Thursday, July 28, 2011

Post #28: Update from Georgia

Georgia on the Prowl
Hey Ya’ll,
It has been awhile since I last blogged.  I’ve been busy getting better!  Dada says I’m an 11 year old puppy!   The other night I saw this butterfly flying around me and I watched to see what it was doing!  It just flew around and was so pretty.   I also remembered that bumble bees had to be snapped out of the air!  Those pesky bees bother Mama so I have to take them out!  I love to watch my foster sisters play, and actually tried to join in.  I think I scared them because I don’t bark.  I do this GRRUUWWWWLLLMOOAANN thing and they think I want to fight instead of play. 

Getting LOVES from Uncle Vic
I have to thank my Auntie Kara who is a GSRA volunteer and works at the Animal Hospital that got rid of that nasty cyst.  The great doc and techs took such good care of me.  I wasn’t able to meet Auntie Kara (she was visiting her human family) but she hooked me up with 2 bags of goodies.  I wasn’t eating much at first and she sent Foster Mama home with all kinds of good doggie food to get me to eat!  It worked!  I’m eating all my food now except for 1 kibble!   I leave it for Mama!  She seems to think it is funny!  Now all I have to do is keep my foster sisters from tearing up my new purple turtle from Auntie Kara until I’m ready to help in the destruction!  I will keep you posted.  
Boys needed some help!
I helped Dada and Uncle Vic fix the lawn mower today!  Those boys really did need some help!  

"Ok Georgia Girl can I have a few words!WOOF WOOF!! OK Mama.  Talk to ya’ll later!!

I can’t believe how Georgia Girl has come around now that she is feeling better!  She is the happiest puppy ever!  She is learning how to be a dog again and I can’t wait to hear her actually bark!  We will keep you posted.  I know Georgia will surprise me like she did when she climbed up on her own comfy bed! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Post #27: Gunner Living the Life

Gunner Striking a Pose
Well it is the one month anniversary of Gunner entering foster care, and boy has this dog blossomed!  He has gone from a frantic, scared boy to a well adjusted GSD.  He has gone from a dog who has had no exposure to an inside life, or even a life with human interaction, to one that LOVES being inside, thrives on being with family, has numerous favorite places in our house, and has discovered the joy of playing with toys and other GSD's.  Considering his very secluded life, he has the curiosity of a puppy.  He is not scared of things, just cautious.  He will look at me, then walk over and check things out.  Over the past month, Gunner has become one of my pack, and is thoroughly enjoying being with his people, especially me.  His favorite spot at bedtime is on our master bathroom floor, where its nice and cool. 
Gunner in his "cool" place
He will come to check on me throughout the night, but always returns to the bathroom floor. 
To sleep on the bed or not!
He hasn't quite figured out that a dog bed is meant to be laid on, probably since he has never had one before. 

We have been taking daily walks, pretty much from day one.  Since he was kenneled all of his life, he has no muscle mass in his back legs.  With the walking, he is slowly building up those muscles, and is one of the first in line to go out for his walk! 
Since Gunner was so nervous at first, we concentrated on having him adjust to our family and dogs, and left the obedience training to a later date when he was more settled.  He is a smart cookie, and will sit before he goes for his walk, and is one of the first dogs to sit before being allowed to come into the house after his walk.  He sits for his treats, and almost all of the other times that we ask him to now.  He learned "leave it" pretty early on since he had no prior training or exposure, and some things dogs are just supposed to leave alone!  In my opinion, it is one of the most important commands for a dog to know.  He will leave it when asked every time.  The "come" command is coming along nicely, and with continued practice, will continue to improve.

