Blade has come a long, long, way from when he was picked up by Animal Control as a stray and labeled “super aggressive” by ACO and shelter staff. Don’t judge this dog by his past.
Last Updated: August 14, 2021
- Arrival date: July 10, 2020
- Breed: Malamute
- Sex: Male
Youth, Adult, Mature, Senior
- Birth date: unknown
- Weight: 71 pounds (Sept 9, 2020)
- Neutered: Yes
- Up to date on shots: Yes
- General Health: Excellent,
Good, Fair, Poor
- Temperament: Can be bull-headed (It’s a malamute thing) but now seeks affection.
- Departure date: July 27, 2021 – Returned Aug 5th, adoption failed because he bit someone.
Brought to the Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County by Animal Control, he was frightened and defensive. Most could not go into his kennel to clean. A shelter staffer, Autum, broke through his defenses and helped him be more accepting. Autum is my hero! She saved this beautiful boy’s life.
Blade’s Progress Summary:
Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.
- Comes when called: Usually
- Sits on command: Yes
- Down / Off: Yes
- Shake / Paw: Yes
- Kennels on command: Yes, with a bribe.
- Relates well to other dogs: Most dogs. Has issues with some male dogs.
- Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes
- Preferred style of play: chasing, wrestling
- Is affectionate: With people he trusts
- Is good with:
- . Men: Less than with women.
- . Women: Yes, he’s a ladies man.
- . Children: Unknown. He’s big and can get rowdy in play. Small children might be at risk.
- . Cats & Guinea Pigs: Yes
- Jumps up on people: Occasionally, when extra excited.
- Mouths: No
- Walks well on a leash: Yes
Because he bit someone and we don’t know why or how it happened, we cannot adopt him out again because it might happen again. Blade will remain here at Piney Mountain as a Forever Foster.
Detailed progress notes are listed below, in chronological order, newest at the bottom. We put it all in here, good and bad, so you know what you would be getting into if you adopt this dog. It’s YOUR responsibility to read it.
Blade is still at the shelter. He is not adoptable right now because of his fear and bad attitude. I’ve been going in a couple days a week to work with him and have made some headway, but Autum has been amazing with him!
A rescue said they would pull him, but then backed out. So he is again in need of a solution. I’ve committed PMFC to taking him so he doesn’t get euthanized.
I went to visit Blade again. Autum has made great progress with him, he knows “sit” and “paw”, and will walk on a leash with her. He found that he HATES hats and loves Vienna Sausages. We have another dog in care who also hates hats because his former owner would take off his baseball cap and beat him mercilessly with it. Maybe something similar happened to Blade.
Friends Animal Shelter is supposed to be bringing Blade out to PMFC in their van with Autum riding with him to keep him calm. His room is ready and we are all excited to have him in residence where I can spend much more time with him.
And I have a supply of Vienna Sausages laid in!
We’ve been making some great progress in getting Blade to be more comfortable with Doug. He LOVES Marie and lets her do anything she wants with him. What got Blade to loosen up some was when Doug would go out into the yard with Marie and Blade and get Blade to play. Blade likes to play a game we call, Lunge, Snort, Run. He acts fierce, but when Doug repeats the behavior he runs off to do a lap around the yard.
Blade has gotten to where he expects me to play The Game with him every evening. He does seem to enjoy it and it encourages him to run himself to exhaustion. That helps him get in shape and he’s ready to go back to his room and rest when we’re done.
Marie and I took Blade for a truck ride the other day. Marie got in the passenger seat and I led him out to the truck. To his credit, he loaded right up into the extended cab. He rode well, looking around, occasionally poking me in the ear with his nose to say, “Faster, Doug,, faster.” But we were just going on a 4 mile jaunt around the block and our twisty, bumpy mountain roads do not lend themselves to high speed travel, so I took it easy to avoid stressing The Big Guy out by bouncing him around back there.
He was reluctant to get out when we got back home, he wanted to ride some more! This was a practice run. We’ll take him to the park-n-float park for an outing next, then we’ll take him in for neutering. That will have to be done at Friends Animal Shelter so Autum can help move him around to get him to and from his surgical procedure.
Blade is really good about holding his bodily functions until he is let out into the yard, so we let him out first at breakfast time. In the beginning he would rush out into the yard, run a few laps and mark a few trees until his bowels were ready, take care of that, then run to his room to eat breakfast. But lately he has made the morning run into something unique:
And in the evening, there’s nothing better than a belly rub in the grass from his favorite person after a rousing game of Huff-Snort-Run with that other guy who he sorta-likes — sometimes.
Blade s still devoted to Marie and will do anything she asks. He loves playing The Game with me in the evenings and he’s doing better at letting me pet him. Sometimes. Sometimes he just refuses. It’s not aggression at all – more playful refusal. But it is refusal to comply with my instructions.
