Time away

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With my babies on the lake ~ Amy

Sorry. I haven’t had much time to give a report as of late. What with the crazy atmosphere at my 9-5 job, the crazy here with AB Petcare, and with the health of one of my own dogs, I’ve had a lot to deal with. As for my 9-5, it is what it is, as they say, so it doesn’t bear mentioning, so I’ll let it go.

As for my dog Billy, I had to put him to sleep back on the 7th of this month. For those of you how don’t know, he had a neurological degenerative disease that took his ability to walk. He endured it for over a year, but at last the pain became too great, his quality of life diminished to the point where I could no longer bear to see him suffer. It’s one of the hardest things to do as a pet owner and an animal lover. I’ll miss Billy. Check out my friend’s blog to see more about Billy.

Right now I’m enjoying some time away from everything, visiting friends up in Minnesota. I brought Pearl and Marley with me, and although it took two days to get there, and although the drive gave them cabin fever, they are now enjoying the time away from home as well. Pretty soon we’ll have to leave the cabin on lake and make the trek back to civilization, but right now I’m enjoying my much needed vacation time. Hopefully, I will begin to put in regular posts as to what’s happening at AB Petcare, but for now I’m taking a break. See you soon.

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The view from my porch ~ Amy

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Transport and Mini-Vacation

QueenieWednesday I received a call right when I got off work at the hospital (4:30pm) from one of my rescue groups saying that she had found a transport for the 2 Shar Pei mixes that I had for a little over 3 weeks. As excited as I was about this, they have to get health certificates before they can go out of state (they were going to Idaho). I had to work at the hospital the next day and I also had to pick up one of my regular clients (a pug named Journey) in Rockwall at 12:30 (which is an hour away from my house).

After many phone calls to various people and lots of stressful worrying about how to make this work, I finally had it figured out. I had to take the day off from the hospital (luckily my boss lets me be very flexible with my schedule – that and the great insurance are the only things keeping me there!). I had to get the dogs to the vet at 8:45am for their exams & health certificates, then drive an hour to Plano to drop them off at the transport meeting place. I had planned on going straight from Plano to Rockwall to pick up Journey, but there was an overturned semi on Hwy 75 and I ended up sitting on the highway for an hour and a half. I had to reschedule Journey to that evening around 6pm. I finally got the dogs off on the transport and got back on the road at 12:30. I got back home around 1:30 and had to get Scentsy orders put together from a party a did not too long ago. Once that was done I started getting things ready to take in 3 more rescue dogs, and prepare for my first official get-together at the new place (with a bonfire, weenie roast and smores!). Then at 3:30 I took Boomer to the vet in Leonard to get his health certificate (which includes an exam). I left for Rockwall around 5pm to pick up Journey and was home by 7pm, and it was time to eat supper and feed all the dogs.

Friday, after dropping off those Scentsy orders in Sulphur Springs (which is about an hour drive) I had to drive to Rockwall again to pick up the 1st of the 3 new rescues, Buddy. He was so sweet and adorable, but he kept trying to get into my lap as I was driving. I got him home and spent a couple of hours getting him adjusted at my place. It’s always interesting when bringing in a new dog into the house. At this point, we had our 5 dogs, Journey the pug and Boomer the rescue (who looks to be part German Shepherd and part Golden Lab). Buddy got along great with everyone and was able to stay in the house with my babies. I never know how things are going to work out because every rescue dog is different. Some get to stay in the house and others end up having to stay outside (like Boomer). Saturday we had our get together & bonfire, and it was a lot of fun. The dogs did fine, even though I had them all out in the pens (so that none of the little kids would accidentally left them out of the house or yard – they always leave the door & gates open! lol).

amy02Sunday I drove 3 hours down to Centerville (I’m told that’s the 1/2 way point between Houston & Dallas) to pick up the other 2 rescue dogs (Queenie & Freckles), only by this point, they had added a 3rd dog, Lizzie to the group (she’s a tiny little black lab mix puppy). This was their first time to meet, so I wasn’t sure if they would get along well in the car. I put Queenie in the front passenger seat. And because Freckles wasn’t too excited about being with a hyper puppy, I let him go in the big comfortable crate, and I just let Lizzie have a big play pen in the rest of the back area of my car (I drive a Honda Element and I have the backseats out so the whole area behind the front seats is open). After being back on the road for about 30 minutes to an hour, Lizzie got bored and started chewing up things she shouldn’t be chewing on. So, we stopped at one of those huge safety rest stops and I walked everyone then Lizzie was put in a crate with lots of toys and we continued on our way.

When we got home, I went through the whole meet & greet thing with all of the dogs again, but this time with 3 new dogs instead of just 1, which was interesting! I was so excited when everyone got along so well! And all 4 of the new rescue dogs were able to stay in the house (poor Boomer was the only one outside). For awhile I had my 5 dogs, Journey, Boomer, Buddy, Queenie, Freckles and Lizzie all in the backyard playing and it was wonderful! It’s very rare that I have that many dogs who can all get along so well.

