Milton is an amazing dog who has made great strides in recovery after his right front leg was removed just three weeks ago.
He’s a total sweetheart who likes nothing more than to hang out with you on the couch soaking up all your love and attention. He has a cheerful attitude and even when he’s wrestling or nudging you for more affection he’s very gentle.
But that doesn’t mean he’s baggage-free from his time on the street. We’re starting to work on these things but it’s going to take time, training, and patience.
This week we’re going to start his leash training. We have gotten him to accept the lead in the front yard, which is a good thing as we don’t have a fenced in yard. Still, Milton runs from you if you try to go to him with the “hook” – you have to sit down on the front porch couch and call him over to you for affection – then when he’s close enough you hook his collar. At that point he’s good to go and scampers out the door into the yard where he does his business and makes sure to mark wherever Ruby has gone.
And putting a leash on him is even worse. To begin with he doesn’t want to come near you if he sees it in your hand – and once you hook his collar he “pancakes” (lays completely belly flat on the floor with legs spread and head down) with the most pitiful of looks. Once in a while you can get him to move a few steps with some coaxing, but most times even treats won’t work and you just have to pick him up and carry him to where you need him to be.
My plan is to take an old leash that Bubba Rex chewed through and just let Milton walk around the house with it on while getting lots of high value treats like cooked chicken. We’ll slowly work our way to me touching the leash, to holding it, to giving it a little tug in the direction I want him to go. Wish us luck!
As much as he wants human affection, he still has a distrust of us as “bringers of pain.” If he hurts himself in the proximity of a person, he associates that pain with that person and runs away. He gets over it quickly but it tugs at your heart to see this beautiful boy hide from a sharp word or the like.
So, if you want to give this beautiful guy the furever family he so richly deserves and you have the patience to work on these little confidence things, then email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, How the Cat with No Fear Learned a Healthy Respect for Big Dogs.
So, Tic Tac is known to be fearless where dogs are concerned. He also likes running through the house using walls and furniture to launch off like parkour or freerunning athletes. And that’s where our story begins.
I brought Ruffus home Friday after work. We handled introductions with Ruby out in the yard and Tic Tac was waiting for us at the door when we headed inside. It didn’t matter that Ruffus’ head is bigger than Tic Tac’s whole body, Tic Tac stood there and the two sniffed each other. I breathed a sigh of relief as Ruffus had not been cat tested before I agreed to keep him for the week.
Because he was new to our house, we kept Ruffus on a short leash and put his kennel in the office so Tic Tac wouldn’t be able to aggravate him when we weren’t around.
Ruby and Tic Tac started a game of tag Saturday morning, which really had Ruffus’ attention. Yep, our big headed dog has a little prey drive. “Oooo, it moves fast. Must chase!”
I sat down on the end of the couch nearest the mat while Tic Tac decided that very moment in time that he needed some freerunning. He raced from the living room to the dining room and back. Ruffus stood in his path back and Tic Tac, being the parkour kitty he is, went to vault himself over his doggy obstacle using Ruffus’ big head as a launch pad. Well, Ruffus just tipped his head back and brought Mr. Tic Tac down.
It happened so quickly I’m not even certain what all took place. There was some screeching. I saw Tic Tac below Ruffus’ head and then Tic Tac jumped up on the corner table and there was a whole lot of hissing. Since then Tic Tac keeps a low profile when Ruffus is out and about the house. The whole incident seems to have heightened Ruffus’ prey drive where Tic Tac is concerned ‘cause once he catches sight of Tic Tac there is no re-directing his attention.
Such excitement. I wonder what Tic Tac’s reaction will be to the next dog to come into our house?
Foster Momma dropped me off at the WCAC this morning, where doctor Jen gave me another soothing bath. Dr. Jen was doing a happy dance and when I asked her why she said I was mange free. Best of all, no more medicine on my dinner plate. Foster Momma said she’d still give me a scoop of Alpo with dinner just ‘cause she loves me and thinks I need to gain a bit more weight.
Foster Momma asked the nice vets to neuter me the first time I passed my mange test (you have to pass it two months in a row to be considered cured). That happened three weeks ago – so – so that means that as soon as my furever family and I meet we can start being a family immediately. Well, as soon as we go to the WCAC and take care of the paper work.
Foster Momma gets all teary eyed when we talk about it, but that’s okay ‘cause I know she really wants me to find my family.
She said I should probably talk to you all about my perfect home …
I need somebody who is strong and confident to lead me and give me guidelines to live by.
I would love a couch and bed to sleep next to you.
I need someone who loves to go on walks or runs or hikes in the woods.