I don't really want to be out here!
Gunner was THE MOST difficult dog that I have ever had to house break!  At first, it was just that he did not know better.  All of his life he just went in the kennel.  Now our house was considered his kennel!  Then, it was because he was scared to leave the "safety zone" of our house.  He would not go outside alone, and we would have to put him on a leash to get him to go out and do his business. Often times, it took 15 minutes of walking around in our fenced yard to entice him go.  It was heart breaking to watch the fear in his eyes as we asked him to go away from his comfort zone, but we needed to get him over this hurdle.  He would constantly try to go to the steps to come back inside.  Finally one day, I decided that I would use treats to entice him to go outside off leash and praise him for that, then praise him when he went to the potty.  Well, this strategy worked!  We still have to tell him to go outside and do his business sometimes, but he will go out and be successful!  I can now put my carpet cleaner away!  I felt as if the heavens had opened up!  Yay Gunner!
Did you see the size of that SQUIRREL???
Gunner and his friend
Over the past week and a half, we have started leaving Gunner out of his crate when we leave the house.  At first it was for an hour or two, and now it has graduated to about 6 1/2 hours.  He has done very well, and has proven himself to be trustworthy so far.  This is a big relief, since he never developed the fondness for his crate, and it was never considered his "safe" place.  Gunner loves to run to our living room windows, which are the windows to adventure for our dogs.  The squirrels and rabbits provide endless entertainment for them.  I swear one of the rabbits main mission in life is to taunt them.  The endless supply of neighbors walking keeps them stimulated as well. 

I am pretending I don't know how good looking I am.

When Gunner goes for his daily walks, he gets socialized with some of the neighborhood dogs, neighbors, and children.  What started out as aloofness has turned into curiosity, and now approval.  He lets people pet him, and he acknowledges by a gentle lick on the hand.  While Gunner will probably never be a dog that goes bounding up to people he doesn't know to greet them, he has become social and will approach them and allow to be petted.  One thing for sure though, this boy stops people in their tracks to admire his true beauty!  I had someone that drove past our street, turn around in their car to meet him.  It is a pretty awesome feeling to be walking three big GSD's, heeled at my side, walking tall, proud, and gorgeous!  I am so proud of how far my boy has come, and can't help but look back to that month ago when that frantic, scared boy came into our lives. His progress makes me beam with joy!  He is a true blessing, and  we LOVE him very much! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Post #26: My Fair Queenie

My Fair Queenie

Beautiful Queenie
Queenie has made a lot of progress over the last week and it occurred to me that living with her, and teaching her all the wonderful things that life has to offer is a little like the story My Fair Lady. Queenie is a canine version of Eliza Doolittle (albeit with a little less spunk) and we are like Professor Higgins (but much, much kinder thank you very much!!). We have plucked Queenie out of a life that had little to offer her and have transported her to a world where everything is new, every experience is eye-opening and people are kind and generous. I'd love to think that, by the end of our tutelage, Queenie will make as dramatic a transformation as Eliza did in the movie, but I guess we will have to wait and see on that one. In the mean time though, both her Foster Dad and I are having a blast seeing her blossom into a happy, even-keeled young dog. 

Queenie - Standing pretty
We've started taking her out places with us to expose her to some new places and people. Yesterday we went and visited another volunteer who had been looking after Queenie's sister Iris over the weekend. Iris was gaining some new experiences herself, so when we went to pick her up, we thought it would be a good opportunity for Queenie to come along and meet a new friend and be reunited with her sister. Seeing the 2 dogs recognize each other and react to being together again was really beautiful. Iris wagged her tail till we thought it might fall off and Queenie showered her sister with kisses on the muzzle. There's no doubt these 2 girls are bonded!! Queenie then spent a little time with the volunteer who had been working with Iris. He gave her some lessons on how to navigate the stairs (she is still leaping with abandon down them!!). It only took her a couple of minutes to catch on to what was being asked of her, and even though she was deathly afraid of taking those steps down, she did it. In those few minutes I saw just how intelligent and willing to please this sweet girl is - such a wonderful example of why we love this breed!! 

