Sliding into Fall …

Teller …

Rescue has been a bit quiet here lately … which is a good thing when one considers the overall picture.  No strays and no dogs surrendered by their owners.  On the home front, it has been a bit hectic, however.  The end of August, I flew to Minnesota to meet up with friends, attend a four-day dog show and pick up a new puppy.  My retired champion, Dante,  sired a litter in Canada and we were there to evaluate the puppies and bring home the new little one.  Meet Apsolutely FFT Tell Me No Lies a/k/a “Teller” (yup, that’s a red Apso!).  He did just fabulous on the trip home, including sitting calmly on my lap in the airport watching the travelers go by and sleeping in his Sherpa bag during the flight with nary a peep.

Given that it’s been seven years since we had a puppy in the house, there’s been a learning curve.  Potty training is a challenge and I’ve had to refer back to my own article a time or two.  Thank heavens for belly bands and hardwood floors!  The kitchen floor by the water bowl is scrubbed daily as puppy can’t get a drink without getting his whole beard wet and trailing water through the kitchen.  Frankers has earned the nickname of “Uncle Grumpy.”  Thankfully, Teller is respectful of the old man and will back off with a correction from Frankers.  The geriatric resident — Boogins, the cat at 15.5-years old — isn’t so fortunate as the puppy is fascinated with him.

The house looks like it’s inhabited by toddlers with toys strewn from the kitchen to the bedroom and everywhere in between.  Last night Teller came flying into the front room with a bath mat in tow, shagged out of the master bath.  Other times, it’s a crate pad from the master bedroom.  And he’s certainly not above running off with whatever clothing item that hits the floor.  My last routine for the evening is gathering up all the toys and putting them back in the toy baskets … which reminds me of dusting the house.  Wait 12 hours and it looks like it’s never been done.

Grooming Teller has been … ummm … interesting to say the least.  Yeah, “interesting” is a good word.  Here’s why:

Bathtime with Teller …

Can’t say that the subsequent baths have been any less loud or any less vocal.  Just not as long!  Given that Dante was very vocal about his baths for the first couple of years, it would appear that Teller comes by it honestly.  While only 5.5-months old, Teller is quite well-traveled.  From Canada to California to Minnesota to Colorado.  He’s been through a puppy kindergarten class and has attended two conformation classes.

Fall arrived in Colorado with some fabulous color in the mountains … and decidedly colder temps.  The hard freezes have taken out the annuals and we’ll start the yard cleanup here shortly in anticipation of putting it to bed for the winter.  Have a great fall y’all!

Here’s to 2011 …

… and whatever it might bring!  Always nice to get the trappings and rush of the holidays behind us and start with a new slate.  Which generally puts us in the mood to start pitching and cleaning while stuck in the house with the cold and snow.  Ever mindful of April and taxes, we sort into three piles … pitch, donate or keep.  Hopefully most of it is designated pitch or donated!

Taking time for neither taxes or winter, rescue plugs along.  Here’s an update on Bubba to start the New Year!  Now known as “Max,” it sounds like he’s doing very well in his new home …

Wanted you to know that Max went to the ophthalmologist — Dr Nusbaum at VRCC — last week and checked out fine.  She thinks he is about six from his eyes and believes that his condition was caused by his eyelashes turning inward and sweeping over his cornea.  There is scar tissue there now so no discomfort.  She changed his drops and he is a happy camper.  Met Sadie’s doctors and staff and made some new friends!  He was quite a hit!  Dr Nusbaum was upset when she read the initial vets report, she noted that he was homey … I couldn’t tell what that word was so had skipped over it.  She said he definitely is not homely and she wished that the vet could see him now.  Told her we won’t go back to Kansas as he had a bad experience there!
He is doing very well, seems like he has been with us forever.  He and Sadie walk around out in the yard on patrol and he watches the cat with a great deal of interest.  We are getting ready for Christmas so he will get some new toys!  Hope to see Neil and Kip over the holidays.   ~~ Cindy

The vet that made the “homely” comment was at my clinic.  And, in her defense, Bubba was looking pretty bad that day.  He’d just come off a two-day transport from eastern Kansas — dubbed “the transport from hell” because of vehicle and people problems.  During his overnight stay in Kansas, he’d gotten a haircut with a pair of scissors.  Poor boy had clumps of hair — sticking this way and that — and a totally bare spot on his butt and hindquarters.  Thick, blackened and scaly, the bare skin looked like it belong to an elephant instead of a small dog.  Added to the overall picture was his sad face.  Yup, poor Bubba looked pretty homely.  Just like the frog that turned into a handsome prince, Bubba bloomed with a little TLC, some hair growth, and a professional hair cut.


