In addition to banana time, we also occasionally have orange time at our house. Our dogs love fruit. Well, except for Baxter, which is why he is not in the photo.
Even Claire, the foster girl on the far right, is getting into the act. Dogs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, so I suppose this is not a bad thing. They only get a slice or two so as not to get upset tummies.
The preferred activity around our house lately has been watching the Australian Open. For those who don’t know, this is the first of the four major tennis tournaments of the year. The tournament spans two weeks and we watch as many of the matches as we can. It is down to the semi-finals now so we don’t want to miss anything.
So this is how I watch tennis. Claire the foster dog is in my lap. She is very snuggly and this way I know where she is at all times. This saves me from jumping up every few minutes to see where she is and what she is chewing on. So far: the earbuds to my iPhone, underwear, slippers, numerous paper napkins, and a pencil. Usually I get to her before much damage is done. And really it is my fault. Claire tries to be good. Given her past experience before she came to our house, she just doesn’t understand why some things are toys and some things are not. And she looks so heartbroken when I scold her for chewing inappropriate things. It’s as if she is saying, “awww, I got it wrong again.” She is learning now if I tell her no-no that she should put the item down and that will be the end of it. I am at fault for letting her have opportunities to mess up. We will get there.
Cassius lays beside me and puts his head on Claire. He wants to emphasize to us all that Claire may be on my lap, but I am his mommy!
And Baxter is on the couch because we are and, well, the couch is soft.
A better way to watch television is not to be found. Retirement rocks!
A new foster dog has arrived! We have been without a foster dog for over two years. That is an eternity for us. We had not been without a foster dog before this since 2003. When Zeke came, he was such a handful that we could not deal with any other new dogs. So when I decided to adopt Zeke, we had to take a break from fostering.
Zeke is still a handful. I would say that his behavior gets marginally better all the time. At this rate he will be a normal level of crazy in several more years. Well, either Zeke is a bit better or our tolerance for trouble has increased. Because in the late fall, we decided that we were ready to foster again. Turn-ins to our group Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue slowed down and we have some other great foster homes available so it didn’t work out for a dog to come to us until yesterday. This girl’s name is Topanga. We will be renaming her soon as that is quite a mouthful and she doesn’t seem very responsive to it.
Topanga was turned over to our Rescue group along with four other dogs. All of the dogs are female Shetland Sheepdogs and about 4-5 years old. Two are sables, two are tricolors, and there is one blue merle. The owner is apparently beginning to suffer from dementia and is no longer able to care for the dogs. I applaud the owner for realizing her limitations and doing what is best for these girls no matter how hard it is. Many of us could end up in a similar situation and I can only imagine the grief it would bring. The other dogs are going from their initial intake home to long term foster homes too. They will all get any updates to their care that is needed along with love. Love is what our foster homes do best.
I would like to point out that as with all Rescue groups, we have a protocol that we follow before placing dogs in adoptive homes. We require applications and then we conduct vet checks, followed by home checks. Then we place each dog into the approved home that is the best fit for him or her. We have enough approved homes on our waiting list to provide an adoptive home for all of these dogs. If you are interested in a dog, it is wise to get an application in early so you will be ready when we have more dogs come along.
I have to thank Cheryl, who picked up the dogs from the owner for us. And a big thanks also to Kathi who met Cheryl at the local pet store and both ladies spent their evening bathing, trimming, and transporting these dogs. These are two ladies from the local Shetland Sheepdog breed club as well as members of our Rescue. It is great and always a help when these two parts of the dog world can work together. Bravo ladies!
Topanga will be here for a few weeks at least while we update her veterinary needs and get her spayed. We can already tell she is quite a character. She was jumping and trying to play with me when I was grooming her yesterday. She keeps running around and trying to get the other dogs to play. She is also trying to get the cats to play but so far that results in hissing and a swat or two. I’m sure it’s only a matter of a few days before she is outside playing with the other dogs in our fenced pasture.
I was in the process of organizing old photos today and came across some of a few of the dogs, but by no means all, that we have fostered over the years for Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue. I thought you would like to see them too.
More pictures of foster dogs will be shared in a future post. They all went on to wonderful homes.
Some of you might wonder why I would want to keep a dog like Zekie when we foster so many “nice” dogs. Not dogs like Zeke who do things like stress chew their bowls until, as one person put it, the bowl looks like it was mangled in an airplane crash. Well this photo right here sums it up. True love. (Or for you Princess Bride fans To Blave) No one loves you like an intense, crazy dog. And hey look, there’s a lampshade on my head, so life is a party with Zekie!
