Spring is here and the pups got to play in the BIG kids yard with my dogs, Hermes and Bella and our friend Abby (who is Willow‘s daughter). They had a blast and were tearing around for nearly an hour.
Here is a note from Lisa on Willow (below) and my response (above)…
Lisa, this is wonderful news. I know that the readers will like to know about her life. Thank you for keeping up with her and hanging in there. Rescuing isn’t easy – in fact the kind of rescuing you did with Willow is the hardest – you got her in the throws of such huge transitions – just into rescue, having pups, loosing her pups to their new families, and all those accompanying hormones! And then she had those persistent illnesses, and needed to be spayed. Really, you took on a lot. It has been really helpful to hear of your struggles during this time – I have learned a lot that I will be able to use with the next mama that needs a home. I’m still learning and I am sorry I wasn’t able to foresee all that you were taking on. Again, thank you so much for hanging in there with her. I am so pleased she is loved, cared for and may be an international dog some day!! Wow.
Keep me posted and photos would be great.
Hi Kristin. I love the web site. We loved seeing all of Willow’s puppies. They are absolutely adorable. Willow is doing great. She just got spayed finally a few weeks ago. Between the infections and then her going into heat, we couldn’t get her spayed until now. She has really come a long way since we got her. She has calmed down a lot and she is very loving toward me and the kids. She finally let my husband pet her in January before he left for Germany. He is coming home for a visit next week so we will see how she does with him after him being gone for so long. We are still undecided about whether we will take her with us. They really love dogs in Germany and Switzerland and they go everywhere including restaurants and stores. She is definitely not trained for that! But we will see as the day draws nearer. We will not leave until July, so we have some time. We have to figure out where we will be living and if it is suitable. Also we will have to find someone to take care of her when we come home for vacations. That may be a challenge. If we can work out the details, we will take her with us. We love her so much in spite of all her anxiety issues. It sounds from the descriptions on the web site that her puppies have all turned out well. I think the one person was right about their being bloodhound in their lineage. I have always thought that about Willow with her somewhat droopy eyes and her insistence on smelling everything persistently for long periods of time ! Thanks for checking on her. I’ll try to find some pictures to send on to you, but rest easy and know she is being very well cared for and has evolved into her role as queen of the house!
Here is the latest update on Rubi (formerly Red Bud from Willow’s litter)…
Rubi is doing really well. She’s growing so big…she’s over 44lbs now (apparently not as big as her other litter mates)! She still has her beautiful eyes and her red nose. She has developed mange as well. It would have taken us a lot longer to figure out what was wrong with Rubi if the other families have not informed us. Thanks! She’s on her treatment and we hope she gets better asap.
She’s so full of life and energy. We walk her daily but it’s a good thing Dave can also take her to the Dupage county off leash area where she gets to run around and mingle with other dogs…and gets a lot of her energy out. She’s losing her puppy teeth and has stopped nipping and mouthing.
Rubí has done very well with training commands. She knows down, stay, sit, come and “high-five” with consistency (occasionally she has some trouble with distractions). She was the star of her puppy class. So far we haven’t had an accident in the house in a very long time.
She loves to snuggle before bedtime with us. She’s growing so big but still thinks of herself as a little lap dog.
She had some fun dressing up as a french maid for Halloween. Her and Qhali (our cat) both got in the spirit of things. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep both of them still for a good picture. Maybe next time.
She’s such a joy and everyone she meets loves her.
d and e
An update on Birch (one of Willow‘s litter)!! Her family wrote me tonight to say that she had her spay surgery and it went well. She is a whopping 49 pounds!! She looks so much like her litter mates it is crazy. All the pups are really similar and also really favor their mama, Willow. Seeing this picture made me really happy. I hadn’t heard from her family in a long while and I always worry when I haven’t heard much from an adoptive family.
Doing rescue work with abandoned dogs is difficult, but those of you who adopt these dogs are the real heroes. It is a long and painful process, acclimating and rehabilitating a dog that has been abandoned, mistreated, or just ignored most of their early life. I have often recieved concerned emails from the families who open their homes to the mama dogs we foster. Their concerns are about the dogs’ strange, unpredictable and odd elimination “rituals.” Other concerns involve the dogs’ fearfulness around children, men, new situations or being left alone. Many rescue dogs take a long time to “warm up” to certain members of their families. Other concerns involve the dog’s distructive behaviors – chewing up wood trim, carpets, chair and table legs, digging holes in drywall. And still other concerns involve aggression toward other dogs or new people.
All these “problem behaviors” are normal dog problems but in a rescue dog they will be weirder. This is difficult to explain, but the behaviors also include hints to what the dogs’ life must have been like prior to being rescued. Take elimination issues for example. In a normal dog, they will poop in the house most of the time near the door …showing they get that they aren’t supposed to potty in the house, but haven’t quite figured out the whole solution. A dog with a “history” will hide their poop in the house, or poop in your bed or pee in their bed, or act really weird about pooping on a leash. One of my recent fosters, Willow, had and still has a strange way of acting on leash as she is about to poop. She circles like crazy, nearly running back and forth and looks practically frantic as she is obviously trying to find a place to poop. She would nearly pull my arm out lunging about. My first impression of her was that she seemed very underinformed (a nice way of saying stupid) about the ways of the world – she didn’t even know how to walk down stairs or how to walk on tile floors! I figured that she must have been tied up on a short leash all her life. Given that, pooping was probably really stressful for her. She likely spent a long time trying to find a place to poop where she wouldn’t be stepping on it and of course probably failed as she was tied up on a short lead. I suspect that this may be the case because when she wasn’t on a leash she pooped more easily and with less running around. But who knows, really? Only she does. But think about it… what if she was tied up on a short leash ALL HER LIFE. What would that do to a dog? I try to imagine what that sort of deprivation, containment, and isolation might do to a dog as I try to help their new families address their behaviors.
