Martin NAC: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Martin. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog 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: Dec. 24, 2019

This sweet, affectionate little fellow looks like a puppy, but he’s not.  He is almost 2 years old, thus fully grown, and a really good boy.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Aug. 23
  • Breed: Golden Retriever / Black Lab / Husky
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: 47 Pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Sept 4th, 2019
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Gentle, sweet, well-behaved.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes, loves to play.
  • Gets Along with Cats: Yes.  If they run, he will chase.  If they confront him, he backs down.
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Gets Along with Children: Yes, he loves kids.
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes.
  • Departure date: August 26th  October 21, 2019 November 8, 2019


This precious boy was removed from an abusive environment, along with several other dogs.  He was living in a small pen on someone’s porch.  But you would not know it by his behavior, he is as loving and eager to please and any dog from a perfect home.  Martin was adopted, and well loved, but had to be returned due to no fault of his own.

Progress Summary:

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

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes (gives great hugs)
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: Not really, gives gentle hugs
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Yes

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • 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: No
  • Stays off people furniture: Mostly We allow him on the people bed, not on the living room furniture.


  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: Yes
  • Crates on command: Yes (with bribe)


  • DA2PP: 08/21/2019 (NAC)
    .             10/28/2019 (PMFC)
  • Bordatella: 08/21/2019 (NAC)
    .                   10/28/2019 (PMFC)
  • Wormed:
    . 10/26 – 10/28/2019, Fendbendazole, 10 ml
  • Rabies: 08/22/2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Spay/Neuter: Sept 4, 2019 (Cedarwood)
  • Heartworm Test: 10/31/2019 – Neg (Cedarwood)
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . 08/22/2019, Capstar, 25+ lbs
    . Early Sept, Frontline
    . 10/18/2019, Fipronil, 45-88 lbs
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 10/18/2019, Ivermectin/Glycerine, 0.5 ml

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom.

Aug 26

We only had the privilege of fostering this sweet boy for a weekend.  We “borrowed” him from Newport Animal Control because we knew he was gentle, calm, and affectionate, as well as being a really good looking dog.  The Quilts & Canines event was coming up and we figured that would be a great venue to help this boy find a forever home.

I picked him up on Friday and took him to our favorite groomer: Kathy’s Grooming Parlor in Newport.  She brushed all the under fur out and bathed him.  He came out looking and smelling so much better.  He came home and spent the night with us. and we took him to the show on Saturday.

We put him in a portable kennel in front of our booth.  It had a roof to keep the rain and or sun off of him.  Many people came over to visit with him.  Almost all commented on what a well behaved boy he is.  Several said they’d adopt him in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for (something).

Someone we are familiar with who was also a “vendor” at the show, came to visit him several times.  Finally she said that she just loved this boy and would adopt him in a minute, but can’t afford the adoption fee right now.  Another near-by “vendor”, Cathy, overheard this conversation.  A little while after Ms. R left, Cathy came and asked if she could take Martin for a walk.  We know Cathy well and were confident in her ability to manage Martin.

They walked around the perimeter of the show and ended up at Ms. R’s tent.  There they stood and talked for a while.  Then they called me over.  We discussed several things including what was involved in an adoption and what the adoption fee covers.  It’s really quite a bargain, there is no “profit” involved for either Animal Control or the Veterinarian.

Then Cathy said, “If I pay the adoption fee and a couple months of food, would you adopt Martin and give him a good home?”

Ms. R said, “Yes, I’d be happy too” and just then, Martin stood up and hugged her!  We were all near tears at that point.

I filled out the adoption paperwork with Ms. R and we agreed on a time to meet at Animal Control so they could finalize things and schedule Martin’s surgery.

That appointment went off without a hitch this morning, and Ms. R took her new family member home with her.

Oct. 18

But it seems the fencing Ms. R has around her yard is not high enough to keep Martin in her yard and she’s afraid he’s going to get hurt by running loose.  So, with a broken heart, she returned Martin.  We will begin looking for another home for this sweet boy.

