Tesla’s Love is the blog for and about people who love animals. No one here cares whether it walks, crawls, swims, slithers, hobbles or knows how to fly, if there is a story about an animal that you love or loves you, this is the place to share that story. The story can be a tribute, a love story or a memorial. It can be about you, this truly is a site for people. Send your story and photos to teslaslove@gmail.com and we promise to post it here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Experienced Pit Lover Needed

The Woodbridge Animal Shelter in Woodbridge, Conn. has a a pit bull named "Sweetie" that needs a home.

Facing euthanization, animal lovers have convinced the shelter to hold on to her one more week to see "if someone could be her hero and give her a chance," according to a statement.

Sweetie appears to be about 1 year old, is very much still a pup, very smart, and will be easy to train, the statement said.

The dog may have been bred at least once, will need to be spayed, and needs training and socializing. She was picked up as a stray, quite possibly shortly after being dumped, the statement said.

Sweetie "seems to have very little or no socialization with other animals and received no apparent training, although she was very well taken care of and is responsive to positive reinforcement," the statement said.

As with most dogs, the shelter environment is not doing her any good. She is not trusted to be around other animals because she has not yet been fully tested. If you can save this pretty baby girl, please contact the Woodbridge Animal Shelter (203) 389-5991.

Feel like fostering?

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. is accepting applications for its Foster Family Program.

This which is the first step in training guide dogs for people with visual disabilities, the agency said in a statement.

Interested persons must fill out an application available at http://www.fidelco.org/ or by regular mail. Fidelco’s address is 103 Old Iron Ore Road, Bloomfield, Conn., 06002.

Applications also can be requested by e-mail at fosters@fidelco.org and by phone at 860-243-4047.

Upon receipt of the application, requestors will be contacted.

Applicants and their pups must attend Saturday training sessions at Fidelco’s Bloomfield facility to teach their pups basic obedience skills and to socialize the dogs, the statement said.

Fosters keep their pups until it is time to return their dogs to Fidelco for formal guide dog training.

"Fosters are an integral part of our training effort,” Sue Holt Brown, director of the Fidelco Foster Family Program said in the statement. “We’re always on the lookout for additional families that may qualify to raise a Fidelco pup in their homes.”

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield, breeds, trains and places its own, unique type of German shepherd guide dogs with people who have visual disabilities, the statement said. It pioneered In-community Placement in the United States; a process that allows guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work, the statement said.

Now in its 50th year, "Fidelco relies solely on the gifts and the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations that partner with us to “Share the Vision,” the statement said.

“Jewel,” a Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation Puppy is shown in the photo.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Harper has fun

Harper Lee, a Bernese Mountain dog, checks out her favorite play place, at a cottage on Beach Pond in Connecticut. She likes to go in the water, but has not quite decided yet whether she really likes to swim! There are always plenty of dog friends to play with here.

Fidelco grant will help give guide dogs to military veterans

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. has announced that it has received a grant of $90,000 from Newman’s Own Foundation "in support of its mission to provide the highest quality German Shepherd Guide Dogs to U.S. military veterans."

Newman’s Own Foundation has since 1997 granted more than $250,000 to Fidelco, the organization said in a statement.

Fidelco most recently placed Guide Dog “Legend,” with Tech Sgt. Matthew Slaydon, USAF (ret.), the statement said.

"Slaydon was injured in Kirkuk, Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded as he attempted to disarm it. He suffered the loss of his sight, his left arm and traumatic brain injury," the statement said. "Fidelco’s staff and trainers worked with Slaydon so that he could use his prosthetic arm with his new guide dog. He then completed his In-community Placement with the help of a Fidelco placement specialist in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona."

“Thanks to the ongoing support of Newman’s Own Foundation, we will be able to support Sgt. Slaydon and other blinded American military heroes like him,” Eliot D. Russman, CEO and executive director of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., said in the statement. “Their generosity gives us the capability to expand our outreach and client development efforts, and to provide Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dogs to more injured military veterans than ever. Freedom and independence are certainly not free of costs and Newman's Own Foundation has clearly demonstrated this fact with its most recent financial support.”

Bob Forrester, president of Newman’s Own Foundation noted, also in the statement, that Fidelco is "committed to providing guide dogs to our brave military veterans who have lost their sight.”

“We are proud to support their efforts to improve the lives of America’s servicemen who have given so much for their country,” he said.

To carry on Paul Newman's philanthropic legacy, Newman’s Own Foundation donates net royalties and profits after taxes from the sale of Newman’s Own products to charity. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $295 million to thousands of charities around the world, the statement said.

Fidelco, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield, Conn., breeds, trains and places its own, unique type of German Shepherd Guide Dogs with people who have visual disabilities, the statement said.
Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by Fidelco

