Canine Hypothyroidism Causes and Treatment

Originally published May 18, 2015

Doug on canine hypothyroidism
Doug the Dog Boss

Canine Hypothyroidism is the reduced function (hypo) of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck, on the trachea, and makes a hormone called thyroxine that controls metabolism. When the gland doesn’t make enough thyroxine, the dogs metabolism slows abnormally.

It’s a common disease in dogs that can affect all breeds, but it is most often found in medium to large breeds like Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinchers, Irish Setters, Dachshunds, Boxers, Cocker Spaniels — and bulldogs. It usually occurs in middle-aged dogs (ages 4 to 10) and neutered males and spayed females are at a higher risk, though experts are not sure why. In most cases hypothyroidism is caused by your dog’s own immune system attacking his thyroid gland!

Canine Pneumonia and Heartworm

Originally published November 18, 2015

Bristol in recovery - canine pneumoniaBristol has canine pneumonia. He started coughing on Sunday, by Monday morning it was a continuous thing if he got active at all. A deep, rattly cough that ended with an ejection of phlegm. No blood (thankfully), so an embolism is not indicated. I contacted our Vet Tech, Alicia.

Because he is ill, Bristol has lost his seat on this weekend’s Rolling Rescue run. Hopefully he will be well again by the Rescue run in two weeks.

Parasitic pneumonia in dogs is often caused by lungworms directly or from the migration of other worms (e.g. heartworms) through the lung. 9 out of every 69 dogs (13%) treated for heartworm also develop pneumonia. At this stage (he’s just finishing his recovery period), I do not think the pneumonia was caused by heartworm migration, because they should all be long dead. However, the dead worm tissue in his lungs may have opened a path for a bacterial infection that resulted in pneumonia. Heart disease or heart failure can lead to pneumonia; perhaps this is aftermath of his heartworm infestation and damage to his heart. The heart damage should heal in time. His lungs may have been irritated by the couple of cold, damp nights we had.

Symptoms of Canine Pneumonia

The hallmark symptom shown by dogs suffering from pneumonia is coughing (although of course not all coughing dogs have pneumonia). In addition, watch out for these symptoms:

Rosco Steele: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Rosco. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog 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: Nov. 15

Rosco Steele is one of several siblings who were rescued from a hoarding situation and have been in foster care.  His sister, Sable, was staying with us until just recently.  I can definitely see the family traits.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept 19, 2019
  • Breed: Feist mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 35 Pounds
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Shy, clingy, feisty
  • Gets Along with: People, Dogs, Cats
  • Crate Trained: No.
  • Housebroken: No
  • Departure date: Nov. 15, 2019


Pulled from a hoarding situation many months ago, held in foster care since, but not trained.  He’s here for training and socialization.

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

For a listing of Doggy Tails that include Rosco [click here].

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes
  • Preferred style of play: Undetermined

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes, but prefers men
    . Children: Unknown – he’s pretty wild right now.
  • Jumps up on people: Yes
  • Mouths: Yes: this has turned to licking, no longer nips.
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes Keep the lead short and he does well.

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: No
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Eventually
  • Understands going outside to potty: No Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: Yes
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes


  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: No
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes (with a bribe)

Rosco’s Medical

  • DA2PP: 11/15/2019 (Claws and Paws)
  • Bordatella: 11/15/2019 (Claws and Paws)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
  • Rabies: 06/13/2019 (Claws and Paws)
    .             11/15/2019 (Claws and Paws)
  • Neuter: 06/13/2019 (Claws and Paws)
  • Heartworm Test: 06/13/2019, NEGATIVE (Claws and Paws)
    .              11/15/2019 (Claws and Paws)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 07/13/2019, product?, dose?
    . 09/26/2019, TevraPet Activate II, 1.6 ml
    . 10/27/2019, TevraPet Activate II, 1.6 ml
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 07/13/2019, Interceptor, dose?
    . 09/22/2019, Ivermectin solution, 0.4 ml.
    . 10/27/2019, Ivermectin solution, 0.4 ml.
  • NOTES:
    . No health issues known other than lapsed HW preventative.


4Health Salmon & Potato recipe, 1¼ cups AM, 3/4 cups PM.

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.


Sept 21

Rosco is definitely Sable’s brother!  Their mannerisms are so much alike its spooky.  Like Sable, he is affection starved, like Sable he is really rowdy, like Sable he has no clue how to properly interact with people.  But these things are why he is here at Piney Mountain: we will teach him these and he will become a good pet for someone.  Like Sable, he will always be an active dog, suited for a family that likes a lot of activity, not a family that wants a couch potato.

So far he is getting along great with his kennel-neighbors, Major and Faith.  He does not stir up trouble.  His most annoying habit is to “yip, yip, yip” all night long if I leave him outside with the others.  To combat that I take him inside the bunkhouse and crate him.  He’s not fond of that, but Faith and Major get jealous because they both want very much to be House Dogs and try to get through the gate to the bunkhouse when I let them out for their late night potty runs if I take Rosco inside first.  Once everything settles down, Rosco does too and he seems to sleep all night.  So far he has not torn up the blanket in his crate either.

