Foster Notes for March 1st, 2019

Callie tries to negotiate a deal with Rebel (video)

Here it is the last day Rebel will be spending with us and I finally got him to speak to me (instead of screaming). Rebel, Blondie, Callie, and I were all in the den after breakfast. I had the den door closed to keep Buddy Beagle from harassing Rebel – which he has been doing. Rebel was chewing a toy and being really good, the girls were snoozing. Rebel got up, walked over to my chair, looked up at me and said, “Rar rar woo roo.” in his deep Husky voice, which sounded for all the world like “I want water” to me, but maybe I was hearing what I wanted to hear. I asked him if he needed a drink, he ran to the door. That means “yes”.  I secured Buddy, let Rebel out, he got a drink and went back to the den.

The point is that he communicated in a way other than his high pitched Husky scream (which gets really annoying). That made me happy because I’ve been working with him on this. Hopefully his next “home” will be able to continue this work. Speaking at the peoples is SO much more pleasant.


Selma is not an early riser.

Selma has been spending more time indoors and loose.  Not a lot more, but more.  After Rebel moves on Selma will get more free-range, indoor time.

She is calming down a little.  She needs the time to practice being calm as she interacts with people.

Selma has been coming inside at bed time every night and sleeping in a crate.  She now crates on demand (with bribery).  She stays calm in the crate unless she has an urgent need to go out to potty or to get a drink.  She is not one to be up and wanting out at the crack of dawn.

All the House Dogs seem to accept her being in the house, though Callie and Buddy bark when she comes up on the porch until they see that it’s her.  Once she comes in, they sniff at her and walk off, declaring the emergency over.


I’d better get lots of treats for this.

Lennon went to Cedarwood Animal Hospital yesterday for a follow-up exam which included two skin scrapings. He was declared free of mange and ready to proceed with his femoral reconstruction surgery. He says, “There better be lots of treats in this for me.”

I need to call Dr. David Crouch and get things started.  Steele Away Home says funds are now available to pay the quoted fee.


Lucy has been doing really well.  She and Selma get rowdy with one another through their mutual wall, but I think they’re just play-fighting.  I want to try letting Lucy out for a face-to-face meet-up with Lennon.  I think they would be good playmates.  But I need a helper to do this safely.

She plays really well with Blondie Bear, never getting aggressive or insistent about playing.  She has a sweet, gentle nature, with a frosting of high energy.  She’s a hound, and needs space to run off that energy, then she’s a sweetie.

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Foster Notes for Feb 17, 2019

This has been a busy week, and one where not everything has gone forward.


Selma has held steady.  No real progress, but no backsliding.

Doing MUCH better with the separation anxiety.

She has been sleeping in a crate in the bedroom with the rest of us.  She does okay with this except that the positioning of her crate leaves a narrow slot through which all passers-by must transit to enter or leave the room.  It’s awkward for human sized travelers, snug for Blondie Bear but doable in both cases.  The others slip through easily enough.  The only issue is when a pupper tries to leave the room at night to go get a drink or ask to go outside, and startles a sleeping Selma, she wakes with a start, jumps up and snarls at the interloper.  I’m sure it’s conditioning from her former life and she means no real harm because once she’s awake she backs off.  But it terrifies Josephine to the point she will suffer in silence all night long until I remove Selma from her crate in the morning or, if desperate, she will stand at the foot of the bed and nose-whistle until I get up and escort her safely past The Scary One.  Callie takes it personally and dishes the insult back.  I don’t like that, it’s a bad precedent to start.

Selma continues to be a sweet girl wearing a cloak of frantic.  When in her kennel or crate she is calm and sedate, but as soon as I approach she boils over with activity.  I think she’s happy for my attention and is trying to be playful, but my encounters with her tend to leave me covered in muddy footprints and my fingers feeling sprained.  When I must control her passage through the house by taking hold of her collar, she spins about, wrenching my fingers painfully.

