Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I feel so dirty

Today I was molested by Dr. Seuss, a beautiful 10 month old brown and white brick shit house disguised as a Hound Pitty mix. 65 pounds of pure muscle with front paws that will latch onto you like vise grips. This sweet sweet boy really does have some training and will sit and even do a down position for treats and loves being petted (a little tooooo much) but he is easily over stimulated and in a shelter environment does not get to release his energies when and how he should. Our little Dr has been on bite quarantine after getting a little overzealous with his asking a staffer not to leave him by grabbing her by the leg with his mouth. He's not vicious, more of a big doofus with to much energy like Lenny Small (from Of Mice and Men) on a ton of sugar and little way to express himself. Dr. Seuss if not constantly being asked to perform a command will be so excited to see you that he can't help but grab you and show you just how happy he is to see you. Now most unruly adolescent dogs can have the crazed jumping or mounting subdued by turning your back on them or holding them at arms length until they settle or by giving them a different outlet like playing with a toy or doing commands they know..well not our Therapist which I have dubbed him aka The-rapist since my violation. He just gets MORE excited if you try and push him off and once he has gotten overly aroused asking for commands is like trying to yell at Helen Keller to shut the door. The more you struggled the tighter he clung to you and dug those nails of his into you. I had heard of this issue but had yet to have him be so unruly with me. Well today was the day. Just as I was putting him in his potty yard for his afternoon break he saw me start to close the gate and grabbed onto my leg like it was a flotation device and he was a drowning sailor. I tried once to push him off but right back onto me he flew digging paws in for a better grip. He was on me and going to town like he was a parolee just out from a 20yr stint in the big house. Next thing I knew I was being peed on...oh wait that's not urine! Ewwwwwwww! Bad dog, bad bad dog! Thankfully I had jeans on and knee high socks underneath that, but walking around like that for the last 2 hours of the day was not a highlight of my day. Later on he was found in the back of the yard smoking a cigarette and asking for me to come take him back to his kennel. I must have that stockholm syndrome because I really do love him and always make sure that he has his kongs to keep him busy and that he has a nice bone to chew...but I refuse to take him out if I have shorts on now..I've learned my lesson. He's a good boy my little therapist but really I advise you don't turn your back on him...I still feel so dirty.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Revolving Door

Since you had heard last my fav crazed Fox Terrier MAKO was still with us. Apparently he liked it with us so much his behavior improved dramatically. So much that he was now able to go down below to the play ayrds with the rest of the kids without barking his head off the entire time and we could even put a dog NEXT to him with out incident....usually. Our boy had planted himself there so it seems. It had been 7 months so far and not more than 1 or 2 showings with him the entire time. My fears had started to bubble to the front of my psyche that this place would start to get to him and he would go down hill rapidly. So I decided to have the chat with him. The same chat that I had with SHAQ ATTACK. I told him he couldn't stay here, that this wasn't home and that a better place was waiting for him and if he stayed here to long odds were against him and more towards insanity and the green mile. I asked him to call his people to him. I don't know what happened but two days later MAKO had 2 families very interested in him! I didn't get to do either of the showings but since I have spent the most time with him I butted in to make sure they understood that even though he is high energy, prey driven, dog reactive and seemingly aloof he is also a really loving, chill and obedient sweetie. Both families left and one came back with dad to meet. When I returned from my days off I came in to hear MAKO had been adopted and was going home in a day or two. I got to say goodbye YEA! I don't know if he broke the record for being at the shelter the longest but it had to be close. My heart broke a little seeing him leave as I will miss his sweet face and seeing the excitement that arises in him when he sees me enter his kennel but am more happy for him that he will finally be in a home with constant love and attention AND a yard he will be allowed to dig for gophers.

BOON our sweet Pitty has an interesting chapter in his story. BOON came back to us because his owner said he was chewing (uh ya that's what pittys do when they are bored) to much stuff in the home. We don't get a lot of people through our shelter looking for those breeds so there was some worry BOON would be here a long time again. Well fortunately the couple who took care of BOON when mom was away, fell in love with him and actually moved FOR him. They were not in a place they could have a Pit Bull and moved so they could adopt him. They picked him up yesterday and he was only in the shelter a couple weeks. At least these people know what a muzzle puncher he is and are aware of his needs and bad habits and are still willing to take him on. Bless them and sweet BOON.

CLOUDY was still with us last check in and well she is AGAIN. She went home with a lovely woman who had a little Yorkie and a cat at home. CLOUDY was Perfect except that she was a love hog. Love hogs are those who refuse to share their human with anyone else, Well jeez I can't blame her for getting mad her person was "cheating" on her. I guess I could be called a love hog too then, How about you? ;]. The woman's cat is old and sickly and needs her to give it shots etc and CLOUDY refused to let that happen and the woman felt horrible but the cat needed more than CLOUDY would allow and she came back to us. I'm hoping our little blue eyed chihoo will not be with us as long as she was the last time though I do love to seeing how happy she gets when she sees me and decides to claim my lap as her own.

We had a little fund raiser for our girl OONA who is blowing snot rockets all over the place. She needed an expensive test to scope her passageways to see if there are blockages or tumors and whatnot. After all the hubbabaloo they feel it is some kind of allery or reaction-her passageways were clear. Yea she's just a snotty kid! Her adopter decided that no cure for snot rockets was not in her plan and backed out of taking OONA home. Poor OONA is back up for adoption. It's just snot, it washes off and it's not like it's nasty green stuff so hopefully there is someone out there who doesn't mind carrying a hanky around for their snotty loved one.

Another return was our sweet old Jack Lelane named WINNER. He's not feeling like such a winner at the moment I'm sure. The elderly couple that took WINNER called up freaked out because he likes to eat the dead critters on the path when they take him for walks (yep that's the only reason). How about keeping him on leash and not letting him get to them!? or quit taking him to the land fill for his walks. I mean where are you taking the dog that there are all these different dead creatures around!? Are you living near a nuclear waste site or something? If so you have bigger problems than him eating dead skunks with 6 legs. Needless to say he is back with is and if that wasn't bad enough our little man some how contracted ring worm and is now in isolation to keep him from spreading it! My poor sweetie is back there in a smaller kennel with hardly anyone to love on him. I hate it. I sit with him in a surgical gown so I don't get to much hair on me and he is so needy and just keeps jumping on you for more love. JM takes him for walks when we are slow so he's not totally neglected but most others are understandably concerned with getting it or passing the ring worm to their own pets. My poor Monkey, her mama throws caution to the wind and says she'll just have to suck it up and keep trucking if I bring her home some mange or fungus or a cold. :) The others need lovins to much to worry about that stuff. Thanks for being a caregiver after my own heart JM!

Little miss GATOR got herself a home as well with the crocodile hunter, no not really. Just a nice couple who liker her spazzyness and thought she was to cute to care about her gator like behavior. She is a cute little ankle biter.

BUBWA also went home to a couple with 2 Shelties which I am told are similar in behavior to the Pomeranians (go figure). Her other dogs are well behaved and we are told he is doing really well with socialization and them teaching him it's ok to be around people. We even got some pictures of him out at a park with tons of people just chilling on the grass.

They come in, they go out, they come in again, and sometimes again.

Just want to ask for some healing energy for another fav of mine named WASSAIL. She's a scrawny wire haired precious innocent munchkin of a Terrier that has a tiny liver and her blood work is all wacked out. Her adopters backed out after hearing about her issues and they claim with meds she could live a year but there would be extensive tests needing to be done to see if surgery would even be helpful for her so I don't know where that leaves her. I hate the idea of her last days being in a shelter. She is SOOO sweet and precious..I still think so even after she launched herself at JM's big Shepard for just sniffing her to much I guess. Heh heh. GOOD GIRL! DB is big hearted and MAY take little mis WASSAIL home to live out her last days there if the rest of her clan would allow it. I hope so. She is a good girl and deserves some happy comfortable last days. I love her. Thanks tuning in and for your well wishes for all our sweet ones at the shelter.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Best Part

For me anyway, was manifest in twofold this week in the form of one itty bitty bat eared cream colored fearful ball of white lightning, (and she WILL strike twice) Named GATOR and a little bronzed dread wearing fluff ball of a Pomeranian named BUBWA. GATOR is a little chihuahua that was to mouthy and rough with pretty much all species whether it be cat dog or human though the cats as we understand it didn't seem to mind much (though I do find they are pretty brutal players themselves)so was given up for adoption. GATOR as she has been dubbed was plastered against the back of her kennel the first I saw her. I had been informed that she is to fearful to take out to potty and that for now we are just cleaning around her. Well being the over bearing mother with love and discipline that I am I decided I would slowly go up to her and see if she would take a treat. I got up close and held out a treat but she was as about as interested as a kid is in cooked liver. I let her be since I knew I didn't have the time to sit and get her used to me right now and she was frozen with fear.

