Monday, January 28, 2013

Doing What We Do Best

What great weather for January. Early this morning we jumped in the car and headed for a trail we haven't been on before, another limestone glade, really good ups and downs and the rocky terrain makes Taricha slow down and watch her step. She was working hard, panting and we loved it.

While Taricha and I walk 2-4 miles on pavement every single day (but not always in one go), we aren't  in any shape for real hiking. And we need to be so since I have multiple camping/hiking trips planned this year.  This limestone glade is right around the corner from our house so we might start doing this run more often. The 3.75 miles today killed! (Our goal is 10 miles of rough terrain by spring.)

This random sign left me puzzled. I think the giant rock behind it is named Headache, as it was a truly giant chunk of earth kind of hanging off the edge of the hill. But then it could be the trail named Headache because it was so muddy.... it quickly became one.

Taricha really enjoyed herself, this is our zone and she seems to focus on the trail as if it were a job.  As we get home, I could tell in her face that she missed hiking and being exhausted feels good.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Quick Foster

Its a fucking gorgeous day, for January, and I find myself driving good ol' Hank to his new home. You heard me correctly, Hank was adopted!!  It happened faster (and easier) than I ever imagined. A friend of a friend met Hank at my house by chance and the two were smitten. After a few play dates with the hopeful-home's other dog, it was clear that Hank was at quite happy and comfortable with the family. And the rest shall be history...

Coming home to Taricha was quite painful. The house was quiet. She looked at me when I walked in, looked at the door, looked at me, at the door.....  To distract her, I quickly took Taricha to the dog park and  we burned some steam together.

After that first few hours, Taricha is over Hank.  (I'm not.... ! )

They got along just fine but they certainly were not friends. I think a lot of this was because they just had different styles. Taricha is a wrestler, a mouth-er, a tug-er. Hank is a long distance runner, a fetcher, a ball-er (lol). Hank may be taller but Taricha has 50lb's on him and she knows how to throw her weight. I really dont think Hank appreciated being slammed into all the time in jest.

I am very happy that Hank will be happy but again, my house is just quiet and some energy seems to have left it. I put all the baby gates away and folded up the crate. Gathered a few toys that Hank liked, to bring him when I visit later this week. It really has been so sad that I don't know if I could do it again, or at least, not for a little while. I do miss my time of just Taricha and I, We haven't been really hiking together in what seems like forever because we always had to get home to Hank!

Good luck to you Hank. I knew you were a good boy and someone would see that!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Familiar Haunts

I think Taricha is starting to enjoy showing Hank the ropes. Including her favorite place in the world, the skate rink. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Puppy Bomb!

We take a break from your regularly scheduled program to bomb my blog with pics of Taricha as a puppy! It's hard to believe this was almost four years ago. (Her last owner just found them and Im all SQUEEEEEEEEE.)

(if you recognize this big white bully, thats because its Kalulah! Who stayed with us last summer for a few weeks. She and Taricha have always been good buds. It was heart breaking when she recently move off to California with her hooman.)

Taricha still lays like this and gives me these 'looks' hehe! Guess the personality is there from birth!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Just Hanging Out

Life with Hank has continued to be easier than imagined. He is a real dream to be around and as sweet as can be. If Im up doing something, he's right behind me ready to go. If I sit down to something, he naps in an instant. If he's bored, he picks up toy and entertains himself. Hank might have grabbed a few pillows today but very quickly learned, they weren't toys and hasn't looked at them since.

He makes himself comfy everywhere. This is how you enjoy some winter sun.

Taricha is getting plenty of alone of time and attention too, no worries there. She enjoys having company but she still enjoys our long walks, just me n her and no one else in the world.

The two really have become buddies over the last week ish. They tussle and eyeball each other over the best spots to lay. Taricha likes to take up 3/4 of any surface she's on. Poor Hank squeezes himself onto the edge of everything.

So all in all. Things are getting their flow and all is well. The cats have even decided to come down out of hiding! We have made great leaps in the last two days with them. Suthek the fuzzy black furrball has even jumped up on the bed with both dogs a couple times. I have kept the baby gate up just so the cats feel like they have some safe place while they adjust. For now! Ill be taking it down soon enough as Hank has proven himself worthy of full house range.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not really sad... !

Hank is really a handsome boy. He's got a tall lean body and a smooth gait. Gorgeous amber eyes.

And this little scar under his eye that looks like a tear drop.  It doesnt mean he's sad I promise!

Hank has been a wonderful pup to live with these last few days.

