Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Words

Sometimes, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. Dear sweet Phoebe's intermittent resource guarding reactivity resulting in many bite wounds became too much for this pack which includes small seniors. Unable to find a safe and good home for her, Phoebe went to Heaven this morning. Godspeed. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Training Monk

by Mami de Gund 

Welcome to my inaugural address, so to speak. My name is Mami de Gund. I am a Jack Russell Terrier mix who now lives at Silverwalk Hounds. My Uncle Andrew brought me here - I am trying to adopt my mom but she knows best and wants me to have my very own home! Wouldn't that be loverly?

I help train Monk the Feral. He really is not so feral anymore - just wary of strangers. When I first came, I was very shy. Uncle Andrew pulled me out of a wire crate taller than wider; I was scared but he talked very softly, gave me time, put me in his car on an oh! so soft blanket and brought me here - see, I enjoyed the car ride.

Riding with Uncle Andrew

Once here, I became very shy again. I ate in the front room under a table - I felt more safe. The mom let me do this (and still does!) but Monk the Feral, who ate under his own table in the same room, would come over to check my food. I am a lover, not a fighter, so I let Monk eat my food. The mom was not happy and tried to get Monk to stop. Finally, when she fed me, she would talk to Monk, leading him into a crate in our room, giving him his food and making sure he could no longer eat mine. Hooray!
Monk and me outside
Monk is a smart dog. He knows he has a home here for life (he has a long, adventurous story); he learned the crate meant food for him. The mom also knows Monk still needs his "space." So now, with my humble help, Monk goes into his crate all by himself for his meals! I am glad he and I get to share our room, both eating our full meals. I love food and jump, spin around when our bowls are brought to the front room. I go under my table while Monk heads for the crate. 

Aren't we clever? Monk is "un-adoptable" but I need a home - so says Mom, though I am very comfortable right here, helping her train Monk!

This is the Saturday Pet Blog Hop - check us out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for health, family, friends (in person and online), good conversation, books, a rewarding job and avocation
but most of all for God, who makes all this possible.  Have a wonderful day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blog Hop, Rain & Divas

I love blog hops. You link yourself to "the hop," (sounds like a song) and walla! lots of new blogs to explore and dogs with their incredible people to meet. Unfortunately, when I linked Dog Blessed this time, I lacked patience - thus, I ended up with three (3) links. How embarrassing.  It is a fun photo of Danny Quinn, though, from our last entry. Be sure to drop down to the hop - the Monday Mischief Hop - and check out some very cool blogs; this is how I met Scrappy among other wonderful dogs and their persons :).
Molly T. is still about the same. I took off her Thunder-shirt to wash it - she's been wearing it a week - then tried to leave off her Buster Collar; no go - she went right to spinning. Drat! Back on went her Buster Collar plus another med. Her Thunder-shirt is in the dryer. I simply need to order a Calming Collar for her, too. Oh, dear - this obsessive compulsive behavior will take some time to resolve, I fear.
Molly T. and Allie Mae before Molly's troubles started
It's been raining with thunderstorms last night. Guess what? Molly T. was just fine but I had five (5) other dogs on my feet and leaning against my legs for some time. Betty Boop, though nervous, bays at the thunder - "take that! and that!" says Betty before hanging on my leg.
Betty Boop with Mami - not in a thunderstorm
I guess the mischief this Monday would be from Mami de Gund (cause she looks like a Gund toy dog).  When I went looking through photos for today's entry, Mami kept coming up again and again - she is some photo diva along with her friend and mine, wee Chloe PrincessĂ©.  Here they are together - I feel as though I should take them shopping for clothes or at least tiaras.
Let's hear it for Herman Miller, Chloe's boyfriend in the background!

 Join the fun and hop on with some Monday (or Tuesday) Madness!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Adoptable Dogs Pics

Having fun with my camera and canine subjects. Enjoy, share, be blessed - I am :). 

Layla in motion! Layla may be fluffy but, like Jackie Gleason, she is light
on her feet and loves to zoomie either with another dog or me! She is quiet -
we think she is hard of hearing (HOH) but simply delightful, always smiling.
Mami in field - such a sweet dog who knows her Mom.
We had visitors last week with whom she did well.
Next Saturday, Bob Laut from St. Louis will give a seminar
here on pack management; a good chance for Mami to
practice her socialization skills and her Gund stuffed toy looks.
Cyrano - legally blind, destined to be a heart dog.
I love this old man.
He exemplifies living life, not bemoaning a disability.
Cyrano and Wilf have similar souls.
Danny Quinn - his eyes are blue so whited out with the flash;
when he is chilled, he sits on a heat vent or by a heater
to keep warm, his ears lifted up by the warm air ala Dumbo.
Adopted (by me!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ready for the Chill

I found a knit dog sweater recipe (?) in a magazine, probably the Bark, and shared it with a friend of mine who crochets. She doesn't knit. I don't do either one - didn't realize how different they were. However, this dear friend took up the challenge and here are two sweaters - I am so grateful. Though Allie Mae doesn't look particularly grateful, she kept her sweater on and fell asleep in it - 'nuff said!

