Category Archives: Minnie

How We Helped Dogs in 2012

Way back when my little Wayward Dogs project began, I started this blog to chronicle the lost, stray and abandoned canines I encountered.

Lost dog

I’m quite happy to report that for a second year in a row, those experiences did not occur frequently enough to warrant daily posts. In fact, I hardly ran into any wayward dogs on the streets in the year 2012!

That, of course, meant I had to fill in the days with posts about other things, including other people’s awesome dog projects, including:

Then, there was the KC Pittie Pack…

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I came together in 2012 to create a co-project of our own.

We founded KC Pittie Pack & Friends, a walking group designed to help people socialize their pets in a structured environment. In its first year, KC Pittie Pack:


In 2012, I also used this blog as a platform to generate support for local animal welfare organizations.

My awesome blog readers helped me:

And the year was not totally devoid of “wayward dogs.”

Tara the elderbull

Of the handful of lost dogs I encountered, the three I was able to assist appeared when I was en route to work:

  • Malakai – A gorgeous and sweet husky dog who was stopping traffic on a very busy Kansas City street.
  • Tara – I knew my neighbor’s elderbull was never supposed to run around the ‘hood by herself.
  • Cotton – A hunting dog I totally failed to blog about. Rather than taking him with me, I turned back toward home. Cotton’s ID tag had a phone number, so I left a message on his owner’s voicemail that his dog was safe and how to reach me. Then, I went on to work. Within 20 minutes, Cotton’s uber-relieved-sounding dad called him, so I told him where to go pick up his pup.

Foster Dogs

The fact that very few stray doggies followed me home in 2012 was actually a really good thing, considering at the beginning of the year we still had two formerly wayward dogs under our roof – Minnie and Charlie Machete – in addition to our two forever dogs.

Machete loves our husky mix Minnie.

No kidding – four was too much for our little house and the humans inside it.

Fortunately, by May, both fosters were adopted. But the reprieve did not last long.

Less than a year after he originally arrived in our lives, Charlie Machete came back – by way of a shelter in Omaha.

Machete bat ears-crop

We still don’t know exactly why he ended up behind bars, but we are grateful Charlie Machete’s adopters never changed the contact information on his microchip. Because they didn’t, the shelter called me, and Zach was able to make the three-hour drive to bail out our big black foster dog, who was otherwise on the list to be euthanized.

For now, he remains with us – when he’s not playing with his friends at Kennel Creek Pet Resort – and is available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

Influencing Others

Although I haven’t proven to be a very successful dog foster mom, I’m proud to say that, through networking, I was able to help some other dogs find forever homes in 2012.

Sometimes I feel funny about the fact that I am the girl who almost daily posts sad pictures of dogs desperate to be adopted. I know this habit annoys some of my friends, but I keep doing it for a good reason: Sometimes the sharing pays off.

beagle husky mix

Because I helped my friend and fellow Kansas City pet advocate Nicole get the word out, these two dogs landed in forever homes in 2012:

  • Mia, a beagle/husky mix was adopted by my coworker
  • A black lab puppy was taken into a foster home that adopted him

My constant fretting about wayward dogs also seems to have had an effect on Zach’s and my mothers.

In 2012, both of them made successful efforts to apprehend and return home lost dogs in their own neighborhoods.

I have also noticed that generally in life I am becoming the person others turn to when they have questions about dogs. That sure feels good, and I always try to help if I can.

Here’s hoping for more successful efforts on behalf of dogs in 2013!

What was your biggest accomplishment for dogs last year?

A Christmas Fit for Husky Dogs

Kansas City woke up this morning to white stuff and blustery wind.


My fingers are crossed that we might actually have a white Christmas.

For at least two households I know in this metro area, it will be the first Christmas celebrated in the company of a beautiful husky mix with heterogenous eyes.

Could you stop Facebooking and pet me, please?

I’m not only referring to Minnie, my lovely former foster dog who now enjoys a pampered existence with my friend Holly.

There’s also Mia.

Several months ago, my friend Nicole, the Kansas City animal advocate I introduced you to last week, forwarded me this picture.

beagle husky mix

The beagle husky mix belonged to some people in Nicole’s family who were moving and could not take the dog with them.

I helped Nicole spread the word. As luck would have it a family I knew was on the hunt for their first dog. And the dad had a soft spot for huskies.

