Those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” – have they arrived yet? I remember complaining in early June about the heat and humidity, but that was a month ago!!! This sure has been a different kind of spring. The rain gauge has been emptied frequently which certainly helps keep watering chores to a minimum. Despite the frequent rains, it appears that the farmers are right on schedule getting the hay in. The many rows of haylage wrapped in their protective white cocoons line area fields and are a testament to the productivity of our farmers. Much of the corn crop looks like it will be at the ‘knee-high’ level (or above) by the 4 th of July. And the next thing we know we’ll be headed to the Iowa County Fair and the bountiful displays of produce and crops will be a hint that the growing season is coming to a close… As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
I was at the shelter early last evening when the Levin Family rolled into the parking lot to pick up the shelter dogs which are participating in the 4-H Dog Project. The Levins did ‘temperament tests’ on the dogs in May and 10 -12 shelter dogs were chosen to be in the 2011 program. It was so heart-warming to watch the dogs exit the shelter and leap into the trailer. These dogs were so excited to be going for a ride and having a ‘night out’ at the fairgrounds in Mineral Point. A variety of shelter dogs were chosen to be a part of this year’s project. It was so exciting to see Macy’s name on ‘the list’. I am sure that most of you know who Macy is, but for those of you who don’t, she is a sweetheart of a dog who has been at the shelter longer than any of the other animals. The reason that Macy has been at ICHS so long is that she is a bully-mix. It is so awesome that she has been given a chance to participate in the 4-H program! I am looking forward to watching her progress as well as the other dogs and their young trainers.
For me, and many others, our #1 concern is we feel the dogs at ICHS aren’t getting the handling and training that they need to become socialized and then adopted. We don’t believe it is anyone’s fault – it is just a lack of resources (people and time). The 4-H Dog Project is a much needed program which benefits some dogs – but not all. Since I started writing the newsletter, one of my themes has been, “How can we best help these dogs?” And I have to admit that I am no closer to having a solution to this problem now than I was two years ago. Many people (that really do care and would help in a heartbeat) simply don’t have the time to work with a dog – or at least not on a consistent basis (and consistency is so important). For some, it is possibly a matter of distance from the shelter – it is too far to drive especially at the price of gasoline. And for others, it is the desire to help but not having the knowledge of how to go about training a dog. That is one of my problems. I am trying to learn more so I recently attended the first ICHS session of Paws n Claws University. Polly Dake, a trainer from Beaver Dam, presented “Bully for You! Demystifying the Bully Breeds”. This session was both informative and entertaining. Polly covered lots of information about the ‘bully breeds’ in the little time that we had – the two hours went much too quickly. I learned a lot and will hopefully be able to use this information when working with the shelter dogs.
All dogs (and cats) deserve a chance to have a loving home, and I KNOW that there are loving homes out there – it is just a matter of finding them. A (former) ICHS dog that many of you are familiar with is Waldo. Waldo was fearful of people and new surroundings and I often wondered what Waldo’s future would be. He had been at ICHS going on 5 years when he was finally adopted. NEWSFLASH: Waldo attended Dog Fest in Sun Prairie on June 12 th - along with 8,000 people and lots of dogs! Amazing! But am I surprised? No – just thrilled! Most of us at ICHS truly believe that there is a loving home for every animal that we are caring for. It is just a matter of time and patience and the right person will walk through our doors. So, if there is any way that you can help these dogs become more adoptable, please let us know.