Sept 23

This morning was the first time he left me alone to clean his kennel and went off to explore the play yard.  Before this he tended to be with me, underfoot and in the way as he demanded attention, while I worked.  My neighbor was out watering her garden and Rosco decided she needed barking at, so that helped to draw him away for a while.  He also peed in the yard for the first time I praised him lavishly for that, hopefully it will encourage him to do that more often.

He is also sleeping through the night once I crate him in the bunkhouse.  I get him out again as soon as possible in the morning and he has not messed up his crate.

Sept 29

For the past three nights Rosco has been sleeping outside with his foster friends instead of being herded inside the bunkhouse to be crated so he doesn’t keep the whole mountain awake with his shrill (and LOUD) barking.  He seems to have learned that being well behaved means he gets to stay out with his friends.

Last night he did get into a session of howling between 2:30 and 3:30, but it was a soft “wooo, wooo, wooo” and it was intermittent.  I doubt it disturbed anyone.  I probably would not have heard it had I not been awake anyway.

Oct 4

Yesterday Marie got home late because she stopped for groceries on the way. Feeding time for all of us was later than normal as a result.

I was out feeding the foster dogs and Rosco started growling, snarling, and barking viciously: his back was up and teeth showing. But he was facing the back of the kennels. “What in the world is going on here?” I wondered, and I began looking to see what he was so upset about.

Then I realized: the setting sun was casting my shadow on the back wall of the kennels and he was trying to defend us all from this dark intruder.

Rosco is a knucklehead sometimes, but quite devoted.

Oct. 11

Not much progress this week.  He’s a little better at leash walking, but I have to keep him of a really short lead or he runs circles around me and binds my legs.  He also still has the bad habit of refusing to pee in the yard, but waiting until he’s back in his room, then squatting like a girl and flooding his room again.

There was another dog that a rescue wanted to pull from Animal Control, and wanted me to foster for a few weeks.  But I didn’t have room since none of my current fosters are ready to be in-house dogs.  SO I decided to build another kennel.  A temporary job, but secure and comfy.  Given Rosco’s propensity to pee all over, I decided to move him into the temp-kennel and let Ford have Kennel #2 — once I’d power washed and sanitized it really well.

Well, Ford got pulled by another agency the day before I finished this kennel.  I had to make a door from scratch, that took longer than I’d thought.  But Rosco seems to actually be happier where he is than he ever was in the “good” kennel.  Probably because he’d been on dirt since he was born, and that’s what he’s used to.  He’s drinking less water, peeing less, and is willing to use the yard.  Go figure!

Nov 12

The past month has seen slow improvement in Rosco’s behavior.  He has come to the realization that he gets more affection when he is not a whirling dervish trying to demand my attention by nipping at my hands and tripping me.  He is much better at walking on a leash.  And he is doing more solo-play (exploration) in the yard, instead of being always running tight circles around my legs.

He is energetic.  He will ALWAYS be energetic.  His thought processes are frantic, so his attention levels are low.  He is still food-centric, so training with treats is counterproductive.  Using petting works better.

Nov. 15

We said our “farewell”s to Rosco yesterday as he boarded the rescue bus to New Jersey. He did us proud. Earlier in the day he had blood drawn for a heartworm test, he sat still and didn’t even flinch at teh needle stick.
He was talkative (yippy) as we drove hither and yon, but wasn’t thrashing around in his crate.
When we got to the transport site he walked calmly to the staging area and was timid but controlled as other people greeted him.  He let me lift him into his crate and entered willingly.
In short: he behaved like a normal dog, which has been our goal all along. Good boy, Rosco, and happy tails to you!

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Faith Restored

Faith went to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital yesterday.  The intent was for them to sedate her and do a thorough examination of her teeth and gums to see why they were bleeding a few days ago.

I had gone into her kennel and found blood on the floor and her chew toy was bloody.  I removed the toy and gave her a rope chew instead.  Then I messaged Doctor Sandra.  She said to bring Faith in for an exam.

I was concerned by this development because when I worked at the Humane Society of Jefferson County I’d seen several rescue deals get aborted when it was discovered the dog had bad teeth.  Repairing that is expensive, an expense many rescues are not willing or able to take on.  I feared that if this was the case with Faith, her deal with A.R.N.N.E. would get nixed.

Before she came here, Faith had spent some time at Cedarwood.  Dr. Sandra pulled her from Animal Control out of fear that they were about to euthanize her.  Dr. Sandra asked if I could foster Faith while they looked for an adoptive home.  At that time I was full, but an opening would happen in a few days.  So Faith was boarded at Cedarwood until I had an open kennel.  The Cedarwood staff became fond of Faith during her stay there.

When Faith and I arrived, the office manager had me fill out the standard permissions form that authorized them to do lab work, administer sedation, and perform various (incrementally more expensive) monitoring during “surgery”.  I did not authorize the high end stuff (triple digit expenses) since this was supposed to be a dental exam not major surgery.  Still, the lab work and sedation would run a couple hundred dollars, not counting any work to be done, if it was needed.

I asked that I be called if work needed to be done.  This would be an expense I would have to bear because Animal Control could not and would not, and A.R.N.N.E. would probably either back out of the rescue offer or prefer the work be done by their own vet partner, to control costs.  Then I went home and waited.