Blade is becoming more compliant with me. More often than not he will agree to being bribed back into his room after a play session — so he’s getting more play sessions. He likes that.
Sept 9 – The Big Day
Today is the day we’ve been building for, planning out, and praying over for long time. Neuter Day. We have taken Blade for a truck ride before, and he enjoyed that. He trusts Marie and Autum and is compliant with them. Less so with me, although that has improved vastly in the last three days. Blade was NOT happy about getting no breakfast this morning, but he agreed to get into the truck as long as Marie was going along.
When we got to the shelter where the mobile vet clinic was working today, Blade got nervous. He does not like the shelter, he was confined here for far too long. So we stayed as far away from the kennels as we could.
Marie and I held him and distracted him while the vet tech gave him the first shot (in his butt, to relax him). That went unusually well. Then Blade and I sat in the back of the truck cab and I petted him and assured him that everything was okay. He was getting drowsy, bur refused to lie down.
15 minutes later Crystal came again with the IV anesthesia. Again I soothed him and held his head while she found a vein and injected him. Again, it went unusually well. This big bad boy is usually pretty combative about letting anyone touch him. Moments later, “fwoop” he was on the floor, out cold. Crystal scooped him up and carried him into the mobile vet clinic.
While he was having his surgery, Marie and I went to do a SAFER test on Siri, our next intake. Just as we were finishing that up, Crystal poked her head in the building and said, “He’s waking up, you want to come get him?”
I pulled our truck over behind the mobile clinic. Crystal tried to scoop him up, but he was awake enough to be having no part of that. “Uhh … do YOU want to try this?” I sidled in and encircled his chest, sliding him out of the door, Crystal got hold of his hips and we moved him gently over into the truck. He was pretty groggy yet.
We got him home without incident, but he was still too woosy to want to jump down out of the truck, and was not willing to let me “help” him down. So we waited.
When he was ready, he got down and staggered into the play yard. But instead of going to his room, he insisted on going out to lie in the grass. Marie stayed with him while I unloaded the truck and got him some ‘breakfast’, which he snarffed down. Groggy or not, he was HUNGRY!
Since then, Marie and I have been taking shifts sitting with him to console him and keep him from licking his incision. Later I fixed a 6″ pizza for him that we’ve kept in the freezer. I cut it into wedges and hand fed the whole thing to him. He enjoyed that and has been glaring at me less since then. I hope to get back into his good graces soon, because we need to get him out and socialized better so he can transport and go find a forever home.
Blade is letting me work with him again, and is complying with my requests in his own, Bladely way. Bribery helps. Blade likes playing with Blondie Bear. He’s pretty spry for a fella who just had his nads removed!
Blade was mad at me this morning. Breakfast was 2 hours late because Marie was sleeping and if I left the house Buddy Beagle would be screaming at me from the window that is right next to Marie’s side of the bed. Not conducive to rest. So I fed the inside dogs (and me) and the outside dogs had to wait until she got up to check her numbers. My plan was to slip out and do this quick so she could get back to bed. Blade had other ideas.
He ran around for a while, swinging by long enough to yell at me (he’s LOUD when he does that) then run off again. I thought maybe he wanted to play, so I went out and chased him around a bit. But an old dude, who is brain-dead from lack of sleep, running around on a grassy slope, in the rain is a recipe for painful injuries. So that did not last long.
I went back to standing by his door with his cookie and trying to not look at him, just stare off some place else like I don’t even know he’s there (but able to keep tabs on him in my peripheral vision. He’d come charging up, yell ferociously at me, sometimes bouncing his front end up and down for emphasis, than stalk off for a moment. And repeat.
I told him, “You’re the one in the rain getting soaked. Your tantrum isn’t affecting me: I’m nice and dry under this roof. Come get your cookie so you can dry off.”
He kept yelling. I finally understood what he was yelling about. I had disturbed his sleep when I brought Helo out to his kennel at 1:15 AM so we could leave. Helo probably yelled and howled most of the time we were gone, further annoying Blade. We got home about 4:00 I came out and retrieved Helo (who stood up and pounded me on my back in his own anger at me for leaving him) but did NOT bring breakfast, as Blade thought I should because his sense of time was messed up. So when I finally brought him breakfast, he thought it was lunch time and at lunch time he always gets a Vienna sausage as his reward for a successful potty run. I was offering him a mere cookie. A COOKIE! How ARE I?
So I went inside and got a sausage. I showed it to him and Blade went right in his room and I secured his door. I wish he’d explained that earlier!
Yesterday I let Siri out for her lunch time potty break. She was good, did her business (in the rain) and came right back to her room for her treat. She’s really settling down. Then I let Blade out.
