Thursday, February 27, 2014

Steady Eddie, Brave Dave

He probably has no idea, but Eddie’s a natural teacher. Last week at the Barn he helped show shy Molly the ropes. Today, he demonstrated perfect sits for unfocused Esther —

 and then revealed how to swipe a plastic chicken right out from under her nose.

"Now we're sharing..."

"Now I've got it!"

And on Sunday, Eddie achieved what I'd never been able to get my own dogs to do.

My father-in-law, by his own description, is not what you’d call an “animal person.” Sometimes dogs can make him a little uneasy — even fearful, it’s fair to say.  I’m really not sure what he thinks about my involvement with a group rooted in advocacy for pit bull-type dogs.  

So when Dave, who was visiting from out of town, sweetly expressed an interest in visiting the Barn, I was nervous. Not that his experience would be bad, but that it would be… just… meh. And I wanted my father-in-law not only to see what I see, I wanted him to fall in love with these crazy blockheads. And to understand why I do what I do.

Of all the dogs, Eddie caught his eye. I’m not sure who approached whom first, but I do know that when I glanced their way, I saw Dave stroking Eddie’s ears like he’d been doing this all his life. The rest of us talked. We walked around the yard. And each time I looked over, there was Dave, lovin’ the heck out of Eddie (who was relishing every second).

“Are you seeing this?” I asked my husband. He snapped photos, and I stood there and grinned.

The cutest image of all, however, wasn’t captured on film. When it was time to go and we headed out the gate, Eddie remained on the other side, his eyes fixed on Dave. “Your new friend doesn’t want you to leave,” I said.

My father-in-law turned around to look at Eddie. He paused. And then he smiled, perhaps pondering the significance of it all. He didn’t need to say anything.

Monday, February 24, 2014

In the Barn This Week...

Its always fun to go to the barn and see new faces and find out the little things about each dog that makes them special. 

First up, Widget.  This super affectionate girl has the most beautiful soft brindle coat. Her favorite activity is snuggling and she is very skilled at curling her petite body into a lap.

Next, Eddie brings the charm. He spent a a good part of the afternoon rolling around on his back proudly showing off his new neuter.  Then he saw a squirrel and was convinced that it ran into a storage shed to hide from him. Sweet guy!
Molly quickly made friends with me and showed that she might not be so shy after all. Not caught on camera - her gazelle-like leaping skills. 
Last, but certainly not least Esther brings the puppy power. This youngster is the "senior" barn resident now that Benny and Joon have gone on to their forever homes and she is keeping all the adults on their toes.  Go, Esther!

These four dogs are just amazing - sweet, fun, beautiful and eager to please. Each one of them will make their future families complete.  If I didn't have two dogs of my own and a new foster on the way...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Molly and Eddie

Eddie needed Molly. Fresh from the shelter, he had bad infections in both ears and was a bit depressed because of it. He moped and whimpered when he arrived.

Molly needed Eddie. Also fresh from the shelter, she was fine outdoors but very frightened of being IN-doors. She flattened as if the roof might come crashing in on her. And she thought dogs were no good - except Eddie. He was calm and gentle ... and still unaltered (mmm) so he smelt like heaven to her.

After shuffling everyone around a bit, we decided to put them in the same kennel divided by one wall so they could get better acquainted and their friendship could bloom.

"Where are we?"  "I dunno. Follow me and we'll figure it out."

"Woo hooo! We can do this."

From belly crawling and waiting for something to go wrong, to now kangaroo hopping on all her human visitors in kookie daily greetings, Molly is getting her groove on. With Eddie's good influence, she's starting to meet other dogs and is learning that they're safe and nice to hang out with. 

Now on meds and settling in to the routine and the fun, Eddie is perking up. Dogs helping dogs is a theme that repeats around here.  Life is good at the Rescue Barn.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Many Faces of Miss Joon

I think Joon was born for the stage.  Her expressions are so soulful, so varied!  With one look, one gesture, she can make you double-over laughing, or inspire you to ponder the deeper things.  And so, without further ado, I now present to you...the lovely Miss Joon!

"Do you mind if I rest my head on your hand for just a moment?"
"So you wanted me to sit, huh?  For how long exactly?"
"My favorite Mary Oliver poem, you ask?" 
"Hmm...I like the one that goes: Love love love, and run as fast as you can..."
(Running at top speed with her best bud, Benny)
"Ha!  That was fun."
"What shape do you see on my chin?"
"Okay, I'm ready for my close-up."
"Do I look more becoming with my ears back?"

"Or forward?"
"Yay for scratches!"

Love, Joon