Queenie keeping a close eye on us...from a distance
A couple of other "firsts" this week included being left uncrated in the main house while we went out to the gym this morning. We were both a little nervous about that experiment, but it went well - all pillows and rugs were still accounted for when we got back!! She also licked my breakfast plate for the first time this morning - I know, I know, not the greatest thing to teach a dog, but when you see dogs like Queenie just being a "dog"it really fills your heart with happiness. All our other dogs gather around when we are eating (especially breakfast) and know that there is a really good chance they will get to lick my plate at the end and take care of any egg I might have left behind. Well, much to my surprise today, Queenie joined the line of dogs sitting patiently for me to finish. So we went down the line - everyone getting a couple of licks to make sure the plate was completely clean. Queenie took her turn like a champ and was very conscientious in her cleaning duties!! It really made me smile. Which reminds me of another Queenie incident that made me smile recently. We decided to leave her out in "general pop" one night as she seemed very calm and her and Iris were snuggled together, so it seemed a shame to make her go downstairs to her "room". So, off we went to bed with clear instructions to all the dogs to be good. At about 2.00am I was woken up by barking. I knew instantly which dog it was (our alpha male) and I could tell just as quickly that something was not right. I turned the light on and looked downstairs and there I found quite the scene!! Iris and her brother were crowded on the stairs looking at me as if to say "we tried to tell her it wasn't right!!" and there, in the living room, was Queenie, wagging her tail and standing in the middle of destruction!! In the few short hours we had been asleep, she had torn down some blinds, chewed her foster Dad's wallet (no idea where she got it as I have gone looking for it before and never been able to find it!!!), torn to shreds a vintage shoulder bag, chewed some batteries, destuffed a cushion and somehow managed to remove her collar and rendered it useless by chewing off the clasp!!! Queenie was standing surrounded by all this mayhem wagging happily - apparently completely unawares that what she had just done was a MAJOR no-no!!! How could I be angry? I didn't want to be a buzz kill for her, so I just patted her and gave her kisses and then promptly put her in her room for the night!!! Of course, we'd already learned the hard way not to put any kind of rug or dog bed in with her - she is QUITE the artiste when it comes to mixed media consisting of rug fibers and pillow stuffing!! Still, its nothing that hasn't already been done a dozen or so times here, so there's really no harm done. And it kind of worked to her advantage as she got a brand new collar out of the whole episode!
Queenie's new collar

To complete the list of "firsts" for this week, today was the first time Queenie came with her foster Dad to pick me up from work - all on her own. When I came out of my building and saw her across the street I was struck by just how beautiful this girl is. She is tall and graceful and has just the perfect combination of colors from her parents (Buster and Susann). It took her a moment to realize who I was, but when she did she lowered her head shyly but pulled her foster Dad over to where I was. Boy oh boy was I a proud Mama :) Everyone was looking at her - I mean, how could you not? She did well with the attention, but was clearly relieved to also get back to the safety of the car. Still, it's these baby steps in her rehabilitation that make all the difference. I'm quite sure that it won't be long before Queenie is happily barking, "the rain in spain stays mainly on the plane"!! .....if you don't get this, look up My Fair Lady in Wikipedia :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Post #25: Tina Learns to Eat

Tina getting ready for her nightly walk

My name is Clementine, but the people who love me call me Tina, Tina Bear, Tina Toodles, the list goes on. Who knew humans were so silly? I didn’t! As I am sure you all know, I lived in a kennel all my life. It is hard to imagine now, but when I first got to my new home, all I wanted was to return to that kennel. The humans said it was bad, but it was the only home I knew and I was so scared. But, I have met so many nice humans since leaving the kennel; I can’t imagine going back now.

I need to thank a few people. First, I must thank my Angie. Yes, my new mom read the note you left me in my food. I was so upset that night, I didn’t understand the words at first, but I smelled you and that made it better. I must also thank all the wonderful people in GSRA that came out to the kennels and bathed us and walked us and showed us that a human’s hand means love.

Tina thinking about her blog
I asked my mom what I should write. Should I go back and tell everyone how scared and confused I was? How I just didn’t know how to be and it upset me so much? Or should I tell people how I am doing now and try to make people smile? My mom, being the silly person she is, said, let’s make people smile!  She particularly likes to talk about my poop (I will explain later!)

Everything really started to change for me the day my mom took me to the vet. Asher, my friend, kindly volunteered to go with me so it was not as scary. But, I still didn’t know what was happening. Was she taking me to another home? Was I going back to the kennel? I can admit now, that I was scared. I was starting to like this new home and it broke my heart that I was leaving. Amazingly, my mom brought me back home! I was so excited that I decided to play with my mom and show her how happy I was. Well, that was a good thing! I made my mom laugh and I like that so much I now play with her a lot. I think she might get sad if I didn’t.

