Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introducing Kiva!

Our newest foster dog will be arriving late tomorrow and we're pretty excited to welcome her.

Kiva, in her temporary foster home
She spent the last month in the City of Sacramento Animal Shelter, and like all the dogs there her life hung in limbo.  New Rattitude's California State Rescue Coordinators had been tracking her and hoping for an opening and thanks to the adoption of Coho, we had room for a new foster. So a California volunteer drove up to Sacramento and picked her up from the shelter.

A photo of Kiva at the shelter
She's one year old and we believe she weighs about 12-13 pounds.  Her body is all white and you can see she has the cute brown markings on her head. And from what we hear she has a great personality as well. She's an active, playful, super smart little gal and her temp foster mom says she would excel in some type of dog sport or at a minimum some trick classes.

This sweetie is named for a structure used since ancient times by the Pueblo cultures for religious rituals. In the ancient societies the kiva was a round room below ground but in modern cultures the building is square and above ground. We took these photos of kivas on vacations to the Southwest in the past.

The interior of an ancient kiva, Long House Ruins, Mesa Verde National Park

A kiva, shown reconstructed with a roof over the structure, Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde National Park

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Silence can be Scary

Anyone who has active dogs, and especially overly smart active dogs know that silence is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, unlike most people who seem to dislike the loud jingle-jangle of ID tags/rabies tags/dog license tag, I love that noise. It lets me know where the dogs are located and their current level of activity.

Langley has finally been relaxing after all the big holiday "to-do" and the recent wild puppy adventure, and has been trusted with more unstructured play time. I still never leave him alone more than a couple minutes but this is progress for him and I'm really proud. He uses this "free time" typically to chew on antlers, beat up his stuffed pig (as you saw yesterday) or swing his Kong rope toy around, throwing it for himself to chase after.

Yesterday he was getting some of this good-boy-free-time and I was in the kitchen, sipping some coffee and working on emails. I checked in on him a couple times but then got distracted by what I was doing on the computer and before I knew what had happened 30 minutes had passed and I hadn't checked in on Langley.

As soon as I realized this I strained my ear for the sound of jangling tags or Kongs hitting the wall. Nothing. Total and complete silence. The only sound was the hum of the refrigerater and old Tilly's snoring. Panicked I tore out of the kitchen and around the corner not knowing what to expect, but sure it would include something expensive and large being shredded and Langley in some part of the house he wasn't supposed to be.

Imagine my shock when I rounded the corner and this is what I saw. Not Langley kicking back in a pile of shredded area rug. Not Langley resting among books he had pulled off the shelves. No, I saw Langley snoozing on the back of the armchair. Now this may not seem amazing, but if you've lived with Langley, you know that he's typically either fully loaded, or sleeping in his crate (not by his choice.) Rarely is there an in between. So for him to choose to rest was a big step. On top of that, he didn't choose the couch location where he could have stared out the window alert to any birds or squirrels in the yard. Frodo had taken the most comfy spot on that couch so Langley chose the equally comfy spot on the back of the armchair with less of a view but more comfort. AMAZING! He chose comfort over compulsion! Just a normal dog, doing the normal lazy naptime that normal dogs do. Kickin' back for a snooze. I quietly grabbed the camera that was luckily close at hand and snapped a few shots. He woke up, but still didn't leave his comfy place.

I'm so proud of the sweet goofball. He's overcome a lot to get to "normal."  Not that there won't be crazy times ahead, but knowing that he has the capacity for "normal and lazy" makes me very happy, indeed. Good job, Langley!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Langley: Relaxing with his Piggy

Langley's pretty happy that the puppies are gone. As much as he loves to tear around and wrestle, for some reason they made him pretty anxious.
So for now he is kicking back and enjoying more freedom than he was allowed when the pups were here since he had to be separated from them. He's been back to playing with his two favorite toys: the rope Kong and Mr. Piggy.

