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MDA 09-09-2013 17:29:56

Rescue me
 
Skip to the next post if this is TLDR and you want to get to the laughing at the fuckwit part.

Six arrived tonight, right to the house. A man and his daughter brought her, the last in a long chain of volunteers that picked up, drove, and delivered her, our first foster. It’s dark, but as the crate comes out of the SUV, I can see her squeezing herself flat in the bottom, trying to maintain her balance.

This is her second time through the system, she’s seven years old. A red tri, small. At least, she should be small. She doesn’t need coaxing out of the crate, she’s done with that; but she immediately sits down, unmoving, panting. She’s clearly, grossly, overweight. She’s also got a rare and unsubtle bouquet. We’re told that, despite the former owner’s assurances she’s been given Frontline, she’s got fleas. I call her by name and she goes belly down on the pavement, but stretches her head out in my direction. Submissive, friendly, terrified. My wife is naturally able to manage a higher pitched greeting, and she’s not afraid to sound a little silly in front of strangers. She gets a little less fearful response and Kris takes the leash.

The father provides us with a bag of food and tells us that he had one that was doing well and got really attached. Then he tells me had to put him down a few days ago. He wouldn’t stop trying to attack strangers. Two days later I realize he’s preparing me… sometimes they come to us too late to be saved. We say our goodbyes.

We get Six into the light by the front porch, and I run my hand through her hair. The fleas boil up and then scatter back into her hair. She’s infested. This is the kind of infested you see on those Animal Cops shows. I wonder how many of the volunteers will be flea bombing their vehicles tomorrow. God, she reeks. She’s fat, her eyes are bloodshot, her nails are long and broken, and she’s jumping at every sound. We were warned earlier in the day about fleas. I grab the shampoo and my wife leads her to the bathroom. Six won’t get in the tub. She presses herself flat on the tile floor and I can’t get the leverage to get her up. Any dog can make itself heavy, but I think Six used her chubby cleavage to suction herself to the tile like a fat red barnacle. She gets more and more terrified and tries to scuttle past me into the corner. As she gets more frantic, I start worrying she’ll snap at one of us. We’ve also been warned she pees sometimes. I don’t want particularly want to be chewed on or peed on, and Six doesn’t need that kind of first night experience with her foster home. We agree to move the party to the driveway. I’d rather do this in good light, but you take what you can get. If we can get rid of the funk and just *most* of the fleas, everyone will be more comfortable. She tolerates the bath, and all the sudsing of flea soap into places fleas like to hide. Score.

An hour passes. She’s staying very close to both of us, anxious if one of us leaves the room. She keeps a piece of furniture between herself and me, but applies no such restriction to my wife. She submits to petting. Emphasis on the word “submits”.

Bedtime. She won’t crate. We can work on that later, it was more out of fear for our carpet than for Six. We get her into the kitchen and baby gate one doorway while putting the crate with a treat and a towel in the back as bait at the other. Maybe she’ll sleep in there if there’s no one around trying to force her.

One a.m. my wife is awakened by a jingling collar. Six is at the bedside, clearly pleased with herself and delighted to have found my wife. The baby gate has been skillfully removed from the doorway, and is still upright, leaning against the kitchen cupboards like someone with hands had put it there. Our own Aussie was capable of similar feats with baby gates, and heavy glass shower doors (he preferred sleeping in the shower). I caught him doing it a few times without him knowing and it’s remarkable what a nose can do. The best part is the little Aussie bum-waggle they do when they make a some progress.

We surrender the bedroom and Six places herself in the doorway, probably so we won’t wander off and get lost without her knowing. She wants to be close, and she’s willing to go to great lengths to get there, and that’s the most promising part of the evening.

MDA 09-09-2013 17:32:03

TLDR:

One of those fleas bit me less than half an inch from the bulls-eye. The pain is relatively mild, the swelling is horrifying.

Fostering was not my idea, but it ain't boring. Six's name was changed in case I decided to slag the previous owner.

The Mad Monk 09-09-2013 17:52:37

You're doing God's work there.

MDA 09-09-2013 17:55:04

I didn't expect God's work to come back and bite me in the ass.

The Mad Monk 09-09-2013 17:56:04

So, what you meant by bulls-eye was...

zmama 09-09-2013 17:56:27

A little hydrocortisone 1% and you'll be fixed. :D

That's a good boy *pat pat*

MOBIUS 10-09-2013 09:21:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Mad Monk (Post 1049801)
So, what you meant by bulls-eye was...

That was my first thought.:D

See, we hone in on the really important stuff here at CG...

