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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. I've never used a dog walker or sitter before, but I think I should acclimate my (potential) new dog to a care giver early, so I can be away when I need to without worrying. Anyone have experience with finding a good dog walker/sitter? And... what rates are you paying these days? I would really just need the dog taken out in the yard or on a brief local walk to empty his or her bladder most days, but might need in home care other times.
  2. Before I got Buddy, I had read enough about BCs to know that I wasn't suited for one. Too active, too smart, too wily. I was actually frightened when I realized I had likely adopted a BC or at least a half-BC. (I kept denying it for weeks before I gave in.) But I definitely lucked out; he never chewed or destroyed anything in my house, and with a good walk in the woods every day, he could settle fine. I'm at the point now where I think I assume another BC will be wired like Buddy. I've lost my fear of the breed, to the point of seeking it out on Petfinder. Which really might not be
  3. When I first got my old, reactive dog, i took him to an agility traning facility. My focus was going to be using agility to further my dog's confidence and work on his reactivity. I met with the owner of the facility, and it became immediately obvious that she didn't have any interest in my dog's needs, but would be completely focused on the sport. I felt like she would see my dog as an annoyance in a class of "real" agility dogs. All of which is fine - it's her business and she doesn't have to be about special needs dogs - but it was just a sign that her classes wouldn't work for my parti
  4. Thanks so much! Hearing your stories of also having "what did I do!?" moments makes me feel much better. (My own story: the first morning I had Buddy, he woke up and was so happy to find himself not in the shelter that he spun insane zoomy circles in my living room for about 5 minutes. I think I actually said out loud, "Oh, no, what have I DONE!?") Sometimes I think the process should go like this: the dog-stork knocks at your door, passes you a leash, and says, "This is the dog you get. Do your best!" It'd work out more or less the same, in the long run. Anyone else who has a
  5. OK. I feel like I'm having pre-wedding jitters. SO MANY DOGS. Having to make a choice of a single dog is leaving me feeling overwhelmed and a bit panicked. I know I'm overthinking this. I do that. There is a beautiful herding-mix girl in a breed rescue some distance from me. I'm <this close> to choosing her and giving up my search. But suddenly I'm panicked about getting a dog I've never met. (I didn't know any of my previous dogs when I brought them home, and I loved them all, and they all became the light of my life!) Talk me off the ledge, people. Talk me off t
  6. Yeah, I was reading your post and thinking, "THEY WON THE DOGGIE LOTTERY!!" My dog used to bark at noises on the street (postman, etc.) when I was home, but my neighbor insists that he never barked when I wasn't home. Like it was 8-hour nap time for him, off-duty time, break time.
  7. I don't have much advice... but wanted to jump in and strongly agree with the recommendations of a private trainer. If possible, look for one who has some experience with adolescent behaviors like snapping and growling and food possessiveness. I was lucky enough to call the trainer my vet recommended, who happened to be very knowledgable about what was going on with my old dog. Talking to a person who really, really understood my dog's triggers and how to manage them gave me confidence that I needed. I think I paid for a couple "training walks," where the trainer and I could see the d
  8. Thanks for the info! I think I'd mainly use the crate for making sure the dog can be safe home alone. I think for the first few days, it would be great to put the dog in the crate for some down time, and let him or her adjust to the new environment, knowing that there's no pressure to take it all in at once. It would also provide shelter from scary things like fireworks and thunderstorms. Long-term, it would be delightful to have a place to put the dog if I have company or workmen in the house. (One thing I wished I had done with Buddy was train him to settle in and relax in a predic
  9. I find the human/canine parallels fascinating! As a new 8th grade teacher (30-some years ago) I often heard the "don't smile till Christmas" line. In other words, be extremely stern and strict and don't let the students see you have a sense of humor, or they'll ride roughshod over you. After a few years, I realized that MY best weapon (given my personality, etc.) was to make THEM smile the first day. A kid sassed me a bit? I said, "Hey, are you sure you want to sass your teacher on the very first day of school?" WITH A SMILE. In general, I have found that disarming them by no
  10. I've never had a crated dog before, but since I'm going to be bringing in a new dog, and many of the rescue dogs are well crate-trained, I figure it's a good idea to get one and learn. It will certainly allow the early days to be more predictable, even if long-term I let the dog loose in the house. So - imagine a dog the size of an average border collie - 30 to 50 pounds. What size crate do y'all experts use for a dog that size? Also, any types or brands that you prefer, and reasons why? I'd like to find one or two on Craigslist over the next few weeks. Thanks in advance!
  11. I went to the local shelter today (just browsing!), and they have a beautiful, soft, blue merle 8-month old Aussie or BC mix. He's long and lanky. (Maybe Aussie/hound?) I took him to the little "meet and greet" pen, and once inside, it became obvious that he was the dog equivalent of Noah, a student I have this year. Noah is a delightful and incredibly smart student. But I have him every day after lunch, and he simply CANNOT get himself to focus on any academic pursuit. He just wants to run and wrestle and talk really loudly. Super ADHD. I realized that it would be best for b
  12. Interesting read! Linking it to humans: I have long suspected the dual power structure (male and female) system exists in humans, too. I watch male coworkers, who all seem to be currying favor with "important" guys, striving to climb some power-structure ladder that for me doesn't exist or matter. I'm sure my male coworkers watch as the females in the building likewise dance around our power structures - who is alpha female? whose decisions get enacted?! - and don't really understand what's happening there, either.
