Jiggity jog …

 … home at last!!

Tashi went to his new home a couple weekends ago.  His new family from Arvada was very excited to welcome him into the fold and we spent a lovely couple hours at a park in Berthoud getting to know each other.  Tashi now has an older Apso sibling, GinGin, and is adjusting quite well to his new routine … 
Tashi and new family ...
Tashi and new family ...
Our spider-legged boy — Murphy — also went to a new home in July.  Kim and Chuck are just delighted with their new boy.  And, in typical Apso fashion, he’s giving them a run for their money and pushing the envelope every chance he gets …
MurphMan & Fam ...
MurphMan & Fam ...

Perhaps Kim or Nancy will stop by and give us an update on their boys …

Snakes ‘n Snails …

Frankers gardening ...
Frankers out for a morning stroll ...

… and puppy dog tails!  Or, more to the point, why one should consider adding a male dog instead of insisting on a female.

Growing up in a pet-friendly family in the late ’50s, the mindset was you always wanted a female because the males “marked.”  I’m sure they did as neutering, training and responsible pet-ownership (including not allowing the dogs to run the neighborhood at large) were not the norm.  Vaccinations were not widespread and distemper claimed many a pet.  What a difference 50+ years has made in companion animal care!

“Marking” is the act of releasing small amounts of urine to claim an area as their own.  Both males and females will engage in this territorial behavior; however, it’s with intact males that it generally becomes more noticeable … and especially when they bring this behavior into the home.  Basically, they’re saying “this is mine and I’m willing to fight for it.”  And when one considers the focus of an intact male dog — food, fighting and, ummm, well, fornicating — they generally don’t make good pets for the average owner.  Take away the last two parts to that equation … fighting and fornicating … by neutering and you have a dog that’s focused on you.  One that’s not climbing over the fence at the first whiff of a female in heat.  One that’s totally content being your velcro dog, following you from room to room.  Some females will do that as well, but the males are just … sweeter.  And, let’s face it.  They don’t call ’em “bitches” for nothing.  Their job, if you will, is to raise the pups and at all costs. 

Many of the male dogs arriving in rescue are intact and with little or no housetraining.  First order is business is an immediate neuter.  During the recovery period, they’re enrolled in Housetraining 101.  We also utilize a tether (a 4-6 foot leash) and belly bands if the dog arriving was previously neutered.  Why belly bands?  For several reasons — (1) you know exactly if they are “getting” the concept of housetraining (the incontinence pad in the band is either dry or wet), (2) it protects your furnishings during the training period, and (3) many dogs do not like the wet feel and that’s a deterent in and of itself.  The tether is used as a means of supervision (he’s right there with you) and as a means of issuing a correction (short, sharp jerk of the tether and a verbal command “no mark!”).  With consistency, patience and clear guidance on what is and isn’t appropriate behavior, most males quickly adapt to toileting outside. 

Another “tool” for training is the crate.  Dogs are innately clean creatures who will not usually soil their eating and sleeping areas.  That hardwired behavior can be used to your benefit when housetraining by confining them to a crate when unable to supervise and giving them ample opportunity to toilet in a designated area (with lots of immediate praise/treats for appropriate behavior).

Regarding the belly bands at the link provided above … I find the adjustable bands are much more comfortable for the boys.  Just the shape alone is more form fitting and allows for greater freedom of movement.  One of the straps is adjustable so it can be used on dogs close to the same size in diameter (for multiple male househoulds).  I also find the buckle easier/quicker to use on dogs with longer hair.  Velcro and longer hair do not mix.  The only “issue” with using belly bands:  one must remember to remove them prior to sending the dog outside to potty!

So, if you’re seriously thinking about adding an Apso to your household, don’t rule out a male based on gender alone.  They truly are delightful little creatures who easily adapt with consistent training and the right tools … and will become your best buddy in the process.

