November 2003

I got a message over the weekend about a very shy, scared hound mix boy that needs a foster home. I said we'd come to meet him on Thursday when we take Candy for her vet appointment. They called back and left a message apologizing for asking me to take another foster because they didn't realize that I still had Dex. Dex went to his new home on the 27th. So I called back and explained that Dex had been adopted. Apparently they didn't have any paperwork for him and their computer indicated that he was still in the building, so they thought that the adoption had fallen through and I had picked him up. She said something like, "Well, I'm not going to say it's theft, but no money changed hands and we don't have any record of adoption." I told her not to worry, these are good people and they didn't steal Dex and I'll get it straightened out.

So I called T and told her the story. She was working when Dex was ready to be picked up, so her fiance picked him up. He paid cash, so they now have no proof whatsoever that he was paid for. They did get some of the paperwork (shot records and surgery discharge instructions) but no adoption contract, no information about obedience classes (which are included in the cost of adoption with puppies), and no registration for his microchip. Unfortunately it seems like whoever was working that night might have just pocketed the cash. It might even have been a volunteer rather than an employee, because they recently had a special training session to teach volunteers how to do adoptions. So who knows who might have been around that night.

I told T I know it's not her fault. I told her to take whatever paperwork they do have, and go to the shelter tomorrow and ask to speak to G. I told G that I believe they really did pay for the dog, that they are very responsible, and that they have already gone to the first obedience class. So hopefully nobody is gonna do anything stupid like try to take the dog back from them.

Anyway, the shy hound mix was adopted, but now they want me to take a 9 wk old cane corso puppy. I don't know where he came from, but they said somebody did a really poor ear crop on him. They are afraid to put him out on the adoption floor because they have to be very careful about who adopts him. They didn't want to euthanize him based on his breed but just didn't have any idea how to place him from the shelter. So I'll check him out on Thursday and make sure he's not aggressive. Then I guess I'll have to get in touch with cane corso rescue and ask for their help in placing him. Strange how they are totally okay with adopting out pit bulls now, but have no idea how to deal with a cane corso. They are big, sort of rare, tough looking guard dogs. Should be interesting. I think "little" Joe is brindle. She said he's already huge at 9 wks.


The cane corso puppy was gone (I didn't ask) so we took this pathetic lab/shep/chow mix that was tied to a shed. They said she had to be carried into the shelter -- not cos she was sick or hurt, but because she was so depressed that she wouldn't even walk. She's been here about 24 hrs and she's already a different dog. She had to learn to go up and down stairs. At first I had to sort of drag her around, but now she follows me and the pack. Echo is fascinated with her. She keeps trying to get Honey to play. She always did like the big dogs better. Honey doesn't play yet, but she's sweet and not aggressive. She just kind of looks at Echo like, what's she doing? Poor Candy wants to play with Echo so bad, but Echo's not interested in her.

Honey is not housetrained at all (no big surprise, since we don't even know for sure if she was ever in a house). Otherwise she's pretty good -- although that might change as she starts to feel a little more comfortable. Mostly she just sits in a corner, or lies under the computer desk.

Tomorrow we have to go to the shelter to get antibiotics that they forgot to give us last night. We're going to time our trip to be there when Dex's mom goes to take care of the adoption paperwork that somehow never got filled out correctly. She was worried that they were gonna try to take Dex back. So I told her we'd go and just kinda supervise and make sure nothing went wrong. I feel bad for T and C cos they are good, responsible dog owners and they don't deserve to be made to feel like they did something wrong. Someone gave them the dog without making them do all the paperwork -- how is that their fault? And of course they paid in cash and the money mysteriously disappeared.


We were at the shelter yesterday for about an hour and a half. T and C said they'd meet G at 11:30 to fill out the paperwork for Dex before their puppy class at noon. In case you haven't been following along, we dropped Dex off to be neutered on the 26th, and C picked him up on the 27th, but whoever was working that evening failed to have C complete the adoption paperwork. But they did take his money ($150 cash) which then mysteriously disappeared. G said the computers still showed that I had Dex, and there was no record of his adoption or the payment. So T and C were freaking out because they felt like they were getting yelled at for something that wasn't their fault. They were afraid to go in yesterday because they thought they were going to try to take Dex back. So I offered to meet them there and make sure everything went smoothly.