Later in the day I decided to spend some time with GATOR. She is living with our angelic wonderful can't believe she is still here CLOUDY. You remember her as the one I helped save and is now an awesome companion. CLOUDY is so tolerant and sweet natured that she is and has been the perfect role model for our nervous nellys. Now CLOUDY loves me about as much as I love her and I don't know if that had something to do with what happend but it surely didn't hurt the situation. I walk towards this scared little sweetie (In Sheep's Clothing) and she starts weasling herself behind the crate against the wall and so I used the door that was stored behind the open crate to scoot her backward so I could push the crate back against the wall so she couldn't get behind it again. Then I sat down opposite GATOR all the while CLOUDY is vying for my attention by jumping on me and nuzzling me like a pig rooting for truffles, panting with excitement. As soon as I sat down GATOR jumped right into my lap. What The? What psychotic break did my little weirdo suddenly trust me and want me..oh and I mean want me. The moment I had to leave to go check on something more pressing I couldn't stand up fast enough for her NOT to jump right back into my lap therefore preventing me from being able to stand up. I had to do it 2 more times. OHHHHHHH that just made my day. She trusts me and feels safe with me! She did have some quivering bouts in my lap for a few minutes at the start but soon settled right down into resting her head on my arm and my torso fully relaxed. That time with this little beast is what makes me come here everyday and almost always happy to wake up and come to work(those other days I'm so tired I just wish I was wealthy and retired :]).

The best part was that when I came back to see her a bit later she was at the front of her kennel jumping on the door tail whipping from side to side faster than a ping pong ball between 2 Chinese. She's cured! Little did I suspect what a little beast she really was. She loves me she does and that love allows one to be comfortable in being themselves..kinda like when I guy or gal starts farting in front of you after you have been dating awhile. Well let me tell you she let it rip. Emerges is this energizer bunny with no off button with flea DNA I'm sure with the way she can jump a thousand times her height, repeatedly. Now eh, all that is really no problem in itself. The problem is that she apparently thinks the only body part she has to do anything with is her mouth. She is a mouthy, hyper mouthy playful mouthy assertive mouthy little GATOR.

Her Gatordom reared it's ugly little head during her medical intake. I was honored when asked to help get her since she loves me and will feel more comfy being in there with someone she feels safe with. As I was holding her to get her ears swabbed
she whipped her head around and we both heard the snap of those jaws slamming together on air rather than flesh. Then I released her after a finger came out of her ear she snapped at it twice just like a hungry GATOR. Thank god Momma Z was quick with the pull back! We couldn't help but laugh, not that it was funny for a dog being aggressive. It was how she looked when she did it and it helps that she is just so little and cute. We knew that since she really hated any kind of restraint and is a squirmy one (and I'm not great at restraining when they REALLY struggle because I feel to bad about holding them so tight to keep them from moving) we would muzzle her and feed her her fav peanut butter while we took blood from her. She was a champ but our little fighter definitely took some swings. No kids in her new home that's for sure.

Not only did I have a little dog whisperer moment with GATOR but also with BUBWA who has taken me into his confidence at about the same time as GATOR. BUBWA is a little more forward than GATOR in that he is staying still and giving you some lip or even coming after you moments after any threat is over. BUBWA as he has been dubbed since his previous owners who named him Barbara must have wanted him to get beat up by the other dogs. A dog can definitely learn a new name even if they have had one for a long time. Just keep using it and they catch on. Now BUBWA has had an unfortunate series of events up until now. Neglected and governed by uneducated people he has some issues to work out.

When I went in with BUBWA I sat close to the door since that is where he likes to be..near an exit. I'm a brave one (some may phrase it as stupid or crazy- puhtaytoe pahtahtoh) so I'm always willing to take that step and see if he'll accept my lovins. He was very nervous and I only did a couple of pets and soon he was scootching over to lay against me. By the end of my time with him he was going belly up for me. I still so slow since I can tell he is still unpredictable and am glad I did especially after seeing how forward he can be.

I didn't get to go spend time with him today since I worked up front. At the end of the day he was being brought up to check things out by our behaviorist. I went to fast leaning down and he must not have had a chance to catch my smell and gave a little lip again. I then let him smell me for a bit and he seemed to recollect who I was and went into his belly up for me. Then he saw our main front desk girl and started barking and LUNGING at her. He was on a high stool and he could barely reach her foot. This is NOT looked highly upon. I took him to me and told him the deal. I was open an honest and told him if you are to keep this nonsense up they will put you down faster than you can shake your tail. I figured I got through to him because he went over and decided to make friends with our girl. He became such good friends that he jumped up into her lap when she was in a lower chair and sat with her.We were all becoming so proud..until it was time for him to go. I could see the nervousness of wondering what he would do if grabbed the "wrong way" or being taken when he wasn't ready. Well all I can say is trust your instincts people. Our behaviorist went to get him off the chair and in a flash she was putting him down and he was jumping back up at her barking and snapping a couple of times. There was never any contact with any encounter with his assertiveness but it makes one concerned that the intention was there but execution was poor. Our hope right now is that his execution in right on the money and he is all talk, but he will be treated as though he talks the talk and walks the walk..but so far he loves me :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sickies Scardies and Growlers Oh My

We have this itty bitty cream colored, one eyed, tooth missing, crumb of love of in this Pomeranian & Pappion looking mix who should have a patch for her missing eye named OONA. She is one of my fav's. Yep she's as sick.... as a dog ;) There's this white/clear foamy snot that shoots out her nose and her lungs are all gurgley when she breathes. She is so sweet and can often be found laying on the hard cement rather than her soft bed or thick cushy mat. Maybe because she's hot with fever, or all that hair, but she is so stubborn when it comes to taking her medicine. OONA hates her meds and ain't no dummy when it comes to knowing when it's a treat or it's really medicine and she just ain't havin' it. Even after I've man handled her and stuffed the cream cheese or the ball of wet food or the pill pocket or the chicken (CHICKEN?!! have you ever heard of a dog not wanting to eat her CHICKEN??!!)she would still stay by me and want some lovins. OONA is a total snuggler. We don't know what's happening with her yet and words like leukemia are floating around but I keep hoping for her and do Reiki on her and hope her little lungs will dry up and she will get better. Waiting on test results. She is so sweet picky little eater! I made a pouch out of a blanket to carry her across my torso and she seemed pretty content in there and we hung out like that for lunch but then she started to get too warm and then I put her back in "isolation" :( I feel so sad for her that I took her on a car ride at lunch and of course she blew snot rockets all over my gear shift and seat cover as soon as she got in, bless her dirty snotty soul but I had expected nothing less and just kept trying to wipe her nose with a tissue every time she blew out a big goober. Unfortunately her tongue was much quicker than me and she licked that stuff right back in to her body before I could make it to her nose (I thought eeeeeww that can't be good) It was when I tried to give her a french fry and she wouldn't take it that I knew she was sick. I mean, what kind of dog doesn't want a FRENCH FRY!!?? Good thing is once we find out what's wrong with her, if it's not terminal is that she is already adopted. Send some good energy to our sweet OONA

CREAMER a thumbalina sized Chihuahua the color of his name with big eyes that weep what you would swear was rust was the worst of our scared pack. So much so that we had to corral him into his potty yard instead of trying to grab or leash him as he is usually crammed in the corner at the back of his crate when you walk into his kennel. He will stay arms length or further away at most costs with most people. The goal is to, whenever feasible, always allow the animal to come to you. A scared dog can become more afraid of you when you go towards it, grab it, leash it, or even love on it when it is in a fear state so we avoid causing more stress and anxiety to them whenever possible. Little tinkerbell CREAMER was brought in with his house mates a Boxer and a Min Pin who has been adopted out already so now lives with our precious CLOUDY who if could talk I'm sure would say she's not thrilled about it but will accept it none the less. Little CREAMER has a tendency to pee in his stuff which is probably what CLOUDY dislikes most about him. CREAMER has come a long way and will even allow me to pet him once he has crawled into his bed beside me after a 20 min session of treat bribery(another reason I'm sure CLOUDY dislikes him for) and has even leaned into my hand for more lovins. If he is not in his bed then the closest I get to any kind of love is rubbing his chin with my middle finger while he's chewing a treat out of my thumb and pointer finger and once the treat is gone so is the close proximity. I hope he will do well with the older woman who took him and got defensive when I told her he's a freak. I told her I love him but he will never be a normal, take to your friends house or about town kind of dog. It will be a miracle if he even allows anyone of her friends or family to touch him and I wanted to make sure she understood that. He is not just a "shy dog" he's a freak. a cute sweet freak.

