It’s your birthday? Wait, let me unfriend you.

It’s no secret I have a few bones to pick with social media, and technology in general despite being born and brought up by computer science.My qualms about social media, technology, and all the various gadgets that are the evil spawn of computer science were well reinforced by my friend’s blog post on appreciation today. Look at what she has to say, it’s really cool! And don’t forget to Like Pitbull WorldWide on Facebook.

When did a chip become something other than that you dip and enjoy? When did a cookie become something non- ahoy ? And when did a tablet become something that you glare at and develop a characteristic squint, rather than something white and bitter that comes in a blue wrapping that you wash down with water to control a fever ?

It’s not all too bad though. Although I know that if it came to it, I CAN find my way from point A to point B, a part of me is thankful for that sexy lady voice that says “In one hundred feet, your destination will be on the right”. And just yesterday Retail Me Not saved me 20% at Kohls. So .. okay. It’s how the cookie crumbles, right ? Not what it stores in your browser ?

Speaking of privacy, do you ever have this feeling that you have WAY too many Facebook friends ? I do. And what’s more unfortunate is most of them are  acquaintances. Who need not know what is happening with me. Yeah I know that FB has had an “Acquaintances” list built in for a while now complete with the one privacy option that allows you to Show This to Friends Except Acquaintances. Genius. But you have to designate Random Person X as Acquaintance, and you need to have the presence of mind to do this when you accept their friend request (because face it, you are never going to go back and do it later). And THEN, FB will go ahead and tweak their settings in a small, inconspicuous manner so as to reveal ALL your deepest darkest secrets on your Timeline to said acquaintance. So, why are you airing your dirty laundry on your Timeline, you ask. I don’t. But there are enough stupid people out there who do.

Anyway, I keep straying from my point which is this – I realize that I have someone totally unnecessary on my list only when I see their birthday alert. And my brain says to me – Damn girl, why has this person got ANY insight into your life at all ? And my urge is to unfriend them. But come on, it’s their birthday! There is a good chance that they’ve already blocked all my updates anyway because MOST of them are about dogs that need rescuing, or that are up for adoption, or my own dog because he is bloody gorgeous. But what if they haven’t ? Then one day after they turned ‘old’ they won’t be seeing all these awesome updates of my oh so exciting life and realize that I unfriended them. AND they’re ‘old’. Mess, yes ?

So i’ll make a mental note to do it another day. And then like all the other notes that are mental and not on my smart phone, or my calendar this one too finds it’s way into a black hole of forgetfulness and general stupidity that comes from owning a smart phone.What makes this whole birthday thing worse is that I can’t really post a Facebook Status Update about it, even on a day when I do not see an alert, because it’s SOMEONE’s birthday that day. When you combine the probability of having atleast one birthday from among 494 people on a given day , with Murphy’s Laws, you will have pissed atleast ONE person off.

So, the list grows from 494 upwards and the trauma is endless. The social pressure builds. Do I want to break the cycle ?Would you ?

Would you unfriend someone ON THEIR BIRTHDAY ?

ADOPTABLE MIDNIGHT, horrified at the thought of unfriending someone on their birthday!

ADOPTABLE MIDNIGHT, horrified at the thought of unfriending someone on their birthday! Contact cauzicanfl@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you and please fall in Love.

Cauzican Care was kind and showcased my post on Midnight’s adoption in their March issue. (Sidebar: If you haven’t already subscribed to the newsletter, please do it here! You will receive a monthly pupdate on all things Cauzican – adoptions, events, training tips etc. Past issues are available too.)

This post serves as a thank you to everyone who read it and connected with me to talk about fostering.

Almost everyone said I made them cry 🙂 Conversations began, and I got to thinking. Many people said how they’re already too attached to their foster and expecting the separation to be very painful. I already wrote about how that is true but there were some things I forgot to say. This is for all those foster parents who are attached, emotionally involved and apprehensive about the imminent separation.

You need to be all those things.

Let me put out a disclaimer here: I am not about to say that the foster parents who are detached are bad foster parents. Absolutely not. Different people have different ways of doing things and everyone who fosters, saves lives. But this post is directed to those who are attached, and somewhere deep down feel like they shouldn’t be because this is not their dog. This is to tell them, that it is alright to be attached.

To heal these dogs from the ailments, behavioral issues and other misfortunes their prior life gave them, you need to love them like your own, and sometimes more.

