Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Forget Pharrell, The HSSV Dogs Give You Nine Great Reasons To Be Happy.

Yup, it's the number one most popular video in the country right now. Yup, it does make every single person in the world want to clap their hands and dance down the street. But you don't need to look to Hollywood for inspiration on how to be happy - you've got a lot of happy right in your own backyard. Our amazing adoptable pooches give you nine reasons to be absolutely psyched to be alive today. And if you want a partner in happy, they're more than willing to join you. 

How about a lindy hop in the hyacinth?

1) Because it's spring and there are flowers.
Forget dancing down a busy street - that's a one way ticket to an embarrassing encounter with the police and possibly a mental health worker. It's spring! It's California! There are flowers everywhere! The lovely Cara will happily show you the joy of doing a little cha-cha in the daisies.

I've done this 25 times and I'm STILL pleased to meet you.
2) Because you have someone to hold your hand. Or paw.

Or maybe you just met someone new and awesome and got to shake their hand. Or their paw. Either way, hand to hand/paw contact usually means either the start of something new and good or the established comfort of a loved one. Neeko likes to give paws, by the way. He's just sayin'.....

Forget the Keratin, it's all about volume.
3) Because you have fantastic hair.

Really, your hair just looks great. Sure, it sticks up in some places and maybe it's growing out of a bad haircut but no one - no one - has hair that looks like yours. And you did a really good job with it today. You know who else has awesome hair? Lancelot. And he doesn't shed.

Best. Flamingo. EVER.
4) Because you have awesome stuff.

We all know that money doesn't buy happiness but everything has one thing that they really enjoy. Maybe it's a camping tent, a sporty car, your television, a really good book, whatever. Maybe it's not expensive but it makes you happy. Maybe it's the world's coolest stuffed flamingo with little rope legs, like Boogie-Woogie's. That really is an awesome stuffed flamingo - there are so many fun things to do with it - and Boogie would love to show you them.

I lurf you.
5) Because you have great friends.

Friends that like to go out and do cool things or are just willing to sit and listen when you need an ear. Friends that know your favorite things - bad movies, thrift shopping, freeze dried chicken - and are happy to humor you. We all need friends like that. Woody is a great friend, by the way. You probably need a friend like Woody.

You call it 'greying', I call it 'accentuating shading'.
6) Because you make middle age look GOOD.

You can outpace people half your age. Sure, you have a little bit of gray around the ears (and muzzle) but you look fantastic. You're full of energy, happy and a lot smarter than you were in your puppy years. You've figured out when to listen, when to chill out and when to chase the ball. Sort of like Cinnamon.

Let's do that run where they throw paint at us - I'm wash and wear!
7) Because you're going to do that 5K/Bay to Breakers/10K trail run this year.

You've got your training schedule dialed in, you love the feel of the wind on your face and the euphoria of being breathless. Sure, you've never done one before but this is your year. You know who wants to help you train? Nemo, that's who. He'll go completely airborne to help you meet your goal.

How about I have my me time and you have your you time together?
8) Because you know when to recharge and relax in your own space.

Sure, being social is fun but it can wear on you. You know the value of taking a breather, stealing some moments to yourself or hunkering down in a comfy, quiet place after an exciting day. Sort of like Lora, who likes to chill in her crate after an exciting game of fetch but would be more than happy to hunker down on the sofa with you post-fetch instead.

Look - eyes, ears - who cares? I'm just a happy dude.
9) Because no one is perfect, but a lot of people are fantastic.

This is Astro. He was featured on our Facebook page a while ago and the crowd went wild. Yup, he was ten years old and yup, he was missing an eye and a good chunk of his ear but it didn't stop him from being a ridiculously joyful, sweet, squeaky-toy addict. Which this fantastic family recognized in him immediately and took him home. So there's nothing that can be said to sell you on Astro because he's already home.

And we think that's pretty darn happy.

You know what else makes us happy? Photography volunteer Jackie MacMillan, who took the amazing pics that inspired this blog. And video volunteer Elizabeth Laverty who made all the videos so you can watch these guys move in real time. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Day: Peanut Butter Problem Solving.

