I have not written much about Apollo. He has been a really interesting foster. He is an intelligent, inquisitive, and free spirit. He gets into everything but he is not destructive. Compare him to Kira (my girl). Kira is the most well behaved dog I have ever seen but as a 9 month old puppy she chewed up the legs to an antique sewing table and I struggled to keep her in control just walking the property.
Kira is 100% Labrador and so her personality evolved exactly as expected. And she is the perfect companion for me. But she is near the end of her life and I will be devastated when she dies.
As I did with Bones (Mike’s beloved dog) I arranged to adopt Remy before Bones died. But Bones lived a lot longer than I expected so I ended up arranging to adopt Clifford to help in the transition. The strategy worked and the move from a lifelong companion was eased by moving to another companion that was similar in color and size.
Well… Kira is a dog that shares my soul. She is moody, grumpy, happy, affectionate, and determined. She is a mirror image of me. But she doesn’t have long left. I truly thought that she would die last year, but she pulled through.
I need a companion. I really need something that really adores me so that I have something to care for. Not just a random creature that I adopt but that doesn’t care in the least about me. I really need a creature that looks to me as the most important thing to their life and I look to them as the most important thing I must care for.
That relationship is really difficult to find. I have it with Kira to a limited degree. Kira appears to exist with no dependency on any other creature in life but she dislikes Mike significantly more than me so she stays with me. She doesn’t adore me or see me as anything more than the alpha that doesn’t hurt her. Mike gives her shots, gives her meds, and does the difficult things. I pet and love on her and so I am the most desirable protector. But she doesn’t adore me.
I never knew what it was like to have an animal that absolutely adored me until I had Darby. If you look back in my posts, Darby was one of the most difficult dogs we ever fostered. But he showed me something that I have never seen or felt before. Darby absolutely adored me and was so attached that his life revolved around me. I liked him a lot, but he created terrible problem in that he was so destructive. I hated caging him but he could not be let loose on his own.
I have a chance with Apollo to fix the mistakes I made. This dog appears to be the exact incarnation of Darby in a different body. I mean, this personality is precisely Darby. He is ugly and cute at the same time. He is 9 months old, he adores me, he is uncontrollable, and in every way he is Darby except that he is not destructive.
It would be a very bad thing to adopt a dog because he reminded me of a dog that I let die in bad circumstances. But I do not think I am trying to recreate Darby in another dog. Apollo is unique. He is interesting, he is a free spirit (like Darby) and he seems to have a soul like Darby. But he is not Darby. He is a wrinkly terrier mix that walks upright and he doesn’t have the least desire for birds, squirrels, or groundhogs. He doesn’t care in the least of the chickens. He isn’t Darby.
But he has everything I loved in Darby and he seems to adore me. This will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but this dog could something really great.
I love most all dogs. But it is rare that one really touches me so deeply as Darby or Apollo.
We call this a “foster failure” and well.. I am pleased with this failure.
Over the past month Bones has been going down hill very fast. I have lived with a dog pooping in the house for 2 years now and now he is dribbling in the house. He also has fallen down a lot and cannot get himself back up. A couple of days ago he fell down the stairs and was limping a bit. But, when he goes for walks with Mike, he seems to skip and look happy. He is only happy when Mike is home. He can’t see anything, it appears he cannot smell very much, and he is deaf. He gets disoriented in the house and sometimes follows me around acting like he thinks I am Mike.
When I left for work this morning Mike said he was taking Bones to the vet for an evaluation to possibly put him down. He had spent the last week carrying around my camera and taking pictures of Bones in familiar places. At about 10am I got a page from Mike saying that Bones was gone and that he was upset. Mike never seems to cry over anything, but in this case, he was crying.
I told everyone at work to take over for me and I left immediately. On the way home I stopped at the store and got about $100 in comfort things for Mike. I got him some fancy dark chocolate, a couple of tubs of ice cream, cheetoes, peanut butter cookies, a small cake, flowers, and wine. When I got home he was keeping a straight face and trying not to show that he was upset but he took the gifts and went to his office. He never talked about the event or what had happened. I didn’t ask. For the rest of the day he stayed in his office and didn’t talk much.
