Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Buie's Happy Ending - (fka Jackson's Blakie)

It was a long day for all us yesterday, but Buie is a survivor and he faired very well. He is adapting quite well to his new environment. He is certainly bonding with Alyssa. He's checked out the house and the yard, and has decided it's an all right place. I'm glad you gave me all those papers to read, as Buie did not want to settle in the living room by himself last night when we all went to bed and turned off the lights. He cried for awhile and obviously was upset, so we brought his crate to our room and he whined a minute and then fell fast asleep and slept all night. Fortunately, one of the papers you gave me to read said that might happen. We moved his crate back to the living room during the day and he has been fine with that since we have been all on the first floor. Our bedroom is on the second floor, so he was not pleased with being by himself. He has settled down a lot today and has been on the "accepted" blanket on the couch next to Alyssa and gets as close to her as he can and she has been giving him much love by just lightly touching and talking quietly. He seems to know that everything is all right. We have fallen head over heels in love!!!! He has our hearts. He minds so well and responds to a soft "no" without any hesitation. We took some pictures of him on his bench today and will email them to you when we get a chance. Again, thank you so much for the loving care you gave Buie. He is a better boy because you cared. I'll keep you informed as to how he is doing. He is great and we don't expect that to change. Your friend,

Puppy Fort Finds Forever

Our little man did very well on the flight home. He's a true adventurer at heart and a HAM. He stopped the show at every turn. Posing! I swear he LOVES the camera and attention. I have a canine star on my hands. Hollywood or bust! Exhausted at 1:00 a.m. we explored the house, his crate, HIS box of toys, HIS new pad ...Fort proceeded to pull each and every toy from the box and promptly cart if off to HIS crate apartment--complete with bedding on one side and small play area on the other. He had so many toys in there he got hung up and toppled over each pile to bring another in... he sat in the middle of his crate with all his possessions around him --Triumphant! It was hysterical.

We then ate a BIG breakfast and played some more. In truth he was so tired his little eyes were half closed but he couldn't contain his excitement and just wouldn't sleep ... after a good poo, we finallycrawled in bed. We both passed out and snored until 5 a.m. He's had a busy morning, checking out everything and confirming what is HIS and what is MINE ... he's very cleaver and knows what HurryHurry means. He's recognized that sitting sweetly in front of me means praise and treats. He now runs ahead of me and sits very sweetly with his head off to the side. He's a charmer. I thought the BIG CHICKEN would scare him to death and send us both into doggy therapy BUT he LOVES it. Tugs it around, HUMPS it, sucks on it ... In fact, he mounted all of his toys -- making sure he was in control of that world.

JJ's Journeys

From Cleveland Bonnie sends this update on one of her many former foster kids: Ohhh boy, I just got an update from Jory's Mom. It makes me smile and it makes cry. He's having a great life! He went from a shelter stray to a snowbird living in OH and in FL. :) When I wrote back to his mom I said that updates like this are so helpful in keeping us doing what we do. And don't forget that we only take shelter dogs that are in danger because we just can't take them all in. That makes JJ a really lucky little guy!

We have enjoyed our time in FL and now it is time to leave for Ohio. We will be leaving April 1st.JJ has enjoyed going to the dog park down here. He goes in with the big dogs and runs with them. He doesn't like to play just run. His other favorite thing to do at the park is chase a ball thrown as far as I can throw and then when he gets hot he goes to lie down in the wet sand by the water bowl and comes out yucky!!! He is a great dog and makes us laugh all the time.
Karen Pee wrote:
I want to share with you something heard on Paul Harvey not long ago. It's entitled, Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Owner as dictated by the pet.
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand and yet I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.
10. On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there because I love you so.
Take a moment today to thank God for your companions. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without God's critters. Please pass this on to other pet owners.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crockett - A Post Post Post-Adoption Update

Hi CP Members! Thought you may like to see our Buddy Crockett as he now appears. Crockett was a street dog in Miami and was rescued by CP. Being a Miamiguy, he was named after the character "Crockett" on the TV Show Miami Vice. (Also rescued from the same place was Tubbs whom I fostered before Crockett - kg)

I am not sure who rescued him but, Sue in Daytona had him for a short time and then he went to Karen in Fruit Cove Fl to be fostered. Crockett had some major skin problems and looked like a Mexican hairless. He had a lot of hot spots and loss of hair. Karen and her Vet decided that the problem was with allergies to certain foods and had a yeast problem. They started him on a program to bring him to good health. Karen brought Crockett to Ocala Fl where we lived then, When we saw him we almost decided that he was not what we were looking for. He was not the best looking Cairn by any means. (I was heartbroken when they told me they did not want him! - kg)

Well, as you can see by his picture, he is a changed guy. He is the bestdog! He has a bark that sounds like a German Sheppard and he runs like a Greyhgound. He cuddles like a poodle and is as stubborn as a mule. I would say he is a perfect Cairn.

Getting back to his health, he is as healthy as he can be. Lots of hair, no hot spots and full of energy. We feed him Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato Food. He gets 1000mg of fish oil each day and also a small amount of pro-biotic powder. The only snacks are Mother Hubbard little dog bone biscuits. He is allowed NO CORN PRODUCTS of any kind or WHEAT PRODUCTS.He does have a thyroid problem but that is controlled with Soloxine twice a day. He gets no food from the table except an occasional piece of macaroni. We embellish his food with pink salmon or plain low fat yogurt on occasion.