Come back tomorrow to learn more about Mia’s happy ending!

Message from Minnie

This ain’t a booty call.


It’s a belly call.

9:19 PM
Hi other Mom. Just wanted to let you know I’m available for belly rubs. Tell Lucas “hello” and 😉

Ain’t that former foster cute?

Holiday Dog Date

We haven’t yet begun decorating our house for the holidays. But last Saturday, Scooby and I went on a tree-decorating date.

small dog with christmas tree

We didn’t tell Luke the date was with his sweetheart, former foster dog Minnie.

He doesn’t like it when others move in on his girl.

husky mix near christmas tree

She still loves belly rubs.

Minnie was happy to see her old friend Scooby, even though he leaked on the rug within five minutes of arriving.

He didn’t seem as embarrassed as I did 10 minutes later when I knocked over a wine glass. (For the record, it was my first glass of the evening.)

miniature pinscher under a blanket

Can’t promise it won’t happen again.

Lucky for us both, Minnie and her mama Holly are laid back, easygoing folks. They had recently entertained another canine houseguest – Minnie’s new cousin dog, a one-eyed Great Dane puppy named Baby.

I had a great time helping Holly decide where to put all of the pretty birds and other creature ornaments she bought for her tree.

christmas ornaments

In the end, the tree looked great, especially with the dogs in front of it.

dogs in front of xmas tree

What kind of holiday preparations happen at your house?

dog christmas meme

Do not actually give a dog egg nog.

I’m taking part in BlogHer’s December 2012 NaBloPoMo blogging challenge!

NaBloPoMo December 2012

Sunday Dog Date

Luke and I got to see one of our favorite faces today.

Minnie the husky mix

Still enchanting.

Former foster dog Minnie and her mom Holly met us for fresh-squeezed juice and a pumpkin spice latte (for the people) on the dog-friendly patio of Coffee Girl’s Cafe

Located next door to Remedy, Coffee Girls is another favorite spot in my Waldo neighborhood to chill over tasty food and beverages.

I should have photographed the herbs growing out of mason jars on the inside tables.

But I was too giddy overseeing the reunion of lovebugs Luke and Minnie.

Luke and Minnie reunion

Street watchers.

The sweet little husky mix with one blue eye started singing as soon as she saw Luke and me round the corner. She seemed equally excited to see both of us after the past few months apart. She also seems very bonded to her mama, which makes me happy.

Between Luke and Minnie, the emotion was so high that Holly and I actually had to walk the dogs around the block to calm down before we settled into our table.

We didn’t want the amorous golden retriever and his sassy lady to disturb the other diners too much.

There were kisses, high pitched whines, kisses, happy jumping, kisses, yips and more kisses. Minnie gave Luke lots of licks across his nose and forehead. He seemed to enjoy that.

Back at the cafe, they eventually acted like they’d never been separated and were satisfied to observe the world while laying quietly and close to each other.

Minnie the husky mix sniffs the air and smiles.

Best. Smile. Ever.

After brunch we took the dogs to a nearby swath of unused property where they could run around off-leash like they did before Minnie moved out.

It was awesome – and interaction that these two dogs, who are able to play nice with each other, really need.

Luke and Minnie might not live together anymore, but they are still in love.

They insist on more dates. Soon!

Does your dog have a boyfriend or girlfriend that does not live with you?

Ask the Vet: What is the tick-borne disease Ehrlichiosis?

Do you worry about your dogs and ticks? As it turns out, Lyme disease is not the only tick-borne illness we need to be concerned about (for our pets and ourselves).

Minnie smiles

Courtesy Fido Fetch Photography

A while back, former foster dog Minnie’s momma informed me that the sweet husky mix had been diagnosed with something called Ehrlichia canis, a tick-related problem neither of us had heard of before. Figuring that many Wayward Dogs readers also don’t know much about Ehrlichia canis and the disease it causes. So, I asked my vet, who provided the following exhaustive report.

Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease of dogs caused by the intracellular organism Ehrlichia canis.  Both the Brown Dog Tick and the American Dog Tick can pass the organism into the blood when they bite a dog.  It requires 24-48 hours of feeding for the organism to pass from the tick to the dog.  The organism enters white blood cells where they multiply and disseminate throughout the dog.  Dogs with the disease caused by the infection of E. canis commonly present with fever, lethargy, anorexia, acute lameness or polyarthritis, enlarged lymph nodes, or weight loss.

