Monday, August 29, 2011

A Good Dog

As with children, the good dogs miss out being featured - there is no training expounded upon to help correct a behavior, no food or interaction with dogs or people to be addressed and shared.  Good dogs weren't always good dogs - but Seymour is.

Please - I think all dogs are good with rare exceptions but GOOD dogs are different in their own quiet ways.

Seymour - about 1 year old soon after arrival
Seymour is my long haired tweenie Dachshund.  He is black and tan OR boar colored; I am not good about Dachshund color terms.  "Tweenie" is an acceptable Doxie term for those 'hunds too large to be miniatures, yet too small to be standards. They can't be shown but make great pets.

I adopted Seymour along with Sheila Sheltie from Flawdogs in Morse Mills, MO.  My plan had been for Sheila; Seymour was the "two for one" special.  He had been to two homes. Both times, he defended the mom against the dad ferociously.  He did not show this behavior toward men who visited the shelter; it only surfaced after his adoptions :(. The second couple did not want to return him but chose to do so because he was so miserable.  So, Seymour had to have a female human only home - moi!  He has always been a very handsome dog with the soft, flowing fur of the long hair Dachshund -

Seymour to the left with Annie and Muggle
unless he has been in the mud.  You see, Seymour BELIEVES in the deep Dachshund creed of the EarthDog.  He earnestly digs holes, yipping at unseen, unknown gremlins in the ground.  He is so dedicated to this pursuit I have pulled him out of a hole in the rain lest he drown.  A friend, Courtney, was here one day when Seymour came in from the rain mud-caked: he was slick with mud from his nose to his tail.  We laughed and washed him up, knowing he would not long stay clean.

Knowing who he is in part makes Seymour a good dog. Seymour has chosen and found his place as my shadow, my fore-runner.  He knows when I head to the bathroom, trotting ahead of me but not venturing inside (yes, my own small dog-free space); he knows mealtime, heading to his crate w/o encouragement.  Were someone to follow us over one day, watching Seymour watch me would be an education in how intensely dogs read us humans.   Seymour is not afraid of large dogs; he barked off both Leon and now Reagan, large puppies, putting them in their place which is not bothering him nor hassling him to play.

Seymour on my lap - his most favorite place
Seymour is like my late dog Penney.  Quietly, observantly, he adapts himself to my life pattern; adjusts to the dogs who come and go, keeps the dirt gremlins at bay with Margie the Mutt Puppy and generally, makes sure I smile and laugh on a daily basis.  Seymour is a GOOD dog.

Justus (L) and Seymour (R) - GOOD dogs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dog Talk - Part 1

Today, I let the dogs talk:

Hickory Dock
Hickory Dock, adoptable Walker Coonhound: "My favorite time of the day is when I eat and sleep; I like to play with my friends in the yard, keeping house and home safe from pesky invaders like squirrels and cars driving by.  Mom (I know you are doing this) has decreased my meal portions as I am a tad fluffy; but I'm a senior dog who was lost and deserves to eat as much as I like.  Yep, that argument goes over like a lead balloon."

Reagan at rest
Reagan, adoptable Walker Coonhound mix (red and white): "I want to play and play and play.  I don't care for the good food here; I want soft canned food and hot dogs.  Mom bent to my will {only as I ease him into a good diet} - HAHA.  I went to dog class on Tuesday; it was fun cause I got hot dogs!  Yes, I sat and walked on my leash, learning to 'watch' when my name is said; all so silly when there were lots of dogs with whom I could PLAY."

Cyrano, adoptable senior Beagle: "I finally got out in the world; what a blast.  What does is it matter if I am "legally blind" when I have a Beagle nose?  We went to Busch Pet Products for a bath - only after I smelled my way around the entire store - and met two Border Collies; they were very nice.  The bath was OK - was nice to feel clean - I came home with my own handsome collar and some supplement for my skin.  I like going out and about!"

A focused Molly T.

Molly T. Beagle, adult adoptable Beagle: "Wow, I saw the BAGS of tennis balls in Mom's car; they were donated through Petco to our local shelters - and to ME, the tennis ball QUEEN of the world. Mom and I play soccer; I am a great goalie because I stay focused on the ball.   Mom sent a bag to the Bootheelers dog training program in Charleston (I don't know why she just didn't keep them all for ME!").