  13. Yes! He got much better with time. But he was completely as you describe here: the FUN POLICE. Turid Rugaas has a great video of a BC policing the play antics of other dogs - watching that video made me calm down a LOT about Buddy and just not put him into a group of active, playful dogs. He didn't like it, didn't want to let it go on. There was no point to trying to get him to play with more than one dog at a time. When he was young, he'd play one-on-one with very specific, chosen dogs... but never with more than one. He was, as they say, "Not a dog park kind of a dog." I will s
  14. I am listening with so much empathy - I should be bringing a new rescue dog home within the month, and am trying to anticipate the challenges he or she will face. My old guy was very fearful of other dogs, and would always growl if he thought they were approaching too fast or with the dreaded "direct gaze." I could always feel the growl through the leash, and would just walk out in a circle to avoid the other dog. I really think feeling protected from unwanted contact made my boy feel less fearful, and then he would growl less, feel safe, growl less, etc.. I'd say let the new dog seek
  15. I accidentally closed my old dog's tail HARD in the screen door. He swung around, in a huge amount of pain, and stared straight into my eyes and let out the meanest growl I've ever heard out of him. For about 30 seconds, I knew that if I moved a muscle, the dog was going to bite me. Then he came out of his pain glaze, and acted quite contrite, trying hard to be friends again. Pain does crazy things.
  16. When I switched from grainy kibble to grain-free, I ended up paying about the same amount. I was feeding 3/4 cup twice a day on the grain stuff... and the grain-free required only 1/2 cup twice a day (or else the weight went up). So, a bag lasted several weeks longer. (Side note: I was diagnosed T2 diabetic in December, and went online to read a LOT of diabetics discussing their way of eating to avoid taking meds. I cut way back on the carbs, and started eating lots of meat, veggies and good fats. Weight is falling off me with very little hunger. My blood sugar numbers today wouldn't
  17. My old dog Buddy (the one in my avatar photo) was a street dog in Puerto Rico, rescued down there, and then brought to a shelter in Massachusetts. I don't know where he lived in PR; probably another shelter, but possibly a foster home, since for a few weeks after I brought him home, he would walk up to houses that had a specific kind of porch, and wait at the door, as if we were going home to the porch houses. Anyway, he did horribly in the shelter, with the noise and chaos, and while he would let me pet him and comfort him in my home, he moved with fright through the world, always lookin
  18. I'm on the hunt for my next dog. (T minus 4.5 weeks and counting!) So, I've been looking at every possible BC as well as every other possible rescue dog in a reasonable distance of me. I'm realizing it's gonna be more a temperament and energy level match for me, rather than a breed choice. (Though... PLEASE let the perfect BC show up in rescue at exactly the moment I am ready to choose!) What I'm finding clear is that I don't want a dog who "loves everybody." I frankly find those dogs exhausting! Give me a dog with some reserve. A dog who doesn't go with just any stranger. (When I w
  19. Yup, I jump in line to agree wth the others. My old boy was he KING of intolerance for bad behavior. He had friends he would wrestle with... but any dog who crossed into his personal space area without being a good friend got flipped, pinned, and scolded. All very gently, with no biting. It was horrible to watch, but after he'd done it a couple times, I learned to just let him scold. (Mind you, I also learned to avoid places where strange dogs were going to charge at us... because in terms of human interactions, one dog's pinning another one is not acceptable. The other owner was alw
  20. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32179742/ Another very small, lovely little BC girl! (Sorry to keep showing them... but I'm six weeks out from being able to bring one home and I can't help rooting for all the other ones I see!)
  21. I'm also looking for a dog and pondering coat types and energy levels! My old dog was a medium-coat dog - beautiful, soft and alluring to the touch. Everyone commented on it. In the last years of his life, I called him "Bunny" as often as his real name, because he felt so wonderful to touch. He shed twice a year - Novemberish and Juneish - and during those 4-6 weeks I swept a lot. But the rest of the year, there was little hair. Now, my neighbor has a hound mix who visited me a week ago. I loved on her for a while. After she left, I swept the dining room, and found a softball-siz
  22. So beautiful and so orange! If my home were right for a high-energy dog, I'd take her in a second! But... I'm away 8 hours a day... so will have to continue to look for a low-to-medium energy dog. Good luck finding the right home. She will make someone a great sports companion!
  23. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32021398 There's the link to one of the specific, little BCs brought in by Big Fluffy Dogs Rescue. I had thought this one got adopted... but she's back on their Petfinder page...
  24. Howdy! Just wanted to say a public "thank you" to folks who have kept me in mind when they've heard of different dogs coming available. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the forum members! In a month of intense browsing of shelters and rescues, I've realized that I need to choose a dog based on energy level above anything else - even above Border Collieness, as much as I'd love the right BC to be my next dog. Any dog coming home with me will realistically have to manage 8 hours of minding the castle while I work every day. Ideally, he or she would be eventually reliable when lo
  25. Al, I'd love to see your write-up. I tried to send you a PM, but it says you can't receive new messages? (Maybe your box is full?) Thanks!
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