Really moving stuff though and keep us updated!:beer:

MDA 10-09-2013 13:15:11

Day One

Six won’t eat or drink at breakfast time. She wouldn’t drink anything last night either. We head out to pick up some Frontline and some decent food. My wife, who Googles stuff like “good dog food”, isn’t a fan of her current brand. The donated food from last night, which was good stuff, will do for now.

We’re gone an hour or so, and throw caution to the wind, leaving Six loose alone in the house. No problems while we’re gone. The Frontline goes on without a fuss. In the light of day, I can see flea dirt and it isn’t hard to find live fleas. Baby steps.

We go on our first real walk. We did about one hundred yards last night, and she wasn’t good on the leash. Today, she’s fantastic. I think it’s probably some combination of actual training and her being unwilling to go more than five feet from us. She’s alert, but not interested in exploring, she’s very between-the-lines. At home we work on the crate, she’ll stick her head in to take a treat, but no legs yet. Baby steps.

Early afternoon and still no eating or drinking. Kris hand carries a bowl of water from the (tiled) kitchen to the edge of the area rug in the living room Six already prefers. She doesn’t like the wood or tile. Even if she wasn’t chubby with overgrown nails, this could be a thing. Dogs like traction. Six drains two hand-held bowls of water. We leave the food and water within reach of the edge of the area rug. A short time later she eats and washes it down with more water.

She still won’t go do her business as often as I’d like. We take her out into the yard, and she invariably plops down at our feet. By the end of the day, I’ve been trained (see how that works?) to walk around the yard with Six following me. Eventually, the urge strikes and she wanders off a short distance and does her thing. I get an Aussie grin and she turns and “bolts” for the deck. It’s bad form to laugh at the fat girl running, so I switch to silly “good girl” noises as encouragement for relieving herself. Part of her accident problem is probably getting punished for going in the house, and just being let out the door and ignored while she’s outside. She doesn’t see the difference between inside and outside and assumes going to the bathroom at all is bad if someone sees you do it. We’re going to try encouraging the outside behavior and see how that works. I’m still not convinced it isn’t a medical problem, or just fear and anxiety. The few quarter sized drips she’s left around aren’t enough to provide any real relief. Is it weird to think that in her efforts to reach back where the fleas bite, she’s crushing her bladder and dribbling? The Visceral Fat Hypothesis.

Tonight I watched TV for an hour from a beanbag, and Six listed hard to port next to me, holding up a foreleg for a belly rub. She fell asleep that way. Attagirl.

Six managed two walks today, each less than half an hour. She was pretty beat after the longer evening one.

zmama 10-09-2013 13:22:05

Awww sweet. Pics please!

MDA 10-09-2013 13:44:31

1 Attachment(s)
I dared to assume you meant the dog.

FYI, Aussies don't have tails. I'm told that they can either be born that way, or people nip them off. Lack of a counterweight makes a happy dog hysterical.

zmama 10-09-2013 14:21:00

Yep, a wee bit pudgy but darn cute. I'm glad she found a good home with yinz.

MDA 10-09-2013 14:40:02

she's supposed to just foster with us, but she's seven years old and will be hard to find a family for that fact alone

zmama 10-09-2013 15:08:44

And yes I meant a picture of the dog :D
I'd be terrible fostering, I'd want to keep her.

The Mad Monk 11-09-2013 13:05:31

See MDA? That wasn't so hard, you found her a new home already!

MDA 11-09-2013 13:41:54

:lol:

First vet visit today!

MOBIUS 11-09-2013 13:55:54

:lol:

MDA 12-09-2013 20:09:28

First, surrendering owner provides name of vet so we can obtain medical records. Vet contacted... there are no records. Lied about fleas, lied about "no medical reason for the urination problem", lied about ever taking the dog to a vet at all. I wonder if it's possible to kick someone in the balls hard enough that they choke to death on them. The guy sought out a "rescue" dog, somehow got approved (there's someone else that needs slapped), and then ignored the dog. The dog has no idea what she did wrong, but she got picked up from the only home she ever had and dumped with total strangers because the people that accepted responsibility for her just won't deal. She waits until I'm not looking directly at her outside before she'll sneak a three second pee, because she got yelled at for it constantly and thinks it's bad. Today, for the first time, she went while on the leash - alone with my wife, so three guesses which sex she's afraid of.

Weight upon first placement, age three, 41 pounds

Current weight, age seven, 59 pounds!

