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Sasha Swingtail

Sasha is a Husky, just being a Husky, but seemingly she got a bum rap.

Last Updated: Jan. 31, 2021

Base Info

  • Arrival date: Jan. 09,2021
  • Breed: Husky mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Youth, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Birthdate: Dec 2019
  • Weight: 45 Pounds on Jan. 9
  • . 50 pounds on Jan. 26
  • Spayed: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent
  • Temperament: Mild, low key for a husky.  Affectionate.
  • SAFER Test performed: No
  • Departure date: January 30, 2021

History

Sasha’s owner refused to crate Sasha while away at work all day, so their house got torn up.  Her biggest issue was that she’d bolt out the door and once out recall was iffy.  She liked to wander along the highway (very dangerous).  Owner gave up on trying to keep her safe and a friend of the family picked her up (after a skunking) and took her in, then contacted us.  She loves to chase skunks and has been skunked twice.  Her friend, Kate cleaned her up both times.  She loves car rides.


Sasha’s Progress Summary

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Relational Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes.  Standoffish at first, but gets along fine once she’s acclimated to them.
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes: https://vimeo.com/499204252
  • Preferred style of play: Undetermined
  • Is affectionate: She’s loving and cuddly and follows her people around all day.
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
    . Cats: No violence or even teeth baring, but she grumble/growls at them.  Loves to chase skunks so probably best to avoid black cats with white stripes.
  • Jumps up on people: Yes but she’s just wanting to cuddle and is gentle about it.  Still … I’m discouraging it.
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Excellent!

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Not yet
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: Not yet
  • Kennels on command: Yes, with a bribe.

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters her crate: Yes, with a bribe and as long as she hasn’t been crated too much.
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes, mostly.
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes, but it’s subtle, unless she’s crated.  Then she yells for me.
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No
  • Engages in kitchen counter cruising: No, she has not done this so far.
  • Stays off people furniture: Sort of.  She has not gotten on our sofa except when I’m on it, then she wants to be on my lap.

Diet

💕 Victor Classic – Professional Dry Dog Food
.      1 cup + 3 oz. home made stew AM
.      ¾ cup + 3 oz. home made stew PM
💕 PMFC Peanut butter cookies
💕 Retriever Beef Basted Sticks
💕 Jones Beef Hooves
💕 Pig Ears or Oinkies as weekend treat.


Gallery

Progress Updates

Jan 9

Sasha just arrived.  We went for a walk in the yard and she came inside for a tour and meet the other dogs.  She’s a little wary of the “strangers” (dogs) though they are all reacting well to her being here.  She went willingly into her crate and has been resting there while I process her intake.  We’re in the same room.  If I leave for a few minutes she calls me, but is remaining calm.

Sasha walks well on a leash.  Kate, her former caretaker, says she could drop the leash and Sasha would continue to walk alongside her.

Jan 10

Saturday afternoon, Sasha spent most of her time in a crate getting used to our other 4 house dogs.  After supper Sasha came out and hung with me at the sofa while most of the rest gathered around the fireplace.

Sunday morning we went to Liberty Church of Cosby, and took Sasha with us. We can do that because we are currently meeting as Parking Lot Church, using an FM transmitter so we can listen on our car radios.  Sasha loves to ride, and she was deeply interested in parking lot church.  So many cars, a few people milling around, stuff going on up front, and she watched it all.

All that paying attention was exhausting, so on the way home she took a snooze.

When we got home, Sasha took a potty break, we all had lunch, and as I’m writing this up she is sound asleep on the carpet next to my desk chair.  Blondie Bear is napping a few feet away.

Jan 11

On her first night here we left her crate in the den.  She did okay with sleeping in there by herself, but did “call” me 4 times during the night to go outside.  Each time we went out, she did pee but I got the distinct impression that this was incidental.

Last night I wiggled her crate into the bedroom and she slept with the rest of us — and slept through the night.  When I got up at 4:30 she watched me go, but made no fuss.  She slept until Marie got up at 5:30.

Also, she has lost her wariness of the other house dogs.  They are now getting along fine.  She is not fond of Timmy or Blade (outside dogs) but likes Scout.  And he likes her.  If he would come out of his kennel, I think they’d play well together.

So far she has shown no inclination to play with the house dogs, although the other night Josephine hid behind a tree and jumped out at Sasha as she passed, dropped into a play bow, then scampered around her in an attempt to get Sasha to chase her.  Sasha was tempted, but refrained.  Maybe later.  Josephine is half her size, but I don’t think Sasha would hurt her while playing.

Jan 15

Sasha has been a full-time house dog, mostly free ranging it for almost a week now and she has done excellently! She does have some separation anxiety issues, but has learned to control those well. Yesterday we needed to go away twice for a couple of hours each time with a little over an hour between sessions. Sasha crated easily each time. The first session she remained calm as we left and was excited to see us upon our return, but not frantic. The second time we left she cried as we headed to the car, but upon returning we found her still in her crate and no damage to either the crate or her bedding. We think having other dogs in the house (and some of them in crates) relieves her loneliness.