More to come :).   Hounds can be so eloquent!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Transport Railroad

One of the most fun things I do on the weekends is drive a leg or two of dog transport.  Here's how it goes: dogs, puppies, cats in a shelter/pound/area rides to another area/rescue/adopter/foster who will ensure their life and find them a happy home (unless they themselves are the happy home).  Dedicated rescue directors and incredible people called "transport coordinators" collaborate to move dogs from where they are not wanted to where they are.  Over the course of a week or two, emails are sent out to anyone with any interest at all in dogs - if we cannot drive that weekend, we pass the email along.  The longest complete transport I have been involved in was getting a Bloodhound from Dallas, TX area to WI.  She got to me and I was going to WI in a week; so, she chilled with us (me and Busch Kennels as we feared her jumping my 4 foot fence) for a week, then I drove her to my destination at which I was met by her new mom, who had driven 3 hours one way to pick her up.

Claire, adopted Bloodhound TX to WI
People aka drivers sign up for legs or distances near their homes or cities, then meet the person driving before them, accept the dog/pet, make sure water/food are done as directed and drive on to the next driver for the next leg.  Cell phones are crucial to call your next driver and to keep in touch with your coordinator.

Critical to transport is the paperwork (yep, it never ends).  Dogs transported across any state line and often within states need a signed health certificate.  I once called a coordinator because the dogs I was supposed to accept did not have their health certs. (no one else had checked the paperwork - check your paperwork).   Without a health cert. (which means a vet has seen this dog within the last 10 days and certified her as healthy to travel), you could jeopardize not only the health of other dogs in your vehicle but your own pets as well.  IF A COORDINATOR OR DIRECTOR FEIGNS IGNORANCE ABOUT/OR DOES NOT ENSURE HEALTH CERTS, RUN AWAY - they do not have the dogs' interests at heart - they are only interested in getting them moved at whatever cost to any other pet or person.   Good coordinators (and believe me, if you are going to be a coordinator, you need your mojo together) understand the importance of proper health certs. and paperwork. 

This morning, I helped with two sets of puppies and a mom.  What the coordinator stressed in CAPS was the importance of keeping these puppies safe and healthy; that meant they did not leave their crates - we changed their pads and washed them in the crates (one set pooped almost immediately after I picked them up; I could smell it!), we fed them some food, offered water (which was not left in the crate - what a mess that would be) among other precautions, like wiping mom's paws off before she re-entered the crate with her puppies.  Who knows what cooties her paws may have picked up while she was out doing her business?  There were many more directions from this very thorough coordinator - chief after the health of the dogs was keeping in touch with her throughout the transport so those down the line knew whether or not we were ahead or behind on time, what the weather was, taking photos and sharing (these were cute puppies). 

And NO, you cannot adopt a dog you fall in love with on your transport.  If you really want that dog and she is not yet adopted, you need to make arrangements with her rescue to adopt ONCE TRANSPORT IS COMPLETED.  Never let someone remove a dog from your care.  

I like meeting breeds I don't see often - like Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies (watched one jump from the parking lot into his crate without touching anything in between - awesome agility) among others.

Many of us have a Saturday morning off or the whole day.  Let me know if you would at all be interested in driving a leg or two; most legs are an hour to two hours max. before meeting up with the next driver - some less, some more, some days I can drive a long way, others not so far.   I will be happy put you in contact with those needing your help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Puppies have it Tough

First, housekeeping: Fostering Farrah, in the menu above, is now a separate blog chronicling Farrah's adventures as a foster dog - as well as those of her foster mom, Susan.  Please check in on them once in a while - Farrah needs a loving home with a dog or two.  Thanks to my friend at Blogger Sentral for making available the code with which to link to a non-static page. 

Silverwalk welcomed Reagen (R) from Bollinger County Stray Project.  Reagan went straight to La Croix Pet Hospital for a once over, then overnight for his neuter, coming home yesterday.  He is about 11 months old, hound mix (likely Coonhound, though won't be very large), has a good bay and is now neutered, being treated for worms (yech!), an erlichea + test (which doesn't always indicate active disease but an exposure), is heart-worm NEGATIVE, up to date on shots including rabies and bordetella, oh, and he is GORGEOUS!  This photo was taken by Marilyn Olson Neville, director of BCSP:

Reagan, young Coonhound mix with nice bay
Poor Reagan does not understand the need for crating while I am eating nor for living in the pen at night when I am trying to sleep.  He previously was not a house dog so has a lot to learn.  He's respectful of his elders, backing off when they object to his puppy nosiness.  He shouldn't be a puppy for long - his best guess age is 11 months old.  He is ready for a new home!  I am always careful when introducing a new dog; well, Reagan fit right in, walking around with everyone else, not minding being sniffed and snorfed by multiple curious hounds - a great communicator as was his namesake :).  He has yet to find a playmate but one may be coming - a black female hound from IL about the same age.  Oh, can I manage?  You bet!  The Joy! is worth the work and angst.  