At 4:30 I had received no call and decided I’d better go pick her up before they close at 5:00.

Rebecca came out and explained that Faith had allowed them to examine her teeth without being sedated (I’m not sure how they did that since she wouldn’t let me get more than a peek in there – just enough to know she was bleeding) and they found some abrasions that had healed but the teeth and gums are in fine shape.  Even having just a level 2 tartar: which is low, especially for a 6 to 7 year old dog.  They even clipped her nails for me.

That was wonderful news!  I was afraid that bad teeth would kill the interest that A.R.N.N.E. had in her.  Now I can report that her teeth are great!

“How much do I owe you?” I asked, pulling out my wallet.

“Rebecca shrugged, “We didn’t do anything worth charging you for.  Besides, it’s Faith.  We love her.”

I DO love Cedarwood!

So I took her home and updated Christine, my contact at A.R.N.N.E., that everything was fine and we are still on track for a Nov 11th departure.  It’s all good!

6 Tips on Selecting Pet Food

Originally published November 29th, 2015

pet foodThere is a bewildering array of pet food brands, and products within brands, out there to choose from. Products ranging from dry kibble, to canned, to fresh-frozen, to raw meat are available. All have some benefit, all have some risk. How do you decide which of these are best for your lifestyle and your pet’s health? Here are some tips to help you wend your way through the brand maze and select the best products to consider.

#1: The Pet Food Company

Many pet owners don’t trust larger pet food companies, thinking that a large corporation is by nature callous and uncaring. Smaller brands are more closely linked to their customers and likely to make better, safer products. However, statistics tell a different story.

The Usurper

Originally published February 16, 2016

Cochise tells the tale

One of the great things about being a dog is our social order. We do not have to guess about who is in charge, we always know. In our pack (home) HairyFace is the pack leader because he provides us with food. That earns him the right to boss us around (he calls it ‘training’) and we comply because there is generally food in it for us. And because we love him, but mostly because of the food.

I am Hairy’s second in command. He calls me his Sergeant at Arms because keeping the pack secure is my primary job. I also mentor the fosters, and make sure the snuggle beds don’t escape (I suppose that too falls under security). It’s not that I’m a vicious dog.

When the Peoples take me out in public, I’m very friendly: encouraging people to scratch my head and pet me. For those who are truly deserving of such an honor I will even flop over and present my belly for a good rubbing. HairyFace calls me “a big moosh-baby”. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure it indicates non-violence.

Out there.

Here at home, I am Guardian of the Realm. It is my job to keep my pack safe from horrible threats like murderers, robbers, school buses (they eat children you know: I’ve seen them do it), loud cars, marauding stray cats, garden munching bunny rabbits, and the wind. Here at home, I am … intimidating (eye-brow waggle). And I do it well.

That’s why I was just aghast when I went off to deal with a heinous threat and upon my return I found this:

Would not you agree that this was totally unfair and demeaning? Imagine, sending me off to sleep in Volt’s bed so Volt could take my favorite place. SO unfair.

But, Hairy is the Leader, so … I hear and obey, because I’m a good dog. And I will be wanting dinner this evening (sigh).

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Blaze Goes Missing

Blaze gave me quite a scare today.

As Marie was leaving for work she used her “good bye” treats to get most of the house dogs into their crates so I could go outside to clean kennels without having to worry about anyone starting trouble or tearing up a dog bed while I was outside.

When I was finished with the kennels and had the outside dogs back in their rooms, I let the inside dogs go outside.  They rushed past me as I held the door like a flood or fur and raced around the corner to bark at one of the many vagrant cats who like to walk by, flipping the tips of their vertical tails in arrogance because they know the slavering pack of hounds cannot escape the fence to come after them.

After a bit the cat moved on and the dogs settled down to sniffing the grass and freshening their markings.  All except Blaze.  I could hear his distinctive hound dog bawl coming from around the house on the back porch. It occurred to me while I was watering the garden that while I do not think Blaze can get over the retaining wall back there, he was making a convincing try of it last night.  Maybe I should go bring him around to where I can watch him.

As I walked to the house the barking stopped and as I rounded the corner I expected to see Blaze laying on the porch waiting for me to come open the door for him so he could go inside to lounge around in greater comfort.

But he wasn’t.

In fact he was nowhere to be seen!  Just then the baying started up again, but it was just over a rise where the trees take over. “Oh, no! He got over the wall and is chasing that cat!” thought, I; painfully aware that today, of all days for this to happen, is when I’m supposed to deliver Blaze to the rescue van for his long ride out east.

The baying wasn’t moving.  Maybe he treed the cat.  Maybe I can get to him and bring him back.  But first I need to secure the other dogs.

I called them and, to their credit, every one of them came running.  Just for good measure I called to Blaze again, but he remained fixedly baying at the cat.  I turned to open the door to let the herd in so I could crate them and there, peering through the door glass at me, was BLAZE!  He was looking at me as to say, “What? I was sleeping.  Why are you yelling for me?”

I was so relieved I gave him a big hug, which really confused him.

