Loredo: Broken nose, broken helicopter

Well I found out today that not only did Loredo break my nose when playing, but he also destroyed my toy helicopter.


Yes, for Christmas as a stocking gift, I got a super cool Syma toy helicopter in yellow. It was great to play with and I had planned to take it to the office.

Well… weeks went by and Mike had cleaned the house when we had guests 2 weekends ago and I finally asked “Where is my helicopter”.

Mike came down and said “do you want the truth?” and I said “Yes”. He then told me that on one of the last mornings that Loredo was staying with us, he got the helicopter and chewed it up.

So, not only did the dog break my nose when we were playing but he destroyed my toy helicopter. Fortunately the nose is healing and the helicopter is now only about $25. It was $120 when Mike bought it for me before Christmas.

Ahhhhh… darn dogs.

Loredo: Back again for a visit

The woman that adopted Loredo needed to take a vacation and so she asked Mike what kennel HART recommended.  Mike offered to take the dog to our house for the duration.  The owner offered to pay us to take care of him, but we asked her to just donate to HART instead.

So, on Monday morning Mike went out in the morning and got Loredo and then took him to work with him.

Loredo is a sweet dog so taking care of him is easy.  He is house trained, knows the dog door, and gets along with our dogs.  His only bad quality is that he licks like a miniature dog.  Get any skin near him and his tongue starts flapping.

He looks great.  Still as fit as we got him to (remember from past posts that he was emaciated when we got him and his hair had turned grey as if bleached) and his hair looks great.  Like all Chesapeake Retrievers, he is oily as can be.  But he just was happy as could be when he saw me.  All of the dogs, except Clifford, seemed to love playing with him.

Clifford is still standoffish with him.  And Clifford stays in the basement if Loredo is running around on the first floor.

But Loredo has one bad habit that is terrible.  He gets up at 3:30am (which is apparently his new schedule on the horse farm) and gets a toy.  He jumps on the side of the bed and pushes that cold nose against you with the toy wanting to play.  He spends at least 30 minutes pestering you till you finally yell at him.  Then you feel terrible because he puts his head down and walks into the hall, drops his toy, and then goes outside and sits on the porch.

So, I go get him and pet him.  He jumps around like crazy and wants to play.  So, after a bit of play, I can get him to lay down with a bone or something and get a few more hours of sleep before needing to get up for work.

It’s hard to be angry with Loredo.  He is so sweet, so intelligent, and he has expressive facial expressions.  He just loves to play.  He reminds me of why I was almost ready to adopt him but glad he got adopted.

Loredo: Adoption complete

Loredo when he first arrived

Loredo when he first arrived

That first picture is what we took in back in April.  At the bottom of the post is what he looked like when he left.  What a remarkable change in hair color and fitness.

Loredo left yesterday with his new owner.  She was an incredibly nice woman who has horses.  She spent time just talking with us about him and is fully prepared for his puppyish behavior.  She has fostered late life hounds that have been rescued after they were to old to fox hunt any longer.  But she said that she wanted a dog that would last more than a few years and so Loredo was perfect.  He energetically hopped in her car and she took him home to Upperville.

Today Kira was behaving oddly.  She was overly needy and she seemed to mope around.  Sparky also was behaving differently.  Clifford, on the other hand, was back to his normal goofy self.  He didn’t like Loredo and didn’t tolerate Loredo constantly jumping on him and biting his neck.  Clifford is the reason Loredo has a scar across his nose.  So, Clifford did a lot of sleeping away from the pack to avoid Loredo.  But today I played the piano and Clifford came and laid down beside me like he always did before Loredo came to the house.

The change in mood for the dogs is more likely that they are uncertain since the routine has changed.  Dogs like consistency in their lives and so any change is met with a bit of uneasiness.

But suffice to say, I will miss Loredo.  He was a fun dog.


Loredo the day before he left to his new home.

Loredo: Adoption Imminent

Well… as always ends up happening, Loredo got adopted.  When we took him in we thought it would only be a week or two.  But his nappy fur on his rear and his chewed up looking tail just turned people off.  He didn’t have any manners and he nipped at everyone.  So, over the past few months of training him, teaching him some tricks like sit, stay, and paw, and his hair growing in all the same color he has finally gotten adopted.  He is a really pretty dog now that his hair has grown.  I can only guess that he was under some extreme stress that caused the unusual grey patterns in the hair on his butt and the nappy tail must have been him chewing on it and pulling the hair out.

