Jay-Z finally got adopted. I haven’t written much at all since Jay-Z came back. He didn’t change or grow a bit while we had him. He has to be the dumbest dog we have ever fostered and no matter what we did with him he didn’t learn. But at least he wasn’t a dog that damaged anything or got into too much trouble. He also respected gates and doors. About the worst thing he did was scratch on the doors whenever he wanted what was on the other side. The second worst thing was that you couldn’t get him to come back to you if he got outside. At night he would bark continuously into the back field as if something was there… but there never was anything. We had to lure him back inside by shaking a bowl of food.
Overall, since he largely didn’t change or do anything different, there wasn’t much to write about. The family that adopted him lives in Culpepper. They visited last weekend to see him and liked him. Mike drove him down to Culpepper (1.5 hours) to see if he would try to kill their cat. He had shown aggression toward smaller animals and had dominated Clifford in our house. So there was question as to if he would get along with their cat.
It turns out he sniffed the cat and then went about his stupidity of running around without any purpose. I am glad they liked him, but I am 50/50 that he will be returned again. Not holding my breath.
Well… Jay-Z was gone for a little over a week, but he is back. No-one wants this little dog. And, unfortunately, he seems to really like it here. I can’t seem to break him of his bad habits and I swear that he is the dumbest dog I have ever worked with. He has grown enough that he can now jump any gate we have and can hop on any bed without missing a step. So every morning I wake up with Goofy laying on my pillow and Jay-Z somewhere else on the bed. The moment I start petting Goofy before I get up I get a 4 toed splayed paw right in the face as Jay-Z leaps over Goofy to start playing.
He is an energetic little thing but he has no clue that his claws scratch pretty bad. He has raked my arms, right cheek, and across my mouth on a number of occasions. I go to work looking like someone tried to cut me after he has gotten too excited.
Hopefully someone will take him in that can keep him and put up with him.
Hans brought Maggie and Max out for a doggy visit. Maggie just had surgery on her rear right foot to remove a cyst. It had been growing quickly and so it appeared to be cancer. They removed one toe so now the foot looks like a chicken foot. So, I called her “Chicken Foot” when playing with her.
Goofy and Clifford like Maggie and Max. But Satan’s Little Helper (aka Jay-Z) has a problem with Maggie so he had to be locked up separately. Maggie, Max, Goofy, and Clifford played outside for a while and then came inside and played more. Satan’s Little Helper couldn’t stand it and barked his head off from upstairs where he was sequestered with Mike in Mike’s room.
When Maggie and Max left after dinner we let Satan’s Little Helper out and he just went crazy dancing around and playing. He was so cute I almost thought that he was a good dog. Then he got into something just to remind me that he was not learning anything. At least he didn’t have any accidents.
I was working on doing a test installation in a VM for my new employer and I was letting the Simpsons play in the background. I got to the episode where Bart’s dog (Santa’s Little Helper) gets sick and we start seeing the world from the dog’s point of view. I had to stop and watch that episode because I think Jay-Z must think like that little dog.
So I am now calling Jay-Z “Satan’s Little Helper”.
Yesterday when I was leaving he got all excited and wanted to play. I don’t know what came over him. He started running around doing play bows to me and then followed me to the door. He then got up and watched through the window as I drove away. This is something that Goofy use to do when he was with me for about a year. Goofy has since stopped watching me leave as I think he has gotten accustomed to me always coming home to him.
Last night while I was working on the test installation Jay-Z appeared, slobbered on my keyboard and then disappeared. A bit later I realized that packaging from my trash can was all over the floor in the hall outside my office. That little monster is so destructive. Then I heard Mike bellow from upstairs that Jay-Z had pooped in his office while Mike was in his office. Just rolled my eyes.
I have never had a dog more than a week that couldn’t be house trained and this one has been here for 6. Most dogs at least try to let you know they need to go out before they have and accident and none do it right in front of you. But Jay-Z doesn’t seem to communicate.
I was up late last night trying to figure out why the application installed but wouldn’t start so I went right to sleep when I hit the bed. Goofy silently hopped in bed and laid beside me with his head on my pillow. I only know this because when I woke at 4am he was sleeping soundly against me with his back to me and his head on my pillow. (Here is Goofy McGoofface… aka Goofy… aka Goofball).
The thought in my head was “Goofball is a God send”. He was crazy at first and no-one wanted him but he snapped in shape with just a bit of work and he is the greatest dog I have had. But Jay-Z… not so much. The moment I started petting on Goofy Jay-Z came down from Mike’s room and jumped on the bed and put a paw right in my face. He then started biting on Goofy and trying to wrestle. Goofy would push him away and then come lay beside me for his morning pet-pet. But Jay-Z wouldn’t have that and started jumping on me. So, I got up and fed them. Jay-Z started trying to play bow to me and so I played back.
I think Jay-Z is just dumb but he isn’t mean. We have had mean ones and they can be tamed. Jay-Z just seems like he is stuck in eternal puppy mode even though he is over a year old. Maybe he will come around.
Today we were having dinner and Jay-Z was begging at the table. But tonight he got really aggressive at trying to get food from the table. Mike swatted him on the nose and I fussed at Mike. Jay-Z came at my plate and I blew in his face. He growled and then started snapping at me. Mike grabbed a newspaper and swatted him in the face a couple of times and he got really nasty. We subdued him and fussed at him.
I don’t know what we are going to do with this dog. Mike and I started talking that maybe this is one of those dogs that just won’t come around. I told HART that I wasn’t going to keep this one and it couldn’t be in permanent foster. So a decision is going to have to be made as to if we keep him in a foster slot while more adoptable dogs are being put down at the pound daily.
This is where fostering dogs becomes not-so-fun. No life is expendable. But it is hard to watch so many well behaved and adoptable dogs get put down when this dog is taking up a foster slot.
Well… we are going down hill with Jay-Z. He has figured out where he will get food. But now he starts barking his head off when you are in the pantry getting the food divided into the bowls. He has stopped biting at your pants and now tries to sneak up behind you and stick his nose in your butt.
Stop laughing. At least I shut the door to the bathroom when I take a shower. Neither Duane nor Mike seem to do that as I have heard both of them yelling at Jay-Z right after I hear the water turn off to the showers.
And the stupid dog is now counter surfing in the kitchen and bathroom and taking stuff back to his bed. I haven’t found anything that works with him. I have found that he can’t stand to have you blow in his face. So instead of fussing at him (which doesn’t work) I just blow in his face and stops whatever he is doing.
