Monday, February 28, 2011


Rita was spayed today, and they also removed one very long, dangly dew claw, and repaired a hernia.  So she had a lot of surgery and is enjoying her drug-induced haze upstairs here in my office.

As if that wasn't enough, it seems that she was in heat, which means she has a bigger incision and probably lost more blood than she would have, but at least it is done.

I'm guessing that the fact that she was in heat may have contributed to her rather hysterical manic behavior too, although that was getting better after the first couple of days. 

In any event, she's spayed and back home, and I'll keep her indoors for a few days so she can heal and learn about being an indoor dog.  Her eye still needs some attention too--ointment a couple times a day, which will be easier with her indoors and calm. 

She's in a crate next to Shadow, who is more than happy to spend the day outdoors with Sunny and Buddy over in the big kennel, but about 7:00 p.m. he calls it a day and insists (loudly) upon coming indoors.  Then he just zonks out in his crate after a hard day of play and makes only snoring noises until morning. 

With any luck this will be Shadow's last night here in my office.  Tomorrow evening about 7:30 I'm meeting his prospective new home up in Culpeper at my usual halfway-to-northern-Virginia meeting spot.

This would be great placement for Shadow, so wish him luck.  He deserves a great home, as they all do. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adoption event, 2-20-2011

I took Flirt, Jeremy, Rita, and Shadow to VGSR's adoption event in Gainesville today.  Flirt loves people, gets a lot of attention and enjoys it.  No adopter, but someone bought her another bag of food.

Everyone thought she looked better, but the scale didn't show that she had gained any weight.  I wish I could give her 20 or more pounds that I don't need, and another 20 to another underweight dog. 

The people I thought were interested in her apparently are not, so I need to get her posted on the web.  She's an easy foster but she needs and deserves a permanent home of her own. 

I held Jeremy most of the time.  He's a little shy and scared at these events so he sticks as close to me as possible.  He will pay attention to anyone with food however.  He has really grown in a pretty nice coat now and I'm not seeing any scratching or digging.  He's eating Royal Canin's sensitive skin formula and he's also still getting a twice daily antihistamine.  He may have just had a bad flea allergy in the beginning that got into a secondary skin infection and has taken a long time to heal and recover.  I'm going to keep him on this or a similar food but may phase out the antihistamine and see if it makes any difference. 

He's cute and he's sweet, but he's an older dog so it will take a special person to adopt this dog. 

Shadow was good with people, was good with children, and hustled food from anyone and everyone.  He was generally good with other dogs but he has little tolerance for dogs who are overly excited and in his face.  That's his problem with puppies. 

This was Rita's first outing, which always makes me a little nervous, but she was very good.  After a couple hours she got stressed out and needed to come back to me.  She then tried hiding behind my legs and make it clear that she was through and wanted it to all go away, so we did. 

But, we got these beautiful pics of her first.  The camera just loves her and she seems to love it back. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lucky in love

Lucky has his own theme song, and as of this afternoon, he has a new home. 

I don't have much to say about it.  He's a great dog, a LOT of people wanted him.  It was a tough choice.  I wish they all had so many good options.

He's a high flying dog although he never even tried to jump the fence.  He loves to play ball.

He will have a great home and he will be a great dog. 

Rita will miss him, but he will be fine as an only dog and will love all the attention and activity he will have with two young, active owners. 

He helped her settle down a bit, and now he's vacated a crate indoors that will be hers after her spay surgery on Monday. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

High anxiety

I took the new shepherd girl, Rita, to the vet today.  To say that she is merely "vocal" would be a gross understatement.  I could not be accused of hyperbole if I said that she screams hysterically.  Don't let these pictures fool you.  Yes, she can and will sit, look at the camera, and give good face.  When she's not doing that, however, she is whining, screaming, jumping, and generally acting like a bundle of highly stressed nerves.  I actually got some anxiety medication for her, but I'm not sure whether to give to her or take it myself.  I'm hoping that after a couple more days, more exercise, and a regular routine, she will settle down and relax a bit.  Ok, I hope she will relax a lot. 

