I'm For Bikes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Triple Dog Dare You!!

Life with three dogs is definitely interesting! Try it! I triple d....well...you get the picture....

Having an outside dog - even a temporarily outside one - is definitely an adjustment. It's also possum season around here and they tend to scuttle around on fence tops...I assume this is why Bailey tends to bark like a crazy hound in the middle of the night. Oy. One thing I have learned, though - no matter how many dogs may be barking in the neighborhood, I'm convinced MY barky dog is the one who will ultimately provoke the neighbors into calling the police, so it sets me on edge. Yeah, there have been some sleepless nights around here...but I'm not complaining!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a complete sucker softie when it comes to animals. Naturally, I've been feeling guilty about Bailey having to live outside since I brought her home. I go out there as much as I can and spend time with her, but there are long periods of time when she's alone. Casey and Riley are alone, but at least they're alone together (if that makes sense). I know I need to be patient and not risk the health of my other critters; it breaks my heart to see her watching the other dogs go inside and leave her out all alone at night...in the dark...where there are noises and things that go bump in the night.

Yes, I KNOW she's "just" a dog...but really, she isn't. None of my dogs are "just" dogs, or cats "just" cats. They're my friends, my companions, my confidants...my children, in a furry, cuddly, barky, meowy, doggy and kitty breath kinda way. I know many of you are critter people as well and totally get what I'm saying, even as the non-critter people must think I'm completely insane. That's okay. I don't mind being THIS kind of insane...

Casey and Riley were both rescues. Casey was adopted from the local Humane Society when she was about 4 weeks old and Riley was adopted at about 6 weeks old from Recycled Rovers. The three cats are rescues as well. Bailey is a rescue but is really the first "street dog" (sounds like a bad name for a rapper, doesn't it?) I've ever rescued. Plus, she's older than the other two were when they were adopted, which makes things a lot more interesting. There's so much unknown about this sweet little Bailey puppy. I find myself wondering about her previous life a lot. I wonder where all she has been, how she survived at such a young age, what she ate, where she found water. I wonder what kind of people had her before, how they treated her, where she lived. I wonder what she thinks about her new life, about her new home. I just want her to be happy and healthy and safe.

I think I've mentioned that Riley is very skittish and nervous around other dogs. This has been a big concern: how will she feel about another dog joining the family? She has met Bailey through the fence and they do that dog romping thing where they run up and down either side of the fence and make silly noises at each other. We decided to let them meet outside of the fence on leash the other day and it went so-so. Bailey was super excited to actually be on the same side of the fence as the other two and I think her puppy energy made Riley nervous so that didn't last long, but it was a start.

Today was an adventure, though. They were having so much fun running along the fence that I thought, what the heck? I let Bailey out and they romped around the yard like crazy things. Riley was still nervous and had her tail tucked some of the time, but she eventually got kind of used to Bailey and they looked like they were having fun. Very exciting!

The next test was when we decided to take all three dogs on a walk at the same time. I'm pleased to say all three dogs did GREAT! After their initial excitement at being out in the world, they all settled down and we had a great walk. Bailey is really great on leash once she gets settled down. She walks right by my side and doesn't pull or anything (unless she sees a cat). I'm VERY pleased and excited that she has taken to the leash so quickly. Now ALL of our walks can be together!!

After talking to some people and doing more research, I decided to hold off on the Promeris for now. I found a product called Goodwinol ointment that is specifically for demodectic mange (demodex) and, after doing more research, I'm going to try it first and see how it goes. It seems less toxic with less potential side effects and has gotten good reviews, so it's worth a shot. 

Here are a few shots I took of the girls today:

Happy Bailey!

Not sure why she looks so worried. Maybe she thought I was going to steal her food??

Diggin' in....mmmmmm.....

Riley and Bailey playing chase..sort of...

Getting to know you.....

Look at that goofy puppy grin!

Riley and Casey checkin out Bailey's pad (yes, that's a washing machine in the back yard. Don't judge.)