Journey went home on Wednesday and Thursday I left my house at 5:30 am to head to the Texas Panhandle with the 5 rescue dogs. I’ve always told the rescue groups that I can only get 3 large dogs in my car, but somehow I agreed to take 5!!! I can only get 2 large crates in my car, so I had to do some creative maneuvering to make this work. Boomer was in the biggest crate, Freckles was in the other big crate, Lizzie was in a smaller crate on top of Freckles crate and Queenie & Buddy laid in the area behind the crates that a big crate won’t fit in, but has plenty of room for 2 large dogs.

320746_10201104733246723_688405807_nI drove the 8 hours to get to Dalhart, making 2 major pit stops to walk the dogs (one at a time). And after I dropped them off, I took a little mini-vacation. I spent Thursday night with my parents in Dumas and then spent the whole day Friday visiting with my parents, grandparents and my brother & his family. Then Saturday I spent the day with my bestfriend, Joe, in Canyon (walking the college campus where I graduated in 1993), lunch at a great new restaurant and Palo Duro Canyon (where I spent so much time exploring when I was in my 20’s), before I headed home.

 

I’m still here. I promise!

My pretty Pearl Girl. Couldn't help it. She's being too good! - Photo by Amy Ebert

My pretty Pearl Girl. Couldn’t help it. She’s being too good! – Photo by Amy Ebert

I know I haven’t written a proper article in a while. Life in pet sitting and rescues can get pretty hectic. Even the guy I have writing my blog for me – say hi, Joe (me: Hi Joe!) – is busy trying to get through with the last few weeks of the spring semester at WTAMU. Busy, busy, busy!

I promise to have a few things to say here soon. On Thursday I’m supposed to transport some rescues up to Dalhart, TX, where I’ll be met by another transporter who will take them up to Colorado. This promises to be quite the adventure! But I know they will all go to good homes, and that’s why I do it. Someone has to stand up for these precious creatures, and I’m glad to say that I’m one of the proud. Although it is physically taxing at times.

So I’m still here, plugging away at my raison de vivre while still holding a full-time job! I  must be crazy, lol. But it’s worth it. I hope you think so, too.

The continuing adventures of AB and friends

Jasper, one of our rescues. (Photo Amy Ebert)

Jasper, one of our rescues. (Photo Amy Ebert)

It took 2 volunteers to get all 4 of the dogs to the meeting place, where I had to get all 4 into my car (They soon became known as “The Texas 4”). My friend Joe was nice enough to go with me to help out, but he ended up having to ride with one dog in the front passenger seat with him. My car will only hold 2 large crates, so 2 dogs were in crates and one was in the space left between the crates. It was totally insane, but somehow we were able to make it home in one piece.

This is when I realized that I really needed to get my facilities built so that I can house this many rescues. These 4 put me up to 6 rescue dogs at one time. The 2 puppies were able to stay in the house with my dogs, but the 4 had to be strategically placed. I definitely didn’t have the room at my new place, so I had to keep one dog (Buddy) in my yard at my old house (8 miles away) and one dog (Beau) in a dog run at my old house. I had to drive back and forth several times a day to feed, water, exercise and play with them. I kept Gunner in the small fenced in area that’s not up against the new house, and since Jordan had all of his shots, he stayed in my backyard (which caused problems for the 7 dogs I had in my house because I would have to put Jordan in a crate before I could let them all outside to avoid any conflicts.

The fun part came when I had to take all 6 dogs to the vet in one day to get their health certificates to be able to take a transport to Colorado & Washington. Since I had to do this alone and could only get 2 crates in my car at a time. I had to make a lot of trips back and forth from my new house, my old house, the vet clinic in Leonard and the vet clinic in Greenville. I drove about 150 miles that day just to get all of their health certificates!

I had Finn & Fiona for 17 days and The Texas 4 for 10 days. Then the day came that I had to get them to the transport, which was 2 hours away. I knew there was no way to get all 6 there by myself, so I turned to FB to help me and sure enough a friend of a friend was willing to drive from McKinney to Bailey to help me take all of the dogs to the transport. All went well and we got them on the transport van and sent them on their way. During the 17 days I had the puppies, I had really bonded with Finn and I cried when they drove away!

I only got one day of rest & relaxation (not really, but compared to when I had the 6 rescues, it seemed pretty relaxing) before I got my next rescue, Brandy. (To be continued in the next “rambling”.)

And did I say earlier that on most of these rescues, I have to take them to get their shots, get them spayed or neutered and take them in to get health certificates (the rescue group or sponsor pays the vet bills, but I cover the gas and wear & tear on my car)?

  • Sadie – vaccinations, health certificate (couldn’t be spayed due to heartworms)
  • Jasper – vaccinations, neutered, health certificate
  • Finn & Fiona – vaccinations, health certificate (too young to be spayed & neutered)
  • Texas 4 – vaccinations, health certificates
  • Brandy – vaccinations, health certificate
  • Skylar – health certificate
  • Sonnia – nothing (only had for 2 or 3 days and she came with everything she needed)
  • So far on Mickey & Minnie – spayed & neutered (already had vaccinations)

 

Just a typical day

So, Sadie had her puppies and won’t be able to find a forever home until the puppies are weened.