Later that afternoon …

It has been an afternoon of whirlwind communications.  The connections that were made here are multi-faceted and difficult to explain, but there was a lady, Martha, who stopped by to visit with Martin several times while we had him at Quilts and Canines.  She was thinking about adopting him but wasn’t sure she and her husband were ready for another: their last dog had died of old age not long ago.  By the time she decided she did want to do this, Martin had already been adopted by Ms.R.  Martha was disappointed, but thought, “If that wasn’t Gods plan for them …”

Today I put the word out that he was available again and it worked it’s way quickly back to Martha.  Martha called me.  We discussed things.  I liked what I heard, she liked what she heard.  We have a meet & greet between Martin and Martha and her husband scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  We are excited and hopeful.

Oct 19

Martin came in after he had dinner to join our gang for Friday Sci-Fi night.  The dogs all got chewies while Marie and I ate dinner.  When the dishes and tray tables were cleared away  Martin came out to cuddle with Marie in front of the fire.

Teach me how to Facebook, Doug!

At bed time Martin went back to his crate and did fine while we were milling around getting ready.  When we settled and the lights went out Martin got lonely and fussy, so I went to sleep on the sofa to be near him.  That made him happy and he slept through the night.

This morning he got up and went outside to pee with the other house dogs, then Martin and I went to the den to kill time on the computer.  Martin wanted to help.

I took Martin outside and he played with Blondie Bear while I cleaned kennels.  He was ZOOMING around and having just the BEST time!  That wore him out and when we went inside I trimmed his toenails, wiped the dust and dirt off of him with a damp cloth, then brushed him out.  He gave me no trouble at all with any of this.  He is SUCH a good boy!  He’s resting in his crate with a hoofie until it’s time to go meet his potential new family.

Martin says, “Yeah, I’d like living here.”

The meet-n-greet went well.  They loved Martin, Martin enjoyed running around in their large fenced back yard, which includes a large gazebo with a BED in it!  A large house with lots of rooms to explore, and he was perfectly well-behaved  — well, except for eating a bowl of cat food.  But no one held that against him since it WAS on the floor.  He liked both Martha and Dick, and wanted to meet their cats, but the cats were hiding.

“I need a snuggle.”

Martin came back home with us for the weekend to give his new family time to prepare for him to move in.  We will do the paperwork and make it all official on Monday.  Dick and Martha have a history of taking in unwanted dogs and keeping them until they pass on of old age.  They have no dogs at the moment, their last one having been euthanized to end her pain after having been with them for 16 years.  They said they weren’t going to get any more dogs.  But then Martha met Martin … well, one more.

Oct 21

We all met at Newport Animal Control so the management there could fill out the paperwork and make the adoption legal.  Then Martin went home with Mommy and Daddy who are having a tough time remembering to refer to martin as he or him because their past several dogs (all long term pets) were female and that pattern is ingrained.  Martin says, “I don’t care, as long as you love me.”

Oct 25

We are 0 for2 with Martin, and the reason for the return this time is even more sad than his losing another home.

Martins new dog Daddy is the one who stays home with Martin during the days.  Mom works most weekdays.  It seems having a bouncy 50 pound dog around has  brought home to them just how bad Dad’s health issues are.  Martha told me, “I don’t know which is worse, losing Martin or realizing that my husband is so sick.”

Martin even came to an understanding with their cats.

My heart goes out to them, this is really hard for them both.

Martin is back here with us, and we think we have a solution for him.  I’m waiting on a return message, then we’ll know.

UPDATE: Animal Rescue Network of New England has accepted him and has made reservations on a rescue transport that rolls through here Friday, November 8th.  He needs a couple of tests done and a Health Certification before he can travel across state lines, but three times should be the charm for this charming boy.

Nov. 1

Martins Health Certification went well yesterday.  He is healthy over all, free of heartworms and free of intestinal parasites.  So he is cleared for interstate travel next weekend.  He likes playing outdoors in this chilly weather, he should do well in New England.  He’s also quite entertaining at meal times.  We enjoy dinner and a show with him around.

Nov 2

We have a ‘No Dogs On the People Furniture’ rule in our house.  Guess who feels he’s above the rules?

Nov. 8

This morning we were admiring Martin’s wonderful feet. When we were done he said, “OK, I let you see my feet, now you owe me a belly rub.”

