dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, Hops, puppies, Updates, Zander/Cedar

The Difference Ten Pounds (and Two Months) Make

Frankie has another new puppy – only this puppy is ten pounds bigger and at least ten times more trouble than little Zander.

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Hops is a gangly, sweet, goofy boy who somehow already seems bigger than when he got here on Saturday. He’s forty pounds, but his feet are so big he looks like he’s wearing galoshes, so I’d say that even though he’s six months old, he’s far from finished growing.

He routinely runs into things and can’t get his long legs out of his own way. He’s labeled a lab mix, but looks like he was put together with spare parts from a handful of breeds possibly including shepherd.

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He’s in that awkward adolescence phase, tripping over himself, with a loose discombobulated swagger that makes me smile and think of teenagers trying (and failing) to look cool.

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Nothing on the counters is safe. Yesterday he polished off the cream cheese, sampled the newspaper, and [insert frustrated shriek and several curse words] broke my tea mug (the huge, handmade pottery mug, really a beer stein, that holds enough tea to get me through an entire morning).

Shoes left unattended will likely be slurped on and laces tightened, but so far none have been rendered unwearable. While Zander simply stockpiled shoes in his crate, Hops has the ability to do permanent damage if he could just stay focused long enough. Thankfully, some other treasure usually catches his eye and like a severely ADHD youngster he is on to the next victim in moments. Everyone is learning to put their things away! (Somehow even after 107 foster dogs, they have not learned.)

I was bemoaning my mug (I’m still mourning it this morning) when Ian pointed out that we’re out of practice. We haven’t had a dog like this in some time. I thought about it and he’s right. We’ve had lots and lots of puppies who poop but are contained to the puppy pen, Mama dogs with manners, Nelson (who was easily one of our best guests) and Gala, who quit her destructive ways once she settled in for the long haul. You’d have to go back over two years to Catalina in March of 2016 to find a dog who was a mischievous as Hops. So, basically we’re out of practice. I think this is all Zander’s fault. He was such an easy puppy. Which is why when I saw a look-alike puppy needing a foster home, I snatched up Hops. But Hops is no Zander.

[speaking of Zander – he is now Enzo and went home to his forever family last weekend!]

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Hops is very people oriented and follows me like a big loping shadow. Frankie is perhaps a little jealous and while he does indulge in serious wrestling matches with Hops, there is no cuddling as there was with Zander. I’ve dispensed with the leash with Hops as he never leaves my side and the leash only raises the possibility of him tripping me a hundredfold. He likes to keep one part of his body in contact with me when we are outside for a walk. Even the cat, while interesting, won’t pull him from my side.

We took Hops to our first adoption event held at the local brewery just over the hill from us in a small industrial park that has stood empty for nearly the entire 15 years we’ve lived here. Gunpowder Falls Brewing is the perfect Pennsyltucky spot (good German beer, no frills) and we aren’t the only locals who ride their horses in for a brew from time to time.IMG_0990

I thought it was very fitting that I picked up a new foster named Hops on the day we held our first event at Gunpowder. Maybe it’s time Gunpowder had its own brewery dog I told Kristin, the manager. Conveniently, the owner was away for his daughter’s graduation.

As it turned out, Gunpowder was the perfect location for an adoption event. Not only are beer drinkers friendly and generous and not adverse to considering adopting a dog, but right next door is a gymnastics center where families come and go (or tried to go, but their children were lured in by our selection of dogs).

We had wonderful weather and a plethora of black dogs for adoption (plus three small brown ones) and met lots of nice people. We all decided that this was the perfect venue because if no one showed up to meet the dogs, we could still hang out and drink some good beer. Plus, Kristin even brought us ice water and free hot dogs, which is something I’ve never known Pet Valu to do.

Hops will be with us for another ten days since technically he is a puppy and OPH puts a 2-week hold on puppies just to be sure they’re who they say they are and not carrying any kind of infectious yuck.

Update on my Canine Good Citizen student: After another CGC prep class, Frankie is solid at sit, down, stay, being left with a stranger, allowing himself to be brushed, walking on a loose leash with distractions and in crowds, doing a right turn, left turn and u-turn on a loose leash. But yet again last night when he ‘met a friendly stranger’ it was an epic fail.

