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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. So sorry for your loss; I lost my old boy Buddy the day before you lost Maid. All dogs should be so lucky... to have someone love them so much.
  2. I've read stories about how many people adopt a dog while pregnant... something about the "nesting" hormones making us want to nurture, nurture, nurture! I have never owned two dogs, but my neighbor recently adopted a 5-month-old pup, largely with the hope that the pup would help her older dog be less clingy, less needy, and better able to cope with being left home alone. I do think the older dog is happier and is able to panic less when left home, because she always has companionship now. However, my neighbor is now in the position of having to train a pup and manage two large dogs when she goes for a walk, car ride, etc.. It's a LOT of work, and she doesn't have a baby to care for.
  3. There was a pair of senior dogs awaiting a new home on one of the rescues I was watching this summer. (The olderly owner must have passed away, I think.) They ended up being adopted into a senior living community, where they had access to a small fenced yard and would be companion animals to all the folks living there. I thought that was absolutely BRILLIANT! I am heartened for you, Geonni! Maybe, also, there would be folks in your new living situation who would be able to help exercise Sugarfoot - local kids or visiting family members of other residents?
  4. I also had a friend at work who crated her pups in her car while she worked. She could go out several times a day to do tiny poop-break walks (five minutes each), and used her lunch break to spend time with the pup. I think this was early spring, before it got too hot. It would probably only work in fall and spring... but I always thought that was a smart trick. The pup got housebroken much quicker, and after a few months could be at home alone.
  5. I have a new adult dog (she's probably 2 or 3) and am heading back to work as a schoolteacher in a few weeks, and am having some of the same concerns. This girl is crate-trained and fully housebroken. I've left her alone crated for 7 hours with no destruction or accidents; I'm testing her out for 3 or 4 hours loose in the house right now. Because she came from a hoarding situation and then foster home, where she was crated all day among the other fosters, I think she manages being home pretty well. But even so, I'm considering hiring a dog-walking service to come home mid-day, take her out in the yard, and play with her a bit. Would you consider that option? Around me, it seems to be about $15 or $16 per day for someone to come here, take the dog out for 15 or 20 minutes, and then let her back in. I'm thinking I might crate her in the a.m. when I leave (to keep her used to her crate, which is SO handy!), and then have the sitters leave her loose in the house after they play with her. My big concern is having possibly untrustworthy or unkind strangers come in my house and mess with my dog and my stuff!
  6. Geonni - that's so very hard! I hope you can work it out and keep her... but if not I hope you find a board member who can take her.
  7. Thanks for the input! At this point, the dog is an adult so the removal would be more difficult than if the dewclaws had been removed at birth. I'm going to leave them along and cross my fingers for no problems. Good info about carpeting - I don't have any in my house but will keep it in mind!
  8. My litte dog came from rescue with a tiny martingale collar that can slip just about 2" tighter than it usually is. This dog is super-soft: took her two days to stop shaking, and about a week before she would relax enough to play or frolic at all. She doesn't mind the collar in any way - it simply keeps her from pulling out if she pulls hard away from another dog or goes after a squirrel too fast. I'm not even sure she knows it's tightening up on her. (This collar is so small doesn't have an typical martingale loop - just an extra length of about 2" that can slid in and out of the metal rings. It saves a lot of bulk and weight for a small dog, in case anyone has that issue.)
  9. My new girl was labeled "terrier/border collie mix." Um... probably not. But I asked the foster the justification for this label, and she told me a lot of the dog's relatives (she's from a hoarding case where 50 dogs were taken in) looked to be BC in background. And, she's got double dewclaws, which is not uncommon in BCs. She also has a white chest, which I suspect added to the label. Anyway, her double dewclaws seemed freak-show to me at first, but now I'm used to them. One per rear paw is attached by bone, but the extra one is simply attached by skin and flops around. My vet says they generally don't remove these unless there's a problem. My dog is certainly not going to be running in the hills, herding sheep. Has anyone ever had a pet dog with double dewclaws who actually HAD a problem with them? I had an old dog with a single floppy dewclaw a while ago, but with the doubles, the extra one sticks out considerably more than normal - seems like the potential for injury might be greater.
