attractive; charming: a fetching new dogtag.

And now and for a limited time, you can get your own pet a fetching tag from the very place itself, Fetching Tags. And for added savings, tell them OH249 (that would be me) sent you and use coupon code HOLLYDOG (use all caps!!!) for an extra $4 off.

Lightweight, unique, useful and allowing for individuality, all my creatures wear theirs with pride ( and they make cool zipper pulls too!).

Happy Holidays From A Better Pet

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Walk the dog

It's official. Researchers at The University of Missouri have confirmed what many have instinctively known for years. Walking your dog (or dogs) has more health benefits than walking with other people.

Learn how to teach your dog the benefit of loose leash walking or reliable off leash walking, put on your comfy shoes, dress for the weather, and get out there and walk.

Friday, December 04, 2009

In time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays -- the perfect pet for you or your loved one. Different colors and breeds, already crate trained -- handy for when you want to toss them aside when the festivities get started. And no worries. These furry pets only sleep and stay quiet, NO MATTER WHAT is going on.

These perfect pups don't require healthy food, potty breaks, any structure, guidance. Hey, take 'em out in the world or don't, socialization smocialization! All they do is sleep!

Say farewell to drool, accidents, gnawed shoes, muddy pawprints, strained shoulder and walks in cruddy weather. What are you waiting for, get your perfect pet for the holidays!

Okay, if you're feeling a little more ambitious, and you might be reading this because you're interested in training and want to try your hand at it but still don't like the drool or accidents or gnawed shoes, maybe an animatronic dinosaur is more your speed.

But if you REALLY want to get a real live wriggling pup for the holidays, think long and hard about whether or not you have the time and energy during the shorter and colder days of the year that will be necessary to raise your pup right. Because with the real one, to put it mildly, there are gonna be some dirty pawprints.

At least consider a Voucher or Coupon for a real pup or dog in the future -- when you're ready to take a real live creature on and shape him or her into your dream dog.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

On a mission - one client's psychosis

This morning a client has put into words what I imagine some of my clients think as they adjust to a sometimes significant change in their relating with their dogs. Based on a new and better understanding of identifying and then achieving their goals, people are empowered to become benevolent leaders. Watching clients take on and work through their issues and achieving success in a reality based universe is uber cool to me.

The dog in this story is Winnie, a stray who arrived into the life of Jim and Susie during a wicked bad thunderstorm in August of this year. Winnie's peeps run a business with employees working on their first floor the second and third floor of their house is their residence.

Winnie is very sweet but very aloof and cunning and in many ways, shut down, possibly from trauma during her time on the lam.

Here's the report from the Files of Susie: (the words in red are evidence of her psychosis!)
I have been reading, reading, reading. And some training. When I have food treats and the clicker, Winnie does very well with the touch and sit. I have also noticed that she’s going to other rooms to “shut down” less frequently. Another bully stick gone. She likes her beds.

This morning’s dilemma….. Winnie doesn’t want to get out of bed which is typical. I’ve already been up, and went for my 3 mile walk outside. Jim’s been up, showered and gone down to the office. At 6:45 am, I’m back from my walk and need to get the house ready for work and employees. I call up to Winnie on the 3rd floor, she doesn’t come. Rachel would tell me I should have clicker and treat in hand ready to reward good behavior.

I go upstairs to retrieve her, and she gives me her belly (which I rub because she is so damn cute, bad Susie!). Rachel agrees bad Susie. I just rewarded bad behavior in that she got a belly rub for not coming. I nudge her to get out of bed and she follows me with joy in her step.

