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A Pack Update

Actually, there’s been a fair amount of stuff going on with our pack over the last week or so. Let me try to catch up a bit.

Right now, we have 13 dogs in house, including our own two (Star and Abby). I’ll go through the 11 rescues one at a time:

* Chuy is deteriorating. He has great days and he has not-so-good days. He’s on a variety of meds, but his appetite is very, very picky. Last night, Barbara boiled up a pound or two of stew meat, then ran it through a food processor for his breakfast this morning. That worked, but he’s been turning down treats at which he’d normally jump. We’re skeptical that he’ll make it until we have to leave for the ASSA National on April 15. His eyesight is so bad now that he can’t really make us out unless the light is really bright, and his hearing is almost gone. But he is about 15 years old and didn’t have decent care until we rescued him.

* Shelly is doing pretty well. She obviously hurts, because she hobbles around, but she loves to get up on the couch and stay there. She does tend to come into the office and lie between me and Barbara, and she loves it when I tell her how good she is and how much we love her. She’s a bit protective and doesn’t appreciate Abby, Star, Dakota, and Tanner jumping around too close to her. But she’s generally very good-natured. Nobody has expressed any interest in her at all, so she’ll probably be with us for the rest of her life.

* Sienna is such a hoot! She’s still shy and a bit wary of me when we’re not separated by a baby gate. But, when I start telling her what a good girl she is and clapping my hands, she starts puppy bowing madly, wagging her tail joyously, smiling, and even barking a bit. She loves being told she’s a good girl. She’ll take treats from me now, without hesitation when there’s a baby gate between us, or with slight hesitation if we’re unseparated. And I think she secretly loves it when I hold her in my lap on the couch :) Unfortunately, Sienna’s and Jett’s housebreaking leaves a little to be desired. They’re not terribly, but they’re not trustworthy, either, and they don’t have any idea about how to ask to be let out.

* Jett, on the other hand, is still too wary of both of us. She obviously likes it when we tell her she’s a good girl, but it’s difficult for her to come very close to either of us, even with the baby gate in between us. She will, sometimes, reluctantly, come to the baby gate to take a treat from me, but it’s really hard for her. When I call her from outside the baby gate, she tries so hard to come over to the gate, but she just can’t do it. Poor baby! Barbara told me a few days ago that somebody has asked about adopting either or both of Sienna and Jett — but the person didn’t sound really serious, nor did she fill out an adoption application.

* Cassie remains wary of me and other men, although she will come over to me very warily for a pet, but not if I call her. If I call her, she’s positive that she’s done something to anger me and slinks (or runs!) away. I feel really badly about her being so frightened, but we continue to work with her. She’ll find a forever home one of these days, I’m very sure. It’ll just take a while.

* Olivia remains the most fragile little girl you can imagine. Her eyesight is extremely limited and her hearing is very poor — in fact, if we are behind her and call her, she looks all over the place in front of her, trying to figure out where we might be. Her appetite has gotten a little better, but I can’t imagine her being around a year from now. She really does love to be cuddled (gently, and only for a couple of minutes at a time) and she loves baby talk directed to her. Her housebreaking is not very good, in part because she’s got an infection (probably urinary, possibly vaginal) that the docs can’t seem to eliminate completely.

* Tommy is doing great. Well, except that he desperately needs to be brushed out! (OK, I admit it — everybody desperately needs to have their nails trimmed!) He hangs out mostly in the kitchen or near our dining table; he’s too worried about stepping on and thus annoying Chuy or somebody else if he comes out to the family room, so he doesn’t unless we bring him directly to where we’re sitting. He still tries to get Abby to play with him, but Abby’s too busy with Tanner and Dakota, so Tommy goes without play these days. I wish that he liked toys more than he does. He sometimes plays with a toy, but not very often and not for very long.