We recently got in this slender sweetie in the form of a Whippet Aussie X named NICOLAI. He's tall and lanky and brown and cream. The first day I met him I talked to him from the front of his kennel on the outside and he came prancing up and as I was petting him through the door he growled at me. I pulled my arm out and decided to give him a second relax. I have never had a problem with him other than that first verbal warning. It was a bit concerning that he would actually come forward and allow me to pet him before he started to growl. Most dogs when they have the option of fight or flight will tend to choose the flight. Only when flight is not an option do they resort to fight and NICOLAI was safe at the back of his kennel since I never opened the door. Now everyone loves NICOLAI. Even our behaviorist who is a tough one when it comes to any "bad" behavior. Our boy has a tendency to be a growler when he is in "his" space and strangers come around. The good thing is we know the pattern, it's definable and so is able to be worked with and or avoided. The bad thing is it does not make him very attractive and people may not want to see him because he is growling (and now barking a lot) when they approach. Once he meets you though he is awesome and sweet and playful and very gentle. My guess is we may need to get him up front more so people can see him in a better light. Hopefully he will not become a long termer.

Out of our last bunch of long termers only one remains. Our boy BLARNEY got adopted by a couple with another dog. Go figure! BLARNEY was not able to get along with any of the dogs we tried him with because he came on like a jerk, barking at them nipping at them and here comes this other male dog his size and this dog even corrected BLARNEY and put him in his place and BLARNEY submitted! Holy crap it was just meant to be. The couple even just brought him back for us to see him and but another bed for him. The two dogs are doing great together. MAKO has gotten better at being around dogs without going completely coo coo or hoarse from barking and hopefully with his improvements will attract his forever home and be the longest long termer no more.

Monday, May 10, 2010

And Then There Were Two

It seems we have been on a roll as far as finally getting some of our long termers out of the shelter. So as you may know, LADY went on foster with a potential owner and in the two weeks she had her, LADY proved herself to be the wonderful companion many of us believed her to be. She hasn't shown the behaviors she had in Bizarro World out there in the real world and has even gone by children (which she used to act like she wanted to maul and rip to shreds) playing without any arousal. The woman even sent us a picture of Lady all curled up with her on the woman's bed. She finalized the adoption. Ding ding ding ding ding we have a winner! FINALLY!

Then this family with a young teen son was looking at my crazed COOPIE. There he was barking like a maniac and reaching his paws through the kennel as though he could grab them and pull them to him. I walked up and showed them how he relaxes and sits for treats and told them he's not always a maniac like this and he is just stressed. away they went and I thought good going COOPIE ya knuckle head ya blew it again. Seems that was not the truth. Mom and son had come a couple more times and looked at COOPIE again and saw how a volunteer was working with him and eventually wanted to meet him. I did the showing and gave them all the info on how much this little nutty needs. Mom is home quite a bit and was willing to work with him as he showed well and did all his good behaviors when asked. They left to think about it and came back to meet him again. Then Dad came and met Him a few days later. It was great that the people weren't jumping right into taking him and liked him enough to visit a few times to see how he was different. After dad met it was a go. COOPIE'S going home!! I shed a happy tear on that one. So far COOPIE has been a good boy in the home and hopefully it will only continue to get better.

Next was our studly seniors WINNER our 12y old Jack Russell and SKIPPER DOODLE. An older couple was looking at a different dog that was quite energetic and very young and their adoption counselor who was doing the showing asked them to maybe give WINNER a visit. They agreed and decided he was the one! WooHoo another one bites the dust! Then BAM!! SKIPPER DOODLE gets a nice middle aged woman and her teen son and they didn't care he was old at all. Bless their big hearts.

The ones we thought would be longest was BOON and PADDY. Well they both got adopted over the weekend. BOON had a woman who had never had a Pitty before come in and think he was handsome. Well how can ya blame her for that, he is a handsome one. Our Adoption Counselor gave her lots of info on how much work BOON was and showed her some more good options if she was not totally set on BOON and also suggested she do a little research on Pitt Bulls before deciding for sure and she left and after a few days came back after reading about them and decided she was ready for this big beefy beautiful beastly loving muzzle puncher. High fives were slapping! Another good home for a special needs animal and long termer.
The most bitter sweet adoption of the week, at least for the staffer who fosters him overnight, is PADDY. Since PADDY had separation anxiety and could jump a 6' fence and WOULD, we figured it would be awhile before the someone who is able to be with him all the time and/or has the ability and desire to work with his anxiety. In came the perfect family. Me and the staffer who fosters PADDY did the showing and they family was wonderful. They had worked with separation anxiety with their last dog and she is a female Shepard. It was a stay at home mom with 10y old twins and dad works from home on their 2 1/2 acre lot. They brought their dog in to meet and after a bit of time they started to play and the people decided he was the one. Our tough guy J had to leave since knowing PADDY was going home he started to get a bit emotional and didn't want witnesses. We definitely do get especially attached to them when they are here for a long time and we miss them when they are gone even though it's a better place to where they have gone...at least it BETTER BE..or I'll be coming to the house and stealing my baby back if they aren't being treated well..better believe that.

Also CAM CAM got adopted and MOONIE got adopted by that woman who lost her other poodle. We only have two long termers left which is MAKO our fanged Fox Terrier and our now shapely Shepard BLARNEY as he has lost some fat and is looking sweet. DUST will be on the long termer list soon if not adopted, same with my WYLERS who was sent to the vet hospital on Sat for not being able to use his back legs I don't know what the diagnosis is yet but will keep you up to date. My poor little man. There's another new batch that came in and will let you know how they are doing soon.
Good Week for the kids!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lovins Time

Today was a lovins day as I got to sit with several of our dogs. It was fairly slow today as far as showings so I decided to make some rounds. I would have started with my MOONIE and CLOUDY but as I walked by there was one of our fellow staffers sitting with them already. I will admit it did give my heart a little leap seeing them run to the kennel door, wag their tails and watch me every time I passed by. Now I would love to believe that I just have that special connection with the dogs but I think to some of them I'm no more than the nice treat lady since I am one of the few who carries treats on them all day and doles them out for good behavior (yes and for bribery). My sweet girls are doing fabulous and seem to be getting happier as the days go by. There was even a woman who came in who recently lost her poodle and is interested in MOONIE, but she is not available until tomorrow.

I then heard my little MAKO barking himself hoarse again over who knows what and took that as my cue. My little stoic man now gets SO excited to see me now and has even given me a few more kisses when I am gearing him up to go play fetch in one of our long grass runs. MAKO needs to be taken down at a different time because of his reactiveness to the other dogs and since we can often be busy during the day he misses out. I try and make sure I get him down for at least 20 minutes and today was a banner day for my fanged one. Often volunteers will bring down dogs during the day and usually I have to take MAKO back up to his kennel when that happens because he loses control and does nothing but bark at them but today was different. First came CAMCAM who is our stocky sweet(I know I use "sweet" a lot but they are!)quiet wonder what she's thinking black Chow Lab X. MAKO gave her a couple sideways glances and kept playing fetch with me! I was so proud of my boy I showered him with treats. (told you I'm the treat lady)THEN down came our two Golden Retrievers for a showing and I thought oh boy here we go but again I was suprised to see MAKO take a look and then ignore and go back to playing with me. WOOHOO huge day for MAKO and I figure much of it has to do with one of our volunteers who comes in to work with him a few times a week on that very issue. Thanks to A for putting such time effort and knowledge forth for our little man. After a good romp we went back up and our little guy tucked himself into his bed and rolled over on his back for lovins and some rest.

Knowing I am not able to spend lots of time with as many as I would like I do whatever else I can to get them some kind of socialization, so as I walked past our Pitty BOON I thought he looked so sad laying there with his head down on his blankie and figured being at the front desk with our staff for a few hours would do him some good and he was as happy as a clam to be up there. He sits for treats and when he's sitting but really still excited his tail doesn't go side to side but up and down, so cute....ooooooo I just wanna grab that big block head and smother him with kisses but that's for the front desk staff to do for now, I'm off to love on another.

There was my DUST laying so sweetly at the front of his kennel on the thick mat I put down for him and all of a sudden I hear the song that goes no body knooooows the twoubles I've seeeeeen no body knooooows but jesuuuuuus..and took that as a sign and decided he was next. I sat with him for about 30 min and he just kept pawing at me for love well I figure it was for love because he ate the last of the treats I had on me and he was aware of that by sticking his entire shnoz into my pouch to check and then I crawled into his big crate to get a toy and he followed me in there so we just lay together in there for a bit until a volunteer came to take him for a walk. We are still waiting on his results to tell us if he has Lupus.

Knowing how our Jack Lalane of the group WINNER has been crying a lot lately I decided after a couple hours to let BOON go meet a new buddy and let WINNER hang out up front because my heart can't take much more of his crying. Oddly we don't get a lot of crying in the shelter. We get lots of barking and howling but not much wimpering. The wimpering is killer. So my little studly senior got to go up and get some lovins time too.