The best part is that we have had ZERO accidents in the house. Zero!
Totally blowing me away.

Before Hank got here, I purchased carpet cleaners, puppy pads and a two baby gates, fully knowing that he had no house training. I imagined Id need to keep an eye on him 24/7 but he hasnt even lifted a leg. Not a sniff.

This morning, 5am, I wake to a nudge at my feet.
And then another nudge on my arm. Hank woke me up and asked to go outside.
Totally blowing me away again!

He has potential. He gets some basic and very important house manners. Now if only I could get a sit.. or down.. or ANYTHING out of him besides staring straight at me with big sad eyes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day Two...

You made a fun noise?

Hank had been a delight today... settles nicely, plays nicely, and listens when I distract him from naughty things. (twice he tried to get a shoe...) He is very much afraid of some things and I do not want to push him, at all. My man-friend visited tonight and Hank stayed his distance, very unsure. When Taricha came waddling up to ecstatically say hello, Hank decided it was okay too. He's following Taricha around, taking her lead.

I have not asked for more than a single one-on-one with him, all I did was introduce the clicker and he was rather uncomfortable with the situation, alone, with me. He understands that the click means food but not anything beyond that... And that's fine!

Then it was back to sniff romp explore.

The cats have been completely freaked out. Like they always are when a new dog comes around. They hate me too now. Little Vincent has been giving me what could only be described as a Death Glare every time I come upstairs to visit them. They will be okay eventually.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet Hank!

The beautiful Shepard mutt on the right is our first foster kid, Hank!

Despite Taricha's interesting face-moment in this photo, she has been decently behaved and tremendously happy. They are just now kind of settling down in my room. Well sort of. They're tussling in a bed thats only big enough for one dog but they think two will work. 

My plan is to take things extremely slow with Hank. His story explains a little bit..

As a puppy, Hank was chained in a yard with his sister. With pretty much zero contact with humans, the two dogs were basically feral when they were rescued. Scared and frightened of other dogs and people. They were brought to a boarding facility where the two stayed, and grew up, for the next year and a half, learning to trust people all the while. The kennel assistant who's been helping us along the way, explained that the two  pups seemed to have fallen through the cracks and was glad that at least one of them was getting out.

The only thing Hank has ever really known is this boarding facility. While its a great place, four cement walls and a yard of fences is no place to grow up and be a well adjusted dog. Doesnt know Cars. Cats. Carpet. Rugs. Blankets. Shoes. Leashes. Couches. Beds. Counter tops. Windows. Doesnt even know the beginnings of Sit or Down... zero potty training or well... NOTHING. 

Hank may be coming up on two years old but I imagine he's still a puppy inside because every single thing is so new.

The great news is... He has taken today with great stride.  Hank has been happy, friendly and very engaging. He wants to learn, he wants to explore. I couldn't be happier. (Taricha too, big bully grin all day)  Still, taking it slow! He's going to be leashed to me 24/7 until we get house breaking under control. We haven't had a accident all day so let's keep that going.

More.... later!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

So close but so far...

The fostering adventure is still working itself out.. Ive been sitting by my email, waiting for return emails that give the all clear. It's a rough wait.

I previously mentioned my woes while trying to work within the system to foster but finally I've found a group that wants to work with me too. Yesterday we visited one of their facilities to meet with some pups, I was a nervous wreck and trying not to show it. See Taricha has a few issues, okay just one, leashes and barriers. Reactivity.  She doesn't like being restrained, or held back, the frustration boils and explodes. She needs to meet dogs while she feels relaxed and free, so going to an unknown facility with lots of dogs, lots of barriers and lots of noise, made me nervous.

Taricha did great. It probably helped that the fellow showing us around was extremely nice and educated. He knew exactly what to do, he knew every single dog and the greetings went amazingly smooth. Oh the dogs... I remember why I avoid going to kennels! Its heartbreaking and I wanted to bring every single pup home with me!

Well Taricha got to meet a couple pups but she was mighty dismayed that no one wanted to play with her.  I tried to tell her not to take it personally, these dogs arent the usual dogs she'll run into at the dog park. These dogs have issues and that's why we're here!

She may not have connected with anyone but I did. A very sweet Shepard mutt named Hank decided I was awesome and followed me around the yard the entire time. He seemed extremely indifferent to Taricha, even as she tried to initiate play and nibble on his legs. Indifference is better than some other things, so I considered it a victory and decided Hank should come home with us.

Hank has a good story, although a sad one like a lot of shelter dogs. I cannot wait to post more when the day arrives... !