This is just a short post, since I don't want this blog to become entirely about my pit bull:

I just heard back from a different vet who will be doing Penny's surgery for a much more reasonable cost.  The guy sounds very responsible and is going to do everything possible to save her leg.  :)

The new estimate is between $300 (if it falls to amputation) and $900 (if we can save it), with extra costs for followup visits.  Our new fundraising goal is $1,000, with anything we raise beyond the final cost of surgery going fully and directly to God's Little Creatures rescue in Bryan, TX.  If you can help, we still have a ways to go, but at least now we can get everything taken care of sooner than before!

I'll keep you updated if anything else happens, otherwise you can see news, pics, and video here.

I'll be back soon with some more varied content!  :p

-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

She Has a Name!

We decided to go with Penelope, or Penny for short, as a name for our new little girl.  The surgery is going to be really expensive, so we're hoping to raise a little money amongst our friends to help us pay for it.  Hopefully we can get her fixed up before Christmas!

If you have a spare few dollars you can give, we would really appreciate it.  I put up a button on the right side of the page that should make donating simple and confidential.  Any and all money that is offered will go straight to Penny's surgery, and if we're fortunate enough to raise more than we need, all extra donations will go to God's Little Creatures shelter.  Times are tough for us, but we really feel that Penny deserves relief from her pain no matter what state our finances might be in.  She's got a lotta love, that one!

The first introductions have been made between her and Basement Cat, but so far Base isn't too thrilled.  Her tail puffs out like a raccoon whenever she hears Penny's tail thumping in the kennel.  So far we're still at safe introductions - when the cat is out, the dog is kenneled, so that the cat can feel a little less threatened and see that dog doesn't have to mean scary.

As for our bunny - those introductions aren't going to happen period if I can help it.  I know you can train most animals to get along, but when both are adopted and you're not sure about socialization - it's not a good idea to put predator and prey in the same room.  Maybe this will change in the future, but there are no current plans.

Penny is already packing on a little weight, and she's really settled in.  She's the smiliest thing you've ever seen!  When you have an adult dog that is underweight, and if you're certain the cause isn't a disease or intestinal parasite, the best food to feed is one with a high level of protein.  Puppy feed is good, since they need to eat so much more than adult dogs to grow, the calories that are there are all very useful and easily to digest.  For the same reasons puppy food is bad for normal or overweight dogs, it's excellent for underweight ones.  We're also including a lot of meaty, healthy scraps and canned food when we can, and feeding through a few small meals per day rather than a bunch at once.  We don't want to overwhelm her or anything.  Also, as odd as it sounds, it's better that she doesn't gain weight TOO fast, since she's moving on three legs right now.  Vet's words, not mine.  >.>

There's one last thing I want to talk about today:


Our adult yellow rat snake hasn't been eating for a few weeks, so it's a good time to talk about brumation.  Brumation is when snakes and some other reptiles basically hibernate for the winter.  Unlike other hibernating animals, though, they don't sleep more - they are simply less active and may not eat for months at a time.  This usually happens if it gets cold suddenly, if they don't have enough heat for a while, or if the light period decreases.  It tells their body it's going to get cold, their metabolism slows down, and they don't need as much food.

They still drink and can be handled, and you don't need to worry unless they become skinny.  Snakes that prefer to stay burrowed under substrate, or ones that aren't yet mature, might not notice subtle changes and may still need to eat.  Keep offering, just don't be surprised if during the winter time your reptiles aren't up for food.

Have an awesome weekend!
-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

Unnamed Doggy

Well, she's come home!  We don't have a name for her yet, but we've been considering Priscilla and a bunch of other girly ones.  It's hard to decide!

Look at that pretty face!  She's even cuter when she's actually awake!

 Still sleepy from the anesthesia.

She is one of the friendliest dogs I've ever met.  It took her a couple hours but she's finally completely bounced back from the anesthesia used for her X-ray, and she's 110% focused on getting our approval, affection, and... food.  It's super cute.

She's house trained and very quiet.  Her whine sounds like a squeaky toy.  Seriously.  It's adorable.  She's crate trained, and even though she's not in a schedule or anything yet, she knows the drill and doesn't make much fuss if you have to put her away for a bit.  I simply cannot believe how sweet and well-trained this little dog is, despite being injured so seriously.

Oh yeah, about that.

When we went in to take a look at the x-ray, the first thing the doc said was "She's been shot."  I tell you what - that is right up there with things you wish the vet would never, ever say.  Hit by car isn't much better, but it angers me so much to think someone shot her and let her wander off, with no medical attention whatsoever for weeks.  There's no external injury on her now except a scar, and she's been starving since.  Even if you thought she was a coyote, or if she was getting into something of yours - that just isn't right.

There was no righteous indignation in the room, however, just a film lit up on the wall.  Bullet bits and bone fragments sprayed out across her lower abdomen and back legs, but no organs appeared to be injured.  Where one back leg bone ought to go into the pelvis was shattered - the bottom half of the bone appeared fine and it still made it into the pelvis but the bone is...well, it's history.  It's amazing to me that she can move it at all.

 Little girl's X-ray film.  The bright white spots are bullet
fragments.  You can see clearly where the bone was
shattered, just below where it connects with the pelvis.

