Monday, January 25, 2016

Sweet Potato Fries

I decided to try dehydrating some sweet potatoes for the dogs this week and see what the think. Really they aren't the greatest product testers though since they eat anything, even things they aren't supposed to like squeakers, toilet paper tubes, you get the picture...

So I dusted off my very basic dehydrator and sliced up some sweet potatoes. No need to peel them. Some people like to do slices and use them as chews but my dogs will swallow things whole and I worry about them choking on slices so I cut mine into sticks. Then just load up your trays. My sticks took about 14 hours to dry but if you have a food processor you could do thinner slices and they'd dry quicker.

They turned out great, my dogs love them, and they make a great healthy treat. I immediately stuck apple and mango slices in the machine to see how the dogs like those as well.

The next thing that I want to try is drying chicken strips although I'm a bit worried that my machine gets warm enough and so I might do them in the oven instead.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Adopted! Seuss Found his Family

Seuss was only around for a couple weeks but what a joy he was to foster. So well house-trained and great house manners! This big beautiful boy will be living in the Columbia Valley of Washington on a 35 acre vineyard where he will lend a hand keeping the gopher population under control. That's a dream come true for this true terrier who is never happier than when he is chasing after some small critter. 

With Sal and Chima

Along with the great digs, he'll have two human sisters and 3 canine siblings - a big happy family who is very excited to welcome this boy into their family. 

His favorite spot to squirrel watch when stuck inside

Monday, January 18, 2016

Play Time

I was very happy to discover that Seuss absolutely loves tennis balls.

He throws it around on his own and if a person is available to throw it he loves chasing after it. This isn't the best video but he was having so much fun that I wanted to share it.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Seuss the Snoozer

Seuss if very serious about his sleep. So much so that he can get a bit grumpy when other dogs are moving around near him when he is trying to rest. We've been working on reinforcing him when he is tolerant of any movement around him and also catching his attention and distracting him before he has the chance to grump. It's worked really well and the result is that he didn't react a bit the last couple times that Sal decided to curl up next to him. Typically he chooses to sleep on the opposite end of the couch than where the people and other dogs are so this is good progress for him.

Sal and Seuss

His favorite sleeping position is the pike position which always looks silly to me.

Sleeping in "pike position"

He's also started choosing to snuggle up next to me occasionally. My guess is that the more settled and safe he feels, the more he will choose to be closer to the rest of us when he sleeps.

Snoozing next to foster mom

Friday, January 15, 2016

Seuss goes to the vet

Seuss needed his DHLPP vaccination updated and to have an exam to make sure he's all healthy so we were off to the vet on Friday morning.

This was after a long wait for the vet. After a lot of pacing and nervousness he finally relaxed a bit. Ear rubs helped a lot.

He did great in the car and was very much a gentleman at the vet, even though he was obviously nervous about the new place. He really didn't like the thermometer up his bum and tried to sit down so I had to hold him and restrain him a bit which he liked even less and he finally had had enough after waiting a bit for the temp and he did snap at the tech. I really couldn't blame him at that point.

He was very aware of the barking and yelping coming from the waiting area while we were in the exam room

He was great with the vet though and didn't even flinch when she gave him his vaccination. His heart sounded great, knees and hips are wonderful and his ears and teeth were good too. We weighed him and he was 30 pounds exactly so he's actually a little bigger than our last foster boy, Harrison. He's in his healthy weight range but on the low side of it so he actually could put on a pound.

A littl stressed: tail down, upright ear pricked and turned, and licking his lips
Unfortunatley we will need to see a different vet on Monday to have his microchip inserted since this vet won't do that. I can't wait until New Rattitude works through their regular microchip stock and starts using the little "nano" chips that use a much smaller needle. I actually think I may be able to insert those myself now that I've worked through my fear of needles.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Seuss Singing

Like my dogs Chima and Salinas, Seuss loves to hunt and to "yell" through the window at any crows or squirrels that dare come on the deck when they are inside.

Salinas and Seuss, trying to find a way to get at the mouse

Currently they are obsessed with the mouse living under the tool shed...

And Seuss treated us to some great howling when a crow was trying to steal the suet. So much nicer than barking!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Amazing Mr. Seuss

Wow. Not sure what else to say. Seuss has arrived and what a happy surprise he is. When we looked over his paperwork we learned he is actually 4 years old, not 1 year which explains the calm, easy demeanor he has. After the impulse control deficits my last two foster dogs had this thoughtful, careful boy is a breath of fresh air. Not that I didn't love Lizzy and Harrison for their exuburance and joy, but it could be a bit exhausting.

