Sunday, September 27

Pippin Meets the Kitties

Long time readers of the blog or followers of our website know that Pippin has been our longest foster to date. Her behavior problems were addressed by her foster family to the full extent of their abilities, then she moved in with a trainer, who has continued the job of desensitization and, as Freud might put it, creating a critter with just the ordinary number of neuroses.

Here's her foster mom who sent us some photos of Pippin taken while Pippin was staying with an adoptive family--this family adopted another hard case from us earlier, named Batman. They have done wonders with him, and Pippin got along great in their care. The captions are from Pippin's foster mom:

"While we were on vacation, Pippin had a little break of her own and went to stay with Batman ( Buddha) and his family. I was a little concerned about the three (dog savvy) cats in the house and all the more so when I learned that two tiny kittens had joined the family...... I needn't have worried, Pippin had the time of her life!
She was so good that they said she is welcome back anytime!"

I can't decide if I like it so I'm not going to look at it.

still not looking...

ok, I'll look......and touch it ....just a little bit

ohhhhh.......... soft kitty

oh- it's gone flat, lemme poke it some more.

ut oh now there's another one...not sure what to do

when in doubt, just join in and be part of the pack

Saturday, September 26

Sigmund's Horrible Adventure (graphic photos!)

Sigmund had his neuter surgery this week, and the day following the surgery, his foster mom noticed that his scrotum had filled with fluid and his legs seemed swollen. She took him in to the vet and was reassured that some dogs, usually big dogs, can have that reaction and to apply warm compresses.
The next day, Sigmund's legs were more swollen and his penis and scrotum were very red, so his foster mom returned to the vet and Sigmund was admitted.

this photo was taken by the surgeon just before Siggie's second surgery

After a number of tests and consultations, and surgery to release the fluid and infection from the scrotum, the vet's opinion was that in the 12-18 hours prior to his neuter surgery, Sigmund had been bitten on the lower abdomen or penis by a venomous spider: most likely a brown recluse.
He spent two days in ICU, receiving intravenous anti-biotic and care for the necrotizing tissue on his abdomen and penis. He is back with his foster mom now, and he is doing quite well. He will likely lose a good bit of tissue, whether only the skin or some deeper tissue or even the urinary tract remains to be seen.

We have all heard stories about brown recluse spiders--they live all across this continent--and there are horrifying images to be found all over the Internet with awful stories to go with them. We want to discuss two things as a consequence of this experience with Sigmund:
1. If you think there is something wrong with your dog, do not allow yourself to be brushed off. If your vet tries to brush you off, get a different vet. In this case, our foster mom relied on her instinct and experience and took Sigmund back in and insisted that they look at him again. Her insistence saved his life.
2. As much as we may trust that spiders are our friends and they are part of our home's micro-ecosystem, we plan to make our home inhospitable to brown recluse spiders. That means that we will use giant plastic bins to contain our keepsakes, rather than brown paper boxes. We will install small lights in the areas where we store things.

We'll be vacuuming more often under our beds and along the walls and corners. Much as we like the way bedskirts look, we are getting rid of them.
We are going to be looking for places that will allow the little nasties to get in, like cracks in the foundation, loose screens or unsealed doors and windows.
And we'll tidy up our garage and storage areas, sweeping out and around things that have been sitting for a long time, pitching those old boxes we haven't used, and organizing stuff that clutters up the foundation, like old cordwood, garden tools or hoses. One website suggests changing the outdoor lights on the house to yellow lights, since yellow lights repel the kinds of bugs brown recluses like to eat.

If your place is like the Frog Princess's place, you've got some dusty old dog crates piled up in the garage, maybe some boxes of magazines you've been meaning to take to the recycling place, some half-empty cans of paint and other kinds of detritus that has been awaiting the right weekend afternoon to get something done with it. The brown recluse likes to hide in all that stuff--it's a reclusive little critter--and getting rid of it, or making it less attractive by cleaning it and storing it somewhere tidy and cold will help discourage them from taking up residence in your house, garage, storage, or carport.

We'll keep you posted on poor Sigmund's progress, but let his predicament be a spur to your impulse to get rid of that junk in your garage. And be sure to wear long pants, good shoes and gloves while you are loading it up, advises

The Frog Princess


A new foster girl is in town and she's got the bouncy kind of bottom! Here's what her foster mom says:

"Eowyn (pronounced Ay-oh-wen) is 4 years old and in good health: very energetic and athletic. She can easily jump over 5 feet in the air. If you pat your shoulder, she will jump up and try to land on it. She is a fearless climber. The good news is she loves people! She likes her belly and ears rubbed. She has very expressive eyes. She does a hysterically funny "itchy spot on my back" routine on the rug. She loves to look out the window and tell off the squirrels. She's not afraid to tell anyone what she thinks. She needs to be spayed before she goes available."

