Tag Archives: rescue dog

Target got adopted!

Little Target!

Yes, after just two weeks of fostering Target, he found himself a forever home. Once Chip and I spent a few hours with him after first bringing him home over Labor Day weekend, we knew that it wouldn’t take long for someone to fall in love with this sweet dog and adopt him. However, I don’t think either of us expected it to happen so soon! While we’ll miss his silly puppy energy and his happy wagging tail, we’re glad he found a home so fast and that his new family will get to know him at such a young and playful age. A family with two older kids adopted him and we couldn’t have asked for a better fit. With all these people at home, Target will be sure to get plenty of attention, something we wouldn’t always give him enough of. His new family also has another dog with tons of energy, so we’re sure Target will have nice long days filled with lots of wrestling and playing (no offense to Wrigs, but he just couldn’t keep up with Target!). We also enjoyed hearing how his new family loves music and will be changing Target’s name to Ziggy – we think it’s a great fit!

Thanks, Target/Ziggy, for being such a silly dog and reminding us how fun (and at times slighty exhausting) puppy-hood can be!

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a video of Target and Wrigley getting excited for the first Cowboys game of the season :)

Target reluctantly taking a break from playing with tired Wrigley

Silly Target

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently found a home for Duke. Fostering Duke was more rewarding than we could have expected and we are so thankful that we live in a home that can support having a foster dog. We were excited to foster again, but we wanted to take a little bit of a break before bringing home another dog for a few reasons.

1. We would be going out of town for our trip to Colorado, so we didn’t want to bring a foster into our home for a week before heading out on vacation.

2. We wanted to get our house back in order. As much as we loved having Duke in our home and dog-sitting for different friends, having several dogs to take care of meant our house got put on the back-burner for a bit. We had a few small projects we wanted to focus on so we thought being a one-dog household again would help us out.

3. We wanted to give Wrigley some good one-on-one attention. He had adapted really well to having Duke around, but we wanted to see how he did without him and also spoil him a bit to make sure he was feeling loved. This meant that our best buddy was now allowed to get on the couch with us if we had a blanket for him to lay on as well as receiving a few more table scraps.

4. We needed time to prepare ourselves… let’s be real, we will never have a foster as sweet as Duke!

After a few weeks with just Wrigley in the house, I got an email from Peggy, the founder of CARE, which is the organization we had fostered Duke through. She emailed me about this sweet little pup named Target. Similar to Duke, he was at ACS and was scheduled to be put down since all of the shelters in San Antonio are over capacity. One of the staffworkers at ACS contacted Peggy and asked her for help; she had become attached to little Target in a very short time and couldn’t stand to see him not have a chance to find a way home. So Peggy went to ACS and pulled Target out, without a foster or adopting family lined up. This was two weeks ago. Peggy had been paying for Target to be boarded at different places just to keep him alive. So after talking to Chip, we agreed that Target would be our next foster. It was a little sooner than we thought we would be bringing another dog home, but we couldn’t pass up helping up this guy!

Target enjoying the ride to our house

So this past Friday, we picked up little Target and brought him home. There’s nothing I can say except that he is absolutely precious. He’s eight or nine months old and is full-on puppy. He’s curious about everything and so playful without being completely crazy (which is very appreciated!). We’ve only had him for a few days now, but I know he’s going to be a great dog and is going to be a wonderful dog for a family. Here’s what we’ve learned about Target in just the last few days:

1. He’s extremely curious and unafraid. Maybe it’s because he’s so young, but Target doesn’t seem to have any fear at all. Whereas Duke definitely had a past and would be startled at any noise, Target has to find out what’s going on whenever he hears a new noise. I love that he still has this innocence and that this will make his transition into his forever home easier.

2. He doesn’t like to be alone. I’m not sure if it’s because he had been boarded for the last two weeks and might not have had much interaction with people, but he loves to follow us around wherever we go in the house. We did a lot of yardwork and housework this past weekend with the Labor Day holiday, and Target was always there with us, inspecting our progress on our projects and laying down in whatever room we were working in. He also loves to cuddle and gets so excited to see us whenever we get home. It hasn’t taken him much time at all to look forward to seeing us and jumping in our laps for a belly rub.

3. He loves to play. Target has quickly discovered the toy bin in the living room and is content to just pull out all of the toys and play by himself. He has also been playing and wrestling with Wrigley a bit, although Wrigley doesn’t seem to appreciate Target’s puppy energy and speed after too long :)

4. He has the makings of a guard dog. He may be a small pup, but he is definitely confident in his bark. He’s already shown his tough side barking at the garbage man and our neighbors’ friends that were outside for a barbecue this past weekend. He’s also very smart and has already learned how to sit on command and is starting to get a hold on “shake.”

