The Labyrinth Crew


These beautiful babies were 5 days old when they came into our home and rescue.  Due to unavoidable circumstances their Mom had to be euthanized by animal services, but being the amazing people that they are,  they reached out to our rescue to see if there was anything we could do.

It just so happened that we had Mama Irelyn and her babies, who were just a couple of weeks older than these guys, in our upstairs bedroom.  My girlfriend suggested that we try to introduce these 4 to Irelyn and see if she would adopt them.  I have to admit that I was severely skeptical that it would work and wasn’t sure that we should try, but because my gf had spent so much time with her, I decided to trust her judgment and went along with the plan.

Boy was I wrong!

I have to give my girlfriend a lot of credit for thinking ahead and believing in the dog she had taken care of for a month.  She even took a blanket that was with Ireyln and her puppies with her to animal services.  The new pups rode back wrapped in the blanket to get their smell all over it as well.   She used a basket to carry the new babies, still wrapped up in the blanket, into the room and, being the amazing dog that Mama Irelyn is, as soon as she heard one of the babies cry, she couldn’t get over to the basket fast enough.  Here are the pictures of the first few moments of Mama Ireyln accepting the puppies as her own.(Her actual puppies are in there too!)


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And these are our “orphaned four” today at 5 weeks old.  They will be available for adoption in 3 weeks(right around easter)


WAY TO GO MAMA IRELYN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We call them the Labyrinth crew because they are all named after characters from the 80’s Classic movie “The Labyrinth”






Sir Didymus




Demodectic mange, What is it and how to treat it.

Demodectic mange is what is commonly referred to as “mange”.  It is an infestation of microscopic mites that take up residence near the hair follicles in most mammals.

Demodectic mange is a common ailment for our canine companions.  Fortunately with recent medical breakthroughs the treatment is much less painful for our furbabies and just as, if not more, effective than the treatments of the past.

I recently participated in a thread on reddit where redditor leetee91 has a dog with a persistent case of mange.  The treatment she is on up til now has been a pill called bravecto, which is normally a flea/tick guard, every 3 months.  Bravecto has been shown to kill demodectic mites, and therefore, to be an extremely effective treatment for mange.

The problem this particular dog was experiencing was a recurrence of infestation when taken off of bravecto.  While it is rare, some dogs do have a genetic predisposition for becoming re-infested.  This is because normally dogs that have had a demodectic infestation will build up an immune response to the mites and will be able to check them spreading again(most dogs have a minute amount of mites in their fur that never cause problems)

In this case I did some research and found that tweaking the treatment plan for worms, fleas, and ticks would serve to also combat the recurrence of the demodectic infestation.  The dog is currently on trifexis and has been getting a bravecto treatment every 3 months.

In the south, where the lone star tick can be found, the treatment cycle for bravecto is 8 weeks.  Anywhere else it is 12, rather than treating twice for fleas/ticks(which is part of treating with trifexis) a switch to sentinel for heartworm prevention and bravecto for flea/tick would also allow leetee91 to treat the demodectic as well.

In our rescue we have had a few dogs that have come to us with awful cases of mange.  We have treated them all with bravecto(8 week cycles because of the ticks and we are in an area where they are found) and we have had amazing results.  Here are some before and afters of a couple of the dogs we have had. 10655348_10152794609608928_665518884183284743_o 11168871_10153581420438928_2036039948263379370_o 11828636_10153537646583928_6427395179381862119_njaycejayce after  jayce1  sloane sloane1sloane after

The War Against the Poo

One of the staples of fostering puppies is their willy nilly, anywhere, anytime the mood strikes approach to pooping. I often find myself in awe of how so much skat can come from such a little ball of fluff.

You would think that the output would stay pretty consistent as you add more puppies, it certainly doesn’t seem that way. At 2 puppies the word “poopocalypse” starts being thrown around in our house, after 3 or more its “Poopageddon” and anyone with half a brain would head for the hills.

The trick with fighting the skat battle is vigilance, as long as the piles get picked up before the puppies decided to roll around in it, things are relatively safe. This isn’t too tough, as long as someone checks on the pups every 20 minutes or so, we can usually catch any deposits pretty quickly.

There is one caveat to this story…nighttime! Regardless of any precautions that are taken, there is a nuclear poopsplosion to tackle in the morning. I’ve developed a tried and true method for our tile floors that I thought might be of some benefit to our readers:

  1. Make absolutely sure that there is a large area(relative to where the puppies are sleeping) that they can use for their business.  We use big xpens in our living room or bedroom.
  2. Get a pooper scooper like this. Having the trigger handle that opens the bucket at the end is, by far, my preferred design because it’s tough and allows for twisting to get tough piles out of grass.

