Little Ernie has been here nearly a week and it's time for a little progress report!
First the noise issue...
This little Beagle is doing soooo well in the crate! Since he is being housebroken he is spending the majority of his day in the crate and he is really starting to like it in there, he has lots to do with bones and toys and when he does start the baying and howling I totally ignore it and it stops pretty quickly! I think his longest (although intense) howling session lasted about 3 minutes in the last day or two which is really impressive considering how nuts it was when he first got here, and that was pretty unusual since he has really been quieting down after a few protest whines or barks (there is a pretty crazy variety in the vocalizations, sometimes it's hard to not to laugh). TOTALLY IGNORING (not even looking at him) his baying/howling really works, and of course if he is in the crate you have to be fair and give him plenty to do in there!
This has been a little tough! but today he did 2 full sets of pee/poo outside so I'm starting to have hope again:) Yesterday there were 3 accidents, including on my blanket/brand new couch (which I later napped on until I noticed a mysterious wet spot on my pants), pretty frustrating since there were many trips outside, he would literally be outside for a 1/2 hour and come inside and pee... So now I'm stepping up his time in the crate and he doesn't have free time inside unless he's gone potty outside, happily today he seems to be getting the hang of it and I'm looking forward to having a housebroken puppy sooner than later;)
I'm not sure Ernie has spent much time outside?! his toenails were insanely long and POINTY like a cat, not the nails of a dog who walks on sidewalks... also he seems a little timid, he's interested in dogs and people but hangs back a little, now that his kennel cough has cleared up I've been letting him greet dogs on leash and he's doing really nicely. He also walks really nicely and doesn't pull as much as some little beagles I know (i'm talking about you little Buster!).
He has been a tasmanian devil since he been here, launching himself onto all the furniture and standing on my desk and counter surfing etc and generally not having the greatest house manners... Did I mention peeing on the couch:/ When he and Pasha play together they can get crazy so I have been letting them have playtime together and have alone time with me. I am proud to announce that I now have a little Ernie sitting next to my feet under my desk enjoying a toy:) He can be still, I had my doubts! I am going to work on teaching him "off" and to "chill out" (aka, sit/lay down next to me and relax, this involves cookies whenever he sits next to me on his own accord), also he should probably learn "sit" soon right? this poor dog, 8 months old and never been trained at all... I'm hoping to at least improve his manners and have him housebroken and crate trained by next week!
both dogs being quiet.
the beginnings of "the chill out"!
what's this under the butt move??!! hilarious!
these two pups luuuuv each other! they sit there and kiss each others face all the time, I'm so glad that they are good buddies, my last foster dog Dunkin wanted nothing to do with her so there wasn't much in the foster experience for Pasha!
Tuesday I pulled an 8 month old Beagle puppy from the Euthanasia list at ACC to foster for http://poshpetsrescue.org/, sadly little Ernie (formerly Tony) was about to meet his maker but was spared last minute and is the newest "Fosteroni" up in Washington Heights, abusing and being abused by resident doggie Pasha;) When Linda told me there was a dog we could save from the "euth list" I was super excited, until she said it was a Beagle... SO LOUD! SO NAUGHTY! SO STUBBORN! TOO SMART! also too cute, but so so LOUD. I took comfort in the knowledge that there are legions of Beagle fans out there and Ernie is cute as heck so I figured this would be an in-and-out foster and after meeting him I'm willing to put up with anything for a few weeks to spare his tiny butt!
Saying goodbye to the folks who were nice to him at ACC!
we stopped at the dog run for a little freedom on the way home from the pound, lots of pent up energy!
The first day Ernie acted like a loon, but who wouldn't be after being sprung from the clink! Zoomies around the dog run, zoomies around the apartment, jumping baby gates and counter surfing and the omg the HOWLING!!! holy crap, holy crap, angry neighbors and eviction any minute! and the potty situation... 5 walks that day and he only wanted to go potty inside, sometimes immediately after coming inside from a long walk, didn't seem to a user of wee pads either.
munching on bones in his crate.
we've added some comfy towels since then to cozy up the crate and hide some kibble in;)
the whole crew.
this is pretty much what they would do constantly if they were not physically separated.
