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The Pop-up Thunderstorm

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.

Blondie trotted up toward the house with her ears down on the sides of her head (her Yoda face) muttering, “It’s raining, it’s raining, I don’t like the rain.  I need to be inside.”

While Marie fixed breakfast, Buddy Beagle cowered in his bunker. He still barked at the thunder — until we had a close lightning strike with it’s BIG boomer that rattled the house and the power blinked. Then Buddy admitted defeat and was quiet: curled up in the back of his crate until the storm passed.

Josie hid too. In her own way.  She tried to wiggle in behind the chair, but it had been pushed back to make more room for crates.  She often goes and hides under my desk, but this morning she preferred to be where the Peoples were, so she made do with this corner.

Leggy Lennon Tries Tug-O-Rope

All of the dogs except Buddy Beagle — who was indoors doing a detailed inspection of his eyelids — were outside horsing around when Lennon discovered a ropey toy that had been spirited outside and tucked away.  Lennon didn’t want to stop playing with the girls, but he wanted to chew that ropey later, so he devised a plan.  But there was a snag in his plan … a snag named Josephine!

His plan didn’t work out as he had planned, but it did involve everyone playing together.

Lennon is young and playful and gets along well with everyone.  Buddy grumps at him sometimes, but that’s not about Lennon, that’s just Buddy being a grumpy old fella.

In the past, when I’ve tried to get Lennon to play tug with me or with Blondie, he would yield the ropey as soon as his opponent tugged on it.  But today, he figured out that playing tug can be fun.  We should have a new game we can play together now.

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Kennel Deconstruction

It was a chilly but sunny Saturday morning with no rain or high winds predicted for the day.  It seemed like a good day to work on the first step in Phase One of our Kennel Upgrade project.

Oak Beams are HEAVY

Phase One, Step One is to move a lumber pile out of the driveway so the concrete truck can get close enough to the kennel location to discharge it’s load into the forms.  I have been working on that the past couple of days.  This photo was just the start, about half the pile is moved now.  I’ll finish that up in the coming week.

Phase One Step Two is to dismantle Kennels #1 and #2.  Today I want to strip the roofs off of these kennels.

All three kennels are in the way of where the concrete slab will go (See: Big Doins article) so they have to be moved.  Now that Selma and Lucy have gone to New Jersey, #1 and #2 are not in use.  The tricky bit here is that the kennels form part of the perimeter fence that keeps the dogs in the yard.  Were I to simply take them apart, the dogs would have to be walked on leashes any time they came outside, and running and frolicking would be right out of the question.  Since this could take a little while to accomplish, I need an alternative plan.

Obviously I went a bit farther than I planned to go today, but it was going well and I was feeling good and decided to just keep at it until I got this step done.  There is lots more work to do: digging out the landscape timbers that formed the foundation under the kennel panels, scrubbing and storing the dog houses and beds, and of course I still have to move Lennon’s kennel.  That’s Phase One Step Three.

Overlaps the sidewalk area

One corner of this kennel is inside the area that the slab will cover.  But even if it were a couple of feet further back and clear of the slab, when Bob smooths the concrete he will probably use a long handled float.  That long handle will need some room to work with, and this kennel being in the way will be a hassle.

But because of the way this one is built (my most advanced design), it will not be a simple matter to dismantle it, move the parts, and put them back together.  It would be better to move the kennel intact.  I’ll detach it from its foundation of 4×4 timbers, but the chain link panels and roof will remain clamped together — unless it is simply beyond my strength to move it as an assembly.

I left “containment” around the work area because I will be opening the temporary fence to get kennel #3 where it needs to go, and because there are gaps under the temp fence that might encourage dogs to try digging out.  I’ll block those with the timbers I remove from kennels 1 & 2 foundations.  Removing the three remaining panels from the work area will be a simple matter and can be done the day before Bob arrives to set up forms.  Until then, they are insurance.

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Is Peanut Butter Treat Day a Trap?

peanut butter treatsI made 274 of my Peanut Butter dog treats today.  That sounds like a lot, but we go through that many in a week or less with the pack I have here.

