Sunday, April 29, 2012

What a dog!

I drove down I-81 today to pick up Daisy.  Her mother is a bloodhound and her father is the neighbors' lab, and that's pretty much what she looks like. 

Nice, nice girl, very soft, sweet, obviously a little shaken up and scared.  She met Gigi and our household dogs and will join the indoor pack.  She crated well this evening even though it was probably her first time ever in a crate. 

She learned the stairs, crate, and leash today.  I think they were all pretty much new to her.  She was given up by a young man who was moving in with his girl friend to an apartment that only allowed one dog and she already had two.  Seems that a new place to live would have been in order, but who am I to say.  I suspect he was thinking with his little head rather than his big head. 

At any rate, his loss will be someone's lucky gain.  Daisy is a nice girl.  She was a year old in March, housetrained, good with other dogs, small ones even, and even cats!  Her coat looks like a basic chocolate lab from a distance, but up close it is soft, silky, and quite varied in color.  She is striking. 

Look at that nose working the air.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue
A former adopter with his dog, Berlin
I missed out on an adoption event last weekend due to rain and really didn't want to go two full weeks without a chance at an adoption.  So today I took two VGSR dogs to Woofstock in Richmond.  They had a block of Monument Avenue blocked off to traffic and the wide median and parts of the streets on either side were lined with dog-related vendors and dog adoption groups.  I took Dixie and Hank, who both had a good time. 
Hank, soaking up the love

Like many such events, there was a bigger turnout of rescue people looking for adopters than there was of potential adopters.  I always enjoy those events because it's a chance to see other rescue groups from the area.  Usually we are off doing our own separate adoption events on weekends so it's a chance to interact and connect.  Of course, I don't know many Richmond area groups, but I did get to spend time with some of the Richmond area VGSR volunteers.  There was a group there with a lot Danes, so I talked them about Gigi and they will do a courtesy listing of her for me, when and if I'm read to do that. 

A Pyrennees rescue group also in attendance
Hank had a great time, he is very sociable, really loves people, human contact, attention, food, everything that goes along with an event like that.  Dixie liked it too, but I'm not as trusting with her with the dog-on-dog contact, although she's always been fine at VGSR adoption events in Gainesville.  There were a lot of small dogs there today, however, and she really does seem to zero on in them with a predator's interest and intensity. 

There was a moon bounce, a stage, food, and even beer.

Dixie is great with people but wants to be in charge of other dogs.

Hank always has a smile and a wag.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Smelly start to a beautiful day

The day started and ended pretty much the same way, with me scrubbing the floor in my office to remove the smell of dog poop.  Dixie broke out of her crate last night and had a bout of diarrhea on at least two of the dog beds in the office.  I discovered it first thing this morning, of course, when I came in to take her and Gigi outside.  I changed her food yesterday and it obviously had upset her system. 

On top of that she lapped up a small quantity of hydrogen peroxide that I had left in a bowl on my desk  where I had been soaking my thumb the night before after jabbing myself with the syringe that I had used to give Nero his injection.  Hydrogen peroxide is given to induce vomiting in dogs, and it did. 

I wiped up the major portion of the mess, washed the dog beds, and I'm leaving Dixie outside or in the shed tonight.

Other than that, and having too much work to do, it was a beautiful day.  I took Nero out for his pasture romp and did some mowing while he ran.  The buttercups are in bloom now, yellow flowers against the background of green spring grass, it's my favorite. 

Gigi ate for me again today, and I caught her doing a play bow with Zachary when they were all in the dog yard together this morning.  I also heard her bark for the first time.  I don't remember what it was about, maybe when they were all barking at something, but she's basically a very quiet girl. 

This isn't a really remarkable picture, except for the fact that all four of our dogs are in it.
L to R, Zachary, Trooper, Cabell, and Bremo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gypsy's play day

It's pretty obvious that I'm smitten with Gigi, and she's doing fine, but I'm giving her a break today because today was Gypsy Jr.'s day. 

I guess that since my Gypsy is gone I can drop the "Jr." from the dog I've always called Gypsy Jr.  Her name was just Gypsy when I pulled her from a shelter where she had miserably failed a food test.  I added the "Jr." because my most senior girl was named Gypsy and I didn't think she'd take kindly to sharing her name.  (My Gypsy didn't really share anything with anyone, other than me and Cabell.)

Gypsy Jr. was food aggressive and rather aggressive with other dogs.  She was less than a year old but would take on bigger and older dogs and kick their butts more often than not.  She would gulp down her own food and then rush another dog's food dish and a fight would ensue.  She put a hurting on several more adoptable dogs so I finally moved her in with Sparky where she could grow up a bit with a dog who wouldn't put up with any of her bullshit.  Sparky straightened her out right away on the food issue, but I expect she'd still try it with another dog if she thought she could get away with it.  She can't with Sparky, however, and she doesn't try.  Unfortunately, she sort of got stuck in a holding pattern once I had her in a place where she was manageable.  She is good company for Sparky, so I pretty much left them alone throught the winter months and concentrated on other fosters. 

