Tuesday, December 20, 2011

He's home...and just in time for Christmas

Friday morning, S. and I dropped off Uno at BFP to be picked up by his shiny, new family.

I choked back tears constantly, but it wasn't until we got to this coffee shop around the corner that I lost it. We'd been through so much with this dog - it was both heartbreaking and yet so fulfilling and joyous.

Friday night we got a text from Uno's new family letting us know he was settling in nicely. And we're lucky enough to get more updates as the family has started their own blog showing him acclimating to his new life. **Heart Melt**

So, it is on that note, this blog winds down and continues with his new family: http://unoforeverhome.blogspot.com/

We love you Uno and couldn't be happier that you found such an amazing forever family. xoxo

-M. & S.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The greatest of these is LOVE

Growing up in a Christian household, I was no stranger to one of the most popular versus in the Bible. But up until rather recently, like within the past 4 or 5 years, has it really hit a chord within me.

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It is right this very moment that I feel this scripture rings so true. Love prevailed. Love endured. Love rocked our world, Uno's world, his new family's world (and what's exciting is we get to watch them fall so deeply in love with him).

While today is the day we say adieu to our sweet, cuddly foster pup, we hope to visit and update - so it's not goodbye. Here's to Uno's forever family. We LOVE you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy dog, happy life

My husband was the lucky one last night who witnessed Uno playing with our maltipoo, Musashi. They were full on having the time of their life in the guest bathroom. He caught it on video, however it was dark so we're trying to do some creative special effects so you all can see the fun!

This has been an amazing journey watching him morph into a normal, happy dog. He's much better on a leash, he's going potty outside more than inside, he's so much more sure of himself that he uses his beagle voice a lot more, he's playing with the dogs and cats, and he's cuddling with us on the bed AND on the couch - even when the TV is on!

Am I crying writing this? Yes I am. This is the most difficult and yet rewarding thing my husband and I have ever done. We know deep in our hearts that his forever family is out there (hi!), yet, I'm not going to lie, I'm extremely anxious thinking about him leaving. When he cuddles deep into the side of my husband, and my husband looks at me with watery eyes, a half smile and half frown, I know it will be hard to say goodbye for him, too.

The work that Beagle Freedom Project, the foster parents, and adoptive families are doing is nothing short of amazing. These animal testers are becoming dogs in front of our eyes, with tails up, wagging - they are HAPPY. And what a beautiful end to the horrible lives they had. Here's to a hopeful and happy start to their new ones!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whoops! Lo siento, avid readers

Between work and Uno cuddles, I seemed to have missed almost 2 days of posting.

Things have actually settled a lot. Uno is sleeping through the night on the bed with us, he's still kind of mastering potty OUTSIDE, and the best news of all is that he's learning to PLAY!

Yesterday morning, while getting ready for work, I heard playing growling and a lot of tapping (we have hardwood floors). I realized Uno was playing with my Maine Coon, but as soon as I acknowledged it, they stopped. A little while later they resumed and I attempted to video it and, again, they stopped. I will attempt to get video of it some day.

But while you all wait patiently for the happy photos and videos, I'm going to get up on a new soapbox. Living with Uno has changed our lives. For the better, but also for the more compassionate and knowledgable. I have been a HUGE animal lover and advocate since I can remember. I had wanted to be a vet, I still have dreams of opening up my own non-profit to rescue senior pets from kill shelters, my heart was born for animals.

I also knew that companies tested on animals, but, for some reason, it just didn't feel like it was a big deal. How that never connected before, I will never truly understand, but when Uno walked into our life - it did. My first breakdown (as noted in my earlier post here: an overwhelming realization) was seeing his scars and how little he even knew how to be a dog.

Over the course of the week, I decided to stop living like a person with their head stuck in the sand. My husband lovingly went on the journey with me and what we have found is shocking. We watched a video made by the lovely and talented, Shannon Keith, called Behind The Mask. The movie interviews many influential people apart of the Animal Liberation Freedom movement about how they aim to raid labs and testing facilities to do monetary damage so they have to close.

My purchasing decisions were causing animal testing to continue. How could I call myself an animal lover?

