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 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 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 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 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 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.