Also…there have been many litters of kittens arriving at the shelter. There is no doubt that many of these cuties will find homes, but please don’t forget about the older cats who also need homes. And if you aren’t planning to adopt, there is always a need for volunteers/visitors to pet and play with these kitties.If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
A small, but enthusiastic group of volunteers meet monthly to plan the 2011 fundraisers. We meet the 2 nd Wednesday of the month (call Cheri for verification) at the shelter to continue the discussion and planning of future events. Please join us if you would like to be a part of the fundraising committee. And if you can’t make it to the meetings, please e-mail Cheri at ICHS and share your ideas with her. Up-coming events include:
Paws n Claws University
Although this is not a fundraiser, Sunday July 24 th is the date for the 2 nd PnCU session. “Terrier or Terrorist: Understanding and Living With Small Dogs” will be the topic. Pam Richardson is the presenter. Having heard Pam present before, this promises to be an enjoyable and enlightening couple of hours. This session will be at the ICHS shelter from 1-3 p.m. RSVP Cheri to reserve a seat.
Food Booth (Lands End Sale)
On Wednesday, July 27 th the ICHS volunteers are responsible for the food booth at the Annual Lands End Sale Event which is held at Harris Park in Dodgeville. ICHS volunteers will be at the booth from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. providing shoppers an opportunity to have breakfast, lunch or a snack. ICHS’s participation at this event is a financially significant event for the shelter. The menu features pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ, hotdogs and pizza along with baked goods and fruit. Volunteers are needed to work shifts throughout the day. Baked goods are also needed. Anyone that is interested in helping with the food booth can contact Cheri at ICHS. For those of you who tend to get hungry (whether you are shopping or not) please stop by the booth and have a bite to eat while helping the ICHS animals.
Saturday, August 13 th is the Dairyland Dare bike event. ICHS earns money when our volunteers help provide support for riders participating in this ride. The more hours we volunteer, the more $$ we earn for the animals who depend on ICHS until they find a home. Anyone who is interested in volunteering at the Dare should contact Cheri at ICHS.
Wright Stuff Century
Sunday, September 4 th is the Wright Stuff Century Bike event. Similar to the Dairyland Dare, ICHS volunteers help earn money for ICHS. Shifts are available at Unity Chapel outside of Spring Green and in Barneveld. ICHS has also been asked to have an informational table at Tyrol Basin in Mt. Horeb during the event. If you have the time, this is a great way to help ICHS.
Iowa County Fair – 4-H Dog Project
If you have the time, consider attending the 4-H Dog Project events. I don’t have the specific dates. Last year the Showmanship and Obedience classes were held on a Saturday morning in mid-August at the fairgrounds in Mineral Point. The dogs and their handlers competed in the Agility classes on the Thursday evening while the fair was in progress. Watching the dogs run the agility course is something you won’t want to miss!
Other Upcoming ICHS Events
Our committee is also discussing some other fundraisers. Continue to watch the ICHS website for details of other future events.
We all know that all animals are ‘special’ but the animals featured in this section are indeed special. These are ‘special needs’ animals. The special person/family who adopts one of these animals knows that this may/may not be the long-term relationship which we hope for when we open our hearts and homes to a new family member. These animals ‘forever homes’ with us may be just for a short time before they move on…But, nevertheless, these animals need a home and a loving family just as we all do. Are you possibly the family that could provide a home for one of these animals? If not, do you know of a family who could provide a loving home for these animals? If so, please come out to ICHS and find out more about these animals from the ICHS staff.
Jax is a handsome, long-haired, grey kitty who tested positive for feline leukemia. He is probably 3-4 years old. He reminds me of a BIG Teddy Bear – especially when staff and volunteers carry him around. He puts his front ‘arms’ around his person’s neck and lovingly holds on. He loves attention and is very playful. Mary (who recently fell in love with Callie and has since adopted her) gives Jax the credit for helping Callie to overcome her fears of leaving her cage. Callie was always frightened when having to leave her cage which in turn led to some ‘undesirable behaviors’. However, after she and Jax were moved to the ‘Catnip Lounge’, she would see Jax play, play and play some more which led her to want to get in on the action. So after Jax was put back in his cage, Callie started to willingly venture out. Jax, you are a ‘good guy’- you helped Callie get a home! And, on a side note, I believe that Jax is the cat who helps out when staff are doing temperament testing with the dogs. Jax does not get along with other cats so he probably needs to be an ‘only’ cat, and he must be kept indoors. I can’t go into the specifics of Jax’s condition, but it can’t be ignored that he will probably have a shorter lifespan than most cats. He is in wonderful shape right now – lots of energy and has a let’s play, play, play attitude! So…Jax needs a home.