Let’s be honest, my life isn’t complete unless I have a crazy dog, or so I’ve been told. I have to agree with that assessment. Anybody can handle life with a calm, normal dog. And I’m always up for a challenge. Normalcy is boring. I prefer a dog smart enough to watch tv and figure out how to open the kitchen doors to counter surf.
Or like my heart dog Duncan. Smart enough to learn how to use the latches on the crates so he can let the foster dogs out and eat all their food.
May you be fortunate enough to have such a dog. And survive it.
It’s always good to catch up with old friends. This is a picture of an old friend. Sky (formerly known as Skylar) spent the past week with us while his humans were away. He was our foster dog for a number of months about three years ago. Fortunately, his humans are also friends of ours so he gets to stay with us every once in a while.
Sky got to spend some time with us on the patio on the one nice day we had. This was a treat because it wasn’t totally fenced in back when he lived with us.
At first he just watched everyone else play. See him peeking from behind the plant?
But then he remembered how things work around here and started to join in.
By the end of the afternoon, Sky was tired and ready for a rest.
He is back home with his own family now but it sure was nice to spend some time with him.
It’s always nice to hear about a former foster dog. This is Sweetie. We fostered her three years ago. She was a favorite. Definitely in the top five of any fosters who have come through here.
Sweetie is our kind of dog. A big sheltie with lots of energy and attitude and smarts. Luckily she went to an amazing couple who keeps in touch.
Sweetie is living the good life. Her new (at least three years ago she was new) mom works from home. Sweetie gets to go camping and hiking. The perfect life for her. And she gets all the attention. She doesn’t have to share with a pack.
As you can see from the video, life is definitely good! This is what makes it all worthwhile.
This is Zeke, aka Zekie. He is my pit bull. You don’t think he looks like a pit bull? Well, he’s not exactly a pit bull.
You see, I really wanted to get a pit bull. My plan was to get one and train it to use for my therapy dog work. I wanted to help improve their image and also show that they were a member of our family of dogs and cats. I hadn’t quite convinced everyone in the family to proceed with this idea but I was wearing them down.
Then along came Zekie. He was transported from a local shelter to our house for fostering and was supposed to be a sheltie. Not only is he not a pit bull, he’s not a sheltie either.
Just what is he? He’s my type of dog, that’s what. He has separation anxiety. He has no fangs left, having broken the last two off on his crate since he’s been here. That was on Prozac twice a day. I’m weaning him off of that since it doesn’t help much and he’s not going anywhere. He is leash reactive, barking and lunging at other walkers. I have purchased an Easy Walk harness to see how that goes. He jumps up, mauling us when we return home. Still working on this.
Despite these behaviors, Zeke is my type of dog. He is loving and thinks he is a lap dog. Ironically, he loves everyone who comes in our house. It’s only people he meets while out walking that bring out his nasty side. He is fairly obedient. He loves to give kisses. He is grateful for any and all attention.
So although Zekie is not actually a pit bull, he came into my life and I love him so he is here to stay. The pit bull will have to wait until another time in the future. I foresee Zeke keeping me busy for the next couple of years. You will just have to humor me as I refer to my pit bull Zeke!
Do you buy Christmas presents for your dogs? We never used to but it brings them such joy to be included that we do now. Cassius knows he heard a squeaker somewhere! He was running around looking for the squeaky toy when this photo was taken.
Cassius also got a new jolly ball for Christmas. They are actually sold for horses but when you find a toy that might hold up to the jaws of steel, you go for it.
Cassius is a good sport so let’s Zeke have a turn with his new toy.
Baxter got, what else? A new Frisbee!
Shelby, never one to lay down on the job, supervises all the holiday proceedings and goings on.
Nikki mostly stays out of the way. When the big dogs are excited, things can get crazy. A petite girl could get run over!
And Zeke the wonder dog is happy to be a part of it all. He is a very nice dog. He joins in playing and chasing toys with our crew and barely bats an eye. No snarling or altercations, just smiles all around.
We are learning more about Zeke as time goes by. Such as, he loves spending time outside as long as he is with the other dogs and knows we are nearby. He especially loves the snow, burying his nose in it and snuffling for what I don’t know. Maybe for the sheer joy of it.
We have also learned that he is not above stealing food from the counter and eating all of it. But only when we are not around. For this the fault lies with us for allowing the opportunity.
Zeke continues to move his crate across the room when there are no humans at home. And drool. The weather has not been conducive to walking so no updates on that front.
Even so, we are enjoying our time with Zeke. He is a fine dog.