Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sneak thief

Alex is definitely a lab, he's smart and food-oriented. He's learned how to open the food container in the mudroom. Originally when he first tried, he used his paws and claws so we've got gouges and dirt marks in our drywall now. Oh well, we already have lots of "souvenirs" from previous fosters, this just makes one more. Now he's learned he just needs to stretch his neck and use his nose to nudge the handle into the open position. He'll often sneak into the mudroom when I'm in another room and start snacking. I've learned that if Alex isn't near me, I'd better go looking for him in the mudroom. It is fun to watch though, if I hear him in the mudroom, sometimes I'll just sneak to the entrance and watch him. He's become more frequent about his snacking though, so I'll have to tape the handle closed so our Alex doesn't turn into a chubby butt.

He's still a total sweetie-pie. He follows me everywhere. While I've been painting our great room, he'll sleep under the ladder. When I move the ladder, without fail, Alex will get up and move back under the ladder. We'll definitely need to move him soon since we don't want him to think this is his permanent home. I am really going to miss him though. He plays with Max a lot (Max hasn't been this active for a while), he plays with Molotov (a friend's dog we're dogsitting), and he loves attention. I can't believe no one has snatched him up yet.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Not much of a swimmer

Took the dogs to the pool earlier this week. Max is definitely starting to enjoy the water more and more. There is now less hesitation when jumping into the water and went after Sheba's ball a few times. Unfortunately one time he pulled a "Quinn" and beaned Sue in the head when he jumped in. Sheba, of course, loves the pool and will keep going in and in and in. The kids loved throwing the ball in the pool for Sheba too.

Alex enjoys the water, but he's not too crazy about swimming. In our backyard, he enjoys the wading pool and will soak in it. In the swimming pool, he wouldn't go beyond the first step and when I tried to get him in deeper, he really became frantic and very rigid. He did enjoy running around the edge of the pool following the dogs and myself around. Of course he ended up tearing up his paws a bit from the cement, so we've been taking it easy the last few days on activity. He must have a pretty high tolerance since I didn't even notice him limping until two days later when we were at the dog park.

Alex is become quite settled at the house. He still sticks to me like glue. If Mike goes downstairs first and I'm still in bed, the dogs will go down with Mike, but after they've been outside, Alex will head immediately back into the bedroom and keep me company. He's also bonked his head a few times on the various bathroom doors when I've locked him out.

He gets along really well with our dogs. Sheba just kind of tolerates him, but Alex and Max are still doing the keep-away game a lot. Alex is settling down though, not as much energy as when he first came in. He seems content to sleep a lot more of the day away, but he is an early riser. Usually about 6:30 or slightly earlier, he'll wake up and hop on the bed for his morning belly rubs.

This weekend, the doggies got the yummy bacon grease treat. Shared very nicely too.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Velcro puppy

I've mentioned that Alex is a cuddle-bunny, but I didn't realize how much he loves/needs attention. He's become embedded in our household routine and does very well now, he's adjusted much quicker than some of our previous foster dogs. One thing though, Alex has bonded to me very fast!

Like most foster dogs, he follows me around everywhere; however he takes it a bit extreme. He'll shove his way into the toilet closet with me, and has followed me into the shower. When we're in the kitchen and I'm sitting at the island, he'll lay underneath the island, but when I move over to the kitchen desk (whole 10 feet away), Alex will get up and either sit right by my desk chair or underneath the desk completely. I guess since I've been spending so much time with him and giving him lots of hugs and kisses, he's decided he likes me. I hope it won't affect his move to his permanent home or new foster home later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Keep away

We were right when we figured another dog would keep Max busy. Alex and Max have been playing keep-away for a few days, but it really became pretty intense today. Max would pick up the stuffed toy (or two) and just meander around the first floor with it. Alex would trot behind Max looking very innocent, then all of a sudden lunge for the toy. Surprisingly Max moves very quickly when he wants to, he's got a great technique on whipping his head around. They did this for about 1.5 hours this afternoon non-stop. This is pretty surprising since Max is a pretty mellow dog; I figured he must be exhausted with all the walking and evading. I took the stuffed toys out of the room to try to give Max a break, but he just grabbed a towel and continued to play keep away with Alex, so I gave them back the toys. I knew Max was definitely enjoying himself when I saw him taunting Alex with the toys after Alex sat down for a break.

So for almost 2 hrs straight (with about three 5min breaks), Max spent walking around the house with his mouth full of two stuffed toys while Alex would stalk him. I don't think I've seen quite so much devotion to the game before. Hopefully all the playing will wear them out for tonight and they'll both sleep like logs!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Time to foster again

It has now been a few months since Quinn has passed away. It has been more difficult than I had imagined. Quinn is the first dog that we've ever lost, and we still think about him a lot but it has gotten easier over time. Due to Quinn, and also adopting Max 7 mos ago, we took a break from fostering for a while.

Recently we've noticed that Max seems bored at home. He does very well at the dog park, plus he plays really well with Jackson. So we figured it was time to start fostering again.

Last wednesday we got our foster, Alex. He's a 2-yr old chocolate boy who loves to cuddle with people. He needs to be near people constantly and will often tumble onto his back no matter where he is. He's tumbled off sofas and the patio because he would be leaning against it then twist his body to lay on his back and fall off.

He's definitely a medium energy dog. He needs to spend his energy at least twice a day or he'll drive us nuts at night. Yesterday, we forgot to play ball with him in the evening and he was really restless through the entire night. Lots of whining, pacing, jumping on the bed. I've been taking him to the dog park every morning and playing ball for about 15-30 min at night. He does really well at the park: cuddles with other people and chases other dogs around.