FOSTER DOG BLOGS
You can’t change a dog’s past, but you could rewrite their future!
Welcome to Indigo who just arrived in PA, along with his brother Samson, after his long transport from Mississippi. About 4.5 months old now, the boys were found at a very young age in the middle of the highway. They were trying to nurse on their mother who was deceased after having been hit by a car. Thank goodness the finder took them in, and when she was no longer able to keep them, she reached out to rescue. A wonderful foster in MS cared for them until they could travel to PA, and we are thrilled that they are finally here. Although they had a rough start to their lives, these two pups will now have wonderful lives to look forward to. Look for them to be available soon but in the meantime, please follow their individual blogs.
Like his brother Samson, Indigo, now nicknamed Indy, has two resident dogs to show him the ropes, and introductions went very well.
Indy did well in the crate the first night too. He only whined a little in the crate before settling down for the night. He slept straight through until a little after 7 when we got up. No doubt he was pretty tired from his long transport.
Indy is not completely house-trained so his foster parents will be reinforcing that. He also needs leash work so his foster parents are using a front clip harness on him until he gets more used to walking on a leash. They have a beautiful large yard but it’s not fenced in, so this little nugget will be well versed on leash walking by the time he leaves here. And his foster parents will also be getting a lot of exercise.
Indy is a snuggler and lover for sure though. He doesn’t any practice in that department!
Foster mom reports that all is continuing to go well with Indigo. She’s a bit surprised that he doesn’t seem food motivated:
“Indy will take treats but you have to let him smell what you have for him to get mildly excited. We were using a slow feeder bowl but I will be switching him to a regular bowl, as he seems to lose interest and walks away from a half full bowl. In fact, this morning's meal (the 4th meal) was met with complete disinterest. He sat there in the crate with his bowl and wouldn't touch it. I got him out and he still wouldn't, so I sat down and tried hand feeding. He would eat from my hand but still not excited. We waited a bit and tried again, no go. So we gave him some of the resident dog's food. He gobbled that right up. Seems we may have a picky eater on our hands. I have a different brand of puppy food that we will try later. Along the food lines, he is also not interested when we are cooking or eating at the table. He will lay down off to the side or go to the living rug and find a bone. (wish the resident dogs were that good)
While Indy isn't exactly a huge fan of the crate, he does ok. Last night he was crated in our bedroom (we have to guide him in there yet) at about 10pm. He whined for about 3 minutes but a simple "Ssshhhh" or "Indy lay down" and he gave up easily. I got up about 2:30am (my choice) and Indy was awake, so we all went outside. He did his business quickly and we went back to the crate. He whined (halfheartedly) for another couple minutes then settled down until the sun was peeking over the mountain (7:15am, which is now 6:15 thanks to the clocks changing last night). Yesterday was a pretty busy day and we were outside a lot, so he didn't get much down time. We left for a few hours and put him in the crate. (there's a camera on the crate). We were about 5 minutes away and my son was in the basement as a fail-safe. He whined a bit, had a few barks and nosed the door some but nothing crazy. However, in less than 10 minutes he was out like a light. We returned home about 2 hours later and all was well. Good boy Indy!
I would categorize Indy as calm with playful moments. He and Bella will play but it's not intense (at least not yet.) Sometimes he will try to engage Bella and then give up and go chew a bone. He knows how to entertain himself with toys and will just as easily climb up into the chair and chill
We are practicing some close separation where he is tied to a long lead and we are within sight. He tends to whine if we walk out of sight. But it is getting a little better. Leash walking is also improving some and the front clip harness is definitely the way to go right now. We had no accidents in the house yesterday either. Not sure if he's learning or if we're learning but either way, we'll take it! Indy also has a good recall, seems to know his name and knows the word 'no'.” We're working on sitting, but it's still a work in process.
Foster mom had to go into work for the day and Indy did great:
“The report back from my two adult sons was that Indy chewed bones and slept all day. He did very well. He's learning how to chill on the front porch with the other dogs (see pic from porch camera.) We've had some off leash play in the yard with Bella and he does very well, comes when called and doesn't stray (at least not in the short stints). If I walk away or go toward the house he comes running after me. He loves to chase Bella but he's not 100% adept at using all four feet at that speed, so he's done a few endo's and rolls resulting in some grass stains on his pretty white fur. We're doing much better with the housetraining and he's not had an accident in the last 2 days. Good boy Indy! Last night was the best night so far at bed time. We always say the same things (bed time, Indy's bed) and he comes into the bedroom. He won't walk in the crate unassisted, yet, but he goes in without a fuss. And last night, he never made a peep. He sat there looking around (I was reading with the light on) until he was tired, then crashed (9pm - 6am). He is showing a bit of his devilish side w/ stealing a few things (slipper, bathing suit off the tub). But it seems he knows he's not supposed to as he goes 3 feet away and taunts you- smiling it seems- until you come to take it from him. And all the while, there are at least 3 pair of shoes on the floor all day that he doesn't bother at all. He is overall, doing extremely well and learning the routines. Our only hiccup right now is getting him to eat his kibble. He will eat it (currently with a little pumpkin) but not excitedly. And he often leaves some morsels behind (to my dogs’ delight.) However, we discovered that he loves scrambled egg so mixing one into his kibble had him clean his dish!
