The Rebel Run

After feeding the outside dogs their dinner I let them out of their kennels for a few minutes each to attend to “business”. When it was his turn Rebel was standing up dancing against the gate (he’s pretty tall when he stands up like that!) howling and yowling. I thought he must need to go really badly. As soon as the gate opened he was off like a greyhound, galloped two hot laps around the big yard then dashed back into his kennel and stood on his bed looking at me expectantly, “I’m done now. I’m ready for my treat. I just needed a good run.” Silly boy!

Go to Rebel’s Summary Page

A Beagley New Year

Marie and I don’t go out to whoop it up on New Years Eve.  We’re not into parties and crows and drunk drivers, so we stay home with our dogs and have a more personal celebration.

Normally we do a meal that we can stretch out through the evening and have a themed movie marathon.  It’s a different theme each year.  This year we decided to watch episodes of the 1962 season of The Twilight Zone and eat Mexican food.

Marie made a pot of chili, we had chimichangas, and burritos, and for desert, pies cooked in the fireplace with a pie iron.

Rod Serling seems to have been obsessed with death in 1962.

I put Sable and Hudson to bed, and brought Rebel in the house, around 9:30.  Rebel watched the TV for a bit, then got bored and laid down.

Around 11:00 we all burned out and decided to go to bed.  All except Blondie: she said, “You folks have gone crazy.” and went to bed around 9:00.  The next morning …

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The Beagle Box

Buddy Beagle has an odd habit of going bonkers any time I leave the house.  That’s a technical dog training term: bonkers.  It means to bark vehemently, run through the house looking out windows and, if he hasn’t emptied his bladder recently, leaving a trail as he goes.  He claws at shades and curtains.  His hyper-excited state often sucks Callie into his fit.  She can get destructive when in that state.  So it is better to not let Buddy get all lathered up.

I can crate him when I have to go outside.  He will still bark like a hunting dog on scent, but any leakage or destruction is limited to his own environ.  Callie does not get sucked into the excitement this way.  But the loud, frantic barking is annoying, at the least, and disruptive if there is anyone trying to convalesce in the house.

I can take him outside with me as long as no beagle-unfriendly dog will be loose in the yard with us.  This keeps him quiet for about two minutes, then he’s up on the back door baying and howling and clawing the screen wanting back inside.  If Marie lets him in, he’s good for a minute then goes bonkers because I’m outside.

So I bought a Beagle Box.  My thinking is that this will provide protection from unfriendly beasts and keep him away from the house door.  And, if he gets tired of being summarily removed to the Beagle Box any time he goes bonkers as I’m leaving he may come to a point where behaving will be preferable to being beagle boxed for the duration of my outdoor chore — especially in bad weather.  Buddy does like his comforts.

And when this training exercise is over, the cost of the Beagle Box will not have been wasted because this is actually a portable kennel.  It folds up into a package compact enough to be carried in its own case.


This could be used if we take a dog (or two) to an event or show.  This would be way better than crating them when we’re not actively working them.

It’s not sturdy enough to be used as containment for small foster dogs.  This is for well behaved guests, not those who will be trying everything they can to escape and run off.  But I’m sure we will get good use out of it.

Go to Buddy’s Summary Page

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Husky Demands New Sleeping Arrangements

Rebel has been coming inside at night for two reasons:

  1. He is severely underweight and it’s been getting cold at night: down in the 20’s.  He is a pure Husky and has the thick fur of a Husky, and loves being outside in the cold, but with absolutely no fat in his skin I fear it would be bad for his health.
  2. He gets lonely when he’s out in a kennel by himself, and his two kennel-mates (who are NOT Huskies) INSIST on going to their inside crates at night because of the cold.  I can’t crate Rebel inside with them because we’re feeding him a TON of food and he needs to go outside during the night to defecate.  When he gets lonely, he howls and yaps in what I call his Rebel Yell.

Husky says “NO CRATE! I want to sleep free like the others!”

I’ve been crating him indoors.  Most of the time he does okay in a crate, as long as I am in view.  If I leave the room, he fusses loudly.  I tried crating him in the bedroom with the rest of us at night, but the crate that fits in there is too small and he kicked and thrashed against it all night long.  So we moved to the living room where he can sleep in a large crate (we borrowed Callie’s crate and swapped out the bedding) while I sleep on the sofa.  That was better but he tended to get too hot and would paw the crate wanting out.  Often.

Last night we compromised. I fastened a long leash to the leg of the sofa where I was going to sleep. This kept him close enough I could monitor (and away from other dogs so they could sleep in other rooms — Rebel tends to want to trot through the house constantly) and he was near me so he could get skritchies and be told what a good boy he is as needed. He could choose from his open-door crate (rejected), two dog beds (tried each, rejected) or a blanket (liked this much of the time), or the bare floor (when he needed cooling off). We only had to get up three times last night (it was twice that the night before) to let him out for a breather. One time Blondie and Josephine went out with him and they all investigated something up in the woods. The yard is fenced so they cannot GO into the woods, but can see up there.  It got them excited, but they didn’t bark much. Bless their hearts: it was 2:30 AM, and the neighbors appreciated their self control, I’m sure! They all got along fine. Time for breakfast now as we launch into a new day.

