Friday Funday

After we moved to Jacksonville I didn’t expect to start working for at least a month or two.  Obviously this would mean the dogs would get to have tons of fun adventures while I enjoyed the freedom of not having a job for the first time since I was 14.  Sounds nice, huh?  Well, within a week of moving I came across a job that was too perfect for reaching my dream to pass up and started working immediately.

IMG_3313Now I don’t get off work until 7pm (this is quite an adjustment since normally I have dinner prepared, eaten, and cleaned up by then!) and that doesn’t leave too much time for adventuring.

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This looks like a pouty face, but I kid you not, she LOVES to jump up into Rich’s arms and have him swing her around.  Silly girl!

As you can see, we make the most of our free time, but I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to give the dogs a summer of beaching, hiking, and all around crazy fun times.

IMG_3315I’m curious, how often do you guys take your pups on adventures?  What constitutes an adventure in your house?  While I wait for your responses, I’m going to take full advantage of having a Friday off, and take my crew to the beach!

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“Geez mom! Put the computer down and let’s go already!”

{Legal Issue} Ownership Rights of a Stray Dog

Boy, it’s been a long time since we did a “Legal” post, hasn’t it?  Whoops!  My BBF (Best Blogging Friend) from And Foster Makes Five posed a great question:  What if the previous owner of a dog tries to reclaim it after you have adopted it?  Yikes!  Now there’s a scary thought.

AFM5 is a fellow “foster failure” (more like winner!) and I know the question stems from the fact that her super duper incredibly adorable pittie, Georgia, was once a stray, just like my Moo.  How terrifying to think of the blood, sweat, tears, and most of all, love we have put into our dogs, just to have their previous piece of shit owners reclaim them later?  Thankfully, I think this is something that will never happen to either of us but for some it could be a very real possibility.  Here’s Rich to give us the 411:

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Traditionally, the policy goal that drives the law in regard to lost property is to reunite the original owner, who holds legal title to the property, with the property itself. However, this is one area where the law does not strictly adhere to the precept that animals are strictly property, and have no additional rights or personal attachment than a bicycle. This is not to say that the motives behind treating pets differently in this area are benevolent, it’s probably the case that many of the differences were motivated by cutting off the original owner’s rights so that the state can dispose of strays in a shorter period of time and no longer be responsible for them.

The rights of an owner of a stray dog that is brought to a shelter generally terminate after a statutory period that is set by the either the state or local government. For those of you that have volunteered at shelters, you know this as the mandatory waiting period. This period allows the original owner to come forward to claim their lost dog before the shelter disposes of the dog, either by adoption or otherwise. Generally, if you adopt a dog from an animal shelter, the original owner’s title terminates and the shelter is able to pass along a valid title of ownership of the pet, as long as it adheres to the mandatory waiting period. This is based upon the fact that the shelter is an obvious place for the owner to look for his lost dog, so there is a presumption that the dog is abandoned if it can stay in the shelter for a period of time unclaimed. Note: there is one case that I am aware of where the court held that the original owner’s rights do not terminate after the waiting period ended. The Alabama appeals court held that where the waiting period expires, but the dog has not been euthanized then the owner still has his ownership rights. However in this case the dog had not been adopted out and that may affect the outcome of a subsequent case in the state.

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It gets a little murkier when someone finds a lost dog, and instead of subjecting it to the cold floor of the shelter, instead takes the dog home and decides to make it a part of the family. If the original owner shows up and wants his dog back, then there can be a potential issue. If the owner of the dog brought an action for return of the dog, then a court would likely look at two things. First whether the original owner demonstrated an intent to abandon the dog, and second whether the person who found the dog has manifested an intent to take ownership.

As to the first question, it would matter how long the dog had been lost, and the circumstances of it straying. Here there may be actual statutes in the jurisdiction as to how long an item has to be missing before a presumption is raised that it is abandoned. The court would look to see what steps the original owner had taken in order to find the dog. One other thing of note, if the court found that the owner intended to abandon the dog, and then changed his mind, then it is likely that the abandonment will stick.

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As to the second issue, whether the finder wanted to take ownership of the dog, the court would look to see what steps the finder had taken to care and maintain the dog. The court would look at whether the finder had taken the dog to the vet, gotten the dog vaccinated and bought the dog personal items such as a collar and home items (bowl, toys, dogbed). One other relevant consideration is whether the finder has acted in good faith and hidden his possession of the dog.

Again, these are just generalities and may be different due to differing statutes in other jurisdictions. As always, if you have an actual controversy you should consult an attorney that practices in your area and find out what your rights and responsibilities are.

IMG_3169So, it sounds like for the most part, we would be safe in the event a former owner ever tried to reclaim our beloved dog.  Phew!  I was in a rush this morning so I threw in some pictures from the honeymoon.  Hope the pretty beach helps brighten your Monday!

Dear Dust Bunny,

It’s not you, really, it’s me.  I know we just met and everything seemed great–but it’s not.  You sure are cute but looks just aren’t enough for me.  You’ve caused me hours of work already and that’s just not what I’m looking for right now.  I hope you understand.  

