Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back in action

My mother went back home on Tuesday and I'm glad she got out before all the storms that we had yesterday and today.  Things are getting back to next to normal around here. 
Koa and Ranger got neutered yesterday at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.  They also had rabies vaccines done there, but I neglected to have the heartworm test done.  They just test for HW there anyway, so I need to haul them to Old Dominion for the 3-way heartworm, lyme, erlichia test.  I submitted a write up for Ranger for the website last night and I wouldn't be surprised to start getting some inquiries about him soon.

The Great Baron
 In the category of "excellent news", the folks who adopted Big Boy, now called Baron, posted a comment on the blog below.  He and their other dog, Metro, have begun to play together and I always take that as the best sign that a new dog is settling in.  Their other dog, Metro, has an interesting story.  She was found on the streets of Moscow as a stray, in or near that city's subway system.  The fact that they adopted a Russian stray, and moved with her, and still have her, was what convinced me that those folks had the necessary committment.

I'm driving over to Midlothian later this afternoon to meet a prospective adopter who is interested in Dugan.  He has put on some weight now and really looks good.  I need to get some new pictures of him, this is an old one.  Dugan has really fallen into the household routine in terms of coming in, going upstairs, going into his crate, and coming down to go outside in the morning.  He has slipped away from me a couple times going in and out of the kennel because I wasn't careful with the gate.  He likes to run and his is lightning fast.  He was out of sight before I could even go looking for him, but he came back on his own in just a few minutes; he just wanted to explore a bit.  He continues my positive impression of boxers.

Bear and Ana
Remember Bear?  (formerly Romeo).    He was the youngest and probably the least psychologically scarred of the Fluvanna shepherds that I took in.  He has settled in to a great life in the country with Ana.  They are "helping" put in grapevines for the vineyard they will be in charge of patrolling and protecting one day. 


Biscuit and his family are moving from Charlottesville, but I have no doubt that he will always have a good home with them.  In fact, they chose their new home with him in mind, because it has a large fenced backyard.  They continue to be amazed at how gentle he is with their kids. 


One day last week Ryland got into a bag of dog food that I had set into the shed to be out of the rain.  He gorged himself, of course, and if he wasn't more hound than anything else I would have been more worried about bloat.  His belly was packed full.  There were two other dogs in the shed at the time, but I think Ry kept them away from the food and had it all himself.  I didn't feed him for the next day or two and he was fine, fat and happy while it lasted anyway.  I've been bringing him indoors at night now too, and discovered that he's still intact.  Schatzi is still favoring one front leg too, and needs to be spayed as well.  So I need a few more vet appointments. 

And then there is this one, a 2.5 year old female Dane named Luca.  Her family moved someplace that she wasn't welcome, I guess, so she is looking for a new home.  Gorgeous dog, let me know if you know anyone who might be interested.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The power of touch

Big Boy went home today.  He got a new name as well as a new home.  They were about settled on "Baron", I think, which I loved because of my former foster Baron.  Whatever they call him doesn't really matter; anything will be an improvement over "Big Boy."  A new name might help him leave the past behind and develop a new identity, perhaps to be the happy, confident, and secure dog he should be.  These folks know that they have a project on their hands and I admire them for taking it on. 

What I've noticed about Big Boy is the importance of touch.  Rotties are very tactile dogs; they seek out contact and love to press the flesh.  Shepherds aren't always that way, but most will at least "check in" periodically, coming up to touch their nose to a hand, crotch, or face, both to check on their person and to make their presence known. 

The new big sister, Metro.
She's the one who will bring him around.

One of the first things we noticed first about Big Boy was that when he was nervous he would turn his head around and touch his own penis.  I've come to think that that's just a guy thing, the canine equivalent of checking the package, sort of a nervous response. 

Big Boy showed us that he is curious and he wants to make contact, but he's the king of the surreptitious touch, shown here approaching his new mom and dad, but from behind, on his own terms, wanting to check on them but not yet ready to be touched in return. 

I recommended a lot of leash walking as a great way to earn the dog's trust, but also to give him his space until he's ready to make contact and allow them to reciprocate. 