Five feet in the air? That dog must have some kangaroo in her! surmises

The Frog Princess

Wednesday, September 23

Sofie at Work and at Rest

FBRN grad Sofie is one of those Frenchie girls who always has something to say. She's got an opinion about everything, and she's very willing to share it with you!

She's a mighty bug hunter, and can catch an errant fly in mid-air. She also enjoys smooshing them into the sliding glass doors with her flat face and snuffling them to death. Bugs don't stand a chance when Sofie is around.

We got these photos of Sofie from her mom this week. Seems her mom got worried when she looked around and Sofie wasn't by her side supervising. When mom walked into the family room, she found Sofie had taken advantage of a pile of pillows her dad had used for his nap earlier! Anybody else flashing on Princess and the Pea?

Sofie's not only death on bugs, she doesn't take any guff from the water hose, either! Most Frenchies we know, while not H20 averse, are not willing to go head to head with the vicious snake that spews. Not Sofie. She's always up for a fight.

She's a warrior Frenchie after our own heart, muses

The Frog Princess

Wednesday, September 16

Winners of the Junior Volunteer Photo contest!

Here is the announcement of the winners of the Junior Volunteer photo contest:

The Super Fantastic Extra Special Bonus Photo Contest winningest photo =
13 year-old Zoe's shot of French Fry & Emma

The 4-12 Photo Contest winning pic =
8 year old, Colby's shot of Gizzy

Zoe's photo will be the cover of one of FBRN's 2010 calendars and Colby's photo will be the face of our first Jr. Vol. postcard.

Many thanks to all of our Jr. Volunteers for their participation. Each and every one of the pictures received is just awesome."

Our volunteers put together a fabulous montage of all the photographs. Click here to see it.

The contest must have been very hard to judge, because there are so many great photos!
Thank you to all the Junior Volunteers, the judges and organizers for putting this together from

The Frog Princess

Tuesday, September 15

She's a Keeper

When we saw these photos of Keeper, we thought, this is a professional model. Look at the way she turns her head with that insouciant air!

See how she arranges herself to advantage so that she is standing in the lushest, greenest grass to set off her beautiful creamy coat!

See how she gazes into the camera as if to allow a glimpse into her deepest thoughts: peace.

For some dogs, a session with the camera is a difficult thing to endure. For others, it's a chance to demonstrate a god given gift.

And for some poor souls, the paparazzi are simply relentless. As you can imagine, that's how it is for

The Frog Princess

Max O Million Goes to the Fair

Max O Million's path to FBRN was a bit perapatetic, a little meandering, but he has never been in danger, as some of our wandering fosters have been.

Before he was surrendered, Max O Million lived on a farm. He got to run around and enjoy himself. Then he was sold to a family who had him only a week before someone developed allergies to him, and he was surrendered to FBRN. We have discovered that Max O Million is a wonderful little dog, as well as being terrifically photogenic. His move from farm to home to foster family appears to have put him out not at all.

We love to hear about our foster dogs' adventures in the wide world. A little while ago, Max O Million got to attend a Renaissance Festival, and here is what his foster mom had to say about how Max O Million worked the crowd:

"Well, Max had a big outing yesterday! He attended the Renaissance Festival in the ...area and he was a HIT! My 15 year old son said he is a "great chick magnet"! He likes the young girls so am thinking he must have had one in his past life...Max would just walk up to people, wait to see if they would pet him, and then move on. He was also very interested in all the other dogs he saw, he did ignore the very large turtle walking around, and he gave the elephant a funny look! He had a great time but was tuckered out when we left! Someone is going to be very lucky to get him!"

We feel certain that negotiating our way through hoards of costumed folk, accepting numerous and well-earned tributes and praises, regarding the odd physiques of Renaissance elephants and subtly observing the antics of enormous turtles would wear us out as well. We can only hope that at some point a refreshing glass of mead was enjoyed by the adults while the children practiced drowning evil doers in butts of Malmsey, or whatever amusements young people of the time once found to wile away the hours.

We will resist our feminist impulse to lecture the young man on the use of the phrase "chick magnet" as we suspect it would fall, as so many useful lectures do, on deaf ears. We will, however, agree that though he is likely to exert some pull on young women, Max O Million is also appealing --nigh irresistible, even--to a woman of advancing years, such as

The Frog Princess