Luna NAC: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Luna. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog (well, most of it) 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: Aug 8, 2019

Luna was a stray picked up by Newport Animal Control and taken to their facility. She is a Great Dane / Black Lab mix. Not terribly large as, Danes go, but larger than the average dog and quite strong despite being scrawny from hunger.  Luna could easily climb out of the regular kennels at N.A.C.  The only kennel they have that could contain her is their “vicious dog cell” and that is in a part of the building that is not air conditioned. In the late-June mid-day heat, it becomes far too hot for anything to stay in there long. They needed another solution. So the manager, Lisa, reached out to me: would I foster her for them? We found a way to make that happen and I picked her up this morning.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: June 28, 2019
  • Breed: Black Lab-Great Dane mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 56.5 Pounds at intake.
    Should be more like 75-80, I’m working on that.
    67.3 pounds on July 26th.
    68.8 pounds on Aug 8th.
  • Spayed: Aug. 8th, 2019
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Calm, Stubborn
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Strong desire to chase Ferals.  However, when walked down the cat aisle at Animal Control, she sniffed a few cages but showed little interest let alone aggression toward any of them.
  • Gets Along with People: Yes, adores children.
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: She is reliably house broken, not sure about crating her when I leave.  She voluntarily sleeps in a crate while I’m here.
  • Departure date: August 8th, 2019
  • listing: 19-07-05-00240

Progress Summary:

Detailed update notes are posted below the Summary. For a listing of Doggy Tails that include Luna [click here].

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes.
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes Luna has been eating her meals in our home right next to our other house dogs.  No issues.

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes – sort of aloof.  As we are bonding she is seeking affection more.  This is very low-key: pressing her head against my leg, or reaching out to touch my leg as I walk by.  She especially likes belly rubs — she goes catatonic for a belly rub!
  • Good with children? Yes. When friends visited we found that Luna ADORES children, prefers them to adults, actually!
  • Jumps up on people: No
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes, as long as you’re going where she wants to go.  When your preference differs it takes some patience to wait her out until she complies.  She is doing better now, the staring matches are shorter, if they happen at all.  High-value treats help.

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters her crate: No / Yes Luna has gone into Callie’s crate and Buddy’s crate to rest but if I want her to crate up she resists.
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: No / Yes
    As long as I’m in the house with her Luna will rest peacefully.  If I leave the house, she paws at the crate trying to get out.
  • 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 Mostly.  She is fond of our sofa, but knows it’s off limits.


  • Comes when called: Sometimes she’s doing better now that she’s bonding with us a little.
  • Sits on command: No
  • Down / Off: Not an issue
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Crates on command: No


  • DA2PP: 06/27/2019 NAC
  • Bordatella: 06/27/2019 NAC
  • Wormed: Dates | By | Product | Dose:
    06/28/2019 NAC Pyantel Pamoate, 6 ml
    07/25-27/2019 PMFC Fendbendazole 12 ml
  • Rabies: 08/08/2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Spay: 08/08/2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Heartworm Test:
    07/26/2019 Cedarwood: NEG.
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    .  07/02/2019, Fipronil, 45# to 88# dog
  • Heartworm preventative:
    .  07/26/2019, Ivermectin solution, 0.7 ml


Type of food: Kibble – 4Health Salmon and Potato
Quantity: 3½ cups daily
Frequency: 3 feedings: 1½ cups AM, 1 cup noon, 1 cup PM (Note: being part Gr.Dane – which tend toward Bloat, I reduce that risk with frequent small meals.  I also put 1 Tbsp of coconut oil over her kibble to help her gain weight.
Fav. Snacks: Likes our peanut butter dog cookies

Toys & Play Habits

Fav. Toys: Likes a durable chew toy occasionally.
Notes: Luna is calm and reserved.  She does not play with the other dogs much.  That may be due to the fact that when she’s in the yard, she’s on a leash and unable to run with them.  Inside she’s reserved.  She likes to back-dance on carpeting.

Detailed Progress Notes

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

Arrival and Settling In

Luna is a pretty girl with long legs and plush fur.

