How do you accommodate your pets?

MoccasinMay 13, 2010

When Marti8A posted a photo of her two dogs in another thread, I started thinking about the ways we include animals in our small homes. I know it would be roomier and less upkeep on the space if we did without animals (as PETA would have it, you know).

But even in our smaller homes, we share the space with our 4 legged and sometimes winged and sometimes scaly and slithering friends.

And I know one of you is building a bigger pantry to store massive amounts of KITTY LITTER. That is one necessity if your friends are feline! :)

I have two dogs. One is an older male maltese, who was a puppy mill dog as I found out after he came home. All his life we've had multiple operations and vet bills because of his poor health. He cannot jump up on the furniture, but I have two floor pillows for him. One is beside my computer desk, and the other, much larger, is on the floor on my side of the bed. He is a mama's boy. Then we have little Dixie-girl, as her beloved Papa calls her. Even though she is black and gets overheated in the hot weather, she is outside now with him. She can jump on anything! Even the really high beds. And she goes under the covers, as good doxies are supposed to do. Yes, she sleeps with us...sigh.

They are fed once a day, in the morning, and like clockwork, afterward they go out to do their business. I keep their dry kibble in the kitchen under the sink. Their water, with a teeth cleaning chemical added, is in a big bowl also in the kitchen.

Then we have three parrots. Two African greys and one boy eclectus parrot. Three separate large cages. They take up much more space than the dogs, actually. They have so many toys, they have different varieties of dry pellets (birdy equivalent of kibble), and then all sorts of special mash I cook and freeze for future use. They do require a lot of maintenance, like vacuuming and cage cleaning in general. And this is on a regular basis. Keeping them clean means I am better able to enjoy them. All three birds talk, especially in the morning and at sundown. We enclosed our sunporch to have room enough to keep them properly. And I have their travel cages/crates stored in the attic because they go with us north-to-south and back again. Instead of delivering them to a babysitter when we go on shorter trips, our sitter comes in twice a day.

We used to have two cats, very good pets. Lily, a spayed short hair tabby, is in Massachusetts living with DH's daughter who has three girls. Lily is a huntress, and very happy to keep their home clear of any critters. Our other cat, Chrissy, disappeared without a trace. In fact, all the cats who came to visit her and eat her food--she was a very sociable cat--stopped coming to our neighborhood. We think the other cats knew something bad happened to her, so they steered clear of our street. I will never know for sure, but some recently learned information indicates a neighbor may be responsible. Hope not, but it fits their pattern.

We have no plans to get another cat as long as we travel such long distances with the animals. Believe me, you do NOT want to have a cat in a crate, tranquilized or not, for 1500 miles. You'll arrive crazy.

We also have our back yard totally fenced. With privacy fence on two sides, we put wire mesh beneath it to keep them from digging out. But our doxie girl has not discovered that she is supposed to dig, and that turned into a non-issue.

So. How do you accommodate your pets?

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We have an elderly dog, Babe, and two cats, Mitzi and Liza Jane. They are indoor cats, and we keep their food and litter box in the utility room. I made a gizmo that holds the door open just enough for the cats to squeeze through, but keeps the dog out.

The dog is 14, and in failing health now. She had violent seizures about 6 months ago, and her blood sugar was 'fatally low'. They suspected a tumor on her pancreas, and deemed her too old to operate on unless we insisted on it. Instead, we keep her blood sugar up with numerous treats, and she hasn't had any more bad seizures, although she has tiny ones almost continuously. They have no idea why she's still alive; a tumor should have been progressive. As long as she's comfortable and happy, we'll keep her going, but I will not let her suffer one day. Her food has always been out all day, and she has never gotten fat. Here she is on my little garden bridge:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 4:41PM
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We chose this home to accommodate our pets- heck, we moved across country to give them a better climate. I have giant breed dogs and that requires a lot of accommodating both indoors and out. It is my view that I chose to bring them here and so need to do what I can to optimize their lives. So my home has huge cat trees, cleverly constructed ramps leading to kitty boxes up above dog level, landscaping that works around the dogs, and so on.

"Believe me, you do NOT want to have a cat in a crate, tranquilized or not, for 1500 miles. You'll arrive crazy."

moccasinlanding I moved that distance with three cats in crates, two giant breed dogs, and a wheelchair bound MIL. But I was crazy before I left :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 6:12PM
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Cearbhaill, don't think we've met before, but so glad that you are stopping by. If you were crazy before you left, then you've found the right place to stop and chat.

What kind of giant breeds do you have? Do you show? Or do field trials, or breed? Cat trees would be of interest to many folks, so if you can upload a photo of your versions, feel free to stick them into your next post.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 10:40PM
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We have two miniature schnauzers. We've had to add little ottoman cubes to the foot of our bed so that the boy, Buddy, can get up and down when he wants...of course, he usually wants us to help him up (he likes to be "invited"). Our bedroom is too small for the ottomans, but our pups like them, so they stay.

Our little girl, Penelope Envelope, is a mildly special needs dog. There are some areas in the house that she will not cross (this one air vent in the living room, in front of the oven, bedroom and library doors, etc.). She has her "safe spots" and her "routines". For instance, in the living room, she will keep at least one foot on a throw rug. In the hallway, she has a safe spot, but if there is something foreign in the hallway, like a broom, she won't go past it, even to get to the back room where the doggie door is. Other foreign items include a beam of light from a window or a shadow. I've talked to the vet and he said as long as she shows no sign of anxiety (which she doesn't) then it's nothing to worry about if we don't mind adjusting our ways to accommodate her, which we don't mind doing. In the bedroom and library, if she's carried in there and placed down inside, she's fine. She just doesn't like those thresholds. The funny part about it is, since Buddy is still indignant that we brought home a second dog who WORSHIPS him, he goes to her "bad" spots so that she can't pester him. Also, when picking up Penelope Envelope to go to bed, she waits for us at the bedroom door until we walk up to her. Then we have to follow her into the back room where she wants to be picked up and taken back to the bedroom.

