Cedar, Dashund, Ziggy and Mandy

May 25, 2012, Friday

Today I came in just before noon. I did mostly kennel buddy work again. I hung out with Cedar, Sydney and Buddy, Copper, Sonny, Rocky, Prince, Ziggy (this dog who looks like he’s from an anime with his huge eyes) and a new, beautiful puppy named Mandy (8 or 9 months) and a dashund whom I forget the name of. 

I managed to teach Rocky ‘down’! I’m so proud of him! We graduated from ducking under my leg, to bowing next to my leg, to laying completely down with no help but a command! Success! It took a lot of time and patience but he finally got it! He also seems to be connecting with me more but maybe that’s just because we weren’t in a new environment with dogs around. 

I walked Buddy today and it was such glorious weather!

Also I showed of Prince. Because I always need to show off Prince. 

AND I helped a vet keep watch on Sonny. She had to be given some ointment for her wounds and I had to watch her for a couple hours to make sure she wouldn’t lick it off. Poor girl just cried and cried as he put the medication on. I got word of her back story - Apparently she was dropped off with all these open sores and was going to be put down. I almost started bawling after the vet left, it was so embarrassing! 

Anyways, so kind of an emotional day. But good overall. 

Sonny’s scar

Me and Prince make a charming pair, no?

And of course Sydney’s derpy face. 

<3 dogs. <3 themmmm.

May 24, 2012, Thursday

Today I came in at 1:30pm. I checked up on Sonny and she had her stitches removed! Hooray!

I then moved to Buddy and Sydney’s Kennel. Buddy has a case of kennel cough so he was kind of under the weather. He got lots of hugs and cuddles from me. I helped moved them into the dog runs outside because there was a volunteer group playing with the dogs. I’m glad they got some energy out! Boy does Buddy love his tennis balls. He refused to let his go and insisted on bringing it inside the kennels.

I then spent some time with Prince. Prince is still a bit shy and will hide in his bed when first approached. You have to reach your hand out and let him sniff, and then call his name for him to approach. He is still picky about his food but will eat cheese. Maybe he is vegetarian? The two of us got lots of attention from people looking for dogs! I mean come on, who can resist Prince’s dashing looks? And with him on my lap sitting on the edge of his kennel (the smaller dogs are placed in elevated glass…room things) he got lots of ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s all around! He’s starting to trust me more and will climb onto my lap. 

I went to Pet Pal training and got paired with a small dog named Rocky! He isn’t the most focused dog but he was very manageable. Just wasn’t all that interested in people. He did love his treats though. He didn’t know any commands (not even his name, really) so I worked on ‘down’. I would put the treat under my knee and when he would lie down to crawl under and get it, I would say the command and give him the treat. I tried to do it away from my leg a few times. I think he’s starting to get it. Maybe. It will take some time. 

Cedar! The last picture was something someone posted on their pet’s little stone on the wall. So many teaaarssss. 

May 23, 2012, Wednesday




*cough* Anyways, yeah, I spent almost the entire day with this fella. He has been in the Humane Society an entire month! And thats a super long time considering a normal stay is under a week. I don’t know why though - I would take him home. Then again I’d take like, all the dogs home. Hm.

But oh my gosh. This dog. Is so silly. And fabulous. First of all, he knows lots of tricks. Sit, lay down, shake, come, etc. Second of all, even at 50lb, he still thinks he is a lap-sized dog. He will wrestle his way into your lap and roll around on top of you. Not just his head mind you. All 50lbs of fluffy, wiggly dog. It was pretty awesome. He likes to wrestle but can get a little mouthy at times. I helped him play a little gentler. The way you train dogs to play gently is to, well, stop playing when they get too rough. Pretty simple, but effective. You just ignore them until they become gentle again, and then wow, the fun resumes! Also, he has a fantastic nose. We played a game where you guess which hand the treat is in. Fun stuff. I also groomed him for like, an hour. It’s getting hot so all the dogs are shedding like mad. 

I had a bit of a headache so I took a break in the pet cemetery.

Then I spent some time with Sonny again. She looked kinda sad and cried softly while I was petting her. Maybe her stitches were hurting her?


I apologize for the bad quality pictures of the hounds - they were a bit wiggly!

