50 Shades of Spay

All information provided by SpayArkansas.Org 

            The point of this article is to break your heart & then attempt to put it back together again with hope and inspiration to make a change. I feel there is no other way to make the impact needed without doing it this way. Let me break down the statistics for you. Each day in the United States it is estimated that more than 70,000 animals are born. That means roughly 25.5 million animals are born in the United States per year and an approximate 11 MILLION of them are euthanized. 11 MILLION. Over half of the dogs that enter the shelter (61%) are killed. Sorry, I hate to say it so bluntly like that but it’s the truth, they are KILLED. For all you cat lovers out there – 75% of cats that enter shelters are killed. Heart breaking? Let me go ahead and completely shatter it for you. Every 1.5 seconds a shelter animal is killed… These aren’t just animals that enter the shelter as strays or abuse cases. There are plenty of people who don’t base their entire life (living situations, vacations, etc.) around their pets like we do or simply can no longer afford to take care of their pets. People are constantly doing what is termed an “owner surrender” where people give their dogs to the shelter for whatever reason. Of those dogs that have been abandoned by their owners, over half (55%) are put down. Each year taxpayers are spending TWO BILLION dollars on what all is involved in putting a shelter pet down. I know if you’re taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog, this is not how you want your tax dollars spent!

Looking at the statistics for Arkansas (see chart below) was especially heart breaking when I looked at our numbers. 2013 Statistics

The Springdale Arkansas shelter, where Mulligan is from, put down over 300 dogs in 2013. Second only to Washington County, which includes contracts with small towns. There is hope however, thanks to one amazing Arkansas organization that is dedicated to lowering these rates in Arkansas, while at the same time making the luxury of having a pet both affordable and manageable for all social classes. This company is Spay Arkansas.

Spay Arkansas is right here in Northwest Arkansas and trying to lower these statistics for our state.   Since they opened in 2007, it has been their goal to work toward a better Arkansas that consist of less heart break by offering proactive ways to lower our local pet population – thus lowering our euthanization rates. Their services include, but are not limited to, low cost spay/neuter clinics, hosting public vaccine & micro chipping events and education for citizens on pet health. They have affected the lives of over 16,000 animals, averaging out to around 38 operations each clinic day!

spay-neuter-pyramid

Their name obviously shows what they are best known for; Spay / Neutering services!  On their website (SpayArkansas.Org) you can find a list of different agencies in different counties that offer low cost and discounted spay / neutering services! Making these procedures affordable and working with those who financially need the assistance to get these services done! Their website also addresses many of the myths & statistics that surround these procedures educating people on the truths and risk of NOT having it done. To put the risk of not having it done into perspective for you I have added a graph from a website that shows how many does ONE unneutored male and ONE unspayed female can produce! I feel a visual aid is always crucial to any important discussion! By lowering these numbers we can lower euthanization rates!  This isn’t their only order of operation though – there is so much more behind Spay Arkansas!

Once a month Spay Arkansas host a walk-in clinic for low cost vaccinations and microchipping! The best part is there are no income restrictions or residency requirements to obtain these services!  This allows for lower income families, or broke college kids such as myself, to still provide the vaccines needed to insure good health for their pet as well as microchipping which as you know is essentially a permanent collar so that agencies can locate a dogs owner!  Where micro chipping has not only the owner in mind, but the dogs safety & security, the vaccine services allow for a healthier pet population without the strain of vet bills or pressure some feel are involved with vet visits.  There is no judgement or guilt trips involved here – Spay Arkansas is just happy to see these animals being loved and cared for! Often time vet bills can get expensive and people worry that the vets office will judge them for their lack of “upkeep” on their pet without taking into consideration their financial issues! The amount you spend on your dog doesn’t always determine the love you have for it!

Spay Arkansas also helps feed our animal population by offering free dog food!  Even though it is first come first serve, it allows those who may be having a low financial month to still be able to feed their furry friend – instead of just dropping it off at the shelter and saying you can “no longer take care of it”.  These free services are so powerful because not only do they help dog owners in need, they can also lower “owner surrenders” at the shelter by offering alternatives to those who still want to love their pet and are just currently having financial issues! AMAZING!

