Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Taking no chances, I used two leashes.
Lola went on her first hike today.  We just did four miles, but that was probably more exercise than she's had in a long time.  Our hiking motto is "lead, follow, or get out of the way" and she was introduced to that today.

In the beginning she stayed out front with Maya pretty well.  But she soon discovered all the opportunities to stop and sniff.  Stopping in front of me results in me running into her or at the very least, kicking her back legs.  She wasn't sure where we were going and seemed to want to turn back, so she ended up trailing me for most of the hike.  That's fine.  I didn't have to pull her along, Maya did that if she lagged too far behind.  I just slung the connected leashes over my shoulder, which kept them high enough to avoid either dog stepping over the leash and getting it under her legs.  It worked pretty well.

We encountered a couple people walking.  I stopped and stepped off the trail but not too far because both these dogs are very friendly.  One of the walkers stopped to pet the dogs and they were both good about it.

One thing Lola hasn't figured out yet is that hiking is the best opportunity to poop and pee.  I haven't put her in the dog yard because I don't want her getting muddy and I'm not sure she will come to me.  She's better with Clay, but she's still rather scared of me, probably because I yell at some dog or another at one time or another.  I think she's also better with women, probably for the same reason, but the walk should have helped her develop some trust in me, I hope.

Maya on high alert after spotting a deer.
Lola's eyes are two different colors.  One is brown and the other is black. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Lola arrived from North Carolina today.  I'm fostering her for Green Dogs Unleashed.  Her former owners moved and dumped her at her vet's office.

She was smart enough to know who to
kiss up to from the start.

No one has had anything negative to say about this dog.  She's good with other dogs, good with people.  She's house trained and crate trained.  She's only about three years old, already spayed, and fully up to date on vaccines.   Green Dogs was asked to take her in when other rescues declined because Lola has a seizure disorder.  However, she hasn't had a seizure since starting on medication over a year ago.
Once she gets settled some place that she
feels safe, she's in no hurry to move.

Walking with Erica of Green Dogs
She has had a confusing day.  She was cautious when meeting me, but it didn't take very long until I at least got a friendly sniff.  She met all the dogs in our household without anything like a proper introduction and did well with them all.

Trooper is the one who gives newcomers the most
attention and he approved of her.  Maya said hello
but that was all. No one had a problem with her.
She's pretty good sized for a female shepherd and she's a very pretty girl.  I look forward to seeing her relax and settle in, but for being a new dog coming into a pack of nine around here, she's doing very, very well.  She found an unoccupied dog bed and settled down onto it, content to just quietly observe.  That's good.  She can do the stairs and did so on her own, both coming up and going down.  I'll probably crate her in the office with Max tonight.  Maybe one of these days we'll have some sunshine and I can get some better pictures of her.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dealing with it

Daphne went back home today so
we are back down to nine dogs,
temporarily at least.
Entreaties to a deity are ineffectual so I've decided that the only way to handle the rain, muck, and mud, is to dress for it and deal with it.  I worked on Monday and didn't have time to get out for a walk, but I took Theo, Commando, Gigi, Daphne, and Jasso out to the pasture for some exercise.
Theo has two balls in his big mouth already
so when I throw a third ball he runs after it
but doesn't pick it up.  He returns with his
original two but won't give them up although
he still wants me to throw another.

Commando is a big brute on the playing
field, throwing his considerable weight
around, but he's shaping up to be a really
good dog.
Ball playing was a bit different without Summer, who would always return to me with a ball and give it back.  Theo runs for every ball, but once he has two to carry in his mouth, he doesn't pick up the third ball that I just threw.  Commando liked to run with him, but he wasn't really that interested in the ball.  Daphne was much the same.  They would pick it up but would then usually drop it long before getting back to me.  Consequently, I got more exercise too because I would have to go after the dropped balls to avoid leaving dozens of them scattered all over the pasture.
Commando would pick up a ball but he
never carried it far and certainly never
brought it back to me.
Mostly he just liked to run.

I don't think Gigi shared my attitude towards getting out in the wet weather.  I suspect her preferred way of dealing with it would be to stay in bed and wait for things to improve.  But she did some running, mostly with Commando who tried repeatedly to engage her in play.

This was a common sight, Commando running
after Theo who was running after a ball.
Commando's house manners
are coming along. He hasn't
marked, he's good in his crate,
and he has learned to do stairs.
It was Jasso's first pasture time since his second heartworm treatment in early December.  He seems to be back to normal, he's eating normally again and showing interest in life generally.  Still, I discouraged him from running by giving him a tennis ball that he could just carry or lay down with as he likes to do.

Maya was not happy about not getting out for a hike or to run in the pasture with the others, and she let me know it when we went to town in the evening.  It wasn't the worst damage, just a box of Cheerios that I was saving for the birds, and some Christmas cards and other mail strewn about on the floor.  I'm off work on Tuesday and Wednesday and we are going to walk in the rain as long as it's anything less than a downpour.

When Commando tired of running with Theo,
he spent a lot of time trying to engage Gigi in play.

When Gigi decides to run, she is fast.

Jasso enjoyed being outside again.

L to R: Theo, Commando, Jasso, and Daphne

Gigi and Commando

L to R: Jasso, Daphne, Commando, and Theo.
I did long distance throws for Theo, and Commando usually went along with him.
I could then do a short throw for Daphne and an even shorter one for Jasso.
That's the advantage of having a large field and a big bucket of tennis balls.

Gigi giving me the sideways glance,
not sure we should be outside.
Daphne is fast on short distances and could get the ball
but she didn't really care about having it afterwards.

I'm very happy that Jasso is feeling good again.  As soon as he's neutered I'll start looking for
an adopter to give him a permanent retirement home, but if he stays here, that would be fine too.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A brief respite from the rain

Maya and Theo
Trooper and Maya
My walking has been down and my food intake has been up.  I need to reverse that but the weather has been most uncooperative.  The sun made an appearance today however, so I took advantage of to get out and walk in spite of the muddy conditions.  I did four walks, each about two miles, with Maya and Theo, then Maya and Max, then Maya and Trooper, and finally Maya and Daphne.  Toquima went back home today, but he spent most of the day playing in the dog yard with Commando.  After the final walk I took Theo and Commando out to the pasture to romp and play ball.

Commando (left) and Theo

Commando is not really interested in the ball, but he enjoyed
running in the pasture with Theo.

Maya does Christmas

Of course she spent a lot of time
laying the middle of everything.
We do Christmas at Clay's mother's place in Charlottesville.  His brother came in from New York.  I always come home mid-day to let the dogs out for a bit, but even with that it makes for too long a time to leave Maya home alone without supervision, so she came along this year.  Maya had been there several times, and we had spent the better part of two days there a while back when my internet connection at home went out and I couldn't work.  Maya and the resident cat had met a couple times and had mostly ignored each other so I had some reason to believe it would be okay.
A gift for me and a gift for Theo, or any other
ball-loving dog.

Coming down the hallway, tail up,
happy and comfortable in grandma's house.
Maya was fine.  The cat was curious about her.  I guess that Maya may have been exposed to cats in her former home and knew to leave them alone.  I kept a short leash on her most of the day and watched her closely, but she was also watching me closely so everything was fine.

Sitting with Clay's brother, Hugh.  She gave everyone a
chance to pet her.

She spent most of her time pretty close to me, especially
in the beginning.  She trusts me enough to go any place
with me, and even more importantly, she trusts me enough
seek me out for security when she's unsure of something.