Blaze Steele: Notes on a foster dog

Blaze was the submissive one in a bonded pair of brothers. He has now learned to have a life of his own and has become an affectionate, gentle companion.

Last updated: Sept 2, 2019

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: April 17
  • Breed: Hound mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 58.7 Pounds as of Aug 29th
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Submissive, playful, timid with strangers
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes
  • Departure date: Sept 6th, 2019 –> S.A.V.E.


Blaze was one of 6 puppies and their mother who were owner surrendered to Newport Animal Control because the original owner went to jail, the owner’s father didn’t want the dogs and his mother could do nothing with them because the mother dog became aggressive after she gave birth. All of the dogs were adopted out, Blaze and Rocky together, but Blaze and Rocky were returned because they were kept outside and they barked, causing neighbors to complain. Blaze and his brother had become bonded, with Blaze as the submissive. Rocky tended to bully his larger brother, eating his food, taking his treats, but also played the role of protector and alpha.

Progress Notes Summary:

Detailed update notes are posted below this Summary and the Photo Gallery.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes: large and small
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes

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 his crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes Goes to the door
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No Put a chew toy in his crate
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: Yes


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

Blaze’s Medical

  • DA2PP: 08/21/18 (NAC)
    Booster: 12/13/18
  • Bordatella: 08/21/18 (NAC)
  • Worming History:
    . 08/21/18, Pyrantel Pamoate: dose? (NAC)
    . 12/13/18, Pyrantel Pamoate: 3.5 cc (NAC)
    . 05/10-12/19 SafeGuard, 10cc PMFC
  • Rabies: 10/03/18 (Cedarwood)
    Also Microchipped
  • Neuter: 06/13/2019
  • Heartworm Test: 6/13/2019 – Neg.
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 05/01/2019, Effipro 45#+
    . 07/02/2019, Unknown
    . 08/16/2019, Unknown
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 06/14/2019
    . 07/15/2019 ValuHeart, Lg dog
    . 08/16/2019 ValuHeart, Lg dog
  • NOTES:
    1) Inflammation in left ear 08/27 is causing him discomfort.  Appt 08/29 at Cedarwood Veterinary.  Examined him, irrigated ears, cleaned both ears, prescribed .5 cc Dermavet ointment in each ear twice daily for 10 days.


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

Rocky and Blaze, bonded brothers at Animal Control

Supervising construction of new kennels

House sitter

Blaze using his hound dog voice (video)

Running in the yard, ears flapping.

Hanging out with Blondie in the watch tower.

Da Boyz first time dining separately.

Rooming together again to make room for Luna

“Where is my BROTHER? What did you do with him?

Detailed Updates:

May 1, 2019

Blaze and Rocky are bonded siblings: two of 6 puppies that were surrendered with their mother to Animal Control. The others were all taken away as they were adopted, leaving just these two, clinging to each other for moral support in a scary environment.

When I pulled them from Newport Animal Control, Blaze (the bigger one) tended to cower behind his brother, who would bark fiercely at anyone who stopped at their kennel door. They were so unruly they had to be carried out to my truck because they would NOT walk on a leash.

Since coming to Piney Mountain Foster they have remained quite close, but not so fearful. They’d still sleep in a pile, and they love to play together in our big yard. But Rocky has been nowhere near as protective, and Blaze has started to develop a will of his own.

For full details, read the story: Breaking Brotherly Bonds

May 15, 2019

When our current gang of foster dogs arrived, the nights were not silent. Definitely not silent! Rocky and Blaze were vocal day and night. They barked at anything they could see or hear moving around, they barked at other dogs on the mountain, even quite distant dogs, who were barking at something or just being conversational.

Their first few nights here were exhausting for I had to keep going outside to sit near their kennel to convince them to not bark — and awake our neighbors. Thank God it was spring, and warm enough I didn’t freeze out there!

After a few nights they caught on and were far less vocal at night. And that trend has only improved since.

For full details read the story: Silent Nights

May 17, 2019

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.

The inside dogs were in a mild panic.  The outside dogs never made a peep. They do not seem to be bothered by the storm. But then, they had had their breakfast and a potty break, there was no wind to blow the rain around, and the new roof with its wide overhangs easily kept all of them dry. The new slab is designed to make sure run-off from the mountain cannot flow across the new kennels. So they hung out and watched the show.