I use them as rewards (and bribes) for good behavior as well as “just because you’re a good dog” treats.  With 8 dogs normally in residence, that’s 34 treats per dog per week or not quite 5 treats per dog per day.  Since they get a treat for going into their crate or kennel – each time, you can see how we run through them quickly.

Cookie assistant SelmaToday Selma was my cookie baking assistant.  Selma is in training as a house dog.  She needs to learn to calm herself and act civilized while in the house.  She did well today.

When I empty a peanut butter jar, I make it a point to give it to one of the dogs to lick out.  That’s an extra special treat!  Sometimes one has just had surgery, or has just arrived and is feeling nervous.  Sometimes one has had a good break through and deserves a reward.  Today it occurred to me that little Josephine has NEVER had a peanut butter jar of her own to lick out.  It seems she is due!  But that didn’t go quite as I envisioned:

When Josie passed on the offer, Callie said she’d show Josie how it’s done.  But Josie wanted no part of this potential crime and quickly left the room.

She loves the peanut butter cookies, she’s just not so sure about that jar.

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Lennon’s First Play-date with the Girls

Is that a UPS truck coming?!

Lennon is not a particularly massive dog, nor is he mean, but with his high energy level and gangly legs, he can be a formidable playmate as he sprints around and gets bouncy when in close.  Blondie Bear can handle him and they have played together often.

Being a Mentor dog, Blondie tries to curb his enthusiasm or channel his energy into proper play like running.  He likes to run, but also like to wrestle.

Today was the first time I allowed Lennon to play with dogs other than Blondie.

Josephine has encountered him (accidentally) and found him terrifying.  So I left her inside.

I’ve always figured that Lucy and Lennon would make good playmates because she is equal in size and more massive.  She should be able to handle him.

Callie is playful and likes to wrestle.  Though she’s a little smaller, she is quite strong.  That should be an even match.

So let’s line them up and see how they do … one at a time to start, with Blondie as referee.

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What we know about Callie

A good deal of info has been posted to Facebook about Callie and her history by the people involved in her rescue. The following is my distillation of those accounts.

Callie was originally the family dog of a couple with kids. It appears Callie was kept pregnant much of the time and they sold the puppies. The couple split up and he left, leaving Callie and the kids with her. She claims Callie was his dog, and it seems she took out her feelings about this break-up on Callie, exiling her to existence outside the home, with little or no care.

The Mom and kids went away for 3 weeks, leaving Callie outside with no shelter, food or water. A gentleman who lives nearby took pity on Callie and started leaving food, water, and a blanket for her to lie on outside his door. When he passed away, his son came to clear out the house, found Callie and took her home with him. They fell in love with her.

Callie was pregnant and close to delivering. While Callie seemed gentle and calm, she did snap at the family’s Boston Terrier when he got too close once. The husband feared that their kids might get in the middle of a dog fight if they let her stay and took Callie to the Humane Society of Jefferson County.

Callie Steele: Notes on a foster dog

Callie has been through a rough time but is as sweet as can be. Abandoned by her original family, rescued by a kind-hearted soul, then brought to the Humane Society of Jefferson County (now C.A.R.E.), Callie quickly became a staff favorite. Testing positive for heartworms can be a death sentence for a shelter dog: treatment is expensive and requires a calm environment and close supervision, which are not available in most shelters. But this was not to be the case for Callie: the shelter staff made magic happen for her.

Last updated: Feb. 26, 2019

To see what adventures Callie has had since then, Click Here to pull up a list.

Base Info:

  • Date of arrival: December 29th, 2017
  • Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 7 years
  • Weight: Approx 65 pounds
  • Spayed: Yes
  • General Health: Good except for being heartworm positive. Treatment for that is why she’s here at Piney Mountain Foster. That’s our specialty. After treatment, she’s doing GREAT!
  • Temperament: Extra sweet, gentle, and loving. A great sense of humor!

History

A good deal of info has been posted to Facebook about Callie and her history. The following is my distillation of those accounts. You may read the original texts in the comments at the bottom of this page.

