Elwood …

It’s very rare that we get a quick placement in rescue as our fosters usually arrive with more “baggage” than just their food, toys and bedding.  This generally necessitates at least a month in foster care to address medical issues and work on behavioral problems with training.  Most of our fosters stay 6 to 16 weeks, depending on our assessment and how they are progressing.  Even rarer is a home waiting to take on a ‘Poo mix, sight unseen. The stars are evidently aligned just right because this sweet boy went to an experienced Apso home … long nose/legs and all … within days of his arrival in rescue.      

His new family is just delighted with the addition to the family.  Here’s the email I received three days into his new home (as a side note, DaVinci, f/k/a Sterling, was adopted from us three years ago — we just love repeat adoptions!) …          

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He is an absolute little sweetheart and has fit into the family just fine.  It’s as if he has always had us for his family – he has shown no anxiety at all.  I found out on the way home from Longmont that he loves to be hugged and cuddled.           

When we got home, our dogs were naturally curious about Elwood and did their sniffing thing. Ha!  We took all three of them for a walk and when we got back all three dogs played in the back yard together.            

Elwood learned the doggie door in about five minutes and goes in and out like a pro.  He has not had a potty accident in the house as of yet and he sleeps all through the night.  The only problem we have had was when Piccolo and DaVinci had a few minor territorial disputes with Elwood.  That seems to now be over, and things are going very smoothly.           

DaVinci and Elwood have been playing well together and that is what DaVinci has needed.  He and Piccolo have played together some too, but Piccolo tires out quickly.  Elwood discovered a tennis ball in our dog’s toy box which he promptly brought to me to throw.  He has apparently been taught to fetch because he is very good at it.  In fact he loves it so much, he could do it 24 hours a day – Ha!          

Elwood is still such a puppy and he is so exuberant!  He is doing great here, and we are so happy to have him.   I will definitely give you updates on how he is doing, and when his hair grows a bit longer, will send you a picture of Elwood with his brothers.   DeLores and Lou          

And a week in to the new home …          

We want you to know that Elwood is doing great and we just love him!  He has the cutest personality and such cute puppy ways.  He has adapted to a routine that he enjoys which includes sitting with me in the recliner while I read the newspaper first thing in the morning, then when his dad gets up, he sits with him while Lou reads the newspaper, and then it’s off for the morning walk.   He loves his daily walks with his brothers, and afterwards he still has energy left and wants to play fetch with the tennis ball.  We do that several times a day with him because he has such high energy.   All three dogs get along great and love playing together.           

Elwood’s previous family can rest assured that he is a very happy dog in his new home and that his new family is so happy to have him.          

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My new family ... am I a lucky dog or what!!!!

Seniors in the twilight …

animated-hourglassThere’s a reason why we don’t normally take senior dogs into rescue.  Actually several reasons.  Most folks looking to adopt a dog are not in the market for an older companion as they’d like to spend more  than just a year or two (or even less) with their new best friend.  Many times, the old dogs arrive with serious behavioral and/or medical problems.  Rescue has a term for these dogs … “forever fosters.”  “Forever” because they usually end up spending the rest of their lives in foster care.  The problem with that scenario is spacing  and funding.  Available space is at a premium — at least for us — and having a forever foster takes up a spot that could be used for a younger, more adoptable dog.  Funding is always an issue so taking care of an elderly dog becomes problematic.

For me, the seniors are particularly difficult.  It usually starts with a phone call and a voice on the other end saying, “I need to get rid of my dog.”  The vocalization “get rid of” is distasteful as it brings to mind a worn out item or a piece of trash that needs to be disposed of.  Often times it is an elderly dog that outlived its usefulness for whatever reason.  No matter how many times I review the applications on my waiting list, I don’t have someone looking for an old, sick dog.  These poor dogs that have given their life to their family only to be turned out when their need was greatest.  It then falls to me to tell them that we have no one interested in an elderly dog.  And that if they take it to the shelter, he or she will spend its last days — frightened and confused — before dying at the hands of strangers.  Far better for them to take it to the vet and make that last journey in the arms of loved ones.  Despite having “the speech” memorized, there are still times when my voice breaks, the emotion spilling over.   One of the first things my rescue mentor taught was that we can’t save them all.  I truly know that with my heart … however, it doesn’t make it any easier some days.  Harder yet is having to put down a rescue for medical or behavioral issues.  Even though it’s not one of my dogs, it still hurts.  Rescue isn’t supposed to end that way.

Having said all that … we find ourselves with a senior in rescue.  A stray, he was pulled from the Larimer Humane Society.  We know little of his story other than the fact he’s been long neglected — whether in his former “home” or because he was on his own for an extended period of time.  We also know he is the product of a puppy mill because his microchip was traced to the Hunte Corporation — a known broker of puppies produced in the mills of misery and sold in pet stores.  His coat was matted to the skin and urine soaked resulting in a complete shave-down at the shelter.  Nothing more pitiful than a buck-naked Apso.

Our rescue exam revealed he has had a long-standing eye infection.  Thankfully, he does not have KCS or “dry eye” as it’s commonly known.  His age is estimated to be 8- to 10-years old … not all that old for an Apso but which still puts him in the “senior” category.  He does have arthritis on the right front/rear; however, he’s responding quite well to the Rimadyl, even trying to play with the resident foster home dogs.  Some high-powered supplements are on the way and we’re hopeful he’ll get good relief from those as well. 

Despite how rough his recent days/years have been, this dog is exceptional.  He greets everyone as a long-lost friend.  If you are familiar with Apsos, you know that’s not always the case.  When I picked him up at the pound, he came out of the kennel — head and tail up — and offered himself in greeting.  Those old soul eyes saying “I’m yours … take me with you.”  And then he buried his head in my hands, taking whatever comfort he could find in the moment, however brief.  As is our tradition, we’ve given him a Tibetan name.  Kalsang (pronounced “Kehl-sang”) and meaning “good fortune.” 

Perhaps it will be Kalsang’s good fortune to find a forever home in the twilight of his years … a home that understands that the love of an old dog is, indeed, a special gift.

Meet Manny …

Our man, Manny
Our man, Manny

Update:  I received word that Manny went to a new home earlier this week.  Wishing his new owners and Manny “Lhasa” happy, healthy years together!

From time to time, we work with other groups in the area that find themselves with an Apso … in this case it was supposed to be a Tibetan Terrier but, on arrival, it was determined he’s definitely an Apso.  And a darned cute one at that!

Manny is a very sweet black and tan Lhasa Apso, around 6 years of age and weighs 22 lbs.   He is neutered, current on his vaccinations, microchipped, housebroken, will use a dog door, just had a dental cleaning, is good with other dogs, cats and older children.  

For his new forever home, he needs a stay at home, experienced dog owner, preferably with Lhasas who will go slowly with his transition to his new home.   He can not be crated or closely confined, has a slight thunder phobia, likes to sleep on the foot of the bed and cuddle on the couch.  

Handsome dude ...
Handsome dude ...