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The Memorial Day Pool Party

Some time ago we bought a small pool for a foster who loved to cool off by sitting in water…  her water bowl if nothing else was available!

Since it’s a warm holiday today I decided to pull that pool out of storage and see if any of our current fosters would like to avail themselves of a refreshing dip.

As you can see, so far only Lenny is interested in swimming, but the others may come around before he heads for Wisconsin next Saturday.

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Foster dog notes for May 18th, 2019

Lennon has been accepted by Lucky Dog Rescue in Wisconsin.  He will be leaving us on June 1st.  I got a preview of how that’s going to go over yesterday: I took Lennon on a trash run.  When we got back, he decided to stay in the yard while I went inside.  Blondie and Josephine mistook the situation:

Sable

Our wild child is learning self-control, and that when she does control herself (not jumping up on me and grabbing at my arms or hands with her teeth) she gets petted and belly rubs.  When she gets demanding, she does not.  If she insists on being demanding, she goes back to her kennel and that play time is over.  She’s got a ways to go, but she’s learning.

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.

Grave Digger

Today I continued my task of digging a grave.  A grave for a snake.  A big snake: the infamous Drainaconda!  But I wasn’t working alone, oh no, I had plenty of “help”.

We didn’t all show up at one time.  My crew straggled in one or two at a time, beginning with Callie and Lennon, who wandered over to see what I was doing as I was setting things up and positioning the wagon for dirt hauling.

When I started digging, Sable stood and watched me for the longest time!  I’m not sure if she was impressed by my digging prowess or amazed by the mess I was making.

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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Lennon: Free-Ranging Cookie Tester

Lennon has been getting a lot more free-range time of late. Free-ranging is the ability for a dog to wander around the house unfettered.

For us, house-breaking starts with crate training. This often starts in the bunkhouse. Once the dog is comfortable with the crate they may come to our house to sleep (in their crate) at night. I walk the dog to the door to go out and back to the crate when done. As the dog shows the ability for self-control and no antagonism toward the house dogs, he is granted free-range time. At first it is short and I watch like a hawk. Good behavior earns trust and trust yields longer free-range periods and less supervision. In time the dog is granted “house dog” status where he is allowed to free-range all the time except (perhaps) when we leave. Some dogs take advantage of these unsupervised times to get rowdy. Rowdiness tends to result in stuff getting torn up.  Even house dogs who tend to get rowdy while we’re gone get crated.  They don’t mind: their crates are comfy and we’re never gone long.

Lennon is to the point that he is free-ranging most of the day, going in and out as he pleases and snoozing or playing with toys while inside. Sometimes he gets rowdy with another dog and I send them both outside to play. Lennon eats his meals in his crate and sleeps in his crate at night.

Lennon tends to want to go outside as soon as he’s finished eating. Sometimes he stays a while and Marie and I finish our meal before he comes in. Sometimes he’s back at the door quickly and I have been putting him back in his crate. This morning he was allowed to free-range while we finished our breakfast.

He cruised around the table, poking his nose up like a snorkel but keeping his feet on the floor and his head off the table. He tried to get Blondie to play with him, but I shut that down and Lennon went to hang out with the Beagle Girls.

While Marie was getting dressed for work, Lennon went into the bedroom to chew a tri-bone and lounge on a cushy dog bed. He has been allowed in there more and more as he proves himself trustworthy. Early on he was shredding the blankets I putting his crate even though he had chew toys too, so I was leery of letting him lay on the high priced dog beds. But that worry was unfounded as he has yet to tear into any of the beds.

After breakfast was done and cleared away I started a batch of dog cookies. Lennon was, as always, attentive and willing to be helpful: including test testing the product to be sure it’s worthy of sending out to other doggies.  But he behaved well and did not try to force his offer.

I only needed to make one batch today to be ready for Mondays scheduled deliveries. I am trying out a new heart shaped Big Dog cookie. It seems the bones are a bit too big for some people, and you don’t get many in a bag. The hearts are an in-between size and a pleasant shape as well. Reaction has been good. I think I’ll switch to hearts in the bags and offer the bones only in the bulk boxes – for those who want the bigger Big Dog size.

I also have settled on a standard container for the bulk boxes. These nifty small boxes come in a variety of colors, have a toggle-snap fastener on each end to keep the lid on and when empty of cookies make a great little storage tote. If you have no need for them yourself (storing hobby or craft supplies, organizing small tools, hardware, or parts) donate them to a local teacher: these boxes are highly favored for organizing a classroom’s supplies or giving one to each child to keep supplies in. Treat your dog AND help a teacher!

These go for a $12.00 donation and hold 40 of the Big Dog Bones, or 70 of the Big Dog Hearts, or 200 Regular dog treats. This is equivalent to 5 bags for the price of 4. These can be mail-ordered now as well as local hand delivery.

For non-local delivery see the Healty Dog Treats for Vet Bills page.

Sales have been good and feedback from the doggos has been all dew-claws up!

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Moving Kennel #3

As part of the Big Doins at Piney Mountain, I moved Lennon’s kennel today.   This was Phase One Step Three.  Not that that matters.

The thing is that this kennel could not be taken apart and moved one piece at a time.  Noooooo … this one had to be moved fully assembled (except for the 4×4 timber foundation, those I moved separately). Blondie and Lennon supervised.

If it were possible to get three other people with sound shoulders and strong backs who could all show up here at the same time (that’s the hard part) we could have each taken hold of a corner and trundled the thing around to its new spot in a matter of minutes. Sort of like this but on a much smaller scale:

But I don’t have such a labor force, so I did it by myself and it took all afternoon.

