Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Up and Up

There is no greater gift than the gift of a solid poop on your bedroom floor, or at least that was the case with us earlier this week! Poor little Honey has the runs so bad that we had to keep her crated because she was covering out home in poop! Yuck!

Since yesterday it seems like she is finally on the up and up, which is so important because she really needs to gain weight. She ate all of her food and MORE yesterday which I was very pleased with, and we managed to avoid accidents in the house. We'll see how today got but at least we are making progress in the right direction!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Honey Pie, please don't die!

I say that half in jest. I hate puppy mills a little more every day, and I can't understand why legislators and law enforcement folks can see pictures like this and just let it slide.

We just got a new foster last night who is a Boston Terrier but looks like a sphinx. She is SO thin, almost hairless and has huge ears and a small head. She's got long gangly legs and she walks around like a tap dancer. I assume this is from sore paws during her life in a cage. She's almost four but looks like she is 12. So sad...

The good news is that while she almost looks WORSE than Bill did when we got him out of the woods, I think that psychologically she's actually much better. Bill was dead inside...he wouldn't move or look at us. He just sat. This little "Honey Pie" dances around the house, plays with Bill and approaches us for sniffs. Dylan (husband) is working hard on turning that into pets right now.

We've got hope...she's eating so hopefully she'll be putting on some weight and fur soon! Also looking on the bright side, Bill is being an impeccable little "big brother" (he's a year younger). He looks huge and happy next to her. I hope she'll be looking huge and happy next to someone else soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Bunny in the Bush

Bill has been lonely without Tina so I took him out to Dry Creek early today to see some other dogs. We were almost back when he became very excited about some standard poodles who were about 50 yards away from us. Instead of taking the path he hopped like a bunny on crack through the tall grasses.

He was getting there fast until he was about halfway there. He tried to jump a sizable bush, didn't quite make it and disappeared. I wish I had been filming! It happened in slow motion...I could see it coming but there was nothing I could do.

A second later Bill came running back to me, grass stains on his head and paws, with a huge piece of the bush stuck in his collar! I had to laugh...this is what he gets for laughing at me when I fell in the creek last week!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's like she knew...

I've been fostering "Tina," another puppy mill breeder, since Friday. She's the type of dog that wants love but doesn't know how to accept it. She does a lot of flattening when she gets scared but has made significant progress over the past five days. She used to cower from joggers when we were out on the trail but now she proudly walks past them. She didn't accept any pets except in her bed until today when she let me love all over her the whole way to the trail as she sat next to me in the car. She's a great dog that needs some time and patience to help her boost confidence.

Anyhoo, a family contacted me who had a similar situation with a miniature Grayhound they adopted. The came up to meet her today and I was afraid that Tina would cower from their kids. Instead, at the dog park she let the 10 year old daughter pet her like crazy! She kept coming back for more! On the way home Tina licked my face, something that has never before happened. I think she knew, and she wanted to tell me "thank you for finding me such a great family." Well Tina, thank YOU for visiting Camp Duffy Buli Felckowski! We hope you enjoyed your stay and that you'll recommend us to your friends!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Humpy Birthday to you!

Bill had an extraordinarily good birthday today! He doesn't usually take much of an interest in the tail end of other dogs but he knew that today was his special day. We went to the dog park and like the Conga line at a human birthday party, he initiated his own hump train. There was a basenji/chihuahua mix (so cute!) that he fell in love with so he decided to get his groove on. However, as he proceeded to woo her with his mighty rodeo skills a small jack russell decided to try and give Bill a ride! Three little dogs hopping down the path on each other's backs like a bunch of bunnies...

This is where you can say I'm sick...I yelled at him to stop until I realized what a cute picture it would be. Then I told him to get back up there but of course he was no longer interested. Ugh! I never got the photo but you can use your imagination. Or, instead, don't. Pretend I never brought it up. I mean, I probably shouldn't encourage you to think about Bill that way!

Well, birthday's over. I guess Bill will have to wait another year for his next Conga line!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I've Got Wet Foot

The water over at Dry Creek has been running fast and high lately. It has crept up so much that the beach is covered and the bank into the water is steep. Of course, this doesn't stop Bill from jumping in and splashing around. I think he really likes the splash of the water; he dances around and then attacks it as it rises into the air.

