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Everything posted by afrancis

  1. Mary, What a positive and inspirational post. If I were on the other end of the query, I would take great hope from it . Thanks (from me) for being so thoughtful and thorough. Ailsa
  2. Tania, Here is another article http://flyingdogpress.com/aggressionbasics.html by Suzanne Clothier about aggression. Great that you're going to try to make it work . In my very limited experience, I would think that fear-aggression among fosters with unknown history would be very common. My first dog Riley was between 10 months to 1 year when I adopted her from the pound and she had no known history. She definitely had fear and trust issues, and had very little tolerance for almost everyone besides her immediate family. I managed her for over 10 years and we loved her dearly. Maybe this is a real opportunity for you to take up the challenge and really arm yourself with as much information as you can gather about this particular problem, esp if you intend to continue fostering. I'm sure it will be a journey and, if you can stick with it, will be incredibly rewarding. Question: When you take Cooper out on walks, does your partner come along too? It might be a good idea to use him as the guinea pig, so to speak , and start some de-sensitizing by having him be a part of the pleasant experiences for Cooper. But again, I would move forward slowly. Best, Ailsa
  3. This is an Aussie rescue coordinator? I find that strange and unfortunate. Good luck figuring out what to do with Cooper. Ailsa
  4. Really interesting discussion. I've always inserted time-related words into my conversations with Skye, for reassurance and practicality more than anything else. For example, if we're upstairs and she's on the bed and I want to go down and get a tea refill, I'll say "I'll be right back" so she knows if she wants my company she doesn't have to move. Or if we're going away for a week or two, and I'm leaving her with someone, I'll say, "I'll be back in one (or two) weeks. You be a good dog. I'll see you later." I'm careful never to say "I'll be right back" if its going to take more than 5 minutes I think its wrong to lie to your best friend I'm convinced that if I do that once, and she associates the words with the period of time, she'll understand it for the next time. But then again, I sometimes think she's a person with a lot of facial hair! Ailsa
  5. Oh boy, what a bummer, Liz. I can't see most people spending that much for a pet store puppy of unknown origin, even if it is a "Babe" dog. I know many have strong opinions about purchasing puppies from pet stores because it helps to perpetuate the so-called 'puppy mill' cycle. It is possible that someone purchases this pup and gives it a good home or that it gets marked down and then possibly, at some point, ends up being relinquished by its price-conscious buyer. As much as it pains me to say it, I wouldn't pay the full price to rescue that dog. I would probably wait and see what happens down the road and if it goes to an amount you feel comfortable with, buy him to keep or foster. Rescue people can chime in here and say that there are hundreds more where he came from and you can't stem the tide with one rescue. But maybe one at a time I would be tempted to talk to the manager of that pet store, explain that you are a customer, and ask them about their source for the dogs. Tell them that you are alarmed at the quantity and health of the dogs they are selling, and that if they wanted to help the pet over-population problem rather than add to it, they might consider selling dogs and cats who come through the shelter system. You can also suggest that you might be buying your supplies elsewhere. JM2cents. Ailsa
  6. AJ, Any true chocolate lover knows that there's no real chocolate in those things! Glad BJ doesn't seem worse for wear and hope your day is a better one, with no 'oh oh' moments. Ailsa
  7. I know its not a bc, but sort of like this? Sounds and looks scary! Hope he doesn't hurt himself ... http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=kKpuAJF7Q_s
  8. Awww! That is priceless. What a genius. You better make a countdown on the calendar to remind you that 28 days is actually 23 days away A.i.l.s.a. (Ail - you'll have no trouble with this part + sa - think maybe 'sedative assistance') -- hey, I know you have more important things concerning you right now ... ( )
  9. No worries at all ... I do count on hearing your version from the other side of the fence Terrible about the poodle incident. Skye went through a period of hating standard poodles -- she's better now, thank goodness. I know its tough with a reactive dog - but if you're willing to put in the work (which you have been) I think it can be incredibly rewarding and can make you so much more receptive and responsive to dogs in general. Sidenote: Just found out that our arboretum is going to start to enforce on-leash only dog visiting http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/11/2...dog-081124.html This is where we go every morning for a walk. Here is an excerpt from the article: "Falardeau said his department gets complaints every year about off-leash dogs and is concerned about the potential for lawsuits related to accidents involving dogs at the farm. He pointed to a number of incidents in recent years: An elderly lady was pushed to the ground by a dog. One mother was upset after a dog chased and killed a squirrel in front of her five-year-old. Two years ago, a cyclist was bitten in the ankle. Falardeau said one time, he was making a speech on the grounds when a dog crashed a picnic and tried to snatch the picnickers' food." *sigh* Guess we'll have to find somewhere else to go Ailsa