Callie was originally the family dog of a couple with kids. It appears Callie was kept pregnant much of the time and they sold the puppies. The couple split up and he left, leaving Callie and the kids with her. She claims Callie was his dog, and it seems she took out her feelings about this break-up on Callie, exiling her to existence outside the home.

The Mom and kids went away for 3 weeks, leaving Callie outside with no shelter, food or water. A gentleman who lives nearby took pity on Callie and started leaving food, water, and a blanket for her to lie on outside his door. When he passed away, his son came to clear out the house, found Callie and took her home with him. They fell in love with her.

Callie was pregnant and close to delivering. While Callie seemed gentle and calm, she did snap at the family’s Boston Terrier when he got too close once. The husband feared that their kids might get in the middle of a dog fight if they let her stay and took Callie to the Humane Society of Jefferson County.

H.S.J.C. (now C.A.R.E.) placed Callie with one of their long-time foster homes until Callie’s puppies were delivered and weaned. They had no incidents, indeed they loved her.

Once Callie came back to H.S.J.C. to seek adoption, she tested positive for heartworms. Being a “pit bull”, seven years old, and H.W. positive could have been her “three strikes: you’re out” that would send her to the euthanasia room. But because everyone loved her so much, members of the shelter staff determined to save her. Donors were contacted for the funds needed to pay for her H.W. treatment and Marie and I agreed to foster her through recovery.

This is what rescue is about: people working together, each doing what we can, to save the lives of abandoned or abused furbabies like Callie.

Known Issues & Progress

Callie has obviously littered several times. For all she’s been through, her temperament is surprisingly gentle and trusting.

Callie is heartworm positive, but the test was just slightly positive. We hoped to use a slow-kill method of treatment that will be less risky for an older dog. After seven months of treatment she is still testing positive. Slow kill *can* take up to two YEARS to clear a dog of heartworms. No one wants her to wait that long to find a forever home, so we’re starting the regular heartworm treatment process.

Housebreaking

Both former care-givers say she is already reliably housebroken. We too find this to be the case. No work to do here!

Gets Along With Other Dogs

Yes. She has already met all my dogs, large and small, and she has no trouble with any of them. Even Ricky (who barked menacingly at her when she arrived) has decided she’s a sweetheart and wants to play. Callie never returned menace for menace, generally just retreated and hid.

In the past week Callie has begun engaging in play: mostly with Josephine but sometimes with Blondie and occasionally she’ll try Cochise. She and Josie get pretty rough sometimes, but Josie instigates that.

People Skills

Callie is exceptionally loving, trusting, and affectionate. She likes to snuggle. She’s great with adults and kids. She desperately wants to be with people who will return her love.

A former caretaker’s daughter went to stay with her friend all weekend. When she came home Callie couldn’t stop loving on her and wagging that tail.

For the first couple of weeks, Callie was my shadow. She went everywhere I went: and ONLY where I went. Even when she needed to go outside to relieve herself, she would not leave the porch unless I went out to the yard with her. This was uncomfortable at 2:00 in the morning with me in just my PJs and 20 some-odd degree temps outside. In the last few days she has become comfortable enough to consider herself part of the “gang” and has been running outside with the other dogs, leaving me in the house. She no longer follows me everywhere, including the bathroom, but she does like to know exactly where I am at all times.

Miscellaneous

I have found Callie to be quite bright and eager to please, that makes her easy to train. She has learned our daily routine, and a few commands.

Yesterday I had Callie in the play yard. It was cold. The leash I use to move her from the bunk house to the play yard was looped in one hand as I watched her. When she had taken care of business and wanted to go back where it is warm, she walked up and slipped her head through the loop of the leash and looked up at me, “I’m ready to go in now. May we please go?” What a sweetie! She has since graduated to House Dog.

Callie became a Steele Away Home dog on January 20th because we were concerned about the length of time it was taking to get her treatment started. Slow kill is safe to do only if you catch it early. Julie at HSJC agreed and transferred her to us.

