Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dogs- In real life!

So in case it’s not apparent by now, my life has a lot of dogs

in it. I work part time at a doggy daycare/boarding kennel, I used to be heavily involved in dog rescue (not so much now, I’ll get to that) and I now have two wonderful pups of my very own.

I’ve worked at the kennel, Paws Playhouse in Ames, Iowa for about a year now. It’s an awesome job, I love the work, and the staff, and (the majority of) the dogs. Now and again there’s a pooch that drives me completely nuts, but for the most part they’re wonderful pups and I look forward to seeing them each day.

Scooter with his new mommy

The last dog I posted about, Scooter, has long since gone to a new home. He had the surgery done to his leg, healed up beautifully, and now lives with a great family over in Des Moines. After a full summer without a dog around, my friend Holly called me to ask if I could take two fosters for her- their transport had gotten screwed up and she was out of town. I said yes, and was told I was picking up two shepherd mixes. Which turned out to be a terrier mix and a black tricolor pitbull. I kind of knew I was in trouble from the start- I have a serious weakness for pitbulls, and this one was no exception. The terrier, Nina, got adopted out to a family in Nevada, Iowa, and Bailey stayed. She’s here for good. She’s a perfect dog, I love her to death. I could go on for years about the awesomeness of this dog, but I’ll save it and show you in multiple other blog posts extolling her attributes instead.

So for a long time it was just Bailey and I. A friend of mine in Ames was still actively fostering and took in a six month old Australian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix. Tucker was very, very scared and shut down. He had come out of a foster home previously that had way too many dogs. He was the smallest so he was picked on constantly, and got very little positive human interaction. He was removed from that home and sent to my friend when a huge dogfight broke out and one small Sheltie got the ever-living snot ripped out of him. Even at my friends home, he wasn’t doing especially well. Basically, she had a few dogs in the house, and a child, and it’s kind of a hectic atmosphere, and she really did not know how to handle a fearful dog- give her a crazy, bouncing off the walls neurotic dog any day and she’ll work magic, but fearful and shy is not her thing. I offered to foster him at my place instead- I have a very boring, quiet house with only Bailey, who had to get over a lot of fear of her own when I first got her, I have the patience for scared, shy dogs.

And so Tucker came. And he got better. He still has a ways to go but he’s made a huge improvement from where he was. Within a few weeks he was learning how to play with other dogs and act like a puppy again. He and Bailey became good friends. And when I took him home for a weekend with my family, I was told I had to keep him, and I really rather agreed. He still has adjusting to do- it takes him FOREVER to warm up to new people, and he has a disturbing, banshee-like howl he uses when he’s scared of someone- seriously, it almost sounds like a human screaming, and it’s crazy loud. The one good thing about this is that he makes one heck of a good home security system. No one gets near my house without Tucker sounding an alarm that could probably carry for miles.

So that’s the basic lowdown on my beasts. I’m sure I’ll blog about them more, as they’re kinda like my kids (Bailey is like having a stubborn teenager, Tucker is like a toddler.) and I do have a hard time shutting up about them. I don’t do much of rescue anymore for a few reasons. Primarily, with two permanent dogs in my place I really do not have the space for a foster dog- three in the house would make way too little room for me, and since I’m paying for the space, I think I deserve to be able to stretch out without running into a canine. The next part was the general stress- are the dogs healthy? When can I get to a vet appointment? Will they be good in the house or do I need to kennel them? Are they housetrained or will they have tons of accidents and ruin stuff? It gets to you after awhile. I lucked out, both Bailey and Tucker are excellent house dogs. Finally, the people probably got to me the most. You would think that with a central goal of helping animals that people could get along. Far from it. There are a lot of different philosophies in rescue, and people can fight like ally cats over even the littlest things. I’ve also seen rescuers become a little crazy, turn into hoarders, and the ensuing chaos that causes. So, for those reasons, I’m mostly out of the active end of rescue right now. I have no regrets about getting into it, it was one heck of a learning experience, and I got two great dogs out of it.

Seriously, cuteness squared.

No comments:

Post a Comment