Monday, June 20, 2016

Introducing Danzi!

Because we had already committed to rescuing a dog when we learned that Seuss was being returned we have ended up with full house. Mr. Seuss had a week to settle in and then yesterday our new foster girl Danzi arrived.

Soon after arriving and still pretty worried

Danzi is kind of a supermodel of sorts - long legs, and quite the pedigree. However she is a good example of what happens when a dog is purchased as an acquisition and not a companion. All the good breeding in the world won't make up for the attention, socialization and exercise that is needed by a young dog. Danzi spent her two year life in a back yard full time and was tethered near the back door of the house at night. The result was a bored dog who ended up doing a lot of digging - a choice activity for terriers with nothing else fun to do.

Checking out the back yard but sticking close to the humans

She didn't get the exposure to everyday things that puppies need to get and the result is that she is somewhat skittish. Not horribly but it is pretty stressful for a dog to have to experience so many new things at once.

Not too shy that she can't go check out a possible snack

She's only been with us for less than a day and we've discovered several things we are working on. She doesn't seem to have experienced stairs but after some worried attempts last night seems to be getting the hang of them. The TV also was pretty worrisome to her but she soon learned it wasn't able to harm her. And thirdly, she was a bit nervous crossing thresholds to enter the house from outside and we will continue to work on that. I am guessing things like the vacuum, dishwasher and washer/dryer will take her some time to get used to as well.

Regardless of her undersocialized start she has been great with the other dogs in the house (and there are a lot right now!). She loves people too and they don't seem like they worry her at all. And last night she did great in her crate for the night.

Overall she seems to have the kind of temperament where she is a bit nervous but is able to quickly work through things after having a bit of time to assess them at her own speed. I never force new things on dogs but instead like to let them make the choice to approach and explore something that worries them. The results are that using this technique they are able to work through things much more quickly. If I had dragged her on leash down the stairs I can guarantee you that she wouldn't be able to tear up and down them the next day like she is doing now.

She was tethered in the car on the drive home but still managed to get as close to the people in the front seat as possible. 

She is crazy fast and can jump in place a good 4-5 feet straight up in the air. The girl is quite the athlete. I look forward to seeing her relax enough to tear around with the other dogs in the coming week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Seuss Settles In

When Seuss first arrived he was pretty stressed out and probably in pain from the swelling in his leg. He was grumpy and growly that day but I know better than to judge a dog from how they are behaving when injured and just getting out of a stressful situation.

I didn't know what to expect but now we are a couple days in and the leg is starting to heal and he is doing great. He's happier, his tail is up most of the time, and he's actually hanging out with the other dogs.

He and Chima like to watch for squirrels at the slider and sound the alarm should any evil rodents attempt to infiltrate their territory. And when outside he loves to tear around with the girls and joining in the hunt.

Chima and Seuss on squirrel patrol

Since all of my dogs tend to be pretty independent, he hasn't felt the need to be growly when they get in his space. Even during mealtimes when Chima loses her mind a bit, he has just chosen to move to the other entrance to the kitchen and avoid her.

He's still growly when he is sleeping and dogs or humans approach but we all give him space and I call to him from a distance so that he has the chance to wake up and approach me and doesn't feel threatened by me hovering over him.

Happily he is just about as easy a foster as I can get. Other than working on some reinforcement for him when other dogs are in his space we are also physically working on getting some weight on him. He was such an obsessed hunter on the farm he lived on that his metabolism sped way up. He's 27.5 pounds and I'd like to get him up to 31 which should be a healthy weight for him.

Making himself and his cone fit in a tiny bed when there is a large bed right next to it
I had forgotten about his silly extra long legs that look as if they are all tangled up when he sleeps.  Like Chima he seems to believe that the smaller the dog bed, the better the fit and he often chooses beds that are more sized for 7 pound Tilly than they are for a big boy like him.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy and Sad News

The great news is that sweet Mochi girl went home yesterday and as with everything else in life  she was very happy and excited about it. She got a pretty new purple flowered martingale collar and leash and said thank you with plenty of licks and jumping.

Mochi and her new dad and mom

The sad news is that we got a message from Seuss' adopters that he and another dog in the home have not been getting along and there had been a big fight that morning. Since things were escalating so badly and both dogs were injured it was time for Seuss to come back into foster care. Sometimes dogs just don't like each other and some dogs prefer a calm, quiet environment and Seuss wasn't doing well with young kids and 3 dogs around. It happens. So now we get him fixed up, assess things and then find him a home where he can be happy as an only dog.

