Moonshine: Notes on a foster dog

Pascal Robin came to visit me from Jefferson City yesterday. When she opened up the back of her SUV I saw she had brought me a crate of Moonshine:


Moonshine and her relatives, Whiskey and Bacardi are residents at C.A.R.E. (Companion Animal Rescue and Education) and Moonshine is Heartworm positive. C.A.R.E. raised the funds to pay for her treatment and asked if I would (please) take Moonshine in and provide a quiet place for her to undergo treatment and recovery.

Heartworm is the reason we got into fostering and has always been something of a specialty with us. Since Lucky has become a full-time indoor dog we had a kennel open, so I was happy to welcome this sweet Lab into our company.

Moonshine will be available through C.A.R.E. once she is cured of her heartworm — which will be the end of August (let’s make that) mid-November: a complication has arisen (see below). You may contact C.A.R.E. through their web site: Companion Animal Rescue and Education or their Facebook Page or by phone (865) 471-5696, 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm Mon – Sat.

Last updated: Nov 23, 2018

Moonshine’s Base Info:

Arrival date: June 20th, 2018

  • Breed: Black Lab Mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 1-2 years
  • Weight: Approx 40 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: NO!
  • General Health: Excellent
  • Temperament: Gentle, sweet, reserved. Almost timid.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes. No sign of toy or food aggression. She likes to play, gets a little rowdy if you let her.
  • Gets Along with People: Yes. She loves to be petted, especially a belly rub. Likes to be near her human and will follow me from room to room as I’m doing things.
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes on both.
  • Departure Date: Nov. 23, 2018

Known Issues & Progress

The only issue I know of at her arrival is her heartworm condition, and treatment for that is already underway.

July 18: As we were preparing for Moonshine to have her injections, Moonshine gave birth to seven PUPPIES! C.A.R.E. placed Moonie and her pups with a puppy-savvy foster home and we’re planning to have Moonshine back once her pups are weaned – to resume her treatment.

August 17th: Moonshine returns. We need to reset her heartworm treatment schedule and we’re trying to do that locally rather than trucking her to Jefferson County each time she needs to see the vet.

  • Accepted by Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital
    started on Doxycycline (200 mg, 2x daily) Aug 20
  • Appt for 1st treatment Sept 20th
  • Final HW treatments were done Oct. 18th and 19th. She did exceptionally well. She is now on activity restriction for 30 days.
  • She’ll be ready to return to C.A.R.E. on November 19th.

All my dogs have accepted her back and they get along famously. She gets the run of the house except for when I leave.

Nov. 2nd – Where we’re at: Moonie eats her meals in a crate because she will raid the other dog’s dishes (and they’ll let her). She also sleeps in a crate at night because she likes to pace, and having her go tickety-tack,tickety-tack in the hallway is disturbing to all who want to sleep. Put her in her crate and she goes right to sleep and sleeps through the night. In the morning she will nose-whistle at me to let me know she needs to go outside. Once that is done I leave her free to roam the house unless she and another dog (usually Josephine) decide to get rowdy before my wife gets up. I’m generally up a couple of hours before she is, and it’s my job to see that things remain calm and quiet until 5:30 when she gets up.
UPDATE: The last couple of nights she was here we let her sleep on a dog bed in the bedroom (no crate).  She did very well at staying in bed and being good.

Any time I crate her (I use “in your room”) she gets a small treat. She expects that now. She also gets a treat when she comes back in from her first potty run of the morning.
UPDATE: Recently she has started “sassing” me about going into her crate.  She stands by the crate, looks at me defiantly and yaps, “No, I don’t want to go in there!” until I give her “the look”, then she ducks into the crate and gets her treat.  She’s so funny!

She’s been eating 4health Salmon & Potato kibble from Tractor Supply. I give her 1¼ cups of kibble per feeding and feed her twice a day (breakfast and dinner).

Moonshine is gentle on her bedding, so I make sure she has plenty of “cush” to snuggle into. She is generally quiet, not a barker. She tells me when she needs to go out by either scratching on the door or coming and talking to me. She’ll do the same to get back inside.

She is quite affectionate and loves to be loved on. But she’s not pesky about it. I have not been able to break her of “peeking” over the counters when she smells food. She won’t do it if I’m looking, but if I turn my back or leave the room, things tend to go missing. I’ve gotten spoiled, I can leave my dinner on a tray table in the living room, leave the room, and my dogs will not bother it. They’ll stare at it, they may sniff, but not take anything. Moonbug is not that trustworthy!


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


Moonshine is a beautiful, graceful girl.

Lucky (left) takes her new friend on a tour of the yard.

She’s a snuggle bug with plush fur!

It’s HOT! Moonshine comes inside. (vid)

Came home to find PUPPIES! Four so far.

Happy momma of SEVEN babies.

At CARE, awaiting her Puppy Foster

Settled in at puppy foster’s home.

Away on puppy hiatus
for one month


Moonshine RETURNS!

Frantically searching for her babies!

Moonie tunneled out to search my truck for pups

Starting to accept things, enjoys hanging with me.

