Thursday, July 31, 2014

Friday, April 26, 2013

Behavior issues. Toys were the answer AND the problem.


Behavior issues are one of the most challenging subjects that Used Dogs get calls about and they are one of the main reasons dogs end up in shelters.  We always are working on behavior issues here. Sometimes they are typical and sometimes they are very unique. 

 The way dogs respond to various 
problem solving approaches, shows us time and time again,  that the individuality of all dogs trumps breed and that what works for one dog may not work at all for another. Dogs, no matter the breed, are not one size fits all.


The first thing thing to do when dealing with a behavior issue, is to make sure there is not an underlying health issue. Keeping your pets healthy and keeping yourself informed on different ways to address problems is the best way to go. Should you give your dog pet meds or would a thunder shirt work. The interesting thing about Daisy is that TOYS were the answer...AND the problem.

Daisy now has much better play manners. She learned that it's about the game and not just the ball. She has gotten so much better at including us in her play and not just obsessing on the ball. It took some trial and error, and believe it or not , turned out to be about the types of balls we used!!!



Here is how it happened:


Daisy, a very smart dominant female, came here with very obsessive play manners, which was really a problem, since she doesn't do well with other dogs. For Daisy, playing with humans, toys and walks are the only ways she is going to have fun, get exercise and get engaged with life. And when a dog doesn't do well playing with other dogs, toys are even more important!

Daisy was VERY obsessive about her toys. It wasn't even really regular rescource guarding, it was always just ALL about the toy, NEVER about the game. Once she got the toy in her mouth there was no way to play WITH her. A dog that  obsesses to that degree  over her toys and can't play with other dogs, doesn't usually have very good adoption options. 


Her obsession was SO intense that it was sometimes dangerous and  even though she was super smart, at first I was at a loss as to what I could do. First I decided to take away toys since they ramped up the obsessiveness so much in her behavior. That got boring real fast!  And consequently, since Daisy doesn't like being out in the yard unless she has a toy to obsess on, Daisy began to spend more and more time inside alone in her crate. And surprisingly, she didn't seem to mind. Since the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and we have lot of squeaky wheels here, Daisy stayed in doing a lot of nothing. She would go out to to do her business and go on walks. Then I hurt my knee, so walks were even getting fewer for her as she is A LOT of dog and only certain volunteers could walk her.


SO, I thought about changing the toys. I gave her toys that gave her no shaking satisfaction and  that were VERY sturdy and toys she could not "kill".  That was better, much better. But she still just wanted to play by herself. Getting the toy away from her, so that we could play together and give her more exercise, rather than her just sitting and obsessing was still impossible.  Even just to get the toy away from her when play time was over, was very difficult and even a little dangerous as she was so obsessed with the toy, that it was clear that she might accidentally bite me, trying to get to the toy before I could, when she would occasionally let go of it or get interested in something else for a minute.


So THAT was my next move, getting her interested in other things while she was playing with the toy. Previously that was IMPOSSIBLE, but now with the new kinds of toys it seemed possible.


It turned out that other toys did not work so well, but treats did. However once she became interested in the treat all was on good, until she noticed me going towards her toy. Then she was back to the toy in a FLASH and she is a very quick dog. Her trying to get to the toy before me, made the chance of a bite even MORE likely, as she was VERY excited about getting to the toy before I did.


That was when I realized it would take two trainers: one to distract with a treat and one to take away the toy. Working in pairs and in some instances the whole family is often what it takes to deal with difficult behavior issues.


It worked like a charm. SO well in fact, that we decided to go pick out some new toys for her. This time, there happened to be some new sturdy ball type toys that made a variety of sounds that I hadn't seen before. One had a bell and texture, one had crunching sound and one had a squeak. I had stopped using toys with noises as the squeaky toys were originally the ones that she was the worst with!


But it turned out to be the variety of sounds that really engaged her with us and made it more about the game and less about the toy. The variety of toys with different sounds allowed us to make a MAJOR breakthrough!!  When there were several balls with different sounds, the part of her that had to think and choose opened her up to playing WITH us and not just the toy.


It was a happy day indeed!!





Saturday, December 15, 2012




2012 was a very productive year for Used Dogs.  


Happy endings for dogs on chains. Happy endings for a pair of severely injured animals, Louie and Sofia. Happy endings for two dogs found after having been out in the elements on their own for a very long time. And happy endings for 2 litters of very at risk puppies, both of which turned out to be  happy endings for more than even just the puppies, but also for 4 other dogs involved. So now, countless hundreds of unwanted pets from just those two situations will never happen. Used Dogs is at  22 adoptions and counting for 2012.

We had our first Kid’s Camp and made it thru made it thru Hurricane Isaac. The Kid’s Camp was fantastic, but in spite of all our repairs, a set of the kennels are still not 100% and will eventually require replacement and some top redesigns. 

