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!

McKenzie …

… went to her new home in Laramie, Wyoming recently.  Tom and Liz advise that she’s settling in and doing quite well, all things considered.  This little one has come a long way since she first arrived in rescue.

Here’s what Liz has to say about ‘Kenzie …

We were just talking about shooting you a e-mail. This weekend she was introduced to the family and got to hang out at a family garage sale. She did really well when the little kids were around, but we were monitoring both the kids and Kenzie really closely. She really liked the other dogs. She walked up to several strangers and sniffed them. Which we were so surprised she would do that.
 
Today after I got out of class, she was running all through the house. It was pretty cute to watch. She gets to sleep on the bed with one of us until the other comes to bed. (Often times we go to bed at different times, so she gets to sleep for an hour or two before one of us kennels her.)
 
I think she’s pretty happy. She’s been playing with her toys. We bought her a dinosaur and she throws him around. It is pretty cute to watch. She is really anxious about going outside so be purchased a DAP collar and are hoping that will be in this week some time. Maybe it will help her not be so freaked out. She doesn’t like people to walk behind her and will wait until you pass her before she continues walking. She’s doing well with potty training, but if she gets distracted it is pretty hard to refocus her on the task at hand.

 

Wishing them all “Lhasa” happy, healthy years together!

Hot, hot, hot!!!

Asphalt temps …

Colorado, like the majority of the country, has had miserably hot temps which arrived in early spring.  Given the weather patterns so far, I’m sure it will remain quite warm well into September.  This post is prompted by the number of people I see out walking their dogs in the afternoons here lately.  Rule of thumb, folks — if you can’t walk barefoot on the concrete or road surface due to the heat, neither should your dog!!  I did some checking and found this handy-dandy asphalt temps guide which notes that while the air temps might be tolerable, the pavement is much hotter than one would expect.

As children growing up in Colorado, my twin brother and I sustained burns on the bottom of our feet walking back from the swimming pool on an asphalt road.  We’d gone — barefoot — to the pool in the early morning and didn’t even think about the pavement being scorched on the way home.  We sustained burns severe enough that we had large, raised water blisters on the balls and heels of our feet despite the heavy callouses from running barefoot most of the summer.  Think a dog can’t sustain burns on the pads??  Think again …

If you simply must walk your dog, please do so in the early morning or late evening when the ground surfaces have had sufficient time to cool down.  And while you’re at it, don’t forget the mosquito repellent.  Living in Larimer County where we had a severe outbreak of West Nile several years ago, one must always be aware of the danger of contracting West Nile (I, personally, know four people who have had it to varying degrees).

Since we’re on the subject of hot summers, let’s not forget how quickly car temps can heat up with moderate temps … for dogs and little humans alike.

Keep it safe … keep it sane … and keep your dogs home out of the heat!

The Resilient Canine …

… is never more evident than when dealing with puppy mill dogs.  Typically, they have never been socialized to humans or handled by humans and are not familiar with the sounds and routine of a normal household.  Some never get over trauma of living in abject conditions.  These are the dogs that, upon release, are so shut down they move through the rest of their lives with very little interaction with their surroundings.  The canine spark we have come to hold so dear is simply gone.

Rewind four weeks’ past.  I’m contacted by the local humane society about dogs from a BYB (backyard breeder) bordering on being a puppy mill on the eastern plains of Colorado.  Dogs are being surrendered as forced by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  Y’all have seen the TV shows where animal control goes in and removes dogs in horrid, horrid conditions.  Our scenario is basically the same only without the film crew on hand.  I agree to take on a two-year old female, knowing full well this will not be the typical foster.

During the hand-off, I am completely appalled by the condition of this dog.  She has huge mats throughout her coat … mats that have been there for more than quite a while.  I’m concerned about whatever else might be under the matting, i.e., open sores (severe matting can literally pull skin off the dog) and parasites.  She has a cherry eye on the right that, gauging from the size and inflammation, is also long standing and, most likely, infected.  She is filthy dirty and reeks of urine.  And she is so scared of being handled that her body is board stiff, front paws splaying wide and outward at any movement I make while holding her.

In less than twelve hours of her arrival in rescue, she is being shaved down and given a much-needed bath immediately after which she undergoes a spay, surgery to tack down the cherry eye and her ears flushed in the first  step to start dealing with the ear infection present.  She tests negative for heartworms (thankfully) and has a microchip implanted while under anesthesia.  A very big day for a very little dog.  For the next two weeks, we keep her quiet in an Elizabethan collar … actually, a large blue floral donut that brings to mind images of a frilled lizard.

As we move slow and speak softly, she starts to respond to us and her surroundings.  She’s canine savvy, interacting with Frank and Dante appropriately.  My heart swells when I get to see her run on grass for the first time in her life … her joy is unbridled, her feet swift.  Then there are the mill survivors … those dogs who embrace fully their new-found freedom and the world around them.  Meet McKenzie.  A survivor.