I would LOVE a fenced in yard to run and zoom and play catch in.
And it would be just too cool if I had a dog buddy (or two) to play in that yard with and teach me all about doggy manners.
Momma says no cats, as I find them just a little too interesting (if you know what I mean). She also says that small kids would probably not be a good idea as I need to learn to play properly first.
I need an unending supply of treats and Kongs filled with peanut butter and frozen bananas.
Foster Momma just looked over my shoulder and said she thought my list was getting kind of long – she did say “perfect” family. Quite frankly, I’m a dog and all I really need is good food, regular vet visits and lots of love and I’ll be so happy I’ll just about bust.
Ready world – here I am! Email foster momma at email@example.com right now to set up a play date and see if we’re meant to be together. I know we are.
Charlie likes to call Rex unruly – he’s not really, he’s just a puppy who needs some training. I had begun to think that he was growing up and moving on from me. He seems to cuddle up to Charlie rather than me when we’re all hanging out on the couch and he’s been quite rude when I’m trying to have a little snack in front of the TV.
But in the end when things get too weird he is a momma’s boy.
We’ve had people over to the house since he’s come to live with us – friends, neighbors, electricians – but Friday night was the biggest group – about a dozen of us at the March Foote’s Friday Night party. Rex had only met two of them before, our neighbors J & S. His meet and greet manners need the most work, but R & J arrived first and helped Rex with that a little. He was getting a bit stressed but all was going well – until …
The beer spilled, four people showed up at that same moment and R took Rex by the collar to lead him to the opposite side of the kitchen from the open door and spilt beer. Rex left a yellow line the length of the room. Poor kid, he wouldn’t even go with Charlie when he tried to lead him out the other door for a potty break, that is until he saw I was coming along. R took care of Rex when he came back in, but it didn’t matter how much encouragement and treats she gave him, he wasn’t leaving my side. Once the food was out and I had a chance to just hang out myself Rex became more at ease and made his rounds to all our guests.
I felt bad for the little guy.
I was thankful that R was there to give him the right kind of attention.
And I was proud that Rex didn’t respond with snapping teeth.
Oh, he still has his unruly moments, but we’ll get that all figured out yet.
Bubba Rex (a.k.a. Dexter 66007) is available for adoption through the Wake County Animal Center. For more information, or to arrange a meet and greet, email Foster Momma Suze at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I never used a crate until I got my second dog, Snips. After a while it became his personal cave and we finally just took the door off it completely. And Tippi was like a circus strong man, bending the door till it opened no matter what we used to reinforce it.
But with Rex still being a puppy I decided that it would be good to crate train him. The first few days and nights went fairly well. It did go from coaxing him in with a really tasty treat to just pushing him in the crate despite his considerable resistance. Night time finally deteriorated to barking and howling for what seemed like hours.
I made a couple of attempts to train him to associate tasty treats with the crate, but he never really liked it. It dawned on me that he was never going to truly like his crate like Snips did. One morning he wouldn’t even get his favorite stuffie (his Mr. Bill doll) from the back of the crate ‘cause he couldn’t reach it while keeping his back feet firmly planted on the carpet in front of the crate. A little Internet surfing for answers provided a night or two of success – I wore him out with a walk and training before bed and covered his crate with a blanket like a birdcage. I tried letting Rex sleep on a dog bed in our bedroom, but he still smells and has scratching fits in the middle of the night that make his tags jangle like crazy. In the end, I will admit to giving in and sleeping on the couch with Rex so that Charlie could get some sleep.
We’ve slowly been giving him more and more run of the house and have even left him out while we ran quick errands like grocery shopping. He’s done very well – no accidents and no chewing of non-toy items. Over the weekend we crossed our fingers and left him uncrated, and found our solution — we sleep in our bedroom and he sleeps on the living room couch. So, apparently it was never about being with us at night, he just wants to sleep on the couch. Yup, he’ll make sure we’re all snug in our bed and then he’ll trundle off to the living room for the rest of the night.
But he is still just a puppy and I’m still concerned with him having the run of the house over long periods, like while we’re at work. Each morning just before leaving for work we unceremoniously shoved him into his crate and gave him a Kong full of treats in the hopes that he wouldn’t completely hate the day. Well, guess what — in the last few days he’s decided that since crate time is inevitable he might as well get in on his own. Of course, that’s after he sees us fill the Kong with treats and he does a little zig-zag lap in the dining room like you’re going to have to chase him down.
I love it that he has figured this out and is such a good boy about it. Progress…
Shamed into photography … what is my deal these days …