A Bit Hectic …

Teller Tubby!
Teller Tubby!

… the holidays snuck up on us, ready or not. We seemed to be in the “not” category this year, although we actually have some outside decorations up thanks to a dwarf Colorado Blue Spruce near the front porch that’s perfect for stringing with white lights. Work has been nuts … last-minute guests for the long Thanksgiving weekend … and then a scramble to get errands/chores/shopping done before Christmas, i.e., meaning not much computer time in the evenings.  The new year has brought a laundry list of projects to get done (forget about resolutions).

Added to the general chaos is the new addition to the family:  Teller.  Knee deep in potty training at soon-to-be 8-months old, it does appear he’s got the concept of it down (mostly).  I taught him to “speak” several weeks ago — with the help of Frankers a/k/a “Uncle Grumpy” — and he transferred that behavior to asking to go outside.  All on his own.  We about fell off the couch the first time he barked at the back door for a potty run. WTG puppy!!!  It’s still rather novel for him so we’re encouraging him by making him “ask” to go out if he forgets an audible cue of some sort … bells, bark … something, anything!  Just as long as I know your back teeth are floating.  One byproduct of teaching him to speak is he’s vocal about asking for his food bowl … now we’re working on “quiet.”

A typical puppy, he delights in scattering toys from one end of the house to the other.  When that’s done, he starts pulling pads out of crates, articles of clothing off the hampers (hey, I was going to wear that again), and whatever else he can find to deposit throughout the house.  Then there’s always the cat to pester, keeping in mind that if one gets within two feet of him, he starts squeaking.  Note to cat:  if you don’t like the puppy that close, why do you insist on jumping the gates to be in the same area?!?!

It’s long been held that what you do today — on the first day of the year — will be repeated throughout the year.  So, we’re going to start 2013 with the “awwwww” factor.  Here’s an email I received regarding one of our former fosters, Kalsang.  Now named “Biscuit,” it appears he’s greatly enjoying his golden years:

Hi Vickie, I got your lovely card and thought I better let you know we are doing fine. I decided not to send cards this year because my arthritis has made my handwriting a mess! We are still going strong and “Biscuit” is the darling of the neighborhood when we go walking. He spends most of his time close to my side when we are home. We are so predictable, it’s funny! He doesn’t wait for me to go up to bed these days and goes on his own. Some mornings he sleeps in. We anticipate each others needs like an old married couple. He knows when he can go in the car with me and when he must stay home. His eyes are bad but he is doing very well for an old boy and the Vet thinks he’s very limber and healthy. He gets exercise chasing the squirrels in the backyard and I put peanuts out there to make it interesting. They love to tease him. Anyway, I think of you often and thank you for the joy you have brought to both of us! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year……..Mary

McKenzie

And then we have this update from McKenzie, the little one that came from a puppy mill … she’s made great progress!!

We stopped by the Lhasa website today because we saw a post about Teller. We decided that we should send you an e-mail. Kenzie is settled into a routine here. We have had 0 accidents in the house since those first couple when the home was new. Kenzie has graduated up to being able to go into the bedroom and living rooms when we are home. So she pretty much has free roam of the apartment. She’s eating well, and is not so freaked out to go outside. She has made huge strides.

We have a chair in the corner of the living room, and its back is to a window. Kenzie likes to sit on the arm of the chair and rest her head on the back of the chair and look out the window. It is adorable to see her there when I come home from school. She has a favorite toy which is an ornage dinosaur with pink felt hands and feet. She likes to chew the hands and feet. We bought her a spiky bouncy ball and she loves to play with that.

I’m currently growing out her coat, and she gets brushed about 3 times a week. I can’t stand to pet her and find a knot of hair that isn’t smooth. When I find them I have to give her a brushing. She is doing well with that. But she isn’t terribly fond of the comb that I use to work out some of the sneaky ones that get past me on first inspection.