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dogs everywhere are crying

She knew how much a dog can give

Roberta C. Kaman, president and co-founder of The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. has diedm the organization said in a statement.
“We are saddened by Robbie’s passing,” Eliot D. Russman, Fidelco’s CEO an executive director said in the statement. “We will miss her presiding presence in our midst, the vision she brought to our organization and the passion with which she served our clients.”
Dogs and dog training were always in Kaman’s life, the statement said.
Kaman recently said in “Trust the Dog,” the new book about Fidelco, “I’ve never been without a dog,” the statement said,
"From the dogs on her grandfather’s farm, to the dogs her father trained for hunting, to the thousands of dogs she bred for Fidelco, canines were an important part of her life," the statement said.
Kaman was "bitten by the training bug early on when she attended a dog training class" in Manchester, Conn, the statement said.
"She proved to be a natural trainer and the town asked her to stay on and help with the classes," the statement said.
As she said, “Apparently I had an ear for the music.”
Over the years, Kaman and her friends raised and showed several breeds, including standard poodles, the statement said and she spent time mentoring with Dr. Allen Leventhal at his veterinarian practice in Bolton, Conn., the statement said.
She got her first German shepherd in 1958, "sowing the seeds for what would become a lifelong fascination with this extraordinary breed of dog," the statement said.
"In 1960, Kaman joined a local German shepherd club in New Haven and met Charlie Kaman, her future husband and founder of Kaman Aerospace. Together, they helped form the Fidelco Breeders Cooperative, the beginnings of what is now the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation," the statement said.
The cooperative bred German shepherds for 20 years and donated them to guide dog schools and law enforcement.
From 1980, their home-based hobby grew dramatically to become an internationally accredited guide dog foundation that has placed more than 1,300 guide dogs with blind and visually disabled clients throughout the U.S. and Canada, the statement said.
Kaman was instrumental in developing the Fidelco “breed within a breed;” a German shepherd with the temperament, work ethic and stamina suited to guiding people who are blind, the statement said.
Fidelco "also pioneered its “In-community Placement” program in the U.S. Using this process, the Fidelco client is trained with the guide dog in their home area, allowing them to be more productive quickly," the statement said.
Kaman received numerous awards, including the prestigious Migel Medal Award from the American Foundation for the Blind and was honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow, the Lions Club’s highest level of recognition.
“When I get a positive phone call from a person with a Fidelco guide dog, I am always grateful,” Kaman is quoted as saying in the statment. “I realize that we’ve managed to help someone in a very personal and important way.”
The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield, breeds, trains and places a unique type of German shepherd guide dogs with people who have visual disabilities.
Now in its 50th year of service, Fidelco relies solely on the gifts and the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations that partner with us to “Share the Vision.”

In the photo: Roberta C. “Robbie” Kaman, president and co-founder of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by Jack Hayward, It is only lightly edited here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Connecticut DEP says: Leave fawns alone

It is natural for fawns to be left alone for extended periods, the agency said.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has issued a request asking residents to be aware that white-tailed deer are giving birth to fawns around the state and the babies should be left alone.
"With the advent of warm weather, more people are participating in outdoor activities, increasing the chances that someone will come across a tiny fawn. The fawn may appear to have been deserted, but that is usually not the case. The DEP Wildlife Division has been receiving an increasing number of phone calls from people concerned about finding fawns that appear to be orphaned or abandoned," the agency said in a statement.
"It is critical for people to leave deer fawns alone, as the animal’s instinctive behavior in its first weeks of life is to remain motionless and let danger pass. The fawn may appear helpless or abandoned, but it is behaving normally in response to a perceived threat. As newborns, the fawns have almost no body odor and their reddish brown coat with white spots makes them almost invisible to predators. Fawns often lie motionless on the ground surrounded by low vegetation and remain perfectly still even when approached by another animal. It is important to realize that young fawns likely do not need your help, and the doe is probably feeding nearby," the statemeent said.
"It is highly unlikely that a fawn found alone has been abandoned," Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEP Wildlife Division said in the statement. "It is best not to touch the fawn and to leave it where it was found for at least 24 hours to determine whether the adult is still returning for feedings. While waiting for the doe to return, it is important that both people and dogs stay away from the fawn. A truly orphaned fawn will show signs of distress by walking around aimlessly and calling out for several hours."
The agency noted that when "a doe gives birth to one or two fawns and nurses them, she leads them into a secluded habitat. Twin fawns may even be separated from each other. The doe then leaves them alone for extended periods of time. She returns to nurse them about three to four times a day, with feeding time lasting approximately 15 minutes. This pattern will continue for up to 3 weeks until the fawns are strong enough to accompany the doe or flee from danger"
"Although it may be natural to want to assist young fawns, caring for them does more harm than good," Jacobson said, also in the statement. "Raising fawns for successful return to the wild requires considerable knowledge of deer biology, feeding formulas, countless hours of care, and outdoor caging. Improper care results in underweight and undernourished animals or animals that are not able to return to the wild because they have become too accustomed to being around people. Removing fawn deer from the wild, raising them, and keeping them in captivity is illegal."
If a fawn has "truly been orphaned, it is best that the animal be placed in the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the skills, training, and state authorization to care for fawns. A fawn suspected of being orphaned should be left where it was found, and its location should be reported to a wildlife rehabilitator qualified to care for fawns," the statement said.
A list of wildlife rehabilitators and their contact information can be obtained on the DEP Web site at www.ct.gov/dep/wildlife, or by calling the DEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011, weekdays or the DEP Emergency Dispatch Center at 860-424-3333 (after hours or on weekends).

Editor's note: The information contained in this post was released by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Parade

Get your pets vaccinated!

WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Wags and Whiskers, TLC has scheduled two upcoming rabies clinic, from 1 to 3 p.m. June 12 at Angel Animal Hospital 333 Elm St. and from 10 a.m. to noon June 13 at the Minor Park Fire Station 318 Fairfax St.
Rabies vaccines are $10. Dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers, The clinics are open to all pet owners.
For more information, call Jim Vitelli at 203-937-3642 or e-mail pounddogs@yahoo.com

Pet Food Bank needs help

MILFORD — The Pet Food Bank at the Milford Animal Shelter is very low on cat and dog food. Wet and dry cat and dog food, (especially cat), along with treats and toys, will be accepted from 9 am to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Milford Animal Control, 664 E. Broadway. The shelter is in Silver Sands State Park, with an entrance on Meadowside Road in Milford, Conn.
For further information, call 203-783-3279.