For you with new puppies, note how I am keeping Reagan contained when I cannot attend to him.  For puppy's sake and yours, it is best to safely contain puppies unless you are directly working with or supervising them.   In this way, you are able to prevent bad habits (counter-surfing, house soiling, cell phone chewing, etc.) from getting started.  You do yourselves and your puppy a great service.  Remember, most dogs live at the two year old stage of a human, especially puppies!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dog Food Found

I was being very efficient the other evening.  I had specifically bought two 40# bags of dog food and did not leave them in the car.  My car, you see, has a car mouse.  I thought for a time he died as I did not see any new reminders of his presence.  Then, a couple weeks ago, I left bags of dog food in the back overnight.  Indeed, a hole was found the next day when I removed them.  Rats! or rather, Mouse!

I recalled that this particular evening and pulled the dog food bags out of the car straightaway - one into the metal "garbage" can and one onto the front porch from where I could snatch it into the house after the dogs had been put up into kennels for the evening meal.  I also, finally, brought in two large dog beds which had been donated.  The mouse did not bother them but the dogs who rode for various reasons enjoyed them; however, it was time to bring them inside.

After all were settled and ready to eat, I went out for the dog food bag.  Nothing.  I looked all 'round, knowing I had brought it up onto the porch.  I walked to the car, checking it and my memory again.  On my way back, I saw that humongous bag of dog food on the front lawn!  SOMEONE had pulled it off the porch to try to snag it all for himself (by the name of Shiloh, I am quite sure).   HA.  At least, everyone else got to eat and Shiloh?  He was out and about, not coming in till way past dinnertime - poor boy,  LOL.

Shiloh - Alleged Dog Food Thief

P. S. Please check the page "Fostering Farrah."  I added an entry today, then saw her at dog class.  Can you tell I am beaming?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Don't Keep Found Dogs - Redux

I am calling your attention to Dog Rescuer's Life - yep, there to the right in the blogroll; Amy's entry titled "Don't Keep Found Dogs."  A family traveling on vacation suffered a mortal crash; two members were killed, another in ICU and their dog lost.  Someone found him but kept him; not until they were later moving was he taken to the local shelter.  An alert shelter worker (YESH) checked him for a microchip, found it wasn't registered but something told her this was not right.  She then checked the obituaries, found the crash reported, contacted the funeral home and this grieving family is now finally getting their dog back.  DON'T KEEP FOUND DOGS.  Most likely someone is looking for them.

I remember driving home on Hwy 177 one day seeing a dog at the side of the road.  This dog truly looked lost: he was standing still, scanning the horizon, thinking "Where the heck am I and how did I get here?"  I hemmed and hawed about taking him to Silverwalk and making out a found report but chose to take him to HSSEMO for the found report and to check for a microchip.  As we were there, the young men watching out for him called.  HALLELUJAH!  I waited until they came for him; he was so relieved to be back with his people.

When a dog was "found" in the country and brought to me,  I made a found report with photo with HSSEMO, listed him in the paper as "lost," checked for a microchip and put him front and center on Silverwalk's Petfinder page.  After several weeks, a woman finally called me because a relative noticed him on the Petfinder page.  I told her she would need vet records and photos to prove he was her dog.  She brought them but you know what?  They were almost inconsequential after I saw the ecstatic response of her dog to her presence.  Yes, same dog in photos; he had been doing his wandering in the country as he was wont to do (not unlike Shiloh, who is tagged up the wazoo!) when these well meaning people picked him up.

"Jack" - found dog who went home!

I hope (and I will check this out with my friends at HSSEMO) that if someone finds a dog who goes unclaimed they would have first chance to adopt her.   "Jack" (not his real name) had been given up as dead.  HIS FAMILY NEVER EVEN LOOKED FOR HIM!

Second strong point today: look for your dog, call all local shelters, rescues and sanctuaries, let us know, use, list him in a found report with HSSEMO & physically look for him there every other day; so many animals go through, the people at the front desk can't always keep up with the physical appearance of all the dogs and cats (among other animals).

