We, as a family, watch old sci-fi movies on Friday evenings. The old stuff is family friendly but can still have an effect on one’s thinking.
After we saw Marie off to work this morning, I went over to feed and care for the Rowdy Boys, like I do every morning. Lancelot and Blondie decided to go along.
After feeding and watering them and cleaning up their pens, I cleaned up the play yard and put away the equipment. Then I went into my office, which is in an old mobile home that serves as workshop, kennel, potting shed, storage, and office space. Lancelot and Blondie wanted to come along. There is a futon mattress on the floor of the office for dogs to rest on and a big water dispenser, so I’m always happy for the company of a well behaved pooch.
Lancelot settled in on the bed, and Blondie stood watch at the big window in the tool room while I worked at the computer for about an hour. When my work was done, I said, “You kids want to go home?”
Blondie Bear was the second foster dog we adopted. Cochise was our first. He was our first foster dog and our first “foster failure” (meaning we could not give him up). Blondie was our fifth foster dog and second foster failure. But this time, it wasn’t entirely our fault: Cochise talked us into it. Cochise just loved Blondie and wanted very much for us to keep her.
Cochise is a mentor in our foster dog program; he helps us teach the fosters civilized behavior. He was involved with all three dogs between them, and he was quite fond of Curry, but his attachment to Blondie was evident to all. Maybe he knew what a rough road she had traveled.
Blondie had been taken in by Newport Animal Control. She had been found chained in the back of someone’s yard. She was so severely neglected that they thought at first she was mentally damaged: she seemed autistic. She took little notice of anyone or anything. At the shelter they began working with her. Proper diet and clean water helped her physically, but she still tended to sit just staring at a wall. Then she tested positive for heart worms and they asked if we’d take her on for treatment.
It took very little time after arriving here — and being under Cochise’s guidance — for her to blossom into a personality filled and very well behaved dog. She was very quiet. She’d watch intently when Cochise found something to bark at but she did not bark. It was close to a year before she started speaking up in this way. But she did have her own way of expressing herself. When she was particularly happy — when we would return after being away, sometimes at meal times (especially yummy smelling meals) and when Cochise returned from the animal hospital after being snake bit, she expresses happiness this way:
When we treat our furkid companions as family members instead of livestock it’s easy to spoil them with dog treats and toys. Sometimes they can become so accustomed to getting treats that they become demanding. This can be a disruption to training and an aggravation in your home-life. Usually it’s more of a hopeful anticipation – which is not an undesired behavior.
Dog Treats and Proper Diet
The impact of dog treats on a dog’s diet is similar to handing out sweets to a child: if done indiscriminately it can have a seriously adverse effect on their health and well-being. Choose wisely when selecting treats.
Marie and I have been providing canine foster care to dogs since June of 2012. We find it to be a very rewarding experience. Some posts to this blog promote animal fostering, offer training tips and cover canine health issues. I will post the stories about our foster dogs, articles about what we’ve learned as foster care providers, and some links to the organizations we work with.
But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been busy setting up Facebook pages for each of the foster dogs where I can post short bits of information, pictures and videos about each dog. Why not just do all this on the web site? In a word: traffic.
The sun is shining again today, as it did yesterday, but not for a long time before that. Blondie and Cochise are making the most of it: or trying to.
The sun has not yet swung around far enough to admit much of the sunbeam through the window, just a strip in front of the sofa. They’re not allowed ON the sofa and they know it. So I put the snuggle-bed over in the sunshine for Cochise when they came in from their last exercise time and he was shivering. It’s cold out. The cold doesn’t bother Blondie, she has a heavier coat.
Cochise curled into the bed, felt the warmth of the sunshine and moaned with pleasure. Blondie stood nearby and looked at him enviously. She poked at him with her nose. He yawned at her (which in dog-speak does not mean he’s tired – in this case it was “go away you’re bothering me”).
On our property is an old mobile home. It serves as my workshop, storage space, can be used to contain dogs; crated or not, and has an office and bathroom in it. It still has many of the comforts of home because it used to be home. When we moved out and I gutted it to be what it is today, I left the bathtub in the bathroom next to my office. That is our Dog Wash. This saves a lot of wear and tear on the tub and bathroom in our home.
Janet is going to ride The Bus (Rolling Rescue) this afternoon as she is transported out east to find her forever home. But all dogs need a bath before boarding the bus. As long as I was bathing Janet, I figured I might as well bathe all three dogs. Our two could use it too; more so than Janet actually. Janet has a penchant for getting muddy, but her fur seems to repel the dirt and she stays quite clean.