Matchmaker Monday – Bear!

It’s time for Matchmaker Monday (a day late – we’re on Santa’s naughty list!),  where we feature a chow looking for a forever home through Houston Chow Chow Connection.  The added twist is that we’re looking at you, our awesome community of pet rescuers and chow lovers, to think about people they know looking to adopt a dog and seeing if any of them would be a match for the featured pup.  If they are, you simply send this post to them, share on social media and try to make a forever home match!  Our network is a powerful one, and here’s our chance to have the whole village help us find a forever home for our pooches!

Meet Ms. Bear:

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If you’re like us, and are tired of the Elf on the Shelf and his antics this time of year, then Ms. Bear is the dog for you.

Allow us to explain:  Ms. Bear is your typical chow: quiet, spunky, loyal, and the Bosslady.  She runs an orderly household and is looking for a family to keep in line. The Elf on the Shelf wouldn’t need to come back year after year because she would keep your house in tip top shape!  She likes to keep her family safe,  and because of this she is a bit wary upon meeting strangers.  Once she deems them acceptable (with a short warm up period typical of any shy, protective dog) she warms up to them nicely.  Once you’re off her “naughty list” she gives kisses freely and offers up lots of affection.

If Ms. Bear were to disclose her age, it would likely be 4 or 5 years old, but due to her self-preservation efforts and exercise routines, she doesn’t act a day over 2.  Because of this Ms. Bear is the kind of pup that will appreciate a brisk jaunt around the neighborhood every day, or run time in a fenced backyard.  She also fancies track and field sports and has been known to pole-vault over a 4 foot fence, so a home with a taller privacy fence is recommended.

Ms. Bear might actually think she’s a human, as most classy pups do.  Because of this, she’s best as an only pup, and she won’t tolerate cats in her domain.  We told you she runs an orderly house!

Finally, Ms. Bear loves the car.  She loves to cruise around town, make her appearances and then head back home to gossip about what the neighbor dog was wearing (“Did you see her sweater?  It was positively horrendous!”)

Do you know someone looking for an affectionate, proper lady like Ms. Bear?  Don’t delay!  Contact us right away!

 

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Matchmaker Monday – Zen!

It’s time for Matchmaker Monday (a day late today!),  where we feature a chow looking for a forever home through Houston Chow Chow Connection.  The added twist is that we’re looking at you, our awesome community of pet rescuers and chow lovers, to think about people they know looking to adopt a dog and seeing if any of them would be a match for the featured pup.  If they are, you simply send this post to them, share on social media and try to make a forever home match!  Our network is a powerful one, and here’s our chance to have the whole village help us find a forever home for our pooches!

 

Today’s pooch is Miss Zen:

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Miss Zen is a young teenager at a humble 1.5 years and exudes a sassy personality that is equal parts chow and teenager. Just like a typical teen she likes things her way by nudging you when she wants attention or butting her head against you to notice her.  Her motto is “It’s all about me, baby!”
 
Looks are important to this teen. She is fit and trim and has long silky hair kept shiny with salmon oil. She is a bit of a tomboy so no pretty bows or clips for this girl.
 
The world does revolve around this teen so Zen would prefer no other competition for her attention. She should be the only “kid” in the house.  She rolls her eyes at cats so they are a no no.
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Zen loves walks and car rides and is an active teen. She does well in her room (crate) for short periods but needs her human for her happiness. She burns her calories quickly which is a good thing as she has a healthy appetite. Bones are her favorite snack food.
 
The perfect family for Miss Zen is one looking for a beauty queen with a sassy self-centered personality.  Her forever family will include her in the day to day chores, take her on plenty of walks and car rides to help her keep her social calendar full.
 
The best news is that her vaccinations are current and she is spayed, microchipped and ready for adoption!
 
Let’s get this Princess into her forever kingdom ASAP!  Do you know of a family looking to add a pup like Miss Zen into their crew?  Then share, email,  and message this post and have them email us at  fortheloveofchow(at)gmail(dot)com if you have any questions about this pup or are interested in adopting!
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Matchmaker Monday: Nimbu!

We’re resurrecting our “Find a Dog a Home” series and giving it a bit of a facelift,  Now called Matchmaker Monday, we’ll be featuring a different chow every week looking for a forever home through Houston Chow Chow Connection.  The added twist is that we’re looking at you, our awesome community of pet rescuers and chow lovers, to think about people they know looking to adopt a dog and seeing if any of them would be a match for the featured pup.  If they are, you simply send this post to them, share on social media and try to make a forever home match!  Our network is a powerful one, and here’s our chance to have the whole village help us find a forever home for our pooches!