On the way to meet Martins ride to New Hampshire, Martin decided he liked looking out my window best.  Once we met up with the PETS Transport, Martin was eager to ride in the BIG truck.  At one point he was standing on his hinders with his fore-paws up on the ladder trying his best to get up there by himself like the driver had.  He could not quite manage that so I lifted him up there once the driver had Martin’s roomette set up for him with the blanket and hoofie we brought along.

Safe travels, dear Martin!

Dec 24

Martin, has been traveling the East Coast with his foster-to-adopt family.  That family has decided they officially LOVE this boy and officially adopted him today.  They’re calling him Duncan.  Martin says, “That’s okay as long as I get to sleep on the bed.”

The young man in the photo is a home-schooled teen who is his best friend.  He takes him for walks several times a day and rides his bike with Martin running alongside.  He spends a lot of time with Martin.

This is another example of shelters, fosters, and rescues working together to save canine lives and improve human lives.

A tip of the hat to City of Newport Animal Control for pulling him out of a bad situation, and Animal Rescue Network of New England for finding him the perfect forever home.  Merry Christmas, Martin!

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Highland Steele

Highland was at the top of Animal Control’s “At Risk” list because he has a gimpy leg. He needed help right away.

Last updated: Oct 31, 2018

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Oct 5, 2018
  • Breed: Retriever, Black Lab mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Young, Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight:45 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: 10/27/2018
  • General Health: Excellent
  • Temperament: For a Lab, he’s unusually calm. He is affectionate and gets along with everyone.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes and Yes.
  • Departure date: November 2, 2018


Highland and a cat were abandoned in an apartment by the apartment’s tenant when she moved out. The landlord found them when he came to clean-up sometime afterward. He called Newport Animal Control. No one knows for sure what happened to his leg, but I suspect he was kicked.

Known Issues & Progress

Behaviorally, he has no issues: he’s GREAT. We took him to Cedarwood Veterinary to have him examined and X-rayed to assess his right rear leg and see what, if anything, could be done to restore it. They said it had been broken some time ago, was not addressed and healed with the leg bone rotated laterally. It causes him no pain and he has learned to function with his disability. They recommend AGAINST surgery. He just needs exercise and love.

Commands he knows: Comes when called, “sit”, “shake”, “in your room”, “go inside”, “go outside”, “hush”.

He plays fetch well. Not fond of tug.

He is non-destructive of his bedding. Gets barky when separated from his people.

He has earned his full-fledged House Dog badge. We let him run in the house when we’re here. He sleeps on a dog bed in the bedroom with the rest of us at night. He gets up with me in the morning, goes outside to pee, then settles down in the den with me while I study. The only time I crate him is when I leave the house and he stays behind. And he gets fed in a crate. All but three of the dogs get fed in a crate just to keep them out of each others bowls. My three all-star house dogs have moved beyond that misbehavior. They eat around the dining table (on the floor, but around the table). I’ll try him on free-range dining before he leaves and update this note.


  • DA2PP: 10/05/2018.(N.A.C.)
  • Bordatella: 10/05/18 (N.A.C.)
  • Wormed: Oct 5, 6, 7 2018, Panacur: 10 ml (PMFC)
  • Rabies: Oct 28, 2018 by Claws & Paws
  • Spay/Neuter: Oct 28, 2018 by Claws & Paws
  • Flea/Tick preventative: Oct 5, Advantage
  • Heartworm preventative: Oct 30, 2018: Nu Heart
  • Heartworm Test: Oct 28, 2018. Test was NEGATIVE


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


PLEEEASE take me home with you!

His stiff legs makes him sit funny too

Enjoying some yard time

Highland and Josie do gentle play (Video)

Out on the town

He is black gold!

Highland says, “and this is all I need.” (Story)

Highland responds to the “COME” command (video)

Highland and Callie Smooching

Highland and Blondie cuddle

Christmas clothes – sent by NJ Fosters
The happy ending!
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Buddy Golden: Notes on a foster dog

Buddy is a 92 pound, senior, Golden Retriever picked up by Animal Control as a stray and delivered to an animal shelter. The shelter vet looked at him and decided he didn’t have any obvious, serious health problems, but could not tell for sure what shape he was in without a good examination and blood tests. Because he’s a senior, and because he does have skin issues and wounds on his feet, it’s not likely the shelter will invest limited resources in that examination, nor is it likely he will survive long in an over-crowded shelter. So I brought him home as a foster-project.