I've written about some human/canine bonds that seem perfectly balanced, mutually beneficial.  At this point, I think this relationship is a bit lopsided.  He needs them more than they need him.  However, I think and hope that, in time, he will return the love and care he receives many times over.  Things will balance out in the long run. 

He's a great looking dog.  I look forward to seeing a smile on his face.

My kind of dog

We stopped by the Fluvanna SPCA yesterday afternoon.  They were having a send off event for the shepherds, now released from custody and all freshly speutered.  I couldn't work at a shelter because I don't think I could part with that many dogs at once, and worry about where they are going, how they will do, and whether any of them will come back.  The Fluvanna SPCA did a great job with all those dogs and all of their problems, not to mention dealing with all their others when they had an influx of 22 new dogs.  I pulled a total of 10 dogs from there, the 6 surrendered shepherds and 4 non-shepherds, and a lot of other people took in others from there as well to help with the crowding. 

There is one shepherd who didn't have a firm adopter the last I heard, so she may still end up here, but this week's three new shepherds are enough for now.  The boys were quiet last night but the new bitch, Schatzi, still managed to wake me from a deep sleep at 2:00 a.m., requiring me to go to visit her with my bottle of pharmaceutical magic.  I think she was just barking at the boys, who were playing in the middle of the night.  Today I will introduce them so she can join in the play without waking me.

Anyway, our visit to the shelter was mostly about meeting this guy, Derf.  He is my kind of dog.  He's a rottie mix, but it would be tough to say what else is in the mix.  Definitely part rottie, he is big and powerful.  Probably part hound from the look of the tail, but who knows.  He is red and black, really beautiful, with a big square head.  He's been at the shelter for a while and will probably be my next foster, but I would like to get someone moved out of here before taking in another. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ebb and flow

Koa and Ranger arrived on Wednesday.  They are doing fine.  The two of them plus Buddy make a very playful trio in the large kennel.  They are still more vocal at night than I would like, but it's better and should continue to improve.  I haven't introduced them to anyone except Buddy so far, but I think I can. 

Ry got into a bag of dog food last night and made a pig of himself.  His belly is bloated but he seems to be ok.  I put him in the kennel next to the three amigos and he may join them tomorrow just for the exercise if nothing else. 

My mother and I drove up to Gainesville this morning to meet someone who is going to foster Aragon, the black shepherd shown here.  He had a double FHO surgery over in Waynesboro last fall.   He was with a foster over there but she dumped him at a vet's office two or three weeks ago.  I picked him up to save the rescue the boarding fees but he needs attention and therapy for his legs that I can't provide.  The surgery wasn't particularly successful and I really don't know if he will ever be adoptable except as a special needs dog.  He's friendly and happy, however, good with other dogs, and he doesn't give any obvious indication that he's in pain.  He's playful and really rather active although he doesn't move normally and probably never will. 

We stopped at a couple of garden centers on the way home from Gainesville and added to the plants we bought yesterday.  Today wasn't a great day for outdoor work anyway, but my container garden is ready to get started if the sun comes out tomorrow.  We got back home and then headed over to Richmond to pick up Schatzi.  She is a female shepherd that came into the rescue but probably shouldn't have, because she's not good with other dogs.  The person who took her in wouldn't keep her and she also ended up in a boarding kennel at the rescue's expense.  (This is a very sore point with me in case you can't tell.) 

I brought her home to get her out of the kennel and to evaluate her adoption potential.  Unfortunately, if she can't be fostered with other dogs, her adoption prospects are very slim.  Even people who only want one dog don't want one who is aggressive towards other dogs.  It means they can't walk in a neighborhood, they can't go to a dog park, their friends' and relatives' dogs can't visit and they can't visit other people who have dogs.  It is not simply a matter of finding someone who doesn't have another dog.  It's a matter of finding someone who never sees or encounters another dog.  Now, I don't yet know what she's like or how bad her behavior is.  It may be typical female German Shepherd Dog bitchiness.  But if the dog is unadoptable, this story will not have a happy ending. 