S. and I have decided to wipe meat from our diet. I attempt vegan where I can, however the area I live in has a really horrible selection of vegan restaurants. At home it's easier to control, though. After the movie I ran to my bathroom because I could NOT put bath soap (make up, face wash, shampoo, etc.) on me knowing the company tests on animals. We both threw away a small garbage can full of products.

Everything we buy now takes a little bit longer to review because we check to see if the company tests on animals. I can not and WILL NOT support this horrific industry.

Want to know more? Visit Beagle Freedom Project Other Ways to Help Out

Monday, December 5, 2011


Lots to celebrate these past few 24 hours!

First, we took Uno back to Beagle Freedom Project's HQ yesterday where he got to meet with potential adoptive families and more exciting - mostly to Uno - was being reunited with a lot of his comrades. It was like they never left. They all took to each other immediately and Uno was running and jumping and climbing and sniffing away like a normal dog should.

I commented to one of the other foster moms about how exciting it was to see their tails up! All of the love these people are giving these dogs just warms my soul. We stayed for about 2 hours and within that time a potential forever family put in an app for Uno!!

I'm kicking myself, though, for not snapping photos of the boys playing. I was just too caught up in conversations and watching them. :(

As soon as we got Uno in the car, he passed out. We snapped a pic of him cuddled close to our 15 year old shih tzu.

Uno also *kind of* overcame his TV fear. We took to watching a movie on my laptop versus the big tv and put Uno on the couch with us. Within about 15 min he went from being on my side, to moving to S.'s side to being right in the middle, with his belly up and passing out! To have this dog have so much faith in us to cuddle like this, just speaks leaps and bounds to his ability to forgive and love.

We also decided to put Uno on the bed again last night and he curled up with S. and passed out. He stayed in that same position until I woke up around 3a. Aside from about 15 min of him being awake and trying to get comfortable on his bath mat, he then went back to sleep and slept through the night until I awoke at 7:30!!

And, for my last bit of awesome news, S. took Uno for his morning potty break and guess who did #1 AND #2 outside?!?!? We have been able to get him to pee outside the past week, however #2 has been very difficult. We'll walk and walk and walk and within about an hour of a walk we get a present in the house - granted it's the same spot in the house - but, still.

It just amazes me how incredible these dogs are - most of them have been with their foster families for a week, or over a week now, and to see how far each of them have come just melts your heart.

And it is on that note I would like to ask that you please donate to Beagle Freedom Project. If you know S. and me personally, then consider a donation on Uno's behalf as a Christmas / Hanukkah present. It would mean so much to me, to S., to Uno, and to the other families and volunteers who are a part of this organization.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ending our night with a video & pics

S. and I thought it'd be cute to try and take pics of us with Uno and our pups, however we attempted to do this with my iPhone 4S and it proved rather difficult. That being said, the stream of pics that emerged had us cracking up, so we thought we'd share.

Additionally, Uno has taken to protecting us from the "evil window reflections" and so I thought I'd put that on video.

A forever family is needed

I realized that I didn't post yesterday, but then again, I was also a walking zombie. So, I'm sure if I had written anything, it'd be an incoherent stream of awkward words. As I discussed earlier, Uno went in to get neutered on Wednesday. Because he is deathly afraid of the dreaded e-collar, I have had to stay up to make sure he wasn't licking. It's been a challenge. BUT seeing him learn more and thriving in a home makes it all worth it. Plus, he's such a lover that even through your delirious sleep-deprived haze, those cuddles just melt your heart.

Last night S. and I had a fundraiser to attend, so we called in our incredibly awesome petsitter who watched him to make sure he was okay. Today is a big day, we're taking the pups to a local park to run around and play for an hour or so. He needs to stretch those legs! I will definitely take pics and post. Other than that, S. and I are enjoying the lazy day.

I have already let Beagle Freedom Project know to withdraw our pre-adoption app, but, while Uno LOVES us and we love him, we feel his forever family is still out there. We initially went into this just wanting to give a pup the chance to know that there are humans who love them and they can have a good life. He's still healing from his neuter, so I'm not sure when he'd be ready to leave, but I just wanted to get the word out as a reminder that he, and others, still need forever homes.