Meeting Blue Steele (STORY)

Moonie and the peanut butter jar (story)

Playing with Josephine. (Video)

Planning mischief with Josephine.

Moonie is a calm, well-behaved passenger.

Moonbug LIKES Highland!

A beautiful girl sunbathing

Moonie’s toy collection.

She likes an after-dinner chewie
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Moonie’s Toy Migration

We keep a basket of dog toys on the hearth in the living room. All the house dogs are welcome to select from the assortment when they want something to play with. It is not uncommon for a new dog to systematically empty the basket by taking a toy, chewing on it for a while, then going back to select another. Usually they keep the toys in the living room.

Moonshine, however, likes to play with toys in the bedroom. So she will select a toy, sneak to the bedroom with it to play for a few minutes, then go visit the basket again. She leaves all the “used” toys scattered around the bedroom.

The funny part is that we have yet to catch her in the act of transporting the toys from one location to another. She’s a bit high-strung and has a habit of pacing the house, so traversing the hallway over and over is not unusual for her.

Somehow she manages to relocate most of the toys before we discover what she’s up to. And we’ve learned not to walk through the bedroom in the dark. Fortunately she has not done this once we all go to bed at night. That would be awkward. She’s a funny girl, our Moonie is!

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Peanut Butter Moonshine

I spent just under four hours today making just over 1,000 peanut butter dog treats. Ostensibly these are for the Quilts and Canines event on the 15th of the month. In actuality, some will be needed elsewhere before then so I’ll have to make more next week.

The process of making these peanut butter treats left a large peanut butter jar empty. I like to give the empty jars to the outside dogs because they tend to miss out on a lot of treats the house dogs get. But today I decided to give it to Blondie Bear. She’s been feeling down.

There was a time when she and Cochise were the only house dogs. Occasionally a foster dog would earn enough Good Dog points to come in for housebreaking, but the vast majority of the time it was just the four of us and Cochise and Blondie got lots of attention from Marie and me. But then we adopted Josephine. And Buddy. And Callie. And Moonshine is an in-house foster dog. Blondie is pretty laid back and doesn’t get huffy when the others push in front of her to get the People attention. But it hurts her feelings. So I thought it might lift her spirits if I gave HER the peanut butter jar this time.

She was laying on the floor in the kitchen watching me work, everyone else was snoozing in the living room or the den. There should not be a big tussle as the others try to get it away from her.

I set the jar down beside her. She looked at it, looked at me, looked back at the jar. She licked tentatively at the rim and said as she stood up, “Too rich for me. I’m trying to watch my figure.” and walked away.

By now some of the others got wind of the fact that I gave her something that I did not give everyone else and came to investigate. First on the scene was Moonshine. At first she stood off about four feet, her glance darting around the room looking for the others. She glanced at me several times, judging whether that jar was fair game or if I would scold her is she approached. I just watched as I worked.

Josephine was creeping up on the scene from the other side of the table. Moonie decided it was now or never. She stepped up, still casting furtive glances, maybe deciding if this was a trap. It sure smelled GOOD! Josie was stepping closer, so Moonie lowered her head, ever so slowly, still glancing about, and took the rim of the jar gently in her teeth.

She paused, listening, glancing at me, glancing at Josephine, then slowly lifted the jar, turned, and tip-toed out of the room. Once she got into the hallway I heard her claws clickety-clacking rapidly down the tile floor to the bedroom.

I was cutting out treats and loading them on a tray while this was going on. Timing is important in this, especially when I’m doing multiple batches, so I had to keep going until it was time to put that tray in the oven. With that done I took a moment to slip back and make sure Moonshine wasn’t making a mess of the carpet.

She was lounging on a bed, thoroughly enjoying licking every morsel of peanut butter she could reach out of that jar.

As I came to the door she grinned at me, flapped her tail a few times, and stuck her nose back into the jar, tongue snaking out as far as it could to retrieve that peanutty goodness.

That thing kept her happily occupied most of the afternoon! I’m sorry Blondie wasn’t interested, but glad Moonshine enjoyed it. She has started her heartworm treatment and will be getting the injections soon. I’ll have to make sure I empty another peanut butter jar when she comes home from that.

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Moonshine Meets Blue Steele

Moonshine has been wanting to play with Blue. Today I let her try that out.

Blue came out of his kennel and bounced up to Moon Doggie, inviting her to come run with him. She grew wary and said something unfriendly. Little Boy Blue said, “Okay, okay…” and crept off by himself.

Blue found his favorite ropey toy. For a while he ran around flapping and tossing the toy, but it was getting warm out. He settled in to do some quiet gnawing.

He paid no mind to Moonshine at all.

Moonshine, on the other hand, spent this whole time watching Blue play, from a distance, but totally intrigued. I think she regretted rebuffing him earlier. She was finding that he could be a fun playmate after all.

In time, Blue decided to try saying “howdy” again. This time Moonie was cool: they sniffed each other and got acquainted. They didn’t actually play today, but they got along until Blue decided he was ready to go back to his room and get his treat.

Blue behaves much the same way when he’s out with Blondie Bear or Josephine. He wants to play, but won’t press the issue if his invitation is turned down. That is a good boy!

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