For full details read the story: Pop-up Thunderstorm

May 18, 2019

Of the two brothers, Blaze is gentler and more affectionate.  He can turn the steam up and play hard with the other dogs, but with me he’s usually pretty subdued and well behaved.  He has also learned to walk on a leash:
Foster dog notes for May 18th, 2019

May 27, 2019

Blaze has lead the charge in munching down my berry bushes. I grow blueberries, blackberries, Boysenberries, black raspberries, and red raspberries. These grow in a berry patch in the play yard and have gone mostly unmolested by the dogs until now. Blaze decided that the ripe red raspberries were a refreshing snack, then he started on the others, and now is chewing on the unripe blueberries. Rocky and Sable are following his example. This is rather distressing since they are eating the bushes as well as the berries. These doggoes seem to think they’re GOATS!
Foster Dog Notes for May 27, 2019

July 5, 2019

Blaze has never been a problem in this regard, always gentle.

I have had to move the Da Boyz back into one room to make room for Luna.  This should not be an issue short term as they have learned to enjoy themselves while not in each other’s company.   And I feed them separately by calling Blaze to come out of the kennel to eat while Rocky eats inside.  I do give them treats together and Rocky is doing better about focusing on his treat and not on taking Blaze’s away.
Foster Dog Updates for July 5th, 2019

July 12, 2019

“Where is my BROTHER? What did you do with him?

Rocky was suddenly claimed by SAVE and he left us today headed for New Jersey.  Blaze was a little upset when we returned in the truck without his brother.  But I let him out to play with Luna (who is calm) and then brought him his dinner and he has settled down to where I do not see obvious signs of separation anxiety in him.

July 22, 2019

Chillin’ in his room

Blaze has not suffered anxiety over the departure of his brother, Rocky.  He continues to be a friendly, outgoing, playful fellow.  He and Sable get into rough play.  Luna and most of my dogs are not into the rough stuff and he will respect their wishes.  Josephine does like active play, but not with Blaze.  When in solo play time, he finds ways to amuse himself.  He’ll play with a ropey toy, a yard bone, a stick. With Blaze the bigger the stick, the better he likes it!

When play time is over and I call him back he comes running, eager to get his treat, and goes right into his kennel.

July 27, 2019

Blaze is not at all aggressive, but he has always played really rough because that’s how he and his brother, Rocky, have done it since birth.  Sable too likes it rough.  When the three of them get together it sounds like war!  But it’s not.  Now that Rocky has moved on, and Blaze needs more than just Sable to play with, can he learn to tone down his play?

Josephine (a Beagle Doxi mix) likes to play with the big boys, so long as they don’t hurt her.  Her first session with Blaze came to a quick end and she refused to try again until Callie came out as her back-up.  “If he hurts you,” Callie assured her, “I’ll chew his ears off.”  On that promise Josie tried again.  Even Buddy Beagle got in on it.  He says, The Beagle Brotherhood stands together!”

No, I don’t know why they call it The Beagle Brotherhood when two of the three members are female.  I suspect that is Buddy’s doing.

Yes, I know Callie is a pit bull, but she identifies as a Beagle, and these days that’s all that matters.  She is a Beagle.

Aug 6, 2019

Blaze tore loose a toenail while clowning in his kennel.  He could not walk on it that first day.  It still pains him, but he’s walking (with a limp) now.  I’m watching it for infection.

Blaze has been enjoying playing with all the other dogs, even Buddy gets into it.  But he’s backed out of play for a while because his foot hurts.

UPDATE: that toe has scaled over and is healing nicely.

Aug 16

Blaze will begin formal house-breaking this weekend.  I’ve set up the big travel box in the kitchen for him to use as a crate.  This should progress quickly.  He seems to know what I have planned, because each time I let him out of his kennel he runs to the back door and stands there waiting for me to let him in.  I think Josephine spilled the beans.  And he has a new admirer, Cinnamon!

Aug 17

Blaze began formal housebreaking today.  I set up a large transport box with blankets and a chew toy, and brought him inside late in the afternoon.  When he entered the house, he was scared by our “alien landscape”.  Surrendered as a puppy to Animal Control he lived in a kennel there, then after we rescued him he lived in a larger kennel here, he may never have seen the inside of a house.