The rest of the day was chores so that was it for lovins on my end and no big adoptions yet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday was a Day of the Three P's I Hate

No not pee, poop and puke as I could only be so lucky but more like people,puppies, and put downs.
No no I love people but sadly it's when they are stubborn and selfish I lose my patience and compassion, and not really the puppies themselves so much as what they bring..ie stupid selfish people eww I mean stubborn. Freudian slip ;} and well yes I do hate Putting down dogs.

We have these 5 buddha bellied teacup Bernese Mountain Dogs. Uh I mean these tri-colored Border Collie Beagle X's that were barely off mama's teat before they came to us. They are only 7 weeks old and we have had them for 2 weeks now. Some people love puppy breath but I find it only preferable a rotting carcass in the mid day sun. These Puppies however are fairly smart about pooping on the pads and not stepping all through it. Oh ya that's cuz they haven't GOTTEN to that stage yet..and they will. They are still in their sleep most of the day play for 10 minutes go back to nappy phase. Over the last few days they have started to discover the joy of chewing on shoes and their laces and your jeans and purses and your hands well let's just stop there.
So a family came into to see one of the puppies. They had Bell a very beautiful nervous Chow Shepard X who is sweet and subdued but clearly not wanting to be there as some dogs can get nervous being in the shelter even if only for a visit especially a dog who came from a shelter. A colleague had done the dog to dog intro and then came to get me because the puppy would charge towards Bell and kept biting at her and harassing her. Many dogs know how and will correct a puppy when it is being inappropriate but poor Bell just kept turning her head and trying to walk away which clearly showed she is not the type of dog to correct another. I explained that since the puppy was supposed to be for Bell that they should pick one that she liked or was at least not Mike Tyson incarnate. There was another puppy who clearly wanted to play with Bell but was respectful of Bell wanting nothing to do with her and would back off. I informed them that the one puppy will need a strong dog to show it the way and correct it to learn proper doggy behavior and if not then the puppy will most likely turn into a little terror and since the other puppy was respectful it would be a much better match. I had left the showing back in the hands of a colleague and went off to do another showing. Well gee let's guess who they adopted, yep Mike Tyson won again! The family felt it was ok for the puppy to be a shit because "that's just how Bell always is" submissive and shy. I see so lets bring home the school bully who picks on your kid and because your kid is just shy/scared/timid/neurotic and won't tell the bully no, it's ok. WHAT!? I am very sad for their dog Bell and hope she will find ways to escape the little demoness.

After that disappointing information I walk into the kitchen to see 2 little scaredy pies MOONIE & CLOUDY pictured above. We set up appointments when people need to give up their dogs and our behaviorist assesses them to see if they are adoptable and if so we take them. Well we already have one little bug eyed round domed little white and cream Chihuahua X named CREAM that is still to scared to let us touch him so we just let him free and he follows his bro and sis into a break yard since he's to nervous to be far from them. That way we don't need to freak him out more by cornering him and grabbing him to take him out. Brother is a Boxer and sis is a Min Pin but more on them later. Since we already have that neurotic bundle of shaky lovins, I couldn't believe that she would consider another serious tail tucker at this time. I had some how convinced myself that if we didn't take in any of the dogs that came to us they would just find another place to take them but I was assured that is not usually the case and that often they just get put down. WHAT? Burst my bubble why don't you. The behaviorist came to me a little bit later with tears in her eyes asking me if I would be willing to euthanize possibly 3 of the 4 dogs this fella brought in since he had tried all the other shelters (even the county) and was denied. I was shocked when I heard that bubble pop and said of course but since I had seen CLOUDY I insisted that we give her a chance to see if she could come around and she agreed as she was also going to give MOONIE a chance since she was not as freaked and shut down as CLOUDY. I ended up putting down 2 other Chihuahuas that the behaviorist told me were much worse and she even had the owner muzzle one of them just in case. I'm very saddened because I would always want to give a scared one a chance. I feel I have a connection with the really scared ones since I know what it's like to live in fear. I don't mean afraid of the dark or spiders or of being mugged in a bad neighborhood. I mean can't live a normal life because fear is the ruler. I empathize with these dogs and I also know the other side of that fear..the survival of it. What saddens me more is that my sweet girls CLOUDY & MOONIE are doing really well in just a few short days. It saddens me because I imagine that the other two who didn't make it may have come around too but I try not to let my mind go there to often. MOONIE & CLOUDY are walking on leash down to the yards with staff and CLOUDY who seemed the worst of the two seems happy and wagging her tail. They sit near me and on me and love getting petted and are often at the front of their kennel awaiting some passerby lovins. A huge difference from what they looked like the first day they came in. It was a bittersweet day that's for sure.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not so "Old and in the Way"

It's funy to me how certain dogs will all of a sudden hit me as a new favorite (yes, I am shamed to say it but I do at times have favorites out of our ever changing family. My DUST..as in almost as old as. Well not really, but people act as though it were so. My DUSTty Rhodes as I sometimes call him has grown on me today. He is a 7yr old overweight not so dog friendly Aussie Shepard. Now I've always liked DUST, he's a chill friendly with people nice boy. I don't know what it was but he looked at me today and he is so sweet with his little stitched up nose that's all dry and cracked from having a biopsy to see if he has Lupus. He's all wiggly with his big butt that's missing some hair as he had so many flea bites when he came in the poor baby. I'm glad the people gave him up to us. He was mostly outside and wants to be near his people the poor thing. He's now on my lovins list. He'll be a good companion. He's housetrained but he does have some strong reaction to other dogs and not an oh baby that's good kind of reaction. Think Mike Ditka screaming at a ref at the superbowl kind of reaction. But he does let a lot of dogs pass his kennel without gettind riled so far and that's a plus. Problem is he is a big boy and bigger dogs don't have as long a life span as the wee ones and most people don't like the idea of mourning the loss of a loved one and not having enough time with them. Humbug I say! Old dogs rock.

There is someone interested in SKIPPY DOODLE our 12yr old black, maybe 25lb fox eared greying muzzle, fluffy curled tail with a little white on it "Schipperke X". A woman came in to see him and I believe we are waiting for some requirement to be met and then sounds like she will want to take him home. SKIPPY DOODLE a chill little old man with still enough energy for a mobile (wheel chairs count) old person or someone who wants a companion but is to lazy to do tooo much. He's a fav of one of our volunteers and she will foster him overnight every now and agian and she sits with him in his kennel often. I love to see that. Not only because he's getting lovins but that leaves me time for another one who may not of had much time with someone.

Then there was MAKO. Our 7yr old stoic, prey driven, smart, prey driven, bark that sounds like a cross between a clown horn and a seal cough, prey driven, curl up in your lap and nap, ever searching, prey driven, stubborn, built like a little brick shithouse, jump like he's a flea, vampire fanged Fox Terrier. He barks at other dogs like he wants to get at their neck and just shake, like he does that fuzzy squirrel in his kennel, but really wants nothing to do with them once he's gotten to sniff them (as long as they don't react to his assholishness). And he's one of my favorites. In those brief moments between Oh oh is that a dog!? Hey hey hey a squirrel! Ooo Ohh A gopher! A bird! I see Something!, he is a very sweet stoic little fella looking for companionship.(And something to stalk dig for and kill.) And he's one of my favorites. MAKO has gotten better with being able to even see a dog and not go bananas. He's passed several dogs lately and not released that abombanation of a bark on any of them which for him is a huge improvement. He still can't go down below to the big play yards because his anal glands would probably explode from the overload of triggers of being around all those other dogs and prey. He gets so excited now when he sees me and I get a few kisses from him now and he has never been much of a kisser. We play fetch in the big yard down below when no one else is around. He gets treats esch time he brings the toy back and I've gotten him to come on command..as long as long as we are in a vaccum :) but hey it's a start. Tried him up front today but once he saw a dog, that car horn bark was stuck on and he couldn't settle so back to his room he went. Poor baby. It's a big deal for lots of people not to be able to walk their dog around town without it acting like a . So owner either works on impulse control around other dogs which takes lots of time energy and patience and/or you have a yard and like to play ball and maybe even go hunting or have lots of gophers in the yard you care nothing about, which will also take time energy and patience. We'll find him his home and he's high on my lovins list.