I could just eat this Stuffed Gator. Roll Tide!
I still would not eat. My mom was so upset I could tell. I couldn’t explain to her that my belly hurt and I was sick to my stomach. If only humans and dogs could communicate better. Finally, mom started putting the BIG pills down my throat. After she would put that pill down my throat she would kiss all over my face. I really like that, so I now take my pills like a champ and I get my kisses! Actually, mom kisses me all of the time. My foster brothers and sister say that is just something you have to get used to around here. I have NO PROBLEM with it, Bring on The Kisses!!!!!

Getting mom kisses with my brother Asher
I did feel sorry for my mom though. She tried all kinds of foods. She even made me eat some by putting it in a syringe. For days, that is the only food I ate. She tried so many different kinds of specialty dog food. She should have taken a picture. She bought two of every kind in hopes that I would eat it. But, I didn’t. Mom bought some canned chicken and I liked that! Mom said it wasn’t good for me, but let me eat it since it was the only thing I would eat. My mom is a vegetarian and she does not cook meat in her house. To the amazement of my Papa and foster siblings, mom went to the store and bought chicken! She boiled chicken and rice for me. But, I still wouldn’t eat it. Mom didn’t know that I don’t like rice. So then she just boiled chicken and she hand fed me. The plain chicken was what I needed to get my tummy working a little. I didn’t know what a big deal this was until my family explained that she would not have done that for anyone else! Wow! My mom truly loves me. It really is amazing because I am 9 years old and I am not sure that before GSRA I had someone to love me.
Well, my eating issues did not miraculously improve. All I would eat was one chicken breast a day. Not enough for a big girl like me my mom said. She kept trying can food, baby food, human food and she kept making me eat some with the syringe. I was starting to make that difficult for mom, so as long as I would eat a chicken breast she didn’t force me to eat. This went on for almost 2 weeks.

I was hungry, but I couldn’t explain to mom what I needed. I am not sure I even knew what I needed. I was in the kitchen with her one day and I was sniffing around. Mom thought maybe I was hungry. She opened a can of special high calorie food and let me sniff the can; I walked away. Poor mom, she was upset. When mom opened that can though, my foster brothers and sister came RUNNING!!! They said that mom just opened the best smelling stuff in the world. I saw them all sitting in the kitchen and I went back to see what all the fuss was about. Mom was feeding them all from a spoon. Each dog got a turn. I was standing there and mom offered me a turn; I said, “what the heck, when in Rome…” That made mom so happy! She kept going down the line, Asher’s turn, Dezzie’s turn, Harry’s turn, Tina’s turn… And each time I took my turn. Mom opened another can and kept the game going! Mom did that hugging and kissing thing again so it seems like I did a good thing!

The medication was starting to work. The doctor thinks I might have a stomach ulcer and that was causing me to get sick when I eat. I am still not eating enough and I do have special rules that must be followed!! In the morning I would like Beneful Prepared Meals, it took my mom A LOT of experimenting with different food to find that. I want it in the kitchen with my bowl on a soft towel. If I will not eat, I want my mom to get out a spoon and feed it to me that way. Oh, breakfast can never be before 9:30. I don’t eat before 9:30, don’t really like to get up before that. Some days I want lunch. On those days I will come into the kitchen and nose the pantry door. I like to keep mom on her toes so I change my mind about what I want for lunch. She sometimes offers me several different choices before I decide. For dinner, I like Beneful dry food. But, sometimes I want the Prepared Meals and I let mom know AFTER she has fixed my dinner. Last night I ate 4 cups of dry food. The day before I only ate 1 cup. Mom says that I need to eat at least 4 cups of food a day. I am working on it.

Last week, when I first started eating a little, my mom was on the phone with a group from GSRA. She was standing in the kitchen talking to them and I noticed the pantry door was open. Mom was busy and I thought a chewie was a GREAT idea, so I went into the pantry and helped myself. My mom got so excited!!! She did that hug and kiss thing again, she even cried a little when she got off the phone. Humans are VERY easy to please. I get a snack and they get happy!

One of Tina's Many Rugs
The other problem I had when I first came was terrible diarrhea, and then I stopped going to the bathroom all together. This REALLY worried my mom so she took me back to the vet. At the vet they ran all kinds of tests. When I go in to be spayed, they will check my spleen, which is too large and my intestines. But, a couple of days ago I finally went to the bathroom and my mom started jumping up and down and told me what a good girl I was for going “poopy” as she calls it. She even sent emails and posted on Facebook that I pooped. She and I are going to have a discussion about this. I am a proper southern lady and I don’t need her talking about my bodily functions!