This dog has to be the dumbest dog I have ever seen. He has not learned a single thing since being here. I can’t get him to know where to go sit to wait for food, can’t get him to learn paw, can’t get him house trained, and can’t get him to stop gathering up all of the toys in the house and guarding them in his bed. About the only thing the dog has learned not to do is bite at my pants leg when I walk near him.
Oh my stars! Jay-Z is a basket case. He cried all night long. But he didn’t piss in his little room created by gating him in the hallway to the bathroom. But I let him out to take him to the back yard and he pissed the moment he got in the hall.
This evening when I got home I lost track of him. When Mike got home from whatever nerd game he is playing (Magic the Gathering? OMG, they actually are using paper cards. And I bet they are dressing up like wizards and sitting on some shag carpeted floor of the color of olive green) he started fussing that there was poop in his office.
Yep… Jay-Z prefers to poop in Mike’s office upstairs. I chuckled. I can’t smell it from my office.
Well, we got the next foster. Jay-Z. He looks like he is about a year old and a mix of some kind of hunting breed and maybe a lab. HART thinks he is a Pointer/Lab Mix. I don’t know.
Before you start thinking he is a good looking dog, remember that you can take over 100 pictures of a troll with a digital camera and one is bound to come out good.
Jay-Z is not new to HART. He was adopted out once before and brought back. After interacting with him for less than an hour I can see why. He has no manners, nips, and is toy aggressive. In less than an hour he had roamed around the house, taken every toy he could find to a bed, pissed on the 150 year old grandfather clock from the German castle, and chewed the rung of an old Lincoln rocker.
This one is going to be a lot of work. Thank goodness I have been studying that “zen” shit. I didn’t lose my temper once even after I realized that the finish on that clock is now destroyed.
The adoption for Harley Venus seems to have been a good one. The vet checks worked out and the home visit worked. She finally has gone to a home that we think can handle her. After a fair amount of work she did turn into a pretty good dog. She is still skittish and aggressive when cornered but is getting better. The new home is aware and they will continue to work with her.
Her neck healed up perfectly and you can’t tell that she was cut up so badly. Her hair has grown in and she is a very handsome dog. After all of the problems we had with her, she stands out as a pretty good horse sized dog. I won’t miss her though.
Oakley (aka Weasel) went to his new home. He was kind of fun once we got him mostly house trained. He grew about 1/4 his original size from when we got him. He was funny that he would run through the house and just jump on anyone or any other dog that he spotted. And he would always jump in the bed and curl up against you. He really liked affection and wanted to sit in your lap.
The new home that he went to has cats and they reported that he is terrorizing the cats. We fully expected that it would be something like that old Bugs Bunny cartoon with the little dog that snuck up behind the cat and would yap at it causing it to startle and leap up to the ceiling.
I am going to hell. I took Harley (aka Venus… what a stupid name. Really… the darn dog has a clown face that is Harlequin in every way and yet the intake person at HART names the dog Venus? WTF…. ok… yea I have cracked) out in the back yard. She can go out without a leash now and is doing well. But she decided that she wanted to stick that big head through the fence (even with a cone on!!!).
Well… I was surprised that the chicken killer could shock the dog through such thick fur, but it did. That dog ran backwards all the way to the house and won’t go out in the yard. I am going to hell. I started laughing and was doubled over. I am going to hell, but I will have great abs from laughing. I have cracked.
I went to a cookout today and got home at about 4:30pm. Mike was out in the back yard and the house smelled of dog poop. I got everything unloaded from the truck and went out back. Goofy spotted me and went ballistic. He jumped all over me like a puppy and was exceptionally affectionate. Clifford was equally happy and came over woofing at me.
When Mike got to the back deck he said that he had gone out to the garden and locked Oakley in the crate by the bed downstairs and that he had just gone crazy. He peed and pooped in the crate. So Mike took the little pooper outside and then came in and cleaned out the crate and the footprints through the house.
Mike and I were standing there in the hall talking about the back yard landscape when the little pooper (or should I say “pisser”) squatted and started peeing in the dog bed in the hall. Mike started fussing at the little beast and the thing didn’t even register that he was being fussed at. He just kept on peeing. Mike grabbed him and took him outside and I drug the bed out onto the deck.
The little beastie is only 4 months old. But it is odd for a male to not be house trained or crate trained by this time. The woman that had originally said that she would take him for foster has backed out. So, once again a non-rescue overnight emergency foster situation is now a full on foster situation for a dog that isn’t damaged. He might get adopted quickly but I prefer when we take in dogs that need a bit of work to turn them from uncontrollable to something good. Anyone can foster this little thing. I just prefer the ones that we do better at than most fosters do.
Right near midnight I was laying in bed nursing a cold when Goofy come tearing through the house and jumps on the bed. He starts flopping around like crazy and then jumps up and starts running through the house. I thought it was Oakley and then I smelled it. Even with a severely stopped up nose I could smell skunk.
Turns out Mike was out in the back yard taking Oakley and Venus for a walk when Goofy started stalking a skunk in the upper area of the back yard. He followed it into the bushes where he got sprayed in the face. Apparently that stuff burns and makes him foam at the mouth. He was violently trying to rub his face on the rugs and bed comforter.
Mike took him in the bathroom and washed him off. He calmed down after that. This morning he wouldn’t set foot near that area of the yard.
On Friday Venus started spotting. She had not been spayed because she was so underweight and she had Lyme disease. But as soon as she went into heat she had to get spayed. So she went to the vet Friday morning. She had complications with bleeding so the vet kept her overnight. She came back to our place at around 2pm and has been sleeping all day.
Bull went to his new home today. He turned out to be a decent dog. He is kind of stupid but he had some bright moments also. Mike texted me at about 4pm asking if he could bring home another dog that didn’t kennel well. It turned out to be a border collie named Oakley that is 4 months old.
The little dog is a spastic creature. It can’t sit still and if left for a moment on its own it just starts tearing up anything around. It jumps on everything including people and has no doggy manners.
Mike got home from the Wine social at the winery next door at about 4:30pm. He had Venus and Bull with him when he got home and I was in the basement working on the quilt. I had mowed the front field and outside of the fence (about half the property) when the belt on the tractor broke so I stopped. He mows with the zero-turn mower so I didn’t mow the rest of the property… he had already started earlier and stopped for the Wine social.
