Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Out and About with Gus

After Gus' visit to the vet and the good news that he just had a minor sprain we decided to stop a Lowe's on the way home to pick up some gardening things. Lowes or Home Depot are great places to take puppies and expand their world.  Lots of places to wander and sniff, shopping carts, fork lifts, fountains - you just never know what you might find.

We were just in the garden section so took some time to wander around and smell the flowers and vegetable plants. Along the way he met a couple people who he sniffed for a bit and then was happy for more attention from them.

Checking out the tomato cages

Wandering through the vegetable garden section
It was another fun puppy socialization adventure - complete with tripe treats!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Gus the Klutz

Gus isn't the most coordinated of guys - he's in that awkward stage where he's growing like crazy and has more legs than he knows what to do with. Add to that the fact that he is a typical puppy who likes to jump up on everything and fling his body around, and it was a recipe for disaster.

On the way to the vet. He thinks these vet visits are sure getting old.

I was carrying Sal to the deck table so I could trim her nails and Gus was following us, jumping up and trying to bit Sal's tail. I turned sideways when he jumped and it must have thrown off his balance because when he landed he shrieked. He was putting weight on his injured leg after a few minutes so he was given crate rest for the rest of the night and then yesterday morning I took him to the vet.

The good news is she felt all over, extended and bent the leg and Gus showed no signs of any discomfort with the manipulation. She felt it was a minor sprain and for now he just needs to limit his jumping. Easier said than done!

Gus is bowlegged with a little duck-footed walk and I think that because of this structural stuff he will always need to be a bit careful about jumping too high or doing sports that put too much strain on his joints.

The vet also checked a bald spot on his back that I thought might be ringworm but it wasn't typical for ringworm - the skin was ultra smooth and pink, like new skin in an area that was burned. The vet said from the location between his shoulders and the size that it might be a burn spot from flea spot treatment he got awhile back. So bad news that he had that chemical burn, but good news that it isn't ringworm and that the skin has already healed up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snip Snip

Gus went in for his neuter this morning and is home now and doing great although he's still pretty out of it.

Heading home after the surgery - still a bit stoned and channeling Yoda

That's not a bad thing though since it will slow the little guy down while recuperates. The rest of the dogs are reveling in their well deserved break while Gus sleeps off the anesthesia.

Cone-free Snooze Time

I'm sure by this evening he'll be back at nearly full speed but for now he gets to be cone-free while he naps.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Playing with the Big Girls

You just never know when one of the big girls are going to decide to lay aside their grouchy anti-puppy stance and decide that it would actually be fun to play with a puppy. Gus has realized this so he just keeps trying to get them to play with them, hoping one of these days they will take him up on it.

A rare occasion where Sal played a little tug with Gus

So far his attempts with Chima have not gone so well. Chima's still not comfortable around him so when she "plays" it is so intense and close to her threshold that I don't feel it is safe, even though Gus doesn't seem to mind the intensity level. Little guy is up for everything, even if it involves getting screamed at by Chima. In those cases I have to be the bad guy and break things up. Below is a video where Chima just outright says "NO". Gus had been trying for about 15 seconds to get her to play by playfully waving his arms around and tapping her leg. By the time I got my camera rolling I just caught the end, which wasn't pretty.

However, she isn't always mad at Gus.

Salinas mostly rebuffs him when he tries to play with her but yesterday morning when Chima was sleeping next to me so couldn't interfere Gus and Sal had a grand old time wrestling and chasing. It was a bit one sided in that Sal always had Gus down and pinned but Gus didn't seem to mind since he kept coming back for more so I didn't break things up.

Chima later woke up and had to go be the fun police which put a damper on the playtime so Sal and her decided to soak up a bit of sun and Gus had to find something else to do.

Chima deciding to catch some sun, right in the middle of the wrestling area

Chima keeps an eye on things to make sure Gus doesn't get a sneak attack in

Monday, June 22, 2015


Gus absolutely LOVES water. The bath, not so much, but when it comes to the hose, sprinkler, watering can, fountain, etc. he goes crazy. Yesterday I had the watering can and was watering some ferns. Before I knew it Gus had jumped into the fern bed and was tearing around in the mud, running through the water pouring out.

He gets this way when the hose is turned on and likes to stand in our water feature in the backyard. I wonder how he'd react to the beach. We'll have to plan a field trip over to Browns Point soon and find out.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Busy Dog Day

His last afternoon of sunning with the girls
Today was Rigby's day to head to his new home. It was a tough goodbye since he has been here 4.5 months and is the kind of dog who really wants to connect to his people. He is headed to a great home though. In fact his new mom brought him some of his favorite tripe treats and even better, she bought one of the big Snoozer car seats that Rigby so loves to lounge in during car rides. We will all adjust but a few tears were shed as I folded up his bedtime crate and put his Molly Mutt bed in the wash.