Stay Calm, But They're calling it "Feline Frenzy"

The Connecticut Humane Society is taking part in celebrating National Adopt-A-Cat Month of June with events June 4, 5 and 6.
Dubbed, "Feline Frenzy," the events offer all cats older than 3 for free to a good home, the society said in a statement.
The adults cats are "cute, loving and playful. They’re well trained and will provide many years of companionship," the statement said.
In part, it is essential for people to consider adopting an older cat because "animal shelters and rescue groups everywhere are filled to the brim with felines, especially kittens, seeking their forever homes," during the summer, and more kittens mean the older animals stay in shelters a lot longer, the statement said.
The promotion is taking place in all of the agency’s locations, in Newington, Waterford, Westport and the New London PetSmart. The cats will come with the standard adoptions benefit package that is always available, the statement said and potential adopters should look for the "I Have Purrsonality" signs on their cages when they visit a adoption center, the statement said.
The adoptions benefit package includes: free 30-day policy of ShelterCare pet health insurance and free microchip by 24PetWatch; consultation with staff to help select the most suitable feline for your lifestyle; FIV/FeLV testing, flea treatment and deworming treatment; spay/neuter; appropriate vaccinations according to the age of the pet, including rabies; identification tags and rabies tag if applicable; carrier and stretch collar; starter supply of Hill’s Science Diet food and pet care information; and medical evaluation and treatment for problems that were diagnosed during the exam, the statement said.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kessy learns how to read

It may not have been the flyers this cat read, but she sure read the love put into it

By Pamela McLoughlin

A beautiful thing happened this week when my daughter Kathleen's beloved cat Kessy returned after a week AWOL.
Kessy, a sweet, gentle, affectionate purring machine who can easily withstand sudden tail pullings by toddlers, had never been out for more than a night
The skeptics among us thought she had fallen prey to a coyote, been hit by a car or catnapped because she's so nice.
But Kathleen kept believing and on Friday after school she created flyers with Kessy's picture, then went around the neighborhood with her best friend Jackie to distribute them.
I picked them up at dusk by the community center after distribution and as we pulled into the driveway Kathleen opened the door and jumped out of the moving car, as Jackie and I looked at each other, perplexed.
Kathleen had spotted fur in the deep grass, ran up to the cat and it turned out to be a black and white cat - not Kessy - who likes to hang out by our door.
But just as Kathleen saw it wasn't Kessy, she heard a meow from behind that she recognized and all Jackie and I could see was Kathleen's elated expression (car had just stopped moving) - something usually reserved for favorite band or boyfriend.
She picked up Kessy who was atypically skittish and smelled, we decided later, like dog, cigarettes and gasoline.
The first thing I said to Jackie was "Kessy must have seen the flyer!"
Jackie chuckled and said that when they were distributing the flyers, Kathleen had said, "Maybe Kessy will see the flyer."
Anyway, I keep going over the scenarios in my head and am wondering if anyone who knows anything about cat behavior or catnapping behavior can tell me: Was it just a coincidence that she came home minutes after the last flyer was distributed?
Did someone holding her captive see the flyer and let her go?
Was she just out on an extended romp with the other cat (Kathleen says they're friends!)?
Was it the prayer Kathleen's sister, Debbie, said two hours before Kessy came home? Or did Kessy indeed see the flyer?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The neccessities for bears

Help Save the Moon Bears

There is a new book just out in stores that is attempting to help save moon bears.
The book, "Moon Bear," by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Calecott Medalist, Ed Young, is about about Asiatic black bears, known as moon bears because of the crescent moon-shaped blaze across their chests.
The publisher said in a statement that in "addition to delighting young readers, the book has another purpose: to help save moon bears from a life of captivity and cruelty."
"Thousands of moon bears tragically spend their lives in tiny cages on bear “farms” where cruel methods are used to extract their commercially viable bile."
The book has been produced in partnership with Animals Asia, an organization dedicated to ending cruelty and rescue thousands of moon bears on these “farms,” the statement said.
Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (Mackids) has "become 'Team Moonbear' in an effort to raise “Moon Bear Bucks” to save a bear. To see more of what Mackids is doing and to find out more about Animals Asia, visit www.mackids.com/TeamMoonBear and http://www.animalsasia.org/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Trying to save the wild mustang

Photgrapher captures spirit of the American mustang

SOUTHPORT - The photographs of imperiled wild mustangs taken by photographer Esther-Grace Simson will be shown throughout May in an exhibit in the Perkin Gallery at Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave.

Wild mustangs are descendants of horses Spanish Conquistadors brought to North America and living emblems of the old West, event organizers said. By the end of the 19th century, two to three million mustangs roamed the Western plains.
Starting in the early 20th century and up to the present day, the horses have been sold for pet food, glue, pony skins and shot for sport.

In 1971 a law was passed to protect mustangs on public lands. But due to pressure from cattle ranching interest groups as well as the oil, natural gas and mining industries, mustangs are again being rounded up in a violent manner, such as helicopter roundups, and herded into federal holding facilities while they await an uncertain future in an inhumane way, event organizers said in a statement.

About 24,000 of the horses are in captivity.

On a recent trip, Simson traveled with her daughter Danielle to the foothills of California’s mountains near Santa Barbara in search of the horses.

Some rescued mustangs reside on 300 acres at the Return To Freedom sanctuary. The mother-daughter team set up various base camps as they followed the grazing bands of mustangs from one spot to another, the statement said.
Simson remembers setting up base camp, and waiting quietly until the horses sent their scouts to appraise and inspect them, the statement said.
They were ultimately welcomed warmly, andeventually nudged by a young stallion, indicating that they were accepted by the various bands of mustangs. The "mission to record the proud nobility of these wild and beautiful animals and to promote an awareness of their sad plight was accomplished," the statement said.