Go to Rebel’s Summary Page

Rebel’s Food Rebellion

Rebel is a Husky.  Huskies are opinionated about things.  Apparently they are highly opinionated about their food too.  Unlike most dogs, Huskies won’t wolf down anything you set in front of them.  Oh, no … Huskies like things the way they like them.  Linda Daniels is no stranger to picky eaters, she has a couple as live-ins as well as some in her former foster dogs.  She’s been helping me solve Rebel’s aversion to eating.  A few of the things she’s turned up about Husky dining habits are:

  • Huskies don’t like combined foods.  They’re kind of like those people who have to use segmented plates to keep their foods from touching or they can’t eat it,  We found that Rebel likes shredded, boiled chicken breast.  So I tried to ease him into eating the gastroenteric dog food his vet wanted him to be eating by mixing it into his chicken — a little of it each time.  That didn’t fly: he insisted that there be NO “pollutants” in his chicken.
  • Huskies prefer a varied diet.  Most dogs are perfectly happy eating the same food day after day.  Not Huskies.  And Rebel falls in line with this.  I got my hopes up a couple of times when he accepted a little of some food or other.  But the next time I offered him that food, he said, “I had that before.  Want something new.”  Except for the chicken, he has eaten several meals of that, but not consecutively.
  • Huskies can, however, be persuaded through peer pressure…


Rebel’s former mom said that he was eating normally until about three weeks ago.  Since then he eats very little and has lost a lot of weight.  He currently weighs 45.5 pounds and should weigh in around 70 pounds.  Under his thick fur, he’s just bones.

His reaction to almost everything I’ve tried to feed him. (video)

When I was unsuccessful in his first few days here to tempt him to eat  — and I tried a wide variety of kibble, canned dog food, and people foods — I took him to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital to see if there was a physical reason for is starvation diet.  They ran a G.I.Series with barium.  This eliminated suspicions such as megaesophagus, and bowel blockage.  They sent me home with some special dog food to soothe his gut.  He ate a little, then refused any more..

Yesterday was a good day: Marie got him to eat a some Critical Nutrition dog food, and Josie helped me get him to eat about two cups of Salmon and Potato kibble over the course of the afternoon.

Today, he’s back to refusing most everything.  He ate about 1/2 cup of chicken breast this morning, left the rest of it in his dish, and has refused everything else I’ve offered him.  So the struggle continues …

 

 

Sable and Night Barking

Last night Sable started in on a monotone, metered barking that went on, and on, and on. Around 9:30 we decided she was not going to settle down and I went over to the shop and set up the BIG crate for her.

When I let her out of her kennel, she raced out the door before I could put a leash on her. But she went only so far as the nearest good patch of grass, squatted, and peed about a gallon. When done she came back to me, started bouncing playfully and rubbed on my legs, obviously appreciative of my concession to her needs. She is housebroken and did NOT want to pee in her “house”.

I felt so bad for leaving her so long!

Since I already had a crate set up I decided to go ahead and take her inside.
She was a bit confused as we went out the gate (toward the truck), up the steps, and along the porch. When we got to the door she perked up. She peeked inside, ‘’Oh, it’s a house! It has weird furniture, but it’s a house!”

I took her to her crate and she scooted right inside. I gave her a cookie and bade her good night.

This morning, when I went to bring her back outside, she was still in her crate, the bedding was intact and dry, and she calmly let me clip on a leash and walked back to the play yard to relieve herself again.

She’s not giving me any trouble at all! I just don’t see the aggression she displayed at N.A.C. I suspect she will settle down quickly now that she’s here at Piney Mountain. That is often the case.

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I Was Born a Poor Black Lab

One of Highland’s favorite dog toys is — or was — a snake plush toy that has been gutted, leaving just the “skin”.  But Highland likes it a lot.  It’s his favorite crate toy.

Highland was neutered on Sunday.  He absolutely insisted on licking at his incision.  That’s bad, he must not do that.  I tried to dissuade him, but as soon as I looked away, he curled up and began licking.  So I tried putting him in an inflatable doughnut collar.  He defeated that.  SO I had to put him in a cone.

That upset him.  But rather than trying to rip the cone off, as many others have done, he became dejected.  His reaction reminded me of Steve Martin’s “And this is all I need” skit in the movie “The Jerk” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VbI5zcB8Ac if you’ve never seen it).

