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6 Tips on Selecting Pet Food

Originally published November 29th, 2015

pet foodThere is a bewildering array of pet food brands, and products within brands, out there to choose from. Products ranging from dry kibble, to canned, to fresh-frozen, to raw meat are available. All have some benefit, all have some risk. How do you decide which of these are best for your lifestyle and your pet’s health? Here are some tips to help you wend your way through the brand maze and select the best products to consider.

#1: The Pet Food Company

Many pet owners don’t trust larger pet food companies, thinking that a large corporation is by nature callous and uncaring. Smaller brands are more closely linked to their customers and likely to make better, safer products. However, statistics tell a different story.

The Usurper

Originally published February 16, 2016

Cochise
Cochise tells the tale

One of the great things about being a dog is our social order. We do not have to guess about who is in charge, we always know. In our pack (home) HairyFace is the pack leader because he provides us with food. That earns him the right to boss us around (he calls it ‘training’) and we comply because there is generally food in it for us. And because we love him, but mostly because of the food.

I am Hairy’s second in command. He calls me his Sergeant at Arms because keeping the pack secure is my primary job. I also mentor the fosters, and make sure the snuggle beds don’t escape (I suppose that too falls under security). It’s not that I’m a vicious dog.

When the Peoples take me out in public, I’m very friendly: encouraging people to scratch my head and pet me. For those who are truly deserving of such an honor I will even flop over and present my belly for a good rubbing. HairyFace calls me “a big moosh-baby”. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure it indicates non-violence.

Out there.

Here at home, I am Guardian of the Realm. It is my job to keep my pack safe from horrible threats like murderers, robbers, school buses (they eat children you know: I’ve seen them do it), loud cars, marauding stray cats, garden munching bunny rabbits, and the wind. Here at home, I am … intimidating (eye-brow waggle). And I do it well.

That’s why I was just aghast when I went off to deal with a heinous threat and upon my return I found this:

Would not you agree that this was totally unfair and demeaning? Imagine, sending me off to sleep in Volt’s bed so Volt could take my favorite place. SO unfair.

But, Hairy is the Leader, so … I hear and obey, because I’m a good dog. And I will be wanting dinner this evening (sigh).


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Blaze Goes Missing

Blaze gave me quite a scare today.

As Marie was leaving for work she used her “good bye” treats to get most of the house dogs into their crates so I could go outside to clean kennels without having to worry about anyone starting trouble or tearing up a dog bed while I was outside.

When I was finished with the kennels and had the outside dogs back in their rooms, I let the inside dogs go outside.  They rushed past me as I held the door like a flood or fur and raced around the corner to bark at one of the many vagrant cats who like to walk by, flipping the tips of their vertical tails in arrogance because they know the slavering pack of hounds cannot escape the fence to come after them.

After a bit the cat moved on and the dogs settled down to sniffing the grass and freshening their markings.  All except Blaze.  I could hear his distinctive hound dog bawl coming from around the house on the back porch. It occurred to me while I was watering the garden that while I do not think Blaze can get over the retaining wall back there, he was making a convincing try of it last night.  Maybe I should go bring him around to where I can watch him.

As I walked to the house the barking stopped and as I rounded the corner I expected to see Blaze laying on the porch waiting for me to come open the door for him so he could go inside to lounge around in greater comfort.

But he wasn’t.

In fact he was nowhere to be seen!  Just then the baying started up again, but it was just over a rise where the trees take over. “Oh, no! He got over the wall and is chasing that cat!” thought, I; painfully aware that today, of all days for this to happen, is when I’m supposed to deliver Blaze to the rescue van for his long ride out east.

The baying wasn’t moving.  Maybe he treed the cat.  Maybe I can get to him and bring him back.  But first I need to secure the other dogs.

I called them and, to their credit, every one of them came running.  Just for good measure I called to Blaze again, but he remained fixedly baying at the cat.  I turned to open the door to let the herd in so I could crate them and there, peering through the door glass at me, was BLAZE!  He was looking at me as to say, “What? I was sleeping.  Why are you yelling for me?”

I was so relieved I gave him a big hug, which really confused him.