  10. Such a perfect ending for her but so bittersweet that we have to say goodbye at all, ever, to our beloved friends. My heart breaks for you ... you gave her everything she could hope for. Ailsa
  11. I don't know whether its that she doesn't recognize you, your car or your voice or if she's just been sleeping and hasn't quite woken up yet . This is exactly the routine at our house when I go out and come home again. We have a routine and when I get home, she's usually still lying on the couch in the living room. I say, "Hi Skye-dog" and he looks at me, no tail wag, no effort to get up, and I come over and give her some lovin'. Sometimes she gets up, sometimes she doesn't. If I come home unexpectedly, sometimes she'll be upstairs on the bed and won't even wake up until I come upstairs and see her. Very different from my first dog, Riley, who would be at the door, tail wagging and doing the old I-really-want-to-jump-but-I-know-I-shouldn't dance. I should say that Skye is a very active, happy dog and isn't clinically depressed . I think she just really enjoys her down time. I mentioned once before here on another thread that for a while last summer I brought her to my friend's house to be with her two buddy dogs for the day. SHE HATED IT! So I figured she was much happier having her naps. And yet when its time for walks, she's up and ready to go! But I am of the opinion that a dog is often a reflection of its household; lots of noise, hyper-activity, kids, etc. and the dog can be frenetic as well. Alternately, a house with quiet adults, little loud noises and less still yelling etc., and the dog will be calm and laid-back. And then again there's genetics. With apologies to Tom Hanks, a bc is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get Ailsa
  12. Welcome Scott, Wendy's SO! Archer is gorgeous AND intense! Ailsa
  13. Mark, You didn't let me down! Thanks for your research I'm always grateful for scientific analysis although I can't always process it Ailsa
  14. Yes, Mary, I actually agree with you esp. about the bouncing dogs bounding towards dogs that are not receptive and, by this behaviour, provoking a reaction. When I had Riley, somewhat like your Buddy, I had to manage our encounters with other dogs. But looking back on our 'episode' yesterday, there were a few things that did actually differ from the situations you describe (and, in those situations, that I can see being a provocation, in the dogs' eyes, at least). Skye saw this dog from about 20' away and immediately broke eye contact, her ears went down, and she walked toward it very slowly, in an effort to get past. There was no bouncing or charging or even a swift approach. (You may remember quite a while back I posted about her being the "doggie police" with other dogs that are in play mode; she's actually gotten much better with this and I can deflect the behaviour now.) She is actually quite savvy in terms of signals with dogs that are defensive and/or reactive. I remember seeing her submissive posture and telling her its ok, but not wanting to elevate her anxiety by appearing nervous or concerned. They both stopped and stood next to eachother, Skye standing there receptive to being sniffed (she didn't initiate any sniffing) -- which didn't happen, although she was waiting for it -- and after about 3-5 seconds, the dog jumped. So from what I can see, the only way 'I' could have prevented this was to (i) have taken Skye by the collar and taken a very wide berth around the dog, (ii) taken Skye by the collar or called her aside and stood well off the path to let the other dog pass by, or (iii) had her sit next to me to allow the dog to pass. It was clear that it was as benign as Skye's acknowledgement of this dog and standing alongside it was what upset its comfort level. That being said, is it possible that this other dog read Skye's signals as actually being threatening and took a pre-emptive strike? It was clear by the woman's chorus of "Be good"s as they approached that she knew her dog was reactive. Nevertheless, my main beef was the lack of acknowledgement by the dog's owner and the almost immediate excuse-making. No taking of the dog's lead, no chastising the dog, nothing. Its never the dog that's happy and playful that the owner says, "My dog never attacks" -- its always just after an attack that they say that . Ailsa P.S. Liz, I agree with you about unruly kids. I'm lucky that Skye doesn't mind them, but if they get in her face she runs and hides behind me!
