Sunday, October 25, 2009

Timing is key

So since the last update there have been some positive and negative happenings. Our girl Wendsday is now adopted! She had a man from AZ see her and he has two other Weims that look similar to her. Now here Wendsday is the boss lady with dogs even though she is a big tail between the legs sissy when it comes to most other things. Well here came MOMMA "Tyson" Weim the eldest of the adopter's dogs. Wendsday knew better than to challenge Momma dog even though she looked pretty old she definitely told Wendsday who was the boss and how it was going to work. Who knows maybe she told her she'd bite her ear off.
We were all happy to see that Wendsday was agreeable to her station below Momma. Hopefully she will not decide one day that she is Buster Douglas and challenge Momma Tyson. However it goes, it is wonderful to know that someone who is very familiar with the breed will be giving her her forever home. Our girl had not been spayed yet and the adopter had to get back to AZ. Now to be responsible we do not allow unalterd animals to leave our facility so one of our fabulous staffers offered to drive Wendsday to AZ for him after she has been spayed (Wendsday, not the staffer). SOOO glad our girl got out when she did since she had been getting pretty aroused to the point that we had to cover her door to keep her from seeing to much and keeping that arousal up. WooHoo one long termer gone.

Then we have our Shaq Attack who unfortunately lived up to his name. We have had him out on foster with a staffer a few times and he has been VERY good. Not to reactive with dogs and was able to meet some dogs and be good about it. He has been out among people and done very well.
Here in bizzaro world, as I call the shelter that for the animals, his level of stress is rising. One problem is the male Great Dane and him somehow have become arch enemies even worse than Batman and the Joker. Shaq Attack and the Dane got to close one day and Shaq lost his scruples for the moment and went off like a rocket trying to get to the Dane and in the middle of who knows what Shaq was screaming at the Dane our staffer tugged him back and he redirected his arousal on her and bit her arm. The only small saving grace is that he did not break skin. When it comes to redirection of aggression, that is an issue that is looked more kindly upon than any other kind or reason for a bite. A week or so later I was pulled aside and told that Shaq Attack was to be put down for several different reasons which I somehow knew was coming. Instantly I broke down into tears.
This is a dog I have worked with and have gotten to blossom into a lovey, affectionate and sweet companion, and see such quality in him as a pet so I automatically disagreed with this decision. It took me some time and a good conversation from a fellow staffer to get me fired up to fight for my boy which I almost didn't and that made me realize that if I don't keep speaking up for those I feel deserve more time then I must be burned out. So, Thanks NW you helped more than you know. I gathered my facts about his bum knee which is a torn ligament and his behaviour outside of the shelter, his previous info from his relinquishers and got ready to plead my case for my defendant.
I felt I had all the right answers :We've had old dogs with chronic issues and some that can be expensive and they have found homes. We know it's only here in bizzaro world that he is so reactive and his bite from arousal has to be taken w/ a grain of salt since he will not reach that level out in the "normal" world. Just because he's black and older and with a bad knee doesn't mean no one will want him. I always have faith that our dogs will ALL get adopted, it's just a matter of time and if our kids can just hang on to their sanity long enough in this bizzaro world they WILL get their forever home. I pleaded my case to the judge (our Boss) and he is always good about hearing me out. I was prepared for whatever answer was to be given..the main thing was that Shaq Attack got his defense heard. The Judge was kind enough to give a weeks reprieve to show if the protocol that is put into place for him will work to keep him de-stressed enough so as not to reach a point of suffering He is now with people the majority of the time and we work hard at not allowing him to see any of the other dogs in the shelter since that often ramps him up (though nothing like him and the Dane). All the staff is rooting for him and he is loved by many. I had recently found out that I was not the only one to plead for him which brings me joy to hear.
Our boy is doing well in my eyes and all I can hope for is that others see that as well and give him the time he deserves to get his own forever home.
It's all about timing.
2 of our other long timers are doing well. Copper who is a sweet sweet Malamute who used to be really reactive to other dogs but us doing very well with not fence fighting or barking at them as they pass his room. He LOVES to be brushed and also has a very bad habit of peeing on his raised bed. He didn't do this in the beginning when he first arrived but one can never say how stress will manifest in each animal. He's a nut since he will pee on any bedding you give him. He's lucky his fur is cushy enough he doesn't really need it.
Bogenaut is still with us and still doing very well. He was kind enough to let us dress him up in a devil costume with a hat with horns to take a picture and then he was in a hippy costume with black curly wig! Talk about an awesome dog! if I didn't have so many of my own I would snag him up just solely because Halloween is my fav holiday and my boys won't tolerate my nonsense in that area. :) I'll fill you in on a few of our little ankle biters next time.
Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happens in 3's? & Saving The Best For Last?

