December 15, 2002
It was a year last week that we got Lucky from you. She is alive and quite well, except that lately she has been scratching and chewing at what we believe to be dry skin. We gave her a serious haircut to see if that would help but it hasn't. The next thing we try will be to get some dog shampoo for dry skin. If that doesn't work we'll have to bite the bullet and take her down the hill to the vet for some professional advice. I'm hesitant to get her soaking wet in this weather but I guess if we pick a warm day and keep her indoors for several hours she'll be ok. She also has picked up a bad habit lately of running off when we let her out to go to the bathroom. My best guess is that she's tracking wild animals or maybe she's in love with the neighbors goat. Now we use a leash instead of just letting her freelance. One day I let her chase a flock of wild turkeys that was passing through my yard. That was funny. I never knew turkeys could move so fast. I told some people about it and somebody said that turkeys killed one of their dogs once by pecking its neck til it bled to death, so I won't be doing that again.
D found a fascinating book at the local library. You should definitely read it if you haven't already. It's called Dogs that know when their owners are coming home by Rupert Sheldrake. You can get it by request at any library in Allegheny County courtesy of the RAD tax that those cheap bastids squawked so much about a few years back. I sure get my money's worth for the extra 1% sales tax I pay. (I have a season ticket for the Pirates). I actually seriously insist that you read this book. Any animal lover should. Now I know my dog Sam was just as smart as I thought he was. He died in 1978 and I still miss him. I have tears in my eyes right now just from thinking about him. There are times when I can't wait to die because I know that the instant I do I will get to see my mother and Sam again. Like I always tell Lucky and my cat Tigger, animals good, people bad. Whenever people mess with my head I always tell my nonhuman friends over and over-animals good, people bad. No, I'm not a psycho. No dog ever flew a jetliner into a building or raped an altar boy or stole people's pensions.
I'm glad Lucky is doing well. I have heard that oatmeal shampoo can help with dry, itchy skin. I just bathed three dogs yesterday (our two plus the current foster) with tea tree oil shampoo, which is supposed to do the same thing. They weren't scratching but they were all dry and flaky. It seems to have helped.
I'm surprised that you were able to let Lucky off leash to go potty. I never trusted my dogs enough to try that (before we got the fence). I worry too much about cars. (Not much of a wild turkey threat here in North Braddock.) =) I do let them off leash at the park, but only when we are far away from traffic.
I am having a bit of a dilemma with my foster dog, Murray. He was placed with a family for a few days, but he barked at their grandmother and freaked them all out, so now he is back with me. He's a really fun and gentle dog, and he gets along so well with *both* of my dogs (which is rare). I have been toying with the idea of keeping him. But I know that I can't. The thought of having three "full-time" dogs is a bit overwhelming. But I need to find a really special family for him (not one that will bring him back if he barks at somebody). Warren says I have all the signs of becoming one of those psycho "dog collectors" (you know, the ones you see in the paper with hundreds of pets) because I don't believe anybody else is qualified to take care of them.
I'll have to check out the book you recommended. It sounds good. I've read a bunch of dog books but somehow missed that one. =) And I definitely agree with your comment, "animals good, people bad." I have more animal friends than human ones, and I like it that way!
Thanks for the update on the pupster. Tell everyone I said hi and Merry Christmas. And give Lucky some scratchies from me!
Tea tree shampoo-we use that on our own hair occasionally. MY GOD IT STINKS!!!! I have decided that I would rather itch than reek. I guess this time of year many mammals get itchy from the dry weather. Maybe we'll try it on Lucky tomorrow. That smell is enough to make her run away from home. We let her out in the back yard and she has never went toward the front yard where the road is. Roadkill pets ain't cool.
December 23, 2002
I wanted to ask your permission to use some of the information on your web site. I will be trying to start the forming of a foster care network in my home town. After the first of the year our town will be looking at the shelter in a whole new light. This not being for the positive for our dogs I believe. I will be working with our group to come up with a strong network that will benefit the animals and realize you have a lot of information written in a nice form that have been running around in my head also. So with your permission I will use some of the information on your web site to come up with a training packet and a powerpoint presentation for people who are interested in becoming a foster home.
Certainly, I am happy to share the info! I hope it is helpful. Please just include a link to my site and say that the info came from there. Thanks a lot, and good luck!