June 30, 2017

Removing maggotsI took him to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital right away and it was no trick at all to find out that we has infested with fleas and ticks (even I could see that) but he also had three large hot spots where the skin was raw and the flies had laid eggs, resulting in those areas being infested by maggots. Two vet techs and I gloved up and worked for over an hour and a half to pull around two dozen ticks off and cut away the fur to expose the hot spots and clean out the maggots.

Tinker Is All Backwards

Cochise tells the tale

Most of our foster dogs don’t like being penned and use every trick in the book to slip out every chance they get. Sometimes they play on the People’s sympathy, sometimes they use subterfuge, sometimes they attempt brute force. Not Tinker: he likes his “room”. He especially likes that Coolaroo and spent most of his time lounging on it his first day or two here.

Nearly all the foster dogs who were house-trained while here, came inside with the idea in their head that being allowed inside meant they could do anything they like, any time they like. Life for a house-dog is one big party. I’m pretty sure it’s Blondie who tells them this, but none have ratted her out yet.

We have to clamp down on that idea with heavy restrictions like being crated except for short, closely supervised “play periods” until they learn the rules. As they learn, we allow them more and more freedom until they are full-time, free-ranging house dogs like Blondie and I. When they break a rule, they go back a step.

tinker-tries-out-a-snuggle-bedTinker is an exception. Tinker is an older dog (around 8 years) and was a house dog before being surrendered (aka “booted out”) by his family. We have found him to be quite calm and responsible. We actually have to encourage him to loosen up and have some fun. He IS allowed to sleep on the dog beds. He IS allowed to play with us (when we want to). He IS allowed to come into the house (or go outside) when he wants to. Blondie taught him to scratch on the metal part of the storm door when he wants in. He’s done that a couple of times, but mostly he just sits next to the door and waits for someone to notice him. I feel sorry for him sometimes.

This morning Tinker went outside to take care of business. NiceLady was asleep. HairyFace was in the den working at his button-thingie. I trotted into the room and started talking to him, “Rowr, rar, rar, rouf” and went toward the door.

Hairy said, “You want to go out, Chief?” (He sometimes calls me Chief) and followed me through the laundry room to the door.

Tinker was standing outside peering in.

“Oh, Tinker’s back.” observed the brilliant and deductive HairyFace. He opened the door.

My job done, I spun around and left.

Tinker said, “Thanks, Cochise, I was getting cold out there.”

Peoples can be so oblivious.

In the time he’s been here he has come out of his shell and is becoming a lot of fun. But we’ve never had to scold him for going counter-cruising, or getting on the people furniture. He considers carpeting ‘off-limits”. He is just now accepting that we have furniture of our own that he can rest on. He’s not fond of being crated, but when told to go “in his room” he does and is calm and quiet all night long. He is bright and obedient.

While food is being prepared he sits quietly and watches. He is interested, he is eager, but he stays out of the way and lets the Peoples get the food ready. He even keeps Millie company while they wait. Most newbies are underfoot hoping that something will get dropped. He already has a place at the table at meal times.

tinker_not-hungryHe eats slowly and in small amounts. Hairy worries that Tinker isn’t getting enough to eat and puts extra stuff like shredded cheese or chicken broth in his kibbles to encourage him to eat more. (I wonder why I didn’t think of that.) When he’s done, Tinker never tries to raid our dishes. He may sniff up at the table, but never tries to go after anything.

In short, there’s not much Blondie and I can teach him that he doesn’t already know. In fact, he taught us something new the other day.

How’s that for a role (roll?) reversal?

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Kingsleys Facebook Award Ceremony

Facebook logoAs is noted on our Home page we use Facebook pages to promote our foster dogs. The idea is to build interest in adopting these deserving animals before they leave us.

Until recently the process was that we get them healed and work on any behavioral and training issues, then send them off via Rolling Rescue to a rescue or shelter or foster home in an area where adoption is more likely and they work on finding the dogs permanent homes. We follow along on those web sites and hope our furbabies find homes soon. Sometimes it takes a while.

The first two that we created Facebook pages for were adopted while still in our care, so when we took them to ride The Bus we were not sending them off on an uncertain venture, but directly to their forever home. This made for a much happier end to our involvement in their lives!