Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Go Jaysen, it's your birfday...

Ipod touch. That is a happy kid, folks.
We love you bunches!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our Little Ray of Sunshine (Sunny)

Working with Furget Us Not Rescue, we found the newest member of our family!

Furget Us Not was absolutely great. Our volunteer, Nicole, was the best. She was so helpful, understanding, and knew that a good "match" meant on both sides.
Happy people + Happy pooch = Happy family. 
It's not rocket surgery, folks.

So, let me introduce you to Sunny!

Meet the fam!

Whoa!....She is beautiful!...

Sunny LOVES her ball!

Big pawz.

Yay walks!

Lurve her!

This face makes me melt....

So that's Sunny!
She is 140 lbs of English Mastiff awesomeness! GREAT with the kids, GREAT with the cats, and we absolutely ADORE her!

Jaysen loves to check the mail with her and take her for walks. Rylan loves to play ball and fetch with her. I love to basically just love on her and snuzzle. It warms my heart to see her so happy and tail-waggy when I get home. And how happy they all are playing or just chillin' out together.

Thank you, Furget Us Not (and of course Matt and Nicole)~
Much love!

Calling out Last Day Dog Rescue

I believe in rescuing animals.
Every pet I've ever had (except my kitty, Tiki), has been a rescue.
Rescues are the best.

Except when they're not.

We recently expanded our family to include a new furface. And she has been amazing! Seriously, we couldn't have asked for a better dog. She is absolutely awesome in every way. Companion would disagree with me and say that her slobber is far from awesome, but I digress. Sadly, the journey to find our dog, had not been so magical.

Let me start by saying that I understand rescues are run by volunteers. I understand that volunteering takes time and is hard work. I admire these people, despite they can be a bit overzealous and judgemental, and totally make it difficult for you, when it comes to adopting their foster.

Let me tell you, Last Day Dog Rescue (LDDR) is horrible.
(also not linking because they deserve no love from me)

After no contact and a no call/no show scheduled home visit, we were finally able to start meeting dogs to potentially adopt. It seemed that every dog we were interested in was either already adopted or "not a good fit" for us. They denied us pretty much every dog we were interested in. We were looking for a med/large sized dog (preferably a Golden or Lab), that's good with kids and cats. That was it. We couldn't find any Goldens (yes, I tried GRRoM), and LDDR deemed all the Labs "too hyper" for us.

They described a very sweet dog, Bennett, who was good with cats and kids. He was a sweetheart. He loved everyone he met. He was desperate to get out of the kennel he was in because he has severe kennel anxiety.... they kept pushing him on me, and assuring me he was perfect for us. My heart started to break for poor Bennett, and we decided we would love to adopt him. We were so excited! We drove over an hour and waited 4 hours just to meet him. I almost cried when I saw him, I was so happy.

Fast forward.

We didn't even have Bennett 24 hours.
Within hours of being in our home, he became overly protective of Companion, and would "guard" him from the rest of the family. He growled and postured at my sister. He bristled, growled, and lunged at Jaysen (thank baby Jeebus Companion was able to hold him back). He would posture and track Rylan. He was showing aggression toward the kids, and I just could not accept that.

I contacted LDDR. I was told to "ignore him. Don't show him any affection for 72 hours".
They wanted to know which kid he was showing aggression to.
Does it fucking matter???
Bennett kept going. That night, Companion slept in the living room with the dog, while I slept in my bedroom with the cats. The boys slept in their rooms with the doors closed. Needless to say, we were terrified of what would happen if one of the kids woke up first and came out of their bedroom.  It would have been different, had I been without kids. But I'm a mom, and that usually means you have children of some sort. I am in no effing way going to put my kids in danger like that.

We decided to return Bennett to the rescue.
They were pissed. Their argument was I didn't give him time to adjust. My argument was I couldn't put my children in a situation like that with a dog that has aggressive tendencies.  They didn't care.
They picked Bennett up in the morning.
They didn't want to hear about anything, and I made her take a written description of what happened, and how I didn't think he should be in a home with children.
They were pissed, and banned me from the rescue.


So... I got blacklisted for being concerned about my children's safety?
Interesting. I'm fine with that, and I guess it just speaks to what kind of "rescue" LDDR really is.

I understand that rescue people only care about the dog's well being. I get that, you crazy motherfuckers. But isn't part of the dog's well being, to find the right family?  If a dog has a taste for children, it should not be in a house with children. 