He is a sweet dog and just before I left to got to Atlanta on the 26th, I thought to tell Mike that I think we should adopt him.  But as is always the case, when a dog gets trained, and he is good looking, he gets adopted.  He is going to a family that has horses and he will be just a companion dog to the family.  He will have constant attention.  He won’t have other dogs to play with but he hasn’t really played with anyone other than Sparky. Clifford doesn’t like him at all, and Kira is the queen and doesn’t care about any dog other than herself.  Remy has never played with any dog since Riley was taken away.

Anyhow, I have had fun with Loredo.  He is smart, young, and playful.  He seems to just be enjoying everything around him.  I won’t miss being woke up at 5:30 by him wanting to play and I won’t miss the wet kisses up and down my arm.  Well… Maybe I will.  He is just an incredible dog.  And now that his fur has grown back in, he has been trained with a few tricks, trained to have manners around people, and trained limit his crazy tongue so that he doesn’t give you a bath when he wants affection.  He is a big dog with a puppy mind.  And he really wants to pleas everyone around him.

But, when we went on vacation the first of August, we let him stay with a family in the HART group that fosters dogs, and he got terribly upset and had the runs until he came back to us.  So clearly he is a feeling and thinking dog.  He really likes it here and I hope he adjusts to his new home.  The new place is so far away that I will never visit him after his adoption. So today I have spent the day with him.  Playing with him, and just enjoying his personality.

Tomorrow he will leave and I will never see him again.  That is sad, but happy at the same time.  Had we not fostered Loredo, he would have been locked in a kennel and possibly stayed grey and chewed up all the time… which would have prolonged his imprisonment till he was an adult.  Instead, at this age, and with proper care and training, he has turned out to be a wonderful dog that will immediately be a wonderful addition to a family.  And if anything goes wrong (which has never happened), he will be returned to us to continue to foster till we find the perfect home.  But this place he is going to is the perfect home for him.

Farewell Loredo.  I really enjoyed you.  You pissed in my house, you fought with my dogs, and you learned how to fit into a family.  Enjoy your life with a wonderful forever home.

Loredo: I have paw

Well… much to our surprise, Loredo seems to have learned the game of “Paw” from my time with him las night.  Apparently, at the marketing event, he demonstrated his new found skills with guests of the event.

Gees… I must have used half of a bag of chips to teach him paw.  But he seems to have learned it very well.

Loredo: I can paw

I spent the evening with all but Clifford.  Mike took him swimming again at a friend’s place.  So, I took the opportunity to lock Kira and Loredo in my office and took a bucket of chips to try to teach Loredo a few tricks.  I thought that I would be able to teach him at least one if not two.  But it turns out that he lacks the attention span to teach at all.

So, after 2 hours, I finally got him to agree to give me a paw for a chip.  I don’t know if he will remember it or not.  But at least we were able to get him to do it repeatedly.

Loredo: Another nose bite

Well, we figured out who was fighting with Loredo.  Clifford!  Yes, much to our surprise, it was Clifford.  I had noticed that Clifford was being a bit more shy since we got Loredo and I had noticed that he didn’t like playing around Loredo.  They don’t play together.  Instead, Sparky and Loredo play all the time and love to chase each other through the house.

So, Mike relayed the story that around lunch Clifford was laying on the landing of the stairs that is half way between the first floor and the second floor.  Loredo had started down the stairs and Clifford didn’t let him pass.  Loredo tried to push past him and Clifford lit into him and bit him on the nose again.  Another deep wound.

This is surprising because Clifford has shown no aggression since we have had him.  Not a single dog.  In all cases, Clifford always backs off and just hides in the bathroom or gets out of the way.  But apparently he doesn’t like Loredo to the point that he won’t back down.

Now Loredo isn’t without fault.  Loredo acts like an unsocialized puppy and gets into everything, takes everyone’s food, takes everyone’s toys, and sleeps in any bed that is near.  He doesn’t seem to respect or understand the pack rules of ownership of certain things.

So, it appears that Clifford, who is somewhat of the defacto male alpha (Kira is the real alpha but being a female there is still an opening in the pack for challenges among the males) since he is easily 4 inches taller than any other dog in the house and gets the most attention from humans.

Adjustments are being made.  We are keeping them separated when they aren’t supervised and we are making sure that Clifford and Loredo interact with us around so we can watch and correct behavior.

Loredo: Ouch, my nose!

I got home from work today and Loredo had this deep puncture wound on his nose about 1 inch in front of his eyes and op the upper right side.  It didn’t seem to phase him a bit when I patted him on the head when I walked in the door.  As I walked through the house Mike yelled down to be careful of his nose.