Since we had to be there anyway, I took Candy to the clinic to pick up a different antibiotic because she was coughing, except of course she hasn't coughed at all since I told them about it. I also told the tech that she was biting at her butt a lot and it was all red. The tech said she'd express her anal glands and see if that helped. (Yuck.) But Candy is still biting back there, so I don't think it solved the problem.

Dex's people showed up around 11:40. I saw him coming in and was about to say, look at that adorable pit bull, and then I realized it was him. He's huge! I can't believe how much he grew. He looks great. He was really sweet and wiggly, but Warren was disappointed because he didn't seem to give us any better attention than any of the other people there. I was glad though because I can see that he's really their dog now.

At noon C took Dex up to obedience class. We waited and waited. A line of people had formed. We pulled our weight a little and went up to the front of the line. I was really glad we went because I think it helped to get everything smoothed over. We finished the paperwork and went up to watch the end of puppy class. Dex was really cute. After class, C was supposed to go identify the person who gave him Dex two weeks ago. G said the two people who were working behind the desk that night were there yesterday. I felt bad for him because he felt really uncomfortable getting someone in trouble (or fired) and he couldn't remember who handed Dex over to him anyway. So we never did solve the mystery.


I haven't written about the new dog because I always feel like I write about dogs too much and people get bored. She's really good. She's huge. She might be the biggest dog we've had. Well, I guess King (German shepherd) was about the same size. She's housetrained already (well, not 100% but at least as good as Echo) and she's gentle and quiet. She's afraid of Keek. She's really good with other dogs. We took her to the park for the first time yesterday and everyone thought she was really nice. We are calling her a lab/chow mix. She looks like a yellow lab, but bigger, with a broad face and soft hair. She's afraid of new people but she's not aggressive at all. A lot of times I find her sleeping in her crate with the door open. I think she feels safe in there.

And of course Candy is still here. I just put her up on the web so hopefully she'll find a home soon. She's so good. She just wants a place to curl up and nap.

Honey is doing great! She's so loveable! Housetraining is coming along well. She loves her crate. She gets along great with the other dogs and is a little freaked out by the cat. She's still a little spooked by new people but warms up pretty quickly. No aggression whatsoever. She went to the dog park for the first time yesterday and everyone remarked on how pretty she is and how well she was handling all the excitement.

Candy is doing great too. She needs a final tech check and then she'll be ready to go. She's a great dog -- totally housetrained and no major behavior problems. She might not want to live with another girl dog, though. She and Echo have had a few disagreements, and I don't think it was entirely Echo's fault (for once!).


I can drop Honey off tomorrow evening for surgery on Thursday. An ad for Candy would be great if someone at the shelter could screen calls and forward the good ones to me. I think Honey would benefit from some more socialization before placement, so I'd like to hold off for a bit with her. Honey is going through food like a small pony so I really appreciated the big bag of science diet.

We dropped Honey off to be spayed. We'll pick her up tomorrow evening. We took Candy along to see if we could get a vet to approve her as officially adoptable. We didn't have an appt. but actually everything went much more smoothly and quickly than it usually does. The vet was nice. Believe it or not this was the first time we met her. Candy passed her exam. I have her up on the web now. G offered to place an ad for her in the paper cos she already has another dog she wants me to take. We're gonna keep Honey for a while longer because she could use some more socialization. She was scared to go back to the shelter but she was a lot better than when we first got her. I always feel so bad cos dogs don't understand. I told her we'd be back tomorrow but I don't think she believed me.

Oh so here's an Echo update. She's been kinda bad lately, messing up with her housetraining, getting into stuff, and just being really grumpy and snarling at me when I try to move her out of the way in bed. I know it's at least partly related to having all these foster dogs come and go. She argues with Candy a lot, and she actually peed on the bed the night we brought Honey home. I guess I'll have to quit fostering for a while and focus more on her.

