Tag Archive | dogs

“Great Happiness” is a Yellow Lab

WP_20170219_002Allow me to introduce Alissa.

Among other things, her name means, “Great happiness.”

She is almost 16 weeks of age now and already has a number of commands under her belt.

She is a very sunny little girl with that sweet Labrador demeaner.  Even when she is being a bit of a dickens, she is cute.

I think she’ll be a big girl:  She was 18 pounds at 10 weeks of age and has doubled in size since then.  Her vet says he thinks she’ll be somewhere in the 60-70 pound range.

It is hard for me to imagine that she’ll ever be anything other than a puppy.

Update on Felicia

I learned a lot from my experience with this precious dog.

She had to return to the Humane Association because she was too agrressive for my home and neighborhood.

By the time I took her back, she had threatened a 4-year-old child and killed my cockatiel.  She was already in “Last Chance Saloon” for chasing a man in my neighborhood and scaring another person.

 

Returning her and surrendering her to the shelter was an awful experience.  I knew she needed to go; yet I felt like a traitor.

 

What I learned:

*Some dogs will recover from anxiety disorder and learn to be less aggressive; some need a lot of time, if they get well at all.

 

*Really check out the rescue organization.  Felicia probably should have been evaluated more thoroughly in the first place.  I hear rumor that she is already up for adoption, something that troubles me:  There is no way that her problems have been solved in only six weeks.

There are organizations that make sure animals are ready for placement; others, not so much.

The consolation is, I have a different puppy.  I had no idea that Felicia was so impaired until I got my new little girl:  She was doing things at 10 weeks that Felicia couldn’t do at 13 months.

At 15 weeks, she is having to work on some of the same things that Felicia was learning at 7 months.  The difference:  She is mastering the lessons.

I will introduce her in my next post.

 

Felicia

wp_20160811_005-1This is Felicia.
She is a black lab/border collie mix, about 13 months old now.

I adopted this little lady from the Humane Association’s animal shelter…
When I first met her, all she could do was cower.  Once she got through that, she became a bit aggressive, mostly from severe anxiety disorder.

Felicia has made good progress:  During her first month in my home, she was afraid of everything:  An unexpected noise, furniture, the kitchen garbage can…  Now she is much more relaxed in that regard.

She still has a number of challenges:  Separation and stranger anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, problems with aggression.  Her rehabilitation plan includes medication, behavior management, calming coats, essential oils, a lot of patience and love.  When she is behaving, Felicia is a nice little dog.  I say she’s like “the little girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead…”

When Felicia was still at the shelter, I was told that she was brought in by people who simply didn’t do anything with her siblings and her, so they are timid.  Hmmmmm, I don’t know that I buy the story.  Felicia cowers at any hand movement that could look like she might be hit.  She also freaks out if I try to dry her off with a towel and she is very protective of her hind quarters.

As for the separation anxiety, it turns out that shelter dogs often have this problem.  It makes sense:  Imagine that you are relaxing at home; then one day, you are taken to a strange place and put into a cage.  Nothing is familiar; no one comes back for you.
If I had known then what I do now, I’m not sure I would have adopted this little dynamo.  She truly is a handful.  It is something to consider when getting acquainted with a shelter dog.

Now that Felicia has been here for almost six months and I know her, I’m glad to keep her and do the work it takes for her to be well.  I really want Felicia to succeed.  None of the alternatives are all right with me:  Take her back to the shelter?  No.  She would be destroyed by that.  Euthanize her?  No.  She has too much promise for that… Besides, now that she has found a place in my heart, I would miss her.

I have been told that it takes several months to rehabilitate an animal that has been abandoned or abused.  I get encouragement from this:  There is hope for Felicia.

HOW AN OLD DOG THINKS

My black lab is almost 13 years old.  This is what it’s like to send him outside for a relieving break:

“Galahad, go do your business.”

“Now, why am I out here?  I can’t remember.”

