Playdate

First – Kringle finally ate some dewormer. Right now I am trying to convince him to eat another dose but he is taking nap.

He adventured out of the house for the first time today, to my friend’s house/awesome backyard to play with Bauer, Jeni and my friend’s dogs and dogs she is babysitting. He did so well! His dog skills are quite impressive, surely from living in a pen packed with other dogs. He even walked on a leash from the car to the yard, of course, he was following Jeni and Bauer but it is still a good step. And he did not throw up during the car ride. He really seemed to enjoy himself and I was very happy to see him having fun!

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Adventures in Deworming

Kringle probably has worms. No problem – there are lots of lovely dewormers out there that cover a variety of worms and kill them safely. Just pour the powder on his food, let him eat it, and voila, no worms.

Not that simple.

Kringle is still in the “I’m nervous and don’t really want to eat” phase of settling in. Since my other dogs do not free feed, I’ve been putting a bowl of food in his crate with him when he’s in there.

Yesterday, I gave him a bit of canned food with no dewormer just to try to get SOMETHING in his stomach. He ate it! Success. Okay, put the dewormer in the same food, give him that. He looked at me like I was an idiot.

Probably not hungry after eating the first bowl of food. Fine, I’ll just leave it in there overnight while he’s crated.

Went to sleep, Chris stayed up as usual.

Woke up an hour or so later to find Jeni in Kringle’s crate with an empty bowl of food, looking quite pleased with herself. ¬†Apparently Chris opened his crate so he could come out if he wanted. Apparently he didn’t realize there was food in the crate. Okay well, guess Jeni won’t have worms now!

Since Kringle needed to eat I just threw some kibble in the bowl and closed the crate for the night.

Woke up this morning and he’d eaten the whole thing. Darn, should have tried the dewormer again.

Okay, I’ll be tricky this time. For breakfast – layer of kibble. Sprinkle dewormer. Cover with delicious canned food gravy. Put in his crate. Looked at me like I was an idiot again. Fine, I’ll just leave it in there when I go to work.

Chris messages me on gchat – apparently Jeni has pulled out Kringle’s blanket (that was inside his crate with him) from the outside of his crate and is furiously digging at the outside of the crate (with the poor dog still in it) trying to get his food. Kringle still hasn’t touched it.

Deworming – not as easy as it sounds.

A Karing Keeshond Kristmas

1546024_10151816238746932_645065652_n“The Keeshond world is getting a very special gift this holiday season…”

I am not a Keeshond person. I think they are pretty, I have met some. But I am an Icelandic Sheepdog person, not a Keeshond person. A lot of Icelandic Sheepdog people have Keeshonds too, though. And I suppose that is how I found out about the “101 Keeshond” rescue. It came up on Facebook – a large volume Keeshond breeder (a “puppy mill”) was voluntarily shutting down. Keeshond rescues from around the country were working together to get approximately 100 dogs out of this mill and into foster homes where they could be rehabilitated.

I am a sucker for puppy mill dogs. And fluffy dogs.

So M17, now known as Kringle (keeping with the holiday spirit) arrived on December 27. He has a long way to go, but he is off to a good start. He is sweet tempered, loves other dogs and enjoys being pet. I wish he was more food motivated, but I have a feeling that will come once he settles in. He is startled by sudden movement and noises and terribly shy. He prefers to spend most of his time in his crate but he comes out on his own once in a while to check everything out. He follows the dogs into the yard happily and miraculously has had no indoor accidents so far. For now we are just letting him unwind and observe. He was groomed by the temporary foster that had him before us and she did an amazing job. Many of these dogs were shaved down because they were so matted and smelly. She spent hours bathing and brushing him and he looks great.

He is about a year old, and I have a feeling he has a bright future. It may take a while but we’ll do our best to help Kringle learn to live in the big scary world and find his way to his forever home.

In memory of Margaret

I never thought I would own a Jack Russell Terrier. Never really wanted one. I am a fan of herding breeds, and when I need a cuddle session instead of a run, I like bully types. JRTs always seemed a bit needlessly spazzy, snappy and prey drive-ey for me.

But then Margaret came along.

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And you know? She didn’t impress me much at first, either.

She came in from a puppy mill bust, 167 Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies and Shiba Inus. I first met her while photographing the wave of dogs that came through our shelter as they were vet checked and set up in kennels. I know I met her that day, as I have some photos of her, but she didn’t stick out to me. A couple of the dogs were missing an ear, I remember that. And the Shibas were adorable. But Margaret just blended into the crowd.

I remember the next time I met her though. She had just had surgery to remove multiple cancerous masses. She was my next foster, and boy was she a MESS. She looked miserable. I took her home and put her in a room with a comfortable blanket and some toys and water and tried to let her rest. She just stood and stared at us through the baby gate.

That night, we went to sleep, Margaret safely in her room. But apparently this puppy mill girl wasn’t content to hide away from people and other dogs – she wanted OUT! She whimpered and cried for at least five hours before I finally gave in. I NEVER give in. But for her, well, she was pitiful and sick and old so… I let it be. I picked her up, plopped her in bed next to my husband and she sighed contentedly and went to sleep.

And that was that. She’s been Chris’s girl ever since.

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She LIVED, for a while. She played hard, loved to chase and destroy tennis balls. Wanted anything that squeaked. Bossed the other dogs around and settled in as queen of the house. She spent her days snuggled up on Chris’s lap while he worked from home. She was sassy and sweet and got used to the comfortable house life pretty quick.

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But she still had cancer, no matter how hard she tried to fight it. We knew we weren’t what people traditionally expected from a “forever” home. It wasn’t going to be forever, it would be a few months, maybe a year. Maybe if it was just the cancer, she could have hung on. But her heart was failing, her body was falling apart from age, she started having bleeding ulcers and she slipped a disc in her neck, recovering after rest only to do it again. A week before we let her go, she was in so much pain. I thought the time was then. She was just as miserable as she had been that first day we brought her home after surgery. And Chris protested, said, she had to get through Christmas.

So I loaded her up with painkillers and said, “we’ll see.”

That dog knew. She knew he wanted her for Christmas, so she sucked it up and she genuinely enjoyed herself that week. She got some squeaky toys and tore them apart, even if she was panting in exhaustion after just a minute or two. She cuddled and slept and was loved. And then after everyone left Christmas night, she started screaming and crying and having trouble breathing and moving and I knew she had waited that long, for him, but she was ready to go now.

She was not scared, when we took her in. We took her to our regular vet instead of the shelter vet she had seen so often, for that reason. She had never been there before and had no reason to be stressed. We wrapped a blanket around her and Chris held her, and she fell asleep in his arms while we waited. It was as peaceful as everyone hopes it will be. She slipped off in relief, drifting to sleep with contentment.

I was not her “person” but I loved her dearly. She was not ever a dog I thought I would own, but when Chris brought up adopting her, I couldn’t say no. We had her from June 26 to December 27. Just over six months. Not long enough, but I am grateful she got that time to enjoy life, out of the puppy mill. She knew she was loved, and when we posted the news on our shelter Facebook page, I was touched by the outpouring of support from people who had never met her.

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Godspeed, Margaret.