So without further delay, our first Matchmaker Monday is dedicated to a delightful “chowsky”, Nimbu.

We can’t be sure, but we think Nimbu hails from a lineage that is both chow and husky.  From afar he looks 100% chow, but once you get close to him you notice his beautiful lightly-colored eyes and blonde highlighting on his face.

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About 40 pounds and approximately 3 years old, Nimbu is the perfect balance of relaxed adult and spunky boy.  His personality is goofy and silly and is truly a hybrid of chow and husky.  He trots on his toes like a chow, but is a bit more vocal like a husky and has the goofiest personality.  Incredibly inquisitive, he’s constantly turning his head, trying to understand what he is hearing or looking at:

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The perfect home for Nimbu would be a family that is looking to laugh with their dog a lot.  He has a lot of personality, and likes to let you know what he wants, for example, whatever you’re eating, with a silly bark.  Happy to lay by your side while you work, eat, watch TV, he will basically shadow you wherever you go.  He LOVES his people.  This is a dog that wants to go on walks, eat snacks and watch movies with his human, and be a part of the family.  While not overly energetic, his active mind means that he will do best with lots of jobs.  Whether that be puzzle toys, bones to chew, or toys to play with, Nimbu will be a happy boy with an exercised mind.

Nimbu is a happy go-lucky guy that likes to be around others and participate in life with you.  Being on the sidelines won’t work for this pup, he wants in the action!  And he appears to get along with other dogs, which is always an added bonus!  He probably would do best in a home without cats, though, as he likes to chase them!

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So who do you know that’s looking for a goofy dog with a lot of personality to add to their family?   A gorgeous designer breed Chowsky by the name of Nimbu might be the perfect match!  Help us find a forever match for our sweet pup!  Email us as fortheloveofchow(at)gmail(dot)com if you have any questions about this pup or are interested in adopting!

 

It’s raining chows and we need your help.

Summer is here.  The part of me that doesn’t think about pet rescue looks forward to the vacations, backyard parties, and outdoor activities that keep us all busy.  The pet rescue part of me worries endlessly, because it is always the worst time of year for homeless pets.  All of the fun, traveling, and celebrating we all do over the summer means that less pets get adopted over the summer months and shelters fill up.  And when they run out of room, they have to euthanize.  Not to mention that more pets go missing and end up in shelters around 4th of July than any other weekend because of the fireworks that can terrify pups during Independence Day celebrations.

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The folks at Houston Chow Chow Connection are doing everything they can to pull and save all chows coming into the greater Central Texas area (and beyond!) but they are running out of resources and FAST.  They have several dogs in boarding, and at $10 dollars a day PER dog, it is adding up quickly.  They also have a few medical cases that are really racking up the bills.  Eye surgeries and a broken pelvis are just two medical expenses they have had to endure in the past two weeks.

I usually try to keep it positive and upbeat around here, but I’m dishing out a bit of real talk in this post:  we desperately need help.

Here’s how you can help:

1.  Go like Houston Chow Chow Connection on Facebook.  Share the heck out of the posted photos of chows looking for homes.  Outside of Texas?  No problem!  They adopt out of state!  Let’s get these dogs into forever homes.

2.  Considering donating at their website here.

3.  Looking to get more involved?  Houston Chow Chow Connection needs more volunteers in and outside of the Houston area to transport, hold  and foster dogs, and promote awareness of this lovely breed.  Leave a comment on this post to get involved and I’ll set you up with the right people!

And if you can’t do any of these things, please consider heading over to your local shelter and walking a dog or two in-between BBQ’s and vacations this summer.  The break outside of their kennel does wonders for their emotional well-being at the shelter and gives them a much needed break.  And please adopt your next pet – their lives literally depend upon it.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Chandler the Teddy Bear is looking for love!

We all know that I love chows, and basically every chow I see sends me into a little meltdown of OH MY GOSH THAT CHOW IS SO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT.

That’s basically every time that  I look at Nina.

And then there are chows that I can’t even form descriptive sentences to express how overwhelmed I’m am with their cuteness.  These are dogs where I immediately start calculating how long it would take for me to drive from where I am to said chow, and start convincing myself that 3 dogs is totally the next logical step for me.

So without further ado, I give you my current heartthrob chow looking for a forever home, Chandler.

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Yes, this is a real dog, and yes my willpower is pretty amazing that this dog is not at my house right now.