  3. Use the scooper to get the “big stuff” and dispose of it accordingly

  4. I suggest using this type of mop. We have gone through at least 5 mops that I can think of, this is by far the best one.  It’s easy to clean and the microfiber thingamabob works really well for these type of messes

  5. With a mop that hasn’t been rung out, clean anything that will come up.  Puppy skat has a special property so that when it drys trying to clean it is like trying to get white off of rice.  Anything that remains stubborn after a few swipes of the mop I will leave for 5 minutes with the excess water still on the mess.  I know this seems a bit gross but letting the water rehydrate the dried poo poo saves me  a LOT of muscle aches in the long run.

  6. Re-mop after waiting 5 minutes and repeat until all of the mess is cleaned up.  If its possible to relocate the puppies for about 20 minutes, I suggest using a gentle multipurpose cleaner to keep germs at bay and bringing them back after it dries.

If you are dealing with carpeting:

    1. Get a large tarp like this one. If my memory serves me correctly, I think we purchased the one we use in our carpeted room upstairs at our local walmart
    2. In the mornings, roll up the tarp with the mess inside, take it outside and use a hose to clean it off.   Make sure that after the tarp is clean it is dry before putting the babies back onto it.

In some cases we have to crate the puppies(after surgery, if they are sick, etc). For those pups we use small blankets inside the crate that we then take outside and clean off daily.


I hope this helps you to deal with some of your poo poo woes!!  Let us know if there are any other tricks of the trade that you use that will help us to fight the never ending battle against the poop!


Quick and Dirty Puppy Tricks-Soothing Music for Whiny Puppies

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This is Helga.  She has the worst case of “dontleavemealoneatnightitis” that we’ve had in quite awhile.   She crys and howls like she’s doing 80’s power ballad karaoke.  Needless to say that this is not conducive to restful sleep.   So an Idea popped into my head a couple of nights ago.  If soothing nature sounds work to help humans relax and get to sleep, it may just work for puppies too.


I ran an extension cored to in front of her kennel, plugged in my phone, and played a 10hr youtube video of a gentle rainstorm. It actually worked!  Her whining gradually became less and less intense, until she was just making little moaning sounds(which was super cute).  Eventually she fell asleep and we didnt hear another peep from her for the rest of the night.

So if you have a new addition to the family or a young foster that needs a little cheese with their whine, try playing them some soothing nature sounds!

Why do rescues require a dog to be fixed before adopting them out?


Edit 5-21-16

Since posting this article I have been exposed to a litany of research regarding the dangers involved w/ early spay/neuter.  I had to make a choice regarding this post.  In light of the evidence, my position has somewhat drastically changed, I could remove the post and pretend like it never happened, or I could write this caveat and leave it the way it is.  I, obviously, chose the latter.  I believe that being close minded and obstinate in one’s beliefs is the cause of many of the problems that our world faces.  Being open to new evidence, contrary to my beliefs, is intergral in growing as a dog owner, in this case, and a human being, in the rest of life.  So with that, I am now lobbying our local rescue organizations to switch sterilization methods(it is law in FL that dogs have to be sterilized before adoption) to Ovary Sparing Spay(females) and vasectomy(males).  These procedures leave the testes/ovaries intact and, therefore, avoid many of the major issues associated with spay/neuter.  I will be advocating this position with other rescues that may be interested in learning how to set our dogs up for the very best and healthy life possible.

A few days ago I was participating in a discussion on a Facebook group to which I belong. The question that was posed was along the lines of “How do I deal with a rescue that insists on spaying/neutering early”.

While not, in and of itself, a bad thing, I found myself becoming more and more annoyed as I read through the responses. People were accusing the rescue of everything from being cruel to irresponsible. I reacted in the discussion but I felt the need to express how strongly I feel about this issue.

Anyone who has participated in any facet of life can tell you that there is an enormous cross section of society that will say one thing and do the complete opposite, in most cases these very same people will put a huge amount of effort into lying if it helps them to get what they want.

I wasn’t sure of the exact number so I looked it up, a little over 10,000 dogs are euthanized every single day in the United States. I didn’t add an extra zero by accident either, that is ten thousand lives that are ended on a daily basis in this country. While there are individual risks associated with early spay and neuter, it is not anywhere near a foregone conclusion that those dogs are going to have health issues in their lifetime. In fact, an overwhelming majority, live healthy, happy, completely normal lives.

I will tell you what is a guarantee though, the dogs that sit in shelters because of “accidental” breeding are most definitely going to be euthanized. The dogs that are exploited for monetary gain, “designer breeds” are notorious for this, that are surrendered are going to be euthanized. There is a 100% chance that those dogs will lose their lives because of a human.

There are so many dogs in this world that are without homes because of irresponsibility and/or willful ignorance. When a rescue requires that a dog be fixed before it is adopted, it is for a very good reason. Most, if not all, rescues work towards a day when there services are no longer required. To even get in the ballpark of that goal, we have to make sure that we do our very best to protect all of our dogs for their whole lives.