She got to experience her first snow at Grandma Marnell’s house in Casper. We have decided that we need a blow dryer near the door because the snow just sticks like glue to her fur. We are considering booties for her feet.   She follows me to the door when I leave, but she still doesn’t come to greet us. My friend Ashley got a new puppy who we baby sit once in a while and Kenzie isn’t sure what to think of her.

Kenzie got to spend the weekend at Ashley’s house once when Tom and I had to fly out to a family wedding. She did wonderful! We are going to enroll Kenzie in an obedience class to hopefully help her gain some more self-esteem and confidence. She LOVES to go for a car ride with the window down. But she is never terribly excited to actually walk to the car. We are trying to get her out of the apartment more and more, but it is so cold here that we don’t like to be outside for very long. ><

I’ve included some of my favorite pictures of Kenzie that I’ve taken over the last month or so. We just love her to pieces. We leave her kennel door open at night and she migrates between the bed and the kennel. We’ve never had an accident or woken up to anything chewed! She likes to get on the bed in the morning and headbutt one of us for a belly rub. When she wants to play with us, she runs up to us and crouches with her tush in the air and her tail wagging and barks at us! She barks! It’s wonderful! So we play with her and chase her around the house or toss the ball for her.   We think that she is starting to feel at home.

I was watching the video of Teller and he was crying in the bath and Kenzie heard and jumped up on the couch to watch with me. I don’t think she knows why the box was making that noise but her face was adorable. Teller looks like quite a handsome little guy! We hope to see more of him in the future!

Best wishes, Liz, Tom and Kenzie!

P.s. the picture of her all wet was sent to me by Tom while I was in class. He was her outside to potty and they got caught in a downpour. I nearly laughed out loud during class. It’s such a cute photo.

Not to be left out in the snow and cold, here’s a greeting from Tori (f/k/a Lucy)

Tori
Tori

Hi there, I haven’t talked to you in a while and thought I would say hi! Tori (Lucy as you knew her) is doing wonderful…..I just want you to know we love her very much and enjoy her every day! She is so spunky and full of enthusiasm it is adorable. She plays with toys all the time, usually by herself, and she has taken a liking to sleeping with me on my bed, which I love. She is a joy to have around and we couldn’t imagine our home without her. Brody and her are bonding more every day and he is becoming much more tolerant of Tori. Anyway, she is wonderful and I just love her dearly. What a beautiful sweet doggie she is.  I’ve attached some pictures for you. Have a wonderful holiday season! ~ Abby & Jaidyn

Last, but certainly not least, we have this in about Dawa

I wanted to update you on my baby boy Dawa. He is still as sweet as can be. We found a kitten in our basement window well and he is our new pet. Dawa has been really sweet with the kitten provided that he does not see me as his mama. He still has the attitude that I am his. Still a barker but working on it. Dawa and Lilly continue to be best of friends. Lilly was a challenge with the kitten.   Hope your little ones are doing well.    ~ Emma

I honestly have to say that these are probably my best Christmas presents (shhhhhh, don’t tell Hubby).  What a grand way to start the New Year!

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!

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!

Paws on the Promenade …

This Saturday — May 19th — we’ll have a booth set up at Paws on the Promenade from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  While we won’t have any foster dogs in attendance, we will have some fine examples of the breed … one in a puppy cut (wash ‘n wear) and one in full coat.  Our local paper, the Loveland Reporter-Herald and The Promenade Shops at Centerra joined forces and are hosting this event.  This will be our first year in attendance at this particular venue.  Hopefully, the weatherman is wrong about the 30% chance of rain for Saturday (or at least at I-25 and Hwy 34)!

Come on out and visit with us!   Click on ~~> Directions for information on how to get to The Promenade Shops at Centerra (5971 Sky Pond Drive, Loveland CO).  We’ll be set up on the main promenade across from Dick’s Sporting Goods (in the winter it’s the ice rink).