We go on our walk. Euroleash on my waist connected to her gentle leader easy walk harness. Out the driveway, she stops to smell the skunks living under the front porch. Rachel tells me I could have used the eh-eh which I always forget about, and that I could/should have clicker and treat ready to re-direct and reward good behavior. Ok, I wait, thinking I can’t pull her, and then I get a little irritated when she tries to push her head under the porch so I pull a little (bad Susie!) and she follows me. Rachel tells me to use the eh-eh and that I gave her the privilege of sniffing the skunks and Winnie took that privilege. With a clicker and treat ready, I could have had some tricks up my sleeve to re-direct bad behavior. We go down the driveway, turn right, and Winnie stops on the tree lawn. Kind of freezes, standing position, doesn’t want to go further. I scan for distractions…there are none that I can tell. I wait patiently until no tension on leash. We continue to the next tree lawn, she pees, and then stops/freezes again. I decide to wait patiently again until no tension. It’s a stand-off. Minutes pass, I turn my side….I turn my back….I yawn….I bend at the knees to get to her level….I put my two hands on the ground….lots of calming signals. It’s cold out, I need to get inside to shower, my patience is wearing out. I pick her up, walk a couple tree lawns with her on my side, put her down, thinking I can “re-set” her agenda. I try to start walking, same thing. Again, minutes pass as I try the calming signals again. It doesn’t work. I turn to go home and Winnie leads happily and turns into our driveway.
I’m bothered for two reasons:
1. She didn’t get any exercise
2. She didn’t poop (which she normally does on the morning walk). She’s tethered in our office now, content to sleep away in her bed.
Lot’s to work on, I know. Rachel tells me to head out on my next walk with clicker and treat ready.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cesar Millan strikes the Sunday NY Times again

First it was the business section. Now my hallowed Sunday New York Times has gone and sullied the front page of the STYLES section with more of that press that Mr. Milan, he of the Dog Whisperer fame, seems to garner -- this time crediting him with Child Whispering!

To his credit Mr. Milan never does not formally or publicly opine about teaching child rearing -- focusing on his dog training methods of discipline and his trinity of Exercise, Discipline and Affection equals happiness and the gist of the Business Section article a few weeks ago -- keeps him plenty busy.

But he does admit that as a native of Mexico he adheres to a more traditional, hierarchical child-rearing philosophy. He's quoted in the NY Times as saying, "for thousands of years, the elder has always been the pack leader, it's never the child. In America, kids have too many options when they only need one: 'Just do it because.'"

I wholeheartedly agree that there are many parallels to parenting children and dogs but there are also differences -- on so many levels -- starting with a more contemporary awareness of human development than just adhering to thousands of years of the traditional Mexican child rearing approach -- and a more scientifically proven awareness of dog development. This is where to begin to parse out that both young, tween and teenage dogs and people really don't want to be pushed on the neck, sshhhttted at or grounded without electronic privileges.

Children and pups do crave benevolent leadership in their caretakers -- and clear clues on what to do and how to earn rewards. And when it can be learned and applied that either or both journeys can be a sparkly one.

I navigate between the flotsam and jetsam of 3 active daughters, 3 dogs and 3 cats. Every day I get to fulfill my bliss helping others learn how to navigate their own course in pet training. There is a chaotic but lilting harmony enhanced by the need to frequently wrangle dust bunnies that illustrates just how satisfying my own journey has been and continues to be. And while I could sure use some better discipline about getting more exercise, here at Camp A Better Pet we all get and give lots of affection.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holistic Options • Bach Flower Essences

Benevolent Leaders employ multiple tactics in their campaigns to win converts. Benevolence begins with awareness. You can't be proactive in approach to things if you're not aware that they're there!

Holistic orientation is an important component in the human • dog relationship -- whatever the function of the dog. It is your role as the human who has brought the dog into your life [and presumably into your home].

Often I am asked about various modalities so I thought since I hadn't done so before, I'd write them here. I'll be covering a wide array but today I'll start with homeopathy and flower essences, specifically Bach Flower Essences.

Essentially if there is a conflict in a relationship, whether between a person and a pet or a parent and a child or a boss and an employee or a customer and a cashier get the idea, conflict suggests imbalance. Imbalance affects your mood and affected moods can effect behavior and certain behaviors dogs do annoy us.

If our being annoyed causes more imbalance because of the stress the dog feels from being a source of disappointment, and dealing with your reactivity, the benefit of a remedy is to balance so stress is reduced and improved relations occur.

