I received a Notice of Complaint today. It came from the law firm of Dewey, Barkum, and Howe and notifies me that a complaint of animal neglect and criminal deprivation has been lodged against me. The plaintiffs in this action are identified as “The House Dogs”.
Shiloh is a good kid and I liked her right off. So when HairyFace decided to start house-training her after being here only a couple of weeks, I gave my approval. As long as he teaches her that inside play is NOT the same as outside play. She likes to sprint and tussle with Julian and Josephine out in the yard. That won’t fly in MY house! But Hairy knows that.
She was eager to get started and often hung out by the back door hoping to be invited inside.
Blondie Bear has been feeling poorly for the past few months: she has the itchies real bad. She’s gone to see Dr. Sandra a couple of times. Dr. Sandra gave HairyFace some medicine for Blondie: that helped the itchies but made her sleepy. Now that the problem is clearing up and Blondie isn’t spending all her time either scratching or sleeping, she is getting to be her spunky self again. And that means she can be trouble for me sometimes. Continue reading Blondie Joins the Fun→
They have doors EVERYWHERE. But doors get in the way of us doggers. Most of the time, we cannot open these doors and must “request” assistance from the Peoples if we are to pass through. So we learn signals to alert the Peoples of our need.
I bark. Just once. Loud and sharp. Blondie Bear scratches on the metal part of the door. We teach these signals to our paduan learner foster dogs, they choose which they prefer. Or … come up with something of their own. Many start out with sitting on the porch staring at the door, willing it to open.
One of the things I do as part of House Dog training with our foster dogs is to teach them to control their food frenzy. The first step is done in the Kibble Treasury.
If the dog gets grabby or goes bucket diving, they get evicted and I’ll dish up kibble behind a closed door for a couple of days. If they can reign in those urges, they get a sample. When they master this, they get a special job to do.
Sometimes he gets dual inspectors:
We feed foster dogs in their crate at first. As they learn to control themselves (so they won’t be shoving the others out of their bowls) they get to eat on a blanket outside of their crate, and eventually on their blanket around the dining table with Cochise, Blondie, and (now) Josephine.
They also learn to get chewies as a group activity. Any growlies or grabbies and it’s back to their “room”.
Food training also includes lessons about NOT standing up to cruise the kitchen counters or the dining room table. Four on the floor, sit on your blanket at the table and wait to be served, and no grabbing anyone else’s food if they are slower than you. When they master those lessons, they get their gold star in food etiquette.
Marie and I discourage the dogs from begging when we all gather to eat a meal. We do that by not hand feeding them scraps from the table. They get their kibbles in their bowls set on their blankets arranged around the table. If we share some of what we’re eating, we put their portion in their bowls.
Today I was engaging in a working lunch at my desk: a warmed up piece of left-over pizza from the weekend. Josie the big-eyed beagle thought that smelled pretty good. All the dogs like “pizza bones”.
Marie and I are a foster home for dogs. We often develop attachments to our charges (the dogs) and have to fight back tears as we send them off to new homes. Some are harder than others, but we’ve learned to deal with that. Well, mostly.
Josephine was especially hard, in part because she is still so timid. She’s come a long ways from the terrified creature we took out of the shelter so she could find some peace and so we could work on her fear of people.
She had a health issue too, which we addressed with our veterinarian. When her treatment was complete and she had settled down to where she could meet new people, we began soliciting for a forever home for her. Continue reading Josephine Goes to Summer Camp→
The weatherguessers were saying it was going to get cold. Too cold for Spencer to be outside: he needed to come inside with the rest of us for the night. That is not a problem, but it does mean some rearranging needs to be done. Spencer is a big boy and needs appropriate accommodations.
It was New Years day but it was also a Sunday so, as we always do on Sunday, we secured the dogs and went off to church. With travel there and back, Sunday school and the worship service we are gone about three hours.
For Blondie Bear and Cochise, that is no problem: they are tankers and can hold their bladders for a full day if they must. Like when it rains. They HATE going out in a hard rain. But for Tinker, three hours is quite a while and he will be dancing around and running for the back door as soon as we come in the front door. He IS reliable, he’s just uncomfortable at that point.
So all the dogs got a time in the yard while Marie and I took care of some things around the house. Then we readied to go to my Mom’s house to visit with my half-brother and his family, who had driven in from Nebraska the night before for a Christmas celebration with Mom and her grand-daughters.
We thought about securing the dogs again, but it was no longer raining, it was not especially cold, and Mom’s house is actually on our property, just outside the dog fence. They can keep tabs on us if they are in the yard. At the very least they like to bark at us in warning about the dangers of willingly entering a home where not one but TWO cats live. Continue reading Tinker’s Revenge→
Cochise and Blondie Bear are permanent residents. Tinker, Jasmine and Gator are foster dogs. We offer multiple dog beds but who sleeps on what can be kind of fluid during the day and evening. Everyone is okay with that.
In the living room are a pair of beds made from a donated futon pad. These are favored when Marie and I are in the living room or kitchen, and are big enough that they can be shared when necessary.