Simson is a member of the Royal Photographic Society and the Equine Photographers Network. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She is the designated photographer of RJ Masterbug, star of the Disney film Hidalgo, the statement said. Her photographs of RJ have appreared on the covers of Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Up magazines. She has exhibited nationally and internationally.

The opening reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. May 8.
This exhibit is one in a series of shows of amateur and professional photographers curated by Enid Munroe. For more information, call the library at 203-259-0346.

Editor's note: the information in this post was provided by the Pequot Library, It is lightly edited here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What's the buzz?

Bees and Bats Seize the Day

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven will "celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the 200th anniversary of the birth of L. L. Langstroth, the 'Father of American Beekeeping'" from 2 to 6 p.m. April 22.
The program finale features a live big brown bat, organizers said.
The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to honey, domesticated honeybees provide critical pollination services for many food crops worldwide, Peabody officials said.
Their "decline in the United States and Europe due to colony collapse disorder is yet another reminder that we need to care for the environment around us," the officials said.
Museum visitors will "see live bees and caterpillars, learn about beekeeping and pollination, and plant seeds to take home, nurture and transplant into their own backyard," officials said.
Local organizations will offer simple and effective actions people can take to protect the earth.

Of special interest to children is the Waggle Dance at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Other children’s activities include games and crafts as well as storytelling at 2 and 3p.m.

The program finale at 5 p.m. features Gerri Griswold and a live big brown bat from the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. Grisowld's presentation, “Bat Chat: Getting to Know Our Most Misunderstood Allies,” explores bat biology, ecology, sonar, and the cultural highs and lows of these extraordinary creatures.

The Museum is located at 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Conn.
It is open from 10 to 5 Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Unless otherwise noted, admission is $7 adults, $6 seniors 65+, $5 children 3-18. Children younger than 3 enter at no charge.
Everyone is admitted free on Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m. from September through June.
The museum is closed January 1, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, December 24 and 25.

Editor's note: This information was provided by the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Tesla's Love give a very special kiss to Gerri Griswold, a St. Francis of modern times.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Talk to the Animals

And maybe they will talk back

April is Prevention of Animal Abuse Month and the Greater New Haven Cat Project will present “Let’s Ask the Animals,” a event in which participants can learn to explore how humans are like pigs, chickens, cows and sheep, organizers said.
The event, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. April 19, will be held at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St., and a film produced by The Association for the Study of Animal Behavior will be shown.
The program is suggested for children ages 7-10 and their parents, organizers said.
This film shows “how animals use their senses, learn from experience, and need companionship and exercise, just like humans,” organizers said in a statement.
The interactive program is “designed to promote appreciation and respect for animals by learning and talking about what we have in common with them. It’s a wonderful way for parents to share their appreciation of animals with their growing children,” the statement said.
Each child receives a rubber bracelet and a coloring book, organizers said.

This video shows a sheep named "Brenna" and her new lamb, born this spring in Bethany, Conn.

More information is available at www.asktheanimals.eventbrite.com or by calling 203-946-8835.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Does God make the baddest ones the cutest?

By McKenzie Morrell

After the sudden death of my childhood dog, Brandy, my father made it pretty clear that a new pet would not be in our family’s future.
My mother, sister and I begged and pleaded. We even put together a PowerPoint presentation in hopes of convincing my father that a puppy was just what we needed, not to replace our beloved companion but to honor her.
After a few months he finally caved and we were on a search for a new family addition.
We ended up rescuing a puppy from a shelter in Little Rock, Arkansas… random right?
I thought so.
Our new pup got to take a plane ride right into New York, where we eagerly awaited his arrival. When we went to the pick up section at the airport an employee who told us that our puppy was a few minutes away greeted us. A small cat-sized carrier moved towards us on the conveyor belt… all of us looked at each other stating that that couldn’t be our dog. Keep in mind the dog we rescued was a golden retriever, lab mix. There was no way he would fit in that carrier… even as a puppy.
Needless to say, it was our bundle of joy; the 6-pound-pooch was adorably snuggled in the cat-sized cage. He was so tiny, we definitely didn’t expect him to be so small but were extremely excited to finally meet the little nugget.
Khody is our puppy’s name, weird spelling right?
You can thank my sister and I for that.
We wanted to get creative, and I think we succeeded. For the first few months he was very shy and quiet. He’d nestle right into your body and stay there for hours.
Well, his mellow personality couldn’t last forever right?
As he got older, he became more playful but still very quiet, I honestly don’t think he barked once for the first seven months of his life!
Now when he wants to get our attention, he nibbles at our feet, or paws at our arms.
Oh, and did I mention he cries like Chewbacca?
Yep, that sound comes out of his puppy dog mouth and we nearly pee ourselves whenever he does it.
Khody’s a little pain in the butt, he does the craziest things and sometimes isn’t the most well behaved dog on the Earth.
But we love him.
My mom’s right when she says that God makes the bad ones the cutest!
Our new family member has his moments, whether it’s chewing the carpet, or biting our feet whenever we try to leave the house but well all agree that he definitely was worth it. Sometimes my dad says we’ll send him back to Arkansas if he doesn’t get his act together… but he’s lying, he loves that dog as if he were his own child.
I’m pretty sure Brandy would have liked Khody. She never got the chance to have a pet companion but Khody definitely would have been her first pick… at least that’s what I think.
Our household will continue to experience Chewbacca like noises from our adorable pooch…
The funny thing is I’ve definitely convinced everyone around me that puppies from Little Rock, Arkansas are without a doubt masked Star Wars characters.