This is not like taking an aspirin to eliminate a headache but more like learning how to balance on a a see saw or balance board.Ask yourself what behavior your dog is projecting -- overly confident, very shy, territorial, fearful, possessive, restless, etc., -- and review the recommended essence and the goal for what your pet will tip over towards.

It's important to become more observant about the behaviors your trying to address so you can be more aware of even minute measures of change and to be flexible and patient in your approach. Don't define them as human emotions, just observe actual behaviors -- outward or inward ones.

I can tell you I use rescue remedy myself which is a combination of several essences you can read about on various sites including the ones included previously and here.

If you're anticipating stress (i.e., HOLIDAYS!!!!), Rescue Remedy will help you cope! And deliver a more patient you who can practice The Six Pillars of Dog Training Wisdom and become ever more so the Benevolent Leader.

More holistic thoughts coming soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall in Love All Over Again

Stunning fall weather of late must be the reward for us Clevelanders -- between the Cleveland Browns' depressing record coupled with fuzzy memories of a rather cool and vaguely dissatisfying summer, we are getting our just desserts. Before the inevitable wind blows all the color enriched flora into a decomposing swirl, baring the trees in preparation for, gasp, winter, I'm carving out time with the dogs enjoying crunch crunch walks. The panoply of colors sent my mind into a fantasy mindset the result of which is:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Savor the season

Warmer more typical Indian Summer sunshine during what appears to be peak week for the fall foliage of NE Ohio was welcomed today. It reminded me of the need to get out from under deadlines and dust bunnies and To Do Lists and take time to savor the season.

When you have a dog who is reliable off a leash, watching your dog(s) run amok among the crunching leaves, dance in the shadows and grin with canine delight is a visual reminder of how simple joy -- so easily lost in the adult world of looming bills, time lines and responsibilities -- can soothe the soul.

Take breaks, enjoy the season, and keep practicing basic cues -- touch (come), sit, down, stay, go -- and off leash wood walks (or beach or grassy knolls) can fix a lot of your boo boos too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Positively Positivist AKA I'm with you Dr. Dunbar

The brain waves that are set to spinning in my head when I put words to paper or electronics in various forms -- blog versus articles versus tweaking drafts of my book-in-progress versus the voluminous emails I generate daily [not to mention the efforts of this middle aged multi tasking mom to twit, use facebook and explore other cutting edge cyberspace warrens vary in style but always stay true to my core sensibilities.

Most hours every day I am actively and passively engrossed in my vocation of sharing a knowledge base, methodology and useful tools with clients who engage my services. Whether private or group classes; companion or working dog -- the intention is to communicate the path towards benevolent leadership.

A person of authority is calm, consistent, firm, confident and compassionate. Professional assistance can quickly and very dramatically change dynamics by developing a proactive approach to the process as opposed to stuck patterns of reactivity.

If you are tentative, hesitant, punitive, or vacillating, these mixed messages create anxiety and you can no longer be trusted to lead. Authority is leadership, not force. Dogs want leadership; dogs naturally gravitate to leaders, even if their past included lots of ambivalence. Leaders can be adults and children; those who seem to know what they're doing. Dogs want someone to guide them while at the same time allow them to make mistakes and learn. A benevolent leader understands that ebb and flow and continues and shows patience and awareness while remaining mindful of safety -- safety of people, safety of other animals, safety of dog and safety of "stuff". Not all are natural born leaders, but motivated people can learn to be great dog owners.

We get bombarded through all forms of media about The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan (as opposed to The Dog Whisperer Paul Owens). In each episode we see this disclaimer:

A dog training show on TV should scream TRY THIS AT HOME without fear that anyone or anything will get hurt. The positive trainers out there who are more well known than I (better marketing teams; usually no children underfoot!) need to take a stronger more active stance.

Last Sunday, Oct. 11, The Sunday New York Times had a cover article in the business section that inspired me to write an article for Please read it, comment on it, and take action.

