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Validation of Why We Do Canine Foster Care

Doug
The dogtor is in

As of January 2017 we have fostered 38 dogs in 4½ years. That’s not an astounding number: I know many people who foster several times our annual average. Sometimes they have 6 or 8 dogs at a time, we generally have two or three (plus our two). But we take in the hard cases. We get the heartworm positive dogs that need to be nursed through a long treatment and recovery period. We take in those with “behavioral issues” and turn unmanageable hooligans into adoptable companions. It is trying work. Not all have been major challenges (most are simply large dogs who were never trained to behave) but there have been a few.

Flip, Flop, Flip

You may have noticed that you have received several notices that the Luna page has been published.  That is not wonky software this time, it’s me trying to make things better.  Let me explain.

When we first started posting information about the foster dogs, it was to Facebook.  I started with one FB page for Cochise, and he posted updates on all the foster dogs.  But that quickly became unworkable as people tried to filter through the posts looking for info on ONE dog.  FB filters stuff and does not show everyone all that is available.  Then I built each dog an FB page of their own so people who were interested in that dog could go find photos and short stories.  That worked okay.  But it was a lot of work, and each time we started a new dog it took a lot of time to make people aware that this dog/page was available and build traffic to it.  And … there ARE actually a few people out there who do not do Facebook!

So I started a blog as a section under my DougBittinger.com web site.  Again I posted one page per dog and added stuff to it as things developed.  That actually worked better than Facebook.  The only down side was that I could only publish a dog page once, so only one notice could go out to subscribers — I could not notify subscribers of updates.

So I started adding separate posts with updates and Doggy Tales, which notify readers when published.  Each of these linked back to the dog’s main page, so interested parties could go check out the dogs details.  The problem came when someone wanted full details on a dog, but did not want to sift through a dozen articles on a tag list to get them.  They preferred the “everything on one page” format.  (sigh)

Also, having the foster care blog as a section of my personal/professional blog made it difficult to send people direct links to specific pages and posts.  That involves DNS addressing issues, and I won’t go into that.  But a stand-alone blog for Piney Mountain Foster would solve that problem.  So I built one, and am now in the process of moving all content over to the new home and (this is the time consuming part) checking and fixing links and photos that still want to point back at the old location and will disappear when I delete those old locations.  I do not want half the site going blank all of a sudden!

The new installation of my e-mail subscriber notice sending utility DOES have the ability to let me re-publish things, so a notice is sent when I UPDATE a page – if I want it to.

Given that ability, I am going back to keeping almost all of the content on each dog in one place.  Yes, the page gets long on some dogs because they’ve been here a long time or because a lot has happened, but it is easy to find by rescues who are considering accepting one of our dogs.  Long doggy tales are spun off to a separate post, but I include a summary blurb on the main page with a link to the full Doggy Tale.

Therefore, if you see an e-mail notice that the same page has been published a couple of times this week, it’s not a melt-down but something new I’m trying.  If that proves too annoying to you: my subscribers, please do not unsubscribe, but let me know.  I’ll add updates to pages as they happen but only send out notices once a week.  Just let me know your preference.  Thanks!

Doug

Luna and Housing Trials

Luna has been something of an enigma since her arrival.  On the one hand, she has been single-minded in her attempts to escape.  She came here because NAC had no place they could humanely confine her.  Once she got here she set about dismantling her kennel.  I finally had to armor plate the inside of her “room” to prevent her getting purchase on the  safety mesh or chain-link with her claws and shredding the former and distorting the latter.  Before I got that done, she actually bent the panel clamps and pulled the door panel into her kennel!

Safety mesh on lower half prevents “chewing” chain link.

Mesh shredded, she yanked a panel loose!

Her neighbors, Da Boyz, are SHOCKED by the carnage!

I armor plated the inside to prevent further destruction.