It's weird because I don't think I'd have these problems with her if she were a foster. There are lots of weird relationship dynamics between people and dogs, did you ever notice? She gets away with stuff that I wouldn't tolerate in a foster. And she also gets less attention when I have fosters. So I decided I need to focus more on her and become her leader. Since Saturday she has lost her bed privileges completely, and she is crated when I'm not home. And I'm trying to give her special attention, extra walks, etc., and making her work for a living (she has to sit before she gets petted or gets to go outside, etc.). Sometimes I tie her to me in the house so she has to pay attention to me and go wherever I go. And you know, I think it's working. She needed someone to be in charge and tell her what to do. And I think having less freedom makes her feel less stressed. Her housetraining has been perfect since Saturday, and she actually potties on cue now. She is really happy to see me when I get home, does what I say, and rarely grumbles at me (and it really doesn't even come up much now that she's not allowed on the bed). I felt so guilty at first, but it really seems to be helping, and she seems less stressed. She was actually more stressed the first day or two because she didn't understand what was going on, but now she's doing better. Right now she's curled up like a little fetus on the futon.

Candy's ad: Spaniel/chow mix female, 5 yrs, 35 lbs, black. Loves cats and other dogs. Housetrained, quiet, gentle. Cuddly teddy bear. Needs fenced yard.


Honey's surgery went fine. We picked her up last night, and it was a big ordeal because we didn't realize that the parkway was closed because of flooding. You remember the Point, where the rivers come together? Well, that whole park was/is totally underwater. It normally takes us about 20 minutes to get to the shelter. Last night it took about an hour and 20 minutes. It got to be almost seven, which is when they close, so I called and asked if someone could let us in if we got there late. Luckily I actually got a hold of a human instead of the machine, and she said she'd let us in if we could get there by 7:30. Warren barely broke any laws trying to get there in time. It was actually past 7:30 but there were still about four people there closing up. They had to reboot the computer so they could sign Honey out correctly. I felt bad keeping them late. They told us to go ahead even though they still had to stay and do the computer work. The one girl was saying she just wanted to get home in time for Survivor. They said some people's houses were flooded.

Honey is glad to be "home" but she's really not feeling well. She couldn't even keep water down this morning. Tonight I gave her some rice and chicken baby food. She ate that pretty good. She looks so emaciated. I thought I had gotten her fattened up pretty well before the surgery, but now she looks emaciated. I think they took out too many parts. :) She looks hollow.

We have to replace most of the mini-blinds because Candy messed them up trying to look out. Well, Candy finished what Keek and Rufus started.


It was pretty nice out yesterday so I figured I should fix the fence. The one section of wire along the bad neighbor's house was totally detached from the boards. I wasn't too worried about it because the dogs are so used to it being there that they never challenged it. But I figured I better fix it. I had to cut down a bunch of branches because I couldn't even get to the fence. That's how it got knocked off apparently -- the trees grew into it and moved it. So I had to cut the branches off, and then I had trouble getting the fence back up because it seemed like it didn't fit right, but I finally got it stapled up. Staple guns are fun. Then I had to cut up all the branches and bag them. And I cleaned up poop. And we took 3 dogs to the park. Honey had to stay home to recuperate from her surgery. So I got to take advantage of the nice weather yesterday. It's nice and sunny again today too.

Honey is doing better. I was worried about her cos she's been really lethargic since we picked her up after she was spayed. I had to put a leash on her to pull her out of the crate and make her go outside. And she was sooo skinny. She's doing better now. She finally pooped today too so that was a big victory. She kept trying to go the last couple days, but I guess it hurt her, so she would just stop trying. I thought that couldn't be good, so I was relieved when she finally went today. She's doing a lot better now... wagging her tail and chewing a bone.

Poor Candy I think has allergies or something. She scratches constantly. I wonder if I should give her another bath with tea tree oil shampoo, or if it will just make it worse. Her skin is really flaky too.


Since he's been getting home kinda late from school (like 6), we decided it would be better to wait until Thursday morning to leave. I figure we would be there before noon easily without rushing. His family is eating at 4:30. What are you guys doing? I'll have a gazillion animals (4 dogs & one cat). I'm bringing a crate for the big dog. Everybody's housetrained and nice, so it shouldn't be a problem besides just the sheer number of animals.

The dogs seem happy to be back. They are all napping. Honey hasn't been spooky at all, except when I swept. She took a big nap in her crate. Now she's on the futon. Brin got into the trash and then tried to hide under the table and pretend he didn't do anything. He's such a brat. I knew he was getting into something. I was upstairs and heard him in the kitchen, and I said, "Brindle, get out of the trash!" By the time I got downstairs, there was some garbage on the floor but no dog. He was standing very still under the table, leaning up against the dog food bin, trying to be invisible. What a brat!