Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eddie Aftermath: I'm Kind Of Crappy, Too!

If you missed all the hoopla, it got a little wacky around these parts. Remember Eddie The Terrible

Bite me. Or better yet, I'll bite you. 
Apparently people really like his style. Which is fantastic. Not only did our favorite little jerk get a home, it also confirmed all of our suspicions about humanity. Which is mainly that people are good and accepting and kind and don't mind risking the odd finger here and there to give someone a chance.

But here's the unfantastic part: A very good part of our population are actually great dogs. If you've hung with us for a while, you know that we don't have shelter dogs - we have normal dogs who happen to be in a shelter. Good, sweet, friendly dogs who don't look at children like snack food or go all Braveheart every time they see another dog.  

Which means we now have an epidemic of good dogs trying to be terrible so you'll love them, too. 

Take for instance, McDreamy:

I'm Sexist!

Walk like a 
bathmat, sting like a bee. Yes, there is a lovely dog in there that's housebroken, playful, funny - and not huge on men. Sure, he loves volunteer Greg and counselor Denny but as for the rest of mankind, he's going to take you all on a male-by-male basis. Make no mistake, this four year old Lhasa Apso mix loves women. Wholeheartedly and without reservation, he accepts all female-kind as his people. But when it comes to strange men he remains creeped out. Unless of course the guy has really good treats. Then he's pretty willing to overlook the creeped-out thing.

Or Cha-Cha:
I Will Poop All Over Everything You Own! Twice!

Don't call her bluff on this one - she's actually going to do it. Then she'll probably eat a shoe or two and maybe even a sofa while she's at it. Plus there will inevitably be a game of 'Guess Where I Peed?' that you will play with her every time you come home. It's not her fault. Cha Cha is a puppy - she's eight weeks old. And puppies are instruments of mass destruction. The good news? With some love and guidance she'll grow out of it and be a good dog. The bad news? It's going to take a while. A while and gallons and gallons of stain remover.

And (of course) Duke:

I'm A Cat Trapped In A Dog's Body.

Don't get Duke wrong, he likes you well enough. The walks? Great. Some lap time? Perfect. But he doesn't need to be all up in your business all the time. Friendly? Yes. Needy? No. There's not really a bad thing to be said about Duke - he's housebroken, fine with other dogs, rides well in a car, almost preternaturally calm. But if you're one of those people that needs a dog that's glued to you, on your lap, in your face every single moment, not your guy. As a result, he's been with us for a while. In a shelter situation, calm and independent is often misinterpreted as 'he doesn't like me'. He does like you. He thinks you're awesome. He's just a cat stuck in a senior wiener dog mix dog body. Cut him some slack. 

Don't forget Penelope!

I Have A Head The Size Of A VW Beetle.
You'd be hard pressed to find one bad thing to say about Penelope. She's sweet, she was raised right by loving people and came to us through no fault of theirs or her own. So what's the issue? You could park the space shuttle in her mouth. Pen's a big marshmallow with a cuddly personality whose appearance scares the bejebus out of people who haven't been around big dogs. Luckily everyone reading this has evolved past this point, right? Right. Great! So come down right away and meet this housebroken, well mannered pibble. 

In a few weeks, this will all have blown over and once again our amazing pooches will be bounding over themselves to show you their awesome-ness and avoid us when we bust out the festive headgear. However in the mean time we are full of wonderful dogs trying to pretend to be as awful as Eddie to get your attention. It's pretty obvious the only solution here is for you to come down and adopt them before they all turn into total miscreants trying to get your attention. 

It's the perfect time to save a pooch from a wasted live of petty cookie larceny and leaving muddy paw prints on the pants of volunteers: through 12/31 adoption fees on all adult pets is just $12. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Adopting Awesome: Four Adoptable Dogs That Make Up For Eddie's Terrible-ness.

I remember my dignity fondly...
So you read last week's post about Eddie and it inspired you. "I need a dog!" you thought, "I need one RIGHT NOW". Maybe you have another dog, maybe you have some kids that you want growing up with all their fingers, maybe you just need someone who's a little more user-friendly out of the gate but Eddie isn't an option. Fear not. We can help. Most of our dogs are actually fantastic, friendly little guys who would love your kids and your dogs. However some of our pooches are so completely out-of-the-gate amaze-balls that we have to highlight them. For those of you ready for a non-terrible dog, here are some options. We expect to see you swarming the front door tomorrow. If you need directions, check google maps. We'll be waiting. 