Dominic, Walter, Sarah, Noreen and Duchess
These 5 kitties are special-needs cats – they have been diagnosed with FIV. I had put some information on FIV in the last couple of newsletters. Rather than repeating this info, please check the March or May 2011 issues of PAWPRINTS for that information or go to the Internet and find the facts for yourself. These cats are ‘healthy’. They do need to be kept indoors and would probably do better in a quiet household. So…Dominic, Walter, Sarah, Noreen and Duchess need homes.
In Memory of Daphne…
Daphne was the sweetest yellow lab. She came to ICHS last summer. Daphne had some health issues which worsened as time went by. It was so hoped that Daphne would have found a home for the last few weeks of her life, but it didn’t happen. Despite not getting that ‘forever’ home, she had lots of love here at the shelter. Staff and volunteers loved this dog. As you can imagine, having an older animal at the shelter with health issues is pretty stressful. There were the good days when Daphne romped about like a puppy. But there were the other days, when it was obvious that she wouldn’t be with us much longer. Daphne had a deep, resonant bark that was easily identifiable. Those first few days without ‘her bark’ echoing throughout the kennel were tough. Daphne, we miss you…
I need your help if I am to continue to feature the success stories which begin the moment your adopted companion chooses you. It is not difficult for me to write a paragraph that showcases your pet. The problem that I have is finding YOU and your pet. I don’t know who you are or how to contact you. If you would be interested in having your pet’s story in the newsletter, please e-mail me at email@example.com . A picture and a brief write up about your pet(s) is all that I need. If I don’t have enough info, I will get back to you. It would be helpful to know your pet’s shelter name (if you renamed your pet), when you adopted, pet’s favorite activities, other pets that you have and whatever else you care to include. If you are not able to send a picture, that’s OK. Many of you send periodic updates regarding your adopted pet to the shelter. I can use those write-ups if you would please indicate (in your letter to ICHS) that you are giving me permission to include your pet’s story in the newsletter. I hope to hear from you!
I brought Raymond home in August of 2004. I had recently lost my cat, Abby, and was hoping to find a cat similar to her at the shelter. Although the shelter was overrun with all kinds of cats that summer, there were no “Abby-cats”. Anya, Willow, Taffy and Raymond were the four cats that I decided I couldn’t live without (please note, I had two other cats and a husband). Luckily, about the end of July, Taffy was adopted (she was a black, long-haired kitty with so much energy – she was so much fun)! Of the three remaining cats, I brought Raymond home for a weekend trial in July. My husband was not happy nor were my other two cats. I sadly took Raymond back to the shelter that Monday.
Raymond came to the shelter in June of 2004. Two boys had found him wandering in one of the Dodgeville parks. He was a young cat – maybe two years old and his most remarkable feature was that he didn’t have any eyes (the loss of his eyes was probably due to an untreated infection). When he was at the shelter, he was named Regis, but I named him Raymond – not after Ray Charles (who had just passed away) but after the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond”. And everyone loved Raymond – except my husband! I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t have Raymond but I did bring Anya and Willow home. A couple of days later, it was my birthday. My husband made the mistake of asking me what I wanted for my birthday. BIG mistake! That’s how Raymond came to live with us – he was a birthday present!
Raymond is an absolute delight! You really don’t think of him as blind, and he doesn’t know that he can’t see. He does play a lot and he is a superb lap cat. The biggest issue with Raymond is his weight since he doesn’t get enough exercise. He loves to be outdoors although he needs constant supervision when outside. He is one COOL cat and everybody loves Raymond – including my husband!
305 Co. Rd. YZ
WI Dog Seller & Dog Facility Operator license #267019-DS