Just as we were ready to begin the Immiticide injections, Cedarwood Veterinary tested her to confirm a HW+ condition and the test came back NEGATIVE. We repeated the test to be sure, but Callie is clear of heartworms! We started her on a monthly preventative to keep her that way and thanked God that she did not have to go through the normal treatment.

Gallery

In roughly chronological order, newest at the bottom. Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Some pictures are linked to Doggy Tales about Callie, click those to open the related story.

Callie’s original home: a window well!

Callie says, I LIKE this chair! Taken at a former home.

All snuggled in! Taken at a former home.

The Girls all go on a potty run together. Callie sports her new outer wear that helps ward off the cold.

Callie wants to help edit the video I’m working on.

But she can be bribed with sufficient amounts of cush.

There is a story to go with this: click da pic to read it.

Callie joins the “Around the table gang”

Looking MIGHTY comfortable now!

Callie earns bedroom sleeping privileges.

Yummm … may I have some of THAT?

Oops, BUSTED! No dogs on the sofa, and she knows it. But who could be angry with this face?

Callie and her friend Buddy are ardent sun worshipers.

Callie: Sun Puppy

Callie says, “Ears up girls.” Blondie says, “Okay.” Josie says,”Hey, no fair!”

Weasel Hunter!
(click me video)

“In the Mood” to play (and dance) Video

Who — me? NO, I wasn’t wrestling with this blanket.

Josephine wants to snuggle with Callie.

Callie sitting silly to relax after dinner.

Callie is now a regular rider on trash runs.

“Noooo, don’t stop. I want to ride some MORE!”

Callie makes a new friend at Lowe’s

Looking pretty in her new pink winter coat

Josie is my friend

Belted in and ready to ride

This is a good seat too

With Pascal Robin and Ashley Foster, two of her rescuers.
“Partying with my posse at C.A.R.E.

Napping with The Gang (vid)

Callie defends Josephine from a rambunctious Bear
Callie To the Rescue!

Chillin with Josie in the cabin

Rub my belly!

I love my new ropey toy!

Callie and Rainy peaceably share space at treat time.

Tell me a bedtime story?

I ask, “Who wants to go outside with me”? (vid)

Callie loves her new ropey toy (vid)

Callie LOVES truck-riding! Especially up front.

Callie and Josie are bestest buds!

I have a BOOOONE!

Sitting like a lady

Callie tries negotiating with Rebel.
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To see what adventures Callie has had since then, Click Here to pull up a list.

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Josephine’s Urgent Request

Josie's request
‘Scuse me, I have a request.

Josephine came to us with a request. We were sympathetic because poor little Josephine has had a hard road through life. When she became known to us she had been a pregnant stray, was mangy and terrified of being in an animal shelter. She came here as a foster dog for rest, healing, and sanity.

After working with her for a while we decided that the best thing for her … was to stay here.

Since then, she has met many foster dogs. She really liked some of them.

Fosters are sent away once they are healed and trained. That’s how fostering works. Recently Josie heard us discussing plans for our current foster dogs, became upset, and approached us with an urgent request …

The Lion Queen

Callie and Rainy had an issue with one another over a plush toy that Marie found. Others got involved as well. Will they be able to resolve it peacefully? Who will be, The Lion Queen?

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Wielding Unfamiliar Tools

I am something of a handyman. I often make repairs around our house and property. I am, by no means, an expert at plumbing, electrical, or concrete work but I understand the principles and can usually cobble my way through a repair project. For small repairs I often employ the familiar tools and various glues, a staple gun, nails, screws, and yes: even duct tape. But today I needed to make a repair for which none of these would help. Today I needed to bring into service — a needle and thread!

One of the dogs got overly enthusiastic and tore a hole in the cover of a dog bed. Discovering that there was “stuff” inside, she proceeded to pull what was inside, out. Thus she tore the end off one of the fabric tubes full of fiberfill that makes a bolster around the dog bed. She also pulled a basketball sized wad of fiberfill out. I caught her at it, gathered the filler and put the bed up until it could be repaired. Today, I tackle that.