Editor's note: McKenzie Morrell is a journalism student at Southern Connecticut State University.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Give Hope a Chance

Hope has come a very long way.

But the once stray dog, rescued just before she was to be killed in North Carolina, has further to go.

And she needs help.

Rescued by Lisa Dickal and Will Teplen just before Christmas, Hope was brought to Connecticut and it turned out the then-emaciated stray was expecting, Dickal said
Hope had 14 pups but only seven survived, Dickal said.
The rescue team has since found homes for six pups, but one, dubbed Asia, shown in photo, still needs a loving family and so does Hope, Dickal said. Asia is now about 9 weeks old.

To help the process of finding a forever home, Hope and Asia will both be at New Haven Animal Shelter's Easter Bunny Portrait Fundraiser Event from 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 20 at TwoSmilingDogs located in The Playground Doggie Daycare 2 Toelles Road, Wallingford, Conn.

Dickal said among the disappointments in Hope's story was that what wwas to be a home was found for her, but the family then decided she was not the right match for them.
Dickal said that some "manners" Hope learned while she was a stray are still being worked out, including that she does have a sweet tooth for doughnuts she likes to snatch. But Hope is doing well with housebreaking, Dickal said. Hope is "extremely loving to people," and gets along with dogs and cats, she said.

"We are really desperately looking for a family that will give Hope patience, love and understanding," Dickal said. "We believe if someone could look past her flaws, and work with her to be a better dog, that they would have a wonderful lifelong companion."
The best circumstance for Hope would be a home that has a big fenced backyard and people to play with who would help her to become "the best dog we know she can be," Dickal said.
Hope is about 2 and is brindled Plott Hound mix; she is fully vaccinated and healthy, Dickal said. Plott Hounds are typically a rare breed to have; as they are the North Carolina state dog, she said.

For more information Dickal and Teplen, shown in photos with Hope, can be reached at dontshop.adoptapet@gmail.com

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided by Lisa Dickal

Friday, March 12, 2010

A very Unique dog

A Fidelco dog has done it again.

"Unique" the German shepherd led his legally blind owner out of a raging fire last July and last week was given the Animal Rescue Hero’s award by the American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter at their annual breakfast ceremony.
The fire occurred in Manchester, Conn. when violent thunderstorms swept through the state and a lightening bolt struck Bill Poldony’s home. The result, according to Battalion Chief Dan Huppe of the Manchester Fire Department, was a 30-foot ball of flame and a destroyed home.
But as the lights in Poldony’s home went out at 10 p.m. and fire began to consume the structure, Unique led him from the back of his home to the foyer where he was met by Huppe and the Fire Department.

According to Huppe, had two 500-gallon propane tanks erupted, “It could have been a different situation. In my long career as a fighter, I have never witnessed an animal response like this.”
Diane Auger, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter, also praised the guide dog’s response.

“Unique’s quick reaction in the face of disaster seems to be a common, yet extraordinary trait among all our heroes who we honored today. We are so very pleased to recognize Unique for putting her owner’s safety first without regard for her own well-being," she said.
Eliot D. Russman, CEO and executive director of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. said, the agency does "not specifically train our guide dogs for rescue work.

"However, their owner loyalty, focus on the job at hand, and intelligence comes to the surface when trouble arises. We are proud of Unique and most grateful that Bill survived the destruction of his home," she said.
The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield Connecticut, breeds, trains and places a unique type of German shepherd guide dogs with people who have visual disabilities.

Editor's note: All of the information in this post was provided by Fidelco. It is only lightly edited here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Saying goodbye to Rigby

By Ralph Villers

It happened far too fast.
Rigby had to be put down this Saturday morning. The details are not as important as what he meant to the whole family. Today, there is such an air of sadness around us, that's me, Patti and brother Linus - and the others who have been informed, Allegra, Cameron and Gooma (aka: Patti's mom).
As a cat should, he could sleep without provocation. Even on an old TV with an old B&W movie.
Patti has written about this most eloquently.
A winsome and cute fellow with his moo-cow markings, he loved to be skritched on and around his head incessantly. Too bad we humans had schedules so the all day sessions could not happen. No offense, he would just take a nap. He loved water, too! I had considered that perhaps he studied water to such a degree that perhaps he was trying to receive a PhD in hydrodynamics, or something. He also loved to get his water from the faucet.
A being who loved unconditionally, he was a fun fellow, the word winsome cannot be overstated. He had that happy-go-lucky air about him, always.
What a loss.
I am concerned about his brother, Linus, who is looking around for his brother now.
Who doesn't love Beanies??
Patti took Rigby to the vet, and but as I was home with Linus, and as the day moved along, he knows now is that he is missing - and wishes he were back, as do we...
A furry friend, three and one-half years is far too soon to be gone.
A loss that is immeasurable now.
Goodbye pal. We all will miss you :>(

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A fish tale

It looks like Mo the fish is not going to get her own story.
But that does not mean Tesla's Love does not want to share her story. We know she's an African cichlid and she lives in New Haven, Conn. with a person who loves her very much.
And to show that loves comes with fins as well as wings and fur, here's a video of Mo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aqua's Story

By Lisa "Elle" Merrai

We are a family of six living a charmed modern city life. A confluence of external and internal events have propelled us to reconsider a lifetime of assumptions and make some really big changes. Join us as we explore the new frontiers of conscious living.

“I think God gave pets shorter life-spans so we would learn to not take life for granted.” I said. I heard my voice speak these words as my mind and heart sank deeper. A familiar depth, but one I have not seen for more than twenty years.

My daughter paused and then said, “you should write a story about that.”

Mmmmmm. Maybe.