Crockett is a Great Dog and we love him very much. (I KNEW they would be the BEST home for Crockett! - kg) He is very tolerant of our other boy, Tanner. He loves it here in SC and seems to be very happy. Just though some of you would be interested in another CP success story.

Bob, Saundra , Crockett and Tanner.

Ode to Maisie by Elise

We know that our adoptive families have huge hearts. And now we learn that this love is best expressed poetically. Please read the very special tribute below.

Thought you might enjoy this poem Elise wrote about Maisie. She entered it and Maisie's photo into the Spay Day contest for the Humane Society.

Maisie by Elise Morgan 10 1/2 years old

Oh Maisie

Your name rhymes with crazy
Which crazy is true
When I'm talking about you

When you first came you were scared

But love was soon shared
You learned how to play
And now want to do it all day

Maisie, your light is shinier than the sun
And with funny faces you're number one
I love you Maisie, yes I do
Nothing will come between me and you

Mary Kay (Mom) and Elise, co-signers on Ornament's contract!

Thank you, Elise, for making my day! Maisie is indeed a blessed forever cairn!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Seems like a good time to re-send this beautifully written piece.
Susan in Vermont


One by One, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can't run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is gray, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the gray, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Phone Numbers for Microchip Registries

HELP ME FIND MY PET 866-699-3463

HOMEAGAIN 888-466-3242

AVID 800-336-2843

24 PETWATCH 866-597-2424

AKC 800-252-7894

PETFIRST 866-965-7387

PETLINK/RESQ 1-877-PETLINK. is your Proactive Service for locating your lost or stolen pet. We take a new innovative approach by contacting your neighbors for you by phone. This maximizes both time and effort during the CRITICAL hours after your pet has gone missing. Our service is unique in the aspect that we are not a database of lost pets where people see them only if they visit a particular site. As you will come to learn, the goal of is to act swiftly and effectively to get your missing pet back home!

B-Naturals Newsletter - March 2008 - Skin Care Remedies and Tips

Spring seems to be the time of year for issues with the skin and coat. This season brings on problems with shedding, itchy skin, fluctuating temperatures and for some, the onset of flea and ticks. At the first development of skin irritation, redness, sores or hotspots, an examination at your veterinarian’s office is always in order. It is important to have any skin problems evaluated to rule out bacteria, mites or yeast. All of these can be determined by skin scrapings and cultures.
Once the problem has been identified, it still leaves the dilemma of how to help heal irritated skin and encourage the return of hair growth. This can be accomplished by following a series of good routines for skin and coat care.
The first step would be cleansing the skin. This helps remove bacteria on the skin, as well as any yeast and dander that might be present. Bacteria and yeast can ‘ping pong’ back and forth, creating more problems. The best way to combat this is with a good oatmeal based shampoo. This helps clean the skin and coat, dry moist skin abrasions and their redness which can incubate and grow yeast and bacteria, relieve itching, and allow a good pH mantle for a dog’s skin. A good practice would be to bath the dog weekly when any coat and skin problems first appear. An excellent shampoo is Purepet Oatmeal Shampoo, which leaves a lovely fresh scent. Follow the bath by rinsing with a mixed solution of ¼ white vinegar and ¾ water. (Do not use apple cider vinegar, as that contains sugars which can make a yeast problem worse). The white vinegar helps destroy yeast, assists in removing skin odor, and helps to make sure all the shampoo is thoroughly rinsed from the dogs coat and skin. If the dog’s skin is dry, you can follow this with the Clover Cream rinse. I have a 13 year old Rottweiler who suffers from very dry, flaky skin. The Clover Cream rinse has been wonderful for him.
The next step would be treating any affected or irritated areas. Once the skin and coat are clean, there are several topical solutions that can be useful. For itchy areas such as rashes, hot spots, or small bumps, a mixture of ¾ Witch Hazel and ¼ aloe vera are helpful. The Witch Hazel helps stop the itching and is an antiseptic. It will stop these discomforts temporarily. The aloe vera gel helps to cool the area and promote healing. You can get this in a premix, called Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe. It comes in an easy to dispense bottle for application to the skin. This can also be used to clean ears and it is great for itchy, red feet. Apply as often as needed.
If the skin problem is more problematic, such as lick granulomas or more intense skin lesions, products with essential oils and herbs can be helpful. Candula is very helpful in healing stubborn skin problems. Small amounts of tea tree oil are also good (but not for cats!) in promoting new tissue (skin) growth. Halo’s Derma Dream contains both of these ingredients, as well as aloe. I have a rescue Rottweiler girl who had a severe lick granuloma, and application of this product created good healing within two weeks. I have also used this on hot spots with good success as well.
Lavender oil is also helpful for calming, helps to heal wounds and has some benefit in repelling insects. Use a few drops in a quart of water and use as a rinse or spray.
For less intensive abrasions, but ongoing itching and redness, the Pure Care Herbal Skin Therapy is easy to apply (pump spray bottle) and contains the herbs candela, comfrey, goldenseal and clove.
Do continue the weekly bathing and the white vinegar rinse until the itching and skin conditions improve. If the feet are affected, you can put this solution in a liter bottle (with the top cut off) and rinse your dog’s feet when they come in the house.
Occasionally ear problems can go along with skin problems. Again, have any discharge from the ear analyzed by your veterinarian. Brown discharge can often be yeast problems, but it may also be ear mites or even food allergies. It is not a good idea to continually put liquids in a dog’s ear (it can cause deafness). You can use an ear cleaner, but use enough to dampen a soft cloth and gently clean the ear canal. Wipe out any excess moisture. When I bath my dogs, I always check and clean their ears. I use either the Thayers Witch Hazel and Aloe or the Herbal Ear Wash. The Ear Wash contains several herbs to help control redness. It is gentle in the ear and helps fight yeast.
If I know my dog and I know I’ll be around places where fleas may be present, I have used Eucalyptus oil (I put a few drops on my hands) and rub it through my dog’s coat. This is useful when traveling at ‘rest stops’ when walking my dog, at the dog shows or other areas where many dogs might be present. If it is a more intense flea area (such as camping, hiking or other such activities), then I would suggest the Halo Herbal Dip, which is a mixture of several essential oils to help in repelling insects. Mix a few drops in a spray bottle with water, and use as needed.
And, as always, a good diet helps to maintain healthy skin and coat. If you suspect a yeast problem is present, then I suggest the low glycemic recipes, found here:
These recipes are also good for dogs with allergies.
Omega 3 fatty acids, found in animal based oils such as fish or salmon oil capsules help to decrease inflammation and promote good skin and coat. Vitamin C and vitamin E are also helpful for the immune system and to help stop itching. Vitamin C, used in increased doses daily (called ‘bowel tolerance’) works as a natural antihistamine. Slowly increase the amount daily, until diarrhea occurs and back off to the last smaller dose. Use at this level for one month and then back down to normal use.
Lastly, the Tasha’s Skin and Coat tincture contains nettles along with some other herbs. When used twice daily in the gum line with the dropper top provided, it helps to control itching and scratching during the healing process.
So keep your dog clean on the outside, make sure the diet and supplements are good to support the dog’s insides and use appropriate remedies to help promote healing and stop itching.
Here’s a picture of Danny. I will be a year old on March 17th, 2007 and he wishes everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s day! See you all next month

