Monday, March 2, 2015

Pickles Update, March 2, 2015

Just a quick update since it's rather late, and I've got some things to do.

Pickles is doing well. She's lost a full pound since she's been here, and I can now feel a rib. Yes. I know. *A* rib. But that's a massive improvement over the Pickles that first showed up here.

Between the diet (12 pieces of kibble and 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of canned food) twice a day and the good 10 minutes a night of a good game of fetch and tug, she's beginning to get a waistline. She's got more energy, too.

One thing we're working on is sharing. She apparently came from an only dog home, and she's having a tough time understanding that all beds and pillows belong to everyone. Growling when someone walks by is unacceptable behavior. I make sure she has no toys down when she's around the others because I know that would just cause trouble.

But as you can see from this photo, she's learning. She's definitely learning. :)

I'll have more next week on our girl.

And remember, Pickles is available for adoption from Bark N Rest Retirement Center. See last weeks post for details.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pickles Update 2_23_15

Life is tough when you're in the middle of a house remodel. After nearly 10 months, this whole thing should be over (mostly) by Friday. Which also means a really convenient excuse I've had handy will go away. I'll have others, mind you, but I've gotten pretty good flailing this one. :)

So how is Pickles?

Just dandy. I am so over the moon with this girl it's not funny.

Pickles is sweet. She fetches. She's housebroken. She fetches. She's losing weight. She fetches.

Did I mention she fetches?

I know I'm a broken record here, but it's something my first show dog, Gusto, did, and we spent endless hours over the years perfecting our fetching game.

Gusto left me in 2000, and I've really not had a committed fetching partner up until now.

Pickles loves to fetch. And she really, really, really wants to do that. There's all the difference in the world between a dog playing fetch because you want to and a dog playing fetch for the sheer joy of the game. This girl just adores it. So every night we spend about 10 minutes playing fetch (and tug!).

Pickles (and Skeeter) looking at the squeaky toy

Not surprisingly, she still has separation anxiety. For two weeks, her crate was in the kitchen at night, but there was no sign of improvement in her barking. So we moved the crate into the bedroom, and nary a peep have we heard since (pretty sure the neighbors are grateful, too...she can be relentless). Simple solution. Crate in bedroom = a very happy Pickles. She bounds into her crate, gets a cookie and goes to sleep. Problem solved.

One negative thing I'm seeing is this girl is a chewer. She's tried dragging the big dog pillow I have here in my office into her second crate. And that big pillow in no way will fit there. She's forever dragging bedding around, and I've found some holes chewed in them. She's got chew flips, a huge dog bone and some other toys to occupy her, but for the family who adopts her my first piece of advice is get a crate. Then get some good toys for her to chew on. She's not a puppy, but a 5, she still has more oomph than my seniors here.

Pickles is losing weight. Her weight on February 2 was 11.8 and today she weighed 10.6. She's got a ways to go. Pickles was very well cared for, and a couple more pounds should come off. I'm sort of thinking 8.5 to 9, but until I get another pound off her, I won't really know what my target is. I'm seeing a bit of tuckup, but ribs are still missing. So we've a ways to go here.

 Cats don't bother her, though she's chased my Oriental Short Hair a few times. That's the "let's just have some fun chasing" sort and Ollie invites it. When he's not in he mood, she ignores him. Ditto my other cat who isn't a big dog fan. So I can comfortably say she's fine with cats.

Other dogs? Yes and no. She's jealous, and some of that may disappear over time. She likes her crate to herself and her bed to herself. She doesn't want to share. She's not really gotten possessive over me, but it won't surprise me if that happens. Needless to say, we're working through this. It's not attractive, and it's not acceptable here. If she goes to a house where she's the only dog (and I think that may be her background), obviously there won't be a problem. Here she's with 5 others so she's learning what she can and can't get away with.

She's not a picky eater. No real surprise in a girl who is more Rubenesque than Catwalk Model. She's eating a mix of canned and dry right now, and not much of it. She's a fan of peanut butter like everyone else in this house, but she's not a veggie fan (something I miss since my standard dachshunds loved them).

And even though she's been here a few weeks and we've gotten to know her for who she is, she still stuns Randall and me by looking so much like Buddy, the BNR foster dog we lost a year ago. I kept saying I wanted another Buddy and, well, Pickles is so close.

Buddy, beloved BNR foster dog

I hope to have a few more updates over the next week. With photos and maybe a couple of videos.

I will say again if you're looking to add a small adult dog to your family, take a good look at Ms Pickles. She's a total doll with a great personality who loves everyone and has a lot to offer. Check with Bark N Rest Retirement Center for the particulars.

Pickles really wants that squeaky toy

Bark N Rest on Facebook
Bark N Rest on the web

Sunday, February 8, 2015

So stinking adorable....

Said my friend, Jennifer, when she stopped by and saw Pickles today.

And she is. And sweet, sweet, sweet. And friendly as she can be. Loves people and just knows if someone came by they came by to see her. (You can tell from this photo that Pickles loves to be held.)