But who the flibbiddygibbets is out in the woods sounding just like Blaze?  Doesn’t matter I guess, Blaze is here and safe.  And … maybe I’m getting too old for this job!


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Louis Steele: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Louis. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: Sept 15

Pulled from Newport Animal Control by Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue.  PMFC is fostering.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept 7, 2019
  • Breed: Hound
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 39.4 Pounds
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Typical for a hound
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Unknown
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Crate Trained: No
  • Housebroken: No
  • Departure date: Sept 12, 2019 going to S.A.V.E.

History

Unknown

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: No Yes

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Not usually
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Not great, but managable

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: No Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: No Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty
    No Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside
    No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys
    No Yes
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Louis’ Medical

  • DA2PP: 03/14/2019 (Animal Control)
    .             06/27/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Bordatella: 03/14/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Wormed: 03/14/2019, Pyrantel Pamoate (Animal Control)
  • Rabies: 09/07/2019 (Paws&Claws)
  • Spay/Neuter: 09/07/2019 (Paws&Claws)
  • Heartworm Test: 09/07/2019 NEGATIVE (Paws&Claws)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 09/12/2019, ?product?, ?dose?
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 09/08/2019, Sentinel, 2, 11-25 lbs doses
  • NOTES:
    . Has a scabby spot on lower back which looks to be from chewing or rubbing against kennel fencing.
    .

Diet

4health Salmon & Potato recipe kibble
1¼ cup in AM, 1 cup in PM

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 7th

Louis making like a frog

I picked Louis up from Animal Control this morning and took him to Steele Away Home’s medical day for neutering.  He crated up and rode well, deciding that making like a splayed frog was hes best way to ride.  It worked and he rode there and them home like this without peeing or pooping in his crate.

I’m told he was good while he waited to: no fussing or carrying on in his crate.  He seems to not be bothered much by his surgery, and has not been licking at his incision.

Sept 12

Louis left us today, heading to New Jersey to find a forever home through S.A.V.E.  He rode well, walked politely to the staging area and crated up without a fuss.  He’s a good boy, a handsome boy, and I hope he finds a home again quickly.  Safe travels Louis!

Sept 15

ADOPTED!

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Faith2: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Faith. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: Sept 18

Faith has obviously been someone’s pampered pet, but she is now in need of a new family to love, and a sofa to lay on.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept. 12, 2019
  • Breed: Boxer mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight:  69 Pounds at intake
    61.2 lbs 09/18/2019
  • Spayed: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Low energy, affectionate, submissive
  • Gets Along with: Dogs, Cats, People
  • Crate Trained: Yes No
  • Housebroken: Yes No
  • Faith’s RescueMe listing: 19-08-10-00116
  • Departure date: Undetermined

History

Picked up as a stray July 31, 2019 and never claimed, Faith is again in search of a loving home.  After having been at Animal Control for too long, Dr. Sandra Manes DVM pulled her, to be sure she was safe, and asked Piney Mountain to foster her.  Faith is overweight and in need of some serenity.  We will address both of those issues.

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

For a listing of Doggy Tails that include Faith [click here].

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Uncertain
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: No Yes
  • Style of play:  She doesn’t

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Yes 
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: No

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters her crate: No Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: No Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: No Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No Yes
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Sometimes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: No
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Faith’s Medical

  • DA2PP: 08/21/2019 (Animal Control)
    . 09/11/19 (Cedarwood Veterinary)
  • Bordatella: 08/21/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    .08/26/2019 Pyrantel Pamoate 5.5 cc
  • Rabies: 09/11/19 (Cedarwood Veterinary)
  • Spay: Prior to arrival at NAC
  • Heartworm Test: 08/28/2019, NEGATIVE (Cedarwood)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 08/30/2019, Comfortis, 20-40 lb x 2
    .
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 08/30/2019, Triheart, 25+ lb + 26-50 lb
    .
  • NOTES:
    . Faith is 10 to15 pounds overweight.  Dr. Sandra says this is due to inactivity more than overeating, Faith generally leaves food in her dish.  Having a large yard to play in should help that.
    . I found blood on the floor of her kennel when I went to retrieve her dinner dish.  See 9/13 entry below.  Appt. w/Vet for Sept 18.