– Morgan

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Ok, maybe that was silly, but I’m serious!  I L.O.V.E the fact that our house is all tile and hardwood but you know what I don’t love?  The black, white, and brown tumble weed-dust bunny-fuzzballs the size of a small cat that crop up every time I turn around.  Since the house is practically empty right now (furniture buying is quite a process… who knew?) it takes me what feels like an eternity to sweep my way around the house every day.  And if I don’t, I can actually see the hair everywhere, just hangin out like it’s no big deal.  My neat freak/borderline OCD personality is not cool with this.

So I’m curious, do any of you own a Rumba?  Or similar automatic vacuum thingy?  We were talking about getting one but they are quite pricey and I don’t want to spend money on it if it’s going to be an utter failure (that money could should be going towards furniture anyways!)  So, have any of my fellow animal lovers used them?  Tell me your dirty secrets.  Please.

Awards, Puppies, and Weddings.

What do they all have in common?  They are totally in season!

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I got nominated twice in the last few days for the Blogger Family Award.  I was getting ready to start a post about it and, while looking back through old comments and stuff, realized that I have actually been nominated for a few lately….and totally ignored them.  Wow.  I’m a bit of an arse, aren’t I?  I swear, I missed them by accident and I am so sorry that I didn’t collect!  It is so flattering, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside every time it happens, so thank you to those of you that nominated me!!!  Rather than pick and choose which ones I “collect”, I’m not going to do any of them.  That, err, makes sense, right?  Seems better than leaving someone out.

MiaNoticing the cute puppies throughout this post?  If you have ever spent any time volunteering in a shelter or with a rescue, you know that this is the dreaded time of year: Puppy Season.  Yes, puppies are dreaded.  Why?  Because they are dropped off faster than you can say, “spayandneuter!”

PaisleyEveryone is left scrambling to secure a safe spot for them outside of the shelter.  Even though it’s super heartwarming to see how hard everyone works to save them, it makes you want to scream and shout and cry because the solution to this problem is so simple: spay and neuter and never get here in the first place.  There is no good reason for this problem to even exist; we have the tools to prevent it: education, low cost clinics, and vouchers, just to name a few.  But for now, I digress.

OnyxAnd last but not least, it’s wedding season!  My own wedding is the reason my blog is barely in existence this days.  But now that it’s over, we’ve moved, are getting settled into our new house, and I’ve landed a job, I should be able to get back to the important things in life, like volunteering and blogging!  I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures from the wedding:

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Ok, I promise no more wedding talk.  That’s not why you’re here!  If any of the puppies shown here catch your eye, please comment or shoot me an email!

Wag, Wag, Wagging

I have a confession to make: I was scared, no, that’s not strong enough, terrified that our move would cause Maggie to have some sort of set back.  I obsessively read so many blogs, most of which are about (or at least heavily include) training, behavioral issues, etc. that I have admittedly lost some of my light-heartedness when it comes to dog ownership.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always put the well being of my dogs first and foremost, but now I actively think about what could go wrong, rather than just dealing with it if something happened–I like to think it helps me prepare and stay a step ahead of any potential issues.

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All of that to say, I had a bajillion (very technical term) scenarios racing through my head on how the move could traumatize Maggie and send her straight back to her skittish, untrusting ways.  I did my best to make sure she was in a good frame of mind before we dropped her off for the week of our honeymoon at daycare, but I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if she thinks we have left her forever?” or “What if she ends up hating it there, even though she’s loved it in the past?” or even (silly as it sounds) “What if she gets mad at us or doesn’t love us anymore or even forgets us!?”  All of those things were going through my head when I went to pick her.  She seemed her usual self when I picked her up but that wasn’t the end of things.  Then she had to sit in the car for three hours just to arrive at a big, empty house that she had never seen before.  You can see how I would be worried, right?  That’s a whole lot for a dog, who you can’t just explain things to, to go through in just one day.

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We got to the house and everything went surprisingly well.  Of course, the dogs zoomed all around the house and yard, and appeared beside themselves with happiness.  Cool.  No problems here I guess.  Well, I let my guard down and invited Rich’s family over that night to see the new house and visit, even though my gut told me it was too soon.  While they were over, Maggie and Buddy got in a little tiff.  Not a big deal, but notable because it was something that had never ever happened before.  I clearly had pushed them all beyond their comfort zone that day and this was entirely my fault.  We spent the next few days barely leaving the house and making sure everyone got plenty of exercise and stress was kept as close to nonexistent as possible.

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After about that first day though, I began to notice something strange: Maggie kept wagging her tail.  Randomly.  This is new!  Don’t get me wrong, Maggie wagged her tail before, but it was mostly when we first got home, were actively engaging her in play, or she was at a park or something running around.  Now though, I just look over at her and she will be wagging, for no apparent reason at all.  Just shear happiness.  I literally can feel my heart swelling with joy.  All that worry for nothing!  My girl is good.

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