Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rock Star

It's been a week that we've had our newest foster dog, JayJay. He's been sick, so I haven't been able to give him as much exercise as I'd like, but he seems to stay entertained. His favorite thing is to come in from the yard with a big rock propping open his mouth. If we're out hiking, he'll carry one the whole way. I can't imagine rocks are good for his teeth, but I can't watch him every second of the day. I've provided him with plenty of bones and toys, but they don't seem to hold the appeal rocks do. As I write, he's desperately trying to get to a rock we've hidden on the counter top - nothing gets past this dog when it comes to toys and rocks!

We have to limit his toy time because his other favorite thing, besides jamming his mouth open with rocks, is putting a toy on your leg and gnawing on it.

Jayjay is actually a very sweet dog who will do anything to please you...he's just a little misguided right now about what is actually "pleasing." He's a good sleeper, he likes his crate, and he'd never intentionally harm a fly (although he is the size of a moose - okay, a very small baby moose - and when he steps on my toe or slams his giant head into my chin, it hurts!). Even when Bill snaps at him for getting too personal, JayJay just screams like a girl and runs away. This guy is truly a character whom we won't forget.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bye, Bye, Buster...Hello, Crazy Dog!

Just when I thought things were going to settle down...

Buster was adopted a week ago. Honestly, it wasn't really a match made in heaven, but it wasn't too bad, either. It was an elderly couple who promises to take him everywhere with them. They drove three hours to come meet him. He growled and snapped at the wife, and they still wanted to take him home! The thing I wasn't thrilled about was that they didn't seem committed at all to training him, which I always think is sad. Dogs are smart and they like learning, and Buster was no exception. In fact, he was very smart and motivated to learn! The man said, "I don't like dogs that are overly obedient. I want them to have their own personalities." He also seemed like more of the old-school kind or disciplinarian.

I explained to him how to appropriately discipline a Boston Terrier (with a firm "no" or "ah-ah" and a redirection into a better action). I'm not sure he got it. Anyway, the good news is I did get an email from them the other day saying that it only took Buster a few minutes to warm up to their son. Please pray for Buster - I hope they give him a good life.

So I took a week off from fostering because a)Buster was hard, b)My mom, dad, and I were performing in a circus, and c)My sister, niece, nephew, and a few friends were coming into town. It was a hectic week, and of course the rescued wrote twice asking if I could take in a dog. The second time I caved, and on Tuesday JayJay arrived. This dog is HIGH STRUNG!!!! (Really, his behavior warrants capital letters and the Boston Terrier owners' ever-so-loved multiple exclamation points!!!)

Despite the fact that he's got green snot coming out of his nose, the dog doesn't stop moving. My nephew was making a joke earlier in the day about a friend who makes "gnaw-gnaw-gnaw" noises when he eats, and then JayJay did just that! It was really funny. He gets very interested in the toys he's playing with - growling and whining like a maniac while trying to ground whatever it is into your leg. Bill really doesn't like him because he's always trying to hump him, and Bill prefers to be the humper. I think Bill actually bit him because after a little scuffle, JayJay came to me bleeding!

On the upside, JayJay is a very tail-waggy, loving, sweet dog who is potty trained. He's a moose, too - his head is easily twice the size of Bill's, and even though his ribs are poking out, he weighs 31 pounds (compared to Bill at a paltry 20 pounds!). I think a healthy weight for him would be closer to 34 pounds.

Yay for parents! They're watching JayJay for now, so I can get some work done and Bill can sleep. On Saturday they're taking the dogs so Dylan and I can fly a dog named Spud to his new home in Grand Junction, CO. We've never flown that route before so cross your fingers for us! Spud's new owner is very excited to get her new dog, and we're more than happy to deliver him. Oh, and I've been taking landing lessons, so even if I have to punch Dylan in the eye and knock him out on the flight, we should be good to land (just don't ask me to taxi - I almost ran into the hangar last week!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bill Saves the Car

Dogs really do hear and smell things before humans can. I experienced this firsthand yesterday. We had only made it about a mile from my house on our way to go hiking (yes, I drive so I can go walk, I know it's weird) when I heard a sound like I had hit a pothole. I didn't think much about it, as being the awful driver I am, it's completely normal to hear those kinds of sounds. However, about five seconds later, Bill started acting crazy, like he couldn't decide if he should be in the front seat or back seat. (I know where he is supposed to be, but in the car is the only time he really wants to be near me! Don't try this at home!)

I thought, "Huh. Bill's being weird. Oh well, he's always weird." We went to the next light, and as I started accelerating, I heard a new noise that sounded and felt like we were dragging something. I pulled into a parking lot to check out what was going on, but didn't see anything. None of my check engine lights were on, and no, the e-brake wasn't on either. Things were getting really weird, so I called my mom to come get me and check out my car. After all, she's a motorhead. She would know what to do.

While I waited, I called Hoshi Motors, my favorite Boulder Japanese car repair shop. They thought maybe it was the brakes and suggested I try limping over to them since I was only a few blocks away. Well, I made it about a half a block before smelling burning. Again I pulled over and called Hoshi, who promptly sent this great buy Brandon out to see what was going on.

When Brandon arrived, he couldn't believe what he saw. An engine mounting bolt had completely snapped in half and my engine had shifted back causing all sorts of things to burn and grind. It was bizarre because my car is fairly new, and you don't expect that kind of stuff from Honda. Lucky I wasn't on the highway!

(That big hole in the picture is where a bolt is supposed to be, and that belt is what was grinding through the metal where the bolts went.)

Anyway, we were able to get the car towed to Honda, where the repair was covered under my powertrain warranty. Disaster averted, mom and I headed off to the dogpark in her car with the dogs. Way to go, Bill! Thanks for saving my car!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Making Progress

It's been a week and a day since Buster came to "Camp Bill," and we've made significant progress. Buster now has four human friends (Dylan, my mom, my dad, and me), a dog friend (Bill), and a cat friend (Chewie). We went on a hike the other day with my friend and her two dogs, and he did fine with them, too. This is big progress from the snarling, growling, lunging dog I had to put garden gloves on to crate a week ago.

When Buster realizes a person isn't going to hurt him, he immediately turns into a bundle of LOVE! He licks faces, snuggles, and cuddles with the best of them. And man, is this dog talented! He can jump so that his feet are as high as my waist (off the ground!). He's starting to learn commands, and I think agility would be perfect for him. I hope we can find him a human who would be interested in doing that with him.

I love this dog, but I'm totally embarrassed walking around with a dog who still has his testicles, so we're going to try and neuter him this week. I'm concerned about how he will react to the vet techs, but we'll figure it out. Pray for us! :)