Gypsy has a eating disorder too.  She swallows her food without chewing and she has always looked like she's 10 pounds underweight and starving, which may have contributed to the food aggression problem.  I've wormed her repeatedly and have done a couple fecal tests, which sometimes showed some parasites but treatment has never resolved the problem of her failure to gain weight or the soft stools that she produces.  Her vaccines were due, so we went to the vet today for vaccines, another fecal test (negative), and a consultation.  We are doing five days of Panacure and switching her to a limited ingredient diet for a month or more.  If she doesn't improve on the new diet we'll then do tests for panacreatic enzyme insufficiency and/or inflammatory bowel syndrome.  I should have done this six months ago, but like I said, she sort of got pushed to the back of the pack. 

After the vet we went for a reunion of sorts at the shelter she had come from, and met another dog, Blue, for a play date.  She did very well with him and I was glad to see it.  I need to get her integrated back into the foster pack, or some subset of it anyway.  She has matured some and I hope her social skills have improved.  She's a sweet and friendly girl, but will need a very active owner who will commit to serious exercise and training with her.  No cats, no kids, no small dogs, that goes without saying.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A day of firsts

Not a lot of news today, mostly I worked, but I did take a few pics this afternoon, and we celebrated a few "firsts" with Gigi:

1. She came out of the crate on her own this morning, made her way downstairs and outside with the rest of the household pack.

2.  She ate (after I gave in and mixed some canned food with the dry).

3.  When Cabell came up to me at my desk for some loving, Gigi stood up, stepped out of her crate, and came over to me for some of the same!  She also came up to the fence to greet Clay when he came home this evening. 

She was giving some signals that she was almost ready to play with the other dogs when we went out to the dog yard late this afternoon.  Maybe tomorrow.

I did some pasture mowing with Nero.  He feels great, always has, and loves to get out there and run with that tennis ball in his mouth.  I think the new antibiotic has stopped the progression of the latest outbreak.  The nasty scabby stuff on his face is looking a bit better.  It's way too early to take much encouragement from that however.  I expected the medication to work.  The real question is whether he'll be able to tolerate it for six weeks.  And if he can, we don't know if that will clear up the infection for good or if it, or a variant of it, will return.  I remain rather pessimistic on this one. 

Lana, Hank, Rex, and Radley have formed a pretty good play group and they share the shed as their bunk house at night.  Lana rules when it comes to food, and yet she remains very lean.  They play hard.  Rex is slowly normalizing, but it's not a straight line progression.  He is putting on weight and looking better, however.  I still haven't tried the drugs on him as I'm hoping he will come around without them.  He's still a fairly neurotic shepherd, but that's typical.  I'll feel that he's recovered when he has stopped chasing his tail long enough for the hair to grow back to the point that he has a normal looking shepherd tail.  That will be a while.

Trooper, Bremo, and Zachary

She moves more like a horse than a dog, it's beautiful to watch.

She's just lovely. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coming along

Gigi is coming along slowly.  She's not happy, and she's a bit scared, but she's adapting.  She learned to do the stairs both up and down.  She's either interested in me or dependent upon me enough that she gets up to check if I leave the office for another room.  

She isn't eating yet, but from what I heard from the prior owner I'm not surprised or concerned about that yet. 

I found her a pretty pink harness that had fit a rottweiler, so it fit her with some adjustments.  That's made it easier to move her around when I need to.  When I want her to come out of the crate I just pull her bed out and she comes with it.  Then I clip a leash onto the harness and we are good to go. 

She walks nicely.  She's met Cabell, Bremo, Trooper, and Zachary and even spent some time in the dog yard with them late this afternoon. 

I contacted a friend who does Great Dane rescue and will get her cross-posted with them for some more exposure.  She's very pretty and very sweet.  She greeted Clay at the dog yard fence with our other dogs when he came home from work this evening.  She's going to be fine.

Zachary and Trooper

Monday, April 23, 2012


G.G. stands for Good Girl and she is.  She's lived with many small dogs, too many I suspect, and has had a few problems with some of them.  G.G. is with us now, and the closest thing we have to a small dog is Lana and Hank.

G.G. is a Great Dane, but she was the runt of a litter of 14, so she's not a big Dane.  She's more like a Lesser Dane.  She is about the height and length of our Bremo and he's about 100 pounds, but she weighs less than that.  My camera was on the wrong setting this evening and the pictures are not great.  She is a beautiful black color aside from the white markings.  Natural ears. 

She's very shy, not well socialized, but there's no fear aggression.  She had lived in the same place her entire life (almost 4 years), and just hasn't seen much of the outside world. 