  10. I've had my new girl only 5 weeks. I told my sister, "I don't feel that bonded to her yet. I wonder if I was bonded with Buddy at this point?" She said, "No. At this point you wanted to kill him." (Buddy ran into my right knee, full speed, on the third day after I got him, requiring me to wear a knee support for a good chunk of the summer. In addition to being fearful and reactive, he was insanely fast and needed to go to the woods for an hour or so a day, to burn off hsi energy. Point of clarification: I did not actually want to "kill him.") So, yeah - the bonding can take a long time. I think it's really good that you're clear on your nonnegotiables, and the limitations posed by the lives you lead. At 2.5 months, you're really just getting to know what he's really like, and whether he's a good match for your family. It's great that the rescue can take him back if you need them to - and maybe there's a hiking couple that wants to spend many hours a day exercising their dog! Good luck with your decision.
  11. Fabulous story! So glad to hear she's adopted.
  12. I'm not a stockholder in Flexi-leash... but I used one for ten years with my old dog with not one problem. He wasn't a puller or bolter. The leashes come in a tape version now that doesn't pose the same danger of laceration as the cord leashes do. When taking a meandering walk with a well-controlled dog, a Flexi-leash is an easy way to keep walking in a nice straight line while letting the dog sniff a bit to either side. I will likely use one with my new dog once she's mature and stable on walks. Mind you, I wouldn't use one with an out-of-control dog or poorly trained one. (And yes, with this pup it sounds like not the best choice.) But they are quite pleasant and useful, and very simple to work with, in my experience. I've read all the horror stories, but I know lots of walkers who use them, and we don't run into any trouble. ::Shrug::
  13. OK! Book is spoken for. But yes, it's a great book - you all should read it if you can find a copy.
  14. I read this book years ago, on the recommendation of a book selling catalog. It's a great story of old-time working sheepdogs in Scotland. All collies and sheep and rugged men and whatnot. Is our Bob the rogue sheep killer!? Or will he win the championship!? You'll have to read the book to find out! I keep buying old books and yesterday picked up yet ANOTHER copy of BSOB, only to find that it's just a duplicate of a copy I already have. So - up for (free) grabs is a great sheep herding, border-collie book! (I think Bob is a border collie, even though he's often drawn as a standard collie.) First person to message me their wish for the book and a mailing address gets it. Maybe we can do a board share, where people read the book and then pass it along to another happy reader. I remember we did that years ago, and I shared my fearful-dog training books with other members after I stopped being afraid Buddy would bite someone.
  15. Yeah, the shelter's information does not make him sound like a BC. His photos don't even do his BC-ness justice. In person, though, he just tracks like a smooth coat mix. At least to me - and I'm no big expert, just used to looking at y'all's smooth-coat photos in here. ::Shrug:: I appreciate how crowded all the rescues are and how hard everyone is working. (Thanks for considering, GentleLake!). I honestly don't have the time in my day to pursue this much further than just my little post. (When I retire, I'm thinking I may dip my feet into rescue - but right now training my own new dog is all the dog I can take!!) This boy is in a good shelter with a no-kill policy. I will ask the man who brings Gabe to class for more info on him this Sunday, to see if they do foster programs or have any other outreach.