So he came down to the basement and told me that Duane would be home at around 10pm and he was going to go out and mow and to listen for Venus in case she got into anything. He wasn’t outside for more than 15 minutes when I heard this huge crash. I ran upstairs to find Bull in the corner where all of Mike’s plants are. He had tried to get to Mike through the windows and had knocked over all of the plant stands and managed to break a number of pots. I fussed at them and then got them all into the basement where I could keep an eye on them.
When Mike got in he came down to the basement and said “why are they all down here” and I said “you will see”. He said “I didn’t see anything. Did they knock anything over?” and I said “go upstairs… you will see”. He did see and he just started cleaning up without saying a word. I came up and started dinner and was somewhat surprised that he was diligently repotting plants and cleaning up without fussing at the dogs at all. He is quick to fuss at Goofy and call him a bad dog, yet he won’t fuss at the fosters at all.
Venus and Bull spent the evening humping each other an playing. They were playing so rough that even Goofy backed out of the fray and came and sat beside me watching. Venus would hump Bull and then they would tumble around and Bull would hump Venus. By the way… Venus is a female.
When they were done playing (after about 2 hours) Venus was exhausted and went over to the water bowl and drank half the 2 gallon bucket. She then laid down beside the bowl and just put her face in the bowl. Every once in a while she would drink more water. She has an incredibly thick coat and she gets really hot.
Mak went back to his foster and was super happy to see his foster. He has a lot of detachment anxiety. He was a good dog but he is a difficult one to get adopted because he doesn’t show well due to being aggressive with other dogs. But like all of the HART dogs, he will eventually find the right home.
Venus (aka Clown dog) is returning today. She was the one that’s neck got slashed open when someone tried to cut the mats out of her hair. She got adopted and went to her new home for a week and a half only to start showing her breed’s personality traits. Great Pyrenees are protective dogs and she started being protective of the owners when people came over. She needs to be in a home with other dogs to control that trait. She liked their cat but the cat didn’t like her.
So Clown dog is back. She gets along with Bull (aka Stupid) and Goofy so it will all be fine. Just a house full of dogs.
Bull had a good application and they came and looked at him on Saturday and sent in the final adoption. He goes home next weekend. They have an older Cocker Spaniel and their kids wanted a dog that could get on the bed and would do tricks. Bull will fetch, give paw, and is good on a leash. So this will very likely work out well. He had changed a lot in the 3 weeks we had him.
Gary came and picked up Maggie after his vacation. She settled in pretty well and seemed really attached to me. She pretty much stayed glued to me whenever I was home and if she could, she would get in bed and try to sleep next to me. Goofy didn’t seem to care and would just let her push him out of the way.
As Maggie left, a new dog came to stay for a bit. Mak is being fostered by someone in HART but they needed to go away for a week so we took in for a week. He looks like a mini version of Sparky but his tail has been docked. He is mostly brown with a white face.
Mak has had trouble getting adopted because he doesn’t get along with other dogs well. He always wants to dominate dogs at the events. We politely introduced him to Goofy, Clifford and Bull and he did just fine. He doesn’t play with them at all and hides under the piano. So we draped a cloth over the piano so that he could have a little cave to be comfortable in.
Makhas another issue. He guards the house… from everyone. When I come home he follows me around the house doing these low “woof” sounds. Woof… pause 10 seconds… woof… pause… and he darts from wall to wall or column to column an peeks around to woof at me. This is a guarding behavior. He eventually will come down and try to nip at my heels. If I turn around he doesn’t run away and he continues to puff his cheeks and woof at me even with me petting him.
He is just displaced and has an anxiety that he won’t get over till he has a permanent home. But with his personality he will guard his home a little more than most people are comfortable. He will do this stalking woofing thing when they have guests which will be disturbing to guests.
We have had Bull for little more than a week. At first I didn’t like him at all. His fur is not soft and he looks kinda dumb with his big head and long legs. But he loves playing with Goofy and is just stupid happy. I mean when you get up in the morning he wags so much that his back feet step right and left from the wag of his tail. He is smart enough that if you raise your voice to him he just stops whatever he is doing and drops whatever is in his mouth.
But last night was rough on my back. Goofy always sleeps with me. But this morning I woke up with Goofy laying next to me with his head on my pillow and Bull laying against my side with his head on top of Goofy. They were just happy as can be sleeping. The surprising part is that Bull got on the bed without waking me and I sleep really light.
The funniest thing of all is to watch him with the doggy door. Goofy has figured out that Bull can’t figure out the doggy door. So they will be playing and Goofy will tease Bull with a toy and when Bull starts to chase him, he will run out the doggy door and then run to the glass doors where Bull can see him. Bull will chase him to the doggy door and then stop as Goofy disappears. He will cock his head sideways and look at the door, then run over to the glass doors and dance around as Goofy shakes the toy just on the other side of the glass. At first Bull would head but the glass but now he just stops and dances. It drives Bull crazy. It is like a magic portal that lets Goofy have a magic force field.
We are dog sitting a friends dog that was adopted years ago through HART. Maggie is a smallish black lab mix. She has bug eyes like a poodle and is needy. She came to HART looking like a much older dog and was under a lot of stress. Her fur had fallen out from her chin down to her chest.
Once she recovered from the stress she turned out to be a much younger dog than anyone thought. She is a sweet dog and is well mannered. She eats well, interacts with the other dogs well, and is affectionate. Somehow she decided that she liked me more than my other roommates so she sticks to me like glue whenever I am home.
When she arrived today the thought that popped into my head was “Maggie Moo” and so I started calling her that. Now everyone is calling her “Maggie Moo”. She wags her tail furiously whenever you say her name and when I am not giving her attention she is burrowing her nose under my hand or arm to lift it off the keyboard.
We will dog sit her till Tuesday of next week when her owner gets back from vacation. Once again our home is doggy club med.
Well, Bull has settled in. He is a very happy dog. He plays with Goofy till Goofy is exhausted and he is jealous such that Goofy can’t get attention without Bull getting into the mix. He sleeps in the hallway behind a gate just fine but when I get up to feed the other dogs he just bounds over the gate and then takes whatever you have in your hand.
You have to be careful because he is a food hound and will take anything from your hand. He grabbed a plastic glass from my hand when I was walking to the kitchen. If he does get something from you, he stops when you raise your voice and he will let you take it away.
