Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh Shaqy Day!

What a way to start out my vaca!..with our baby Shaq Attack getting ADOPTED!! I did the showing yesterday with a lovely low key family with a cute 6y son. Some worry because they feared Shaq wouldn't show affection or show well in general but my boy shined yesterday. I left them alone with him for a bit and came back and he was lovin all over them and not just for his toy. They live in a nice quiet area with few dogs around and he will be inside with free access outside. i just hope they remember to keep the cheese off the counter because he will snatch it! little scavenger that he is. Our one staffer who took him overnight a few times cried as soon as she heard he was adopted and of course made me cry and the lovely woman said I didn't realize he was wanted here so much but it wasn't that. Our staffer had just ended up filling herself with doubt that he wouldn't get adopted and to hear that he is just made her joy and relief overflow.
I'm glad I had that chat with Shaq about not staying with us any longer..guess he listened. ;}

Most of our long timers are gone now.WHEW! We got our grandma Shnauzer a home and our little blind Annie got snatched up pretty quick.
We only have Marjorie our little deaf spinner who is willing to go after even a 200lb dog. We will have her up front more since she seems to blossom up there. She is more social less nervous and I'll have to find out for sure but I think she spins less up there.
Then there is Teej who is a total gentle sweetie of a black whippet lab mix (maybe?) thin girl with short medium hair deep narrow chest who just wants you to be near her. She tolerates dogs but just wants people.

I'm off for a week so I hope the rest of the babies I know will be gone to homes by the time I get back. If not, then it's Just A Matter Of Time!!!! :)
Love to you n your family Shaqy
Thanks for reading all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wonderful Week

What a fabulous week we have had. At the beginning of my week I had been somewhat stressed and frustrated as 2 of our long termers were starting to really show regression. Our Copper boy was starting to grab at his gate door and pull on it with his teeth which is a BIG sign of being highly stressed. If we didn't get him out soon my fears were his anxiety would quickly snowball. Well I am happy to say the universe constantly reminds me that we truly know nothing because here came this couple who had 3 Malamutes before and saw our Copper boy online and decided to come see him. They had just lost their last Mal. a week prior and weren't sure they were ready until they saw our boy's pic on our website. The only thing they were unsure about was he is about half the size of what they are used to. Their last 3 were all around 150 and here was our little (HA) 65 pounder. Since I am a jokester and did the showing with them they kept saying how wonderful he is buttttt his size....I said well ya know kids you ARE getting older hee hee (they were in their 50's probably) and we laughed about it and they finally decided the one con was not worth all the other pros that Copper had and they trucked him off back to Alpine. The wife called the following day to ask some questions. Since we are all used to it being a call about a problem, we all held our breathes as I answered the call. Lo and behold all she wanted to ask was how much we were feeding him! WHEW! She told us how wonderful he is already and following her around the house and laying at her husband's feet and even nudging them in the morning to take him out to potty. Another wonderful home for a wonderful deserving pet.

Usually Sat.'s are our big days as that is when our newbies become available and people are lined up to meet with them. Of course at least 4 out of the 10 got adopted that morning which is lovely since they won't have to stay in bizarro world for long. The only small (and I mean REALLY small)sad part is you don't get to spend much time with them and if people bring them back to visit us which we LOVE, I don't usually remember them. This Saturday was particularly wonderful because we had a woman come in to see our Bogenaught. She was told about his Lupus which is treatable and that he had a history with another family. She brought her 12y old Shepard mix with bad hips to meet. This threw up a worry flag since Boge likes to play rough..too rough usually. She came back with her son and her dog and we did the intro way off site since Boge does better away from the shelter with meeting new dogs. He wanted to play with her right away. He tried to mount her a few times but the gave him warnings that he listened to but would then smack her with his paw, go into a play bow and bark at her till she wanted to play with him. He must have know she was old because he really respected her warnings and would finally go and stand by the son for a bit but would come back and try to get her to play again like a little kid nagging you for something he wants. I gave the woman lots of info on how to watch their interactions and how to help tech him that certain behavior is not allowed. She seemed to adore him and felt her dog was pretty comfortable with Boge and decided they would make a good match. YEAH! Perfect timing as Boge was another one showing signs of his threshold level reaching it's limit. He started biting at his leash and refusing to go back to his kennel. Wow 2 babies out in the nick of time I might say. One can only hope they will all be happy with each other and live out the rest of their lives together. If not then as I heard one person put it.."then they just got to have a nice adventure" and we will wait for the next people to come along for them.

Other than our Shaq Attack we have two other little ones who will be getting some much needed time up front with staff. We have our deaf, very cute, vicious little Chihoo Marge. I call Marge vicious only because when she is on leash and she sees other dogs she acts like a Pit Bull with rabies! She doesn't care their size or look, she will go for them like they are meat on a hook. I was daring one day and decided to see if Shaq and Marge could coexist up front for a bit. OH BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE. I had Shaq, and another staffer had Marge and as soon as she saw him she started going off like a rocket. I think some of that foaming from her mouth hit me in the eye! I tried to get her to settle with treats but once our other food hound Shaq got his face in there Marge went for him and he was not about to let some tiny little whipper snapper 1)take food from him or 2) think she was boss over HIM. He retaliated and fortunately didn't get to bite her head clean off, especially since it's about the size of a treat, but it was close. After that lack of a love fest going on, little miss bossy thang got to stay up front by herself for some much needed down time. Hopefully someone will fall in love with her soon and be willing to work on her doggie "issues"

Our sweet little Ann and Shaq will have to share their time up front with Marge for now.The odd thing I noticed about Marge and our Ann is that they both tend to do circles. When Ann hears a lot going on she just keeps doing them and sometimes hits her little head into the wall :( sad. Ann has been going home with different staff and volunteers at night since she seems to have a hard time being alone. Marge has always done circles but seems to do it less now that she has had some deaf training and more interaction.