Rigby's "go home bag"

I brought Gus along on when we met Rigby's mom and after Rigby was on his way we headed over to Mud Bay to pick up some puppy food. Gus is growing fast and used up his first bag of food quickly! We timed it just right for a socializing trip because it was a shift change and there were 6 employees in the store at the time. Of course they all wanted to meet him and brought him treats and by the 3rd meet and greet he was ready to leap up to give kisses and get his treat.

Gus greets an employee

Sniffing kibble - a very fun pastime

And even better - sniffing some of the dehydrated Sojos. 

Checking out the buckets full of chews and wondering how he landed is this magical doggy wonderland. 

Along with meeting people Gus was able to walk past some other dogs calmly while on leash and he got to sniff so many yummy things! This shop is a busy place with tons to take in but Gus handled it like a pro. After we had purchased the puppy food it was out to the car for the drive home and that meant time to chew on a bully stick. Gus is starting to really love trips in the car since they've led to some pretty cool spots.

Enjoying a bully stick on the drive home

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Best Car Trip Ever

Puppies need to get lots of positive experiences outside the home. Not just toted around everywhere - it needs to be really fun so the puppy starts to associate going out into the world as something that holds great rewards, not scary things.

All buckled in and kicking back for the car ride

As a foster parent, when I have a puppy I try to take them on errands with me to dog friendly places so today Gus came with me to Tacoma Mall to meet the raw food co-op truck. Part of these adventures is the great high value treats I bring along but unfortunately I was a bad foster mom today and forgot the treat bag! We had to make do with the sweet potato stars I have in the car which are pretty ho-hum treats.

What better place to have a puppy meet a bunch of strangers than at a dog food delivery with a bunch of crazy dog people there. He was a big hit of course and he got the biggest jackpot in his life when one of the ladies opened her 30# box of beef rib ends and gave him a big meaty slab. What a great association - a stranger picks me up and a big meaty slab of the best food he's ever tasted in his life appears.

A generous lady offers Gus a rib end while waiting for her order

"Nom, nom, nom..."

All that meeting and greeting and chewing was tiring so he took a nap on the drive back home. I know the trip was a success because he now keeps waiting at the garage door when we are downstairs and trying to get out to the car.

Gus and his dinosaur, snoozing on the trip home

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rigby's adopted!

I am so excited to announce that Rigby has found himself a great family! He will have an 11 or 12 year old Lab brother and a big orange kitty who will keep them both in line. And he gets to live on the Hood Canal, right on the water. What fun he will have finding stinky things on the beach!

His new mom and dad have terrier experience and have been following this blog so know all about his allergies and feel able to take on his special diet restrictions. They weren't even phased when he snarked at Skip the Lab for getting in his space a little too much. (Can I just say here that I LOVE Skip! What an adorable, goofy boy who even with cataracts is still fetching sticks in the canal.)

Here's Rigby hanging out on a big log on the beach. We hear they regularly have oysters wash up which I'm sure that Rigby will find delicious! Good thing he doesn't seem to be allergic to seafood.
Rigby made sure not to let himself get wet - true Rat Terrier.

"Hey, are you going to share that tripe?" 

And this is Skip the Chocolate Wonder Dog playing fetch in the Canal

Here he comes with his stick


"Throw it again!" In true Retriever spirit, Skip doesn't believe there is any reason for a game of fetch to end.

While it's always a little heartbreaking to say goodbye to a foster dog who has spent several months with us, I am excited that this special, sweet natured dog now has a great family to call his own and is now itch and rash free thanks to getting his diet on track.

Happy life sweet Rigby boy! We love you!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Taking Turns

I love the Molly Mutt "dog duvets". It's basically a dog bed that you stuff for yourself. I use old chewed up polar fleece dog blankets to fill ours up and most of time the beds are used in their crates. We have one outside version of the bed though and when it's nice out I will throw it on the deck for the dogs to sun on.

Until Rigby joined the pack the girls pretty much ignored the bed when it was outside but once they saw that Rigby liked it, everyone wanted to get their turn on the bed.

The boys hope that since Salinas is so hot she'll move and give them a turn on the bed

Gus decides not to wait and just hops up with Sal

But he's a puppy so easily distracted and soon he's off to do something more interesting

Rigby is wondering if I think he will ever get a turn

Yay! Rigby thinks the wait was worth it for this warm, soft spot in the sunshine

When it's in the house the adult dogs mostly ignore it unless there is no room on the couch but little Gus seems to prefer it to the couch and it is his go-to spot for a nap.
Gus' favorite spot for a nap

Chima snoozes on a bed next to Gus

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Play Time With Puppy: Part 2

Little Gus tried so hard to get someone interested in playing with him. Rigby just wanted him to go away and Sal and Chima were resting on the couch so he steered clear of them.

