Three Muskateers

Adrenaline fits in pretty good with the other dogs, none of whom seem quite to know what to make of her.  The bigger boys are sometimes annoyed by her predilection for standing up on her hindlegs and playing the bongos on their muzzles (small dog equivalent of “LOOK AT ME!!  LOOK AT ME!!”).  Dexter just moves his head, but Tweed will take her whole face in his mouth and growl ferociously down her nostrils and eyeballs.  I should probably not let him do that, but I find it endlessly amusing.

Winter is great friends with her – they are usually sleeping together somewhere (Spring’s nose is VERY out of joint; Addy has even taken over ear and eye cleaning, much to Spring’s disgust) and outside he enjoys chasing her around.  She can run like the wind – even if she didn’t get real Italian Greyhound legs, she can still run circles around just about any dog she encounters, except real greyhounds.  And it’s a good thing she can outrun the other dogs too, because I have to really keep an eye on her around The Terrible Terriers when they both start playing with her … sometimes I worry as they start to look less and less like they are playing with her and more like the are toying with her (think cat+mouse).  I believe this is what they call “predatory drift” – they are all playing, she starts shrieking, the terriers get all over excited and then Addy ends up like this:

Her shorter legs are probably a blessing – she looks ridiculous, but at least she hasn’t snapped any.

(Long dog is LONG.  Terrier dog is HUNGRY)

10lbs.  She’s so wee.

But not as wee as Cancer Dog, my little Gemma Beans.

She’s like 5lbs.  And riddled with cancer, poor dear.

Gemma came in with an ACO who had picked her up and she was one giant MATT.  Her toenails were so long they were growing through the matts in her feet to touch the bottom of her pads again :(  I don’t even know how she could have walked anywhere, especially since her hind legs were actually matted together. :(


But that wasn’t even the worst of it.  The most terrible thing about her was the giant cancerous tumour growing out of her abdomen.

***WARNING *** this is gruesome.








It was actually a tumour inside of a tumour, we later learned.  One cancer wrapped around another.  Just generally awful all around.  It looked, obviously, horrible and it smelled even worse.  Her incision, when they removed it, went from nearly her neck all the way down to her hoo-hah.

When I took her in to have her staples removed, they found another mass growing right at the bottom of the first incision.  And by growing I mean it was measurably bigger by the day.  A few days later she had that one removed too … and by then it was half the size of the original one (though not as “insides on the outsides” looking).

Her histopathy report came back with “Prognosis Poor” scrawled across the front.  Words to break my heart, for little Gemma thinks the sun and stars revolve around me.  Maybe this is the first time in her sad little life that she has felt loved, and she returns it by the bucket load (I could do without the “love” she shows my ankles every day, but otherwise, it feels pretty good to be this adored).

She has a home for life with me, for her life will not be very long.  The second tumour was in a lymph node, and they give her weeks, months at the very best if it does not spread to her liver.  And we’re making the most of it.

(She’s a sharp contrast to little Addy, who can take or leave me.  Addy thinks I am her personal heating blanket, but she loves everyone she meets more than me.  I’m not even sure she actually likes me, to be honest.  I know she thinks I’m mean, as I’m forever telling her to “stop digging that hole” and “don’t drag the puppy around!” and “stop stepping on Gemma” and of course the infernal “sit” command, that took weeks to sink in and is still spotty at best.  She’s either extremely willful or extremely stupid.  I’m still not sure which.)

It’s been a rough year at work, we’ve seen a lot of bad things, and it takes its toll.

You might have seen Prudence, our mangy, emaciated doberman puppy left on a roadside for dead, wrapped in a shitty old torn up coat, just before Christmas:

She was all over the news.  She’s doing a lot better now though!

And of course there was my torn up Martini last summer.

She looks fantastic compared to the absolutely SHREDDED dog that came in a couple of days ago.  I can’t even post photos of it yet, but it looks like a pack of wild dogs have been ripping it up on this dog every 10 days for the last year.

I know what I signed on for when I took this job, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

But you know what DOES make it easier?


This is the new puppy of one of the girl’s I work with.  Her name is Holly and she is mostly French Bulldog with a little Boston Terrier tossed in.


Another gal at work got this Dachshund puppy.  She is hilariously adorable!

I am painfully surrounded by puppies all day at work.  My boss is picking up her new puppy tomorrow.  S’not fair!  I am so jealous!  *I* want a puppy!

But not a kitten.  Kittens are disgusting and ugly.

Here’s a canary!

(those of you who have emailed about photo sessions, I am going to be emailing you all shortly to start booking, now that I have nailed down the space and making it work for me!)


  1. Thank you for giving Gemma the love and affection she needs, and for the job you do every day at the shelter! No dogs should be mistreated like the ones you have posted about. Dogs are the BEST friends a human could have, and some humans are simply undeserving.

  2. You do good work out there.

    Love the canary photo, that’s a bird with some sass.

  3. Hi, food lady.
    I LOVE your photos. I thought we might be interested in this from today’s NY times.
    You already do what he suggests, maybe you can be as monetarily successful as he is.

  4. THANK YOU for giving Gemma a soft place to be loved for the rest of her days, however many of them there are. She’s adorable. Hospice takes a huge heart, and we know you have that in spades.

  5. poor baby Gemma, thanks for giving her love before it’s her time to cross the bridge, there is a special place in heaven waiting for you, thank you for what you do for these dogs

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