Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tucker Sees a Ghost

I’m not sure what other explanation there could possibly be for this Halloween behavior: 

I just hope it’s friendly. 

To adopt this little ghostbuster, fill out an application at Agape Animal Rescue

 

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Tricks for Treats

Happy Halloween from Foster House!  This weekend we thought we’d let Tucker show off a little, and share some of the tricks he’s learned to earn his treats:

 

 

 

Keep in mind, this was a dog who, less than four short weeks ago, didn’t know his name, had absolutely zero training, and was an overall nervous wreck.  I’d say he’s gained some confidence, wouldn’t you?

  To adopt this little Einstein, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Tucker’s Perfect People

Tucker has had spotty interest from potential families since he came to stay with us a few weeks ago.  His most promising prospect was a couple who saw him online and put in an application for him.  They met him at the adoption fair last weekend, and wanted to move forward with the next step, which would have been a home visit with Tucker, a representative from Agape, and either myself or Dave.  The couple ended up changing their minds before the home visit could take place, which of course they are entitled to do – they didn’t think Tuck would be a good fit with them and their other dog, and if you think a dog won’t be a good fit with your family, then it won’t. 

The thing is, regarding people – Tucker is one of the most trusting dogs I have ever met.  You can pick him up, turn him over on his back with his head hanging off of your arm, and he doesn’t flinch.  He lets you look in his mouth, touch his feet, and rub his sleepies out of his eyes.  But when it comes to other dogs, Tucker can be a little…hmm, how to put this…Particular? Selective? Finicky?  Maybe we’ll just say, slow to warm up. 

To help any future potential adopters get a good idea of what to expect when introducing Tucker into a new home, let’s back up to Tucker’s first few days with us….the first night we met Tuck, a representative from Agape brought him over to see how he’d do with our own little fur-man.  We went for a walk, all the while Tucker showed about zero interest in Oscar, he spent most the time straining against the leash.  We got back to our house and let them run around a bit in the back yard, where mostly Tucker sniffed, and Oscar watched.  Tucker did eventually start getting closer to Oscar, and partook in the butt-sniffing dance. They even played and chased a little bit, but Tuck was extremely nervous, and when it got to be too much for him (which it did, pretty quickly), the hackles went up and the teeth came out. Lucky for Tucker, Oscar is a VERY patient dog, and did not seem to mind getting snapped at by a stranger in his own yard.  We separated the dogs, Tucker went back to the boarding facility that night and foster dad and I were left to decide if we were willing to work with Tucker, who may turn out to be a tougher case than we had originally thought. 

Well, have you seen the pictures? How could we turn down Oscar’s mini me? 

Answer: we couldn’t.  We just had to try. So the next day, our Foster Rep with Agape, Kirsten, brought Tucker back over with supplies. We went on another walk and then back to the back yard, then finally inside.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, that first night and the following few days were tense.  Tucker would go from avoiding Oscar all together to full on play – but we’d have to keep a close eye on them and separate them quickly if the play got too rough.  Which, at some points, it definitely did (snarling, snapping, teeth showing, etc).  Once they were separated, Tucker immediately went into submissive mode and rolled over on his back, totally on his own.  We would give them both some time out away from each other and let them try again.  This cycle repeated itself for a while, with constant supervision, lots of treats and praise when the play went well, and lots of breaks when things got tense. 

Fast forward three weeks, and we’ve got a completely different Tucker on our hands.  He and Oscar are best of buddies.  They still need supervision, but they can play on their own and self-moderate their play session completely.  Tucker is learning quickly what kind of play is “appropriate” and what is not.   He has completely come out his nervous little shell and the transformation has been absolutely amazing to watch. 

We think that the snapping and snarling comes when he’s nervous or uneasy about what’s going on, or when he just gets completely over-excited.  They key to introducing him into his forever home if it has another dog in it is going to be going slo-o-o-o-o-owly. Tucker’s People are going to have to commit to working with him to gain confidence around other dogs, through rules, routine and discipline.  We don’t know what happened in Tucker’s past to make him act this way around other dogs, but we do know that Tucker’s perfect People will have lots of patience, and that their patience will be rewarded.  Tucker may never be a “dog park dog,” but then again he might.  Tucker’s only been with us three weeks, but he’s still progressing every day.  I can’t wait to get updates from his People to see how amazing he’ll be doing a year from now!

