Home of a web & design adventurer and general purveyor of awesome.
The TARDIS Gang
Background - How did we end up with 9 dogs, again?
Long story short, my wife is awesome and we have lots of room in the garage, ha ha.
My wife was driving back from a meeting in a rainstorm when she noticed a bunch of puppies huddling together on the side of the road, looking completely emaciated and pitiful. Not knowing what to do, she called me and we decided to grab a couple of spare dog crates and bring them home. There were 6 in total, and luckily I had just finished cleaning out our double-wide bay of our garage and have enough materials to block it off and turn it into a kennel while we prepared these guys for their forever homes.
We regularly work with rescue organizations here in the Houston area, but because of Houston having one of the highest kill-rates in the entire country, they are all packed to the brim and unable to support an influx this large. So we decided we would work to find a rescue organization further north that transports dogs from high-kill areas to their local rescues. But first we need to get them fed/recovered, get their vaccinations/medicines, and get clean health certificates from the vet before they can be transported.
This is where the awesomeness of the internet and the awesomeness of our friends came in. After one afternoon of the photos being posted, we were flooded with offers to help contact rescues and help with vet bills, transportation costs, etc., all of which will be needed to actually make this happen.
So in order to keep those hoping to help up to date and show the progress of the pups and give a place to donate, I figured I would use this site and my facebook album as a means of communication.
Oh, and the names, for those poor deprived souls who have never seen it, are all from Doctor Who, a British television show that is my wife's and my absolute favorite!
9-20-15:This update is actually coming pretty late after it actually happened, but I am ecstatic to say that Strax has also found a permanent home! Not just that, but a celebrity home, as thanks to the efforts of Scout's Honor Rescue, he actually now belongs to a member of the Houston Texans! He is doing great and get all the attention and love he could ever ask for. Pretty amazing ending for such a tragic beginning.
11-3-14:It's a little past a year since we originally picked up the pups, with no idea what would be in store for us. I am happy to say that as one week after his anniversary of being found, Strax, the final member of the TARDIS gang, has found a forever home! It's a *wonderful* home with plenty of other dogs and kids and family to love. I get to see pictures pop up on my facebook feed from the adopter and it makes us ecstatically happy. We owe a very large debt of gratitude to his fosters, a young couple who gave him such incredible love and socialization that he was always happiest snuggling and playing with his 3 pittie foster siblings. He has learned to love other dogs and even learned to respect their personal space when they don't want to play. Just amazing leaps and bounds made in the loving care of his former fosters. And now? His days are filled with snuggling, chasing softballs, and romping with kids. My little albatross has finally flown the coop. A perfect happy ending.
4-7-14: Wow, it's apparently been a long time since I've updated this, but that's because all has been well! Hopefully there will on be one or two more updates ever needed. Rory, who was being fostered by my brother in North Carolina, was adoted to a wonderful home last month, making Strax the only remaining pup! As mentioned before, I kept him with us because he had some anxiety/socializtion issues, but I am *extremely* happy to report that he is doing completely awesome! His separation anxiety is almost completely gone (15 minutes of whining after volunarily going in the crate, and then he settles down), his anxiety around dogs is a memory of the past, thanks to Scout's Honor (who has brought Strax into their program) and PAWS Pet Resort in Houston where we've been taking him in once a week for daycare and socialization. He loves playing with other dogs and kids and will give big slobbery kisses to whoever he meets. He's got perfect house manners with no accidents, no inappropriate behavior, excellent obedience, and near *perfect* recall off-leash. He'd make a heck of a farm dog if anyone knows one who's looking, ha ha. He's much calmer, relaxed, and self-confident than I ever thought he'd get. We're still fostering him for the moment, but I think he's finally ready to leave the next so-to-speak. Scout's Honor has just put out another push looking for a foster, so fingers are crossed!