Greetings from Minnesota!

Piccolo is doing so wonderfully at our house. It's hard to believe she has been with us for almost a year. She has turned out to be just the sweetest little dog and such a cuddler. When we have company, she runs right up for some love and attention. She follows Phil around constantly and waits for him at the window if he goes outside. (Funny, I think you mentioned she was quite taken with your husband when she was with you) She and Hank get along great, and I am happy to report that she does NOT let him bully her around anymore! This is a big step, Hank needs that sometimes. Oh and she hardly ever has accidents in the house. She's not real good about letting us know she has to go out, but we have her on a strict schedule, and it has helped so much!
Everyone loves her coloring, she's so pretty. One of our friends brought her 6 year old daughter over and she fell in love w/ Piccolo. She even insisted on buying a little red haired stuffed dog and named it Piccolo. So cute. I attached a picture of Hank and Piccolo in her kennel...weird because Hank HATES the kennel, but he wanders in there occasionally, I think because the view to the path outside is better.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to Stuff a Kong as Your Cairn's Treat

My friend Susan writes: You can use just about anything! And here's a trick - you can stick them in the freezer after they are filled and it takes longer for them to get the stuff out!
Our current Kong Contents are:--Kibble (I good sized pieces like Wellness - any flavor - the little bits of kibble would probably work fine too)--sometimes I will put a little piece of cooked chicken in first in the bottom, but then kibble - I always have cooked chicken breast on hand for this and in case anyone has an upset tummy--Grated low-fat Cheddar Cheese - pushed down really tight against the kibble. Of course when I fill the kongs, it spills on the floor so the dogs have a FIELD DAY cleaning it up while I'm filling the kongs - it's part of the routine, you know...--More kibble--More grated cheese to push it all down and cement it in there-Garnish - currently I am using dried sweet potato flakes I made on Sunday but it can be any biscuit piece or anything that you can stick into the grated cheese. Use what you have on hand or come up with something unique
It's actually a lot of fun to come up with things to use and if your dogs are like mine, they will eat almost anything in their kongs. Since I've started using the grated cheese, kong filling is the BEST part of the day in our house

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nora - Heading into Week 3

Life with the "pack" feels very good, thank you! Nora and Bree spend insane amounts of time play-fighting; Nora specializes in lying on her back and snap-snap-snapping at Bree's face, belly and legs. She has taken to the flying leaps onto and off the back porch, as well as the up-and-downs at the back door, so exercise she's getting. She's also learned how to hop onto--but not off--the bed, so she's stranded there when the other two sail off to new adventures. She and Bree spend happy times tugging each other around by each hauling on a toy or clothing or dishtowel or whatever they can snag. Bree is bigger and stronger, but Nora has better moves and deviousness on her side.

Nora continues to eat well, and she's definitely heavier--muscle, I think. She loves walks, either with a buddy or two or with Richard and me. We're keeping her to the walk around the block and practicing "find home" which she can now do well. She enjoys visitors who let her circle until she's ready, and she recognizes Molly as one of her pack who came to pick her up from Mike and Mary.