May 22, 2012, Tuesday

Today was pretty laid back. I came in at 2:00 and went straight to Sonny’s kennel. We worked a little on dog reactivity. I mean he’s pretty good about it most of the time but I figured a little work on it couldn’t hurt. It was mostly a matter of distracting him and ‘snapping him out of it’ when the dogs started barking around him. Treats worked well. Also calling his name and just being soothing when he was getting anxious. 

I wandered my way afterwards to Buddy and Sydney’s kennel (the two older dogs mentioned in an earlier post) and they seemed pretty calm, so I went inside. It was pretty amazing to see how different the two were from each other, yet how well they got along. Sydney was really laid back and immediately plopped down into my lap like Sonny had done and put his paw on my chest, nosing my hand so I’d pet him. What a cutie! And Buddy was the more excited dog who wanted to wrestle. I also worked with some anxiety with Buddy. While Sydney was totally chill, Buddy would sometimes get stressed out and cry and paw at the other side of the kennel. Just calling his name and distracting him with a toy worked wonders. I then helped a new volunteer walk the two of them. Sydney was a very calm walker and Buddy, well, he was pretty good too but he was a little more of a puller than his buddy.

Afterwards Veronica and Robert visited, and I gave them a short tour of the place.

When they left, I pushed myself to work with more difficult dogs. There were a couple of coon hounds I had my eye on since I saw them last week, but they always seemed too excited. Their names were Copper and Duke, and they were a gorgeous burgundy color.  I went inside their kennels. Copper was pretty good but Duke was a jumped, but I managed to calm them both down. I gave them both treats and found that they were both pretty mouthy and would nip my hands on accident. I worked on teaching them how to take treats more gently, and being a little more gentlemanly (not jumping). The way to help a mouthy dog is to take a treat in a closed fist, and not give it to them until rather than biting your hand, they lick your palm to get the treat out. This teaches them to lick the treat out of your hand rather than chomp on it and perhaps get your skin. 

So I’d like to teach you guys some things! I realize now that I haven’t written ANYTHING about calming signals, which is the biggest thing I’ve been learning here! Let me give you all the run down. Calming signals are a part of basic canine body language. They are signals which may clue you in on an anxious dog, or things you can do to help calm a dog down.

A big one is licking one’s lips or nose. A dog will lick it’s lips when anxious, or when trying to reassure another dog. This may clue you in that a dog is uncomfortable in a situation. 

Another is yawning. This is sort of like licking, but…bigger? A dog might be stressed out, over-stimulated or even a little frightened. If a dog is frightened, yawning might help calm your dog down. 

Tail-wagging doesn’t necessarily mean happy. It simply means energy. Excitement. A dog’s tail will even wag stiffly back and forth when angry or defensive. A relaxed wagging is best. 

Eye contact is another important way to communicate. Staring is not good! If a dog is staring intensely at another dog, it could be seen as threatening! Avoiding eye contact means your dog is being respectful of your’s or another dog’s space. 

The day ended with a basic manners class! There were some adorable puppies there, and one cool exercise they did was weave between food and toys to learn how to ‘leave it’ and walk nicely on a leash with their owners. 

Sonny and Prince. What cuddlebugs!

May 21, 2012, Monday

Today I came in at 3:00pm. I checked the behavior room but it was in use, so I made my way to the kennels. I found the best dog ever. His name is Sonny and he is a border collie mix. SWEETEST. DOG. EVER. He just quietly wiggled his way over to the door to say hello and I immediately unlocked his kennel to go inside. I couldn’t resist his adorable happy grin! As soon as I sat down he plopped his head into my lap and fell asleep. Oh my gosh. I almost took a nap with him he was so calm! I spent an entire hour and a half with him. There were a few times where the barking around us would get to him and he would stand up to bark back, but all I had to do is call his name and he’d turn right back around and settle back down into my lap. He was so gosh darn cute, I would have loved to take him home with me!

I then wandered the kennels in search for another dog to spread my love to. There was a little long-haired chihuahua named Prince who kinda looked like a Pappion. He was new and his card said he was shy, so I thought, why not? I coaxed him out of his kennel and scooped him up. What a sweetheart! I didn’t see any shyness! He licked my face and snuggled with me as I carried him outside for a walk. After a little bit of time outside we went into the now empty behavior room, where I learned he wasn’t treat or toy motivated at all. So much for training. He was nice for cuddles though. 

I walked a few more dogs before class started. I shadowed a basic manners class until 7:00pm. So yeah, mostly cuddles today, tomorrow I think I’ll take Sonny out to train him before my teachers come for the site visit.