1) Christopher Defended The Shelter From An Attacking Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Never mind about that dignity. Getting harder and harder to remember it..
Ok, it was just a plastic dinosaur and he ate it long before we ever met him. But he did come to us bearing the scars of the battle. By 'scars of the battle' we mean 'gut full of plastic dinosaur parts' which our vet staff removed. Let's not quibble over inconsequential details.  This sweet-faced four year old pibble wears his cone of shame as a badge of honor. He also likes other dogs and would like to spend the remainder of the winter curled up in your lap.

2) Ellen And Portia Saved A Bus Full Of Nuns From Driving Over A Cliff.

What's Peru? What's a nun? Wait - do nuns hand out Snausages??
It was a rainy night on a winding mountain road in Peru. The treacherous single lane track was muddy and dark. Nevertheless, the old yellow school bus full of sisters painstakingly made it's way up the switchbacks. Sniffing boulders by the side of the road, Portia and Ellen happened to be on a backpacking trip through Central and South America that week. At a gritty hostel in Cusco they heard a rumor that a truck full of Snausages had upended on the self-same road and made a pilgrimage to look for the detritus....

Okay, none of that happened. That's just patently untrue. We do believe that given the chance they would have saved a bus full of nuns but their loyalty to each other is heroic nonetheless. When the two were found Portia had a head injury that required us to remove the eye. Not a huge deal as dogs are really laid back about that sort of thing but still an adjustment. Ellen stepped up to act as Portia's seeing eye chihuahua, keeping an eye on her blind side and protecting her from harm. As Ellen was a pretty shy dog before, her new role required an outpouring of courage and bravery from the deadpan little chihuahua. Obviously the two need to go together. We would like to point out that they both fit on one lap and are absolutely hysterical.

3) Tiger Lily Won The Award For Best New Artist And Donated All Proceeds To Charity.

I'm all about that bass, no treble...
You have probably guessed by now that none of those things happened. Hear us out: theoretically, they could happen. Tiger Lily, being part basset, does sing. She sings for cookies, she sings at the sight of other dogs, she sings for the sheer joy of it. While we wouldn't exact call it pleasant, we're certain somewhere out there someone really, really loves the sound of a happy basset/pit mix caroling her little heart out. Didn't David Hasselhoff sell millions of records in Europe? Somewhere, someone will appreciate this exuberant eight year old pooch's art. We do but it's time for her to have her own people. 

As for the donation part, we don't know if she'd part with cookies but she happily gives kisses. If nothing else her ears and tongue do amazing things when she runs after the ball (and she's always running after the ball). See? How can you say no?

I just licked my own eyeball! Eureka!
In addition to these four amazing little beast-sicles, we also have a Nobel Prize winning terrier mix, a chihuahua who made millions on the Google IPO, three pit puppies who were seriously considered for Taylor Schilling's role in Orange Is The New Black and a bonded pair of Jack Russell mixes who met and married while working on Dancing With The Stars.

Or maybe we just have a lot of really great dogs that would fit well in your family. Either way, you should check them out. 

Love the blog? Get the blog delivered to you! See that little subscribe thingy on the right? Enter your email address and little elves will make sure all of our goofy, wonderful pets wind up in your inbox. Eureka!

***With volunteers, all things are possible. Without them, nothing is. Big, big, big thank you to rock star Jackie MacMillan, whose photos capture our adoptable pooches in all their joy, exuberance and occasional horridness. A huge amount of gratitude to Elizabeth Laverty who makes all the videos that let you see the little buggers move in real time including the now infamous 'Eddie' movies. We are so lucky to have them***

Thursday, December 11, 2014

10 Cats Uninterested in the #hellastorm

Generally, cats are uninterested in most things.  But the current weather in the Bay Area is probably number one on their list right now.  

So don't talk to them about it, they're over it.

1. Colton
The rain bores me.

2. Doreen

Talk to me tomorrow. I can't deal today.

