Monthly Archives: May 2019

It Takes a Village

One of my first impressions of Nash, besides the fear, was the smell. Nash had such a doggie odor that after working with him I would smell the same way. I had to hang my coat out in the hall at work rather than near my desk. I noticed nobody wanted to pet him much because it involved washing your hands every time you touched him. So, on his second evening with us I decided to give him a bath. You can imagine how that went. Nash literally thought I was trying to kill him. I felt so bad for him fighting for his life that I almost gave up, but I didn’t want him to think he could get his way by throwing a fit in the future. So, I sang him stupid songs and washed away. His struggles became less after a while. Luckily, he didn’t have too much fur at this point, so it went pretty fast. He really enjoyed the towel drying at the end.  Needless to say, the bathroom and I were both covered in water and I was exhausted and sore.

I took Nash for a walk the first day after work and it went about how you would expect. He couldn’t walk in a straight line and kept tangling me in the leash. Every so often he grabbed the end of the choke chain in his mouth and tried to get free. And he was furiously trying to eat all the snow he could like he thought he would never have water again. All in all, it could have gone a lot worse. We made it a little over a mile. It did nothing to calm him down though.

During the first days when I would take Nash out of his crate and try to pet him he would constantly jump, lunge, and try to kiss. I mean he didn’t ever stop trying. After the bath incident he actually laid still for several minutes as long as I kept petting him. It was a fight to get the choker and leash on and off of him every time I needed to take him out. And getting him back in the crate involved forcibly putting him in, which sometimes involved wounds (scratches) to the person involved. I knew he would take more work than any other dog I had fostered but that he would also be the most rewarding.

After a couple of weeks with us Nash was still neurotic and needy. I thought he loved everyone but that was not the case. He wanted to chase off the furnace repair man, didn’t like a friend of ours who came over (a large man) and attacked my brother’s dog when he came to spend the weekend. On the other hand, he liked my daughter when she came home from college for the weekend and liked my sister-in-law the two times he met her. And on the day my brother’s dog, Dakota, came I got him out on leash when I came home, and he was fine with Dakota. They never had another problem. Nash has met a number of visitors to our house since then and after he warms up to them he is fine

As time goes by I am sure he was abused. We still can’t pick him up without him going into self preservation mode. Sometimes I just pick him up anyway and let him put his mouth on me since there are things I have to do. Like put him in a crate to ride in the car or give shots. Oh, and anytime your foot comes into contact with him which can be often since he follows so close he runs into your feet, he squeals like you are trying to hurt him. He also has the strong food drive that you sometimes see in dogs that went without for a long time. He will try to take food from any of our seven dogs. And if we are eating you better believe we keep an eye on our food.

Nash, or Nashville as we like to call him, has been with us for a couple of months now. He has come a long way since the early days although he still has a way to go. His frantic kissing and attention seeking are down to about the first 15 minutes after I come home. Of course, he is willing to sit on my lap for the entire evening if I will let him. And you need to be careful or he will jump on your lap anytime. On two occasions this resulted in me wearing an entire cup of coffee. These days Nash runs in his crate eagerly and turns around with his head sticking out waiting for the biscuit he knows is coming. And a couple weekends ago I took him on a three mile walk at a nearby state park where we passed other walkers with dogs and some bicyclists. He circled the leash around me a few times but was otherwise well behaved. By evening when we are relaxing if I tell Nash to get down, he will go lay quietly on a cushion in the corner. Of course, anytime I make eye contact with him he comes running to see what I want, and I have to tell him to go lay down again. But he has come so far.

Nash is ready for a home with the “right person” who will have the patience and understanding to continue working with him. If someone with the right skills doesn’t come along in the near future, we will keep working with him until he is ready for a home. I say “we” because it is a family affair. Everyone in our family has a hand in Nash’s transition and so it will need to be with his new family.

I wrote this tale about Nashville’s escapades in 2009 when he came into Rescue. He was adopted by a wonderful family with two children later that summer and they adored him. I remember sobbing uncontrollably as I drove away from leaving him with his new family. Even though it was a great match, I had invested so much of myself in him that I loved him dearly. The family did comment that he hoarded cans of food in his crate. He must have somehow thought that he would need this food to survive if times ever got tough again. I don’t know how he planned to open them. Nashville was one of those dogs that as a coping mechanism, I always considered to be mine and that another family was just taking care of him for me. Thanks Sara, for his initial transport to us. It takes a village…

Dogs On the Patio

After a long holiday weekend and a return to work, what is a good reward? Time on the patio spend with my dogs, a good book, and a glass of cranberry iced tea. Above is Cassius hanging out with his mama (me!).

