Phoenix is so named because everyone who knows her believes that although she may have been found
in the ashes of her life, she WILL rise again.
Last Updated: April 28, 2020
- Arrival date: Jan. 15, 2020
- Breed: Grey Hound/Shepherd mix
- Sex: Female
Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
- Weight: Records show 29.1 pounds at NAC intake!
. 34 Pounds at PMFC arrival
. 37.1 lbs Feb 3rd
. 39.1 lbs Feb 27
. 39.8 lbs Mar 5
. 40.1 lbs Mar 10
. 39.8 lbs Mar 19
. 40.5 lbs Apr 23
- Spayed/Neutered: Yes
- General Health: Excellent,
Good, Fair, Poor
- Temperament: Sweet, calm, affectionate, goofy
- Departure date: April 24, 2020 Headed for a foster-to-adopt home through A.R.N.N.E.
Phoenix was spotted running loose behind Food City West in Newport and Animal Control was called in to catch her. She was scrawny, wormy, and extremely frightened, but not at all aggressive. She spent 25 days at Animal Control before PMFC pulled her on behalf of ARNNE. During that time she ate very little and was scared and depressed despite the NAC staff’s attempts to comfort her and provide an enticing diet.
Phoenix’s Progress Summary:
Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.
House Dog Training
We’ve switched her to home-made stew using recipes from my upcoming book.
Progress notes are listed below, in chronological order, newest at the bottom.
I’ve let Phoenix settle in for the past few days. She is well behaved. Rarely barks at all. She acts like she’s been a house dog before. She’s scrawny, so it’s hard to keep her warm in the January days, so we’ve gone through a couple of iterations of outer wear for her. She loves her hoodie!
She sleeps inside in a crate at night and on the colder days. When it’s warmer she has a futon with a thick felt blanket atop it to lounge on. She needs to put on weight, but she eats so little that’s going to be hard.
Phoenix very much prefers to be indoors in her cushy crate where it is warm and dry and there is no wind. Because she is SO thin, she does not tolerate cold at all.
When she does come outside, on nice afternoons: some have been up in the 50 degree range, she gets a futon as a bed and a warm wool blanket to lay on. I hang a brood lamp above to provide warmth as well.
On those nice afternoons, Phoenix does like to wander the yard. Now that her depression is dissipating she is eating better. That gives her strength to go out walking around.
She is a picky eater. She won’t touch kibble yet, and the canned food has to be stew. In order to get her to eat the pate’ style dog food I have to chunk it up and add beef or chicken broth — effectively making it stew. And it has to be warm, she won’t eat cold stew. But then neither would I. So I warm it before I take it out to her.
When she first arrived, I was doing well to get her to eat one can a day. She’s up to finishing three cans per day now. It’s hard to tell if she’s gained any weight just by looking at her, I need to take her to Cedarwood and put her on a scale. But her energy level is up and she’s developing a delightful, quirky personality. She has quite the sense of humor.
I have yet to hear her bark, but she is communicative through head tosses and mouth movements. She lets me know when she needs to go out, and when she’s ready to go back in. Her eye’s are brighter and she desires affection more now that she feeling better. Starvation does tend to take the fun out of life.
Normally Phoenix makes a quick trip outside to potty then wants back inside where it’s warm. But since I put a heated pad in her bed she is enjoying being outside much more.
I think maybe she is Shepherd mixed with some Grey Hound. Now that she’s developing a personality again, some of her mannerisms are decidedly Gra-Hooond.
Phoenix is a skinny gal who has been gradually increasing her food intake. She does not like kibble, so I feed her wet food. She prefers stew. Especially beef stew.
She is to where she will polish off a can at each of her three daily meals. Time to increase her portion to help her gain weight. I thought I’d try mixing 1/2 cup of kibble into her stew before I warm it up for her. It must be warm when I take it to her or she’ll leave it and go back to her heated bed.
She took a couple of bites then reared her head up and stared at the contents of her bowl for several moments. Turning her head she looked over her shoulder at me with a definite “What do you think you’re trying to pull here, bub?” look.
After a while she began to eat again, slowly. It took her quite a while to finish. When I collected her bowl, there in the bottom was almost 1/2 cup of kibbles that had been sucked clean and spit back out!
Okay, you win: no more kibbles!
Today I let her out of her kennel to use the yard while I went in the house to warm up her lunch. Previously she never moved faster than a leisurely walk, but when she saw me coming down the path with her bowl of warm salmon mush she trotted over and did a little happy dance. It made my heart SO happy to see her acting like a dog again.
Her level of activity and animation are WAY up the last few days (see video in Gallery above). This is great to see.
Phoenix went to Cedarwood for her physical and an estimate on the cost for getting her in good shape again. She did well, and everyone commented on how much better she looks now and how much more animated she is. Phoenix was friendly with the other people in the waiting room and the Shepherd pup who was waiting with us.