To adopt Tucker, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

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Tucker’s Big Adventure

Fully aware that I have been a slacker in the posting department this past week, I’m sharing an old story that I wrote a few weeks ago, but wasn’t sure I wanted to share.  This little event happened the very first weekend Tucker was with us.  At the time, it was a very traumatic experience, and I thought it painted us as horrible, neglectful foster parents.  Looking back, it was really quite funny, and since no harm came of the entire ordeal, I thought what the heck – at the very least it can help Tucker’s future People make sure they’re prepared from the beginning… 

Remember how I’ve shared that Tucker is an escape artist?  Well this weekend he reminded us that you can’t take your eyes of him, even for a moment, if the door is open.  He’s sneaky, he’s curious, and he’s FAST.

This past Sunday morning, as we were about to leave for breakfast, Tucker made a break for it.  The door was open for a split second and out he went, through the yard and up the street and out of view.  My heart literally stopped.  As Foster Dad followed him, at a casual pace as not to lend to the game of “chase,” calling his name cheerfully, I flipped out.  Oscar knew immediately something was wrong as I went tearing to the back of the house to get my shoes, threw them on my feet (not bothering to care that they were from two different pairs), grabbed the leash and the dog treats and ran after Foster Dad.  By the time I caught up with him, we were in the yard of what we call the Cat House, three houses up from ours.  These folks have feline friends in numbers that I can only estimate to be somewhere in the double digits, who come and go as they please through a cat door cut in their front porch.  Well it might as well have been Christmas for Tucker – the smells!  The freedom!  The CATS to chase!!  Looking back on the incident, after my heart re-started, it was absolutely hilarious watching Tuck literally bound like a deer around their yard, chasing after cats he had no prayer of actually catching. 

“Tucker!  Come!” (At this point, Tucker barely responded to his name, let alone “come.”) 

“Want a treat??”  (While Tuck is fully aware of what freeze dried liver is, and that he LOVES it, he certainly did not know it as “treat.”)

While he was distracted by the felines we thought we might have a shot of catching him, but he saw us and turned on his little paw and bounded off towards the back of their house, and over a drop off in their back yard to the street behind our house.  At this point, I am FREAKING OUT – he’s gone for good, no one will ever be able to catch him, we’re going to get black balled from our rescue’s foster list, ultimate foster fail. 

Foster Dad, thank GAWD, kept a clear head.   In situations like this when I am a complete basket case, I respond best to direct orders, so when he turned to me and said, “Go get the car!” I jumped to action.  I took off running in my mis-matched flip flops.  I ran to the house to grab the car keys and back to the front porch.  Thinking twice, I turned around to grab Oscar to bring him along, thinking maybe he could entice Tucker back to us.  Like I said, Oscar knew something was wrong, so he obediently sat while I clipped his collar and leash on him with shaking hands, and ran with me to the car.  Now Oscar doesn’t really care for the car all that much – while he’s very athletic and can leap to the top of a picnic table from a stand still, the back seat of my Accord poses a huge challenge for him.  Not today – jumped right inside, and I made a mental note to reward Oscar with the biggest peanut butter stuffed Kong he’s ever seen if we successfully get Tucker back in one piece.

By the time I got Oscar in the car, Foster Dad had gotten back too and jumped in the drivers’ side.  The Hollywood driving outta him I saw that morning was nothing short of impressive.  We tore around the block to the street behind our house, to where we had last seen Tucker disappear to.  Foster Dad spotted him darting between two houses.  We pulled into their driveway, tires squealing, he jumped out and ran to the back yard while I grabbed Oscar.  When we got to the back of the house, there was Tucker, having the absolute time of his life.  As soon as he saw Oscar he ran right up to us – Foster Dad gave him a treat and scooped him right up. 

The entire ordeal couldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes, but it felt like hours, and definitely took at least a year off my life.  Thankfully, Tucker got home safe, and perhaps this little event will help Tuck’s People to always remember to guard the door with your life – Tucker’s might depend on it!

To adopt this little Houdini, please contact Agape Animal Rescue.