You will start remembering them in a happy way.

There will come a time when you think of them and just feel happy 🙂 I recently shared one such update (scroll down past the boring part!)

You will know which home is right for them.

You just will. You are the primary deciding factor and you will know. And you should follow your gut, and voice what you think about the home you’re about to place your temporary child in.

And the main thing is this:

Do not stop fostering for attachment reasons.

You have the ability to nurture a neglected animal back to a happy, fun and loving version of itself. Let these dogs pass through your doors and come out stronger and ready for real life. You will feel pain yes, but it is minuscule compared to the good that you just did for this dog.

Below are two wonderful articles about fostering and separation that come to mind as I wrap this up:

http://andfostermakesfive.com/2013/11/01/how-not-to-fall-in-love-with-your-foster-dog/

http://unsaidyetunderstood.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/threads/

You are not supposed to not fall in love with your foster dog. In my friend Mariah’s words “The only thing you can do is to remember and prepare yourself for it all over again.”.

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Midnight and me at a local event. Photo Courtesy Nandita,

That sappy post I’ve been dying to write

Midnight is adopted! I am beyond happy for my little girl!(Yes, I still say “my” little girl).

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New home, new bed, fast asleep!

Many foster parents term this event “bittersweet” and they are right. Her absence hurts so much at times, that I feel physical pain. It’s happened a couple of  times and a few say that that’s a sign that this is it – the home she’s been waiting for. The first time it happened,  was while she was still with me. It was the Friday before I was to drop her off for her trial. It happened on my bedroom floor. Kahlua had an unlimited supply of paws and hugs ready. He has seen this before. Me at my weakest. Midnight wasn’t sure what’s going on. She sat on my bed and kept tilting her head. And just like that, she made me smile. Everyday for the 8 months that she was my baby girl, she made me smile. She was spunky, affectionate and crazy. In Nandu’s words I’m sure she heard voices!

There were some things I wanted to tell her on the day she came home to me:

It is okay now. The worst is over. You are safe.

That large black dog there? The one who looks like someone looked at you through a magnifying glass? He is your new brother for as long as you need him to be. I am your new mother, for as long as you need me to be. You can be a puppy now.

Day 1: "Ma i think there is another dog in the house, but I am not sure"

Day 1: “Ma i think there is another dog in the house, but I am not sure”

You are unwell, but won’t be for long. Don’t let that diminish your spirit. The worries are for me to take on.

This is home. You will never go hungry again. You will never feel cold and unwanted.

You will be loved, trained and taught manners. You will go to day care and make friends. You will come back, and sleep worry free like you’re supposed to.

There will come a day that I leave you in an unknown home and you might wonder why. But soon, you will realize that these are your people, your family. In time, I hope you forget me. I will never forget you. Just please don’t think I abandoned you.

There are some things that I want to tell her now that she is gone:

I love you. With all my heart and with everything I have.

You always always have a home with me, but I hope you never need it. I hope your new life brings you so much happiness that you never need to come back.

I wish that I could call you and ask you if you’re happy. But my heart says you are. So it is ok. And there are signs. Signs from your new family that they love you.

A part of me will forever be your mom. And you, my Mini.

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Foster ma says …

The rescue I is from (Cauzican Care) is going to be putting out a monthly Newsie-letter. I is not know what that is, but she says I must tell you to click on this linkie and sign up. The new year issue is coming out tomorrow (duh).

https://www.facebook.com/CauzicanCare/app_100265896690345

I has observed however, that you humans cannot do this using those small strange gadgets that you always have your faces buried in. You is need a computer like I is using now. Foster ma says she will try to see why it is so and fix it by next month’s issue if possible.

Please read our newsie-letter. I hope it is worth all the time she spent on the computer instead of playing fetch with me and foster brother.

PS: I is still looking for my forever home. I is need someone who will bond and interact with me and take me on walks and give me lovies. And I have many lovies to gives in return.If you want me you must emails to cauzicanfl@gmail.com or comment here because foster ma can see your email from the comment and connects with you.

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Happy new year humans!

“Does she chew”? I don’t know, do you chew?

9:00 PM Railroad Square Art Park.

Delightful conversation with delightfully (not) inebriated twenty something individual.

