Two Dogs, One Apartment

Sorry for the gap between blogs. It’s been a really tough week personally so the blog took a backseat.

Lucy came back home about 10 days ago (I think?) and finally got to meet Lady. And, as with everything thus far with Lady, the meet and greet was seamless. SNORT recommends separating foster dogs from their fur siblings for the first few days in a new foster home but Lady had been here for 10 days already. Plus, in the few days before Lucy came home I’d been able to see Lady interact with other dogs and she was fine. She showed interest in other dogs but honestly that’s about it – no lunging toward them, no excited hopping around, certainly no aggression. Still, I was ready to separate them with a gate but that ended up being totally unnecessary.

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  Does this face look like she’d cause trouble?!

When Lucy walked in the apartment, there was some mutual sniffing between the dogs and then Lady went over to her bed in the corner and Lucy hopped up on the couch and that’s where they spent 90 percent of their first night together. And since. Lucy and I do play together on the floor most days and while Lady frequently comes over to inspect, she has no concept of play or interest in toys, gets bored quickly and retreats back to her bed.

The biggest change is getting myself out the door in the morning. I do as much prep as I can before my 5:30 a.m. CrossFit class but I have only an hour from when I get home from class until I leave for work so the process of taking care of two dogs (breakfast, potty breaks – usually multiple since neither dog will do all their business in one trip) and getting myself ready is going to need to be refined. But we’re making progress.

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Just an obligatory cute photo of Lucy.

The only negative is that Lady has severely regressed on her housetraining. Every day I come home from work either at lunch or at the end of the day and she’s peed. Sometimes twice a day. The obvious thought would be she’s marking her territory. Lady comes across as anything but an alpha female but the timing of her regression and Lucy coming back is too coincidental to rule it out. But if she is marking, she should be spayed soon and I’m really (really) hoping that ends the marking.

Also, Lady has completely come out of her shell. Don’t get me wrong, she still spends a lot of time in her bed, but she is so. freaking. happy. every time I walk in the door. She’s started hopping around and running in circles. It’s so heartwarming to see; it makes me realize how cruddy she felt (or how scared she was) when I first brought her home.

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Watching from afar as Lucy acts like a maniac.

And while she and Lucy aren’t best buddies, they co-exist perfectly. They each lounge on different ends of the couch while I’m gone, eat in separate areas with a zero issues and have their own go-to spaces in the apartment.

So, I have to say that the fostering-by-myself experiment is going better than I could have expected. If housetraining issues are my biggest concern, I’d say we’re all doing just fine!

Buddy Found His Forever Home

This evening I dropped Buddy off at his forever home.

Sebastian (L) and Buddy (R)

Sebastian (L) and Buddy (R)

As is the norm, I didn’t say much of anything leading up to his adoption because until the foster dogs are actually in their homes, I don’t like to count my chickens before they’ve hatched!

On the way to meet his family!

On the way to meet his family!

Buddy is a very lucky boy, though. His family actually lives in the same town as us! I know, the odds of that are practically zero because I live in the middle of nowhere, but he is literally a 90-second drive away. His family is also a “pug family.” Their current pug, Sebastian, is a 10-year-old rescue pug (and looks like Buddy’s dad!). Their previous pug (I think her name was Sassy) recently passed away and the family was looking for a buddy for Sebastian. So Buddy will now be Sebastian’s buddy!

Like I did with Snowy, I wanted to make a list of sorts about what I want to remember about Buddy:

– He is a Velcro pug. Wherever we (Marty and me) were, so was Buddy.

It's my bed but it's Buddy's world.

It’s my bed but it’s Buddy’s world.

– He LOVES his walks. At least twice a day I took Buddy for a walk. I’m going to gain approximately 10 pounds now that he’s gone.

Always up for a walk.

Always up for a walk.

– On a similar note, Buddy would only poop on a walk; I think once in the months we had him did he actually poop in our yard.

– Also related, Buddy would spin around and around in a circle, maybe 4-5 times, before pooping. At least he gave us warning. And it was as hilarious as it sounds.

– Buddy was/is a barker. Barks at the TV. Barks at the train that goes by. Barks when no one is paying attention to him. If he were sticking around we’d definitely do some behavior training with him but his new family can now address that issue if it bothers them!

– He and Lucy got along but I wouldn’t call them best buddies. It’s hard to describe. They didn’t not get along and a lot of times they would cuddle. But they also didn’t really play together. It’s almost like they were just aware of each other’s presence and liked having company, but that was as far as it went.

