Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sad, sad, sad news:-(

For those of you that remember Jester from a few months ago, I just got word from his wonderful "mom" that his heart had some troubles and he's moved on to greener pastures. I can hardly believe this little funny faced guy is gone. His mom felt that she was blessed to have him in her life, even though it was only a very short time. She loved him dearly.

Jester meant a lot to me and was loved by many in the group for his funny antics and his good nature. I feel just like his mom, that I was blessed to have shared time with him. I was lucky enough to have this little comedian with me for around 5 months. I loved every minute of him. I knew that he was a special dog and when Robin and Rita (Robin is mom, Rita is her cute little doggie that she adopted from Senior Dog a while back) came to visit him, it was love. When he went home that day, I didn't even shed a tear, I knew that hers was the perfect home for him.

Hard to believe that this guy could have possibly been given up for being "too old/too lazy". Folks just don't know what a treasure he was. And to be perfectly honest, they didn't deserve him. Some things just happen for a reason. I'm glad Jester was able to spend the better part of his last year with us. Sweet adventures little one. You will most definitely be missed.
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Quick Update

The pup that wandered onto our school grounds has been adopted!  Yay!  A friend of mine was keeping an eye for me and let me know that he was adopted by a man and his son last week.  Best of luck to you little guy!  Be good! 

Shaggy finds a home!

Okay, so I could say that he got his home and leave it at that. This little guy is full of energy and curiousity. One of the few times he sat still was in these pictures and when I would pic him up, hold him on his back like a baby and kiss his head. That being said, I'm so glad that he found his home because I had to ask Ellen to keep him again.

*sigh* Shaggy's a great boy, but I took on another dog too soon. Butler (my rat) had to be moved into another room. As all good hounds do, Shaggy immediately found the cage and I couldn't keep him off of it without moving it. Completely normal for a dog and had Butler had his cagemates I wouldn't have had a problem with it. It's not the first time I've had to move my rats for their safety. Dogs will be dogs. Butler's alone now, so he was considerably unhappy with the situation.

Cody LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to play with Shaggy! They are about the same sized, so about equally matched. They would play nonstop, hard as can be, then all of a sudden, fall asleep next to each other (as you can see here) in seconds! Even when I'd get a bit stressed when tripping over them, I had to laugh. Pure happiness and energy with fur, that was these two. Shaggy was easily adapting into our routine, so he did not do a thing wrong. I however, was just not ready to take on the responsibility.

Fostering is a lot of work, but it's not the care and time that is hard for me. That's second nature and when you already have dogs, after the first bit of adjustment, the dog is just another member of the family. What's hard is the letting go, the knowing that the dog isn't staying with you that makes fostering the hardest. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being able to help and so much I hope that I will be able to foster again. Usually I feel like each dog that comes through and family I work with teaches me something new and increases my own capacity for love. (sounds selfish, doesn't it?) Actually I always feel that way, but lately I feel like the part of me that's leaving with the dog I have loved is leaving a bit of a hole. Can't seem to keep that filled right now. Yeah, yeah, draaaaama:-) That's what my brother would say (in a loving way of course). Just how I feel.

AAAAAnnnyyyyywwwwaayyyy, enough of that! I love fostering and will again, but for now, I'm still taking that break! I have instructed a friend to smack me hard if I call and say I'm taking another dog too soon. I can still help in other ways and will. Hopefully this summer, once school is over, I will have it together enough to start again! I love the little whippersnappers that come through here. In the meantime, I plan to continue to write about my critters and some of the other fosters that are with the group. There are so many that we have had for a looong time and we just can't figure out why because they are great dogs. Well, it's a rainy day and I really need to get my lazy butt up and get something done. After all, I do still have 4 fairly demanding "children". One of them is looking at me right now and a bit annoyed that we haven't played yet. Yup, better get to it.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Meet Shaggy

