My Doggie has spring Allergies too!



Well it’s that time of year when both my Pitty, Kismet, and Boxer, Gwendolina, get their Spring red belly.   The spring pollens even reach us out here in the high desert.  I am not sure why Kismet and Gwendy’s allergies manifest on their bellies but they do.  I suggest regular weekly bathing or at least a daily washcloth cleaning with mild dog shampoo and rinsing.  I recently discovered giving them Benadryl twice daily really did the trick.  I stress that you should have the rash checked out by your DVM before treating with anything other than bathing.  But once it’s confirmed that the rash is allergy related and not something else, the use of Benadryl can be very effective.  Always ask your DVM for instructions on usage and dosage.  Have a safe and fun spring with your Doggie. ~melissa

Over the counter flea and Tick topicals



I learned this week how important it is to only use DVM recommended flea treatments.  I had to take my two beloved French Bulldogs in for poisoning from a Sergeant Flea and Tick topical.  Both dogs became very ill, one was vomiting and the other became crazy hyper active.  Luckily I instinctively bathed them scrubbing off what was left of the topical I had applied around their ears and tail area.  Then took them to my personal Veterinarian, and they did a 24 hour IV drip recommended by poison control to detoxify their organs. This is truly the best measure for no further problems that could occur by the poisoning.  When the Vet Tech looked on line she found many warnings by all kinds of cat and dog owners who had horrible experiences as well. I am usually so pro active with products and foods before I use them.  I am fortunate that this experience didn’t end badly.  I learned A VERY SCARY lesson this week, I will never to give my pets anything but Frontline or Advantage products, Bio is also approved by my Veterinarian. Beware and take care.  ~Melissa


Rattle Snakes


Because of our lack of rain this year most likely we will see more snakes nearer to our homes.  Unfortunately this will include Rattlesnakes, in our neck of the desert Mojave’s are most common and the up most care should be taken when you encounter any kind of Rattlesnake.  We are huge fans of getting your dog trained to avoid these venomous reptiles.  Natural Solutions Rattlesnake avoidance training by Erick and Erin Brigg is our only choice as our experience with them is top notch.  They are also humane to the muzzled snakes they use.  All my personal dogs have had this training and not one has been bitten by a Mojave.  I have at least one visit in or near my large dog area a year so I can attest to the success of this training.  Here is a direct Link to Erick’s site   Have a safe and fun Spring with your beloved companions.


Nearing an end to 2013


christmas tortoises

This year has been filled with many successes.  We had our 2nd annual Valentine’s Day in June and it was even better than last years.  We thought it would be nice to get the children in our community to participate in our event.  So we had a coloring and a poster contest that we took to Lucerne Valley Elementary School a month before the event.  It was a wonderful success.  Our goal with this particular event is to educate our community on how to prevent animal abuse.  We invite neighboring animal rescues, and other animal advocates to come and participate at our event.   Sam was our Master of Ceremonies again and he did a fabulous job.  And of course Valentine and her Tortoise friends were a main attraction.  We had special guests District Attorney’s Office come and speak about reporting animal abuse with there new anonymous program, we-tip;  and Animal Action League came and talked about the importance of spay and neuter for dogs and cats.

Our Tortoise news:  Our natural habitat enclosures are doing really well with all the natural plants thriving, providing shade, vegetation, and protection.  The enclosures are segregated by sex so no procreation can occur.  We now have over two acres in total enclosure space and hope to add another half acre solely for our Sulcata Tortoise enclosure we hope to have built by the end of February.  We currently have a fund raiser for this enclosure at Indigogo  thank you Margy and Sam for your diligence and dedication to getting that up and running.

We are still transforming our barn into an awesome aviary for our fine feathered rescue friends.  This Aviary will be divided for species.  The new heights will allow them to actually fly, this will be awesome for our Macaws and other large birds.

Our reptile room is also slatted for expansion but funding for this project is still needed.  This room will have more area for our lizards, snakes, turtles.

