Life Lately

We’ve had Snowy for three weeks already, which is hard to believe, and every day we’re seeing more and more of her personality come out.

I will always, always love Cindy; she was my first foster, the sweetest dog I’ve ever met and without a doubt I would have kept her if my finances had allowed. Snowy falls in a similar category except that she appears to be a slightly better fit with Lucy than Cindy was. Snowy is incredibly active and mobile; she loves going for walks, jumps all around the house with excitement and randomly breaks out in a run in the middle of our walks, of which we take many.

While Lucy and Snowy don’t actually play together a whole lot, Snowy’s physical nature makes it a bit easier to take the two of them out together. It’s actually easier to walk both of them together than Lucy by herself because Snowy’s love of walks encourages Lucy to walk more easily.

"Don't get used to it, Mom. The minute she's gone I'm back to boycotting walks."

“Don’t get used to it, Mom. The minute she’s gone I’m back to boycotting walks.”

Snowy has picked up on the routine around here and has started to mimic some of Lucy’s behaviors, like stealing my seat on the sofa.

"You snooze, you lose."

“You snooze, you lose.”

She’s also taken to checking out my laptop, just like Lucy:

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I’ve finally been able to teach Snowy to sit when it’s time for treats – a command we worked very hard on! – and we’re slowly but surely getting her to understand the whole concept of doing her business outside.

Snowy has a follow-up vet appointment on Tuesday. Her eyes don’t produce tears and is currently on two medications to hopefully kick-start some tear production. The vet is going to re-check her tear production, or lack thereof, and I’m crossing my fingers we won’t need a follow up with a doggie ophthalmologist; the hope is she won’t need eye surgery as long as she shows signs of producing tears.

If she doesn’t need eye surgery, the only thing left is to schedule her spay and then I feel pretty confident she’ll be ready for adoption. If she does need eye surgery, we can probably do both surgeries at once, which is what we did with Lucy (along with a nose job and palette surgery…).

We’re having so much fun with Snowy; I’m so glad we agreed to foster her!

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Snowy’s Confused

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot this:

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That would be 3:06 a.m.

Two of the last three nights Snowy has woken us up with her barking anytime between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. Either Marty or I then head downstairs assuming she has to go out, only to discover she’s already done her business on our carpet. Lovely.

Clearly Snowy is confused as to the order of things; she’s supposed to bark to let us know she has to go before actually going!

"You have a problem with me?"

“You have a problem with me?”

I’m actually getting quite frustrated because how the heck do you teach a dog to bark before she has to go out, not after?! As I’ve mentioned before, she has a bladder apparently made of steel because she’ll pee twice a day, max. She also goes #2 a lot less frequently than that so it’s very, very hard to get into any sort of routine.

It’s looking like it’s back to the crate for her at night 😦

But for the sanity of everyone who lives here, these 3 a.m. outings need to be eliminated. Even Lucy isn’t amused.

Obviously annoyed at being woken up

Obviously annoyed at being woken up

Dog Days, Take II

Snowy has made so much progress over the past two weeks. Probably partly because she had already been in two foster homes before she came here, Snowy was definitely a scared and tense dog when we got her. It took her well over a week to feel 100% comfortable around Marty and loud noises did – and still do – scare her from time to time.

However, she really is almost like a different dog. She literally hops around the living room in the morning while I get ready to take her and Lucy out; she even gets so excited she’ll stand on her hind legs and hop around. Pretty impressive, actually!

Because of all the progress she’s made in the past two weeks, I thought I’d try taking her to Dog Days on our campus. I knew I was taking a bit of a chance, but lately when I take Lucy out alone, Snowy has started barking; clearly she hates being left out of the action so I thought I’d give it a go. At the very least I’d get an idea of what kind of environments she would (or wouldn’t) do well in.

A co-worker agreed to come with me so I wouldn’t have to wrangle two dogs and we had so much fun!

Looking for food. And pets.

Looking for food. And pets.

Clearly starved for attention

Clearly starved for attention

Snowy did such a good job. She wasn’t scared or nervous. She spent the half hour or so that we were there walking around, meeting other doggies and getting lots of attention.

I don't think it's possible to be any happier

I don’t think it’s possible to be any happier

And as usual, Lucy spent the entire time obsessed with her water bottle.

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While the point of Dog Days is to alleviate homesickness for students, today also served as a mini-test for Snowy to see how she’d do in a semi-loud, chaotic environment with both dogs, adults and children. And she did so, so well. I was unbelievably proud of her.

After dog days we walked over to say hi to Marty and his team as they finished up practice. I could tell Snowy was fading fast but she was a trooper and said hi to everyone.

After we got home and the doggies got fed, this was the aftermath:

She may not wake up until tomorrow morning!

She may not wake up until tomorrow morning!

Not only did we have fun today, but I feel very confident that Snowy will thrive in almost any environment when she finds her forever home down the road!