We really hope we can find a home for Target soon. He’s such a silly, sweet dog and we would love for his new family to see his fun puppy side. He’s doing really well with his crate training and is even starting to go outside on his own through our little doggy door whenever nature calls (pretty impressive for only being here 72 hours!). We can’t wait to find Target his forever home!

Relaxing in the living room

Enjoying some of Wrigley’s toys

Doing a great job on his first walk!

 

Thanks, Duke

This post is a bit delayed, but still special to me. For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Duke has found his forever home. Hooray! Ever since Chip and I first brought Duke home six months ago, my co-worker Sandra had her eye (and her heart!) on him. She had been wanting a dog pretty badly, but didn’t think she should be getting one in her current home since their yard was a bit small. But that didn’t stop her from consistently asking how Duke was doing and if he had found a family yet. Well, an opportunity came up over the summer that would allow Sandra to have Duke. She would be moving into a larger home with her family, one that came with a very large yard with plenty of space for a goofy dog to run around and play. After a bit of talking and planning, it was set. She would be adopting Duke. Duke is such a great fit for her with his easy going, gentle personality. I dropped Duke off over at her house a few weeks ago and it was so great to see him familiarize himself with his new home, sniffing out the living room and exploring the backyard. By the time I left Sandra’s house that afternoon, I knew Duke would be loved in his new home and that he would do a great job being a companion and protector to Sandra and her family.

I do have to admit, it was a little hard saying good bye to Duke. Knowing that we would be giving him to Sandra to adopt, I had prepared myself the week before hand, spending lots of time cuddling with Duke and telling him what a great foster dog he had been (yes, I’m one of those people that talks to dogs and believe in some way they know what you’re saying). I did my share of crying early hoping it would help me be less of a mess when I would give him to Sandra. For the most part, I was fine. I really didn’t get choked up or anything until I was leaving Sandra’s house. As I was walking out of her house, Duke started to follow me and as I stepped outside he just looked at me and did his cute little head tilt in confusion. It was so adorable and so Duke. I made myself walk quickly to my car and drove home crying, feeling so grateful that we got to spend six months with such a sweet dog. I did a little more crying at home and shamefully finished off a pint of Blue Bell chocolate chip cookie dough (could I be any more of a girl?). But by the end of that day, I was at peace being back to a one-dog household and excited for him and Sandra.

It’s been great hearing stories from Sandra about Duke. He’s still adjusting a bit, but considering how timid he was at first, I’m not surprised at all that he’s taking things slow. I’m so thankful for how Sandra has been patient with him and having him learn to trust her. I have a feeling these two are going to be quite the dynamic duo and I can’t wait to hear more stories about Duke from Sandra.

We are so thankful for the time we had with Duke. We fostered him for six months, which was much longer than we had expected. But for him, that amount of time was necessary. He was such a timid, scared and bone-thin dog back in February. But now, he’s a beautiful dog with a silly personality and enjoying his own home. As Chip and I sat talking about how we would miss silly Duke we couldn’t help but joke that we started off with a perfect foster dog and how it would probably ruin our expectations for every other foster dog we have. Duke, you sure have set the bar high!

Thanks to care for finding Duke six months ago at ACS and asking us to take him in so he would be saved from being put down. And thanks to everyone who supported us in our first foster dog experience!

Duke six months ago when we first brought him home

Duke ready for his new home!

 

Sweet Duke

When we first brought Duke home two months ago, he was one of the most scared and timid dogs I had ever met. For those that have read my other posts, you may remember me talking about how much of a task it was to get him into my car at ACS and then eventually into our house. He didn’t know how to trust us and scampered around the house before eventually hiding away in the backyard. I’m slightly ashamed I had so many moments those first couple of weeks where I was worried that Duke was a lost cause, that because of whatever had happened to him before in his past, he would never be a “normal” dog again. Fortunately for all of us, these initial concerns were way off and he has become a goofy, loveable lab mix. I mentioned in a previous post how much Duke had progressed in our first month with him. Compared to where he now is today, it’s like we have a completely different dog living with us. Chip and I have spent many evenings talking about this growth and have fun reminiscing on this dog’s journey. So in honor of Duke’s progress, here are some of our favorite “before and after” moments.

Before: Duke avoided us like the plague and would jump and scamper out whenever we would enter a room too suddenly for his taste.