Today we got a weight on this girl. The vet had her at 11.7 (that was 2/4), the shelter had her at 12.2 on intake a few days before. We got 10.8.

Now I know she's not lost a pound since she got her on Wednesday, but we have to start somewhere, and this is our beginning. I suspect she's lost a few ounces since Wednesday, but now we know where we are and we'll do twice a week weighings on her to track her weight loss.

On to the better stuff.

Pickles loves to play. We're trying out different chew toys, but I don't have a lot here since most of my dogs are of advanced age and don't really play (and some don't have teeth).

She wants to hide the chew bones I have here, though one is big enough she can't budge it, so I put it in her crate when I laid down for a nap hoping it would help with her barking (it didn't).

She adores dragging blankets around the house. I have a bunch (Thank you Wrapped In Love Blankets!!), and they keep disappearing. A quick turn around the house finds them where she got tired of dragging them. She also likes to chew on them, which is why I'm doing chew bones. I suspect Pickles could be destructive if left to her own least right now, and I can't take the time to work through this since my remodel starts again on Tuesday. So unlike the others who get to hang out on pillows and in baskets when I take an afternoon nap, Pickles is crated. She loves her crate...when it's her idea.

At night she's crated, and she barks for 30-45 minutes, but right now I'm giving her half a benadryl with the end of the day peanut butter, and that helps calm her. Eventually that will stop as we get further along, but for now that's what we do. Her separation anxiety is still in evidence, so we want to help her through this as much as we can.

She is still getting along just fine with the pack (two senior Chihuahuas of varying ages, two senior mini-longhair dachshunds and an ancient, blind mini-smooth dachshund), and she's doing OK with the cats.

I'm leaning heavily towards the "housebroken" side of things. She definitely loves going outside in pretty weather, and she's made a path today. Sunny and mild and Pickles is an outdoor gal.

This girl is going to make someone a wonderful pet. Great temperament, very people oriented and housebroken (I think) and a good energy level. So if you're wanting to add loving family member to your household, contact Dawn at Bark N Rest Retirement Center. Pickles is a good, good dog.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Loving an old dog...or even a young one

Sometimes things don't work out quite as planned.

Ms Pickles, not-so-long-past resident of the Irving shelter is now residing at our house in Garland.

We picked her up from Veterinarians Dental on Wednesday, and were greeted with the news that the estimate for Pickles' age is 5.

Well damn. We do seniors. Five stretches it, but what are you going to do? You've committed to foster, and you won't back out. And really, Pickles could be a bit older. Say maybe 7. Still that's a far ways away from the 12 or 13+ we were hoping for.

That said, are you going to turn this face down?

Didn't think so. :)

So we're stuck, because we can't say no to a face like that either. Not to mention she's a sweet, sweet girl.

So here's a bit about Ms. Pickles. She was brought as a stray to the Irving shelter. Now whether or not she was really a stray or just turned in by an owner who told them that, we don't know. What we do know is this girl has been VERY well cared for.

Great teeth and obviously a good dental history. Not spayed, but she is now.  Coat in very good condition. Ditto her nails. Heartworm negative. And exceptionally fat. As in 3-4 pounds overweight. And for a dog who should weigh somewhere around 8 lbs, this 11.8 she's toting around is a LOT of extra poundage. I can't feel ribs, hips, shoulders or spine. So first things first; Pickle is dieting.

She was obviously well loved by someone, and if she was on the streets, it wasn't for any length of time.

Pickles appears to be housebroken, though around here it's hard to say with houseful of seniors with weak bladders. She does readily go outside. She does have the first stages of a collapsed trachea, so I don't believe she's leash trained, but getting the weight down should improve that considerably.

She's good with other dogs. Slid right into the pack here with only some issues with Skeeter (hubby's very possessive male Chihuahua) that everyone has at first. Fine from all appearances with cats. She met my OSH mix with curiosity,  and has really only been over familiar once or twice.

This girl does have some separation anxiety, but that's completely understandable coming from a shelter. We'll work with her on that, and I hope she can overcome it with just a little effort. She loves people and wants to be with them. It pains her to be apart, so we're going to work on that confidence level.

She's also discovered a love of her crate. Which is absolutely outstanding in my book since I'm a firm believer and user of crates. I had to move hers into my office an hour ago, and she made a beeline for it as soon as I did and hasn't budged but once. This should be a real bonus when it comes to working through her anxiety. She's got a spot that's hers, so that should help her comfort level.

We'll spend the next little bit learning about this girl, but we may have a very rare creature here...a healthy young senior in the Bark N Rest Retirement Center program. If all goes well, she will be adoptable to the right home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Reviving the blog and introducing Pickles

Wow. Two years without an update, and I won't ever do that again. LOL

Loving an Old Dog is back. We're bringing in a new foster dog tomorrow...Pickles. She appears to be a much younger than we first thought Bark N Rest senior foster. And a real novelty...we think she's young enough, and healthy and can be adopted.

Our job is to provide her with a safe haven for as long as she needs it, assess her temperament, and put her on a diet. A quick meeting before she was whisked off to her vet intake showed a VERY well fed little girl. To the tune of probably 3 pounds better fed than she should be.