* Dakota is still with us as he approaches one year of age. He’s really pretty and has such a great personality. He tends to be a bit of a worrier, though, and he sometimes acts like he’s afraid he’s done something wrong. (Unfortunately, he has been a wire chewer, including live 110 volt electrical wires! So far, he’s never been shocked, but we live in fear of it. And no matter how much we Dakota-proof the house, he seems to find some wire somewhere to chew into a thousand little pieces.) But he’s going to make somebody very, very happy. More on this when I talk about Shasta next.

* Shasta, our not-really-a-Sheltie rescue, works so hard to be lovable and cuddly. She only wants to be loved and she comes whenever we call anybody, even each other. It’s a little annoying sometimes, like when I’m trying to take something out of somebody else’s mouth or Barbara’s trying to give somebody else their meds. But it’s also really sweet. Last week, we had a visit from a family with three kids, ages 11 (boy), 7 (girl), and 3 (girl). They "interviewed" several dogs, but really fell for Shasta and Dakota. They wanted (and we wanted for them) to go home and think/talk about it before making any decision, but they called a day or so later to say that they’d decided they wanted to adopt both. Then they asked if they could come over and spend more time with them; that worked very well for Shasta, but the 3 year old girl spent her time with her arms wrapped tightly around Dakota’s neck…which he manifestly did not appreciate! We’re concerned enough that we might not allow them to adopt Dakota. We expect them to finalize Shasta’s (and possibly Dakota’s) adoption this coming week.

* Tanner is still such a sweetheart. He loves sleeping in bed with us (yes, we’re back upstairs in the water bed now) and frequently hangs out at my desk with me while I work. He and Abby (and Dakota) play fast and rough. He loves to race around the house with Abby in hot pursuit, or vice versa, which annoys the seniors no end! He seems to have some ability to detect sound, I think. There are times when I shout really loud (e.g., to get Star to quit barking at the birds in the back yard) and he takes notice, even if his back was to me and/or he was asleep. But the noise really does have to be loud. We’ve got to get him up onto our adoption site so people start thinking about adopting him. While I’d love to have him around for a long time, we really must start reducing our numbers.

* Alex (last, but not least) is still with us. A couple of days ago, a couple about our ages came over specifically to meet Alex. They have an elderly dog (sorry, but I forgot what breed!) and wanted to rescue another dog, with particular interest in a Sheltie. They seemed really nice and Alex liked them much better than he’s liked anybody else he’s met since his abortive adoption last summer. They, too, wanted to go home and talk about it, but I suspect they’ll phone us back this coming week and say that they want him to share their lives. Fingers crossed! (It’ll be a lot quieter around here without Alex announcing any and every thing that happens, but I’ll sure miss him, too!)

Well, that’s the update on everybody here (well, the rescues, anyway). Short version: Everybody’s doing as well as can be expected, and some adoptions are in the works.

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3 comments to A Pack Update

  • We love pack updates :-) Sounds like your gang is quite a handfull, haha.

  • Kim and Dan

    I love the pack updates, thanks!

    Jim, tonight is the first night that I am spending away from Misty since we adopted her back in September (I am at my parent’s house helping out for a couple days), and I am missing her already, after only 10 hours! I don’t know how you manage being away for days at a time.

    I am sure Misty and Jerry Lee will be fine being with only Dan for a while. Misty usually has a slight calming effect on Jerry Lee, who suffers from mild separation anxiety when I’m not around. I guess we’ll find out if Misty has problems when I’m not around but I’m not anticipating anything – she really likes Dan too.

    I am glad that we waited until Dan could come with me to Utah to meet Misty for the first time last fall. She is leery of other men she meets but she has always been warm towards Dan. Meeting Dan at SRU I think helped her realize that Dan is a good man, not one to be worried about.


  • Yikes…. Sounds like you have your hands full…

    My dad has a Sheltie and I took our two Jack Russell’s over to his house and I thought I was going to go CraZy!

    My hat goes off to you.

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