Chilling on her Kuranda and enjoying the fresh air and mountain view,

Getting along well with her neighbors – now that they’ve worked things out. (story)

Enjoying the sunshine on a yard break

Swapping howdys with Lemaster

Fresh and clean after a bath and nail trimming

July 5th

Luna obviously desires to go into the house.  Any house, really: our house, the Bunkhouse, the neighbor’s homes, even the barn!

Out on Walkies!

If I can’t live in your house, can I live in that one?

How about if I live in this tiny house?
Once Luna got to come in, she wasted no time getting comfy.

Also read: Luna’s Housing Trials

July 7th

I finally figured out why Luna refuses to potty in the yard.  She prefers not to defile her kennel either, but a girl can hold it only so long!  See : Luna’s Housing Trials for details on this preference.

Luna’s preferred potty spot is a ways out of the yard

She likes to do it in the woods.

Luna and Blondie Bear – The Big Girls!

July 9th

Luna’s morning potty run was successful, and she insisted on going inside afterward.  She could not go inside afterward because I had things to do outside.  Those were done by lunch time, so I took her her mid-day kibbles and we went out to the woodsy potty spot. For the past couple of days – including this morning – she has been content with this.  Not this time.  She wanted to go deeper off the trail and into the woods.  Not happening.  I’m using a 16 foot retractable leash for these walks.  I have to be careful where I let her wander and how far, because the cord of the leash gets wrapped around trees, saplings, dead logs, etc.

I hear children, I NEED to go check on them.

I also learned that Luna likes kids.  We were out for Luna’s afternoon potty run and the kids who live across the road from us were out playing in their pool.  We can’t see them from here, but we can hear them.  When Luna heard them her head whipped around and she started whining and dancing and straining on the leash.  She WANTED to go check out those children!

Luna ADORES this little girl – and the feeling was mutual!

Following up on that: the following day a friend and her daughter came to visit.  Luna ADORED this child and just wanted to be with her all the time.  We were not the least bit afraid by that because despite being a large dog, Luna is SO gentle and calm she is not an injury risk.

July 10

Luna has seen me load and unload other dogs in my truck, and has been standing to to peer in the driver’s side window as we walk past it to get to her Woodsy Potty Spot.  I suspect she wanted to go for a ride too.  Today she got her wish.  After our visitors left and the kennels were clean Luna and I took a truck ride to Tractor Supply for our month’s supply of kibble.

I’ll take the front seat, AND the back seat!

Are you getting in or not?

Riding is SO much fun!

Are we there yet?

WHY are we in the cat food aisle?

That was so much fun, and I’m SO tired!

Walk in the woods and potty break, then …

Go cool off with the other house dogs by laying in front of the hallway fan.

Luna is growing accustomed to our household routine and customs.  I’m convinced that a lot of her early escapism was simply trying to take care of her bodily needs in the manner to which she was accustomed .  It seems certain she was part of a family with kids.  She was trained to go potty well out of the play area.  She was probably allowed to roam freely.  She is confused by my refusal to just let her wander off into the woods.  But she knows that there are certain times of day that I come to walk her, and that I will give her some freedom to get off the path to potty.  Not far enough for her tastes, but if she agrees to my compromise she gets to come in the house and hang out with the family.  When she wants to go out, she stands at the door and whines.  She’s trying hard to fit in.  She’s a *really* good dog.  So gentle and calm it’s amazing for a young animal, especially a Lab: they’re usually pretty bouncy and goofy.


Buddy in his bunker, Blondie considering this idea.

We had a thunderstorm yesterday.  When it thunders I build Buddy Beagle a “hunker bunker” to hide in because it calms him.  This time Callie Roo wanted one too, so I covered her crate as well and she scooted inside for a nap. Luna was napping in the hallway in front of the fan.  Thunder wasn’t bothering her.

When the sky growlies were gone, Callie joined Blondie, Josephine and me in the den.  I didn’t see Luna any more.  Where did Luna go?  Luna is a good girl, I wasn’t worried about her being up to mischief, just wanted to see that she’s okay.  I checked all her usual corners, she was nowhere to be found!