Half the day she spends in her den as we work; one or the other of us comes home at noon for a trip outside for wees and poos. Then, in the afternoon, she's out with the Big Dogs. So far, we see one or two very small puddles when we return, which we just clean up and ignore. During the weekend she's in and out and in and out and in and... We have seen her absentmindedly walk up to Frankie, raise her leg and "mark" him... She and Bree seem to co-alpha pretty well; Frankie just rolls his eyes, shrugs his shoulders, and says, "meh..." while he collects snuggles from us.

Nora is ready to learn some obedience now; she's picking up some moves from the rest of the pack, like sitting for treats. The MAIN ISSUE is what she's taught us... If it is slightly cold/windy/sunny/dark/cloudy/warm or the humidity is not in her preferred range, she sometimes decides, about 3 inches from the door that, nah, she's not going out. She turns smartly and heads right back to her den where she rolls over until the Current Chump comes over, pets her loooovely belly, and carries her to the door. Wish us luck!

It's Mutual Love in Bear's Forever Home!

First date 2/16 (day of adoption) Hi We are home. All went well. Jessa pretty much ignored him and still is. We made a stop on the way home and he did his jobs, we had lunch and off we went. Our son was here when we arrived. Bear let him pet him without moving away. Just cowered as usual. I walked him around the yard, inside the fenced yard and then into the house. He is still wandering around checking it all out. There were a few pieces of dog food in Jessa's dish and woofed them up. Jessa put her ears up but said nothing. I have given him some water but he hasn't drank any yet. He has checked it out twice so he knows it is there. (He did drink after dinner) It was hard to get him out of the crate when we got home. He huddles in the back of it. The crate is now in the family room where we spend most of our time. He only went in once so far and came back out right away. I think he is going to do well. We will work with the doggie door tomorrow. You were right. He is a sweetie! I have held him twice since we got home. There is no shaking or trying to get down. I am one happy mom! Thanks for all the care you have given him. I will keep in close touch for awhile.
PS I didn't get this sent till now. Got busy with Bear. So we have been home about 4 1/2 hrs and all is OK. He is sleeping on the dining room floor and was watching Bruce and Jessa in the fam. room. Thank you for the cute card. I love the picture of him. I remember seeing it on the web site. I have read most of the info. Will finish it up later. Thanks!

Second update: 2/17 Sandy, I think it is going well. We did have one quick argument between Bear and our Jessa. We were right here and it looked like it might have been over a toy Jessa brought over to him. Today she has ignored him and Bear is keeping his distance. So, we have pretty much kept them apart so far today. Bear slept quietly in his crate. He went outside this AM and did his duties. I fed him in his crate as he did go back in there after his trip outside. I took him for a short walk and we walked the yard again. He and I then went out on the deck which is in the fenced area off the house and through the dog door. We were out there about an hour. He spent much of the time just looking and sniffing and listening. We have many birds in back and a park across the street so there were kids there today. He just took it all in. The best thing out there is the BBQ grill. Many great smells there! Then we both took a snooze in the sunshine. We are in now, and he has gone to his crate. Jessa is also in the family room napping. No problem today. But he is still wagging his tail and will come to me for petting. He needs to take his time. Last night I lifted him onto the couch with me. I put him on my chest as I was reclined back. He stayed there and even went to sleep. When we got up, it was back to the crate. It has to be a comfort to have his own blanket and toys here. Thanks for sending them along. i got his ball out today when we were on the deck. He perked up and nosed it towards me. I rolled it away and he went and got it. But he didn't do it again. we will keep trying. So, how did you do yesterday and last night? Good thing you have the other doggies to keep you company. I will keep you posted.

Third update: 2/18 HI Well we are half way into another day. Bear went for his morning outing with Bruce. I got up and made his breakfast and he ate it all. I was making my oatmeal and he walked up and put his little nose on my leg. That meant A LOT! Later we sat on the couch. He on my chest again. I had taken some combs and brushes with me so I combed him very gently for a long time. Finally he went to sleep. Later he was along side me and slept some more. We are keeping Jessa out if the picture when we can. We took a walk down the street and into the park. He started limping on his left back leg. Is that the one he hurt before? He did lick at it once. I couldn't see anything and then he was walking on it again. The ground at the park is not very level. I'll watch him when we walk later. This tiff that he and Jessa had I am sure had nothing to do with Bear. I am sure dear Jessa started it. Now, last night they were both on the couch with us with no problem. We have picked up all toys for now. Bear has a couple in his crate. I was doing laundry this AM and he came to the bedroom to see me. He still goes the other way if I approach him, so I mostly just talk to him. Right now he is sitting next to me at the computer. I called him in and he came slowly. He has taken to sitting on a rug in front of the stove when not in his crate or on my lap. We made a Vet apt. for Thurs. with our Vet so she can meet him and we can get his Frontline. She went through the loss of both dogs with us. She will be thrilled with Bear. I had Bear's ball on the deck today. His tail wagged, but didn't really want to fetch. He did go after it once...very slowly and brought it back but then didn't want to do it again. I see him really trying but being so very cautious at the same time. We are going to Portland tomorrow for that eye apt. We should be gone 3-4 hours. I am going to leave him in his crate. I'll let you know how he does. For now. Diane PS He has laid down here but is not asleep. His little ear is up listening.