Diet

4health Mature Adult Formula.
1½ cups AM, 1¼ cups PM

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 9

Faith was supposed to be coming here today, a foster dog who was supposed to be leaving on last weeks transport got bumped to next week’s run.  So I don’t have a vacancy yet.  This should be corrected on Thursday the 12th.  Once she’s here I can begin the evaluation and provide more detailed information.

Sept 12

Faith has arrived.  She rode well.  When I let her out in the play yard she peed, pooped, then rolled on her back and wiggle-scooted all the way down the hill.  She’s a hoot!

Due to a sudden change in The Plan a dog that was supposed to have left last week didn’t, and a change to Faith’s recent housing brought Faith here a little early and I do not have an empty kennel for her.  But I will in a few hours.  So Faith is lounging in a crate until Louis and Sable leave this afternoon.  She seems content with that for now, and the whole gang has come by the say, “howdy!”

Sept 13

Yesterday I found blood on the blood of her kennel, and blood on her foot, though she wouldn’t let me have a good look.  This morning I found her Benebone chew toy bloodied up.  Her gum is bleeding around a tooth, left side, lower jaw, about half way back.

I removed the Benebone and replaced it with a rope toy.  I’ve alerted Dr. Sandra, we will see what needs doing next week.  This might be why she’s not eating the kibble too.  I have some canned food.  I’ll try that until she see’s her vet.

Sept 16

I made an appointment with Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital to sedate Faith and have a good look at her teeth – and trim her toenails.  Since I removed the Benebone I’ve seen no blood on the floor or in her mouth.  She is eating kibble now too, apparently without discomfort.

Sept 18

I took Faith to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital this morning.  I put her in a harness so it would not choke her when she pulled on the leash.  She rode well and did well in the reception area.

Waiting on the report now.

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Why Good Dogs Develop Bad Behavior

Originally published March 31, 2016

Doug
The dogtor is in

Jasper has been with us for a week now. He came to us from the local animal shelter because he had been returned to them from a rescue because his bad behavior was deemed “unmanageable”. I was told this meant that he is extremely energetic, jumps on people and cannot be dissuaded from this. This is bad behavior in a small dog.  In one that is around 70 pounds it can prove terrifying to an unsuspecting recipient of such affection. And he does mean it as affection or play.

Jasper exhibiting good behavior not bad behavior
Jasper doesn’t look like a terrorist does he?

This description immediately popped a couple of presupposition flags in my mind:

1) It seems this behavior is often the result of a family adopting a puppy but making no attempt to train it. While it’s an adorable ball of fluff, jumping up on your legs eager for attention is cute. When it becomes a 30 pound dog, it’s less endearing. When it’s 50 or more pounds, the poor dog ends up at the local shelter because it’s a major nuisance and “they can’t do anything with it”. So of course this bad behavior is the dog’s fault. The truth is that no one took the effort to teach it good behavior.

Major FAS: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Major. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: Sept 18

Major was a family dog.  I don’t know what changed in their family, but on January 19, 2019 his family dumped him at the local animal shelter, and his troubles were just beginning.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept. 9th
  • Breed: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 60 Pounds
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, bouncy.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Unknown
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Gets Along with Children: Yes, was a family dog
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes
  • Departure date: Undetermined

History

Major’s family brought him to the Friends Animal Shelter in Newport to surrender him.  While they were there, Major was a happy, bouncy boy.  But when his family left him there and went away, Major became upset, then angry, then vicious.

The shelter asked me to come look at him and determine if they were going to have to destroy him.  Their staff was unable to handle him or clean his kennel.  I arrived with a pocket full of peanut butter dog treats.  Nearly all dogs love these things.  In about 20 minutes I had him calmly eating out of my hand.  I showed their Vet Tech, Carol, what I had done and how to handle him.  She continued these techniques and got him settled enough to place him up for adoption.

Except he was not adopted.  Nine months later, he’s still there and is showing signs of shelter psychosis.  So they reached out to me once again, would I foster him to get him out of the shelter environment and help him regain his sanity?  Yes, of course I will help Major.