Ok, they were really cute when they cuddled.

Ok, they were really cute when they cuddled.

– Buddy enjoyed car rides but only if he was given free reign of the car, meaning he hated car rides with us because we made him ride in his crate. Otherwise I would have spent every car ride keeping Buddy off my lap while I drove; not safe, not fun.

Buddy looking deceptively happy in his crate; trust me, he was not happy.

Buddy looking deceptively happy in his crate; trust me, he was not happy.

– Buddy’s cough. He sounded like a goose and it was only bad when he got excited. Alarming at first, normal after a while.

– The way he usually left some breakfast or dinner on his chin.

– His sweet, sweet eyes. He really did have the most soulful eyes.

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Man, we’ll definitely miss Buddy. Unlike Cindy and Snowy, he wasn’t a mill dog and knew exactly how to be a pet. He was house-trained, knew what toys and walks were and was used to life in a home. For that reason he was definitely our “easiest” foster but certainly not easy to say good-bye to. I just love his personality and little quirks. I’ll miss his big eyes staring at me when he wanted to be on my lap and I’ll miss having a shadow follow me around the apartment.

I’m going to be a wreck, as usual, for more than a few days. He even tried to run out the door after us when it was time for us to leave. 😦 It’s so sad to say good-bye and I’ll be thinking of how he’s doing every day. Even now I think about Cindy and Snowy just about every day and wonder how they’re doing (even when I know they’re doing spectacularly!).

What next? This time I’m going to try and take a serious break from fostering to make our lives a bit easier for a while but I know we’ll be back at it after not too long!

Some Updates

First and foremost, Snowy is scheduled for surgery this Thursday. S.N.O.R.T. found a vet in State College who can do Snowy’s surgeries and had an opening for this Thursday – talk about a quick turnaround!

I’ve never been to this surgeon before but he has worked on at least one other S.N.O.R.T. dog and comes highly recommended. We’re hoping that Snowy will be able to get both eye surgeries (entropian and distichia if needed) as well as her spay. As with any dog but especially bulldogs, most surgeons don’t commit to definitively doing all surgeries at one time. It really depends on how well a dog tolerates anesthesia and with short nosed dogs like bullies, anesthesia is always tricky. Lucy had four surgeries done at once (cherry eye surgery, nares surgery, elongated soft palette surgery and spay surgery) so let’s hope Snowy has similar success!

A cone-headed Lucy recovering from surgeries

A cone-headed Lucy recovering from surgeries

I’ll be dropping Snowy off (and meeting with the surgeon) very early Thursday morning. I did not speak to the surgeon when I scheduled the surgeries but the receptionist said they usually aim to have the dogs return home the day of surgery so I’m crossing my fingers I can pick Snowy up on Thursday afternoon/evening.

Obviously I’m a nervous wreck so I already can’t wait to pick her up hopefully on Thursday!

I think she'll be doing a lot of this for a few days after surgery.

I think she’ll be doing a lot of this for a few days after surgery.

On a similar note, I just received an email from Cindy’s (now Nellie) forever mom who said that Nellie was successfully spayed early last week. I knew she was scheduled for the surgery so I was very glad to get the email saying it had been a success. It apparently wasn’t an easy surgery as she had lots and lots of scarring from all the C-sections she had, but she’s trooper; she’d have to be to endure what she did and still be with us today!

Sweet Cindy waiting at the vet with me last spring.

Sweet Cindy waiting at the vet.

And finally, we may have turned a corner on housetraining Snowy. I don’t know if it’s because I very (very) firmly yelled at her last week when she made a mess or whether it’s because her UTI is under control or because the anti-anxiety diffuser I bought is working, but she has been accident-free for five of the last six days. Yes, I did just jinx it but I do think this is the longest she’s gone without any form of accident, day or night. The timing couldn’t be better, either, as she’ll be ready for adoption in the very near future.

Our newly housetrained dog??

Our newly housetrained dog??

And on that note, excuse me while I sob into my pillow.

Tis the Season

After last night’s women’s basketball game, I officially have no more home athletic events until January 6 which means…I get to have a life for a few weeks!

This afternoon I used my first free evening to (mostly) finish up Christmas shopping with Marty. We then decided to be super productive and wrap all of our gifts, minus the ones to each other. While you’d never know it based on her ability to be in the exact wrong spot at the exact wrong time, Lucy has been through the gift wrapping process before. Snowy, however, has never experienced a real Christmas.