Well, I guess Ruben has been here long enough that he thinks this is home and it is time for him to dominate someone. So, he has decided to start fighting with Bones. Every time he gets near Bones, he starts growling and posturing. Bones growls back and they fight. Fortunately for Bones, Ruben is a horrible fighter and even old Bones can beat him up. So far I have gotten there in time to pull them off each other before any damage is done. Ruben is truly stupid in that he keeps trying to fight even though Bones can pin him.
Mike went to his Aunt’s in Chesapeake Bay for her birthday and so I am taking care of the fighters alone. Stupid dogs!
This morning, before Mike left, he wanted some peace and so he put the dogs outside in the front. They ran back and forth between the front door and the side door on the deck and ended up knocking over the Pineapple plant that Mike had been babying. It has a cute little pineapple that is about half the size of what you see in the stores. Mike says that plant will die when the pineapple is ripe. Well, it may die before then at this rate.
This one is posted under Dog Tails because it all started because of Bones pooing in the house.
Well, we had a minor incident this morning. Bones pooed in the house again, so I got up and picked it up. He has been eating dirt outside so his poo is more like mud balls. We cannot get him to stop eating or pooing mud. Anyhow, Mike had been out of town in Chicago all week and he did a bad thing before he left. He picked up Bones’ poo and put it in the toilet and then did not flush it. I have fussed at Mike many times for this and I flush the toilet. Well, this time he did it in the bathroom in the back of the house off the master bedroom on the first floor and then went on travel. I never go into that bathroom so the mudball sat in the toilet for a week. When I cleaned up the poo, I tossed it in the toilet and flushed. Guess what…it overflowed. I got all of the towels and sopped it up and fussed at Mike the entire time. He finally got out of bed and came over to look. I told him that he needed to mop the floor with disinfectant and then I went downstairs to check to see if any water had gotten to the basement. The bathroom that this happened in is directly over my 2 server racks. I didn’t see any water so I went back upstairs, got a mop and the Clorox and cleaned the bathroom after using the plunger to push the mudball down the toilet. I had an executive meeting at 10am so I had to leave for work.
Well, I was almost at work when the phone rang. It was Mike and he said that he had taken a shower and when he got out he heard beeping from the basement. He went downstairs and half of the rack was dark and the UPSs were beeping. Water was pouring down on the main server rack. Why…because Mike had complained that the servers were to loud and so I put up insulation and sound barrier on the ceiling and walls and the seam of the soundproofing was right over the rack. So, all of the water channeled down to the soundproofing and then poured right into my UPS, down into the power bar of the rack, and settled on the main tape backup robot. I told Mike to sop it up and pull the big plugs that power the racks in 2 phases. He wanted to talk about trying to get the equipment back up and I told him to just unplug everything because I didn’t want to risk a fire while no-one was home. I was suppose to do server maintenance at 6pm so I knew I would be home late and I just said, please unplug it and let it sit.
I left work at about 4pm and got home at about 4:30. The plan was to do my server work remotely so I had set the servers up to let me in from home. So, I locked the dogs outside and went to the basement. Mike had done a good job of cleaning up the water and had even put spacers between two of the servers that are stacked without rails. He had a fan on the rack blowing air all day and most everything was dry. I checked the power bar in the bask and reset the breakers and flipped them on. I then checked out the UPSs and all 4 seemed dry. I powered each one in sequence so that I could smell any smoke or hear any sounds. The top one took the brunt of the water and fortunately had dried completely. They run pretty hot so I figure that without the power to them and their breakers thrown, the heat steamed off the water pretty quickly. I then powered up both phases of the rack, and started powering on one unit at a time. First the banks of disk drives, then the bottom tape drive that took all of the water, and then the main server. Everything came on. I powered on the mail server, and then the WEB server. The only casualty in the entire thing was a standalone DLT tape drive for the WEB server. I had a spare so I put it on the system and everything is back in business.