It's coming....
Don't tease me. Just open the door. 
It's almost time....
I am concentrating very hard on making you give me that.

You might want to do a little dance...
Ermaghard! Peanut butter!

Or throw your peanut butter-y hands in the air....
Forget jazz hands, it's all about peanut butter paws.

Because it's KONG time!
KONG-nastics: the head-first peanut butter dive.
We live and die by the KONGs and  encourage all of our adopters to bring the magic home with them with their new dog. Why? Because a lot of dog problems are caused by boredom. As much as we love adopting out dogs, we also really want to help pets stay in homes. Which means problem solving when issues come up.

 Stuff a KONG with peanut butter and give it to your pooch when you leave for work and all of a sudden eating the sofa becomes a substantially less exciting choice. Unless your sofa is full of peanut butter. 

While we are the coolest and most exciting animal shelter in the world and we have an army of the world's best volunteers who socialize and walk our dogs, there's still a lot of downtime for our residents. That's why one of the tasks we always have our school groups and corporate volunteers work on is stuffing KONGS. We even have the KONG-mobile - a cart full of KONG-y goodness.

Rolling cart of happy goodness.
Some of our more active pooches even get their dinner in a KONG.

Our freezers are stuffed with KONGs and our dogs are less stressed. This magic will work at home. Your home. And our Whole Pets Supply Store stocks them. Try this at home, trust us.

Plus there's the added bonus of watching your dog make KONG-face, which is pretty awesome. 
Step back, I'm an expert here...
Or their post-KONG-face which is pretty amazing, too. 
For the next ten minutes, he'll be moving his mouth like he's talking.

If you're concerned your dog might be putting on weight or getting a little wonky from sugar....
You can mix some peanut butter with a banana or oatmeal and use that instead. Or fill it with canned food and kibble and freeze it. 

Busy dogs are happy dogs so if you're having problems with Fido chewing the furniture or driving the neighbors crazy, consider leaving him with a little something to do. Like a KONG toy. If you don't have a dog, we can help with that. We have a variety of pooches that already have great KONG skills waiting for new homes. Stop in and meet some!

Almost every single one of the rock star dog models in this blog are available for adoption. For more information on NalaChico, and MaxiMouse go to our web site. The lovely brindle Cora got adopted - good luck Cora! The adorable Eli, who was not actually sugar overdosing, is also still waiting for a forever home. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hoppy Easter from the HSSV Buns!

from the cotton-tailed buns of HSSV!


curious brothers
 Posey and Pence investigate...

"Score!  There's hay in this one!" -- Marbles

 Gecko eyes an egg suspiciously.

 Shay binkies around her nest of eggs!

And Squirrel couldn't care less.

Never had a pet bunny before?  Don't fret!  Our Adoption Counselors can prepare you for bunnyhood.  Owning a rabbit is very similar to owning a cat -- they can be trained to use the litterbox and roam the house!  If your home is in need of a bunny friend, stop by any of our three locations to meet our available rabbits!  We are open for adoptions from 12 pm - 4 pm Easter Sunday.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nala Is Having The Best Day Ever.

A couple of weeks ago we met world weary Phoebe who, along with her other half Luna, is still waiting for a home. No matter what we did, Phoebe remained unimpressed.

Right Phoebe?
Again? Seriously?  Don't you have other things to blog about?

As impressive as Phoebe's poker face is, we think we might have found something equally awe-inspiring: 

Nala, the happiest dog ever. 

Despite being in a shelter, Nala is having the THE BEST DAY EVER.

First Nala went for a walk out in the yard with one of her friends. This was obviously, the best, most exciting, most awesome walk ever. Not only were there flowers, they were the prettiest, best smelling flowers in the world. So pretty you just had to sit right down and grin at them. 

Hello flowers. I love you, flowers.

What made this walk even more superlatively incredible was that Nala was with her friend Iwona, a dog socializer. And Iwona is just the most wonderful, fun, exciting person ever. So amazing that if you're hanging out with Iwona you just have to dance. She's that great. 

I'm with Iwona, I'm with Iwona, happy, happy, happy day...

Because it was getting hot, they stopped for a dip in the pool. You can't even understand how fantastic the pool is. It's the best pool ever made. It's so awesome that it just makes you have to dance. You just have to dance in this pool because it's such a great pool.