Heartworm negative, no UTI, no major health problems beyond weight and some really filthy teeth (and one dead gray tooth that will eventually have to go). The age and the submissive dribbling are strikes against her, she's also peed all overherself twice while asleep. Fortunately the little porker sleeps on the slate hearth because it's cooler than carpet. No way to place her until that's resolved. There's a drug for her incontinence, one of the two that are in phen-fen. It's made by drug compounders, which is a huge risk, but one we may have to take. We're hoping if she learns it's ok to go, she won't go to sleep with a full bladder and the issue will be resolved that way. As an old-ish female spayed dog, it could have nothing to do with her fear and just be her. Then, it's the drug or nothing.

She did get a great new tablet product that got rid of the remaining fleas OVERNIGHT. I'm not a fan of ingested drugs for that, but this was a case of extreme infestation. Risk-reward.

zmama 12-09-2013 21:50:35

May blessings rain on you for this work!

and not just dog pee.

MDA 12-09-2013 23:07:10

Bath with baby shampoo tonight instead of nasty flea shampoo. Reward was a toy smeared with peanut butter and frozen, well received for the peanut butter. Instead of sneaking up on the peanut butter and carefully licking it off without touching the toy, she pins it under a (just washed, my bad) foot and goes to town. Assertive with inanimate objects. Achievement unlocked.

Six doesn't play with balls or Frisbees. I don't think she knows how.

Six is not the number of her abs - she has an ab. I like to make fun of her abs, she doesn't speak English so if I say it nice, she doesn't mind.

zmama 12-09-2013 23:46:34

For our dog ( from the pound) we freeze a kong stuffed with peanut butter and cottage cheese. Keeps her quiet at bedtime in her crate and the cottage cheese keeps the calories down. Six might not like that...Josie will eat anything being part Lab.

Funko 16-09-2013 10:50:41

:beer:

Good work MDA.

MDA 16-09-2013 11:30:57

Completely different dog after a week. Not afraid of us (everyone else is a little scary), she groans and shakes to get pet. Not a single accident since she started on the dog bennies. Still walks good, but wears out fast. My wife took her on a long walk Saturday and Six laid down to rest halfway through. Whoops. :lol:

Trip to the farmer's market, she glued her shoulder to my calf and shook until we got back to the car. It's ten or fifteen minutes a week, she's going to have to get used to it because it's good for her.

Still no playing with toys, and she knows no tricks. Gonna have to fix that.

She does her best to roll in the grass on her back. It's kind of like trying to knock a weeble-wobble over.

Funko 16-09-2013 12:26:32

Sounds great, if you've made that improvement in a week who knows where you'll be in another couple. :beer:

MOBIUS 16-09-2013 13:35:33

Yes, that's fantastic progress! Keep up the good work!:beer:

MDA 23-09-2013 15:30:55

Six sits, lays down, and high fives. Sorta. She'll get it.

Lost two pounds in ten days, and is getting her dead tooth pulled today and a cleaning.

Rumor mill says someone's looking for a low key girl to adopt, so we might be waving goodbye sooner than we thought. Depends on whether her age is an issue. Low key is the part she's got locked solid. She nearly broke into a trot when she saw the Canadian Geese walking around in the park. Nearly. She would have just sat and watched them, but I made her walk.

Unforseen consequence of lots of walking - her footpads weren't tough enough for it yet. One peeled partway, but it's healed up nice. It burns just thinking about it.

zmama 23-09-2013 16:40:28

:lol: Low key dog is what we should have adopted instead of a border collie mix!

Maybe Mobius can lend some sheep for our doggie?

MDA 23-09-2013 16:55:06

She looks like a working stock Australian Shepherd, but she doesn't act it. Maybe after she loses some weight, that has to be hard on her joints.

Funko 23-09-2013 17:05:46

This thread has got me thinking how hard it must be to foster children.

MDA 23-09-2013 17:08:12

Just get a bunch of them, collect the government money, and then provide the bare minimum of care. The rest is profit!

This can actually happen. :( Least people could do is teach them to pickpocket.

zmama 23-09-2013 17:14:54

People that do good fostering are the best :)

Funko 24-09-2013 08:03:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by MDA (Post 1050005)
Just get a bunch of them, collect the government money, and then provide the bare minimum of care. The rest is profit!

This can actually happen. :( Least people could do is teach them to pickpocket.

I don't know how feasible that would be here, my perception is there is a lot of monitoring and the money isn't really very much. Sad if it happens though. :(

MOBIUS 24-09-2013 14:12:50

I think you get paid loads if you foster in this country IIRC? Not that I've ever considered it...

