Thursday, January 31, 2019

Do You Remember Chipper?

With arrival of Joy last week I'm behind in telling you about Chipper. Do you remember that we even have him?  I've hardly written about him, so it's okay.  Chip arrived here in June from Lancaster Pennsylvania. He'd been used for breeding, and was given to Lab Rescue by an Amish farmer.
~Chip the day we met him in June, 2018~ 
Chip is a dog with a gentle heart and a wounded soul. He is afraid of practically everything. In the nearly 20 years that we've been fostering dogs, I have to say, that he is the most fearful dog we've ever had.  Honestly, he spends most of his time, running away from everything. Even including us. The picture below is an example of that - he's worried and his head and tail are down, and he's avoiding any eye contact as he tries to get away. It's very sad.

But I think Chip is torn by what he wants to do, and what he's always known. In the past 6 months that we've had him, he has made good progress and is much more relaxed. But the progress is slow, and sometimes we take steps forward, only to go back several more. There is no doubt, he has a long way to go and so much to learn. The progress that has been made is that he'll come to us for treats and attention so I know that he has come to trust us. It does help that he is highly food motivated.
In December when Lab Rescue announced their waived adoption fee for the senior dogs, it generated some interest in Chip, who is about 10 years old. But among those few calls about him, no one really seemed to understand the challenges of having a shy and fearful dog like Chip. And for that matter, no one had an interest in helping Chip overcome his fears and find his confidence. They appeared only interested in him because of the waived adoption fee.

I talked to Lab Rescue about my concerns, worries and hopes and dreams for Chip. The coordinator totally agreed with me about his special needs. And others who've met him also agreed that Chip needed a special adopter. I knew that we could continue to wait, and eventually someone may come.  But those of you who have lived with dogs like Chip know there is a unique and strong bond that develops when a fearful dog has given you their trust. The more time that passes, I feel that trust and bond with Chip. And last week when I was bent over and greeting another dog, Chip snuck up on me and quickly licked my cheek. He'd never done that before, so it surprised me, and he quickly backed away. But he didn't go to his "safe place." Instead he stood several feet away, looking at me and wagging his tail. And I knew in that moment that the decision that was made a few days before was the right one.  Chip has found his forever home, with us.
~Chip this morning, with his pack-mates~

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Joy Arrives at Golden Pines

At our house it may be wet, soggy and cold outside, but there's always room inside for a senior dog that needs a place to go.
~The view from our front porch this morning~
And on Monday that's what we did, we made room for one more, and we welcomed Joy. Found abandoned on a road in West Virginia by a family that couldn't afford to keep her, Joy eventually found her way to the Golden Retriever Rescue. I will add here that even though the family that found Joy couldn't keep her, they bought her a dog bed and sent it along with her. The bed may not be a well made one, but I'm touched by their thoughtfulness that says a lot about them. 
~Joy's first night with us~
We did not start out as Joy's foster home. But there was a bit of a "mishap" between Joy and a 5 pound smoked fillet of salmon in which the salmon and Joy both lost. She became very ill, and ended up hospitalized for about a week. The rescue felt it would be best for Joy if she went to another foster home.

Our dogs easily accepted this new comer who is quiet and very easy going. She's estimated to be about 11 years old, and her tail does not stop wagging. At just over 40 pounds, Joy has a few pounds to gain. She also has a few health-hurdles to get over; anemia, lyme disease, and of course her bout of severe gastroenteritis.

But this endearing little girl that was left abandoned on a road in West Virginia, now has a pretty brand new collar, and most importantly Joy has a bright future.

Welcome Joy, we're glad you're here!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Sunday Snow Day

Exactly a week ago we woke up to snow that fell overnight.
After the dogs had their breakfast, it was time to go out and enjoy the snow together.
We ended up with about 9 inches of a light snow that didn't really make the best snowballs. But it was perfect for the dogs to play in.
Of course I had no idea ...
that Alf loves the snow.
Of course I knew that Todd did.
And he loves to play ball in any season!
It was great fun!

Friday, January 11, 2019

HaPpY (belated) New Year!!

I am sorry to say I have been sick.....again...... I couldn't breathe and I was coughing and coughing and coughing and .... Well, you get the idea. Even with the maximum over-the-counter-strength medications redeployed from being sick the week before, I knew I needed to step it up and go to the doctor. So that's what I did.  And I (unfortunately) tested positive for the flu.
I am not sick all that often, so I will admit that I make a terrible sick person. The dogs seemed to know I wasn't feeling well, and one day when I was home alone, they let me sleep in until about 10 o'clock. I am finally back on my feet, and I'm pretty confident I've finally got this flu bug behind me. 

Despite my not being 100%, our newest arrival Ginger is all settled in. Aside from chasing the cat on occasion, she's easy going, happy and getting along well with everyone. All the dogs like her, and we of course, like her too. And we aren't the only ones. When Ginger came into the rescue, she met a family that happened to be at the vets office (with their cats) when she arrived. This family taken by her story applied to adopt her. I was asked to let them see Ginger and spend some time with her.
They had a 3 year old dog that was unneutered, and pretty energetic. He wouldn't leave Ginger alone. With that, and my just not getting a good vibe from the family, I felt strongly that they weren't a match for Ginger. The rescue supported my opinion, and they let them know. And then this week I had a reminder to follow those feelings when it was discovered that Ginger is NOT spayed....That's all I'll say about that and what a disaster it would have been to place her with that family and their unneutered dog.

Aside from that and snow expected this weekend, it has been pretty quiet as we're nearly halfway into January.

Happy belated New Year from us!