Piggy Love

Looks like the piggy might be winning this round

Soon we'll have a new foster but until then Langley is enjoying some down time. Well, Langley-style down time, that is.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I was looking for some ideas for new things to stuff Kongs with and did a search on the internet. Horrifying! Come on people, there is a reason why your dogs are fat with slipped discs and early onset arthritis and diabetes. A medium sized kong is able to hold a little over an ounce of "stuffing" and if you are loading it up with cheese and peanut butter and dog treats with almost no nutritive value, well... Not meaning to be rough on people but when you choose to be responsible for the well-being of a dog, that means making choices for them that might not be what they would choose, but instead what is best for them.

A bowl of Kongs, ready for stuffing - this looks like a Kong barnacle to me

I did find a couple of ideas that I liked though. For a dog who eats a kibble based diet, here's a way to prolong their breakfast or dinner AND get some extra liquids in their diet for kidney health. Take their kibble and cover it with either water or some low sodium chicken or beef broth. Give it a long time so the kibble plumps up with the liquid to nearly twice its size. Set your kong in a mug or bowl and stuff it full of the water-logged kibble. You can either serve it this way or better yet, freeze the Kong so it takes them longer to completely empty it.

When you want to give your food obsessed dog a treat (and yourself a break) without adding a lot of calories, take a kong and use a little piece of cheese smushed into the small hole at the bottom to plug the hole. Then, put the kong in a mug and fill it with low sodium broth and then freeze for a meaty popsicle.

Finally, an easy, healthy, low calorie kong stuffer is to buy bags of chopped frozen veggies at the grocery store. I like using green beans or peas and carrot, or chopped broccoli. Layer veggies with something like applesauce, plain yogurt or pumpkin and then freeze.

While I know this seems like a lot of work, it really isn't that bad if you stuff several Kongs at once and then just store them in a bag in the freezer.

For some other fun recipes visit but be sure to avoid the ones using Kong Pastes since that paste is pretty loaded with chemicals.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Willow the Wonder-pup!

I usually wait awhile longer before I do a "pupdate" of how a foster dog has settled into their new home, but I have to say that Willow (Coho) is doing so well that I had to share some photos her mom sent me.  It took almost a week after she had arrived in foster care at our home before Willow would approach without creeping up to me with her ears flattened to her head, but look at her here, almost immediately seeking out attention and just hanging with the crowd!

Asking for some attention (or quite possibly some food)

Willow was one of those poor dogs who craved human attention while simultaneously being terrified of it. So when she arrived we did what we normally do with new, fearful dogs - we ignored her.  Well, I mean she was fed and got sweet talk and potty breaks and all that jazz but we were careful to try to never approach her but instead to let her take things at her own speed and choose to approach us. By giving a fearful dog the time and space they need to understand they are safe, you will speed up their ability to trust tenfold.

Hanging out at a family birthday party like she's lived there all of her life

Obviously though, she immediately felt safe in her new home and is doing great and just another member of the family. We can't wait to hear more of Willow's great adventures and prove that sometimes all a shy dog needs is a little patience and love and a family willing to see the potential in a not so perfect dog.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Coho's happy ending

While I love the dogs that I foster, some I am happier to send home than others.  I was happy to see the pups find homes that are up for the time consuming responsibility of training a puppy so they can have a happy future where they feel confident and loved.

Coho, soon after arriving at our home
For Coho, I am happy to see her go, not because she's a lot of work, but because she is so sweet tempered and gentle that the poor girl got lost in the crowd and I feel like she wasn't getting the attention she deserved here.

Coho came to us underweight, probably recently having weaned puppies, with a budding case of giardiasis, and pretty timid. This was a dog who had been failed by humans up to this point. I set about getting her healthy: she had vet visits, medications for the giardia, pumpkin to help soothe her intestines, and high quality puppy food to help her start putting on weight.  As she started to feel better some of her shyness disappeared and her personality started to blossom. I soon saw she was one of those dogs who desperately wanted to connect and bond with people. She wanted lap time and pets, and sweet sugary babytalk. 

Showing off her signature dance moves
I did my best to shower her with the affection and attention that she had been so lacking over the first 4 years of her life but there were 6 dogs in the house, all with their own set of needs and all WAY more demanding than little Coho and she always seemed to end up last in line.

