Friday, April 17, 2009

Stress Free Moments

Of course being the mother hen I can often be with my babies, I contemplate the night before who else is in need of some serious company and quiet time up front with us.

Yesterday I decided it was time for our girl Black N White Cookie. She is our beautifully voluptuous, plenty o junk in the tunk, big ball of clay herding x. An oh so very sweet & quiet girl who obviously hasn't had much time in her life to chase after those birds and squirrels she'd love to get her chompers into, being as um, sturdy as she is :) . If she had less poundage and a little more leverage those birds that dare to enter her bedroom would have a run for thier money. Miss Cookie is not showing herself to be a typical energetic herder. She's a big ball of clay! As soon as BWC came in she was automatically content. She layed right down and start to relax. I can sit with her on the floor and move her where ever I want her. I put her head on my leg and she just keeps her eys closed and leaves it there. Pull her leg up to rub her belly she leaves it there. When she knows and trusts you she really trusts you. I see this different sort of sadness in her eyes at times. Like she's not totally unhappy but rather that she just needs more. She happily lays in your lap to get cuddled. Be prepared to have done your lunges and squats cuz she's not a true lap dog unless you are AHNOLD and have won Mr Universe in the last few years. Bony legs? No worries, she could be happy even if all she could get was some spooning. Even though she's a demure gal don't think she doesn't still have some fire in her. She had a room across from our Big Bear and they were like two inmates hollerin' at each other about how they were going to shiv the other in the shower. Fortunately we gave them different accomodations so they were unable to practice their frustration. Gotta love the ones who will kiss and cuddle us talking monkeys and just as easily turn around and kill, bringing us an offering of the latest prize it's killed.I'd say that dual type personality would definitely be our Black N White Cookie. She is interesting at times when she lays right by the door with her nose at it like waiting for her chance to bolt yet when the door is open and she has her opportunity to go she doesn't even contemplate it. Sweet girl.

Next came my energizer bunny Oconnor. I had planned on Big Bear coming up next but staff showed me how they gave Oconnor a bath and how pretty he was when it reminded me how easily aroused and stressed he gets staying in his room with all the action going on. He looks like a pin ball that hit at the exact perfect spot so that it just keeps bouncing around from side to side. He's a sweet long legged wire haired Terrier x, skinny with a short scruffy face.He's one of what I call the "fakers" with a Nervous Nelly complex. He's the big talker threatening you, but if he were to be called on it, would run away screaming like a little girl. When it comes to other dogs he acts like a drunk Irishman looking for a brawl. (I'm Irish. I know)So I decided I wanted to introduced him to my female dog who plays a statue in dog interactions and stands completely still and half the time has no interest in sniffing the other dog. Well here our little Irishman comes in like gang busters but my girl just stays still and he gets his sniff on and once he realizes she's not assertive he was AFRAID of her. He stayed on the other side of the room and if she walked even in the direction he was in he would turn his head away as if to say I'm not here, I can't see you , don't hurt me. MY girl?! Afraid of my sissy girl who gets beat up by CATS? I was in awe. Having another dog very similar to him, I thought two peas in a pod. I mean once a nerd finds out a threat is really just another nerd, they will bond. Right? Well another keen staff member had the same idea about putting Mighty One & Oconner together. Well these two would no longer be sitting alone at the lunch table. Finally! A friend. It's always nice to find them playmates they enjoy.
The highlight for me ws to see Oconner so relaxed after to long a time. No stress. No panting, or pacing, just contentment. Time to stand on my lap and check things out and feel safe, play fetch in our tiny space and lie down to enjoy his chewy. It still amazes me how some of the dogs instantly relax up there with us when they were just moments before in such a high state of stress. Oconnor was a different dog up front. Happy calm and well behaved and who would give you kisses any time you requested them.One who will surely benefit more from time away from all the action.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hangin' In The Office