Okay, so I should have known it wouldn't last. Just can't take seeing so many dogs and so few places to put them so they are out of danger. So I called Ellen and I came home with Shaggy the beagle. He reminds me of the beagle from that movie Cats & Dogs if you've ever seen that. (Very cute by the way.) Shaggy is about a 5 year old male though he sure doesn't act like 5! He has a lot of energy, but he's not destructive. . .so far:-) He loves to play fetch, um, though he hasn't figured out that you are supposed to bring it back if you want to keep playing. He, of course, loves Cody. And he's already received the Lexy seal of approval (tail wag, paw stretch, 2 minute play then she's bored and walks away so he's passed her test). My very snobbish Squirt on the other hand, thinks that he is MUCH too friendly and playful. Hrmph! is what she thinks of an uncoordinated, long eared dog who is not selective at all about who he plays with or more to the point, who he pushes off the couch*wink*

She's tolerating him though and I figure by tomorrow, she'll just start ignoring him as she does most of the dogs that visit here. My favorite part of him so far? Must be the ears! Could be the tail though as it has not stopped wagging since he's been here. The only other beagle type dog I've ever worked with was Jester, and I loved him to pieces! Shaggy is pretty much the polar opposite (lots of energy) but just as lovable. He's plum worn himself out and is sleeping here next to me rolled up in a little ball. I doubt he'll be around too long. This guy would be great with or without kids, is great in the car, could use some leash manners, but isn't so bad since he's pretty small. You can see he's not much bigger than my 16 lb Cody. He's a pretty good listener and LOVES his treats, so I'm guessing he'll be easy to train. I'll keep you posted on that.

In case you are wondering why Cody was standing in the second pic, he thought someone was at the door so decided to get all "commando doggie". He really has no idea of exactly what a little squirt he is!
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Looking for a home

This guy is a dog I had a couple of weeks ago. He's about 8 months old and I found him as a stray on the playground where I teach. He just wandered up while my class was outside. I think he wanted to play kickball. The kids FREAKED! He just came trotting over and wanted to play, but admittedly, to a child who is not familiar with animals (except for the blathering of the classroom teacher:-) it can be pretty intimidating for a dog to just come trotting in. Of course, I grabbed him and another adult took my class in. Seeing how friendly this guy was, I brought him home to see if anyone claimed him. Long story short I got sick, and knowing our group is beyond full, thought it best to get him where he could be exposed to visitors as soon as possible.

This guy is super lovable, knows how to sit, and takes a treat surprisingly gentle for his age. He's still in his chewing stage, er, notice the carpet between his paws. He's crate trained though and seems to be really smart. I took him to the Humane Society on Macklind where of course, they did the standard temperment tests, etc., etc. He is now available to be adopted! His name is listed as CAM. They're saying he's a rottie mix, but I disagree. He is definitely dobie and lab. (have a friend that had a pure dobie and she agrees with me on this!) Not sure if that even matters, but I know some folks can be put off by the rottie thing, though they are a wonderful breed (once again, just need to have owners that respect the breed's nature.)

If you or anyone you know is looking for a great pup, check this guy out at the HS!

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Okay I did get one

I almost forgot about this picture. I was able to snap it one day last month. She must have been really tired that day. I did only get the one though. After that, she kept her eyes on me, lol. This old gal is around 12, and except for the white muzzle and the white hair coming in on her face, you'd never know it. She's still the fastest sprinter I know. She's the great rabbit/squirrel hunter, which thankfully is only in name. Sadly, she's caught a few. I've got extra tags on her collar so that she really jingles and I'm usually pretty noisy about opening the back door.
Lol, I have plastc garden netting over a too large opening in my back gate. My dogs wouldn't go through, but I put it up when I first started fostering. (I know, tacky, but you do what you've gotta do!) There is a perfect little square at the bottom where the critters chewed through so they could make an easy get away. Kind of funny if you look at it. It's only the 4 small squares, just enough room, and they trimmed it away quite neatly, but that's where they go when they have to run. Squirrels just scamper up the trees, like it's no big deal that this speedy carnivore is out to get them.
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Squirt and Cody