I cannot believe how little my dog trainer peers have voiced complaint. How is it a top ranking and very benevolent and prolific guru, Dr. Ian Dunbar, can generate only one poorly worded paragraph on a whole realm of dog training? How is it that Millan charmed the reporter into dismissing positive training in one nonsensical sentence and then continue kvelling about his dominance / submission / exhaustion message being sent to dog owners around the world? I really want to know.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Picking Perfect Puppies

While it's usually summertime when I'm inundated with new puppy training, somehow the word is getting out that doing The 7 P's (proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance) is a great way to help individuals, couples or families acquire the right make and model of puppy to be the dog of their dreams, whatever their dreams may be. And so I'm being inundated with a flurry of pet and service dog candidates that are selected based on a fantasy wish list compiled by all family members to define the wants/needs based on lifestyle, environment, goals, experience, etc.

When an individual/couple or family already has a dog that might not be the right make and model, for whatever reason, and a decision is made that there needs to be a break-up, I help counsel them through that process. I believe taking the responsibility to find the right home for the dog is paramount to considering the right make and model for immediate or long term future considerations.

As rain falls today in a practically vertical fashion to more overtly remind us that summer is over and fall is truly here, taking new puppies out for potty breaks cheerfully is a daunting but necessary task! Just remember your umbrella, your cheerful mood, and contemplate an outdoor place that might offer a bit of shelter!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Fall and a Little Parable

Today is the transition of seasons from summer to fall. I can feel and smell it in the air, hear the crunch crunch of dying leaves beneath my feet, and notice a different slanting of the sun. Neglected overripe tomatoes are literally exploding in my little garden, my kids' return to school seems in full adjust mode (not that all 3 are happy about it, but off they go, back they come, homework gets done, off they go again), and my animals spew extra layers of hair for me to meditatively sweep up.

A friend very recently sent me a wonderful video story about Chinese Giant Bamboo for the Jewish New Year (Happy 5770!). The parable of the video has resonated for me -- both personally and professionally -- and in such a deep and already positive way. Being a fan of metaphors, fables, parables, I felt it could be useful for those who, among other things, are trying to wrangle their dog or puppy into what they want them to be but lack the patience or reality base or honesty about how and how long and what is involved in accomplishing the goal.

And so I share The Story of The Chinese Bamboo in the hope that it can inspire you in all your journeys.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wear Your Dog

I'm calling Fall "Take Your Hands Off The Leash and Wear Your Dog" season to emphasize the benefit of letting go of the belief that your hands on a leash is what is controlling the dog.

Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:

1. Does your dog react to distractions when on leash? Does Fido lunge at other dogs, chase speedy trucks, go all twisty ballistic at the sight of kids running amok!?

2. Does your dog not get to play with other dogs off leash because you fear death and destruction will ensue?

3. If your dog is allowed to play with other dogs off leash (and I hope your dog does!), does Fido romp and carouse and probably not even bark much and have so much fun?

If your answers are yes to 1, 2 or 3, you have to trust me when I tell you that the problems are created by failing to understand leash manners. If your words are saying one thing and your actions -- in this case hands on the leash -- are saying another, I assure you that the dog is responding and reacting to your behavior, not your words.

Try taking your hands OFF the leash, really letting go, and WEAR your dog. See how much things improve. If you need greater details on the process, let me know!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Yesterday It Was Trip's Birthday

He hung one more year on the line. Trip The Wonder Dog is getting a grizzled head and I wonder if I should get him some Grecian Formula For Dog Men to return him to his head of yesteryear. But if spirit, energy, determination and sass are hallmarks of youth, even now at 8 years old Trip keeps up with the best of them and his heart remains forever young. And I think the graying makes him even more the handsome little dude. So Happy Birthday, Trip, and may you have many many more!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back to School Redux

My kids went back to school this week. The second year I've had to juggle one in each of the three schools -- oldest a junior in h.s., middle a middle school 8th grader, and the youngest is now top dog in elementary as a proud 5th grader.