My fault. I usually can scan the person and decide if I would approach them for a possible adoption. But, that can also sometimes mean I am being judgmental. Plus, Midnight walked upto him and gave him kisses, so why not ?

“What a sweet dog!”  <<puppy kisses>>

“Well, she is up for adoption. Are you looking to adopt a dog?”

<<drunken slur>> “It depends…”

<<Could have left conversation at this point.>>

“On what?”

<<drunken slur>> “Well… ” <<mumble>>

“Alright, you have a good night.”

<<drunken slur>> “Wait.. is she Kennel trained?”

“Yes”

<<drunken slur>> “Does she chew?”

“All dogs chew.” <<Do not think it worth the effort to explain they will all do this when bored, anxious and under-exercised.>>

<<drunken slur>> “Is she..house.. housebroken?”

“Absolutely”

<<drunken slur>> “What else does she do ?”

“Have a good night.”

Adoptable dogs are not circus monkeys. I will not train any dog to do tricks for a human being’s silly thrills. If my foster/perma dogs know commands/tricks, it’s because I taught them to the dogs in order to bond with them, and to use them as a distraction from something that might cause them to be over-excited and over-reactive when I need them to be calm.  This is easier said than done, and I am no trainer. You won’t see me getting either Midnight or Kahlua to do a “happy dance” on command any time soon. But if you do, it is not for entertainment.

Adoptable Midnight, painting the town red! (well, yellow)

Adoptable Midnight, painting the town red! (well, yellow)

Furthermore, people need to understand (excuse my upcoming arrogance) that when they see us showcasing our adoptables in a public space and come up to us and show interest in our fosters, we are evaluating them as much, or more, as they, the dog. This is supposed to be a ‘fit’. And a good one too. This is not a one way street. Rest assured that if an adopter calls me to say they cannot handle Midnight, I will drop everything and go pick her up. Rest even more assured, that if I get the impression that Midnight is unhappy in her new home, I will drop everything and go pick her up.

We give these dogs temporary homes. There is no expiration date on this ‘temporary’ unless there are exceptional circumstances. We are not trying to get ‘rid’ of them. So yes, adopters will be turned down if needed.

Questions like “Is she trained?”,  radiate ignorance. Which by the way, is not a bad thing at all, if it can develop into a conversation about what “trained” means, and if the conversation really yields that there is a willingness to learn,  and love the animal, or possibly result in a different meaning of “trained” than what is commonly known and accepted.But, Ignorance with Arrogance equals DNA list. (Do not adopt list.)

Dogs are not prepackaged bake mixes with a specific set of instructions on how many eggs to add and how much oil to get a perfect result. They are living beings with minds and souls and feelings. If a potential adopter does not get this basic fact, ain’t nobody got taam for that.

Wasn't kidding. She is fully kennel trained.

Wasn’t kidding. She is fully kennel trained. Email cauzicanfl@gmail.com

{Tough Thoughts}The little dog who never had a pack

For all of those who brought home a stray or two like myself, apart from being the happiest person in the world and being gifted with bouts of uncontrollable laughter every so often due  to the strays’ shenanigans, have you ever wondered what your little strays’ packs consisted of before you ?

The reason for today’s post is something I see in Midnight’s behavior, the reason for which was explained to me by Michelle from Doggie Dayz. I see her trying to protect me, and Kahlua.

Why little girl ? You are the little-ist of the pack ? What makes you think we need your sweet little defenses ?

“Because foster ma, I is never had a packs before you twos !”

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And I is wuv you!

Kahlua is an anxious dog who is largely very well behaved, but also knows he can get away with murder(not literally of course.. go get a grammar book.) if he can appeal to Mom’s soft side. This is what Mom was made to realize. So for instance, if a highly dangerous, murderous human being walks past and Kahlua begins to bark, Midnight does too! And all her guards are up. She feels the need to protect him. (The nerve!)

But in the half hour that we practiced Kahlua-calming at Doggie Dayz, I actually saw Midnight sink to the the floor and curl up into a ball of slumber. Like little black magic (well, because she is a black dog). The little girl must be so stressed out all the time with this burden she has brought upon herself to protect us! It should be us who protects and shields her, not the other way round.

