Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Miscellaneous recent pics

Here's a few pictures, mostly from the last few days.

This is Binx, formerly known as Angus.
Binx is settling into his new home with a new name,
new toys, and lots of activity.

This is Anika, with her new boy.

This is Felix, sprawling across his parents' bed.

Theo (left) and Max (right) on a recent walk.

Rufus (formerly Roo), wearing a body bandage
after his recent neuter surgery. He had an
undescended testicle so it required abdominal
surgery. He had his double rear dew claws
removed at the same time.
Cooling off in the water during yesterday's walk. 
My new boy, Theo, on today's short
(two mile) walk. He hopped up on the bench
and posed for pictures for me.

Trooper and Maya sharing the bed under my desk. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

He's ours

Shopping for a new, rolled leather
collar, they are gentle on a shepherd's mane.
I walked through the calculus in a prior blog post. The numbers don't add up, but in the end it wasn't a rational decision, it was an emotional one. Theo is here to stay.
We had to hit three pet stores to find the tag
and get it laser-engraved.

Completed collar and tag
With some added bling

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dog Math

Maya, Theo, and Max
Remember story problems?  Here's one:  Three dogs walk five miles, then three dogs walk three miles, and finally, three dogs walk two miles. At least one dog is present on all three walks. What is the maximum number of dogs walked?

I've been fighting with a cold for two weeks now, but I slept well Saturday night and felt pretty good on Sunday. I was needing to make up some sick days when I had skipped hiking, so I set out for a multiple dog, multiple walk day.
I put a harness on Theo today. He really didn't need the prong
collar and using the harness puts him an additional foot in
front of me. He's so long that I was stepping on his heels a lot.

First up it was Maya, Max, and Theo, my daily trio. We did five miles and it was hot. Actually the app on my phone cut out on me for a while, so it may have been six miles. We did multiple water crossings for the dogs and they held up better than I did.

We came home and cooled off. After a while I went out again with Maya, Barkley, and Cole for another three miles. We started from a different location and covered entirely different trails.

After another cooling down period, I set out again with Maya, Trooper, and Gigi for the final hike of the day. We just did two miles, which was enough for all of us at that point.

Max (left) and Theo jumping over a
log on the trail. Maya is just behind them.

Maya, Barkley, and Cole

Cole was the one out front for most of this walk.

Five miles, with Maya, Max, and Theo
Three miles with Maya, Barkley, and Cole

Two miles, with Maya, Gigi, and Trooper

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cole's first outing

I took Cole to his first adoption event today with Promises Animal Rescue up in Gainesville. He did very well, with people, children, and new dogs, so I was very pleased with him. I think he enjoyed himself too. He slept soundly on the way home after a couple hours of social activity even if it was on the end of a leash.

He's a little mouthy when it comes to taking treats, so I'd prefer he go to an adult household or at least one with children who are 10+ years of age. He was fine with other dogs, as he has been around here.

Cole is still young and has a lot to learn, but he's very food motivated and is willing and even eager to please. (I think that's the lab in him.)

Friday, July 24, 2015


"Who do you have to bite to get a biscuit
around  here?"
I avoid the human conflict in the rescue world as much as possible. It happens everywhere, within groups and between groups, but mostly within. Some of it is inevitable, I suppose, because people are involved and even people who agree upon basic values and goals may disagree vehemently on how to achieve them. Religion is probably the prime example of that and that's just one of the many reasons I stay away from it. I manage to avoid most conflict in the rescue world by having carved out my own little niche and sticking closely to it.

I think that most conflict could be avoided if everyone kept their focus. The basics are really pretty simple: Foster, Adopt, Repeat. If anything else becomes an issue, it's probably because someone isn't busy with the basics.
"Hey buddy, can you spare a slice of pizza?"

There is conflict going on now within one of the rescue groups I work with. There is conflict going on locally regarding criticism of our local SPCA. I couldn't give an opinion on any of it, and I won't, because I've studiously avoided knowing enough about it to be informed. Besides, I'm embroiled in a very internal conflict of my own right now involving Theo.

I've fallen for him and he has accepted me. I don't have one bad thing to say about the dog. He hasn't given me a moment of difficulty since he's been here. He's really too good to be true. He may be too good for me, and therein lies the conflict.