Fourth update 2/19 Hi We had a good day. The weather was nice so we were out for a couple walks and on the deck again. Let me start with the deck. I took his ball out there and his little tailed wagged wildly. But he didn't want to play just yet. He walked around the fenced yard and found a tennis ball. He picked it up and started to play with it all by himself. You know how cute he does that. I was thrilled. I watched quietly. Jessa came along the outside of the fence and he was done and back up on the deck. This AM after his walk with Bruce, he came into the house and down the hallway to the bedroom. He was so happy. He stayed with me while I finished dressing, etc. While I was doing my hair he actually stood up and pawed at my leg. So I gave him some petting. Of course he cowered as I reached toward him. We walked and then I fed him and we left him in his crate when we went to Portland. We were gone exactly 3 hours. When I came in, he was scratching on the crate door and so very happy to see us. We did the couch thing again. I brushed him and we took a nap. I fed him before we ate tonight and he did not go into his crate while we ate. Even Jessa was in the house. He stayed in the kitchen and she in the dining room. After we ate, he was sitting in front of his food bowl looking at us. I decided you probably fed him after you ate, so we will do it that way too. I gave him a few peas and he seemed satisfied. Bruce said tonight he started pawing at the carpet and looked like he wanted to play. Bruce got up to play and of course Jessa got up too and poor Bear hightailed it to the crate. He is there right now. I am going to read for awhile, so I will get him up on the couch again. I love this little guy! Diane

Fifth update: 2/20 Last evening Bear and I went to the bedroom to watch American Idol. He walked all over again checking everything out. I had shut the door so Jessa wouldn't show up. I took his ball in there. I squeezed it and it made an airy noise and he went wild. We played some ball, not always bringing it back. I sat on the floor with him a long time and we played off and on. Today I had him on the deck. He did not care to play. The sun was out so he laid in his favorite spot and went to sleep. Later I saw him peeking into the kitchen thru the dog door. I tried to get him to jump thru, but chickened out. I went to the laundry room to fold clothes and I looked out the window there and I couldn't see him. I went crazy thinking he somehow got out. No, he was in the kitchen. Bruce said he just hoped on in on his own. We have had NO accidents in the house. He's just a good boy. You certainly taught him well. Thanks you! Today is Jessa'a 4th Birthday. We are having spaghetti for dinner. They will probably get some pasta for dinner as a treat. One more thing. I went to Weight Watchers this AM. I left Bear loose in the house. Bruce was outside. When I came home I parked out front on the street and as I opened the door I heard strange barking I hadn't heard in the neighborhood before. I realized it must be Bear. Low and behold he was on the back of the couch in the frontroom window barking at me. What a cute site. He met me at the door with lots of wags. He made no messes and nothing was touched. So, thanks again for a job well done. Diane

Sixth update: 2/22 Sandy, Thank you for the pictures. He is such a cutie. I had him to the vet today just to show him off, and have him microchipped. The vet (she) said he was "handsome" and very healthy. He had a quiet day yesterday (Thurs.). He sat with me but pretty much wanted to be alone. We did go for a long walk while the sun was out. I have a small settee in the living room in front of the window. He has taken it over. I tried putting things on it to discourage him, but he just jumped over it all. He likes to look out the window from there. So I need to find him another spot to see out the window or give it up. I finally put a blanket on the little sofa. He really likes that spot. He was hardly in his crate at all today. He did good today. I brushed him real well today while we were on the deck. He stood real still. He kinda moved around when I was working on his face. still no accidents in the house! I will get some pics of him to send to you. I will also do the yard and house so you can get an idea of where he is.

Seventh update: 2/23 Hi Here are 3 pictures we have of Bear. I will send more as we take them. Sorry 2 of them are so dark, but I wanted to show him on the little sofa that he has made his favorite spot. He is having a friendly day today and we are on our way for a walk in the sunshine. Have a good weekend. I love my Bear! Diane Lockhart

Eighth update: 2/26 Hi Well, we just came in from our after dinner walk. Bear is doing so well on the leash. Sometimes I find myself looking down to see if he is still there. I walked him yesterday and it started to rain. You can tell he is not a dog from the NW! About every 25 feet he'd stop and shake the rain off. I guess I should find him a raincoat! Not too much to worry about. I usually don't walk in the rain. We just started too late and got caught. I feel he made great strides yesterday. We played ball inside and out. He still doesn't bring it to me, but he does go get it and loves it as you know. Once he gets used to coming up to me I reckon he will also bring me the ball. All 4 of us were on the couch last night. The dogs were about 6 inches away from each other and no one seemed to care. Today, Bruce said they walked together some of the way on their first walk. Yesterday, he also came to me after that walk. I was still in bed. He came all the way up to me. I heard him coming so kept quiet to see how far he'd come. I ended up scratching and massaging him for 35 minutes, then decided I better get up. He did have a good day. We had to go to Portland again today, and we left him in this crate. He came wiggling out of it when we got home. He still needs time with coming to us and letting us put his leash on, with out running away. Once he is hooked up, he comes along fine. I may have to try a treat to hook him up. He sure does respond to food! Hope you are having a good week. It was a lovely day today. Take care, Diane