When I did find her it was in the LAST place I would have expected to see her:

I’ve been reluctant to try crating Luna because I was afraid that would just be signing the death warrant on that crate.  She’s very strong and quite determined.  But apparently she’s decided that if Buddy and Callie have these special beds, she needs one too!  When Callie vacated hers, Luna took it over.  🙂

The only strike against Luna is that she has apparently enjoyed the freedom to come and go as she pleases.  She has obviously been a family dog.  She is trained to not defile the play yard (makes sense with kids playing there).  She enjoys going off on long walks in the woods.  This may have contributed to the fact that she was picked up as a half-starved stray by Animal Control.  There is no way to know her history, but we know she can easily scale a 6 foot kennel to get out, so my 5 foot perimeter fence will barely slow her down.  I take her out on leash walks, but she refuses to use the play yard.  We go out into the woods, but she always wants to go farther than I do.  This wanderlust is an issue.  There are deer, raccoons, possum, bears, coyotes, and copperheads in our woods.  Even if she were my dog to do with as I pleased, I would not turn her loose to roam.  Maybe that drive will diminish once she’s spayed.  I hope so, she’s much too nice a dog to get torn up by some wild critter.

July 22, 2019

Progress is being made with Luna’s pig-headed insistence on plunging into the deep woods on our walks.  She did try it on our morning walk today, but I’m pretty sure there was a cat in the woods and she wanted to chase it.  Normally she is now good about accepting that she can go only as far as the leash  will reach.

Normally she makes her potty run mid-morning and needs to seek out two places, one for each “function”.  Different places than she has used before.  I believe this is “sign-posting” and that will decrease once she’s spayed.

I use a snug fitted walking harness with her because when she gets aggravated with me on a walk (like this morning with the cat) she will turn around and try to pull out of a loose harness or a collar.

A member of the hallway fan club.

Luna sleeps in the house with us almost every night.  She tried sleeping in the bedroom once, but even with the AC running, it was too warm for her, she prefers sleeping on the hallway tile, especially if we leave the fan running for her.  Her fur is so plush it must be quite warm.  Although she has not been shedding!

Click picture to read the story about this shot.

July 25, 2019

Click the pic to watch the video

Luna has been staying inside at night and eating breakfast with The Gang.  She does well at this, being patient until she gets her bowl, eating her own food and not going after anyone else’s, and not snarking at any other dog who finishes up before she does and wanders around a little.

Where I found her this morning

Luna is well housebroken and a delightful guest.  My only issue with her in this respect is that we have a “no dogs on the people furniture” rule, but Luna says, “Obviously that does not apply to ME!” And she is trying so hard to fit in in every other way I have a hard time denying her this privilege.  At least at night when the others are all asleep in the bedroom, especially since she does not chew her bedding and does not shed.  Luna is welcome to sleep in the bedroom too, but prefers the hallway in front of the fan until it gets chilly, then (apparently) the sofa suits her better!

July 26, 2019

Luna went to Cedarwood for a heartworm test.  The result was NEGATIVE.  Yay!  She was cooperative and compliant with the Vet Techs, and enjoyed meeting a pair of senior Beagles in the waiting room.  On the way home I stopped to pick up a load of firewood.  Luna waited patiently in the cab while my friend and I loaded the truck.

July 31, 2019

Great News!  Luna was adopted today.  The not-so-great news is that because the folks who are adopting her live out of county, Luna has to be spayed before they can take possession and the earliest spay appointment the vet has is Aug 14th.  So they will be missing their new family member for a couple of weeks.  But it gives them plenty of time to get set up for her.  She will have some doggie siblings, but no human puppies to love on.  But there is a child in their neighborhood who loves dogs, so they may get to spend time together.

Aug 5, 2019

Cedarwood had a cancellation on their surgery schedule and offered to move Luna up to Aug 8th.  I accepted that offer and queried Luna’s adopters.  Turns out that’s perfect for them.  Everyone is happy about this.

I decided to do a test for Separation Anxiety.  If I leave Luna loose in the house and go away for a while, will she act-out in frustration?  I set up a camera to find out.


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Foster Dog Updates for July 5th, 2019