  15. What is it with some people???! Today at the doggie designated walking spot through beautiful woods and open fields (massively crowded sometimes on weekends, so I don't usually go then 'cos people who ONLY walk their dogs on weekends are there .... phew) a fat dog jumped on top of Skye and started pretending to kill her. My DH and I both scream, I start yelling, Skye cries and woman says, "She doesn't usually do that" What is it with people whose dogs attack other dogs for no reason other than they might stop to do the sniff dance always say, "He/she never does that" "She's just bossy" or any number of other excuses? I kind of lost it and told her to keep her dog on lead. And maybe more.... I should have seen it coming. It always starts with the other dog walking stiffly, tail still and head very still. Not sniffing, just standing there. And owner saying repeatedly, "Be nice, that's a good girl". Now granted, with my first dog Riley, who was not a dog or a person-dog, I would have to talk her through sniffing introductions with other dogs because she could only stand introductions for up to about 15 seconds. After a brief sniff, I'd take us on our way. But she never jumped other dogs. I know many of you think dog parks, etc, are evil and avoid them altogether. Since this is such a nice spot and she often gets a good play out of it, I guess I'll just try to really be a lot more vigilant with dogs who have this posture. I should never give the other owner the benefit of the doubt in terms of reading their dog's body language and managing them themselves. Ailsa
  16. I agree Wendy. Archer does look like a rough coat to me, in the early stages Skye looked much like that at his age -- even more smooth-coated when she was a younger pup -- and definitely grew into her coat, not to mention our furniture, floors, clothes............. Ailsa P.S. Hey RDM, great new photos at your sig. ETA (I've got the knack of it now!) The ear thing is a cr*p shoot, I think. Skye's ears started one prick, one down and morphed into two prick. So much so that so-called friends used to say they could see her ears coming first over the tops of hills w-a-y before they could see the rest of her Then again, now she has about 102 ear positions, depending on the situation; i.e. prospects = both prick, listening to me when I'm behind her = one rotated backwards, getting a massage = donkey-ears, etc.
  17. I'm so sorry to hear this about Nell. Poor girl. Thank goodness she has you to keep her safe and comfortable, and to make her passing as compassionate as possible. Our hearts go out to you. Ailsa
  18. Me too! Take him now if you haven't already! It could be a serious obstruction. And yes, let us know the outcome... Ailsa
  19. Being from the frozen north I can help with this one. Skye and I don't often walk through the neighbourhood anyway (rather we drive short or longer distances to parks, trails, etc.) for long walks, so we don't usually have to contend with salt. That being said, it is a real problem for dog's feet, much more so, I think, than ice/snow balls between their toes. For the salt problem, you could try routinely putting some balm on the bottom of Maya's feet (such as Bag Balm http://www.bagbalm.com/ or some other moisturizing, anti-chafing product) -- best to start young doing this so they become accustomed to it. The salt is an issue if the pads of their feet are in any way cracked and dry, so if kept supple and smooth, it doesn't affect them quite so badly. I actually got to the point of putting booties http://www.ultrapaws.com/Merchant2/merchan...oduct_Code=303R on Riley when we walked through the neighbourhood, since she didn't like any kind of balm or salve on her feet. Of course this solution was doubly effective -- her feet were protected and I walked with a Lippizzaner border collie for the first few minutes, anyway, until she got used to them! The only problem with them is that they are sold in sets of 4 (for not little $) and you often spend time looking for one or two lost in deep snow . For snowballs, keeping the fur closely clipped helps. Skye always gets snowballs, esp on days when the snow is really moist -- less so on REALLY cold days, and that presents its own set of other problems. If it gets really bad, she'll stop every 50' to remove them herself. She'll let me help but I think the warmth from her breath actually helps her remove them more easily. She's never hurt herself taking them off, nor has their existence ever caused more than momentary discomfort, unless there is ice or stones mixed in. I think dogs get pretty used to stopping and taking them off themselves. The only other thing that can be dangerous is ice. On frozen puddles or ponds, if their feet break through the ice only a couple of inches, they can cut their pads, which is an injury that is a b*gger to heal, since they're on it all the time. Ailsa
  20. Really? I thought Wheatons and poodles were. Shows what I know. Now, I must confess however that when I fulfilled my lifelong dream of getting a dog, I wrote on the shelter application form that I was allergic to them (since my allergy testing had indicated I had a moderate allergy). When I was vetted, they said I couldn't have the dog unless I had a note from my physician. I asked if they would hold her for me and they said, "Yes, for an hour". Well you can imagine how fast I drove to my doctor (they were used to seeing me for my allergy shots ) so when I told her what I needed, she asked, "You're not allergic to dogs are you?" I said, "Not really". So she wrote me a note that said my allergies wouldn't prohibit me from getting a dog and further, I would make a wonderful dog owner . Turns out I'm much more allergic to cats, although I once rubbed chins with a strange dog and almost immediately broke out in hives. In my case with Riley and now Skye, I'm convinced it was just mind over matter . Ailsa
  21. Awww! Poor guy -- clearly only you guys can see the incision and he just feels a bit cooler , but I'm sure for all his energy and bluster, he's pretty wiped still from the surgery. Let's see that was Wednesday, so by the weekend (that's tomorrow ) he should be feeling pretty good. It will definitely be hard keeping him quiet for the next 4 weeks or so, but I bet he'll adapt ok and let you know how quickly he's recovering. Are you able to take some time off? What strategy do you have for keeping him away from the incision and quiet when you're not home? Or is he going to work with you? Really glad he's home and you're all settling back into being together again. Keep us informed, Ailsa
  22. Oh, its always so sad to hear of a beloved dog gone away. It is the cruellest part My thoughts and best wishes go out to you, Pat, and your family. Ailsa
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