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: No Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: No
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Not so much

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: No
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Major’s Medical

  • DA2PP: 02/20/2019 (F.A.S.)
  • Bordatella: 02/20/2019 (F.A.S.)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    . 09/05/2019, Strongid, ???, Friends Animal Shelter
  • Rabies: date (by) NEEDED
  • Neuter: Done prior to surrender
  • Heartworm Test: 09/05/2019, NEGATIVE, Friends Animal Shelter
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . date, product, dose
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 09/13/2019, Ivermectin solution, 0.6 ml
  • NOTES:
    .  Shows signs of stress, is aggressive with select staff members.  During assessment on 08/31 to 09/07 he responded well to both Marie and I on all visits.

Diet

4health Salmon and Potato recipe, 1½ cups AM, 1¼ cups PM.

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 8

I have visited with Major 3 times now and have had no trouble with him.  I can go into his kennel, pet him, hand him treats, and he will sit on command.  If I encourage play, he gets revved up quickly and can be a bit overwhelming.  He *needs* some room to run and a low stress environment.  He will get that on Monday.

Sept 9

I picked up Major today.  He gave me no trouble at all, in fact once I got my transport box inside his kennel I prepared to lure him into the box with treats.  But as soon as I opened the door, Major scooted inside and said, “I’m ready, lets go!”  Carol helped me load him up and he rode well on the trip home.

He enjoyed exploring our play yard and has settled into his room.  All the other dogs have come by to say “howdy” and no ugliness came of it.  We’re off to a great start.

Sept 12

Major has been here three full days now and has not once peed or pooped in his kennel.  I let him out every few hours during the day and he takes care of his needs in the yard.  I praise him for that, but he may well be housebroken already.

Major is also getting quite playful now that he’s settling in and getting to know the others.  He and Blondie Bear had their first play session.  Things were tense at first …

Sept 16

Major has not been especially, “frisky” when it comes to solo play time, either in his room or in the yard.  But this morning he decided to frisk things up a bit by tossing around his Benebone.

Sept 18

Major appears to have lost some weight: he’s got more of a waist to him now.  That might be why he’s more willing to run and play now.  That will only help speed the trimming down and toning up process.  He has an appointment at Cedarwood for a Rabies shot on Friday.  I’ll weigh him on their big scale then and see how he’s doing.  He has still kept his kennel immaculate.  He really wants to be a house dog again.

.

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How Lil Blue Came To Piney Mountain

I started Monday morning by loading up the truck with all the stuff I was going to need that morning, for I had an unusually busy day of running around ahead of me.  Once that was done I did a quickie-clean-up of the kennels.  I planned to do a thorough cleaning later in the day when I did not need to be watching the clock.  I needed to be at Animal Control, with Martin, at 10:00 and time does tend to slip by when I take my eyes of the clock.  So I took care of several short chores and watched that clock to be sure I got all the dogs who were not going with me secured, and Martin loaded in time for me to roll out with enough travel time to get there at (or before) the designated time.

When Martin and I arrived (just a few minutes early), Roxy was waiting on us and she had brought a leash.  Early AND prepared, I like that!  We finished up the adoption and Roxy took Martin (now renamed Guinness) home with her.

Before I left, Lisa (Animal Control’s manager) asked me to look at a dog with her.  Tucked away in the  back room and huddled against the back wall trembling like a leaf was a smallish dog who clearly was at least part Blue Heeler, but beyond that we could not tell anything: size, weight, age, even sex, because of the way he (as it turned out) was all hunched up.  He was terrified.

When the staff arrived that morning, Chip (Newport’s Animal Control Officer) came in the back door and found a crate that someone had left during the night.  The crate contained this guy and a cat.  They got him into one of the kill cages, but could not get close or handle him at all.  We both agreed that he was not going to do well there.  I said I’d have to talk to Marie before I could take him home – and I’d need to go get a crate anyway.  And I went on.

I delivered a display full of dog cookies to Kathy’s Grooming Parlor.  Our rescue uses her a lot and she always does a great job and treats us well.  She came to the Quilts & Canines thing on Saturday and wanted a display for her place to help Steele Away Home.  So I delivered that, we discussed terms.  Then I went on.