So that is why even though my heart was sad to say goodbye, it was also happy because when Coho went home with her new family yesterday I knew she would finally get the attention and focus that she deserves. Her mom works from home and the family also has two large dogs, both who didn't phase Coho in the least when she visited.

Her new name will be "Willow" which I think is a beautiful name for this long-legged beauty who bent but did not break under the harshness of the first years of her life. She is now moving on to a happy future as a loved little princess in a wonderful family and that was my dream for her.

Here is Willow, getting ready to head home with her new mom and wearing her new car harness. At first she was pretty scared and bewildered but a delicious big homemade dog cookie helped her decide this may not be too bad after all. I wish I could have gotten a photo of her once she really dug into the cookie. She forgot to be scared for a bit and her ears went up and tail was getting wiggly.

She's not too sure what is happening
"Hmm...what's this delicious smelling thing?"
Getting a small nibble of the happiness that is coming her way with her new mom

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zia's starting her new life!

It's not often you get to see a 40 something adult get so excited about something that they are jumping up and down, but that's what happened when I pulled up to meet Zia's new parents to hand her off last night. They were so, so happy, and Zia, who had met them once before was pretty dang excited too. I'm always a little sad when my foster kiddos head home but that kind of happiness is pretty infectious and it makes the goodbyes a lot easier to know that she's found a home where she'll be an important member of the family.

Zia will now live in a neat old neighborhood of Tacoma and her mom is really excited to start her in agility - something this sleek, long-legged, athletic Rat Terrier-Jack Russell will likely excel in! She's a busy girl and needs a job and there's nothing like positive training to help a dog and their person bond. I'm looking forward to hearing about her adventures and seeing pictures of her all grown up - will she have her mamma's conformation-perfect rat terrier ears or her dad's cute floppy Jack ears, or maybe one of each?

Settling in for some serious antler chewing
Since I've been so busy the puppies pretty much kept themselves occupied playing with each other while they were here and I felt bad because I didn't get to know them as well as I wanted. Today though, I made myself take the time to have an extended playtime with Zia and she tore around the rec room, wrestled with me and worked on an antler with intense purpose.  After that she snuggled up in my lap while I worked on my laptop and had a nice snooze.

Catching some zzz's after a long playtime
So have a wonderful life, beautiful girl! I know you will be loved.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Little Taos has found a loving home!

While I love the puppies and they are over-the-top adorable, they are also a lot of work and really annoy the older dogs in the house who aren't at all fond of the whippersnappers' antics.  Well, Frodo actually likes them at meal time when he can stick his paw through their wire crate and steal food from them.

Anyhow, this sweet guy found super loving mom who lives in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and was so excited to welcome him home. She loves to hike and walks a lot so Taos is going to be in heaven. She's also looked into some great options for socializing him as well and has a friend with a Jack Russell mix pup almost exactly the same age so Taos will have a buddy too. Oh - and his new grandma and uncle are flying out this weekend to meet him! His new name will be "Rumi" after the 13th century poet - beautiful name for a beautiful boy.

Here are some photos of the hand off to his new mom.  Have a great life, sweet boy! Can't wait to see  you at the Seattle Rat Terrier Meetups!

Hanging out in the car before meeting up with his new mom
His new mama is pretty smitten with this cutie
His mama bought him a cute new "Devil Monkey" sweater and of course he looks adorable in it
Here he is at our house having a last nap with his sister, Zia

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poor Coho!

Sweet Coho is a bit shy when meeting new people so a trip to the vet for a spay surgery, teeth cleaning and a couple extractions was her idea of the ultimate nightmare.

Taking dogs to the vet for a spay or neuter surgery is just a common trip for me. I'm probably in there at least once or twice a month with a dog needing to be altered so I'm pretty aware of what they act like post surgery and what their recovery time looks likes.

From the moment I took Coho home I could tell that her pain level was not typical. She had received a 24 hour pain shot and then came home with some pain meds but still, she could barely keep herself in standing position and was doing a lot of moaning. It was worrisome although her incision looked great, there was no weird swelling, and she did eat some wet food with water mixed.  When the next morning she was still barely able to move without moaning, I talked with the vet. A stronger pain med was prescribed and at dinner time that day she got a dose of the new med.

