Selma and Separation Anxiety

*CAN* be calm in her crate if she’s not alone.

I know little about Selma’s history. I was told that she needed socialization with other dogs and behavioral mods: particularly separation anxiety.

She was in another foster home for a while, but that separation anxiety caused her to eat someones house. Literally. Lots of damage, and it was a rented home. NOT good!

I’ve been working with her on being calm when I go out of her sight, then out of the house for a couple of minutes, now it’s time for a longer test.

Selma has done well when I leave the property with Selma in her outdoor kennel, even for several hours, but this is the first test with her inside the house with no people for around 15 minutes…

I think she did quite well. In fact she was more calm than Blondie and Callie, who got rowdy because Rebel was out running around in the yard while I repaired a hose. She was not completely alone: there were other dogs. I do not know if the House Destuctor episode included other dogs or if she was all by herself for that.

Selma is also calming down in her interaction with me. Usually, when I approach her she goes into a frenzy of happy activity, but recently she has been less … frantic, so I could pet her without endangering my fingers.

Once Rebel moves on I will be able to work with her more. Letting the two of them loose in the house is a mistake. And with all the rain and mud, working outdoors is not viable. But I do think she’s making progress. I want to get her more free-range in-home time.

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Lennon’s First Civilized Truck Ride

dog transport, pick-up, truck, SonomaWe have a pick-up truck that I use for hauling dogs around.  I can strap down three hard-shell  transport crates in the back.  Most dogs start back there.  When I feel they will behave, they get to ride in the club cab behind the seats, or on the passenger seat up front.  I can put two large dogs behind the seats, if they get along well, one on the seat and three in the back for a total of six dogs at one time — should I ever need to do such a thing.  The max I’ve carried at one time so far was 5.

Lennon had his first ride inside the truck with me today – normally he rides in a transport box in back because he’s kind of … active.  We were headed to Kathy’s Grooming Parlor for a medicated bath and he has been doing better at being calm, so I decided to let him try.

I started with him behind the seats, but even before I got out of the driveway it was clear he was gnawing through the tether that keeps him from bounding around in the cab (and keeps him from flying forward in a sudden stop).  I need to replace that woven tether with a length of light chain.

I quickly reconfigured and brought him up to the passenger seat. If he was going to try to climb on top of my head while I was driving I’d just have to pull back in for a transport box. But he didn’t. He DID try to gnaw through his seat belt (safety strap). I scolded him. He decided to chew on the console. I scolded him. He chewed on some pens. I scolded him.

Finally he just sat up and pressed back against the seat and watched out the window. I praised him and scratched his head.

While he was being groomed I went to Tractor Supply for fostering supplies and I bought him a small pig ear to gnaw on during the ride home.

When we got in the truck I laid the pig ear at his feet. He glanced at it then stared out the window. I picked it up and showed it to him. He turned his head and looked the other way. “I’m not falling for that, you’ll scold me if I chew on it.”

So I put it up against his teeth. He opened them a little and I slid it into his mouth. “You may chew on THAT, that is what it’s for.”  If he had eyebrows they would have raised a bit, “Really? I can chew this?”

So he laid down on the seat and got to work. He was still chewing on it when we got home, so he took it back to his room.  Lennon LIKES pig ears!  And he like civilized truck rides.

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Lucy Steele

Lucy is probably a German Shepherd/hound mix, but she’s more like a giant Beagle. She should fit into our Beagle Bunch just fine. And she has the SOFTEST fur!

Last updated: March 8, 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Feb. 18
  • Breed: Mixed hound
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Young, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 53 Pounds
  • Spayed::Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Playful and submissive
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Housebroken: Working on it
  • Crate Trained: Yes
  • Departure date: March 15, 2019


Lucy was picked up in early January by Cedarwood’s Veterinary Assistant, who found her wandering along side the highway. She had no collar but did have a microchip. 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. Cedarwood boarded Lucy until a place for her opened up at PMFC.

Progress Notes:

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

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs
    If not too close

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 her crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Mostly
    Gets excited when I come to let her out.
  • Understands going outside to potty
  • Alerts me of need to go outside
    Not yet
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No
  • Stays off people furniture: No / Yes


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


  • DHLPP: 12/27/18, 01/16/19 (Cedarwood)
  • Bordatella: Mar. 7, 2019 (SAH)
  • Wormed:
    . Dec 21, 22, 23, Panacur: 116cc (Cedarwood)
  • Rabies: 01/16/19 (Cedarwood)
  • Spayed: Mar. 8, 2019
  • Heartworm Test:
    . Mar. 8, 2019 – NEGATIVE
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . dates, product, dose
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . Mar 8, 2019 Heartguard Plus 50#


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

My initial visit (video)

Lucy loves our big play yard.

Likes lounging on her Kuranda bed

Playing nice with Blondie
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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.