It is difficult to work with her in the house because Callie and Buddy, sensing her wildness, want to charge in and save me from her.  Rebel, if loose, will charge in and want to play with her, and she reciprocates and matters get out of hand quickly.  They are playful, but energetic to a degree that is unsafe indoors, and this will set ALL of the house dogs off with Blondie, Buddy and Callie charging in to contain the danger and Josephine cowering in a corner somewhere.

Selma needs more one-on-one time, but with 7 dogs, 4 of them with issues, it’s hard to make that time, especially with Marie still recovering at home and needing to rest.

Go to Selma’s summary page


Rebel has been doing famously and I was confident that he’s fully certified and ready for adoption.  Then Buddy Beagle has some surgery on his neck.  To keep him from scratching at it, and to keep Josephine from licking it for him, I wrapped it in an ace bandage.  This fascinates Rebel and he sniffs at it inquisitively.  This irritates Buddy who is something of a grumpy old Beagle and he tells Rebel (who is 4 times Buddy’s size) “Get away from me boy, you’re bothering me.”  Rebel responds in like kind.  Normally it’s an exchange of harsh words then over and done with, but this antagonism turned physical last night.  I broke them up three times and each time they went right back at each other.  I had to crate them both.  At one point Callie came in to protect her little Beagle buddy.  That didn’t help, and I only have so many hands with which to snag collars and separate combatants.

No dog was actually injured, nor was I.  But the antagonism between these two has ramped up significantly and I do not feel comfortable letting them both wander the house.  There was no way we were all going to be sleeping in the bedroom together, so I’m back to sleeping on the sofa with Rebel and Selma crated in the living room.  Last night Callie and Josie stayed as well, to serve as my body guards.  We all had a peaceful night.

Go to Rebel’s summary page


Lennon’s mange continues to improve as his antibiotics and medicated baths work their magic.  He is now so compliant on his crating at night that he runs into the crate even before being told to.  He loves sleeping in his “room”!

He also enjoys running in the yard during his play times.  He’ll go galloping around and leaping onto structures.  With all the rain the yard is soft and he slides when he goes into his turns, causing him to make maneuvers that have earned him the nick name “Crazy Legs” as he works those long gangly legs of his to stay upright.

As long as I give him frequent play times he will come to me when called and when he’s done playing will voluntarily trot into his kennel to await his cookie.  If he feels he’ being shorted on yard time he will ignore my summons until he’s quite ready to go back.

He enjoys the wood shavings I put down in his kennel and they are working well to keep him clean.  If he gets bored, he has taken up trenching as a past time.  I’m not happy about that, but can’t do much about it.

Lennon has engaged in play with Blondie Bear, Callie, and even Josephine — although he scares Josie when he come bounding up to her, legs flailing about.  She hides behind Blondie, and Blondie shields her until I can spirit Josie back inside the house.  I don’t think I’ll try Lennon and Buddy together until Buddy has healed up and is feeling less codgerly.  I think Lennon and Selma will play together well and will try that when it’s not so muddy.

I need to check with Steele Away Home to see how we are doing on raising the funds for his surgery, and whether they want me to contact the surgeon to schedule his appointments.

Go to Lennon’s Summary Page

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Rebel and the Delicate Little Flower

Josephine is sometimes called our “Delicate Little Flower” because she is the smallest of our pack, kind of frail, and skittish of anything unfamiliar.  Yet, she tends to choose the biggest dogs as her playmates.  She and Julian were famous for their antics.  But this worked because Julian was exceptionally kind.  They would play in a rowdy manner, but he never hurt her.  He was very careful of that.  Callie often fills that roll now.  Rebel likes rowdy play and Josephine wants to join in, but she often yelped in pain as he got careless,  That resulted in an immediate cessation of play and a period of Time Out for Rebel in his crate.

He has figured that out and is learning self control.  This allows Josie Bean’s TRUE nature to show itself, as exhibited in her nick name: “Sharkey”.