He even tried to play with Frodo and the new football but Frodo was having none of that.

So he had to keep himself entertained. First with Nylabones and then later just rolling around on the floor.

Isn't his little roly-poly belly cute?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Play Time With Puppy

I figured that I would be drafted to be Gus' playmate since none of the other dogs usually are interested in hanging out with a puppy. But yesterday we got a big surprise - Salinas decided to accept Gus' play overtures and they actually had a game of tug and later a game of chase that would have lasted longer had Chima not gotten in the middle of things.

As much as Gus wants to play he has very good manners for a puppy and will back down when the other dogs tell him to give them space. It doesn't stop him from trying to get them interested though.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Food For Foster Boys

Yesterday I took a trip to a natural pet food store to buy some food for both Gus and Rigby.

Gus is underweight and not as muscled as he should be at this age, thanks to being ill for a few weeks. So I wanted to find a food that had a lot of calories - something dense with protein and fat. These days a lot of food are heavily marketed and have things that are pretty unnecessary. For example a kibble that brags about having fish oil, glucosamine and probiotics in it is not really any better than one without - both the oil and the probiotics are damaged by heat during the processing of the kibble so aren't able to be utilized by an animal like you would hope they would be. Foods are marketed for small breeds and weight management and senior dogs and even specific breeds. There are a lot of gimmicks out there to get you to pay more for a food.

You can see Gus's spine, ribs and hip bones now - all signs that he needs to gain some weight

But food for puppies is something that is worth spending your money on - at least for the first 6 to 8 months. Unlike an "all life stages" food that can't be too fatty for older dogs, a puppy food is going to give a big boost of calories and also the higher fat that is needed for their developing body and brain. Pregnant dogs should be eating a puppy food as well - they need the extra calories.

So Gus will start on Firstmate Ocean Fish Puppy Formula which is a wonderful grain-free kibble made in British Columbia. I'll add some pollock oil and refrigerated probiotics to the mix as well and he is getting 3 meals a day, which all the other dogs think is so unfair. Hopefully with the extra meals and calories he'll start putting some weight on. Goodness knows he loves to eat! The kid is like a vacuum and can suck a meal down in no time.

Then, exciting news for Rigby - since most people really don't want to have to cook for their dogs we are going to start doing a trial of a kibble again now that his infection is all cleared up. I bought him some Nature's Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Rabbit kibble and tonight was his first meal with some of it mixed in with his turkey, green beans and broccoli. Wish him luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Introducing Gus!

Gus arrived in WA on Sunday and was going to be fostered by another family, however they have another foster keeping them very busy and unexpected family stuff came up so they asked us if we would take Gus on as our foster boy. YES! I was so excited at the chance to foster this boy. 

Gus is always moving so some of the only times I can get a clear picture is when he stops to scratch or pee

This little guy has been down in Fresno with a couple temp foster moms being nursed back to health after a nasty battle with parvovirus followed by a complication that was a result of all the fluids he was receiving. And on top of that he had giardia! Little guy has gone through a lot and everyone is so happy that he made it through after several days where all the vets could really do was wait and see if his little body would be able to fight back. 

Watching the other dogs who are having a fit over some crows

He's now your typical busy little 15 week old puppy. As a result of being sick for so long he is underweight and his motor skills are a little behind in development due to being so weak and not moving around much. He'll be getting 3 good size meals a day of puppy food mixed with probiotics and a bit of fish oil and we are hoping he'll quickly start to put on the weight and build up the strength that he has lost. 

Most photos are a blur of jumping puppy like this one

But for now, a big welcome to this happy, friendly little guy!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Adopted! Magill Heads Home

Sweet little Magill was so cute and full of personality that it didn't take long to find him a home. We are pretty excited that he found such a great home complete with a young Rat Terrier brother so he will finally have someone who will play with him!
All harnessed and tethered for his ride to meet his new parents. He is heading east over the mountains to his new home.

Bored, bored, bored

Magill isn't currently a fan of car rides since for the most part car rides have not been fun experiences so far - trips to the vet and the long transport ride with people he didn't know. I'm sure his new parents will soon help him understand that car go to fun places too. Oh, and his new name will be Loki - which definitely fits the little maniac.
Meeting dad and mom

Kiss attack!

We will miss the life and energy he brought to our house but the other dogs are celebrating his disappearance with relaxed naps.
Frodo can finally sleep in his bean bag without Magill leaping off the couch onto it. 

Chima doesn't have to share her sun spots or the Nylabones

And Rigby is probably most happy of all to have things quiet and peaceful again.