Now: Duke follows us around like it’s his job. It doesn’t matter where we are in the house or in the backyard, this dog wants to be our shadow now. It’s sweet that not only is he no longer afraid of me or Chip, but he’s even more social around strangers, wanting their affection and attention (although thankfully not as shamelessly as Wrigley does). Yes, he’ll still hide under the coffee table occasionally whenever new people are in the house, but it’s much better than running to his crate like he did before. Duke is also super excited to see me and Chip now when we come home, barking with Wrigley until we let them come inside with us. It’s sweet to see him this happy when he sees us now. He’ll even get a little jealous for our affection, trying to push Wrigley out of our hands with his nose.

Before: Duke would either be outside or inside in his crate. He would only hang out with us when forced.

Duke and Wrigley monitoring the kitchen floor

Now: Duke strolls around the house with ease and can peacefully nap in any room. This definitely took some time, but he has slowly made himself comfortable over the past couple of months and now branches out past the living room and office. In fact, he really only goes to the office now whenever he’s ready to go to bed or is asking for his dinner! Duke will often join me in the kitchen while I cook dinner, looking to Wrigley for cues on getting scraps of food. He runs to the front living room whenever the door bell rings and barks like a good guard dog at any strange sound. He stands ready for us by the office door where we have the dog gate set up when we wake up, anxious to see us and go outside. I’m glad we were patient with Duke while he learned that this home was a safe place for him and that he’s slowly learned to trust us.

Before: Duke wouldn’t eat consistently. I was convinced he was going to starve to death instead of eat the high protein food we were trying to give him to help him put on some weight.

Now: Duke loves food and even eats out of Wrigley’s bowl now. He trusts us, too, whenever we offer him human food, jumping up to grab whatever we’re giving him (he’s a big fan of those peanut butter dog biscuits!). I’m relieved that he now has a hearty appetite and know that he will never again go hungry.

Before: Duke slowly followed Wrigley around, trying to mimic some of his behavior.

Now: These two dogs tend to drive me crazy! They play non-stop, which I have to remind myself is a good thing (which can be hard to accept as they twist the living room rug around during their wrestle matches!). It’s not that Duke was ever afraid of Wrigley, he just didn’t know how to play with him or interact with him. Luckily they have figured this out and now spend a lot of time playing and wrestling together. They also enjoy fighting over the same toy and will play a little bit of tug of war to see who wins (I don’t think they realize there’s an entire bin in the living room full of other toys… they’re like children sometimes!). It’s so fun to see them interact together and it’s great to see how this has helped Duke come out of his shell and show his more playful lab side. Duke is now often the one that gets playtime started, running up to Wrigley and pulling on his ears, which of course Wrigley then has to reciprocate :)

Nap time after play time

Before: Duke would run and hide in his crate whenever he saw his leash.

Taking the two goofs on a walk

Now: Duke jumps and barks at me until I get his harness and leash on him for a walk. This is such a big change from where he was two months ago. I promise it’s no exaggeration at all when I say he literally used to cower at the sight of his little lanyard leash he came with from ACS. Luckily Wrigley has shown him that the harness and leash are exciting things and Duke now gets as happy for walks and jogs as Wrigley does. Their energy can make going on walks a little interesting, but it’s fun seeing how excited they get for this.

Duke is the sweetest foster dog we could have asked for. He’s easy to love and cheer for, and we can tell he appreciates this chance we’ve given him. He’s extremely loyal and will be a great addition to any family. We can’t wait to see who will take Duke in and give him a forever home. I’d say he’s pretty ready for his own place now! :)

Our sweet friend, Duke

Duke’s first family walk

This evening was a big one for Duke. He went on his first walk with us! I promise this is a bigger deal than what it sounds like. When we first brought Duke home, he was absolutely terrified of the little lanyard leash he came on and avoided it at all costs, crouching and hiding whenever he would see me grab it. It took a good week or two to even get him in his collar since he was so scared to have something put around his neck. But he embraced the collar well enough that I had hope for someday getting him in a harness for a walk. It’s important to me to equip Duke as much as we can for his forever home and I thought getting him to walk well on a leash would be a great trait for him to have.