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Blondie Bear and Rebel Reach An Agreement On Sleeping

Blondie Bear has been with us since March of 2013.  For most of that time, she has lived in the house with us as a family member and slept in the bedroom at night.  Blondie and Cochise had beds of their own to sleep in, so we never let these 85 to 100 pound dogs jump into our bed with us.  We continued that policy even when we started collecting Beagles.

When it would rain, and especially when it stormed, Blondie tended to curl up on the floor beside my side of the bed to draw comfort from being near me.  This became her normal nighttime sleeping location after a while.

When Rebel arrived, he was used to living outdoors full time and had insecurity issues.  He was also starving and I needed to feed him, often hand feed him, small amounts every couple of hours.  And it was winter.  So it made sense to bring him indoors where I could more easily work with him.

Foster Notes for Feb 9th, 2019


Eleventh Hour has found a housing solution for Rebel. He is scheduled to leave us on March 1st, 2019.

Go to Rebel’s page.


Selma continues to be a handful.  I need to spend more time socializing her with other dogs.  The time spent in this endeavor is positive, but she just isn’t calming down the way I’d hoped she would.  She can be totally passive and calm in her crate, then just explode in activity when something catches her attention.

I have been working on this this week (not raining every day helps).

Go to Selma’s page.


Lennon has not been getting as much time in the yard as he’d like.  As a result he tends to ignore me when I call him.  He used to be so good, eager even, to come when called.

We have raised about half of what we need for Lennon’s reconstruction surgery.

Again, I have been working on getting him out of his kennel more often and allowing him sufficient time to play.  He’s starting to come when called again.

Go to Lennon’s page.


Other activities have been eating into my time in the yard with the dogs.  And the fact that the yard has been muddy soup from all the rain we’ve had doesn’t help in assigning more time with them.  This week has been better.


I was in Cedarwood yesterday and Pam (Office Manager) asked when I would be able to take Lucy. I told her that Rebel would be leaving March 1st, and I could take her then.  Pam sighed and said, “I guess we’ll just watch her do back flips off the walls until then.”  She’s gotten more tense since I filmed her.  Many dogs will do that when confined to a kennel the size of a shower stall most of the time.

Lucy was picked up by their Veterinary Assistant, who found her wandering along side the highway.  As I recall, she had no collar but did have a chip.  They tracked down the owner and called her.  She said “I don’t want the dog anymore.” It seems she’d moved away and abandoned Lucy here.

I have started a page for Lucy

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Foster Update for Feb 1st, 2019

This has been a busy week for all the dogs — and me.


Rebel’s big event this week involved a plush toy.  Actually two plush toys.  On a particularly rainy, cold day I decided to break out a special toy to amuse him so he wouldn’t be bouncing around the house trying to get the rest of the house dogs to play rowdy with him.  I got him a small Orca whale, which he called his “fishy”.  But he also saw where I stash the special toys and decided he liked another one better.  To his credit, he brought the Orca doll back to me as a trade.  I didn’t understand what he was doing at first, then I saw …

The problem with this was that Rebel became so possessive of this doll that he lit into both Callie (who had taken his doll while he left the room for a moment) and Buddy Beagle (who just walked past).  Both spats sounded horrible, but broke up immediately upon my getting involved, and no damage was done to any contestant.  However, relations are strained now.  So I put the dolls up and secured the door.  There has been no such possessiveness concerning the regular toys that all the dogs share.

Go to Rebel’s Summary Page


Being goofy with Rebel

Selma has been getting some free-range running time in the house.  So far she has not been nasty to anyone during these times, she’s just been exploring.  When she is in her crate with a toy, she will snark at other dogs (except Rebel) if they get too close.  I’ve been feeding other dogs within 4 or 5 feet of Selma’s crate at meal times to get her accustomed to the idea of eating together.  That has gone pretty well.

Selma and Rebel Get 1st Play Time Together

Her new friend, Rebel, helping her settle in.

Since the moment Selma arrived here, Rebel has been enamored with her.  He sits by her crate to comfort her, he sleeps as close to her as he can get at night.  They chat and tease each other when in their kennels outside.  They REALLY want to play together.