Prada Pitbull Program is a special service that was created in 2012! This should be no surprise to you when you consider the amount of pit bull or pit bull mixes that arrive at the shelter.  Most of them, due to stereotypes and misconceptions, won’t make it out.  With this program, Pitbulls less than 50 pounds are only $10 to neuter & $20 if over 50 pounds! You can even get micro chipping for $10 if done the same day!

IT DOESN’T END THERE!

For those of you that are cat lovers, Spay Arkansas has a very special program for ferrel cats.  Even the homeless need someone to look out for them! With your help, Spay Arkansas is the company willing to make a change for the NWA ever growing cat population!  Like previously mentioned, 3/4 of the cats brought into the shelter are killed. We are all aware of how quickly stray cats can multiply! Spay Arkansas offers a service called TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) that is dedicated to helping ferrel cats. You can bring in your local ferrel cat yourself OR they even have traps that can be borrowed from the clinic.  From there they offer a $35 service to spay / neuter & rabies vaccinate the cat.  This fee can even be lowered depending on the circumstances! If you see a cat with the tip of their ear slightly cropped – this is a sign they have had these services done!

How can you help? Glad you were wondering! If you weren’t you should have been SO I will continue my train of thought! For those of you who are wanting to donate the website has a list of things that are needed that you can always drop off! Word of mouth is also huge and a form of empowerment that should never be underestimated! We can all share the word about what Spay Arkansas has to offer! Through this, more Arkansans can learn about the services they provide and use them! You may just tell someone in casual conversation who actually needs this service, or knows someone that does, and make a difference! The numbers speak for themselves and show Arkansas moving in the right direction.  Every year we are seeing a decrease in euthanization rates! For those of you who are visual learners I have made a graph just for you!

Bar Graph

As a state, we should continue to strive for lower euthanization rates in shelters! We are on the right path thanks to wonderful organizations such as Spay Arkansas!  This means less destroyed animals, less psychological damage done on those who work & volunteer for shelters, less heartbreak for animal advocates, and a better Arkansas!  Together we can continue this trend by spreading positive awareness about the risk of not spaying / neutering our pets, and the different options pet owners have financially to insure their pets are taken care of for a price that doesn’t hurt them!

Spay Arkansas Phone Number: (479) 756-1100

Website: http://spayarkansas.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpayArkansas

First Fundraiser!

Booster.com/LifeOfMulliganToday I launched my very first fundraiser in the hopes of raising money that could be donated to some of the local northwest Arkansas animal shelters! What’s the 411? The low down? I’ll get right to it!

Fashion is a way to express ourselves! A way to show off a little bit about who we are! I wanted to do something that not only raised money for the shelters but would also have a long lasting impact.  We all know money goes quickly.  I wanted to create a fashion forward product that could be worn by all different types of people, for different things, and raise positive shelter awareness at the same time! Thus, the #MulliganMovement tank was created!

With every purchase of a #MulliganMovement tank the money will be split up and donated to different northwest Arkansas shelters.  Every time you wear a #MulliganMovement tank you will be raising shelter awareness! How? Though the front of the tank has a cartoon image of Mulligan, at the bottom is #MulliganMovement and huge across the bottom back of the tank you will find #ShelterAwareness! The cartoon of Mulligan with his tongue out, bow tie and unique ears will be the attention grabber while the hashtags will do the quality work!

What this does is create curiosity, inspiring onlooker to research more about what you have on! The hopes for this is that those who see you will utilize the smart phones at their finger tips to google about shelter awareness! Letting google stumble them upon different things that involve the shelter and perhaps even get them looking at all the lovely animals at their local shelter waiting to get a loving home!

These stylish tanks would be great worn in many different ways! Possibly a fun unique look pairing it with a cute cardigan and fun pants/shorts! You could wear this tank as a casual outfit paired with jeans or shorts and even wear it as work out attire or  swimsuit cover up! The options are unlimited which allows Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.01.42 PMfor it to be seen in many different situations by various different people.