Today, since I'm temporarily stuck doing office work until I'm better I asked to have little Coolio with me. I put him in my lap since he fits :) and he spotted the hamster on the counter. and He stopped dead. All he did was WATCH it. No whining, barking, growling. freezing or lunging. Just.....watching. Just in case I was reading him wrong and he was just contemplating his snatch and swallow plan we went to the front office. Little man has excellent smelling skills and will scavange everything there is within reach of his short little legs. He came up and found some old dry food from the previous day on the floor, found Garcia's rejected rawhide, snarfed that down and then came staring at me with those big sad eyes asking for some of my cake. Well how could I deny that face? Of course he got a tiny taste of frosting and then some real doggie yum yums. He decided he needed to be close to me so he had me pull a chair up to mine and he curled up on it next to me happy as a clam. Don't let that calm demeanor fool ya. when he's protected by a wall or a fence or something else he's barking to let the other dog's know he's the stuff round here which is like the insecure tough guy acting all bold really because he doesn't want you to know they are really vulnerable, but I can't tell ya how many of our staff adore him. How could you not think he's adorable with that underbite with those two stained canines jutting up like a little boar and those eyes always looking as if saying "don't hurt, me please love me" plus little man has heartworm so OF COURSE he's a bit more of a couch potato. I'd call him a pugchihoo. Even with all his lovliness, once the farting started from all those treats, it was time for a different sweetie to have some time in front with me.

Stress=deterioration (Same with dogs as humans)
Here in the shelter, because it is one of the most, if not THE most, stressful situation for a dog to be in, it can only mean they all deteriorate a portion every day. With constant arousal, little rest because of the constant arousal, toxic brain chemicals being produced as a result of the previous, a lacking in quantity of attention, routine, stability, consistantcy, space and even love, compared to living in a home they are stressed for the most part of their day. They will all deteriorate at different rates with different signs and severities but it is always happening. Believing that the more signs shown the more likely the animal is closer to suffering the goal is to watch for signs and work a little more with them to get them back to their Happy Place so as to be able to live comfortably here until their forever home comes along.
With That, in comes Dezaroo. What a Happy Happy Happy Happy girl she is. She for the most part a typical Labby. She LOVES people. in fact, here she is pretty stressed without them. She barks consistantly in her kennel unless someone is with her and only if she knows you are going to spend some time with her. Happily she chases and retrieves toys in the Recess Time yards but only if you are with her. She's a little...we'll say Rubenesque but when she sits with a paw up for treats you just can't help but give her one. It multitalented by scratching her back while getting a belly rub. Gotta childproof the place because she will clear a coffee table with her Happy Tail.
When it pertains to other dogs, here, ole girl is the Mae West of this place. This is her domain while she is here and no matter if you be a stud or a filly she will gladly put you in your place should she feel the need to. Just like when Black Bart came to town. Now, NOBODY liked Black Bart. There was just something about him. just a black herding x. He was quiet but a sort of creepy kind of quiet yet I, along with few others saw the other something in him and adored him, but all the dogs made it known he was not welcome. Well our Mae West Dezaroo got out just as I was walking Black Bart back to his bedroom. She came barreling right for him and showed him who's boss. She got him right by the tail and and a couple shots on the kiester but finally someone had to grab miss sniveling snarling white hot ball of canine terror by her tail to get her off poor Black Bart who probably would have pissed his chaps had he had any on. Even with her being in the middle of an extremely high arousal state she never turned to redirect her energy. I was quite proud of her for that. Like I said before, she's a people lover. Today she was instantly relieved to be up front. Found herself a chewie and settled down on her blankie for the majority of her time with us. Other than when one of us is going up to her and grabbing her head and kissing her and telling her how sweet or how loved she is. She is only happy in a quieter place here and with people.... any people. We will keep a watchful eye on her to make sure she's not getting worse.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back from hell

So my little love muffin Coolio a Che-hoo and pug mix with the most adorable under bite with 2 yellow fangs you have ever seen is back AGAIN! Returned the second time because he was to much of a couch potato and liked treats to much! All this coming from 2 overweight elderly people who don't believe in giving treats. You can tell as soon as you meet him that he is shy and mellow and is easily bribed with treats. He's the kind of pooch who lets you do anything to him. He leans his feace towards yours when giving him kisses and leans in when you are stroking his chin and the bridge of his nose all the while with his little tail tucked under. He's one of our sweet "Nervous Nellies"So my poor boy has gotten the shaft again. No worries, he gets my love until we find him the right home who will treat him like the prince he is.