3. Sally and Sara
We're a little too busy getting pretty to worry about the weather, you silly humans you.

4. Chuckers and 5. Foxy Cleo
Hellastorm?  Really?

6. Bonnie
The rain is my enemy.  Can you imagine how long it takes to do this hair in the morning?  Beauty is no joke, people.

7. Kittens
No comment.

8. L.C.
I will not even acknowledge this confounded weather with a glance out the window.  Not for all the crunchies in the kitchen.

9. Obi
The rain.  It soothes me.

What's a rain?

All of these kitties are waiting for their forever homes.  No matter the weather, come in and adopt.  You'll be hella glad you did.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Full Disclosure Blog: Three Reasons You DON'T Want To Adopt Eddie The Terrible.

How Does So Much Naughty Exist In Such A Small Dog? 

Things are about to get real....
We know, we know. He is adorable. All small and yellow and fluffy. A little bit tubby which makes him seem more softer somehow, like a dog you can trust with your secrets. Don't be fooled. Yes, he is a great listener. But inside that innocuous adorable blonde package exists tons - indeed, whole square miles - of naughty. 

It's true: Eddie the Terrible IS terrible. And we have three great reasons you shouldn't even think about adopting him. 

Those zombies don't stand a chance now...
1) Like to go for walks in dog infested areas? Enjoy the dog park? Keep walking....

While Eddie The Terrible has never actually attacked another dog, he's made it abundantly clear that he hasn't ruled out the possibility. He goes from zero to Cujo in .05 seconds when he sees another dog on leash. Well, sayeth you, lots of small dogs bark at other dogs on leash. True. But we know people expect a lot from dogs in this day and age and when it comes to leash theatrics, Eddie's at the top of his game. Also true: he's made some progress. But lest his adorable little blond-ness let you think this is going to be a plug-and-play dog, think again.

Granted, if there's no other dogs around he's wonderful to take for a stroll. He loves him some leash walks and yard time. But at the sight of another dog, all bets are off. It's Cujo time. 

We're pretty sure somewhere out there exists someone patient enough to work with him on this or someone who frankly doesn't give a bean if he likes to scream his head off for a few seconds at the neighbor's lab. But in the interest of full disclosure, we have to be honest. 

Content unsuitable for young users....

2) Want your kids to grow up with a full complement of fingers and toes? Not the dog for you.

Some dogs love kids. We have a bunch of child-lovin' dogs. Eddie the Terrible, however, is not one of them. Honestly he's a little whiffy with some adults, too. Not in an eat-them sort of way but in 'this makes me very nervous' sort of way.  Eddie's never actually bitten anyone but we're not saying it could never happen. 

In a home environment Eddie is lovely. He's housebroken, loyal, fun and friendly. He lives to play fetch. But socially? He stinks. We're in Silicon Valley - if we started throwing out the socially awkward no one would ever have another piece of new technology again. We know somewhere out this little guy has a match. 

Now that I have thumbs, let's get this party started...

3) Looking for a simple dog that will sleep in his crate? Not your guy.

So let's talk about the bed. Or the sofa. Or someplace that you generally like to hang out because that's where Eddie's going to want to bunk. Worried about dog hair on the furniture? Very valid worry if you adopt Eddie. While Eddie is crate trained, he has a weird thing about sleeping in the crate. And by weird thing we mean 'nope, not happening'. A bed in your room? Awesome. In the bed with you? Better. In a crate? Let him sing you the song of his people...

In fact if you're looking for a floor-sleeping, speed bump of a dog that minds his own business, strike Eddie clean off your list. Eddie demands interaction. Not all the time and not in that follow-you-around-and-bark sort of way that makes you want to stick your head in the oven, just in a 'whither though goest, I goest' way. Or however that goeth. You're in the living room? Cool, he wants to watch TV with you. Going outside? Did we mention that he loves fetch? Heck, if he didn't want to eat other dogs he'd be a shoo-in as an agility pooch as he's played on the equipment and is pretty fearless. 