If you would like to purchase one, or donate to the cause, you can go to WWW.Booster.Com/LifeOfMulligan which will take you right to the page and link to get you all set up! These shirts will be selling now until March 2 (as of now!)! All purchases are more than appreciated, not only by myself and Mulligan but the local shelter pets who will benefit from the donations! My goal is to sell 50 shirts! I have to sell a certain amount for the company to print them! If that amount is not obtained Tank Ideathey will reimburse everyones purchase and the donation will still come to me to give to the shelters! 

I am also offering T-Shirts that come in kids, youth, and adult sizes! They are only $25 and can be found  at Booster.com/MulliganMovement! The t-shirt’s will be for sale for three weeks!

With love,

-Lindsay & Mulligan

The Drive-Thru

Since Mulligan goes ANY & EVERYWHERE with me he has started a new trend.  IMG_0125

A rather funny one.

When I first got Mulligan, he hated the car and like I said in my previous post, up until he came home with me, he associated car rides with ending up at the shelter and getting his balls chopped off! Can’t blame him for despising the car with a burning, fiery passion.  When we first started making the rounds together, Mulligan would lay down in the passenger seat with his head on the arm rest relaxing or in the back seat singing & doing his best Miley Cyrus impression.

After driving for a couple weeks, I started picking up on all of the dog friendly drive-thu places around town – and so did Mulligan! This changed EVERYTHING!! Mulligan began to love riding in the car.  So much so, that now when I pull up to a drive-thru, he crawls over to the speaker like it’s their life purpose to give him a treat! I mean after all everything DOES revolve around Mulli.

Not only did I love seeing the companies that were dog friendly, but it made me want to support their company more! It also helped tremendously with changing Mulligan’s perspective on car rides! So where are all these secret golden eggs hidden around town? Let me share! IMG_9653

  • Starbucks! We love coffee – it may be the soul reason we survive all the craziness at our house!  We make frequent Starbucks runs throughout the week and discovered they have what’s called a “Pupachino”- which is pretty much the best invention ever! It allows Mulligan to enjoy the amazing bliss and key to survival we call Starbucks & makes him feel special! Just when I thought we couldn’t love Starbucks anymore… We found out they were dog lovers AND WE LOVED THEM EVEN MORE!
  • Chick – fil -a! I don’t have to explain the awesomeness of Chick-fil-a  because there is a universal understanding of it’s greatness!  They invented the chicken sandwich and for that we are all forever grateful BUT did you know that they hand out dog biscuits at the drive-thru window?! Now I can distract Mulligan from the smell of the chicken long enough to get my to-go bag into the car!DSC_0558
  • McDonalds!  Next time you run to get your Big Mac or Egg McMuffin’ and your furry lover is in the car, McDonald’s also hands out dog treats at the window!  Which is great because it means I don’t have to share my fries with Mulligan – go ahead, judge me! But I can’t say no to that sweet baby face when he wants to know where his stuff is! The treat makes me feel better about being selfish with my fries!
  • Sonic (Not ALL): Several Sonic locations, offer you a dog treat when they bring out your meal. Since they have the perfect set up for customers to dine in their car with their dogs, one of the workers said “they see dogs all the time!” If you happen to go to a sonic that doesn’t serve dog treats, for 50 cents they will bring out your pup a mini hot dog!
  • Ice Cream Places: Many different ice cream places offer what is called a “Pup Cup” which is exactly what it sounds like! A miniature cup of ice cream for your dog! Mulligan HIGHLY approves of the pup cup and the beautiful girl he swooned into feeding it to him!
  • The Bank: Depending on which bank you use, bank tellers will often send out a treat to Mulligan in the car! It IMG_9650makes dealing with the bank that much better!

