Tag Archives: Family

Memories! Tyler’s First Blitz.

I was doing some clean-up on my YouTube account today, and came across a video I did of Tyler in June of 2010. This is his very first Bichon Blitz in his new home. He looks so skinny! But that’s because this is just weeks after his rescue by the mighty warriors of Small Paws Rescue–he was only a very few weeks away from recuperating from starvation and parvo virus.  Watch my sweet boy run!


Photos From My 2010 Visit to Bideawee

I’ve been writing the past couple of days about Bideawee in New York City, and I thought I should mention that I got to visit Bideawee last year. While I was there I learned that on average, pets stay with the Center around 32 days before being adopted by their forever family. They usually have around 100 animals available, with more cats than dogs (25-30 dogs/70-75 cats). Bideawee does its best to set the pet up for successful adoption—and they succeed! The national average for pet returns is 15-20%. Bidawee’s returns is only 5%! People come from all over the country to find their match at Bideawee. And the pets come from all over too! While I was there, I got to meet some Chihuahuas from California (where there has been an outbreak of “purse” dogs) and some puppies from Tennessee.

Unlike other adoption centers I’ve visited, Bideawee Manhattan is more horizontal than vertical. Instead of being laid out on one level, Bideawee has four floors to accommodate all its services and facilities. And every available space is used with economy and efficiency.

One of the cat rooms

One of the cat rooms

Puppies being socialized

Puppies being socialized

Hello! Wanna play?

Hello! Wanna play?

One of the veterinary clinic's exam rooms.

One of the veterinary clinic’s exam rooms.

Surgery room within the veterinary clinic

Surgery room within the veterinary clinic

The Intensive Care Unit

The Intensive Care Unit

Penny, one of the office cats.

Penny, one of the office cats.

Another office cat.

Another office cat.

One Sweet face looking for a home

One Sweet face looking for a home

This kitten is climbing the walls looking for his family.

This kitten is climbing the walls looking for his family.

Come play with me!

Come play with me!

A sweet face and a gentle purr.

A sweet face and a gentle purr.

Waiting patiently for a new family.

Waiting patiently for a new family.


Okey’s Promise

This is a call to action: Here’s how you can Be The Change in just a few short minutes.

One of my favorite artists, Vicki Boatright–or @BZTAT as she’s usually known in the online pet community–is working on a project to raise awareness of the connection between child abuse and animal abuse. Okey’s Promise, her project, is named for the tiny abused cat that BZTAT recently rescued.

Starting in her home town of Canton, Ohio, Vicki plans on creating a highly visible public mural featuring a child, a dog, and a cat to remind us of those who are most vulnerable in our society. Her hope is to spark a local dialogue regarding the issues of child and animal abuse. This local effort will be backed by a national media campaign to serve as a catalyst for a wider discussion of the issues through the commission of additional murals in other communities. Vicki says:

“The issue of pet abuse and abandonment is deeply connected to the issue of child abuse and domestic violence. Both issues need to be addressed together, not one in isolation of the other…Creating artwork that is highly visible to the community has a greater chance of connecting the dots for people. It is easy to ignore a fact sheet, but hard to dismiss a powerful public artwork that reaches out to you each day as you drive by it.”

Here’s the part where you can Be the Change: Make a donation so Vicki can make her project happen. Every dollar helps–we go farther and the road is easier with a little bit of help from a lot of people–so give what you can afford.

Wouldn’t you like to have one of BZTAT’s murals in your community?

Tyler the Traveler

Last week, we traveled from Dayton Ohio to Madison Wisconsin because of some family business. Of course Mr. Tyler came with us! Tyler already has some experience traveling–he flew with me from Phoenix when I adopted him. But we had not yet taken him on a long trip by car.


We knew this trip was going to happen, but we didn’t know the timing. So for the past couple of weeks–since Tyler joined our family–we’ve taken him in the car with us on errands when the opportunity presented itself. Tyler is a puppy, with a puppy’s energy and curiosity, and we knew he would need to be somehow confined to ride safely. If we had more time, we might have tried training him to one of the many varieties of doggie seat belts. But we knew that for a long trip (8 hours) on short notice we would have better luck if we crated him.

Puppy in a bag!

Tyler trained for our road trip in his Sherpa bag (with the top zipped closed, of course).

Our training consisted of short trips with Tyler in Bailey’s old Sherpa bag–it’s the biggest size so he had lots of room. The bag has a strap along the side that can be hooked over the extended handle of a rolling suitcase or through which a car seat belt can pass to secure the bag to the seat of the car. The weather has been hot, so when we did our errands with Tyler one of us always remained in the car with him to make sure he didn’t get overheated. Tyler objected to being confined by treating us to a puppy song that sounded surprisingly like a kitty cat, but after the first few minutes he quieted down and accepted the fact that he was not in control of his destiny.

And he didn’t get car sick!


  • Wet wash cloth and towel–to clean paws after going potty at germ-infested roadsides.
  • Loaded (with kibble) Kongs®
  • Tyler’s favorite  toys
  • Leash + poop bags
  • Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy and Iams Puppy Biscuits–enough for a week
  • Food and water dishes
  • A “loose” babygate
  • Carpet cleaner (in case of accidents)
  • Our Sherpa bag (for quick excursions)
  • A couple of fabric pee pads
  • Some photos of Tyler, in case he got lost
  • Updated ID tag on Tyler’s collar that included my cell phone number and information on where we were staying.
  • Tyler’s crate, bedding, and favorite pillow


Tyler crated in car

Ready to travel!

