Rugar LaChocolate’

It seems this boy is a victim of circumstances, just doing what he was trained to do.

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2021

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Dec 28, 2020
  • Breed: Chocolate Lab/Spaniel
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Youth, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Birthdate: Dec 2017
  • Weight: @ 70 Pounds on Dec 28
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Sweet, affectionate, playful.  Hates confinement.
  • SAFER Test performed: Yes – Passed
  • Departure date: Jan 29: pulled by BePaws They Matter Animal Rescue


This boys owners asked their neighbor to shoot the dog because he was going over fences, charging people, fighting with other dogs and harassing their livestock.   The only thing we have seen to be true is the harassing livestock.  At some point, I assume it was his original owner, he lived with people who ran a rodeo and trained their dogs to herd the bulls and horses from one place to another.  So “harassing” livestock would be expected.  As to the rest, he seems quite gentle to us.  Val, the lady who rescued him for us, had him at their house for a couple of hours.  She has cats, she has dogs, she has kids.  She and her husband had no trouble with him except that he likes to sit ON people, not next to them.

Rugar’s Progress Summary:

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

Relational Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: No food aggression noted
  • Preferred style of play: Undetermined
  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
    . Cats: Yes (as long as they don’t run: he’s a Lab!)
  • Jumps up on people: A little
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes


  • Comes when called: Not yet
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Not yet
  • Shake / Paw: Not yet
  • Kennels on command: Yes

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: No
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: No
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: Yes
  • Engages in kitchen counter cruising: No
  • Stays off people furniture: No: foster parents allow him on the sofa.

Medical Data

  • DA2PPv: Dec 29, 2020 by PMFC
    .  1st Booster: January 19, 2021 by Stacy Dekker
    .  2nd Booster: Puppies only
  • Bordatella: Dec 29, 2020
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    . Dec 29 to 31 | Fenbendazole | 14 ML | PMFC
  • Rabies: Jan 12, 2021 (Claws and Paws 4 A Cause)
  • Microchipped: Yes
    PetKey Not registered
    To register:
  • Spay/Neuter: Done before intake
  • Heartworm Test: Jan. 12, 2021 – NEGATIVE
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . Dec 29 Fipronil, 2.68 ML
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . Jan 19, 2021 Heartguard Plus


In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Progress Updates

Progress notes are listed below, in chronological order, newest at the bottom so you can read through this dog’s history in order.

Dec 29

The first 24 hours have gone well.  Rugar’s neighbor, Blade, harasses him, but Rugar simply withdraws.  No retaliation.  When Blade is in a more congenial mood, Rugar goes over to touch noses with him and try to be friends.  They were “discussing” things yesterday evening, just barking at each other through their mutual kennel panel.  But they settled down and both slept through the night once “lights-out” came around.

Rugar refused to eat the dry food I gave him this morning.  I mixed a pouch meal in with it mid-morning and he gobbled that down.

I had Rugar in the yard this afternoon with Blondie Bear.  They were cordial to one another, then went their own ways.

Dennis is to pick him up this afternoon and take him home for fostering.

Jan 1

Rugar is settling in at his foster home.  There were some difficulties, mostly stemming from the fact that he is not accustomed to being in a house and that made him nervous.  But he seems to be coming to grips with that.

Jan 17

Rugar’s foster parents report that he gets along fine with their pack of dogs and is quite affectionate toward the people, but is averse to confinement.  Both work all day and Rugar stays in a kennel outside.  Or, he’s SUPPOSED to stay in a kennel outside.  But he has been finding ways to break out.

He never goes far, he greets them upon return, but it is clear this boy needs a higher level of daytime interaction.

Jan 23

Rugar came over for a visit today.  He was well behaved and calm.  His foster Dad says when he’s with them he’s a super sweet boy.  He likes to lay on the sofa with his head resting on Dennis’ leg.  He gets along great with their other dogs and their cats.  He just does not like being confined when they go away to work.  In the right home, this handsome fellow would make someone a wonderful, attentive companion.

Jan 29

Our rescue partner, BePaws They Matter Animal Rescue from New Jersey, was in the area today and called to say they’d like to pull Rugar and take him on their run … today.  That was sudden notice, but since there had been no serious interest from adopters, Dennis decided that would be a good thing for all.

So Rugar has gone north.  Happy travels big fella.  We hope you find the perfect home up there.

Feb 2

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Mystery Steele: Notes on a foster dog

Mystery is a chocolate lab, husky mix, but she is definitely a Husky in build and personality. If you like the quirky, independent personality of this breed, you’ll love Mystery.

Last updated: February 12, 2018

Base Info:

  • Arrived here: January 11th, 2018
  • Breed: Chocolate Husky
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Approx 2 years
  • Weight: Approx 60 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Yes: Feb 9, 2017
  • General Health: Good. Other than being in need of a good brushing, her fur, skin and teeth look to be in good shape. I see no sign of injury or disease.
  • Temperament: Good. She is lovey and affectionate with people. Accepting of strangers. She plays well with our other dogs now: was a bit guarded when she first arrived due to kennel stress.


Mystery was picked up as a stray and taken to Newport Animal Control in November 2017. Because Huskies do not do well in close confinement, she became stressed, depressed, and aggressive. N.A.C. management asked Steele Away Home to take her in so she could get out of that environment and regain her sanity.

Known Issues & Progress

Mystery is a Husky. Huskies have a personality all their own. I’ve worked with Huskies in a shelter environment before and they do NOT do well in close confinement. It’s heartbreaking to see how fast this spirited, independent breed sinks into depression when incarcerated. That was the case with Mystery. She came to Piney Mountain because we have a large, fenced play yard and big pens for our fosters to live in until they can begin house training.