To get Ernie even more adoptable I'm concentrating on the 2 most troublesome issues first, the howling (he does this when left alone in another room) and the housebreaking. Pasha has a ton of food dispensing toys and Ernie really took to them and has a really great attention span, and now like Pasha is crazy excited to see them come out! He gets both meals in a food toys in his crate and that keeps him busy and quiet for awhile and then I guess he takes a nap cuz I don't hear the toys being moved around and I also don't hear little Ernie;)
can you believe this was his first exposure to his Busy Buddy toy, Ernie's a dog genius;)
We kinda have a rhythm now, wake up, walk and dog run (did I mention he has been accident free for 2 days? yes, he goes potty outside now and gets lots of cookies for doing so) Ernie and Pasha get their breakfast in a food toy, Ernie is fed in his crate and chills out for and hour or two, then insane play session, then back to crate with a bone or cookie toy, more play, more crate, more walk, more play, dinner in crate and on and on! I think it's working pretty well, he's not complaining about being in his crate at all today and it's only day 4:) I think crate training is a valuable tool but of course the goal is to prepare him to be left alone at times in a larger space or the whole apartment/house and to have some things he likes to do (that he's allowed to do!) so he doesn't get in trouble by playing in trash cans etc when his folks aren't home;) This way he's working his big brain on the food toys and then burning up the puppy energy with the wrestling and learning to be alone and gnaw on a bone while thinking about chasing bunnies, hopefully this sort of foundation combined with actual obedience training (I don't think he's even been trained to sit yet much less anything else) will keep him a happy (and reasonably quiet) Beagle.
So far so good! he seems to be developing some good hobbies (bones, food toys) that will keep him quiet and more importantly busy and stimulated, and I bet one day he will be an expert at "Find it!" use his crazy hound nose to find cookies around the house and hidden objects etc... perfect Beagle fun:)
Note on Ernie (so far, stay tuned for updates!):
1. Maybe not quite housebroken but working towards it, I am hopeful;)
2. Walks nicely on the leash, curious about dogs and people we pass. Sometimes he sees a person or a dog he's interested in and just stares wistfully at them as they walk away.... sigh.
3. No food aggression.
4. He seemed to have a little "separation anxiety" when he first got here, of course it's hard to say since he had just come out of the shelter and was in a new place with new people. Everyday he seems better and calmer and quieter and I have a feeling with enough exercise and busy toys/bones this won't be a problem, having doggie company probably helps a lot too.
5. Doggy company? YES PLEASE! he loves my dog and I'd love to see him go to a home with another playful dog so they can wear each other out and snuggle afterwards;)
6. Other animals? curious about the cat, he has been batted on the nose a few times and is learning polite kitty boundaries. Ignores my birds which is a surprise considering he is a Beagle after all.
7. Destructive? Hard to say? he is still pretty young and in full puppyhood and I do see a little mouthing here and there, I'm pretty sure at this stage he would definitely get his little self into trouble if left alone as far as jumping on counters and sticking his face in the trash so I have never left him in another room unsupervised or uncrated and have no plans too;)
8. Likes the car and was well behaved in the backseat with Pasha!
9. Due to a little Kennel cough he has not yet been neutered but is scheduled for this Wednesday.
10. I'm not usually a Beagle fan but I am an Ernie fan! The little guy needs a home with folks who understand a Beagles hardwired needs/drives and can give him an outlet for that to keep him happy and balanced! he also needs an education and lots of firm, gentle, consistent, leadership and I'm pretty sure you'll have a happy little buddy in Ernie;) he couldn't be more lovable!
General Beagle info from http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com a site I check when I get a foster dog who is a recognizable breed, has some helpful info and can help you choose an appropriate dog for your lifestyle and training abilities. Here are some things you should know if you are one of the uninitiated, and some things you will chuckle about if you are in the know;)
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Beagles are conveniently-sized, handsome and easy-to-groom, friendly with people, peaceful with other pets, and with their appealing soulful expression, it's perfectly natural that many people consider them as potentially wonderful pets.