I suppose that, other than the ottoman, that's all *specifically* small house-related. However, when you think about living in a small house and that there are "bad spots" for one of your dog, it makes the house feel smaller. Our pups are worth it though and little Penelope Envelope doesn't seem bothered by the bad spots, they are more just like invisible fences that we all just live around.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:44AM
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Och! I forgot one more accommodation we had to make for Penelope Envelope. When we put pavers in the front and back, she would only cross areas that we were able to fill the cracks with way. For instance, in the back, she wouldn't cross from the patio, over the pavers, to the lawn (she made a hole through my veggie bed fence for that) but she would go from the lawn, over the pavers to the patio. Because of this, the sanding of the pavers went by very quickly ;)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:58AM
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We have two border collies and three kitties we claim. There are feral porch kitties we feed and care for but do not claim.

The dogs have two yards. The back yard is for winter and courtyard summer only as when snow is sliding off the roof it is dangerous for them.

When we had this manufactured home built we had a door put in the master bath that goes out into the dogs back yard so in the night it is easy to let them out. There is also an outside kitty kennel in the dog yard that is accessed from inside the house through a pet door in the bedroom window.

There is a small covered space with the two large dog houses under it for them to get out of the weather. They seem to prefer to be outside most of the day. Even in winter if it is not too cold they ask to go out.

We keep the dog food in one of those large plastic single drawers on the pantry floor and free feed the dogs and kitties. Kitties are fed on the dryer top. Litter box is in guest bathroom tub and when we do have company it gets moved to the laundry room. I prefer it out of sight when possible which is most of the time. The kitty food is kept in a cute wicker hamper in the laundry room and it also acts as a step up for the kitties to get up and down off the dryer. They can jump the distance but the hamper makes me feel better about it.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:00AM
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"Other foreign items include a beam of light from a window or a shadow. I've talked to the vet and he said as long as she shows no sign of anxiety (which she doesn't) then it's nothing to worry about if we don't mind adjusting our ways to accommodate her, which we don't mind doing"

oh the precious little thing! so good she got you guys for parents!

our pets probably think we have quirks too and probably talk to each other about them... I know when I make faces at my girl she is thinking something like 'Mom, grow up!' (my son said that when he was about 12).
or maybe she's thinking 'gee, did I get a weird one!'

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 2:00AM
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I can't find the comment about having a catbox in the furnace room. Must have been another thread. But, am wondering who did this and how it works. I have a big furnace room (takes up some valuable space) and have tried using it as a pantry. Just doesn't seem to work right for this.

Have not considered putting the catbox in the furnace room as I thought I'd know it was there when AC or Furnace was running. Is it possible to do this? I'd love to get the cat box out of and their food is in my office/art room where most people don't visit.

Back to the subject, I have a brown lab that was adopted from Canine Companions, dogs trained by the prisons. I picked him up at the prison and met the trainer. Only one in ten dogs become Companions, very strenuous training. "Chase" didn't make it, he loves balls too much, is actually manic about them. Doesn't matter if the are the size of a marble or a hot air balloon. Off goes his focus. On the other hand, he is the best trained dog I've ever had and adapts to the environment we are in. When I was sick he laid by me for a week and never asked for a balls were in sight though.

If anyone is adopting, the program is a wonderful place to find a good buddy. They get their dogs from Veteranarians and the pounds. Look up Canine Companions in your area.

I don't care how small of a house I'd live in, will always have animals. Two cats and a dog. At one time 17 animals, but we lived on a farm so that doesn't really count.

Cats can't go outside, too many wild animals around, am close to the mountains. Am planning on a cat run outside as Chris has done. All the animals have the run of the house, sleep with me and well mannered.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:13AM
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You should be able to put the litter box in the furnace room with no problem, depending upon your cold air return. Our utility room also houses the air handler, and it doesn't pick up the odor because the cold air return is in the hallway.

When I was a kid, we kept the dogs out of the litter box by putting a very long hook and eye on the door, which held it open just enough for a cat to squeeze through (and it keeps the kitties from getting too fat LOL!) I since have made a plastic device which clips on the door, and engages where the door latch normally would. It holds the door ajar, and is easily opened, since when you grab the doorknob, it is easy to pull it away with the same hand, For safety, if you push hard on the door, it will pop open. I've thought about mass-producing them in a mold if I thought there was a market. It's what I do for a living- building molds at a company that molds plastic, so I could get into it fairly cheaply.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:10PM
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post a pic of the plastic door holder open on your door so cat people can see it!

I can't have cats here either - I'd have to keep it in all of the time because of the coyotes, mtn lions etc. That'd be a bummer and I'd hate myself if it escaped.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Thanks Jay,
I guess there is no reason to at least try the litter box in the furnace room. If it becomes a problem, just move it. I can put a small door in the door for them. I don't think there is an air return in the furnace room. Will have my son check.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:26AM
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moccasinlanding - my cat trees are just everyday cat trees, remarkable only in that I have one in nearly every room:

OK- two in this room, with a part of a cat:

I have Irish Wolfhounds, as evidenced by the other end of that room:

I no longer am involved with organized dog activities, although I was professionally and as a hobby for almost 40 years.
Mine are strictly companion animals now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cearbhaill Irish Wolfhounds

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:54PM
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Fantastic dogs! And what does your screen name in Gaelic mean in English? Are you Irish too?

My DH is first generation Irish. He was not a "dog" person until he met our dachshund girl, Dixie, who now charms his heart.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 1:37PM
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cearbhaill your cat trees are wonderful I know our fur babies would love one or six. they are climbers for sure.

We used to have a wolfhound. She was a sweetie.

Enjoying hearing how others are catering to the fur children in our small houses.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 3:14PM
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Cearbhaill = Carroll, our last name.
Husband is 100% Irish, me just a bit.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 4:42PM
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boy, are your cats lucky ones! they gotta love those 'trees'!

i'm trying to figure some way to put in a doggie 'bar' in my new place. Several posters on kitchens have done that and i saved pics they posted of theirs. hoping they will help me to find a way to put one in. might end up being at the bottom of the pantry - cutting down the doors to it so the floor of it is open to the kitchen and hall.

and I think I'll need a ramp to my bed... she doesn't always make it up these days.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 12:46AM
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I had to get a ramp for my dog, she was a big gal. Used the plastic car ramps from Walmart. They were far cheaper than a pet store. Just laid a rug over them. Perfect size for bed height. Or you can make them, an easy project with some spare wood too. She is little, so it wouldn't take much.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:16AM
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A doggie bar like this?

Or like a feeding station?