I heard a thump in the bedroom and got up to see what was going on. I found Bones laying on his side with his feet sticking out sideways. He wasn’t moving and so I went to him. He tried to get up but his feet didn’t seem to work. I helped him and lifted him up onto his feet but his legs wouldn’t support him. His back legs have been very arthritic for a while making him walk very stiffly, but now his front legs weren’t working either. Mike said that at 7am when he got up to clean up Bones’ poo in the hall that Bones ate all of his food and was doing just fine. Bones poos in the house just about every night as he cannot make it to the doggy door in time once he realizes he has to go. There will be poo from the bedroom to the doggy door every 6 feet or so. I dislike this, but it is Mike’s dog and Mike is being responsible about cleaning up.
Worse yet, as I held him up, his head bobbed around as if he didn’t know where he was or what was going on. He tried to hold himself up but he couldn’t even on the carpet. I called for Mike and he came immediately. Over the next 15 minutes, Bones gained the ability to stand up again but appeared dizzy and wabbled around. He couldn’t walk very well, and his head still bobbed around. His tail was fully tucked underneath him. I went and got a bone treat and tried to give it to him. He smelled it and then opened his mouth to take it but missed biting it by about 3 inches. He tried again and was just biting randomly to get it. He isn’t fully blind…he can see shadows and when you put a cookie in front of his face, he can usually take it.
Mike got a brown towel and put it under his belly so that we could hold his back end up and we gently carried him outside by supporting his weight and walking him to the door. Once in the grass, he sniffed around and then just pee’d where he stood. We then carried him back inside. It was now about 30 minutes since I heard him fall and he was able to walk on his own but when he got to the hard wood floors, he couldn’t steady his legs. So, we put carpet pieces everywhere for him to walk.
Within a couple of hours he was much better and seemed to be able to tell that things were near him and walk around on the hard wood. Then, while we were in the kitchen eating dinner, Bones came in and did his ear flip thing where he shakes his head, and immediately fell over on his side. Mike rushed over and picked him up and he was OK. He wandered outside through the dog door and just sat down on the deck.
By 6pm Bones seemed to be back to normal. We locked him in the bedroom so that he would be on carpet and then Mike took him for a walk. When Mike walked up to the bedroom door, Bones wagged his tail for the first time in the day and he participated in the walk…although slower than usual. We gated the upstairs so that he couldn’t try to go upstairs and we blocked off the basement stairs so that he wouldn’t fall down. He came into my office and was restless so Mike carried him upstairs and gated the top so that he wouldn’t try to come down the stairs. Bones slept in Mike’s office all evening till Mike helped him down the stairs.
I went to the basement to get something from the refrigerator and all of the dogs followed me down. Mike was upstairs in his office and Bones was following me for some reason. Since he is blind now he frequently confuses me with Mike and will follow me till he gets close enough to smell me at which point he just turns around and leaves. Anyhow, I came upstairs and was in my office when I heard the sound of something falling. I thought Mike had tripped and fallen down the stairs but Mike was upstairs clicking away at his keyboard. I looked down the stairs to the basement and bones was laying at the landing in the middle of the stairs. He was awake and trying to get up. I called for Mike and he came and helped Bones up the stairs. Bones seemed OK, but was unsteady.
Foreman mostly plays with Remy and they play pretty rough. It is mostly Remy running through the house with his tail tucked while Foreman is chasing after him. They get to the basement and Remy runs around the back side of the pool table and then darts out to bite Foreman and they roll around on the floor growling and biting at each other’s neck. They are the same age and neither of them seems to be getting hurt. Occasionally Foreman will try to play with Kira but she just snarls at him and he leaves her alone.
Over the past week, Foreman has tried to play with Bones but Bones doesn’t like it at all. When Foreman starts to play, he rares up on his back feet and boxes bones in the face with his front paws. Bones lashes out in a fury of biting, snapping, and growling. Foreman darts back and then comes at bones from differnt angles. Since Bones can’t see very well or hear, he is fairly defenseless and just starts snapping in the air in all directions making the most fierce noise. Eventually Bones looses his footing in his back legs and he falls down and then is stuck laying on the floor snapping at any shadow he can see.
