Tag Archives: Oops

Cooper Throws Himself a Party

Happy Monday, guys and dolls dogs!  I am sorry to report that I lost my recent election. I tried real hard and momma said all you guys were real nice and voted for me tons of times, but that darn other nice dog, Smiley, beat me in the eleventh hour.  Dang it.  But Cooper is not one to wallow and sulk in defeat, no sir! So today I am taking over the blog to tell you a story all about how Momma made and oopsie last week, leaving the door wide open (literally) for me to throw myself a little Cooper-party. It did not end well.

The day started like any other day. Momma & Daddy left to go do their work-stuff and me and Bro settled into our snuggly couch for a snooze, just like we always do. It was a great morning, the rain was going pitter-patter on the roof and it lulled us right to sleep. The rain even kept most of the local wild animals away, so I didn’t have to bark and bark and bark to protect the house when they walked by, like I usually do.

Then Momma came home for lunch like she always does. Me and Bro got to go outside for a mid-day run-around and to do some business.  Then we came back inside for a little snuggle time with Momma. Then she left again to go do more work-stuff, just like she always does…except…

That is when Momma made a critical error – she forgot to close the door to the kitchen.

And the door to the laundry room!

The laundry room, if you recall, is where my Foods live.  I know that’s where they live because that’s where Momma disappears to every day, and when she comes back out I get to play with my yummy food ball.  I also know this because I explored the laundry room way back when I first moved into Foster House, though at the time I was too busy redecorating to take full advantage of the opportunities that awaited me there.

But on this day, I was ready. As soon as I realized that me and Bro weren’t going to be stuck in the living room all afternoon, I started exploring what areas of the house were available to us.  And boy oh boy, when I found the Magic Laundry Room of Yummies, I…well, I went a little bonkers.

It started innocently enough.  I mean, I know I’m not supposed to eat any Yummies that Momma does not give me. So I wasn’t gonna eat any.  I wasn’t!  All I wanted to do was help Momma organize her cardboard recycling, so I jumped up to get a better angle and then BOOM! The big gray crate fell down and made a huge mess out of my Yummies!  That is when things started to go terribly wrong.  

I knew Momma would be upset with the mess (Momma does NOT like messes) so I had to clean it up.  I would like to add that Bro was no help at all, he just hung out in the doorway of the kitchen looking at me like, “Dude, you are going to be in soooo much trouble.”

Can you believe he hung me out to dry like that? Not cool, Bro.  Not cool.  So there I was left all on my own to clean up this big mess. I don’t have supposeable thumbs, you know, so I had to use the best tool I have: my chompers.  So, I started picking up the pieces of Yummies, scoopful by scoopful, and carrying them over to the trash.  But I could not reach the trash! Well, I had no choice, I had to gulp down all the Yummies down so there would not be a mess when Momma got home.  It was the right thing to do.  

So I chomped and chomped and cleaned and cleaned, and things were going OK.  I thought I would be able to clean everything up and Momma would be none the wiser. So I kept on going, I ate and chomped and gulped until I got all full up and couldn’t eat another bite.  All that cleaning made me so sleepy, so I snuggled down into the couch to snooze the rest of the afternoon away. I knew Momma would be proud of me for all the cleaning I did for her.

I woke up when I heard Momma’s car, and the first thing I noticed was that my tummy hurt! I was so full up from all my cleaning, I just did not feel good at all. So when Momma came in the door I gave her my very best “Cooper-doesn’t-feel-good” face.

The rest of the night was kinda a blur.  All I know is that my tummy was really hurty and big and full and it felt like I there was a big ol’ rock in there.  I didn’t feel like doing much of anything at all. So I mostly just laid around and tried to look as miserable and pathetic as possible, because looking miserable and pathetic earns me snuggles.  Cooper ain’t no fool.

See how big my belly was? Owwie!!

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry – I didn’t get sick from my Cooper-party. All I had was a little tummy ache and enough food in my belly to last for days.  Have I learned my lesson, you ask?  Perhaps yes, and perhaps no, time will tell – but I do know that Momma and Daddy seemed to have learned their lesson – they have not left the door to the Magical Room of Yummies open ever since!

Do you want to add Cooper to your family? Fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue!

~

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Lost Dog

I don’t know if there’s anything more terrifying as a pet owner than coming home to find that your pet isn’t where he should be.  When the unthinkable happens, a million emotions will hit you all at once – fear, denial, terror, guilt, and panic.   I remember these feelings well, as I went through all of them when Tucker went on his Great Adventure, and again when I came home to find this:

…and no Cooper in the house! Thankfully, Cooper had only “escaped” into our fenced in backyard, but for several terrifying seconds, I thought he was Gone.