We also went into town Sunday and were able to do some leash walking on a sidewalk in town. We learned that he doesn't like to be bombarded by two gigantic dogs (friendly but intense) that were not leashed and he let us know by barking and air snapping at them; I do not blame him. We left that situation and while on our walk we met another dog who was much smaller and was on leash with its owner. He was reserved at first but within 2 minutes his tail was wagging and he wanted to play. More proof of how a proper introduction is SO important. He did well walking by people and other dogs at a distance. He was interested and would lean toward them (both human and dog) but he was not overly assertive and never barked. In fact, he rarely makes a noise at all.”
All in all, Indy is doing wonderfully!
What a difference a day makes; we've now gone 2+ days without an accident. Indy is so good at going potty outside too. It's like he knows what you're saying and instantly goes. Since he's earned some trust, he's had a good bit of off leash and he has great recall. He doesn't stray far either preferring to stay close to us. We also seemed to have overcome the finicky eater issue. The last two meals of plain kibble were eaten with the normal lab zest. So, we will be trying to put some pounds on the little nugget. We've also been giving extra treats (my dogs are enjoying this too much lol) to both add calories and learn 'sit'. Indy is learning fast. He knows sit and nearly does it with just the sight of the treat now. He's so easy and is a joy to have around. Doesn't hurt that he's adorable!
Here's a pic of him learning the 'wait for dinner to be cooked' pose from the resident lab.
Oh and the kisses and soft mouth! Indy is doing a little better with the jumping up but when he's excited he can't help himself. He's very gentle when he does it though. Sometimes if he's coming up on the couch, he'll try licking your face and nibble, but we're working on that. He's not rough and I'm sure he thinks it's all kisses and love.
Welcome to Samson who just arrived after his long transport from Mississippi with his brother Indigo. About 4.5 months old now, the boys were found at a very young age in the middle of the highway. They were trying to nurse on their mother who was deceased after having been hit by a car. Thank goodness the finder took them in, and when she was no longer able to keep them, she reached out to rescue. A wonderful foster in MS cared for them until they could travel to PA, and we are thrilled that they are finally here. Although they had a rough start to their lives, these two pups will now have wonderful lives to look forward to. Look for them to be available soon but in the meantime, please follow their individual blogs.
Samson has arrived and considering he has just been on a 24-hour transport, he was actually a pretty decent passenger for the 1.5-hour ride back to his new foster home. Samson has hit the jackpot with his foster home as he has a large (3 acre) fenced in yard to romp around in, and two older labs to show him the ropes. Upon arrival, Samson was starving and frantic, but once he got fed and exercised, he calmed down some. Foster mom reports that he rarely stops moving and is 20 times faster than foster mom! LOL! Foster dad has blocked all the small openings at the bottom of their gates since Samson decide he wanted to try to squeeze under. All fox holes under the fence have also been blocked to prevent this guy from trying to escape. He has hit the jackpot with his 3 acre yard so his foster parents don’t think he’s trying to escape- rather he’s just curious which is par for the age and breed! Nevertheless, foster mom plans to keep him on leash in the yard until she’s sure he won’t try to get around the fence somehow.
Samson is incredibly affectionate and thinks he’s a 5-pound lap dog, which makes the resident 90-pound male lab somewhat jealous! Gracie at 14 is just thinking “Oh no, not again” but foster mom thinks she will eventually like him. He seems to respect the fact that she’s an elder to be respected and not a playmate. He has beautiful white angel wings on his back which you can somewhat see in the attached photos.
Samson is having a blast with the dog toys that he found the toy box underneath the stairs. He keeps going back for more variety! He’s already pulled out half a dozen toys. Foster mom and dad think that they’ll be cleaning up after him a lot! He holds onto the toy and play growls and then tries to get Buzzy to take it from him, but so far Buzzy isn’t playing!
