Tag Archives: Rescue Dogs

Foster Puppy! Bodhi, Part I

Kitten with the new foster dog.
Jasper meets the new foster pup while Claire supervises in the background.

We got a new foster pup. And I mean puppy! Bodhi will be six months old in five more days. My husband had been away on vacation with our daughter, and he had a surprise waiting for him when he got home. Part of his welcoming committee was the puppy. It wasn’t totally unexpected as there had been talk that our fostering services might be needed soon.

Bodhi was purchased as a puppy from an Amish man. The lady who bought him took excellent care of him. He was up to date on shots and medical procedures. She also sent a detailed list of his daily schedule. This included scrambled eggs that she made for herself and her dogs. She also had another dog that was a year and a half old, so basically she had two puppies. The daily schedule included numerous meals and snacks, multiple play times, and snuggle times. Apparently, Bodhi was too rambunctious and his puppy behavior was intimidating and stressing the other dog. So, it was decided that Bodhi would be re-homed.

His original purchaser had him until about a week ago. Then Bodhi went on to his second home. There, I suspect his puppy antics were misinterpreted. His boisterous barking, growling, and playing were not a good fit for this home. It happens. That why rescues are here. So, Bodhi came to stay here with us for a bit.

Sheltie puppy
Bodhi watching me in the kitchen.

I had forgotten just how tiring young puppies can be. You have to watch them every minute. Bodhi really is well behaved for his age. He rarely chews on anything besides his toys. If he does pick up a random item, you tell him no once and he leaves it alone. He is reliably housetrained. The only accident we had was my fault. His signal to go out is to stand at the door and I missed it. I thought he was just playing but he was saying, “hey, I need to go outside”. That one was on me. And his crate training is excellent. He will rest quietly in his crate when it is nap time or if I have something to do and can’t watch him. He slept quietly in his crate for the entire night from his first night here.

Bodhi is really quite the joy and will make someone very happy. He is making us very happy right now. Puppies have such unfettered joy. He is happy to see us every time we come back in the house or even just return from another area of the house where he couldn’t go. Our dogs and cats are not as thrilled with him as we are. Bodhi loves cats. So much, that he follows them and runs after them to sniff and nibble them. Our cats are fairly good natured so they either ignore him or stay in a location that he can’t reach. There is an occasional hiss or smack, but Bodhi doesn’t take it personally.

Our dogs find him to be tiresome. Bodhi finds them to be wonderful. He follows them and tries to jump on them to play. Baxter and Shelby have told him off a few times with a curled lip or a loud Woof! Bodhi responses appropriately and looks for someone else to harass, um I mean play with! A few times I have found Bodhi chewing on Zekie’s foot or tail. Zekie looks at me and says, “Mom, I’m being good, but help! There’s a delinquent pestering me”.

I am having the best time with this puppy. But there is a permanent home in the works. Stay tuned!

Sheltie pup and me.
Bodhi and me!

The Christmas Gift

Baby Zekie

I received an unexpected Christmas present this week. I was contacted a few days ago by the woman who owned Zekie before I did. And a day later I was contacted by the woman who owned him before that. Now I know what Zekie’s former life was like. And I was sent this picture of him as a puppy. How special is that? We always wondered what he looked like as a pup. He was just as cute as we thought he would be.

Some people say it doesn’t matter what happened to a dog in his earlier life. That dogs live in the moment, and you can deal with their current behavior and move on. I don’t agree with this. If you don’t know what happened to them before, you have no choice but to proceed this way. If you are fortunate enough to know their history, then you know why they do certain behaviors and can better deal with them. Especially in the case of highly intelligent dogs like Zekie. He understands the English language to a frightening degree.

Zekie’s former owner found him, and me, by reading my blog! She recognized pictures of him and put it together from some of the stories, I’m sure. I checked my phone one morning and had a message from her! She was so glad to know what had happened to him and that he was ok. She had been his third home. She had a change in living circumstances and had only a few days to find accommodations for her two dogs. She was able to find a friend to keep her other dog for a bit. I can imagine how challenging it would be to locate someone who would be able to deal with Zeke and his shenanigans even if only for a few days. She did the best she could and found a shelter to take him.

I learned that in Zekie’s first home, he was kept in a crate nearly all the time. I’m sure this accounts for his dislike of the crate and his chewing out of wire and plastic crates here. His second owner took him to get him out of this situation. She was a little older and soon discovered that Zekie was more than she was up to. He got jealous and growled when she gave her other dog attention. She cared about him enough to get him to his third owner, the one who had him before me. This owner was younger, and Zeke did well with her. She took him on lots of hikes and they had lots of fun times.

These last two owners were still in contact and that’s how I heard from the lady who got him out of the crated situation. Zekie has traveled quite a journey in his life that brought him to us. We have had him for four years now which is half his life. He is home to stay.

I am thankful to now know his back story. I am also thankful that he encountered people who cared about him enough to get him to where he is today. After talking to his last owner, I have no doubt that he was deeply loved. Maybe one day he will get to see her again for a visit.

And that is the gift I was blessed with this Christmas. To each of you, my readers, I wish blessings of your own this Christmas that extend throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas.

Zekie as he looks today.

Seeking Inner Peace Through Prozac

Zekie in a quiet moment.

Zekie had an appointment at the vet’s this morning for a rabies booster shot. It was just routine. Our veterinarian, a wonderful lady, came outside to talk to me before they brought Zekie back out to the car. (They are continuing with the curbside service, that started due to Covid, because they are undergoing an interior remodel of the clinic.)

We talked about Zekie’s anxiety. His behavior had stayed pretty constant since I retired, but lately it seems to be getting worse. He continues to have crate anxiety at night in addition to his other anxiety issues. Zekie-2, Mommy-2; or Exuberant Love. This night time anxiety only started about a week or two ago. Before that he was fine, since his upstairs crate is only three feet from where I sleep. See the above link.

And today’s trip to the vet was a new experience too. Normally, he goes with the vet assistant for his appointment and is well behaved. This morning, he wouldn’t go. He planted himself on the asphalt of the parking lot and refused to move. I had to walk with them to the clinic door. As he and the tech entered the clinic and the door closed, I could see him through the glass. He was looking back at me with a look of sheer, glassy-eyed terror. I imagine he was remembering when this same thing happened to him nearly five years ago at the county dog shelter where he was left. I can’t really know. I can’t think of anything else that would account for that much fear.

When the vet tech eventually returned him to the car, she said he had been very afraid. She said she had stepped out of the room for a minute and when she returned, Zekie was sitting in the exact place she had left him. He hadn’t moved at all, and was sitting ramrod stiff and staring straight ahead.

My talk with the veterinarian was mostly about the saliva staining on Zekie’s paws, front legs, and belly. She wondered if he had allergies. I told her, no, it is from stress and him drooling massive puddles of saliva anytime we go away from home and he must be in his crate. This even happens during just a quick trip to the grocery store. We decided to try Zekie on Prozac again. I did try this once before under the care of another vet, with no luck. This time his dosage is doubled and we will be sure to try it for the full eight weeks that it may take to kick in.

I truly hope the meds help him this time. It must be terrible to be so upset that you pant and drool puddles and do yourself bodily harm. It can’t be any fun being the dog in the crate next to him either.

If we are able to help Zekie overcome his anxiety, I have hopes that this will improve his leash reactivity as well. So, keep your fingers crossed and pray for Zekie. I so hope this little boy can have a more normal life and enjoy the peace that should go with being a dog in a loving home.

Peace be with you, Zekie.