As is BLARNEY our 6yr old little headed, bulky shouldered, crimp tailed, gap toothed, fuzzy bodied, sweet, nervous barky Shepard X who was much fatter when he came in but since he is a stubborn eater and needs to be hand fed for him to eat he has lost some weight (but he was a chunko so it's ok). He was so freaked out here that we couldn't go into the kennel with him. We made a gated corral for him to walk to the potty yard so we could clean his kennel and when I first saw he liked to catch the treats we had it down and then it was discoverd that he is WILD for a squeaky toy. It's his crack. He's got a loud serious bark that I believe is all talk. He is a nervous nelly and even the papers and blanket on his kennel door moving in the wind freaks him out. I don't believe he would do harm but oh man he can talk a good game. When he knows you, he loves you and will lick your face off. He will play with a squeaky toy every time like it's the newest playstation. BLARNEY does have an odd behavior I've never seen before and that is he barks the entire time he is passing dogs and down the hall and down the stairs and almost all the way down to the yard. Just barking the whole way. Same with coming up to his kennel. I imagine that he's announcing himself..here I come. I'm coming. It's me! Yep That's right ME! Who didn't see or hear it? Here I am and I'm walking! You all suck! Um yeah he has some dog issues. He comes on like an asshole. He gets all jacked up and starts that barking then he bouncing on his front legs and usually wants to bite at them. We were told by his previous owner who was an old woman that he had been good around dogs. Well not here in Bizarro World. He is a very sweet fearful affectionate big ox. He has horrible kennel manners and gives a poor and askew impression of how he usually is, since he barks at many of the people that go by him (it's not pretty). I've tried talking to him about it and told him he needs to be nice to get out of here but he's not cooperating yet. I'll talk with him again soon.

And our newest geriatric to the family is WYLERS a 12y old Dachshund. I fell for him as soon as I saw him. He is ADORABLE. I'm not a typical little dog fanatic and for a Doxie he is rather small if ya can picture that. He's this reddish brown with all this white/gray on his muzzle and sometimes his canines will be on the outside of his mouth and he reminds me of a little hillbilly. He probably won't have any teeth left after he gets his dental. I'll tell ya for a 12y old he is spry. He trots along with me with those little legs zipping back and forth so fast it's hard to believe he's that old. AND the poor little man came into our county shelter I believe as strays and he had a little partner who was attacked by a coyote and didn't survive so we took him. He hangs with WINNERS and TIPPIRILLO and TIPPIRILLO is a small 15lb spazzy brown Tina Turner haired wild bully beast of a Spaniel X who would try and mount poor old WYLERS. WYLERS is even smaller than TIPPIRILLO but he would whip around and giver her the what for and she backed off. He is so freakin cute!

Last but certainly not least is WINNERS our little 30lb Jack Lelanne. For an old man he is one put together Jack Russel Heeler X. He is in really great shape AND he was hit by a car years ago. I can't imagine how much healthier and stronger he would be if that hadn't happend. ooooo Jack Lelanne on steriods. Scary. WINNERS breaks my heart ..cuz he's a wimperer/moaner/cryer. He VOCALLY tells you he's sad. Especially at the end of the night. All the blankets will be up over the kennel doors to keep out those chilly winds (their kennels also have heat in the floors or overhead) and I will hear him cryin. It's kills me so he's another on my lovins list. Oh AND our boy has allergies and has to be on special food and he's STILL in fabulous shape.He is such a good boy. He's the reason I only want older dogs in the future. Well him and the others. Leave the puppies to the stupid crazy people.
They are not so old and never in the way. Consider an older dog next time around..they give as much love, loyalty and affection, they just have worse odds on years.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Good The Bad The Ugly and potentially The Awesome

Ok so since I want to end on a good note I will start with the ugly. Our beautiful HIGGY is gone. There are few "in house" dogs that have been euthanized that I have not been a part of, but the last I saw of him was when I spent some time with him saying my goodbyes and apologies in his kennel. With growling/barking/air snapping at unpredictable times he had been deemed unadoptable. Personally I don't believe a dog should be put down if it hasn't done harm..."yet". YET? What's my crime? Loud threatening behavior at weird times? Might be a little off? OK possibly a screw loose somewhere, I'll agree with ya there, but I didn't attack anyone for walking past me wearing a green shirt on a Friday..."YET"....the most I do is scream jibberish at em about it. Weird, maybe even to the guy wearing green a little scary but no crime has been committed so why a death sentence? Apparently crazy is a crime. Now me I'm always willing to give crazy a chance. I hear their worries and concerns. I just can't understand how one's own fears can be a good enough reason to end a life. I love my job and the rest of what I do so I accept this part I don't agree with. I'm sorry I wasn't able to be with you in the end. RIP sweet HIGGY.

Now on to some of the bad. COOPIE is getting more stressed. He's barking at most of the people who walk by his kennel. I swear sometimes he looks like a crazy man with his arms reaching out through the bars and just screamin' jibberish and some people walk by and he's waggin' his tail. He's been getting less because he's been exposed to ring worm and so not as many people want to take the risk in getting it or giving it to their own animals they don't get the walks/lovins/ or play they normally do. My little man used to curl up on my lap and take a snooze and now he's acting like he doesn't want to be petted. He stays arm's length away and backs up when I want to love on him but will still come to me and let me pick him up to carry him to his play yard. I carry him because he does not react to us passing the other dogs when I do. I'm worried about him. I sit with him and BOON (our Pitty who has the ringworm) as often as I can since I know they are getting less. At least they can play together even if it isn't in a big yard.

BOON has started barking at a few of the dogs that pass him. He's not done that before and so that concerns me. I hate seeing the signs of stress emerge as my babies wait longer and longer for their forever family to get them. The best I can do is keep watch for any signs and give them all that I can. The good thing is he is not getting mouthier and still loves to soak your face with slobbery kisses.

PADDY our Shepard is still with us and getting a little more stressed. I have seen more of his jumping onto the kennel door at about 5' up and bouncing off of it in a big circle. Paddy is fortunate enough to get to go into our Volunteer Coordinators office for a good portion of the day to keep him out of the chaos and lonliness of his kennel space. Paddy also gets to go home with a fello staffer a couple times a week to play with his dog and get some R&R. The smarter the dog the quicker they tend to deteriorate so Shepards are in that category. It may take a little longer with Paddy since he showed some seperation anxiety in the home he was in for one lousy week. I'm sorry people, but A WEEK? Dogs are not robots. They are freaked out sentient creatures who have no idea what's going on, who the hell are these talking monkies and what do they want with me oooooooo a shoe! They need time to adjust, to know what is going on, what the rules are, and if they are going to be ok. They will need LOTS of patience for them to do just as YOU WANT them to..like the little robot you probably should have paid for instead a wonderful creature like Paddy.

Ok Now for the good news: JAKEY & PEACH got adopted, BEEBER and JANIE got adopted together and will be room mates for life now yea! Our sweet LEGGY has escaped the green mile ! A Bassett Rescue took him and think he's as wonderful as the rest of us do. He is now in a foster home awaiting adoption.

Then yesterday we had an angel sent to us in the form of LADY's now owner! Well not YEEETTT but she has had our girl for 48 hrs now and so far so good. We let her take her on foster for a week or two because we know she is a handful and has a few behaviors that are not always easy to work with. So far she took her for a run last night and around the neighborhood and she did aces. LADY even passed some kids without any aggression and met the neighbor got home sniffed around and curled up to nap the night away (I hope) This woman is a friend of one of out Front Desk Staff. She will be keeping us informed hopefully daily. For Lady to get out when she did is HUGE. She really needed this. She was already a few steps down the green mile and not walking slowly. Lady got her a runner who's last dog was more difficult than her and he was with her for around 15 yrs. It sounds good. Sign here please....maybe soon. That is awesome! Keep them fingers crossed! I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Leap Forward Four Steps Back

Another week of cheers and sobs. Most of the last newbies got adopted through the week. Whitey got to go home with a sweet young couple and the cutest white tiny winged angel (no really, they had a harness on her with angel wings on it) Little Lamby is gone and my Astin just got adopted today and my Finny is with his family now too. The only ones left are our two little nutties, Janie and Beeber. Oh Paddy the black & blonde Shepard. Paddy is one of our steps back.

Our big lovely leap this week was getting Coraline adopted. I did the showing with her and it was with a mom and 16yr old son and their 5yr old Cocker Spaniel. they walk their dog a lot and don't have a yard so no more worries about her escaping that way. Their dog and her played and respected each others boundries though she did gurad the water bowl for a bit. They seem to have understood the need for her to have stimulation as they are already enrolling her in obediance class. Mom doesn't even mind so far that she chewed a couple of pillows. Hopefully the son will run with her like they said he planned to. So far it sounds good.

The end of the week was hard on the heart. All in one day we got three of our animals returned back to us and then another prior to that. We do our best to make people understand what is needed for the particular dog they are interested in and want to believe them when they say they will do what it takes but sometimes it just doesn't work out the way one would like.
Our big black Lab Higgy was gone for a week or so and returned for growling several times at assumedly nothing. Usually at night when he is on his bed and or lying down. It concerned the people enough to relinquish him back to us. Now Higgy is one of those truely tolerant of anything dogs. loves other dogs is shy but loving with people and so submissive he often goes belly up. We had a staff member take him home and he growled and snapped at her boyfriend once over nothing. growled at her once with no provocation and then growled another time when no one was even around him. Again this behaviour is happening at night. Personally I think he can see ghots and who the heck could blame him for being freaked out by that!? Our behaviourist is taking him home too to see if she can see some kind of pattern and so far only when he was sleeping she walked by and knocked into his bed and he whipped his head and gave a growl. If you met this dog you just wouldn't believe it. He is perfect in every other way. I'm worried that he may be considered for the green mile if they can't tell if or when he may bite. I would have an especially hard time putting an animal down that hasn't caused any harm yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Higgy.