This obviously upsets Mikey something awful and all we have to do is yell at Foreman and he runs back into his crate. Bones then struggles for a bit to get his back end back up and just pouts for a bit. Mikey always holds Bones and checks him for damage. Bones has some cuts on his ears and lip which we had not noticed before. We are thinking that since Foreman escaped from his cage yesterday that he may have had one of these “play” episodes with Bones but there was no-one to intervene and so he actually made may have made contact.
When it all starts, it looks just like when Foreman is starting to play with Remy. But, since Bones is the top male dog in the house, it could be that Foreman is trying to establish dominance. He already dominated Remy in the first day just as all dogs do. So, maybe he is trying to be king of the hill. More to come I am sure…
It’s been a long year with lots of changes. Fostering dogs has added an interesting twist to life.
Kira has grown into a good match for me. Almost a perfect match… always sick, distant, unaffectionate, and grumpy. But, she is sweet and stays with me all the time. She isn’t scared of the pool table and gets endless pleasure from chasing the frisbee. She never has an accident in the house except for the occasional episode of wetting the bed while sleeping due to her infections. So, there are some differences between her and me… I don’t wet the bed, and I don’t chase the frisbee. 🙂 One of the best things about Kira is that she always stays close to you wherever you go. When in the yard she stays within 10 feet at all times. When walking on a trail, she never leaves your side. And when you take her to the office or to a park, she shadows you all the time. The most rewarding thing about Kira is that she is protective of me. Although she never seems to want to be pet, when she and I are around other dogs or people, she gets between me and whatever else is there and she will growl and snap if they get close to me. She doesn’t do this when they are just near her, but she is protective of me. All I have to do is say “Kira, no” and she will back down and lay on the floor. I think she likes me.
Bones is getting way up there in age. He can’t see very well, can’t hear much at all, and he is getting feeble. He falls down a lot on the hardwood floors and falls down on the front steps quite often. But he still eats and wags his tail for Mike. He is Mike’s companion and whenever Mike leaves the house, Bones camps out at the front door looking through the glass at the driveway for the entire time that Mike is gone. Occasionally he howls and cries.
Remy is just a mush dog. He loves everyone equally and has no loyalty to anyone. His loyalties are only in those that have food or are willing to pet him. But, he is so affectionate and gentle that you cannot help but hug on him. His fur is so thick that he is like hugging a plush teddy bear. He is the most vocal of the dogs and will bark at you whenever he wants something, is happy, is frustrated, or is hurt. Each bark is different, so we know how to interpret it. He is the only dog that does a little dance every time he is about to get food. It is so cute. And he is very good at staying near the house when we are outside. His only big weakness is that he won’t give the ball back when you play fetch. I mean, he will not give it back. You can try to pry it from his mouth and you will not succeed. You get one throw and that is it.
The foster dogs have taught me a lot about doggy behavior and provided great reward when the dog readapts to human companionship. Riley was out of control when we got him. He was aggressive and almost unmanagable. But, after Riley bit me and I learned that he responded to a firm voice and dog language (yea, I growled at him a lot and forced him on his back whenever he was bad). In time, Riley turned around and became a wonderful little dog that loved to talk to you and wagged his tail so hard that he would bloody the tip. He was still aggressive with other dogs and became protective of me. He seemed to really take to me which didn’t make Mike all that happy. After 3 months with Riley, he was adoptable and it was a matter of finding the right family. Fortunately, the perfect family found him. After 6 weeks in his new home I went to visit him and he was a completely different dog. Playful, attentive, and not a bit aggressive. He lives with a slightly older female that is about his size, and he seems really happy. Seeing Riley like this makes fostering completely worthwhile.
