DREAM Dachshund Rescue

I am amazed every day by the capacity of dogs to love and forgive the human race. I hope to give people a better understanding of what rescue is and why rescue is needed. The road is heartbreaking and frustrating. I meet so many dogs with such sad histories. And then I see them turn themselves around, with love and stability, and I think this is the happiest road there is, as well as the saddest. For the doggies, always the doggies. www.dreamdachsierescue.org

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Howl-O-Weenie a howling success!

{More photos coming soon! Carol is working on a little webpage that we will link from the dream website. Send your photos to cashock (at) comcast.net (take out the (at) and replace with @ - fools spam}

All of us at DREAM are exhausted but jubilant after another successful Howl-O-Weenie. After a nail-biting Friday of rain and wind (during which we carried more tables back and forth than my back could comfortably handle and agonized over whether anyone would show up), we had a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Glen Lake Park -- complete with sunshine for the weiner dogs to bask in.

We believe the picnic raised between $10 - 11,000 -- this money goes to veterinary care for the abandoned dachshunds all year. We still have a few invoices left to come in, and a few donations are still coming in, so we don't have a final number yet.

My highlights: seeing my foster dogs having a BIG time with their new families.

The first ones to arrive were Midnight, Bart, and Patty. Murphy is Midnight's new name and he looked happy and healthy and shiny with his new buddy, the black Great Dane. Bart was irrepressible as ever. He has never met a stranger. When Bart came to DREAM, he had a large hole in his upper palate through to his sinus cavities, requiring several surgeries to close as much as possible. Patty, now Erica, was terrified of people when DREAM found her abandoned on a farm. Her new family has loved her and provided her with such feelings of safety, that she is now able to enjoy a dachshund picnic!!

Then we saw Dexter, who had just competed in the Dachshund Dash. Handsome as ever and his mom Lynn said he was doing great!

Giacomo (now Murphy too!) was there with his mom, dad, brother, and sister, fresh from a morning soccer game. He now lives in Newnan and roams with the neighborhood kids and gets lots of love and snuggles from all of them.

Asher was there -- an amazing story. When I picked up Asher at the shelter, he had NO hair, and his skin was smelly and sticky from mange. His foster mom brought all that hair back, and at the picnic no one recognized him -- he had LONG beautiful silky hair and was so happy.

Angelina was there with her new brothers, all of them dressed in Falcon's garb. Angelina was the cheerleader! Whenever she sees me, she runs up and puts her little front feet on my legs. When we got Angelina, she had a heart murmur that required surgery. Without it, she wouldn't have lived past 2, but now she is 4.

Saylor! He looked so shiny and happy and healthy! And his mom and dad were so proud of him, and told me how happy he is every day to greet them when they get home, and how good Saylor is with Jeremy's little boy.

Have I missed anyone? My head is still a blur....

Our contests were in the upper field this year...not ideal. Next year we'll make sure we get the lower field again (if we don't move to a larger park). One poor man fell down that hill and hurt his head....we don't want that again!

I NEVER want to judge the costume contests again -- it is far too hard to choose and so many people make such COOL costumes with clever details. I loved the mermaid, the chicken, the Incredibles (complete with a big belly doggie), the bus and firetruck, the hula girl with her tiny painted nails, and of course the two winners -- WEEN Valdez and the Longhorn.

The kissing contest winner had more than 60 licks in a minute!

I got this report on the Howling Contest...can you tell Terri (Owen's new mom) is a writer??
"It was such an exciting event. Some wieners were too nervous to perform, their little shocked faces trembling from all the commotion, but their parents showered them with love anyway so none felt dejected. The ones who did howl were quite impressive, and the winner was difficult to choose. We looked not only for enthusiasm and form, but also for heart and soulfulness. And for those last two qualities, Andy stole the show. His was a lovely howl with pure, rich tones, wrought from the depths of his innermost self—his memories and dreams, his scars and celebrations, his loves and losses—and unleashed to the sky without shame or apology. In that moment, there on the field of HowlOWeenie, Andy was every dog, and he was every one of us. We looked deep inside him and found only good, and we loved him for that."

I heard the DASH worked well in heats -- next year we will have certificates for the heat winners and award gold, silver, and bronze medals like the Olympics. The pictures I saw were hilarious...like the Kentucky Derby, but with much shorter legs.

Such beautiful pictures for our calendar contest! I can't wait to see the finished product. Please email us if you want to pre-order, last year we sold out completely even BEFORE we put them on the website....the 12 winners bought all the calendars!

The 50/50 raffle didn't get as many participants as we thought it would...anyone have thoughts on why?

Hotdog sales brisk (this is a huge moneymaker for us, since Publix donates almost all the food, it is almost pure profit.) Who doesn't love a chili dog with homemade chili? And the homemade desserts!!!

The T-shirt sales were good. We have more of each shirt, let me know if you would like to order one. We can mail it to you for $21 total. Terry Pond donates the art for the shirts each year, and they are always charming.

I loved our auction art so much this year. The beautiful glass mosaic, the painted window (which I won! It is in my breakfast nook right now! I spend a lot of $$ at this picnic myself!), and the Matt Rinard original proof. We would also love your thoughts on what you'd like to see in the auction.

Some of our vendors did great, others not so much. I would love to hear from anyone on what vendors they would like to see next year. The vendors make a big donation to DREAM, so I want them to have a good day.

Another Howl-O-Weenie first -- we had a proposal, in between the contests! Hottie (the chicken) and Molly's mom, Aly, is now engaged to her beloved, Elroi! I'll post a picture soon! (I asked them if they wanted to do the ceremony at next year's picnic, but she has been diplomatically silent so far...probably has a very different vision of her big day.)