UPDATE: Was able to leave Molly T's Thundershirt off for about an hour and her Buster Collar off for half an hour this evening. Progress is happening! I play tennis ball with her at least twice a day - she kinda has to toss the ball in front of her due to the Buster Collar but she is still very game :).

Allie Mae in her part wool blue teal sweater. 

Mami in her green off shoulder sweater inspecting the downed hollow tree with Justus and Betty Boop
We had a very cool but clear pretty day, as you can see

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Meal a Day? Yeah, Right....

Molly T. is on the mend. I am exercising her, taking off her Buster Collar long enough to massage her neck and give her some range of motion, then put it right back on. I removed the Thundershirt a couple times for at most 1/2 hour. When she starts itching her back or hints at spinning, back on it goes. We had thunderstorms tonight - bad; Molly T. did ok but my feet were warmed with Sheila Sheltie and Chloe Beagle; the other thunderphobe is Betty Boop - she went into an open cate in the back room with minimal windows. Smart Bagle.  I looked at Calming Collars online today - may try them not only with Molly T. but for the thunderphobes as well. BTW, I found this great article in Whole Dog Journal by Pat Miller about Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Dogs. Check it out - I have others, too, but Pat explained it best for me and Molly's experience.
Molly T. on my lap with sopping tennis ball
older photo :(

Tried to feed once a day since that is what happened between work and Molly's vet visit last week.  BWHAHAHAHAHA. It may still happen when I work (when I walk off the unit, my entire body relaxes big time) but not daily...maddened hoard comes to mind since I chose to try single feeding in the evening by which time everyone was starved - NOT.

Phoebe - adult only home, please!

Phoebe is home; picked her up from vet last night. I had boarded her after she bit Justus. I think she is a great dog and didn't want to over-react and do something I would forever regret. Sigh. So far, she is doing OK but I always remember she doesn't like other dogs. After losing my beloved Penney to a dog/person aggressive dog I brought in, I am very, very leery of any dog to dog aggression.

I am feeding second meal late tonight. I used to leave dogs in their crates overnight and they did fine plus it was always nice to tell adopters their dog would crate over-night. Actually, I like looking around, watching and hearing dogs sleeping on the comforters, dog pillows and couch.  Soporific.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Good Golly, MIss Molly!

I need a dog psychiatrist ASAP. Molly T. bit her tail bloody on Monday - to vet overnight, then home Tuesday. Making sure she wore the cone of shame, I went in to work Tuesday night (only gone 10 hrs for my 8 hr shift) to return to blood spatters and Molly with only half a tail left! OMG!

Molly T. has always been sensitive about her hind end, belly and tail. In trying to piece together this perverse rationale for self-mutilation, I am seeing (in hindsight) the channeling of nervous/psychosomatic energy and pain:
  • Molly T. was separated from her canine brother, Louie Basset, when they were abandoned left by their owners in their backyard :(. UPDATE: Other family members ensured they had food and water & vetted both before they moved on to rescue and a home for Louie.  How long had she lived with Louie? How had she been treated by her owners? UPDATE: Molly T. had spent a lot of time in a crate due to long work hours by her owners and was well cared for. She came to me looking fit but touchy about her nether-quarters.  We tend to over-use "abuse" when an animal goes into rescue; neither of these dogs were abused. Molly T. came to me looking fit and in good flesh with lovely fur. 
  • on arrival, same day, we discover Molly fetches a tennis ball - she is focused like no dog I have seen before. In the house, the ball is with her constantly. 
  • after stabilizing at Silverwalk, Molly goes to Charleston to be trained by the inmate dog trainers in our collaborative program. She is able to relinquish the ball, turning her focus to her handlers and daily work on obedience toward her Canine Good Citizenship. 
  • during this course, she showed bloody diarrhea; medicated with some relief, it recurred and she came back to Silverwalk to be vetted.  I never saw any diarrhea though a fecal did show some blood so we put her on flagyl and an anti-diarrhea med as needed. Did she turn her innate anxiety inward demonstrated by the diarrhea? 
  • stools resolved, I noticed she acted as though she was fully flea infested - on her back grinding her pelvic into the floor and whimpering, chasing her tail; NOT focused on her tennis ball. 
  • earlier this week, I went outside with everyone else - and threw Molly's ball - at which time I noticed her beautiful white end half of her tali was bloody. 
  • to the vet - no, I don't think another dog did it; I think Molly finally got ahold of her tail and munched - I did not realize the degree to which she was now in a psychosomatic cycle of perceived pain with resulting self-injury. 
  • on return from vet, placed in an E collar (cone of shame), given her antibiotic, a pain med and, after I observed teeth chattering and leg licking, some Acepromazine. 
  • Wednesday morning went to vet for amputation to a docked tail but we are concerned about her emotional/psychic/pain management in the following days and weeks. 
I have never experienced a dog with this type of distress before. When Molly exhibited her "flea" pain behavior, I could call her name sharply and she would stop, at which time I said very happily, "good girl!" She would stop even when chasing her tail. Unfortunately, I was unable to prevent the loss of her tail. She moved on to leg licking and some teeth chattering. I noted when I held her tight and close, to keep her from nibbling her tail before I got her to the vet, she relaxed - in the house as well as in the car. After going back to work Wednesday night, I thought, how about a Thundershirt? My vet thought of it as well. We did find some fleas on Molly and treated for them but not the number to cause the pain she exhibited. If anyone has had experience with this type of pain/behavior pathway, I would most appreciate some input. I rue the loss of her glorious tail - the last half was completely white and bushy.

