Monday, March 30, 2009

Goose: In Memoriam


~1996 - March 30, 2008

Mighty Ms. Goose is the reason that I volunteer at BACS, though she didn't come from there. She had been abandoned at a wildlife area that I was working at in southeast Texas. When my housemates came across her (lying in a dried out lake bed called Goose Flats), she was so skinny, dehydrated, three-legged lame, and absolutely covered in ticks. They carried her home, put her in the backyard, and then we really didn't see her for days. She hid behind a tree in the farthest reaches of the backyard whenever we were around. Over the next weeks, as she gained weight and became reasonably comfortable around us, we discovered that she was terrified of many things, most notably human feet, but once she discovered the comfort of the human bed, she was hooked. She eventually blossomed into a personality fit for a queen - she was opinionated, fiercely independent, and knew what she wanted and when she wanted it. She could make me laugh and drive me crazy all at the same time. I wasn't looking for her, and like many dogs that come through our shelter, Goose wasn't anywhere close to ready-made and took a lot of work in our early years together, but I wouldn't trade that hard work for anything because she became my amazing one-of-a-kind four legged friend.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Berkeley Animal Welfare Fund

If you're interested in helping to raise funds for the construction of the new animal shelter....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Carol's rainy holiday

A few weeks back, I brought Carol home for a few days to give her a rest from the shelter. Unfortunately, it was a rainy weekend so we didn't get to go on many outdoor adventures (though we caught a brief break in the weather for a quick walk in the park and found snow, which fascinated Carol!). Luckily, Carol didn't mind too much - she was pretty excited to get the feel for home life. Not surprisingly, she's one big cuddle bug! I had an unusual amount of visitors that came to the door while Carol was visiting and her manners were fabulous! She sat and waited while they came in, and then wiggle-waggled up to them and sat to greet them.

Carol also outsmarted me. I have a dog blanket that I use to get dogs settled on. I had it on the floor, and then moved it onto a bed, and invited Carol up. She loved the bed....she stretched, she rolled over, she definitely appeared to be experiencing a little slice of heaven. A while later, though, she pulled it off the bed to the floor. I thought, "oh great, she's going to chew it up" but I gave her a moment to see what her intention was. Well, she got it just right on the floor, lay down on it, and pulled a toy over to play with. That moment was adorable!

It seems to me that Carol's never spent a lot of time in a house so she'll need a little help with appropriate inside behavior...don't worry, she wasn't eating shoes or pulling things off counters...but what allows her to survive in the kennel is a learned lack of inhibition about going to the bathroom in the same area she's sleeping, playing, etc. So, she'll have to be patiently re-educated when she gets home.

At the kennel, we've had Carol with other male dogs and she's been fine. She's not a lady looking for trouble, but she's not really an active player. She much prefers playing with people and toys. Cats, however, are a different story. Carol's view on cats leans toward hearing dinner bells around them. My cat was definitely testing Carol's limits (on leash, of course, before Mollie kitty was confined to another part of the house) and, after a couple walk-bys, Carol was more than willing to refocus on me, but she's not immediately cat friendly.

Here's the thing, obviously I take dogs home that I already think are great. Each dog may need a little refining but they're all well worth the effort. Carol's no different, I really can't sing enough praises for her. She's got a great spirit and she's very keen to please. Anyone would be lucky to have this lady!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday Play Groups

Duffy and Coco

Bo and Kyle

Gina and I met up on Saturday to do some dog socializations, along with Loraine and her camera. Everyone had a great time!

Duffy and Coco: They're an awesome pair and spent lots of time wrestling. Near the end, they started putting speed into their game....Duffy's faster, but Coco can corner well. Both successfully burned their puppy energy.

Kyle and Bo: Normally we don't pair same sex dogs, but these boys came from the same household so we reunited them. Bo tried to get Kyle to play with him, but Kyle was more interested in carrying his leash. Nonetheless, they seemed to enjoy each other's company....