A Step Backwards

As I’ve explained, Snowy came to us after having already been fostered for the past month and we were told she came us fully housetrained.

I don’t doubt that statement but this past week, Snowy undoubtedly took a step (or two) backwards in the housetraining department!

"Housetrained or not, I'm still cute!"

“Housetrained or not, I’m still cute!”

Several times last week I either came home or came downstairs to poop on the floor; once Snowy pooped twice on the floor in one morning! She also peed on her bed twice and even peed on the couch. I was beyond aggravated; because she only pees maybe 2-3 times a day and poops far less than that, it’s very hard to pick up on the signs of when she has to go.

On Wednesday night, she woke Marty and me up at 3:30 a.m. with her barking; we let her out, she peed and then walked back inside. At 6 a.m., we came downstairs to poop on the floor. Ugh.

All the events of last week prompted me to do this:

The Crate

The Crate

Yup, I had to lug the massive crate back upstairs and into the kitchen. I cannot emphasize enough how much I did not want to crate Snowy but I also A: did not want to continue cleaning up pee and poop and B: want to make sure she is 100% housetrained for her future forever family.

Unfortunately, Snowy appears to be an escape artist and can unlock the crate door all by herself but she also hasn’t had an accident in the house in several days. I really think she was (and probably still is) going through an adjustment period; it’s been quite an eventful few months for her.

On a totally different note, she got a care package from S.N.O.R.T. full of lots of goodies!

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Snowy is one loved doggie!

Photo Dump

Just like with Cindy, we’re slowly establishing a new routine with two dogs. Snowy is very much a velcro dog. I walk from one end of the coffee table to the other and guess who follows me? This morning she even barked (first time she’s barked!) when I took Lucy out alone. And we’ve already established that she follows me upstairs.

Work has been more stressful than normal lately so while I have a whole bunch of blog topics semi-written in my own head I just don’t have the time to dive into them so instead, here’s a photo dump of two cute doggies 🙂

"I still like Daddy better."

“I still like Daddy better.”

Cutie

Cutie

So dainty

So dainty

Somehow she wedged her butt into the back of the couch.

Somehow she wedged her butt into the back of the couch.

"Can I please join you on the couch?"

“Can I please join you on the couch?”

“Remember Me, Lucy?”

All of the talk about Snow White (or as we’re calling her, “Snowy”) might make it seem like we’ve forgotten about Lucy but of course we haven’t!!

It’s just so easy to get wrapped up in the “new” dog, her needs and figuring out her little idiosyncrasies (like, for instance, the fact that she has a bladder of steel and has a head tilt semi-reminiscent of Cindy).

Lucy has done very well with Snowy, though. I think she’s reluctantly accepted the fact that Snowy isn’t a playful dog but unlike Cindy, she also never snaps at Lucy. Snowy is just 100% indifferent to Lucy!

Sharing the couch without actually touching

Sharing the couch without actually touching

Couldn't resist posting this photobomb from Snowy

Couldn’t resist posting this photobomb from Snowy

Snowy certainly is physically capable of playing with Lucy – she has lots of energy and loves to run when we’re outside – she just doesn’t want to play with Lucy. Overall, though, Lucy has been great and things are pretty easy and calm, minus twice the work and time to take care of two doggies.

However, I can tell Lucy isn’t 100% ecstatic to have another dog around:

Possessive, much?

Possessive, much?

While I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to foster Snowy, it’s just my nature to over-analyze everything so of course I wonder if Lucy is resentful or sad that we (temporarily) brought home another dog. So, I make sure that if I take the doggies out separately I take Lucy out first, I stick to her normal routine and make a special effort to play with her a bit more.

Lucy was our first doggie and will always be number one with us!

One Picky Dog

I took Snow White to my vet yesterday to get a good, thorough exam. Beyond the vet files she came with, I really didn’t know much about her. Her eyes were still a goopy, oozing mess and her skin was clearly bothering her despite supposedly having been given medicated baths twice a week.

My primary concern, though, was the fact that she just would not eat. Due to her allergies I knew she had to be on grain-free food which is what I feed Lucy anyway but no matter what I tried – soaking the food in water, dry food, in a bowl, in a dish – nada.

So as we apparently like to do around here, we went back to the vet!

Waiting

Waiting

Snow White was a bit scared and timid; I had to physically lift her onto the scale (55.2 pounds!) and it took a while to coerce her into the exam room. Fortunately she is too cute for her own good and had plenty of attention from all the staff 🙂

Oh, and she got some attention from a (large) fellow patient:

He was a whopping 160 pounds!

He was a whopping 160 pounds!

The vet kept her for a few hours so I could go back to work while they ran a few tests. The most notable thing they found out? Snow White is one picky, stubborn girl! Apparently she just didn’t like the food I have here because she ate the canned food they fed her! Lucy would eat dirt if I served it to her in a bowl – same with Cindy – so I just assumed the food I have at home tasted good to all dogs. I guess not good enough for Snow White!