Ka Tu …

My husband finally understands what it means when I say, “Rescue allows me to have all the dogs I ever wanted … they just go live with someone else eventually.”  Despite the fact that he calls every foster “Larry” because he can’t remember their individual names when they’re milling around underfoot, he has been paying attention and can, for the most part, identify each foster.  One of the perks of being a placement coordinator is I get regular updates on the fosters who are now in their permanent homes.  Visitors to the rescue site — ApsoRescueColorado.org — read the dogs’ initial stories but hear little about them after they’re adopted.  We’re fixin’ to change that, beginning with this post (if you’ve ever been below the Mason-Dixon line, you know the definition of “fixin’ to”).

Ka Tu, a 7-month old male, arrived in rescue via a Denver vet clinic where he had been surrendered when the owner refused to pay for treatment.  I say “owner”, but it was actually the husband of the owner.  Seems the wife was out of town when the surrender occurred.  I can only imagine the conversation that ensued once she found out hubby dumped her puppy at a local vet clinic with a severe injury that was suspect for causation. 

Ka Tu ... arriving in Rescue

Ka Tu had suffered a fractured lower mandible, rendering him unable to eat solid food and in quite a bit of pain.  After a week’s stay in the Denver vet clinic, two of the ER vets drove him to Loveland after a completing a night shift.  Definitely above and beyond the call of duty.  After several trips to our vet and consultation with a dental expert, a conservative course of treatment was undertaken rather than opting for surgery.  Basically, what this meant was Ka Tu couldn’t have anything solid to eat or chew on for a minimum of six to eight weeks.  That in itself presented a problem as our dogs are fed hard kibble … it also meant that every meal was a preparation of ground-up kibble gruel for the little fella.  After weeks of meal prep and twice monthly trips to the vet for x-rays to determine how his jaw was healing, Ka Tu emerged with a fully functional lower jaw … and a crooked little smile.

Hangin' on the deck ...
Hangin' on the deck ...

Ka Tu recently celebrated his first “Gotcha” anniversary with his new family, Trudi, Paul, Helen and the three cats.  I’m getting the idea that he’s bit spoiled but … who could resist this face?

Ka Tu and feline friend ...
Ka Tu and feline friend ...


Checkin' out Dad's chair ...
Checkin’ out Dad’s chair …

Happy Gotcha Day, Ka Tu … you are one lucky little pup!


It’s raining … Apsos!!!

Folks, rescue desperately needs some help.  We’re being inundated with calls to take in owner-surrendered Apsos and strays.  Unfortunately, we only have two foster homes in Colorado … myself and my rescue partner.  We simply do not have the space to intake any more at this time.  If you’ve adopted from us in the past, you are already approved as a foster home!! 

Please consider sharing a bit of your home and heart with a little one that desperately needs a second chance.  If interested, please read “Brother, Can You Spare” and then contact ApsoRescue@aol.com with any questions regarding our policies/procedures, what fostering entails, and how you can help.

Alone and Afraid

There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love.
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug.

I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold.
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend.
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.

And just when I thought you’d done all you do,
There came along not one new lesson, but two.
First you said, “Sweetheart, you’re ready to go.
I’ve done all I can, and you’ve learned all I know.”

Then you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss.
Along came a new family, they even have kids!
They took me to their home, forever to stay.
At first I thought you sent me away.

Then that second lesson became perfectly clear.
No matter how far, you will always be near.
And so, Foster Mom, you know I’ve moved on.
I have a new home, with toys and a lawn.

But I’ll never forget what I learned that first day.
You never really give your fosters away.
You gave me these thoughts to remember you by.
We may never meet again, and now I know why.

You’ll remember I lived with you for a time.
I may not be yours … but you’ll always be mine.

A Dog Day …

What a whirlwind summer this has been!!  Can’t believe we’re into July already … I’m still trying to figure out how/where we missed the month of March.  And speaking of July, hope everyone has a safe 4th of July … with no lost dogs due to the fireworks.  One of my Apsos is particularly sensitive to loud booming noises (thunder) so we utilize whatever’s available to lessen the stress of the evening.  A bandana sprayed with ComfortZone, a stereo or TV playing loudly, potty runs well before the big fireworks go off in the ‘hood, etc., etc.

