Monthly Archives: September 2016

Saying goodbye to Chance

"There once was a boy named Chance, who'd wiggle and do a little dance. He really needed pants. Chance."

first-pic 2nd-picI was not looking for a new pup. I had lost Bear just a year earlier. Bear's sister Lady and I were doing just fine with our cats Magoo and Bibi. But I kept seeing a pathetically adorable pup in my Facebook newsfeed. He was special needs - he'd been hit by a train, and was paralyzed in the back - but he had great personality and spirit. At first, I tried sharing his story to find him a great home. It didn't take long before I started to wonder if my home was the great home.

A local woman had recently adopted another paralyzed larger dog, named Duke, and I connected with her to find out the realities of caring for a special needs dog. Susan, Duke's mom, was amazing - and an enabler! She gave me all sorts of information and offered to help acclimate us if I made the decision to adopt Chance.

The next hurdle was my house. It was an early 1900s place, not designed for a dog with a wheelchair. I mentioned that to one friend and before I knew it my kitchen was literally taken apart and put back together again in one weekend with dog-friendly flooring, and the kitchen island moved to prevent cart snags. My wonderful friends also put in a ramp to the yard.

chance-and-sarahIn June 2011, Jim and Sara from Pilots N Paws flew this pathetic-looking little guy from Topeka to Des Moines. The minute we met it was instant, crazy, mutual love between Chance and I, and the Chance song was born.

Over the next five years, Chance found joy in pestering his older canine sister, cuddled with his cats, adored and was adored by his humans, and inspired a company whose mission is to help at-risk animals like him find or keep their forever homes.

There were challenges, to be sure. Whereas Susan's dog, Duke, has to be expressed to keep his bladder empty, Chance did not. At first that seemed like a blessing. But realistically, having a 60lb dog who piddles wherever he goes is a challenge. We tried diapers but because of the way he moved - sometimes with his legs out behind him, sometimes bouncing on his butt like a pogo stick - they wouldn't stay on.

It turned out he was also heartworm positive, which I did not know when I agreed to adopt him. (Please please tell everyone you know how easy it is to prevent heartworm and how awful it is to treat!)

bogochanceWe found our way and I expected a long, happy life with him by my side. Truly, the boy was a sweet, goofy, clown. If I was having a tough day, he knew it and decided if destroying a stuffie made him feel better, it would help me too. He reminded me to find joy in the small things, like a banana or a roll in the grass. When I was having a sorry for myself moment (it happens!) watching him enjoy the world despite what we might see as challenges reminded me to suck it up and get on with it.

Unfortunately our long life together wasn't to be. Earlier this week we discovered Chance had a tumor in his brain that was causing seizures, pain and stress. Heart breaking, I let him go.

Now, more than ever, we're committed to helping dogs like Chance get their chance at a good life, whether that's by keeping them with families who love them through programs like the Pet Project Midwest, or helping them get lifesaving medical care from groups life Fairytail Endings, or giving them time to find the just right forever home, thanks to organizations like Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

Although there is a huge hole in our hearts, Chance is still here, encouraging us, cheering us on, and reminding us why we do what we do.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

deck chance-in-repose-1 chance-042313


Foods Dog Can Have at Your Labor Day Cookout

Labor Day = play day!By Lyndsay Marvin

It’s officially Labor Day Weekend! Labor Day is often associated with the end of summer, which is a bummer, but also a time for amazing cookouts, which is great! If you’re anything like us, you’re going to bring your dogs to your cookouts and gatherings. Dogs make everything better, especially when you have a plate of food that you can’t quite finish. They’re the best dishwashers! Since your dog is going to be surrounded by delicious food you and your friends/family are cooking,

Here’s a list of foods dogs can eat (within moderation of course).

  • Eggs (fully cooked)
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Cheese (in moderation)
  • Shrimp
  • Peanut butter (without xylitol)
  • Popcorn (okay in moderation; always unsalted, unbuttered, plain air-popped)
  • Pork/Ham
  • Corn
  • Shrimp
  • Bread (small amounts)
  • Plain yogurt
  • Tuna (in moderation)
  • Honey
  • Salmon
  • Coconut
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews

Fruits and Veggies dogs can have:

  • ApplesWaiting for something to drop!
  • Bananas (as a treat only; bananas are high in sugar)
  • Watermelon (no rinds or seeds)
  • Oranges (peels aren’t toxic, but they’re rough on dogs’ digestion, so don’t feed)
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries (less than one cup)
  • Mangoes (remove the pit)
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches (fresh, not canned; cut up)
  • Pears (without pits or seeds)
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes (fully cooked)
  • Broccoli (very small amounts)
  • Celery (freshens breath, too!)
  • Cucumbers

Of course, most people foods should be in moderation only. Hopefully this list gives you an idea of what Fido can and cannot eat, so you’ll both have a safe and happy Labor Day!

What people foods do you give your dog? Share in the comments below!


When you live in hurricane area you need to prepare your pets, too.

If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or flooding, you should always be prepared with a safety kit not only for yourself, but for your pets as well. Disasters are really dangerous and they will affect your furry friends just as much as you. You should fill your kit with supplies to last up to two weeks.

What to pack?

  • Water, which should be rotated every two months to ensure freshness.
  • Food, which should be rotated as well so it doesn’t go bad.
  • Medications that are needed.
  • Potty pads and garbage bags for waste.
  • Extra leash and cat carrier.
  • Current picture in case your pets gets lost and you need to create a poster.
  • Vet information and records.
  • Blanket for warmth or to create a cave if they're afraid of loud sounds.

Remember to make sure your pets are always up to date on vaccines as well, for their safety and the safety of others. Also, have copies of records to prove that your pets are up to date, along with veterinarian’s numbers. This is stuff that will be needed in order for entrance into animal shelters or hotels if you have to leave home. You may need an animal shelter for your dog because a lot of emergency shelters don’t allow animals. It would be good to have a list of 24 hour emergency clinics for pets.

In case of injury remember a basic first aid kit for you pets. Never give animals people medication, there are some things that work for people but could potentially be fatal for animals. Also, make sure your dog has a collar with your number on it so you can be contacted in case your dog gets lost. Collars may slip off, so another good idea is to get your dog micro chipped. Micro chipping is a computer chip that is placed under the dog’s skin with your contact information.

Your electricity might go out in a severe weather situation, so you could fill up your bathtubs and sinks at the first sign of danger to ensure fresh water for you and your pets. You may also want to consider crating for your dog’s safety because they may become stressed out with the extreme weather and try to run off. If for some reason you have to leave your dog unattended, do NOT leave them in the crate. Should something separate you for more than a few minutes, the dog would be helpless.

Be very careful of pets around generators. CO poisoning will affect them first.

Always have a safe haven to go to, whether it’s a room in your house or somewhere outside of the house. Make sure in a hurricane situation you have a room without windows, where you and your pets can snuggle up and wait out the storm. At the first sign of danger get your pet inside and start getting ready. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always have a plan for you and your pooch.

If you haven’t seen the story on the Oklahoma woman who found her dog amidst the rubble of the tornado damage it’s definitely worth a view. The heartwarming video should also inspire you to prepare for the damage weather conditions can cause. Being prepared will help protect you and your dog from anything Mother Nature wants to throw at you.

Featured picture courtesy of