GG is camped out in a big crate in my office for tonight and doesn't show any inclination to move.  She's watching me and I hope is deciding that she can trust me.  G.G. is spayed already and her rabies vaccine is current, so we won't have to go anywhere scary right away. 

I'm thinking that her smaller size may help her avoid some of the problems that the giant Danes tend to develop as they age.   I hear her snoring softly, so she's relaxed enough to sleep.  Sweet girl. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One out, one in, more on the way

I didn't go up to Gainesville today because with the cool, rainy weather predicted it sounded like we'd have to be inside.  That's too many dogs in too small of a space, and the four I took would have been too much.  Besides, rainy day dog adoptions are tough.

I stayed home but I did send Tomas to a new home.  It was a referral from a friend, genuine dog people, good home, about an acre of yard under a 5' fence, a female dog companion, and very little time alone.  Tomas took to them right away and, of course, they loved him.  I have every reason to believe it will be a good match and a great home for the dog.  He's just an awesome dog.  That was the good news. 

Radley and Hank

They weren't even out of here before his spot was filled, however, by Radley being returned after a month in his new home.  I made a mistake adopting to a home with small kids and no fence.  He was very bonded with and protective of his family and was always great with the kids.  But neighbor kids were over, playing and screaming like kids do, and Radley bit one of them on the butt. 

Radley and Hank (dancing), Lana feeling left out
The best thing for all concerned was for Radley to come back to me and that's what happened.  I really need to stick with my "no cats, no kids" rule. It sounds like another prior adoptee, a shepherd, may be coming back as well.  For much the same reason.  Shepherds can get protective and possessive.  I think mandatory training for adopters may be in order. 

I've got two others waiting in the wings and no adoption events for two weeks.  I'm probably going to work a little rearrangement around here to accomodate everyone and in the meantime I need to work on my website listings for all the fosters.

Fortunately, Radley's return seems like a smooth transition.  He has met Lana and Hank already and was welcomed into their play group.  He's a good guy and was an easy foster.  I'll just have to find him a child-free home.  Gay and lesbians need to pick up the pace on the recruitment drive. 

Radley, Lana, Hank
Lana was pushy but Radley didn't react.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rex joins the fun

Rex and Tomas in front,
Lana and Hank at the rear.
Rex (front left), in a play bow with Tomas.
Lana and Hank watching from behind thinking:
"Finally, the new kid is coming around."

Rex is beginning to get the hang of it.  At first he would rush at other dogs rather aggressively, although no one seemed to take his "aggression" very seriously.  The others seemed to just recognize him as a poorly socialized pup.  They have mostly ignored him and he has staked out a place to call his own and has mostly kept to himself, until today.

Yesterday I saw him moving around the dog yard more and around the other dogs.  Today he was fully engaged in the play.  He still has a lot of learn, but I think he's come along pretty well considering it's been only a week. 

Left to right:  Rex, Tomas, and Hank
Look at that tail on Tomas!
Lana throwing a body block on Tomas.
Rex following along, Hank at right.

He still engages in the spinning, tail-chasing behavior when he's very excited, and I caught him with his tail in his mouth a couple times today, but much less than a week ago.  I think that had become a habit, born of boredom and isolation, and it will take a while to unlearn it like any bad habit. 

Being around other dogs who like to play is the key. They have been showing him that there are better things to do and all you have to do to be accepted is to stop acting like a big bully jerk. 

Rex (left), Tomas (front), Hank (tail up), and Lana (sitting under platform).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Playful pups

I can't remember the last time that I had this many dogs who were this young and playful that weren't a litter of pups.  (The layout of the pictures deteriorates towards the bottom, but Blogger sux for photo layout and I'm tired of messing with it.  Just enjoy.)
I'm not sure of Lana's age, but she's fairly young and very playful.
Hank (right) is about 14 months and very playful.

Frisbee, stick, rope, or ball, Hank will go after them all.

Rex loves the water and at least his front legs are usually wet.

Rex is about 9-10 months old.  He doesn't know how to play
but he seems to be learning to interact better. 
He wants to, but just doesn't know how.

Rex is spinning less and acting more normal,
but he's not there yet.

Rex (left) with Trooper.  Trooper is our youngest dog but the oldest
among the foster dog play group.


Trooper (left) and Tomas again. 
They played hard and long today.

Trooper (rear) and Tomas.
Tomas has a tail the length of his body.

Tomas fell into the routine around here very quickly.
L to R, Trooper, Tomas, and Hank

Hank, with rope, Trooper and Lana behind.

Lana and Hank are great together.


Nero out in the pasture today.  He always carries a tennis ball but we don't play with it.
The second daily injection went smoothly.  We had a diabetic cat at one time who got insulin injections daily.  We just did it when he was eating and I did the same with Nero, no problems.