Hopefully when I get back from my days off more of our longer term babies will be gone. Especially Shaq! Keep sending out that positive energy!
Thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week of Reiki & Regression

So we have been fortunate enough to have another tool in our box other than regular dog training or behaviour knowledge/experience. Several of the staff members including myself have become Reiki I practicioners. If you don't know what it is, my best crude explanation is first having an intention for being of assistance which comprises of being a conduit for healing energy and projecting that energy to wherever the individual's body calls for it. Whether that be animals or people. Many at our Shelter think it is a bunch of metaphysical mumbo jumbo and I definitely know if I was back in Chicago and I brought this idea they would first tell me I was out of my mind and then probably say of course! it comes from the land of fruits and nuts! Fortunately here in S. Cali it is much more acceptable which I find refreshing.

I've done some Reiki on a few of the animals and for now I don't see any immediate reaction but hope that it at least has some bit of calming for them...other than the contentment of just having the company itself. I will continue to practice it and hopefully will gain greater ability with it, especially since they have scientific proof that it actually works. After we practice more we will continue our schooling to become Reiki II and III Masters. I'll let ya know how and if it works on our kids here.

One of our front desk ladies has been practicing Reiki on Shaq Attack & staff has tried to stay conscious in keeping on the protocal for our stressed little fella. He is kept away from the other dogs as much as possible and spends most days up at our front desk. It's gotten to the point that he knows exactly where he likes to be and will pull you all the way to the front office door if you let him as he was some dowsing rod pulling you directly to water. He is even sharing the space with a SUHWHEET young little Shihtsu named Anna, who had to have both her eyes removed because of a blunt trauma to her head. Shaq doesn't mind her up there at all but maybe it's fromthem both getting Reiki :) Who knows? Regardless, it's good to see he can share his space with another of his kind. So far so good. All he needs now is to attract that forever home that will keep him happy and healthy.

We ended up getting this deathly afraid, adorable little Chihuahua Choochoo. She is the kind of dog who hides in the back of her crate and acts like she wants to be ok with you, as she will come up and take treats from your hand (though funnily enough food can get many dogs right out of a fearful moment)and off your legs etc but if you move she will run away again. Patience is a true virtue with this kind of animal and I'm sad to say that not a lot of people really have that kind of patience especially if they feel they are in a hurry. I am in charge of what we call "special needs" animals and that would be any animal that needs extra attention whether it be more exercise, quiet time, more socialization etc. so even though she had special instructions I only put her in my own mental special needs. The first few sitting it would taker her about 20 min. before she would climb onto my lap after a thousand treat of bribery and sloth like stealthiness. Even after the few good intros we had she still would come to the gate door but not come out until I opened it abit and she would allow you to pet her neck and then come forward for more and the she would let me pick her up. As I said before this much time was not taken with her by everyone and one day while trying to get her to come forward from her play yard she darted and ended jumping over another staffer who caught her but it freaked Choochoo enough that she bit the staffer. Now my Choochoo is on Bite Quarantine where she is secluded from the general population for 10days. I was told the other day that she is now on the green mile. I'm frustrated because she had shown some improvement and I believe (and still willing to admit I MAY be wrong about this) that if everyone had worked with her the way that was best for her then she probably would have made more strides.

My frustration also stems from experiencing other dogs who have come in here traitwith very similar behaviour traits (minus the fear bite) and got more put into them to see if they could adjust and the last one I can remember of those fearful ones has been adopted. I will openly admit I am stubborn in my views and that on occassion they may be idealistic yet I prefer to think of it more as being hopeful. It's been a battle for three years with me and another individual who have completely opposite ideas about the animals in the shelter as to whether they are "suffering", whether anyone would want them or not or if they will be some kind of danger in the home. I find the person to be focused on created stories of negativity and my created stories side on the positive side. All I can do is keep working with my kids the best I can and fight for those I feel are misrepresented or if rulings are unsubstantial.

As for my Choochoo, I'm not sure what to do about her. I adore her of course but she does spend the majority of her time tucked away in the back of her kennel and often shaking. What I do accept for right now is that here, we do not have the proper tools to work with her without continually causing her even more stress and anxiety. I wish we had a foster that would take her home and see if she is adaptable...would that just prolong a life of fear? I don't know. What I do know is that if I can get these kids to be able to just hang in there long enough without going off the deep end then an openhearted, kind patient person will take each of these "special needs dogs home. Like I said before..It's just a matter of time.

Last note of the day..Big Bogenaut and my Copper are still here yet doing pretty well. Bogers is seeming a little sad but I have spent some extra time with him getting him to get excited and play. we also got 10 newbies who will be available Sat. All small all cute and all champions when it came to their shots and blood draws. What BRAVE little monkies!
Wish I had more time for all of them.
Thanks for reading!
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