12-9-13: We've been on vacation for the past week or so, but there's still been plenty going on. I was a little worried about boarding Strax for the holiday because of his anxiety, but it actually ended up being a wonderful socialization experience. He evidently did very well and even made a few new friends! He was intimidated by a couple of the larger dogs, but tucked tail and backed up instead of confronting, which was perfect. Also in the good new category, Amelia has been adopted!!! Out Of The Pits found a wonderful home with a Fire Chief and his family and she even has two other canine siblings. We spent Thanksgiving in New York with my family, which meant we got to spend it with Rory and my family's two other dogs. Rory is doing *amazing*. He was perfect with both dogs and loved everyone and Nate has even got him sitting politely when he wants attention. Just an amazing transformation. Just a calm happy puppy. Lastly, Strax will now be officially listed with Scout's Honor for adoption here in Texas. They're wonderful and are making sure to go the extra mile to get him socialized and trained. We're still fostering for now, but hopefully another foster home or adopter will pop up quickly!
11-27-13: Now that the other dogs are gone and he's in the house, Strax has been making some really great progress. He's no longer panicking because of whining puppies and, while still wanting to be in your lap, likes running around and sniffing and having mini-adventures. He's doing very well with house training, and is starting to act less like a scared dog and more like a normal puppy! He's even started to play fetch! I honestly haven't had a lot of time to work on socializing him better with dogs aside from walking him on leash through the house with my own dogs, but hopefully when we get back from vacation I can really start on it. Ideally, though, I'd love to find him a proper trainer. He's got so much potential to be the perfect dog, and I'm afraid I don't have the skill or time to help him fully reach that potential. In terms of all the other puppies, I have been getting lots of pictures from the fosters and they are doing *great*! Much better environments for all of them including lots and lots of snuggling with humans and canines alike.
10-21-13: Found puppies, brought them home, set up kennel in garage, took intial photos and posted to Facebook album, created site to accept donations and update those interested on progress.
11-21-13: Wow, I've been bad with updating this amongst the scrambling. It is exactly one month since we first picked up the puppies and I am happy to announce that only Strax is left! We had a couple of rescues scramble to find foster homes for Amelia, River Song, and Martha Jones and managed to get them on a transport yesterday along with Rory. So Amelia is being taken care of by Out of the Pits in Albany, NY and River Song and Martha Jones are being taken care of by Mutts4Rescue out of New England! They may even have possible adopters lined up, so thank you so much to both of those organizations. They have repeatedly bent over backwards for these pups. Strax still has some anxiety issues that I'm hoping to work with him on before sending him off, but now that all his siblings are off, it should be much easier to encourage a calm and attentive environment.
11-11-13: Another big weekend for the pups! As you can see above, we have a whole bunch of new pictures thanks to thee previously mentioned rescue volunteers who came to photograph/video the pups yesterday. The videos are still being edited, but those will be up shortly. They help with giving adopters/rescuers an idea of how they deal with strange people/dogs/discomfort, etc. The first three - River Song, Rory, and Strax - got dropped off at the vet this morning to get fixed/microchipped and the other three have their turn tomorrow. In terms of fosters, we're still looking, but we've got 2 or 3 very likely possibilities, so it'll hopefully just be a final one or two that I'll have to start knocking down doors.
11-4-13: It's been a busy busy last couple of days, but I don't even know where to being with the awesome that's been happening. Biggest thing, a rescue put me in contact with two volunteers down here that are the Rescue Mr. Miagi to my Canine Karate Kid. Seriously. They have been an incredibly blessing. They've lent me crates so I can begin crate-training the dogs and get them out of a dirt-floor garage bay, individual bowls for food and water, anti-biotics/dewormers/vaccines, arranging spay/neuter/microchips, some bags of food, and most of all: experience, advice, and moral support. They've done more for these pups in two days than I've been able to do in two weeks. I am so incredibly grateful. Next bit of awesome. The pups are de-wormed enough that they can play in our fenced in yard when we're home and we can start supervising socialization with our 3 dogs along with neighbors and friends who want to visit the puppies. Final bit of awesome: WE HAVE A RESCUE FOR OUR SECOND PUP! My new strategy is to find foster homes *first* and then contact the rescues. The main reason rescues can't accept new animals is they don't have foster homes, so if they're fully vetted and come with a foster they wouldn't normally have, it frees them up to be able to help. I'll probably put out a Facebook appeal tonight or tomorrow night, but my awesome little brother stepped up as the first foster in Charlotte, NC. I'll post up the details of the rescue and the pup once details get finalized. Two down, four to go!