Now here is why I labeled this post as “tough thoughts” – Little girl is getting too attached to us, and it goes without saying that we are to her too. The dogs’ attachment plays out in different ways. They decide to drive the human crazy, or stand outside each other’s kennels staring at the one who was ‘locked away’ and steal toys from each other. Lately they’ve started this other thing where Kahlua will crouch like a tiger and stalk Midnight and finally break out into a chase. My point is, they do not know of the imminent separation in the event that Midnight finds her perfect new family (and leaves this dysfunctional one behind). But, I do. So I’ve had to make a tough call – introduce separation.

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“We is becoming joined at the hip”

I’ve already begun separate walks a week before Thanksgiving, because they both need separate types of training during their walks, and I would also prefer to stay in one piece. But I’ve also requested couple of other volunteers to have Midnight stay over with them every once in a while, and possibly co-foster with me. She will also go to day care without the big guy more often. I already did this once this week (daycare) and saw a significant difference in her approach to day care. With the big guy around, they both usually make a beeline for the daycare door, greet Michelle and never look back. Yay for play! But, when she was by herself this one day, she kept looking back at me leaving, pulled on her leash and made her sad face through the glass. I had to walk away. Little girl needs to un-attach. My heart breaks, but she does need this. I feel like I am taking her new pack away from her, but I’m trying to make her more independent of us. I will ensure she feels secure and loved, but at the same time does not feel the need to protect us.

The second tone of this problem is the big guy’s anxiety. Michelle has taught me how to distract him from the source of anxiety, so that he remains calm and Midnight remains calm consequently. No doggie drama. We already practiced this at Petco this week. It was only Kahlua and he spotted a life threatening human being in the check out line and decided to be vocal about it. With one quick correction with the leash and a “Sit”, he stopped, and sat.

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{Foster}Ma, why you is give us a Timeout ?

With more and more practice of these two things, I think we will be a healthier pack.

Remember – Midnight is still looking for a perma pack! Do you want to be it ? Email cauzicanfl@gmail.com.

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Adoptable Midnight – Safe and fast asleep.

Who is my Human ?

If you follow us you know I’ve been quiet on the Midnight front for a while. That’s because Midnight went to what I thought was to be her forever home, and well I am not superstitious but just a little sticious (Michael Scott reference) and so I did not want to say anything until it was an absolute certainty. And then I was about to write an explosively happy, cloyingly sweet and sappy post about how my temporary princess found her permanent castle.

That didn’t happen. Well.. yet 🙂

She did find the most wonderful human who loved her and cared for her like her own for the two weeks that she was with her. Unfortunately, for Midnight, her new human was way up there in age and their energy levels were not exactly compatible. More like, poles apart. So Midnight being the energy ball that she is, did not fit in. Well, no worries, I work with rescue, and I come equipped with dogs of all shapes, sizes and energy levels. So I recommended another dog to the elderly lady (79 years and awesome, mind you!).

Part of this is my fault. I am Midnight’s current mother. I know that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless made to exercise and wear out. The Newton-Canine Law, which you shouldn’t attempt to breach. Long story long, baby girl is back and looking for her forever home.

For now, I am her human.

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And I plan to get it right this time. I have learned from this. The reason I let this happen was because this home and the human both are an impeccable pet household. I was hoping that I was wrong about my energy ball not being able to come to rest in this home. But mothers are always right. Even the foster ones 🙂  So this time, I will make sure her prospective perma-castle is one where she has all the activity and mental stimulus she needs.

So who is Midnight’s future human ? Is there a runner in shining armor waiting to come get my princess ? Because, you know, she needs an active human. Is there someone with a litter of human children armed with tennis balls who will keep my princess’s paws in motion ? Is there a family with a dog,  playful and loving like my Kahlua who will accept my princess with open paws and love her like a sister and also give her the mental stimulation and the company she needs ?

Every time I look at her,  I wonder – why is she still with me ? Where is her human ? She is affectionate as hell, very (and I mean like.. very) entertaining, a great exercise buddy who will also curl up with you and watch a movie when worn out or when you give her a bone to gnaw at. She is fully crate trained. There is no crate drama and I am ever so thankful for that. She is fully house trained. I am working on training. She already knows Sit and gives me her attention when I ask for it.  She is all the usual rescue jargon stuff- UTD on shots, spayed, and now drumroll… Heartworm NEGATIVE! ( Super YAY!) She is also all these other great things.

So .. where is my princess’s human and why are they hiding ?

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Color me Midnight.