While all this was going on, i was taking her out for leash walks four times a day.  The other dogs are released to run and play in our fenced yard, but Luna’s determination to escape causes me to worry that she will just go over a wall as soon as I’m not watching.  A theory that was verified the first time I put her on a tether so I could clean her kennel.  She wriggled out of her harness and I caught her trying to hop over the wall by our back porch.  Luna is a big girl and Animal Control learned that she could climb out of their 6′ high kennels.  I have a steel net over the top of mine to discourage that.

Lemaster Steele

This precious boy has obviously been someones treasured companion. He shows no aggression, is well behaved, knows some commands, and is housebroken. All he needs is a family to love him again.

Last updated: July 4, 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: June 15, 2019
  • Breed: Boston Terr/AmBull mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 31 Pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Affectionate, well behaved, gentle
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes (cats too)
  • Gets Along with People: Yes (even toddlers)
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes
  • Departure date: July 4, 2019

History

Picked up as a stray by The City of Newport Animal Control and not claimed, but this good boy has obviously been someone’s house dog.

Progress Notes:

Detailed update notes on our foster dogs are posted regularly. For a listing of updates that include Lemaster [click here]. A summation is included below.

Foster Dog Updates for July 5th, 2019

The noise comes from gun powder. We could do without the gun powder and just enjoy the pretty colors.

Well, we survived the Apocalypse of July.  Buddy spent the evening in his hunker bunker, Josephine managed to squeeze under our bed (amazing!) then poked her nose out and said, “Come on in, Blondie Bear, it’s better under here.”  Blondie (4 times Josie’s size) just looked at her with exasperation and poked my elbow with her nose.  Her signal that she desperately needs scritchies.  Callie Roo curled up in a ball on a snuggle bed and trembled.

I don’t know if rain intervened or if the revelers ran out of combustibles, but, mercifully, the noise fest did not drag on into the night.  Once all the noise subsided, the entire group of us heaved a collective sigh of relief and drifted off to sleep.

Lemaster

Luna N.A.C.: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Luna. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog (well, most of it) 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: July 12, 2019

Luna arrived today. Luna was a stray picked up by Newport Animal Control and taken to their facility. She is a Great Dane / Black Lab mix. Not terribly large as, Danes go, but larger than the average dog and quite strong despite being scrawny from hunger.  Luna could easily climb out of the regular kennels at N.A.C.  The only kennel they have that could contain her is their “vicious dog cell” and that is in a part of the building that is not air conditioned. In the late-June mid-day heat, it becomes far too hot for anything to stay in there long. They needed another solution. So the manager, Lisa, reached out to me: would I foster her for them? We found a way to make that happen and I picked her up this morning.

Luna remains the “property” of Newport Animal Control.  Adoption or surrender to rescue will be handled by Lisa or Alicia at Animal Control, ask them about that.

 

City of Newport Animal Control
219 East Main Street,
Newport, TN, 37821
(423) 625-8444
AnimalControl@NewportTN.com

I know more about Luna because I’m the one caring for her, direct questions about her health, temperament, and training to me via comment on this article (bottom of page) or e-mail.  Most are also linked to from a summary blurb in the detailed notes.

Lunarrival

Luna arrived today. Luna is a special case: a stray picked up by Newport Animal Control and taken to their facility.  She is a Black Lab / Great Dane mix.  Small, as Great Danes go, but larger than the average dog and quite strong despite being scrawny from hunger.

Newport Animal Control is working out of a make-shift facility in an unused building downtown.  Their kennels are lightweight, free-standing affairs.  Not sturdy enough to hold Luna, who proved able to climb over the walls and/or pull the door until the latch bends and it opens.  The only kennel they had that could contain her was their “vicious dog cell” and that is in a part of the building that is not air conditioned.  In the late-June mid-day heat, it becomes far too hot for anything to stay in there long.  They needed another solution.  So the manager, Lisa, reached out to me: would I foster her for them?  We found a way to make that happen and I picked her up this morning.