The inflammatory process caused by the infection can also result in thrombocytopenia (low platelet production), which results in petechial hemorrhages, nose bleeds, and other bleeding abnormalities.  Occasionally dogs may present with neurologic disease, vomiting or diarrhea, or ocular lesions.

Cats and humans can also be infected by E. canis from the bite of an infected tick.

I, Gary Alpert [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Dog tick, image courtesy Gary Albert via Wiki Creative Commons.

In cats the disease is similar to dogs.  In humans, infection by E. canis is not as common as other tick-borne diseases and causes flu-like symptoms which may progress to varying symptoms caused by immune dysregulation.

Veterinarians have been diagnosing E. canis infection increasingly due to the addition of the 4 common tick disease antibody tests to the IDEXX Heatworm Snap Test in recent years.  The increasing incidence of positive tick disease tests at Aid Animal Hospital is similar to other clinics in areas of the country where the disease-carrying ticks are commonly found.

Some dogs testing positive in our practice are showing symptoms at the time of diagnosis, some are without symptoms and are found to be positive on routine screening.  Because of the different symptoms caused by E. canis infection based on whether it is an acute, sub-clinical, or chronic infection, it is almost impossible to diagnose a pet based on symptoms alone.

husky mix with legs crossed

Minnie thinks ticks are dumb.

Any pet owner who removes an attached tick from a pet should watch for signs of illness such as fever, lethargy, anorexia or acute lameness.

The treatment for E. canis is usually doxycycline, for 4-6 weeks, but may be longer.  Treatment for the disease caused by E. canis is based on the symptoms exhibited by the dog and can include intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, blood transfusions, or other treatments specific to the organs affected.

Other tick-borne disease include: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Q-Fever, and infections caused by other Ehrlichia species such as Human Granulocytic and Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis.

The best way to prevent infection by E. canis is by protecting your pet from ticks using effective flea and tick products regularly.

Always inspect your pet’s hair and skin after being in areas potentially infested by ticks.  Frequent brushing and combing can expose ticks hiding in areas like face, ears, underarms, groin, and around the peri-anal area.  If an embedded tick is found, use gloves and tweezers to remove the body and head of the tick, followed by thorough handwashing.  Because tick activity can occur year round due to mild weather conditions, pets should be maintained on tick control products year round.


1)      Companion Animal Parasite Council-

2)      Wikipedia– Ehrlichiosis, canine and human infection

 Thanks to Dr. Smith at Aid Animal Hospital in Kansas City for preparing this report.

Minnie the husky mix standing in water

Minnie’s mama says she’s doing fine now.

Have the ticks been bad where you live this year? Have you ever heard of Ehrlichiosis?

Foster dog update: Minnie

Establishing the bond between a dog and owner isn’t always easy.

Sometimes a new person and new dog just don’t gel — or get time enough to find their rhythm. We found that out the first time we sent Charlie Machete home with a new family.

Our Waldo Bungie shared a great series about the challenges for foster dogs transitioning into a new home this week. Check it out here.

While we’re on the topic, I’m happy to report that longtime Wayward House resident Minnie is doing great at her new home.

Because she’s such a sweet and easy dog, we knew Minnie and her new mistress Holly would bond quickly, and we were right.

Could you stop Facebooking and pet me, please?

It didn’t take long for the old girl to start demanding pets from her new mistress.

There was a short adjustment period, when Holly says Minnie didn’t have a huge appetite.

But she ate when she got hungry enough, and now she’s happy as a dog can be.

In fact, she’s even finding time to contemplate getting spiritual.

Put Minnie down as a maybe.

Holly promises more updates about Minnie soon, and I will be sure to share them.

If you are looking to add a new dog to your house, check out the Adoptable page.

Minnie finds a forever home

Guess who’s been grazing greener pastures?


Mmm, grass!

That’s right. Minnie, the enchanting husky mix with heterogenous eyes and the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen, has gone and found herself a new home.

We are so happy for her!

Considering what a catch Minnie is — housebroken, good with kids and other animals, leash-trained, obedient and so stinkin’ cute — maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that we received immediate interest about her as soon as I re-ignited the campaign to get her adopted.