I've seen some really nice feeding stations incorporated into regular kitchen drawers. I don't use kibble (and if I did it would be stored airtight) but could definitely use some hideaway food bowls! Between the ginormous water dishes, cat fountains, and cat bowls in every sink to catch the drips I leave going for them it's like a bowl warehouse around here.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Cearbhaill, I know what you mean about "bowl warehouse!" I have three bird cages here, two up north. And 3 crates. That means a lot of bowls, most different in size. And I always put them in the dishwasher with a heated dry cycle. Everything is stainless, including very large birdy baths.

Keeping bird seed is not at critical an issue, since they eat little of that. But I make a mash which includes all sorts of grains sprouted and cooked, and it is kept frozen except for a few days supply. One parrot adopted when my friend died, has his own plate, since he ate at table with her all his life. We only do that a few times not regularly, but he knows his plate when he sees it coming. Something air tight is necessary for pellets for birds, kibble for dogs. Birds especially appreciate clean surroundings.

How do you give your dogs a bath? You must have a walk-in shower? I have an outdoor shower with a rainhead and a handheld shower head. I also have a small oval galvanized tub. The outdoor shower is one step down off the deck, and the connections come through the wall from the hot/cold water supply for the washing machine, which is on the other side of the wall. I love a nice outdoor shower. This was installed for me, but it has no privacy surround. I'm trying to decide how to make a removable privacy feature so our nosy neighbor won't know what is going on, but I also need to have easy access for bathing the two small dogs in good weather.

The parrots love to be sprinkled with a misting bottle, and will also take a dip in their cage water bowls. But I also roll their cages out to the deck and hose everything down, then let everything sun dry--cage parts, toys, perches, bowls, and of course feathers. A good misting spray for them can be just a cold water hose, but must be done early enough in the day that they dry completely before dark.

Here's the girl African grey having a misting bottle shower on the sun porch.

Here is the adopted eclectus boy after bathing in his water bowl while I ran the vacuum!

I loved the shot and used my Virtual Painter V software to do this with it:

And here is my fully flighted male African grey playing on his ring swing hanging near his cage on the sun porch. He can also do this hanging by one toe, but I chose this shot which shows his extended wings. He flies through the house, so I make it safe by locking all the doors, turning off the ceiling fans, closing toilet lids, and no hot pots in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:08AM
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I'd have an African Grey in a hot minute if I thought I had the time to devote to a bird- adore them. My family was in the pet shop business all my childhood so I saw up close and personal what happens to the big birds when they aren't stimulated enough. And I am hard pressed to give individual attention to the five I have now- I have aquariums as well and I'm spread pretty thin. Darn husband expects attention too you know.

As far as bathing Wolfhounds, I worked in grooming shops all my life and always had access to walk in facilities. Now that I am retired I miss that- the local walk in self service place only has one height bathing stations and if I put one up there I couldn't even reach their tummy.

We bathe outside now- they get their last bath of the year during the last warm spell, and the next one in the spring. I use my warm water laundry hook-up, too, so as long as it is above 65F or so they're fine with it. Fortunately they don't smell if brushed often and I do that most days anyway- I have giant breed dust bunnies as well :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:49AM
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At one time I had 16 parrots taking up three rooms at MoccasinLanding. Of the two B&G macaws, one had been severely abused and was badly crippled. Yet she gave me a chance to be friends with her, and it was a very humbling experience. The other B&G was never abused, but had to be rehomed when his loving mama was going through leukemia treatments. They were both affectionate and good spirited birds, and if I were younger, I'd definitely have a B&G macaw. They do need companionship and a stimulating environment. How smart they are! I promised my boy African grey years ago that I would never trim his flights, because he loves to fly so much. If I could build a flight aviary, I would do that. Maybe the garage/greenhouse can also include an aviary feature when we reconstruct it? Who knows. I hope I can keep my last two birds for many more years. The third one I have now is the one I am driving up to Iowa in a few weeks to her new home. I will miss her, but she will have a long and happy life with this younger family.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 1:21PM
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cearbhaill - similar - they're built in somewhere like at the bottom of a cab, island etc - here's 2 from the kitchen forum -

mocassin - look at your silly birdies! is that one swinging upside down?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:46PM
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desertsteph, I WANT YOUR OVEN!!!! What can I bribe you with? I make some mean pumpkin chocolate chip cookies... *wink wink

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 1:38AM
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How do I accommodate my pets. However they tell me.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 7:42AM
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I was going to say that we never did anything to accommodate our pets, but I guess we did. When we had more than one dog, they usually stayed outside all the time in the summer. Sometimes they wanted in during the afternoon, but the oldest, Mandy, loved her little swimming pool and would stay in it all day. The other one didn't like water at all, so she was in and out. Couldn't stand the heat, but couldn't stand being away from Mandy either. So we finally put a window a/c in the garage and left the door open at the far end so she could come in and go out as she pleased. I know that was really wasteful, but it worked better than anything. She wouldn't scratch the door to let us know she wanted in or out, just sat by the door until someone finally saw her.

In the winter, they both liked being inside, on one big dog bed, and Roxie would drag it to a place in the living room where she could see into the den, down the hall, and into the kitchen. Meant we had to step over her every time we went down the hall.

Mandy only ate when we were eating and Roxie ate after we ate. She had to watch us while we ate.

I never thought they were spoiled before, but I guess they were.

I also didn't know PETA didn't want people to have pets.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:25PM
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"desertsteph, I WANT YOUR OVEN!!!!"

send a batch of those cookies for me to test...

that's not my stove! those things cost 5 or 6,000.00 or more! lots of people over on kitchen get them. not me. I've been fine with a hot plate for the past 12 yrs! well, 2 of them. I had to replace the first one...
I'm not one to spend that kind of money on a stove even if I had it. I don't cook enough. don't want to cook enough - lol! but I do think when I move and redo the kitchen (if/when) I should put a regular stove in or a cooktop (2 burner) and small oven. I'd rather the cooktop/oven but it seems more logical to just get the combo. that's a future stress topic tho!

on the doggie bars - I did think about using a bottom drawer but I'm afraid I'd forget it's open and trip over it. and if it's closed she couldn't get to her water.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Just remember- Dogs have masters, friends, and hunting buddies. Cats have staff.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 3:46PM
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LOL @ Cearbhaill Bowl warehouse. We have double feeding and watering stations for the dogs and kitties too.