Sable Steele 2

Sable was a wild child: she’d had NO training but does get along with other dogs and likes people. In fact she craves attention from people. She just didn’t know how to relate to us properly. That’s why she’s here.

Last updated: July 3, 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: April 29, 2019
  • Breed: Mixed hound
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 35 Pounds
  • Spayed: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Wild Child
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: No
  • Departure date: Undetermined

History

Sable came here from another foster situation where she was sharing a kennel with at least two other dogs. They were well cared for, but needed training. Before that, it is my understanding, that she was abandoned with her siblings as puppies.

Progress Notes:

Detailed update notes on our foster dogs are posted regularly. For a listing of updates that include Sable [click here]. A summation of her progress is included below.

Rocky Steele: Notes on a foster dog

Rocky was the alpha (dominant) in a bonded pair of brothers. He spent nearly all of his life in a shelter and was skittish around people. He needed socialization, and release from his roll as his brother’s keeper. This has been achieved.

Last updated: July 12. 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: April 17, 2019
  • Breed: Hound mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Young, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 40 Pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Good: has become affectionate.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes is a little skittish around new people.
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Working on it
  • Departure date: July 12, 2019 headed for SAVE

History

Rocky was one of 6 puppies and their mother who were owner surrendered to Newport Animal Control because the original owner went to jail, the owner’s father didn’t want the dogs and his mother could do nothing with them because the mother dog became aggressive after she gave birth. All of the dogs were adopted out, Blaze and Rocky together, but were returned because they were kept outside and they barked, causing neighbors to complain. Rocky and his brother had become bonded, with Rocky as the dominant. Rocky tended to bully his larger brother, eating his food, taking his treats, but also played the role of protector and alpha.

Progress Notes:

Detailed update notes on our foster dogs are posted regularly. For a listing of updates and Doggie Tales that include Rocky [click here]. A summation of his progress is included below.

Blaze Steele

Blaze was the submissive one in a bonded pair of brothers. He has now learned to have a life of his own and has become an affectionate, gentle companion.

Last updated: July 15, 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: April 17
  • Breed: Hound mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Young, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 60 Pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Submissive, playful, timid
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: No
  • Departure date: Undetermined

History

Blaze was one of 6 puppies and their mother who were owner surrendered to Newport Animal Control because the original owner went to jail, the owner’s father didn’t want the dogs and his mother could do nothing with them because the mother dog became aggressive after she gave birth. All of the dogs were adopted out, Blaze and Rocky together, but Blaze and Rocky were returned because they were kept outside and they barked, causing neighbors to complain. Blaze and his brother had become bonded, with Blaze as the submissive. Rocky tended to bully his larger brother, eating his food, taking his treats, but also played the role of protector and alpha.

Progress Notes Summary:

Detailed update notes are posted below this Summary and the Photo Gallery.

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
  • Jumps up on people: No
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes

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
    Yes / 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
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Medical

  • DA2PP: 08/21/18 (NAC)
    Booster: 12/13/18
  • Bordatella: 08/21/18 (NAC)
  • Worming History:
    . 08/21/18, Pyrantel Pamoate: dose? (NAC)
    . 12/13/18, Pyrantel Pamoate: 3.5 cc (NAC)
    . 05/10-12/19 SafeGuard, 10cc PMFC
  • Rabies: 10/03/18 (Cedarwood)
    Also Microchipped
  • Neuter: 06/13/2019
  • Heartworm Test:
    . 6/13/2019 – Neg.
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . May 1, Effipro 45#+
    . July 2, Unknown
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 06/14/2019
    . 07/15/2019

Gallery

In roughly chronological order, newest at the bottom. Click the thumbnails to enlarge. Some pictures are linked to a Doggy Tale or video about Blaze, click those to open the related story or video.

Rocky and Blaze, bonded brothers at Animal Control

Supervising construction of new kennels

House sitter

Blaze using his hound dog voice (video)

Running in the yard, ears flapping.