One thing about this dog is he is a licker. If you are sitting at your desk, he will walk by, then lick you from your wrist to your elbow in one fly by. Worse, if you get out of the shower and he can get into the bathroom you are guaranteed a lick on your leg, arm, or whatever is closest to him. So the bathroom is off limits.
I think that Bull probably was someone’s dog and got away. Probably jumped a fence. He is house trained and has enough manners that he knows to sleep in a dog bed in the hall and he doesn’t beg at the dinner table. If he sticks his head in the trash and you fuss at him he immediately sulks and leaves the room. So he has some training.
But he is just crazy rambunxious. He wears Goofy out every night. I didn’t think it would be possible to wear Goofy out. I think I have gained a half inch on my bicepts playing tug with Goofy. It is like doing 45 pound curls for an hour at a time. But Bull is easily 60 pounds and that 15 pounds makes a big difference. Goofy can’t drag Bull around so Goofy stands on his back legs and punches Bull like a kangaroo. Then Bull stands up and does the same and it is like watching a dog boxing match.
Bull will get some needed training and will get adopted quickly. He isn’t toy aggressive and isn’t food aggressive. He plays well with other dogs and he hasn’t growled at any humans. He just can’t be allowed in a yard unsupervised.
Well, Sunday was the day to mow the yard. It has been raining so much that we haven’t been able to mow the field or the lawn. But today was dryer. I got out the tractor and Mike got out the Zero-turn mower. I mowed outside the fence and the front field while Mike mowed the back yard and the orchard. He was just finishing up the orchard when I finished the front field and so we both started working on the front yard. The zero-turn mower does a beautiful job of cutting evenly whereas the tractor’s 3 blades cut the grass but doesn’t pulverize it. The tractor blades turn at about 1/4 the speed of the zero-turn. So I mowed the part of the yard that is furthest from the house where it won’t matter if it looks rough.
After we mowed the property and were inside Mike opened the doggy door and Goofy and Clifford went out to see what damage we had done to their yard. Bull isn’t trusted out by himself so Mike took him out on a leash to walk do his stuff in the back yard. The back yard is fully fenced and electrified so we aren’t worried about the dogs that live here but we are careful with the fosters because the dumber ones will get shocked and still keep pushing through the fence.
I got my shower and then started fixing dinner. Mike brought the dogs in and said he was going out to the garden to pick vegetables and said to watch Bull. I figured he was in the house so he was being watched.
About 15 minutes later Mike comes in the front door with Bull by the collar. He said “You were supposed to be watching Bull” and I said “I was here, what was there to watch”.
Apparently Bull had figured out the doggy door in one day (about as quickly as Goofy had figured it out) and had gone to the back yard. Mike was in the garden where Bull could see him and Bull just leaped right over the fence. Those big back legs apparently work like a kangaroo’s legs.
We locked him in the bedroom while Mike was in the kitchen and he bounded right over the gate. The problem now is that he knows he can hop gates and just about anything that doesn’t have a ceiling so he now has to be locked in a crate whenever we aren’t able to watch him.
The latest rescue comes from a shelter in southern VA. Bull was on death row after being picked up as a stray and no-one had come to claim him. He had no tags and no chip or tattoo.
Bull is a bit uncontrollable. He looks like a Black Lab mixed with a Pitt Bull Terrier. He has the muscular rear legs of a Pitt and the meaty face of a Pit but the rest of him looks like a Lab.
On his first night in the house he slept in the hall to the bathroom with a gate on the door. He whined and complained but everntually settled down and slept.
Bull isn’t the prettiest dog. He is muscular in the back, skinny in the front, and has wirey hair. He is about 1 year old by the look of his teeth. He is incredibly trusting and will roll over on his back if you scrub his belly. If you give him a ball he will lay on the floor and roll on his back and chew on the ball while pawing at the air. He is happy and doesn’t appear to be emotionally damaged.
We will have to test him for food aggression, toy aggression, tolerance to being handled, doggie social skills with other dogs, trainability, a safety with small children.
We took in the latest foster. It is a very large dog (larger than Clifford) but doesn’t weigh that much. She is a Great Pyrenees. She looks fairly young and is very shy. She plays well with Goofy. In looking at the markings on her face and how big her head is compared to her body, she looks like a clown.
She was in the kennel but went home with a foster over the weekend. Unfortunately the fosters tried to cut the mats of hair from under her chin and ended up slicing her open with the scissors from her neck down about 5 inches. The fosters took her to the vet but didn’t want to continue fostering her. She has stiches down her neck and seems to be OK. We don’t have any other history.
She has a good disposition. She is very skittish. But she is interested in investigating things and will let us pet her. She got one look at Duane’s tiny dog Sonny and largely just walked over the little thing as if it didn’t exist. Goofy had his bone and she came over and just took it from him. He didn’t do anything other than look at her like he was happy she took it. Then she started playing keep-away with him.
I picked up dinner on the way home yesterday. Goofy planted himself near my chair and sat there staring at me. Mike made a comment that I had taught the little guy to beg from the table. I promptly took some food from my plate and gave it to him but didn’t give any to Mike’s dog Clifford. Mike fussed that Clifford didn’t get anything and then gave Clifford something. I chuckled that Mike was teaching Clifford to beg from the table.
I said that Goofy was smart and told him of Goofy waiting with is paw in the air in the morning when I was feeding him. Mike exclaimed that the Goofball tries to get his head in the bowl as you pour the food into it. I chuckled that Mike wasn’t doing it right.
Apparently Goofy changes his behavior depending on who he is dealing with. This isn’t the case for Clifford. Clifford does exactly the same for Mike as for me… which is to dance around and knock stuff over and then dive into the bowl unless you fuss and say “sit”. Clifford doesn’t change for either of us but Goofy does.
This morning was the breakthrough morning for teaching Goof to wait for his food. When I got the food from the pantry I had Clifford sit as usual, put the food in his bowl, and then asked for “Paw”. He drooled and wagged his tail while sitting and gave me the paw while staring into my eyes. I said “Go!” and he dove in. When I turned around to feed Goof, he was sitting by his bowl. I came over and he looked straight into my eyes, and raised his right paw. I put the food in and then shook his paw. He didn’t move. Then I said “Go!” and he dove in.
Goofy is more of a food hound than I have ever seen. The slightest sound of plastic will have him sitting in front of you in less than 10 seconds. He seems to hear it even when he is out in the back yard chasing bunnies.