We have two options to discuss with the doctor who will actually operate on her.  One - putting a pin in the part of the bone still in the pelvis and the part below the break to hold the two together.  This isn't guaranteed to fix it or be very strong, and she will still have a lot of damage in the area.  Two - removal of the leg at the break.  Considering how close it is to her pelvis, it'd make her a three-legged dog.

She's basically getting along that way now, but she does still have the leg to balance, and I'm worried about how she'll compensate when that weight isn't there.  I'm going to be getting her as much exercise as she wants to try and build up the muscle in the other leg so if it has to happen, she'll be closer to ready for it.  In the meantime, fingers crossed we can take a simpler approach.

Whatever happens, she now has a supportive, loving family to help her through it.

I realize I don't have a giant readership yet or anything, but if you're reading this and you would like to help us raise money for her forthcoming surgery, she and I would both really appreciate it.  When I know how much it will cost I'll add a widget of some kind to make donating easier - in the meantime if you'd like to help, please email me at

-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

Prey Drive

Since this new goggy has come into my life, I've been doing a lot of thinking and researching on breed discrimination and what makes people fear certain kinds of dogs.  Well, a lot more than usual.  One thing that kept popping up and seemed particularly interesting to me was something called prey drive.

So what's prey drive?

Well...prey drive is an instinct all predators have.  It's broken down into five steps:  search, eye-stalk, chase, grab-bite, kill-bite.  All dogs have this pattern, but through selective breeding, different breeds of dogs have been encouraged to show certain steps of this pattern more than others.

Some great examples are herding dogs - they don't need to look for sheep or kill them, but they do have a very strong instinct to stalk them.  Hunting dogs have a hyped up search instinct.  Greyhounds running around a track are showing chase, but don't need to sniff out what they're chasing first.  Different parts of the prey drive can be emphasized in different breeds.

In any case, this also plays a very strong part in multi-pet homes.  I've definitely heard stories about border collies herding other pets or even small children, and I know when we rescued an American bulldog, he was very, very, VERY driven to chase down and bite smaller animals that ran.  By observing the prey drive, it becomes easier to understand why some kinds of dogs don't get along with smaller dogs or cats, for instance.  You can also use it to your advantage in training...I hope, heh.

Okay, so it's pretty cool, right?  Our new little girl comes home later on today, and since I have a cat, I'll definitely be putting this prey drive modification thing to the test.  My remaining kitty is very important to me!  We will be WAY on the safe side, and eventually, when the house calms down, I'll let you guys know what I learned about introducing (duh-duh-duh-DUHHHH) a pit bull to a cat!

In the meantime, here's an awesome link on the matter.

Talk to you guys soon, and I'll post up some pictures of the new puppy when she finally arrives!
-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

Actually, there are two new animals in my life right now.  My cat still hasn't come back, and it's ruining me, so perhaps I'm making ill judgements.

First is a cat.  No, I'm not keeping her.  We met her in the middle of a road walking out toward a fishing spot.  My friend and I played with her for a sec, then headed out to fish.  She followed the whole way.  Then she hung out while we fished, drinking from the lake (the weather was about 50 degrees F, it was impressive that she could without complaining) and worrying me whenever she checked out my tackle box.

We weren't going to do anything about her, figuring she was a free-roaming cat of one of the residents of the area.  She was thin but not unhealthy and had a great coat.  She's got that crazy-long tail and ear fur.  Anyways, she then followed us all the way back to the house we were visiting, so we asked them about her.  They said it came around for food all the time, but they weren't sure if it was a stray or belonged to someone.  They, my fiance, and my friends all convinced me to take her home and get her scanned for a microchip, since she didn't have a collar.

She freaked out pretty hard about being in the apartment, but eventually she's calmed down and she's doing well now.  No chip, unfortunately, but hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll either found out who owns her or get her settled some place she belongs and is comfortable.

Then, there's the dog.  While looking through found ads for my cat, I came across an ad for a found pitbull.  I checked it out because our city is very prejudiced against pits and similar breeds, and have a virtually zero tolerance for them.  You can keep them (but not in apartments), but a lost pit that makes it to the pound is unlikely to come out again.  The poster responded to an email from me, and it turns out the pit was hit by a car and sustained injuries to her back leg, hip, and at least one rib.  It wasn't recent, though, and she's getting along alright.  The woman who found her can't afford to keep her, and I knew I simply had to help.

I have a little extra cash on me because of the way our bills panned out this month, so I'm helping to get her an x-ray next week.  I talked with my fiance, and once he saw her, he agreed we could adopt her.  The woman at the shelter we met at offered to help raise money to get her any needed surgeries, shots, and tests, and we discovered she was already spayed.  She's good with cats, though I'm not going to be able to let our rabbit out around her, obviously.  It looks like we're getting a dog.

It's still a question mark, especially since I really didn't think we could afford one for another long while, and because our apartment isn't pro-pitbulls.  We're not intending to stay here very long, though, so hopefully it won't be an issue.  I don't know, it's a lot very suddenly.  I thought we were just going to help with the x-ray, but as soon as my fiance saw her, he just said "yes."

I'm terrified of what it'll cost, but I'm absolutely in love with her.  I missed my chance to help the last dog I had an opportunity to, and I'm not making the same mistake.  Hopefully we'll have a new addition to our family soon.  I'll definitely keep you guys updated on how it all goes, and anything that I learn along the way.  I haven't been able to keep a dog of my own since I was a very small child, so this will be really exciting!

Our new potential puppy-dog, in her ad photo

I can't believe this is really happening!

-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~