Mom, I love you!
I could go on and on about life here. Every day I get more comfortable. I LOVE my mom. I just love her so much I can’t stand it sometimes. When she leaves I am starting to have something my mom called separation anxiety. She told me that isn’t good. She said that she will always come back so it is ok to relax while she is gone. She used to put me in the bedroom with another dog while she was gone. This morning though, I explained to her that I didn’t like that and I got to stay out with all the dogs. Another thing I do when my mom leaves is howl. I howl and cry until she comes home. Papa said that mama isn’t allowed to leave while he is home anymore. I guess my howling was a bit loud for him! Oops. 

I never knew that life could be like this. Mom tells me that I have 100s of people to thank. I just don’t know why my life could not have been this good all along. Mom said that we can’t hate the person who had me before. She said that she feels sorry for him. She said that he had the opportunity to be loved unconditionally by 7 wonderful dogs. He didn’t know our love, our kindness, or our sense of humor. So, because of that she feels sorry for him, because he missed out on something amazing! Wow! My mom thinks I am amazing.

Well, it is almost time for my mom and I to get back to work. She works from her home office and I have a spot beside her desk called THE TINA SPOT. Sometimes Harry steals it, but it is usually all mine.  

Tina going for a Jeep Ride
You will hear from me again soon, but in the meantime I will be going for walks, snuggling with my mom, hopefully getting some rides in the Jeep, and mostly just being a happy dog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Post #24: Fabulous Five Update

Georgia After Surgery
And another week begins! Lots has been going on with the Fab Five. The airwaves (or computer waves) have been burning up with emails shooting back and forth between all of us foster Moms. We even have a new name for ourselves - the FFFMs - or, Fab Five Foster Moms! It's like we are members of a little club - and quite a prestigious one if you ask me. It is truly an honor to be a part of the rehabilitation of these wonderful dogs.  Lots and lots of wonderful mile stones in their quest to become "normal" dogs and quite a few hurdles also. Last week saw both Tina and Georgia in at the vets a couple of times. Georgia went in for a check up and ended up staying to have emergency surgery! What we thought was pyometria turned out to be a 2.5lb cyst on one of her ovaries!! No one saw that coming! It explains why Georgia was less than enthused about eating or drinking - the poor girl had no room in her belly to eat or drink much of anything. Even after the surgery she seemed to want to continue her hunger strike but luckily, through the persistence of her incredible foster Mom, she started to eat. Maybe she caught wind of our plan to take her back to the vet?? Whatever it was, we are glad she got her appetite back as she really needs to put on a few pounds to get back into tip top health. 

 Tina sending love to her loyal fans.
Tina is still kind of going back and forth with her health issues. She went to the vet last week and had a battery of tests done to try to determine why a) she didn't want to eat and b) why, when she did eat, it ended up shooting out both ends of her. Thankfully a whole of lot scary stuff was ruled out, but we never really got a clear idea of what the problem might be. At the moment we are going with the theory that it might be a stomach ulcer brought on by stress. She's been taking some acid blockers and a drug that helps line the intestinal wall to soothe it and that seems to have done the trick in terms of getting her to want to eat (and keep stuff down). Either Tina herself or her foster Mom will be writing more about these adventures later in the week. Wait till you hear all the food that was tried to get Tina to eat something. She had a veritable smorgasbord going on there for a while! 

