Thursday, March 16, 2006

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers...

I think our foster is slowly driving us insane. We've had Tigger for two weeks now and we're definitely getting more sleep-deprived. Let me start from the beginning. Tigger is an extremely cute 65-lb black lab puppy. He's only about 1.5 years old and he's still VERY much a puppy. After Jazzy and Digger, two of the most mellow fosters we've had, it just seems so much worse.

He was at his previous foster home for 4 mos, so he's been having transition issues for the first week, lots of pacing, whining, squeaking, panting. Plus the foster home usually gets up around 5am so I think he's used to early morning hours. It took us about a week to figure out the best way to let him sleep at night. Originally we tried just leaving him loose in the bedroom, but he spent the nights pacing, whining, jumping on the bed, jumping on the couch, then having to potty at 4am. After two nights of that, we tried crating him downstairs in the family room. Unfortunately everytime he heard movement in the bedroom (doesn't help that I was sick and coughing all night), he'd bark for a few minutes everytime. Next step was crating him in our bedroom. That seemed to hit it off with Tigger and we were able to sleep through the night finally....until 4:30am. At that point, he'd wake up and starting whining because he really really needed to go potty. We've tried restricting water after 7pm, but that still didn't work. So currently he's crated at night and still wakes us up anywhere between 3am-6am every morning.

Last weekend, we took him to the dog park and he seemed to really enjoy it. It also appeared to wear him out, so on Sunday we took him back to the dog park and resolved to keep him awake all day. Hopefully that would mean he'd sleep through the whole night. The poor dear, we'd start talking to him and petting him when he got sleepy, so he spent the whole day in a half-dozed state. The good news is that he was extremely mellow the entire day, the bad news is he still woke us up really early the next morning.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ever-expanding Max

Doofy doofy dog….that’s a great description of our Maxie! I’ve lamented on the blog on Max’s weight gain and how we figured out he was sneaking extra food when we weren’t home. We fixed that by taping the mouth of the food bin closed, we simply untape the opening to feed the dogs, then use the same tape to “lock” the bin opening. Last night we came home to our usual routine. When Mike went to feed the dogs, he asked me into the laundry room. Due to the numerous re-sticking of the same piece of tape, it appears Max was able to get it off and open the bin enough to get food.

Max must have spent a large amount of his time eating while we were out of the house yesterday! We didn’t realize it until dinnertime. Due to Max’s snacking, we gave him a reduced amount of food but he didn’t touch his dinner! He ate a couple of bites and just walked out. He spent the entire night lying on his side passing gas, with his stomach bloated out. When touching his abdomen, it was incredibly tight and expanded. He wouldn’t move or even attempt to get on the couch. Poor thing really overdid it; I guess it’s no worse than a kid on Halloween.

This morning Max is completely back to normal, with the exception of some extra pounds on his frame now. I think we’ll be changing the tape on the food bin more often now!

P.S. We never did find that piece of tape.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Escape artist Jake

We've had Jake now for 3 weeks and overall he's quite cute, but he's starting to drive me nutsos with his escape artist routine. Jake is a 2 yr old yellow lab found as a stray, and now I know why. He loves to hang around people and he's good indoors although he is constantly doing something (eating soil, chewing ornaments, ripping apart stuffed dog toys, playing tug-o-war with Max). He is extremely mischievious but also very cute and sweet. He'll climb right on top of you for attention and licks all of your face.

In the last couple of weeks though there must be a lot of wildlife moving around outside. He's gotten out from a hole in the wire once, which we immediately fixed. He's also gotten out once by digging under the wire and shoving his body through, making him extremely muddy. The good thing is those two times he came back when we called for him. Last night was a completely different story. We let them outside and he got out through a small hole (no deeper than about 3 inches) and went traipsing about in the woods behind our house. We kept calling him since we could see and hear him but he refused to get near us. I finally took the car and went to the other neighborhood calling for him while Mike continued to look in the woods behind the house. When I called Jake, Mike finally heard his collar jingle again and so Mike called for Jake. This time Jake went running straight to Mike and we had to really towel him down after his trek through the very muddy stream.

Needless to say three times is it! So last night we took him out the front yard on a 30 ft leash and brought him back in. This morning I figured I'd go out back with the dogs and play some ball, thinking that Jake wouldn't wander around since he enjoys playing ball. Boy was I wrong! There must be some serious wildlife smells because after one throw, Jake dropped the ball and went running all over the backyard and the fence areas. He tried to get under the fence several times while I was watching and yelling at him. At least the yelling caught his attention and he stopped digging to get out, but we know now that he's completely distracted when he's outside and pretty much ignores us. I had to chase him around the yard to finally catch him and bring him back inside. Time to start letting him out front on a leash, especially at night.

Some pretty cute pictures of Jake are here. As you can see, he's a very cute dog and overall a sweetie-pie. It's just that I'm still a bit peeved at our non-anticipated adventure from last night and this morning.