Tag Archives: shelter dogs

Deck Restoration By All My Canine Companions – Part II

deckresto7After we finished making our deck look decent, Alex decided to go and check it out.  Yes, that is how she checked out our work and I’d venture to say that she was happy with the end product.

deckresto8Bella, on the other hand, decided to “inspect” very carefully our work before she paid us with kisses.  Bella is not the type of girl who just gives kisses to anybody for she believes that you must earn it, and we did.

deckresto9After her careful inspection, Bella went to talk to Alex and they agreed that our work was up to their standards, therefore Bella will be giving us lots of kisses as payment for fixing our deck.  Not a bad reward, don’t you think?

Introducing Bella To Alex – BARCS ID# A21561474

introbellalex1Well, it was time to introduce Bella to Alex today and this is how I introduce new dogs to my pack.

Cynthia, Alex, Bella, and I went for a walk together.  At the beginning of the walk, Alex was on my left side while Bella was on Cynthia’s right side.  We stopped for a couple of minutes so they can do their business, but they were not allowed to interact with each other yet.  Because Alex cannot walk a lot we had to stop after we walked for a little while to give them an opportunity to sniff each other.  Bella’s body language was relaxed and curious.  So far so good.

introbellalex2Once we got home, we went straight to the deck where Bella, still on leash and collar, was able to interact with Alex.  What did I realize?  Bella has no doggie manners.  She almost stepped on Alex a few times.  What did Alex do?  Nothing.  And that is why Alex is perfect for me and for what I do which is board, train, and work on behavioral issues many dogs have.  After a couple of minutes, we brushed their hair and wiped their paws and proceeded to go inside.

Bella’s body language indoors changed.  She became tensed and zeroed in on Alex.  I redirected that behavior by getting her attention and she was fine.

introbellalex3This is what I realized about Bella:

  • Bella’s interaction with Alex outside was great.  She did a play bow inviting Alex to play
  • Once inside, her body language became tense and on guard.  She lowered her head, body was tense, stared at Alex and looked ready to go for her
  • Even though I was not crazy about her body language indoors, Bella responded well or I should say amazingly well to voice corrections and commands
  • Although she did great while playing with other dogs at the shelter, now she has to learn to live in peace with other dogs in a home environment
  • She has to learn doggie manners.  She cannot step over other dogs
  • On the deck, Bella showed signs of stress, pacing back and forth, but she relaxed after a few minutes when she saw Alex sunbathing

This is just the beginning for Bella.  She has a long way to go and this is why a shelter dog, in my opinion, has a better chance to find her forever home when she has been fostered for a while.  Why?  Living in a home environment teaches her how to be a member of a pack and that is something that she cannot learn in a shelter.  I have great admiration for the people who work in shelters.  They do an amazing job, and they can always use our help whether this comes in the form of donations, volunteer time, fostering dogs, etc.  Have a great week.

Introducing Bella, Our First Foster Dog – BARCS ID: A21561474

Bella1The above beautiful specimen is Candie, our very first foster dog.  We changed her name to Bella since she is truly beautiful and we thought this named suited her better.  Let me start by saying that I’ve been reading other blogs of people who are fostering dogs and many of them have had set backs as well as success with their foster dogs.  Some have decided to stop fostering for a variety of reasons, all of them valid in my opinion, while others are still at it.  Regardless of whether you are the former or the latter, thanks a million for doing it.

Bella2Bella has been with us for 8 days and here’s some information about her and a progress report:

  • DOB: 11/24/2010
  • Breed: Pit Bull Mix
  • She is extremely smart and knows how to sit, wait/stay, go to bed, and come
  • She’s crate-trained and housebroken.  No accidents at all
  • Amazingly sweet with people and all she wants is to be with you and be petted all day if you have the time
  • Still working on walking on a loose leash.  Very good progress so far
  • She shaked uncontrollably when I was about to feed her and Alex.  Food seems to stress her out.  Now she still shakes, but less than before and she is able to wait rather than pace around the kitchen until I have their food ready
  • Bella responds best when the correction is done with your voice.  Harsh corrections, rough handling, popping of leash, etc., are not recommended for her.  She is a big strong girl, but she is very sensitive.  Although your voice needs to mean business it has to be done without a harsh tone otherwise she’ll shut down completely
  • She is not suitable for a first-time pet parent

Bella3My model, Bella, was falling asleep on me so I had to capture it for you to see how funny she looks when she does that.  We are not sure yet if she is ok with other dogs.  At the shelter, she was a favorite with a lot of the volunteers and she played very nice with other dogs, but we have to see how she does when living with other dogs in a home environment.  We’ll find out in a few days.

Bellalex4By the way, Alex is doing better with her leg.  She is walking about 12 minutes, and when the brace is removed at night-time she does not limp, but we don’t want to push it so she’ll continue with bed rest and short walks for a while longer.

To foster a shelter dog is a challenge, many of you know that first hand, and I will continue to blog about it and hope that I get input from pet parents and foster parents as well.  Share your stories, please.  Also, please remember that not all foster dogs may be suitable for your home just like not all dogs would be a good fit for your family.

If you are interested in adopting Bella, this is the information you will need to apply for her:  She is with BARCS, ID# A21561474.  Wish us luck and let’s hope this horrible weather changes soon.  Have a great weekend.