November 2002

We took the dogs to the park. This was the first time Murray went. He was a total goofball. This is the first day it's been decent out, so all the dogs at the park were wound up from being inside too much. Brin and Murray played really well together. They did that cool thing where they stand up on their back legs and kinda wrestle. They all got really muddy. We recognized a lady with the dog she adopted from the adoption thing we went to a couple months ago. The dog seemed happy. I had to bathe 3 muddy dogs. Now they’re all sleeping.

It's raining today so I didn't get a chance to walk Murray. He's healthy now, and wow, i forgot what it's like to have a young dog in the house! He's very active. And just within the last 2 days, he now chews stuff. I got used to being able to basically let him have the run of the house, but now i have to watch him or crate him. He chewed up a pen, he and Echo got a hold of my bag of candy corn and ate that, he chewed a hole in the carpet (luckily just the yucky carpet), and... something else, I forget. Oh, and a battery. He can get out of the wire crate. I don't really understand how he does it but it happened twice, so I can't leave him in there anymore. And last night he kept us up all night. It was the first time I crated him at night, because I never had to worry about him chewing stuff before. He did NOT like being in there. He wagged and thumped (hard to believe how much noise he can make), and then he cried. Finally I put him in the crate in the computer room, and put the TV on for him. And we put the other TV on to drown him out. Eventually around 2:00 he settled down. (I get up at 4:30.) So tonight I think i'll try tying him to the dog bed, but i'll have to clear everything off the shelf first.

I feel bad complaining about him. Right now he's sleeping peacefully. Hmm, i guess that's part of the problem!


I went to the Sue Sternberg dog aggression seminar this weekend. It went from 9-5 both days but i left early today cos i didn't want to spend my entire weekend there. It was really good. She showed videos and did demos with real dogs with aggression problems (mainly toward other dogs, not people). All in all, it made me feel like Echo's problem really isn't very bad, and that I'm handling her correctly, so that made me feel good.

Warren brought Brin when he picked me up today and it was really funny to see how people reacted to him. We had been instructed not to touch any of the demo dogs, and we spent hours studying tiny little possible signs of aggression. So the people started filing out and saw Brin and were acting really wary of him. Then I told everyone he wasn't there for the seminar and he isn't aggressive at all. Then they all started oohing and ahhing and petting him, and he did his little pit bull wiggle.

We went to the park this afternoon. There were no other dogs in the fenced area, but they still ran around a little. Luckily I didn't have to bathe them this time. Now i have a bunch of email to get through, and laundry that I didn't get a chance to do before. I kinda feel like I missed my weekend. Oh well. The seminar was good and I'm glad I went.

Remember the lady that called about Murray and said she'd get back to me? Well, she actually called back today. She wants to come and meet him sometime this week. So if all goes well, you guys won't get to meet him. It's too bad cos he's really fluffy and sweet and I think you would've liked petting him.

All the dogs are sleeping now.


The lady is coming to meet Murray on Thursday. I am a little concerned because they don't have a fence and she was thinking of getting electric fence. I advised her to just fence a small part of the yard with actual fence. We talked about crate training and she is going to get a crate, but she is worried about not having enough space for the crate and wonders if she could put it in the garage. Sigh.... I will have to be very assertive with her. This dog (well, all dogs, but especially this one) needs to be with his family AND needs a good sturdy fence. Should I tell them they can't have him? I don't know, maybe i can educate them. With three young kids it seems pretty likely that the dog will escape eventually. I can't deal with another Mrs. D. But maybe they will be okay. She homeschools and is home a lot. And she was researching crate training and stuff on the internet. So she seems to be willing to learn. Who knows. I will just have to see how they strike me on Thursday.

The Ls were here to meet Murray. They were very nice. Murray was kind of shy. They are going to let me know what they decide. I think they were a little worried that he would be scared with all the kids and their friends coming over. I think he'd get used to it pretty fast though. We are dropping him off Tuesday evening to be neutered. So if they don't adopt him and we still have him when we come for tgiving, at least he'll be neutered. =)

Keek was very sociable with the visitors. The one kid held him by the collar and he just dealt with it.


We're meeting Murray's family at the park tomorrow. They want to see him in a different environment to see if he is a little less shy.