Beautiful Birds ML

I used to be a dog groomer prof and on the side for 30+ years and still have my grooming sink. A surplus restaurant sink that is 2 by 3 foot and usual height. It is getting hard for me to lift our border collies up into it so I think I am going to have to do a step up for them this year. I have a trunk out in the garden shed and I think I can coax them onto the trunk then I can lift from there. WE have a walk in shower so I can also do them in it but have not tried it.

"Just remember- Dogs have masters, friends, and hunting buddies. Cats have staff."

LOL You got that right Jay. Giggling oh so true.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 12:42AM
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Sad to say, but we're losing one of our kitties. The oldest, Mitzi (14) is in poor health, and we're going to have her put down next week. She had lost weight, and the X-ray revealed a large lymphoma. The vet didn't recommend trying to treat it- she's too far gone. It's always hard to have to put down an old friend, but it's the humane thing to do. Doesn't make it any easier, though.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Oh gosh, how sad! Been there, etc. and will have to do it again some day, but will consider that they'll have a final rest.

Our Samoyeds used baby crib mattresses we covered in canvas because they'd rip up the plastic in about 5 minutes and the matts were a lot cheaper than some of the 'doggie' beds you buy at pet stores, and we could just hose down the canvas whenever it needed it.

I recently did an exhaustive search online for the 'perfect' litter box (2 fairly young male cats) but all seemed to small or too low or too expensive (and over the top furniture-wise). I went to the hardware, found a couple of long wide plastic bins ($7.ea) about 6" high, drilled holes in the ends to attach them (one upside down of course), cut out what had been the bottom of the new 'top' and a 4-5" walk-in slot on its side into the opening. Now the rounded sides of the upside-down top keep floor litter to a minimum, the cats have lots of room to dig, and the unexpectedly best part is that the whole thing fits exactly end to end between two existing cabinets against a wall, so no litter at all there either! And being cats, they sleep wherever they darn well please.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:31PM
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Our cats have free reign of the guest room. We call it the "cat room". They have the bed to sleep on, their food is put up on a dresser to eat, and their litter boxes are in the closet. It works out well and deters the dogs somewhat. That way we can keep all the cat goodies and stuff in the cat room. Also, we have an alarm system so we need to be able to lock them up in there if need be.

We have three dogs and they are ok. Our floor plan is *fairly* open so there's usually enough room. They are really only allowed in the kitchen and family room while downstairs because otherwise they pee and pooh ::sigh:: They have food and water dishes in the kitchen and a dog food bag in an alcove.

Other than that, no special treatment!!! Dogs and cats are versatile and are happy just to have a wonderful, caring home!

Our kitchen is fairly large and open (it's 1750 sq ft but they made good choices with the available room) and I find that it helps TREMENDOUSLY when you have dogs, especially big ones, to have a large, open kitchen. Islands would never work for us...the dogs would get all wound up over food and get in our way and we'd trip over the island!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:32PM
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We now have three dogs. Toby is the oldest, at 10, smallest, and healthiest.

He is a retriever/Beagle mix. He barks like a Beagle outside, but is as laid-back as you could ask for inside. He still sometimes gets the "zoomies" when I come home and he really misses wrestling with Casey.

Casey quit playing about two years ago. He started attacking Bina, too. We even took him for more training, which helped some. He seemed to sometimes lose his sight, too, even the trainer saw that. Casey is 9. The shelter said he was a Dalmatian/hound mix, but an English Setter person swore it was setter, not Dal that gave him those spots.

Christmas Eve 2009 Casey woke us up with his first seizure. The second was two hours later. We saw a veterinary neurologist that day, and he suspected Casey has a brain tumor. We have gone with that assumption. He is on four meds, each twice a day. One is prednisone, so he is very thirsty and cannot hold his urine for long. We have lined the hallways with those quilted pads you put under people in nursing homes and he usually hits the pads. He is now losing bowel control at times. Just one or two little brown balls show up where he sleeps. Luckily, my eyesight is good enough to see them without putting on my glasses when I get up for potty in the night! The pred and phenobarbital (for seizures) keep him from attacking Bina as much. He is quite anxious when he is not sleeping, though. He prowls the rooms looking for kleenex to eat, boxes to eat, food to steal. He now expects several rawhide chews after supper and if he does not get them, he is miserable and moans and whines for them. If he is not chewing, he is pacing. He can get up to our normal counters, so the island will have a "safe" area in the center that he cannot reach. We don't know for sure what will be "the end" for him, or when. There are times when the peeing and pooping are getting to us, and we cannot rest without thinking about what he can get into.

Bina is our youngest, newest, and biggest dog. She was rescued from a hoarder who owned a kennel - but she had 150 dogs where a dozen should be. She was born there, and we met her sis and brother. He (and another brother) were adopted about 50 miles from here, so we have not seen them again. Her sis met an early end when she darted out of the house when the pet sitter came to take care of her. These dogs are all very wary and frightened of everything. Leaves, birds, cars, people in their own backyards, will keep Bina from wanting to go out. She usually won't ask to go out, either. She prefers the carpet in the hallway! Once Casey is gone, I am hoping we can confine her indoor potty area to just one small place, she has ruined the carpet in two halls and the family room. Her nicknames are "Tripper" and "Visa" because she is always where you want to be! Bina is about 8 or 9 years old. She is on three meds, one for pain and two for her chronic inflammatory nasal disease. She blows strings of thick ... secretions all over the floor and the furniture at times. Luckily, Toby likes to follow behind, cleaning up after her. He doesn't want to use paper towel, though!

How do we accommodate our dogs? We bought this house for the dogs' backyard. It has a hedge all along the sidewalk side of the yard (we are on a corner) and there is a fence on both sides of the hedge. So no one can get close to our dogs, and our dogs cannot get close to passers-by.

We have one child gate installed in the doorway from the hall to the kitchen and two other portable ones. With workmen in the house, I have to keep them out of the way. We are now sometimes gating Toby away from the front door when we go in and out because he has learned to dart out and go for walks in the neighborhood on his own. Luckily, we have always tracked him down.

We have three dog beds in the bedroom, three in the halls and two in the family room. A dog cage is a prominent feature for the family room. Casey goes in there to eat his chew-chews and when there is food out that makes him guard us from the other two dogs, because this is when he attacks.

I have a PT Cruiser as "my" car. I did not even have the back seats in it while our former girl-dog, Megan, was alive. She liked to stand or sit and look out. When she was gone, I did put the seats in, but they stay in the fold-down position. I usually have two dog beds in there. Now the current dogs can see out without standing up. I have three tie-downs, so if they are wearing their harnesses, they are safely seat-belted to the car.