But who the flibbiddygibbets is out in the woods sounding just like Blaze?  Doesn’t matter I guess, Blaze is here and safe.  And … maybe I’m getting too old for this job!

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Louis Steele: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Louis. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog 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: Sept 15

Pulled from Newport Animal Control by Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue.  PMFC is fostering.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept 7, 2019
  • Breed: Hound
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 39.4 Pounds
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Typical for a hound
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Unknown
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Crate Trained: No
  • Housebroken: No
  • Departure date: Sept 12, 2019 going to S.A.V.E.



Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: No Yes

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Not usually
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Not great, but managable

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
    No Yes
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes


  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Louis’ Medical

  • DA2PP: 03/14/2019 (Animal Control)
    .             06/27/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Bordatella: 03/14/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Wormed: 03/14/2019, Pyrantel Pamoate (Animal Control)
  • Rabies: 09/07/2019 (Paws&Claws)
  • Spay/Neuter: 09/07/2019 (Paws&Claws)
  • Heartworm Test: 09/07/2019 NEGATIVE (Paws&Claws)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 09/12/2019, ?product?, ?dose?
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 09/08/2019, Sentinel, 2, 11-25 lbs doses
  • NOTES:
    . Has a scabby spot on lower back which looks to be from chewing or rubbing against kennel fencing.


4health Salmon & Potato recipe kibble
1¼ cup in AM, 1 cup in PM

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 7th

Louis making like a frog

I picked Louis up from Animal Control this morning and took him to Steele Away Home’s medical day for neutering.  He crated up and rode well, deciding that making like a splayed frog was hes best way to ride.  It worked and he rode there and them home like this without peeing or pooping in his crate.

I’m told he was good while he waited to: no fussing or carrying on in his crate.  He seems to not be bothered much by his surgery, and has not been licking at his incision.

Sept 12

Louis left us today, heading to New Jersey to find a forever home through S.A.V.E.  He rode well, walked politely to the staging area and crated up without a fuss.  He’s a good boy, a handsome boy, and I hope he finds a home again quickly.  Safe travels Louis!

Sept 15


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Faith Lou-Ellen: Notes on a foster dog

Faith has obviously been someone’s pampered pet, but she is now in need of a new family to love … and a sofa to lie on.


Last Updated: May 19, 2020


Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept. 12, 2019
  • Breed: Boxer/Staffordshire mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight:  69 Pounds at intake
    .               61.2 lbs 09/18/2019
    .               51.5 lbs 12/08/2019 (what!?)
    .               65.5 lbs 12/16/2019 (foot injury, laying around)
    .               63.5 lbs 12/19/2019
  • Spayed: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Affectionate, submissive
  • Gets Along with: Most Dogs, Cats, all People
  • Crate Trained: Yes
  • Housebroken: Yes
  • Departure date: May 8th, headed directly to her forever home in New York!


Picked up as a stray July 31, 2019 and never claimed, Faith is in search of a loving home.  After having been at Animal Control for too long, Dr. Sandra Manes DVM pulled her, to be sure she was safe, and asked Piney Mountain to foster her.  Faith was overweight and in need of some serenity.  We have been addressing both of those issues.

Faith Lou-Ellen’s Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: She now does well with all dogs.  Avoids confrontation.
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes Has done so in her kennel/crate with other dogs just outside.  Have not tried free-ranging this yet.
  • Style of play:  Her favorite thing to do while shes out in the play yard is to flip on her back and wiggle-scooch down a hill.  Now that she’s losing weight she enjoys running.  Bounces around a little with Blondie Bear.

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Yes – but getting better
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Doing better – working on this.  She likes to walk herself! (see Dec 16)

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters her crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: Yes


  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes


  • DA2PP: 08/21/2019 (Animal Control)
    .             09/11/19 (Cedarwood Veterinary)
  • Bordatella: 08/21/2019 (Animal Control)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    .     08/26/2019 Pyrantel Pamoate 5.5 cc
  • Rabies: 09/11/19 (Cedarwood Veterinary)
  • Spay: Done prior to arrival at NAC
  • Heartworm Test: 08/28/2019, NEGATIVE (Cedarwood)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 08/30/2019, Comfortis, 20-40 lb x 2
    . 05/03/2020, Fipronil, 45 to 88 pounds
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 08/30/2019, Triheart, 25+ lb + 26-50 lb
    . 09/30/2019 Ivermectin solution, 0.6 ml
    . 10/31/2019 Ivermectin solution, 0.6 ml
    . 12/02/2019 Ivermectin solution, 0.6 ml
    . 01/02/2019 Ivermectin solution, 0.7 ml
    . 02/03/2020 Ivermectin solution, 0.7 ml
    . 03/05/2020 Ivermectin solution, 0.7 ml
    . 04/17/2020 Ivermectin solution, 0.7 ml
  • NOTES:
    Benign mass removed from her right front foot 12/19/2019.  Given Cephalexin, Carprofen and Hydroxyzine afterward.


4health Salmon and Potato kibble.

Faith is getting a Glucosamine, Chondroitan, MSM suppliment daily, which I hide in a spoonful of Phoenix’s stew.