Silverwalk, Safe Harbor and HSSEMO collaborate - we want animals to go home unless there is abuse involved.  Please, don't keep found dogs - give their families the chance to find them.  Let them go home if at all possible; many broken hearts are mended with the return of a beloved dog or cat.  Thank you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your Attention, Please

I have added a new page to the menu above - "Fostering Farrah."  I plan to chronicle her adventures as a foster dog in a family so others can know how well she is doing and what a great pet she is!  Thanks for checking her out :).  Please share - Farrah needs her own home.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nose Work? Surely, You mean Play!

Blind Katie Bloodhound with the epitome of all noses!


If you click on the link above, you will hear a podcast about one of the newest canine sports, Nosework.  We are naturals here at Silverwalk.  I consistently appalled a rescue/trainer friend of mine by NOT expecting my hounds to remain at my hip in the heel position as we walked.  From my point of view, the walks were FOR the dogs, who are HOUNDS with most of their brains in their noses - let them use it!  To be fair, I do expect and work on considerate leash behavior from my dogs; while I let them use their noses, I do NOT let them pull me to Kingdom Come and back again.  Some try - occasionally they succeed - and we both learn a better way for all of us to be happy. 

Nosework - if you listen to the podcast - is great for all dogs, indoors and out, shy or gregarious.  Listen, enjoy.  I am looking forward to trying it.  Phoebe, in training at Charleston, can air scent 76'.  I think I mentioned this but am still in awe.  I wonder what other hidden gems of talent lurk in these hounds?  Oh, yes, of course - the "retriever" Molly T. Beagle, for one :).  

Stay cool.  Check the pavement with your hands before asking your dogs to put their pads on it - it truly is blistering today. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What is Happening Now?

Lots, right here in River City - at least at Silverwalk and environs!

Farrah - gazing

  • Farrah, she of the long time residency with shyness being addressed at weekly dog class, will be in a foster home tomorrow evening!  Susan, handler extraordinaire, took Hoss to class to prep him for the Puppies on Parole program (as you recall, he has been adopted: he is so loved by his new family).  She now takes Farrah.  Farrah looks forward to Susan coming, watches her carefully, gets half-way to the car and says, "Uh, no, thank you."  We carry her the rest of the way.  She is no longer throwing up with every ride.  Thank you, Susan!  Susan's stated goal: get Farrah out in public to help overcome her shyness and find her a home.
  • Leon Redbone is adopted and waiting for the roof and construction debris to be done and cleared, in that order, before joining younger Claire with their new family.  In the meantime, he cont. to show his food devotion by patiently laying on the floor as I prepare the food bowls, then sprinting for his crate, where he again waits for me to give him his meal.  Good dog!  Leon to the right ->
  • Newbie Molly T. Beagle is a tennis ball fiend.  She only relinquishes her tennis ball when she is sleeping or eating.  Otherwise, I hear "thump, thumpa, thumpa, thumpa" as the ball bounces from her mouth to the floor in her persistent, fervent hope it will be kicked, thrown or tossed.  I like she has no fear of my feet (she is so focused she reacts like a hockey or soccer goalie - that ball doesn't go far unless thrown); when tossed, she catches it mid-air and even behind her back.  Frisbee, anyone?  
  • I heard marvelous "tails" about the current dogs in the Bootheelers' Puppies on Parole program at Charleston.  Stella Beagle is "Queen of the Universe."  She rules (benignly, of course) and all obey.  Phoebe, the Redbone Coonhound mix, can air scent 76'; you read that right, 76' - they measured it.  Next up - ground nose work.  How do you spell "SR?"  Someone will want that nose!  Windsor, the blind/deaf dog from Safe Harbor, knows the perimeter of the exercise area, can find his way back to his cell, sits to a touch on his butt, downs to a touch behind his ear....and they have only been there two weeks!  I don't accurately recall how the others are doing but all are doing super well.  Rock on!
Molly T. Beagle - the "T" is for tennis ball

Monday, August 1, 2011

New MacBook Pro - back Online

For over a week, I have not had a computer at home.  I have made do with my iPod Touch (a former iPhone w/o the phone or 3G service) and the library (once).  It was interesting to find out exactly how much one really can do with a PDA/smartphone of sorts.  I have some lovely new apps.

I just wanted to let you know I hadn't died (not yet).  Was up in St. Louis today to pick up the MacBook and then spend time with my BFF in hospital at Barnes.  It is now 0100 and the dogs need to be fed supper.  After I have been gone a long time, instead of feeding right away,  I let them in and allow them to "chill."  These days, I mean that literally.  For sure, Leon won't eat if he is too hot; the boy needs weight (playing hard and the heat don't help).