For the most part Queenie has been doing well. She's in a steady pattern of eating 2 big meals a day and I swear I can see her ribs starting to fade into a nice plump lining of fat. She's got a loooooong way to go before I'd say she is at her optimal weight, but at least we are on the right track. She is still fearful and untrusting in the house but each day things get a little better. She's got yet another new collar (she's definitely the "fashion horse" of the Fab Five) and I think this one has really captured her spirit. I'll post some pics and a full write up on her progress later this week. [Queenie is not pictured in this blog, she is preparing something special for her post; it is sure to be "fashionable".]
To the Event they went and the show they did STEAL!
The lads, Buster and Gunner, made their public debuts at the adoption event on the weekend and they were absolutely amazing. We were worried that they might be overwhelmed with being out in public and having all those people and dogs around them (this adoption event was one of the craziest and busiest we have had!!). We needn't have stressed ourselves though, both of the boys took it all in stride and seemed remarkably relaxed! Buster in particular seemed to be happy to be out and about. Naturally he drew a LOT of attention. You know how handsome he is in pictures, right? Well, when you see him in person, you realize that those pictures really don't do him justice. He is a total stud muffin! Apparently he got a lot of interest and had some serious inquiries into his availability. Yikes!!! Are any of us foster Moms ready to see their Fab Five Babies fly the coup??? Gunner also got a lot of attention. He's like a slightly smaller, goofier version of Buster and so equally as impressive when you see him in person. After seeing how well the boys did at the event I think I will plan on bringing Queenie to the next adoptathon. Last weekend's would have been too much for her at the moment, but I think in another month she will be ready for that kind of challenge. 

Stand by this week for blogs on Tina and Queenie. Not sure what Tina will have to say, but I can tell you that Queenie's blog will include, amongst other things, the running tally of all the beds and carpets she has destroyed lately :) Oh yeah, our little artist LOVES working with textiles ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Post #23 - Buster Climbs a Mountain

Buster Climbs a Mountain
The Mountain
As mentioned in Blog #18, when I first met Buster at the kennel, he was either unable or unwilling to climb the ramp into my car.  Since I wasn’t able to lift His Bigness myself, I knew this was something we needed to work on while I was fostering him. 

At 10 years old and with minimal opportunity to move around much in recent years, Buster has significant muscle wasting in his hips and rear legs.  When he first arrived, he was noticeable wobbly on the back end when wandering around the yard.  This seemed to improve by even the next day, though, as if he mostly needed to “work the kinks out.”  By day two, he was following me up into the garden shed and back down. 
Ramp UP

The shed ramp isn’t either as steep or as long as the car ramp, but still, I was encouraged.  So a few days later, we took another try at that.  Buster approached the car eagerly but put on the brakes when he got to the bottom of the ramp.  “No way!” he seemed to be saying.  So we circled away and made another pass, but had the same result.  It seemed to be the narrowness of the ramp that was bothering him, rather than the steepness (the shed ramp was much wider).  Taking a little break, Buster looked for a way into the car that didn’t include the ramp.  He actually put his front paws up on the bumper!  I’d guess this is how he loaded for years, with a simple jump; but I’m afraid those days are over for Mr. Buster—as they are for most large dogs of that age.  

So we circled around again to the ramp, and he surprised me by taking a few steps up!  With one more pass and lots of encouragement, he got half way before stopping.  Not wanting him to get that close without succeeding, I HAULED him the rest of the way.  And then, with what little breath I had left (105.8 lbs, remember!), I jumped around and cheered in an elaborate show of what a good boy he was and what a great thing he had done.  He seemed less than impressed….so we continued.  He walked down the ramp with no problem, and we repeated the whole scenario again—complete with the stop at halfway, the haul, and the leaping around.  Given that I had just had one of the better total body workouts of my life, we unloaded and called it “good” for the day. ;-)
A couple days later we tried again, and this time he went to the top with barely a hesitation!  I did have to give him a little nudge at the top, but not enough to even make me breathe hard, which was a HUGE improvement over our last practice.  I did the whole jumping around thing again, though, to reinforce how wonderful climbing the ramp is.  So with this hurdle behind us, Buster is eager to get out and meet his public.  He suggests the July 9 adoption event in Cary, so look for us there.  He’ll be the big handsome one. ;-)
SUCCESS! He is on his way to the Adoption Event on Saturday and he is READY to meet YOU!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Post #22 - Update from Georgia Girl

From Georgia Girl: Hey, Y’all!  Foster Mama says since I’m feeling better I should update my loyal fans on how I’ve been doing!  I’ve been fighting a stupid infection that took my appetite away and Foster Mama is giving me these awful tasting pills, (must be working though since I want to eat again).  I’m only eating chicken still, which is way better than that dry kibble my foster sis’s get!  I wonder how long I can get foster Mama to feed me the yummy chicken hehe!