Coho, after she jumped up on the couch to give Troy some kisses

What a difference. By about 30 minutes after dinner she was wagging her tail, walking around and then before we could stop her, she jumped up on the couch to get some attention from Troy and a few kisses in.  Thank God for pain meds!  We'll be keeping her on the Rimadyl for a few more days as she continues to heal from the spay. AND she has some good news that we'll be announcing in a few days.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our Parasitic Adventure

Over the years that we've taken in dogs from shelters we've become pretty familiar with battling parasites - some with more staying power than others. We've dealt with fleas, ticks, diseases from fleas, mites and ticks, multiple skin fungi and yeasts, every worm imaginable (and some I never would have imagine) and lots of single-celled creepy crawlies inhabiting our foster dogs' intestines.

Our personal dogs are very healthy, eat nutritious foods and supplements and rarely pick up anything because their immune systems are very strong. The poor foster dogs bodies though have been through high stress and bad nutrition (and sometimes starvation) and their bodies are easily overcome by these nasties.

So recently when one of our foster dogs joined us they brought up the intestinal parasite Giardia. Symptoms of giardisis are diarrhea as well as burps that smell like diarrhea. It transfers from feces to mouth so poopeaters like Langley are usually the first to be infected.

The result has been utter chaos since along with 2 foster dogs with giardiasis, we also had 2 young foster pups who are highly suscesptible to the pest. To keep the puppies from becoming infected we've created this complex dance of leashed trips to different sections of the back yard, foot cleaning with antiseptic wipes after each trip outside, different poop scoops for the "sick" vs. "healthy" parts of the back yard and separating pups from adult dogs by crating and rotating. No one is happy about it, least of all Troy and I, but we don't have a lot of options.  Coho is now completely over her case and doing great. You'd never think she'd been through a thing. She's starting to put on a bit of weight and her coat is really shining up. 
Langley and Coho during their free time, checking to see if there are any goodies in the kitchen

With Langley it's tough to tell because feeling sick made him anxious, which also causes loose stools. He's also still recuperating from a holiday season full of lots of changes to routine so all is not well in Langley's world or his butt.  It looks like we've managed to move past the multiple middle of the night crate blow outs, complete with his anxious spinning and trampling of the poo. And he's actually enjoying a little time in the living room without too much compulsive behavior.  In fact today I found him sitting in his favorite bed when I came upstairs from the laundry room. I had put the bed up on the hearth to keep the puppies out of it but that didn't stop Mr. Longlegs from hopping into it. It's the first time I've seen him just sit and relax since November.
Langley balanced on his perch

The puppies are keeping busy in their penned area and Frodo makes sure to stick close during mealtimes to benefit from their messy eating habits.
Frodo helps himself to some puppy food

Coho and Tilly hang in the kitchen where they both have cozy beds and things to chew on.

So everyone is making the best of things and now that they've completed their Panacur treatment and antibiotics, we're crossing fingers that we're finally done with the mess. The sanitizing will continue as will the leashed potty breaks and careful scooping and hopefully that will be the end of our first run-in with Giardia.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Lazy Post

Puppies are TIRING. So I am just now getting around to writing a post today and honestly, it's not even a post. The good news is that along with being really tiring, puppies are also super cute and hilarious so I just uploaded a few videos and am going to call it good for the night. Better get to bed now. I've got to be up at 5 am for their first potty break of the day.

Zia and Taos, running off some of their seemingly endless store of energy
Taos can't get up on the couch so one of their favorite games is for Zia to get up there and taunt him.
Zia and her little needle puppy teeth can do some damage if you are careful so having toys/chews to redirect her mouth to is always important.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Taos and Lloyd
One of the best things you can do for your puppy that will truly change their life forever is to give them as many experiences at a young age as you can squeeze in.  I understand that it can be a lot of work, but hey - if you choose to bring a puppy into your family you signed on for the job. Early socialization can develop a confidence in your dog that will set them up for success for much of their life.

So yesterday I took Taos and Zia on a socialization expedition. First we stopped by Northpoint Trading Company - a wholesale distributor of natural pet products. I had to pick up a few puppy items for the foster dogs so I took the opportunity to bring the pups along to meet a bunch of people they didn't know and also to meet Lloyd, a sweet, 70 pound goofball of a Pit Bull.