Nineth update: 3/1 Sandy, Just checking in to let you know all is well. Bear is taking more baby steps every day. I had a girlfriend stop by Thursday with 2 ten yr. old girls. They were very cautious to meet Bear. You could tell he was curious, but stayed his distance then went to his couch. One of the girls stepped on his toy and it squeaked and he was there in a flash. The girls played with him a long time till we stopped so he could rest. His tongue was hanging out. (He sure does have a long tongue) Is that a Cairn trait? Anyway he did good and I felt so wonderful about it. But when he was done.... off to the couch he went. I have noticed lately that he is entering the kitchen if one of us is out there making food noises. He also took himself out to the deck today and spent some time in the sun. He was playing with the Kong all by himself today also. I tried the 1st hot dog bite on him today to get his leash on. He was on the couch so it wasn't hard to catch him. I will keep it up and let you know how he does. He is getting a routine down each day. I just wish he would jump up on the couch with us. I put him up there and he is fine with it, but so far hasn't taken the 1st step on his own. Trust me, you will be the 1st to know when he does! Did you get another foster Cairn yet? Will write soon. Diane

From Foster Mom: This are just so wonderful and helps me know that my little Bear went the most perfect home. Here are some pictures of Mom and Bear Sandy

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This is a file from PostAdoption 2005 Archives. Unfortunately, I do not know who wrote it, but it does have some excellent advice. Please do not hesitate to contact your PAC if you need support helping your puppy mill kid adjust to his/her forever home. And know that your puppy mill kid sees you as his hero!
Rehabilitation of a Puppy Mill Dog
Every mill survivor is different. What works on one or many, will completely fail on another. The only thing that is consistent is that they will need lots of patience, understanding and love. And probably most importantly, acceptance. Unconditional acceptance of what they are capable of giving, and taking.
At first glance a mill survivor may look like many of your friends' dogs. Maybe not a perfect example of the breed, but close. What you won't see is the condition that they came into rescue in. Hair so matted that it all had to be shaved off. Even the short haired breeds suffer from thin dull coats when they come to us. Many times removing the filth and matting have only revealed open sores, usually from flea allergies or sarcoptic mange. Ears are full of filth and usually mites. Some survivors suffer from permanent hearing loss because of untreated ear infections. Most survivors require the removal of rotten teeth, even young dogs. The gums are usually very infected and the teeth have excessive buildup on them. Many vets who are not familiar with puppy mill rescued dogs will misdiagnose age if going by the teeth. Many survivors also suffer from swollen, splayed and sore feet from so much time walking on wire. So while finally getting some good nutrition and extensive medical care can go a long way on the outside, the real damage has been done to the inside.
I'd love to say that every puppy mill survivor only needs love to turn it into a wonderful family pet. But that would be a lie. Love is definitely needed in large amounts, but so is patience. The damage done during the years in the mill usually can be overcome, but it takes time and dedication. It takes a very special adopter for one of these dogs. Not being "up to it" is no crime, but you need to be honest with yourself, and us, about your expectations. These dogs have been through more than they ever should have already. If the entire family is not willing to make the commitment, the dog is better off staying in our care until the perfect home for them is found.
Many mill survivors have spent their entire life in the mill. No romping around a living room playing with friends of the family for them. Only a cold wire cage, and one person "tending" to them. Puppies who grow up in a mill miss out on many crucial socialization periods with humans. They don't learn to trust, to love, to play. They have had very minimum physical contact with people. No cuddling and kissing for them.
The physical contact that they have received probably has not been pleasant. For one thing, because they are not handled enough, they are scared. Many mills handle their "stock" by the scruff of the neck. They have work to do, and don't really want to stand around holding some stinky little dog any longer than necessary. So it is not uncommon for these survivors to be sensitive to the backs of their necks, after all, it brings the unexpected. Many mill dogs will try to always face you, not trusting you enough to give you easy access to them from behind. NEVER startle a mill survivor from behind, you will lose any trust that you may have gained. Always make sure that they are anticipating you picking them up and consistently verbally tell them what you are going to do with the same word, like "up". It is not uncommon for a mill dog to drop their bellies to the floor when they know you are going to pick them up. Some will even roll onto their backs in submission.
Always be gentle and try to avoid picking them up until you see that they are receptive to it. It's almost a 'hostage' type situation to these dogs. Imagine how you would feel if taken hostage at gunpoint. The gunman may never harm you in any way, but you are aware of the danger the entire time and you don't have the ability to leave when you want. No matter how nice the gunman is to you, you will never enjoy the experience and will always watch for an escape route. However, you can turn the tables around and see a ray of hope. Imagine the gunman has been captured and you decide to visit him in jail. Now you are in control. you call all the shots, you have the ability to leave at any time. The bottom line is that these dogs have to progress at their own pace. Anything you force them to do will not be pleasant to them.

