Saturday, August 31, 2013

New guy, Max

I went with Clay to the shelter today to pick up that new shepherd.  It turns out that his name is Max and he knows it.  Clay came along to handle the dog because I wasn't sure that I could if he decided to pull.

We got there early before he had even been out of his run.  The run was clean, no poop or pee, and that's the first thing he did when he got outside.

Apparently he was brought to the shelter by a woman who found him and had him for just a couple weeks.  She brought him in when he didn't get along with her new boyfriend.  If you're half as jaded and cynical as I am you'll be having the same doubts I am about her "finding" the dog just a couple weeks ago.  He's already neutered.  She came to visit the dog after dumping him.  The dog apparently greeted her like a long lost friend.  The stories told by dog dumpers are rarely more than half truths.  I'm guessing that the only part of the story that was true was that the dog didn't like the new boyfriend.  That part rings true.  It could have been shepherd jealousy, protectiveness, or just good judgment.  I'm sure she will regret it when the boyfriend is gone in a matter of weeks or months, but that's her loss. 

He  hopped into a crate in the car without too much urging and he rode home peacefully.  I brought him home on a temporary basis to see how he is with other dogs.  I just put him in a kennel adjacent to the dog yard today so everyone could get acquainted.  We will try him with other dogs soon, maybe tomorrow.

He's a friendly dog.  He likes to play ball.  He had taken to chasing his tail at the shelter, probably due to boredom.  I hope that hasn't become a habit.

Lots of pics because he's a great looking dog and it was hard to choose among them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vetting Vince

Vince stinks.  I'm not sure what it is or where it's coming from but frequently when he comes up to me I get a whiff of something nasty.  I thought that maybe he had another rotten tooth like he had a year ago, or an ear infection.   So we went to the vet.  It turned out that his vaccines were due to be updated so I'm glad we went, but we accomplished nothing.

I tried taking pics of the inside of his mouth
because he wouldn't let anyone hold it open
to examine.  Old teeth, but not rotten.
Vince really hates being restrained, even by me, and and he won't tolerate it at all from strangers.  We put a muzzle on him but he got it off, and by that time he was in such a frenzy that no one could do anything with him.  He declared victory and we came home, but not before making another appointment for next Friday.  I'm going to dope him up before we go in that day, and get the muzzle on him in advance as well, once he's mellowed out.

Sparky is due for vaccines too, so we are going to do a 2fer.  Sparky isn't great with the vet either, so I'm going to use a lot of acepromazine that day.

It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't fun, but Vince's personal Savior met us there and he was overjoyed to see Jennifer as he always is.

Vince is never as happy as when we see Jennifer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sing "Soft Kitty" to me

If you're not a fan of "The Big Bang Theory" on television the title of this post won't make much sense.  There's a running gag on the show that whenever Sheldon is sick or hurt he insists that his caregiver sing "Soft Kitty" to him the way his mother always did.

If you don't watch Big Bang Theory, you probably should.  It's the best sitcom on television in years.  It's smart, funny, and very well written.  Here's a video compilation of the "Soft Kitty" segments from YouTube.

Geeky alternative lyrics to "Soft Kitty"

The details of how I hurt my back aren't important and they make me sound like an old man, so I'll skip that part.  But I've been pretty much incapacitated for the last several days.  It's better today since I went to the doctor yesterday and got a dose of steroids, painkillers, and muscle relaxers, but I still can't walk a dog on a leash, and certainly not the Horse.  Walking is better than sitting or standing so I did do some mowing until today's rain put a stop to that.

The rain was welcome in one sense, it kept me from trying to do anything outdoors, which was probably what my back needed, but rain gets old fast.  The dogs are tired of it already and had to spend most of the day indoors.  The old guys are accustomed to that, but the younger ones normally spend much of the day outside, which burns off their energy to the point that they are ready to crash when they come inside.  Tired dogs are good dogs and that's important when there are nine of them indoors and one of them is a horse.

Here's a few pics of the rainy day action around here.

Vince on his bed under my desk.
He's right between my legs most of the time.
The sweet Trooper face

Maya and Maddie, tearing it up

Maya has a different build and size, but she's
got Cabell's color and markings.
Maddie looks like a mini-Trooper.

Zachary, Trooper, Bremo, and Cabell

I managed one close up of Cabell before
he realized I had a camera.

Trooper, Maddie, and Maya during a break in the rain

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Dog Day

Today, August 26th, is National Dog Day, according to a few posts I've seen on Facebook.  Pretty much every day is Dog Day around here so we didn't do anything special, but someone did come out to meet Patton.