Don't get me wrong- Bennett was a great dog. Very smart, fast learner, good companion.....just not for a house with kids. Yet, he's still on LDDR's website as being good with kids. That's totally irresponsible and someone's potentially going to get hurt.

I wasn't able to get a straight answer about anything. I had one person saying I was a bad dog-mom, and another saying I was great, just "the board" was being unfair and she was going to help me on the side, to adopt a better dog. She later turned out to be a huge two-faced, backstabbing, spineless jackass, but that's just par for LDDR apparently. I had them saying my adoption fee check was in the mail, but it never showed, so I put a stop payment on my check (c'mon, we had the dog less than 24 hours). They sure didn't like that because it cost them $30 when they tried to cash it. Haha bitches.

This isn't a butthurt post either. I was denied by another rescue (my cats were late on their vaccines- don't tell Jenny!), and although I thought that was BS, it was handled much differently and professionally.

In not-so-short, Last Day Dog Rescue is run by a bunch of daft volunteers, who have no freakin' clue what a "rescue" is. I'm sure David Arquette would disagree, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume we didn't get the same treatment.

I'll tell you all about the rescue that we ended up working with (who ironically branched out from LDDR because they couldn't stand LDDR's politics), in another post. I don't want to even associate the two, plus I still have to upload pics. *lazy*

Bottom line is-
Even though our experience was horrible, please consider rescuing. Just not from LDDR. They're deceitful and really don't care. About you, or their dogs.
Stay tuned for an awesome post on adoption!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Counting Mah Chikkuns

Jaysen's teacher.
I luff this man.

I've mentioned oh....maybe 50 billion, trillion, megazillion times, that Jaysen has not had a supportive school environment. I think that's a nice way of describing it, because in actuality, it sucks major donkey balls.  He basically has received NO formal education, and the education he has received, has been secondhand from his paras and supplemented at home.

Which is the main reason I decided to pull him from GenEd. He needs to build a stronger foundation. Get a sense of the educational system. Have some exposure to authority other than Mom. Learn about making mistakes and how to fix them.

He's currently in the EI (Emotionally Impaired) classroom. While there is an ASD classroom at his school, I felt the EI teacher would be better equipped to deal with Jaysen's outbursts and behaviors. He would be more used to seeing things like that, and not overreact to them. He would hopefully have the skills to help Jaysen work through them and teach him more accceptable replacement behaviors.

And I was right. :)

At curriculum night (I was the only parent to show. It was sad, but I got his teacher 1:1 for over an hour), Mr. Smith told me of the potential he saw in Jaysen. Jaysen is the farthest behind in the whole class, but he was confident he could get him caught up. He said Jaysen is very smart, he just lacks the confidence that he can do the tasks, and his anxiety gets the better of him. Yes. This is true.

We talked about Jaysen's self-harming. that his self-injury is driven by the sensory input. That we have tried alternate things, increasing his sensory diet, redirection, ignoring, etc. Nothing seems to sate that need for that proprioceptive feedback.

Then he asked me a most magical question. Mr. Smith stopped, looked at me, and sincerely asked me, "Has anyone looked into why he needs that feedback? Because I think that's important to know."

I was stunned. Nobody has ever asked me that before. Nobody has ever cared enough to even think of as to why that particular outlet (self-injury) serves a purpose for him. Nobody. And then the tears started flowing. Because I'm sensitive, dammit- and omg you actually care about and want to understand my kid.

Another awesome thing about this class?
Mr. Smith fosters a sense of Community.
This is huge. And I didn't fully understand the magnitude of it until he gave me an example.
Jaysen has a bully. One that he knew from the last school. This bully targets Jaysen, and generally makes his day miserable.
One day this bully was being especially assholish to Jaysen, he was calling him names and got up to go over to Jaysen's desk. The 3 kids surrounding Jaysen stood up from their desks, walked over to Jaysen's desk, and stood behind him.  One of the kids turned to address the bully. He told him to leave Jaysen alone, and to go back to his seat; while the other two kids flanked Jaysen, bent down to him, and told him "Okay, look. You need to ignore him. That's how we handle him. Mr. Smith will be over here in a minute, and he'll give us instruction. Then we're going to follow his instruction, because he'll know what to do."  They not only redirected Jaysen, they diffused a situation. Without instruction. That's Community, bitches.

And that? Is how it's done.