Zia was the first out of the crate. She was pretty scared but she scooted around on her belly at high speed, checking things out (and occasionally submissive peeing as you see in this video - whoops!)  Then when she had sniffed everyone and decided things where safe, she went into her typical, excited, tearing around puppy mode. 

Taos's style is to hang back and watch and then to emerge once he feels safe. Lloyd was pretty interested in Taos and kept sticking his huge head up to the entrance of the crate and Taos's eyes would get big and he'd back up. However, before long he ran out and joined his sister doing rattie runs around the front office. Of course this was pretty cute and before long all work came to a stop and warehouse employees streamed in to see what all the laughing was about.

When Lloyd witnessed the pups in full speed he was a little overwhelmed (I totally feel ya on that one, Lloyd.) So he backed up slowly, head flipping back and forth as he tried to keep track of where they were, and he sat his butt down on my lap. It was really cute, and I absolutely love Lloyd so forgave him for putting my legs to sleep. He eventually decided they weren't a threat and laid down in the middle of the floor to bat at them as they tore by. Again - really cute!

The visit ended when Taos and Lloyd tore under a desk and knocked the computer speakers off just as the boss came to see what the ruckus was about. Whoops!

The next part of our adventure wasn't quite as fun. We went to my work, Dog Daze Natural Pet, to meet some cats and also to have their microchips inserted by one of my co-workers. The pups received a bully stick for their troubles and chewed contentedly all the way home.

Not sure where our next adventure will be but we'll think of something.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monkeyin' around

Along with being incredibly adorable puppies possess the power to make anyone laugh. I mean, it's just about impossible to stay irritated. The puppies pull a pee pad into their crate and shred it, and I chuckle, but 11 yr old Tilly does the same thing and I grump at her.  It's like pups have a license to be naughty.

A lot of yesterday when I wasn't at work was spent cleaning up after Langley who is sick with an intestinal infection and producing a LOT of poop.  When I wasn't cleaning him, his crate, and myself up, I was taking dogs out on leash or cleaning up after the puppies or trying to figure out a way to get Langley to stop panicking about the poop, and thus causing himself to poop even more. As you can imagine I was not in a good mood. The house smelled horrific, the dogs were loud, and I just wanted to either crawl into bed and collapse or go punch something. But then something happened.

It was the puppies turn for attention so I put Langley in a crate downstairs, sanitized myself, and got the puppies out for their turn to tear around the living room and wear themselves out.

And then the day magically got better. It's impossible to focus on how irritated you are when a puppy is running around and making their oh-so-funny puppy grunts and squeals. And before you know it you forget why you were even mad and join in the wrestling match. Puppy therapy. It's a great thing. Even if it does come hand in hand with a lot of chewed up things and potty accidents.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Zia and Taos at the Vet

Taos in the exam room, trying to decide whether to jump off the table
It was a pretty eventful day on Sunday for the pupsters. Both had an early morning drive to the vet where they were spayed/neutered. Both were pretty unhappy about the whole ordeal and we were called early to pick them up since they were loudly complaining.

Zia, getting some snuggles from a vet tech
They showed off their cuteness, but Taos must have been especially working the ladies because when we arrived he was dubbed the new front desk employee and got to hang out getting snuggled up in the reception area.

Already they are perking up. They are still not so happy about being separated so they don't overdo themselves wrestling with each other and they aren't shy about expressing their dislike of the situation. This morning they are getting some time together before the work day and I also bought them off with some new plushie toys that are keeping them distracted.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Puppies' first day...

Watching the back yard to see if there's anything interesting going on
Little Zia and Taos made themselves right at home and have been tearing around and acting like the active terrier puppies that they are. While we think they are great the 4 dogs in the house, Coho, Langley, Frodo and Tilly, have all given them a 4 paws down vote. Langley's overwhelmed by them, Coho and Tilly are irritated and Frodo's yelling "can I hear a HELL NO!"  Puppies are never popular with him.
Busy, busy puppies. Coho is interested, but also annoyed.
Taos wants so badly to be able to tear around on the couch like his sister does, but alas, his legs are too short.