Needless to say, these are just some of the places that have “pet-friendly” drive-thrus and we are all about them! They just secured our coming back again, and more frequently! Obviously, choosing a pet-friendly place over a pet-unfriendly place! For all of of you “pet-unfriendly” drive-thrus, Mulligan will be mean muggin’ you as we drive by to one of our preferred pet-friendly establishments!

Sending Love To Those In Need

I am so excited about this upcoming Valentine’s Day! Not because of the main stream hype society has created around the holiday as they usually do for profit, but because it gave me a reason to give back! Taylor & I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day like everyone else with an expensive dinner, gifts, and the usual. We firmly believe the spirit of Valentine’s Day is everyday if you’re with the person you love.  However, I still love the fun, sweet, and often quirky Valentine’s Day cards that get passed out! You all remember those days – in grade school when you had your big Valentine’s Day party and everyone passed out the cards they had picked out! OR if you were really lucky you got ones that were hand made, those were the best! Something about those small cards seemed to always put a smile on everyone’s face!

I wanted to do something to put a smile on someone’s face – the old fashion, young way!  I started thinking…

I started thinking about Mulligan who was snuggled up on my lap and is always an inspiration of mine.  He LOVES kids.  He will give them free hugs, kisses, and snuggles all day long, which went perfect with my card idea because that’s who they bring the most joy to, kids!

So I started thinking which kids need a little joy the most? That was easy, I quickly thought about all of the kids currently located at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock (my home town) and St. Jude in Memphis (not too far away). I cannot think of children more deserving of a smile than the children who are currently fighting for their lives in these hospitals.

For those of you not familiar with Children’s Hospital, it is a pediatric hospital & a level one trauma center located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the sixth largest in the United States and treats children from birth to early twenties for any and everything! It’s THE BEST!

St. Jude is a Children’s hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee treating kids with life-threatening diseases and fighting cancer.  The research and work they do there is incredible.

One of the many great things about Mulligan is he gives me the opportunity to do fun things like this – the chance to touch others lives in different ways! My idea came to me!  I didn’t want to be the person who picked random cards off the shelf, nor would I be able to hand make hundreds of cards, so I decided to do best of both worlds! I would use some of my favorite pictures of Mulligan & turn them into custom Valentine’s Day cards for kids! Kids love dogs, right?! I quickly started picking out some of my favorite pictures and thinking of fun quirky sayings that were both appropriate for children and cute for the holiday! This was no easy challenge! I wanted pictures that showed off Mulligan’s personality and made the kids smile.  That was the easy part! The hard part was thinking of different things to say.  I gave it my best haha! The different women I spoke with at the hospitals to make sure it was ok probably saw my crazy dog side the second I started to explain.  “Uh, hi, I’m a dog blogger and I was wondering if maybe it was ok for me to send the kids Valentine’s cards with my dog’s face on it and quotes”. They were super sweet and told me that would be just fine and the guidelines to follow.  So I started – this is what I came up with …If I were a leaf...

This was card one!  I loved this picture because I thought his goofy facial expression might put a smile on someone’s face – after all that was my entire goal!  With the leaves on his head, I felt the saying was short, sweet, and understandable for different ages! Plus who doesn’t love a cheesy pick up line? Card 1 complete!

Baseball Vday Card

When I started planning my second card, I wanted it to be one that was targeted more toward the boys! Something sporty! So I picked Mulligan’s picture from his World Series Post! I felt this picture both targeted boys and at the same time young girls who weren’t as girly girl!  I’m not sure the hospital will take the time to consider these things, but just in case I wanted them to have the option!

Twoof you vday cardime for card three.  This one was easy and simple! I found a close up of this big juicy smile & stamped an “I Woof You” to the card! Simple. Cute. To the point!  I was hoping this one would remind some of the kids with dogs at home of the pure joy their life brings to their pets! A simple way of trying to bringing a dog’s love into the hospital! After all, dog is man’s best friend! Maybe if I’m lucky, one of the kids will talk their parents into adopting a shelter dog when they get to go home!

blow tie Vday Card

My mom wanted me to do a card that showed off his “Ladies’ Man” personality to try to charm some of the beautiful, brave, & powerful girls inside the hospital. I give all the credit of this card to Mama Souls! I sure hope there is a little girl who loves dogs as much as I do that will smile at this one!

lips vday cardFinally I ended with this picture! This card again was short and simple but the big red lips fit the holiday perfectly! Pucker up!