You're in my world now, baby.
Let's face it: unless you're looking for a dog that's a little bit of work, Eddie The Terrible is not the dog for you. We know, we know. He's super loyal, easy in the house and a lot of fun but he's a little rough around the edges. Actually he's kind of a jerk. But he's a jerk we believe in. We're not expecting you to  want to meet him but if you must, we really can't deter you. 

If you love a challenge, are looking for the dog of a lifetime and think you can handle the thirteen pounds of terror that is Eddie, we won't stop you. You just go ahead and call 1.408.262.2133 ext 150. But don't say we didn't warn you. 

Ha! Fooled another hooman...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Love Cat-ually Is All Around...

It's the holiday season which means it is the perfect time to break out the cocoa, snuggle up with your four-legged furries and put on the one movie that can get even the grinchiest person's heart to thaw.  Yes, that movie is Love Actually.  You watch it every year (and maybe once in the summer if you need some cheering up), and romanticize about which character you relate most with.  Your favorite part is of course, watching Hugh Grant solo-dance to "Jump For My Love."  But your cat is a little more complex.  

He varies between being a ladies man:
I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes...

to a hopelessly adorable romantic with eyes for only you:
"She's the one."

Sometimes he'll be a brat and ruin the whole show with his feline cohorts:
"We're here!"

But most of the time, he loves you just the way you are:

Even if you're not a big, squishy romantic, you will be sure to find kitty love this holiday season when you come to visit our HSSV cats.  Our aging rockstar is Chuckers, living proof that seniors can still rock.  Meredith the kitten has since been adopted, but there are plenty of other babies available for adoption that could be your "one."  Colton and Impala are a bonded pair of teenaged kittens ready to stir up some mischief in your home.  And sweet man Tippy has found his perfect someone -- he was adopted earlier this week.

If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Five Great Reasons To Consider Adopting A Bonded Pair.

This is so exciting we must dance!
Ermaghawd! We're right smack dab in the middle of Home for the Holidays. That means it's $12 adoptions on adult pets! Even more exciting than that is the fact that not only do we have adorable single doggers, we also have adorable pairs of doggers - canine couples that need to be adopted in a pair. You heard correctly - pairs! A ready made canine-family. Just add you!

We know, we know - just the mention of it is pretty enticing but in case you need a little extra coaxing to consider inviting a furry pair into your home, we present you with this list of five great reasons you need to adopt a twosome. As illustrated, of course, by our available twosomes. 

1) A Pooch For Every Taste.

Guess which one of us never needs a salon day? 
Fluffy, sayeth you. Sleek and foxlike, sayeth he. No one needs to compromise here. Everyone can get what they want. While we have a lot of pairs that are like two peas in a pod, we also have some pairs that are like a legume and an ice cream cone - completely different but oddly complementary. Jacqueline and Savannah, for instance. Don't be a poodle person OR a chihuahua person. Be both. Keep people guessing. And while they're guessing, you can be patting yourself on the back for owning the two cutest dogs ever and giggling about the fact that they feel the need to sleep on top of a crate instead of in one. Quirky little pooches.

2) The Idea of An Evil Twin Is Just Too Cool For Words.

Yes, there is a second dog-body there, too. No two headed canines available.
Sure, you don't have a doppelganger but admit it: at times you wish you did. Maybe when you got in trouble when you were a kid and had no one to blame it on. Maybe when you weren't a kid but saw a lot of action movies featuring evil twins and skinwalkers and what not. Evil twins are cool. If you can't be part of a pair, adopt a pair. Truth be told, scruffnuggety schnauzer mixes Rocky and Tanner aren't evil but you don't have to tell anyone that. Plus you can have all sorts of fun pretending to be really offended when people can't tell your dogs apart.*

3) You're Pretty Lazy and Need Some Help Exercising The Dog.

We do laps together, you're on cheering duty. Deal? 
You know how it is, you get home from work and that dinner isn't going to make itself nor are those dishes going to do themselves and that laundry? Just forget it. You know what doesn't require an enormous amount of effort to exercise themselves? Those two dogs that were so excited to see you come home. Not only did you get a heroes welcome but with a playful pair like Peter and Wendy your contribution to the play effort can be pretty minimal. Go out in the yard and horse around with them, maybe throw the ball a bit but when it comes to running and zoomies, you're totally off the hook These guys will chase each other around. You just get to enjoy soaking in the essence of happy playing dog,  laughing at their antics and being part of such a cool human/dog family. 

