Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a tuff job

... but someone's gotta do it.

We found a great way to test the nerve of new volunteer Matt today: We tossed a pack of Vagisil wipes his way and asked him to swipe down a new puppy family. (They all have a mild case of ringworm). He got right to work without skipping a beat - A good sign, eh?

Here he is with Ana Poe, hard at work. Phew! The demands of this job can be mind-boggling.

Three 7-8 week old pups nearly fell through the cracks of a local shelter, but a great group of ladies who call themselves the Sacramento Area Canine Rescue Networkers waved a flag for them and now they're safe. Mom and her babes are just getting settled in and the pups are getting their first experience with grass, wind, toys and people. It's all good!

We look forward to updating as these cuties get caught up on what they've been missing and find their place in the world.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

first chair

This is Jondi with her 'first person,' in their favorite red chair. They used to spend a lot of time here.

A lot has changed since this photo was taken. Jondi's person had bigger plans and saw fit to exit the planet early last summer, and another wonderful person stepped in to make the red vixen part of her family.

We went to visit Jondi's old chair yesterday at her first person's house. I plopped down in it, and thought about the old days. For a minute, it felt really strange ...The past colliding with the present and sliding into the future - all in one mini tsunami in my stomach. I'm sure you must know the feeling.

But - Jondi's in her new home and it was time to give the first chair a new home, too. So we loaded it up into our little red pick up truck and chugged up the hill to the barn. I woke up with a sense of urgency today and poked Tim awake: "Wake up. We have to put the chair in the barn now." It was sitting out in the pick up truck looking ... lost. Poor Tim - The things I make him do.

He pulled on his clothes and plodded out to the truck with me. I'd been up early, sweeping and mopping in preparation for its homecoming. We heaved it out of the truck and navigated gates and barn doors. Every dog on the site cocked his head and watched the procession from whatever vantage point he could get.

And there it is. Olive is its first inhabitant and hopefully there will be many more before it finally gets nibbled away by one or more party dogs. Jondi's at home and so is her chair and so is her first person, and everything's where it's supposed to be.

girlfriends ......

- go out for a little salad

- go to the bathroom together

- share their things, kinda sorta

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Me: Clive stole the cookie from the cookie jar
Clive: Who me?
Me: Yes, you!
Clive: Not me! Couldn't be!
Me: Then who?
Clive: Olive stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
Me: Wait a minute now, Clive - we have photographic evidence. Let's take a look!

Clive: (gulp). Please don't tell Donna.

Me: Um Clive - too late, I think she'll know as soon as she see's these pics. Don't worry dude, just give her lots of kisses and I'm sure all will be forgiven. Now let's get back to training so you can show 'em what a good boy you can be.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a kitchen first

"Hey little pup. Welcome to the kitchen. You're new around here, aren't ya? This is how you do it: You'll wanna lay on the floor ... like this, ya see? ... and wait for the people to come around and drop bits of food. Got it? Easy peasy!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

camera shy

Me: Hey Tallulah, How 'bout if we get a photo of your beautiful smile today?

T: No way. I don't like that camera thing. Nuh uh.

Me: It's not so bad. Everyone wants to see your smile!

T: Don't make me, please.

Me: Aww. How you gonna find your home if you don't smile for pictures?

T: How's this? Can I smile upside down?

Me: Sure, that's cute. But can't you please give me that smile when you're sitting up pretty?

T: Umm .... Still scary. Scary camera!

Me: Okay - How 'bout you hide behind my leg and smile without looking at it?

T: Okay! Here I am! Does this mean my home will find me now?

Me: Yep. You did good.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

seepy seeps?

this pup has reduced us all to a steady stream of widdle poopsy schnookum shnorts baby talk.

Monday, February 20, 2012

finally, names for the new kids

it's so lovely when we finally know what to call the new dogs!

meet, Catfish Jones...

Gris-Gris (pronounce Gree-Gree)...

and the wonderful Miss Tallulah...

Friday, February 17, 2012

the mystery novel

She's young, but worldly and wise. She was scooped up by rural Louisiana deputies after some local boys were caught fighting their dogs. (News) She's completely comfortable around people and reads our signals, verbal prompts and body language like a book club junkie devours a new title. She gives fabulously loud and perfectly timed corrections to the rowdy pups who came to us from the same case. She's been caught kissing the adult barn dogs through the kennel walls and is nonplussed during close contact dog intros. She's seen some action - Both her cheeks and one shoulder show the tell-tale white flecked dents from old war wounds. She doesn't appear to have ever been bred. She was already spayed before her rescue and she's heart worm negative (both shocking discoveries to her LA rescuers). She has what looks to be fly strike on the tips of her ears. She's nearly house trained. She's thin and hungry. She's patient, thoughtful, and she knows how to sit politely and ask for permission. She's got some luck: She managed to avoid certain death more than once. She was embraced by an impossibly under resourced rescue group in the middle of nowhere, and just as one of our far, far away barn kennels was opening up. She even lucked into finding a problem-free ride straight from Louisiana to Oakland. The Big Easy.

