Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A year in review: it's a biggie.

It seems like 2008 has flown by, course, they also say that the older you get in years, the faster time goes because it becomes a smaller percentage of your lifetime.

I've decided to post a retrospect.

October of 07 we took Colbert in as our first foster. He also became our first failed foster, or FF as it is known on some forums I am on, in February of 08. I quickly thereafter spent 3 days on the couch with the flu from hell. But Corona was happy that she got unlimited cuddle time.

Around St. Patrick's day, there was a stray kitten who came right on up to me as soon as I called him. I named him Dean Martin, gave him a bath, put up fliers, brushed him out and removed the matts on his head. Poor guy looked like he'd been knocked around a few times. No one in the area claimed him, so I posted his cute little face on Craigslist and someone from Walterboro came and picked him up.

After months of the shelter stalling on getting Kenya's eye surgery done,we offered to foster her in March so that she would have a clean house in which to convalesce. She also snuck up on D and got out of the house. She was eating from a bowl on the back patio each night until D corralled her in the corner of the yard. That was for my birthday in April.

The first of May Donovan and I made like little kids and ran off to the court house to get married. We then took the pups to the dog park and let them run til their tongues hung out.

Also in May, one of Colbert's brothers, Sudan, who had been adopted out, got away from his owner and consequently run over by a car. Makes me want to stress how important having a harness on flight risk dogs is.

In June we returned Kenya to the shelter for her to be adopted out. Colbert went with Donovan to drop her off. Colbert apparently still has memories of being there because he immediately looked for a place to hide and curled into an inconsolable ball.

Also in June/July we had two surprise fosters. One was Bindi, a cattle dog that we held for two weeks through Blue Crush Rescue. Bindi now has a forever home in Illinois, but is having some behavioral issues with resource guarding, they are trying to work it out.

The other was Barnaby, who I had thought was the neighbors dog loose again, but was a stray that no one wanted to claim. Big, gangly, and goofy, we kept him for the weekend and then had to call animal control.

We had a few weeks off until Donovan saw Dixie's story on AuCaDo in August. Heart worm positive and turned into a shelter. We offered to foster her and get her through her medicine. She turned out to be highly submissive to humans, to the point of peeing. A huge cuddle bug, if you needed a bed warmer, Dixie was your gal.

In November I picked up yet another gray cat in the back yard. This one was named Jack and had a number on him and everything. I called the number, because the tag said "please call". Jack's owner told me he was an outside cat and that I could just let him go and it would be fine. I promptly told her that the people that live in this subdivision drive like idiots with no concern for people, never mind a gray cat at night. I also told her that his eye was weeping and his ear cauliflowered. She was not amused. She even called back the next day, after I released him, to see if we kept him because he hadn't come home yet.

Yesterday we returned Dixie to Blue Crush. She has some fear aggression, and didn't want to leave D. She looked back twice possible three times, I am sure she whined for him too. They are getting her a behaviorist to help her through her timidness so that she can find a home too.

An update on Colbert:
When we started fostering him he was 8 months old and 14 lbs. He is now 25 months and 22 lbs. His face is slowly turning white in the most distinguished old dog way, even though he isn't one. He sings and talks to us. He loves fetch with his red kong and still makes forts of pillows and blankets under which to sleep, which you can see above, that is him this afternoon with my lap blanket. He even has special pillows just for him because I am a softie. He has started to lay out in the middle of the living room, where he can see everyone, but still relaxed and hanging out with us. He will occasionally hop up onto the ottoman, where he knows we'd have to move to grab him, but close enough to get a beloved butt scratch. Still no cuddle time. He will get on the opposite couch and smell everything and lay down with a treat. But that is about it. Oh and he lets me play with him and his kong, but we'd have to be laying down or sitting on the floor. But as always, he is my handsome little boy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Failure to launch

So yesterday was Dixie's visit with prospective parents. As you can see from the title, not so much.

She does have an issue with meeting people and wanting to protect who ever is holding the leash. Once she gets over that she is her adorable love bug self. Just needs some training. They weren't too crazy about that idea. However, they would have taken my handsome boy Max in a heart beat I think.

I will be driving her to Newberry, SC to meet up with Martha tomorrow, and give her back to Blue Crush. Hopefully being closer to HQ will find her a home quicker. There apparently are some people interested in her anyhow, plus Martha has another slot lined up for January on the local news which has a certain day that show cases animals in need of a home.


