Welcome to the Kuri K9 blog, Elisa! Please tell me more about yourself, and your background with dogs in general.
My name is Elisa and I was a professional singer but unfortunately I ended up with Thyroid cancer and my career ended very quickly. Most of my life was concentrated in music so that was a huge part of my life but my next passion and love in life was animals which is how I got started with that. I had dogs for most of my life, although they were larger dogs but they were always part of my life in some way.
And tell me about each of your dogs!
Sage is the oldest in the pack, who is almost 10 years old. She is a Longhaired chihuahua. The one dog who will go to people first and will never leave. Loves attention and making people smile in general. She is also the first I got from the 5. She was 3 years old when I got her as well.
Foxy was the next dog I got after Sage. I actually got her 3 days after Sage so they bonded pretty quickly. She is a Pomeranian and will be 8 in the middle of April. Most people when first meeting Foxy would call her shy but when you get to know her she has one of the funniest characters. She is a little clown who loves to play. Her trademark of course is her pink tail.
The 3rd dog I got was Mitzy. She is the 1st dog I got from a breeder. She is also a Longhaired Chihuahua. Originally when I had the 3 of them they were called Three Furry Beauties before I changed the name to The Furry Beauties. Mitzy will be 7 in June. She is only 3.6 lbs but don’t under estimate her size. Although she is the smallest in the group, she is in fact the Alpha and leader of everyone. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. She is also one of the most intelligent dogs I have ever had to date. Her problem solving skills for anything are truly immaculate.
Next is Toby. He came from a breeding situation in Indiana so I got him when he was 2 years old. He will be 8 in May. He is a Black and Tan Pomeranian. Toby probably gets the most attention whenever I’m at shows and seems to be one of the favourites for many. He’s just a handsome dude. A very docile character who knows how to look into your eyes and win your heart with his precious face. He’s also one of the best models and knows how to work a camera, that’s for sure.
Last is Pollyanna. She is a Longhaired chihuahua but often gets mistaken for a Papillon due to her butterfly like ears. She is 6 years old. She came from the same breeder as Mitzy. She is actually a dog I knew as a puppy and tried to get for a very long time. I fell in love with her the second I saw her but she was the last in her line and she was meant to continue on in the breeding world but fortunately for me she wasn’t meant to be a mom. She was meant for me and that’s how she entered into my life. She has a very spunky character. She either loves or hates someone. After all she is a chihuahua. One thing for sure is she prefers women over men for some reason.
How long have they been modelling and performing?
They started pretty early on when I got them. They started by entering best dressed contests which they won many. They have a very large collection of clothing which helped greatly. It also improved their stage presence and gave them amazing experience in front of the camera.
How to they prepare for a photo shoot? A TV shoot? A Pet Expo?
They are generally groomed often but if it’s specifically for events then I have them groomed 2 days before big events especially the Pet Expos. All events are generally the same preparation. Brush them all. Make sure they look nice but on a daily basis I always brush them anyways.
The Pet Expo is probably the biggest events for them. So I always have clothing sets custom ordered for each day weeks before that. Grooming is already taken care of. That’s pretty much it. They are not very hyper dogs, so they are very easy to deal with and take care of.
Let's hear about Berry directly from her mom, Jen:
I'm an experienced bird owner with multiple re-homed birds in my care. I came to know of Parrot Adoptions Ontario whilst searching for a local parrot rescue/re-homing service, as my heart is always open to taking in another small bird who would fit into my home and flock.
It is with great sadness I have to make the difficult decision to re-home this little girl, as she is too loud for my home (we have an attached neighbour complaining about the noise). I need to find her a FOREVER HOME with an EXPERIENCED BIRD OWNER that will be PATIENT and understanding of her behaviour, as well as offer a safe place for her VERY LOUD voice (apartments/condos/attached homes are not suitable).
Her name is Berry, she is 1yr 4mos old, and I am her second owner. She is on a pelleted diet, and receives fruit and vegetable chop every other day. Diet is very important with Quakers, as they are prone to fatty liver disease. Her wings are currently clipped, but she has started to molt out some of the clipped feathers. She knows a wide variety of phrases and whistles. Berry can bite HARD unexpectedly; she is not safe to have around young children. Berry's cage will require constant cleaning, as she poops A LOT, and likes to poop in her food dish. Berry enjoys baths/showers (she has her own shower perch), and loves when I sing to her. She doesn't get along with my other birds, but currently lives in the aviary room with them when she is not out of cage. Note: Female birds can lay eggs, which can cause health issues. Hormonal behaviour needs to be discouraged.
I am going to be very picky with whom I adopt her out to. She is a beautiful, smart girl, but requires a lot of attention, training/discipline and don't want her to end up getting passed around from home to home or even worse, used as a breeder. I feel it's my duty to offer full disclosure to any potential adoptee so that she ends up in the most suitable hands/environment.
Hello and welcome, Perry. Thank you for sharing Sisu's adoption story and process with us. Tell me about Sisu.