Oh! my biggest accommodation was in our old house. We never planned to leave it, so we made it just the way we wanted it. We had a black walnut tree and three squirrel-crazy dogs, so very little grass. The dogs were all muddy whenever it rained, so we needed this:

It is a hot and cold running water, plumbed, paw-washing station I invented!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 9:56PM
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Jay, I am so sorry that your kitty will be put down. But she always had a good life with a caring family, much better than so many unfortunate animals. We gave our cat Lily to DH's daughter to take care of a mice problem last year. When they vacationed, she came back to the Massachusetts house, and proceeded to control the growing chipmunk population building hi rise condos in the 100 foot long rock wall up the driveway. But it all ended when the 3 little girls came home and demanded Lily's return. Lily's been to three different vets, and all comment on how different she is from other cats. I tell them, she was my first cat and I did not know cats should be treated different, so I raised her like I did my dogs. So she acts like a dog. However, her biological father was a bobcat, no tail, and Lily's littermate had no tail--but Lily had the longest tail of any cat I ever saw. I swear she can LEVITATE effortlessly and scale the highest piece of furniture.

Nancy, your paw washing station does not show up. Can you ddo something about that? I'm interested.

Our dachshund Dixie knows when I talk on the phone to her beloved Papa. I sit down, and suppose she can tell my tone is different for him, because she will jump up in my lap. Then she wants to hear his voice, and once she hears that, licks the phone, and starts the yelping and baying little yips to tell him how she is being mistreated. Then she sits in my lap listening....until she detects the last minutes of our conversation, and she is ready to leap from the lap and coax me to the back door to take her for a romp around the back yard. She really misses her papa.

My boy maltese, MoonPie, will be 12 this December. He has all sorts of skin problems, and many operations, and also was at one time paralyzed by Lyme disease but recovered. I note that he has lost a lot of weight, but he is by no means a small dog at 10 pounds. I worried about him so much and thought a couple of times he was gone, but now he is better. But there is a certain sadness in his eyes, and a reluctance to wag his tail. But he does play with his sister Dixie with a lot of enthusiasm after he gets a bath.

I had an outdoor shower built as part of our back deck, and I really love it. With an oval galvanized tub just the right size for a maltese and a dachshund, I can bathe them there in the warmer months. Of course, I get as wet as they do. But even more so when I jump in the inside shower with them for a bath.

My DH laughs at me because I brush their teeth with a Dora toothbrush and some chicken flavored toothpaste. They love the toothpaste, but those little tongues get more of it than the teeth do. How is it that the dogs I had as a child never had dental problems, but these days every dog seems to require a lot of attention? I don't think my parents spent as much money on MY health or MY teeth, as I've spent on taking my critters to the vet. After all these years, the size of my file at the vet is pretty awesome. But we have a good relationship after all these years.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 10:45PM
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Sorry, ML, but it is showing for me. The way to find it is to follow the links to my pbase site, either below or in the thread about the kitchen. One of the Galleries I have is for the Chippewa Kitchen. The paw washing station was part of that kitchen remodel, and is where I met Jim, our contractor.

I have never started my dogs early on tooth brushing, and I guess that is the best way to get them to allow it. I don't think I had even heard of it when Toby was small, and all out other dogs were fully grown when we got them. I think the dogs of our youth had different food, ML. They got scraps and bones more. The dry and wet dog food today can get mushed down between their teeth and in the gum line, and cause more problems. A dog outside chewing on bones or sticks gets its teeth scraped clean and natural foods did not get caked into the spaces between the teeth.

I have never had a dog interested in hearing our voices over the phone. Did Dixie do this before her Papa went north for the summer, or is it something she learned recently? Are you ever going to get to join him this summer, ML?

Emagineer, Your red dog looks so cozy in that chair. Did you cover him/her, or does he/she crawl under the covers?

Marti, from what I understand, PETA views pet owning as slavery. True Vegans and PETA people don't even use honey, since the bees make it for their own use and the feeding of their young.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:48PM
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It the shed picture I just posted on the other thread there is a restaurant sink I use to bathe the pups in. The kitty is sitting up on it eating his dinner.I bought the sink at an army surplus store. About 65 dollars. Works perfect. It is two by three foot. We built a wooden top for it so when I was still doing dog grooming I would groom the dogs and then lift the lid and put them in the sink to bathe then back on top to finish.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:25AM
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flgargoyle - So sorry about your kitty! even when it is the best thing for them it sure doesn't ease our pain of loss.

nancy - goodness girl, you're running a pet special care center there! they sure do all have their little personalities, don't they? yours look so sweet - surely they don't do anything!
i love the paw washing station - wish I could have one.

I'm the same way with my dogs. my 2 now haven't been together but I'll be having them both inside in the new place. i think. I'm planning to. if they don't fight and if boy doesn't pee in there. no one can eat with them both in there. no dog cookies. they'd kill each other. but if boy behaves he'll have a room to go into by himself where he can have a cookie. or dinner.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:11AM
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Well Steph, you don't need that garden tub, replace it with a dog bath at a good height for you! Now I understand why Boy lives outside. Have you heard about belly bands? Male dogs don't "go" when wearing one. The site below turned up in a search. I don't know if theirs are better or not.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:03AM
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I love animal posts and photos. I'm always happy when I see them. We love our animals, don't we? My friends have two old Italian greyhounds: one is now blind and on medicine and the other is getting up there too. My friends don't think twice about taking care of them.

My little Casey, a 5 lb toy poodle, is 7 and very healthy and active. I had to put those pet stairs in the bedrooms with a little customizing (I velcroed rubber shelf liners so he wouldn't slip going up/down.) He's too tiny to jump up. But he can jump up on the sofas. I keep his beds and blankets everywhere. He loves his own space. I even take a small cat bed and blanket with me when we travel and visit people so he has a place that is his.

In the car, I bought a seat that slings over the bucket seat so he can sit up and see out the window or curl up and sleep without me worrying about sudden stops.

He's only 9 inches tall. I'm mad about him!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:12AM
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Nancy, thanks for the bellybands link. I've known about them for many years, but never took action. With us soon to travel north, I want to make sure little Moonpie does not mark the new carpets going in our MA cape. I just ordered a couple of the bellybands. Little Moon is getting old and goes a lot.