It's been awhile and we have had some crazy things happening recently. I had mentioned the story of my Ghosters who I had to lay to rest because he was a danger. Well in came this beautiful black lab maybe pit mix named Kona. He became my favorite in a day. He was wild and goofy with puppy like lovins. He was another who loved the pool and liked to fetch wet toys and lay next to me to chew his rawhide. He had these huge upright ears with one kinda tilted over to the side a bit. He was another I fell hard for. Our boy Kona was an angel with me but did the worst thing he could do and that was show some serious aggression with out provocation to the bossman (among others). There are a few no no's here and threatening the boss is the biggest. The boss is the one who trusts me whenever I ask for more time to work with an animal and I trust him and he was the one to experience that behaviour first hand. Sadly my Kona was put on the green mile. RIP my little man, you will be missed. Oddly enough I have a knack for falling hard for the difficult dogs who end up exhibiting dangerous/unacceptable behaviours that land them on the green mile. It's not intentional and way before the animal is considered for it but if staff hears me completely falling for a dog they teasingly say don't get attached NOW because Libberator's just cursed the poor beast. Now, we do not do many euthanasia's of our own dogs thankfully, because we usually get great animals but there are those times when you don't get to see a behaviour until whatever circumstances arise to trigger it. This was my second heartbreak in such a short of a time . I'm really hoping this doesn't end up happening in threes.

The other unusual crazy things happening lately is 2 cases of bloat. We adopted out a sweet young Shepard and after 3 weeks with his new family he passed away from bloat about 2 weeks ago. The entire staff was shocked and saddened to hear about him and the family's loss. We sent the family a sympathy card because it is often as though we have lost one of our own when you care for them for so long. At least he got to live in a loving home for the last bit of his life.
Then just last week we got 2 big beautiful Great Danes into our Safe House Program. We had them in our special housing with a gigantic yard attached. The housing is not in the same area as the rest of the dogs so they don't get to see or experience as much down there. Well we had the gods on our side this particular day because we decided that even though our front office is AWFULLY small to fit 3 staffers and 2 Danes weighing a hefty 170 each (our girl was a bit smaller) we would keep them up front and just walk around and over them since they are calm and sweet. Our big girl started acting weird after drinking a bunch of water. She was salivating and didn't want to lay down and seemed a bit disoriented. We had our vet come up front (who isn't usually here this day) and she sent her to get x-rays right away and she ended up going into emergency surgery for bloat. Had she not been up front for us to see her, she would have passed aways in no time. Now in the 3+ years I have been here we have not had one case of bloat and in the last month there were 2 of our kids with it. Big girl is doing better and I have decided that things are now to happen in two's not three's. We'll see if the universe listens.

Is it our best for last? We have a few long termers who have been with us awhile and happily still doing pretty well. We have Wendsday a Beautiful Jumpy Hyper Sweet Grey Ghost(Weimeriner)mix with Doberman markings. Now Weims have LOTS of energy and even though we do as much as we can she surely can use more. She is shy and nervous around some people and with others she is a cuddle bug. She listens well once she has gotten some of that energy expended and oh lord does she have energy to burn. I take her for walks around the neighborhood and her favorite thing to do is sniff sniff sniff! Wendsday has the loudest strangest sounding sniff I have ever heard. It's hysterical! Still waiting for that active person/s willing to work with their pet and lavish love on her.
Next another fav of mine Shaq Attack. He's an 8y Shepard Lab x. He has the Sweetest soulful eyes. When he first came in all he cared about was his toy. He only wanted you for throwing his toy. He didn't really care about you. I decided to start working on his loving skills. I would only give him treats or his toy if he looked at me first and after he got that down we started working on him letting me pet on him without turning or walking away before he got his goodies. After our work my Shaq Attack now will give me kisses with his nose and will now lay down on his bed with me and let me pet all over him. He's Sweet, Mellow, Lovey but Not Clingy who just needs his future parents to be careful because he has a bum knee that can get worse if he plays runs or jumps to much. He isn't overly animated so we're just waiting for those who can see his greatness without all the fireworks the others tend to show off.
Our last long termer is Bogenaut. He's a Quiet Lovey Chill Easy Lanky Long Legged Black Lab lookin mix with a furry curled tail. He is another one who is pretty subdued in his kennel...until a dog passes him. Then he becomes a raging monster. This is how you know that dogs in a shelter are in THE most stressful place they can be when they show this in the shelter but once they are out they are different. Bogenaut has been to many events because he is so great. Last event I had him at he met lots of dogs without any aggression at all and kids were stepping over him and had 3 kids petting him all at once with lots of activity and noises going on and he was as happy as a clam to just lay there and relax the whole time. Behaviours in the shelter are not always an indication that that is how the animal will be once they are in a more relaxed environment. Doesn't mean they will be perfect either. Just like life it's always an unknown but with our three current long termers I believe they will be even more wonderful and easy to love once they get home..and they will, because they always do. Time heals all things they say. I believe that goes not only my hurt for the ones who have passed but also our babies who just have to wait for their time to come and be healed themselves by their loving forever home.
We will have some newbies coming in tomorrow and I can't wait to see if anyone was adopted and what the newbies will be like.
Stay tuned! :) thanks for stopping by