I began searching for a canine companion at the end of December, 2021. My go-to was adoption and going through a breeder wasn't something I entertained because I figured, "Well, there are so many dogs in shelters that need homes instead!" That was still very much true as I began my application journey for various pups through organizations across the GTA and in Southern Ontario. What I didn't expect? The lengthy applications and the fact that there was so much competition from other fur parents. Of course it's great that people are vetted so thoroughly before committing to a dog because it allows the shelter and the potential parent to assess whether they're ready for the commitment a fur child demands...but damn. What's the name of your current vet? Personal references? Can you send a video of your home and or photos of your crate? The backyard? What's the food you plan on feeding your dog? List two trainers you've contacted about training. How do you plan to discipline your dog? Do you believe in negative reinforcement? What does the term 'decompression' mean to you? List the type of enrichment you plan on giving your dog. List who will take care of your dog when you are away. The lists go on. Some shelters had more extensive queries than others. Many dogs were adopted before I even got a rejection email (yay! But also...womp womp). So I broadened my search.
Then I came across two beautiful eyes that stopped my heart. Sisu (then Morita) was a lab and border collie mix from a shelter called A Dog's New Life in Mexico. She was born in February of 2021 in Mexico and had an owner who starved her along with her sister (unknown reason - I would hope it wasn't with malicious intent but rather because food was scarce for themselves but there's no way of knowing now). Unfortunately, Sisu's sister was in such bad shape that she died. By all accounts Sisu was a playful, loving dog with lots of energy and a big smile to match. I fell in love and applied. Because of my recent dozen applications falling through, I didn't expect much. Then, a few days later I got a text from A Dog's New Life's adoption coordinator Jessica asking if I was still interested in adopting Sisu. I almost fell out of my chair.
Tell me about the process of adopting Sisu through A Dog's New Life.
The process from there was super smooth. Jessica asked me more questions about my home life and environment. I forwarded her pictures of the house and our yard so she could assess whether we had adequate space for our incoming pup. This lead to a call where Jessica asked more questions about my lifestyle, motivation for getting a dog, decompression period (the time a dog acclimates to a new environment and may display new or unwanted behaviors because everything, plainly, is so different). For once I was grateful for the lengthy applications I had filled out in the weeks leading up to our call because I had done so much research my eyes felt like they were going to roll out of my head.
Along with reviewing my application and our chat, I had to have Sisu exposed to cats to determine whether she had a high prey drive. I have four cats at home and couldn't risk an "excited or aggressive towards kitties" pup. Jessica put Sisu on a list to be exposed to cats through a foster's home. From there, she sent me photos and videos of Sisu cautiously walking alongside the cats and then sitting in front of them with her cute curled tail, completely at ease.
Once I had been approved with A Dog's New Life and I got the kitty confirmation I needed, it was time to book a flight. The dogs from the shelter need to be escorted with what's called a Flight Angel, a volunteer that flies down to Mexico and flies back with the dog or dogs. Within a week from the time of my initial chat with Jessica, I got confirmation that Sisu would be flying to Toronto from Mexico on February 14th, 2022, just in time to be our perfect Valentine.
Jessica was extremely transparent about the entire process and what the shelter would do with Sisu beforehand to reduce the financial burden on me for vetting when she landed in Canada. Sisu was spayed, treated for parasites (common in the area and easily spread in the communal area where the dogs spend their time), given a heartworm preventative, and had blood and stool samples taken 3 days before her flight to confirm she was medically sound.
Another dog named Marisol was adopted by a woman in Alliston, so luckily Sisu wasn't alone for the flight or journey to the airport. We were to meet at customs with a form indicating that we were adopting our dogs from Mexico through the shelter and paid a minor fee to have the dogs released to us. I didn't pay Sisu's adoption fee until after she was settled with me in Canada, which was very important to me. I mean, who wants to send $500 to a random organization in another country?
The process was amazing and the transfer that I completed the days following Sisu being in Canada was completed over etransfer. Jessica and the other staff at A Dog's New Life were with me every step of the way. Coordinating the flight. Messaging at the arrival. I still send Jessica pictures of Sisu and get her advice on doggy enrichment, feeding, and care. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. They are the real deal. They care. They connected me to the most beautiful dog that has already brought so much joy to our family.
For those who might be interested in adopting a pet from overseas, and so they know what to expect, what were the pros and cons of this long distance adoption process?
I really cannot think of any cons to adopting a dog from abroad, apart from the fact that perhaps some areas are more prone to certain issues i.e. TVT, though Sisu did not have this problem and A Dog's New Life was extremely proactive in providing treatment to dogs affected with the disease that were brought in.
The only other "con" I could consider was perhaps finding flights with the COVID limitations - I worried that with numbers rising restrictions may change and I wouldn't be able to bring Sisu home (clearly that wasn't the case).
So to anyone who is considering adopting a dog from abroad, do it. Especially if it is with A Dog's New Life. They do incredible work and my experience with them, as with many other's, was exceptional. With any shelter or rescue you consider, definitely do your research and try to see any reviews from previous fur parents. For shelters abroad, I would definitely do research on the country the dog is coming from (i.e. if there are any common illnesses or like indigenous to the area) in addition to your other vetting (you're interviewing the organizations as much as they're interviewing you!).