Buddyrose, your boy is adorable. I like his carseat too.

When we travel long distances, I have the parrots in their travel crates. I brace them into the SUV second row one on top of the other, with my boy parrot able to see me as I drive, plus all around. I also strap the carriers into the seatbelts. Since a 1500 mile trip would be hard on their legs and feet, I wrap the perches with vetwrap to give a soft but good perching surface. I do not trim their nails before such a trip, but leave them long. Water bowl is not in place, but apple is skewered to the bars. Food is also more juicy with some dark greens. Only a soft toy is provided to chew on or shred.

On those long trips north or soouth, I am usually taking a lot of STUFF, so I spread it out on the back behind the second row of seats. Then I secure it as much as possible with bungees or straps which ratchet tight. If I have a cage (or a big bag), I will strap it securely to the upper rack on top of the car. Never lost a thing by doing so.
Inside over the top of the strapped down goods, I spread a quilt or sacrificial blanket, and let the two dogs roam the back space. If DH is not along, one of them sits on the pillow in the front seat, high up enough to see out. The other one has the same setup in the second row behind him. This has worked nicely for at least four years. I knock on wood when I say this, because I do not wish to tempt fate, but so far so major problems, no accidents, and all are safe. The worst part was when I had 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 parrots. The CATS meowed solid for 1500 miles, and I was at wits end when I got there. I SWORE I'd never take a cat ANYWHERE ever again. Even with tranquilizers, they wobble around in the crates and meow meow is awful. I have crates for the dogs, but find it easier to fold them flat and keep the car loaded low enough for me to see out all around, and the dogs to roam on top of everything.

When I go north this time, with no cargo to speak of, I think I will confine them to their crates strapped down behind the two parrots. I plan to take my girl parrot and her cage, all by herself, up to my friends in Iowa at Iowa Parrot Rescue, where my girl Kaycee fell in love with them after she stayed up there a year after Hurricane Katrina. They want her as a personal pet, and she calls for Michael so sweetly all the time. Kaycee is a good sweet mature female African grey who was 12 years old on June 1st. Here she is taking a shower on the porch in Mobile.

I have the opportunity at this time to place her in a first rate home where she can easily bond with the new family. At this point in life, I do not know how many more years I will be able to care for all my animals, and parrots can live for 80 years or more. It is a long term commitment, and I do not want to take chances at the last minute that a knowledgeable caregiver will be available. My DH is older than I am, and he has no knowledge of what constitutes a good home for a parrot. So Kaycee, very sweet girl, will be missed, but she goes to the perfect home for her.

That leaves only two more parrots. My Kimali is a male African grey, and I will keep him until I do not know where I am or who I am, and he is in my will. Little boy Keno, who came to me in June of 2009 when my friend, his mama, died of cancer, is still confused about why he is with me and not with his mama. I am reluctant to put the moves on him to get him to bond with me. I know he has deep emotions and would bond with me if I pushed him. But, that is not a kind thing to do, knowing I am not a suitable or long term caregiver for him. I respect his right to have a younger person, albeit one who is aware of the special needs that the eclectus parrot species require. Because they have different nutritional needs to most other species. So I am looking to place Keno, too. I have NEVER sold a parrot, and I will not sell Keno. Love is not a marketable commodity.
But I must place him in an optimum home for an eclectus, to fulfill my promise to his mama, who trusted me to take over when she could no longer care for him. This picture is Keno, inspired to bathe in his water bowl when I run the vacuum!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:05PM
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I don't have pets now, but I remember when my brother and I were young we shared a room and we made space to accommodate our dog Max (Australian Shepherd) so he could sleep in our room; we had bunk beds and his bed was in a corner of the room. I know it's not really much in the way of accommodating, but I think it's something and that it fits in with the discussion here.

Such interesting stories and great photos shared in here. Enjoying this post quite a bit.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 12:39AM
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emagineer dog is a chocolate lab. He cuddles up with my adult son in the mornings on the Chaise. When son leaves for work, he just stays there for a morning nap. Usually under the blanket in winter they were sharing.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 8:31AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I've looked through this thread several times, but haven't posted until now, because like Jay, we've had a beloved pet in bad health. Our 16-year old 'mutt,' childhood friend to my kids, and faithful gardening companion to me, had to be put down yesterday. We had decided that when we felt that she was suffering, we'd have to make that choice. We were hoping that she would be comfortable until our son could return home from Afghanistan for a last visit. He was due home today, but was able to get home a week early to surprise us, and was able to say goodbye. He helped bury her beside the barn, overlooking the field that she loved to explore. Rest in peace, Dollie.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 8:54AM
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Ohhh, Mama Goose, what a touching story of love to the end.
I watched the movie, MARLEY AND ME last night, and I was charmed by it, beginning to end. How much a part of the life of that family Marley was! I had tears down my cheeks and a lump in my throat. Your story is much like that one. And I think that Jay has an older dog who has big health issues also, has been a part of the fabric of their lives for a long time too, so I was not ready for it to be his cat that left him.

It is a beautiful thing to give this final peace to a beloved pet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 1:00PM
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mama goose- Sounds like Dollie had a good run, and a loving family right up to the end. What better can anyone (or anypet) ask for?

Oddly enough, our old dog who was 'dying' last year is still hanging in there. She even played with an old squeeky toy last night! The vet doesn't know why she hasn't gotten any worse, but we'll take every day we can get. Sort makes you realize how precious everything is in this world, and to remember to savor it every single day!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Indeed how true, Jay. If you have yet to see the movie MARLEY AND ME, it will probably get to you. I thought my little Moonpie was dying also about two years ago when he became paralyzed with Lyme disease. But now he not only looks better, he is acting spunky again. He is 11.

With the impending construction work here, I am getting my stuff together to take my little girl parrot, Kaycee up to Iowa. I got oil changed today, the dogs will be taken to the vet for boarding while I'm gone, and the two boy parrots will stay here supplied adequately for my two day quick run to Iowa and back. It poured down rain, so all the plants are deeply watered, and all should be well in the garden. The cement foundation guy starts tomorrow, I will leave around midnite tomorrow night, and drive the 921 miles straight through. Then I'll sleep and head back Friday before noon. If I get tired, I'll stop somewhere on the trip back, always driving carefully. I am a good driver, used to long hauls at the wheel, both on boats and in cars.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:21PM
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The most important way I accommodate my pets is by having a fenced-in yard. I don't allow roaming, although I know the kitty's(3)would love to go on a few 'adventures'. I also have an Australian Cattle dog, and if it weren't for the fence, he would have to be walked 6 times a day!

