Thursday, November 29, 2012

No easy answers

I had the new rottie, Riley, boarded along with three other dogs when we were gone for Thanksgiving.  When we returned it was obvious that she had lost weight, and she really didn't have any to spare.  Plus, I've seen evidence of soft stools and even vomiting.  I isolated her at the beginning of the week so I could get a handle on what was coming out of her.  This morning I gathered up a fresh stool sample containing undigested food and we went to the vet. 

I was hoping for an easy answer and suspected tapeworms because I also found a stool sample from one of our dogs that obviously contained them.  (Trooper has been after a batch of field rats that moved in under the shed when the weather got cold.  The dogs have killed at least four of them so far so I wasn't too surprised to see the tapeworms and I'm presuming it was from Trooper's poop.)

Riley's stool sample, however, was negative, for everything.  She tested positive for Lyme disease so I'll need to treat her for that, but I'm not even going to start that until we get the vomiting and weight loss under control.  She got a dose of droncit even though they didn't find tapes (and so did Trooper).  She and Lana (who also came back from the kennel with diarrhea) will be getting five days of metronidazole.  Riley and Lana and Augie (boxer who was returned just before Thanksgiving) are all getting a week of Panacure.  They are doing some more tests on Riley's sample, but it seems likely that there will not be an easy answer.  Maybe I just didn't reworm her when I should have before, I'm not sure but I think I did, and again, the stool sample showed nothing. 

We will see.  The good news is that she was great at the vet, friendly to everyone.  She squirmed when being restrained for blood draw and exam, but made no signs of aggression.  She smiles and seems very happy.  Her appetite is good, but she's not keeping it down or processing the food. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Over the river and through the woods

Driving home from Kentucky. It's spitting snow occasionally and it's cloudy and cool but good driving conditions. We are in WV as I write this so Clay is driving. Here are a few more pics from KY.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lazy day dogs

My mother and Louie, outside enjoying the sun
Britt and one of the cats. 
Thanksgiving was a beautiful day in central Kentucky.  It started out frosty but the sun was bright and it warmed up quickly.  We spent all morning preparing dinner and then ate it in about 30 minutes.  The rest of the afternoon was a lazy day, for us and the dogs.


Britt has only left this bed to eat, pee, and poop.
She will be getting one of her own.

Louie (front) and Mojo (rear)

Lady on her big bed.
Britt grabbed the other bed we brought,
 but they have all left this bed for Lady.


Jack, surveying his domain

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meeting the locals

Britt, senior female white boxer. 
She claimed one of the dog beds we brought for Lady.
Aggie, a senior Jack Russell,
but still capable of being a terror.
We are at my sister Kate's house in Kentucky for Thanksgiving.  She and Kim have four dogs of their own, plus a neighborhood dog that they have pretty much assumed responsibility for because the dog's actual owners are worthless.  Their friend Deborah is also here for a few days with her dog.  We brought Lady, making a respectable seven dogs in all.  Feels like home.

This is Sarge, a white GSD and the largest of the lot.
He actually belongs to some worthless neighbors, but
he mostly eats, sleeps, and lives at Kate and Kim's house.

This is Jack, an unlikely looking dog.
He seems to be composed of spare parts from other dogs.

Deborah with her dog, Mojo.
Mojo is a badass at a local dog park;
Deborah regularly beats me at Words with Friends.

Louie is the sweetest little red beagle.
He loves to snuggle and loves to be held.
Lady has been having a great time.  Just like she did at home
she has fit in here quickly and easily, gets along with
everyone, and is enjoying all the dogs, people, and the new territory.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Heading out

Vince was happy to go.
Getting ready for a trip is stressful and hectic, regardless of the length of the trip.  But it always comes together in the end.  On Saturday I took four dogs to a boarding kennel and moved Hank and Aja to an adopter and new foster, respectively.  Last night we had no outdoor dogs and it was strangely quiet around here.  On Sunday morning the feeding routine was so abbreviated that I was really wondering what people without 15 dogs do with all their free time.  We still had eight dogs in the house last night, but that was down by one with Aja moving to her new foster home.

Vince will have a private office
for the next few days.
On Sunday I took Vince and Trooper to their vacation spots.  Daphne's mom came back home and reclaimed her as well.  I picked one up today, however.  Augie was returned from an irresponsible owner, another mistake of mine.  He is being boarded with Trooper and I'll figure out what to do with him when we return.  We still have a few dogs at home, a reasonable number for the house/dog sitter to handle. 

Augie is spending Thanksgiving with Trooper.

On the good news front, Bastian has been adopted to a wonderful home that is equipped to deal with his skin and allergy issues, whatever they may be.  Another foster I had passed off to another foster home was the young black shepherd, Carbon.  He has also just been adopted or is about to be.  Former foster Odie has a very interested applicant and I expect that to happen. 

The obvious message here is that I do better bringing dogs into the rescue and turning them over to other foster homes, than keeping them and trying to get them adopted myself.  There's a number of reasons for that, most of them pertaining to my own personal shortcomings, which I freely and readily acknowledge.  I really would like to transition to being more of an intake and halfway house, bringing them in and moving them on to other foster homes.  I can get them vetted and find out enough about them to place them in a suitable foster home.  A few folks in the rescue trust my judgment, and I trust theirs in finding adopters more than I do my own. 

Perhaps the best news is this picture of Hank in his new home.  That was from Saturday night when he was tired after checking out every inch of his new home, let's hope he's still so calm and peaceful.