I stopped at the bank to exchange a bag of small bills and quarters for big bills.  The drive-through teller, Pam, is a long-time friend and helps us at the Q&C events.  We chatted until another car pulled up behind me, then I rolled on.

I went down the road a bit farther and up the big hill to Linda’s house.  She’s Steele Away Home’s treasurer, and I needed to hand off the people food sales money Marie, Pam and I took in from Quilts & Canines.  I would have given it to her after the show, but they left before we did.

From there I went out to Cedarwood Veterinary to deliver Roxy’s and Martin’s paperwork and microchip (with injector), and to make payments on Steele Away’s vet bill with funds I’d raised that week.  $92.00:  not bad, but not near as good as we did at last year’s Quilts & Canines.

Then home to e-mail Marie.  I explained the situation and she said, “Go get that poor dog!”  I needed to check with her because we are, technically, over capacity already and she is concerned that I’m working myself too hard as it is.  But … Blue is not going to do well at all there and I’m sure Steele Away Home has no vacancies since we are just two weeks before a transport.

So I loaded a transport box in the truck and went back.  The process of gaining enough of the little fella’s trust to let me maneuver him into the transport box took quite a while.  But once done, we loaded him up and I took him home.

Piney Mountain worked it’s blessedness on him, and he started settling down within minutes of arrival.

Resting after his walk

After some decompression time, I took him out for a leash walk, but ended up having to carry him back.  He’s a bit opinionated about where he wanted to go.

He was infested with fleas, so I gave him a Capstar in cat food.  Cat food is my secret weapon against stubborn dogs who will not take a pill hidden in peanut butter, cheese, hot dog, lunch meat … and I tried all of those.  He refused them all.  But Mom had some tins of cat food her cats now refuse to eat and gave me one of those to try.

He also stunk to high heaven, so later in the day I brought him in and Marie and I bathed him in the kitchen sink.  He did NOT like that, but neither did he get nasty about it.

But even through all that he still had live fleas on him.  So I took him back outside to let that Capstar continue to work.  He seemed happier outside in a kennel than inside in a crate anyway … until about 1:30 AM.  Then he started in on a high-pitched howl that sounded like banshees.  That got all the house dogs barking.  I decided to check on him and decide whether I would bring him inside or crate him in the shop to muffle the noise.  It had to be bothering our neighbors.

As I entered his kennel he jumped up and danced on my legs, “I’m so, so happy to see you!  I thought you abandoned me too!”  Okay, you’re lonely.  Bringing you in should fix the problem.

So we settled in the living room.  Lil Blue in his crate, me on the sofa with my Kindle, which I later traded for my lap top because I was not able to get back to sleep, so I might as well get some work done.  This was partly because he was restless too.  About 4:00 AM he finally settled and went into a sound sleep. But that is when I need to be up and starting my day.

And that was the Monday Lil Blue arrived at Piney Mountain.  I got quite a lot done “out there” but precious little done here at home.  I never did get to a deep cleaning of the kennels, just a pick-up and hose out a few times.  Today, Blue and I will continue to get acquainted and I’ll try to get him to walk with me on a leash so I don’t have to carry him all the time.  Not that that’s a big deal, he only weighs about 25 pounds.  But it would be better for both of us if we got that worked out.  That’s one of the necessary skills he’ll need to be considered for adoption.  Eventually he needs to come when I call so I can let him run freely in the yard.  But I have to go gently with him, he’s been hurt enough already.

To follow along with Lil Blue’s progress, check out Blues foster notes page.

Martin NAC: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Martin. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: August 26, 2019

This sweet, affectionate little fellow looks like a puppy, but he’s not.  He is almost 2 years old, thus fully grown, and a really good boy.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Aug. 23
  • Breed: Golden Retriever / Black Lab / Husky
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 50 Pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Scheduled for Sept 4th
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Gentle, sweet, calm, well-behaved: PERFECT!
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Unknown
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Gets Along with Children: Unknown
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: No
  • Departure date: August 26th

History

This precious boy was removed from an abusive environment, along with several other dogs.  He was living in a small pen on someone’s porch.  But you would not know it by his behavior, he is as loving and eager to please and any dog from a perfect home.

