Thursday, April 10, 2008

My weekend houseguest.

By Nicole
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Meet Wendell U. Flopbottom.

He's a stuffed basset hound who is traveling the country trying to fulfill his dream of attending every basset rescue's waddle (a meeting of hounds and their owners, with the purpose of raising money). He's raising money for two specific rescues that are dedicated to saving senior basset hounds - Senior Hounds Abound and House of Puddles 

His original goal was $1,000 for each of these two rescues - he's already surpassed that goal for HOP and he's raised $692 for SHA - and he just got started on his travels. He'll be at waddles all summer long.

Wendell had no waddle scheduled for this past weekend, so I paid my dues for the privilege to foster this plush pup for the weekend. We went to all kinds of Milwaukee landmarks so that the rest of Wendell's followers could see what a cool place this is. We met tons of nice people along the way and hopefully spread the gospel of basset rescue. He has his own blog that is updated with all his travels. You can check it out here. I took him to Miller, Harley, Marquette, the Art Museum, the Public Market and the Foamation cheesehead factory. We also went to a Brewers game where Wendell got to meet everyone of the racing sausages!!


I try not to do too many soapboxes, but if there's anything I can ever possibly instill in your head, it's to please, please, please adopt your pets from shelters and rescues. Don't support breeders and puppy mills. It's been estimated that 5 million animals a year are killed in shelters in the US. That's over 11,000 animals a day. I understand that people want specific breeds and that's why they don't go to shelters, but there are hundreds of dog rescues in almost every state in the country. Google is your friend. Off the top of my head I can name Basset Hound rescues in Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, Michigan, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey and Montana. That's my meager experience in one breed.

If you can't adopt, consider fostering. Dogs that are rescued have nowhere to go. If they aren't placed in foster homes, they live in cages. These dogs have been abandoned and often times abused. They need love and attention as much as they need a vet and food.

My basset hound Flash will be 8 in a month and he's already considered a senior. Senior dogs are less likely to be adopted because people don't want to commit to dogs that they think won't be around very long. Flash was left on a porch, abandoned by his previous owners and tied with rope to a pole. He was about 20 pounds thinner than he is now and had serious medical problems including severe skin allergies. Now he's a happy, more than healthy hound with a family that loves him.

Please, please, please support your local rescues and shelters. Donate time and/or money. If you like Wendell and his story, you can donate online to either of the two senior hound rescues - HOP's Firstgiving Page - SHA's Firstgiving Page

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