As difficult as it might be, it will be very important to keep a clear head and have a plan in place to get your loved one home, safe and sound, as quickly as possible.  Here are some things you can do in advance so you can be prepared if you find yourself in such a scary situation.

Keep a pre-made LOST flyer on your computer.   If Oscar were to go missing, my first instinct would be tear around the neighborhood like a crazy lady looking for him.  The last thing I’d want to do is sit down in front of a computer, looking through pictures trying to pick the perfect one to put on a flyer, and trying to remember what kind of information I’m supposed to include.  So instead, I laid it all out in advance.  If that horrible day comes, I can simply fill in a few last-minute details like “last seen” location/date/time, print out (color!) copies and start posting them around town.   When you’re making your own LOST flyer, make sure to include:

  • Your dog’s name
  • Weight and size
  • Color, description, distinguishing characteristics
  • Where he went missing
  • The date and time you last saw him
  • What he was wearing (collar, tag, harness, etc)
  • Your contact information – list multiple phone numbers, including your vet.
  • Offer a reward.  Hey, money talks.  Oscar’s LOST flyer doesn’t even use the word “LOST,” instead it says “$$ REWARD $$” in big bold print right at the top, and underneath it says “…for safe return!”  It probably would not hurt to add the phrase “No questions asked.”

You can also look online and find templates for creating a LOST flyer.  One good one I’ve found is PetBond.com.  All you do is fill out some information about your pet, add your contact information and upload a photo, and it will generate a .PDF of a flier for you that you can print out yourself.  PetBond even gives you the option to include little tear off strips at the bottom with your contact info.  Oh, and it’s free, which is always a bonus.

Chosing the right photo.  I cannot stress enough how important a clear, up-to-date, color photograph of your pet is on a LOST poster.  Take a look at these photos of lost dogs that I pulled off Craigslist:

I don’t even know what’s going on in this picture.

Those dogs could walk right past me on the street and I couldn’t recognize them from these pictures.  How big are they? Are they male or female?  Do they have a collar on?  Even if this information is listed elsewhere on the flyer, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Now compare the photos above with these:

These pictures are clear and in focus.  The second one even has a person in the photo with the dog, so you can easily tell how big the dogs is.  Some people might not be able to recognize a dog that running down the street is 40 lbs, but they will be able to tell if the dog comes up to their knee or the bumper of a truck. 

If you don’t have any good clear current pictures of your pet, stop reading right now and go snap a few. Go ahead, we’ll be here when you get back. 

Oscar’s photo for his LOST flyer.

Microchip, and register!  We all know how important and easy it is to microchip your pet.  However, just as important is making sure that the chip is registered and up to date with your current contact information.  Earlier this summer, a dog got picked up as a stray and taken to the Nashville Humane Association.  The dog had a microchip, but it wasn’t registered.  After the dog had been in the slammer for a month, a man showed up with his two daughters to search the rows for their family pet.  When they came upon this dog’s cage, the man started screaming, “My dog is here! You have Irene!”  Irene is now home safe and sound, but she could have been home a month sooner if her microchip had been registered. 

Oscar has a HomeAgain microchip. They send us e-mail reminders every few months to make sure our information is current.

Dress for success.  We all make sure our pups are sporting a collar and ID tag when we take them out on the town, but what about right now – look at your pup snoozing at your feet, is he wearing his collar and tag?  What about when he goes out in your fenced in back yard?  Your dog has an astronomically higher chance of coming home if he is wearing a collar and tag.  As cute and cuddly as our pups are when they’re au naturale, what if someone breaks into your home and lets your dog out?  What if there’s a fire and your pet escapes with his life, but without identification?  If your dog is in the backyard after a bath, what if there’s a loose board in your fence and he wriggles his way to freedom, or what if your meter reader didn’t latch your gate all the way?  Your pet should always wear visual identification, even when he is safe at home – just in case.

Make a sign for your front yard.  This next tip I can’t take credit for.  I saw this posted on Facebook by fellow foster blogger and pit bull advocate Our Waldo Bungie.  Talk about a forehead slap moment, I can’t believe this had never occurred to me before!  