Uno needs someone who can walk and run with him often - perhaps they work from home or have a pet sitter. He needs someone with a high, fenced yard where he can learn to be outside off leash. Uno is used to my small, low key pups and cats, but is still very skittish around big dogs - especially loud ones. He hasn't been around kids yet, which I'm sure he'd be fine, however there have been a few moments where a reflection has irritated him so he growls. It's nothing off-putting to us, but I'm sure a family with children may find that a tiny bit scary.

He's a great, amazing pup and I can't wait to meet his forever family. I also know there are other pups still out there, too, needing permanent homes from this rescue. I encourage you to share this post with all of your friends in hopes that more people are called to adopt these guys. For more information on how to adopt: click here.

Perhaps I can work with the non profit to see about getting a list together of available dogs, but in the meantime, I ask that you like them on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BeagleFreedomProject, check out the above link for adoptions, and share this with your friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pics for the day

I do things out of order and instead of waiting until I have the pics, writing the blog, and having everything in a neat little package, I just jump in and worry about the details later.

That being said, I finally got some great pics of Uno for today.

Here is Uno taking a nap at the office with my maltipoo, Musashi.

Uno has his appetite (after the neuter and the teeth cleaning yesterday) back! YUM!

And, as promised, here's a stationary pic of Uno with his kicking rad collar Love Bug Collar from Aroostudio.

Uno goes to the office!

Today was a tiny bit of a rough start as the cone and Uno do NOT mix, however we couldn't have him licking himself. So I was up just about all night off and on making sure he wasn't licking. We needed to keep an eye on him through the day, so it was time for another car ride. He actually took to it really well. He's becoming more adventurous and curious.

I attempted to snap pics of him at the office, but he was just too squirmy. I think he'll eventually love the camera, but for now I think I'm stuck with making videos. ;)

I also want to take this moment to shout out to our new friends, Bridget and Holden. Thanks for the new collar! He's wearing it proudly and looks so handsome in it. Extra special thanks to aroostudio for providing these collars to Beagle Freedom Project. They are seriously adorable.

Check him out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Uno's first vet visit

I had been a bundle of nerves since last night. I mean here we were taking Uno on his second car ride with us, to the vet, to get neutered and teeth cleaned (and shots, too). Dogs are barking, there are foreign smells, I mean I felt just horrible for this boy. What would he think of me? Would he regress?

We are lucky enough that one of our best friends just so happens to be a vet. So we, at least, felt comfortable leaving him with his staff. We picked him up after work and he was actually doing fine. The vet agrees with our age assessment of 3-4 years, said that despite all the plaque, he has super healthy teeth, and so far blood work is great. We've got ourselves on healthy lab pup!

He was so loving and friendly to the staff, which just melted my heart. He genuinely loves people! One of the techs commented on just how beautiful he was - his coat, his stature - and said that if he didn't have his scars he'd be a prime candidate for a show dog. I agree. He really is breathtaking. xoxo

It wasn't until we were half way home I realized I flubbed this post by not getting a pic of Uno with his trusty Vet, but I figure once he's healed up and enjoying his car rides, we'll head over and snap up a couple then.

The poor little fella' is asleep in his favorite place right now. Unfortunately, because he's an avid "dog bits" licker, we'll have to put the e-collar on tonight. :(((

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

He's on YouTube!

I finally decided to make my first video on youtube and, of course, Uno is the star of the show. I will have more videos done as we go along, however I wanted the first one to document his scars as a reminder of his life in a lab.

The whole reason we're all here doing what we are doing, whether it's Beagle Freedom, or the group in Spain, or the foster parents, is to raise awareness of animal testing.

Dogs, monkeys, rats, pigs...all are raised as test subjects for drug companies, cosmetic companies, and house hold items. It's disgusting, it's inhumane, and something that S. and I feel very strongly about.

Uno may be one of forty that was rescued, but how many others are out there that aren't going to be given the chance he and his friends received if we don't bring attention to this?

What's a treat?

Before I get into the meat of what this blog is about, I finally got notified that there were comments to be moderated and I can't stop crying. I never thought this blog would become what it has in just a few short days and the comments are beautiful and uplifting. Thank you so much. And Uno thanks you too.