Aqua died today. A horse tripped over him. The horse my daughter rode. It was a perfectly timed collision of random events that resulted in a freak accident. No obvious signs of harm and yet he teetered and fell. On the way to the Vet his heart stopped. His spirit left his body in my children's arms. What can I possibly do to protect them from this moment? It is fraught with impossible questions. I wish it had been me there. Watching his soul drift away, knowing it was no one's fault. Why couldn't he have died in my arms?

Aqua was a gentle soul; our patient teacher, leaving indelible lessons in our hearts. His joyful energy and enthusiasm for the simple pleasures of a scratch behind the ear, a game of fetch or a swim in the water. He was aptly named for our family loves the water of the Bay and the Columbia. He was our water baby, our buddy, our boy.

If I ever felt lonely, he was there. If I ever felt scared, I would simply say “who’s there?” and his giant bark would scare away the shadows. Now it is we who must learn to chase away the shadows of our grief.

Aqua is buried on our land, but this is not our "forever" land. It seems like a cruel irony that he would die before we reach the land he in part inspired me to seek out. How can I go forward without him?

I know that Aqua wanted us to make this journey back to nature. I learned from our daily walks to watch the skies and listen to the music on the wind. He showed me that there is much more to know about the world than what is contained in books or other people’s experiences. Life is in the seemingly mundane. The simplicity of a roll in the grass, the gift of a sunbeam cascading in the perfect spot and the joy of games and laughter with those you love most in the world.

Unconditional love. Aqua never complained with each demotion as a new member of our pack was born. He accepted his place and loved each one with patience and devotion. He seemed to understand that the baby who poked him mercilessly would soon become the agile child who could throw his ball or over indulge him with treats. He seemed to genuinely love each of us in his own way as we each loved him in our own way, too.

Aqua was, in many real ways, our first child. He kept us awake all hours of the night as a baby. Tested our patience as a young pup and asserted his unique personality in the household. We made so many mistakes and he forgave them all.

Though he had been ailing for a couple of years, Aqua always perked up once we arrived in the NW for summer. I reassured him through all the moving and upheaval the past few months that it would all be worthwhile. He would soon be "home." I think he understood.

He was loved. And he loved us in ways we miss terribly. There was more than one heart that broke today. We will find a way to go on, with his spirit nudging us towards a richer life.

Aqua Vit 1997-2009 For more on this charming family: http://on-purpose.blogspot.com

Aqua Vit 1997-2009 from Elle Onpurpose on Vimeo.

Editor's note: This story is posted with immense gratitude to Lisa and Aqua.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inuk lost his fight

MYSTIC – We are sad to report today that Inuk, a Beluga whale who made Mystic Aquarium his home, has died.
In a statement released today, Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., said that Inuk, a 28-year-old male beluga whale that had been experiencing kidney failure for the past three weeks, unexpectedly died overnight. For the past two weeks, Inuk had been in stable condition, aquarium officials said in a statement.
“Despite the extraordinary efforts of aquarium staff, regular volunteers and additional volunteers from five different states, Inuk was unable to overcome the effects of extended kidney failure,” Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of research and zoological operations at Sea Research, said in a statement. “He will be missed by all. Inuk provided both staff and visitors with years of pleasure and educational inspiration. He was an iconic animal who captured the spirit of oceanic conservation and understanding.”

Aquarium veterinarians and researchers brought Inuk’s body to the University of Connecticut today, where they, along with staff from the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of his kidney failure, the statement said. The results of the necropsy will be available – at the earliest – in two weeks.

Inuk became ill on Jan. 29, when he began showing a lack of interest in food, the statement said. A blood test revealed a possible acute infection, further complicated by kidney failure. Since then, Mystic Aquarium’s animal care team had been working around the clock, giving Inuk supplemental fluids in an effort to clear his kidneys, aquarium officials said.

Mystic Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is considered a leader among AZA-accredited institutions for its expertise in beluga and marine mammal care.

About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit 501(c)3organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.

Editor's note: this information and photograph was wholly provided by Mystic Aquarium in a statement to the press. It is in its original form, lightly edited, as it appears on Tesla's Love.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When the going gets tough, dogs are there to help

MIDDLETOWN - When people needed help after the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant on Feb. 7, Joe Gore, of Bolton, Conn., and his pal, Zappa, were there.

Zappa, a Fidelco German shepherd, shown here with Gore, "worked through the night at the site of the deadly" explosion, seeking to find survivors, Fidelco said in a statement.

The power plant explosion killed five people and injured about two dozen others.

Gore and Zappa, a Fidelco “career change dog,” have been doing search and rescue work for the last 2 1/2 years as members of Connecticut Task Force 1. which finds, extricates and provides immediate medical treatment to victims who are lost or trapped within collapsed structures, the statement said.

Gore also is a long-time supporter of Fidelco and has raised eight “foster pups,” including his current foster “Zinc,” the statement said.

“Talking with Joe and seeing Zappa as they came from the devastation of the Middletown power plant reminds us all how lucky we are to have teams like them available when disaster strikes,” Eliot D. Russman, CEO and executive director of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., siad in the statement. “The fact that Zappa’s breeding and work ethic makes him valuable in search and rescue is even more gratifying.”

Fidelco, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield, Conn., breeds, trains and places its own, unique type of German shepherd guide dogs with people who have visual disabilities, the statement said.

It "pioneered In-community Placement in the United States; a process that allows guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work," it said.

Fidelco relies solely on the gifts and the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations to help it “Share the Vision.”

Editor's note: the information contained in this post was provided by Fidelco. Tesla's Love would like to offer special thanks to Jack Hayward of Fidelco, for permission to share this story and the work he does to get the word out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's never pretty when dogs get political

Tesla's Love hereby promises that it will never be political.