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs
    Yes

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes (gives great hugs)
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Not really
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty
    No Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside
    No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys
    No
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: No
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Crates on command: Yes

Medical

  • DA2PP: date (by)
  • Bordatella: date (by)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
  • Rabies: Aug 22, 2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Spay/Neuter: Sept 4,, 2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Heartworm Test: date, result (by)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . Aug 22, Capstar, 25+ lbs
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . date, product, dose

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom.

Aug 26

We only had the privilege of fostering this sweet boy for a weekend.  We “borrowed” him from Newport Animal Control because we knew he was gentle, calm, and affectionate, as well as being a really good looking dog.  The Quilts & Canines event was coming up and we figured that would be a great venue to help this boy find a forever home.

I picked him up on Friday and took him to our favorite groomer: Kathy’s Grooming Parlor in Newport.  She brushed all the under fur out and bathed him.  He came out looking and smelling so much better.  He came home and spent the night with us. and we took him to the show on Saturday.

We put him in a portable kennel in front of our booth.  It had a roof to keep the rain and or sun off of him.  Many people came over to visit with him.  Almost all commented on what a well behaved boy he is.  Several said they’d adopt him in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for (something).

Roxy, someone we are familiar with and one of the other “vendors” at the show, came to visit him several times.  Finally she said that she just loved this boy and would adopt him in a minute, but can’t afford the adoption fee right now.  Another near-by “vendor”, Cathy, overheard this conversation.  A little while after Roxy left, Cathy came and asked if she could take Martin for a walk.  We know Cathy well and were confident in her ability to manage Martin.

They walked around the perimeter of the show and ended up at Roxy’s tent.  There they stood and talked for a while.  Then they called me over.  We discussed several things including what was involved in an adoption and what the adoption fee covers.  It’s really quite a bargain, there is no “profit” involved for either Animal Control or the Veterinarian.

Then Cathy said, “If I pay the adoption fee and a couple months of food, would you adopt Martin and give him a good home?”

Roxy said, “Yes, I’d be happy too” and just then, Martin stood up and hugged her!  We were all near tears at that point.

I filled out the adoption paperwork with Roxy and we agreed on a time to meet at Animal Control so they could finalize things and schedule Martin’s surgery.

That appointment went off without a hitch this morning, and Roxy took her new family member home with her.

We consider this a happy ending for all involved.

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Lil’ Blue Steele: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Lil Blue. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: Sept 12

Lil Blue had been dumped in a crate outside Animal Control during the weekend. The Manager asked me to look at him. He was scared to death and not doing well.  Clearly he could not stay there.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: August 26, 2019
  • Breed: Blue Heeler Mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 25 Pounds
  • Neutered: Sept 7th
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Affectionate, playful and sweet.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Crate Trained: Yes
  • Housebroken: Yes
  • Departure date: End of Sept, going to Lucky 7 Dog Rescue

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

For a listing of Doggy Tails that include Lil Blue [click here].

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes So far I’ve crated him for meals, but he does not growl when others are near.

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Unknown Probably fine with older kids, may be too energetic for toddlers.  In either case, keep his nails trimmed, they get cat-like sharp.
  • Jumps up on people: Sometimes, but doing better
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: Yes, with bribery
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes Unless he needs to go out or is lonely/scared.
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: Yes
    .
    He can’t reach them (lol)
  • Stays off people furniture: No, but he knows its bad behavior.  Likes to test that boundary.

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Most of the time
  • Sits on command: No
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Lil Blue’s Medical

  • DA2PP: Aug 28, 2019 (PMFC)
  • Bordatella: Aug 28, 2019 (PMFC)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    . Aug 28-30 | Fendbendazole | 5 ml | PMFC
  • Rabies: Sept 7, 2019 (Paws & Claws)
  • Spay/Neuter: Sept 7, 2019 (Paws & Claws)
  • Heartworm Test: Sept 7, 2019, NEGATIVE (Paws & Claws)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . Aug 26, Capstar, 25+ lbs
    . Aug 27, Fipronil, 23 – 44 lbs
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 09/07/2019, Sentinel, 11-25 lbs
  • Notes:
    . Infested with fleas at intake and has missing fur and irritated skin along his back.  Using Chlorhexadine to prevent infection in the raw spots.  Treated him for fleas (see above).  I do not think this is mange.
    . The vets who neutered him made no mention of skin disease, confirming my diagnosis above.  His fur is growing back in too.  He’s still itchy, seems to have dry skin.