It's August, almost September, and I'm still cutting grass like it was May or June.  I want to get the pasture cut again in its entirety before our trip to England so I started today.

Patton, Maya, Gigi, Vince, and even Maddie came out to join me.  Maya and Patton just run like crazy.  Gigi spends a lot of time trotting along behind me on the mower.  Vince comes and goes, doing his own thing.  I don't think Maddie came out at first but after a while I saw her running with Maya and Patton.  This was the first time I've let her out into the pasture, but I'm pretty confident that she's not going to run off.  She was back in the dog yard when I finished and brought everyone in.

Look at Maya's tail wrapped around
his muzzle like she's leading him with it.
Maddie had a good time too.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Horse and Maddie in Gainesville

Patton, Maddie, and I went to a VGSR adoption event up in Gainesville today.   I hadn't been in a long time and it was good to see a lot of the people there.  I tend to like the people at adoption events, the volunteers anyway, because they are the ones who actually do something with the rescue. 

Maddie wasn't thrilled about it, but she did all right.  She warmed up to a few volunteers and she'd let anyone pet her.  When we were in the crowd she tried to hide, but when her handler walked her away from the group her tail came out and up. 

Patton is on the opposite end of the size spectrum from Maddie and he's pretty much her opposite in terms of social ability too.  He loved all the attention he got and he got a lot of it.  I passed out a few cards with my email address and I've already heard from two about Patton. 

That's one of my former
fosters, Timber, in the back.
It was a nice day but we were all tired by the time it was over.  That's a lot of talking and socialization for all of us.  Patton and Maddie slept soundly all the way home.  I drank iced coffee.

When Maddie forgot about being scared
she had a nice smile on her face.

Last half hour of the event, Horse was tired

All the dogs were tired toward the end.
Adoption events are a lot of stimulation.

Patton walked beautifully with that harness on today.
It's not hard to understand why he got so much attention, he's a very striking dog.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Evening feed

The Horse knows that he has to sit
before eating so he gets into sitting
position as I'm getting the food ready.
Gigi and Horse both eat with their food
dishes sitting on top of a 5 gallon bucket.
Clay and I went to the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday afternoon out at Devils Backbone Brewery in Nelson County.  It was a beautiful day, there were 30 Virginia breweries represented there and we had small samples from 10 of them.  Actually, we shared our samples so between the two of us we probably tried 15-20 of them.  We got home just as it was getting dark and managed to work in an evening feed, much to the dogs' delight. 
On Sunday I'm taking Horse and Maddie to a VGSR adoption event at the Petsmart in Gainesville, the first one I've attended in many months.

Maddie was a slow eater at first but she soon
learned that a slow eater is a hungry dog because
Trooper or Horse would come and finish her food.

Trooper climbs the steps to his platform before
I get out there with his food dish.

Maya gets more food than anyone other
than Horse so she finishes last,
but she protects her food.

Vince starts looking for dinner
in the middle of the afternoon.

I actually got Sparky to stop eating
and sit for a picture.

We didn't have any of the beer from this
brewery but they had the best t-shirt design.
Actually, our beer label graphics put them all to shame.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Maddie the socialite

She's not all that happy, but she's coping.
I'm the same way at parties.
It was Friday evening, I managed to get my work done, so we headed over to the James River Brewery in Scottsville.   We've taken Maya a couple times but Maddie is the one who really needs the socialization at this point so she came along.  Her tail was tucked on the drive but she was up, alert, and interested in where we were going.  It was still raining but the sun came out to the west and created a nice rainbow as we entered Scottsville.

Maddie at home with Horse and Maya
That's almost a smile.
Maddie was nervous but she trusts me pretty well at this point.  We found a place in the corner, which is where I prefer to be anyway.  The crowd there is small but very friendly and several folks made repeated attempts to greet Maddie, even after I told them that she was shy and scared and wouldn't necessarily reciprocate their affections.  Women made more headway than men, as we expected, but she would at least let anyone approach her and pet her.

Mostly she settled into a position
of safety and comfort.
It was immersion therapy for the shy dog and she probably hated every minute of it, but she survived.  She had a lot of people make a lot of effort to be friendly with her.  She was exposed to a crowd of new people, noise, and music.  She saw another dog having the same experience and enjoying it.  I think that must have been good for her.  She may never be a social butterfly, but she needs to learn to accept and tolerate new people and new experiences.
Between my legs worked
well for both of us.

This is Disco, he's always there and he
really liked Maddie.
People made a lot of effort to make her
comfortable.  It's often hard to remember
that there are good people in the world.

Random acts of music at James River Brewery on a Friday evening.