The girls, Nikki and Shelby, are always happy to pose for a photo. Shelby will do anything to be near me.

Baxter doesn’t care to have his picture taken but was gracious enough to accommodate since it was getting near mealtime.

And once I get home from work for the day, Zekie’s life is complete. Dogs are good for the soul.

Weeding and Planting, Oh My!

Zekie laying in front of the new flower bed under construction. He has been spending a lot of time with me while I’ve been weeding and planting. For the most part, he’s been good.

He’s stayed nearby while I worked on the rose bed. He’s even learned to stay out of the rose bed. I do have to preplan everything I do so he isn’t alone for more than a few minutes. Otherwise he gets stressed out. And a stressed Zekie, is a destructive Zekie.

He was with me for the urns I planted too. I tried to tie him to a leg on the patio table but he chewed through the leash. Change with Zekie is slow, although he does improve. In the interim, dealing with him is done with a lot of management.

Mr. Innocent

This is the second bowl that Zeke has “re-sculpted” since we’ve had him. It has looked like this for quite some time, I just don’t care anymore.

I don’t know when he does this. We never leave the bowl in the crate with him and go away anymore. The bowl comes out and the Nylabone goes in the crate if we are going away. When he’s in his crate for a brief time after meals, I don’t hear any noise. I don’t think he even had any canine fangs left by the time he mangled this one. (They were broken off in attempts to escape the crate when we were away.)

Although Zeke still sounds like a wild child, and I suppose he is, he is much improved from where he started. He is a good companion and relatively obedient. He does get into things but stops when we tell him to. So although he is a work in progress (aren’t we all?) things are at more of an even keel.

Here is Mr. Innocent at a friend’s house with me.


Zekie is ever so slowly showing improvement in his behavior. As he does, he earns more freedoms.

He has become my husband’s shop dog. Whenever he goes out to the shop to work, Zekie goes too. He lays under a sawhorse or workbench and passes the time while my husband works. The loud sound of the power tools, the hammering, the sawing, none of it bothers him. Several days of shop work in a row have Zekie waiting at the door to report for work. He likes to have a job.

Earlier this week Zekie got to go along to grandma’s house with my husband when he went to do yard work. Aside from jumping up into grandma’s lap to stare in her face and lick her nose, he was a good boy. She thought he was funny so that ended well.

Another morning, Zekie and Baxter got to ride along to a local plant nursery. They were both good boys.

Yesterday evening Zekie got to go along to a Craft Night fundraiser for our Sheltie Rescue group. My friend went along too and brought one of her dogs. Both dogs did well on the ride and at the event. Most attendees brought a dog along. Everyone got along well and it was a fun evening.

I hope Zekie is learning that new opportunities open up to well behaved dogs. I know he greatly enjoys these new adventures. He is happy and generally well behaved as long as he is with one of us. Good boy Zekie!

A Quick Evening Walk

I volunteered at an AKC Obedience Trial yesterday and today so only a little time for weeding this evening and a quick walk around the yard. This is my new foxglove plant, also known as digitalis. Haven’t decided where to put it yet, but we have been wanting one.

These blooms are from three different azalea bushes. The last one is very old. The trunk is as big around as a small tree.

Our traditional lilacs are in bloom. Not a lot of flowers on them this year, but the Miss Kim’s and the French lilacs are still to come.

And the lily of the valley are just starting to open up. My mother used to have lilac and lily of the valley perfumes. I wish I could find them now. They smelled remarkably like the real thing. I hope

I hope you are getting out to enjoy your own flowers. Spring is a beautiful and peace inducing thing.

Fun Times

Finally. Some sunny days. Nikki and Shelby enjoyed the day. They watched the other pups play frisbee and run around playing and being generally crazy.

Grandma’s little dog Paisley ran around and played with the big boys. She is much younger than Nikki and Shelby. A fun time, followed by baths (not a fun time) was had by all. You can see the mud on Zeke’s white legs. Summer weather is near!