That said, Tesla's Love has a lot of friends in a lot of places, and sometimes those friends wear their hearts - and ideas on their heads.
In this case, quite literally on their heads.

So, after we received an e-mail from our friend Melanie that said, and we quote, "There's a site on Facebook called 'Can This Poodle Wearing a Tin Foil Hat Get More Fans Than Glenn Beck.' Of course I became a fan, and the whole household expressed their solidarity. Note: Beck wrote a book about his religious conversion "An Unlikely Mormon." He also talks about using a shovel to beat people that he disagrees with," we had to explore further.

Just what did the statement "the whole household expressed their solidarity" mean? At Melanie's house, everything is adventure and pets rule the roost. The results of their solidarity are shown here.

Editor's note: the images here are solely an expression of the animals' opinions and Tesla's Love does not take a stand on Glenn Beck. Or on rabbits wearing hats.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bogey was the man

This big guy with a big heart gave a lifetime of love

By Bridget Albert

I remember the first time I saw Bogart; it was love at first sight.

His beautiful high black face mask and deep golden color were spectacular. His feet were absolutely huge and his puppy breath was intoxicating. But I wasn’t sure he was the right great Dane for me. Driving down the road leaving the kennel I turned to my friend Mary and said something like "I want him." She looked at me and said "I know. Call the kennel."

And the rest was history.

Bogey soon after became the most wonderful companion one could ever ask for.
He immediately took over the futon in the den calling it home. That mattress has been replaced several times during his tenure on it.
He always kept me on track with feeding times, getting up and marching into the kitchen reminding us it was dinnertime.
And when he realized it was time to go for a ‘car ride’ he would squeal with delight. In his younger days he would leap into the air.
And he had his best girls. When Pat would stop by, Bogey would forget about everyone else in the room and lay at her feet. Of course that was only after she showered him with love. Lorraine was the same way. They would go out into his playpen (a 20 x 20 6-foot high fenced enclosure with pea size gravel) and have ‘personal time."
I was never allowed to know what those conversations were about.
When Bogey was about 5 years old we took a vacation and he went to the kennel. As soon as we returned and brought him home he had to go back for a few more days because of a family emergency. When I brought him home again I had to go right back to work. Something inside me urged me to check on him at lunchtime.
Thankfully I did.
Bogey had bloated due to the stress he had been under. Bloat is a very serious lethal canine condition.
Following a week of surgery, cardiac consultations and medical melee I was faced with the difficult decision. They said there was nothing else they could do for him, implying his time had come. I just couldn’t give up on him. There was a look in his eye that told me he was counting on me.
I brought him home and syringed food into him all weekend. Friends came by, looked at him and just shook their heads at me not wanting to say those terrible words.
That following Monday I was on my veterinarian's front steps when she opened.
Dr. Kim, who had been on vacation during this ordeal, kept him all day. When I picked him up he was able to walk out to me and he took a biscuit from her. A true breakthrough. We all cried with relief and happiness.
He was finally on the mend.
The next several years were challenging with Bogey. He had to have a very specific diet, If he ate too much it would come back up. If he did not eat enough other problems would develop.
There weren’t many vacations those years. His care was too all consuming.
And then we found the most extraordinary boarding kennel, Larkin’s Run in Durham. Bogey thrived there and they showered him with love, catering to his many special needs. They gave us peace of mind.
Last Thanksgiving we had a very special vacation in Provincetown thanks to property owners who allowed Boo to stay with us.
Bogey loved having a beach and ocean water right outside his door. He absolutely loved going up to the fence and saying hello to all the people strolling the beach. Lesley too loved the property because she was able to visit with the dogs strolling. It was truly a wonderful weekend.
This past November Bogey took another turn for the worse. He was having significant problems with his rear. Losing his balance. He was also in severe pain.
With the assistance of Dr. Kim we sought out acupuncture treatments for him and found a truly compassionate veterinarian in Dr. Greg in Northford. He gave Bogey considerable relief to the point he was able to get off pain medication.
Bogey spent Christmas at Larkin’s Run one last time.
In January Bogey went down hill quickly. Unable to move and in severe pain we had to make the most difficult decision one can possibly make.
Bogey crossed the Rainbow Bridge to be with his buds Prudence, Lady Jane and Sophie.

This story first appeared in the Milford-Orange Bulletin. Tesla's Love reprints it here with gratitude to its author.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Help animals have a haven

By Pam Landry

I am honored once again to be hosting this year’s wine tasting for The Animal Haven in North Haven.

It will take place at Aunt Chilada’s, 3931 Whitney Ave. in Hamden, from 6-9 p.m. on March 10.

Last year’s event drew a great crowd and several thousand dollars were raised for Animal Haven’s Emergency Medical Fund.

We basically “took over” Aunt Chilada’s with the bulk of the silent auction items set up downstairs and the party upstairs.

Animal Haven is still looking for auction items from local businesses and the items can be goods and/or services. All proceeds go to Animal Haven.

Last year, people were very eager to bid on items.

I get to act as host for the silent auction, which is a lot of fun; the items up for bid were great and I always find that “animal people” are the most fun people to be around.

There also will be a fifty-fifty raffle, where the winner gets half of the money collected on the raffle.

Some of the auction items include tickets and passes for things such as Red Sox and Rock Cats games, Lime Rock, Long Wharf Theatre, and the Block Island Ferry. Also CD’s and DVD’s and all kinds of customized baskets.

It’s a great night, lots of fun and good feelings and all to benefit the critters at Animal Haven. I am looking very much forward to it.