It is of course the same with all the problem behaviors that rescued dogs come with. Their problems “hint” at their history. Our rescue, Bella, came to us when she was about 2 and very pregnant. My story about her past was that she was driven off her property by being shot at and before that she was often teased by groups of kids who were around 10 years old. When she came to us she was scared of kids that age and would growl and snap at any kid that came up to her. She was deathly afraid of loud noises, especially gun shots (she would literally flatten herself out on the floor and run for it whenever she heard one). And we discovered a sad piece of her history one night when Mike came home from work. She had always loved Mike, right from the start. Every night he would greet her with his arms outstretched over his head, holding his lunch box and his gym bag and say in a loud voice, “Belly!” and she would squirm with delight and lay on her back at his feet begging for a tummy rub. We don’t usually get a newspaper but one day there was a free copy on the driveway so Mike picked it up on his way in. He entered the house and Bella came running to greet him. He spread his arms wide and said “Belly!” and she took one look at the newspaper in his hand and ran down stairs and hid under the couch. So, add being hit by a newspaper to our story of her history. This happened months after she had come to live with us.
A wonderful update on Sugar (from Willow‘s litter)…90% lab isn’t bad for a rescue puppy!!
Just a little update on Sugar, she is doing great, she just started puppy classes and did very well. All her other classmates were tiny breed dogs and I told my husband Sugar looked like Clifford the Big Red Dog.
She is super dog and people friendly and doesn’t understand why everyone does not want to play with her. She is into everything, we cannot turn our backs for one minute. She too like Koda found her way on top of tables, we keep referring to her as Marley. I am curious to know how her litter mates are doing, size of them and how they look. Sugar keeps growing and growing, she is about 35 lbs. at almost 16 weeks and her color has gotten a little more golden yellow. My vet says she looks 90% Lab but her ears are much longer than a labs. I will try to send some pictures when I learn how to attach to my e-mails– I am not very computer savy. I would like to attend some puppy playtimes, but it is just a little too far.
I am done!! All my foster dogs are out to their new families!! Hooray!
I can’t describe the level of contentment that swept over me after last Friday when all the puppies and Willow moved to their new homes. The past week has been a breeze with just my dogs and Chloe. Unfortunately, Chloe still hasn’t found her forever home but she has fully recovered from her last experience. She is back to her sweet, very smart self. Today she left for her permanent foster home. I’ll still see her at The Water Bowl when I work there. I’m planning on doing some training with her and working with her shyness around some men. It will be good to have contact with her. And it is VERY good to have her out of my house.
Tonight we received a box full of samples from Kong. We tried some of their toys I’ve never used before! I’ve talked about how much I love their products before but now I can describe how my dogs liked them:
We took a large bone and filled the ends with treats and Kong Stuff’n and gave it to Lollie. She immediately became VERY possessive of it and is still chewing it. We had to put her upstairs so the other dogs could enjoy their treats. If you have a dog who is at all dog aggressive or toy possessive, this treat will set them off…it is that good.
Hermes got the regular sized Kong bone, also filled with treats and stuffing. He is still working on his. He has also confiscated Bella‘s stuffed large sized puppy Kong and is currently chewing on that one while his lies nearby. Unfortunately, Bella preferred the cattle bones we have lying around, but hey, two out of three ain’t bad.
An update on Juno (formerly Cherry) thanks for the kind words!!
Juno is a great little puppy! She is doing very well and adjusting quickly to her new home. She is extremely friendly and has enjoyed all the new people she has met in the last week. After the first night, she has not cried or protested sleeping in her crate, and she now seems to enjoy sleeping and napping in there. We can’t believe how easy she has been. We even left her at home crated alone for about and hour and she was just fine when we came back—although I’m not sure she even realized that we were gone. Her potty training is going better than anticipated, and she has not had an accident since Saturday (she only had two accidents in the house—on the day she came home and the next day). We’ve now established a good schedule for Juno, which seems to be doing the trick (and she also sits by the door when she wants to go out). She’s learned to sit and come, and we are working on down and walking on a leash; Juno is a smart little girl and very willing to please.
Juno really loves the backyard, so we hang out with her a lot during the day when she’s not sleeping. She is full of beans during the day, and she enjoys gardening (chewing up the plants and fertilizing the soil), geology (picking up rocks), travel (through some gaps in our fence to our neighbor’s yard, which we promptly fixed), snorkeling/diving (for toys in her pool), sports (chasing her balls and toys), slalom (frenetic zooming around the yard darting in and out around and through the plants), and hosting parties (playtime with the dog next door). When she’s not outdoors, she likes lots of cuddles, belly rubs, training, sleeping, playing, and hanging out with us watching animals on TV. Juno is the cutest and sweetest little bundle of joy, and we are having a great time trying to keep up with her!
We cannot imagine what it was like for you to raise the litter yourself—you are amazing! You have also done a terrific job with the litter– we can tell by our very happy, well-socialized pup. Thanks for being a terrific foster mom and raising such a good little puppy; it has made it so much easier for us and Juno!