We were supposed to meet Murray's family at the park today but it is rainy and probably very muddy. So we met at the shelter. I had told them that if the big training room wasn't available, we could take Murray to their house just to see how he acted there. When we got to the shelter, we found out that the dad stayed home to clean the house in case we ended up going there! Luckily the room was available. We took Brin along to make Murray feel more comfortable. He did a lot better this time. He wasn't acting shy at all. The kids gave him treats and dragged him around by the leash. He was fine. He didn't even freak out when they started crying and fighting with each other. It kinda sucked that we had Brin there cos the kids liked him better! Brin knows lots of tricks and loves attention and treats, and he was amazingly tolerant with the kids. Murray wasn't acting very interested in the kids. Gabe really wanted a dog that knows how to fetch, and Murray doesn't (yet). He is the oldest (8 1/2) and he is the one that really wants a dog, so they are kind of letting him pick. And he was kind of lukewarm about Murray, so who knows. But the mom really liked him. We spent about an hour with them and she seemed to finally believe that Murray isn't a dangerous dog. (A little knowledge is a bad thing - she read somewhere that shy dogs can be fear biters, so she was pretty sure Murray was going to maul her kids.)

We are dropping Murray off at the clinic tonight for neutering. The current plan is that we will pick him up when he's done, and the Ls will then pick him up here on Friday. I told them to make sure they do all the paperwork before then. If that is a problem, let me know.

It seems to be a good placement. They homeschool, so the dog will have lots of company. My only concern is that they don't have a fence, and with 3 little kids running around it seems like it's just a matter of time until the dog slips out the door. (He's that kind of dog!) They seem to be leaning toward an electric fence, which I guess is better than nothing. At least they are planning to use a crate, so that is a good thing. If we can talk them into attending obedience classes, so much the better. =)

So I guess I'll be ready for the next one whenever you need me! What about the pathetic looking 3 legged elderly one on the website? Or whichever dog you recommend -- I trust your judgement.


Hello to you!

I am very glad to hear about Murray -- they are certainly taking their time about making this decision -- that is very reassuring actually! If you don't need any time off I would be VERY happy to find another foster dog for you ... do you have any holiday travel plans?



We have to drop Murray off tonight to be neutered tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow night. The Ls finally decided they definitely want to adopt him. I have mixed feelings about it. I think it's pretty likely that Murray will escape from their house once or twice. They do not have a fence yet, but they will probably get one. I think once they realize that I'm right about his getting out, they'll break down and put up a fence. And the mom said that it would be twice as bad if he got out, cos if the dog ran towards traffic, there would be a kid running along behind him. So she seems to realize that a fence is a good idea.

They don't want Murray to sleep in the bedroom. I have no idea why. They want him to sleep in the "family room." I normally would say absolutely not, but since she homeschools her kids, Murray will be with people all day. So I think he could deal with being alone at night. Hey, it could be worse -- lots of people let dogs sleep outside in doghouses. At least he will have a warm place to sleep. And during the day he will get lots of attention (probably more than he even wants).

Anyway, they thought it might be hard on Murray to recover from his surgery in a strange place, especially with three kids who will want to hang all over him. So I am going to get him after his surgery and keep him until Friday. She said they have some kind of activity day at church on Sunday, and the dad is planning to stay home with Murray and bond while the kids are away. =)

Gabe (the oldest boy) seemed to be disappointed that Murray doesn't know any tricks yet. One of the dogs they almost adopted was sort of pre-programmed with all the standard tricks. And he also really liked Brin's tricks. I thought it would be good to teach Murray something basic like "shake" before he goes to his new home. So I got out the froot loops. Seven repetitions and Murray shakes like a pro. =) At that point I felt like I really missed out on training a nifty, smart dog. I had a month with him; why didn't I have fun and teach him lots of cool stuff? I suspected he was smart right from the beginning. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I unconsciously avoid training the really special dogs because training is when I really bond with them, and I know that it would be disastrous to let myself get too attached. I will have to go back through my journals and stuff to see if that holds true.

Just thinking... Zoey was one of my favorite fosters. I feel like I really let down by returning her before she was adopted, and I never found out where she ended up because the phone number they gave me was disconnected. Anyway, I got too close to her, and I know why -- I spent a lot of time working with her because she was really shy and scared of everything. I took her for walks and gave her lots of treats whenever cars went by. And she got so much better! And I got *so* attached to her. It sucks because I *love* training, and I know that it makes for an easier transition into a new home. But it makes me get too involved and too attached.