I cannot say that in the days since then Highland has become “happy” about the cone.  But once he mastered coming up the back steps while wearing it (at first I had to climb the steps with him, holding the rim of the cone up so it didn’t catch on the steps and flip him sideways) he lightened up.  Once he discovered that the thing can be “weaponized” and used to aggravate the other dogs (and us) he has decided it’s kind of fun.  He especially likes coming up behind Buddy Beagle and scooping Buddy’s hindquarters up in the cone.  Buddy hates that.  Highland thinks it’s funny.

Still, it’s not likely that he will be upset when I take it off of him in a few more days.  Just one more experience along his path to a forever home.

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Highland Houdini

I took Highland to the veterinarian today because he’d developed a nasty cough. Which, of course disappeared today. They needed to take his harness off to take a chest X-ray. He LIKED running around “nekked”.

After his exam we went back to the waiting room. It was packed! Lots of friendly folks to pet him and comment how handsome and happy he is. Several cats to say howdy to as well. When he started sniffing at things in that special way, I decided to take him out to the grass. Good thing too. When he was empty I decided not to take him back into the waiting room, but put him back in my truck. I clipped his safety strap on the passenger seat to his harness and locked the doors. I could see him through the waiting room window and checked on him frequently. Sometimes he was sitting up looking back at me, sometimes he was not visible, I figured he was laying down resting.

When I’d gotten his meds and settled the bill I went outside. A young fella was sitting in a large pick-up next to my truck. He rolled his window down and said, “He’s quite a Houdini! He was out of his collar almost as soon as you left him. He’s loose, be careful when you open the door!”

That amazed me, Highland had never even tried to get out of his harness before. I thanked him for the heads-up and VERY carefully slid in the drivers side door. Sure enough, the harness was laying loose on the seat, still clipped closed, but with no Highland inside it. He was bouncing around doing his Mr. Wiggles bit and grinning ear to ear.

That boy DOES like getting “nekked!”

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Ugg Learns a New Trick

Ugg learned a new trick while we were away at church today.
He’s been so lonely since his lil buddy, Blue, left on a rescue run.

When we got home about 12:30 Ugg met us at the wooden gate, grinning his face off and tail flapping madly. A neighbor said he was loose in the yard for quite a while, she first saw him around 11:00.  The roof of his kennel is all torn up.  The corner is shredded and there are many punctures to the tarp covering.

I moved Ugg into kennel #1, which is our Max Security cell, with mesh fastened in under the roof along the edges to prevent climbers from getting out. I had to move all the added hardware from his old room to the new one too.  That was Blue’s room since I figured if anyone was a climber, it would be a hyper Terrier.

Ugg discovered early on that he could yank his door into the kennel (twisting the latch) and get out. I installed a heavy chain with anchor shackles until I could order a second latch to mount down low. But even the second latch wasn’t enough so I use both latches AND the chain at night and when I go away.  He can’t get out through the door any more, so he went looking for some other way … and found it. Who’d have thought such a massive dog would be a climber?

I guess we’ll have to go to N.A.C. and find Ugg a new neighbor – and save another life.

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Follow the Leader: Blue Steele Style

Blue and Ugg are our “outside boys”. When Ugg arrived, Blue had already been here a couple of days and got lonely when no one else was outside.

When I first brought Ugg home, Blue growled at him and backed away. Maybe because Ugg is twice Blue’s size, maybe because Ugg stunk, maybe because I was with Ugg not Blue. Blue likes to be the center of attention.

It did not take long for Blue to change his mind about Ugg and they started hanging out close to their shared wall, getting to know one another.

Blue’s jealous/possessive trait kept them from playing in the yard together for several days, but we eventually got that worked out and they now enjoy spending their play periods in the yard together. They have worked out their pecking order: little Blue is the leader and Ugg is his stooge who happily follows him around like Pinky and The Brain.

Okay, maybe not
*that* hard

Today was a hot one, and their mid-day play time was mostly spent laying in a patch of shady grass, because that’s what Blue said to do. In the afternoon we had a short, hard rain that came late enough to cool things off. Too early in the day and rain makes things tropical and sultry once the rain stops.

With the cooler temps and wet grass for the evening play session, Blue invented a new game: High Speed Follow the Leader.

The way it worked is that Ugg would be following Blue around as they sniffed. Without warning, Blue would bolt off at a run. Ugg rose to the challenge and tried to catch up. Blue is much more nimble than Ugg, and when Ugg caught him, Blue would execute a sharp turn — which he managed, but Ugg tended to slew around in a wide turn, if he didn’t lose traction all together and go down to slide on his side along the wet grass.

Blue clearly thought this was hilarious. Ugg continued to play along with the game, not appearing to be embarrassed or frustrated in the least. Indeed, he thought this was a fun game!

Blue would slow to a walk and they’d resume sniffing until Blue sprung another surprise departure on Ugg. Over and over they did this until both were winded and ready for their treats.

Blue indicated their readiness by going to the mailbox where I store outside treats, toys, and small equipment and nosed the door, “I’m ready for my snack, get us our cookies!”

Blue is a little bossy, but really cute. And smart!

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