But, it turns out that it is easier to train such a dog. Clifford is also a food hound but not nearly as obsessed with it as Goofy. But until Goofy, Clifford was the only dog that I ever got to successfully do “stay” when playing with toys or food. Kira did “stay” without really any training so she doesn’t count.
I have been working with Goofy to teach him to hold back while I fill his bowl for breakfast and dinner. I take the scoop and fill it with food for Clifford and Goofy. Then I feed Clifford first while Goofy is watching and tell him to sit, then stay, then give paw and Clifford does each as I request them. I then pour his food in his bowl and he stares at me waiting for me to say “Go!” and when I do he digs in.
I then go to Goofy’s bowl and repeat the same thing. In less than a week (2 meals a day) Goofy has gotten to the point where he does the sit, paw, and stay part but he doesn’t wait for the “Go!”. He is getting better though. Previously he would knock the scoop out of your hand. Now he doesn’t dive in until the food has been poured into his bowl.
Today was Independence day. I bought enough fixings for 4 people figuring that Mike would invite someone over at the last minute. In the past I have gotten just enough for the people that live in the house only to find myself scrambling because Mike invites other people over at the last minute.
So, not surprisingly, Mike invited a couple from HART. They were planning on attending the Middleburg fireworks and were going to drop their dogs off before going to the event. But all of that changed a bit.
When they arrived with their foster dog named Bordeaux, chaos ensued and they never made it to the fireworks. It started with Goofy and Bordeaux fighting on the first meeting. Goofy hasn’t shown any aggression to any dogs but Bordeaux just jumped on him and Goofy fought back.
Bordeaux looks like a hound mixed with a lab or something large. He is high energy and doesn’t have any doggy manners. So both Bordeaux and Goofy spent the first hour on leashes so that they couldn’t get to each other. After a while they were let go and they started playing. Then… they didn’t stop playing. So from about 6pm till well past 8pm they tumbled and played continuously until they were both laying on the floor as if exhausted pawing into the air and showing their teeth but never even getting close to each other.
When the couple left, Goofy laid down and didn’t move until the next morning. And, in the morning he appeared to be tender or sore and didn’t want to be pet much.
Bart and Carolyn just got back from their vacation to Hawaii and picked up JB at 11am. He is a good dog but he was a bit of a pain. He is a slow eater and had accidents in the house. Mostly he would poop in the house like Kira did so it may be an age thing for him. He also peed a couple of times if we didn’t keep letting him outside on a regular basis.
The most annoying thing about JB was that he picked fights with Troll dog (aka Tina). He would follow her around and then nudge her. She would put up with it for a while before she would finally light into him. She never hurt him but she clearly let him know that she wasn’t happy with him.
On the plus side, on previous visits JB wouldn’t eat his food. We had to melt bacon grease for his food to get him to eat. But on this visit we fed him the food that our digs eat and locked him in the kitchen area behind the doggy fence and he ate like he was starving. He still eats slow, but he actually hopped up and down when we were preparing his food.
Troll dog has finally gone home today. She was a sweet little thing but just ugly as could be. I think Goof will miss her as they played almost continuously. She went to a home that has another young dog so hopefully she will be very happy.
When Troll Dog first arrived we didn’t agree with the HART people that the dog was toy aggressive and bad with children. And to date (after 3 weeks of fostering) she hasn’t shown any aggression over toys or food (there are no children around the house). She does like to sit on the back deck as still as a statue (of a gargoyle) and wait for the bunnies to get close and then she pounces. She has almost caught a few.
But this past weekend we started dog sitting for a friend. The dog is named JB and Troll Dog took a dislike to him. JB has been here many times. He is a very shy dog that usually won’t eat unless you sit with him and coax him to finish his bowl.
The problems started at his first meal. Troll Dog ate her food at her usual spot and I locked JB in the area of the kitchen where we have a doggy fence to keep the dogs out of the kitchen area. When she finished her food she went to the fence and started growling at JB every time he got near the fence. The next day I fed him in the bedroom so that he would be away from the others and she proceeded to go to the bedroom and growl at him through the gate that was locking him in.
Then later that same day I was in the office at about noon and I was startled with a dog fight. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen. Apparently as soon as the fight started Goof high tailed it out the doggy door and was standing on the deck looking in the glass window. But Troll Dog had her hair all up and JB was slinking down the hall with his tail between his legs. I separated them and fussed at her. But that does no good as it is like fussing at a rock. She just wags her tail at you while you fuss at her. I swear that she looks like a gargoyle when she is sitting.
A couple of hours later she came into my office and just lit into JB for no reason. I separated them and they have been kept separate ever since.
Goof has changed over the past year. When we got him in January 2016 we thought he was a little over a year old. But now that we have had him for a year I don’t think he was a year old when we got him. Mike and I both agree that he was between 8 months and 10 months old.
When we got him, he had a little body, short legs, and a big head. His fur was almost orange and his eyes were orange. He had been dropped off because he was a terror in the people’s house and he couldn’t be put in a cage without him going crazy and hurting his paws trying to get out.
When we took him in we tried to have him sleep in a section of the hall to the bathroom with a gate so that he couldn’t get out. He cried and clawed at the gate but eventually went to sleep and then got up whenever there was a noise and he would start crying like a baby. He was a very vocal dog.
So we moved the gate to the door of the bedroom and he was content. It was impossible to keep him off the bed so he became a permanent fixture sleeping at the bottom of the bed. Kira slept at the top of the bed beside me and usually with her head on my pillow.
Fast forward to June 2017 and that little body has grown significantly. He has long legs, a very thin and trim body, and his head is perfectly proportional. That Pitt look that he had has gone away and he looks more like a Boxer. He is still full of energy and gets into everything. He is smart and can understand more words than even Kira understood. He adores me and walks around like Darby use to do where he just stares up at me as he is following me around.
His fur has turned to a light brown but he still has those pretty orange eyes. He still eats poop but now that we have just 2 dogs he doesn’t get as much as he previously did.
The people that gave him away really missed out on a wonderful dog. Short of Kira, he is one of the best dogs I have ever had.
Leala had to be put down. Carolyn took her to the vet and had her checked and they found that she was riddled with cancer. Carolyn had her put down so that there would be no opportunity for HART to challenge it.
There is a bit of a divide in HART over when putting dogs down when they are terminally ill. Many want to let the dog live until it dies naturally. The others don’t want to see a dog go through that pain. Carolyn made sure that there wasn’t an opportunity for argument.