11-1-13: Sorry I haven't updated in a bit. Been very busy with puppies, but nothing particularly unusual. Their appetite and weights continue to grow. We are now on our 5th(?) bag of food in two weeks. Even Amelia and Rory have lost their protruding hip-bones. The medicine seems to be doing it's job, as the feces are starting to get more solid and the irritated skin patches are starting to heal. They are getting *super* wiggly and jumpy. It's gotten to the point where I'm training them to sit patiently and wait until I finish putting down their food. Otherwise it's chaos. No rescue organization has accepted them yet, although I've had two offer me some very helpful local resources, so that's good. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by them as they start getting their energy up, so the sooner I can get them out of a dirty garage and into a proper permanent/foster home where they can get attention and training, the better. Working on scheduling their next round of shots and their spay/neuter appointments.
10-27-13: Busy day yesterday. Took them all out for a quick rinse (the garage is very dusty); their oral de-wormer; their flea/tick/heartworm meds; and, for those who needed it, their skin medication. (Is that a correct use of semi-colons?) The skin medication is a concentrated orange liquid that smells horribly like egg yokes. Once it dries it sticks as a powdered topical medication. This results in adorably yellow accented puppies. They are all starting to look pretty good and are *plowing* through food. I took some updated pictures and have posted them on Facebook and above. I had a couple more exchanges with rescues, but nothing definite yet. The next main step, now that they're a little more healthy, is going to be finding a cheap spay/neuter clinic for them. This was originally a question as to whether they would need it yet, but now that we know their true age, it needs to get done. Luckily, one of the rescues that didn't have enough room sent me a great list of recommended clinics, so I'll start making some phone calls!
10-26-13: Wonderful news! Clara has officially found an adopter! Two of our closest friends from Boston have been looking for a pup, and fell in love with the pictures of Clara. We had a video chat Thursday night so they could meet her before officially making a decision and yesterday let me know their definite intention to adopt. We're still working out transport and timing with meds (it'll be a few weeks of their hookworm and fungus meds before they get a clean bill of health to travel), but I'm *very* excited. Their other dog and our Corgi are best buds who grew up backpacking/canoeing/hiking together and you couldn't ask for a better forever family. In other news, we're on our third bag of food in a week, ha ha, and they're filling out nicely. Medicine bath/heartguard/oral de-worming medicine is scheduled for tomorrow, so I'll try and take some updated pictures. Also, had a response from a possible rescue organization for the rest, so fingers crossed! Lastly, I've added the medical stuff so far to the previous update and put screenshots of vet paperwork and rabies certifications on the facebook album for interested adoption organizations.
10-24-13: Big day for the pups. Their appointment at the Wild Peach Veterinary Clinic went very well. They had a blast romping around the waiting room while we put their nametag collars on. I'll add the pictures to the album, but I mostly caught furry blurs, ha ha. I'll post up their health information in the album as well, but the vet estimates their age at (according to the amount of tartar on full sets of adult teeth) 10 months. That's almost double what I had originally guessed by their size, poor pups. Their weights vary pretty greatly with the lightest being Rory and Amelia at 15.7lbs and the heaviest being Strax at 26lbs, and that's after ~20lbs of food in 2 days. Their age meant that they also needed rabies and a few other shots (I'll post more specific details once I'm home and can look at the paperwork again. EDIT: The "Yearly Package" covers Office visit, fecal exam - zinc sulfate float/saline mou, Heatworm occult test, Canin Dist/Parvo/HEP/Para, Canine Bordatella/Parainfluenza, Canine Leptospirosis -pomona/grippot, Canine Rabies vaccination, Pyrantel pamoate suspension, Canine Advantage flea/tick, Pyrantel pamoate suspension, and...a nail trim. I'm not sure what all that means, but the informations now there for those who know and are interested ). They all tested negative for heartworm, which is a *huge* relief and we've got them started on Heartguard. They do have hookworms and a few do have minor skin infections, but we got medicine for those and they should clear up fairly quickly. I cannot thank you donors enough, btw. The bills were almost double what we were originally quoted and we could not have afforded it ourselves, but thanks to you, we don't have to worry about whether we can get them what they need. In other exciting news, while I haven't been able to find a rescue that can take them yet (although they've all be very supportive and sent me other rescues to email), we have potential homes for a few of the pups. I don't want to give specific details yet until it's finalized, but they are *excellent* homes, so lets cross our fingers.