It's my 12th and last fall at the elementary school and I feel almost wistful as I see the little kindergartners heading towards the lovely brick building with shiny new shoes, fresh haircuts, fancy backpacks and proud parents with digital cameras posing the kids in front of the developing upgraded playground.

I had the pleasure yesterday of taking a lovely country drive to meet up with Bree Arnett and a gaggle of doodles at her country home. The pups of various doodle heritage and ages I met had a rip roaring great time and seem to love visitors, a testament to their temperament and social nature. They all also seemed particularly fond of their human "mom", Bree. Each pup has obviously developed a connection from her careful nurture despite the multiple other tasks including running a hectic household and parenting her own three kids (I know from that score!) as well keeping up with the daunting task of carefully screening the developing progeny to ensure ongoing health and temperament of the different doodles she's producing. As the pups mature and they are adopted out to loving homes, a little piece of Bree's heart tugs as the pups she's connected to head out for new adventures, much like the kids entering the brick building to embark on the beginning of a more formal public education.

Like these kids, the pups need to be socialized, exposed to the environmental sights, sounds, surfaces and scents of their future homes and communities, so they can stroll off with others in their future who might have to care for them -- vets, groomers, house sitters, dog walkers, boarding facilities, doggy day care, friends homes and yards. In the case of service and therapy dogs, especially those who will be performing function in public, that early socialization is so critical to their future success.

So if you're starting the fall with the pitter patter of paws skittering across your floors, be sure to get out and about and if you can, sign up for puppy classes that use positive methods and make sure there is time each class for puppy play!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to School

The summer sun slants just so, the office supply stores scream SAVE SAVE SAVE so you gotta know Fall 09 A Better Pet LLC Puppy Kindergarten and Puppy Next Step Classes are right around the corner.

Space is limited, advance registration is required, fun is guaranteed, and the degree of education you can acquire to help shape your puppy or young dog is in your hands.

Keep your perspective on the zaniness of economy and settle in for a rewarding fall. Sign up through SELREC (216-691-2246 M-F 8:30 - 4:30 pm)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Orphan Three Find New Homes

Brother, Sister & Uncle, the three orphaned kittens who arrived on Bastille Day, were probably born on or around Flag Day, left here the day before trash day. This is only notable in that I can clean and recover the use of my porch for visitors. It also eliminates the fear the growing monsters might make a mad dash into the house when coming or going!

The felines' personalities were pretty entrenched when they arrived, ears bent, needing bottle feeding every few hours and needing help to pee and poop. Back in those early days they slept about 22 hours out of 24. As they matured, slept less and gradually learned to drink milk, then how to eat solid food -- first wet, then dry, and ultimately all those other first skills like how to use the litter box, show off their skills of climbing, wrassling and charming, not to mention grooming -- they became quite individual.

Brother. Gray with white paws and a belly, Brother is the imp of the group. Count on Brother to leap from a chair into a large bowl of milk, splash, hop out, shake off, then lick himself dry and into a fuller belly at the same time. Very inventive fellow. Brother is a total boy cat and even though he was the last to learn new skills, once he mastered them he was totally with the program. Brother went off to a home with a young couple and two 1 year old cats. He's sure to join in the menagerie with bravado and charm before too long.

Sister from the start was the most vocal of the trio and remained true to that. Solid medium gray fur, blue eyes and a diminutive confidence about her. Okay so maybe she meowed a little, but always for a reason, never gratuitous. Uncle and Brother both looked up to her quite a bit, thanked her for her opinions, then would beat her up. But never together. And she always managed to escape unharmed. I really loved Sister! I'm sure I'll be keeping tabs on her!

Uncle. More mature than his gray/white brother, Uncle is a medium black furry fellow, blue eyes, piercing at times. If I had to give him 2 awards, #1 would be Cat With the Strongest Foot Fetish and #2 Least Likely to Enjoy Being Photographed. Uncle is a particular favorite of my daughter Callie, and is a great balance to Sister. Luck being luck, Sister and Uncle were adopted together after I counseled their new previously pet less couple, to sleep on it before making the decision to essentially adopt twins -- twice the cost and responsibility, but double the fun and they do so love each other!

