Hello humans, Oskar here. I’m lowering my dignity and appealing to you today in aid of my best pal Jasper, who I’ve known all my ten years of life. He’s feeling a little bit depressed at the moment, because all his legs hurt and, to add insult to injury, the human servants have put him on a diet as he was turning into a little tub of lard on legs. He’s always been a greedy pig with no sense about when he’s full, but I digress…
He’s been asked to help with the Dogathon again this year and it’s really cheered him up, as he likes to feel useful and important. (I don’t understand it myself, as it’s a dog thing. Us cats know we are important and don’t need a job to make us feel that way!)
I don’t care so much for other dogs myself, but since Jasper and I are good pals, I am asking you kind people to help cheer him up and make his day by donating to his fundraiser.
Maybe then he’ll stop whinging about his lack of food and asking me to distract the human so he can steal my leftovers.
It’s ten years today since I came to live with the human.
That’s a long, long time and I can hardly remembers the times before that. Just as well really, ’cause the times before I got rescueds were bad times.
I told you all the story of how I was adopteds before, so I won’t tell it again today. You can watch this nice video the human made for if you needs help rememberings my story.
The human and I have had lots of good times! We was both much younger when I first came!
The human and I have had some lovely, lovely times in the last ten years. And we’ve made lots and lots and lots of new friends in that time.
That looks delicious…
So this year, ’cause ten is a big roundy number, we had a party for my Gotcha Day. There was lovely cake for the humans, but none for me, ’cause I’m on a diet! There was even a Jasper cake, but I didn’t get to tastes that either. Would you believe that I had to make do with carrot sticks?! Outrageous I calls it!
I’d rather eat cake….
But I had a lovely, lovely time and it was really nice to see all my nice friends.
I’m so glad that I got to be rescueds and live to be olders and happies.
Hello humans, I stands here a shadow of my former self. You remembers the last time, the vet said I needs to be really skinnies so my legs don’t feel so ouchies anymore? Well, the human has been heartless about making sure I gets skinnies and has made the grand human heartless too! So all my big eyes and beggings and sneakings around trying to steal the cat food is all overs, ’cause the humans just says:” Sorry Jasper, but it’s for your own good.”
The human is getting all scientific on me!
You see the human got all scientific and everything about it and started counting calories and stuff. And she realiseds that I was only getting half my daily calories from my proper food! Yep, I am proud to be such a good beggar and it workeds really well for me for ages and ages, but I gots to pay the price now.
The human is begrudging me every mouthful!
Would you believe, the human has got me my own scales and everything, just for weighings my food?!
Carrots is the only snackie I’m alloweds now!
And then she puts it in a little container every single day and that’s it. No one is alloweds to give me anything but my own food apart from one teeny, tiny treat every day, not matter how much I begs and begs. Life is not fun at all anymores, I can tells you…
The cats get to eat whenever they feels like it and they never get fat, it’s just not fair!
But I does admits that I am getting skinniers. I don’t feel less ouchies yet though. The human says I has to lose all of the extra weight before I feels really good.
I guess if my legs stop being so ouchies, it will all be worths it, but it is hard…
Getting boreds of this diet.
I askeds the human how long we needs to keep this up for and would you believes she said forevers?! She says if go back to the way we was going, I’ll just get fatties again and all our hard work will have been for nothings.
I don’t likes the sound of being sensibles and carefuls about eating forevers, ’cause eatings is one of my favourite pastimes you know.
I’ve seen much fatter doggies than me!
It’s not even like I am really fatties, I am just a little stouts. But I am meant to be really skinnies now, whether I likes it or not…
The good news is that I lost over a Kilo alreadies and the human says I get to have a bit more food once I hits my target weights.
And hopefullies I’ll feel much better once I am lovely and skinnies!
Exciting news! You may have noticeds that I’m getting olders and olders. Well, the human has been getting sadder and sadder about this, ’cause they know that someday sooner rather than laters, they’re going to have to say “Bye Bye Jasper”.
Worryings about how the human will copes without me…
Now, you and I both know that the human can’t manages without me, so I wanteds to come up with ideas to help the human once I’m not around anymore.
So I borroweds her computer and did some searchings and I found the solution.
I can clones myself!