First of the D day returns was Paddy the Shepard. He went home with a couple that had at one time adopted Coraline but brought her back I believe for escaping but I'm not privy to all the details. It seems that when mom n dad leave Paddy has a need to chew/destroy the blinds. They tried leaving just the steel safety door closed and it seemed as long as he could see out the steel safety door he was ok..but the neighbor came by to check on him, closed the door when they left and he wen't for the blinds again. Apparantly he would even sit by the door if one of them left and then start to go after the blinds even if the other was in the house with him. He also chewed at the bars of his crate. Otherwise when you are with him he is a wonderful sweet perfect dog. Hopefully it won't be long before people with the time and willingness to work on his seperation anxiety come along.
Then came sweet Peach. A sweet, silly Basset body with anything but a Basset head or coloring. She was brought back by the old couple because she was "just to much" Goodness she's a stubby Basset bodied little Lab! How much energy could she possibly have? Needing more than one walk around the block 2x a week I guess. She also chewed on a coffee table one time in the 10 weeks they had her. (heck my pitty mix ripped the whole back of my sofa and dragged it to the front door the first day he was home alone and I still kept his trouble making butt). Peach was from another shelter with no history and for some reason these people felt if they had known her past it would have made a difference (??in her behaviour??) Fortunately they have decided they are done with owning a pet. The old woman was crying and thought we were going to put sweet Peach down and I assured her Peach, who is just that, will get herself the right home and there would be no walking the green mile for her. She likes people and dogs and won't take to long to find her her home.
Last and saddest of all is Leggy. He is THE sweetest, loving ooooooooohhhhhey gooey dumbo eared bundle of kisses and true Basset Hound. There had been some growling at the hubby going on whenever Leggy was on the bed or couch with mom. One day dad was supposedly playing with him and rubbing his belly and Leggy leapt up and bit the guy in the armpit chest area. It was a lasting, noticable, serious bite. They brought him back and with that kind of bite which seemed without provocation he will be considered not adoptable and is on bite quarantine awaiting his geen mile sentence. If we can get a Basset rescue to consider taking him we won't have to do the unthinkable. Some people love certain breeds and are willing to put up with more sometimes. I sat with Leggy for a while today since the system isn't perfect and he has to wait 10 days before saying goodbye. It's still so hard to believe he is capable of such an aggressive action because he's as sweet as a lamb here with all of us. I would of had my doubts had I not seen the bite myself. I'm a harsh one usually blaming the people and rarely blaming my kids for any bad behaviour...what can I say, they're my babies. I just wish people would have it in them to put more effort, patience, and time into their pet's learning and adjusting.

Good news is my Coopie has survived bite quarantine and will be back in general population in 2 more days. I sat with him everyday and did Reiki on him and my little man was quite good and often spent his time just napping in my lap. Now on to finding him his forever home asap before the stress level rises and he loses his manners again! Our lovely Lady is still hanging out up at the front desk and doing fairly well and has it in her to bark pretty assertively at some people on less occassions. If you don't know her she's a hard sell..but if you know her like the staff and volunteerts do you'd want to take her home even though she's can be an uncontrolable shit around other dogs at times. It's all those other endearing qualities you see in her as the days go by that make you just fall completely in love with her...and really, for me, with all of them.

We will be getting another gang of newbies on Monday and we just got this big black tounged black Lab named Jakey relinquished to us because they don't have the time for him. He could be the brother of my own sweet Lab Chow mix I named Blue because he has the full blue black tongue. Labs don't often stay to long with us. Hopefully this will be true for him.

Thanks for reading and any comments are appreciated. Stay Tuned

Thursday, March 4, 2010

As in all of life, with the ups come the downs

Our Big Cheekaleeka, one of our long termers was adopted! We even got to see her again since she had to be brought back to have a rash checked on. We were happily informed that she has been a perfect angle in the home so far. She was even excited to see us again, lavishing kisses on me and nibbling my chin,(Cheekaleeka not the adopter) as though it really was a good home for her and not such a scary place. She will be missed and yet happily missed.

Unfortunately the "long termers" never quite disappear they just keep changing. Our sweet Lady is still here but made some huge improvements since she has been spending lots more time up front with the front desk staff. She is much calmer passing all the dogs to and from her kennel and rarely lunges or barks at them. Before you would have to make sure you had a good grip and strong legs to get our little crazed one past the dogs without her making her way over to one by pulling you. She spends much of her time just laying around and getting petted. Amazing what just longer amounts of company/socialization and relax time can do for a soul. (hmm maybe LOVE IS THE ANSWER)
Coopie has reached long termer status and today our little stress monger was walking with one of our volunteers and I don't know all the details but somehow he got near our other long termer Coraline and in the scuffle he apparantly lost more than his temper but with it some of his scruples as well and he bit. He broke skin which means our little man is on bite quarantine for 10 days. He will need a lot of company during that time since he won't be able to play with his buddies until off quarantine and will not be allowed to be handled or seen by many people. My hope is that he will relax at least a little during this time since he will be away from the rest of the dogs in the general population area and won't have the opportunity to work on those stratagies with no dogs around to arouse him. But smart dogs can go stir crazy a little quicker so I will be spending as much time with my little scamp as possible.
It was very cute as we had a fellow staffer bring his dog and introduce him to Coopie and it was a match made in heaven. They stood on their hind legs and held each other like they were on Dancing With The Stars and took turns mounting each other. I think Coopie may not have felt as much as the other dog did that they were soul mates but they surely enjoyed each other's company.

Our new crew of kids didn't fly out the door as quickly as they tend to do so no new dog shopping for at least another week. We have another escape artist disguised like a beautiful sweet Blonde and Black Shepard who is a sweet sweet boy. One little poodlie mix that I have dubbed Lamby because he looks like a little lamb to me. I am not a huge fan of the poodles but My little Lamby is a cute spaz full of fun and lovins for you. We also have Whitey an albino Chihu mix. Pink little nose and light eyes and is so sweet and shy...until a dog he doesn't like comes by then WATCHOUT he's gonna tell ya what he thinks of that nonesense. My Finny is I think Bipolar. I jest but he is so shy and sweet with you and crawls into your lap all low and shy like but when another dog comes over to weasle in on some loving or gets to close to food he claims as his then up goes that lip and a snarl and a growl are things you would never imagine would come from this shy low creeper. Funny Little creatures. Then we have Beeber our Chihu who LOVEs to play rough with Janie a sweet spazzy probably Chihu pug mix with an under bite and Astin a blonde Chihu that seems to be less than excited to be shacked up with Lamby who seems to want desperately to play with Astin. Only two of the current batch got adopted which with all the cuteness going on is hard to believe.

There was a bitter end to my day today. Other than Coopie having to go on bite quarantine for biting a volunteer today there was another Bite of the day. One of our previous residents who had been homed for a little over a year I believe named Letta, a large mutt that really didn't like dogs and was a handful to deal with especially around them was brought in for euthanasia after biting a friend whom she had met before, on the face and breaking skin in more than one place. It was relayed to me it was an unprovoked attack. Letta was a sweet girl that had escaped the green mile before when she was with us(she had not done any harm while in the facility but was known to get out of control when around other dogs)and soon after had gotten adopted by a couple willing to work on her issues. They have a small child now and understandably no longer feel safe with her around the wee one. I was glad to be there to hold her and tell her I love her as she gobbled up cream cheese happily oblivious to the needle going in and quickly slipped into her permanent slumber with cream cheese on her lips and my I love yous in her ear. I always love to see my kids again but I would rather never see them again than to see them under those circumstances. It's a very tough and sad part of this vocation but fortunately it is not such a common thing. RIP Letta . I'm glad you got to experience what a happy life was like for a bit.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Friends and a long termer gets a pardon

Since our big beeeyutiful Pitty Boon hasn't had many dog to dog interactions I figured it was time to have him meet our little psycho pogo stick Coopie. They have been going to play yards that are next to one another and I have noticed Boon enjoying running back and forth in the yard along the fence with Coopie. Coopie wasn't trying to weasle his little nose through the fence to bite Boon so I saw that as a positive sign. No no Coopie is really not a bad dog he's just a high strung mess of a mix (Italian Greyhound and Terrier).