And the open book in fostering is Foreman. He is like “Santa’s Little Helper” from the Simpsons both in action and look. He is a mix of Grey Hound and Labradore. He has wonderful colors and markings and can run like the wind. He is beautiful when he is running. When walking, he looks goofy. He has such muscular back legs that they dwarf the rest of his body. When we took him in, he was so skittish that the wind blowing through the leaves scared him. Really…the first time he was out in the back yard and the wind blew through the leaves, he tucked tail and ran back to the house and right into the glass door. It has been about 3 months of fostering Foreman now and he is getting better. Like Riley, he responded quickly to dog signals like barking, growling, and putting him on his back. He favors me over anyone else but he also seems to recognize people. When he is in a strange environment and recognizes someone, he immediately goes to them and seeks protection. It doesn’t matter if the past experiences have had him hiding from them or not. They are familiar in a sea of the unknown. Foreman is not aggressive with people, but can be with other dogs when they come near me. He is protective of me, and is actually the best watch dog in the house. Kira and Remy hear a noise and just look, listen, and occasionally growl. But, Foreman will hear a noise and sneak up to where it is, peek around the corner, and if there is something there, he starts barking this nasty growly bark that would scare most people away. When someone invades the home and neither Mike or I are around, he will stand his ground and be nasty. But, if they approach him, he runs for cover. So, not quite the perfect watch dog. Hopefully someone will recognize him as a good family pet and will take him in. Till then, he will sleep under my desk and be scared of the wind.
Happy New Year to all. I hope you are enjoying the stories of the dogs.
I walked in the door today to find cardboard pieces everywhere in the family room. Since we live out in the country where we don’t have trash service, we are careful to only buy recyclable containers. To this end, we take all of our cardboard boxes and fold them up in a pile and pin them behind a trash can till we can take them to the dump or burn them. Remy apparently decided that this was a good pile of play toys and shreded the boxes. This isn’t the first time and as soon as I walked into the room and said “what happened here”, Remy tucked tail, lowered his head, and left the room. I cleaned it up while fussing at him and he sat at the doorway with his head low. I then made up with him and he was happy.
I went to the basement to get Foreman and he had managed to push on the cage so hard that he pulled the staples out of the wall on part of the cage. I let him out and he took off upstairs to go outside. I let him out and then went back to the basement to nail the cage back to the wall. As I am working on it, Foreman appears. He had let himself back in via the doggy door. I took them all upstairs and fed them, and then let them out in the yard. Foreman wouldn’t come in the doggy door while I was looking but after I left, I watched and he let himself back in after making sure that I was not around.
Mikey claimed that the reason Bones was having problems was because I was not taking him for walks over Thanksgiving or while he was in Chicago. Well, Mike got back at midnight last night and took Bones for a walk this morning, yet there was the unpleasant hard poo piles in the kitchen heading for the doggy door.
After Foreman finished his dinner tonight, I let him out and then worked with him to get him to use the dog door to come back in. He did it with a lot of coaxing but darted through the door when I pushed the flap open.
My shoulder is so sore from the tape backup, and when I try to get the
machine to back up, it fails. It loads the tapes just fine, but it
cannot seem to back up with any reliability. After a good bit of investigation, I found a DIP switch on the unit that activated the Differential SCSI interface and hooked that up to the Wide Differential SCSI card in the host computer. The backups started working just fine. I can only guess that the board that is used for the Single Ended interface is either damaged or has a problem and by switching to the secondary interface it is working. The unit has a second bus in it so I could switch to the other bus but it is working just fine now so why go through that. I am quite happy with a great looking tape robot filled with tapes and a high speed drive for backing up everything. Not bad for $100 in shipping and $50 for the unit. Thanks Ebay!
I went to the doctor today for some pain meds as I only had one pill left. I then went to work and worked a partial day. I left at about 4pm to come home to a house of poo. Bones had another accident from the kitchen to the doggy door. As I started cleaning it up, all of the dogs disappeared. Egads, what a great Thanksgiving weekend this is going to be. Good thing I am on massive pain killers or I would be pretty darn upset
So it is Thanksgiving Day and I am in the basement doing a half hearted attempt to work out while playing with the servers that host this site. I started to feel pain in my right side which very quickly got so bad that I couldn’t stand up. I was home alone with all of the dogs and I just sat down on the concrete floor and hold my knees close to my chest hoping the pain would go away. I know this pain as I had it before in February. It is a kidney stone and boy does it hurt. I crawled out of the gym room and to the carpeted room and cried out in pain. Kira had been laying in the chase lounge and Remy was on the couch. Foreman was upstairs as was Bones. When I let out the pathetic cry in pain, the reaction of the dogs was quite interesting.