I'll wait a couple days and then try introducing her to another dog.  She is in a kennel next to Sparky, and he may be the one we try to get her to meet.  If she starts trouble with him, he will finish it.  They may just hit it off, in which case Sparky will have a girlfriend.  We also made a stop at Strange's nursery for more plants.  I hope we see some sunshine tomorrow.  Big Boy is scheduled to go to his new home on Sunday, which will make the rhythm of the week as 2 in, 1 out, 1 in, 1 out.  Not too bad, all things considered. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New arrivals, Koa and Ranger

My mother arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and later that day I had an email from a shelter about Koa and Ranger, two male shepherds, owner-surrendered, brothers, two years old in June.  They were said to be nice dogs and indeed they are. 

I didn't have any particular plans for things to do with my mother, so we decided to revisit Montpelier, up in Orange County on Wednesday, which just happened to be the shelter where the dogs were located. 

The two dogs are young, very energetic, and probably haven't had an outlet for their energy.  They are both good looking, large males, and I'm sure they will get a lot of interest from potential adopters. 

I need to get them neutered and learn what they are like, but right now I need to get them to shut up.  Koa (top), is quite talkative, while his brother, Ranger (bottom), has trouble getting a word in.  They are quite bonded to each other it appears.

I'm going to introduce them to Buddy this evening, but I think I'll pull Ryland out to another kennel or leave him separated from the new guys for at least another day. 

Koa is blowing his coat and needs a good brushing.  He reminds me of Biscuit, same color and markings.  Ranger is a real looker.  Both are pretty big boys, probably 85 pounds, which is big for a non-fat shepherd. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The cleanliness equation

It's simple math really:  Two guys + 8 dogs = a dirty house.  Only 6 of the dogs are ours, but 2 fosters (Dugan the boxer and Jeremy the mutt) also come in at night.  The weather has been nice so more of them are spending more time outdoors during the day, but that just means they are out there collecting dirt during the day that they deposit indoors at night.   My mother arrives Tuesday afternoon so I feel the need to make a little more effort than normal, but the truth is that there's a lot of things around here that haven't been cleaned since she was last here.  And there's a year's accumulation of stuff, general clutter, much of it rather dusty. 

Perhaps we need more visitors.  What we really need is to get a cleaning service again, once a month anyway to keep us from slipping into male-patterned squalor. 

When I do a home visit, I'd rather see a dirty house than a clean one.  If the house looks pristine, I'm concerned that an incoming dog will be seen as a dirty and germ factory to be relegated certain rooms, certain places, or certain times indoors with the family.  I also worry about what will happen when the dog takes a dump on the oriental rug or barfs up the remains of a dead bird that they ate out in the yard. 

I took a dog to a guy's house one time that was devoid of furniture except for his lounge chair and the dogs' sofa.  The floors were bare and a shop vac was sitting around for use when absolutely necessary.  I could go on, but suffice it to say that it wasn't going to appear in Betters Homes & Gardens.  But it was a dog-friendly house.  The dogs had room to tear around and weren't going to get returned if they had an accident indoors, shed too much, or tracked in mud. 

My mother is not a neat-freak by any means and she certainly doesn't expect our house to be as clean as hers.  But I do need to straighten up the guest/storage room and try to remove some of the bigger, more animated, dust bunnies. I also need to have a talk with Trooper.  Gypsy learned to accept my mother's visits and Trooper will need to as well. 

We always have a good time when we get together.  They say that cleanliness is next to godliness, but here's hoping that scotch and hospitality triumph over all.

Update:  Irene is holding her own.  Still very shy, but the adopter knows it's going to take a while for her to come around.  I have to believe that the walks, the other dog, and the attention and care she will be getting will eventually put her at ease.  Big Boy seems to have a new home in the works, perhaps next weekend, with the folks who came to meet him last Friday.  It seems that they want to be part of his recovery and I think he will flourish in their care.  He's been pooping good, but we are doing another round of wormer this week just to make sure. I also need to make sure he can do stairs.  The pics here are the latest and greatest taken of him. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

For Tasha and Mary

One by One, they pass by my cage,
They say, "Too worn, too broken, too old of age.
Way past his time, he can't run and play."
Then they shake their heads and go on their way.

A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.

Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.

When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw through the grey, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.

You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.

I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.

I may be with you for a week, or for years
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.