Let’s find this guy a forever home!  He’s being fostered at the same foster home where Nina first landed after she was pulled to safety from the dog shelter so he’s in amazing hands.  Chandler is a mature fellow at 7 years old and has a calm and gentle personality.  He was saved from euthanasia when he was brought in as a stray to the local shelter.

This guy is the perfect companion for someone that lives the easy life and wants a sidekick.  He sits nicely for grooming, walks well on the leash, and is the perfect gentleman in the house.  He is an independent  fellow, and while he enjoys a good chest rub, he really just likes hanging around the action-he’s an observer.

He is at the age where he will be the perfect dog to take for a leisurely stroll, or sit on the couch with you while you watch the Bachelorette on TV.  Not to mention that he’s gorgeous.  Purebred blue chows are lovely diamonds in the rough, and whoever adopts Chandler will likely be the center of attention on walks as people remark on how beautiful and unique his coat is.

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While he would fit into many homes, the ideal home for Chandler would be one where he’s a part of the low-key fun.  Reading a book on the patio, watching you garden, or simply taking a snooze, this guy is looking for the good, simple things in life.

So are you looking for a beautiful chow to call  your own?  Please contact Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions and ask about Chandler.  Or please share this boy all over town so that his forever home can find him!

Best of luck Chandler!

This Blog is Going Green! A New Series.


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There is a quote in the 1990 city newspaper by a young 5 year old me on Earth Day saying that if we didn’t stop wasting so much stuff, the Earth would be filled with garbage by the time my kids were born.

I guess you could say I’ve always cared about the planet.

Truth is, I don’t understand how everyone isn’t obsessed with Mother Nature and the great outdoors. If you need something to take your breathe away, go look at a flower in bloom or go hiking on a trail.  The best creations are the natural ones, and the more time I spend outside in the natural world, the happier I am.

The world today is a rough place for nature.  It often takes a backseat to progress, growth, technology and whatever is distracting us on social media.  And habits are hard to break.  We get inundated with TV, consumerism, and our high-paced lives that it’s easy to forget to stop and take a look around at the larger implications our daily actions have on us and the greater world.

I spend most of my time trying to make the world a greener place through my career in the renewable energy industry. We keep gobbling up electricity at a rapid rate, and I’d much rather have someone’s computer powered by a wind farm or solar plant than some carbon-based technology.  I can create change without really changing people’s habits, making the world a more sustainable place one project at a time.

However, the eternal optimist in me refuses to believe that people  don’t care about the environment and  we’re destined for the garbage-filled world my 5 year old self fear mongered to the local paper.  But I do think we’re stuck in a bit of a rut.  While the green movement is alive and well, there is a lot more to be said for sustainability than stainless steel water bottles and reusable shopping bags (although those are great things we should be using all day and every day!)

So when the extremely talented Emily over at Sparrow in the Treetop posted this eloquent piece on helping combat Climate Change, I felt a spark to keep the conversation going.  When she asked me to collaborate on a blog series dedicated to this very topic, I jumped at the opportunity.  The more we talk, engage, and learn from one another, the more we can inspire change.

So there is the world’s longest introduction to the new Green Blog Series, a month long conversation talking about sustainability and protecting the environment, with the goal of moving us all towards a more sustainable future.

Inspired? Have something to say? Grab the button below and add to your own blog, or use the hash tag #livegreenblog to take the conversation to Twitter or Instagram.

Cheers to Going Green!

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Step 1: Just Start

This Spring I started having all of the gardening dreams after we moved into our new place, but were quickly sidetracked with all of the little chores that come with moving.  At this same time we started attending the monthly potluck dinners on our street and I started to see all of the lovely garden setups that my neighbors have put so much effort into cultivating and developing over the years.

I quickly developed overwhelm and started focusing on what our yard might look like some 5 years from now and couldn’t figure out the best way to start.  It goes without saying that overwhelm doesn’t build a garden, getting your hands dirty and just planting something, anything, is a step in the right direction.

So we planted:

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With the obvious helpers:
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It’s not much, but it’s a start.  This way, while I’m busy planning how I can rip up as much of my lawn as possible while maintaining run space for the pups, I can tend to something.  Gosh, it feels great to have plants in the ground again.

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As for this little shady nook – she’s looking like a fine home for some chickens, don’t you agree?

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Do you have your garden in yet?

P.S. Check out the Gardening Article on Page 11 of the Allandale Neighborhood Newsletter by the newest neighborhood gardening columnist – ME! :-)

Forward.