He stopped half-way through the door and peered around wide-eyed while the other house dogs slipped past him and went on into other rooms.  Callie stopped, turned around and touched noses with Blaze, “It’s okay Blaze, this is where we live.  Come on in.” She turned again and walked to the end of the laundry room, looked back over her shoulder, “You coming?”  That was enough for Blaze and he slinked on in.   We let him sniff things out for a bit then bribed him into his “room” with a cookie.

At first he wasn’t too keen on being stuck in a small space and he barked a little, but he settled down, especially once I dished up kibble for everyone and slipped his bowl into his crate for him.  All the other dogs ate just outside of his crate and everyone was fine with that.  Blaze can get a bit grabby, but has never been food aggressive.

After they ate Marie spun his crate around so he could watch me build a pizza and salad for our dinner.  He was a little fussy until Callie came to lay beside his crate.  That calmed him down.  Okay, she was probably more interested in laying in front of the fan than calming Blaze, but it worked either way.

They all got munchy bones to chew on while we ate dinner in the living room and watched a couple of episodes of I Love Lucy on DVD.  Blaze did well except for one period when he needed to kibitz the show, but then he settled again.

Come on, lets go INSIDE!

I took him outside four times over the course of the evening to be sure he could relieve himself if he needed to.  And he did.  Then he ran up the walkway toward the back door, “Come on, Doug, let’s go back INSIDE, I like inside!”

After the third run I let him wander around the kitchen/living room for a while to explore a bit.  I was watching him like a hawk, but he did great.  When that was done I tossed a cookie into his crate and said, “in your room” and he went right in and allowed me to close up the door.

After his final run outside, just before bed, he again got to look around.  He stuck his head into Callie’s crate, discovered the Squakasaurous she had stashed in there, grabbed that treasure and skampered back to his room with it.  Yeah — he’s settling in!

As long as he doesn’t get barky when we go to bed he will have had a 5-stay first day.  If he does, well, he’ll go back out to his kennel for the night and we’ll try it all over again tomorrow.  In either case, he has done well and I’m proud of him.

Aug 19

While cleaning the kennels I let Sable out first to run around solo. When I got her kennel scrubbed out, and the dog house and dog bed scrubbed, and the disinfectant down on the floor, I let Blaze out to play with Sable so I could work on his room while the disinfectant worked in Sable’s. When Sable’s room was done, I put her back in and let out Cinnamon to play with Blaze, planning to put Blaze away when his room was ready and give Cinnamon some solo time. But when I called Blaze, he and Cinnamon came galloping over and ran into Blaze’s room. I figured they both wanted a drink of water and Cinni would come back out afterward. But no, she settled in on Blazes bed and said, “I’m staying here with my friend.” Blaze seemed okay with that, so I closed and secured the door. Once I got the disinfectant down on Cinnamon’s floor I headed out to do a yard pick-up while it did it’s thing. While I was out I heard Cinnamon yipping. Blaze gave out one loud, annoyed “WOOF!”, Cinnamon yipped some more, then it got quiet.

When I got back to the kennels, I found Blaze standing at his door giving me a look: “Let me out, Doug, she’s being greedy.”

Cinnamon had grabbed Blazes bed AND his chew toy and wasn’t going to share.

But, there were no hostilities, just hurt feelings. Poor Blaze!  He’s just trying to be hospitable and this eye-batting cutie-gal is taking advantage of him!

During the afternoon play session I moved Cinnamon’s bed and toy into Blaze’s room, but on the opposite side of the room.  Now they each have a bed and a toy.  The beds should work out, but it may well be that both toys will end up under Cinni’s paws.

Blaze says, “MY bed.  MY toy. You just stay on your side of the room, girlie.”

This may not work out and I’ll be moving Cinnamon back into her own room, so we’re NOT hanging out the vacancy sign just yet.