This is Tina on the left. She is a full Pitt Bull but is tiny. She is about half the size of a normal Pitt. She is just barely over 1 year old and was brought to HART full of puppies. She birthed them in the kennel and just weaned them off her milk. All but one of the puppies has already been adopted.
We took her in as a foster because the woman that classifies dogs tagged her as aggressive toward children and other dogs and as toy aggressive. So she to our home.
On the first introduction to the house she just started wagging her tail like crazy and ran over to me wanting some attention. All of the dogs did their usually sniffs and there was no aggression at all. We had already picked up all of the toys so that there wouldn’t be any fights. She appears to be very sweet and affectionate. She can jump on the bed (which is 3x her height) without missing a stride. She has powerful back legs and ears that are very expressive. Unlike Goof, her ears can stand up and rotate like radar.
Prior to Kira leaving Goof was a great little dog and was incredibly affectionate and fun to play with. But after Kira was gone he started staying with me in my office and started sleeping against me every night. As time has gone on he has turned into my shadow.
When I got Goof I was concerned that he would turn into Mike’s dog because Mike works from home every day and I figured that Goof would decide Mike was his best friend. But it appears that Goof has decided that he likes me over Mike.
I was having a good day. Work went well for the first time in a long while and traffic was light. I stopped at the store and got pizza fixings to make dinner. I had the basic pizza laid on the pizza board and was adding cheese when the dogs started barking.
The UPS truck pulled up and stopped. I washed my hands and wondered what it could be. I hadn’t ordered anything online in a while.
The UPS man had me sign for a box that was addressed to me from a Pet supply store. I took it inside and opened the box. My heart sank and I just started to cry. It was Kira’s ashes.
I really didn’t expect to get them this way. I thought that I would go down to the vet and it would be a solemn thing with both Mike and me. But instead it was this cold delivery. I put the box on the table in the hall where all of the other dogs are and finished the pizza. I took a Xanax and the rest of the evening was shot.
Mike texted and asked if he could bring home a small female dog that had just come in and had a good application. I agreed.
Leala is a small dog standing about 1.5 feet from floor to the top of her head. She is skinny as a rail. She arrived with another dog as a “give up”. The family didn’t say why they were giving up their dogs and just dropped them off.
Leala is a very sweet little dog. She loves being pet but she doesn’t do much. She largely just lays around. Mike thinks she is around 10 years old.
On Friday May 19, 2017, Mike and I got up at 7am which is really early for Mike. I immediately started crying so I took a Xanax. It didn’t help, so I took a second one. The crying stopped.
I took Kira out back and I has second thoughts because she seemed so spry and happy. But I knew that I didn’t want to get to the point that she was miserable like the previous few nights.
We wanted her to have a fond morning in hopes that she would enjoy her last day. So we made a special breakfast for Kira. A few kibbles, a can of dog food, some cheese, and some stew. She gobbled it down like she use to do 5 years ago.
We then took her for a walk. Normally Kira would walk half way up the lane with Mike and then sit down and wait for him to come back and then she would limp home and collapse in her bed in my office. But today she walked the entire way up the lane with both Mike and me and came back without any problems. Her hips were clearly in pain but she seemed like she was a year younger.
It made me cry because I worried that I was doing this too early. But then I thought about the last few days and hearing how labored her breath was and the past month of her deficating while sleeping and not even waking up. I could be trying to humanize her, but she seemed upset when she woke and realized she had and accident. I realize that she was just an animal, but somehow I do think she got upset when she had an accident.
The Vet arrived promptly at 8am. We locked Clifford and Goofy McGooface in the master bedoom. Kira was laying on her bed that we had setup in the dining area and she didn’t take much notice of the Vet. We talked with the Vet for a bit and asked to pay before the doing the procedure. We did this in part so that Kira wouldn’t get upset thinking that something was going on.
I hugged Kira as did Mike and held her as the Vet injected something that would put her into a deep sleep. Kira jumped when the needle went in, but took it like a champ. She slowly fell asleep as I held her and talked to her. She stopped focusing on me as she went completely limp. Mike started chattering about what was medically happening and I asked him to be quiet. Mike then chattered with the Vet saying that he and I deal with this differently and that he needs to talk about it. I just wanted it to be solem and quiet. Even with two Xanax, I still cried my eyes out.
I had put a towel on top of the waterproof blanket knowing that she would pee when she died. My previous dogs peed when the drug was injected that put them to sleep. But Kira didn’t.
Kira’s tongue extended from her mouth and she was breathing silently but clearly sleeping. I pet on her a bit and looked into her eyes and talked to her to say goodbye. Then we told the Vet to go ahead and she injected the chemical that stopped her heart.
Kira died at about 8:30. After listening to her in various locations to verify that her heart had stopped, we waited about 5 minutes while the Vet prepared her vehicle to take the body to have it cremated. I picked her up in the towel and carried her to the door. I don’t know why there was a delay but half way to the door she peed. It was kind of the proof that she was gone for good.
I gently placed her in the back of the Vets Subaru. The Vet gently covered her and we went back in the house as the Vet drove away.
Mike and I didn’t talk much at all. We let the dogs out of the bedroom and we went to our respective offices. At about 11:00 we got into my car and drove about an hour to Lovettsville and had lunch at an eclectic place that Melissa Buckelou (the neighbor that cuts our hair) had given us a gift certificate for back at Christmas. We had not used the gift because neither of us could find the time to take off from work to use it. But this seemed like an appropriate time to use it. We weren’t celebrating anything. We just needed a distraction and to get out of the house. We didn’t talk much on the drive there but neither of us cried. The Xanax started wearing off while we were seated so I took another Xanax so that I would not fall apart at the restaurant.
Before we left, I bought Mass Effect Andromeda at full price (I had been waiting for it to go on sale) so that it could download while we were gone and I could immerse myself in the game instead of dwelling on what I had just done to my best dog.
The hardest time for Kira was always Summer. The summer of 2015 was a very hot summer and there were quite a few days that I was sure that Kira wouldn’t make it through the night for panting so hard after just going outside through the doggy door after dark. Then in 2016 she was blind and deaf and yet she still made it through the summer.