Even as I, after finding lost dogs in my neighborhood, drive around looking for someone who may be out and about looking for their dog or posting signs, I never thought of putting a sign in my own yard if I lost my furbaby.  I suppose you could do the same thing if you find a dog, as folks who’ve lost their pets will probably be driving around the neighborhood searching.

Use the Internet.  Get together a list of websites that help find lost dogs.  Does your local online paper have a lost/found section?  Does your neighborhood group have a e-message board or list serve?  How about Facebook?  In Nashville, there is a Nashville Lost & Found Pets group that has helped reunite many pets with their owners.  Learn about what online resources are available to you in advance, so you’re not wasting time scrambling to sign up for accounts and join groups when your pet goes missing.  Petfinder.com no longer offers a classified section, but they do have links to articles offering many more tips and steps to take if you lose your pet.  Of course, there is also Craigslist, but…

Beware of phishing.  It’s sad that people would take advantage of someone who is clearly in an emotional state, but it does happen.  If you choose to list your e-mail address on your Craigslist ad, be careful of e-mails you might get with vague information or odd wording, such as “I have information about your pet!” or “I’d like to pray for your pet.”  Chances are, these are less-than-legitimate, and these people are betting that you are letting your emotions overrule your better judgement. Responding to them could get your e-mail account hacked.

“I like my home and my couch, I don’t ever wanna be lost!”

Hopefully we will never have to go through the nightmare of losing Oscar or one of our foster dogs.  But if it does happen someday, I know that we are as prepared as we can be to deal with it.  What other steps would you or have you taken to find a lost pet?  What’s worked well for you?  Is there anything you would add to this list or do differently?  Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Remember, our foster pup Cooper is still looking for his furever home!  If it’s you, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

 ~

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Master of Destruction

Remember how Cooper escaped his crate the first weekend we had him, and decided to do some redecorating?  After that, we tried leaving him out of his crate, with Oscar as a calming influence, during the day.  It worked like a charm!  At first.  But, remember how, after a while, we discovered some incontinence issues?  We tried a belly band, which worked great for a few days…until he learned how to rip it off of himself while we were gone. 

Well this dog sure is lucky he’s cute, because how can you stay mad at him??  Answer: you can’t.  Physically, it is not possible.  Even when this started happening again…

                   

…we knew it was only because we hadn’t yet found a routine that worked for Cooper.  We had thought that we had thought of everything…Exercise – check.  Frozen Veggie Kong to keep him busy while we were away – check.  Trip outside right before we leave the house, and back outside during a quick run home from work at lunch time – check.  There was only one option we had left to exhaust.

Sorry Coop, but it’s time to reintroduce The Crate.  And we’re not taking any chances this time.

I don’t want to count my chickens yet, because little Cooper has out-witted us before, but for now I’m going to go ahead and say “so far, so good.”  He hasn’t escaped, and he’s had a couple accidents, but overall we seem to be doing quite well (even if we have been through several doggie beds).   I don’t know if Cooper will ever be able to be fully trusted to have run of the house, but he’s still just a young pup – so anything is possible. 

Cooper may not be perfect, but he will love the absolute crap outta you.  If you’re interested in giving Cooper his furever home, please fill out an applicaiton with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Cooper’s First 48

Wow, what a weekend.

Cooper you are one interesting dude, and you have had a very interesting first few days with us.  After meeting a few different dogs at The Shelter on Friday morning, Oscar selected you as our next houseguest.  I think your compact size combined with your submissive nature sealed the deal for him.  After we got you home, you spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing away on the couch with Oscar.  I was thrilled – you two got along so well!  Then, when your polite leash skills allowed me to take you both on a walk at the same time by myself (something I had not yet been able to accomplish with any other foster dogs), I couldn’t believe my luck.  With Foster Dad’s hectic work and grad school schedule, it had been so tough in the past to make sure both dogs got plenty of walk time, but now I’d be able to walk two dogs at once!  Woo-hoo!

Foster Dad got home from work and fell in love with you instantly, just as I did.  You reminded him of a certain previous guest of Foster House who he took a particular liking to, just a smaller size.  He congratulated Oscar on a wonderful selection, and at the end of the evening we got ready for bed.  “Bed time” at Foster House means The Crate for foster dogs, so we set you up with a clean fluffy bed in a nice quiet corner of the kitchen.  Since you had already eaten your dinner in The Crate and you didn’t seem too upset by it, we thought we wouldn’t have much of an issue. 