Coopie's brother got adopted so he no longer had a play buddy and he is in true need of one. The problem is that Coopie is kinda leash reactive which means some aggression is triggered in him when he is restrained on leash and around other dogs. Yes since we have to go the safest route we can't just throw them in a yard together and hope for the best which does make it a bit more challenging. We did have some things going for us that helped. Coopie is easily distracted with treats and we can use those to keep him calm as he is approaching Boon. Secondly Boon is a big wuss and I say that in the best most positive way. :) He is a Pitty and he is the most sweet and submissive dog (poor thing gets picked on by all of the other kids)so I wasn't to concerned about Boon's reaction to Coopie. We walked them together a bit and then went down to a play yard. We usually keep their walking gear on for a bit to see how their play will be. All was good with the play bows and running together until we tried to remove their gear so they could play better. As Coopie was getting his gear taken off Boon came over to play and Coopie felt the tug of being pulled back to get the harness off and he just lost it. I liken it to maybe a psychotic break or a Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde. Coopie turned into a sniveling snarling white hot ball of canine terror. He was on top of Boon and was snarling and had poor Boon rolling on the ground and on his back. It looked like a pirana on a wounded guppy. It took us maybe 10 seconds to scramble and get them apart. Whew, it was all just talk and spit..no marks on our little Boon. So since there was no injury, Boon is not the type to fight back and we know Coopie's issue, we allowed play again but just let leashes drag. Boon is a soft hearted boy and Coopie thought he would make it known he felt he was the top dog ...(oh he tried to mount Boon once)and Boon was happy to let him be and Coopie was happy to have another brother he could play with. We cut it short to make sure it ended on a good note and hopefully they will have another supervised play date soon..it took alot out of us after that little tussle of theirs and I wouldn't trust just anyone putting them together because Coopie is a tough one. To smart and to high energy..that is not a great combo in the shelter world.

Coopie is as I mentioned before, a pogo stick. There are little ledges all along the walls of each kennel that are probably about 2-3 inches wide and are about 4-4 1/2' up. We started seeing Coopie up on the ledge with his head sticking out of the kennel! I was amazed that he would be able to leap that high. Well our little jumping bean isn't actually jumping all the way up there. What he does is jumps up, wedges his head in between the gate door and gate wall as a lever to hold himself up and then shimmies his legs the rest of the way to the ledge. We even had to wire tie little crate doors across the small opening so he wouldn't squeeze out. I think if this little fella had an IQ test we would find he's not just above average intelligence but a genius, which is probably why he is such a nut in the shelter. A sweet nut but still a nut. Given the proper outlets and stable home I feel he will be an excellent companion.

Boobahla my lioness long termer has FINALLY gotten her home. A lovely fella had been coming to see her and had several showings with her. He was very patient with her dead stopping and deciding she was not walking any further which she has done many times with different people. We would walk with him leading the way with another dog. He would come visit her again and there would be a new challenge..like she had giardia (a treatable intestinal parasite) and was on special food. The next time it was that she was now eating her own poop. I told him that it could be because of the supplements we have been putting in her food or that because she has been her so long it could just be a sign of stress and that it may subside when she gets into a stable home but to watch her around her poop. I'm suprised it didn't send him running for the hills but he made light of it. He kept coming to visit her while he was waiting for his room mate and the other dog to be able to meet Boobahla. He worked on her jumping in the kennel and really fell in love with her. The day came when the room mate and dog could come for a meet and greet. I didn't do the intro so I awaited the news with baited breath. I saw him at the front counter and asked him how it went and he held up his hand for a high five. YES! the other dog corrected her and she listened woo hoo! (I was worried she would try and tear his ears off like her and Coraline do to each other). He had to go on one last trip over the weekend so will be taking our girl home on Monday. One down 3 to go as far as long termers go.
We'll see who we can home next. We will be getting about 10 newbies on Monday also. Can't wait to see what we get.
Thanks for tuning in

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day of Puppies and Bunnies

We had a Valentine's event this past weekend...we're slashing prices and everything must go go go! <---true but it's not as easy as selling used cars. Of course we had three of THEE cutest little fuzzy black tuxedoed 3 1/2 month old big balls of squishy love. Now when I say little I really mean Baby Huey little. These puppies are the way you dream all puppies will be. They are mellow and sweet and not crazy hyper yet are playful and not squirmy worms in your arms. They don't bellow out the high pitched ear bleeding scream and bark like some. More like a low whine at times. Hmm maybe they have parvo. J/K. They are just that good. One can forget what a good puppy is really like when we have recently had several little boogers in a row. Not "bad" dogs per say, just....boogers. Ones in need of some SERIOUS structure, discipline and mental stimulation.(Not to forget about patience and love being the engine and caboose to that train.) Just puppies who were little smarty pants' and/or fearful toughies who very well may bite you should the proper circumstances arise, or those who wanted to pick fights with the other dogs or were in just plain need of maybe some Ritalin.
These puppies were even so smart as to go on their potty pads. Ok it was only once and the rest of the time they would poop right in fron of their door and step all in it and then jump up on the door and try to jump on you because thy are just so hyper and happy to see you first thing in the morning! All I want to do at that time is grab them as quickly as possible so as to keep them from slapping those poopy paws anywhere on my body and getting me all full of smelly foulness before the day has even begun. I usually try to make it through to after they have all gotten out for their morning breaks but then again they are the biggest causers of poop getting all over me. Them, and when the poop they have somehow burried UNDER their covers flies out when you are fluffing their beds and hits you in the leg.
Two of them got adopted by really good people who you hope are as ready for a baby as they feel they are. (and oh yes it is a "baby") A crying, chewing, peeing and pooping machine who's self relaince and learning capacity will only reach to about a 2yr old's (with ADD). Willing to feed them, potty them, keep them somehow entertained (hey not all two year olds play well by themselves right? ) clean up after them, keep them from running into the street or wandering off with strangers.
Hoping they understand there will always be the occasion of having to wipe their dirty butts, clean their vomit off the couch,(and your bed and the floor and your shoes...you get the point) pick up after the things they chewed up and then spit out, give them the "it’s been way to long and you are just too smelly" bath they hate and forever remind them what is appropriate.
Wait a minute! (I thought I didn't want kids so how did I wind up with them!?) There is only the boy left and of course he’s the biggest and we estimate them all to be round 60-70 pounds. Big babies!

We have had a good run on rabbit adoptions recently. They can come in waves it seems. No rabbit showings for weeks or adoptions for months and then BAM one day a rabbit gets adopted a week later another, a day later one of the pairs of rabbits are adopted. Now thankfully rabbits seem to do fairly well in the shelter except for when they get “cage aggressive”. Oh lordy let me tell you I would rather take my chances with a growly dog than a feisty “get yer damn dirty ape hands out of my cage” rabbit.
Somehow these little beasts are given carte blanche when it comes to biting. Now a dog that bites over something ferociously or repeatedly or unpredictably may very well be considered for the green mile But Rabbits they get to charge you, kick at you and even bite you (with a lock jaw clamp that makes you almost pull them out of the cage when pulling your hand back in pain because the little teeth grinder wouldn’t let go) with no repercussions at all. Don’t tell me those bites don’t hurt! The good thing about rabbits is the more people are with them and handling them they become nicer. Kinda like hey just keep snuggling that badger and he’ll get friendlier. In my three + years working with the animals I have received the most bites that broke skin from those wascally wabbits! Crazy how I still love em and am happy when they get into a good home.
More on the hounds later.
Be kind to your pets

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not Such A Bad Place ?or is it?

So as I briefly mentioned last post, we had a boy named Jokester. Our sweet Border Collie got a home and was scheduled to be returned since our little fella seemed to have some seperation anxiety. Now seperation anxiety isn't little fido or fifi going poop in your shoes or just barking through the day or even deciding to TP the inside of your house (that's just them having some fun.:)) Seperation anxiety is more towards breaking through the glass window or jumping off the 2nd story balcony or eating half the door jam trying to get out of the house to (most likely) find you or SOMEONE. [thankfully my girl just runs away when a door is left open..no glass breaking or door chewing so far]

Jokester seemed to be tearing the house apart when mom & dad left even for an hour. We had set up our boys room for his return and my concerns of course immediately ran amuck wondering how long it would take for someone to be able to work with his issue! The day came when Jokester was to come in and lo and behold the people loved him so much they took off work and decided to work with him on his anxiety and are letting him have more free reign in the house and leaving him for brief intervals to get him used to being alone. They let us know he is getting better. Those are the kind of pet owners one hopes all our kids get.

I came up with an idea long ago that I dubbed Special Needs Animals. These are dogs (and sometimes cats)that have either been here a long time and/or are those who are showing some signs of needing more. More of something, everything. More exercise, more rest, more mental stimulation, more companionship/quiet time. They DO get all these things at the shelter..but not always enough. Often, just getting their basic needs taken care of like clean housing and bedding, food, medicine, potty time out in a play yard and getting them introduced to potential adopters, is all we have time for in the day. The special needs animals are to have some one on one time with a staff member everyday. I usually get 25-30 min of solid play time or quiet time or even obstacle course time with at least one of them...on a good day I'll do 2 special needs animals and still get to sit with a couple others for 10-15 min. Those days are my favorites.