But it's been a good first day. There's only been one poop in their pen so I say that's impressive.  Both of them endured a bath and they both agree that this cold weather makes potty breaks a special kind of puppy abuse. Little do they know what awaits them today at the vet's office...
Zia getting a bath

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Adding some crazy to crazy town

Things were already busy and wild at our house but last night the crazy reached new levels. The transport arrived with the 8 Washington pups and they all spent the night at our house. This morning they are on their way to their various foster spots but they sure created quite a hurricane while they were here.
Sunbeam (in back), Sidney, Serena (all girls), and Morgan (boy)
Maile and Teko (both females) fostered in Redmond and Bellevue WA
Zia stepping on Taos's head
The puppies were LOUD.  Really, really loud and a bit cranky since they are ready to stretch their legs and tear around and I went and stuck them in yet another crate for the night. There was a bit of poop and mess from the pups and a lot of noise but for the most part as long as we put earplugs (Hunter's idea) in and kept a bunch of candles burning it wasn't horrific. 

The variety of sizes and head shapes was a big surprise to me. Mama was a papered Rat Terrier (although not your typical markings) and I'm pretty sure there were a couple daddies involved in this batch of pups.

The real problem was the four dogs who were already here. From the puppies we had 2 crate poops last night right after arrival. However, from the other 4 dogs already here we had 2 crate poops (Langley) one table leg getting marked (Frodo) and then about 3-4 pee spots in the kitchen (Tilly). Coho kept a dry crate but just cried mournfully.

The whole adventure has been most overwhelming for Langley, poor guy. Hunter took him downstairs and carried him around and bounced him last night until he calmed down and was able to relax and go to his bedtime crate. In the video you see him in full on freak out mode. A little later he added some poop to his whirling dervish routine which resulted in him needing a bath and the crate needing to be scrubbed down with a brush to get all the poop off the wires.

After everyone quieted down, Frodo and I went downstairs with some Spanish guitar music, a very big glass of Syrah, and the laptop to catch up on emails and paperwork. It was a late night and an early morning but I'm glad this large loud crew is safe.

Sunbeam, fostered in Snohomish WA

Friday, January 11, 2013

Introducing Zia and Taos and 7 more puppies

Meet our first two new fosters of 2013: Zia and Taos. 

My co-rescue coordinator and I were contacted about a litter of 8 three month old puppies needing rescue who were born to a Rat Terrier mom. At first both of us thought "CRAP, there is no way we can pull this off!" but I figured I might as well check in with the NW foster parents and see if anyone was up for squeezing in an extra puppy or two to their load of foster dogs. As usual, a bunch of folks stepped up to the plate and before I knew it all 8 of the pups had found a foster spot.

One of the foster parents donated the $50 to get them all their first vaccination and then we waited 3 weeks for them to have their second booster since we didn't want to put them on a transport unless they had 2 DHPP vaccinations under their belt.

Then yesterday, the day the puppies were supposed to hop on their transport, I got a call from our New Rattitude volunteer who was temping the puppies in Fresno for us. She had taken all the pups in that morning to get their health certificates and the shelter vet saw the pups and then brought out another puppy the same age, same size, who had been stepped on and had their shoulder dislocated. The shoulder had been reset and x-rays had been done and everything was okay - she just needed some cage rest. The vet wanted her to see if we could take that puppy too. OY! A ninth puppy?! I told Lynn I couldn't promise anything since the foster homes taking the puppies were already in overload.  So I emailed the foster parents again and sure enough, another foster parent stepped up and a ninth puppy joined the crew. I told Lynn she'd better get them on the transport soon because I wouldn't be taking a tenth.

The pups are on their way up to the Northwest as I type and there are 6 foster families excitedly awaiting their arrival. Eight pups will be fostered in Washington and one in Oregon. That makes our NW foster homes full to the brim with 20 dogs currently in our foster homes up here. They won't be overloaded for long though since there are several adoptions in the works and we're sure the puppies will go fast, even if they do look a bit mixy.