Next up is Elle (pronounced “El”) who arrived in rescue the day that Bubba headed home with Cindy.  Found as a stray on the streets of Greeley, it soon became evident that she had some issues with separation anxiety.  Not the destructive type, however.  Elle’s anxiety manifests itself in … howling.  Throw-the-head-back-and-howl-to-the-heavens howl.  With a set routine and someone home a good portion of the day, her behavior has greatly improved while in foster care.  We believe she will continue to improve once she settles into a home where she feels loved and secure.

Elle is a spayed four-year old female.  She is house trained, crate trained and current on vaccinations.  If interested in adoption of this *very* smart little dog, please visit our adoption page for information on our adoption procedures and the application form … Adoption Process.

Misery from Kansas …

In early August, I was contacted about a stray in Wichita, Kansas.  A three-year old female in bad shape, to be exact.  “Emmy” had wandered up to an office building where one of the workers (Marilyn) took pity on her and attempted to find her home.  Her “owner” — and I use that in the lightest of terms — was located whereupon she promptly advised that she didn’t want the dog, didn’t want it to begin with (it was given to her), and she wasn’t taking the dog back.  She did, however, keep her long enough to sell the litter of puppies Emmy had recently whelped … and then went on to state she didn’t have money to take care of the dog.    

Matted coatMarilyn took poor Emmy to a groomer to see what could be done with the horribly matted coat.  A complete shave was in order, taking the coat off in a pelt.  Based on her condition, it was  highly doubtful she had been ever groomed.  Pretty bad when one realizes that Emmy is three-years old.  Amazingly, she had few skin issues and no fleas.  Oftentimes, severe matting will actually pull chunks of skin out as well as setting the dog up for bacterial skin infections by holding moisture to the skin.   Once the coat came off, it was painfully apparent that Emmy had been on low rations for some time … her bones jutting out from all angles.  Nursing her pups had taken every bit of reserve she had and then some without sufficient or proper nutrition.    

Marilyn contacted me and we began the mad scramble to get Emmy to Colorado on the next C.A.R.E. transport, just days away.  She had to have current vaccinations and a health certificate to be accepted onto the transport.  Arrangements were made to get her vetted, a health certificate issued, and then to the pick-up place and on the van.  Thankfully, Marilyn was quite close and able to accomplish it all with a minimum of trouble.     

Via phone calls and email, we were advised the C.A.R.E. transport vans would be pulling into the Petco in east Aurora around 7:30 p.m.  Unlike the late evening when when we picked Bubba up, the north parking lot was full of people and vehicles, awaiting their new charges.  Some are rescue organizations, others are adoptive families there to pick up dogs coming from other rescues.  I later find out that, on this particular evening, 41 dogs are coming in on two vans … 41 chances for a new life in the West.  Grayhounds, Cockers, Weinie Boogers, Mastiff, Catahoula, assorted Terriers, Labs, Pyrs … it’s like a rainbow of dogdom.    

Emmy …

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was pulling up and finding my vet, Doc Sherry, waiting there as well to pull four dogs off the transport … two adults and two puppies.  I’ve used her as my vet for going on a decade now and we have a great working relationship.  Sherry and I stand chatting until the vans arrive; she says she wants to look at Emmy before we head back to Loveland.  Once I get Emmy off the van, gather her paperwork and have a chance to really go over her, I’m appalled at what I find.  She is, literally, starving to death.  With a grassy area close by, we make a potty run as I’m sure it had been quite a while since the last relief stop.  Sherry, who has her dogs watered, pottied and loaded, swings by our vehicle.  She, too, is disturbed by Emmy’s emaciated condition.  Her eyes are infected and we’re hoping that she hasn’t developed dry eye as well.  During the exam, Sherry bends down and whispers in Emmy’s ear, “I’m so glad you are going home with Vickie.”  

Stay tuned for Part II …

It’s an “E” weekend …

First we have “Elwood” … did you know his name is Old English meaning “from the old forest”?  And just what, per chance, did I happen to find on the front page of Thursday’s local paper?  That would be a big “Elvis Poopsley,” thank you very much!!  

Elvis, on the right


Elvis was the first stray ever surrendered to our organization (most of our dogs are OTIs, i.e., owner turn-in).  Found by two ladies in metro Denver, he had been wandering a Capitol Hill neighborhood for weeks.  Concerned about him freezing in the approaching winter weather, they bundled him up and brought him to Loveland.  Fairly new to rescue, I wasn’t quite prepared for what greeted me.  He looked like he’d been on the streets for some time as he was matted to the skin so badly it was impeding his ability to walk.  The mats on top of his paws alone were at least an inch thick.  Because of the smell emanating from him, I was concerned he might have open wounds somewhere.  Of course, this was late Saturday afternoon and an opening with a “real” groomer wasn’t to be found anywhere … poor Elvis was stuck with me.   