Turns out that after I left for work, Mike had gotten up and gone to the bathroom.  Mike lives upstairs and use to leave the bathroom door open when I was at work (Mike works from home).  The dogs largely didn’t care and Clifford would go into the bathroom and lay down on the cool tile.  But once we got Loredo, that had to change because he wasn’t content just sitting on the floor.  Loredo wants attention and if you are sitting still seeming to do nothing, he makes you give him attention.

So, apparently Mike was in the bathroom and he heard a ruccas.  When he opened the door, Loredo was bleeding from the snoot.  Mike didn’t know which dog he had gotten into a fight with but he suspected Sparky since Sparky is so aggressive with his bed.

We patched up his nose and cleaned up the wound.  He didn’t flinch a bit when we worked on it and was happy as a clam to get attention.  He is a sweet little dog and incredibly tolerant.

And speaking of tolerant, I decided it was time to put Loredo on his back.  I was expecting the usual struggle that you get from a big dog when you do it the first couple of times but he didn’t seem to care at all.  I was sitting in my office and called him over.  When he got there I turned him around and flipped him into my lap.  He didn’t fight a bit, didn’t even stiffen up.  His eyes got big, but he seemed pretty relaxed.

I just held him there and pet on his chest and belly.  He seemed perfectly content and eventually closed his eyes and seemed to go to sleep.  When put him back down on the floor, he spun around and started licking my arm.  When I covered my arm, he nipped at my shirt and tugged.  He was just so excited.  Then there was some sound or something happened somewhere else in the house and he took off like a shot to investigate.

Loredo: Looking good!!!

We got back from our trip to Alaska on Friday night (or rather 1am Saturday morning) and all of the dogs were in good shape.  Loredo had been farmed out to HART fosters (Lex and Leslie) and Sparky had been sent to another family.

On Saturday Mike picked up the dogs and brought them home with him after the HART event.  Apparently Loredo had not adjusted well to being in a cage all day and had gotten explosive diarrhea.  When he got home he was like a Tasmanian devil running around the house.

One thing that we noticed about Loredo is that his nappy tail and his bleached looking rear end have been slowly changing color.  But when living with him day after day the change is so gradual that you don’t notice it.  So, after being gone for 10 days it was striking that his hair was so different.  Most of the grey/yellow is now gone and the hair on his tail is growing back.  We are guessing that he must have been pretty stressed or something and possibly left out in the sun to have him look as mangy as he did when we first got him.

So, Loredo looks great.  He is a good looking dog and is very inquisitive.  He investigated every room and was just thrilled to be home.  He is a very happy dog and very friendly.  He watches everything that is going on and sniffs, licks, and nudges anything that is new in a room.

But he still has the problem that he gets overly excited and gets into trouble.  Well, not trouble as much as he does things that are concerning.  Like if you pet him, he lays down and just loves to be pet, but then when you stop, he jumps up and nips at you.  It seems that his method of getting attention is to nip and bite at your clothing.  This is what is keeping him from getting adopted because there is a lot of concern over him nipping a child.  He doesn’t break skin and immediately when he finds that he has more than just your shirt or pants leg, he lets go.

We have been trying to teach him not to nip and he is getting better.  He has substituted nipping with licking.  So, now you find that if he wants attention, he comes at you with his tongue flipping 90 miles an hour and you end up slobbered on.  But that is a lot better than nipping.  And the jumping on you when he greets you has stopped.

All of these bad habits will be fixed up in time.  I just hope it is before I fall in love with him and his adorable face.  He is a really good looking dog, very tolerant, very obedient, and a great companion.  He just has some bad habits.

Sparky: Back home (again)

Mike brought Sparky home from the adoption event.  We had both Sparky and Loredo at foster homes while we were on vacation with about 50 other people in Alaska.

When Sparky got home, he seemed like nothing had changed.  He wasn’t crazy happy to be home, nor did he run around sniffing everything or everyone.  He just walked in the door and acted like he had never left.

Loredo, on the other hand, just ran like a cat throughout the house and then investigated everything, sniffed everyone, and then wanted to play more.

But there was a change in Sparky.  He didn’t hold his tail up and his Dobby like ears kind of hung down.  I pet on him and he didn’t growl at all even though he was in his bed.

Loredo: Learning to Fetch

I have everything ready for my trip on Thursday and so I went outside and sat on the front porch in the rocking chair in the morning sun to read a new book.  I took Kira with me but left all of the other dogs locked inside the house.

Apparently they were unhappy and were standing at the door which frustrates Mike so he got his butt out of bed and came down to let them out.  So, I was sitting in peace with Kira playing with a ball when the other 4 dogs come running around the corner.  The first thing they did was take Kira’s ball and then they slimed me looking for other balls.