Learning about the House:
Many times when you bring a mill survivor into your home, it is their instinct to hide in a quiet corner. Any new dog that you bring into your home should be kept separated from other family pets for 7 days. During this time it is fine to crate or confine them to a quiet area. After that though, they need to have exposure to the household. If crating, the crate should be in a central location. The ideal spot is one where there is frequent walking and activity. This allows the dog to feel safe in the crate, yet observe everyday activity and become used to it. They need to hear the table being set, the dishwasher running, phones ringing, and people talking.
Very few mill dogs know what a leash is. During this time when the dog is out of the crate and supervised, it is not a bad idea to let them drag a leash around with them. Let them get used to the feel. It is easy to fall into the mindset that they must be pampered and carried everywhere, but leash training is important. It will make your life easier to have a leash trained dog, but also will offer your dog confidence in the future.
Gaining Trust:
A mill dog has no reason to trust you. Your trust needs to be earned, little by little. Patience is a very important part. I have seen a lot of mill dogs not want to eat whenever people are around. It is important that your mill dog be fed on a schedule, with you near by. You don't have to stand and watch over them but should be in the same room with them. They need to know that their yummy meal is coming from you. For the majority of mill dogs, accepting a treat right out of your hand is a huge show of trust. Offer treats on a regular basis especially as a reward.
While you shouldn't overly force yourself upon your dog, it does need to get used to you. Sit and talk quietly while gently petting or massaging your dog. It is best to do this an area where they, not necessarily you, are the most comfortable. They probably won't like it at first, but will get used to it. Some dogs sadly, never do though, and I'll talk more about them later.
Never allow friends to force attention on a mill survivor. Ask them not to look your dog directly in the eyes. It is not uncommon for mill dogs to simply never accept outsiders. Let your dog set the pace. If the dog approaches, ask them to talk quietly and hold out a hand. No quick movements. Ask that any barking be ignored. Remember that dogs bark to warn and scare off intruders. If you acknowledge the barking you may be reinforcing it with attention. If you bring your guest outside you have just reinforced to your dog that barking will make the intruder go away.

A child spends the first 12-18 months of their life soiling their diaper and having you remove the dirty diaper and replace it with a clean one. A puppy mill dog spends its entire life soiling its living area. Potty training a child and housebreaking a puppy mill dog are the exact same are UN-teaching them something that they have already learned to be acceptable. A regular schedule, constant reinforcement, praise, and commitment on your part are a must! Would you ever scream at your child, march them to the bathroom and make them sit on the toilet AFTER you discovered they soiled their diaper? A dog is no different in this sense. Scolding them after the deed is done is of no benefit to anyone.
The two most important things you can do are to get your new dog on a regular feeding pattern (which will put them on a regular potty pattern) and observe them closely after feeding time.
Getting them on a premium, low residue food is very important. This will produce a stool which normally is firm (very easy to clean up) and only one or two bowel movements a day are normal. Low cost or over the counter foods have a lot of fillers and it is very hard to get a dog on a regular cycle using these foods.
Before you even begin to housebreak them, you must learn their schedule. Most dogs will need to 'go' right after eating. As soon as they are finished eating, command "Outside". Always use the exact same word in the exact same tone. Watch them closely outside and observe their pattern as they prepare to defecate. Some will turn circles, some will scratch at the ground, some may find a corner, some may sniff every inch of the ground, some will get a strange look on their face...every dog is different and you have to learn to recognize how the dog will behave right before he goes. This way you will recognize it when he gets ready to go in the house.
We could give you a million tips that our adopters have found to work best for them, but as I said, every dog is different. As long as you always keep in mind that housebreaking and potty training are one in the same. Never do to a dog what you would not do to a child. It may take a week, it may take a month, it may take a year...and sadly, some dogs will never learn. Never give up and never accept 'accidents' as a way of life. In most cases, the success of housebreaking depends on your commitment.

Puppy mill survivors all have one thing in common...they were all used for breeding. A dog which marks its territory is 'warning' other dogs that this is its area...stay away! However, in a puppy mill situation, the dog's area is normally a 2X4 cage with other dogs in and around their 'territory'. It becomes a constant battle of establishing territory and it is not uncommon to see male and female survivors with marking problems.
Normally, marking is seen in dogs with a dominant nature. This is good in the sense that these dogs can normally withstand verbal correction better than submissive dogs. The word 'NO' will become your favorite word as you try to deal with the problem of dogs that mark. Don't be afraid to raise your voice and let the dog know that you are not happy. Always use the exact same word and don't follow 'NO' with "now what has mommy told you about that, you are a bad dog."
Dogs that are marking do not have to potty...taking them outside will not help. You have to teach them that it is not acceptable to do this in the house. The only way to do this is to constantly show your disappointment and stimulate their need to 'dominate' by taking them outside and even to areas where you know other dogs have the park, or the nearest fire hydrant.
While you and your survivor learn about each other and your survivor develops a sense of respect for you, you will have to protect your home from the damage caused by marking. Here are a few tips that you will find helpful.
1. White vinegar is your best friend. Keep a spray bottle handy at all times. Use the vinegar anytime you see your dog mark. The vinegar will neutralize the smell that your dog just left behind. Using other cleaning products may actually cause your dog to mark over the same area again. Most cleaning products contain ammonia...the very scent found in urine. Your dog will feel the need to mark over normal cleaning products, but normally has no interest in areas neutralized by vinegar.
2. Potty Pads....your next best friend. These can be found in any pet store, but most 'housebreaking pads' are treated with ammonia to encourage a puppy to go on the pad instead of the carpet. You might check at a home medical supply store. The blue and white pads used to protect beds usually work best. Staple, tape or pin these pads to any area that your dog is prone to mark (walls, furniture, etc.). Do not replace the pads when your dog soils them...simply spray them down with vinegar. These are not a solution to the problem, but will help protect your home while you deal with the problem.
3. Scotch Guard. Scotch Guard is really nothing more than a paraffin based protector. It puts a waxy substance down which repels water and spills (and in our case, urine). You can make your own product by filling a spray bottle about 1/2 full of hot water. Shave off slivers of paraffin wax into the bottle (about 1/4 a bar should be fine) and then microwave until you don't see the slivers anymore. Shake and spray this onto the fabric areas you want to protect, such as the base of the sofa and the carpet below doorways or areas your dog is apt to mark. It may make the area stiff feeling at first but it will normally 'blend' in with normal household temperatures and humidity. (note: This is also great for high traffic areas of your home or along the carpet in front of the couch).
With the use of vinegar and/or homemade scotch guard, you should test a small area of the fabric/fiber that you will be using the product on and make sure it does not discolor, stain, or bleed. I have never had any problems, but it is always best to check beforehand.
4. Belly Bands. Sometimes these can be a (male) mill dog owners best friend. Belly bands can be easily made at home out of things you probably already have. Depending on the size of your dog you can use the elastic end of your husbands tube socks, the sleeve of sweatshirt, etc. Simply fit the material to your dog and then place a female sanitary napkin under the penis. Another easy way is to measure your dog, cut the fabric and sew on Velcro to hold it in place. There are also many sites on the internet to order these if making them yourself is just not up your alley. Just remember to take the belly band off every time you bring your dog out to potty. Again, this is not a solution, but a protective measure.

