Saturday, March 27, 2010

A trip to Utah for me and Camo

Camo has been one of my project dogs at AFF since this past summer so when I was asked if I would consider a crazy last minute trip to Best Friends in Utah for a meeting with a possible adopter, I couldn't say no. We were driven down to JFK and although Camcam pooped while we were waiting in line to get checked in, he was overall an amazingly well behaved traveler. Once we landed in Las Vegas we rented a big SUV (with tinted windows!) that could hold both me & Camo and the huge plastic carrier he flew in. We were already getting comments about the fact that I am so small/short and the fact that Camo is so tall/big, I bet anyone seeing me climb out of the SUV (yes I had to CLIMB) would have had a good laugh. It took us four hours to drive to Kanab and we arrived at 3am.
We quickly settled in to our hotel room at the Holiday Inn and went to sleep.

In the morning we took a walk around town and stopped in a place called Laid Back Larry's for breakfast. It was perfect. They had a tofu "egg salad" sandwich so I got that and some coffee. The woman behind the counter as well as the other patrons all fussed over Camo and gave him lots of treats. There were pictures of animals all over the walls and I saw that they had lots of fake meats and vegan "dairy" products in their fridge. Awesome! We ate outside on the deck in the sun and it was a nice way to start the day.

Around noon, we made our way to Dogtown HQ at Best Friends and met Sherry, Lisa, and Whitney who were all in on Cam's adoption. Whitney, one of the trainers at BF, had fostered Camo for about 6 months previously so when he saw her he went nuts with excitement. She told me that he was originally supposed to be named "Camel" but that she thought it was weird and changed it to Camo. While we waited for the potential adopters to arrive, I got to follow a dog caregiver named Skip around for a few hours. John, a volunteer from Brooklyn, and I walked a few dogs, got to watch new dog introductions, helped put together the second daily feeding, and cleaned and washed lots of food and water bowls.

When I was done, the adopters had arrived and had already started to hang out with Camo in one of the office rooms. I showed them some of the tricks we had worked on like "spin" and weaving through my legs and I talked to them about the ins and outs of Camo-life; what he likes doing, what he doesn't like, how to get his attention, etc. I really hoped that they would connect with him. We went out to the parking lot and the family took Cam to their car and off they went for a sleep over. I got teary-eyed knowing that I would probably never see him again but was happy that he was getting a really good shot at a new home and that if it didn't work out, I had met all the people that would take care of him again at BF and they all adored him and had missed him since he had come out east a year and a half ago.

When I finally got home after more driving and more flying, I was told that the family had fallen in love over two sleep overs and that Sherry was driving him to do the dog introductions to their current two female dogs. So as I type this entry, he is out west somewhere most likely getting to know his new siblings. Good luck Camo!

The other end to this story is that I came home to MORE animals than when I had left. Our neighbor's cockatiel who Dave agreed to watch was in the turtle room whistling away and the next day we found a very skinny kitten up the driveway screaming and wailing. She is now also housed in the turtle room in a big dog crate for the time being. Dave decided to name her Teen. More news on her very soon.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Tyson & Pigeons

I just read that there is going to be a new show on Animal Planet starting next year about Mike Tyson and flying/racing pigeons. I'm excited that people are going to get to see a side of pigeons that they probably never saw before but since I've rescued (and many others have rescued) banded homers that owners didn't care to have back because they never made it home by themselves, my excitement is tinged with a little apprehension. I know that Mike Tyson has been known for a long time to be a big pigeon fancier as I read in Andrew Blechman's "Pigeons :The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird" but I wonder what the show will really be like. I wonder if they are doing homers or tipplers or flights....... I always miss seeing pigeons now that we live out in the country. Here are some pictures of my past pigeon friends....

Manuel - my first pigeon love RIP

Falafel - (banded NY Flight) who I fostered and got into a home with a rich florist

Mr Midtown - (banded Homer) who I gave to a woman who keeps pigeons on her balcony in Tribeca

Sprite, Stumpy, and Sonny - a family of pigeons I fed every morning in my backyard on 6th street


Friday, March 12, 2010

Mind games with Coleman!

I meant to post a video of Coleman playing with his Nina Ottosson puzzle a long time ago and never got around to it so here it is now.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is coming?

Today is warm enough that we ate lunch outside. I made a teriyaki tofu burger which Coleman wanted for himself. I wanted to spread compost in the garden but both compost piles are still mostly frozen so I'll have to wait on that a little while longer. I started my onion seeds so the gardening season is off to its 2010 start.