Because of her reported wanderlust and escapism traits I have been taking her outside for potty breaks on a leash. Yesterday I started letting her accompany me outside without the leash. Most of the time she stayed near me, took care of her business and headed back to the house. After being cooped up so much yesterday, and it being a pleasantly warm sunny afternoon, Sasha engaged in some zoomies around the yard, but always in big circles around me. When she’s worked out the pent up energy she zoomed back to the back door of the house and waited for me. Inside she was well behaved.

She has been sleeping in her crate, in our bedroom, at night. She has behaved extremely well. Tonight I will take her crate in there in case it’s needed, but will invite her to sleep on a dog bed like the others.


Jan. 26

Sasha is home from her surgery. They say she did really well and everyone thought she was just the sweetest girl! As would be expected, she is in pain. But she did eat dinner and she is walking around, slowly. Even went outside for a potty break. Right now she’s tucked up under my chair so close it’s hard to get in and out without stepping in her. But if it maker her feel better to be close, that’s fine. It does make it easier to reach down and give her scritchies often.


Jan. 27

Sasha is a sensitive gal. She’s not dealing with the pain well despite giving her a Tramadol (pain reliever). She’s not crying, just fidgeting a lot because she can’t get comfortable. So we were both up most of the night as she needed lots of comforting.

She’s sleeping now (of course) 🙂

She did eat dinner last night, so that’s good. She lost part of that due to anesthesia induced nausea. It takes a while for that to go away. Today will get better for her. The first 24 hours are the worst. Dogs (animals in general) have amazing recuperative powers.

Did you know that giving a dog a good, deep ear rub releases endorphins in their body that make them feel good? It’s true!
https://www.cesarsway.com/why-do-dogs-love-to-have-their-ears-rubbed/
And of course you know that petting a dog releases endorphins in us, so it’s a win-win situation.

At breakfast this morning I brought Sasha’s favorite bed out to the kitchen so she could be comfortable yet near us as we ate our breakfast.


Jan. 28

Miss Swingtail’s tail was swinging again by yesterday evening. She spent a good part of yesterday outside lounging in the sunshine. After dinner last night she decided to snuggle with Marie and Josephine.

You have to look close to even see Josie! But she was quite comfy down there.

We had a better night last night. I was up a few times to get her to stop licking. She has discovered the fabric is stretchy and she can get her nose in there to lick the incision. Sometimes she’s just licking a foot. But I have to check just the same. So I keep a small flashlight on a cord around my neck, Sasha sleeps next to my side of the bed, and I seep lightly. Listening. At least I got to be in the bed last night.

I gave her that last name because of what she does with her tail: it’s a long tail to start with. Instead of wagging it the way most dogs do, hers sweeps around in a full arc, touching her ribs on both sides on each stroke. It’s a slow motion too, just a relaxed, comfortable swinging motion. Swingtail.


Special Notes

Sasha likes to hold hands. She finds this soothing, and will come and ask for it when she needs it. If you stroke the top of her paw with your thumb, it is especially soothing. She is not highly anxious, she just gets nervous.

Sasha does not shed like normal huskies do, but she enjoys being brushed. She has an itchy spot on her right rear leg. I don’t see any issues with her skin, but when she starts chewing on that spot I get her brush and work on the leg for a minute or so an that seems to take care of the issue. I use a slicker brush (like THIS ) but you can find one locally, and other brushes may work as well.

Sasha is reliably housebroken. She will go stand by the door to the outside (once she knows which one that is) or will come get me and lead me there. Most of the time she will insist that I go out into the yard with her or she won’t leave the porch. But I need only be where she can see me. She will wander off to do her business, but keeps an eye on me, then comes running back to go inside. Unless it’s nice weather, then she sometimes want to linger. As she becomes confident in her surroundings (see the 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 Months rule) she will probably go out without accompaniment.

She likes to ride in the car and will sit in the back seat or the front. She does not jump around or get crazy, but I recommend using a harness and seat strap for safety. The strap buckles into the seat belt buckle and the harness prevents breaking her neck (as a collar would) in the case of a sudden stop.

Sasha is a talented escape artist and has more than once slipped past me, without my knowing, as I’m closing the door so that I turn around and she’s sitting there grinning at me, “Where are we going Dad?”

She is now comfortable enough here that I can go into the kennel building or into my workshop (the old trailer) for a short time and leave Sasha in the play yard with the other dogs and not worry that she will go over a fence to come looking for me. If I’m planning an extended work session, Sasha, Buddy and Callie all get crated to prevent issues.

Sasha uses a 36″ wire crate. These fold down for ease of transport. I line the bottom with a soft blanket and a pillow. I leave the door open so she can go in there to rest when she wants to. Sasha does not tear up her bedding. She crates easily when I give the “In your room” command and poke a dog cookie though the bars so she goes inside to get it. She prefers to sleep in there at night. With no other dogs around she may not feel as strongly about that.

Sasha is wary around new dogs. Once she is assured she is not about to be eaten, she gets along with calm dogs fine. I can even hand out treats to them as a free-range pack and she waits her turn. Sasha has become a well behaved, sweet, gentle, reserved little lady.


ADOPTED

Sasha and Geoff
This is MY Hooman, Geoff, and I’m gonna keep him!

January 30, 2021: Happy tails, Sasha! We will miss you, but we’re happy you’re launching into a life with Geoff where you will be loved and well cared for. Drop us a note when you can!


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