Shelby is a happy girl. Daddy said she is the best behaved dog we have ever had!
She has never had a potty accident in the house, at home or anywhere else either. She can go for walks off leash and come back reliably even if there are other dogs or squirrels. She does give the school bus a dirty look before she comes.
Shelby is good when meeting new dogs or cats. She doesn’t eat poop. When the cats get into a scuffle amongst themselves, she breaks it up.
It’s been a red letter day! I spent most of it working as a team with Shelby and Nikki. And I was blessed today for many reasons.
First we conducted therapy dog testing at All Breed Training Club of Akron. They are kind enough to allow me to use the building and they have most of the equipment that I use so I don’t have to load up the car with much. There are now several more dogs eligible to visit nursing homes, hospitals, etc. ! If you’re wondering how Shelby and Nikki help me with this, they are my assistants to check the testees for reaction to a neutral dog. They work as the neutral dog.
Ways I was blessed during this event:
My friend Linda graciously showed up to unlock the building and help with testing.
The club allowed me use of the building.
My daughter showed up to help me check people in even though she wasn’t feeling 100%. She showed up because she is reliable and had committed to helping me.
Another friend, Meganne, and her daughter came to help with the reaction to children portion of the test. The daughter enjoyed it and wants to help again!
I was able to certify five more dogs for visiting!
I got to meet a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Scottie, an Irish Wolfhound, a Parson Russell mix, and two Border Collies.
The person who didn’t pass was understanding and pleasant about it.
Then after the test I got to have lunch with my friend Erin who drove an hour and a half to have her dogs tested as a team. I first met Erin about two years ago when I tested her first therapy dog. We connected on Facebook and over time have discovered that we have more and more in common. We had such a good time talking about dogs and connecting!
Then Shelby, Nikki, and I came home for a while where they got to spend some time outside with our other dogs and bark at their brother Baxter while he chased the frisbee.
Then on to more therapy work! I recently met someone at work who’s parents live about a half mile down the road from me. The father is not able to get around like he once was and could really use a visit from a sheltie, I was told. Shelby and Nikki to the rescue! We walked down the road for a visit and now have even more friends.
I was so proud of Nikki. She sat on this gentleman’s lap for 45 minutes and I do believe she made his day.
Blessings from this encounter:
I got to hang out with my girls some more.
I got to talk about my favorite thing-dogs.
I got to go for a walk.
I made new friends.
I had the opportunity to make someone’s life just a little bit happier.
Life is good. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings and what opportunities I have to spread happiness.
Zeke went to see the vet on Monday. We were concerned about him because when released from his crate, he makes a beeline for the water bowl and drinks like he just crossed a desert. You can’t get his attention to get him outside until he is done.
The vet found nothing wrong. He is apparently just getting so thirsty because he becomes so distraught when we leave, that he drools himself into dehydration. There is literally standing drool in his crate so deep when I come back that I need paper towels to mop it up. And the entire front of him is drenched.
Between this and all his other antics, such as trying to attack people on bikes, and joggers, we opted to put Zeke on Prozac for a destress and retraining period.
So far it is helping slightly. And this is early, the medicine can take several weeks to build to full potential. The amount of time that he spends frantically jumping on me when I return home from work is less. The crazed look in his eye is less. This morning I didn’t hear him barking when I closed the door for work.
I am also going to try something else my vet recommended. Puppy popsicles! Apparently licking is more calming than chewing, thus the popsicles. Take water or broth, low sodium of course, and put things in it like hot dog shavings, very tiny bits of cheese or peanut butter, etc. and freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins. Give one in a metal bowl (plastic bowls may get eaten) when you go away. Give one once in a while too when you’re home so there isn’t always a stressful event associated with it.
Zeke’s metal bowl is chewed full of holes all around the top and bent nearly in half. We straighten it from time to time. I don’t know of any thing to feed him in that would be safer though.
The weather was lovely on Saturday so we decided to take dogs for a walk. Shelby also went along but was too busy sniffing things to be present in this photo.