Kira disappeared and was later found hiding as far back under the bed as she could go
Remy quietly got off the couch and came over to me with his head down low and his tail drooping. He laid down right beside me and started licking my hand.
Foreman came running down the basement stairs and leaped on me and then started biting at my hand to play
Bones is so deaf that he never heard a word and never stirred out of his slumber
The pain comes in waves and between waves, I got upstairs and took some pain killer that I had left over from the last kidney stone. I laid in the bed waiting for it to kick and Remy jumped in the bed and laid down beside me with his head on my pillow and put his paw on me. Occasionally he would sit up and lick my arm and then lay back down beside me. Foreman just sat in the hallway doing nothing while Kira was not to be found.
Oh my gosh. I got home from work today and
the house was a disaster. Upon walking in the door I noticed a pile of shredded
cardboard. I thought to myself…oh well…dog
must have been frustrated. I made my way
to my office and noticed some dark spots on the floor. The lights were out so I turned them on to
discover that there was dog poo from my office, down the hall, through the sun
room, through the kitchen, and up to the doggy door. Gees.
I get to my office and let Foreman out so that he can go outside and
when I get back to the hall, there is a puddle in the hall to the dining
room. I turned on more lights to get a
full view of any other hidden treasures and I find that there is shredded
cardboard all over the place. They must
have been having a field day pulling stuff apart.
The poo is obviously Bones’ and the pee was very yellow
which also indicates that it was Bones’.
He is getting so old that he can’t hold it. Usually it is rather solid and easy to clean
up, but this time it was semi solid and quite the mess. To add insult to injury, I was picking up poo
in toilet paper and putting it in the powder room and flushing each time. But, apparently it was to much for the toilet
and so it got clogged up.
Mike took off from work today and took Kira, Remy, and Bones to the vet for their regular shots. Kira had a skin tag that was growing so I asked him to have it removed when he was there. He said that she did well. When I got home from work she had a 3 inch square shaved patch on her side with a tiny wound and a single stitch. Mike said that we needed to take it out in 10 days. I gave Kira some special food with her dry food last night. She was still mad at me and wouldn’t sit in the same room with me.
For the first time since we took Foreman home (1 week) he slept through the night and didn’t get up until 5:30am. Mike heard him cry so he got up and let him out of the crate and then let him out in the back yard. When he finished peeing, he ran into the house as fast as he could and jumped on my bed and licked me. He they laid down and went to sleep. Kira wasn’t to happy about this and she got off the bed and laid on the floor beside me and then made a big sighing sound.
Later in the morning Bones was coming in from outside and walking down the hall when Foreman decided to try to play with the big beast. To date Foreman has not been allowed around Bones to avoid a repeat of what happened with Riley and Bones. He let out a playful growl and leaped at Bones. Mike and I were watching and both yelled “No no!!!!!” but it was to late. Bones lifted up his lips and gave a snarl and just kept on walking as if nothing happened. It look like Bones and Foreman may be good together.
Remy and Kira are locked in the back of the house with Foreman and me.
Forman is sleeping nicely in his crate and then the other dogs start
barking. All come out and are in the hall at the gate that separates
them from the rest of the house. Kira comes back into the office and
then Foreman lights into Remy. Remy is such a submissive dog that he
gives in immediately and Foreman just attacks him. I had to just yell
once and Foreman let go of Remy and ran to his crate.
A bit later, Kira and Remy were by my side when Foreman darted out of his crate and ran over to Kira to nip at her. Again, a stern warning and he ran back to his crate. I put the leash on him and took them all outside so that he could pee. He continued to do this sniper type of attack with all of the dogs whenever they came within visual range of the door to his crate.
It appears that Foreman is a bit nervous tonight and may need some quiet adjustment time.