Send your favorite HowlOWeenie pictures -- we'll post them here!

Our board is having a retreat in December -- planning for HOWL 2007 will be underway -- our 5th anniversary! What was just a gleam in Carol's eye 4 years ago is now a dachshund tradition in Atlanta!

I would love to hear anyone's ideas on how to make HowlOWeenie 2007 even better! What would you do differently? What do you wish we did? What do you wish we didn't do? Any idea, large or small....let us hear from you! Just post a comment to this blog.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

HowlOWeenie is almost here!

It has been a really busy couple of weeks as we get ready for HowlOWeenie, and we are really excited about this year's picnic. Everyone cross their dachsie fingers and toes and tails for sunny warm weather!

A lot of preparation goes into the event, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and pays for the veterinary costs of helping abandoned dachshunds.

Our board of directors splits responsibility for planning the event and pulling it off. This year Michele and Ivy are the chairs. I am running the vendor/artist market (new!), and coordinating T-shirts (getting the art from Terry Pond www.weiner-dog.com and ordering the shirts). Carol is of course doing her amazing art for the auction, as well as the marketing with Ivy (working with Cindy at Star 94, the AJC, WABE, etc). Brenda covers all the registration and volunteer coordination, and the 50/50 raffle (another new thing this year). Michele is also in charge of the contests. Ivy has the calendar contest. Sherry is the money lady.

The vendor / artist market this year is a new thing for us. We used to do a silent auction, but the effort to pull that off was immense, and it was expensive because we had to rent tables (which also were very heavy and caused angst among our trusty volunteers). This year the vendors pay a fee, and bring their own tables and supplies. Voila! We have some really exciting vendors this year, and I hope they all make lots of money and will come back next year.

The calendar contest is in its second year. The big challenge there is finding reasonable printing costs....last year we were worried that the printing would be more than the contest raised in entry fees and votes! Since we didn't know how many we could sell, we ordered only a small number and sold out. This year we are offering pre-orders at the picnic, so we will know how many to order.

Of course, the hotdog lunches...$5 for a dog, chips, drink, and homemade dessert. We're all scrambling to find friends who will bake cookies! We expect to sell 600 lunches this year!

The contests this year are costume (always a big hit!), face kissing, howling, and the dachshund dash. These dachsie owners get competitive!

In the last few days, all of us at DREAM have been juggling literally hundreds of emails to/from each other and from all you dachsie lovers out there. It's gonna be a terrific day! Come on out to Glen Lake Park, 1121 Church Street, on Saturday, October 28, 2006, with or without your dachsie.

We are very lucky to have such an enthusiastic dachsie community!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

M is for Mentoring

The M in DREAM stands for Mentoring, and it's important to us to help people who need a little assistance with their dachshunds to help them keep their dogs instead of turning them over to rescue. It's also really important to us to stay in touch with our adopted dogs, so that if issues arise we can help the family to help their new doggie adjust.

This came up last week for a recent adoptee. (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

Oliver (not his real name) came to DREAM after he was found stray. He was a very submissive and shy boy who would always back down from a tussle with the other dogs at home. He got used to being in a "pack" and, to the security that a pack offers.

Oliver was adopted by Anastasia (not her real name, but she's the type of gal that could pull off a name like Anastasia). He moved into her new condo, just the two of them, and life was great.

However, Anastasia was a first time dog owner and, let's say, not a real dominant type person. She's a very nurturing person. What Oliver started to do was to protect Anastasia when they went on walks, trying to beat up every dog that came their way. That led to Anastasia acting nervous whenever they went on walks (and especially when they saw other dogs), which just reinforced Oliver's opinion that walks were scary for her and he needed to protect her.

So, here's what we advised Anastasia, who loves Oliver very much and wants to help him be a good dog.

The biggest thing to remember is that Oliver needs to see Anastasia as a confident leader, so that HE doesn't feel he has the responsibility of leading, or protecting her.

When they go on walks, she should walk quickly and with confidence. If they see another dog, she should switch direction and walk briskly in the other way, showing no indication of nervousness. She should never try to comfort or hold him when he is doing something she dosn't like -- it reinforces the behavior (also good advice for storms, btw).

At home, she needs to follow the prescriptions of Jan Fennell, The Dog Listener (fantastic book for ALL dog owners). She eats first - he gets nothing until after she has eaten. He doesn't get on the bed or furniture without her permission. When they leave the house, she goes through the door first. (I also advise that Oliver not sleep with her in the bed for a period of 4 weeks, but she's reluctant to do that because their snuggling is an important part of their relationship).

Stay tuned for more on Oliver and his new home, and many thanks to "Anastasia" for being such a great mother and learning what to do to help her new little boy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Busy Day Planning HowlOWeenie Dachshund Picnic

We had a board meeting today to plan the 2006 HowlOWeenie Dachshund Picnic. This is our fourth annual picnic -- it gets bigger every year!

We are especially excited about the art for our T-shirts, by Terry Pond. We will have TWO t-shirts this year, one with a black and tan dachshund and one with a red dachshund. Check out Terry's website and see if you can guess which ones we used!

Also on tap: hot dog sales (of course), dachshund root beer from Three Dachshunds Brewery, costume contest, face kissing contest, the dachshund dash (don't worry, it's back-friendly), and the ever-popular howling contest (in which what the owners do to get their dachsies to howl is even funnier than the howling part). And a revival of our calendar contest, in which the 12 photos that get the most votes are featured in our 2007 calendar.

October 28 is right around the corner!! Join us at Glen Lake Park in Decatur. 1211 Church Street.