Monthly Archives: June 2016

Rusty update

Rusty, the male Standard Poodle puppy that I am currently fostering, is doing great. Earlier this week, a potential adoption opportunity for him did not pan out unfortunately, so he continues to remain in my care.

Adding a puppy to the household was far more disruptive than I had intended. Sandy (my dog) has gotten used to him being around and is growing more tolerant of his presence, which is an improvement on her attitude when he first showed up. Although, in her defense Rusty has bitten her tail a couple of times, barked at her on multiple occasions, and continues to invade her closely guarded personal space with careless abandon. She prefers to act aloof and intervene only when her maternal instincts get the better of her.


Morgan, on the other hand, seems to oscillate between a fascination with Rusty’s energy and antics and a desire to be in any room other than the one that Rusty currently occupies. He is also bothered by Rusty barking incessantly at him, and tends to spurn Rusty’s attempts to engage him in any form of play. However, given Morgan’s background as a puppy mill rescue, we tend to give him copious leniency.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of fostering a puppy is watching his day-to-day learning and development. He recently figured out that licking humans get more positive attention than biting humans, for example. He has also discovered the joys of water sprinklers and happily interacts with them, including clamping his mouth over a sprinkler head and gulping its water. He then runs soaking wet into the house, but this now-daily morning activity has yielded an opportunity to acclimatize him to the joys of towel drying, which is a lifelong skill that he will require anyway. I was also able to brush him yesterday too…well, a portion of him anyway, as his sole focus during the brushing session was to bite the brush, so he proved to be quite the moving target.

I had forgotten how much work living with a puppy is but, each night after I crawl into bed exhausted from the day’s activities, I wish him goodnight and remember that we get to do it all over again the following day, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

New foster

On June 8, I took a step into the unknown and submitted an application to the Arizona Poodle Rescue ( to become a new volunteer foster parent. Less than 24 hours less, I was approved and picking up my first foster, namely a 7-week old Standard Poodle male that I have named Rusty.

Rusty in pen

Rusty is an adorable dog. He is a typical puppy, full of energy and enthusiasm about life, curious about everything that he encounters, and likely to have an accident at any time. His first night was fun; he needed a bathroom break at 1:25am and at 3:45am, and was ready to start his day at 5:15am. He is starting his crate training and is doing well, although he is reluctant to enter it unless it is a mealtime.

Sandy and Morgan, the two adult dogs in the house, are still getting used to having a puppy in the house, but they are adjusting. Sandy has already reinforced her position as alpha, and Morgan is getting used to his new role as big brother.

Rusty and Sandy at the RV gate

Morgan is also a Standard Poodle, so I am hoping that he will be able to pass on some skills to this new Standard Poodle puppy.

Rusty and Morgan

Rusty has already figured out how to use the door dog to get back into the house from the outside, so that is a huge accomplishment for him. Now he needs to learn how to use it to get outside, but that will come in time. Right now, he is sound asleep in his pen, exhausted by his many adventures of the past 24 hours.

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