Happy Trails to all, and now back to the business of dogs! Coming soon, Group Clinic Summer Madness!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Har-Vest goes a walkin'

Marketing a product you believe in but essentially gave birth to is, for me, an arduous task.

Whenever I start to feel defeated in my quest to increase sales, someone or something comes along to blow wind in my sagging sails and I continue to cross the ocean hoping to land in a port sometime soon. Sid of Tennessee sent me a beautiful video he posted on You Tube regarding a Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser close to home as his beautiful daughter deals with the trials and tribulations of that devastating illness in search of a cure. Sid's daughter, Caroline, has Hardy, her yellow lab service dog, sporting a Har-Vest in public access world, to help her on her journey.

Thanks Sid, for blowing a little wind into my sails!

Monday, July 27, 2009

They're almost ready..and so am I!

Oh how fast they grow. The kittens have been here nearly TWO WEEKS and are almost ready for homes. I am calling them Brother, Sister and Uncle. Why? Because it helps clarify gender and doesn't allow me to get attached because believe me brother, sister and uncle, they are NOT staying here!

Brother, who is white and gray, is very cute and has lovely markings and is trying on his increased coordination with climbing, jumping, stalking, walking, prancing, dancing and more. He is reluctant to grow up to the same degree as his siblings, because even at nearly 6-7 weeks of age, he prefers the comfort of bottle feeding to learning how to drink or eat solid food, but knock wood, he gets and is consistent with the litter box so he is definitely maturing. I'd say by mid week he'll be chowing down with the others.

Sister, all gray, is by far the bravest of the three (YAY, girls rule, boys, well, these boys don't drool so much, but they are little fools) although she's also the most demanding. If I were to pic a famous actress to play her in the movie of her life, it would be Sandra Bullock when she was in the runaway bus with Keanu Reeves. P.S. Slightly belated Happy Birthday Sandra!

Uncle, the all black boy, is a typical middle child. He follows Sister's lead, sort of looks out for her, but she doesn't really need him to. I like Uncle and his blue eyes against his darker fur is quite lovely. All 3 have various shades of blue eyes but I can't tell if they'll stay or morph into a different color.

It's been a hoot watching them grow up and develop -- coming as little ones who couldn't walk and mostly ate and slept and peed and pooped, to these little stalkers who are getting heavily socialized to dogs, kids, noises (not crazy about my dustbuster, but getting used to it!)and come when you call them and enjoy affection.

Adoptions to appropriate homes only, and check out their petfinder info to learn how to adopt from A Better Pet.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Look What Jeff Brought or, Oh no, not again!

My intentions to post more, work more, parent better, exercise my dogs more have all been seriously compromised this past 7 weeks by a bad back -- in my case sciatica which has not been improving mostly because it's hard for me to s-l-o-w down. This hasn't stopped the usual flood of rescue calls to find homes for dogs, pups, cats and kittens and in all these cases, and stated clearly on the home page of my petfinder site, I will NOT take them under my care.

But, I guess in part to celebrate Bastille Day, I somehow found myself agreeing to take in a trio of orphaned kittens still so young they need to be bottle fed and tickled to pee and poop since their mother (who knows where she ended up poor thing -- I always think of the poor mothers!)is missing. How could I say no!

It seems to be an annual event, taking in trios of orphaned kittens, but these guys need a little more help than the three from last year, one of whom, Byrne, still and will continue to always live here. These three need adoptive homes!

You need nursing powder, nursing bottles, a math brain to mix the formula with water and then the time and patience to feed and "burp" them all by taking a damp paper towel or better yet, a damp cotton ball, and tickling their privates to help them pee and poop the way their mother (oh dear, I just remembered about her again!) would if she were only with them!

We'll update regularly and
please see their adoption appeal
and if you're local and want a new friend, email and let me know why!