Pet Stuff...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Foster Dogs & Training

Foster dogs come into my home with all kinds of issues. Where to potty, not sharing toys, snapping at visitors, excessive barking, fear, shyness, aggression...the list goes on. We learn about their problems as days pass and work with each as best we can. Some are quick to heal, other's take time.

A few months ago I had a foster dog that would wake up at the crack of dawn barking. I don't know if it was the light or maybe something she could hear outside, but every morning come 5 or 6 o'clock she was up and insisting everyone else wake up too.

That little pup is now adopted out to a good family who are having a great time with her. Her 5 a.m. jaunts were over and she fit into her new life just fine. A great match up for family and pup.

Now my little Shih Tzu, Gracie, rescued from a puppy mill two years ago, picked up this bad habit and runs around the bed barking, 5 or 6 a.m. every morning. She doesn't know the difference between weekends or weekdays. Sun up? Gracie up? Everyone up!

Any advice as to how to stop this crazy behavior?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cats Need Love too

Every shelter in America is overrun with cats and kittens. With spring, also known as kitten season, upon us, please remember spay, neuter, adopt!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dogs, Coats and Fear

Corona wasn't feeling good this morning. I woke up to realize her tummy must have been upset over night. The results were all over the family room floor. She wouldn't eat and didn't want to go out. I put a little coat on her and she still wouldn't go out. I carried her out and she ran back in. Okay, I wasn't going to push it. We keep our house at a cool 68 degrees so I left her little coat on her.

We had a dog adoption day and I had a crate I had to drop off so I left Corona home and took my Shih Tzu, Gracie with me. The adoption day looked like a success, crowds of people checking out the dogs, a few who had completed adoption applications and were approved were picking up their new dogs. I handed over the crate, chatted a bit and then headed home to check on Corona.

When I got home Corona was huddled in the dog bed in the front living room. She didn't come to bark as I came in, she didn't run up for pets. Slowly she followed me into the kitchen and crawled into the bed there. I opened the back door to see if she had to go out and she just looked at me. Right about then I'm thinking we'll be heading to the vet tomorrow.

Now I'm really worried.

So I check her over, she looks fine, isn't whimpering or wincing when I touch her. I take the little coat off her. I turn to fold the coat and put it on the shelf. I turn around and she's up and running for the door, yapping happily. She runs over to the food dish and takes a few bites. Runs up to me wagging her tail.


All this poor sick doggy act because I put a coat on her?
And she's a short haired Chihuahua! She needs a coat when its 30 degrees out!

Just another adventure in fostering.....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Senior Dog Adoption

Adopt a senior dog. We hear that all over. The word "senior" would be different depending on the breed. I adopted my Shih Tzu from a puppy mill in Missouri. She was 7 at the time. Definitely not a puppy but I didn't consider her a senior. Shih Tzu's live like 15 years in optimum health. I think of her more as middle aged. Although she acts like a puppy.

My foster dog is Corona. She's an 8 year old Chihuahua from a hoarder. Very shy and sweet but learning to live with people. I believe she was abused at some point because she pancakes. (Pancakes: flattens to floor in fear when reached for, usually due to past abuse) But if she finds a family that's calm and quiet, she'll do fine. I won't adopt her to a family with kids. Even though 8 isn't old for a Chi, she hasn't been with kids, ever.

Are either of these dogs seniors? What's the line that declares a dog a senior pup? Is it the grey in their face? The hitch in their gait? Corona is very grey so she even looks older. This cold NJ air doesn't help (where the heck is spring?) but I tuck her in every night, wrap a fleece blanket around her little body and let her snuggle into dream land.

Senior Dog considerations:
1. Already housebroken
2. May have good house manners
3. Vet checked and no health issues
4. Calmer, they're out of the puppyhood and into lets relax
5. They want to love you forever.

Corona is available at She's looking for an older couple, quiet home and lots of love

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Rescue Dogs Rock Adoption Day!

Adoption day can be stressful for some rescue dogs. Homeless dogs come from various situations and abused, hoarded, or puppy mill dogs usually aren't well socialized. So when you put them in a crowd they don't handle it well. The shaking, hiding and nippiness you see at adoption day might not be a true  example of their personality.
Corona shook like a leaf the entire time. If anyone came near her she would freeze, growl and show her little teeth. That's not the dog cuddled next to me on the couch right now. Corona does not show well on Adoption Days.

There are two ways to handle this situation. Stay and hope she eventually relaxes, gets used to the crowd? Or take her home and let her hide in her bed for the rest of her life? We compromised. I kept Corona in my arms, stood in the back behind the table and away from the crowd.

But some great things happened today too! Big crowds showed up at Pet Supplies Plus and lots of adoptions are underway. Applications were filled out, puppies and dogs chosen by those who came by and as long as all the reference and home visits go well, there will be some new homes for these precious pups!