But in 2015 her arthritis was bad enough that she had trouble getting off the bed. She had long lost the ability to jump so I picked her up every night an put her on the bed. But in 2015 she would struggle to get up on all 4 legs and then would stand at the side of the bed contemplating jumping off onto one of the dog beds. I would get up and lift her to set her on the floor. Prior to 2015 she wouldn’t let you pick her up but during this year she gave up and let me help her.
In 2016 she lost bowel control. She could hold it most of the time, but when she would wake up to greet me at the door when I came home, there would be a trail of poop on the floor from half way down the hall from my office to the door that I came through when I got home. I couldn’t get mad at her but clearly she was upset that she had done it and would walk a wide birth around the poop.
During the winter and spring of 2017, it was clear that she wasn’t going to make it to 15 years old. By January 2017 she couldn’t get up off of her bed. She still had muscle in her front legs but couldn’t get her back legs under her. So I would need to lift her butt. I would take her outside and she had no interest in chasing a stick. Her bowel control got worse and she would poop while sleeping. At first she would realize it when it started but she couldn’t get up in time to get to the dog door so there was either poop wherever she was sleeping or a trail of poop where she had been.
Everything really got bad in May. Kira would want off the bed and I would set her down. She would then wander through the house as if she was looking for me. She would do her path where she would walk along the wall turning right into every room walking the wall and just following the outline of the walls till she smelled me. But it was as if she would awake from sleep and be disoriented. The saddest event was when I was in my office and she woke up from sleep and walked across my office and into a wall. She looked at the wall, then walked into it again, and again and again until I got up and moved her so that she was heading toward the door. She then walked perfectly fine, to the doggy door, out the door, walked the fence and did her job, and then came back in as if nothing had happened.
As a side note, during her life, Kira never under the physics of inanimate objects. She frequently would be playing ball and run into a large boulder (the neighbor uses boulders the size of a small car to delineate his property line), run into a tree, or run into a solid wall. It would clearly hurt and would sometimes form a bruise. But when she would run into something it was like she expected it to move.
At night she would get restless and would bark to have me pick her up and put her on the bed, then she would pace around, lay down, get up, lay down, get up, pace, lay down, get up, and then want off the bed. I would set her down and she would wander to the hallway and then come back and want on the bed. Eventually I would stop picking her up and she would pace around the room going from side to side of the bed giving one loud bark to get me to pick her up and would eventually give up. She would collapse in her dog bed beside my bed and make a loud sigh.
I started setting my alarm to wake me up every 2 hours so that I could wake her up and get her outside before she would have an accident. This worked somewhat but then there would be times that she would still have the accidents after coming back inside.
It all came to a tipping point on Wednesday May 17. She was restless but on this night she was panting constantly even through I turned the AC down to 70. She couldn’t get comfortable and kept pacing around the house. I started to cry because I knew it was the end for her. She never knew what the end was, but I did. I had told my doctor that this was coming and he gave me 20 Xanax. I took one and was able to sleep a few hours that night.
Thursday at work was just miserable. I knew that I had already made the decision but I hadn’t admitted it yet. I took a Xanax on the way to work and another at noon to get through the day. I texted Mike to tell him that it was time and that we needed to contact the mobile Vet. Kira always got so upset whenever she went to the Vet so we have a mobile Vet in the area that will come to your home for this kind of thing. We arranged for “Forever Home” to come out Friday. The offered 8am or noon and I said 8am so that we would not sit around the house all morning feeling sorry for Kira or ourselves.
At the end of Thursday I told everyone at work that I was taking the next day off and would be unreachable. That is a rare thing for me to do and everyone at work knew that Kira was having problems. So no-one said a word. The CFO sent me a message of sorrow for the event. I got home and had 2 shots fo Vodka, kept Kira close and did everything I could to make her happy. Special dinner, walking up the lane, laying on the bed listening to a book. She continued to be uncomfortable, panted constantly and appeared to be in pain. I cried myself to sleep Thursday night.
I am sad. Remy was put down 2 weeks ago and we had him cremated. We just got his remains. We have rescued more than 100 dogs but the loss of Remy is significant. We started the dog rescue when hurricane Katrina damaged so much. We rescued about 2000 dogs and Remy (and Riley) were the ones that we just loved.
Remy’s ashes came back today. He had a good and hard life. We rescued him in 2005. He was a pup. We think he was 9 months old when we rescued him.
Remy never fit into the pack. He never wanted to sleep on the bed. He was always the “observer”. Every dog is different. We adapt to them and they adapt to us.
I miss Remy. His life was short, but I think we made it better than he would have had otherwise.
Just as I was recovering from being sick and not able to eat, I woke up at 2am with both Kira and Goof laying tightly against me. While it is normal for Goof to sleep near me, Kira doesn’t like to be within 2 feet of anyone and never against them. Both were shivering.
We normally keep the house on a schedule to save energy and let it drop down to 60 at night. But when I checked the thermostat it was down to 53. I pushed the temperature up to 68 but nothing happened. It was 19 degrees F outside.
I put a small blanket over Goof and one on Kira. Goof stayed curled up and slowly stopped shivering. Kira kicked her blanket off and kept pressed against me shivering.
First thing in the morning I called the AC repair company that installed the unit 2 years ago and they said they were booked but would try to find a way to fit us in for an emergency visit. We pay $400 a year for a maintenance contract that includes the cost of any emergencies and adds a bit of priority to us.
During the day we tried various things and found that it we flipped the emergency switch by the unit that it could be brought back to life for about 15 minutes. I didn’t think it was particularly good for the unit to keep flipping that switch. So we found that going to the thermostat and turning it to off for a minute and then back to heat that it would run the same 15 minute cycle. So, all day long the dogs huddled together and shivered while wore long coats and kept cycling the unit. We got the house up to about 63 by 5pm.
At about 6pm the repair person arrived and after about 30 minutes of testing he found that a protective switch was failing and told us that we could keep cycling it without damaging it. We got the house up to 66 but it will drop again. We got out a little oil space heater and have put it in the room with Kira so that she won’t shiver so bad.
I haven’t eaten anything in 4 days but today I finally made some eggs and was able to keep them down. It always messes me up when a dog goes down. Somehow these critters just get to me and I cannot handle their exit. I know what we did for Remy was right. He would have slowly died from not being able to eat. I just hate doing it. I think I get more upset as I get older.
Life is getting a little back to normal for me. For the first time in a week I didn’t accidentally put Remy’s bowl out. Every day this week I have fixed 4 breakfast for the dogs and then fussed at myself for putting a bowl down for Remy. I made some eggs and kept them down. This has been the worst birthday that I can remember.