She rode well with me in the truck, and was highly conversant the whole way. She’s so funny!
I love this dog! She is so funny. I have yet to hear her bark, but she talks to me all the time with mouth movements, head shakes, and bouncing on her front legs.
She is gaining weight and I’d like to have the blood panel done on her as soon as we can afford it to see if she is a candidate for surgery. If she’s got weak kidneys or heart anesthesia could kill her, so we need to know that first.
Phoenix loves attention and walks well on a leash. She sleeps in a crate inside the heated bunkhouse, and is eager to go inside at 9:00 PM.
She can’t hold her bladder longer than from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM, so I go out to walk her and put her back in her box until breakfast time at 5:30. If it’s warm enough, she comes out to her kennel to eat, if not she eats inside and I’ll bring her out when it warms up.
She needs walking every 2 hours during the day or she will be needing a blanket change and crate scrubbing.
I tried making some home-made stew as an alternative to canned food for Phoenix. Will she like it?
Phoenix was getting lonely sleeping in the bunkhouse alone at night, so I brought her (and her crate) into the house. She’s doing REALLY well. When she came in Phoenix immediately claimed this bed as “hers”. That will be contested, but for now that claim holds.
The whole PMFC gang came to say “Hi”, but Blondie Bear settled in to keep Phoenix company. Blonde Dogs must stick together.
She is SO sweet, gentle, and unassuming. In the evening I put her hoodie back on her and took her outside. She wandered off into the yard, I went back inside. She was gone for the longest time, so I went out to call her in because it was cold. When I called her she came BOUNDING back through the snow like a gazelle, “Oh! You’re letting me come back in!?” It’s hard to say what this girl has been through, but she doesn’t expect much from people.
I’ve switched Phoenix to new stew recipe that uses potatoes, cheese, and chicken fat to help her gain weight. She LOVES it!
We’ve also launched a new fund-raising campaign to get the funds we need to pay for the vet care she needs. I’m having no luck at all with grants. Gonna have to do it the old fashioned way.
Phoenix is doing fabulously as a house dog. She has mostly stayed in the den, but has recently started coming out to wander a little. She does like to dine in the kitchen with the others, I have to stand guard to keep Josephine from trying to horn in on Phoenix’s meal. They all want some of THAT!
I have been discussing Phoenix’s “talking” with Christine from ARNNE. This motivated me to go out and check up on the characteristics of Greyhounds. Here are some of my favorite entries from that list:
- Greyhounds are not barkers. If you have a barker, then you probably have a more insecure dog and he is barking because something has frightened him. … Greyhounds communicate with you by whining. Whining to be let in, to eat, to play, to get up on the bed — you name it and they’ll talk (whine) to you about it.
- Grunt, growl, mmmmmmmph. These are the sounds greyhounds make when sleeping and dreaming. Don’t share a bed or couch with a dreaming greyhound. You could end up with a big harpoon of a leg in your side.
- Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds do not need long walks or vast amounts of exercise. If your hobby is walking then your greyhound’s stamina can be built up over a couple of months. … For a normal greyhound, two, yes, two 20 minute walks per day are sufficient.
- The greyhound is intelligent, gentle with a quiet disposition, and in spite of its great athletic ability, is content to spend most of the day sleeping.
- Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs, tracing back over 8,000 years to early cave drawings.
As for my own observations, when she first arrived she did not like being touched and would flinch away if I did. Now she likes being petted gently and often comes to me to seek being stroked on the head.
Phoenix is really smart and trains easily. She is doing better about holding her bladder at night and I’ve been letting her sleep on her bed in the den at night. I crate her only when we’re leaving the property for an extended period. Until recently she spent nearly all of her indoor time right here. She is happy to sleep away most of the day. Over the past few days she has started wandering out as she gains confidence that the other house dog’s aren’t trying to kill her with their rowdy play. She even comes out to the kitchen at meal times to watch preparation and enjoys eating her meals with the other dogs.
I started feeding Phoenix Satin Balls for lunch. Will carry this through the week and see if it helps her put on weight faster.
Phoenix has been “free-range sleeping” on her bed in the den. Not because we’re sequestering her but because she’s more comfortable there in her own space than in with the whole pack.
Last night just after 3:00 am I heard the soft huffing that is how Phoenix speaks to me and I woke up. She was standing next to the bed telling me she needs to go out to pee. Not something she normally does in the middle of the night, but … if she needs to go, she needs to go.
I let her out, she came back, got her treat and went back to bed.
I’m so proud of how far this girl has come. This was, as Marie put it, “A bold and courageous move” for her.
She’s wagging her tail occasionally. Normally it just hangs straight down, but today it has been up about half way and swinging side to side. So good to see!