Safety is the most important thing I can do for them, since i'm the human, and the one with the brian who can determine what's good/bad for them.Afterall, they're my furkids. ;o)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:30PM
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I am sorry for your family's loss of an old friend and companion, Mama Goose. I am glad your son made it back to see Dollie again. Is he returning to Afghanistan? If so, I hope he remains safe while doing the important job we have asked him to do there. I will add him to my daily list of people to be thankful for.

Patty, I agree about fenced yards and keeping our furbabies safe. Mine just don't get exercise in their yard anymore, they quit playing about two years ago. I wish I could interest them in some fun in the backyard. It is the scents of the street they hunger for, the unknown and interesting. DH just took the two boys for a rare walk. I am hoping he will start doing this more often. I just walk too slowly for them, and have to save my "leg time" for work!

ML, have a safe trip up to your featherbaby's new home! I find myself wondering if bird lovers think about their birds from a different perspective now that scientists have decided that the dinosaurs did not die out, but became the birds we know today. I am fascinated with this idea and can't see a bird without thinking of the dinosaurs!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:03PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

ML, and Jay, thank you for kind words, she was a lovely dog who loved everyone, and thought everyone should love her back. We have good memories. So glad to hear that your furry friends are doing better.

And, ML, have a good trip, be safe, and keep in touch. :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:07PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Oops, sorry, Nancy, thank you, too.

And thank you for remembering my son. He'll be heading to Texas in a few weeks, then his time in the Army will be up in December. He plans to find work and stay in Texas for a while after his release. Since he has only a short time left in the military, I'm HOPING he'll be state-side for the entire time. I've learned 'never say never.'

I'd like to add that we accommodate our pets by spaying and neutering ASAP. All our pets are 'hand-me-downs' that have been dropped here, or were heading for something worse--dog pound or flea market. We kept the first two dogs and first two cats, (that's my limit) then found homes for the others that have wandered in, or that we've agreed to foster for a time.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:24PM
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mama goose and Jay, I'm so sorry. It's so hard to lose these friends who have often put themselves completely in our hands.

I love looking at the pictures of everyone's pets. I've never had a bird but they look quite entertaining.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Jay & Mama Goose, I'm so terribly sorry for your losses, they become such a part of our lives.

We actually bought our house partially for our dog, we have one dog (a cryptic blue sheltie) and a cat. Our apartment was not going to work for another winter of taking her outside when we lived on the top floor. We have her crate stowed under our kitchen table and thankfully the backyard is completely fenced and she loves it out there! The picket fence on one side is actually so old that all she needs to do is push on it and she could break it but she hasn't figured that out :) She sleeps with us every night but the kitty stays downstairs as he has no qualms about letting you know exactly when he is hungry in the morning :)

Our puppy, "Pidge" (Pigeon) is about a year and a half old
From Pidge!!!

Our cat "Bugs" (Bugs Bunny, my husband has a thing with naming animals after other animals :)
From Pidge!!!

He has his "nails" on in this picture, he doesn't really need them any more.

We had a scare with Pidge today! The siding guys were here doing their measuring and left the gate open when they left (clearly they don't have pets), we always just let Pidge out since we NEVER leave the gate open. Today I checked on her TWO HOURS after she'd gone out (don't worry she has lots of water and shade and comfy out there!) and she wasn't there, that's when I saw the open gate, I thought my heart would stop! My husband and I bolted outside and I began frantically driving the neighborhood (she, like most shelties is a big car chaser) and surrounding streets in terror. Turns out my husband found her, our neighbors had found her in their front yard and had her in their back yard playing with their dog because they thought we weren't home. You can imagine how relieved I was!!! I was hysterical. Note to self: always check the gate when people come over...

These two furries are the lights of my life,they are such a joy!

Moccasin, you mentioned coming up to Iowa to drop off one of your birdies, is there any chance you would like a very well taken care of cockateel? My friend grew up with birds and wanted one when she bought her house, while she and her husband have enjoyed him, they just don't have the patience for his "birdie enthusiasm" any more and are looking for a very good home for him. We are in central Illinois, which I'm not sure would be near your route, but it's just a thought!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 11:48PM
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So Sorry Mama-Goose and Jay. We also had an old timer we lost several years ago. I still choke up over him. He spent one night in his 16 years away from us. The rest of the time he was with us. I even took him to work with me. Or we did when we worked together. So hard to loose our fur babies.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 12:35AM
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mocs: I love that you took your friend's bird. I have a sick friend and I told her I'd take her kitty (even though I'm allergic to cats). I love cats. I wasn't allergic as a child and I keep hoping this allergy goes bye bye.

mama goose you just brought tears to my eyes. happy though that your son was there to say good bye. I've said good by throughout my life to many cats and dogs. I still remember them all.

enigma: my little dog got away twice in the past couple of years from dog sitters while I was at work. He's VERY fast when someone opens a door and doesn't see him behind them. I was distraught until he was found. Now they know better so hopefully that won't happen again.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:59AM
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Enigma, I once took in a lot of parrots, until I spent all my money on their medical bills and cages, etc, and could not afford meds for myself. That's when I realized I had to do something else. So, no, I cannot take the little feisty tiel from your friends. BUT......

The place I am going with my girl parrot is near Muscatine, Iowa, and it is a rescue run by friends of mine, Mike and Abi Hutchison. Your friend's tiel would be welcome there.

He is a retired history teacher, she is a creator of wool yarn from heritage sheep, all grown on their property. I think she has a worldclass reputation for the quality of her wool in natural colors. Their home is a huge old many-gabled historic structure out in the middle of miles of corn fields. I thought I would never find it when I visited before.

Several years ago they set up the recognized 501C3 (?) charitable shelter and rescue called IOWA PARROT RESCUE. Any donations to it are tax deductible, of course. And they take IN birds of all kinds. They also either find new homes that they "vette" for quality, or they keep the birds who are for any reason not suitable for adoption. They have a quarantine space for newcomers and an infirmary for sick birds, and a free flight aviary (well, not totally FREE since it is enclosed) for the larger birds, and smaller flying aviaries for the birds lesser in size.