He wasn't walking on his leg yesterday and there was a lot of swelling. I gave him a dose of anti-inflammatory and put a cone on him and then we headed to the vet first thing this morning. The vet was worried that the puncture wounds were starting to abscess. Poor guy had the very uncomfortable experience of having wounds scrubbed out. He was given an antibiotic injection as well as a prescription for antibiotics and hopefully that will do the trick. If not he will need surgery to clean things out and insert a drain tube so crossing fingers we see big improvements today. He has started to put weight on the leg so that is great news.

Otherwise he seems to be doing well. Still super great about his house training, still an amazing hunter. I had to have him on leash last night since he wanted to run around and hunt with the girls so badly. And he still loves all people and even had kisses for the vet and tech and butt wiggles after they had restrained him and scrubbed out his wounds. It's just other dogs he isn't a fan of and he is very grumbly and growly when he's around them now.

He is able to hang out with my crew but I make sure he is never alone with them for now and that he always has the option to leave the room if he wants some space. He's still calming down after a fairly traumatic experience so for now complete supervision is important.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mochi's Adopted!

We are so excited to announce that Mochi has found a great home. She'll join a family with a Jack Russell, Rat Terrier and Border Collie and the Rat Terrier and Border Collie love to play! Mochi will be in heaven and I think she'll do her best to keep her furry siblings Savannah and Lou busy playing chase and wrestling.

More great news is that her family is very active in the dog sport of Flyball and are members of local team the Cascade Comets. She'll be training to compete and we think she'll do very well once she gets some more physical conditioning and training. There's not much in the world that she loves to do more than jumping over things and playing with balls. Frodo, Chima and Sal will be very happy to not have to stand in as her "jumps" any longer.

So congratulations to Mochi and her new family the Comphers! We can't wait to follow her training and see how she settles in with her new furry siblings.

Friday, June 10, 2016

More Mochi Playtime

While Mochi is great with the larger dog beds that we have and doesn't destroy them, she sees the little cat sized ones as wonderful plush toys and loves to throw them and give them death shakes.

She really wants to play with the bed and is hoping I'll stop paying attention so she can take it

Now I have her attention with the ball

Since this little bed is a favorite of Chima and Frodo I do my best to distract her with other toys and for the most part it works.
Chima, squeezing her 24 pounds into the XXS bed

It's nice that she's not very destructive with the plush toys since that gives her lots of fun options for playtime. The worst damage she's done is she shook a plush turtle so hard that it ripped his neck open at the seam.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mochi's Weigh In

When Mochi came to us she was plenty chubby which is unhealthy for a lot of reasons but especially not good for an active young girl since it puts extra wear and tear on joints.

At the shelter and possibly before coming to the shelter she was free fed - given a large bowl of food that is always accessible. This is never a good way to feed dogs and often switching over to carefully measured portions is all it takes to get the weight off.

I've been giving Mochi a 1/2 cup portion of kibble twice daily along with assorted small bits of all meat treats. The result?  Today at the vet on the same scale I weighed her on a month ago she was down  3 pounds! Her weight when she arrived was 38.7 and today she was 35.8.

Showing a nice sit while she is getting weighed

She still has some chub to lose and muscle to gain but her legs are muscling up nicely and she now has a waist - something all Rat Terriers at a healthy weight should have. That small waist is not a sign of being too thin - it's a sign of being healthy! It's just so common for dogs to be fat now that people are starting to think it's the norm.

Mochi is a food motivated girl and loves to work for these tiny bits of freeze dried pork

I'm happy that she'll be starting off her life in a new family at a healthier weight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Four Stages of a Mochi Car Trip

Mochi is a great traveler and I have found most car rides go as follows:

The "what are we doing" stage

The "this is boring" stage

The "might as well lie down because I'm tethered" stage

And finally the sleep stage

Some dogs are not so great in the car so it is always nice to have an easy going travel companion.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More Rigby and Mochi Fun

Rigby and Mochi have continued to play and it has become a regular thing for them to have an after breakfast playtime.

In the 2nd video you will see towards the end that Rigby has had enough and he shakes off and then stands very still. In the past Mochi would have ignored this and pushed for more playtime but this time she respected that he was done playing and off she went to find a toy to keep herself busy.

Good girl! I love seeing foster dogs start to mature thanks to lessons from the older dogs.