Well you showed us, didn’t you?  You cried and cried, but Foster Dad and I were strong.  We shut the door to our room and put pillows over our heads, determined to wait it out until your wore yourself out and settled off to sleep.  Imagine our surprise when we woke up in the morning to find you on the couch!   Seriously, how did you do that?

We didn’t have too much time to dwell on the specifics, you hadn’t destroyed anything or left us any messes to clean up, so we packed you up and headed out for your first public appearance – an adoption event at the local pet store.  By the end of it you were exhausted.  We brought you back home and poured you back into your crate, assuming you’d sleep off the afternoon.  After all, we had some errands to run and a social engagement for Oscar, so off we went.  

By the time we got home…oh boy.

Despite the destruction (including broken glass) and the few drops of blood on the floor, we were relieved to find that you weren’t hurt.  Sure, a few dishes were broken and we’ll need to replace some blinds, but stuff is just stuff – more than anything we were worried about you.  What could have caused you to freak out so?  Obviously, you are not a fan of The Crate – this much is clear.  But even after you liberated yourself, you went berserk!  You knocked over an entire container of dog food, yet you didn’t eat it.  There was a full bag of treats and a chocolate brownie on the counter (which I know you were up on top of) yet you didn’t touch them.  A big fluffy couch was right in front of you, yet you didn’t destroy it.  And again – no number one or number two left on the floor!  Hmmm.

Our first thought: separation anxiety.  After all, you were left all alone in a new place, you must have been scared and confused. So for that night, we tried what had worked in the past – we moved your Crate into our bedroom so you could be with the rest of your pack, and settled down to sleep.  Well, Oscar, Foster Dad and I settled down to sleep…you, on the other hand – not so much. 

I think most professional dog trainers will tell you that the worst thing you can do for a dog who “complains” about being in a crate is to give in and let them out when they cry.  However, I personally believe there is a difference between “Hey, I’m not ready for bed yet, I don’t like it in here!” and complete and utter distress.  Cooper, my friend – You. Were. Distressed.  And after witnessing what you had done when we got home that evening, seeing that even bleeding didn’t stop you from gnawing your way out of that metal crate, we knew you wouldn’t stop until you were free.  And you know what?  We’re not professional dog trainers.  We’re just a foster family trying to do the best we can for dogs who need help.  So at that moment, we made the decision that we thought was best for you – we let you out of your crate. 

Was it the “right” thing to do?  Maybe, maybe not.  Will we try to work with you in the future to get you to where you can stand being confined?  Possibly.  But for now, Cooper, in the interest of your own safety, congratulations – freedom. 

On Sunday we did a trial run before we had to leave you alone for a whole day of work on Monday.  We puppy-proofed the living room as best we could, we raised the blinds so you could see out, and left Oscar with you as a calming influence while we went to the grocery store.  Since you two seemed to get along so well, and Oscar is a pro at chillin’ on the couch while we’re out, we thought if you started to get nervous, perhaps Oscar could show you there was nothing to be worried about.  We were gone for about an hour and a half and were thrilled to find zero destruction when we came home.

So this morning we are trying the same thing.  Luckily, I work so close to home that I can come home at lunch time to check on you guys to make sure everything is copacetic. 

Never a dull moment.  Welcome to the foster family, Coop, and thank you for keeping us on our toes!

For information on adopting Cooper, contact
Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Tucker Wrap-Up & Looking Forward

As we say good-bye to Tucker and reflect on our first foster experience, we realized that we learned a ton in those seven short weeks.  We learned that while, yes, it IS hard to let go, it is – like they say – also extremely rewarding.  We learned how fast is “too fast” to trust a new dog loose in the house unattended. We learned new ways to keep dogs entertained on rainy days.  We learned to stay on our toes.  We learned that no matter how much you think you have a dog figured out, it will always do something to surprise you.  I even learned that I was able to hold back my tears until after we left Tucker with his fabulous Furevers (but not before we made it out of the driveway). 

There are, however, some things we need to revisit to tie up some loose ends, and some “half posts” that never quite blossomed to maturity.  Might as well share those with you now!

Tucker Does Dog Park….sort of

During the first few weeks we had Tucker, I mentioned that due to his nervousness around other dogs, that he may never be a “dog park dog.”  Well of course I just had to give it a shot anyway.  This was shortly after Tucker’s first family who had shown interest in him decided Tuck wasn’t for them, so I was bound and determined to get him some new leads.  So I dressed him up in his “Adopt Me” vest, loaded him in the car and off we went to the dog park.