Today I thought I would give him a hand - he looked like he was having so much fun! I squatted down next to the water but as I reached my hand to splash I felt my foot slipping in the mud. I was a millisecond from completely falling in but I managed to get one foot down into the water to stop myself. I was wearing socks and sandals (yes, I've truly crossed the line into Boulderiteism) so my sock got soaked but what was worse ("worse than socks and sandals or worse than a wet foot?" you might ask) was that I jammed my thumb into a rock as I fell and bruised underneath my nail. Ow!

Bill helplessly watched the whole thing unfold. When I looked up he was behind me with an expression that said "are you OK?" That was sweet but I think the little jerk actually started laughing at me as I shook out my wet foot! I guess the next time we go to Dry Creek I'll leave my socks at home. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Trails, Skippy!

Today was an emotional one. The dog I have been fostering, Snowey, has been in limbo over the past week. On one hand, he's a licky, lovey, hoppy puppy who loves playing with Bill and cuddling with me. Just this morning he was zooming around Dry Creek at the pace of a race car challenging my little boy at every turn.

On the other hand, he nips everyone who walks through the door. It's not really his fault; he clearly has been abused. He's terrified of hands, especially the ones attached to men. Everyone who walks through the door goes " cute...come here little guy..." and puts their hands out, even when I tell them not to (you know who you are!). This doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't be biting people though, and it especially makes him difficult to rehome.

Well, a few days ago I got in touch with the greatest guy who told me he had similar issues with his dog and was able to work through them. He said he would like to do the same for Snowey. OMG, I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Snowey was going to have a home! This is especially wonderful because the alternative was looking kind of grim.

Anyhoo, today Bill, Snowey and I piled into the car and headed down to meet Snowey's new dad Rick and "brother," a Boston Bulldogge named "Wally." We met up at a baseball field to give them a neutral space to get to know each other. Rick and I sat and chatted while the boys worked out their differences with Bill as the referee.

Wally didn't want Snowey going near his daddy at first. They started out with hair standing on end and some very "toothy" attempts at "play." The introduction of a big plastic donut made the hair go down and the teeth refocus on the donut instead of each other. Things were definitely on the up and up from there.

The other exciting development was that Snowey actually let Rick pet him. That is, until it was time for the leash to go on. That wasn't happening so I helped Rick get it on and put Snowey in the crate in the car. I figured that once I was out of the picture Snowey would start clinging on to Rick and forget about me. Regardless, I chewed my nails for the rest of the day.

This evening I got the call which made it to me in the form of voicemail. It was Rick, and it started out kind of rocky as he recapped the first few hours. My husband actually commented on the horrified look on my face. However, by the end of the message it sounded like things were actually going pretty well! Snowey had eaten his food, allowed Rick to put him out to potty and even began playing with toys!

Friends, the impossible is possible when luck and opportunity collide. I think that Rick found himself the perfect dog and I was happy to be the conduit. Snowey is now Skippy, and I believe he's not only off to a better name but also to a better life. Happy trails, Skippy! Bill and I will miss you!

Now the big question is, who will touch our lives next?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Slow Progress

With rescued dogs it is always hard to tell how long it will take them to change any particular "bad habits" they might have. One thing is sure though, the first few days must be excused! I've fostered eight dogs now, which certainly doesn't make me an authority. However, from personal experience I can say that almost every dog (with the exception of Bill) changed significantly (for the better) after about two days at our house.

I think the reason for this is that they are usually just nervous about their new surroundings and probably also overwhelmed about the changes that recently happened in their lives, whatever that may be. When I take in a new foster I always expect that the first night or two is going to be pretty sleepless. After that we all seem to "get in the groove" and figure out what works.

Snowey is a great example of this. Our latest foster dogs was a spaz when we got him. As I mentioned earlier, he peed and pooped in my car as his first "hello!" The first few days involved alot of barking, crying and nervous non-stop running around. We're about a week in now and he's just sleeping on the couch next to me as I write.

Snowey still has some habits we are working on but he is shaping up to be a pretty darn good dog! This is the case with everyone except Bill, who took much longer to start showing new behaviors and actually required the help of other dogs to get him out of his shell.

The moral: when getting a new dog, don't get frustrated in the first few days or weeks. Each dog is different but there will definitely be some kind of adjustment period. Leadership and love are the two elements that I find need to be in place to help dogs feel comfortable.