Jasper has been adopted and going to a great new home!

When I was on my way to take Sadie & Jasper to get on a transport van to go up to Colorado, I got a call from Emily at Summit Dog Rescue (http://www.summitdogrescue.org/index.html) asking if I could board 2 black flatties that she wanted to rescue from the Garland shelter.

Finn and Fiona in  the front seat (Photo Amy Ebert)

Finn and Fiona in the front seat (Photo Amy Ebert)

So, I picked up Finn & Fiona from the shelter on Monday. They were so scared that they stuffed themselves under the back seat in my car. It was so sad that I had to stop, get out of my car, pull them out and get them comfortable in the front passenger seat so that I could pet them while driving the 2 hour drive home.

When we got them home, they were still very nervous and would hide under my desk. But it didn’t take them long to fit right in with my own babies. Marley, my one year old black lab mix, really took to them and showed them the ropes.

The potty training went pretty well, with Fiona only having a few accidents and Finn having none at all. Fiona hated sleeping in a crate at night, so I decided to let them sleep in my room with me and just keep my door shut. They always crawled under my bed and would sleep through the whole night without any accidents!

We had Finn & Fiona for 17 days, and I actually cried when I had to put them on the transport van. I grew very attached to them, especially Finn who would let me hold him like a baby and he would snuggle with me for as long as I wanted him to!

Exactly one week after taking Finn & Fiona in, I got a call about taking in another group of rescue dogs. I pretty much told them that I didn’t have room (at that time they had 3 that needed boarding – all without vaccinations), and wasn’t set up to have that many rescue dogs. At 4:45 they called me again and were very desperate. These dogs were going to be killed in the morning and they had a rescue group, Western Australian Shepherd Rescue (http://www.westernaustralianshepherdrescue.com/index.html), who was willing to take them in, but needed someone to board them.

After much begging, I finally caved and said that I would take them in. When I showed up to meet the two people that pulled them from the shelter, I found out that there were 4 dogs, not 3 and that they were all male and would probably have to be kept separated because they more than likely wouldn’t get along with each other.

More to come on the story of the “4 Texas Dogs”, as I’ve come to call them.

Blogging learning curve

Finn asking if you want to take him home

Finn asking if you want to take him home

There’s still so much to do! We’re still trying to figure out this blogging thing. Do we blog daily? Weekly? Whenever we want? And what are we going to blog about?

I’ll admit that it’s kind of exciting trying to figure this out.  It’s not that blogging is new, but rather having a clear objective is. I want to tell you all what we’re doing here, what’s new, and what our plans are. We want to share the adventures our furry little clients are having. We want our customers to know that their pets are safe and sound.

In the coming weeks, as we settle into our site, we’ll come up with a workable schedule so that you will know when to expect us. So if you have a WordPress account, please press the follow button on top and if you would rather follow us by email press the follow button on the right side and you will receive an email every time we post something new. You can also Like us on Facebook.

Finally, we have the About AB Petcare up and running if you want to know more about us, and if you have any questions, please leave us a comment and we will be more than happy to get back with you.

In the next few days we will post about our Pet Rescuing efforts. We’ll tell you what we are doing, who we are working with, and our plans to help keep these precious pets from being put to sleep. Any help there would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

PayPal donations online – Please help us with our rescues

Jasper, one of our rescues. (Photo Amy Ebert)

Jasper, one of our rescues. (Photo Amy Ebert)

Our PayPal Donation button is online. Woohoo! No, I’m not going to charge you to read my blog, although that is a thought…. No, in addition to pet sitting, we have become involved with animal rescues.

Most pets that are taken to a shelter, whether they are found by animal control, or even voluntary surrenders, only last a few days before they are put to sleep. We are trying to do our part to limit that number by trying to find good homes rather than allowing these wonderful creatures to be put down. However, we cannot do it alone. We need your help.

In addition to the costs associated with room and board, we are in desperate need of supplies, help in transportation, veterinary services (shots and spay/neutering), among many expenses.

We also need help to expand our facilities to house our rescues, as well as our usual clientele. We are a small, hands-on organization, and would like to keep a personal touch. We just ask that you make a small donation to our cause. Your help would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate, you will see a PayPal Donate button on the side of our page.

Thank you for your support!

AB Petcare now has a blog!

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My son Billy enjoying a quick dip in a kiddy pool! (photo by Amy Ebert)

I know it’s small it’s a small step, but we now have our very own blog! You can still find us on Facebook, but now we have a presence where you can follow us as we care for your pets! We are still in the process of figuring this new tool out, so I hope you forgive us during this time.

My philosophy for AB Petcare is to treat your pet as if they were part of my family. I know how difficult it can be to find someone to care for your pet. I know I don’t want just anyone!

We are located in North Texas and service the area around Greenville, Bonham, and Commerce.