Happy Bailey!

Yup, LOVE me some chew bone!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I AM gorgeous!       

Oh yeah. She's doing great.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ANNOUNCING....A New Arrival!!

If you've been reading this blog for a while you've already met or heard of the following characters:

Franklin Thomas

Harley D.

H. Davidson

Riley J.

Casey Grey

Well, there's a new puppy in town...

Everyone, meet Bailey Jo!!

Bailey Jo

I found Bailey on Thursday morning at school. I had to take my classes outside to complete a fitness test (don't ask) and she was running around school. I spotted her first with my 2nd hour class and the girls said they had seen the security guards trying to shoo her off campus earlier that morning. I sent one of the girls to the office to tell them that I wanted the dog if anyone caught her - my main goal here was to save her from animal control, cuz we all know what THAT means...

I thought she had disappeared, but we spotted her during my 3rd hour class and the boys helped me get her back to my classroom. She was very calm and sweet, although a bit shy, and was obviously very tired and kind of relieved to be inside. She drank some water and walked around a bit, and I kept her there while my 4th hour class came in. I was holding the puppy while the girls came in, and she stood very calmly while they gathered around and petted her. By this point, I had already decided I was taking her home, so my co-teacher went home quickly to get a spare collar and leash for me to borrow. I had to take some of the girls outside for the fitness test so the ones who had already taken it stayed in the room with my co-teacher. The puppy fell asleep and stayed curled up in a ball until I got back.

I brought her home during my lunch hour and made sure she was safe in the back yard. I could see she had fleas and a skin condition so I couldn't bring her in the house with my other dogs. I have a small fenced in area in the back yard (which is also fenced) and I put her in there, made a bed for her, and made sure she had fresh water and food. She seemed to be in a bit of a daze, so I talked to her and petted her for a while before heading back to school.

I got her to the vet the next day, and it's a good thing I did. It's clear she's been neglected for a while, which is doubly sad since she's only about a year old. How ANYONE could neglect this precious puppy is just beyond me. Among her laundry list of issues: flea infestation (taken care of),... anemia (being treated), worms (from the fleas - treated), yeast and bacteria in her ears (being treated), and demodectic mange (luckily not contagious to other dogs or people - being treated). No heartworm, no parvo, nothing abnormal in her bloodwork aside from the anemia. Her teeth are in great shape, her heart is strong, and she had none of the cuts or injuries you might expect from a street dog. 

The most amazing thing about this puppy is that she is INCREDIBLY sweet. She doesn't growl or snap at people, and she even lets me pet her while she's eating. She has to stay outside and be quarantined from the other critters until next Friday just to be on the safe side - which breaks my heart - but she's already looking a million times better. She has new new collar and tags and got most of her vaccinations at the vet - the rest will be administered at her 3 week checkup. She met Casey and Riley through the fence and the results were: Casey = excited, Riley = barky head. Riley seems to really want to play, but we'll see what happens when they're actually on the same side of the fence.

Here are some photos I took of her today:

New chew toy

Of course - the HD collar ;-)

You can see the little bit of mange on her sweet face

Hello! I'm Bailey!

We're taking care of that mange, aren't we?

Such a pretty puppy!

Riley REALLY wants that bone

But Riley can't have it!

So as you can see, we have a way to go before she's completely healthy, but we'll get there! I just can't wait for the day she gets to come inside and play with her new big sisters!

The vet recommended a medication called Promeris to help treat this demodetic mange, but after reading up on the medication I'm not so sure. It sounds kind of scary to me, so I'm hesitating to use it. Has anyone else had experience with either this type of mange (on your dog lol) or this medication? I'd sure appreciate any advice! The mange is localized and only on her face, but I really want to take care of it so it doesn't get any worse. She's getting a bath tomorrow so that will help.

Welcome to the family, Bailey Jo!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Silent Saturday - More Photos

San Antonio, Texas

Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Mackinac Island, Michigan

The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Lake Superior Lighthouse, Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Canada
Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, Texas