For more on Animal Haven, visit: http://www.theanimalhaven.com/

Friday, February 5, 2010

Savannah brings smiles

She's also got Esther Williams style

By Ann Nyberg

So this is my dog Savannah Jane.
She has a million nicknames, Nanna, Schmookington, Bun, whatever, none of these names makes any sense, they're just all terms of endearment.
She's a 7-year old yellow, make that white, lab.
The joy this dog, or "hog" as we also like to call her has brought to my family is unbelievable. Of course I know all dog lovers feel that way, but truly, our lives revolve around Savannah.
The great thing about labs is that they just want to be around people all the time.
She has been great company to my three daughters and to my husband, she really is his little buddy.
In the evenings, while I'm at work, Savannah and Mark have their routine. In the winter when Mark goes out for wood for the fireplace, Savannah has to follow with a stuffed-animal in her mouth.
At 75 plus pounds she enjoys sitting on Mark's lap.
Do you have this visual in your mind?
If there is outdoor grilling going on, each time the there is a "check" on how things are coming along out there, Savannah has to accompany Mark. It's a riot.
We have a pond in our back yard that Savannah uses as her pool. When she is in it treading water, she becomes Esther Williams Hog (of course a reference to the Hollywood actress who dove and swam her way into stardom).
Family and friends get such a kick out of this scene.
The rocks around the "pool" are designed to allow easy in-out access for the Hog. We would not want her to be stressed in anyway.
At any rate, life with a dog is so much better and so much richer than life without one.
Savannah, you are one lucky gal!

Editor's note: Tesla's Love has it on good authority that Savannah Jane also is rumored to know how to shut doors behind her. We would not be surprised if this turns out to be true.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

True puppy love

The Jewish Home and Chapel Haven show the difference pets can make.

The Jewish Home says "a wet nose and a wagging tail" is sometimes the way to help provide the "highest quality services to its frail and elderly residents while meeting their individual social, emotional and spiritual needs."

What's not to love about that?
The home has a dog in residence, a black Labrador retriever named Hakay, who is affectionately also dubbed Joe.

The agency says "The move to a nursing home is difficult at best, but for those residents who must leave behind a beloved pet, it is devastating. Many withdraw and become reclusive. Some even stop communicating. Through pet therapy, residents are able to experience the joy and unconditional affection that an animal visit provides."

That hits right home for us at Tesla's Love!

In a statement, the agency said the pet therapy can include "a simple visit to a patient to provide company, or a more structured program to provide stimulation and muscle-coordination retraining to a stroke victim, or independent living assistant to the physically handicapped."

And, "The mere presence of a dog may motivate a response in the non-communicative patient. It can stimulate the recall of memories and help sequence events in patients with head injuries or chronic degenerative diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease, and teach appropriate behavior patterns in those with emotional disabilities (Goldman, 1990)."

The agency also teams up with Chapel Haven, a residential program "committed to providing a lifelong network of individualized support services for adults with cognitive and social disabilities, enabling them to live independent and productive lives," it said in a statement.

The participants have challenges such as Asperger’s syndrome and autism.

A partnership was formed between Chapel Haven and the Jewish Home to foster a symbiotic relationship that benefits both the young people and the elders. Eighteen years later it still flourishes, the statement said.

Chapel Haven volunteers visit with residents and help with activities programs, transportation and assist in creating materials for crafts projects and displays by cutting, sorting and organizing supplies.
The motto of Chapel Haven, Every person is to be treated with respect and dignity, meshed well with the philosophy at the Jewish Home, Where Caring and Tradition Meet, the statement said.

An added program is evolving that bring more pet visits to residents on the nursing units. Cailean Oerkvitz, shown in top photo kneeling, is a graduate of the Chapel Haven program and has a special affinity for animals. He spent time at the local animal shelter where he was trained as a pet therapy facilitator.

Now he is able to make weekly pet visits to residents who express an interest or who have a history of enjoying animals.

“You cannot minimize the impact of these encounter for the residents,” Sharon Louchen, director of Therapeutic Recreation, who coordinates the Pet Therapy programs, said in the statement.

“Non –verbal and withdrawn residents demonstrate visible responses to animals.”
For more information, visit http://www.chapelhaven.org/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

He's not quite a baby beluga

But Inuk is quite beloved by staff and vistors alike at Mystic Aquarium

MYSTIC – Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., reports with "great sadness" that Inuk, a male beluga whale, is experiencing kidney failure.

Animal care staff are working around the clock to monitor and care for Inuk, the facility said in a prepared statement.

The beluga showed a lack of interest in food and a blood test revealed a possible acute infection, further complicated by kidney failure, the statement said.

Since then, Mystic Aquarium’s animal care team has been giving Inuk supplemental fluids in an effort to clear his kidneys, it said.

Dr. Allison Tuttle, staff veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium, with support from Dr. Lawrence Dunn, veterinarian emeritus, has been leading the team monitoring and treating Inuk’s condition, the statement said.
“We have been in frequent contact with other facilities that house belugas, as well as leading experts in nephrology, to share information and provide the best treatment possible,” said Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of research and zoological operations at Sea Research. “We are remaining hopeful that we will be able to restore him back to health.”

Inuk, 28, came to Mystic on an extended breeding loan in 1999 from the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Wash, the statement said.

Typically, the life span for belugas under human care ranges from 25 to 40 years, the statement said.
This information was provided by Mystic Aquarium. The beluga shown is not Inuk, as he is under the weather.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Must love dogs

Well, it's not secret that we here at Tesla's Love really love dogs - we love all pets really - but are quite upfront about the dog, um, connection.

That said, you've got to see these dogs, brought to you by Gary Choronzy, from his most amazing and truly great photography, mostly in and around Branford, Conn. An example is shared above of the very handsome Butch.

Enjoy: here