I realize this isn’t much when you consider what all these kids are going through.  I believe that it’s the little things in life that count though, and I hope that as these cards are passed out this Valentine’s Day to the children that just one of them gets a smile on their face! If just one of those kids smiles it was all worth it! They may not be sitting in a class room passing out cards with their fellow classmates and friends but I hope that they know how much they are loved and all of those who are thinking about them.  Wishing each & everyone of them a blessed and happy Valentine’s Day filled with love and giggles! After all, in this world children are one of the rare forms of magic we have – Children, love, and pets, of course!!

Welcome Home!

When Monday finally rolled around I couldn’t wait to go pick up my new fur baby! I had signed a sheet at the shelter requesting to be called before his surgery so that I could have a time frame of when to go get him – they never called.  As it started to get later in the day I called them to find out they had already done the surgery and he was ready to be picked up, thanks for calling to let me know? Not. Thats when I found out about some of the health issues we would be dealing with.  The lady started the conversation off with “Wow this baby has a serious ear infection & several other things we should go over.”  This scared me, not so much because of the cost because I would sell my left kidney for this dude, but because the lady had immediately over whelmed me.  I started wondering if I could REALLY trust a place that didn’t check the paper work and see my call request before touching him?  I needed someone, someone who looked hard core, to take with me to pick him up just in case I was getting scammed.  I felt they could hear my emotional concern and saw dollar signs, and Taylor (Mulligan’s dad) is way to nice to stick it to these people. So I called someone who was bald, the physical definition of a bad ass – my dad. Plus I knew I could trust him and he knows everything.  When we arrived at the vet the list of things they claimed I needed were a page long, single spaced.  However, the list included some outrageous things I wasn’t sure I needed at all & my dad confirmed my suspicions. I paid for medication for his ear infections as well as some other things I felt were needed right away and left planning on finding another vet immediately.

To prove my point: when I found an amazing new vet for Mulligan they called to get his paperwork sent over so that they could see what had been done.  THE PLACE CLAIMED THEY HAD NO RECORD OF US EVER BEING THERE!!!!! Good thing I kept the receipt, the paper work AND HIS SHOT TAGS. Yep, they were just as freakin’ awesome as I thought they were. Pathetic.

Mulligan refused to get into the car when we left the vet that day to go home – can you blame him? His last two car trips ended at the pound and getting his balls chopped off.  His concern was understandable, so we had the vet’s assistance lift him into the car with me and off we went.  At home we had all new dog toys, bowls, treats, bones and any and everything else waiting for him! I was so excited for him and our new life together.  He hopped out of the car and right inside the house where we let his curiosity take over.  He didn’t do much exploring before he laid down in what seemed to be a mixed emotion of being scared, in pain, and happy all into one.  It was probably the drugs talking!The Power of Adoption!

Taylor & I spent all night comforting him – I slept downstairs right beside him to make sure he was ok and not having any difficulties from the surgery or being in a new home.  I was up every hour that night between trying to get him to fall back to sleep, after waking up scared or in pain, and trying to pull off the endless amount of ticks that were on him.  I DO NOT TOUCH BUGS. This was true love and those ticks were of all sizes (some still kicking’).

A sleepless night was well worth it to see this face in the morning. He was so excited the next day to not wake up at the shelter!  The difference between his expressions at the shelter and less than 24 hours home shows the true power of adoption!  THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD ADOPT! There is nothing in this world like a second chance, we all deserve them.

Don’t worry I loved him to death and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast & bone together before I spend the rest of the morning pulling off more ticks and trying to brush off all the dead flea’s with a fine tooth comb.  A friend and I literally laid on the ground with him and tried as hard as we could to get the bugs off – it was mission impossible.  I called his new vet and was recommended a groomer who said they could get him in right away and take care of the issue without messing up his stitches.  Im telling you this was an emergency, to say he was covered in dead fleas and ticks would be an understatement.