The good news is that she's really a sweet girl, friendly to all, good with the other dogs, and she settled down and was quiet in the shed last night with Jeremy and Flirt.  Her compatibility with the other dogs, and the fact that she hasn't jumped the dog yard fence, means she can stay there and go into that shed at night.  She pooped in there last night, but I hope that was due to the stress and the Panacure and that she will realize that no one else relieves themselves in there.  Her hysterics are not constant either, just when she sees me.  She really wants and needs human contact.  That makes me think that she will be a really great dog.

She got vaccinated today, checked for parasites and heartworms (both negative), and had a general exam.  One ear has a yeast infection, as I suspected.  One eye is cloudy and the vet said that it had "ulcers" on it.  Not sure what that is due to, but we got some antibiotic ointment to help them heal up.  She does seem to see out of that eye without problem, however.  There was no obvious spay scar but it also does not appear that she has had puppies.  We have a spay appointment for next Monday.  I hope to get Lucky adopted out this weekend.  There are many people interested in him, which makes my decision difficult, but I think I know where I'd like him to go.  When he's out, Rita will come indoors and occupy his crate in the office, which she will have to do on Monday after her spay anyway. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Name that shepherd

I picked up this girl from a woman over in Goochland county this morning.  She had found the dog running along an interstate in West Virginia some time ago.  She picked up the dog, along with another she was running with so they wouldn't be hit on the road.  She brought them home and posted the dogs on Craigslist from the area where they were found but had no response.  Her son has asthma and couldn't tolerate the dogs in the house, and she couldn't stand the idea of them living outdoors, so the shepherd is with me for now until I can find her an inside home. She seems like a young adult, friendly, good looking girl.  I brought her home, gave her a collar and tags, wormed her, treated a probable ear infection, and gave her a cozy kennel to herself for now.  I think she will be fine with the other fosters, but I'd like to give the wormer time to work before putting them all together.  In addition to the ear problem, one of her eyes looks like it has the beginning stages of pannus.  We'll check that out when she is vaccinated and spayed.  I'll be holding my breath on the heartworm test on this one as I'm sure she's never been on preventative. 

Oh, she has no name.  Suggestions are welcome. 

Cleaning the panacure off her nose after eating

Meeting the neighboring labs through the fence

Cleaning up a bowl of canned food and panacure

Checking out the entrance to her new den

Monday, February 21, 2011

A day off

The weekend was busy but uneventful in terms of adoptions.  Saturday I went with Animal Connections out to Cooper Vineyards, which was having a Mardi Gras event. I did meet some folks who may be interested in Flirt, but I thought at that point that I already had a fairly firm and likely placement for Flirt.

Saturday evening I got a call and learned that the folks who I hoped would take Flirt couldn't do so after all.  However, they knew of someone else who was interested in meeting her. 
Sunday I loaded up Flirt, Shadow, and Jeremy and we went to a VGSR adoption event in Front Royal.  Shortly after we arrived Flirt left on a home visit with her new prospect.  They had a cat, but Flirt walked in, looked at the cat, and went out about her business.  I brought Flirt back home, but they are interested in adopting her, so I need to call them back and figure out how we can make that happen. 

Lucky got neutered on Saturday and stayed home on Sunday, although someone did come to the house to meet him.  I don't think he was feeling too good yet and the two dogs didn't really hit it off, so I think I now need to look at and consider the dozen or so other people who are interested in him.  He's staying indoors now mostly because he needs to get over his fear of us and he seems much better about that when he's inside. 

I had two good emails today, letting me know that Bubba and Tessa (the second Tessa), are both doing well in their new homes. 

As the title of this post indicates, I didn't work today so I got busy on a couple of kennel improvement projects around here, rebuilding two a-frames with new siding and generally reinforcing them, and building a new one from scratch.

The a-frames are great in conjunction with igloo doghouses.  With a solid back, they are great with an igloo facing into it.  The a-frame acts as a baffle, keeping cold wind out of the entrance of the igloo.  I fill it with straw as well, so the dog can burrow into the straw to make a bed or retreat into the igloo if it's really cold.  One a-frame is open on both ends so I just point two igloos into it, making a nice cozy place for two dogs who can still be near each other. 