I know I have it on the side bar to the right, but if you can't foster or adopt but want to help these amazing dogs, please, please donate to Beagle Freedom Project. Thank you thank you thank you. xoxo


Now, keep in mind these dogs have not learned how to be dogs. They don't know how to walk on a leash, they don't know that outside is for potty, they don't know treats or toys. I've seen that some of these pups learned many of these already, however Uno is on his own time, which is fine by us.

BUT we also know that in order to train, we need positive reinforcement and for most dogs that comes in the form of treats. Initially, Beagle Rescue Project gave us a couple different treats to try, which we've had zero luck with. So, we bought some at Trader Joes. And, no luck. Tried these chicken strip things from Whole Foods...again, nada. So we went to Centinela where we bought 3 different kinds of treats. *sigh* Big, fat no.

It's become quite hilarious, actually, because earlier tonight I lined up our "treat stash" and took a pic.

We also bought Uno a new harness, one without velcro as that one was just too loud and freaking him out, and he looks amazing. He'll be able to be buckled in with ease as we whisk him to his first vet appointment tomorrow morning. Poor guy goes in for the works: neuter, shots, teeth cleaning, health review. I have never been more nervous or anxious for a vet visit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mama freaks out, cuddles ensue

I attempted to get Uno to come to work with us this morning and he wanted nothing to do with it. So rather than push him too much too fast, I put him in our room and left him alone around 10a.

About 1p, my anxiety started up - I needed to figure out how to get to Uno. Let him know he wasn't abandoned, let him relieve himself, see if he's okay. Unfortunately, I had a pile of work to get to since we just came off a long holiday weekend. 3:30p rolls around and I'm almost sick to my stomach I'm so anxious. My mind raced as I drove home: "is he okay?", "is the room a complete mess?" "will he revert back because I left him alone?"

I open the door to find him looking at me as if to say "hi!". His tail wags and he comes to greet me. Aside from one little accident and S.'s glasses on the floor (not broken), he was a perfect little boy!

I promised him cuddle time for me leaving him alone, so we snuggled on the couch and I've got a few pics of that.

"I'm checking this blog where you keep writing about me...it's cool."

Cuddles with mama on the couch is awesome.

Now accepting coffee donations for foster parents

Night 3 commenced in our household and the ease of going right to sleep was too good to be true. Around 1a we got our wake up call - actually I mean I got my wake up call, lucky S. slept through THAT particular round of needing attention.

I went back to sleep and around 3a, we got another wake up call. This time it seemed Uno wanted to try to be on the bed. He stayed on for about 15 min and about 5 min in, he decided his foster daddy needed to be given Uno cuddles. This is where S. woke up because Uno was standing on his chest. It was startling to S., but I was all giggles at 3a.

S. got up with Uno around 6a to bring him outside and now we're gearing up for his second car ride to take him to the office with us and our pups! I'm dreaming of a nap already.... *yawn*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A love for the outside

Uno's growing eagerness for the outside leaves us very hopeful today. He has had 2 successful walks today (our boys, Gizmo and Musashi, who are older and much more subdued, are actually enjoying the short strolls) and he seems more comforted by the outside sounds than the inside ones.

A bus, which had an affect on Uno yesterday simply does not phase him today, whereas the food bowl - that has been the bowl we've used since day 1 - still freaks him out if moved slightly.

He is learning his name, he is learning the stairs, and he is learning a life outside of a cage. This is one smart cookie and I am so proud to be called his foster mommy. I see nothing but great things in his future.

EDITED: I also completely forgot to add that my parents came by this morning and got to cuddle with him. He was a tiny bit shy, but I know they saw how loving and amazing he is.

Good morning!

I tried to snap a good "good morning" shot of Uno, but he was more interested in getting pets - he's not a paparazzi lover. Ha!

We had a much better night than the night prior. Well, kind of. This event was both a blessing and a curse, however we found out that Uno HAS A VOICE!!! And it's a rather loud, typical Beagle voice at that. He was a good dog and slept about 1/3 of the night, but then he got restless and by 3 or 4a, he decided to let us know that he wanted attention and he wanted it NOW!