Skinny MiniHe came back from the groomers (who bragged on him saying he was the nicest dog ever!) with no more fleas & ticks! I was thrilled for him! This is when I noticed the sores he had on his skin… I assume from being infested with bugs, scratching, etc.  I treated the sores on his skin and even pulled bugs out of them. BLESS HIS HEART is all I can really say about that situation and the next few days that followed of me treating the spots & his ears.  Not only that, but shaving him made us realize how underweight he really was, exposing his spine and ribs that were showing.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, I got weird looks in public for a while & spent lots of time explaining that he was a new rescue – I wasn’t starving him!  For the weird stares and questions I got about his ears missing all I could say was the obvious, someone cut them off and who the hell knows why? I would like to cut their ears off.  It didn’t take long at all for Mulligan to trust me enough to doctor him up; skin, ears, weight and all.  He was happy to have the attention and I was happy to have him!

The One With The Dog Fight

This is about the time I was mauled by a man eating beast disguised as a cute fluffy dog.  Ok.. so I didn’t get “mauled” but this dog did latch on to me like a chicken leg.  To put things into perspective for you, had I been a male I would have been neutered right then and there that day. This fluffy bundle of a man eating machine had been an instigator since we arrived at the dog park; biting (not playfully) several dogs, stirring other dogs up, the usual annoying “where’s the owner” type situation.  Mulligan has never, NEVER, been in a dog fight.  Never even kinda been in a dog fight. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, or so I thought.

Mulligan is very particular about his portable water bowl.  Why? Im not entirely sure.  Maybe it’s because he’s a shelter dog who still has a little fear of someone taking his stuff.  Maybe it’s because he’s a spoiled only child.  Maybe it’s because his gramps bought him the bowl on his first trip to War Eagle where he swam for the first time (at least since adopted).  Who knows. None the less he does not play games with his portable water bowl.  If he is drinking from it he doesn’t want any other dogs near his face.  I have seen him snarl his nose and growl should another dog try to push his way into the bowl, but never anything more.  He’s all bark – no bite.

There I am sitting down on the ground (yes I realize its a dog park & I am most definitely sitting on dog piss, if you have ever sat on grass you have most likely sat on dog piss too so…) sharing ear scratches and water with all the dogs when Mulligan came up for water.  I held his water bowl for him so he could get a quick drink and get back to chasing the ladies.  Then I spot the instigator, who proceeded to try to get Mulligan’s private water bowl.  Like always Mulligan snarls his nose at this dog (all bark no bite I swear) and thats when that evil dog bit mulligan on the side of his face. Mulligan did nothing back but you better believe I jumped up as fast as I could and stood between that dog and Mulligan.  Thats when he got me – right in the thigh.  Mulligan got a look on his face like I have never seen and choke slammed this dog off my leg like Hulk Hogan in his prime.  There was a legit WWF smack down going on  & as I pulled mulligan off this dog that dog WAS STILL BITING!!

Wondering where the owner is? Yeah, we were too.  She finally came up when it was all over and said “sorry, he likes to instigate”… thanks for stating the obvious. Mulligan was no longer interested in playing and sat and guarded me for the next five minutes so we decided to just go home.  Plus I was pretty sure my leg was bleeding. Hope that dog was up to date on his shots!

This is the day Mulligan had his first dog fight and I got mauled by a man eating machine disguised as an adorable dog! Watch your thighs at the dog park everyone – they can be mistaken as chicken legs.  It was at this moment I realized I needed to start doing squats! The tighter my thighs are the less the next dog will have to bite ahold of.  Workout E-Book has since been purchased along with workout supplies… So I guess some good did come from this event! It was just the motivation I needed to get into shape for the summer!

 Far Left: How It looked when I stripped down in the car to check it out.

Middle: Few hours later.

Far Right: Before I went to bed that night!