New foster: Sam

My latest foster (i.e. foster #6) is a 1 1/2 year old Old English Sheepdog and Standard Poodle mix named Sam. He came from a farm in Nebraska, where someone secured him from the farmer and brought him to Phoenix. They had him groomed and resettled him in their apartment, but things didn’t work out and he ended up with a couple elsewhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Sadly, they were also unable to care for him and voluntarily surrendered Sam to the Arizona Poodle Rescue. He came to my house on the morning of Friday, December 23 as my foster #6.

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Sam’s coloring is beautiful, and he loves to sit or lie beside you, often leaning against you to maintain a physical connection.

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We played fetch a couple of times and seemed to understand the point of chasing and securing the thrown ball, but was never too happy to yield control of the ball so that it could be thrown again. He is an intelligent dog though so he will pick up the concept quickly enough.

Sam connected with Ricky very quickly, and Ricky was his usual calming influence.

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Unfortunately, Sam did not connect as well with either Sandy or Morgan, and several of their interactions were not acceptable. Sam likely also needs some professional dog training to help him acclimatize from living in a rural environment to living in an urban setting, where expectations about frequent barking and appropriate interaction with other dogs are quite different.

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Therefore, I had to make the painful decision to stop fostering Sam and return him to my contact at the Arizona Poodle Rescue; I dropped him off Christmas morning. This was a difficult fostering experience for me because I so wanted things to work out for him, but a house rule is that the fosters must get along with the permanent residents (aka Sandy, Morgan and Ricky) and Sam violated that rule enough that it couldn’t be overlooked or explained away.

He is a sweet dog ~ 90% of the time and, once he gets some rough corners smoothed out, he will be a wonderful companion. Transitions are tough enough for anyone, and he has gone through a lot of changes in recent weeks. He is scheduled to be neutered on Wednesday, and I’m hoping that that will address much of what is holding him back.

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Christmas stockings

This year, the display of Christmas stockings that hang from the bookcases in the living room expanded to include two more stockings.

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One of the new stockings is for Ricky (my foster #3 that became my foster failure #1); it’s the one with the silver “R” initial. The other new stocking addition represents all of my past and present fosters, and has a silver “F” initial. So, from top to bottom, left to right, the stocking initials stand for Max (who died on October 2, 2015), Sandy, Morgan, Ricky, and Fosters.

In addition, I wrote the name of each foster, and a short one-line bio, on individual 3 x 5 index cards and placed them in the Fosters stocking, so that stocking is truly representative of my past and present foster dogs. Throughout the rest of this year and 2017 I will continue to build a collection of index cards for each new foster, and that stack of cards will then be added to the foster’s stocking next December when we once again decorate the house for Christmas. I thought it was an appropriate way to remember and honor the fosters that have passed through my home on the way to their forever home.


4 outta 5

On Saturday last (December 10) at a PACC911-coordinated event in Scottsdale, Teddy (my foster #5) found his forever home when he was adopted by a sweet lady from Tucson. She has two other dogs, so he will have playmates. Both the human and canine residents of the house miss him, as he was an energizing force and always up to something.

So four of my five fosters have now found their way to their forever home, except for Kininky (my foster #4). An amazing couple in Gilbert is currently fostering him, and his seizures are fully under control with his current medication. He’s such a sweet dog that deserves to find his way home. If you are looking for an easy-going dog that loves to be held, you need to submit an adoption application for Kininky.

At the event on Saturday, both Teddy and Kininky were hanging out together in a pen (Teddy is the dog on the left).

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New foster: Teddy

My latest foster (i.e. foster #5) is a six-month-old male Standard Poodle puppy named Teddy. He was secured from a breeder in Central Phoenix yesterday afternoon (Sunday, November 6) by the Arizona Poodle Rescue group and I picked him up from them yesterday evening in Tempe.

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Teddy is a sweet dog. He was incredibly shy at first, and was too large for the crate that I brought with me, so he rode on the floor of the passenger seat of my pickup truck, but he started coming out of his shell about halfway to the house. By the time we reached the house he was settled comfortably into the passenger seat and wasn’t too impressed with having to exit the truck and walk on the cold concrete floor of the garage.