However, Beagles were developed as hunting dogs and they have many hunting dog behaviors "hardwired" into their genes.
Beagles need much more exercise than most people give them, which is why you see so many fat Beagles with health problems. Though they're often kept in city apartments or condos, they should not be. Beagles require long frequent walks and a fenced yard where they can stretch their legs off-leash -- FENCED because Beagles are explorers and chasers who will follow their nose wherever that fascinating sight or smell takes them, and since Beagles are endowed with selective deafness, they seldom come back when you call them.
In addition, you can't leave them outside unmonitored, for Beagles are prone to wanderlust and can be adept climbers and diggers. Also, Beagles left outside become bored and then they bay and howl and dig holes.
The Beagle's vast stubbornness and distractability call for early, consistent obedience training. Use food rewards to motivate him, but don't indulge too much or you'll end up with that portly Beagle I mentioned earlier. A Beagle is often found with his head buried in the garbage and he will cheerfully filch whatever morsels you leave within reach!
f you want a dog who...
Is conveniently-sized, sturdy, and athletic
Is completely natural in appearance
Has a short easy-care coat
Loves exercise, play, and outdoor activities
Is good-natured and peaceful with everyone
A Beagle may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
An extremely careful search to find good-tempered lines
Providing a goodly amount of exercise, not just a couple of walks around the block
Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
An independent "what's in it for me?" attitude -- can be obstinate
Keeping him on-leash or securely fenced
Controlling baying and howling
Slowness to housebreak
Moderate to heavy shedding
A distinctive doggy odor
Concerns about a lot of potential health problems in the breed
Last Friday Pasha got into a really nasty dog fight over a rubber Chuckit ball, as you can see she lost in a big way and now her butt cheek looks like swiss cheese:/ Fights at the dog run happen fairly regularly but they are usually the doggie equivalent of Jerry Springer Show fights, noise, hair pulling, slapping, maybe a scratch or two but nobody going to the hospital. This one was seriously bad (and surprising, since the other dog is usually friendly and has great owners who have been bringing him to the dog run since he was a pup - they were understandably very jarred by this all and are looking into how to prevent this from happening again). The bite went deep and tore into the muscle so the muscle itself had to be stitched back together as well as the skin sewn up... So no running around for a few weeks, mostly homebound, short walks to "take care of business" only. Today it's a week later and she got a gold star from her vet, drains out, healing nicely and Dr. Tsung says "couple more weeks of nooooo exercise!"
This was taken after she came home from getting patched up, drugged and hurting, poor Pasha!
Eeeeeeeek!!! Pretty gross right? Those white things sticking out are drains, keeps the skin from closing up so you can squirt antiseptic into the wounds to prevent infection, the vet said the wound was filthy and they had to flush dirt and wood chips out of it.... The red stuff is the antiseptic mixed with blood leaking out where the drains stick out lower down the leg, there was less of that after a few days. As nasty as this looks she didn't seem too bothered by it, no limping, no crying, she was on some pain medication but still you'd expect some discomfort? And to my relief she is just as happy as ever and doesn't seem to be anti-dog after the incident, as happy to greet other dogs on leash as before.
yup, one on the groin too. when I had to irrigate her wounds she would roll over or sit and cock her leg so I could get at it more easily;) and she especially seems to enjoy the hot compresses!
Less than a week later, drains are out and it looking a whole lot better :)
Those big holes are where the drains were, they should scab up shortly.
sooooo bored..... hate cone....
WHAAAAAT??? VISITOR!!!! my friend Dan was in town for a few days, Pasha LOVED him! even the cone couldn't save him from her slobbery love;)
Soooo how to wear out the 2 year old pup who is used to at least an hour of chasing the ball and wrestling at the dog run everyday.....?? For now she needs to be kept pretty quiet so we are relying on "boredom busters", thinky toys, involving strategy and coordination, doggie problem solving = mental exhaustion leading to naps and a little less restlessness;) doesn't replace physical exercise but will hopefully prevent overwhelming cabin fever for the next few weeks.
