November 2000

I can't remember how much i told you about the Ranger saga. I had left two messages for his new owner about getting together sometime (and remember, that was actually her idea, not mine, so it wasn't like i was being pushy or anything) but she never called back. I finally broke down and called R yesterday. I filled her in and asked her if she had talked to L recently. She hadn't but said she wanted to check up on Ranger anyway. She just called me and said she also left two messages but no one called her back. She actually went over to the house today and knocked on the door. Nobody answered. Nobody barked, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. She thought it was odd that the screen door was locked. They could have left by a different door, or they could have been inside and just didn't answer. She taped a note to their front door. She said if she doesn't hear from them by tomorrow, she's going back. Apparently the woman's sister (i think) lives next door or somewhere close, so i think R is planning to go there and try to find out what's going on. We are both wondering if L may have gotten sick. She had mentioned that she was sick for a long time and that's why they hadn't gotten a dog until now. I don't know what was wrong with her. Anyhow, i'll let you know if i find out anything.

"wonder what is going on with ranger's person? what if they want you to take him again?"

Well, then i guess i'll take him again. =) I'll do whatever i have to do. Maybe i could get him a muzzle for when he's loose with the other animals, and the rest of the time he would be crated. But i hope i don't have to do anything at all. I hope they get it figured out. I'm glad that R is involved now so it's kinda off my shoulders. It could be that the lady just changed her mind for whatever reason, and then she started getting annoyed that we kept calling. I wonder if the humane society did a follow-up call. They are supposed to be doing that now, i think, for every adoption.


Turns out her boyfriend erases her phone messages before she gets them. This was one of my ideas too, but i didn't think he would erase FOUR messages before she got them -- especially since we called at all different times. I called once in the evening while he was at work and once on the weekend, and Ruth called twice during the day. She's trying to tell me that she never got any of those messages. But on the phone just now, she told me she didn't want to meet at the park, since Ranger is so dog aggressive now. But i'm almost positive that the only time i mentioned meeting at the park was in the first message that i left for her. So if she REALLY never got that message... well... how would she know i wanted to meet at the park? And she said something about how i mentioned that i really wanted to see Ranger. I only said that in the second message i left.

Anyway, at this point it's all funky and i really don't even want to meet her anymore. But i kinda have to now. I told her to call me sometime and she said she'll probably call next Sat and we can get together next Sun. But not at the park. So it's probably gonna be really dumb. I was picturing walking our respective dogs on trails at the park. Now we probably shouldn't even take ours, if he really is that aggressive now. He pulls on leash and he lunges at other dogs. She said she can barely hold him, and even her boyfriend has trouble.

She said something about taking classes from somebody at the shelter but that she probably couldn't start until January and she wants to get him under control before that. So R might help her. R is a trainer but apparently she does more obedience-type stuff and not much behavior modification type stuff. I would offer to help her but i'm really not qualified. I'm one of those people who knows just enough to be dangerous.

One good thing about meeting them is that i could show them the Gentle Leader and maybe the prong collar. The prong might not be a great choice cos it may not be the best idea for dog-aggressive dogs. They see a dog, they lunge, it hurts, and they just get madder. But the GL should help. I'm just worried she'll say they can't afford it (it's under $20). You know me, i'll probably end up giving them one. I'm stupid like that sometimes.

Guess i better spend some time this week reading up on dog-aggressive dogs. I think it is truly pathetic if the shelter really can't help her until January. If they are concerned about keeping adopted dogs in their new homes, they really need to get on top of things like this. Here is a woman who is actually willing to work on a behavior problem instead of dumping the dog, but there's nobody to help her. I'll have to figure out the scoop on that one.

How would you like to have an extra doggy around for Thanksgiving? His name is Bingo. He's kinda spaniel-y. They have bassett/lab on the website. He's a year old, neutered, housetrained, not too big, good w/children, and very loveable. He was originally adopted from the shelter but his people are "moving." She was reading me some of the stuff they wrote on the turn-in sheet. Did he have any behavior problems and what did you do? Answer: Yes, yelled at him. Did you ask us for help with behavior problems? Answer: No.

She said i could think about it and let her know on Monday, but i said i might as well commit to it now cos it would be easier to pick him up tomorrow. I told her to make sure he has his rabies shot and his microchip, and i mentioned that we have tried to pick up dogs before and they weren't ready for us. So hopefully they'll take care of it before tomorrow. I'll call the kennels before we go tomorrow just to make sure.

I didn't consult Warren but i think he'll be okay with it.