She's some dog!

We're still waiting for her to tell us what her name is and have what seems like a hundred Creole-inspired possibilities typed up and shared around the group. Nothing's stuck yet but we look forward to knowing what to call her so she can officially start her next set of adventures in the land of the oaks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some New Faces

Good Morning new pups - who are you??

Sweet new blue girl - lookin' pretty...

Little Brother showing me how adorable he and his little ears are...

Little Sister says she wants in all of the action...

Somehow there's always plenty of action with puppies around - WOO HOO!!
Of course it's always good to see my dear old friends Olive and Clive too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday night Wrestlemania

Now that Jondi has gone to her new home (sigh, we sure miss that sweet girl but we're so happy for her), the three remaining barn dogs are adjusting their playstyles . Jondi - being a princess and all - was much less rowdy than other pooches who've passed through the barn. Not so much rough-housing for her, it was all about the toys. But, last night at the barn, since Blink, Clive and Olive are all good friends and play nicely together, there was a whole lotta rough-housing goin' on! (strictly supervised of course)

Here are Blink and Clive waiting patiently to join Olive in the yard.

Clive & Blink: "Please, please, PLEASE barn lady - can we go outside and play, huh, huh, huh??"

How could I resist?

And so it began - Wrestlemania! Bring on the pop corn and soda!

First Olive and Clive, then Clive and Blink, then Blink and Olive - every possible combination; they wrestled all over the yard, the porch, on into the barn, on the couch, on the floor, on the dog-beds - EVERYWHERE! On and on they wrestled until their tongues hung low and their smiles stretched their faces to their ears. I got to enjoy being the sole spectator, howling like a fool at their moves.

And at the end of the night - who lasted the longest and was the last dog left standing while the others lay happily exhausted?

Uh huh, that would be Blink who still hasn't quite stopped moving in this pic - paparazzi be damned (and that's Olive under Blink just grinning at her antics). We know Blink, size ain't everything!

Monday, February 13, 2012

T stands for Tuckered Out

Remember Lulu?

Maybe not - it's been a while since she left for her new home, way back when her new buddy Star was just starting to play with the barn dogs. (flashback)

We'll be catching up with Lulu next month when she takes a trip to the Barn for a little visit. Until then, here she is crashed out at the feet of her favorite boy toy - None other than the wonderful Salvador.

Many thanks to Robbie for the lovely photo!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

rock paper scissors

So Jondi's left the barn, her going away party was super fun and we've all boo-hooed a bit - but the real question on every dog's mind is: Who gets Jondi's tricked out girlie pad kennel with the awesome leather sofa and chair?

The cow dogs had a little wrestling session about just that very thing this morning....

Blink might want to have a say on who her neighbor's going to be ...

No one can deny that the velvet pit bull painting in the kennel shows a striking resemblance to a certain somebody.

And the winner is....

As long as Olive doesn't nibble on those irresistible buttons, we'll let her have the special Creature Comfort Kennel. Sweeet.

Speaking of irresistible, the chair in the ManCave Kennel has hosted about six dogs including party dogs Captain Spanky and Dan the Dog and has definitely seen better days. Clive just loves this chair because it rocks and he can get a great game of Launchpad Bouncy Dog going when he's bored, but our aesthetics are getting tweaked.

If you're local to the SF bay area and have a gently used leather or vinyl chair that's destined for GoodWill, please let us know. It has to be leather or vinyl so it survives wet paws and regular wipe downs and comfortable enough for a rip roaring pit bull nap. We'll find a way to pick it up if you have such a treasure at home. Thank you!

Jondi face

A little blast of Jondi face for all of us who are going to miss seeing it around here. Have a great life, sweet girl.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Starbucks therapy

It's been one whole month since Olive arrived and she's been getting more grounded every day, so it was time to up the ante a bit with a visit to the outside world. At Starbucks, she would encounter the usual urban chaos: street traffic, rumbling trucks, strangers, metal chair feet scraping across the cement. It would be a telling exercise.

When she first came to us after her 18 months-long stint in isolation, she was a walking stress machine: fearful, flinchy and tail-tucked, not unlike some of our more sensitive Vick dogs who needed months and even years to learn how to handle daily life and recoup their confidence. (Olive's back story) This exercise would give us a good view into what kind of work we'd have ahead to get her ready for adoption.

Well, if you heard a big sigh of relief yesterday coming from Oakland, that would be us.

The visit was perfectly uneventful - perfectly normal. Olive was fine during the car ride, delighted to be out, happy to beg our sandwiches - and finally, she got a little bored. Bored!

My latte never tasted so good.

There's more work ahead, but Olive is telling us that she's ready for it. Yahoo!