I don't know what it is about photographing a sleeping creature that gets me, but it does. Cody is easy. He could sleep through a tornado and only groan at me if I was trying to save him! Squirt on the other hand, is the lightest sleeper I think I've ever known! She was sleeping on the couch above Cody and the camera was right next to me. I reached for it and she looked over! I swear I didn't make a sound. So of course, I'm looking in the air, whistling, hiding the camera behind the computer as I'm waiting for her to go back to sleep. She eyed me with quite the reproach. If she was talking, she'd be giving me the what for. I know those looks by now:-)
So after maybe 10 minutes I decide to try again. Doggone if she didn't hear the stupid camera pop on. Now this is a dog who does NOT seem to hear me calling her when she's in another room, yet she can hear the slightest zooming sound from a camera? Gimme a break! After many unsuccessful attempts, I had to just be happy with the fact that even though she wasn't sleeping, at least she didn't dash off the couch and go into hiding. I think she's realized that the camera won't steal her soul, but she isn't really going to give it the benefit of the doubt either. Notice Cody. Through this whole process, he didn't even open his eyes. Not once. I did get a grumple though. We were disturbing his beauty sleep:-)
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Another snowy day

Luckily there's no school today. District made us take the day unpaid to "save money". I was irritated at first, but now I'm actually glad. It's been raining and now it's snowing. First part of the season it was exciting. Now, it's just messy:-) Course, it might not seem so if it weren't for my wonderful canine companions who love to go in and out all day when they can!
The attached pics are of my girl Lexy. I love to watch her in the snow (okay, it's not really so bad when it snows:-) A friend of mine always referred to her as a Russian princess because the winter has always seemed to be her favorite time of year. Could have something to do with the fur! I always have to take a bunch of pictures to get one or two good ones. I love taking her picture though. I could be biased, but I adore her burgundy brown eyes. She's always had a playful spirit, but when she looks up and that little sparkle in her eyes shows up in the pictures I feel like I've caught a tiny piece of her that will be with me forever.
She's been with me for 10 years now. Hard to believe there was a life before her. I got Lexy as a pup. Sheesh, sometimes I'm amazed that we both made it through that time. What a stinker!!! It's been said that the most intelligent dogs can make the worst pups. Well, that was definitely the case with this one. Destructive, harder than heck to potty train because when she got mad or upset, she would use that to show me. She was also full of so much energy! Luckily we lived across the street from a park at the time and spend a lot of time there. The neighbors all knew her before me since she was the neighborhood hobo dog. We needed each other and both of us were stubborn and hard headed. She has turned out to be an amazing dog with qualities that I think any dog owner could be envious of:-)
Even with all that energy and willfulness, she's always been especially gentle and curious about other living things. When I brought Lexy in I already had pet rats in the house. She instinctively must have thought they were her pups or something because she'd always try to mother them. A habit that not all of the rats I've had over the years have appreciated. One rat in particular, Raphael, was a curly haired, dumbo eared little white rat. As sweet as the day was long with me, always giving kisses. Whew, he hated Lexy with a passion! And it made Lexy so sad it was almost funny! She wanted so badly to be his bud, but I'd have to keep HIM away from her! He'd try to bite her, he'd charge at her, he even bit me once trying to get her, but seemed to realize what he'd done and immediately became submissive. Most of the other guys have enjoyed Lexy, mostly because of her thick fur:-) They'd love to curl up between her front paws under the huge tufts of hair on her chest.
Now that Lexy is older, she has of course mellowed out. She's been the best dog and friend that I've ever known. She's always there no matter what. I love all my critters, but Lexy will always be my baby. I used to worry about how long she'd be around, but one of the great things about working with senior dogs is that you learn to stop worrying about things like that and start truly enjoying the gifts that our bubs bring us today. After all, that's really all that matters, noticing the gifts right in front of us instead of worrying about what may or may not be.
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