And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Leslie Whalen

Sorry to post a tearjerker on an already dreary day, but I ran across this poem online the other day and wanted to post it to say thank you to Mary for taking in Tasha and giving her a loving home to the end.  Tasha had been well cared for but then dumped by her owner when he moved to California.  She had cancer and didn't last too long, but she had a real home and real love up to the end.  Taking in a senior, especially with a known medical problem, is setting yourself up for heartbreak, but there is something incredibly rewarding about it as well. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hummer in the house

I never get my hummingbird feeders out soon enough.  I think they are supposed to go out about mid-March to catch the eye of the early scouts.  Mine don't. 

I bought two new ones this year, however, and some food, and I've been thinking about it but hadn't done it yet. 

This afternoon, while sitting at my desk working at the computer, I heard a loud buzzing.  I looked up at the ceiling and was surprised to see a frustrated and unhappy hummingbird trying to get out. 

I suspect he came in through a gap around the window unit air conditioner in here, but I knew he wouldn't make his way back out that way.  I propped the window as far open as it could go, but the bird was fixated on the ceiling so I didn't think he'd get out still. 

I needed a net, but didn't have one.  I finally took a mesh wastebasket and easily trapped the small bird in that against the ceiling.  A piece of cardboard slid over the top (sometimes it's handy to have a lot of crap laying around), and I walked him to the open window.  I managed to get a picture before tilting the basket so he flew out.

Then I went right downstairs and filled 4 hummingbird feeders and hung them off the front porch. I need to get my ass in gear for spring.

p.s., No news yet on Irene.  Some nice folks came today and met Big Boy.  They are thinking it over.  He showed that he wanted to be friends, but wasn't quite confident enough to do so on his own.   He will be a bit of a project, but well worth it, I think, in the end.  We will see.  Rainy, nasty weekend ahead, not expecting anything to happen, but I do hope to move Aragon to a new foster tomorrow.  I guess I haven't mentioned him yet.  More on him later.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monsters among us

Vick the prick

Jennifer Brooks, Bitch

These two have more in common than one might think at first glance.  Both are dog abusers.  Both beat the system to get off with virtually no punishment.  Both left their victims for others to feed, care for, rehabilitate, and re-home.  Both have yet to utter a single word of apology to their victims. Both are hideous monsters.  Both can make the world better only by leaving it. 

Michael Vick is a well known scumbag.  The whorder Jennifer Brooks is virtually unknown except to the local dog loving community.  She was in court again on Tuesday for her first appearance on the 88 criminal charges against her.  Today was the appeal of the prior decision not to return her dogs to her.  Apparently a deal was struck.  She is getting the three oldest dogs returned to her.  Those dogs were probably unadoptable so it may be the best thing for them.  Part of the deal, however, is that the animal control officers can come to inspect the dogs' living conditions at any time, without a warrant.  If the dogs are not being well cared for, they will be taken and she will land in jail. 

I have to feel bad for the three dogs that the bitch is getting back, but I'm realistic enough to know that those dogs didn't have a lot of good options.  One is 15.5 years old, and the other two are rather aggressive towards strangers. 

Part of the deal also requires her to undergo psychiatric evaluation and counseling.  She's a sick bitch, but she doesn't want help so that isn't likely to help her.  The good thing is that she will be watched, and the others dogs won't be going back to her.  There was a restitution order too, but I doubt that she will ever pay a dime of it.  If she ever wants to get another dog, she will have to petition the court.  It's not a perfect outcome, but few things in life are.

Sometimes a great notion (Goodnight Irene)

Irene has been adopted again, hopefully for good this time.  Her new adopter is a retired man who has time to spend with her to gain her trust, who walks his dogs twice daily (a great way to build a bond), who has a fenced yard, and who knows that he will need to put out some effort. 

Irene is a dog who needs to trust someone.  She won't come to me at home, but when we are out in public she sticks to me like glue.  I think she will soon learn to trust and love him, if for no other reason, because he's the only game in town.  He also has a youngish Pyr mix that reminded me a lot of Buck.

It will be good for Irene to have a one-on-one relationship with a decent human being, and to have a canine friend to help her adjust.  Big Boy has been pretty much glued to her, so this will be good for him as well.  He will need to learn to stand on his own four feet, or at least glom onto another dog.  Actually, someone may be coming to meet Big Boy tomorrow, so keep your paws crossed for that. 