Our peanut butter treats as rewards for compliance.  Other treats include Retriever Beef Basted Sticks and Hartz Oinkies: Chicken

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 9

Faith was supposed to be coming here today, a foster dog who was supposed to be leaving on last weeks transport got bumped to next week’s run.  So I don’t have a vacancy yet.  This should be corrected on Thursday the 12th.  Once she’s here I can begin the evaluation and provide more detailed information.

Sept 12

Faith has arrived.  She rode well.  When I let her out in the play yard she peed, pooped, then rolled on her back and wiggle-scooted all the way down the hill.  She’s a hoot!

Due to a sudden change in The Plan a dog that was supposed to have left last week didn’t, and a change to Faith’s recent housing brought Faith here a little early and I do not have an empty kennel for her.  But I will in a few hours.  So Faith is lounging in a crate until Louis and Sable leave this afternoon.  She seems content with that for now, and the whole gang has come by the say, “howdy!”

Sept 13

Yesterday I found blood on the floor of her kennel, and blood on her foot, though she wouldn’t let me have a good look.  This morning I found her Benebone chew toy bloodied up.  Her gum is bleeding around a tooth, left side, lower jaw, about half way back.

I removed the Benebone and replaced it with a rope toy.  I’ve alerted Dr. Sandra, we will see what needs doing next week.  This might be why she’s not eating the kibble too.  I have some canned food.  I’ll try that until she see’s her vet.

Sept 16

I made an appointment with Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital to sedate Faith and have a good look at her teeth – and trim her toenails.  Since I removed the Benebone I’ve seen no blood on the floor or in her mouth.  She is eating kibble now too, apparently without discomfort.

Sept 18

I took Faith to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital this morning.  I put her in a harness to avoid choking her when she pulled on the leash.  She rode well and did well in the reception area.

Faith allowed the good folks at Cedarwood to examine her teeth and gums without being sedated.  They found indications that she had scratched her gums (probably with that chew toy) but that had healed.  Her teeth and gums are in great shape with only level 2 tartar.  She’s also down to around 61 pounds!  Yay!

Sept 23

Faith is doing better with the “come” command.  She is settled into her kennel and seems to like spending time in her dog house.  She lays on her Kuranda dog bed in the afternoons when it gets warm.

Faith & Blondie “play”

Hiding from the hose as I clean neighboring kennel

Being my gardening assistant

Siesta time

Sunning while I clean her room.

Sept 25

Yesterday I bought a couple of Bully Horns for the doggos to chew on.  I particularly wanted one for Faith because the Benebones I bought them tend to “fuzz up” and that roughness was scratching her gums and making them bleed.  So I took it away and gave her a ropey toy.  She would rather have a proper chew toy and has tried to steal Rosco’s through their common wall.

I was hoping to post a video yesterday of how much Faith liked this new chew toy, but, alas, she ignored it all afternoon and evening.  But this morning, when I went out to clean kennels, she was doing this:

Oct 4

It’s a brisk 68° this morning and Faith is running all over the place.  The nice cool temps help, but so does the fact that she’s lost about 8 pounds since intake.

Oct 11

Since Faith has been here, she has been going out into the yard with Blondie Bear.  Faith pretty much ignored Blondie until this past week.  One day early in the week I noticed the two of them bouncing around and playing a bit while I cleaned Faith’s kennel.  It didn’t last long then, Faith wandered off.  A couple of days later they were at it again, and I got my camera out to record their fun.  But as soon as I turned my attention to them, Faith’s attitude changed:

As you can see her tail is low and slow,her eyes are round, mouth closed, and she’s licking her lips.  All signs of tension.  Violence was about to break out.  This is not the first time with Faith, she has gone after Major and Callie because they were close to me.  This is jealousy driven.  Acting this way toward Blondie Bear is new.

I called Faith with a happy, excited voice.  Faith broke off from the impeding confrontation and came running over to me.  I kept her in her kennel while I finished cleaning.

The next day, everything was back to normal as the girls ignored one another.  Faith was happy to lay in the sunshine.  The following day they were again playing and seemed to be keeping it civil.  So I kept an eye on them, but out of the corner of my eye, not looking directly at them, and I skirted around them as I cleaned the yard.  They played for a while, then Faith came to see if her room was done and I had a treat for her.  Much better!

Oct 17

It’s been getting chilly at night – and will get chillier in a couple of days – and Faith has short fur and a bare-naked belly. So a couple of mornings I took two old polar fleece blankets out and put them in her dog house after I cleaned her kennel. Faith saw me carrying the blankets and was excited by them. When I let her back in her room she flew right past me and her treat, dove into the dog house, ran a couple of laps inside, then settled in the door, “THANK YOU!”

Poor Faith is accustomed to finer living. She obviously was a house dog, house broken, accustomed to furniture privileges and a lot of attention. But because she needs to be an only dog (she gets jealous with *some* dogs) the rescues we’ve approached won’t take her.  She needs to be good with *all* dogs for them to want her.  She is not a mean dog and if she were integrated properly into a house with another dog as she bonded with the people it should work out fine.  We were not able to do that with her here because we already had FIVE dogs in our little house.