When I go up, I am taking my camera so I can create a photo album at my Webshots account. You can also visit their website at the link below. They are located very near the Mississippi, just across from Illinois.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:03AM
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Moccasinlanding, thank you for your response! What an amazing sounding place! I will let my friend know about it, I know she could only let him go to a VERY loving place...he's such a sweetheart and has been hand-fed as a baby, he's just so chattery! I think maybe he's lonely for a friend :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:19PM
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I've enjoyed meeting everyone's fur babies here, and so sorry about those of you who are grieving over the ones you have lost.

I've had lots of animals and even some lovebirds over the years, but now my little family consists of five adopted kitties. They are my little treasures, and I know I will not cope well when they become old and pass on.

They are all indoor kitties and they sure miss having a screened in area to go "outside" in. Our new home will have part of the porch screened in, so they should like that. I have kitty condos and trees for them and ignore people who can't understand why I would want such things throughout the house. I find that most people who don't like animals are cold hearted people anyway.

I never thought I would want any goats, but the other day my husband and I were cutting down a neighboring dirt road and saw a pregnant goat with her head stuck through the fence. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side thing. All her goat buddies were frantic, but of coarse they couldn't help her. I jumped out of our truck and went to calm her down. She was so sweet! Well, I couldn't get her head out of the fence so we took wire cutters and cut the fence enough to get her head free. No one was home at the time so I left a note in their mailbox. We haven't seen the goats in that particular pasture since, so the owners must be watching out for them. Anyway, I always thought all goats were smelly things, but this little gal had no odor at all. Makes me want a couple of pet goats. My husband said after the house is built.

I'll need to research a good litter box place for the new house. Wasn't there someone here who fixed up a nice area underneath some stairs? I have one girl kitty who gets scared if I have one in a laundry room and the washer and dryer are running, so that room is out.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:51PM
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nancy - a good tub height for me wouldn't be good for the dogs. boy is about 75 lbs or more. I hose them off outside. It works nice here since we have such good weather in the winter. If for some reason I'd have to give them a bath inside I'd put them in my shower. I do try to get them actually in the rain when it rains - they look so pretty afterward.

thx for the info on belly bands. I'd never heard of them. they should have them at the pet store, shouldn't they? I saved the site in case they don't.

mama g- so sorry about your furbaby! I'm glad your son got home in time to say goodbyes to him. that is very painful to go thru.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:02AM
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so sorry Jay and mamagoose that you're dealing with the passing of your furkids :( it's so hard when we lose them and I think we can only take some comfort that they are at peace and not suffering.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 7:43AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thank you all so much for the encouragement--I know you are all animal lovers, and know how we feel.

My younger DD just asked me if we were going to get another dog, and I said "No, we still have the puppy." (LOL, the dog is 7 years old now, and we still call her Puppy.)

I have a feeling that the next stray that my kid finds beside the road is going to end up here!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Papa's little darling is a black/tan dachshund girl named Dixie. She is a huntress. After we added the "back forty" to our fenced space, she was enjoying exploring that new and shady locale. However, a week or so ago she disappeared one dark night and did not come when I called her to come in. It is my habit to let the two dogs out for a final business trip before we go to bed, and is usually over in a few minutes.

But Dixie does not exactly pay attention to coming back when she gets her nose full of a scent like RABBIT, and we now have a rabbit coming into the garden to eat tasty stuff, and Dixie can track it everywhere it's been.

So it was about 11 pm, and I was ready to go to bed. My flashlight batteries were DEAD, so I could not see how to walk in the stubbly field of cut bushes to look for her. Calling her name endlessly that late at night and clapping hands would not be appreciated by neighbors. I looked and looked, and listened for any sounds of her, all to no avail. Nothing. I went out front to the street to see if this little black dog could be out there, again no sign of her. I was sick at heart, because she is not wise to the ways of cars, and will follow her nose without looking up.
I could not think about what I'd tell her papa in the morning when he called.

So I turned on the front porch light, opened the blinds so I could see if she came up on the stoop, and waited. And waited some more. Around 2 am, there was a little scratch on the front door, and I looked that way to see her panting tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. She was ready to come home.

She had scratches, a rash on her low slung belly, and by the next morning there were many bruises like finger prints around her back legs under the belly. I took her to the vet for babysitting (I was heading to Iowa next night), and they gave me something for the rash.

Well, the same thing happened again Tuesday this week, only it was daylight, and I was watching the dogs while I watered my flowerpots. Suddenly no Dixie in the yard. I went calling again, no answer. I went to my neighbor's yard to see if she had gotten under our fence into HIS yard, but no. I was pretty mad at her this time. So I came back to our side of the shrubbery, and there she was, by the car in the driveway.

Now I am putting her harness on with the leash attached to a large but movable object (a wire basket) so that she is slowed down, and cannot get far if she tries to go under the fence. This will be the routine until I can add a barrier around the new fence area, like we have under the old fence area, which will keep her from escaping. She is a quick learner. Poor little rabbit, I hope Dixie makes friends with it, and it grows up quickly to be bigger than she is.

Anyway, here is a picture of her with her "ball and chain."
I hope the animal cruelty folks don't catch me.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:31PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

moccasin, the caption for the top pic should be "The grass is always greener..."

Even though we can't see her face, I can imagine the yearning.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Ah, Mocassin! I know all too well about dogs that follow their noses and care little about cars, people, or other dangers that come their way! We have two beagles and a foxhound, so needless to say, they are the same. I don't trust them unless they are on a leash. Both of our beagles escaped once and we could hear them baying and chasing things in the woods. We finally found them in a field, they were lost. They had followed their noses so intently that they didn't even realize where they were!

We put the kitty boxes in a closet. It's a spare bedroom but we call it the "cat room". They sleep on the bed and their food and water is on a dresser to avoid dog predation.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 3:10PM
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My Toby is part Beagle. He goes out "one more time before bedtime" with Bina and Casey. The other two are ready to come in after a minute or two, but not Toby! I have thought for some time that he is out there, just outside my field of vision, waiting for me to shake the treat can. Well, the treat can is empty and last night he made no sounds at all when I called (quietly) after midnight. Nothing. So I went out on the patio and called. Nothing. I went back in. As I was going out a few minutes later, I heard his bark. He was hiding under the back hedge, the whole time.! He just is not coming in without treats!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 7:28PM
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