Not willing to make him wait another day in that condition, I started cutting the mats off him with a small pair of scissors.  Four hours later and some nicks because the skin was so tightly adhered to the mat, we had a buck nekkid dog.  A nice dog who didn’t once try to bite or nip at me despite having plenty of opportunity to do so.  His color pattern was a bit of a surprise … he arrived charcoal gray and emerged a brindle after his grooming!  One of the local radio stations was doing a tribute to “The King” that day and Elvis Poopsley just kinda fit, so Elvis it was.  

Several weeks later, Elvis was adopted by an older couple in Loveland, Willa and Vic.  During the homecheck, I met their daughter and her Tzu, Pootie Bear.   We’ve keep in contact over the years, usually by Christmas card.  Vic passed away some time ago; Willa had a stroke a couple years back and Elvis is credited with her good recovery — she simply had to be there for him.  Elvis is around 12-years old now and fighting off  immune mediated hemolytic anemia.  But, he still gets out and enjoys his walks.  Here’s to the old dogs … and the people who love them …

Nine Hours Later …

… we had two 8-month old Apsos home and clean.  Not only matted but urine-soaked feet and bellies.  It took three people and almost six hours to get them cleaned up.  Matted to the skin in various places on their heads, muzzles and around the neck, chest and shoulders.  Feces caked on the rear.  

These boys are horses … I’d guess they weigh 21+ pounds (to put it in perspective, my boys weigh 14.5 to 15 pounds at maturity).  Golden in color with black tipping.  And exceptional temperaments.  Through it all, the only thing they offered were kisses.  No snapping, no biting, no whining … that’s saying a lot given what it took to get them cleaned up. 

They could be twins and we’re having difficulty telling them apart.  At the moment, one has retained baby canines, the other doesn’t.  Neuters are scheduled for the 19th.  They have a bit of separation anxiety but we’re working through that … 

Dawa and Momo
Rub-a-dub-dub ... Apso in the tub
Linda (l) and Debbie (r)

These little cuties … well, not so little … will be available for adoption in the next four to six weeks.  They need to be neutered, caught up on their vaccinations and microchipped.  We’re also in the midst of contacting a trainer/animal behaviorist to work on their separation anxiety.  While they’re getting better, we want to make sure we’re doing all we can for them to ensure they are well-adjusted.

Update:   Spoke with the trainer/behaviorist today.  She does not believe they have separation anxiety.  As they lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets, every noise was responded to by the owner so that behavior [barking] was reinforced by the attention.  We’re ignoring the barking and it should extinquish itself in the next four to six days.  We’re also using a D.A.P. diffuser and spray as a calming agent.

Tricks of the Trade …

Having multiple dogs in the house … and grooming those dogs (mine and the foster dogs) … plus showing Dante, I’ve picked up a few pointers along the way from groomers and exhibitors regarding equipment and grooming supplies.   

I do all my own grooming (pet, show and foster) and recouped my equipment costs literally years ago.  Figure $70 every six weeks for two pet clips = $606 a year … and that doesn’t even begin to add in grooming costs for the foster dogs or show grooming for Dante.  Grooming gives me an additional chance to bond with the dogs, and for them, grooming day isn’t such an ordeal … and they always get treats afterwards!