But both are high energy dogs.  Sometimes Rebel doesn’t realize his own strength, so I supervise closely when he plays with the beagles, and then, only indoors.  Can Selma handle him?  There’s only one way to find out.  I put Rebel on a safety tether and let the two of them interact for a bit before I made my decision…

Back to Selma’s Summary Page
Back to Rebel’s Summary Page

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Foster Updates Jan 27th, 2019

First off, I got word today that Hudson has been adopted. The message posted was:
“Hudson Steele, a perfect southern gentleman who stole my heart – I mean look at the brindle beauty. His new parents arrived at Roxbury yesterday, just to look. They recently lost their beloved pet and weren’t sure they were ready. After talking to them for a little while and trying to help them realize that they weren’t replacing, they were helping another soul, they made Hudson, now Enzo their new family member. I was lucky that I was able to visit him today in his new home to drop off something we forgot to send home with him. I am thrilled to tell Jenifer Parry Steele and Doug Bittinger that the front of his new house overlooks a lake and he slept on their bed last night. He hit the lottery!!!!”

More on Hudson


Rebel continues to polish his house dog skills and learn self-control when playing with other dogs.  He is also quite taken with Selma.  He spends much of his time sitting or laying beside her crate in an effort to comfort her.  I do believe it’s working too.

Rebel is spending more and more time as a free-range house dog.  Giving him yogurt with his breakfast helps keep his innards working properly and he continues to gain weight.  He is ready for adoption.

Back to Rebel’s Summary Page


Selma is coming along. Her main issue is separation anxiety that turns violently destructive if she’s left alone. I’ve been working on that. Normally I keep her crate in whatever room I’ll be in — or Marie will be in, as long as one of us is in sight she’s okay.  Gradually we start leaving the room for short periods, then slightly longer periods.

Doing MUCH better with the separation anxiety.

Last night I put her crate in her spot in the bedroom before she came inside for the night. Then I spent the evening waving and speaking to her as I went from den to kitchen to living room, but not actually staying in the bedroom with her. She knew I was in the house, but could not see me most of the time.  She did well, even during extended absences. A great first step.

Selma is doing really well at night.  I take her out around 8:30 pm and she will sleep through the night, not needing to go out again until around 5:30 — when most of the dogs are beginning to stir as well.

And I no longer have to have her on a leash to go out, she reliably comes when called, and is not wont to stay out in the cold long anyway.

Go to Selma’s Summary Page


After 3 hours at Cedarwood with Lennon Thursday evening, the verdict was in: Demodex Mange and the head of his right femur is necrotic: probably the result of a previous injury. Since his knees are perfect, probably not hit by a car. Someone kicked him or hit him with something hard enough to dislocate his hip. when it popped back in part of the “ball” of his hip joint scraped away.  That has been decaying since.  It does cause him some pain. Short term, it can be treated with glucosamine condroitan and turmeric. Long term the femur head needs repair or the leg taken off.

We at Steele Away Home are working on a fund raiser and Dr. Sandra will send x-rays and talk to Dr. David T. Crouch at Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery (, who specializes in orthopedic surgeries, about giving us a reduced rate for Lennon so we can save his leg.

Failing that, Lennon would adjust to being a three legged dog, but we’d rather save it if we can.  The web addresses for the fund raisers are:


Go to Lennon’s Summary Page

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Foster Updates for Jan 22nd


Who’s a pretty girl?

Selma arrived mid-day yesterday.  We were the solution to an emergency situation: for Selma comes with baggage and a reputation.  I don’t know much for sure, but it seems Selma came into rescue from what was probably a hoarding situation.  I know she has siblings that will be coming into the program and none of them have had any socialization or training.  Selma’s behavior shows she has (in the past) been abused or at least severely neglected.  She has had at least two fosters before coming here and they have housebroken her and worked through a lot of her issues — but not all her issues.  Her previous foster went on vacation and asked a friend to care for Selma.  Her friend works days.  Selma does not like being left alone and destroyed the house.  And it’s a rental!  The landlord insisted Selma leave immediately.  She ended up here.