Oct 20

Another comfort upgrade came today as Marie completed a project she started a while back.  The kennel dogs got new pads for their dog houses or bed. Faith appreciates hers.
Special thanks to Fredia Haley of Foothills of the Smoky’s Quilt Shop.

Nov 11

We’ve started bringing Faith inside at night.  She and Callie have had issues and one major spat, so I cannot allow Faith to roam the house until we get that issue resolved.  But Faith is delighted to be inside, even if it’s just barely inside.  And she likes Glen Miller music, she even keeps rhythm  with her tail.

Nov 15

Faith has done well in allowing the other dogs to parade past her crate on their way to and from the door to the outside.  Weekends are special times for us at PMFC, a time of extra togetherness.  Faith has been moved from the laundry room to the main room where she can see and — to a limited extent — participate in these increased activities.

Over the weekend we will experiment with letting Faith out – on a very short leash – to interact with the other dogs.  If she does well, it will be a major step in certifying her as “adoptable”.

Nov. 24

This week Faith received another housing upgrade: she moved into a wire crate to allow her to be more “connected” with the other dogs.  And by setting up the space heater near her crate we encourage the other dogs to come camp out near her so she gets used to their presence.

Buddy Beagle is fine with her being here as long as she is in her crate, when I take her out to go potty, get a drink, or have some free-play time Buddy has to go outdoors to a kennel or he bays and hollers at her.  She pays him no mind, but it annoys me.  All the others have adapted to her, and she is mostly tolerant of them.  Two incidents of her grousing at the others: one awoke her from a sound sleep and may have been triggered by a dream.  The other, Josephine was sniffing at Faith’s hoofie, which had gotten shoved into a corner of her crate.  No issues at feeding time, though Blondie and Josie routinely eat right beside Faith’s crate.

Typically Faith paws at her crate door only if she needs to go out to potty or if she needs to get a drink. The rest of the time she lounges peacefully, grateful to be in the house with us.

I want snuggles too!

Today after church, she pawed at the door.  I secured the loudmouth dog and closed room doors leaving the way to the backdoor clear, then I let her out of her crate.

But she didn’t trot off to the back door so she could potty.  She didn’t scamper around the kitchen island to get a drink.  She rushed to where Marie had settled to pet Josephine, Faith wanted snuggles too.

Nov. 30

Faith is getting depressed.  Too many grey days, too much time spent in her crate while 5 other dogs get free-run of the house.  So this morning I crated everyone but Blondie and Josephine and let Faith out to free-range for a while.  She decided all she really wanted was to spend some time in my company.  So we snuggled for a while as she got some scritchies.  Then she settled in nearby while I took care of some bookkeeping and communications work.

Faith really needs to find a home to call her own.  The safest bet would be a home with with no assertive dogs.  She does fine with mild-mannered dogs, but reacts badly to dogs who get in her face.  Other than that, she is an absolute sweetheart, exceptionally loving, and calm most of the time.  She’s also a complete homebody.  She likes to lay in the sun when that’s available, but otherwise prefers to be indoors.

Dec 9

Faith injured her right front foot end of last week.  Of course, injuries ALWAYS occur right before the weekend while the vet is closed.  I took her in this morning for an exam and eval.  Currently waiting for a call-back …

Over the weekend, Faith enjoyed some added freedom in the form of free-ranging in the house.  She has been doing MUCH better about not getting jealous and possessive of The Peoples attention.  She has had weeks of resting in her wire crate, watching how family dynamics are supposed to work, and has decided she’d like to be part of that.

Sharing with Josie

Not begging

After meal scritchies

Snuggles from Marie

The word came: they don’t know WHAT that is.  She came home with an antibiotic and I’m to keep her from licking at it, and they’ll recheck in a week.  Dr. Sandra suggested putting a baby sock on it — everyone has baby socks laying around — to cushion it when she walks.

Since we never had (human) children we have no grandchildren and no baby socks laying around.  So Marie bought some.  I doubled a pair (one inside the other) and we managed to get it on her and held loosely in place with medical tape.  So far she’s being really good about leaving it alone.  When she goes outside in the snow and mud to potty I secure a baggie over her sock while she’s outside.  Doggie galoshes. Or Galosh, since it’s just one.

Dec 15

Poor Faith’s foot is still sore.  We’ve tried a number of things to cushion it and to keep her from licking at it.  The socks worked well until she started licking at the sock, then that would get wet from the saliva.  I coned her for a day, but had to relent on that because she practically went catatonic on us.

On the positive side, Faith has been integrating well into our gang.  I suppose I should say that our gang is accepting her, since the tensions were coming from Buddy and Callie, not Faith.  But Faith would react to those tensions.  Faith is no longer reacting, and the grumpy ones have backed off.

So much so that Faith and her nemesis, Callie Roo actually shared a sun puddle today.  Partly because there is a shortage of indoor sun puddles, but also because these two have put their rocky history behind them.  They once got into a tussle and chewed each other up a little.  Callie holds grudges.

Buddy Beagle has finally decided he doesn’t need to scream “INTRUDER INTRUDER” every time she comes in, or goes out, or moves from one room to another.  I don’t know what makes that old boy do that, it’s just Buddy’s way.