Clicking on the graphic below will open up the newspaper insert for this event …

Image
2012 Paws on the Promenade

Lucy …

… is ready to go to her new home!  Lucy — a 2.5-year old Lhasa Apso — arrived about five weeks ago, the product of a divorce in progress.  The owner, now a single mom and working long hours, made the decision to do what was best for Lucy.  And that did not include being crated for nine to twelve hours a day.

Lucy is a red/white parti-color Apso.  On the small side, she weighs about 13.5 pounds.  A very smart dog, she needs an owner that can work on training with her.  IOW, you need to be smarter than the dog!  Lucy would do best in a home where the owner was either semi-retired, retired or worked from home a good portion of the day — no children under the age of 12, please!  She gets along with other dogs and the resident feline.

She is crate trained, house trained, current on her vaccinations, tested negative for heartworms, recently had a dental, and has a micro-chip (lifetime registration of the ‘chip to the new owner is included in the adoption fee).  Lucy is a loving dog who likes to chill on the couch with her pack … or a walk is just as good.

If interested in Lucy, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.  Please note we will require an e-application, vet/personal reference checks and, finally, a home visit.

Lucy

Darkness Has Settled …

… bringing with it the frigid temps of a Colorado winter.  Fourteen inches of new snow have fallen since Thursday evening, blanketing the previously brown winter landscape.  It is late Friday night and ice crystals still float in the air … whether wind-borne from the snow cornices drooping on the roof’s edge or falling from the low grey clouds, I cannot tell.  The deepening silence and chill is fitting for contemplation and composition of tonight’s post …

Jackson ...

Jackson came to rescue in 2009, a casualty of the down turn in the economy.  His owner now worked two jobs and no longer had the time or funding to take care of him.  Giving him up was very difficult as the owner had planned to begin training to make him a therapy dog.  

Fostered by Michelle in Wellington, Jackson’s stint in rescue was a relatively short one.  Linda first met Jackson at the Fort Collins Fire Hydrant 5 where we had a rescue/breed booth set up … and where she was immediately smitten with this little dog.  Shortly thereafter, in May of 2009, Linda and Troy added Jackson to their family.  As Jackson was such a nice little dog and didn’t know the word “stranger,” Linda took on the owner’s goal and they became certified as a therapy team.  Linda later fostered Jasper for us and we got to see her and Jackson on numerous occasions as time went by.  Jackson was one of those dogs whose face exuded joy.  No matter the circumstance or the activity, he was a happy dog, his eyes a sparkle.

Linda called me from the veterinary teaching hospital at CSU on January 19th, advising that Jackson had awoke that morning, unable to walk or use his back legs.  After evaluation and diagnostics by the vets, they were of the opinion Jackson had suffered a fibrocartilaginous embolism.  While not rare per se, it is more commonly found in large dogs.  Linda wrote later:

This was harder than I thought. Jackson was put to sleep on Thursday night. He had an autopsy at CSU and then cremated. He is still sitting on our counter and I’m not sure why? Anyway it was a FCE. An embolism. A piece of spinal cord broke off, traveled through a blood vessel and went back to the spine. By the time it lodged, much of the spinal cord had blown. Meaning, the paralysis would have eventually gone to the sternum and suffocated him. There was nothing to do. Pretty rare for a small dog, but the age group was right. He was filmed by CSU through all this is and will be immortalized by teaching vets about this. I’ve attached some photos of the boy. He was truly special and we are a little lost without him. We were honestly loved by Jackson.

As pet owners, we all know that life is transient with our beloved companions.  We watch as the years tick off, collecting vignettes in time from which to draw upon for comfort when we have to let them go.  However, I don’t think any of us can steel our hearts for the untimely loss of a healthy, young dog.  Linda mentioned to me in a phone call how fitting it was that this therapy dog in life would — in death — go on to teach the healers among us.

Jackson cruisin' on the ATV

Jackson’s cremains will be interred in the family plot at some point.  For now, and for as long as it takes until that happens … he’s home.  And I know, without a doubt, that this would have been Jackson’s last Will.

Godspeed, little one.  It was an honor to have been a part of your life.