Diet

Lil Blue is drinking water now so I’ve switched him to a dry diet: 3/4 cup 4heath Salmon & Potato formula twice a day.

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom.

Aug 26

I finished my morning deliveries and went home to e-mail Marie about Blue and the situation he was in.  I asked her if I could exceed our limit (again) for this pitiful fella (though we didn’t know what sex he was at the time because he was hunched up against a wall in the back, trembling like a leaf). Marie said, “Go get that poor dog!” So I did. Shades of Josephine’s story.  It took a while to earn his trust enough to guide him into a transport box to take him home.

Once I got him back here I let him borrow Blaze’s kennel while I cleaned out the transport box (he got scared during the trip and messed it up) and got things ready to bring him inside.  He started calming down as soon as he got here.

Out walking

Do I see Corgi here?

Resting after his walk

I want him to take a Capstar to be sure we aren’t bringing fleas into the house. He won’t eat anything I tried hiding it in (yet). Even lunch meat. Mom gave me some cat food when I took her the mail: that was my secret weapon when I worked at the Jeff County shelter. I’ll try that. If it works I can bring him inside to his room where I can continue working to calm him. He seems like a sweet little boy!

(UPDATE: The cat food worked!  He snarfed it down he needs a while for the Capstar to work, then I’ll bring him in and settle him in his crate.

Aug 27

Blue is coming out of his shell today.  On our morning walk he had his head up and a spring in his step.  There were a couple of times when I said, “Come on lil guy” and he actually followed me.  There is hope!

I also looked up some personality traits for Blue Heelers since I don’t know many details about them.  The Daily Puppy offered this:

Behavior with Other Animals

As natural herders, these pups try to herd other animals. They can be dominant toward other dogs in herding attempts, although early socialization can mitigate this. Blue heelers also nip the animals they’re herding, again due to instinct. They’re not trying to be mean. For this reason, blue heelers aren’t recommended around cats unless they have been raised with cats from puppyhood.

Behavior with People

In general, blue heelers enjoy a tight family bond, although they will test owners for dominance. If you can assert yourself as the alpha of the pack, your blue heeler will come to respect you. If you’re not willing to consistently take a pack leader stance, you may find the blue heeler temperament and energy level too much to handle. These dogs tend to be suspicious and watchful of strangers. Coupled with their family loyalty, this makes them excellent guard dogs.

He was dumped WITH a cat, so I suspect he’s been raised around cats and is okay with them.

“What? I’m just looking out the window.”

As of Sept 8 I have not seen him trying to herd the other dogs.  He likes to run with them, but is mindful of the size difference.

I HAVE seen the heeler dominance testing behavior, especially in regard to our rule of “no dogs on the sofa and people bed”.  I am firm but gentle in enforcing the rules and he is slowly accepting my assertion of being alpha.

Aug 29

Oddly enough, Lil Blue is forming a close friendship with Blaze.  Our littlest dog chooses to buddy up with our biggest dog?  Who’d have thought it?  He’s showing more of his true personality too.  There is separation anxiety, but that will settle out as he becomes confident he’s not being dumped again.  He is good in his crate, and he does let me know when he needs to go outside.

Aug. 30

Happy to be rid of the leash.

Lil Blue has learned to come when called, so I can safely let him out to free-range in the yard.  I still go out with him to watch over him (from a distance), but he may go where he wants.  He wanders, but he keeps me in sight.

He also gets to free-range inside most of the time.  He has been good about letting me know he needs to go outside by scratching on the door.

A little while ago Lil Blue was wandering the room while I worked at my desk. He was being good, just checking things out. Then he came to me, stood up on his hinders and started bouncing his front feet on my leg. That’s new. “What is it little guy, what do you want?”

He hopped down, ran to his room (crate) and stared inside. I looked closely and saw Buddy Beagle curled up in a ball in there. “He’s in my room! Make him get out, it’s MY room.”