(later...) Some people are looking at the dog right now. If they don't adopt him, somebody is doing an adopt-a thon at a Giant Eagle this weekend and they are going to take him along for that. So, no new dog this weekend.

(still later...) Those people didn't adopt him, and somehow he got crossed off the list for Giant Eagle. So... i guess we're getting him tomorrow. Maybe. Unless she calls again.


We got Bingo this morning. There's a semi-new girl working at the shelter and she has her act together. She had all his paperwork copied for me, and she brought him right out so we didn't have to sit around for half an hour like we usually do. He's sort of nondescript and rather overweight, but it turns out he has a super temperament. He pulls like a freight train. Other than that, he doesn't have any behavior problems so far. He gets along with the dogs and doesn't chase the cat. He's housetrained. He doesn't whine and pace like some of the other fosters did.

We took all three dogs to the park. We could just tell that he wouldn't run away, so we let him off leash. He was fine. He doesn't actually come when called but i think he just doesn't know his name. There was only one other dog at the park when we got there but eventually lots of people and dogs came. They were all dark colored, medium sized dogs, so it was really hard to keep track of where ours were, especially since we had to watch three this time. They were all very good. Bingo started walking off with other people a couple times but he did very well for a dog that had only known us for a couple hours!

There were some clueless people there who thought it was a good idea to take the leash off their dog outside the gate, and then open the gate and try to get the dog to go through while they stood outside. Of course several other people's dogs escaped through the open gate, but they all came back. Brin went around the end of the fence but he came back in when somebody opened the gate for him. I wasn't too worried. I figured he'd come back eventually. He seems to understand now. Plus, i had turkey and rice baby food.

Eventually our faces were frozen so we left. I bathed three dogs. They were all very good. Bingo couldn't jump in the tub so i had to lift him. Wow! He weighs 55 pounds. I think he'll be going on a diet. Anyway, now he is shiny and smells nice. He is snoozing on the floor behind me. He seems like a very well-adjusted dog.


"congratulations on getting all three dogs to sit and look at the camera for that last picture. maybe you should be a pet photographer."

Yeah, but did you see the look on Brin's face? He hates foster dogs. Poor little neglected Brin.


No major problems. He's a normal dog. He eats whatever i give him, he potties outside, he plays with toys, he even fetches, he doesn't get into stuff, he comes when called, he's quiet, he's friendly, he's just a good dog. He's not crate trained but it doesn't matter. He had the run of the house today and everything was fine. He has a couple minor problems, like jumping up for attention, pulling on the leash, and chasing the cat. He has to sit for attention, he's learning to walk on a GL, and i haven't figured out exactly what to do about the cat yet. I can tell he won't hurt Keek. He's just curious and wants to play. But Keek gets freaky and runs and hides.

"bingo sounds like a good dog."

He is. He's no trouble at all. He settled into the routine right away. Just now when i got home, i let everybody outside and looked around and realized that all three were pooping at the same time. Talk about "regular!" They are on a schedule.
Right now he's snarfling on the futon. He's the easiest foster yet. He still thinks he's allowed on the bed, and he jumps all over me when i get home. Other than that, it's like he's not even here. But somehow i suspect we'll have him for a long time. He's the sort of dog that people wouldn't appreciate from just looking at his picture. It's his temperament that makes him stand out. Physically, he's sort of nondescript. When we were at the park, i had trouble telling which one he was. Good thing he has that bright red collar.


S never called back about Bingo. She said she would have to get a ride with somebody, so she was gonna try to figure out when she could come to meet him and then call me back. And she didn't call. I told her she could come see him any evening this week cos i didn't want her to have to wait until the weekend. But now i'm kinda hoping it does go til the weekend because then we could meet her at the dog park. I'm a little freaked out about having four kids at the house, you know? She lives on the North Side, close to the shelter, so i guess she was thinking i would take the dog there to meet her. But i'm not doing that. I couldn't anyway cos Warren never gets home until like 7 or 8 these days.

(later...) S just called and she wants to wait until Saturday at noon, so i told her we should meet at Frick Park instead. I told her how to get there so hopefully she will go to the right place. It sounded like she is used to going to a different part of the park. She said she'll give me a call on Saturday morning.

"what's up? got any more dogs?"

No, i think three's enough. Did i tell you somebody's gonna meet Bingo on Saturday? She has four kids so i thought we should do it at the dog park instead of here! Hopefully the weather will be decent. If not, maybe we'll just have to meet at the shelter. It's a pain to go all the way up there. But in a way it would be convenient if she ends up adopting him cos we wouldn't have to make another trip. We'll see.