Well, last weekend we get him a harness, an Easy Walk like we have for Wrigley (I highly recommend these harnesses, they’re great at preventing dogs from pulling you along). I had the harness out and around Duke last Saturday to help him get used to the smell so it wouldn’t seem like such a foreign object later. I’m not too sure how much this “introduction time” actually helped since getting it on him was a bit of a project. As soon as I tried putting the harness over his head, he bolted. After finding him in his crate, I was eventually able to get it on him and slowly tighten it so it would fit him better. He was freaking out a bit at first, jumping and trying to twist his way out of the harness and occasionally trying to bite it (we took it off of him after about 20 minutes to help calm him back down). Well, today we gave it another try. It was easier to get the harness on him but he was a bit thrown off at the leash, not budging when I would try to pull him. Luckily he began to follow my tugging and followed us out the door with Wrigley showing him how a walk is done. Who would have thought Wrigley would set a good example at something? :)

Duke ready for his first walk!

It was a short walk just up and down our street, but it was a big step for Duke. Halfway through our walk he seemed to relax more while following Chip and Wrigley and wasn’t trying to twist around as much to gain some control. He was even walking nicely beside me at certain points and seemed to enjoy his time outside by the end of it. He was still pretty relieved when we came home and ran straight for the crate, but I’m proud of how well he did on his first walk. I know he’ll only continue to get better at these!

Taking a quick break on our walk

First walk on a leash... check!

 

Attaboy, Duke

We’ve been fostering Duke for about a month now. We can’t believe it’s already been a month since we first brought him home from ACS and are so encouraged by how far he’s come since that day. Sometimes we feel like he’s a completely different animal now compared to the scared, nervous dog that Chip had to literally carry out of my car to get him come inside that first night. Now he’s so much more social, spends a lot of time playing with Wrigley and always greets us with a wagging tail like any other happy dog would.

I do have to admit that fostering Duke was a little overwhelming at first. The first couple of weeks were challenging as we tried showing him he could trust us, that we weren’t going to hurt him in any way, that we were here to help get him better and find him a home. It broke my heart to see him try to figure us out, how he would take an hour in the morning to leave the crate and walk across the hall and living room to go outside and how he would bolt if either of us came in the room unexpectedly. I couldn’t imagine what had happened to him in his past and would become so frustrated knowing that Duke isn’t the only dog this has happened to, that there are many other abused, scared pups out there (someday I hope to have my own dog sanctuary and help as many dogs as we can! :)). I was also concerned with Duke’s overall health the first half of February. Within his first week with us, he slipped and fell inside and hurt his leg and was limping around. He was on pain killers for a while and he seemed to have such a little appetite those days that even though he was already so skinny to start with, it seemed like he was losing another couple of pounds those first couple of weeks. I began to think that maybe Duke required more work and attention than either of us could give while also working full time and living our daily lives and that it would take a very long time for him to be “normal.” Fortunately things soon started to turn around.

After a couple of weeks with us, Duke was finally starting to show an appetite. He would eat most of the food we were giving him, but it wasn’t until we got some high calorie dog food for him from my parents that we started to see him finally fill out a bit. His hips are still thin, but his rib/stomach area is finally looking healthier. I know he’ll continue to put on weight as he cleans his big bowl of food every night of this higher calorie food. He even looks forward to his mealtime now and let’s me know when he’s hungry by walking to and from the office room until we serve his dog bowl outside the crate.

Nap time in the living room

He’s also finally less skittish in the house, no longer trying to dart in and out of the house as quickly and stealthily as he can. It’s so encouraging to see him ready at the doggie gate in the office every morning, wagging his tail and excited to go outside. He no longer treats the backdoor as some magic thresh hold he can’t cross but now comes in and out as easily as Wrigley does (although he does thankfully act a bit more calmly than Wrigley…). He even chooses to be with us in the living room now and is content to take a nap there or play with a toy around us, a huge difference compared to the first couple of weeks where he would only be with us in the living room when we made him.

One thing that I think has helped Duke come a long way is time with Wrigley. I’m actually shocked at how much Wrigley has done for Duke (for those of you who know Wrigley you know he’s a little on the crazy side!), but we’ve really seen Duke come out of his shell when he plays with Wrigley. Chip and I have a lot of fun watching these goofs wrestle and see how they try to pull each others ears. Feel free to click this link to see a funny video I took of them last weekend while watching them play from inside the house – Duke and Wrigley playing outside

Duke also recently discovered Wrigley’s toy bucket in the living room. Prior to this discovery, he would usually just chew on whatever toy Wrigley would walk away from, but this past weekend he finally saw where the toys are kept. He’s got a few favorites and will sit there quietly and chew on them. This is also teaching our spoiled little Wrigley how to share… Wrigley has some serious only child tendencies and will usually cry and bark while standing by Duke whenever he has one of his toys (since there isn’t an entire basket of other toys to play with… :)).