Poo-poo, shoo-shoo, ca-ca, doo-doo, #2, feces, poop, stool...whatever 'pet' name you give it, it's still gross! But nothing is more gross than owning a dog who eats poop! Coprophagia is the technical term, but for the purpose of this article, we're just going to call it the 'affliction'. Dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes have the affliction but in puppy mill rescues, it is not uncommon at all to find dogs afflicted with this horrible habit. As in any bad habit, the cure lies in understanding the unacceptable behavior.There are three primary reasons that a puppy mill survivor is afflicted. I'll start with the most common, and easiest to remedy. 1. It tastes good and they are hungry! Rescues that have come from a mill where dogs were not fed properly often resort to eating their own or other dog's feces as a source of food. These types of situations will usually remedy themselves when the dog realizes that he is always going to get fed. It is also easy to discourage this behavior by adding over-the-counter products to their food which are manufactured for this purpose. Ask yourvet what products are available and you will normally see results in 2-4 weeks. 2. Learned behavior. This is usually the cause of puppy mill dogs that have the affliction. There are several reasons why a dog learned to behave like this, but the most common cause is being housed with dominant dogs who fight over food. These dominant dogs will often guard the food dish and prevent the more submissive dogs from eating even if the dominant dog is not hungry. Food aggression in caged dogs is usually fast and furious and often results in severe injury to the submissive dogs. Because the dominant dog is often eating much more than is needed, the stool is virtually undigested and contains many of the nutrients and 'flavors' as the original meal and is therefore almost as tasty to the submissive dog as if he'd ate the real thing. This eating pattern is usually maintained throughout the dog's life, so the age of your dog will play a big role in how hard it is to correct the behavior. It's become habit...and as the saying goes, "Old habits are hard to break". Dogs with this affliction will actually go hunting for a fresh stool when you take them outside. The key is to give your dog something better to hunt for. Pop some unbuttered/unsalted microwave popcorn and sprinkle it on the lawn before taking your dog out in the morning. You may find something that he likes better and is as readily available and affordable. The good thing about popcorn is what your dog doesn't eat, the birds will. I can almost guarantee that once your dog has learned to search out the popcorn, he'll pass those fresh turds right up, LOL! It may take weeks or months before your dog 'unlearns' to seek out stools but most dogs are receptive to this training. You may have to sprinkle the lawn with popcorn the rest of your dog's life...but the trouble is well worth just one 'popcorn kiss' as opposed to a lick on the face right after he eats a tasty turd. 3. As mentioned above, Coprophagia means 'eating poop'. Coprophagia is a form of a much more serious problem called Pica. Pica is the unnatural 'need' to eat foreign objects. Dogs suffering from Pica will eat not only stools, but rocks, dirt, sticks, etc. Remember the kid in school who ate paste and chalk and 'other unspeakables'? Pica is a psychological disorder which is much more in depth and serious than anything I can discuss in this guide.A good rescuer will observe dogs prior to placement and will recognize the seriousness of this problem. A dog suffering from Pica should never be placed in an inexperienced home or any home that is not aware of the problem and the dangers. Dogs suffering from Pica will often end up having surgery...often several times...for objects they have ate that can not be digested. If you are the owner of a dog which you believe suffers from Pica, I suggest you consult your vet. These dogs often require medication for their disorder and only your vet can guide you on the best way to proceed. Before I close this section on Pica, I want to say that true Pica is rare. Most dogs will chew on sticks or rocks...or sofas and table legs. However a dog suffering from Pica will not just chew on these items...they will eat these items any chance they get. Just because your dog is eating his own stool...and also the bar stool at the kitchen counter...does not mean that he is suffering from Pica. If in doubt, consult your vet.

The "special" ones:
Occasionally, we see the survivor who has survived the mill, but at such a great cost that they can never be "brought around". These are the dogs that have endured so much suffering that they remind me of children who are abused who survive by separating their mind from the body. They will never fully trust anyone. So where does that leave these poor souls? Most are still capable of living out a wonderful life. They need a scheduled environment but most importantly, a home where they are accepted for who and what they are. They may never jump up on a couch and cuddle with you, or bring you a ball to play catch. But you will see the joy that they take in living each day knowing that they will have clean bedding, fresh food and water, and unconditional love. To them, those small comforts alone are pure bliss.