There's a lot of people who would love to have him and could probably provide him with a great home. If I put him up for adoption I'll have a ton of inquiries and applications that could still be whittled down to many potential good adopters. He doesn't need me in the same way as the other dogs around here. Yes, he needs me to find that perfect home for him, but he doesn't need it to be my home.
"Not bad, maybe leave some pepperoni
on it next time?"

Trooper, I love him dearly, but the dog has barked and lunged at every new person he's ever met. He's not adoptable; he needs to be here.

Maya, I love that girl dearly, in spite of her being a pain in the ass. But given her ability to climb, her inclination to roam, and her spitefulness when being left alone, she's really not adoptable; she needs to be here.

Vince, I love him dearly, but he only likes one person out of a hundred, and no vets are ever going to be included in that number. He's old and cantankerous, hates being penned, confined, or restrained in any way. He's not adoptable; he needs to live here.

Sparky, I love him dearly, but he really only likes me. In the canine world, his strategy as always been "beat them up first and make friends later." He's really not adoptable; he needs to live here.
"How about something to wash it down with?" 

Max, I have even come to love him. He's still a "foster" but I don't see him going anywhere. He's just not right in the head and will ride the shepherd short bus for the rest of his life. We've worked out a system that meets his needs pretty well and lets him be as normal as possible, but he's really not very adoptable; he needs to live here.

Gigi.  Gigi may not quite fit this theme. I love her dearly but I probably could have found her a home. But even she came to us with a bit of checkered past regarding small dogs, although she told me it was a bum rap and of course I believe her. In any event, I fell for her and she decided she likes it here since we do everything she wants.

Except for Gigi, we have a house full of misfits and rejects, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So what does Theo need with us? Like Gigi, Theo also has a short rap sheet, but I don't think it's anything that would prevent him from being adopted to an experienced and responsible shepherd owner.

So the conflict in my mind is do I keep him or let him go? It's a rhetorical question, I'm not looking for votes or advice, I'm just talking out loud here.

[The pictures are of Maya from a couple nights at the James River Brewery in Scottsville.]

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cole's first walk

I wasn't really feeling the urge to walk today. By the time I got around to it the morning coolness was long gone and it felt like the humidity had set in again. Still, I knew I needed to do it, so I set out for a two miler with Maya and Theo.

Next I took Maya again, of course, and Trooper, who had been wanting to go again. I figured that a cooler day would be good for Trooper and he hung in there for another two miles.

Trooper and Maya

Max and Cole
I really needed to take Max, and I wanted to try Cole out on the trails too, so I left Maya at home for the third leg. She expressed her displeasure, as I knew she would, by getting up on the kitchen counter, rearranging a few things, and taking my paper coffee filters over to the big dog bed. She didn't destroy them, but she wanted to let me know that she could, which would have left me without coffee for tomorrow morning.

While she was busy plotting revenge, Max and Cole and I had a nice three mile walk. It was Cole's first time out, but he fell right into it. Max is not the sharpest pencil in the box, but he really has become a good trail dog. He's focused on the trail like he never is anyplace else. He has even learned my verbal "right" and "left" commands when we hit an intersecting trail. Max may not be a great role model for a lot of canine behavior, but he actually is when it comes to hiking, so Cole got off to a good start.

He really enjoyed it too, his tail was wagging throughout the entire walk. He was just happy to be doing something, getting some attention, and being a part of things. He's been great in his crate indoors at night. I'm not sure I'd trust him loose in the house unattended, but I brought him indoors after today's walk and he was fine.

Cole mimicked Max's behavior on the trail,
for the most part, but he would turn around to
look at me whenever he had the chance.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A brief respite

Max, a/k/a Mad Max, a/k/a Magnificent Max
We seem to have a couple or three days of relief from the extreme heat and humidity that has been suffocating us lately. Today was cooler and noticeably less humid. It didn't take much to work up a sweat, but until today all it took was stepping out the door.

Max's butt on far left, then Maya, and Theo
I took the shepherd triad, Maya, Max, and Theo for another walk late this afternoon. They were good except we had two or three rabbit sightings and Maya has decided they are worthy prey. Max gets excited when anyone else does, so I had my hands full. At one point I just grabbed Maya's tail and held her by that; it stopped her pulling much more than me pulling back on the leash. Theo was pretty good.

We did four miles, which was enough even with the better weather. When we got home I took Barkley and Cole out to the pasture while I did some mowing. They had a good run too.

Maya and Theo

Theo the Hunk

Barkley is the black and tan rottie, the other guy is Cole.