Tucker did…..sort of….OK.  We brought Oscar with us of course, and Oscar is a dog park pro – it is his second most favoritest place in the whole world, next to The River.  So when we got there I let Oscar go right away, bounding around to say hello to his friends.  I kept Tucker on his leash and did a few laps around the perimeter, letting him get used to smells, and used to dogs coming up to him just a few at a time to sniff and say hello. 

After awhile I let Tuck off the leash.  As you can see in the above picture, there are no other dogs in the frame.  That’s because once Tucker was left to his own devices, he spent the majority of the time in a corner of the park as far away from canine companionship as possible.   Barking at Oscar.  And…other stuff…on Oscar…

Hey, it was only the first attempt.  Maybe Tucker’s new parents will have better luck!

The Training that Wasn’t

A few weeks ago, we had it all set up for Tucker to go through a mini doggie boot camp, a week of intensive training with an Agape volunteer, Cathy.  The timing was perfect – we were going to introduce Tucker to her pack right before foster dad and I were set to go out-of-town to my parent’s house for a long weekend.  Oscar was coming with us, but due to Tucker’s youth and “enthusiasm” we thought it best he didn’t come along, 1) so he didn’t drive my parents’ dog bat-crap crazy and 2) to give Oscar a little break.

You might wonder why I never wrote a follow-up to the training to talk about how Tucker did that week.  Well that’s because it never ended up happening.  The day we were to deliver Tucker came around and it was raining – badly.  Cathy’s process starts with a good long walk with the new dog and her current pack, and needs a lot of time at the beginning outdoors.  This process sets the dog up for the best chance of success with the training in the long run.  Unfortunately, the weather that day didn’t allow us to start Tucker’s training that day.  So, Tucker went into boarding for the weekend instead, and that next week we just couldn’t get schedules coordinated to get Tucker back to Cathy to try again. 

This turned out to work out for the best for two reasons:  First of all, Tucker got an experience in a boarding facility, and the staff reports did wonderfully.  Secondly, since Tucker wasn’t sequestered in boot camp, he was available to attend the adoption event the following weekend where he ended up meeting his People.  Serendipity! 

Unfortunately, however, my blog-rookie-ness had struck again, as I had already posted that Tucker would be attending boot camp before the week got canceled.   Lesson learned: nothing is certain dog rescue – best to keep posts in “draft” form until the subject matter is confirmed!

 I thought Pits were the point?

It is true, we started fostering dogs with the goal to focus on pit bull type dogs, and that is still our intent.  But, as first timers, our foster rep thought it might be a good idea to get our feet wet with a dog that might have a quicker “turn around time” – that is, a dog with an easer time getting adopted, than a pit bull.  It’s no secret that the pit bull breeds carry a stigma around with them simply by being born with certain physical characteristics – a blocky head, muscular build, and a big goofy grin.  Type “pit bull” into Google you’ll find links to anything from rescue groups to media reports of “vicious dogs” to articles about a certain NFL player. 

Whatever the reason and however it started, pit bulls drew a short straw in the public eye, and have an extremely low adoption rate.  Here in the South, where “spay and neuter” can be a foreign concept to a lot of dog owner, shelters are over run with pit bulls.   Our local Humane Association refuses to take them in, and our County Animal Control will euthanize them if they pick them up. Those lucky enough to get pulled by rescue groups often spend months, if not years in rescue before they are adopted. 

We have a soft spot in our hearts for pit bull type dogs and we knew we had to do our part to help them out any way we could.  But, we started with non-pittie Tucker for two reasons: a) the idea that he might not be with us very long made us think we wouldn’t get as attached and it would be easer to say good-bye (yeah, right) and b) TWINS! 

We knew that as soon as Tucker got adopted we would continue our quest to do our part to help save pit bull type dogs.  By taking them out of the shelter environment, they’ll get the chance to blossom into the dog they were meant to be, and have a better chance at being placed in loving, furever homes where they can fulfill their roles as cherished family pets. 

So who’s the first lucky pittie houseguest going to be……?

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Spoke Too Soon

I believe I had mentioned in the past something about Tucker not chewing anything with his vicious chompers that was not a sanctioned canine toy.  Well Tucker has been doing so amazingly awesome that we’ve started experimenting leaving him out of his crate for short periods while we’re out of the house.  something tells me we may have moved to quickly to that step…

Oops.

Well, we tried.  Looks like it’s back to the crate for you, Sir Tucker!

To adopt the Chompers of Destruction, hide your valuables and fill out an application at Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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