When 2013 came to a close, I was pretty beaten down.  The year had been a test of my strength in so many ways.  Just when I thought I had survived it all,the universe dropped one last final bomb and forced us to say goodbye to our dear, sweet Oscar far too soon.  When 2014 began, I just wanted to feel normal again.  While the rest of the world was setting lofty goals for 2014, enthusiastically ready to dive into this new year head first, I meekly climbed out from under my rock of mourning and braced myself to work on making myself and our family whole again.

No goals for 2014 except to Be Happy.  I had no idea what that looked like, or how we would get there, but I just wanted to be happy.  Life is too short to be anything but, and I now had firsthand experience of how quickly everything can be taken away from you with the blink of an eye.

And so we’ve been making strides in that direction.  We moved. I started focusing on my personal fitness again, and creating a work-life balance that I could be proud of.  We started making fresh meals together.  I planned my garden.  But the elephant in the room remained:  When would be ready to adopt another dog?

It never was really a question of if, but when.  The house feels far too empty with one dog, and Nina is one that craves canine companionship.  I felt a sense of duty to save another, fill the open position in our house, and most importantly, get back into training with a therapy dog.  In my quest to be happy, I decided to stop forcing Nina and myself to make the whole Therapy Dog thing work between us.  She is wonderful the way she is, and it’s unfair to force her to be anything different than the best Nina Chow Chow that she is.

So we waited a few months, until the itch was too great and we started looking.  Looking A LOT.  Perusing the shelter websites, racing to meet every dog that fit the “type” we were looking for.  That type was red and black, fuzzy and furry.  None of them quite fit.  Frustration ensued.  My wise family and friends provided many morsels of advice.  They gently suggested that I stop trying to fill the void in my heart for Oscar with another Wannabe Oscar.  There is no other Oscar, and that void, while it would soften with time, would not be filled.

While it was shocking to hear such honesty, it was also refreshing to finally accept and validate the hurt in my heart.  Loss is a tricky emotion and it takes time to truly process – there is no getting around that.

So we sat down and hashed out the details.  What did we want in our next pup?

  • A rescue
  • A playmate for Nina
  • Therapy dog potential

That was it.  The rest was just noise.  Any limitations I had set for myself- on looks, breed, etc. were self-imposed and were muddling my ability to think clearly.

So we expanded our search.

We had a few false starts with some other dogs snatched up before we had a chance to adopt them, and finally we landed on Neel.

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He was pulled from a high-kill rural shelter just in the nick of time.  A real teddy-bear is how they described him.   A few meet and greets later and nods of approval from both Adi and Nina, we just had to finalize the paperwork to bring him home.  So why was I freaking out?

I sat down and had a good hard look at the facts.  Neel met all the criteria we were looking for.  Charming, pleasant with Nina, major therapy dog potential.  So why was I hesitating?

Fear.

Plain and simple.  I was letting the emotions of loss I still felt for Oscar cloud my judgement.  Fear does not let the happy in.  I could either continue to be fearful to opening my heart to love and inevitably hurt again one day, or I could continue to live in the stale confines of emotional purgatory dominated by my fear.  The answer was clear.  I ignored my lurching stomach, signed the adoption papers, and took him home.

So now he’s ours.

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And so  a new journey begins.  He’s “got a lot of puppy in him” which I’m quickly learning to mean he chews everything, including my shoes and my comforter.  He’s a complete mystery breed, and he loves to love people.  He’s just so happy.  It’s nearly impossible to get a photo of him because he much prefers to zoom around the yard, wrestle with Nina, and roll in the grass.

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Neel is the embodiment where I want to head in 2014.  Unabashed happiness, exuberance, and never missing a chance to lay in the grass, look up at the sky  and wonder at the beauty that is life.

So forward as a family we move, with Neel by our side and Oscar in our hearts.  I can’t say where the journey will go, but I can guarantee it will be worth it.

Happy Tails – Lum and the Social Media Rescue.

This is part of an on-going series called Happy Tails.   Showcasing the best part of pet rescue – happy endings.

When I first become involved in pet rescue I was surprised to see what a presence the pet rescue community has online.  In addition to the many pet rescues that have websites, there is a whole world of pet rescue happening on social media.  These are regular volunteers making last attempts to save dogs in the shelter before it is too late.  I’ve spoken about Nina’s Facebook post that was started to save her life before, but that is only one small (albeit hugely important to me) example of a non-profit organization saving a dog before it was too late.  I often wondered about all of the other dogs that show up on my News Feed daily looking for last minute forever homes – how many of them are saved?  Does social media even help?

The answer is a resounding yes!!

Today we have a story that will renew  your faith in humanity and remind you that social media is so much more than a medium for posting humble brags to all your high school friends.  This is the story of Lum, and how he found his forever family over the internet.