Samson needs some leash work and he also needs to learn some house manners. He is quite adept at counter surfing and being so lean and lanky, he has quite the reach for a young pup. So far, no accidents in the home. Good boy, Samson!
Here’s an update from foster mom:
“Samson was crated in in my bedroom last night at 10:30 PM and he cried for about 10 minutes but then settled down. He woke me at midnight to go out to pee, cried again and shook the crate for another 10 minutes, but then quieted down and slept through the night. He definitely does not like to be confined behind a gate or crated, but we will continue working on his crating overnight. During the day, he got a needed bath that he tolerated OK. We’re working on his sitting for a treat and I’m teaching him “off” for his counter surfing. It’s a work in progress, but he’s a smart guy and will eventually get it. He’s got very good recall and knows his name and comes when called. He’s got a stash of toys that he’s collected on Gracie’s chair and really enjoys rooting through the toy box. I tried playing fetch with him and while he will chase Buzzy when Buzzy goes after the ball, he doesn’t quite get what the game is all about yet. I could see my two behind me while I was working at the computer, but could hear a bag crinkling and didn’t see Samson. He was in the laundry room and had figured out how to open his food container and was in the process of trying to climb into the container to help himself to an early lunch. He is definitely food obsessed and does appear to be slightly underweight. So far, no accidents in the house. He doesn’t signal to go out, but if he disappears I just go looking for him and take him out. He’s a typical peeing puppy and pees just about hourly. He is very lovable but is not exactly a cuddler since he can’t seem to hold still long enough to be cuddled. While he gets along fine with my dogs, I’m not sure he actually needs another dog in the home with him. He might enjoy being the center of attention. More to follow as I learn more about him.”
Another update from foster mom
Samson was very unsettled in his crate last night. He got me up at 1:30, again at 4:30, and then again at 5:30. However, he did have to go to the bathroom at 1:30 and 4:30 so it’s a good thing he’s letting me know. I think the 5:30 wake up was because of the time change and his desire to be fed. Samson loves rooting through the toy box and pulling out all the stuffies to play with. I gave him a deer antler yesterday and he initially was not interested. However, once he figured out he could chew on it, he was much more interested. He does steal shoes to chew but so far has not stolen other items lying around. He will chew on the edges of the raised dog bowl platform but has not yet chewed on any furniture or rugs. He jumps up to steal things off the dining room table and any food items left on the table or counters within his reach are fair game. As food oriented as he is, he surprisingly does not beg at the table when we are eating and will just occupy himself with a toy or taking a nap. I gave him half his dinner last night in a Kong wobbler and while he understood immediately what to do to get the food out, he quickly lost interest. He is loving all the soft beds and sofas in the house and has made himself quite comfortable. He is learning to sit for a treat, has a good recall outside, and is learning EH-EH for when he jumps up. He is a very smart dog and will learn quickly with continued positive reinforcement. He adores exploring my 3 wooded acres that are fenced. My husband calls him a “mouser” since he pounces on every pile of dried leaves/weeds looking for mice, voles, chipmunks or whatever else may be hiding in the debris. As puppies go, Samson is easy going, very lovable, and can settle easily.
Samson has now had free roam for the last 2 nights and he is as quiet as a mouse, and he sleeps straight through the night without needing a bathroom break. I think being in the crate was just stressing him too much. He doesn’t get into anything overnight either. He LOVES all the stuffies in the toy box and keeps pulling them out. Foster dad returned everything but one stuffy to the box today and there are now at least 10 of them spread out in my family room just hours later. Samson is not a picky eater, although he hasn’t quite learned that the fruits and veggies I give my dogs with their dinner is a good thing. Samson is a counter-surfer, and he surfs for anything within reach, not necessarily food. However he doesn’t counter-surf on my kitchen counters when I’m preparing our food (only when I’m preparing his dinner). I don’t think he’s ever been fed table food and that is a good thing that his adoptive family will need to continue! He is very gentle when he jumps up on me to give kisses and he loves to nibble lightly on my fingers when we’re out walking. He has a very soft mouth.
He’s great walking on a flat collar and a leash. Although we walk without a leash in my fenced yard, I take him out to the street at least once a day to get him into the habit of being a good leash walker. He’s learned to sit for treats and I’m working hard with him on “4 on the floor” to keep him from jumping up. He just LOVES to give kisses so it’s hard for him to keep all 4 feet on the ground. He LOVES to run through my wooded lot and he is incredibly fast. He does nap throughout the day, but by 7 PM, he’s pretty tired and just chills. He’s a great dog who is going to be an incredible family member for some lucky family!