After my last walk with Zeke the Foster Dog, I expected it to be a work out. I was not disappointed. We leashed everybody up in the parking lot at Towners Woods. And the fun began right away. Another lady walking her dog was also in the parking lot. For whatever reason, her dog began barking at us. This set Zeke off and he became a barking, lunging, slavering beast. I was not able to break his focus from the other dog and he became quite ferocious acting. I finally had to pick him up and flip him over on his back and hold him down. After a few seconds of this he calmed enough to get up and quietly stare bullets at the backside of the lady and her dog as they scurried away.
Although my dog put on the better (read, more embarrassing, show), at least mine was now quiet and her’s was still barking as they hurried off into the distance. All of our own dogs seemed to be thinking, well let’s get this show on the road, we’re here to hike! So off we went with Zeke now behaving like just one of the pack.
Zeke did growl and jump at some other hikers but his heart didn’t seem to be in it except for the couple who had a Rottweiler and a Boxer. Them, he barked ferociously at. Umm, Zeke, you only weigh 42 lbs. But all in all we had a nice afternoon.
Shelby even took time to pose for a photo. And since the sun finally came out, we saw some beautiful scenery.
Infact I was so absorbed looking at the beauty of the foliage that I tripped on some tree roots and fell down. I fell down without catching myself because I twisted so I wouldn’t land on Zeke and hurt him. Although there were some minor pains the biggest hit was taken by my ego. Always save the dog!
Although I often share Zeke’s more troublesome antics, rest assured that he is a wonderful dog. The quiet times just don’t make as good of a story. Zeke is affectionate, loving, and good company. He gets along well with other dogs and cats at home. He is always happy to see you. Once he has settled into a permanent home, I have no doubt that he will blossom even more.
Look at that beautiful, innocent face. No trouble at all, right? Not so much.
We were enjoying a spell of good weather so on Friday we were outside putting the gardens to bed, digging up bulbs, etc. Our dogs were outside but Zeke had to stay in because he has escaped the fence two times. Luckily he just wants to be with us so doesn’t run off. Unfortunately, we now have to keep him inside when we do yard work but he still wants to be with us. He got upset by this and got onto the dining room table again, no doubt trying to look out the window to see us. We could tell this because all the papers that were on the table, were all over the floor.
We will give him another chance because this is not something he does all the time but if it continues he will have to be crated when we are outside. I hope we don’t have to do this because then Zeke becomes distraught and covered in drool. Not pleasant for any of us.
The important thing is to keep him safe. And also to prevent destructive habits from forming. Not many people are looking for dogs with destructive habits to adopt.
Zeke had been with us for a week last Friday. We decided to take him on a walk with our other dogs on the Hike and Bike Trail. Things started off well. He sat obediently at my feet on the floor of the car for the drive there. He waited patiently for me to attach his leash before getting out of the car. He pulled a little as we started our walk but nothing too bad, he was just excited.
Then the “fun” started. As an approaching bicyclist passed us, Zeke lunged, barking fiercely and snarling. Luckily I have had another bicycle reactive dog so I intercepted him before harm was done. As we walked on I discovered that Zeke also had this same reaction to joggers as well as other oncoming walkers. We started getting dirty looks from others out enjoying the trail. Each time he reacted inappropriately I corrected him. Then I would call to the offended party “new foster dog” which seemed to appease them. I Increased the level of my corrections as needed. Finally I resorted to making Zeke sit each time someone went by. I never before encountered a dog that snarled and growled from a firmly held sit.
Finally, after a time, his reactions lessened. I praised the daylights out of him for the briefest calmness. The calmness lasted for longer. By the time we were heading back to the car he was containing his response and I was praising like crazy.
I imagine next time, Zeke will snarl and lunge at others on the trail again. But I also expect that he will improve more and more quickly. Zeke will eventually be a well behaved dog. That is what he wants to be, he just needs someone to show him how.