Lum’s story is told by my friend Penny, a fellow chow lover who I met in the chow rescue world while helping a chow chow in Texas, whose story you’ll hear about in Part 2 of this series:

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We first saw Lum on Chows in Need, a Facebook group dedicated to networking chows in need of a home.   He was a tiny little fella with a sad story. You could tell from his picture that he was really sad and scared. Here is the one and only picture we saw of Lum:

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We don’t know all the specifics of his story, but we were told that Lum had lived with one gentleman for 8 years of his life.  When that gentleman passed away, he didn’t have a permanent place to go, and ultimately ended up at the shelter.

When Lum was dropped off at the animal shelter, he seemed to be defeated and scared after his world had changed so drastically.   To make matters worse, Lum was not available to the public because he talked a lot in his kennel. He also smiled and looked unfriendly when he did so it scared people. Despite all of this, we still inquired about Lum after seeing him on Facebook. Something told me he was the dog for us. I grew up with Chow Chows and Huskies and my husband grew up with Shelties.  Lum is a Chow/Sheltie mix.

I quickly filled out the application for Lum and sent it in. That weekend, my husband and I hopped in the Jeep and drove 9 hrs one way, to get this precious boy.

When we got there, Lum’s guardian angels disguised as shelter workers had Lum at the front of the shelter waiting for us. Thank God for those two ladies. They saw something in Lum and believed in him, and with my experience with Chows, they knew we’d be a good fit.  My only stipulation was that Lum had to choose us.

We walked up to Lum right away. We were told we were the first people that he would make eye contact with. We stayed at the shelter for a few hours, walking and talking to Lum and the staff. I went outside to get the collar we had bought for Lum and some treats. We were told that he wouldn’t eat any treats, wouldn’t play with toys…he just sat by the door watching for his owner to come back.

Lum took a treat from me. Then he took one from my husband. We finished filling out the adoption paperwork and I put the new collar on Lum, as he sat up with pride. He knew he was going home.

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Thanks for sharing your story, Penny!

There are so many lovely things about this story:

One photo posted to Facebook ultimately saved Lum’s life.

One misunderstood dog has blossomed into a love of a family pet.

One family did the right thing, and saved a dog that was on the brink of defeat.

Companion pets are making it out of the shelter alive thanks to the creative use of social media!

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Related: Can we discuss how adorable Lum is?!  My brain can’t even process the magnitude of cuteness when Penny posts photos and videos of him to Facebook.  He’s one of those unique, one in a million mixed breeds that hit the good looks jackpot.

Please enjoy this video of Lum hating on the vacuum cleaner.  I dare you not to laugh :-)

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story, where we meet Lucy, Lum’s little chow sister – another Happy Tail made possible through social media!

Did you find your rescue pet through social media?

The Gardening Itch.

The gardening itch returned to me a few weeks late this year, but it’s back!  I’ll blame it on the move and some home renovations that went seriously awry, but the first month of the year I was not into the idea of gardening.  Excuses I gave included:

  • Too much work
  • I don’t have my gardening beds set up in my new yard yet
  • wah wah wah

Then the posts for transplants sales started popping up all over the place.  Then Nina and I started passing by my neighbor’s chicken coop every morning.  The girls just peck away and always seem so happy.  Nina seems hardly at all interested in them.  This is interesting to say the least.  Then my friend Jenn starting posting her chicken plans to her blog.

Now I’ve got the itch so bad I want to turn my entire yard into a farm yesterday.  Give me all of the gardening beds, fruit trees, chickens, bees, and goats that I can fit into my yard and still be compliant with local zoning regulations thank you very much.  Sorry new neighbors.  I’ll share my extra veggies and eggs with you?

But in all seriousness, I’m going to force myself to tread slowly and thoughtfully.  Although the local feed stores are stuffed to the brim with little hatchlings waiting to become the cutest pets ever, I am going to slow down and build my new garden with a plan in mind.  I will properly research and learn before adding more pets to The List of Living Things I am Currently Responsible For.

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First up: Garden bed installation.  I already have a plan in mind of where they’ll go, just need to set them all up.

I think I’ve missed the window of opportunity for fruit trees this year, so I’ll have  all year to think about where they might go and what fruit trees I want to plant.

I’m so out of the loop, I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to be planting right now, but I’m pretty sure it’s summer vegetables (Oh Texas “winters” how I love thee!)

And as for the chickens?  I’ll be perusing the feed stores and attending this year’s Funky Chicken Coop Tour for inspiration and knowledge building.

How is everyone else ramping up for gardening season?

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