Just a quick initial progress report. So far so. We did the initial
meeting in the back yard with Foreman on a leash. We let Remy and
Kira run up off leash, they all did fine. I then brought up Bones on
leash. They sniffed, he curled his lip, so I just took Bones for a
walk around the yard. We let the other three run around the house while
I was out back with Bones making sure the electric fence did not have
any shorts in it.
is skittish but he is inquisitive and he followed me around the house.
As long as I don’t grab for him, he is fine. If I want to put the
leash on him I go to the door, he follows, we both look out the window,
and then I can easily put the leash on.
I took them all for a
long walk outside and Bones got a much better sniff, no growling this
time. Foreman walks very well on the leash. They are all inside now
but I’ll keep Bones gated apart from Foreman for a while. They are
laying on either side of the gate peacefully, about 10 feet apart.
Bones really does not have too much interest in him which is good.
did lie down next to Foreman for a bit and he was comfortable enough to
fall asleep next to me. It was funny to watch as he wanted to stay
alert and look around but his eyes kept closing, then his head dropped
a bit, then do the ground, then he rolled over on his side into me and
So in summary zero issues with Remy and Kira, so
far Bones seems neutral, and he seems comfortable enough that he’s not
Remember that groundhog thing about 2 weeks ago. Well, the groundhog never came back to the hole as evidenced by the fact that the rocks that I put in the hole did not get pushed out. Yet the dogs were out playing in the yard and they all took off in one direction. What do you know. They spotted a groundhog by the garden. The big ole chocolate lab (13 years old) who can barely see got to the groundhog first. This time it wasn’t like the fun that Riley, Remy, and Kira were having with the previous one. Bones got to the little thing and without a hesitation snatched it up, shook it like he does his toys, and it was dead. This was a really old one as it looked like it had been through some rough times. One eye was missing and it looked like it had old wounds that had healed over. Well, it didn’t survive this little battle.
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 6:23 PM Subject: RE: Home
If I would had figured it out earlier I would have fussed at them more….
Maybe I should blog this 😉
I got home early, there was enough noise from the heavy rain they did not hear me.
There were a few card board boxes knocked off the pile, no biggie.
I took off my shoes and tip toed around.
I found Bones sleeping at the bottom of the stairs.
I was tip toeing around him to see who might be sleeping on the bed when I heard the dog door open (I just thought it was the wind as it is gusting pretty hard out). Then I heard and a box crash. Bones heard it too and once he was awake, he sniffed me out so I could not sneak back to see what was up.
So Kira and Remy run in all wet and happy to see me. No big deal. Then I notice the box of treats on the floor, unopened but with a tooth hole near the top. That is what crashed. I fussed at them a bit and they took off. I stuck the box back where it was and noticed a wet foot print (best guess is it was Remy’s) on the counter. Then I noticed the bag of treats was gone. I looked outside and there it was chewed up in the back yard. That is why they were outside when I got home. From the looks of things it just happened and I could have caught them carry out the box that they came back in for (their second theft) if Bones was not alerted to my presence thus giving me away to the other two.
A coworker had an emergency on Wednesday and came to me asking if I could possibly take care of one of his dogs (Marigold) Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday. “Sure, no problem” I said. He brought her over at about 9pm and Bones immediately took a dislike to her. He never sniffed her but just growled from afar. After they left, every time she would come near him, he would growl. Then it dawned on me. Bones doesn’t realize that Riley is gone and he is almost blind and almost deaf (he is 13 after all). So, he just sees a black/white dog that is about Riley’s size coming near him.
So, I got Mike to hold Bones and I held the new dog and pushed Bones towards her butt for him to sniff. He didn’t even sniff. He just turned away. So, Bones is all snarley and growley for no reason and won’t even try to figure out that this is a different dog.
Last year a groundhog dug under the concrete pad of the front porch and built
a nest. We put a Have-a-heart trap out and caught it and then took it a few
miles away and let it free. This year another groundhog took up residence in
the same hole. The hole was rather obvious and I put a rock over it to see if
he was really active. The bugger pushed the rock away and dug another path.
Every time I take the dogs out in the front yard, Riley follows the scent but
has never seen it.
