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.