But Loredo did his usual happy prance around the other dogs without any real focus.  He just ran with them and stayed in the pack but didn’t have any goals.  I went inside and got a ball for each of the other dogs and threw them in the yard.

Of course Loredo went crazy chasing the other dogs but didn’t chase a ball.  They all brought their balls back to me and I started throwing them as they returned.  Loredo chased each dog and then ran back to wait for the next dog to return.  Then something happened.  I threw the ball and Remy didn’t see where it went but Loredo did.  So, Loredo takes off and gets the ball.  He stands there in the yard with the ball looking around and then starts running back to me.

But, half way to me, he got distracted by something and dropped the ball and went off in another direction.  Remy grabbed the ball and brought it back.  Loredo eventually came back after chasing one of the other dogs and then remembered the ball.  He ran to the spot where he dropped the ball but it wasn’t there.  He seemed to get distracted again and took off toward the garden and then chased one of the other dogs.

Later on, he spotted a ball in the yard and took off and got it.  This time he brought it all the way back to me but then didn’t know what to do.  He watched the other dogs and eventually brought it to me and pushed it against my leg.  I took it and he seemed happy.

When I threw his ball, he looked at it as it sailed through the air and then started chasing the other dogs.  He didn’t seem to figure out that I threw it for him and I am guessing he was wondering why I took his ball and then threw it away.

But it appears that his instinct to chase the ball and bring it back are developing.


Sparky: Back home

During the middle of the week Mike got a call from the fosters that were taking care of Sparky.  Remember that we had pushed Sparky to another foster family so that we could take in Loredo.  But they had a planned vacation and so they brought Sparky by on Friday.  That leaves us with a house filled with dogs.  Clifford, Remy, Kira, Loredo, Sparky and Marigold.  4 dogs is a lot…. but 6 is incredibly difficult to manage especially when 2 of them don’t know how to use the doggy door.

Sparky is a spunky little creature and a dog that is unlikely to get adopted.  And he picks fights with most other new dogs.  He lit into Marigold fairly quickly but she held her ground and they accepted their place in the house.  Fortunately, Marigold’s family will come to get her on Monday so we will be back down to 5 dogs until the fosters come back for Sparky.

On another note, Sparky wasn’t the best dog when it came to affection.  He would occasionally come in and want to be pet but otherwise he didn’t interact much.  But when I got home from work on Friday, Sparky was the first to greet me at the door, and he jumped all over me like a puppy.  I’ve never seen him so happy.  Sparky appears to really like staying with our little pack.


Loredo & Marigold: Playmates

Last night one of the people that works with me brought his dog named Marigold over for me to dog sit while he is on vacation.  She had stayed with me when she was a puppy and so I figured that she would remember the house and fit right in.

After her owner left, she went to the door and camped.  Any time I walked into the kitchen, she would jump up and want to go out the door that she had come in.  She wanted to go home.

After she seemed to realize she wasn’t going home, she stuck with me every moment she could.  She came into my office, but Kira didn’t like that at all and growled so Marigold sat in a corner.  I got out some Ritz crackers and gave one to Marigold.  She took it gingerly and then set it down and looked at me.  Then I gave one to Kira who munched it down rapidly.  She watched Kira for a bit and then picked up her cracker and ate it.  She then got up and came over to my desk.  I pet on Kira so that she would stay calm and let Marigold stand beside Kira.  No growling between them… and so the evening went well.

At bedtime I locked Kira, Marigold and Loredo in my bedroom with a doggy gate.  I put Kira on the bed as usual and Loredo crawled under the bed as usual.  I took Marigold’s bedding that her owners had brought with her and laid it on a doggy bed beside my bed.  When I turned out the lights, she wandered around the room for a bit, and then I heard her curl up on her blanket on the doggy bed.

In the morning I woke up and she was sleeping on the doggy bed.  When I got up, she bounded around and with excitement and acted like part of the pack.  I took her outside and she peed.  Then we came back inside and I fed all of the dogs and she ate hers slowly but she didn’t hesitate.  I kept the other dogs away and locked Loredo in the pantry.  Loredo tends to run from bowl to bowl and try to take food even when the other dogs are still eating.  This is dangerous with Kira as she will let him have it.  So he always gets locked in the pantry during feeding until everyone finished.

After feeding, I took them out in the back yard.  Clifford clearly doesn’t like Loredo and won’t play with him like he did with Darby.  He goes up on top of the hill in the back yard and just sits there looking back at the house.  He looks like a statue.  Loredo runs up to him and if he pushes Clifford too much, Loredo will get growled at and Loredo will just run down the hill and pester another dog.  Kira won’t play with other dogs and Remy is just an old man that doesn’t want to play.