Funko 24-09-2013 14:28:14

https://www.gov.uk/foster-carers/hel...t-of-fostering

Comparable with statutory maternity pay or Jury service pay. Not huge amounts really I don't think.

MOBIUS 24-09-2013 15:19:08

So I see...

Maybe they should pay more - it would definitely save taxpayers' money in the long term.

Oerdin 28-09-2013 03:20:54

An interesting story about how a dog which was so traumatized it wouldn't even lift up its head finds a path to recovery with a little help.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...aboola_inbound

MDA 28-09-2013 13:21:30

surviving distemper with only home treatment is even more amazing!

zmama 28-09-2013 15:05:53

Is a nice story :)

zmama 30-09-2013 17:07:37

Breaking News!
Got Josie a new bed and she hasn't eaten it yet. I think it comes with a hidden German command.."nein nein" We bought it at Aldi!

MDA 30-09-2013 18:12:09

Josie and the Pussycats?

zmama 30-09-2013 18:52:17

nope but she does like chasing the neighbor's cats off our porch!

jsorense 30-09-2013 23:03:29

Researchers are just beginning to look in to the co-evolution of humans and dogs over the last 12 - 12,000 years. It is not quite a question of who (whom?) domesticated who, but it is close. :coolgrin:

Funko 01-10-2013 08:04:20

With cats it's clear cut. They domesticated us.

MDA 02-10-2013 13:25:18

they'd eat us if they could

Yesterday's breakthrough:

Six finally was interested enough to chase the ball in the back yard. Once. She then laid down next to it and tried to nap.

Later she actually got into her dog bed and looked out the window, and proceeded to take a quick nap in it. We've had to coax her onto it with treats. I'm convinced she plays dumb to keep the food coming.

zmama 02-10-2013 13:29:28

We use the dumb in the dog to help with treats. One big treat is so much better if given in tiny bits...MORE treats! :beer:

zmama 12-10-2013 16:33:13

Any news about Six? Inquiring minds and such.

MDA 12-10-2013 17:39:45

Six likes Pittsburgh! We're visiting Grandma and Grandpa T. Grandma doesn't get around so good, so Six has a captive belly scratcher.

This week she surfed a loaf of bread off the table while we were out. She saved most of it for us, though. Yum.

Thursday we dogproofed the food and she took the top layer of trash out of the garbage. Should have used the lid. Pizza-grease stained napkins are delicious and high in fiber. She couldn't reach the old chicken bones at the bottom, lucky.

Grandma's house was not set up for pets. When Six is lonely and anxious, she eats. Who doesn't?

She's lost 4 of the nineteen pounds she needs to drop (as of about a week ago... I'm guessing the hills around here have burned off a couple more).

We found a good home for her, we thought. Then the lady, who worked from home and liked to hike (perfect), lost her job.

If we still haven't found a place for her by the time we go to NZ next year, we'll probably keep her.

zmama 13-10-2013 15:51:39

Our latest countersurfing incident was a nice ripe tomato...made a juicy mess all over the kitchen floor. The dog was happy until I took it from her jaws.

Sounds like Six is doing well, happy to hear! :)

MDA 13-10-2013 21:15:56

She started sleeping curled up instead of flopped over on her side this week. I think she was too big to curl earlier on.

Oerdin 14-10-2013 02:15:18

Growing up we had a dog which would climb up on the kitchen counters and grab everything which wasn't nailed down. Fruit, left overs, dirty dishes, it didn't matter, if it was up there she wanted it. If someone was there then she wouldn't do it but the second you turned your back she was like a vacuum cleaner. I remember my sister was about 13 and had just baked her first apple pie by herself, it was one of those fancy ones with the cross piece top to the pie crust, and after she had set it out to cool she went into the other room to watch tv. She came back to find the dog had pulled off the top crust of the pie and eaten all the filling out of the pie. The dog then had diarrhea and a stomachache for like two days! ;)

That dog would also go through the trash every time and it got so bad we ended up just permanently storing the trash can on the counter hoping she couldn't reach it.

MDA 04-11-2013 13:17:53

chew, chew, spit, grab, chew, chew... "mmm, breakfast spiders!"

Traumatized Six by coaxing her into the bath (failed, she hates slick surfaces, including tile and hardwood), then the shower yesterday for a wash. She spent the rest of the day trying to apologize for being so difficult (meaning she stuck to ME like glue and cowered whenever I paid any attention to her). I never raised my voice, made a point of it, but she still freaked out a little. Today, she's made a miraculous full recovery... and she smells like baby shampoo, which is a nice change.


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