~

 

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MARS Petcare Adoption Fair

Tucker attended his very first adoption event this weekend.  It was hosted by MARS Petcare in Cool Springs, TN, and is one of the largest annual adoption fairs in the area.  Tucker had a great time, made lots of new friends, stole plenty of hearts, and came home EXHAUSTED!  Foster Dad got to fly solo due to Foster Mom’s work schedule, so the boys got to spend a nice day out together. 

Tucker even scored a sweet new vest.  Doesn’t he look handsome in it?

So, did Tucker score anything else besides some sweet swag and a fun day out with Foster Dad – say maybe, some People of his very own?  Time will tell….

 

To adopt Tucker, visit Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Dreamin’ of Furever

Tucker completely zonked out after his big day on Saturday.  Here he is, dreaming of…hmm…probably meeting his furever family and giving them lots of kisses.

To adopt Tucker, visit Agape Animal Rescue.

 ~

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Oscar’s Pals, Part I

Hey guys, it’s me, Oscar!  I have hi-jacked the blog because I learned that Tucker got to tell you about himself, but I haven’t been able to talk to you yet.  Well brace yourselves cuz that’s about to change right now.  Mom & Dad keep telling me what an awesome foster brother I’m being to Tucker, and I think it’s because I have so many friends that I’m used to playing and hanging out with other dogs.  Not to brag or anything, but I am VERY popular.  Wanna meet my buddies?

OK so the very first friend I made, his name is Dexter.  He lives right around the corner, with Mom & Dad’s friends.  The very first day I came home from The Shelter we went over there to meet him.  I was scared cuz everything was new and I didn’t know what was going on, but Dexter was nice.  He had another friend there named Fluffy Puppy, who was something called a “Stray.”  I don’t know what a Stray is, but I think it meant that Fluffy Puppy didn’t have any People.  I think that’s sad. 

Well Mom said Fluffy Puppy finally found some People of his very own and moved away.  But me and Dex still hang out, it’s so fun when I steal his bones, he acts like he gets so mad at me, but he lets me do it anyway.

I think he doesn’t mind really cuz I shared my birthday cake with him:

Oh boy, do I like cake.

Sometimes new friends come to visit me.  When I was real small still, I got to meet my cousin, Kelly.  She lives with my Grandpeople on Mom’s side, at Hudson House.  She didn’t like me at first I think because I tried to play too much, but I wore her down. I showed her how to lay in my favorite sunny spot on the porch, it’s so warm:

And then she showed me that it’s not so bad riding in the car.  I still don’t like it much, but I’m brave.  I’m getting better at it all the time.

Once I got a little bigger, Mom & Dad wondered if I would know how to “swim.”  I still am not sure what “swimming” is, but every time they say that word I get to go to my most favoritest happy place ever, The River.  It’s where I met Barkley.  He’s so fun.

Oh, and this other time we had a super fun visitor, his name is Luke.  He lives with Mom & Dad’s friends in Ohio, and he is SO big! 

We got along real good.  He told me sometime people are scared of him cuz of how he looks, I wondered how come, cuz he’s so nice!  He said it’s cuz he’s a Rottweiler, or something like that.  I asked him if it made him sad, he said no but sometimes his People got sad, cuz they love him so much and they don’t care what other people say.  I told him my People get sad sometimes, too, when people think I’m mean cuz how I look.  I overheard them saying something about part of me being a Pit Bull – I wonder what that is, anyway?  I just lick their faces to show them I love ’em and then they feel all better.   (I am very good at making my People feel better.)

Anyway, when Luke came to visit he brought his People with him of course, but one of them was SO small, I was confused.  I had never seen a People so small before, I learned later that small People are called Kids.  I decided like Kids.

I really like going on trips, too.  I still don’t like the car much, but it’s OK cuz I get to meet new friends.  This is my cousin, Patch.  He lives with my Grandpeople on Dad’s side, at Columbus House:

Dad said he couldn’t believe how well we got along, because the first time we met I was still real young, and Patch is soooo mature, he thought I would annoy him or something.  ME???  Annoying??  Psshhh, yeah right Dad.  Anyway he said I did real good, all I did was follow Patch around and let him show me the ropes at Columbus House.  I like Patch.

I have a few more friends to talk about, but I’ll tell you about those guys later, ‘kay?  Cool, bye for now!

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