She made that very evident with her idea of “helping” us wrap gifts:

She likes to stand only in the boxes I'm attempting to wrap.

She likes to stand only in the boxes I’m attempting to wrap.

You can see in the background of that picture Lucy was just as helpful.

After all was said and done, though, we finished with a large pile of neatly wrapped gifts for family and friends.

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This afternoon we also finished up buying a few small things for Lucy and Snowy’s stockings. I’m not going to get into it, but Snowy has me at my wits end because we just can’t get her housetrained; instead I’m going to focus on the fact that this is her first real Christmas and I’m making sure it will be extra special for her.

PS – I will apologize in advance to all family and friends who find dog hair mixed in with their gifts. Lucy and Snowy wanted to give you pieces of themselves this holiday season.

The Stress of Holiday Travel – Part I

Hard to believe, but one week ago Marty, Lucy, Snowy and I were in the midst of our 36 hours of Thanksgiving travel. As I mentioned before, I was pretty stressed out about traveling with Snowy for a whole bunch of reasons. For the past two weeks or so she had reverted back to leaving messes on our carpet pretty much every day. We think it’s due to separation anxiety but the last thing I wanted was to take her to visit families and have her make a mess everywhere.

Plus, she was in heat and we found out that some of the blood spots we were finding on the carpet were due to a small cut on the pad of her paw. Not exactly a great formula for being good house guests.

But, we figured that if separation anxiety was the main cause of her messes then we could keep that under control on the trip since she’d never be left alone.

Travel buddies

Travel buddies

As we were almost at Marty’s parents’ house I realized I’d forgotten to pack carpet cleaner so we made a pit stop to pick some up. I also packed Snowy’s disposable diapers. We hadn’t gotten the reusable ones from S.N.O.R.T. yet and I knew we needed something in case she was ever left alone.

All in all the trip wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. Snowy had zero accidents, slept in the guest room with us and we had minimal need for the carpet cleaner I insisted we stop to buy; there were a few tiny spots from her paws but that was it.

I did put a diaper on her during Thanksgiving dinner so we could eat in peace and not wonder what she was doing in the family room by herself but other than that it was totally manageable.

See, Mom? I'm an angel.

See, Mom? I’m an angel.

We’re a little worried when we take a longer trip over Christmas as we hope to spend upwards of six days in New Jersey visiting friends and family – at some point Snowy will be left alone and that’s when I’m worried her separation anxiety will kick in. Hopefully we’ll have her reusable diapers by then which will ease my mind a bit.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy's paw.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy’s paw.

But, this most recent trip was not nearly as stressful as I’d imagined it would be so I’m optimistic we’ll manage Christmas travel just fine.

We’re Halfway There

Hey, I’m from Jersey…I had to work a Bon Jovi reference in somehow 🙂

Anyway, despite having Snowy for almost three months now, we’re still trying to figure out how to get Snowy housetrained. For a few weeks we were accident-free both at night and during the day, so I thought we’d turned the corner but for the past 10 days, Snowy has reverted to having accidents overnight and while we’re at work.

I do think that her being in heat is partly to blame – she is definitely marking more and I guess she figures if she’s going to mark our carpet she may as well take a crap, too. However, I also think separation anxiety plays a big part, too. While she doesn’t get anxious or whine and pace while either of us gets ready to leave, she really only has accidents when no one is home.

At night, an easy solution would be to have her sleep in our bed to ease the separation anxiety but I will not let any dog sleep in our bed, so this is the solution I came up with:

A dog bed next to a human bed

A dog bed next to a human bed

The first night we tried this setup it took an hour of putting Snowy in her own bed, having her hop up on our bed, me putting her back in her bed, etc., etc. After an hour or so, though, she seemed to get used to the idea that she had her own bed and could be near us at the same time.

The outcome? Accident free nights (so far…)!

As the title of this post states, though, we’re only halfway there. I’m still coming home at lunchtime to messes. We tried a doggie diaper but our little escape artist managed to weasel her way out of the diaper. My hope? The doggie undies we’re getting from S.N.O.R.T. should be much, much harder for her to get off, so we’ll keep those on during the day. I’m optimistic that she’ll keep her undies clean, cementing my belief it is indeed separation anxiety, and eventually we can wean her off them.

Sigh. I’m so sick of pee and poop talk. At least she’s being super cute lately.

It's safe to say Marty is becoming her new favorite.

It’s safe to say Marty is becoming her new favorite.