Well, today that all changed. We went outside to play and Riley started
sniffing around. Apparently the groundhog had not made it back to its hole in
time and was stuck behind a bush. Riley flushed it out and chased it around the
side of the house by the garage. Kira and Remy took off after Riley and Bones
soon followed. By the time I got around the side of the house they were all
sniffing around the cedar bushes at the top of the driveway. I ran back in the
house to get some shoes on and came back out just in time to see a small rabbit
run from the bushes. Bones took off after the rabbit but the other 3 dogs kept
circling the bushes. They were remarkably coordinated in their circling of the
bushes. They barked and nipped while circling.
All of a sudden the groundhog darted out toward the apple trees in the
orchard and all 3 dogs took off after it. Riley caught up quickly and nipped at
it on the butt. He flipped it into the air and it stopped. I ran in the garage
to get something to catch the groundhog so that they wouldn’t kill it. I
grabbed a glove and a trashcan and came out of the garage in time to see the
groundhog playing dead. I laid there while the 3 dogs circled in a frenzy of
barks. I just laid there on its back. Riley darted in and nipped at it and it
flipped over and stood up. It made a squealing sound and tried to dart off.
Remy jumped at it and it fell back on its back motionless. Kira got close and
it jumped back up, squealed and tried to run again. This repeated while I was
running toward it but before I could get there, one of the dogs must have made
contact and hurt it. Then another dog grabbed it and shook it. Then another
grabbed and shook. When I got there they were all still circling and it was
laying motionless on its side. I shut the dogs up but Riley was in a frenzy.
With the glove on my hand, I picked it up by by the scruff. It was completely
limp and motionless. The dogs were leaping into the air to try to take it from
me. As I carried it along, it must have been alive because at some point it’s
bladder gave way and it peed. It never moved the entire time I was carrying it.
I went to the back field and tossed it over the fence. The vultures will
quickly find it and take it away.
I got all of the dogs back inside the house and checked them to see if any
had been bitten. None had as best I could tell. I kept them inside but Riley
was frantic to get back outside. I kept him inside and locked the doggy door so
that they could not get to the fence or to the back field before the birds go
It was quite the cheery morning today when Bones wandered into the bedroom where Riley was sleeping. The gate wasn’t closed and Riley and Bones got to close to each other. It started with snarling for a few seconds and all of a sudden I here comes Mikey tackling Riley. Bones and Riley barely got to each other before Mike appeared. By the time I got there, Bones was just standing there staring at Mikey who was laying on top of Riley to keep them apart. I repremanded Riley and put him in his crate then we started checking for damage. Neither dog got hurt. Riley had a scratch on his cheek. Mike was the one that was hurt the most as he hurt his leg in the mad dash to tackle Riley. He also has a bruise on his arm which looks like one of the dogs connected with his arm in the tackle.
Everyone is fine and this was really quite minor compared to some previous skirmishes. But, we are upset that we had a lapse in security in the house just 4 days before Riley goes to his new home for possible adoption.
Riley and Bones may be getting accustomed to one another. I have been occasionally letting Riley in the main part of the house without the gates up while Bones is in the house. They seem to watch each other like they don’t trust each other but they don’t growl. When Mike is home though, Bones is more aggressive and this little exercise doesn’t work.
Today, by accident, Mike forgot to put up the gate to my office and Bones came into my office while Riley was in. Note that my office is where Riley sleeps all the time. So, this could have been a bad thing. Riley’s hair stood up and he paced in the room while Bones was in here but did not growl. As Bones turned to leave, Riley mirrored his movements from about 4 feet away and I growled “R I L E Y”. Riley then turned and came to me and his fur laid down.
Riley’s poo was back to soft serve and I didn’t see any worms. Bones attacked Remy this morning but Riley didn’t go ballistic. Riley had the shock collar on while in the crate and he didn’t snarl at bones at all while in the crate. When I brought them back in, Bones took off upstairs and I thought he was in the bedroom. So, I let the dogs loose in the house. I turned the corner to find bones and riley within 2 feet of each other, but neither was fighting. I grabbed Riley and shoved him in the basement and then Bones’ hair stood up.