Confused-Dog

“Oh, that’s an interesting smell!  I’ll check it out…”

sniffing-dog-7799295

“Maybe I’m out here to find some cat poop to eat…No, that can’t be it; my boss gets mad at me when I do that.”

(“Wa wa wa wa wa.”)

“I know my boss just said something…I didn’t quite get that.”

head-tilt

“Maybe I’m out here to chase the cat!”

Dog and Cat

First, though, I really have to pee.  I’ll do that.”

slide-dog-small

“Hey, my boss is pleased.  I wonder if that’s why I was sent out here.  Oh well,…”

HOW ABOUT ROVER AND FLUFFY?

Have you considered your pets and livestock in your emergency preparations???
They really need you to:  They most likely will not be able to care for themselves.
Again, what you do will depend on where you live and the type of emergency for which you prepare.  If you will likely be staying put, do you have extra food, water, first aid supplies and the means to deal with relieving breaks?  If you are more likely to evacuate, where will you take your animals?  Do you have supplies packed in the car for them?  Leashes for dogs, carriers for cats, ways to transport birds?

In the United States, there are several sources of information.  Here are two:
http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/pets-disaster.html
There are all sorts of suggestions and resources on this site.

http://www.ready.gov/animals
Again, plenty of good advice for pets, as well as livestock.

FEMA, the Red Cross and CDC all have pages on their websites devoted to animals.

 

I found this one in the UK:
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/plans/preparing-for-emergencies/
It’s pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about preparedness, and more!  Very comprehensive.

 

I did a search for other countries as well:  Everyone had something.

 

Part of the reason I got on this kick is that there are serious occurances of all sorts every year.  AS I mentioned in my last post, hazardous winter conditions are a probability where I live.  Tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes?  Hmm, not so much.  However, we are close enough to an earthquake zone, we will get refugees, WHEN there is one.

 

My plan includes stockpiling food and water, closing off unsafe areas so that frightened kitties don’t get themselves in trouble, first aid, including meds to relieve pain or anxiety, if needed.

 

One more question; then I’ll find a new topic for my next post (I promise!!!)
Where is your plan?  A hard copy with all important papers, addresses, information, etc., in more than one place – One in the house; one in each car…. is the best idea:  You can access it at any time.
There are apps for phones and moble devices, in case you want your plan to be available in electronic form as well.

 

May you N E V E R need to use this information!  If you do, you will be so glad that you prepared in advance.

BABY BUDDY

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Meet Buddy.
He is a happy kitten these days.
He is one of the blessed ones:  He was found, shortly after being dumped at a State park.
When my neighbor first brought him home, he had to have milk because he wasn’t up to regular cat food just yet.
Now, he eats well.
He is learning how to wear a leash to go outdoors.
His biggest worry is, what toy should he play with next?
It is really amazing that he wasn’t caught by a cougar or coyote.

Not to preach tooo much here:
If you are thinking about having an animal, consider your choice very carefully:  animals require care; to have one is to take on full responsibility for it’s health and welfare.
If you find that you can’t have a pet after all, take it to the Humane society or see to it that your animal gets a new home.
Dumping animals, especially babies, is cruel beyond description.

Lessons From Dog

When life seems too heavy,
Go out and play:
Run, jump and roll,
Bark, howl and bay!
Lie on your back
With your tummmy in the air;
chew a good bone,
Let go of that care!

When you get sleepy,
Have a long nap.
Then chase a fun ball
Or snuffle the cat.
Eat all you want
And take a long drink.
Give yourself time
to know what you think.

When you feel great,
Waggle your tail.
With attitude like this,
You know you’ll never fail!
Lick those you love
With greatest of joy.
Take a nice walk,
Play with a toy.

Whatever is passed,
Just let it go,
Like fading of day
Or melting of snow.
Old things don’t matter
When you live for the day.
Keep looking forward;
Life’s better that way.