I found so many versions of "Goodnight Irene" on youtube that I did a little searching and learned that it a folksong of unknown origin, but Leadbelly had made a very early recording of the song.  According to Wikipedia: 
The lyrics tell of the singer's troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. Several verses make explicit reference to suicidal fantasies, most famously in the line "sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown," which was the inspiration for the 1964 Ken Kesey novel "Sometimes a Great Notion."

I've never read the book or seen the movie, but I've always thought that "Sometimes a Great Notion" was a great title, and it has always reminded me of these lyrics from Springsteen's "Badlands": 

For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside,
that it aint' no sin to be glad you're alive...

which is sort of the antithesis of the suicidal thought expressed in Irene

Yes, I am sober, it's the middle for day for christ's sake, this is just how my mind rambles.  But in any event, Goodnight Irene is a sad and beautiful song.  I finally lit on the version done by Johnny Cash to link up to here, because it is probably the way I first heard it, on an old LP, probably at my grandparents' house. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fathers and sons

Riker, 6 years ago

Much has been written and said about the relationship between fathers and sons.  There's not really anything I can contribute to that, but an email and photos I received yesterday from the adopter of Zachary's father got me thinking about it.

Zachary, 6 years ago

My father died young, when I was in law school, before I was fully "out" so I never had the chance to develop the same type of adult relationship that I did with my mother.  He died before Clay came along, of course, so they never got to meet.  Clay's father died before I came along as well, so I never met him although I've since heard and learned a lot about him.  I regret the missed opportunities, but it's hard to speculate about what the nature of the relationship would be if we were all here, alive and well today.  Our mothers have met and get along well and I have no reason to believe that our fathers would have any problem with our choice of partners. 

Mostly I wonder about the nature and quality of relationship that we both would have with our own fathers if they were alive today.  Father/son relationships are often uneasy, at best. The gay/straight thing may complicate that even more, but it's not really the cause of the difficulty.  One of the great things about a same sex relationship, I think, is that we are not trying to communicate with the opposite sex.  I'm not sure that's particularly helpful in the context of the father/son relationship, however. There is something seemingly inherent in the relationship that prevents the two from becoming easy confidants. My father was not pushy or overbearing in any way.  But even without any sort of overt paternal expectation, I think that sons are inclined to feel the burden of an expectation, perhaps self-made and projected onto their father, that they will not be able to meet.  That may be a socially useful human emotion, driving some to succeed at levels greater than necessary for mere survival.

Riker, now

I have no answer, and like I said, not really anything to contribute, but seeing Riker's pictures reminded me of Zachary's relationship with his father, which I always thought was remarkable. 

We got Riker, Zachary (then called Dante), and a female GSD named Strika, from a shelter over in the valley.  Husband and wife split up and husband was left with the dogs, which he barely fed.  They were all emaciated and had been surrendered to animal control to avoid neglect charges. 

Zachary, a couple years ago

The female put on weight when she started getting food on a regular basis and was fine.  She was adopted out locally to a really great home.  It soon became apparent that Riker and Zachary had a digestive problem that prevented them from deriving any value from the food they ate.  We eventually got that sorted out with a grain-free kibble and raw food.  Riker is now 11 years old, looks great, and is going strong.  Zachary grew into a magnificent dog that any canine father would be proud to call his son. 

What I remember about these two from the time that we had them both together is how close they were.  When they ran together, they ran as one--Zachary about half a step behind so he could follow Riker's movements, but not even a half step away from his side.  It was remarkable to watch and I've never seen the likes of it, except watching a foal move about with a mare, glued to her side and following her every movement so close that it appears to be a well-choregraphed ballet.

The final picture, below, is another really spectacular human/canine photo showing the closeness, the bond, and the shared happiness between the two.

Riker and his adopter

Monday, April 11, 2011

Former fosters adopted

I didn't have much luck placing any of my current crop of fosters this weekend, but two that I had passed off to other foster homes got adopted.

Ladybug (on the left in the picture) came from Tennessee just over a week ago.  She went to another foster home last weekend, and to her new adoptive home on Friday, after a rainy meet and greet with the adopter's other dog.  The woman was very excited to have Ladybug and for good reason--she is a great dog. 

