How Lil Blue Came To Piney Mountain

I started Monday morning by loading up the truck with all the stuff I was going to need that morning, for I had an unusually busy day of running around ahead of me.  Once that was done I did a quickie-clean-up of the kennels.  I planned to do a thorough cleaning later in the day when I did not need to be watching the clock.  I needed to be at Animal Control, with Martin, at 10:00 and time does tend to slip by when I take my eyes of the clock.  So I took care of several short chores and watched that clock to be sure I got all the dogs who were not going with me secured, and Martin loaded in time for me to roll out with enough travel time to get there at (or before) the designated time.

When Martin and I arrived (just a few minutes early), Roxy was waiting on us and she had brought a leash.  Early AND prepared, I like that!  We finished up the adoption and Roxy took Martin (now renamed Guinness) home with her.

Before I left, Lisa (Animal Control’s manager) asked me to look at a dog with her.  Tucked away in the  back room and huddled against the back wall trembling like a leaf was a smallish dog who clearly was at least part Blue Heeler, but beyond that we could not tell anything: size, weight, age, even sex, because of the way he (as it turned out) was all hunched up.  He was terrified.

When the staff arrived that morning, Chip (Newport’s Animal Control Officer) came in the back door and found a crate that someone had left during the night.  The crate contained this guy and a cat.  They got him into one of the kill cages, but could not get close or handle him at all.  We both agreed that he was not going to do well there.  I said I’d have to talk to Marie before I could take him home – and I’d need to go get a crate anyway.  And I went on.

I delivered a display full of dog cookies to Kathy’s Grooming Parlor.  Our rescue uses her a lot and she always does a great job and treats us well.  She came to the Quilts & Canines thing on Saturday and wanted a display for her place to help Steele Away Home.  So I delivered that, we discussed terms.  Then I went on.

I stopped at the bank to exchange a bag of small bills and quarters for big bills.  The drive-through teller, Pam, is a long-time friend and helps us at the Q&C events.  We chatted until another car pulled up behind me, then I rolled on.

I went down the road a bit farther and up the big hill to Linda’s house.  She’s Steele Away Home’s treasurer, and I needed to hand off the people food sales money Marie, Pam and I took in from Quilts & Canines.  I would have given it to her after the show, but they left before we did.

From there I went out to Cedarwood Veterinary to deliver Roxy’s and Martin’s paperwork and microchip (with injector), and to make payments on Steele Away’s vet bill with funds I’d raised that week.  $92.00:  not bad, but not near as good as we did at last year’s Quilts & Canines.

Then home to e-mail Marie.  I explained the situation and she said, “Go get that poor dog!”  I needed to check with her because we are, technically, over capacity already and she is concerned that I’m working myself too hard as it is.  But … Blue is not going to do well at all there and I’m sure Steele Away Home has no vacancies since we are just two weeks before a transport.

So I loaded a transport box in the truck and went back.  The process of gaining enough of the little fella’s trust to let me maneuver him into the transport box took quite a while.  But once done, we loaded him up and I took him home.

Piney Mountain worked it’s blessedness on him, and he started settling down within minutes of arrival.

Resting after his walk

After some decompression time, I took him out for a leash walk, but ended up having to carry him back.  He’s a bit opinionated about where he wanted to go.

He was infested with fleas, so I gave him a Capstar in cat food.  Cat food is my secret weapon against stubborn dogs who will not take a pill hidden in peanut butter, cheese, hot dog, lunch meat … and I tried all of those.  He refused them all.  But Mom had some tins of cat food her cats now refuse to eat and gave me one of those to try.

He also stunk to high heaven, so later in the day I brought him in and Marie and I bathed him in the kitchen sink.  He did NOT like that, but neither did he get nasty about it.

But even through all that he still had live fleas on him.  So I took him back outside to let that Capstar continue to work.  He seemed happier outside in a kennel than inside in a crate anyway … until about 1:30 AM.  Then he started in on a high-pitched howl that sounded like banshees.  That got all the house dogs barking.  I decided to check on him and decide whether I would bring him inside or crate him in the shop to muffle the noise.  It had to be bothering our neighbors.

As I entered his kennel he jumped up and danced on my legs, “I’m so, so happy to see you!  I thought you abandoned me too!”  Okay, you’re lonely.  Bringing you in should fix the problem.

So we settled in the living room.  Lil Blue in his crate, me on the sofa with my Kindle, which I later traded for my lap top because I was not able to get back to sleep, so I might as well get some work done.  This was partly because he was restless too.  About 4:00 AM he finally settled and went into a sound sleep. But that is when I need to be up and starting my day.

And that was the Monday Lil Blue arrived at Piney Mountain.  I got quite a lot done “out there” but precious little done here at home.  I never did get to a deep cleaning of the kennels, just a pick-up and hose out a few times.  Today, Blue and I will continue to get acquainted and I’ll try to get him to walk with me on a leash so I don’t have to carry him all the time.  Not that that’s a big deal, he only weighs about 25 pounds.  But it would be better for both of us if we got that worked out.  That’s one of the necessary skills he’ll need to be considered for adoption.  Eventually he needs to come when I call so I can let him run freely in the yard.  But I have to go gently with him, he’s been hurt enough already.

To follow along with Lil Blue’s progress, check out Blues foster notes page.

Martin NAC: Notes on a foster dog
Why Good Dogs Develop Bad Behavior