Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So it's been a crazy few months and while no postings (tsk tsk), there have been foster dogs! First up was Jake, a mini-pin who came just for one night but managed to poop nine times in my living room over that night! Next up was Toto, a 6-year old shitzu. Toto was the cutest little dog ever. He would jump up at your knees with big puppy eyes, yelping sweetly to be petted. But pity the fool who fell for his charms, as Toto would have your fingers off if a hand came anywhere near his head. After four days of lassooing him with a leash to go out, Toto went back to Kansas (well, PoshPet's Linda), as Linda it seems is the only one Toto trusts. 
From a hand-biting shitzu to an ankle-biting pug.. Edith was next up. Here she is in the photo. A very fun and sweet 2-year old pug who loved to attack ankles in the evening time, and who sadly had terrible separation anxiety. She found her forever home with Tim from Harlem, and reports back are that she has calmed tremendously and has a new streamline physique.
Realising that small dogs are no easier than large dogs, I succumbed to foster a shepherd mix called Millie six weeks ago. At 18 months, Millie was found as a stray in Brooklyn, about 15 pounds underweight, and terrified of her own shadow. And..maybe it was the moon, maybe it was the relief of a large dog back in my home; maybe it was the way she howls cutely when a fire truck passes.. but I decided that foster number 17 I couldn't be without, and so adopted her! 
I am hoping the fostering will continue. It saddens me to think I can't do any more for the rescue group. I have tried one foster since adopting Millie. A terrier called Magic came and stayed, and while Millie was quite excited by having a new friend, Magic was not so thrilled. After passing 48 hours pulling Magic's teeth out of Millie, I decided my girl needed a break and the Magic was gone. 
Before I take on another foster dog, I realised I want to spend some time on Millie's issues. And yes, she has plenty! She barks at people on the street - often without a trigger. She is all over the place on a leash. She must sniff every single bike, lamp post, patch of grass, bin. She must pee at least 30 times on a walk. She barks at guests - the entire length of their stay unless she has a bone to chew on. She has no idea I exist when we enter an empty dog run - empty because a) she's been in heat, and b) she twice tried to jump out of the dog run when a boisterous dog approached her. She also nipped the vet's assistant yesterday. 
Challenging, yes? But a terror, she is not. She's a big mush who wants to have her tummy rubbed, play tug with her toy (indoors only), learn new tricks, and be loved by everyone. Already in just six weeks she has significantly improved. I can, for example, now take a bone from her without a growl. She can now go to the pet store without barking at the owner. She now meets dogs on the street and the hair on her back does not go up, but instead the tail wags. She doesn't always bark at workmen, and not all night at guests.
Over the next few months I'm hoping to be blogging on her progress as I try to build her confidence and calm that unpredictableness. This week's challenge: getting Millie to chase a toy or tug a toy outside. If I can get her to do this, it will give her something to focus on outside, and will make her focus more on me, and should get out some of that pent-up energy that's throwing her off-balance.  

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