She does have to be on grain-free food, even if it’s canned, which was the one negative because canned food is expensive! So what I tried last night was mixing a small bit of canned food with a scoop of dry food, adding a bit of water and mixing it all together – so far, so good!

Snow White also has a whopping four eye meds/products I have to put in every day in addition to an antibiotic (her white blood cell count was a teeny, tiny bit high) and a steroid to get her itchy skin under control.

As I always say, good thing she’s cute!!

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Bathing Beauty

Snow White came to us with a few issues, most notably her eyes and skin. I was told that she had been prescribed by her previous foster home’s vet to take a bath twice a week with medicated/anti-allergy shampoo. When I picked her up yesterday, one of the first things I noticed was that she smelled! I don’t know if it was from her eye goop (of which there is a lot) or her skin, but I figured she was probably due for a bath.

This evening I came home from work a bit later than I had hoped so I quickly let the dogs out, fed Lucy, gave up hope that Snow White would eat (another post for another time) and quickly ran upstairs (key word: upstairs) to change into clothes more appropriate for bath-giving.

Because the collar Snow White was forced to wear at the puppy mill caused some irritation and hair loss, I keep her new, fancy collar off except when I take her outside; the point is she is a very quiet dog without her collar on because while I was in the midst of changing, I thought I heard heavy breathing (keep your jokes to yourself). Yes, it was Snow White.

Well, who is that in my bedroom?

Well, who is that in my bedroom?

Well, at least that solved my problem of lugging a 55-pound lump of dead weight upstairs to the bath!

She resisted the bath, as a lot of dogs do, and more than once tried to make a run for it but in the end she was all fresh and clean!

She wanted to preserve some modesty.

She wanted to preserve some modesty.

I’m a Liar

And here’s the proof:

Meet Snow White

Meet Snow White

Remember when I said we weren’t fostering again until the fall season was over? Well, obviously that didn’t hold true!

Late last week I got a call from S.N.O.R.T. that a female English bully, who had been rescued from a puppy mill just like Cindy, needed a new foster home because her current foster mom needed to have surgery. I obviously consulted Marty and told him several times that we were under no obligation to take Snow White in; we had said that we were holding off on fostering for a good reason (a LOT of crazy weekends) and there are two of us in this relationship. He needed to be 100% okay with fostering again so soon or it just wouldn’t have been worth it to me.

Marty assured me he was okay with it and that we would make it work so today after spending the day working several volleyball matches, I hopped in the car to pick up Snow White.

Snow White with a side of Marty's bony knee.

Snow White with a side of Marty’s bony knee.

So much to say! First off, I did not choose her name, despite the similar fairy tale theme as Cindy (aka Cinderella)! Second, she’s a sweetheart. Not quite as openly affectionate as Cindy (perhaps slightly more detached, although I don’t know any dog who was as openly affectionate as Cindy) but a big lovebug nonetheless.

Exploring her new digs

Exploring her new digs

She is a very, very solid girl. She could definitely stand to lose a bit of weight but fortunately she walks very well on a leash and is a million times more agile than Cindy (i.e. her joints are actually in their sockets where they belong!).

Her skin isn’t in the greatest shape; from my understanding her collar from the puppy mill had slightly embedded itself in her neck and she has a few patches of thinning hair that we’ll get checked out at my vet. She also has some very puffy paws on her back legs but she appears to walk without any pain. Her eyes are the biggest health issue from what I can tell. Her lower eyelashes curl into her eyeball so she’s on several drops to alleviate the irritation.

No problems with the two of them so far...

No problems with the two of them so far…

Because she’s been a foster dog for well over a month now she’s used to households and other dogs. She and Lucy so far haven’t had any issues although we will definitely be separating them when we’re not home. Snow White does have a fear of men, however, leaving Marty to accuse me of getting her just so I could run him off 🙂

Despite being more agile than Cindy, she can’t propel herself onto the couch although she made it clear that’s where she wanted to be…

What's going on up here?

What’s going on up here?

So I helped her up 🙂

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There will be lots to say over the coming weeks but for now we’re going to settle in for the night!

Happy Anniversary!

Exactly one year ago today I started this little blog. If WordPress hadn’t reminded me I never would have guessed it had already been a year. In some ways I felt like this past year dragged on forever and yet it’s hard to believe I’ve written about Lucy for 12 months now!

Unfortunately tonight I’ll be working so this will have to serve as an official anniversary post. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading along with Lucy’s journey for the past year!

Baby Lucy!

Baby Lucy!

Post-surgery but still adorable!

Post-surgery but still adorable!

Halloween!

Halloween!

Lucy's first Christmas.

Lucy’s first Christmas.

Sweet Cindy

Sweet Cindy

Cindy's first-ever birthday party.

Cindy’s first-ever birthday party.

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday!!

Bed buddies

Bed buddies

Cindy's forever home

Cindy’s forever home

Dog Days at SU

Dog Days at SU