Our two kiddos are both named for Native Pueblos of New Mexico. For over 600 years the 19 pueblos of New Mexico have dealt with the worst that both man and nature could dish out and survived so they may fitting namesakes for tough little homeless terriers that have beat the odds.

Zia is a native Pueblo of New Mexico located about 16 miles north of Albuquerque.  It is also the name of the sun symbol below that is featured on the flag of New Mexico. The pueblo is known for its pottery, an unpolished redware with white slip.

Most folks have heard of the modern city of Taos, but the Taos Pueblo that lies about a mile north of the city is an ancient community that's about 1,000 years old. The famous north-side pueblo structure seen below is the largest multistoried Pueblo structure still existing and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warming up

While some dogs just need a few days to relax and settle into their foster homes, others need a bit longer and Coho is one of those girls who need time and love to realize that their life has finally taken a turn. Happily, this week she's gone from avoiding getting too close to us to wanting to follow us around. In fact it was tough to get pictures for the blog last night since she kept photobombing the shots.

Check out this video of her coming over and standing on my legs to get some attention. She's obviously still not relaxed about it but she kept coming back to me for more petting. Such a sweet little girl. I can't wait to watch her grow into a happy relaxed dog.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Neah has blossomed into a Petunia!

Petunia, demonstrating the level 5.9 difficulty "Single Flying Nun Ear" maneuver while her brother Atticus observes

Look who's doing great in her new home! Neah, now named Petunia, is settling in and has discovered that she loves the game of fetch.  She's been keeping her new parents chuckling and they've seen firsthand the epic skills she has when it comes to ear maneuverability.

She's a cautious dog when it comes to fully trusting a new person. After all, she's just a year old and she's been moved around so much already.  But she's already learning that her new family loves her and she's found a place to live for good. We can't be happier for this sweet and silly girl and her new loving family. Special thanks for the great photos and  update.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meeting the pack

Coho  has proven herself to be really great with the other dogs of the house. She is calm without being fearful when around them and Frodo and Tilly almost immediately treated her like she'd always been here.

Giving Frodo an introductory sniff


But Langley is always another story. As anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, meeting Langley can be overwhelming for even the bravest of dogs. In spite of this, Coho is calmly working through Langley's spastic attempts at welcoming her.

Yesterday they spent a little time outside together and it went really well. There were sniffs but Coho was disinterested enough that Langley didn't get himself worked into a tizzy.

We're all keeping paws crossed that as life settles down here post-holidays Langley continues to calm down and make Coho's time here happy.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcome to Crazy Town, Coho

Pretty Coho: cautious but craving human attention

Poor Coho. The trip up to WA from CA is always scary enough for dogs, but then poor Coho landed in a foster home that's in total chaos. We have out of town guests, and while Langley loves them, it was the final change of the holidays that threw him over the edge and he is in full panic mode: obsessing about eating things in the yard so much he can't eliminate out there, panicking in his crate, and much more. So Coho walked into our home in the middle of all this. Of course Coho was an additional "change" for Langley so we aren't even considering working on introductions between the two of them because Langley is too far gone to work on something like that.

She's really enjoying exploring the sights and smells of the PNW
More peeking at the back yard: lots of birds and squirrels to keep track of

Understandably, Coho was terrified of this full on crazy terrier who was twice her size. So she's a little nervous at this point. In spite of that she loves attention from people and is getting used to us and coming up to us for pets and loves. She finds the act of being picked up scary but once she's in someone's arms she's happy.  Her favorite though is if I just sit on the floor and she can hop in my lap. We'll give her a little time and space and she'll be tearing around in no time. She did great when she was in temp foster care so we know this is just a temporary thing and she's getting used to the stressful environment she landed in.

Demonstrating her dance moves

She's a bit underweight so we'll be working on getting some weight on her. She also still needs to be spayed and microchipped so that will be happening in the next week. Lots going on for this tiny little 8 pound girl.

The good news for poor Coho is that things will start to settle down on Monday as we get back on our normal schedule. Langley "resets" pretty quickly these days so hopefully once he slows his brain down, he and Coho can become friends. So stay tuned as we watch this sweet and beautiful little dog blossom into her new life as a rescued and loved dog.