Normally he will behave similarly. He takes a little longer, but comes back and goes into his room to get his Vienna Sausage (he loves those). But not THIS time.
Short version: after FOUR HOURS in the rain, a full can of Vienna Sausages and a slice of roast beef (as bait, which he didn’t get most of) he was still running in the rain, sopping wet, thirsty, and filthy — and yelling at me that he wants MARIE to put him up, not me. But Marie was at work.
Worse yet, I took her to work that morning. So she wasn’t coming home until I went and got her.
Eventually I left him running loose in the yard to go fetch Marie. When we got back, he was still in the yard. Marie went out, walked him to his room and he went right in.
Today he’s getting no lunch time potty break, he can just hold it until Marie gets home this evening.
GAH, what a bull-headed dog!
We’ve made MUCH progress with Blade in his relating to me. He still loves to play the Chase Me game and will play any time I’m willing. Lately that has been on his lunch time play break because it’s getting dark early so the evening run is just a short potty break. When play time is over he consistently goes back into his kennel for me.
For the past couple of days it’s been raining — and he STILL went back in his kennel for me! I haven’t had to ask Marie to come out and help me with him in quite a while.
Also, when I let him out of his kennel I stand close by the door and as he runs past me I reach down and run my hand along his back as he passes. That always gets an “Oh no, you TOUCHED me!” reaction, but that is becoming less pronounced the longer I keep it up. And sometimes, when we’re both especially worn out after play, I can sit down and he will walk over and let me pet him under the chin.
Blade is doing better at letting me handle him. He will now routinely let me pet him if I sit down and say, “come” … as long as he knows I have treats stashed near by. He has gone for a truck ride a couple of times and loves it. We tried again last night and he wanted to ride but would not let me clip on a leash, so in the end he got put back in his room and Siri went for the ride.
He will now reliably go back into his kennel for me after a play time. For a treat. No treat, he just yells at me. Blade has a LOUD voice.
He still likes Marie better than me, and will do most anything for her. But he and I are getting along much better now.
One of Blades more impressive new stunts as we play The Chase-Me Game is to circle around behind Blondie’s Playhouse Cabin and leap across to the roof. That’s not new he’s done that for a long time, but now instead of sitting down to look us in the eye as we interact with him he uses the cabin roof as a launching pad and goes sailing out over the grass. He gets some impressive hang times! I’d love to catch that on video.
Blade has picked up a “thing” from his neighbor: Scout.
Blade is becoming more compliant with me. He responds well to “come” and “in your room” and will let me pet him if I’m sitting down (to be less threatening). He’s getting close to being transportable.
We have a very white Christmas — and Blade LOVES it:
Jan 17, 2021
There is not much new to report, but I felt I should post SOMETHING (and update the summary info above). Blade is still Blade. He loves Marie and will do anything she asks of him. He tolerates me and is compliant most of the time. But occasionally, and not always for any apparent reason, he will decide to be belligerent and refuse to go back into his room after a play session. He will only comply if Marie comes out to put him up. Sometimes I think it’s just because he misses her and this is how he makes her come out to visit.
For the past week Blade has been exceptionally cooperative with me. He has gotten to where I can let him out for potty runs at 6:00 AM and at 9:00 PM after Timber goes out, and he will go do his business and come right back. This morning he even did so in a heavy rain. In the past rain and/or dark always made him more rebellious. I am pleased and as a result he is getting more frequent yard play time because I don’t have to limit him to only when Marie is here to take over if he refuses to comply.
We had some folks over to do a meet-n-greet with Maggie, which we did on the sidewalk in front of the kennels, giving Blade a front row seat. After watching us all fawn over Maggie, Blade decided he wanted some of that action and started doing tricks for us. I let him out to run in the yard for a bit. He showed off with some of his athletic moves, came when called, sat on command, and went back in his “room” when told. One of the trio to came to meet Maggie decided that as soon as he got a house of his own, he WANTED Blade. He was an exceptionally good boy!
I went out to make the mail run, which includes stopping in at my Mom’s house to drop off her mail – she lives on one corner of our property. I got distracted by our discussion of world events.
When I went back into the fenced play yard I let Blade out for a potty run, forgetting that The Beagles had come out with me when I left the house. I realized the oversight when I saw Blade galloping after Josephine (AKA Delicate Little Flower, AKA Sharkey) who was running like mad to keep ahead of him. She did some dodging and weaving and doubling back. Being a Beagle, Dachshund mix she is quite nimble.
When he caught up to her, Blade reared up to pounce and Josie zipped out of the way at the last second (Blade is accustomed to playing with Blondie Bear, Blondie does not zip any more) and he came down on bare grass, glancing around, “Where’d she go?” while Josie snickered at him as she circled to stay out of sight behind him until she was ready to take off again. They played this way for quite a while.