My roommate and I make observations about Midnight every so often. Usually we create silly situations and make inferences about the dogs only for our own amusement – there is little else in our lives apart from the love of dog (well, we are luckier than most people I’d say 😉 )
 
 
Anyway, the other day she said something so profound about Little Miss Midnight, that I had to share it with the world (or the few people that read the nonsense I write 😉 ) This was it: Midnight acknowledges everything. And now you’re thinking – where is the Eureka moment in that, girl ? Let me explain:
 
 
Think about one person you’re extremely fond of – your best friend, your spouse, your mom, whoever. What makes you like them so much ? One of the key things is that they’re attentive. They respond. The acknowledge your every thought, your every move, your every action and your every emotion. This is exactly what Little Miss Midnight does.
 
 
Her tail wags every time one of us says something and it needn’t even be addressed to her. Her tail is perpetually wagging. She is happy to be around her human. She loves to be spoken to. She loves to be hugged and kissed.
 
 
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You don’t have to try too hard with her. You can just be you. And Midnight will love you anyway. It’s just how she is – affectionate, and amazing. She is responsive. She acknowledges everything. She is responsive to treats and to toys.To her humans and her foster brother.
 
 
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When I call her name, she drops whatever she is doing and comes running to me to see what all the ‘madness’ is all about. Who wouldn’t want such a companion? How many people can honestly say that they have someone like this in their lives? One who drops everything, and comes to them, smiling, open, ready and accepting.
 
 
Little Miss Midnight is just that – responsive, loving, sweet, affectionate and also adoptable 🙂 Reach out to me if you need this happy little girl to make your life even happier and more complete. Or email cauzicanfl@gmail.com
 
 
 
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Joyful Noise: Sense and Sensibility

Today’s daily prompt asks this:

If you were forced to give up one sense, but gain super-sensitivity in another, which senses would you choose?

I say, my sense of smell. I’d give it up. I think in my case, it’s kind of pointless anyway. I can’t think of a time in the last year or so where it’s been useful (and I can’t think beyond a year back anyway!). My nose stud takes up a decent amount of nostril real estate too. Seriously, when I wear it, there is just one barely functional nostril doing all the dirty work.

In a hot humid environment, good olfactory system is not necessarily your best friend anyway! Or when you live with two dogs who believe truly in the saying “Better out than in”. Or when you pass by an Abercrombie store. (No offense to Abercrombie & Fitch.. nah well maybe a little offense ..just for payback’s sake.)

The only times i’d miss it maybe is when my place is on fire which, I hope that never happens and if it does, the smoke alarm better let me know in advance! I admit I’ll also miss smelling the designer fragrances at Macy’s ..  but bigger picture now.. the sense that i’d liked heightened in return for this, is my sixth one – my woman’s intuition – the one that helps me identify serial killers. It’s already pretty good i’d say – I get it from my Mom. I’m glad it didn’t skip a generation. But it’s so useful, I want more. To differentiate the good from the evil. Let’s call it the super woman’s intuition to make things simpler.

I would also like my super woman’s intuition to have a healthy portion of dog sense blended in. Like yesterday, – my Kahlua sat perfectly peacefully under a park bench while millions of people passed by. However, he came out once. And he barked. And it was not pretty. I won’t go into details except I turned into human shield mother and stood between him and the intruding party(he was being provoked, intentionally), and then we left the scene. Midnight went crazy too. But for her, I think it was the voices in her head 🙂

Oh by the way, the title of my post doesn’t really  have anything to do with anything. Nor does it mean anything otherwise. And apart from being just a title, it isn’t anything really.

Midnight is still up for adoption. Comment on here if you are interested in my little foster munchkin!

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Sneaky Saturday-Tail of two black dogs.

These two have a funny friendship! He lets her have ANYthing she wants. Then sits by her like this and looks at me, asking me to be the bad guy and get it back for him. Yet, he sits by her crate when she is in it (and she is in her a lot due to treatment). And she yelps when I take him out and don’t take her( and I have to because she needs complete crate rest). She doesn’t do this when only I leave. It’s only when I take him away with me.

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Adoptable midnight going to town with a bone while foster brother begs mom to fight his battles because he won’t take away from his foster sis 🙂

Midnight does great with other dogs.
Comment on here if you would like to adopt her. Please share away! 

Have a super Saturday!