Dec 16

We’re off to see the veterinarian about her foot again, but Faith says, “I’m a big girl, I can walk myself.”

It appears Faith is going to need surgery to remove that growth from between her foot pads.  That’s not good news to her or us.  But at least she did get to stretch out on this thick rubber mat.  That’s her favorite part of a vet visit … next to the truck ride.  She LOVES truck rides.

Dec 19

Faith spend the day at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital today, where Dr. Courtney Phillips and the support team removed that mass from Faith’s foot.  She is home now and resting.  Blondie Bear is filling her usual role as nurse.

We used a Kong Cloud e-collar instead of a cone because when we tried a cone to keep her from licking her foot a few days ago she shut down completely, refusing to move at all.  She’s doing much better with this … if it is effective in keeping her away from that foot.

The incision needs to be open to the air to promote drying out and healing.  We’ll put a boot on her to keep it clean when she goes outside.  But otherwise, the Doctor wants the air to be able to get to it.

We took out a Care Credit loan to pay for the surgery and are hoping donors will step up and help us make the payments on the $515.00 charge.

Dec 26

Faith Lou-Ellen is recovering from foot surgery. To keep her from licking I affix a baby sock. THis also cushions her foot as she walks around. To keep that clean and dry when she goes outside I fashion a boot out of a sandwich bag and duct tape.

Dec 29

The histopathology report on Faith’s foot lump came back — benign neoplasm. Doing a happy dance!  Neoplasm means “new growth” and most are caused by some abnormal cell reproduction – often cancer.  But benign means that even if it is some sort of cancer it is not malignant: not likely to spread.

The final analysis:

Histiocytomas are benign neoplasms that often occur in young dogs, although dogs of any age can be affected. Despite incomplete excision, recurrence and regrowth are unlikely.

Good news indeed!

Also, Christine Plouffe of A.R.N.N.E. sent us a proper boot for Faith to wear to protect her foot while outside.  Faith thinks it’s hilarious and really enjoys going flump-klomp, flump-klomp, flump-klomp, as she runs around in it.  The duct tape and baggie boots I’ve been making make a swish-swish sound that is not nearly so satisfying to her.

Jan 14

Faith Lou-Ellen’s foot is all healed up and the biopsy came back as “Benign, and should nor recurr”. We’re sending out a big “Thank You” to those who contributed to the Faithy’s Foot Fund.  A balance due remains, so if you wanted to help before and couldn’t but can now … we’d sure appreciate it.

Faith is again seeking a home.  She is the sweetest thing, would love to snuggle with you and discuss her day.  She is quite the chatty one, in her cute grumble-speak.  She gets along with most dogs, cats, people, but probably not monkeys: monkeys are annoying.

Faith is an older gal but still has plenty of life and vigor in her.  She just wants someone to love.

Jan 20

Hanging out with Cheyan

Hanging out with Blondie Bear.

Helping Doug bake dog cookies.

Feb 8

We had a snowy day today.  A great opportunity to recline with Marie by the fireplace and just relax.

Feb 17

Buddy and Faith have been getting along fine today.  Until they didn’t.  There have been a couple of times where Buddy was coming in and Faith wanted to go out and I let them “pass in the night” at the doorway. I also found that Buddy doesn’t yell at her for being loose in the house if he’s not in his crate.

I was feeling really hopeful when they ended up sharing a sunny spot in the den.  Faith was on a bed, Buddy was on the carpet.  Josephine was at the door wanting in, so I got up to go take care of that.  No sooner had I left the room but I heard Buddy issue one sharp bark and Faith came scooting out of the den ran to her room and sat there looking sheepish.  I closed her in and went to see about Buddy.  He was on the dog bed in the sun looking quite self satisfied.  My suspicion is that he bullied her into giving up the sun-bed.  So he’s spending some time in his crate too.

March 9

Meal times at Piney Mountain Foster Care are an adventure: some dogs get this kibble some get that kibble, some get stew, some get canned food, some get a combination of these, some get additives like glucosamine, or fish oil, or liver powder, or medications. Often, every bowl is different. Faith Lou-Ellen Snugglebug gets straight kibble. But she smells the other yummy stuff and if I place a bowl of plain kibble in front of her she gives me this look:

But … there’s nothing special in MY bowl.

So I always have to remember to give her a dab of something tasty even though she doesn’t need it. Just because she is SUCH a sweetie.  And this sweetie really needs a home to call her own.  Won’t anyone adopt Faithy?

March 20

I’ve been crating Callie and letting Faith out to wander the house while I’m inside to monitor. She’s done really well: challenged no one. Even when Buddy Beagle walks up and grumps at her, “I want that bed, you move.” she DOES! So it’s just Callie she doesn’t get along with, and Callie starts that.

I posted Faith to  Maybe they can help us find her a home.

April 17

Faith Lou-Ellen Snugglebug has slept in a crate at night since she became a house dog. She has been earning Good Dog points and has earned the right to roam freely during the day, so she can pick any of the available dog beds to rest in during the day.

Sometimes she still chooses to rest in her crate, with the door open, especially if I’m in the kitchen cooking.

