Life: Why Does Everything About Me Seem To Be Connected To Dogs?

This is a small beauty blog. These are posts about Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese beauty products. So, why the hell do I call myself A Dog Person on Blogger.com, @seniordogsrule on Instagram, why the hell do you have three little dogs staring at you in my About Me section, and what the hell do dogs have to do with beauty products?

(image source: the Interwebz. This is probably on 1,000 different websites.)

Let me answer the last question first: dogs have nothing to do with beauty products. Other than the fact that I'll totally try one of the L'Herboflore mini masks that arrived in my Unboxing Beauty Giveaway package, on one of my dogs.
Discovering K-beauty has been wonderful for my skin, a wonderful means of self-pampering, and possibly my favorite hobby for the past year or so.
Dogs, in particular dog rescue, have been my greatest passion, though.

I don't remember much of my early childhood. Those memories are mostly negative, except for my Mom's love and dogs. I have always loved dogs. I love cats and furry animals in general, but dogs... Man, they're something else.


I currently have three dogs.

Golyo is a 16+ year-old Bolognese boy who's possibly the worst dog in the world, and he's made my life very hard with his extreme separation anxiety that hasn't responded to training, medications, or a combination thereof. When you're mostly alone in the world and have a dog who basically cannot be left alone, life is tough. He's my dog, though, so what am I gonna do?
He is also a ball of nerves who's afraid of basically everything (now that his eyesight is failing rapidly, and he only sees shadows out of one eye - and nothing out of the other, - he's literally scared of his own shadow,) and he is a fear biter, which means - because he's so fearful for no apparent reason, to begin with - that he bites a lot. He's bitten me pretty bad more times than I could ever count. Again, he's my dog, so what am I gonna do? He is just the way he is.
Golyo, the Terrible

Peanut is about 12 years-old (maybe? I have decided to stop counting the years with her - I was never sure how old she was, anyway, and I have convinced myself that she will live forever,) and I like to refer to her as my souldog. I started fostering her in 2011 (more about that later,) and I ended up keeping her, mainly because she was everything Golyo wasn't (which is a good thing.) She then proved herself to be a great actress and started showing her bitchy, tantrum-throwing, mean side only when I had already fallen deadly in love with her, but I don't mind. She is still my souldog. She believes she is the Queen of Everything, and the whole universe exists solely to serve her.
In these past five years, there was only one night I spent without her burrowing under the sheets stuck to me (the night she had to spend at the vet's after her spay and dental,) and I wouldn't have it any other way.
She has no teeth, half a lower jaw, colitis, pancreatitis, and she's perfect.

Peanut, the Souldog

Minnie is the most unusual of the three. First, I have no idea how old she is and neither do vets. Somewhere between 5 and 10 years-old now, probably. Which is a huge gap, I know. But, see, Minnie has severe brain issues. Possibly congenital. Definitely on the cellular level (since her MRI provided absolutely no answers.)
She has no fine-motor movements. If you have seen CH kittens/cats, you know what I am talking about. It's severe. Because of that, she cannot walk, just bounce around (making her highly accident-prone.) The more she tries to focus, the more she becomes a bobblehead.
She also has severe seizures, some of which almost killed her when I got her from the same NYC ACC where Peanut had also come from. She is on two meds; one every 12 hours, the other every eight hours. She has been doing great since we added the latter, and has been completely seizure-free for about a year now.
She has mysterious, recurring skin issues that no test has been able to tell us why they exist.
She has two permanently luxated patellas.
She does very few things the way "normal" dogs do.
She is a complete freakin' mess.
She is also the most opinionated tiny dog with the biggest personality. I have no idea how long she has. Over two years ago, when I got her, her veterinary diagnosis was "very poor." If you have dogs, you know that it's the worst thing you can hear. She has seen regular vets, neurologists, dermatologists, even a specialist of anesthesiology, on two different continents. No one knows what's wrong with her, other than something is very wrong and it's in her brain and it cannot be fixed.
With her, I live day-to-day. She has so far beaten the odds. I don't know if that's going to be the case tomorrow. But, as long as today is good, all is good.