At this moment, Molly T. is sporting a Buster collar (similar to a hard c-collar), a Rugby Pink Thundershirt (she calmed within five minutes of the Thundershirt being put on!), has had some supper and is crated without complaint. I will walk her later before bed and try to develop an active schedule for her in the next couple days; my theory is structure, her meds and her shirt will help her anxiety. I am acting on a tentative diagnosis of dog OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder); my vet agrees.

Molly T.'s situation reminds me to continually pay very close attention to behavior of new dogs coming into the pack as well as current dogs as pack dynamics adjust. Each rescue dog brings very different "baggage" to the pack. Much I don't know - some I do but even that may be best guesses. Protecting the current dogs in this sanctuary is as much part of Silverwalk's mission as offering sanctuary to dogs in need. Do I think Molly's OCD is a result of becoming part of a pack? No, I don't but am open to learning and studying OCD on her behalf and overall pack management for the never-ending challenge of making Silverwalk a very, very good place to be while advocating for these dogs and their forever homes. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just Helpin'

I finally got straw for the outside dog houses.  This is a big deal for us this year with my first outside dog, Walter. He just is not a good inside dog yet - for an old guy, he gets around pretty quickly. He has trained me well - when he comes in the house, I let him free for a bit, he then crates up in the front room.  If I am not fast enough, ARROO, ARROO! for his filled Kong!  Yep, the reason he willingly goes into the indoor crate is, of course, FOOD.  Oh, Walter!

Walter Brennan - good trainer of his "mom"
As I put straw into the houses and spruce them up a bit, I have many paws helping me: jumping up on the bale I want to lift, going in and out and in of the house or bottom I am strawing, checking out the placement of the old, new to us, Beagle house I put under the eaves and Hickory Dock showing me the former huge home-made Pyr house is his. Every dog house has been inspected and approved by the canine residents. Dock seems a bit unsure of straw in his house since it has carpet! but the carpet won't cut the wind when he is in the yard needing some shelter.

Herman Miller - Canine Helper
Margie - Canine helper
Stella - Canine helper
And then there are the Vultures - Justus and Allie Mae. I cannot eat anymore without one or both intermittently coming to check the status of the Kleenex or paper towel under my teapot. They are addicted to these paper products. Oh, no, they don't care about the Mom! just their daily paper fix.  I have some of the wackiest dogs :).

Allie Mae - is this the face of a Vulture?
Cisco, the miniature Schnauzer pup found by my church, has been adopted.  I am over-joyed for him and a bit bummed out for me - I really liked him, had no room for him but still had this fantasy of his being my dog. Busted - in a very GOOD way :).

Cicso on Gotcha Day - now in his own Home :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rounding up the Week

Justus "whiner"
Hickory Dock "whiner"
Crazy Cat with mums - simply cute! at Recycling Rover

Molly T. (for tennis ball) Beagle is back at Silverwalk.  She developed some GI irritation during her training initially resolved with recurrence - time for the vet.  On some GI meds and not as obsessed about her tennis ball; she does still know exactly where one is should I just happen to feel the need to throw often.  Another reason her return is easy: Molly T. is ready for her Canine Good Citizenship test.  She joins Stella and Phoebe planning to test mid-November.  Will keep you up to date; meanwhile, I need to help them re-sharpen their skills :).

Yesterday was rain, all day long.  In the afternoon, I put the big dogs outside with Walter so he could be out of his pen with company.  Did you want some cheese with that whine?  Good grief - scattered dog houses available throughout the front yard and field - "we're melting!" Sorry, you are NOT the Wicked Witch(s).

I have had to turn down over 5 dogs wanting sanctuary this week because I am so full :( - and hunting season hasn't started. Breaks my heart every time to say "no" but need to care for those I have as well as respect the limitations placed upon me by our licensing agency, MO Dept of Agriculture.  Sigh.

I still treasure Wednesday's photo of Phoebe and Mami sharing a bed.  Managing a pack with minimal pen/separation options is challenging - advances shown by that photo make all worth while.

Sun tomorrow - work tonight.  Have a GREAT weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Top to bottom: Hickory Dock, Phoebe and Mami

This is pretty amazing since Phoebe is particular about who shares her bed - normally NO ONE.  Imagine my pleasant surprise when I looked over to see Mami cuddled behind Phoebe without a sound from Phoebe.  I know, a bit out of focus but love the quiet and gentleness I see.  Sweet dreams to all.