Here's our stash! These are all food dispensing toys, instead of the 15 seconds it normally takes her to eat breakfast and dinner from her bowl it can take 20 min - 1.5 hrs (yes I'm a looser and I totally timed it) anyway she loooooves them:) I have a few videos of how they work and the sort of focus they require. They work best if your dog is a pig like mine, perhaps less so if you have a grazer.
first crack at it, she needed a little guidance... she achieved "genius level" later that day according to the toy instructions...Very cute but not challenging enough, might bring this back for something more involved ;)
the Busy Buddy or as we call it the "green lantern" is my favorite, she loves it and it is less loud/messy than the Kong Wobble and the Buster Cube. This takes her about 20 minutes to eat a meal sized cup of kibble, and since it involves more angling skills than brute strength it is usually a quieter affair (but still enthusiastic).
This is similar in principle to the Kong Wobble, she loves them both but they are LOUD! She has been refining her approach to the Buster Cube, trying to turn it over on the bed instead of whacking it around the apartment... Better to hand these out when you will not be home to enjoy the crashing noises:/ or better yet if you are lucky enough to have a patio or something...
The winner in terms of longest time to empty is officially a frozen Kong, I clocked that at 45 minutes per Kong, AND it takes 2 for each meal, so 3 hours a day if she is served breakfast and dinner a la Kong!!!
She is super excited to be handed any of these options, sick or well these food dispensers are great for keeping your dog busy while they are indoors, and time consuming appropriate dog hobbies are good for your personal property and the dogs mental health! Below are some articles I found while googling for suggestions to keep my patient content while cooped up (also during inclement weather) and check out those crazy fun toys by Nina Ottosson, maybe Santa will bring her one;)
I've mentioned the awesomeness of the folks at my dog run many times in the past and I am doing so again, so many rescues, so many fosters! Susan who I "officially" met today at the dog run is fostering a pretty little lady named Lexie! Lexie has won the foster dog lottery living with Susan, a veteran foster mom, but is now looking for the perfect forever home... Lexie's family brought her to the pound (for the second time) because they didn't want to take care of her anymore, basically Susan said, they didn't feel like having to give her exercise, NICE:/ I'll post Susan's description below but my impressions of Lexie from watching her in the dog run this afternoon is that she is as SWEET as she is ADORABLE! Susan thinks she may not be used to playing with other dogs, little socially awkward and barks at the other dogs "I WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU!!!" but is totally dog friendly and soon enough she'll be in the doggie club, she also has doggie roomates at home, a big German Shepherd sister and a little mystery mutt brother, small medium and large! Lexie can be a little shy of strangers at first, I was talking to her Mom for awhile and she would circle closer and closer and finally sat in front of me for some scrunchies:) and it's obvious she LOOOOOOOVES Susan and was showing off how nicely she comes when called and sits on command;) So here's Lexie has to say for herself, transcribed by Susan ;)
she's so cute she doesn't look real!
Hi! My name is Lexie. My foster Mom says I am a wonderfull little girl, a delight to be around and a family would be very lucky to have me in their lives. I have soooo much love and joy to give. I am house trained and know all my commands, I am very bright so I can learn much more too. I have a sweet and gentle nature, but I also have the confidence to stand up for myself with other dogs when I need to. I love to play so I do need to be able to run and get exercise every day. I want to please and to be a good girl. I listen to my foster Mom very well. I get along with other dogs, big and little. I would be happiest with another dog who is not too dominant. I also get along with children. I am very healthy, which you can see from my shiny and very soft coat and big, bright eyes. I am also a good watch dog. This does mean that once in awhile I bark when I hear strange noises, but I live in an apartment on a busy street right now and mostly I am very quiet. If I do bark it's to warn you about something unusual, I know to be quiet when asked. I am a great size and weigh about 25lbs. My age is approximately 4 years old. I am really a sweetheart-and a great snuggler. Oh...and I am ADORABLE. You can find out more about me, and hear the dramatic story of how I was rescued by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
with her foster mom and big sis!
again the contact info for Miss Lexie is email@example.com
I'm always curious to see how the Fosteroni Alumni are doing and am not above the occasional solicitation for updates and pictures (or asking previous adopters to pimp my new foster dogs to homes as awesome as theirs)!!!