The post-adoption news so far is good. The two dogs are having a great time together.
Harley (left) went home with a new foster also about a week ago, maybe two.  She toyed with the idea of adopting Harley herself but ultimately decided to let her go.  They met a potential adopter on Saturday but it wasn't a great match with the other dog in the home.  She then sort of happened into what seemed like the perfect adopter, someone else down here in the Charlottesville area.  Apparently she was somewhat uncomfortable with letting the dog go, even though it was a great home.  As luck would have it, the would-be adopter had second thoughts about adding another dog to their household, and that cemented the foster's decision to adopt Harley herself after all. 

It sounds like a bit of a roller coaster weekend, but only for the human.  At the end of the weekend the dog stayed where she was with only an imperceptible change in status from "foster" to "resident." It's a temporary loss of a foster home, but once things are settled she will be fostering again, as long as Harley approves. 

The third and final pic is one I stole from the FB page of Harley's foster and now adopter.  The dog in the picture isn't Harley, but this may just be the best human/canine photo I've ever seen. 

The hug, the kiss, and the look of pure joy tells me that Harley will have a great home and great life with this young woman.  She is a very lucky dog.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Emily adopted Rikku from me about four years ago.

 Rikku was crazy--wild, unfocused, just plain nuts.  What Emily saw in her I never did understand, but I knew the dog would have a good home.  I was happy to see her go, too, because she was a pain in the butt foster who screamed hysterically and I'm not good with that sort of thing. 

That is one lucky dog.  Most adopters would have returned Rikku in a matter of hours or days, but Emily did not and I never thought she would. 

Proving that with time, all things are possible, this picture was taken this weekend after Rikku passed the Canine Good Citizen test.  It sounds like Emily has more planned for her as well, including therapy dog certification. 

I have no doubt that they can accomplish that as well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teddy et al.

Old pic of Teddy (front) and Cooper at my place

Teddy and Cooper's adopter called today.  Everything is fine, she just needed my email address and wanted to let me know that things were going well.  Cooper completed beginning and advanced obedience classes and is now on his 4th agility class.  Teddy stays at home, but has some accomplishments to be proud of as well.  Mostly he has a home, which was a major accomplishment for a dog that was and is so painfully shy with people.  But he has adapted to the household routine, including going in and out with the other dogs.  He still drags a long line when he's outside so he can be caught if necessary, but he waits at the door for it to be attached when going out and to be detached when he comes back in.  He plays with Cooper and sleeps snuggled up with the old girl, Honey.  He used to be quite a destructive chewer, so he was generally crated when she was away or confined to the outdoor kennel in good weather. Today she left Teddy and the others free in the house when she was gone and returned to find everything still intact.  He still doesn't enjoy snuggling, or even being petted, but he did come up to her today and touched her on his own accord. 

Rita is now called Stormy, and her adopters called a couple days ago.  They are just ridiculously happy with her.  She's not like their old dog, but that's a good thing.  He was a great dog and they loved him dearly, but she's her own dog.  She has nothing to live up to.  They are happy with the contrasts as much as the similarities. 

She is friendly, they can take her places, and she keeps them busy.  Everything is new with her and she wants to experience it all.  She's still pretty vocal, but they are ok with that.  She also likes to sing and seems to request it and even gets them to join in.  My dogs do the group howl thing around here about 2 or 3 times a day on average.  Sirens always start it off, but they will start it up on their own if nothing else does.  Any dog who is stuck in the house during the group howl always looks at me as if asking permission to join in or waiting to see if I will do so. 

Apparently Stormy goes to her people, wanting something, and gets them to join her in good group howl.  I don't understand the behavioral aspects of it, but it's clearly a very social event and it's nice that she wants to share it with them.

Bailey with the neighbors' golden.

The yellow lab is now called Bailey. His adopters love him.  He displays some leash aggression towards other dogs and some strange men.  I suggested a training class to help get that sorted out, and I expect they will.  He's a great dog and has a great home.

The dog that I'm perhaps most surprised about is Sophie (Sunny), above on left.  That little girl was a pain in the ass.  She's a nice girl, but she's rotten.  She's smart and challenging but they love that about her.  She's doing better with the other dogs now; they are working with a trainer; and she gets a lot of exercise.