The Rescue Reunion on June 21st was apsolutely a success!  We couldn’t have picked a better spot for the day or better weather for the dogs.  Lush green grass, lots of shade, restroom close by, a large covered shelter with picnic tables, and even electricity had we needed it!  Some photos …

 Hanging with the dogs in the x-pens …  



Magoo, meeting his many admirers … his is a pretty amazing story!


Senghe (r) and Davinci (f/k/a Sterling) …


Magoo again …


Shelter and view of the park …


 Current foster, Murphy


A Gompa puppy, Whisper …


A recurrent comment for the day was, “Is this going to be an annual event??”  Well, we’d certainly like to make it an annual event.  It’s not often that a pet owner is exposed to such a large group of the same breed, noting how different each dog was but yet so similar!  It was also nice for those of us who exhibit in conformation as we didn’t have to worry about getting a dog all gussied up and in the ring by a certain time.  Just a nice, relaxing dog day.  After the potluck lunch, there was a discussion and handout regarding current vaccination protocols. Shortly thereafter was a quick grooming presentation by Debby … I think we all learned a trick or two with that.  Next up was Lhasa Races — everyone was a good sport as we muddled our way through the race program.  Basically, if you missed our first ever gathering, you missed a great day in the park!

Longmont has a rich and diverse background with stately old neighborhoods.  Before leaving town, we just had to do a tour around the park area.  Couple homes that really caught my eye …



Comments …

I can be sooo technologically inept at times … like with this Blog.  If you’ve made a comment on any of the entries, they were inadvertently deleted — sight unseen.  WordPress utilizes a spam catcher (I got that part). What I didn’t realize was that when I told it to “delete all spam comments,” it was also deleting pending comments that were in another part of the admin area.  An area I didn’t find until this morning.  After I’d deleted everything.

Or perhaps it was all spam (no, I don’t need any life insurance, thank you) and I’m merely babbling into cyberspace about the unique creatures that share our life/home and our rescue efforts.   ::::::pressing nose against screen and tapping monitor::::::   Hellooooo, anybody out there?!

To make this dog/rescue related:  We’re dogsitting a former foster through the end of June.  A foster that most likely would have become a permanent fixture had a certain puppy not arrived on the scene (and hubby throwing a royal hissy fit about “having too many dogs”).  In any event, Dinky comes back to visit every now and again when his owners are on an extended vacation. 

Everyone looks forward to Dinky’s arrival, dogs and humans alike.  He’s my Frankie’s best buddy and they wear each other out with their romping and ‘rassling.  Dinky is a well-behaved little fella; he walks in the door and it’s like he never left, settling into the household routine seamlessly.  Hubby finally  admitted this weekend that, should Dinky ever end up in rescue again (highly unlikely because his owners have spoiled him rotten), he’d become a permanent member of the family.  I think this had something to do with that turn of thought …

Yup, that’s our Dinky, suckin’ up big time!  Not sure who is enjoying the one-on-one time more … hubby or Dinky.


You’re Invited … to a Rescue Reunion!!

While it has been a long-time coming, we’ve finally got solid plans … and a beautiful site to hold our first ever Rescue Reunion.  Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself what exactly is a “rescue reunion.”  Simply stated, it is a gathering of all the families (and dogs) that have adopted from our organization.  Date for the event:  June 21, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  UPDATE ON LOCATION:  Due to a scheduling conflict, we’ve reserved space at Thompson Park, located 4 blocks west of Main Street (Hwy 287) on 5th Street in Longmont.  Why Longmont?  We have families all over the Front Range and Longmont is the most central (not to mention it is a nice little city away from the hustle/bustle of Denver).