We're now in Garland, and I am VERY happy to have left Waco. So updates will be done from what was once my mother's house, and we'll be tracking the doings of Pickles. She's a Buddy look alike, and will be MY Chi...for as long as she's here. :)

Pickles in the Irving shelter January 2015

Lucy Lou...Who is so much more than two.

When we lost Buddy to organ failure in March of 2014, we knew we were going to bring in another hospice/end of life foster for Bark N Rest Retirement was just a question of finding the right dog.

And since Buddy was effectively "my" dog, and Randall was owned by "Dixie), we were looking for me a Chihuahua (long story short: originally I didn't like or want a Chi, but after getting Skeeter in 2007 I actually became a convert).

Little Lucy Lou cropped up in early April at the Carrollton shelter, and Dawn pulled her for us. We were due to get her shortly after, but my world was turned totally upside down with my mother's unexpected death on April 10.

First day. Thin, scared and in rough shape

There was much confusion and questions, but I told Dawn she'd need to hold her a bit. Poor Dawn thought we were backing out, but I explained we would be moving from Waco to Dallas, and I would be at my mom's house starting immediately, but we weren't exactly sure where we would be when Lucy was ready to leave the vet after her intake work.

Lucy came to us shortly after mom's funeral, and a pitiful little thing she was. The shelter estimated her at 14-16, and the vet came down on the 16 end of the scale. Thin and with abscesses on her, she had been through the mill. Like so many shelter dogs, there's a backstory you'll never know, but looking at this little girl told me that in the shape she was in, she had been on the mean streets for awhile.

She also had the temperament type that wouldn't endear her to a prospective adopter. Stand offish and shy, Lucy just wasn't going to show well at a shelter, no matter what condition she was in.

So we knew first thing first was getting some good food in her and making sure she knew she was loved and was safe.

Unfortunately a week after she got her, the first phase of extensive remodeling started on my mom's house. Lucy didn't get a chance to feel at home before she was spending large chunks of time daily in a crate (a situation she wasn't familiar with). And her reaction to stress was to break out in another abscess.

Lucy's first few months were tough. She was shuttled down to Waco with us when we headed down to pack our house and get it ready for sale. Then back up here surrounded by hundreds of boxes, remodeling continue and life in general being topsy turvey.

She was putting on weight, though, and settling in. It took her awhile, but over time she learned food was good, her crate was good, treats came frequently and all the dogs here pretty well ignored her weird food issues - those are very hard to explain since they mainly amount to a lot of noise and no real threat - now everyone raises the equivalent of a doggie eyebrow when she does it, but the initial reactions weren't so benign.

Lucy and James, one of the remodel crew (and dog lover)

Randall also became her human. I apparently don't do Chis the way Chis want to be done, so Lucy settled in as Randall's Number Two Daughter (Number One Daughter is Dixie). So I'm Chi-less (temporarily). She also has the funny habit of going to him and yelling when I don't do what she thinks I should be doing.

At this writing, Lucy has been with us about 9  months. She's put on weight, gotten accustomed to our routine (and has adapted us to the feeding schedule she feels she deserves), has settled in and is one of the pack.

Like other BNR foster dogs, she's an end of life care do. That means she's here for duration, and that's just fine with us. We'll give her love, care and safe haven for as long as she needs it.

Who is Hannah?

Well, Hannah was something of a surprise foster.

One day, while tootling along on Facebook, I was contacted by a woman in the Killeen area who was in an utter panic. Did I know anyone who could take a 13 year old mini-long dachshund who was literally a couple of hours away from the needle. Stacey posted this photo in her message:

Hannah at the Christ-Yoder shelter

Since Penny was rescued from a shelter not far away, and I knew there was a breeder in the area specializing in mahogany mini-longs, I was pretty sure this was a relative.

That's all it too. We were FIRMLY at our limit of dogs. We just couldn't take another one. Which didn't stop me from running into the den and saying, "Randall!! There's a mini-long dachshund down in the Killeen area. She looks like Penny. We're taking her if ATDR says yes!"

Smart man. He nodded, smiled and said, "OK."

Fortunately so did Linne at ATDR. I mean, foster home at the ready to take in a 13 YO senior.

I was pretty sure from that photo she was a bit younger, but when we connected with the transport, I realized she was MUCH younger. Like maybe 7 or 8. Still when we got her home, it didn't matter. Hannah is just the happiest little girl you'll ever meet. And despite Penny pitching a pouting fit because I'd brought in another dog that looked like HER, well, Hannah fit right in.

The sweet girl is spayed, UTD on shots, HW- and on preventative. Gets along really well with other dogs (though she really would like to be alpha of the pack and isn't) and most cats. Humans are just her favorite things, and she would be a terrific companion. She does has luxating patellas, and her left front foot toes in, but those don't stop her.

Hannah is available for adoption through ATDR, and if you're looking for a great companion, you really need to meet this girl. Really happy. Really sweet.

Hannah the day she was pulled from the shelter

Hannah having fun with her fuzzy-wooly bear