Upon arrival (yesterday), she was fine with me: friendly and obedient, but when other dogs came near her pen she would bare her teeth and charge the fencing to warn them off. Some of them did not take too kindly to that attitude!

I’ve given her several solo play sessions in the yard – which she enjoys immensely — and she is calming down already.

After a few weeks she is able to play with the other dogs in the yard. She’s a bit too rowdy for Josephine’s taste (Josie is our smallest) but she’s not being mean, just big and bouncy.


Doing well. There have been no incidents in the bunkhouse. Even when in her pen, she will avoid defiling her 10′ x10′ space as long as I let her out regularly. She usually needs to run a couple of laps to get her bowels moving … then slams on the brakes and assumes the position. She’s funny.

When I’ve got her loose in the bunkhouse she has not shown any tendency to chew things up or get into things. She’s curious, but not invasive.

Gets Along With Other Dogs

Not so good at the start, but that changed as she felt less stressed.

After a few days to decompress, Mystery wanted to play with her roomie: Angel. That went well. She and angel have had several play sessions together (see vids below).

Mystery HAS become possessive of my attentions and will warn off other dogs if I’m in her pen with her. If I’m in the yard with both her and another dog, there are no issues. She also shows food-guarding behavior with dogs — not with me.

People Skills

Very good. She is friendly and comes when called. She does not jump up on me (much) and she walks well on a tether/leash. She has had some training before.

It got to a point where when leash-walking her between Bunkhouse and play yard she’d be dragging me along. I put her in a Walk-Right! ™ harness and that cleared up right away. Then, one night, she chewed the harness off. I’ve ordered another, but in the mean time she is responding better to a “slow” command and tug on the collar-mounted leash. She learned and remembers even without the harness.

I got the harness, but don’t need it. Mystery now walks very well on a leash and collar.


Mystery is a typical Husky, and as such can be more of a handful to manage than most other breeds. Huskies tend to be highly intelligent, deviously clever, independent thinkers, and OPINIONATED. They are also hilariously entertaining and devoted family dogs. To manage a Husky, you need firm boundaries and a good routine. Let a Husky decide she’s in charge of the household and you’ll have a frustrating challenge on your hands.

I brush her daily and she’s looking much better. She loves the brushing too. She talks to me constantly while I’m doing it. That is SO cute!

Feb 12: After a dog gets fixed I like to take them for a “just for fun” truck ride so they don’t come t think that getting in the truck means someone is going to cut parts off them.

Today I had errands to run, so I took Mystery Steele with me: she was spayed last Friday but is feeling better now. She was not at all hesitant, hopped right up into the truck and settled herself on the passenger seat. She rides really well!

One of my stops was Tractor Supply Co. in Newport. She went in with me and did a superb job of staying right beside me, never pulling on the leash, never toying with products, never having to be coaxed to come along, quite calm when I stopped to speak to a store employee. I was SO proud of her! We even met a Weimaraner puppy who was a bit bouncy and overly friendly, but both did well and were quite civil to one another.


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

Looking better after a good brushing

Wanna Play?

Mystery has a great sense of humor.

This girl can really run — and loves it!

The next day I let Mystery and her roomie, Angel, out to play in the snow:

Mystery and Angel get a long play day in especially nice weather.

Mystery has decided to challenge Blondie for the Grand Dame position. (click-vid)

Mystery likes to munch and wander at breakfast time (click-vid)

Enjoying a Big Bone

She rides well. Calm. Sometimes needs petting to reassure her all is well.

Definitely a husky, such a derp!

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Jasmine is a Jewel

NOTE: This post is about one of our foster dogs. This is an experiment. I’ll open up with introduction info, then as new information and adventures become available I will ADD THAT TO THE END OF THIS POST rather than putting up new posts for each adventure. The goal is to keep all of the pertinent info on this dog in one place and in chronological order. That is advantageous to rescues or potential adoptive families who come to learn about this dog. Each time I add new info I’ll change the date below so you know if it’s worth scrolling down to look for new info. Thanks!

Date last updated: Jan 4, 2017

Jasmine is a Chocolate (Lab) Husky with blue-grey eyes and gorgeous, exotic coloring. She is full of personality and affectionate, but at the same time so skittish of people we have to be very careful around her. Loud noises spook her. Sudden movements spook her. Reaching out to her spooks her.

She is friendly and open with all the other dogs and likes to play. It’s just people she’s scared of.

Jasmine’s Background

All we know of her is that she was owned by a young woman (local) who either joined the military or was in the military and was assigned to an 8 year tour of duty in Japan, and Jasmine could not go with her.

Buster’s Double Dog Dare

The Dogtor is in

Yesterday Joy O’Hare donated a narrow futon pad that she no longer wanted. She thought it might make good dog beds. I agreed, and was happy to haul it back here. I set about cutting away the excess fabric and Velcro on the back the webbing that connected the two pads but allowed them to bend and fold.

Buster tests the new dog bedThe result was two 28” x 35” x 4” thick pads with removable covers. Buster spent all afternoon enjoying the one I put down to try out. Joy was a little worried that the dogs might react to the cat fur she could not vacuum off of them. But that was of no concern to Buster.

When it was time to retire for the night, Buster was adamant that he preferred to sleep in the office on “his” new dog bed rather than in his crate. This was not an option, but it took some time to convince him of that.

This morning after The Fosters had breakfast and some yard time, Buster was again insistent on going inside and to the office. It was still a little chilly out – and Buster has been a bit jealous of the extra privileges Hercules has been getting during his final phase of house breaking – so I decided to allow it instead of insisting he go to a pen outdoors like the others.

Upon entering the office, he was horrified to find that Cochise had already claimed the new dog bed!