Hanging out with Blondie in the watch tower.

Da Boyz first time dining separately.

Rooming together again to make room for Luna

“Where is my BROTHER? What did you do with him?

Detailed Updates:

May 1, 2019

Blaze and Rocky are bonded siblings: two of 6 puppies that were surrendered with their mother to Animal Control. The others were all taken away as they were adopted, leaving just these two, clinging to each other for moral support in a scary environment.

When I pulled them from Newport Animal Control, Blaze (the bigger one) tended to cower behind his brother, who would bark fiercely at anyone who stopped at their kennel door. They were so unruly they had to be carried out to my truck because they would NOT walk on a leash.

Since coming to Piney Mountain Foster they have remained quite close, but not so fearful. They’d still sleep in a pile, and they love to play together in our big yard. But Rocky has been nowhere near as protective, and Blaze has started to develop a will of his own.

For full details, read the story: Breaking Brotherly Bonds

May 15, 2019

When our current gang of foster dogs arrived, the nights were not silent. Definitely not silent! Rocky and Blaze were vocal day and night. They barked at anything they could see or hear moving around, they barked at other dogs on the mountain, even quite distant dogs, who were barking at something or just being conversational.

Their first few nights here were exhausting for I had to keep going outside to sit near their kennel to convince them to not bark — and awake our neighbors. Thank God it was spring, and warm enough I didn’t freeze out there!

After a few nights they caught on and were far less vocal at night. And that trend has only improved since.

For full details read the story: Silent Nights

May 17, 2019

We had a pop-up thunderstorm roll in this morning as we were getting our day started. It gave advance notice in the form of continuous, distant thunder so I dashed out to feed The Brown Dog Gang and let them run in the yard to relieve themselves before it arrived. Lennon and Blondie went with me to help. The rain started just as we were finishing up and getting them back into their kennels.

The inside dogs were in a mild panic.  The outside dogs never made a peep. They do not seem to be bothered by the storm. But then, they had had their breakfast and a potty break, there was no wind to blow the rain around, and the new roof with its wide overhangs easily kept all of them dry. The new slab is designed to make sure run-off from the mountain cannot flow across the new kennels. So they hung out and watched the show.

For full details read the story: Pop-up Thunderstorm

May 18, 2019

Of the two brothers, Blaze is gentler and more affectionate.  He can turn the steam up and play hard with the other dogs, but with me he’s usually pretty subdued and well behaved.  He has also learned to walk on a leash:
Foster dog notes for May 18th, 2019

May 27, 2019

Blaze has lead the charge in munching down my berry bushes. I grow blueberries, blackberries, Boysenberries, black raspberries, and red raspberries. These grow in a berry patch in the play yard and have gone mostly unmolested by the dogs until now. Blaze decided that the ripe red raspberries were a refreshing snack, then he started on the others, and now is chewing on the unripe blueberries. Rocky and Sable are following his example. This is rather distressing since they are eating the bushes as well as the berries. These doggoes seem to think they’re GOATS!
Foster Dog Notes for May 27, 2019

July 5, 2019

Blaze has never been a problem in this regard, always gentle.

I have had to move the Da Boyz back into one room to make room for Luna.  This should not be an issue short term as they have learned to enjoy themselves while not in each other’s company.   And I feed them separately by calling Blaze to come out of the kennel to eat while Rocky eats inside.  I do give them treats together and Rocky is doing better about focusing on his treat and not on taking Blaze’s away.
Foster Dog Updates for July 5th, 2019

July12, 2019

“Where is my BROTHER? What did you do with him?

Rocky was suddenly claimed by SAVE and he left us today headed for New York.  Blaze was a little upset when we returned in the truck without his brother.  But I let him out to play with Luna (who is calm) and then brought him his dinner and he has settled down to where I do not see obvious signs of separation anxiety in him.

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