Monday, September 30, 2013

Plus four

For a while, the Great Female Shepherd in the Sky went along with my plan to only take one or two fosters at a time.  I didn't get too many calls from my local shelters and I was able to outsource a few to other foster homes and fend off the myriad other requests that I get to take in a dog.  I had all the kennels taken down and just two re-built:  one nice big one for Sparky and one 10x20' covered kennel for a foster.  Currently we have 8 dogs that have to be considered permanent residents, 1 boarder (Toquima), and 2 fosters (Max and Maddie).  That was been a pretty light and manageable load.  Today we added 4 more fosters and I'm getting daily emails, messages, and phone calls about other dogs.  I hate to say "no" but I just have to.

The good news is that the new dogs seem to get along, with each other and with all the current residents.  The bad news is that we are back up to 6 fosters and I only have one kennel.  Fortunately, the weather is cooling off so everyone can share the dog yard and the big shed at night.  Two of the new ones are housetrained, kid- and cat-friendly.  One of the new shepherds is not quite a purebred, but he's good looking, playful, and gets along with everyone.  He should have some good adoption prospects relatively soon I would think.  The other new shepherd is a hot damn mess medically speaking, but he's very sweet. 

Natalie and Chloe making the rounds,
with Maddie following closely.

Natalie and Chloe are kind of joined at the hip.


He was wormed and treated for a skin infection
at the shelter and he's better now than he was,
but he has a long way to go.

Patch is emaciated, he's got bare, thickened skin,
a messed up ear, a hairless tail, growths on his belly,
and one lone testicle hanging in a furless scrotum.

That look is what saved him, and
he's a sweet boy.
Toquima, Patch, and Max
Usually when  you have three shepherds together you are lucky if they share a collective brain.
Toquima is pretty solid, and I think Patch is too.  Max got the short end of the stick.

Ochie appears to be a shepherd/Elkhound mix.

Ochie is a handsome boy, friendly, playful.

Ochie is a party on four legs.

Chloe discovered the water tank and
laid right down in it.  Typical lab.

Natalie and Choloe together in the tank

Maddie and Ochie

Gathering at the watering hole:
Back to front: Ochie, Max, Toquima,
Natalie and Chloe

Front to back:
Toquima, Max, and Ochie

Toquima meeting Patch
Maddie in front, Ochie in rear

Trooper meeting Chloe

Maddie was happy to welcome
all the new dogs.

Patch and Maya
Patch was the first of the fosters to jump up onto the platforms.
He may look older than he actually is.  He was pretty active today and seemed to enjoy himself.
He's finally free of the fleas that have infested him forever, so I'm sure he's feeling pretty good.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

British bling

 We hit every gift shop at every place we visited and came back with enough new collar bling for every dog to get at least two. 

And of course Gigi got her pearls. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Maddie and the Vegetarians

Maddie and a friend doing a "down stay"
during an agility class
Maddie at the Vegetarian Festival today
Maddie had been farmed out to another foster home for the past three weeks while we were away because I wasn't sure if she would accept the house sitters quickly enough to be manageable.  It was a good experience for Maddie and she's enrolled in a weekly agility class now that I'll take her to on Wednesdays.  Saturday morning I picked her up and took her to the annual Vegetarian Festival in Charlottesville. 

It was a nice event, a decent day, and I saw several people I know, rescue folks and otherwise.  Maddie wasn't thrilled about it but she handled it pretty well. 

We met one couple who have a formerly shy dog themselves.  They had dealt with the same problem and seem to have overcome it.  They seemed interested but I'm not sure they were really looking for another dog.  I gave them my phone and email so we will see if anything comes of it.  The most encouraging sign for me was the fact that Maddie seemed very drawn to the man, no fear, gave him a kiss right off the bat and then proceeded to snuggle up against him.  For Maddie to like a stranger, and a male one particularly, that tells me all I need to know about the guy. 

Taking no chances, I  used a
slip lead and a second leash
on a body harness.

Maddie and I came home and I reintroduced her to the dog yard gang. 

She was happiest when settled down behind the
Animal Connections table, mostly out of sight.

Reintroducing Maddie to Toquima (he's
visiting again), Trooper, Maya, and Gigi.

She seemed happiest to see Trooper,
all the girls like him.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fast forward

I didn't do as many blog posts while we were away as I had hoped to do.  We had an easy-to-use app that transferred pics from the iphone to the ipad, but sometimes one device or the other was out of power.  More often, we were pub hopping in the evenings and the blogging just didn't happen.  So here's a few more pics that cover the last several days of our trip for those who are interested.

Devizes is a nice little market town situated near a river and a long series of locks that allowed canal boats to move uphill.  It's also the home of Wadworth Brewery.  We visited it last year and took the tour again this year. Wadworth has a team of shire horses and they still deliver beer to pubs within two miles of the brewery on a horse drawn dray.  They also have their own sign painting shop and until recently they had their own cooper who makes the wooden casks that they still use for some of their beer. 

Bath was also a repeat visit from last year's trip.  Clay had missed most of it last year, however, because he was sick for a couple days so this year he got to actually see the town.  It's a beautiful town with an abbey and the best preserved roman baths in Britain. 


This is a bridge over the river (Avon, I think) with buildings all along both sides.  When you
walk down the street you can not tell that you are on a bridge, it just looks like any city street.

Saxon village:  I can't remember the name of this town.  We just sort of happened upon on it and decided to stop and take a look.  It was a Saxon settlement that pre-dated the Norman Conquest in 1066.  The church has been modified over the centuries, of course, but still retains a pre-Norman look and they preserved some of the original Saxon architectural elements that are visible inside.  Churchyards were used and overused as burial places and were finally closed by Queen Victoria.  Over the years most have been cleaned up and many of the old stones placed against the churchyard wall.  At this church they used them as an edging border for a garden and others were laid as a walkway. 


Henley-on-Thames is best known to us as the place where rowing races are held.  The Olympic races were also held here, although how the town handled the crowds that must have generated is hard to imagine.  We were lucky to be there on a very pretty day and it's a place we will probably visit again.

Oxford:  We barely scratched the surface here.  Great place to visit.  We took a guided walking tour and we will definitely go back.  We were there on a Monday which is the day that the museums in Oxford are closed.  We got into a couple of the colleges and spent some time walking around the very pretty and historic town. 

This is a Saxon-era tower that still
exists as part of a church.

This is the oldest pub in Oxford, built
just outside, and actually part of,
the old Saxon city wall.
Thomas Hardy wrote about the place
in his masterwork, "Jude the Obscure."
We drank a pint to Jude.

Windsor was our final tourist stop before returning to Brighton where we returned the rental car (an Audi, which was very nice).  It was a foggy day, which sort of added to the castle ambience, I thought.  We did the guided tower tour, the kitchen tour, and the usual stateroom tour.  The castle sits right in the middle of the town of Windsor, or maybe the town sits right outside the castle gates.  It's another place that we could spend more time on another trip.

The changing of the guard at Windsor Castle.

The tower in the fog.  The moat here has been made into a garden.  The Queen still lives here
and spends a lot of weekends here.