But Marigold was in the yard and when Loredo ran up to her, she started running and playing with him.  Clifford took notice and stood up.  Marigold ran up to Clifford and held her head and tail really high.  Clifford did the same.  Then Marigold lunged at Clifford and Clifford put his head over her shoulders.  She didn’t do anything and so he had dominated her.  Now she was his playmate and she and Clifford just wrestled around in the yard like Darby and Clifford use to do.

Well, Loredo wasn’t going to let them play alone and so he kept trying to play with the two of them.  They kept moving their wrestling around to get away from Loredo but finally gave up and Marigold came back to the house and wanted in.  Seeing Marigold on the deck, Loredo comes running across the yard at full speed, leaps onto the porch, and then runs through the doggy door.  I looked in the window and he was running through the house at high speed, then down the hall, then he comes back from the hall, around the kitchen, and out the doggy door.  He leaps off the porch, runs around the yard, then back to the porch and into the doggy door and back through the house.  He was just running at full speed.

Clifford was back on the hill sitting there watching everything and Kira was sitting beside me as she always does.  Finally Marigold went to the glass door and I let her in.  Clifford kept sitting on the back hill for quite a while and finally came moseying into the house.  He then went to the top of the stairs and sat on the walkway that overlooks the downstairs.  Marigold went upstairs and started investigating, Kira went into my office, and Loredo just wandered from dog to dog and room to room.  Loredo just seems to never run out of energy.

When I left, they were all in the kitchen staring out the big glass window watching me drive away in the truck.  Mike is working from home today so they are all free to roam and get use to each other.

Loredo: Quite the smart dog

I got home from work and took the dogs out in the back yard.  We played ball for about 15 minutes and then I went inside.  Loredo had lagged behind so I just went in and closed the door.  He realized he had been left out and came running up to the door and peered into the glass window.  He spotted me walking to the pantry where their food is and he got all excited and without any warning or delay… he ran through the doggy door.

After dinner he watched the dogs go out of the doggy door (which they always do just after eating) and he ran to the glass door to be let out.  I walked to the doggy door and held the flap open and he same over, sniffed, and then darted out.

He played with the other dogs till they all came in and he stood on the porch at the glass door peering in and then without hesitating, he ran in the doggy door.  For the rest of the evening, when any dog went out the doggy door, he ran to the kitchen and darted out the doggy door to follow them.

That has to be about the fastest I have ever seen a dog learn what the doggy door is.  He is fearless and is just a bundle of energy.  So, once he figures something out, he just adopts it and has no problem repeating it over and over.

Loredo: What is this ball for?

I woke up this morning (Sunday) and it was a very nice breezy day at about 70 degrees F.  So, I gathered up 4 balls and took all 4 dogs out in the front yard.  Normally I just take Kira out on Sunday mornings and throw the ball with her so that the other dogs don’t take her ball or run over her.  She is so old that she has trouble running and gets tired easily.

Anyhow, I pulled the porch rocker into the sun and sat facing into the breeze.  The dogs would come up and put their ball in front of me and I would throw it.  Loredo didn’t know what to do.  He chased Remy or chased Clifford but never understood what the ball was for.

Then on one pass where he kept seeing the dogs bringing the ball back to me, he picks up the 4th ball and comes prancing back to me with the ball.  He didn’t know about setting it down so he just put his head in my lap with the ball in his mouth.  He let me take the ball without any problem and when I threw it, he ran to the edge of the deck and looked through the bars at it, and then turned back to me.  Then Clifford came back with his ball and Loredo chased Clifford as Clifford ran after the ball when I threw it.

But when he was following Clifford back, he diverted off the path and ran the ball I had thrown for him and picked it up and brought it back.  This repeated a couple of times and then he seemed to get the understanding that he was to go get his ball.  So, before the session was over (about 1.5 hours) he was running off the porch to get his ball and bringing it back.

When we were all done, all of the dogs were just panting and tired and we went back inside.  They all drank lots of water and then laid down panting.  Clifford went to the basement and laid on the concrete panting.

Loredo: Personality begins to show

Loredo has begun to show his personality. He has become accustomed to the new home and he has even become house trained. He is smart and quick. He has learned not to jump on us in just one week. So, this dog is smart and he is really eager to please. He is easy to train. It took all of 2 nights to train him on how to sit. Now I am working on teaching him “paw”.

He may not be beautiful, but he is smart, and he has a fun personality. The only bad habit that I cannot break him of is licking. He licks any part of your skin that comes near his mouth. That is particularly nasty when you are sitting in your office and suddenly you get a feeling of a tongue on your arm.

This dog is a good dog…. just needed some discipline and training.