4) You Have Two Hands? Such A Coincidence. We Have The Best Two Dogs EVER.

What has three eyes and is made of awesome? US.

On one hand, it's with great sadness that we report that Luna and Phoebe, two of our favorite dogs ever, have come back to us. On the other hand, it's such a win for someone who's looking for two pocket sized pooches with oversized personalities and more than enough love for everyone in the family. Don't let the picture fool you - these guys are so teeny they'll both fit in your lap and so lovely you'll want to pet both at once. Little Luna, our one eyed girl, is the more outgoing of the two. Phoebe is the cuddlier one. Their love and loyalty to each other is inspiring and it easily expands to include everyone they love. Be lucky enough to be on that list. Come meet them.

5) We Just Want You To Know We Have A Dog That Looks Like A Palm Tree.

I'm such a California girl...
This has nothing to do with pairs but Dee Dee is a fantastic dog that's been with us for a while. Even though she doesn't have a partner, we decided to slip her into this blog just to make you bask in her fuzzy-headed adorableness. Gentle, funny Dee Dee is currently growing out a shave-down made necessary by mats in her fur. No one has ever rocked the hair-growing-out phase like she has. If you're only looking for one dog, consider coming in and saying hello.

*sometimes we can't tell them apart, either. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 Things Our Cats Are Thankful For This Holiday Season

It's that time of year again!  Time to gather together with family and friends to share a good meal and be thankful for all that we have.  While our cats here at HSSV are still in search of the perfect families to spend the holidays with, they are still thankful for so very many different reasons. Here are five things that the HSSV cats are thankful for this holiday season.

Thing #1: Laps. And hats.
Cleo, one of our longer-term residents, was a good sport about donning this pilgrim hat as long as she got a lap to curl up in while she wore it. Plus, she won't admit it, but she thinks she looks fabulous in miniature headwear.

Flattering, no?

Thing #2: A warm, cozy bed.
Our adoption suites here at HSSV are no match for an actual home with an actual family, but they are pretty darn close. Not only do these kitties get constant companionship and playtime from our dedicated cat volunteers, but they get super cool stuff like cat trees, hand-made toys, hidey-holes and of course, lots and lots of cozy fleece beds (as modeled by Cersei) to snuggle up in.

I don't care what you put on me as long as you are here.  Now don't leave until I fall asleep or I'll meow until you come back.  You have been warned.

Thing #3: Windows.
Not only do they provide that constantly sought-after beam of warm sunlight to lie in, but have you seen what's on the other side of them?! Birds! Rustling plants! Swirling leaves! And BIRDS! Windows are awesome at providing some mental stimulation for your kitty, and if you're an active gal like Foxy Cleopatra here, a window can even provide a chance to get some extra playtime in with the lady trying to take pictures in the next room with all those ridiculous props.

It's moving!  ATTACK!

Thing #4: Playing Dress-Up!
(or not)
Okay, so Radcliff and Juniper may not look like they're thankful for these football antennas but they ARE thankful for the extra attention and treats they get while they are wearing them. So there's that.

Maybe if I stay very still, no one will notice how ridiculous I look.
Actually, I don't mind these at all.  Do you have them in pink?  It's important that I match my bedding, otherwise it's just embarrassing.

Thing #5: Company.
No need to explain this one. Whether you're a teensy-weensy little kitten or a senior kitty like Pepper, it's nice to have some human companionship. And these shelter cats sure get a lot of it, thanks to our socializers.  And that's definitely something to be thankful for.

Thank you, human.

So this holiday, think Shelters First! Our Home for the Holidays promotion begins Friday November 28th and ends New Years Eve. All adult animals are only $12 to adopt. So no more excuses! Adopt an adult kitty and we promise you'll be thankful you did.

Happy Thanksgiving from our furry family to yours!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Turkey Headband Time!

Guys, we know it's not your favorite thing in the world but we have this fantastic idea for Thanksgiving......

Great ideas? I love great ideas! Spill it!
You know how people love pets in costumes? And they love holiday themed things? We were thinking....