Tyler would be riding on the back seat in his crate. The day we left, I wedged his crate as close as possible to the front seats so that we could easily keep an eye on him and so that he would not feel so isolated. I used our suitcases on the floor to give the crate stability. And I wedged several pillows between the crate and the seat back to keep the crate in place. I was lucky that the middle seat belt doesn’t have a shoulder strap–so it easily secured the crate to the seat. I was also lucky that the opening of the crate was on the passenger’s side, not the driver’s side.

Tasty kibbles!

Tyler takes time out from his duties as co-pilot to chew on his Kong.

In case I had to pull over on the Interstate to deal with a puppy emergency, I would be using the car door away from the traffic. And (ultimate horror!) if the stinker managed to slip past me and dart out of the car he would not be jumping directly into traffic.


Before we hit the road, we double checked with our hostess that it was alright to bring Tyler along. We were very clear that Tyler was not completely housebroken yet. 


Tyler's new friend, Buddy.

Our hostess has a Cocker Spaniel, and she was very happy to welcome Tyler as a guest–in spite of his being potty-challenged. And much as I tried to set Tyler up for success, he had some accidents–which we made sure got cleaned up. Before we left, we also made sure that all of Tyler’s poops were cleared from the yard.

Tyler under the dresser

Tyler finds a crate-like spot to catch a snooze

As I moved our stuff into the bedroom that Tyler and I would share, I looked closely for things that Tyler might get into–anything chewable on the floor, electrical cables, etc.–and moved them out of reach. I didn’t notice that there was “crawl space” under some of the furniture until I missed Tyler one night at bedtime. I found him nearly asleep under a chest of drawers!

That handy babygate!

Mealtimes presented a challenge because each dog was on a different food for specific needs. During mealtimes, Tyler and I stayed in our room where I tried to convince Tyler his food was just as good as Buddy’s. Tyler and Buddy had a great time playing, and the babygate came in handy when we needed to control either dog’s access to the other.

All the comforts of home.

Tyler's home away from home.

Tyler felt right at home–surrounded by dear friends–with his crate handy for an easy escape when he got tired of all the noisy goings-on. Having the Sherpa bag with us allowed us to bring Tyler along if we went anywhere in the car.

Resting after playing

Tyler and Buddy: big rest after big play!

Though it was a sad occasion, we had a wonderful visit with our family, and Tyler had a very positive experience.

What do you do when you travel with your pet?

It’s our Two Week Anniversary!

It’s 2 weeks today since Tyler and I first met in Phoenix. and I realize that I have not told Tyler’s story. 

Tyler at the desk

Tyler has started advising me on canine matters and my job at Iams.

Tyler was found one morning in late April on busy street corner in Phoenix, Arizona. He was starving and nearly comatose. Some good Samaritans took him to the local shelter, where they discovered he had parvovirus. The folks at the shelter had very good intentions, but parvo meant that he would be euthanized. One of the shelter people called Small Paws Rescue–because Tyler was a Bichon, and they knew that Small Paws helped Bichons. The nice man who was the regional representative for Small Paws went right away to pick up Tyler and take him to a local veterinary clinic, where he was placed in isolation and given lots of meds and IV fluids to fight the parvo–all paid for by Small Paws. Tyler recovered.  


Forget work! Let's play!

I had put myself on the Small Paws puppy waiting list back in March. I knew when I did it that my puppy would find me. Around the time that Tyler was recovering from his ordeal, I was preparing for a business trip that would take me to San Francisco. Ten days before I was scheduled to leave, I got an email from Small Paws–a puppy was just about ready to be adopted. Did I want him? 


It was karma. Instead of flying straight home from San Francisco to Dayton, I rearranged things to make a side trip to Phoenix.  

Tyler’s very wonderful foster mama brought him to me at the Crown Plaza near the airport (an excellent hotel for traveling pets!) He was so tiny, and had a very bad haircut (I think because parvo is so messy and contagious). But I could see his potential in his sweet face. 

I was almost afraid his foster mama would keep him herself cause he had wormed his way into her heart! But she left him with me, and we spent the rest of the day getting to know each other and getting Tyler used to the bag he would need to fly in. 

The next day we flew home to Dayton by way of Atlanta. 

Tyler sleeps.

A well deserved snooze after a hard day on the job!

That was two weeks ago. Tyler has settled into our routine with all of the energy and excitement you would expect from a puppy. His antics lift our spirits and make us laugh. I think the thing that touches me the most is that he has bonded so well with my mom (we share the house).  And I find great joy in watching him charm her with his silliness!

More On Tyler

Less than 48 hours and already Tyler is settling into his new home. I did some catch-up yesterday at my desk, and even though the bed says “Bailey” Tyler had no problem using it!

Tyler relaxes.

Tyler relaxes under my desk.


Tyler on duty, ready to answer all your dog-related questions.

Bailey still holds her spot in my heart. But Tyler is making his own space there, too.

I think I’m going to have to break down and buy a new video camera. My Flip cam is just not as friendly as I want it to be, and the quality is not as good as what I can do with my cheap digital camera.

Here’s Tyler’s first Bichon blitz in his new home!

Happy Birthday Bailey!

Bailey was born on March 11, 1996.

We did this birthday video last year. I think, in my heart, I suspected it would be the last time we celebrated Bailey’s birthday. I have very fond memories of the day we shot this. It’s pretty silly.

In memory of Bailey, join our online Bichon Bash by clicking and donating to Small Paws Rescue. No donation is too small, and every donation will make a difference in a dog’s life.