Here’s the drill: I lead Frankie towards friendly stranger. When we reach FS, I ask for a sit. He sits. (so far so good)

I shake hands with the stranger and she asks, “May I pet your dog?” I say, “Sure.” (Still good)

She crouches down to pet Frankie and….he leaps in her face and licks her nose.

FAIL.

We have about a month before the test. Still welcoming Friendly Strangers willing to come practice with Frankie, but I’m realizing that this may be one of those things he won’t be able to overcome until he grows up a bit. He’ll be one in about two weeks, but I’m guessing CGC may be out of reach until he’s two.

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I’m okay with that because a dog who is 90% a good citizen is still a pretty good dog.

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to know more about my blogs and books, visit CaraWrites.com or subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter. (new edition FINALLY coming out this week!)

If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present and extra puppy pictures, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to comment here on the blog, email carasueachterberg@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebooktwitter, or Instagram.

Best,

 Cara

COMING AUGUST 2018 from Pegasus Books (Preorder available NOW on Amazon!)

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14 thoughts on “The Difference Ten Pounds (and Two Months) Make”

  1. Misty, who is one year old now, only jumps all over people now if invited to do so. It doesn’t take much of an invitation either. However she is sitting quietly and not jumping all over fragile elderly ladies and children who meet her at eye level anymore so I feel like we are making progress.

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    1. Frankie is pretty good about not jumping on children. It’s probably just that – because they’re on his eye level. He can simply reach over and lick their faces! Any tricks on how you got Misty to stop jumping?

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  2. When doing this kind of manners training, how did you find strangers while outside with Frankie in class to practice on? Do the dog owners practice with one another and each other’s dogs? I can’t imagine that the program set up people to deliberately pass by during the time of the class for you to practice on. You did all you could to give Frankie the best life possible. Do you have any thoughts on getting another personal dog down the road?

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    1. I spent a lot of time in Home Depot walking him around. When people asked if they could pet my dog, I explained to them that they could but told them what we were working on. Most people were happy to help, plus several of my friends volunteered to come over and practice meeting him. In class our instructor practiced meeting our dogs.

      As far as another personal dog in my life, a few months ago I would have said never again, but now I am really missing having a dog and am beginning to wonder if getting another dog might be a way to heal. Thanks for asking! (and I always enjoy your comments/questions)

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  3. Keep us posted on what you decide regarding another personal dog. Glad my question didn’t sting, for I didn’t mean for it to. Personally, I’m still not sure how I feel about pitbulls, but I suppose if I met someone who had one, and they were willing to keep it under control, I’d at least greet it. I’ve never met a pitbull, and of course most of what the media says about them is bad. All dogs have their strengths and weaknesses, and if an owner intentionally raises a dog to be vicious, it will be just that. I know you didn’t though. Keep stressing the importance of good dog care on here. There are many out there who are just downright ignorant or ill-informed.

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  4. We’ll see. I found some more diary entries from your past few months with Daisy on your Facebook page. Perhaps when her time with you is finished, you could copy them into a post on here as a way of showing where she’s been and how she’s doing now? They are easier for me to read on here, as Facebook has so many buttons, links, etc and with just my keyboard, it can be hard to go back to where you left off if the screen refreshes or something. And congratulations on the deal making for the writing of a second book on your fostering experiences. How do you remember all the details of each dog-or at least the noteworthy ones-so you can write a meaningful story about them later? Writing is fun, and I enjoy it too.

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    1. You’re right – I do need to pull together some of the most meaningful diary entries to show all of Daisy’s progression. Sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re this close. As far as writing the next book, this blog provides an excellent timeline and skeleton for the story. If not for it, I would never keep all the dogs and shelters straight!

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  5. True. I think that when Daisy’s time in foster care, or at least in your foster home, is finished, you should post all of the entries on the blog that aren’t already there. As you said, fostering isn’t all sweetness and puppy breath. There are bad days too. And the videos and pictures are good too. How did you convince Ian and his girlfriend to come to VA with you? Hope they enjoyed it. Keep blogging.

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