Aug 21

See the Aug 17 entry above for details

Last Saturday was Blaze’s first try at an overnight in the house.  He did fine in his crate all evening.  He went out to potty when I took him, and went back into his crate willingly.  But when we all went to bed, leaving Blaze in his crate in the kitchen (because his big crate won’t fit in our bedroom) he started crying and thrashing around so hard I feared he’d roll the thing over.  I tried to calm him, and it worked for a short while then it was back to the thrashing.  Eventually I had to take him outside to his kennel.  Sunday afternoon Blaze came inside and did well.  That evening I took him back to his kennel for the night.  Monday afternoon, Blaze came inside and did well.  He was getting some free-play time in the house.  That evening we retired to the bedroom, and Blaze fussed a bit.  I talked to him from the bedroom  (opposite end of a short hallway) and he calmed down.  We repeated this a couple of times during the night.  Tuesday night he did well and didn’t start fussing until 3:00 am.  Thinking he needed to go out, I took him out.  He didn’t.  I took him back and I went back to bed.  He went back to sleep too.

I did a quickie clean-up in the kennels this morning.  I’ll do a thorough cleaning and disinfecting after lunch when I have more time.  When I was done with Blaze & Cinnamon’s kennel I called them.  Cinnamon came trotting over and came right into the kennel.  Blaze stopped short and stood about 6 feet out giving me a look that said, “Nuh, uh, I’m a HOUSE dog now.  I don’t stay in a kennel any more.”  I had stuff to do and didn’t have time to argue with him so I left him to run in the yard with Blondie, Callie, Buddy and Josie.

When I was done with yard work we all went inside and I fixed lunch.  As is my habit, I took my lunch to the den so I could work at the desk and eat at the same time.  I left Blaze free to join me, Buddy came in with us.  Blaze found a ropey toy and occupied himself with that for a while.

After a while Blaze laid down and closed his eyes.  Bud a few moments later he got up and started scratching at the carpet to “fluff” it.  I scolded him and called him over to me.  He walked over and laid his head on my knee giving me his sad-eyes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“If you need something cushier to lay on, try this.”  and I positioned him by the nearest dog bed and toppled him on his side.  His eyes got round as he looked at me nervously, “Buddy said this is HIS bed.  I shouldn’t be on it.”

“Buddy is on the other bed.”

“He said they’re BOTH his beds.”

“Buddy is just being bossy again.  All of the dog beds are for all of the dogs.  You may rest on any empty bed you want as long as you don’t tear it up or pee on it.  Okay?”

“Wow.  That’s great!”

And he laid back and enjoyed what may well be the first cushy dog bed he’s known in his life.  And he DID enjoy it!

Aug 22

I let Cinnamon out to play with Blaze this morning while I cleaned her kennel. When their play time was up I called both dogs. Both dogs came galloping over. Cinnamon ran into her kennel, which she shares with Blaze when I have to go away the dogs need to be secured. Blaze stopped about 6 feet out and gave me a look that said, “Nuh – uh, I’m a house dog now. I don’t get kenneled any more.” I had to laugh, and since I did not NEED to leave a gate hanging open I left him out with the other house dogs.

Later in the afternoon I again let Cinni out to play with Blaze. She trotted over to where Blaze stood by the corner of the house. He said, “Come on” and the two of them walked shoulder to shoulder along the back of the house and around the corner toward the back porch. I went to see what they were up to.  They were standing on the porch looking at the door, Blaze said, “Come on, Doug, open the door. I want to show Cinnamon my house.”

But to his credit, Blaze has done really well with his house training.  No accidents, he hasn’t torn anything up, and he has gotten along well with everyone; even Buddy who sometimes gives him a hard time about being in HIS house. (sigh)

Aug 24

Look who was free-range sleeping last night!

Aug 29

Blaze went to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital today to have his ear checked out.  It is nothing serious enough to prevent him from traveling on the Rescue Run Sept 6th as scheduled.  Some inflammation, a lot of wax, some dirt, and … GRASS?  Yes, when blaze plays with Sable they wrestle and roll around in the dirt and on the grass.  They get pretty rowdy about it.  Blaze was not too keen on seeing the vet today:

I don’t want to stay here. OW, why can’t I get out this hole in the wall?
But … I don’t WANT to see the vet.
No, that’s alright. You go on, I’ll stay here.

But after much cheese and several cookies, Blaze loosened up and allowed them to examine him and clean his ears.
After the visit was all done and I had his medication, we went home. He was very grateful that I didn’t leave him there. The last time he got left there, he went home without his testicles.


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Rocky Steele: Notes on a foster dog