I extracted Buddy Beagle. Lil Blue rushed in and took inventory then settled in saying, with a little pout, “It’s MY room!”

Sept 1

Lil Blue has  successfully slept through the night twice now.  Last night I moved his crate into the bedroom so I could sleep in the bed again.  It was a bit snug squeezing his crate in there, since we already have wall-to-wall dogs at night, and Blue had his own idea of a solution, but it worked out.

I took him out for a walk at 9:00 PM, he did his thing, went right back in and settled in his “room”.  He slept all the way through to 6:30 AM.  I got up to let Buddy Beagle out once and a couple of times to tend to my own needs and Blue didn’t fuss or demand to come along.  We went to church this morning and he was okay with that.  I think we’ve worked him through his separation anxiety.

Sept. 2

Lil Blue had quite an adventure today.  We started by my baking up a bunch of dog treats, most of which I will be delivering tomorrow. Blue is eager for the samples.

Then Blue and I loaded up for a truck ride. Lil Blue was not happy about this, I think he was afraid I too was going to dump him somewhere. I tried to assure him this was nothing like that.

He liked riding in the cart at Tractor Supply Co. while I gathered our monthly supplies. He also liked getting petted and fawned over by a store associate and a customer. One gal said, “You are SO adorable, if I didn’t have 6 dogs and a husband who says, ‘no more dogs’ I’d adopt you in a heart beat.”

The gal at the checkout offered him treats, but he refused them. He knew I had peanut butter treats in my pocket, he wanted one of those.

The ride back home was calmer, I think he figured out that we were on an adventure, not a dastardly deed. When we got home I let him run in the yard while I unloaded and stacked our monthly supply of kibble.

When we went inside, I removed his walking harness and he went to tell his tale to Blondie Bear. She was a touch envious, she loves going to TSC, but she said she was glad he’d had a good time.

Sept 7

Lil Blue was neutered today.  When we picked him up from surgery he was happy to see us and bouncy.  When his pain meds wore off, he began to walk stiffly and held his ears down flat on his head.  He did eat his dinner, leash walked with me several times to do his business, and he slept through the night.  He has not been licking at his incision.  If he’s still in pain in the morning I’ll get him some baby aspirin.

Sept 8

This morning I had to put Lil Blue in a cone to keep him from licking his neuter incision. He did not like that. He asked me to take it off. I did not.

We went outside after breakfast and Blue just sat in the grass facing away from me, refusing to “do” anything, refusing to acknowledge me when I called him. SO I went inside. Pretty soon he was at the back door with Callie and Jojo wanting back in. But he was still mad at me, I could tell.

So we crated most of the dogs and went to church.

When we got back Blue was so happy to see us he forgot, for a little while, that he was mad at me. We went outside again and Blue was not giving me the cold shoulder but wasn’t being affectionate either. He does get around really well with that cone though.

At dinner time I let Blue Free-range eat with the others. He did extremely well.

Where is Buddy, you ask? Buddy is in his crate eating. Buddy is a pig-dog and cannot be trusted around food.  Blondie, Callie, Josie, and Blue mind their own bowls and only their own bowls.  They’re good dogs.

And this evening his ears are back on top of his head. He’s feeling perky again and has forgiven me — though he’d still like me to take off the cone.

Sorry, Lil guy, I really am. Not yet.  But I’ll buy you a donut in the morning, that will be easier to handle.

He’s done an amazing job of adapting. Blue is a bright and resilient little fellow.

Sept 11

Lil Blue is doing well with his surgical recovery.  We bought him a donut collar to replace the cone, and he likes that much better.  Not that he had any real trouble with the cone.  Unlike most, Blue acclimated to the thing really quickly.  This is due in part to the fact he does not walk around with his nose to the ground — which turns the cone into a dozer blade — but also to the fact that he has an unusually heightened sense of spacial proximity.  He rarely ran the cone into things.

Lil Blue is now a regular member of the Breakfast Club (and the dinner club), able to eat in close proximity to all the other free-range dogs, and has lost all his anxiety.  Until recently he insisted I go out in the yard with him.  I didn’t have to be right next to him, but he needed to be able to see me.  For the past few days he has been leading the parade around the corner and out into the yard while I stay in the house.

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