Duke with one of Wrigley's toys

Chip and I are so proud of Duke for coming so far and can’t stop talking about how different he is now. He’s starting to trust people more easily and learning to be part of a family. I’m hoping that his leg will be stronger within the next week so I can start walking him next weekend and hopefully help him become a good walking partner. He’s become so playful over the last couple of weeks and so much more accepting of affection. He’s showing some good guard dog behaviors, barking at the garbage man whenever he comes by and growling at sudden noises outside. Yes, he’s still needs a little more time and attention before he’s a fully rehabilitated dog, but we see a lot of potential in Duke and know that he will someday soon make a family very happy as their new dog :)

To end this post, I want to share a cute sign my cousin sent me this week. Being the dog lover I am this definitely made me a little teary eyed but also really spoke to my heart as we continue to love on Duke.

Save a dog, change his world

Come on, Duke!

“Come on, Duke!” is probably the phrase we’ve said most often over the past week and a half. As I explained in my last post, Duke is the first foster dog Chip, Wrigley and I have ever taken care of. In just this short amount of time since we brought him home from ACS, we’ve already seen progress. We’re excited to see how he will continue to bring his guard down and hopefully trust us more to become a more normal, balanced dog (trying to put everything I’ve learned from Cesar Millan’s books and show The Dog Whisperer to practice!). It hasn’t been that easy, though, and some days have definitely been harder than others and require lots of patience, but overall I know we’re doing a good thing and that we’re making an impact on his life. Having all three of us (Wrigley is definitely included in this effort!) take care of him has validated my desires to help dogs, especially the ones left in shelters. Hoping Duke is our first of many foster dogs! :)

Come inside, Duke!

When we first brought Duke home, he didn’t want to come inside the house, no matter how much we encouraged and cheered him on (come on, Duke!!) to be inside with us. He preferred being in the backyard and would treat the open back door as though it was some type of force field he couldn’t pass through. We let him take things at his pace, though, and didn’t make him come inside until the following night when a storm was set to come through town. Once he came inside and we closed the back door, he was immediately scared and looked around for a place to hide. It broke my heart to see him this anxious, but we were eventually able to get him over to the office room in the house where we have Wrigley’s crate. We got Duke in there with a blanket and towel for padding and it has now become one of his favorite spots in the house. He’s not curious yet like most dogs are and doesn’t have a desire at this time to explore his living space, so whenever he is inside he’s going to be in one of a few places: either the living room with us (and it will still take him a while to relax and lay down), the bathroom or the office. I’m glad he has at least developed a sense of security in these places and hope it will branch out to the rest of the home. He’s been resting a lot in the crate and getting lots of needed sleep. He’s becoming the king of naps! :)

Crazy storm!

We had a pretty bad storm here last Friday evening involving lots of rain and hail. It was crazy! We luckily had both dogs inside before the storm started, so they were safe and dry the whole time. Both were pretty anxious with all of the thunder and the hail hitting the house, so Duke was trying to follow Wrigley for doggy guidance… probably not the best example since Wrigley was running around inside the house life a fool. While Wrigley is used to sliding around the house on the wood floors, Duke still hasn’t gotten adjust to this and slipped and tweaked his back leg a bit. He was on medication for a couple of days and is limping on it less, so we’re hoping it was just a very mild sprain that’s now healing. He was a bit antisocial and lethargic while on this medication, but seems to be doing better now and back to moving around a little more quickly. We try to keep him calm and as not-anxious as possible when he’s inside, though, to help keep him from slipping too often since he still seems to be limping a bit from time to time.

We know that Duke is going to be a great dog for someone. He’s so gentle and sweet and really doesn’t ask for much at all from us (compared to Wrigley, who does anything for attention and belly rubs! He really has no shame…). Duke wags his tail now when he sees us and when we talk to him, a big improvement from the first couple of days when his tail was always tucked up between his legs. He’s also gotten more comfortable with us giving him affection and doesn’t flinch now when we pet his head or scratch his ears. He has a hearty appetite now and has been cleaning his bowl the past few evenings, which is good because this dog needs to put on a good 10-15 pounds! We’re also starting to see a more playful side to Duke. My parents sent him his first toy this past week – one of those rope toys that have floss fibers for their teeth. Duke didn’t really know what to do at first, but after some initial sniffing he started chewing on it! Yes, he only did this for a few seconds, but think he’ll soon figure out how to play with dog toys. I have faith  that the next round of posts will have pictures and stories of Duke being more social and relaxed :)

Wrigley and Duke resting inside