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.