Our 3 girls Coraline, Boobahla, and Lady, along with the lovely, sweet, thick, busty, white with a batman mask, ball of rolling thunder (that's labled an Am. Bulldog but is in my view just a beautiful bully mutt) named Cheekaleeka are all on the Special Needs list, as is the ASP Pitty Boon whom Boobahla beats the crap out of. Each of these kids have started to show obvious stress signs.

Coraline our Husy has her girlfriend Boobala and they always play together since they both need a serious expenditure of energy and that is the best tool we have..other dogs. One day we decided to give them a really big yard....not quite remembering that Coraline has jumped fences. Well Boobahla this day was apparently not enough entertainment to keep Coraline around. I guess all the pulling on the ears wasn't as enjoyable as jumping the fence and taking off to siff out a squirrel, a gopher, the countryside, or the oceanside for that matter. Everyone was distraught once we realized our girl had gone AWOL and we had people out driving around looking for her and creating posters to make sure people would know where she belongs. Unfortunately we couldn't find her and all we could do is wait. Well a Husky likes to roam and explore so who knows how far she went but she was a mess when she was found HANGING AROUND IN FRONT OF THE SHELTER the next morning! How happy we all were to know she came back to us as if we were "home" and she was saying "I'm done playing now, can I have breakfast"? Our girl got to hang out up front that day which I thought was an odd reprimand for running away :) and she was zonked out all day. Silly beast. She has started some whining and a little over aroused nipping and has started to shred some of her bedding again. She gets exercise and campanionship/quiet time.

Boobahla is still jumpy and crazy and has gotten a little to rough at times with Coraline. She gets lots of quiet/companion time. She's now got some belly issues and currently there seems to be no medical problem so it could be stress. She's been with us to long..she needs her forever home soon. My sweet lioness.

Lady has been going up front to stay with the front office gang since she does so well up there. She settles right down onto her blanket and plays with her toys and is well behaved and not barking at kids and other dogs and often is snoozing away right next to the filing cabinet. She is doing pretty well compared to the increasing signs of stress from the others.

My Boon, whom I ADORE (I'm a pitty lover)is starting to jump much more and try a lot of muzzle punching which is when a dog jumps up to pop you in the eye or mouth or anywhere else they can get to on your face. Trust me Boon may not be tall but ole boy's got enough muscle in that butt and legs of his that he can easily reach the nose on my 5'8" frame. I swear he's got the jumping power of a flea! He's gets relax time and more play time.

Then there is my Cheekaleeka who has been with us awhile and though she is hanging in there pretty well she has a tendancy to look depressed when she's not with someone. When she is with you she hops up and down with her back legs on the ground. She reminds me of one of those souped up cars that can bounce. That's what she looks like when you enter her kennel. She gets soooo excited and will kiss you all over and chase her toys and chew on her rawhides. She does none of those things when alone. If not interacted with, she just stands at her kennel with this blank look on her face and none of theat bubbly personality shows through. You want to make everyone see just how funny and lovable she is when she's not just staring at you with this stoic look on her face through the gate. She gets mostly lovins/campanion time.

I think we may have a couple more to add to special needs as we've noticed one of our IT Greyhound mix gettting much more dog reactive and he is trying his best to jump up and pop you in the face and grab his leash in his mouth and jump up and pop you in the face and oh did I mention he tries to jump up and pop you in the face? He needs it all..love, exercise, mental stimulation... OY my poor Coopy..he's a pistol.

It's an interesting dynamic here at the shelter. On one hand you Watch some dogs come out of their shell here and blossom and that keeps one feeling good but when you see the reverse, where they started out here happy and fairly well behaved then after so much time they start to stress, and stress, and stress. It makes me think of a drip on a rock. The drip doesn't look like it's wearing away at the rock because it's just a drip but after months of drips that rock has been worn away.
We have had dogs who actually didn't want to leave. We've had dogs that leave and come back..even voluntarily. We've had dogs change in ways that were disheartening to us and difficult to witness. Within the life of a shelter dog maybe there was once a thought "this ain't such a bad place" but when compared to a real home a pooch may coem bacj and say "isn't it?" There's the good and bad, black and white to all of life, it's the grey I have a hard time with.
Save A Life Adopt A Pet

More on the others later
Be kind to your animals
Thanks for reading

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

They come, They go, sometimes they come back

It's been awhile I know and apologize..holidays sickness and days off but back we are.
The best news is that one of our long termers Marjorie who is deaf and a little booger with many other dogs, got adopted! Interesting thing about this adoption is she was adopted by a partially deaf woman and her children know how to sign. It was so cute when she asked us if we had a sign for Marjorie's name. No we didn't but she had other signs that she knows. So cool to have a family who can relate to little Marjorie's disability. I know she will be greatly taken care of.

We recently had a few returns of our animals. People will return pets for many different reasons. Sometimes they become ill or they decide the animal is 'too much" or they move or the animals shows behaviours that no longer are workable in the home. It's sad to see them returned but knowing they are back where we can find another good home is a relief. We have one named Coraline who is a beautiful Husky x who came back to us and she seems to be doing much better with us this time around. She used to shred her bedding and jump constantly but now she is a little lady. She is so pretty with her one brown eye and one blue eye and she will just sprawl out next to you and lift her leg showing her belly for you to rub it. Her forever home is on it's way and even when the animals come back to us we can say that at least they got a nice vaca away from the shelter.

Another of our returns is a Beautiful Lab x Lady. She is something else! She is a fence jumper/climber is not very nice to other dogs and has the energy of 20 energizer bunnies. She is a toughie since she has always barked at children which she seems to have some fear and dislike of and now is barking at random people. Now when I say bark I don't mean the usual "hey over here me me me pick me come pet me" kind of bark. This is more of a "hey you, you come closer I'm gonna turn a finger into a chewstick" kind of bark. Miss Lady is beautiful sweet smart and energetic and since she is not dog friendly it is going to have to be a special home that she goes to. We will surely do all we can to keep her sane and happy until her right home comes along.

I got to take Lady off site for a nice 30 min walk. She LOVES to sniff and did very well walking after she burns a little energy but given the chance she will run you until you drop...I think I may need to use a dog pack on her. Dog packs are great for those dogs who may have more energy than you. By using a dog pack the animal has to work harder with the pack on when weights are in it and will tire a little sooner than without it. After our walk I took her into the quiet room to settle down on the couch with me. What did our little dominatrix do? she gets up on the couch with me and no she didn't lay down and get all snuggley, she sits right on my lap. Guess she didn't want me going anywhere without her or she was telling me in dog language that SHE was the queen. I prefer to believe in the first idea. :) she is a sweet kissy girl with those she loves.

Then we have our current longest resident Boobahla. Another high high energy female lab mix who reminds me of a lioness. She is the same color as a lioness but is brindle (black lined markings)and she has the same strut as a lioness creeping through the grass waiting to take down a caribou...oh well for her maybe it would be more like a terrier she's looking to take down but trust me she could take down a caribou too if she wanted. She is sleek and stealthy and can be brutal yet a big ball of mush with people, but know she can be just as tough as a lioness. Right now Boobahla can only play with Coraline (who plays just as rough) and a foster Pitbull we have and she beats the crap out of him. She will always try and go for his arms but he is quick enough to tuck his arm and drop to his shoulder every time she goes to bite at it. Boobahla then just reverts to grabbing him by the ears and pulling as hard as she can. She's a bully with dogs but a sweet one with humans. She can jump almost to the top of her door when she is over excited and has to wait until she is on all fours before she can come out to play, if you don't then you will get mauled by paws and kisses. We always try and teach some manners here at the shelter as well. Having playmates is a huge help for dogs of her caliber and she gets her bully stick and rawhide everyday (since she plows through them like they were made of taffy) and that helps divert some of that unexpended energy as well. Keep your fingers crossed

We have a new bunch of kids that came in this week and one who stands out already is a sweet clingy VOCAL Border Collie, and as a fellow staffer stated, he's like Macgyver. His name is Jokester..which suits him pretty well. He jumped out of his play yard several times. One might think off he goes trying to escape but our sweet needy little man just wanted to be next to a human and he would walk right next to you when you walked him back to where he was supposed to be. We have a few totally enclosed play yards for our escapees and one of them has about a 6" gap between the gate door and the covered ceiling. Houdini which is really what he should be called, escaped from THAT ONE more than once. Now this dog in not a small 20 pounder he is a regular sized Border Collie! and how this desperate fella escaped from there is beyond all of us. Therefore we moved our slick willy to the other covered yard that has NO gap. Fortunately he has yet to reappear somewhere else with the gate still locked. :)

I'll update as new fun info arises.
Thanks for reading and be good to your animals!