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Friday, April 8, 2011

Jail breaking

Sometimes part of a rescuer's job is to go break some doggies out of jail. Yesterday was my chance to volunteer to pick up some dogs at the Lancaster Animal Shelter. It's been a long story with this animal shelter. A person we call "the Hoarder" seems to have bred many varieties of bulldogs, boxers and pitbulls and sold them off as bulldogs. Unfortunately, this person received so many complaints that he/she has been slowly 'dumping' the dogs at the shelter to avoid penalties and fines.

The result of this situation is we get a large number of alerts from the community regarding these 'bulldogs' and are requesting our volunteer services to care for these dogs. Having visited some of these dogs in person, it's sad to say that some of these dogs look nothing like bulldogs. If and when the dog resembles a bulldog, we are able to pull them out, provide them with loving care and medical attention and adopt them into homes with families. Anyway, that's the gist of it.

Yesterday, I drove out to Lancaster to pick up a female 4 year old english bulldog. All was done and said, but as I was about to leave the shelter with my rescue it turns out that there were 3 other dogs that came in together. Nobody had informed me of this and I was able to pull another female that somewhat resembled a bullie. Here are the photos of yesterdays journey... nevermind the fact that I got a $500 speeding ticket :(

To those people who might have comments about not "saving" all of them, please realize that rescuing animals largely counts on the donations and funds available to the rescue. Because we are non-profit, all of the money goes straight towards the financial care and medical attention needed. We've had 3 knee surgeries in the past week costing $2,000 each.

So please, no guilt about not saving the rest of them.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chewy & I have a little chat.

This morning as I was taking a shower, Chewy decided he wanted in too. I've never seen a bulldog so willingly jump into the shower, but this dog was determined to get in with me!

 I left the faucet running a bit so he could drink some water, but by then I was standing in the tub naked and needed to have my time. "Chewy, you need to get out now. Go sit on the rug, okay?" I gently pushed him out of the tub and closed the curtains. But then, if you recall any horror shower scene, the curtains were being pushed in towards me and next thing you know the shower curtains AND the dog were in the tub again. What a silly boy! Me thinks Chewy used to live in a bathtub when he was with his former owner (who abused him.. but we won't go into detail).

Open letter to Mr. Chewy
Hi Chewy, I know you don't know me very well but I want you to know that you're safe here. I will protect you and you don't need to sleep in bathtubs. You have your own house, your own bed, food bowl and a person who loves you. You don't need to be scared anymore!

I promise Monster is a nice boy even though he's a tad bit jealous. But you know him, he's just a big baby like you too. He used to be scared of all sorts of things but he's gotten so much better. I hope you can get better too.

By the way, I really like it when you don't bite down on my hand. I hope you'll be happy here until we find you a permanent home. I also enjoy your company and hope you can relax enough to be playful and happy.

Love, Foster Mom.

Chewy's Response

A week's worth of Chewy love.

As mentioned in my previous post titled Goodbye Mama Hello Chewy, I started fostering Chewy who is a 3 year old brown/brindle bully who has a bit of insecurities, food aggression and a tad bit of separation anxiety.

Day 1 and 2 were a bit uneasy since I didn't know him very well, but I clearly saw his food aggressions and he did not like it one bit if I tried to go near his food bowl. From that, I decided to feed him by hand and make sure that he works for every single bit of food he eats.

When Chewy snatched an old loaf of bread out of my hands as I was giving him and Monster treats, I knew that this was an opportunity to fight for my dominance and show him that what I give him, is not really his (even though I don't plan on eating it). I had to summon Mr Broomstick and ask for his assistance in returning the loaf. Oh boy, you should have seen the vicious look on his face. He growled, snarled and attacked Mr Broomstick and refused to let go. Of course, knowing me, I am quite persistent and we re-enacted this scenario twice until Chewy got the point.

Today is Chewy's 5th day at this house and I've been doing private food training with him in my office. He eats after Monster and can only be fed by hand. Chewy has a tendency to bite a bit harder than most dogs, but he is slowly learning and will let me put my hand in his mouth. I moved to the next step which was to put my feet (wearing rain boots) near his bowl. He growled, I persisted. After we mastered that step, I put my foot in his bowl and told him to 'leave it'. He growled for a split second, retreated and looked at me. I won! We repeated this for at least 2 meals. By now, Chewy has gotten used to the fact that I am the provider of food. He is still a bit insecure about being with me but is slowly learning to build trust. I too have my fear that he will bite me.

Today, being Day 5 I decided to give him some ice cubes because it's almost 90 degrees. The good little boy sat down, gently took the ice cube from my mouth and ran off to a far corner so I could not get to it. He returned and I gave him another one, he ran off again. By now, Monster was also curious about the commotion and decided he wanted an ice cube too. So he gently took it from me, set it down on the ground and licked it... and I gave instruction for Chewy to go ahead and take it.

Chewy was happily eating his ice cube right infront of me and dropped a piece on the ground. The moment of truth is revealed..

I reach my hand down to the ground to grab the piece he dropped and I shoved it in his mouth under his flappy cheeks. No growling, just pure happiness and contentment.

AHHHH... I'm so happy!! Chewy is better!!!

Chewy's little butt is shaved because he had his tail removed. Yes, I know he looks like an orangatan :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The most beautiful face I saw.. Khloe!

Khloe's 2 week trial date ended yesterday. I followed up with her new mom and they are absolutely in love! The family has fallen into a diaper-changing routine, along with walking the pack 3 times a day. As you can see, Khloe is wearing a new harness and new panties.. she is so well taken care of! They love her to smithereens.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 7. Goodbye Mama, hello Chewy

A few days ago, Mama decided she wanted to step up her game and challenge Monster for a dual in hierarchy. Little does she know that my Monster is the Lee/Breedlove resident police officer and enjoys keeping dogs in check. That being said, the two clashed and I had to separate them completely the last 2 days. Mama will have been the second female dog I've fostered, but her temperament is greatly different from that of Khloe's.

Khloe's demeanor is mild tempered, easy going, loves pleasing and constantly looks for guidance and instruction. Though I trained her as a puppy, she was eager to please and make everyone happy.

Mama is very strong willed, loves a challenge as well as chasing cats. Unfortunately, that doesn't bode well in this residence... so I had to take her back to the vet's office for boarding :( I felt bad for a little bit, but knew that this was the best thing for her until she got adopted. She is a ball of energy and great as the only dog.

On my way home, I swung by a senior volunteers house to pick up Chewy (foster dog). Chewy came from a couple who had a baby and no longer had time for him. He's 3 years old, energetic and a bundle of energy who doesn't know what to do with himself. He seems to be very food motivated and will need to learn how eat gently out of my hands. In retrospect, I'm so grateful for all the training that Monster has gone through and how much of a gentleman he is. I hope Chewy will be the same!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 5, Beckylou is now Mama

Last night I was determined to take Mama back to the vet's office for boarding. However, seeing that she's so stubborn I decided to try another approach and remove all her privileges including her ability to go back to her crate.

As of now, she's on a leash and must follow my every command and earn rewards. This morning she refused to lay down for me, but after doing some training she was able to do so on her own. She is a very stubborn girl!!

I've decided to give her until Monday to see if she relinquishes her dominance and fully submits to me. More news to come..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hi! How can I help?

That's not me, but he's pretty smart! - Monster