My laundry room makes for a great “meet-and-greet” space when introducing new fosters into the house; its positioning as a closed space between the garage and the kitchen acts like an airlock where the new foster can enter from the garage and be isolated in the space so they can begin to sample the smells (and noises) of the house and the other dogs in the house while safely behind the kitchen door. With the kitchen door open, the rectangular shape of the space limits how many of the dogs can crowd the new arrival at one time, and the door to the garage offers an easy escape back into the garage if the initial meeting does not go as hoped.

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Last night, Teddy seemed ok with both Sandy and Ricky sniffing him and saying hello, but he growled at Morgan each time Morgan came too close. They interacted without issue later but Teddy, for some reason Teddy, tries to maintain a healthy distance from Morgan whenever he can. If you know Morgan, you know he can be very puppy-like on occasion, and is often hesitant to interact with strangers and other dogs, so Teddy’s reaction to him is very puzzling. Maybe Teddy had a prior bad experience with a brown-haired dog perhaps.

Regardless, his confidence level increased visibly throughout the evening, he slept in a pen last night without issue, and ate breakfast this morning. He’s currently lying under the kitchen table asleep as I write this, so things are going well thus far. Teddy’s bio will be posted to the Arizona Poodle Rescue group’s dedicated page on PetFinder later this week, so if you are interested in adopting a sweet male Standard Poodle puppy that will enrich your life, submit an application to adopt Teddy through the PetFinder page.

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New foster: Kininky

My latest foster (i.e. foster #4) is a male Poodle mix named Kininky.

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I picked him up last Monday (October 10) and he is fitting into the current human-canine pack quite well.

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He likes to connect physically with both dogs and people, which is a behavior that Morgan is not enjoying but Sandy is tolerating it, surprisingly. Ricky, on the other hand, is quite happy to have a cuddle buddy.

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At night, Kininky sleeps in a pen beside my bed because Sandy is a tad territorial when it comes to my bedroom. She has ceded control of my bed to Morgan but everything else within the space is her territory, so keeping Kininky in a pen at night just makes sense. Moreover, he is much smaller than the other three (and only 20lb), so he could get into trouble if he were to start wandering around the house by himself at night.

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However, during the day he has full reign of the house and backyard, although he has yet to learn how to use the dog door. He is currently available for adoption through the PetFinder page of the Arizona Poodle Rescue group.

kininky

Yesterday, Kininky and I participated in the Arizona Poodle Rescue group’s adoption event at the PetSmart on 90th Street and Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale. There were twelve Standard Poodles and poodle mixes at the event, and the energy and excitement was tangible. Kininky and I had a blast at the event and talked to a lot of potential adopters (he and I quickly determined that he garnered a lot of attention when I held him, so we did that a lot), so am hopefully that someone will submit an adoption application for Kininky this week. He is a sweet dog and is ready to find his forever home.


Foster -> Adopted

Ricky, my current Standard Poodle foster, was adopted today…by me. Yes, I am now officially a “foster failure”.

It was never my intention to adopt another dog; I have my hands full with Sandy, my Golden Retriever/Yellow Labrador mix, but there is something special about Ricky. He is such a sweet dog, and is getting along well with Sandy and Morgan (the other Standard Poodle in the house).

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Unfortunately, he has a Class V heart murmur, and the right side of his heart is slightly enlarged, so he may have health issues later in life, but he’s not letting those issues slow him down much. He is still on three meals a day, but is now eating significant amounts at each meal, which is keeping his energy levels up throughout the day. He went to the groomer for the first time last Saturday and behaved perfectly, so will be on the 4-week grooming rotation that is currently in place for Morgan.

Right now, he is asleep in the dog bed in my home office. I guess getting adopted takes a lot out of a young dog.


Zombie sanctuary

For years, Morgan has claimed that there were zombies living in my backyard and I never believed him. I guess I stand corrected.

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