Buddy Beagle got into it too, but his thing was to run after them, baying at them to calm down. Once he managed to get between them, and he turned sideways to Blade and bayed loudly, “Leave her alone!” Blade stood looking perplexed, “You’re scary for a little guy. I’m not sure what to make of you.” But then he walked around Buddy far enough to take off after Josie leaving Bad Bad Beagle Brown trailing behind again.
After a while everyone concerned got tired and thirsty. Blade went back to his room to get his beef stick and a drink, the Beagles came back in the house. Good play session guys, good play session! And Blade gets a gold star on Playing With Others.
Last night Marie had Blade were out in the yard. Blade saw something sitting in the yard: could have been a mouse, a rat, a chipmunk, who knows. He sauntered over to investigate. It (apparently) bolted through a gap in or under the skirting of the trailer. This is metal. Blade punched right through the skirting in pursuit! We don’t know if he caught his prey, but he did come back out once I pulled the bent up tin out of the way to make a hole he could get out of. I’ve never seen him do that before. Now he has a new game to play. (sigh)
I’ll use the panels of roofing tin I have laying around (used to be covers on lumber piles) to screw in over the old skirting to try and Blade-proof it. They’re both silver, so it should not look too awful, and is heavier than the skirting tin. For the time being I’ve placed a kennel panel over the damaged area, pinned it at ground level with rebar and propped it up with a fence post at the top. That will keep him (and all the other dogs) from using this gateway to a new playground.
Over the many months that Blade has been here his play style has evolved. He started out really rough and tumble. Blondie Bear (our biggest do other than Blade) would play with him some times, but just for a while, then tell him off and go sit in her watchtower. But recently has has mellowed and can scale his play to match his playmate. He and Luna play regularly. She a sturdy girl. He tried to play with Buddy Beagle once, but Buddy just said, “Go away boy, yer bothering me.” and Blade wandered off to find someone less curmudgeonly. He even played with our smallest, Josephine, once. He didn’t hurt her but his bounding ways intimidated her and she called it quits quickly.
Everly is small, but high energy. I’ve tried them together twice before, with a line on Everly in case it gets so rough it isn’t play anymore, and it has gone well. I brought the camera with me today. I needed to do some kennel maintenance first so I tried to catch them playing in the kennel. They saw my camera and were reticent.
Blade likes to wade in Pearls swimming pool, but he barely fit into that. We thought we’d see if he liked wading in some big water.
We’ve been working at grooming Blade the Sasquatch. He needs brushing every day, but is reluctant to let Doug do that most of the time. On occasion, Blade will submit; mostly not. Unless Marie is there. He will do ANYTHING for Marie! When she has time, we can do a team brushing and Blade is fine with that — as long as we don’t touch his tail. His tail is SCARED! Do Not Touch the Tail, knave!
Blade has moved out. I’m not sure I’m happy about that. In fact, I’m sure I’m not happy about that. Not yet. In time, but right now I miss him.
Jacqueline drove 4 hours and 25 minutes to get here yesterday evening. And a longer time to get home since she would need to incorporate potty breaks for Blade. She spent a couple of hours letting him get to know her. That didn’t go well at first (as in he yanked her off her feet and dragged her a ways on their first attempt at leash walking together), but he warmed up as they got acquainted. Especially when she broke out the taco dog snacks. Who doesn’t love tacos? Blade always has been a sucker for bribery.
Blade is doing great in his new home. He gets along with other dogs, small children, guinea pigs and CATS! He has decided he no longer likes to be outside (air conditioning has spoiled him). He goes outside to do his business and he’s right back at the door wanting to come back in. He’s a big cuddle bug and very sweet. He doesn’t like to be left alone and whines if his mom go to the bathroom and shuts the door.
I think he’s going to be fine here!
I received a message from Blades adoptive mom Aug 4th: She had been visiting with her daughter, son-in-law, and their two year old son. Toddler and Blade were sitting on the floor near each other while they all watched a movie. Blade bit the boy on the toe. Exactly what happened has not been determined, but Dad said, “Get rid of the dog or I’ll have him euthanized.”
So Doug and Marie drove to Clarksville TN on Thursday to retrieve Blade.
Because he bit someone and we don’t know why or how it happened, we cannot adopt him out again because it might happen again. Blade will remain here at Piney Mountain as a Forever Foster.
He did get spoiled, being a house dog for a week. And he has been especially belligerent with Doug since he got back – still fully compliant with Marie – but he’s settling in again to the routine here. Once a vacancy as a House Dog opens up we will try Blade for that opening. We have four full-time house dogs ranging from 26 pounds to 90 pounds. Five dogs in our small home is a full house indeed, especially if one of them is an enormous floof monster.
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