It’s moved now, and tied down on its foundation, which I put under it again once the kennel was where I wanted it. I need to get a few bales of wood chips to put in there to keep Lennon out of the mud when it rains, but otherwise it’s good.

And, the work area around the slab is cleared.  Well, almost.  Now that Lennon’s kennel is moved and the Krazy Fence is buttoned up tight I can take out those last three panels and clear the work area completely.  That will take less than an hour … but I’ll do that another day.  Today, I’m tuckered out.

We want to avoid going into debt with a second mortgage to pay for this project so we’re taking it on as we accumulate the cash to pay for it. If you’d like to help us speed that along, your donation would be greatly appreciated. You may make a donation on-line with the PayPal button below or you may mail a check to:

Doug Bittinger
1198 Piney Mountain Road
Newport, TN 37821


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Lennon Gets an Upgrade

Lennon has been spending the nights in a transport box in the Bunkhouse.  It’s warm in there and quiet, and has fewer distractions than sleeping in the people house.  It’s a good place for doggos to start sleeping indoors.

But when Lucy left, it meant that Lennon would be all alone.  So I brought his crate to the house.  I left him in his transport box to provide some continuity in the change.  The people house can be exciting, and confusing.  Having “his room” would help him transition. Besides, the transport boxes are sturdy: offering effective containment.  They are more closed in, offering a sense of security to their occupant.  And any “accidents” are better contained than with a wire crate where a male dog can lift a leg and pee right through the crate onto the floor outside.

Lennon has settled in well and been a good house guest, so today I traded his transport box in on a regular wire crate.  These offer better visibility, better air flow, more interaction with other dogs.  He seems to enjoy it.  But that’s not the only upgrade Lennon got this week.

I was going through communications between our vet and Dr. Crouch as they discussed Lennon’s hip injury and I saw that Dr. Crouch said, “If the dog is very lame, he would be a candidate for FHO (femoral reconstruction)”  And it occurred to me that I would NOT count Lennon as being lame, much less very lame:

There was a time when Lennon would run for a couple of minutes, then slow to a walk and limp just a little as he walked.  But no more.  And I have been giving him a daily Glucosamine Chondroitan / MSM / Turmeric supplement that is supposed to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.  I wondered if it was necessary to put Lennon through surgery and rehabilitation.  I wondered if he even QUALIFIED for the surgery anymore.  So I asked Dr. Crouch for his opinion and showed him the video above.

His response was that Lennon was not a candidate for hip reconstruction at this time.  He’d be happy to help if Lennon needed it in the future, but now, he’s looking GREAT!

So it looks like Lennon has been upgraded in this area as well.  We (Steele Away Home) do want to get another x-ray done to see if some healing has occurred.  If so, keeping him on this supplement may be his long-term answer.  If so: he’s ready to seek a forever home.  As long as he’s here I’ll continue working at house breaking him, but other than that he’s good to go.

Yay Lennon!

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Foster Notes for March 17, 2019

The transport run that had been rescheduled to March 22nd was re-rescheduled back to Friday March 15th (last Friday), and Selma and Lucy were on board heading to Eleventh Hour Rescue.  Fare thee well, little Selma Lou!  Happy tails, Lucy!

It was eerily quiet here that evening.

Lennon

Lenny is my sole foster dog at the moment and He got to spend the night in the People house last night.  He did really well.  I brought him inside a little before 9:00 and he slept through the night.  This morning I got up at 4:30 to make coffee and start my day.  Lennon’s crate is in the den (where I spend my early mornings) and he is happily chomping on a Bacon Benebone.

Marie and I have both noticed that Lennon does not look to be as lame as he was:

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Foster Notes for March 9, 2019

Lucy is resting comfortably after yesterday’s spay surgery. She is not licking yet, so I haven’t coned her, but I watch closely. We don’t need an infection!

I did take a blanket out for her this morning (she spent the night indoors), She curled up on it, gave me the cutest little purse-lipped face, and thumped her tail in appreciation.

Her heartworm test yesterday was negative: always good news!

Selma

Cookie assistant SelmaSelma had a break-through a couple of days ago when the light came on, so to speak, and she realized that if she calms down she gets more free-time in the house.  She’s doing much better.

While out in the yard, Selma decided to play with Josephine, came racing across the yard, ran right over lil Josie and scared the witts out of her.  Selma wasn’t being mean, it’s just really easy to frighten Josie.  They’ve been on the outs since then, and since Callie is protective of Josie, she’s being more wary of Selma too.  Hopefully this will all blow over if I’m careful about not letting Selma and Josie outside together.

Other than that, Selma is doing fine.  I received word yesterday that she has been accepted by 11th Hour and is scheduled to ride out on March 22.

Lennon

Lennon’s surgery is scheduled for April 1st.  It will be done by Dr. David Crouch DVM in Arden N.C.  He will spend the night and I’ll go again to pick him up the following day.  Recovery should take about 2 months.

Dr Crouch’s office person said that they will do another x-ray, and I think that’s good because the way Lennon races around the yard, leaping, and making tight turns makes me wonder if he hasn’t healed up enough that the surgery may not be necessary after all.  I have been giving him a daily dose of Glucosamine Chondroitan / MSM / Turmeric — which is supposed to ease joint inflammation (and thus pain) and restore damaged cartilage.  Maybe we don’t need to put him through this.  But in case we do, I working out how to build a hydrotherapy tank for him.

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