While she may start away at sudden movement or noise, she recovers quickly and engages with the household.  She is curious about everything!  She sleeps quietly in her crate at night.  She’s also learning not to whine or howl when we’re not in her line of sight.  She’s discovered chew bones and squeaky toys … and how to jump up in the middle of the bed!  I won’t say that she’s house trained; however, she does potty appropriately when taken outside and she’s clean in her crate.  She didn’t have any accidents here but I tend to watch the new arrivals a little more closely and get them out more often.  A quick study, I have no doubt that she’ll pick up the housetraining easily.  You’ll note her coloring … she is what as known as a “red-white parti color.”  On the small side, she weighs 12.5 pounds.

McKenzie is available for adoption.  Her ideal home would be a single woman, a retired or semi-retired couple with or without another small dog in residence.  Or a young couple with no plans for children.  If interested, please visit our website for more information or contact me directly:  ApsoRescue@aol.com

Wishing …

… everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!!  And one without more new wildfires in the West or monster storms in the East.

For those of you in areas with fireworks (banned in most of the western states due to the extreme fire conditions), please please please make sure your pets are secure in the house.  Pets are lost every year when they escape their yard, frightened by the booming of fireworks.  Make sure your pets have current ID tags … utilize white noise to help drown out the neighborhood noises … try Rescue Remedy to lessen their anxiety.

Stay tuned to meet our newest foster … a puppy mill survivor from the eastern plains of Colorado.

Sammy …

…. the sweet little Tzu went to his new home in Fort Collins in mid May.  And what a lucky little dog he is!!  Even as this post is being written, he is traveling southern and central Colorado in an RV.  Would that the rest of us were living such a life of leisure (instead of doing laundry and getting ready for the upcoming work week)!  As expected, I’ve gotten reports that he’s charmed the socks off everyone he’s met.  Here’s the boy with his new family …

Every day …

Every day – at the same time – she waits for him.

He comes … and they go for a walk.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had friends like this … no words needed … they just intuitively recognise the value of each other in their lives and act accordingly.

FireHydrant 5 …

… bright and early Saturday morning!!  A yearly event, we’ll be setting up the rescue booth so if you’re in the area, come on by and say “hello”!

Everything you need to know about the event can be found at this link:  Larimer Humane Society FireHydrant 5.

Last year, Leo and Tootsie were the stars for the day.  This year, Dante will have to do as ambassador for the breed as our last foster — Sammy — was placed about three weeks ago.  Good for the dog, but not so good if one is looking for a new addition to the family!

In any event (pun intended), it appears the weather will be a bit more agreeable than the last event in Loveland … like a 50-degree difference, from 40 to 90 degrees.

A Dog Day …

(l-r) Dante, Vickie, Ethan & Ginny

Yesterday we participated in Paws on the Promenade in east Loveland at The Promenade Shops at Centerra.  Lying awake at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of rain and thunder — and Frankers squawking in his crate because of the thunder — we wondered if a rain-out was in store.  Given a 60% chance of rain in the forecast with winds, it was entirely possible.  Definitely a day to dress for the weather with more winter-like apparel as morning temps were in the low 40s!  Jeans, check … boots, check … colorful scarf, check … coat, check … rain coat, check … coat for Dante, check … fleecy blanket for Dante, check … mug of hot coffee, check.  Nothing like springtime in Colorado with a 40-degree swing in temps from one day to the next!

While the morning was a bit slow — most certainly due to the inclement weather — things picked up in the afternoon with less wind/rain and more sun/visitors to our rescue booth.  The event included several events including a K-9 police dog demonstration,a dog trick contest and a costume contest.  Given that we don’t have anything in rescue at the moment, Dante made his appearance as an ambassador for the breed and my friend, Ginny, brought Ethan up as an additional ambassador in coat.  Apsos in full coat are always a draw (especially with the little girls) as one rarely gets to see a dog in coat outside the show ring.  Debby came in from Conifer to help man the booth so we had a full crew.  An added treat yesterday was Senghe (n/k/a Peanut) stopping by for a visit with Renee … always love to see our former foster dogs.  What was not fun … all our signage had to be stashed away because it kept blowing down in the brisk winds.  Note to self:  get banners that can be securely hung from the shade canopy.

The pet expos are a great way to connect with the community and educate others about our breed.  From time to time, we’re fortunate that the local paper includes us in their coverage of the event.  Always a fun day, we get to meet other “dog folk” and visit the various vendors in attendance.  Through the years, one gets to know the other dog-related businesses in the area and conversations are continued from previous expos.  Here’s to next year’s event … and hopefully warmer weather!

Brrrrrrrrrr
Brrrrrrrrrr … this wind needs to stop!
Ethan … just chillin’