For those interested in doing their own grooming, I have two recommendations as a priority — a stand dryer and an adjustable grooming table.  For the dryer, I recommend an Edemco and you have two good choices from PetEdge: Search Results … the ED70016 for $429 or the ED3002 for $319.  Having a stand dryer will cut down on the amount of time needed to dry and you get to use two hands in the process.
Basement grooming area ... "DogRoom"
Basement grooming area ... "DogRoom"
I prefer an adjustable 36×24 grooming table for home use.  Plenty of room and gives you the option of standing or sitting.  My choice (and this is about half of what I paid nine years ago for the same table) … PetEdge: Master Equipment Adjustable Height Grooming Tables.  Note the cushioned flooring in the main grooming area, purchased at Sam’s Club.
Clippers and how to use them … Andis or Oster are two good choices.  Because my basement is unfinished and without enough electrical outlets, I went with the Andis cordless model (which also means I’m not fighting a cord around a dog — a professional, we’re not!). 
This video is a good choice for getting started as it goes over bathing, clippers and techniques … “Grooming Your Dog – Basic Haircuts.”  One can also find grooming videos (Apso and Tzu) on YouTube with a quick search.  Just keep in mind that it’s only hair and it will grow back … one does get better with practice!
I have a grooming arm on the table (for the foster dogs’ safety) and recommend one from Table Works – Folding Grooming Arms (medium) as well as the tool caddy that fits the arm (use the side button link to see the caddy).  The tool caddy is unbelievably handy and I wish I’d gotten it sooner.  For those not wishing to purchase a stand dryer, the 24″ Table Works – Dryer Holder is a functional and well-built product.  Don’t waste your money on any other brand (been there/done that).  I can’t wait for the POS I currently have to give out so I can get one from Tableworks. 
Brushes.  I’ve used All Systems, Mandan, Christensen and MasonPearson.  I keep coming back to two … a Christensen pin brush and a bristle/nylon Mason Pearson.  Am currently using the 27 mm oval Fusion Pin Brushes.   It has brass pins and really does help cut down on the static generated.  Christensen has a #10 Buttercomb 7″ coarse rat-tailed comb which is good for faces and putting in a part down the back … Combs & Handles… as well as the #000 Buttercomb 7.5″ fine/course comb for overall use.  Christensen brush and comb “pins” are ground and polished which results in a smoother tip.  There really is a difference … Tip Test.   I do not use brushes with the little “balls” on the pin tips as this is hard on the coats (generally what one finds in the big box stores).
If you use a slicker brush (great for pulling out undercoat), Christensen has those as well … Slickers.  I have a Mark II that I use on the pet coats.  I found the All Systems Dematting Comb to be a good investment for my coats all around.
The Mason Pearson bristle/nylon brush I recommend is the brown Pocket size.  With two types of bristles, it gently teases out tangles without harming the coat.
If needing latex bands to keep hair up, I recommend these outlets … Lainee, Ltd. and Ena Lane.  I store my bands in their original bags in a ziplock bag in the freezer to keep the latex fresh.  No need in having a huge container of bands out.  The tiny imported compartment box from Lainee is quite handy for this …
Scissors.  Definitely get what you pay for here … invest a little more.  Suggest you go to a dog show and cruise the vendors, pick up and feel/fit the scissors to your hand.  I’d start out with a straight pair, probably 7-8 inches, and a curved pair.  Whatever you get, do not drop them as this can cause the blades to “nick” each other.  And then you have a blade that doesn’t cut smoothly, which means you’ll have to have them sharpened at the next show you go to.  I also like a small pair for trimming foot pads.
One doesn’t need to have a show dog to realize the benefit of having exercise pens, especially if doing a lot of traveling with dogs … J-B Deluxe Exercise Pen.  Also handy are Ground Covers.  Keeps the dog from getting soaking wet in the grass if it’s been raining.  The urine flows through it, keeping the dog clean.  Easy enough to clean up with a bucket of water, dries quickly and can be rolled up for storage/transport.
Camping with x-pens and ground covers
Camping with x-pens and ground covers -- front row, l-r, Dinky, Ali and Frankers; back row, l-r, Sierra & Emma

Crates:  I recommend a Mid-West 2-door crate in the 1624 DD model.  The double doors (DD) are great for vehicle or home use.  Also of benefit is a floor grate … Dog Crate Accessories – Midwest Divider Panels & Floor Grids for Dog Crates  (#1624 DD) … and recommended because the plastic pan will cause huge amounts of static if in contact with the dog’s coat.  Plus, if the dog has an accident or gets sick, the dog stays cleaner as any liquid falls through the grating.  And, yes, you’ll probably pay more for the floor grate than you will for the crate!

While this is pretty much falls under show equipment (used to get gear in/out of a show site), it is unbelievably handy around the house/yard as well.  I have this set up … MicroCart – ($105 shipped … and you can read my review on the site).  This next site, however, shows how versatile the cart is … Micro Cart.  I had occasion to use it during an office move a couple years ago as well. 
If you have a male with housetraining issues, I recommend the adjustable Belly Bands from Small Dog Shop.  They are more form fitting and, thus, more comfortable for the dog.  Lined with a Depends or Serenity pad, they work great to contain male marking, keeping the boys and the furnishings clean.  And the adjustable type allows you to use it on similar-sized dogs.  In order to keep Dante clean on show weekends, he sports a belly band every trip outside.  This also means I don’t have to give him a belly bath every day before we go into the ring.  (Yeah, yeah, hubby says the dog folks are nuts …).
Dante in belly band
Dante in belly band, getting ready to go to the show ...
Below is a listing of fav sites for both show and pet items.  Note that some of the places have a “minimum order” charge so I usually get what I need from one place or make sure I have enough to get over the minimum or enough to get free shipping. 
Happy shopping!