• I want to wish all of my wonderful readers, and sponsors a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. It has been another wonderful year of writing for you. And a special thanks to Victoria Usher for helping write some of my articles.
• In my last article I had a story about a cat that got stuck in a car’s engine. Alfred Lewis (who makes the paper look so nice) sent me this. It is a wonderful story.
“We got a cat that way. I was heading out on my daily rounds, but when I started the car I heard a loud bang, like something hitting the hood, then loud feline screaming. I stopped the engine, popped the hood and a little furry head came up. It’s tail was caught in the serpentine belt.”
“I went straight to panic and got Cathy, who also went straight to panic. I have very limited tools and absolutely no mechanical ability, and in desperation called the fire department.”
“We don’t do that sort of thing,” I was told (I guess only if a cat gets stuck in a tree). We were pondering who to call next when the fire department called back.”
“We seriously don’t do that sort of thing, but two firefighters volunteered to come over and help you.”
“A few minutes later the firefighters and a man from animal control cut the serpentine belt ($125 plus $50 for the tow to the dealer) and the cat was free. The cat went to animal control, where his broken tail was removed. Cathy haunted their office until she got the cat and brought him home. “
“We named him Auto, which many people thought was totally sick, but he was a great cat and he lived with us for the rest of his life.”
• I have a rabbit for adoption in this issue so asked my friend J. Elaine Fowell, D.V.M. at East Ventura Animal Hospital a question about rabbits.
Q. A rabbit friend (being famous I have lots of friends)has to get her teeth trimmed every month. Is this something all rabbits need to have done?
A. No, a normal rabbit should never need their teeth trimmed. Unfortunately malocclusion of the teeth where they do not line up properly can occur in rabbits. As their teeth grow continuously, when they do not line up properly, the teeth can become very long and cause damage to the rabbit’s mouth and nose. Sometimes the lower front teeth will stick straight out in front of the rabbits face! Malocclusion of the incisors (front teeth) will mean that the rabbit has to have the teeth trimmed every 3-6 weeks, depending on the teeth. Another option is to have the incisors surgically extracted so that the rabbit no longer has front teeth. Don’t worry; she can still eat normally once she has healed from the surgery, as she will still have her cheek teeth.
Q. Does a single house lady bunny have to worry about getting spayed?
A. It is very important for rabbits to be spayed as cancer of the uterus is common in female rabbits. Ideally rabbits are spayed any time after 3-4 months of age. This surgery will also get rid of the behavioral swings that can occur when they are cycling. Neutering male rabbits is also advised to decrease the incidence of marking in the house. Of course these surgeries will prevent unexpected baby rabbits if a rabbit companion is brought into the house.
Buddy was to be one of my “up for adoption friends” but I’m happy to say that he has been adopted, a very lucky dog indeed.
My name is Buddy. I am a golden tan American Staffie/lab mix, weighing about seventy pounds and about ten years old. People say I act more like a well-behaved four-year-old and am the life of the party wherever I go.
I have become a self-made therapy dog since I ended up at Ventura County Animal Shelter in July after my soul mate person of many years, a Vietnam War Veteran, became ill and was taken to the VA Hospital in Los Angeles.
To provide an outing for me and give me opportunity to spread a little cheer, on December 16, my handler Jerry Dulek and I dropped by to visit my friends at the Coastal View Healthcare Center. As always, smiles broadened and faces lit up when I entered the meeting room where about twenty residents waited to see me.
I enjoy being physically close to residents who know moments of happiness when they talk to me and stroke me. Having my ears rubbed as I sit by the side of a wheelchair; looking up into a compassionate, loving face as I sit at a resident’s feet; standing on my hind legs, my front paws resting on a colorful homemade throw or touching the arms of a resident or propped on the bedside of a resident—this mutual bonding and shared affection temporarily transcend, for the resident and for me, the circumstances of our lives.
When my visit is over, routine resident life continues. And it’s back to shelter life for me. Living a life behind bars, my heart aches even though staff love me, friends visit me, I have good food, a good bed, and as much attention as possible.
But after my last visit to Coastal View, suddenly wow, wham, bang! Less than two full days later, my life changes forever. Late in the day on December 18, I left the shelter for the last time and am now living in my forever home with the most wonderful family on the face of the earth.
Connect to VCAS Face Book to watch a video of my leaving the shelter for my forever home. I got a great send off. I get along wonderfully well with my new doggie brother and sister, both about my age. I have already made soul mate connection with a beautiful girl, just the right size and age, to adore me and spoil me rotten. I have already kissed her in the mouth. All she did was show delight. I almost wagged my tail off before I was taken to my family’s car. I left the shelter riding in the front seat. Shelter staff said, “This is a great day.” “Look at that tail.” “What a great match.” “He looks so happy.” “I love that family.” When I got someone wet with a kiss, a staffer called out, “That’s what you get for adopting a lovable dog.”
I will always love my soul mate at LA Veterans Hospital. I will always love my friends at Coastal View. I thank all who have made my new life possible. I thank all compassionate people who have helped two broken hearts heal.