Selma desperately wants attention, but is at the same time timid to the point of fearfulness.  When I approach to pet her, she drops to the floor, and rolls on her back to say, “I submit, here are my soft underparts: kill me if you want, but please don’t .”  If she’s like this now, I can only imagine what she was like when she first came into rescue!

Foster Updates for Jan 19, 2019


Hudson is unchanged.  Still gentle and affectionate with me, still playful and amiable with Blondie and Sable.  The only incident I’ve had with him was on Wednesday: I was carrying a bag of kibble from the bunkhouse to our house while Hudson was getting his play time.  He was running big lazy loops around the yard, as he likes to do.  As I came up the walkway behind our house Hudson went zooming past me and around the corner.  When I rounded the corner, I expected to see Hudson on the back porch sniffing at the door.  He wasn’t.  In fact he was no where in sight!

I found him up on the high yard on the other side of the retaining wall.  He had managed to zoom up the steps and leap over the wall!  He has become quite the jumper!

To his credit, he came to me when I called him and I got him back into his kennel without trouble.  But now that he knows he can do this, he will do it again.  Since he only has a couple of days left here, he will just stay in his kennel.

And I’ve added “Make the wall higher” to my To DO list.

Hudson left on the Friday (Jan 18) rescue run.

Go to Hudson’s Summary Page


Sable has become less interested in playing with Rebel now that he is filling out and getting stronger.  She still shows interest, but when I let her out and he starts wrestling with her, she wants back in.

OOPS: I have to rescind that statement.  I let Rebel out to play first today and Sable was bouncing and pawing in an obvious desire to get out and play with Rebel.  So I let her out and she did a respectable job of rough-housing with him.  When she got tired she worked her way back to me and gave me The Look: the one that says, “I’m done, please get him off me.”  But it all went very well.

She is till loving and gentle and obedient with me.  I *really* like Sable.

Sable was on the rescue run heading out January 18th.

Go to Sable’s Summary Page


Reb has been sleeping in the Room of Beds with the rest of us this week, and doing excellent.  He settles in by 10:00 pm (or earlier if he’s had a busy afternoon) generally sleeps through the night.  He is not bothered by my getting up at night to use the bathroom or let another dog out to pee.  We both wake up around 5:00 and are ready to get up.  I have been leaving him loose to follow me around as I go about my early morning routine, and he’s been well behaved.  The only issue we have is when other dogs get up and want to go out, he wants to beat them out the door and that intimidates them.  I have to secure Rebel when the rest begin their parade to the great outdoors.

Go to Rebel’s Summary Page


On Wednesday I picked-up Lennon from Newport Animal Control and took him to be neutered.  The vet also found mange (she thinks dermodectic but can’t be sure without a skin scraping) and signs of hip dysplasia, which can probably be treated with glucosamine.

His surgery went well and I equipped him with a cone when I took him back.  He will bunk at NAC until Monday the 21st when I’ll have open space for him.  I’ve made an appointment at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital to have his mange checked and get a hip x-ray.

Go to Lennon’s Summary Page


Lucy is a stray found along side a road and brought to Cedarwood, who got in touch with me to see if I’d foster her.  I went to meet her.  She is young and energetic, but quite sweet and submissive in her behavior toward people.  I think she’ll do fine here.

I can’t bring her in until Rebel leaves.  When Sable and Hudson depart, Lennon and Max will be coming in to take their places.  Lucy has to wait for Rebel to depart and make room for her.


I have arranged to meet Stacy to pick up Max from his owners on Monday afternoon, after I go get Lennon.  I don’t know much about Max yet.  Look for details on him next week.

(UPDATE) Max will is not coming, Max’s owners have decided to keep him.

Instead I’ll be getting Tiny.  All I know about her is that she is not tiny and has been living in a 5’x 5′ kennel with another dog and the floor of the kennel is such a filthy mess that the dogs spend most of their time on top of their dog houses.  Stacy and I will pick her up Tuesday.

Tiny’s owners cancelled too … so I’m getting Selma