He is a prime example of why skipping the puppy and teenage dog years are a plus. This guy is very well housetrained and so far has been great with my other dogs. So great that I actually left him gated in the family room with them when I went to work because he is so obviously relaxed around them and very trustworthy. I've never done that with a new foster dog before. That's over 100 dogs, to point out how amazing this is.

Like all of us he isn't perfect. He can be growly with the other dogs when they want him to share the couch with him or when they hang out near where he is eating. No snapping but he lets them know he wants them to back off. While I want him to feel free to growl when needed (it's a great warning system and better a growl than a bite) he needs to know that he doesn't get to hog the couch. Mind you, he's been here only a day so he's still learning the ropes and this may not be the norm for him.

He's great about letting me know when he wants to go out with a gentle pawing of the sliding door and he enjoys sniffing around the backyard without feeling the need to have a "pee-off" with Frodo.

Inside he enjoys kicking back on the couch, burrowed under a blanket and doesn't join Frodo and Salinas as they yap at every little thing.

Of course, we are still in the honeymoon period of fostering, a time when a dog doesn't feel completely comfortable enough with the new people and new place to really be themself. So we'll give him time to relax and get to know us better but in the meantime - wow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Introducing Seuss!

For our first foster dog of 2016 we have another big boy. Seuss is a 1 year old, 27 pound Rat Terrier who I am told is house-trained. What?! That would sure be amazing but I will believe it when I see it.  While he's the same age and about the same size as Harrison, I am told he is much more laid back which will be nice. The house dogs have had a nice break from foster dogs for the last couple weeks and I don't think they'd appreciate another crazy, energetic kiddo.

His shelter photo

Why did this guy end up at the shelter? Well, it's a sad story where his humans failed both him, and a cat. Like many terriers Seuss has a pretty intense prey drive. And then when you put several drivey dogs together and then put a cat in the mix things become very dangerous for the cat.

While Seuss did not instigate an attack, he did take part in an attack on a cat with other dogs at his home. The cat was killed and the owners immediately took all the dogs to the shelter. I don't know all the details but it's very sad and this is a case where I blame the humans. If you have dogs who love to intensely chase cats it is the humans job to keep the dogs away from cats. Dogs should not be allowed to practice the behavior of chasing cats and if they share a house with a cat then a way needs to be found for them to stay separated.

So we will be looking for a family for Seuss who understand that he can never live around cats and will need to be leashed at all times when not in a safely enclosed, cat-free area.

He is more than just this incident though. He is a loving, athletic, beautiful boy who loves people (adults and kids) and I have heard enjoys spending time with other dogs as well. He's a sweet guy who just needs a responsible family who understands he can never be around kitties.
Side view - another tall boy

A big thank you to Lynn Bonham who drove the 9 hour round trip drive to the shelter he was at to pull him from the shelter the day she learned about him since he was scheduled to be euthanized at closing.

He'll arrive here Sunday evening so stay tuned to hear how introductions to our pack go.

Seuss is of course named for the author Theodore Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss. We decided not to necessarily go with a naming theme for foster dogs this year but will instead just pick names we like. I can't say that I see a Lorax or a Yertle as a future foster dog. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Fosters of 2015

It was a slow but good year for us. Typically we foster about 12 dogs a year but this year we just had 5. Part of that is we are only fostering 1 dog at a time now - something to preserve our sanity and keep things calmer and happier for our 4 personal dogs. But also, we didn't get the number of applications that we have in past years and dogs who I would have thought we'd only have for a couple weeks stayed with us for several months. That's okay though because we enjoyed our time with all of them.

But here they are - the five kiddos that we rescued in 2015 and happily all have been adopted into great homes.

Rigby: Rigby with his big brother before heading out for a rainy Northwest walk

Magill: he came to the 2015 Rattiefest with his family. A happy, happy boy.

Gus: he started as a sick little puppy but now is a big healthy guy. Here he is visiting Makeda and Mingus Cafe with his family.

Lizzy: Sweet "dizzy Miss Lizzy" is best pals with her human brother

Harrison: Big boy Harrison is newly adopted and has a furry older brother who has more energy than he does!

Our first dog of 2016 arrives next weekend and we will be sharing him with you soon.