I'm in the pool, I'm in the pool....I wish I could sing right now.

After that, she went in and took a nap. Later her friend Jackie, another dog socializer, came and took her out for the most intoxicating, gleeful game of ball ever. You don't know -  you cannot comprehend - how amazing this game of ball was. 

Come here, most amazingest awesomest, perfectest ball! I love you!

Jackie just kept throwing the ball - again and again and again - she did! It was just so fun. Even the ball itself was perfect. It had to be the best, most pristine tennis ball ever. Can you believe it? There's only one thing to do after a game of ball this fantastic: you have to dance. 

I just can't stop myself, I have to dance. 

This - right here - this is where it get absolutely unbelievable: after the game of ball she got to go BACK into the kiddie pool again. Again! More kiddy pool! More of the absolute best kiddy pool in the world! It was just that all you can do is smile. You just have to stand there and be in that moment and smile at that kiddy pool. You have to.

It's too much, it's all just too much. It's too perfect. 

All this excitement - it was almost too much. What do you do after so much of the best day ever? You go home and you eat dinner, that's what you do. And then you go to sleep knowing tomorrow will be just as awesome because, well, you're Nala and every single day is the best day ever. 

Actually one more thing happened but it was so terribly exciting that it's reserved for another blog entry altogether.

That isn' it? PEANUT BUTTER???

If Nala gets this excited over a day at the shelter, imagine how excited she'd be to get a forever home. If you're looking for a happy, athletic dog that will think every day with you is the best day ever, you've got to meet Nala. Unflappable optimism and an unfailingly positive attitude deserve a loving home. You really need to see her silly dance and fetch gymnastics.

Some of these photos were taken from Iwona's wonderful blog about our dogs.
Others were taken by our amazing volunteer photographer Jackie MacMillan, who does most of the blog photos. 

Right Phoebe?

So she made me smile, okay? It's not a crime. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Churchill the Cat: This is His Finest Hour

HSSV Available Cat Spotlight:
Churchill the cat, available for adoption
Winston Churchill, not available for adoption

Likeable?  Absolutely.  Wise?  Sure.  Squeezable cheeks?  YES.
Winston Churchill reincarnate?  In every possible way.

Churchill is everything you could want in a cat and more -- he plays, he purrs, he's really, really, ridiculously good-looking.  Not only does he command a room with his presence, but he's low-maintenance; it only takes a little bit of petting to make him happy.

Despite his mysterious past as a stray cat, Churchill maintains an attitude of positivity and hope while living in the shelter environment.  He greets every new person very diplomatically -- with a sniff and a head butt.  His down-to-earth nature makes him seem ready to conquer the next chapter in his life, whatever that may be.  In the words of his namesake, "This is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

"I may not have much of a neck, but I certainly have a big heart."

Churchill is looking for a new beginning today.  In need of a worldly man-cat?  Call us.

 408-262-2133 ext. 150

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

All The Cool Kids Are Winking: Rise Of The One Eyed Dogs!

Every now and then at HSSV we'll see an odd glut of certain animals: a clump of Corgis, a passel of Persians, a bevy of Bengals, a mess of Maltese. Some type or category of animal that isn't terribly common but we randomly wind up with a group of them from different sources. Animal shelter convergence, such as it were. In the past month or so we've had a horde of huskies, all of which have gone on to great homes. And just when we wondering what the next group would be, we looked around and noticed an odd number of eyes staring back at us. 

We are wall to wall winkers. 

Hey kiddo - want to come throw this toy for me?
Smiling, happy, well adjusted one eyed dogs. As with Walt, our amazing three legged pup (who has gone on to a fantastic new home), there's a silly, ridiculous rumor that one eyed dogs are damaged or sad in some way. Not true. 

Look! It's a cameo! These one eyed kids are alright!
Unlike people, dogs tend not to get as distressed over losing an eye or a limb. One of the things we love best about dogs is that they don't play the 'what if' game and they don't worry about what other dogs are thinking. 

"Why can't I be more like Buffy the Golden Retriever down the street who has two eyes?" said no dog, ever.