Also attending the Apso Picnic will be pet owners of FleetFireTimbers Lhasa Apsos.  If you’ve been to my house, you’ve met dogs of this lineage … Frankie and Dante, to be exact.  The owners of FFT dogs are as delightful as the dogs themselves.  Basically this is a gathering to enjoy dogs and dog folk.  We’ll have a quick grooming seminar (faces/feet/butts), a handout on current vaccination protocols, Lhasa Races with betting (actual dogs don’t race, but we think you’ll have a blast anyway), and a potluck picnic. 

A bit of history …  Thompson Park is one of the three parks designed into the original Chicago-Colorado Colony town plat. The park is named after Elizabeth Rowell Thompson (1820-1899), a renowned philanthropist, temperance reformer and abolitionist who lived on the East Coast. A Boston reporter in 1899, called her the “founder of Longmont, Colorado”.  In 1890, Judge F.P. Secor rented Thompson Park for $14 per month to graze his and a neighbor’s milk cows. The ladies of the town planted trees in the park and helped keep them alive with buckets of water from the St.Vrain — trees that still stand today and are identified in a brochure available from the Parks and Forestry Services Office (“The Trees of Thompson Park”).

Click on the link for a .pdf of the Invitation …  Rescue Reunion & PetExpo

This will be a potluck style gathering.  Please bring a covered dish and chairs.  Beverages and dinnerware will be provided.  We are asking for RSVPs so we have an idea of how much we’ll need to bring for both dogs and humans.  Please RSVP by June 14th at (970) 663-5910 or send an email to ApsoRescue@aol.com.


Incoming …

Sorry to have missed the Denver folks who were planning to come visit at the Golden Petco Expo.  Between our schedules, pressing committments, inclement weather and gas prices, we were unable to attend.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to connect with our dog families in the near future.  Seeing the little ones with their new owners is apsolutely a joy!

Last week we had a new arrival.  An owner surrender, he was relinquished for not getting along with the 19-month old baby in the house.  In keeping with tradition, he was given a Tibetan name, “Tashi,”  (Ta-shee) meaning prosperity or lucky.  Tashi will undergo a complete rescue exam and a neuter Monday morning as we get him ready to put for adoption.  

Tashi is a laid back little guy and has settled into his foster home like he’s always lived there.  Almost without fail, our fosters move seamlessly from one home to the next.  They live in the moment, accepting of whatever befalls them.  Given love, attention and the structure of routine, they quickly adapt to their new surroundings. 

Tashi, a white Apso with black mask, is three years old.  He gets along well with other dogs and, despite never having seen or been around a cat, does fine with Michelle’s cat.  Oddly enough, we find this true of the majority of our fosters.  Apsos have often been described as being “cat like” in their temperament (aloof).  Perhaps they connect on some deeper level at first meeting!  While Tashi is not crazy about his crate, he is crate trained … and housetrained.  Yes, that is not a misprint … he is housetrained.  He also loves to play ball and will entertain himself with it even after he’s worn you out throwing it for him.

If you’d like more information on Tashi, please contact me at ApsoRescue@aol.com.  He’s going to make someone a wonderful companion!

Coming to a Town Near You …

The following is an article by Cindy Cooke as published on the UKC site (United Kennel Club).  If you think this can’t happen in your city, you’re wrong … dead wrong.  Pay particular attention to the ordeal an ethical/responsible breeder (and rescuer) was subjected to and how the City of Littleton, Colorado basically held a gun to his head, including forcing property inspections outside the City’s jurisdiction!!