But life goes on. Goofy McGoofface is curled up under my office chair and Kira is sleeping soundly. It is 26 outside and the house is below 60. It is going to be a bad winter.
On Friday Remy stopped eating and got lethargic. Then Sunday I heard him fall at about 3am and got up to find him laying in the floor in the kitchen. I would have stayed home with him but I had to lay off about 1/4 of my staff so it wasn’t an option to stay home. I carried him to his bed and got him a bowl of water which he seemed happy to have. He drank 2 bowls of water but still didn’t get up before I had to leave for work.
I have been through this enough that I knew it was the end. I hugged him and said my goodbyes. Mike was able to stay home from work and called the vet. The vet came out to the house and Mike held him as they put him down. He had esophageal paralysis and there wasn’t anything that could be done.
Here is the last picture I have of Remy. He is the yellow one in the middle. This was just before our Stump burning party. He was waggy and healthy through Thanksgiving and overnight he just changed.
Remy was the first rescue dog that got us involved in HART (www.hart90.org). He was a really good dog. He was a weak alpha but he never had accidents and never destroyed anything (other than when his tail knocked stuff off of tables). He was about 9 months old when we rescued him from hurricane Katrina in 2005. He lived 11 years with us.
Remy started life in a difficult situation. When we got him, he had been trapped in the floods and had learned to fend for himself along with a dog named Riley. During the first few months of having him he was running in the yard with the other dogs and his foot broke for no apparent reason. He fell over and we ran to help him. You could feel the bone grinding but he never bit us or lashed out while we were checking out his foot.
Remy was the only dog that couldn’t be taught not to bark. He would wake the house up if you didn’t get up to give him food. And the entire time you were putting the food in the bowls, he would bark. It was frustrating but now that he is gone, I miss it. Every morning and evening I still get out food for him and then have to kick myself because something is missing. It is a dog that is missing.
Friday came along and I was off for my birthday. I had Mike cancel dinner as I just am too sad to celebrate. My father died on my birthday and it seems that my dogs die close to my birthday. I think I have had one dog (Grendel) that didn’t die right near my birthday.
The past year has been one of the most difficult that I can remember. The job is at the edge of success and failure and I have gone without salary through out it, not just one but two small tornados hit our house in the summer tearing up the porch and roof, and recently failures of hardware in our production system at work that have kept me working 24hours a day for a couple of weeks have just worn me down. I drive to work knowing that I have no choice but to stay and I drive home wishing that I didn’t have to make the drive. My staff happily takes vacation and leaves me without coverage for customer support so I am working 13 hour days to cover for them. And recently, my phone battery ruptured and melted down losing everything that I had in it. I have backups, but my replacement phone won’t accept the backup.
Tonight I was sitting in my office thinking about what to do about my failed phone and just making myself more depressed when the little orange goofball came running in the room, looked at me, and then jumped on me pushing me and my chair into the wall and knocking over my laptop and a few other things. In the mood that I was in, I would think that I would have just yelled at him, but instead I surprised myself that I just laughed, hugged him, and then wrestled with him.
In all of the problems I have had, this little reincarnation of Darby that I call Goof just seems to be able to break the mood and make me smile when I least expect it. Every night I go to bed and he is somewhere else. Every morning I wake up and he is laying with his back against me and his head on my pillow. He doesn’t move a bit no matter if I toss and turn (which is pretty common) and will lay there silently till I reach over and touch his nose. During the work week I touch his nose at 6am, but on weekends I touch it at 8am. He sits there so silently waiting for his breakfast but won’t bother me till I touch his nose.
When I touch his nose, he stands up, stretches, and then lays on me and chews on my hand until I wrestle with him. Then I give him breakfast. He is the most energetic, affectionate, and patient dog I have seen. Every dog is different, but this one can do bad things and I just fuss, fix, and move on. I don’t do that with the other dogs. Something about this little thing is unique.
I still cannot imagine how someone could throw this little dog away. Yes he is energetic and wants a lot of attention, but he gives back more than any dog we have had. Every morning I find him laying on the bed with his head on the pillow next to me and when I move, he adjusts. When I wake, he is watching me and slaps me in the face with a paw to start the morning. We wrestle and play for a while and then I get up and for my shower and shave and he waits by the door.
I really am happy that this little dog likes me. I feared that I would never have a dog like Kira that liked me and stuck with me, but I was wrong. Goof seems to really like me.
He is just so much a Darby reincarnation that I have to think that this kind of dog personality must exist all over the place. When I walk through the house, he walks with me watching me… literally looking at my face… for direction. When I sit down or lay down, he lays on my foot or finds a way to be touching me.
I am really glad we adopted this little guy. He does get into trouble and he cannot be trusted alone in the yard, but in time I think he will figure out the boundaries. He is only 1.5 years old right now.
I was quite upset this morning when I went out to feed the chickens and found a henhouse filled with feathers and one chicken. All of the other chickens were killed and taken. Mike thinks it was a raccoon. I don’t know how it got in the henhouse.
I was all teary eyed and a bit of a surprise happened. Goofy McGoofface became really affectionate and wanted to sit on me. He pawed on me and tried to lick my face. That is pretty unusual for him. I am thinking that this little dog is emotionally intelligent and knows when I am upset.
Sure there are all kinds of videos of really smart and exceptional dogs, but I never thought I would have one. Kira is emotionally intelligent but she is not a particularly affectionate dog so it balances out. But Goofy is an affectionate dog and he is showing that he is more than a furry meat bag.
So, we have had Goofy McGoofface for about 8 months now and he is turning out to be a wonderful dog. He definitely isn’t a Labrador and you cannot trust him off the leash. But he is the most affectionate little animal we have had since Grindel.
Every night I go to sleep in the bed with just Kira and every morning I wake up with Goof laying on his back with his head on the pillow right beside me. I barely sleep through the night and most everything wakes me up, but he is able to jump on the bed (it is a 3 foot jump) and then snuggle down beside me without waking me.
I don’t know why anyone would give up this dog. He is a handful when it comes to training him, but he is so food driven that training has been fairly easy. We have had much worse dogs that took a lot of work to train but this little pooch is smart (he gets into everything), loyal (he will come to me but not to Mike or Duane… <big grin>), and he is simple (yell Squirrel and he forgets anything he is thinking about).