Any contributions are welcomed, and easily done with our paypal icon.  You can specify where you want your donation to go.  May your Holidays and New Year be filled with love and Joy.



social media coordinator


Kismet Kronicles: Foster Homecoming


Kismet the dog in the car, head looking out the window, on the way to Ed and Kelli's

Where in the world is this place in Temecula? Or is it Murrietta? My wife Kelli and I were wondering what we’re getting ourselves into as we headed through the hills north of Escondido last Saturday. She was on call for work. I’d just gotten home from my new job and skipped a nap so we could speed on up to this “park” some 40 miles north of our place in Escondido. There we’d have a transfer of Kismet (a female Amstaff/Boxer mix), with Sam and Melissa heading down from Yucca Valley, overshooting the half way mark to help us stay in range just in case Kelli should take a call for work. Where we turned up was in a trailer park, er… mobile estate community. Forget the drug trade. This was the dog trade. Parked on a random street with just enough shade to take a bit of the heat off, we met Kismet and had about 20 minutes of instructions, chit-chat, and catching up. But Kismet was the star of the show and after her wire crate and food and meds were in the trunk, we had a short walk with Sam and Melissa, and then Kismet was climbing into our car to head back to Escondido.

Fostering is a new way of relating to a dog. We’d both had a dog in our childhood or school years, and we’d kept a friend’s dog for a year or so, and then had one of our own up until March of this year. Melissa was so supportive in that period that it seemed we ought to try our hand at fostering when the time seemed right. Just a few months removed from losing Buber the Dog, we’re still adjusting. The house has been rather silent. There have been no w-a-l-k-s. No cute creature seeking cuddle time. Fostering would give us a chance to stay in touch with dog care but would not ultimately be a permanent relationship. It seemed about right.

Just a couple weeks ago we heard about Kismet. She’d been found wandering around a strip mall up in the desert. Seemed pretty healthy despite her foraging diet, probably consisting of some unsavory critters. She needed to be spayed. Gentle and eager to please but also needed pack training and some boundaries since she likes to escape whenever possible. She didn’t seem too steep an order for first time fosterers.

As of now it’s been just half a week since we got her home. Her daily feedings so far have included some additives to get her guts in working order, rid of worms that were found early on. She just now finished a course of antibiotics following her spaying and a claw that broke out at the bone. She’s eating almost all she’s been fed. She doesn’t seem to be bribed by treats, nor does she try to swindle us out of them either. She seems indifferent to them, really, but will eat a couple that are offered when she’s successfully entered her crate. Her new diet seems to be showing gains in her fur. The first couple days, her fur seemed like a stiff bristled brush, but now it seems silkier and smoother all around.

My impression of Kismet is that she’s quite timid. Melissa says it might just be the shock of new surroundings after being left to her own devices or living a rugged life outside, maybe with a person. I’m finding that doesn’t seem to fit what I see of her. Kismet is so timid around everything—certainly the noisy stuff like cars or a shouted command or kids playing around outside. She immediately jumps a bit, even with a steel screen door blowing shut. She is so far very submissive, skulking down with tail between the legs. Walking on the leash sort of confuses her. So far there are stretches where she’s as mild and well behaved as a dog who has learned good leash habits. But other times, she’s prone to wander just any ol’ way, but not even to sniff. It’s just random as she takes time out to survey a noise, a scent, whatever. She doesn’t seem to know what she’s supposed to do with a leash. Similarly, the word “walk” doesn’t seem to register with her. I think she’s very naive in her human dealings. If I had to make my guess, I’d say she was ignored or sequestered for a long time. She seems extremely sheltered and not adjusted to human interaction but she does love to be held like a baby. The most successful means to get her to respond to a request is to squat and offer kissing sounds. She takes a bit of time to suss things out and then generally comes along. She resists being pulled along if needed but starts to adjust. This morning, I woke at 5, let her out of her crate for about half an hour and then put her back before I left. Other mornings took me lifting her ~50 lbs to guide her to the crate. Today I did verbal commands but then walked to the crate, tapped on its top and she knew that meant it was time to enter. She went without fuss. Good dog.

Melissa kept her separate from her own dogs and other foster dogs and even here, it seems Kismet fears and isn’t comfortable around the fenced in neighborhood dogs. I don’t think we’ve encountered any up close, but she sort of freezes as we pass the fenced dogs. Unfortunately for her there are a great many dogs that make a bunch of racket. I wonder what’s going on in her mind.

That said, she’s really taken a liking to me. She moves very slowly, light on her feet, and just loves to roll over for a belly rub. But she’s made her face available and likes to put her head in my lap. She is extremely quiet. We have not heard a bark from her yet. There are a few little barely audible whimpers to let us know she needs to go out in the morning. Rubbing the back of her ears gets the loudest single response from her: something like a cat’s purr! Too cute.

Maybe she’s real tired from surgery, upsets of all sorts, or maybe she’s just a mellow, mellow dog. I guess we’ll see about that over the coming weeks.