Happy Hank, after a busy day in his new home.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hallelujah Hank

They say that every dog has its day, and today was Hank's day, although he shared a part of it with Aja. I met Hank's adopter up in Gainesville. Hank is a trusting and happy boy and he went with him readily.

The adopter is the guy who had contacted me before our trip to England. I forgot about him while we were gone and made plans to adopt Hank to someone else when we returned. That placement fell through because of the landlord, but the original applicant was still interested (and forgiving) when I contacted him again. Hank was blissfully unaware of the vagaries of his fortune, and hopefully it has all worked out well in the end.

Hank will have a great home and I really hope he will do his part to make it work out. Hank's a good boy, he just needs someone who can give him some time and attention.

I am very happy for Hank.

Aja went to Gainesville with me today too, not to an adopter but to the best of all possible foster homes. She will get her surgery and they I bet she will get adopted fast.

She has already shown her new foster mom how to play basketball and impressed her with her dog-on-dog social skills.

I kissed this one goodbye repeatedly. If I had been looking for a new dog, this one would have been it. But I know she will find an excellent home so I'm not worried about her.

I'm just really glad that I don't have to take her to a boarding kennel. I'm glad Hank is in a home now too. And the two new incoming dogs didn't come in after all! So that's four less dogs I need to deal with before Thanksgiving. But, I got news of a previously adopted boxer being returned, so today wasn't perfect but it wasn't bad.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My two tails

Vince claimed me as his own long ago.  He's a bit picky about people he likes and I'm not sure why I made the cut except that Jennifer and Heather introduced him to me so he must have figured that I was ok.  I make him stay in a crate in the office at night because there's already four dogs in the bedroom and I think he'd want to assume a place in the bed.  But when he's not crated, Vince is rarely out of my sight, or rather, I'm rarely out of his sight. 

I don't kennel him with the fosters or even put him in the dog yard with our guys because he just jumps at the gate constantly wanting out and he will find a way.  Besides, he sticks around really well, and comes when I call him.  The only thing he does that I wish he wouldn't is run across the road to pee and poop in the neighbor dogs' territory.  They do the same thing here, and I wouldn't mind so much except for the crossing the road part.  One of these days I'll get the front fence replaced with dog-proof fencing and we'll go back to closing the gate at the end of the driveway.

So Vince is pretty much my shadow.  Someone has to love him and that someone seems to be me.  Vince probably thinks the same about me.  He knows he's not allowed to mess with the household dogs, and he doesn't, but he does always want to make it clear to any indoor fosters that he has a prior claim to my attention and personal space. 

Enter Daphne.  She's a former foster who comes to stay here occasionally when her mom goes out of town, which she had to do this weekend.  Daphne gets along with everyone here, including Vince, but she's a girl and she's a rottie, so she has no respect for Vince's prior claim.  If Vince is sitting at my feet for petting she pushes her way inbetween us, usurping his spot and my attention.  Vince is being pretty cool about it, so far, and he knows I won't allow him to get mad at her, but he will be happy when she goes back home tomorrow. 

Doing the math

Gigi modeling her new coat.
I sat down today and made a list of dogs I needed to accomodate in some way for the next week while were are gone.  I came up with a list of 15 and panic set in.  The worst of it is that two of them are dogs that I don't even have yet.  One was coming this evening but that person backed out at the last minute.  I can't say that I'm sorry.  That gets us down to 14, plus Daphne who is just here for the weekend, but I'm not counting her because she will be back in her home before we leave.

It was just too much for me to figure out in my head, I needed to sit down and do the math. 

Bremo is happy as long as his routine
isn't disturbed too much.
Clay and I went to town, braved the geeks at Best Buy and bought a new camera.  It's actually a christmas present from my mother.  (These pics were still taken with my phone.)  Then we went to Beer Run for beer, food, and to make lists and plans for who goes where.

Here's how it shakes out:  Cabell, Bremo, Zachary, and Gigi stay at home.  A house/dog sitter will take care of them.  Sparky, Gypsy Jr., Lana, and Riley go to Kennel A.  Trooper, Aja*, Hank**, and Hercules (incoming dog on Sunday) will go to Kennel B.  Vince goes to his special home away from home.  Lady comes to Kentucky with us. 
* I may still get Aja into another foster home; she really needs to stay on her medication and her foot seems to be bothering her tonight. 
Aja is still very keen on the ball.
** Hank will hopefully going to his new home rather than to a kennel, if we can work out the logistics. 
Lady will come with us.  As far as I
know, she's never been to Kentucky.
I think that's everyone.  I've got to get packets of food and meds together for about six dogs. 

Aja with a hard plastic ball.  This one
she can't carry; she pushes it with her nose.

Gigi with Zachary, Aja on the far left

It wasn't long before Trooper began
pulling Gigi's coat off of her, so I
removed it to save it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Soccer dog

Aja loves to play ball.  I've got a couple of partially deflated basketballs in the dog yard that she likes.  I kick the ball, she runs after it, grabs it in her mouth, and brings it back.  Then she will drop the ball and give it a nudge with her nose, pushing it back towards me to kick again. 

I found a tennis ball that had somehow survived the summer mowing season still intact.  I tossed it towards her and she caught it mid-air.  Whoever had her before must have played ball with her at least. 

Tomorrow I'm going to pull out a frisbee and see if she goes for that.  Frisbee dogs are fun.  I've only ever had one really, and he was very old when I got him and just couldn't do much of it anymore.  Mostly he liked to carry it around. 

Aja continues to impress me in terms of temperament and everything else.  I'd love to find her another foster home before we go away.  She's an easy foster and is actually the dog that most adopters need, even if she's not what they think they want.