The two labs, Shadow and Sunny, share this kennel complex with Buddy during the day.  Shadow insists upon coming indoors at night.  Shadow will need to be an only dog or have a female canine companion.  He's not good with male dogs generally and surprisingly, he seems to hate puppies. He and Sunny are a well matched pair though.  They play rough, but she's tough enough to play with him hard.  He plays fine with Trooper, too, but I noticed today that Buddy had a wound on  his leg that I'm sure he got from a fight with Shadow. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feeding time

These are some pics of our personal dogs, taken over the last couple of days at morning feeding time.

This is Cabell's outdoor eating spot (left).  Everyone has a designated eating spot both indoors and outdoors and they all scurry to their respective places when they see me coming with full food dishes. 

Bremo (right) also eats from an elevated bowl both indoors and outdoors.  When he's finished, he picks up the other dogs' food bowls and takes them to his bed.  He then gives them a very thorough cleansing and then keeps them nearby.  It's not unusual to see him with two or three food dishes on his bed or on the floor in front of him, waiting and hoping for them to be filled up again.

Bremo is getting thyroid medication with his food twice a day, plus 3 fish oil capsules, a vitamin E, glucosamine/chondroitin, and a gradular skin and coat supplement called Theracoat.  Cabell just gets the fish oil and glucosamine/chondroitin.  Gypsy gets those plus previcox and tramadol for arthritis pain.

Zachary (left) is our digestively disabled dog.  He can't handle any grain based food.  He eats Taste of the Wild, a scoop of Bravo's chicken raw food, and a raw chicken back.  He won't eat if anyone is watching him, which is fine, because it's disgusting to watch. 

Molly and Trooper (right) are not picky about what or where they eat.  They are the only two of ours not currently on any kind of supplements.  Trooper, however, is a poop eater, so he finds his own dietary supplements.

And here's our whole crew, except for Gypsy, waiting for breakfast. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lucky day

 Lucky arrived yesterday.  He's even prettier than his pictures.  In addition to the classic shepherd look, he got a bit of red in his coat that didn't come through in the initial pictures.  He is stunning.  He's not a particularly big boy, but he's well proportioned and most importantly, he's friendly, well-socialized, and doesn't immediately appear to suffer from any apparent shepherd neuroses.  He was a little dazed and confused at first, of course.  He arrived in the morning and spent the first day by himself, because I always feel that gives them the chance to scope out the surroundings and figure out who is who from a secure position.  He spent the night with Flirt and Jeremy and got along fine.  This morning he met Trooper, Zachary, and Molly, all without problems. 

He's got a great look and moves well, awesome dog

Trooper (left) and Lucky (right)

Lucky and Trooper, saying hello

Lucky and Trooper doing the boy dog handshake

Molly, giving him the "you can sniff, but you better not touch" look

Flirt was ok with him too.

It's time to rack up some gay points, and aside from outing a right wing Republican that you met at gay bar when CPAC was in town, nothing accrues gay points (redeemable for small kitchen appliances or other fabulous prizes) faster than re-writing lyrics to an iconic Broadway tune.  So here's my song for Lucky, sung to the tune of "I feel pretty".

I feel lucky,
Oh, so lucky,
I'm so lucky and ducky and gay!
And I pity,
any dog who isn't me today.

I'll have that new toaster in no time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

This is the Valentine's Day card I received today:

It arrived anonymously, so I don't know who to thank, but thank you.  I have several people to thank from last weekend too. 

1.  All the people who handled my fosters at the adoption event and were nicer to potential adopters than I would or could have been.

2.  All the people who brought me canned food.  I'm trying to fatten up a Great Dane, Flirt, and the canned food will help a lot, mixing it in with the dry.  I've been feeding her Zachary's raw food mixture, but that is getting expensive. 

3.  Thanks to the volunteers who bought Flirt a big bag of puppy food.  She seems to like it, and it's got more calories than what she's been eating. 

4.  Thanks to the shopper who bought a tire tug toy and donated it to us on Sunday.  I saw Shadow the lab trotting around with it today, so I know it was a hit. 

5.  Thanks to the people who post the dogs on the web, who help transport them to me and other foster  homes, who help raise funds for medical expenses, and who handle all the paperword and administrative stuff that goes along with rescue.  All these things and many others are vital parts of the operation that I can't do myself. 

6.  Thanks to my partner, Clay, who puts up with all of this.