Finally, thank you for considering adoption and reading about my experience!
Meet Dana Hart, an Animal Wrangler, whose dogs also perform in film, television episodes, commercials, and model in photo shoots!
Follow Dana and her crew of acting dogs on Instagram! And check out their commercials, Music Videos, and more on the next page...
find out more about Asman & Hava in the interview video below, and contact Parrot Adoptions Ontario if you have the space in your heart and your home for these two sweeties...
Look at these cuties!
Saturday, April 23rd, 2022
12:00pm - 5:00pm
The Parkdale Hall
1605 Queen Street West, Toronto
I'll be there with information and discounts for Kuri K9 Massage services, but I will also be selling copies of my children's books! Stop by and see me and all the other great vendors!
Welcome to my new occasional biog series, where I present to you pet rescue stories, all about pets that have been adopted by Torontonians through overseas/long-distance adoption organizations.
First up, Rufus’s Rescue Story: adopted by Liliana in Toronto, through Rescue Dogs Lebanon - CANADA
Thank you for telling me more about adopting Rufus, Liliana! Please share Rufus's story.
Rufus will be two years at the end of August 2022. He was rescued by an organization called Rescue Dogs Lebanon - Canada.
He loves apples, steak and being with us. He has a trainer as he is very wild. He is not like a regular dog chasing after a ball. He is very curious about everything. Inspects every corner of a park and highly protective of us so managing his over excitement and recall is a focus right now.
He lives in the Upper Beaches. We do not have a fenced back yard but he enjoys two floors and a balcony, plus multiple walks a day.
I came across (Rescue Dogs Lebanon - Canada) on Facebook. They had videos and photos of the airport arrival and an album with pictures of adoptable pets.
The founder lives in Toronto and there is a vet in Lebanon and a team of volunteers working around the clock.
Rufus was found with his mom and siblings tied up to a pole. The person that had them fed them bones (his food was licking bones) and mom was outside in the rain and heat. The volunteer convinced the man to give them up.
So this young woman took the mom and the puppies with her. She feed them, took them to the vet and watched over them until almost four months of age.
For those reading this who might be interested in adopting a pet from overseas, what was the process for adopting Rufus?
I saw the story (on the Rescue Dogs Lebanon - Canada Facebook page) and had had a dream of a dog called Rufus with a brown coat. My partner and I felt a connection with the puppies. I sent an email and Cynthia (the founder) called me within a week. We chatted for a good hour. I shared with her my home by video and pics of my previous dog - I wanted her to pick me!!! She liked me and asked me to complete another form, which I did.
The application went through ok and I was able to get him and pick his name - Rufus (he happened to have a brown collar - just like my dream).
The rescue created a What's App group with the other adopter where they shared vet updates, videos, and pics. We became a family waiting anxiously for our babies.
There was a deposit paid closer to the arrival but they never asked for money right away.
We drove to Montreal Airport mid-December and all the puppies flew in with volunteers and a few other dogs, too. We met at airport and drove our baby home.
He was scared after flying so many hours and new home. He would hide and sleep at first a lot. He was probably so sad. Every day though he was better and more playful.
Rufus has been an inspiration and I started a foundation called Native Paws Initiative. https://instagram.com/nativepawsinitiative?utm_medium=copy_link
The organization aims to advocate for animals in Colombia (my home country) by working with non profits in northern part of the country.
Want to follow Rufus and Lilian on Instagram? @rufus_adogstale and @lilibaq
Check out my interview with Madison, Foster Coordinator at the Annex Cat Rescue, to find out more about Cocopuff!
My name is Cocopuff and I am a magnificent and hairy beast. There is an emphasis on the "puff" and regular brushing of my fabulous mane will be required, but the good news is that I love to be brushed. LOVE IT!
I like other cats but I can be a bit pushy around food so I am a little bit chunky and I need to have my intake monitored. I shouldn't be free fed.
I love to be pet, and I can be picked up and carried, even upside down like a baby. I am a former street cat and I can be a little nervous at first but if you give me some time to adjust I am very affectionate. I will need a patient adopter who will give me time to adjust to my new surroundings. I am looking for a warm lap to call my own, because I have definite lap cat potential. Could your lap be the one?
Find out more about Cocopuff from ACR HERE
Interview with Stephanie Durante, of Kiss My Mutt Training & Boarding...we talk about her dogs, Dapper and Quincy, who both have jobs!
Meet Stephanie Durante, proprietor of Kiss My Mutt Training & Boarding, and her two working dogs, Dapper (a decoy dog that works with Stephanie when she's training anxious, reactive dogs), and Quincy (who works in a therapist's office).
Find Kiss my Mutt Training & Boarding:
Regan is a certified Canine Massage Therapist (CCMT), has certification in First Aid and CPR for Pets, and some beginner training in Herbal Remedies and Aromatherapy for personal use.