Sunday, July 27, 2008

Foster Family Birthday Party Reunion

Close to a year ago, Brian and I took our first venture into dog fostering, volunteering to help one of the area rescue organizations with an influx of puppies from West Virginia. This was the complete reverse of pre-meditated... I got an email asking for help, called Brian and a few days later, we had two little 10 week old coonhound/lab puppies that just oozed cuteness.

Both found great homes, continued to grow and develop into two beautifully handsome dogs. The two had not seen each other since late September, but met up today for a little reunion. We weren't sure how the two would behave, and I think it is safe to say that all six adults were speechless when they almost immediately started to play... like brothers, like when they were puppies...completely inseparable. Brian and I were perhaps the most stunned, because we remember well just how much of a pair these two were, and to see them doing the same thing, only 30-40 pounds larger, was a happily emotional sight.

Casey had always been the smaller of the two, and a bit of a clown. Beetle (now Sam) was and still is the larger, and was somewhat protective of his brother. They both loved to play tug, to run and to chase, to roll each other over, and to lay ontop of one another. I remember one instance where Casey dragged his brother across the kitchen floor--- by the ear!

Both dogs were very malnourished when they came to us, and were so young and impressionable. To look at them now, with their beautifully shiny coats, and sleak body figures, it is hard to remember that they were just skin and bones at 10 weeks, and that their future was grim before they were rescued from the shelter in West Virginia. And, to see how important they are to their families is just completely moving.

I don't know if these dogs actually remembered that they spent the first 13 weeks of their life together, but dogs do smile, and these two wore grins from ear to ear for two straight hours.

We didn't know what to expect when we started fostering, and I don't think we could have scripted it any better than how it actually turned out.

That's a 'wuff' for now!

Top- Then: (Photo 1: first few hours after getting them, Photo 2: 1 weeks later, Photo 2: 2 weeks later

Bottom- Now (today)

Happy Homecoming Pinky!

Brian and my fifth foster found a home today. We had been helping out Pinky the Puppy for about two months, getting her socialized and building her confidence. Her momma came to the rescue organization with 9 puppies in her belly, and the training center where I apprentice birthed the pups.

Pinky was a little bitty fluffball when she was born, but in her first four months, grew to be close to 30 pounds of energy!

She is a beautiful dog, a great pet, and will become a fabulous companion for her new family.

We were truly lucky to have been able to have her in our home for the past two months (and she didn't even chew any furniture!)

That's a 'wuff' for now!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My favorite leash...

...Is a hemp corduroy leash by The Good Dog Company out of Colorado.

I picked up this leash about six months ago, out of frustration with other novelty leashes (the nylon or canvas kind with ribbon sewn on) cutting and digging in to my hands. And, with those other leashes getting completely dirty... quickly. It wasn't cheap, but I felt it was worth a try.

The hemp leash is soft, but durable, washable, and wears well. You can fold it up in your hands to limit the dog's movement, mush it in a pocket when going off-leash, and throw it in the wash machine when it gets too dirty. I found that the lead was a little long for my liking, and had my mom cut it, making a collar out of the part that was removed.

Good control is super important for me. Leashes that are difficult to hold or harsh on the skin limit my ability to properly handle my dog. Style is also important for my pups. I like color coordinated leashes and collars that always look new, and of course-are seasonal. The pups might not be able to tell the difference, but I sure can! Did I mention that the hemp leads come in a whole variety of colors?

I try not to advocate for one company over another on this blog, but I just really think this product is a great solution to those others out there looking for more control and less hand-pain... especially if your dog pulls! Anyone who has gotten a leash burn knows what I am talking about.

That's a 'wuff' for now!