A note on taking in any new dog, adopted or (shudder) purchased, they will always need training to meet your standards. Some people don't mind when their dogs like to talk, others cannot stand knowing when the neighbor walks by to check their mail. TRAINING!!

This is "The Dixie Report" that Donovan typed up:

December 24, 2008

Dixie Report

We took her in because she tested positive for heartworm. We were to be her calm, quiet environment while she went through the heartworm treatment—the goal to minimize her physical activity. This was an uphill battle with Dixie in a perpetually playful mood; instigating bouts with anyone willing. Oh, did I mention she likes to bark…

She’s a very mouthy girl. She vocalizes everything. Sometimes it’s a normal, “Hey, there’s another dog barking.” Other times it’s, “Hey, someone’s walking by the house,” or “Hey, I’m going this way now.” So if you dislike barking, then you are in store for a relationship built on compromise. It’s not constant, it’s chronic.

Sweet, affectionate, playful…she has many good qualities. She can be easily trained—just use food. She is highly motivated by food. If you look at her like a 5 year old child, then she’s easier to endure. Likewise, she can be entertained by almost any manner of play—be creative.

It’s been very amusing to watch her learn how to play fetch and catch. She loves it. She’s also an explorer; she has no recognition of property lines. She’ll dart off the second you turn away to go learn about the neighborhood. She doesn’t understand “Come” yet.

Her background, as much as is known, is that she was left outside on a large lot alone almost continuously. This hands-off approach to dog care being the root cause to her exposure and contraction of heartworm. This also resulted in her being semi-anti-social. As far as we knew for a long time was that she was simply not human-savvy, so we worked on her manners (keeping her distance while we eat, giving everyone their personal space). As she encountered more strangers we observed her behaving confused and insecure, showing itself as sudden barks and a motion of her head as though she’s trying to snap at the person but she’s not serious about it. It’s a convincing show, though. It took her the entire 5 days my parents came to visit us in November until the night before they left for her to warm up to my mother and sit with her on the sofa.

She’s exhibited these outbursts with neighbors and everyone whom she doesn’t know. She’s pretty good with strange dogs, but she’s not wholly stable herself. So if the newly introduced dog isn’t perfect, then expect some tension and negative behavior.

A more serious issue she’s developed over the past two weeks is aggressive confrontation with the other dogs of the pack. It appears to be motivated by possessiveness. She’s been getting too much cuddle time during the day and access to the bed during the night. She starts fights that are only a couple notches down from a genuine intention to injure. As a result we’ve had to keep them separated during the day while we’re away at work.

As corrective actions we’ve aligned all of our actions to convey to her that she’s not the top dog on the list. After I mix the wet food with the dry every night with a spoon or fork, she’s the last to lick the utensil. Her food bowl is the last to be placed on the floor. She’s the last to receive a treat. It’s made a noticeable difference—she’s getting the point.

Dixie has grown quite attached to us. So she will very likely be morose for some time after she leaves our home that’s been hers for about 4 months. She will make an excellent companion for anyone willing put forth a little effort to mold her behavior.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh Crappy Day!

I have good news and I have bad news.

Good News: There is someone so interested in Dixie that they want to meet her Saturday night and possibly pick her up for Christmas!!

Bad news: Kenya has passed on.


Kenya was Colbert's sister, feral, neglected and abused. She was a foster in our house for nearly 4 months as she recovered from cherry eye. She was the first foster that we actually returned.

She got out of her new parent's grasp and was hit by a car recently.

She was such a sweet baby. I knew that eventually she would be the best little dog for someone. She had just gotten so that she would take a treat from my hand if I was laying on the floor. Sometimes if I didn't move around too much, she would lay at the foot of the bed and snooze with Buela after wreaking havoc for a few minutes after Donovan left for work.

She had this crazy purple tongue that she would let hang out while she pranced and pounced in the living room. And an almost cauliflowered ear on her left side. And the most beautiful wheat blonde fur.

It almost makes me wish that we had kept her.

It makes me so mad, and want to stress to all owners that if your animal has a history of skittishness to ALWAYS keep a collar, leash, harness on them so that you CAN retrieve them. But even I know that with such things, immediate capture isn't possible. We didn't take the collar off Colbert until sometime late this summer. But if we didn't have a pack that he belonged to and came back with, he would probably still be wearing one.

We will see you when we see you my darling.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Look I'm cute!

Look I'm really cute!

Even though I take weird pictures when I hear the camera. I'm CUTE!


I would like everyone to cross their available appendages, someone is interested in meeting Dixie for adoption.