Georgia after her bath
I love when Foster Mama gives me a bath and brushes me!  I’ve had 2 already since foster Dada says I stink!  I don’t know if I do but I sure do feel soooo much better after the bath! 

Georgia and Skitty Kitty checking out the Pool
The other night Foster Mama started up this machine that made a stupid noise and then she started pushing it around the yard.  At first the noise surprised me, but my foster sis, Skitty Kitty, ran towards the stupid machine and then started following foster Mama around.  So I joined in, we did several laps following right behind her, but foster Mama kept going and going and we started to get tired and bored. So foster sis and me went and chilled out by the pool and just watched.  Foster sis said we could keep foster Mama safe even though we were lying down because we could still see her! 

You know that big comfy bed I used as a head rest in my first post!  Well it is pretty dang sweet to lay completely on to take a nappy!  I surprised foster Mama and Dada one night and just climbed up and went to sleep.  Come to think of it… that big comfy bed is starting to look pretty good right about now…(yyyaaawwwnnn)!!!!!!  See y’all later! 

I am keeping an EYE on you Mama!

From Georgia’s Foster Mama: Georgia girl said it was ok that I write a line or two on her blog, so here goes.  Georgia is starting to interact more and more with my other dogs!  Great news!  She still gets anxious when I leave so we got a kennel for her.  She actually likes it and will sometimes go in by herself for some quiet time.  She is coming along nicely and is so kind and gentle. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Post #21- A Foster Story: Updates from the Fellas - Buster and Gunner

The Big Man Settles In
Uh-huh, uh-huh, and what happened next? I'm all ears!
Starting on night four, Buster decided there was no need for that nervous pacing at bedtime, so now he settles down right away with the rest of the pack, and we all have a peaceful night.  He’s earned the right to be loose in the house, too, both at night and while I’m away.  Seriously, have you ever seen a more dignified looking dog?  Of COURSE he’s trustworthy. 
He continues to take his self-appointed role of Supervisor-in-Chief pretty seriously.  The other night I had to cut the grass, and Buster followed closely behind the entire time!  Back and forth, back and forth, in 90 degree heat (which we know he doesn’t like!), making sure I was doing an adequate job.  Later, he kept a close eye on my laundry skills.  Whereas most dogs might give an interested glance into an open dryer door, Buster stuck his whole head in and took a good look around.  And wouldn’t you know, I had left a sock behind; he will surely never let me forget this. ;-)

Buster takes a good look
We walk a little farther every day and continue to work at getting his nails trimmed back to a healthy length.  Our next goal is to master the car ramp, so Buster can get out and about to meet his fans.  Look for that report in our next update.
Buster has settled in so easily, with little of the anxiety the other Fab Five have struggled with.  I can’t help wondering whether this is due to differences in personality, or perhaps because Buster experienced more varied living circumstances than the others did.  We’ll never know, and of course it doesn’t really matter.  Our focus is on the here and now, and our goal is to give each of these special dogs the brightest future possible.
            Gunner Doing Well 
 Gunner continues to make good progress.  He is learning how to play, and goes running through the house in the mornings and evenings picking up anything loose and running with it.  He will take anything with a rope and shake it!  He is starting to like tennis balls.  He has been introduced to some of my family members in our house this weekend on separate days, and after initially avoiding them, will come to them slowly.  He started protecting our house this week when someone came to our door, by letting out that wonderful deep GSD  bark.  He accomplished being able to go out into our fenced in back yard by himself.  It's amazing how much open space can intimidate a kenneled dog.  He was very unsure of our yard, and we would have to put him on a leash to get him to go outside .  Now he feels comfortable to go running down the steps into our yard alone.  Little steps, big progress!  He ALWAYS  likes to be close to our family, and gravitates to our older male GSD Brady.  Usually our fosters become infatuated with our princess Jade, but I believe Gunner likes our older, calm laid back dog since he was kenneled with his mother his whole life. He often looks to my dogs for direction.  He is still very gentle around my daughter and often looks at her in an inquisitive way when she starts playing in the house.  He continues to dislike his crate :).  We will work on introducing him to other children this week, and work on our sit command more.  He already knows " leave it" and will sit about 60% of the times he is asked.  He is VERY treat motivated, so combined with his smarts, should be easy to train now that he is relaxing more.