  16. Human health side note, but interesting: I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in December. Family history, overweight - I was a prime candidate. A quick Internet search brought me to several diabetes forums where members spoke about a low carb/high fat diet to manage blood sugar. Since the American medical establishment wasn't giving me much help (don't get me started!), I decided to try the recommendations of people with long experience. Gave up the starchy carbs - rice, potatoes, bread, cereal - and eat mostly meat, veggies, nuts, cheese, etc.. Put bacon back in my life. Over seven months I've dropped almost 50 pounds without feeling hungry, and my blood sugar numbers are in the normal range. My biggest surprise: the cholesterol and triglyceride numbers are much better, despite my greatly increasing my fat intake (olive oil, butter, nuts, cream, etc.). I'm now aghast to think that most dog foods are corn-based. I'm thinking huge amounts of carbs aren't really necessary or healthy for we omnivorous humans, let alone our carnivorous friends.
  17. Marlo, I don't have a puller but my trainer is very good at stopping things he doesn't want - he simply teaches the dogs that doing the unwanted behavior ALWAYS loses the dog what it wants. With pulling, he simply stands in his tracks (as Riika described above) to show the dog that pulling gets them the opposite of their desired rush forward. He also sometimes turns 180 and goes in the opposite direction of the pull. The trainer will teach puppies not to jump to greet by simply walking toward the tethered pups, and walking away as soon as they break a sit. The puppies all learn in a couple minutes that if they want to greet him, they just have to stay seated. It's really reliable and simple. Good luck with the socializing piece - my old boy played a bit when young, but really didn't love most dogs. He didn't want them to rush his face, and would tell them off VERY CLEARLY if they didn't read his more subtle body language cues. He was very obedient and would do a down-stay forever if I asked him to, so I could greet other dogs and play with them. But I could never let other dogs rush at him, and had to warn other owners for ten years that he wouldn't be friendly.
  18. I know! I did think of that, but I'm not sure how intrusive it would seem to a rescue, to be told about a dog in a shelter. (Or, to the shelter, either!) So... local rescues... what do you think about that sort of situation? (I know we've got New England Border Collie Rescue and Eastern Herding Dog Rescue and Connecticut Herding Dog Rescue.)
  19. http://www.northeastanimalshelter.org/pets/gabe-2-99548/ My local animal shelter - Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA - was one spot where I went looking when I wanted to adopt a new dog. This guy, Gabe, was in the puppy room the first time I went. ADORABLE. I visited several times over a couple months, and asked the counselor why Gabe was still there. She said he had high energy and maybe some issues with nipping at kids. I said he was likely a border collie mix - and that explained the behavior. The last two weeks at basic obedience class for my new dog, the shelter has sent a worker wtih Gabe to help with manners. He's now much bigger - border collie sized - and full of energy. They've got him listed as a lab mix, but if I had to guess I'd say largely border collie with maybe something short-faced (Boston terrier or boxer grandpa?). He has the most adorable underbite. He is SO FULL of energy that even staying in class while another dog barks across the room is challenging. I feel so much empathy for him, stuck in the kennel in the shelter all day, never able to run or burn off his BC energy. Anyway - if anyone in the New England area is looking for a high energy dog who's probably a BC mix, this guy is worth a look.