S. and I took turns giving him cuddles, which made me feel like we had a newborn baby on our hands.

S. decided to take Uno out right when he first got up and, although he peed in the house as soon as he got back in, he did still mark AND walked up the full flight of stairs!!! We are also finding that Uno much prefers the outdoors.

This morning he was a complete part of the family - following S. around in the kitchen while he made breakfast, sitting next to us while we ate, roaming the living room. He does have a fear of the TV so we have decided to keep it off today. Also we have been trying all sorts of treats to use as positive reinforcement, but they are just too foreign. We ended up using smoked turkey pieces and he's addicted!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small steps for Uno

Today was spent sleeping in our bathroom. For some reason the room and our huge bathmat were comforting and Uno was able to rest after an anxiety-ridden past few days. We went in ever hour or less to give him love and cuddles. Unfortunately, the rest of the house is just too scary for him, so he keeps himself in the bathroom.

After seeing the successes of a few of the other fostered pups, I started to let the doubts creep in. Are we socializing him enough? Are we doing too much? Too little?

However God has a way of showing you things when you need it most. I asked S. to take the dogs out again and after they got back inside S. proclaims, "Hey! Guess who went potty outside?" Not only did we have our first potty training success, Uno was more excited to be outside (versus his shaking, skittish self), AND he climbed 5 stairs on his own.

Next time I'm going out with them so I can snap some pics of Uno enjoying outside and walking the steps. Tomorrow morning we have a walk planned and will get pics of that, as well.

Thank you to all who are cheering us on. It really is very much needed. Here's to Uno.

An overwhelming realization

The past 12 hours for our family have been difficult. I completely lost it last night after I read news stories of what was done to lab animals and why they chose Beagles - although I knew, I think I chose to keep the proverbial "sheet over my head" to pretend I didn't so I could avoid meltdowns such as this.

As S. and I drove Uno home, I expressed concern that I thought Uno didn't have a voice. It seemed he was trying to cry but no sound was coming out. We had even prepped ourselves for the howls and the normal Beagle cries, but nothing came out. In one of these news clips, they spoke of how some techs in the labs would remove the vocal cords so they wouldn't have to hear their cries.

And when one reporter talked about how they were tattooed with their ID#, I was a wreck. Poor S. couldn't even control the sobbing. My heart broke into so many tiny pieces.

How could we [humans] do something like this to these sweet and loving creatures? We failed at one of our basic duties - to keep watch over the animals of the land.

As the night wore on, Uno's pacing finally stopped and he was able to sleep. However, there were many times in the night I awoke to a potty issue or his failed attempts to howl. He was comforted in our floor cuddles. We can tell he's having major issues, though. His favorite spot in the house is one in between two full-length mirrors. I suspect it's because he's with more beagles that way. All he knew of life is now gone and the one thing left that was known was being with these other beagles - and now he's all alone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The start of a new life

Thanksgiving for my husband and I began like many times years before. While eating our food a friend of ours began telling us about this non-profit they started working with, Beagle Freedom Project. The non-profit had just taken in, the night before, 40 beagles that were rescued from a guy in Spain.

These beagles were the property of an animal testing lab that had gone out of business and were scheduled to be euthanized. Read more about their story here.

They needed foster parents and we both realized that we had to help. S. and I have fostered animals before so we knew the risks ahead. We filled out our app and were approved. Today we picked up our pup.

The cliche that a pet choses you, you don't chose the pet couldn't have been more true. Beagle #1 of 40 told us that we were to be his foster parents.

Leaving the rescue site was a shock. We had to carry Beagle #1 out as he had no idea how to walk on a leash. Driving home was an incredibly anxious ride for our Beagle and it was a major realization that everything my dogs know as normal is new and scary to Beagle #1. He only knew a crate, humans via testing, and whatever food and water they gave him - that's it.

On our way home, S. started calling Beagle #1, "Uno" and although I tried to fight it, I really liked his suggestion.

Once we got home, Uno made himself at home. He was sniffing everything and made sure to continuously check in with S. and I. We had our first in-home accident and the cats didn't really have the reaction I thought they'd have, which was better than I thought.