Yes, it’s true, you can get your doggie cloneds, there are companies doing it and it only costs a little tiny bitty of monies. I even found a company that does it for a mere $50 thousand dollars: https://viagenpets.com/
Of course, a cloned Jasper would always be second bestest to the real thing!
Now, I realises that this new Jasper will just be me without the brains, ’cause it’s all of my experiences that made me the doggie that I am. But if I get the human to clones me now, I can teach the new Jasper all of my wisdomes before I has to leaves the humans behind. I know that it isn’t the same as having me, but it’ll be the next best thingie.
I could teach Clondes Jasper all my wisdoms!
We can call him Casper as he’ll be a cloneds Jasper, so he can’t have my name.
I know that some of you will say this is wrong, ’cause there are so many dogs lookings for homes alreadies, but none of them are super duper wonderful Jasper doggies, so they don’t counts.
The world needs a second Jasper.
Actuallies, now I think of it, the world needs a whole army of Jaspers!
I haven’t been able to enjoy my walkies as much as I used to ’cause my legs ALL hurt now…
Just between you and me, I got to admits I tries to like everybodies, but I hates the vets. Not the peoples so much, ’cause they’re OK and I says hello properlies when I meet them any place but a vet practice. But I hates all of the pokings and proddings and I especially hates when they have to do operations on me.
I know, I know, they only do it to helps me, but it’s still scary and horribles and I has to stay there without the human too.
Vets are scaries…
I’ve gone to the same vet for evers and evers, ever since I got adopteds, but I’ve been feeling extra ouchies latelies, so the human decideds to bring me to a new special vet who knows all about bones to see if they could help me feel a bit betters.
You see, it used to be just my back legs, but in the last few years my front legs have gotten to feel ouchier and ouchier too and now I got really bad in the last few months. Which is no fun at all!
I loves the Geraldine human!
So, the human took the day off work, which was a nice start to the day. And then I got to go in the car with the wonderfuls Geraldine human. I likes her lots and lots, ’cause she’s really nice and always brings me fun places and gives me lovely snackies. She’s my third favourite human next to my human and grand-human and I always gets excited when she comes to see me.
This is what I think of vets…
So she drove me and my human all the way across town to the new vet. I didn’t realise that was where we was going, so I wasn’t worrieds. And even when we got there, I didn’t realise it was a vet, I thought it was just an interesting place where we got to sit and say hello to peoples. We always did lots of stuff like that for MADRA, so I’m used to it and didn’t think it was strange or get worrieds.
So everything was fine until the new vet came out and said – “Bring Jasper in please”. I realised right away that he was a vet, ’cause, just between you and me, all vets smell funny!
I got scareds then and tried to leave, so the human had to carry me in.
But it wasn’t so bad, the vet did the usual pokings and proddings and moving my legs to see if they creaks (they does, I could have told him that for nothings!), but he was very gentle about it.
You owes me big time human.
The worst bit was he decideds to take my bloods again, ’cause he wants the human to give me the anti-ouchie-inflammatory drug every single day instead of every other day and we need to make sure that my organs are still OK first. ‘Cause the human worries about giving it to me too much, ’cause it can have side effects like stomach problems and kidney damages and stuff. Which doesn’t sound nice, but I feel just fines on it and it’s better than having ouchy legs.
And would you believes, he took me into another room to take my bloods?! Away from my human! In my usual vets, the human always gets to stay with me unless they’re doing an operation, so I can tell you I was pretty worrieds! But it was OK, I’m tough so I don’t mind having bloods taken and then I got to go back to the human.
I’m not fat, honestly, just nicely covereds!
The very worst thing is that the vet said I am absolutely, definitely, not “just a little bit flabbies”, but overweights and I got to lose lots and lots and lots of weight ’cause I’ll feel much, much better if I does. He said I should ideallies be a bit underweight and the human says that means losing at least 4 KILOS! She says this time she’s going to shout at all the other humans if they gives me extra snackies and I’m not going to be alloweds any more treats at all. ‘Cause my human is really meanies about feeding me proper foods, but I sneaks in and steals the cat food and begs the bits that gets me fatters. Plus I’m not getting that much exercises any more, so I’m not burning any fattie bits off.
The vet said it was 100% most important to get the weight off if the human wants me to be more comfortables, ’cause dogs carry 65% of their weight on their front legs and the more weight I have, the more my legs will get ouchies. And if I’m a bit underweight, my arthritis will get better too.