Her tail is not wagging today. Yesterday she had her surgeries – or, as it turned out: surgery. As they were shaving her belly for the spay surgery they found an old, faint spay scar. Spay surgery unnecessary! As they were cleaning her teeth, they decided the molar they thought was bad was just really grungy and extraction was not needed. So all they ended up having to do, surgically, was the removal of the two lumps on her leg.
She started licking the incisions just before bed time, so I put her in a donut. As it turned out, I was up frequently through the night and was able to check on her often. She slept through the night. About 4:30 this morning she wanted to go out and pee.
She refused dinner last night, but ate some breakfast this morning. I made an appetizer for her with small pieces of Satin Balls (with her medications hidden inside). She’s been sleeping most of the time since. That’s the best thing for her. She will be feeling better soon.
Phoenix had her stitches removed yesterday. I took the cone off and she immediately started picking off scabs, so the cone went back on and I’m treating the bleeding spots with Chlorhexadine and Bacitracin.
Dr. Courtney informed me this morning that the histopathology on Phoenix’s lumps came back: both benign and both completely removed. Good News!
A.R.N.N.E. has made reservations on P.E.T.S. LLC for her to be picked up April 17th.
I removed Phoenix’s cone again. All her wounds are healed up to where she can’t do any more damage.
Phoenix has decided that she’s being discriminated against since she gets a bowl of straight stew and everyone else gets kibble topped with stew. Keep in mind that previously Pheenie would not eat kibble if I gave it to her. But this morning she ate about 2/3 of her stew, then went and shouldered Blondie out of her bowl to eat her kibbles. Blondie said, “Okay then I’ll go eat your stew. Fair trade!” And they did. They’re both really good girls.
I’m hoping that now that Phoenix is not encumbered with that cone she and Josie will do some racing in the yard again. Phoenix is in good health now, but she needs exercise to tone up her muscles. She’s been convalescing for too long. I’ve got just under two weeks to get her shaped up and ready to go to her new family.
As an update: Phoenix is not crated anymore. Even when we leave the property for an extended time I leave her loose in the house, just make sure she goes out right before we leave.
Until recently Phoenix pretty much stayed on her special bed in the den. But lately she will come wandering out when Marie and I are having dinner and stand staring at Marie, hoping for a hand-out. We don’t do that, but she hopes. At night when the rest of us are settling in the bedroom, she comes in and looks around the room like she would like to join us. She is welcome, and we encourage her to stay, but she goes back to her own place. Maybe now that she’s not dealing with the added burden of the cone she will choose to curl up in one of the empty beds and stay the night with us.
Phoenix is hard of hearing. Not surprising in an older dog. She is not deaf, but one has to speak loudly for her to hear us, and it’s easy to sneak up behind her and startle her (especially when she was in a cone). We have had to be mindful if this: she’s still unsure of her position in our home and spooks easily, sending her scampering back to her bed where she feels safe because I make the other dogs stay off of that one bed, leaving it always for her.
Every animal lover knows that a dogs tail tells volumes about what the dog is thinking or feeling. (If you don’t know, check this out: https://pineymountainfoster.org/dogs-tail-tells-a-tale/ ) so you will understand the happiness I feel over the recent changes in Phoenix.
Phoenix is … uncertain, about her surroundings and the other dogs, and at first about us. She has obviously had a hard life, including neglect (starved almost to death) and probably abuse. Her tail has hung straight down most of the time we’ve known her. And she spends most of her time camped out on the special bed I set up for her in our Den. Normally, all dog beds are shared property and all the dogs rotate through the 10 available beds (not counting blankets and crates). But I have judiciously maintained that THIS bed if for Phoenix. It is her one safe place since she no longer needs a crate. At all. She’s a wonderful house dog and I trust her to be loose even when we leave the property for a long while.
In the past week or so, Phoenix has been venturing out of the Den more often. First to take her meals with the other dogs. Then to hang around while Marie and I eat. To check on us if we’re in the living room watching a DVD. And most recently, to greet Marie when she gets home from work.
This is always a joyous occasion that sometimes turns into a rowdy party. Phoenix has been coming out to watch, standing in the end of the hallway where she is out of the fray. The past two days, she has joined in with the bouncing around – and TAIL WAGGING – as the whole pack greets (accosts) Marie. It does my heart good to see her tail up where a dog’s tail belongs and swinging side to side as she bounces on her front legs and sings, her soft, “har, har, harrrr” which is as close to barking as she ever gets.
Pheenie will be leaving us the end of this week. The long trip, quarantine for 2 days, then introduction to a new family and location may set her back a bit. But I know she’s going into a foster-to-adopt situation with a family who is experienced and has two other senior dogs. Phoenix will do well there, and I look forward to getting updates from them.
Transport run cancelled by the carrier. Her departure has been rescheduled to April 24. I’ll need to have her health certification done again since the current cert will be expired by the time she arrives on the 25th.
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