You need to know whenever you hear 'idea' think 'loss of dignity', newbie.
Bruno, just stop. It was for two minutes. And you got about 300 snacks for it. Anyway, Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude and we're really, really grateful that we have the best adoptable dogs in the world, hands down. We're also grateful that we have the best adopters in the world, paws down.  So we thought...

Please stop thinking. Just stop. You think, I get drumsticks on the head. No more. 
That we would use this opportunity to do three things. First, to draw attention to our really special dogs using eye catching holiday outfits. Like our beloved Ophelia.

I just....need to know why. Why? 
All right, we get the point but for the attention-drawing bit we really need you to just do this. Did we mention there are snacks?  Get in the spirit. Did we also mention that getting adopted around Thanksgiving greatly ups your chance of being snuck a bite of sweet potatoes by your new forever family?

Well, if you mention a few bites of hooman food...
THANK YOU, Ophelia. First point: we have amazing dogs. Come meet them. Turkey drumsticks not included. 

Our second point is to thank all of the aforementioned adopters who have given our alumni such great homes. There are legions of them. We are so very lucky. We also want to thank our alumni - every last happy, funny, silly, goofy, too-smart-for-their-own-good, shy, outgoing, challenging and easy pooch -  for letting us be part of their journey. You have taught us (and continue to teach us) so much. Thank you. 

You're welcome. May I have my snack now?
But the absolute most exciting reason for this blog is to announce that it's that time of year again. It's time for (drumroll please............)

I can't stand the suspense...or the turkey on my head...
Home For The Holidays! Yes, it's true. Starting this Friday, November 28th through December 31st the adoption fee for all animals over six months will be just $12.

Ok, for news that good me and the drumsticks will smile. 
All of our animals would be so grateful for a home of their own for their holidays that we're lowering adoption fees to try and make that happen. So not only can you share the coming holidays with a brand new pooch....

I am such a good dog that I will wear this with grace if you will consider giving me a chance.
You'll also have a new bud to watch all the games with!

I did Halloween. I'm doing footballs on my head. Please adopt me before santa hats. PLEASE
More good news? As we were creating this blog little Ernie found his forever family. Godspeed  Ernie! Thanks for being such a good sport.

Later suckas, I'm OUTTIE! 
And look for all sorts of adorable and fun holiday themed blogs as we get into Home for the Holidays! Yay!

What is that antler headpiece for? 

You think that's bad? There's dreidel head-boppers, too. ADOPT US. Have mercy...

Some side notes on our tolerant, adoptable models who were richly rewarded for their participation.

Eeyore is a really, really special dog looking for a special family. He's deaf, which he doesn't consider a big problem. He hopes you won't either.
Bruno is a great little guy who keeps getting overlooked. Despite our photo choice, he's a great sport with just about everything. If you haven't met him, you need to.
TigerLily, our basset mix, is a character and a half with adorable ears and a great disposition.
Beautiful shorty-snorty pibble Ophelia has an adoption in process right now. Please cross your fingers for her.
Ernie went home. Yay Ernie! See part about 'great adopters, lucky us!'.
Ashley, the world's calmest Dalmatian was a total champ about turkey-head.
Mirchi, whose name means pepper, is the most loyal little guy. His holiday wish is for a nice family with warm, welcoming laps, to come meet him.
Figaro has been waiting seemingly forever for his own peeps and we have no idea why. Everyone loves him.
Little scruffnuggets Arthur and Beanie, who wind up this blog, are an easy-peasy bonded pair who are looking for a home together.

We also need to mention our extreme gratitude to volunteer photog Jackie-Mac, who not only takes these great pictures but also makes sure everyone has fun while they're doing it. It takes a special person to make a turkey headband (our idea, not hers) a good time and we're so lucky to have her. Her love and dedication to the dogs shine through in every photo. Thank you.

If anyone is crafty enough to make us some vegetarian themed holiday meal type outfits, we'd be very grateful. Little pie hats or tofurkey headboppers. We'd really like to have some veg-stuff goin' on but not being very crafty were constrained by the choices available in stores. So if you're feeling crafty after you finish your tofurkey, please consider making something with the box that will help get our pets some attention.