10-23-13: Vet appointment is officially scheduled for tomorrow morning. Should be able to get a better estimate of age and assuming no fever or sickness, they can get their initial shots and de-worming if needed. I'll ask the vet about microchipping as well. I'd really like to get the shots out of the way so that I can start socializing them with my own animals and other humans. Hiding ribs and building confidence are first orders though, of course. Strax initially showed a bit of food defensiveness and scrapiness (presumably why he's so much larger and less emaciated. We assume he hogged any food found), but we've been crate training him so we can monitor his feeding and correct any tendencies. The rest hang out mostly in the crate, but are free to feed/eliminate throughout the day. Strax is already starting to realize food is now abundant and he doesn't need to defend it, and the others are quickly learning that even if they get shoved out of the way during feeding, there will be plenty of food for them after the others are done. Martha Jones and Strax are practically back to normal happy healthy puppies at this point. Clara and the trio and still skinny and shy, but definitely are coming out of their shells a bit.
10-22-13: Emails have been sent out to the various rescues and organizations passed along to me and we are now waiting to hear back. Thank you so much everyone for you support, enthusiasm, and generosity! I'm in the process of scheduling appointments with the vet and they will hopefully be getting their initial visit on Thursday!
10-21-13: Found puppies, brought them home, set up kennel in garage, took intial photos and posted to Facebook album, created site to accept donations and update those interested on progress.
Thank you everyone for all the offers to help out not only financially, but with spreading the word and asking around. We really really appreciate it!
Luckily, we're out in the country and country vets tend to be a bit cheaper, but if you've ever had a puppy, you know how fast the bills add up. With 6 adorable little faces, that'll definitely be the case, ha ha. Even just a few bucks helps with covering cost of food, shampoo, etc., so thank you.
I hate asking for money, and am subsequently bad at it, ha ha, so I appreciate any of you who take the time out to send something along. I know the pups appreciate it as well!
I'm amazed at how far their situation has been shared and spread even to strangers who I have never met, which is incredible. As a result, there have been a couple of parties concerned that I'm a scammer or a puppy mill or may not have the pups intentions at heart. I'm glad to hear that, actually. Scrutiny in donations makes sure that you're not just donating to someone's pocket. (Incidentally, that's why I chose Paypal donations over something like GoFundMe.com or the like. Most of those sites take a 5% cut of donations that, in my opinion, could be better used).
If you have any concerns, my Facebook profile is public and you can check out the previous dogs we've fostered and the many adventures and affection I shower on my own animals. Additionally, please feel free to poke around the sites for Scout's Honor and Rescued Pets Movement, the two organizations we volunteer for who, while not having the bandwidth to take on these 6 at the moment, have been mentoring and helping us find contacts and organizations.
Also know that if we are blessed enough that the generosity surpasses these pups needs, any leftover funds will be donated to Rescued Pets Movement to help find homes for dogs pulled from kill-shelters in the Houston area.
I'll make sure to keep this updated with the difference it's making and post lots of pictures so you can see the little bellies it's helping to fill!
I've removed the donate link now that they've been sent off to forever homes, but I wanted to keep this section up to remind myself and anyone else who sees it just how awesome people can be and how much good can come from people coming together over social media. The vast majority of costs were covered by donors wanting to help out. I cannot tell you just how amazing that is.
Again, thank you everyone again for being awesome. I expected a few "awwwws", but nothing like the outpouring of support you've given these guys.