Minnie, the Perfectly Imperfect (a few days after I got her in April 2014)

My getting involved in dog rescue is solely thanks to Urgent Part 2, a wonderful organization that first started getting the word out about the dogs on the daily "at-risk" (euthanasia) list at NYC ACC, and finally getting them the exposure they had so badly needed. Back in the spring of 2011 when I first started seeing their posts in my Facebook feed, I had no idea that within a couple years, I would be working with the organization; but, that's a story for another day.
Dogs upon dogs, each and every day of the year (with only a few breaks here and there, for Christmas or New Year's,) on the dreaded list to be euthanized for failing the artificial behavioral test, or being old and sick, or having caught kennel cough. (So, mostly, for a lack of space.)

Let me quickly say something here: ACC has changed quite a lot over the past few years, in part - I am convinced - by pressure brought upon them by the exposure that Urgent has provided. I still don't like the ACC, but I have to admit that they are at least trying. However, it all starts with the owners. If there weren't still over 30,000 pets brought into their facilities yearly, reforms would be a whole lot easier.
People can scream and shout at animal control facilities all day and night; and yes, some are awful - others, less awful. But, as long as the majority of people don't think twice about getting rid of their pets as soon as they become an inconvenience in some way, it's an uphill battle.


My first ACC euth list dog - in June 2011 - lived exactly 24 hours, and he spent most of it in the hospital. He was a very old, very sick Yorkie called Jason, who was already dying of cancer when he was dumped at ACC. I cried for days. I cried past the point where I thought I had no more tears left. When I moved overseas four years later, his ashes moved with me. It makes me hope he somehow knew that his life mattered.

My second ACC dog, about a month later, lived six days, the last three of which she spent at the hospital. Thankfully, I could be there when she took her last breath. She was a beautiful, old Chihuahua named Pebbles who was dying of cancerous mammary tumors that had spread to her lungs. I cried again. I cried so damn much.

I hated everything, and I had no idea why life was so unfair, why these sentient beings couldn't be given a chance at a happy new beginning.


As heartbroken as I was, my life had changed forever.
For one, I realized that I wanted nothing more than being able to provide these outcast of the canine society with the love and care they so deserved. I realized that my heartache was nothing compared to what they would feel if the last "home" they ever knew was the steel cage at an animal control facility.
Secondly, Pebbles was my first official foster dog for Posh Pets Rescue, the non-profit with which I got very involved, and which introduced me to the true trenches of dog rescue, without which I can no longer exist.
Thirdly, almost exactly 24 hours after I'd held Pebbles as she took her last breath, Posh founder Linda showed up at my door with Peanut (then Jessica,) fresh out of ACC, and a few weeks later she became the first second-dog of my life.

Over the next close-to-five years, until I moved overseas, my life was turned upside down. I had had a single dog (Golyo) for a decade, and now, I was sometimes up to six small dogs in whatever tiny sardine can-like place I lived in the NYC. I became a quasi vet tech. I nursed dogs back to health, held others as they passed, said goodbye to countless foster dogs as they left for their fur-ever homes, got used to the sights in the backrooms of ACC, got sick of people in general, met amazing people, made friends and lost friends, processed applications, fought and made up with Linda, cried and laughed, had extreme highs and extreme lows, smashed things out of frustration, and cleaned so. Damn. Much.


Some might say I have changed.
I'll say I have found myself. I have found my purpose.

When I moved overseas, I joined a local Chihuahua rescue, and shortly thereafter, became its Vice President. (I have no idea how it happened.) Without going into details (they really aren't that interesting to anyone not in rescue,) a few months later, half of the organization decided to get out and start our own rescue.

We are in the middle of submitting the paperwork necessary to be able to operate as a legal non-profit, and as it is, our very first rescue dog should be arriving in a few days. These past few months, the time it took us to get everything in order to be able to get started, were terribly empty. Now I am feeling the rescue rush again. The rescue high. I know it will be filled with a lot of frustration and a lot of heartbreak. I have lived it before.

I always say that 95% of rescue is trying to solve problems.
But, that remaining 5%... Being able to save a dog. Being able to rehabilitate him. Being able to watch him bloom, even if it happens slowly. Being able to find the best possible home for that one dog. Knowing that you did everything you could for an innocent being on whom the rest of the world had walked out.
That... that makes it all worth it. That's the whole point. If you have lost yourself in the insanity that is dog rescue, you know that nothing compares to it.

Nothing.



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