We also got lots of photos from previous adoptors! We LOVE that!!

But rescue, for me,  is not just about what we do for the animals and not even about what they do for us, but about the amazing lessons they teach me. This year we lost an amazing  dog  who was the reason Used Dogs has been able to use playgroups so well for over the last 10 years. And countless other dogs here teach me more and more everyday. I used that knowledge this year to do lots of  surrender intervention, so that fewer dogs end up in high kill shelters.

Please help us to keep up this work. DONATE, by going to the donate button on the right side of the blog if you can. We still have vet bills due and several dogs waiting for treatment. 

We also have some fantastic plans for 2013. Come volunteer and be a part of them. Be a foster parent. Fostering REALLY helps the dogs get adopted sooner and can be a really rewarding experience.

Please think about the pets that are still here this Holiday Season waiting for their forever homes. They would love special treats. They like bully sticks and toys that don’t have the stuffing. Ok, they like they stuffing. I don’t. LOL

Due to the problems with tainted dog treats/foods perhaps a Petco or Petcetera gift card would be best. But we do like Peanut butter (regular human kind) and we use Blue Buffalo dog food, Purina Pro Plan and Colorado naturals treats!

We really need: martingale collars (M/L/XL), “size right”dog harnesses (M/L/XL), leashes, Small/Med dog houses, Med/Large/Extra Large Dog crates.

We can never have enough Bleach, mops,brooms, pooper scoopers, contractor trash bags, hand soap, paper towels. 

We also can ALWAYS use recycled towels and blankets.

Please think of us this Holiday!

Thanks so much- 

Madalin
Used Dogs



Thursday, December 13, 2012

SOME OF OUR ADOPTED DOGS








Scout



WE LOVE TO HEAR BACK!


Hank


Farsworth
Liam















Louie needs a home AND needs care for severely broken leg.





Louie has a terrible break to his leg. Only careful care and vet attention will allow him to keep his leg. 

PLEASE help us get this handsome sweet sweet boy his desperately needed vet care. If you would like to donate for his care call Algiers Animal Hospital -504-364-1556. or donate to Paypal at the link above or mail to PO Box 741163 NOLA 70174. THANK YOU



UPDATE:
Louie is getting better everyday And in two weeks new xrays will tell us more about Louie's condition. For now the poor guy is still on cage rest. :-(

video

Happy Holidays from Louie!!





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sofia - ADOPTED!!

Sofia definitely had a really rough start. She belonged to someone who, according to neighbors, had lots of personal problems and therefore more often than not, did not look after Sofia. Sofia was frequently found roaming the streets as a young pup. The neighbors would bring her back home and remind the owner over and over that they feared she might get hit by a car if he continued to allow her to run loose.


At about 4 months old, she was hit by a car. It broke her leg. The neighbors took her in to the vet and paid for the splint required for Sofia to heal properly. The neighbors told the owner that the splint could not get wet. Next thing you know, Sofia is running around the neighborhood with a wet unraveling useless splint.

The neighbors were understandably at their wits end. They turned her in to animal control, planning to get her out after the five day hold. They were advised that then, they would have legal ownership of the dog if the original owner did not claim her.

That's where I came in. The plan was for me to get her from animal control after the 5 day hold. She was spayed and prepared for a release into rescue. I went to visit her everyday. BUT when the day came to get her out, I spent WAY too much time waiting. As 1  hour turned into 2, I knew something had to be wrong. Finally they came out and told me - Sofia has parvo!!!

They let me go see her again. I have seen parvo and I just did not believe she was sick. I was faced with a really tough decision. Take her out and possibly expose MY WHOLE shelter to parvo or let her be euthanized.

I went with my gut feeling and took her out of the shelter anyway and took her to a vet right away. The vet said she did not have parvo. She never came down with parvo.



BUT WAIT - the sort of Sofia continues!!!!  

Due to an abundance of caution, she was quarantined for a period. When that period was up I was so excited to see how she did with the other dogs. SHE WAS A MESS!! I had never seen anything like it. She wasn't aggressive, she was just VERY obnoxiously socially awkward with other dogs. Imagine a person you never met, swinging their arms in full circles wearing a BIG smile coming at you and stopping 1/8th of an inch in front of your face and running into your body, screaming  HELLO!!!! That's what she was like to all the other dogs.

From the way she seemed to understand almost no doggie language or etiquette I suspected that she might have been taken away from the litter too young. Plus she was wild and was 6 months old with NO TRAINING!! She was a maniac!

Anyway we worked with her and realized quickly that she was VERY smart. She got better and betterer. She learned agility and roll over during our Kids Camp.

video






 Now just about exactly ONE year later, she is adopted.

She has 2 human kids to play with and lives with 2 elementary school teachers.

She will probably learn  to read.