  20. Hi, My old dog Buddy was VERY fear-reactive when I got him, and for the first month or two I honestly thought I was going to have to put him down - I was that scared he was going to bite. You can read my posts about him, though I think the forum history only goes back to 2007, which is two years after I got him. I sought a trainer within 2 weeks, who mentioned, "At two weeks, you haven't even seen all his behaviors yet. He's still in the honeymoon period." So I think it's normal for a dog to have a gradual change in behavior over time, as her or she becomes comfortable in the new setting. (Early days they're sometimes shut down and on "best behavior.") One thing my trainer taught me was that the dog needed to trust ME to handle situations that he saw as dangerous. So, as I learned Buddy's triggers, I learned to give him lots of space and not push him until he was scared. Once he was scared, he would try to take charge, by growling and barking (at humans) and sometimes by flipping other dogs over and staring/growling at them for 30 seconds or so. I learned to call out to humans that he wouldn't be friendly, and that helped them stay back, especially if they were walking dogs. In the first year or so, I was very careful not to take him to crowded, loud places where I couldn't manage potential meetings - the local park at 6 a.m. was one thing, but the same park at 6 p.m. while 5 leagues were playing baseball, their families were picnicking, and kids were zooming around on bikes was a nightmare for my dog. Slowly, over a lot of time, Buddy began to trust me to keep him safe. Once that trust was established, everything got easier. I could give him commands, and he'd do as I asked - I really think he believed his "walk off the path and lie down" kept him safe when other dogs came by. I think one important thing is to not let the dog have the bad interactions, because every time they growl or snap, it reinforces the growling or snapping - it's like practice at that behavior. Buddy didn't like men AT ALL in the beginning, and he never ended up being comfortable when I had a workman in my house. But out in the world, he slowly (slowly!) came to trust specific men who were dog-savvy and gave him treats. Eventually, he could generalize that men were mostly safe, and didn't need to be barked at. All this was INCREDIBLY gradual. The change happened over maybe 4 or 5 years. Early on, Buddy was terrified and terrifying. Direct eye contact would threaten him. (Literally. Just looking him in the eyes would make him react.) By 5 years, he looked normal to people he saw. I ran into my trainer when the dog was maybe 7 or 8, and he said, "This is one of those miracle stories!" (Except... I never let Buddy go near unleashed dogs playing. Never let a strange dog charge at us. Never expected Buddy to be bomb-proof. The normalness was possible because I knew him so well and managed his life so he wasn't put in a situation that would tip him over the edge.) So I do think it's possible for you to live happily with this dog. But it will be a different kind of life with a dog than maybe the one you were expecting. I used to tell myself, after seeing a bad incident with Buddy, "He's not a different dog from the one you had this morning. You just know more about him." Every time I learned, my "owner's manual" got more thorough and useful. I adopted my new dog (avatar pic) a month ago yesterday. She was from a hoarding situation, and literally shook for two days after I got her. (I thought they had given me a dog with a neurological condition!) What is amazing me is how resilient and flexible she is: A big dog chases her and scares her enough to make her scream, but two minutes later she's walking alongside the big dog and next day is friends with the big dog. With Buddy, it would have taken months for him to come back from the scary initial encounter, and I would have had to manage his interactions with the other dog carefully, even after they were friends. He just couldn't shake things off, and would make quick rules in his head, like, "I hate that dog!" or "That man is dangerous!" So... I think dogs have different wiring, just like humans. It sounds like your dog might be reactive, like my Buddy, which means she has potential for a good but different life. As I write this, my heart is aching again for missing Buddy, who passed in February. Because we had to work so hard to overcome his fears, we had such a deep and strong bond. It's a difficulty, but also an opportunity to learn so much, and know and love a dog very deeply. (Edit: Also search the forum for "Kelso." That's an amazing thread about a very damaged dog who was fostered by a loving home and found a wonderful life and new family. So inspirational!)
  21. Looks like the pups are 9 weeks now. They were listed on the Facebook page as well... though may already be adopted. This little boy looks so much like my old boy Buddy: https://www.facebook.com/all4pawsrescue/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NbIwNTK0NDA2MTM3MdQzhItYmJsZoolYWoLUAAAffwq6.bps.a.107822126740.108685.107820486740/10152852198761741/?type=3&theater And the tiny girl: https://www.facebook.com/all4pawsrescue/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NbIwNTK0NDA2MTM3MdQzhItYmJsZoolYWoLUAAAffwq6.bps.a.107822126740.108685.107820486740/10152852198996741/?type=3&theater
  22. Liz, that's an awesome story! Sage is very lucky to have you to be his rock.
  23. So handsome! Have fun with him! I got my little girl just around the same time you got Gabe. It's fun "learning" a new dog, isn't it?
  24. Congratulations! Sounds like you are delighted with who she is, which is a great start. Good luck with her! I suspect you're going to have some stories to share about her antics!
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