From Jean concerning Charlie (formerly Sphinx)-
Charley is doing FABULOUSLY well. We are still totally smitten, even after all this time. And all his bad behavior! Well, he's not bad, he just counter-surfs like crazy. And is a total jump-up snuggle attention hound. This summer in Maine, he learned how to jump off a dock or a riverbank in pursuit of a big stick...picture attached. He's in it for the drama, legs splayed, getting as much air as possible. So great! I will send this call for help for Duncan to my friend who just lost her dog of 15 years...maybe she would be interested in meeting him.Nice to hear from you , and nice to know you're still doing this amazing work with the dogs.
Jean, Joel, and Charley
he looks so mature and handsome!
And from Meagan, Mom to Bronx (Dingo during her foster days). I see Bronx photos on a regular basis on facebook, clearly this dog is adored!
I will spread the word! We love Bronx so much, she has become such a big sweetheart. She gets along with Rush really well, they play ALL day. They have developed a deep bond, which is what we were hoping for. Last week Rush was getting bullied by a German Shepard at the dog park and Bronx came running over and barked the other dog away! This is just one of the many times she has protected Rush. Bronx has caught a squirrel and a seagull so now is only off leash in small critter free areas like dog parks but . She was also featured on the front page of the West End News (our local mock newspaper)! She has also finally found an interest in dog toys! Primarily bouncy squeaky balls and nyla bones.
So in under a week Mr. Dunkin is back living in Brooklyn with his new Mom and Pop, and bonus Auntie and Uncle! Natalie and Andre discovered him on petfinder.com and of course found him irresistibly handsome and couldn't wait to run up and meet him asap! Andre came up for a meet and greet a few nights ago and they got along really well, and Natalie met him the next morning and joined us in the dog run for a few hours where she got to see Dunkin in action with the other dogs and people. Honesty about my foster dogs good and bad points is super important to me and I was glad that between the two of them they got the see the whole spectrum first hand, if you know what you're in for homework-wise, think you can help with the issues and sign up for it then hopefully the dog will be placed ONCE instead of shuffled around... lying/ommision=very bad start! So of course Dunkin was adorable and great with my cat and played nicely with the dogs and affectionate and charming and all those great lovable things we had reported buuuuuut and to my mind more importantly they got to see his squirrel mania where he turns into a screeching lunatic on a pogo stick at the and of the leash, and most importantly his resource guarding which was my main concern... he growled at Andre about his toy and kept running off with it, and attacked Pasha when he had the most insane squeaky toy and had worked himself into a little frenzy, don't feel bad for her she was most definitely trying to steal it, and after the fight was broken up did steal it (and then I took it and put it high on a shelf since fighting is frowned upon), don't worry neither dog was hurt at all despite all the noise! Having both grown up in families who adopted rescue dogs, some pretty serious cases, they both seemed like a good fit for the little guy and when they saw him at his worst and were calm about it (and still interested) I felt comfortable that they were a good fit!
So now Dunkin lives less than a block from Prospect Park with Natalie and Andre and 2 other room mates who are both dog lovers and on board with the new addition!
this video is one of my worst and I apologize for any motion sickness but look how happy she is:)
filling out adoption forms at my place, why wait?? I got the ok from Laurie and agreed to drop him off that night!
Brooklyn ho! off to his new digs:)
When we got to the apartment he was not shy about exploring and he met one of his new room mates as well who was of course enchanted and after a few minutes I snuck out the door. I will be happy to post any pics and updates they send my way and I hope to see him around!