THE END


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How these Schipperke/Pom mix puppies were rescued.


DOLLY

If you look up the definition of cute in the dictionary, there will most certainly be a photo of this litter of puppies! Oh my gosh, they are wonderful. We are most fortunate because we also know the parents; it is rare in rescue to know what both parents of puppies look like. The parents are only about 20 to 25 pounds, and appear to be Schipperke and Pomeranian mixes.


DAD

What a neat combination: Schipperkes were bred to be small guard dogs on the canal barges of Belgium; Pomeranians were originally sheep herders!

The mother is pure black (like a Schipperke) and the father is tri-colored.  Born in late August,he week before Hurricane Isaac, they are spayed/neutered, have their shots, are healthy and ready for their forever homes.


NORMA JEAN


PATSY













Now, I want to share more of this story with you, because it is rather unique and very rewarding for those of us who are involved in rescue. We were at an adoption event when a Vietnamese gentleman came up to us. His English was very limited, but it appeared he wanted to give us this litter of puppies. We explained to him that we don't take puppies at adoption events but, rather than leave him in a lurch, we set up a time to go to his home. 

When we arrived, we found not only a litter of puppies, but three adult dogs as well. It was also apparent that this dog loving man lived in a fairly isolated Vietnamese community. He wanted to keep his adult dogs, but asked us to take the puppies. As we talked, we found out that he had no idea that dogs could be spay/neutered! Wow, was he excited about that. And we were excited that he was excited! Too often people don't care about how many litters their dogs produce. That wasn't the case here. This man did not want to have the responsibility of puppies, and was thrilled to find out there was a solution. He simply did not have access to the information resources.  

Since then, all of the puppies have been spayed/neutered and are available for adoption. The adults will be spay/neutered next week and returned to their loving owner. This might not mean a lot to you, but in the world of rescue, this is a great victory; we know that the number of unwanted pets can best be addressed through spay/neuter. This is the perfect example!


Of course DONATIONS are always very much appreciated, so that we can continue the work that we do! There is a paypal link on the home page of this blog. THANKS!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Favorite Rescue

This has got to come in as one of my favorite photos of an adopted dog EVER.




WHY??

Because this dog was rescued from certain death at a housing project that was being demolished after Katrina. 

The workers were afraid of the dogs that had packed up, and began to poison them.

Used Dogs rescued 7 litters and 5 adult dogs. 

Ophelia, now Lily, was one of the adults.

She was always shy. I wondered if she would ever find a forever home that would know her like I did and appreciate her gentle nature. Ophelia/Lily is another example of how just reading canine body language "by the book" is not always accurate. There are always variations and exceptions to the rules. Sure, to the inexperienced or certainly for children you always want to be safe and cautious, but Ophelia's body language did NOT express the GEM she truly was!!

But thanks to an AWESOME woman Ophelia/Lily went from the photos below to the photo you see above!





THANK YOU Kathy!!!


Lily's sister OLIVIA is still here and would make a wonderfully friend. She is not like Lily, she is very outgoing and BOLD. She is charming and vivacious. She did great with the kids at Kid's Camp. She is smart and great with basic manners. Crate trained and does a really sweet roll over! 

She is  red heeler shepherd mix and is the very LAST dog from the BW Coopers rescues that is still here. All of the other puppies and adults have found their forever homes.

Olivia






Thursday, September 20, 2012

Off the CHAIN!!



GEORGE is OFF THE CHAIN




Bear is off the chain also AND he is adopted!


Bear look for a home of his home.
Bear in his new family yard.

Bear with his Human Baby family member!



And it all started with Willis!


Willis came to us with the most severe case of demodex we had ever seen!



Found on a city street, right after a Tropical Storm. Willis presented as such a PARIAH, so hideous looking, that we are certain that this sweet boy was shunned over and over again while just looking for a  friendly word or snack...Not ever even thinking that a home would EVER be in the cards for him!


But after MANY months of TLC and treatment, Willis found a home.






Funny thing was, when bringing Willis to his new home we met Bear.

Bear on the chain saying hi to his neighbor.


Bear was Willis' neighborbor's dog. 

In the yard neighboring Willis' new home, Bear was on a chain. We soon came to find that Bear 's owner was AWOL. In prison. So Bear was released to Used Dogs. He was heartworm positive. After 6 months of rehab, Bear found a home of his own. he has been treated for heartworm and is officially clear and healthy!


And what do you know!!??
Bears's neighbor had yet another dog on a chain!!!

In comes George.



A few months of seeing how happy Bear was OFF THE CHAIN, George's family relinquished George to Used Dogs.


George had been on a chain for his WHOLE life. 
THREE YEARS!!  
He had about lost his voice AND was so used to living in his own excrement that he still does not realize that he does not have to. George is improving every single day. And soon he will have a home of his own also!!!