Same with 'why me?'. Dogs just sort of live in the moment. 

Like Luna, who is just psyched to be hanging out outside on a nice day. 

Hot dogs. Hot dogs would make this day perfect. 
Or Astro, who can't wait to show you his awesome stuffed crabby toy. 

The snowman is pretty cool, too. Want to throw it for me? 
In fact our one-eyed wonders are such happy, awesome pooches that we're starting to notice impostors popping up. 

I'm just like the cute long haired one! I swear!
Lulu, that's a flower. We KNOW you have both your eyes. 

 I can't just close one eye. Is this convincing?

Cora, that's just pathetic. Look, Luna is laughing at you.

Cora, we love you but you're ridiculous.
While it's always sad when an animal has an illness or sustains an injury that necessitates us removing an eye, it's not the end of the world for them. Most pets, including all of our one eyed pooches here, aren't traumatized by it. They just go on having fun, chasing their toys, and getting patted. Sure, they have a little less depth perception but no one is perfect. 

While we don't have any winking cats right now, we do have an assortment of super outgoing, friendly cats who are just having awful hair days. 

Really? Weren't you done looking at butts last week?
To meet any of our awesome adoptables, click here.

Chico is our new kid on the block - he doesn't have a video yet but you can come experience him in person.

Luna is bonded with her best friend Phoebe. The two of them are so small they fit in one lap. The adorableness is overwhelming.

Astro is missing an eye and part of an ear but that doesn't stop him from being a party on paws. We're all completely in love with him.

Lulu, our smaller imposter, is a really sweet girl who loves walking in the flowers.

Cora, our big grinner, is a fetch addict and an all around cool dog who would love to go camping with you this summer. Pack a chuckit!

Flapjack, our big old hulkin' love of a cat with the bald hienie, is the ultimate good-sport kitty. He will eventually grow hair back there again. If you like laid back cats, you have to meet him.

Right Phoebe? 

You're still boring me. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kitten Season 101

Well, it's that time of year again.  The weather's getting warmer, the short sleeves are coming out and the smell of freshly cut grass is in the air.  No, we're not talking about the upcoming Giant's home opener (although we do love us some Buster Posey).

It's kitten season, of course!  From March through November, cats will start to breed, flooding local shelters with hundreds of orphaned litters. Here are a few quick tips for those of you who are bound to find baby kitties outside this Spring and Summer.

Step One:  Look around for mom and/or littermates

Sometimes well-meaning people unknowingly separate kittens from their mother.  Ultimately, the goal is to keep baby kittens with their mother for as long as possible for the best chance of survival.  The mortality rate for kittens separated from their mothers is much higher than if they had been kept together.

Step Two: Observe from a distance

If the kittens are safe, but mom is nowhere in sight, you should quietly observe from a distance so as not to scare away a shy or feral mother.  Mom cat will usually stay with her babies for one to two days after giving birth.  After that, mom may leave for short periods to hunt for food or to look for a safer location to move her litter to.  Mother cats will instinctively start moving her young one-by-one to a new location to ensure the safety of her litter.

Step Three: Use your best judgement

There is no general rule on how long you should wait for mom to return, but think in terms of just a couple hours.  If the kittens are clean, plump, and sleeping quietly, chances are mom isn't far away and you are better off leaving them alone.  On the other hand, if the kittens are dirty, in a soiled area or crying because they are hungry, it could mean they have been abandoned.

Step Four: Call a shelter!

If you are unsure of what to do, you can always call your local shelter for advice on when or if you should move a found kitten.  If the kitten you have found is indeed an orphan, many shelters will ask if you are able to foster and care for the kitten until they reach an adoptable eight weeks of age.  Here at HSSV, our Rescue and Foster Team fully prepares for kitten season by providing foster families with the necessary food, formula, supplies and medical care.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for HSSV, please visit our website and fill out a foster care application.  We are always in need of foster homes but now that kitten season is upon us, our need is even greater.  If you are not able to contribute your time, consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us save future litters!

Found a kitten?

Check out these sites for the best resources on how to properly care for an orphan kitten:

Itty Bitty Orphan Kitty Rescue

Town Cats

Happy kitten season!