 United Kennel Club: This Means War, by Cindy Cooke


Simple pet owners need to pay attention … your rights as an owner are at stake as well.  Debby Rothman, a long-time Apso breeder/exhibitor replied with the following:

Vickie, you are absolutely right! Everyone needs to pay attention!  I know Bob. Bob is someone like me. Long time breeder. Long time exhibitor. And, unlike me, a long rescuer of all Setters. He is a responsible, ethical, compassionate breeder. There is lots of literature available on the hijacking of our rights, including our rights as dog owners. Our personal rights are being hijacked in the name of ’safety for our country’. Our rights as dog owners are being hijacked in the name of …well, you tell me. These rights have slowly, stragically been eroded by animal extremists. For example, Boulder was the first city in the country to change verbage in city laws from pet owner to pet guardian. Guardian implies animals have rights.
Animal welfare is one thing. Animal rights is entirely different. There are organizations that support animal welfare. Make sure your support, your contributions are going to organizations that represent your views. PETA and HSUS are dog owners two biggest enemies in our country. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Humane Society of the United States. The names sound grand. After all, what kind of person isn’t for the ethical treatment of animals. What kind of person doesn’t support being humane to animals. Both of those organizations have slowly, ever so slowly, eroded people’s rights with their dogs. Cindy Cooke does not exaggerate in her excellent article. Pay heed!

UPDATE:  This just in from the Center for Consumer Freedom … PETA’s Pet Death Toll Grows.  Excerpt from the article …

“… Here’s what the report shows. Not including the animals PETA spayed and neutered, the group had possession of 1,997 dogs, cats, and other “companion animals” in 2007. And PETA — which professes a belief that animals should never be slaughtered for food, used for medical research, or killed for clothing, nonetheless put 90.9 percent of them to death at its Norfolk, VA headquarters. And despite its official status as a “humane society” and a pet “releasing agency” in Virginia, PETA found adoptive homes for only 17 animals all year. Just 17.”


A New Arrival …

… is always exciting! 

Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, “Bentley” will become the latest foster in rescue.  An unneutered three-year old, he will be looking for a new home that can spend more time with him.  While we gather as much information as possible on our intakes, there’s always the unknown.  How will he do with other dogs … how will he come through his neuter … how will he react to his first grooming in rescue … what will he think of the resident felines … will he sleep through the night … is he *really* potty trained and crate trained … does he like children or do we need to find a home that limits his contact with toddlers … is he a hearty eater or a picky one?  So many questions!!

These little ones arrive in rescue and we treat them just as one of the pack.  They are expected to behave and, with training (some more, some less), they usually live up to our expectations.  They thrive on attention and structure.  It isn’t long before they settle in … and it’s like they’ve been here their entire lives.  Every now and again, a foster will return for an extended visit.  They walk through the door and move seamlessly from their house to ours again, like they never left. 

I used to think my dogs couldn’t live without me — wishful thinking on my part.  After all the fosters that have passed through my home, I’ve come to realize the canine is much more adaptable than we give them credit for.  Indeed, it is this adaptability that has ensured their survival through the ages! 

Welcome, Bentley … we look forward to getting to know you.

UPDATE:  Well, things *didn’t* go as planned, unfortunately, and, for the time being, Bentley will not be entering rescue.  Bentley managed to run away from home on the eve he was to arrive in rescue.  We hope he finds his way home again, safe and sound.  If anyone happens to find a little grey/white Apso in Lochbuie, Colorado, please contact us!

Rescue Me …

RESCUE ME    (~Terri Onorato)  

Rescue me not only with your hands but with your heart as well. I will respond to you.

Rescue me not out of pity but out of love.  I will love you back.

Rescue me not with self-righteousness but with compassion.  I will learn what you teach.

Rescue me not because of my past but because of my future.  I will relax and enjoy.

Rescue me not simply to save me but to give me a new life.  I will appreciate your gift.

Rescue me not only with a firm hand but with tolerance and patience.  I will please you.

Rescue me not only because of who I am but who I’m to become.  I will grow and mature.

Rescue me not to revere yourself to others but because you want me.  I will never let you down.

Rescue me not with a hidden agenda but with a desire to teach me to trust.  I will be loyal and true.

Rescue me not to be chained or to fight but to be your companion.  I will stand by your side.

Rescue me not to replace one you’ve lost but to sooth your spirit.  I will cherish you.

Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend.  I will give you unconditional love.

Rescue me with true love in your heart and I will give you these things all the days of my life.