Two parties stepped up, and Minnie spent a weekend with both of them.

She wowed everybody, but the ideal match turned out to be my good friend Holly.

That’s the spot!

The bonus about Minnie being adopted by someone I already know and like to hang out with: I’ll still get to see the old girl.

In fact, Minnie recently stayed a few days with our pack while Holly was out of town on business.

Knowing that Holly, who used to volunteer at a shelter in California, would be an awesome dog mom, I actually suggested months ago that she consider adopting Minnie.

She wasn’t ready for a dog then, but I’m so glad she is now. These two gals make a pretty pair.


Best friends

As Holly’s only dog, Minnie gets to bask in so much more attention than she received at the Wayward House. She also now lives right across the street from a park, where she’ll no doubt get to play with some of the children she so enjoys.

I’m so happy with this arrangement that I didn’t even cry when Minnie moved out!

Thanks to everyone for supporting us on our journey with Minnie. Please keep passing the good vibes in Holly’s direction!

The best bird jerky

Emu or chicken? That was the question.


Yes, please!

No doubt about it — the two types of locally-made bird jerky we recently acquired got some dogs excited.

Jerky #1: Brian’s Best Gourmet Dog Treats

Brian’s Best Gourmet Dog Treats

Jerky #2: Emunity Omega Bars

Emunity Omega Bars

Minnie staked a claim early on in the Emu vs. Chicken Challenge, parking herself by the package of Brian’s Best Gourmet Dog Treats.

This aromatic jerky is consists of meat from free range, vegetarian-fed, antibiotic-free chickens raised on the Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Tampa, Kansas.


Heritage chickens are for huskies.

The package proclaims that these gummy meat strips are “Good enough for you. Good enough for your pets!”

The package also tells a story. On the back is a picture of a young man, Brian Anselmo, and a border collie. After graduating with his MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the local boy took up poultry farming, a trade he knew little about. The owners of Good Shepherd Ranch took Brian under their wing and he went on to become an advocate for humane farming, traveling around the region to teach other farmers how to improve their practices for the well-being of their livestock.

Brian passed away at the age of 28. His family started the Brian Anselmo Memorial Foundation in order to continue doing good in the world in his name. A portion of the proceeds from each package of Brian’s Best Gourmet Dog Treats goes to the Brian Anselmo Memorial Foundation, which in turn supports other education and child-focused charities.

I picked up ours package of Brian’s Best at the Sutherland‘s store in Waldo for $3.99.

That’s a couple bucks less than I would have paid for the emu jerky if I hadn’t received it compliments of The Pet Ranch at the recent Great KC Pet Expo.

Made in Kansas and available through Pet Ranch, a boarding and grooming facility in Olathe, Emunity treats consists of meat from American-sourced emus and vegetables like yams and carrots. The slightly tacky texture of the Emunity bars is similar to that of the chicken jerky, yet this jerky is less jerky-smelling.

During Scooby’s recent kibble strike, the emu jerky was a tool for me to whet his appetite and also a worked as a decent makeshift pill pocket that he gobbled right up.

But what if he had a choice between emu and chicken jerky? What would Scooby choose?

Can I really have both jerky bites?

Answer: Whichever jerky was closest to his mouth.

Although Scooby and the other dogs consumed the jerky treats with much gusto, none of them seemed to prefer one brand over the other. They simply wanted more when the taste test was over.

That’s a sign of good products, right?

Friday Photo Fun: Steppenwolf Dog

Like everyone else with a smartphone, I’m a little obsessed with Instagram, which helps make my amateurish dogtography seem a little more interesting.

For example, these photos of Minnie.


Does she look mean or goofy? (In the moment, she was definitely being goofy — she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.)

These picture remind me of the wolf on this classic Steppenwolf album cover (a slightly warped copy of which my friend Stacy and I listened to frequently in high school).


Will you help me come up with captions for the Instagram photos of Minnie? It’s the end of the week, and I’m all out of creativity, but I will post the photos on the Wayward Dogs Facebook page with the suggested caption I like best!

And just for fun, here’s a little Steppenwolf music to kick off your weekend. “Born to be Wild” seems oddly appropriate for wayward dogs.

Happy Friday!

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