So I think my sneaking around and beggings days are over for good…
It’s OK human, I forgives you!
My human is feelings a bit guilty and embarrasseds now, ’cause she’s always known I shouldn’t get fats, especially with ouchy legs. And she’s sorry now she wasn’t stricter with me and the other humans and kept telling herself that I was only a little bittie bit flabbies rather than really fat.
You see, when you lives with a few people, it’s easy for a clever doggie like me to begs off them all without the other humans realising. I know who’s the best targets for beggings at and everythings…
So, I think I’ll be starvings soon, ’cause all of the humans will refuse to feeds me if they knows I really am fatties.
So I’m not sure if I likes this new vets any better than the old vets, but I admits that I will be much happiers if my legs get betters… And the human says that’s the most important thingie, not my getting to eat snackies all day. I guess she got a point…
I wonder could a beg a bittie off of those poeple?
And at least we got to go for a nice treat after the vet, ’cause we drove out and had lunch by the sea side to make up for having such a hard mornings. The mean humans would only give me bits of salad and not the fatty stuff though – even when I trieds woofing at them…
But I did get a new teddy to makes up for having such a hard day too, so it wasn’t all bad!
The people who make these new toys calleds K9 Connectables kindly sent MADRA some of them to try out to see if the doggies would likes them. Most of the doggies at the kennels don’t know how to explain stuff properlies like I does, so I was askeds to try them out too and see what I thought.
Puzzle toys are fun!
You see, I’m a bit of an expert in activity toys, ’cause I’ve been using them for years and years.
This toy is good fun!
I’ve had this super puzzle board for evers and evers and I like it lots. I’m good at it too, as you can see. I also got that new one at Christmastime, from the grand human, but that one is easy peasy and not so much fun.
Being boreds is not good for a doggie’s mind!
The idea of activity toys is that us doggies need to use our brains as well as runnings around to be happy and not get into troubles for chewings your shoes.
I agrees, us doggies do better if we are busy, especially younger ones. But activity toys are great fun for us older doggies too, because we can’t do too much runnings anymore, but we’re still interested in doing stuff. And they says that older people and doggies who keep their mind exercised stay smarter for longers.
I plans to stay smart for a long time to come!
So I likes the idea of intelligence toys a lot. Plus they always involves treats and I loves treats!
There’s lots of bitties you can stick togethers.
This one comes in lots of little bitties that you can stick together in different ways. It’s made out of rubbers, but not as hard as a Kong type rubber, kind of more squishies than that.
You can stick the treats so they stick out of the holes and the doggie has to pull them out. That’s pretty easies and I likes doing that.
Or you can fills treats into the bouncy bits, which attach to each other or the sticky bit. If the treats are small enough to fall out through the holes, that is perfectly fines and fun for me.
But you can also put in big treats and expects your doggie to takes the bits apart to get to eats them. I found this bit very frustratings!
I’ve had some of these toys since I was a pupster!
You see, I’m a careful doggie and likes to be gentle with my toys. So I can see how I coulds take them in my mouth and pulls until they comes off, but I can’t manages to do it! I tried pullings the ends, but they just didn’t moves.
So I trieds throwing the toy around in the hopes that they might comes apart if I did, but they are pretty well put togethers.
So I admits it, I starteds barking a bit in the hopes it might listen and fall apart for me!
I think if I was a bigger doggie I might manages better, maybe they will makes a small doggie version for us doggies with smaller mouths?!
Apart from that, I likeds the toy lots and I can see how you could do lots of fun stuff with it, likes stuffing it with my dinner like with a Kong.
The sticky bit is great fun for fetch!
And the bally bits all bounces nicely too. Plus the sticky bit in the middle is great for playing fetch. The human says it says on the packet that they all floats too, but I think I better not go swimming with it, ’cause I sometimes loses my toy when I’m swimming (the human says I’m too wussies, but I calls it being sensibles and not wanting to drown!) and that would be a real shame.
I thinks this toy would be especially good for Collies, ’cause they’re smart and needs to do lots of stuff and also got bigger mouths than I do!
But all kinds of doggies can have fun with this toy – even if they does end up barkings in frustration a bit!