Then Faithy decided to start calling me to let her out 2, 3, sometimes 4 times during the night, claiming a need to go outside. But it became clear, when it was chilly or raining out, that her need was not to go use the yard, but just to get out of her crate. So I decided to expand her bedroom at night, giving her access to the living room and the snuggle beds in there. But I warned her that if I caught her on the sofa, it was back to the crate for her. She has complied with that edict, so she remained able to call the living room hers at night. Until last night.

Faithy Lou spent the evening snoozing on a bed in the den with Phoenix. Time for bed rolled around and I began running dogs outside for their bedtime potty run. Faith declined. She had been out recently and I know from experience that if she does not need to go, she will just stand on the porch staring at the door, then expect a treat when she comes in because she WAS outside. So I encouraged her to move to the living room so I could erect her barrier to keep Callie from causing trouble in the night. Probably unnecessary because once Callie goes to sleep she is usually out for the night and won’t move again until morning. Usually, but not always. So I barricade for safety.

But Faith was comfy where she was and began “mooing” at me in her funny grumble-speak that she wanted to have a sleep-over with Phoenix. Phoenix said she would enjoy the company too. So I dispensed bed-time cookies, tucked Faith in, barricaded the den door, and went to bed.

The night was quiet, no interruptions to my sleep. At least not by canines, my bladder woke me once. And I checked on everyone. Everyone was fine.

After breakfast Faith and Pheenie went back to their positions and even when Blondie Bear brought her stick-treat in the den to eat it, Faith didn’t budge. She’s a good girl, and becoming more of an accomplished house dog all the time.

April 22

When Faith Lou-Ellen first arrived here she was accustomed to being the only dog and was jealous of any other dog getting attention.  She was demanding when she wanted something another dog had – like a bed or toy.  This led to several confrontations, a couple of them bloody.

But she has since learned to get along well with everyone except Callie.  Callie hold grudges.  But any animosity between them is entirely on Callie.

Here is an example: Faithy has become accustomed to hanging out in the den with some of the other dogs when I’m in there working.  She is particularly fond of the bed closest to my book case.  Today she walked in and found Buddy sacked out on her favorite bed and all the other beds taken.  But rather than make a stink, she accepted what was left: a completely sub-standard resting place, but at least she’s in here with the rest of us.  She could have gone into the bedroom and had her choice of cushy beds, but she’d be alone.  Sometimes, she’s fine with that.  Today she wanted company and was willing to compromise to get it.  Good Girl!

May 1

A few weeks ago a family who has adopted one of our dogs before (also a boxer) said they would like to adopt Faith as a companion and playmate to him.  But travel restrictions in their state have blocked that happening until now.  So I have scheduled an appointment for a health certification so Faith can travel interstate and we hope to have her on her way next Friday, May 8th.

May 11

Faith Lou-Ellen’s health certification and transport went off without a hitch, and she is settling in with her new family.  Faith’s Mom has been keeping in touch, supplying photos and descriptions.

Faith is stand-offish at first.

Their other dog, Julian, is (as I expected) being just wonderful with Faith.  She was a little touchy at first about his curiosity (and sniffing) but he gave her some space and they are now friends and companions.  Not really playmates yet, Faith has never been much into play.  She’s a cuddle baby.

Julian has always been “Daddy’s Boy” and Faith is showing a preference for the Mom, who loves Faith too.  Faith wants to be with Mom, who is working from home, all the time but is uneasy with the flight of stairs she must scale to get to the upper level.  Faith always did fine with the 4 steps on our back porch, but a whole flight of stairs is probably daunting to a stumpy legged gal.  Losing a few more pounds would probably help.  I’m sure she will get past that inhibition.

But she has no trouble getting up on their sofa!  Faith DOES love sofa snoozing!

The family also have a couple of teen-aged younguns to help entertain and care for Faith so she should have no lack of companionship.

It’s been a long road for Miss Faithy, but she’s finally home.

May 19

Faith and Julian have become great friends.  Their Mom posted a video of Faith taking Julian for a walk: she has the leash in her teeth (as she is accustomed to doing with her own leash) and is leading Jules all over the place, and he seems pleased as punch to play along with this game.  What a great pair they make!

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Why Good Dogs Develop Bad Behavior

Originally published March 31, 2016

The dogtor is in

Jasper has been with us for a week now. He came to us from the local animal shelter because he had been returned to them from a rescue because his bad behavior was deemed “unmanageable”. I was told this meant that he is extremely energetic, jumps on people and cannot be dissuaded from this. This is bad behavior in a small dog.  In one that is around 70 pounds it can prove terrifying to an unsuspecting recipient of such affection. And he does mean it as affection or play.

Jasper exhibiting good behavior not bad behavior
Jasper doesn’t look like a terrorist does he?

This description immediately popped a couple of presupposition flags in my mind:

1) It seems this behavior is often the result of a family adopting a puppy but making no attempt to train it. While it’s an adorable ball of fluff, jumping up on your legs eager for attention is cute. When it becomes a 30 pound dog, it’s less endearing. When it’s 50 or more pounds, the poor dog ends up at the local shelter because it’s a major nuisance and “they can’t do anything with it”. So of course this bad behavior is the dog’s fault. The truth is that no one took the effort to teach it good behavior.