So far in 2017, yes, as of today January 10th, we have taken in 16 dogs. Which means, with the Christmas foster dogs also returning, we start the year under severe pressure for space yet again. Every year, we start on an optimistic note and say this year will surely be the one that allows us to cut back on intake and run the kind of rescue that we dreamed of in the beginning. The one where we have time to actually train and enjoy the dogs, rehabiliatate the troubled ones, work with owners, spend some more time promoting responsible dog ownership… Play with puppies all day like the idealised image…
Instead, however, rescue is always more and more like a game of Tetris. They come in, you find a space for them, assess their needs, sort out their medical issues (few are vaccinated, let alone neutered and some have never known any kind of medical care in their lives), assess their behaviour, try to find them families.
And just like in the game, they come in faster and faster as time goes on.
Some are easy and slot neatly into their slots. Others are a bit sticky, but can be sorted out in time. Some have severe issues, be they emotional or medical and tie up kennel spaces, medical bills, time taken away from other dogs who also need you. Some dogs are just not appealing to people, be it due to age, breed, lack of interest in humans who have repeatedly let them down or due to being “just another Collie”. Our longest stay dog last year was literally there for all of 2016.
All of this of course takes its toll on the people involved in rescue. Be it us volunteers who give far more of our spare time to rescue than we should for the good of our own dogs, our jobs, our studies, our health, our emotional well being, our relationship with those nearest and dearest to us. Or the few overworked and underpaid staff, who quite often also end up being volunteers on the side as things need to be done and there are not enough hours in a day to do them.
MADRA has amazing support from a lot of wonderful people who we can never thank enough. It’s due to those people that we are able to keep going, in spite of a constant shortage of funds, of time, of space.
However, we do often feel like Sisyphus at times, doomed to roll the same rock up that same hill for eternity, as every year sees the same march of dogs coming in, from the pound, from wandering, as owner surrenders.
As it becomes clear that, while Ireland has taken a huge step forward in the awareness of animal welfare over the last 11 years since MADRA started, the same old attitudes are still out there and dogs are still seen as disposable commodities by so many.
That some people still put less thought into getting a dog than they do into buying a new smart phone and that they value them even less – no one has ever let their iPhone take a stroll around the block and been surprised when it didn’t come home after all.
There are many rewards to being in rescue, especially the happy dogs who are alive today because of us. Who at this stage number in the thousands. Seeing them and their happy families does make it all worthwhile.
But I must admit to feeling just a little like Groundhog day as we face another year of unwanted dogs…
Happy Christmastime! Thanks to Tracy Kirby for the photo.
Hello humans! The human couldn’t decides what kind of nice present she should get me for Christmas this year, ’cause she says I got enough stuff alreadies. So she says, instead of buying me more stuff that I don’t needs and wasting her monies, she’s going to make a donation to MADRA in my name instead.
I wasn’t that sure about it reallies, ’cause us doggies can be a bit selfish about sharings our stuff.
I admits, I got lots and lots of toys alreadies!
But then I thoughts some more and realised that I can always use my big eyes to get the human to get me more chewies, so I don’t needs her to buy me those for Christmas. And I got lots and lots and lots of toys, even I got to admits that! And we all knows that there’s always lots of doggies that need to be helped just like I was long, long ago. So, I had to agree with the human.
But it did give me an idea…
Fundraising is an importants job.
I bet there are lots and lots of you humans who have got the same problem as my human and can’t decides what to buy people. And we got lots and lots of doggies needing help ’cause they don’t even got homes, let alone chewies and toys to share with their humans. All that rescuing doggies costs lots and lots and lots of monies you know.
Feeding that cat is expensives you know!
I mean my human always complains about how expensive looking after me is and I’m just one doggie (actually, she usually complains more about the cats, but we won’t go into that as it’s Christmas and you’re supposed to be nicer at Christmas!). So you can imagine how much rescuing some 800 doggies a year costs!
So I had a brilliant idea!
Please help feeds my friends in MADRA!
I decideds that my Dogathon collectings in the spring goes so well that I would try it for Christmas too, except this time I would give all you people who can’t decides what to buy the other humans (or your doggies!) the chance to donates some monies in their honour. I can then send them an email wishing them a Happy Christmas on your behalf and thanking them for helping us doggies. (You’ll have to give me the email address though, ’cause I can’t do magic!)
So pretty please wonderful human, if you want to donates to MADRA instead of giving a present, please follow the linkie here: Jasper’s Christmas Fundraiser