Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nevada Update

I have received several updates from Emily this week, and Nevada is doing AMAZING! She is exploring the house, given Emily a kiss on the chin, and today got a massage while on the couch, and she loved it! She has approached visitors, and is coming out of her shell every day. Here are several photos from the week, she is sure growing up to be a beautiful girl!

Nina Update

I apologize to everyone for the delayed update this week - it's been a busy one with HSNEI adoptions which is always good! Nina is doing fantastic, wow what a different puppy! She greets visitors with full wagging body, she accepts petting from strangers, she seeks out our attention constantly, and is learning to be accustomed to a leash! Here is a photo of her in the house, you can't tell from the photo but her little tail is going a mile a minute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nina and Nevada Update

An update on the girls the first night in their foster homes, both are doing well...

Nevada had the hardest move, going to a completely unfamiliar place, but she is settling in nicely. I spoke with Emily last night and this afternoon. She is in the house, in an enclosed area. Emily is hand feeding her all of her meals and this is going well. Nevada is starting to venture around the house a bit, taking lots of treats and wagging her tail. Emily is giving her more time to settle in and build a relationship with her before she tries to pet her. Nevada has been the shyest pup all along and will take longer to adjust, but I was thrilled that even last night she was taking treats, eating and drinking, and even giving a few tail wags.

Nina is practically a different puppy. She has voluntarily ventured in the house multiple times, and slept in a crate in the house all night last night! She whined and barked for about 10 minutes and then slept quietly all night. We had her crate next to other dogs and I'm sure this helped to calm her. We are petting and interacting with Nina almost like a "normal" puppy, she seeks out petting from both Scott and I and her little tail rarely stops wagging. It is clear that the company of our own dogs is building her confidence greatly. When she is outside most of the time she is relaxing on the patio by the back door waiting to come in or waiting for us to come out and see her. I listed her as available for adoption to a special home, and you can see her listing on

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moving Day!

Well as usual things didn't go quite as planned, but I am happy to be able to give a positive report at the end of the day. I gave the girls their sedative at 9:15, with the intention being to take them to the vet at 10am. Nina and Nevada had other plans though and when I checked on them at 9:50 they were both still wide awake, romping and playing. Hmmm. 10:10 still awake and moving around, although the sedative seemed to be taking the edge off. At 10:15 we put the transport crates in the puppy pen and I spent 30 minutes throwing treats in them until the puppies were comfortable walking in and out. Finally, I was able to quietly close the doors on both crates with puppies inside.

Here is a photo of them loaded into the car.

Other than a little yowling from them in the car ride to the vet, it went smoothly and quietly, and we arrived there 1 hour late at 11am. Thankfully everyone at the office was understanding and went ahead with medical treatment as planned. After the puppies were finished, their new collars were put on before they went into their separate crates. Nevada was done first and Emily picked her up at 2pm. I will send an update on Nevada as soon as I hear how she's doing. We picked up Nina at 3pm and brought her home. We set her crate on the back patio which had we fenced in, and it wasn't long before I heard her whining to be let out. I opened her crate door and she walked right out wagging her tail at me, cautious only for a few seconds. She is sore and walking stiffly from her surgery, but otherwise doing great. I've been petting her and hanging out, she's even been pawing at the back door! I'm not sure she's ready to come in yet, but she seems to want to be with me or the other dogs which is a good sign!

Here are photos of Nina after arriving back home, getting adjusted to her new surroundings.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nina and Nevada Update

Nina and Nevada have continued to do well with their training over the past week. Nina has become so affectionate with me she reminds me of Natasha. Nina will seek out physical interactin with me, and I can now pet and massage her without the use of treats. This weeks she also started giving me kisses on my face, which is not something she was comfortable doing before. Nevada continues to accept petting only with the use of food at the same time.

Tomorrow is "moving day", and we will be picking up the oral sedative from the vet today. At 9:15 am tomorrow morning I will give them the sedative, and then they will be transported to the vet at 10:00. After spaying and receiving vaccinations, we will transport them in crates to their new locations while they are still sedated (they will also have collars put on them while they are asleep). Nevada will be going to Emily's and Nina will stay here but be moved into our household and primary fenced yard to be socialized with other dogs and be introduced to the house. It will be a scary day for them I'm sure, but hopefully a lot less traumatizing than the last time we tried to move them. I expect that being around the other dogs will help them tremendously with their adjustment period.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update on Natasha

I received a call earlier this morning from Natasha's new home. It sounds like things are going great and she is settling in well. She is already taking walks along the Mississippi River and has met several new people and dogs. I'm so happy for this sweet girl!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Natasha Has a New Home!

Natasha went to her new home this afternoon. It's sure true that dogs pick their owners, she took to him immediately! I'll post updates as soon as I receive them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Plan B

After a lot of thought, discussion with a vet, and helpful hints on working with feral dogs from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah we have com up with a Plan B, which will take place next Tuesday the 20th. We will be taking Nina and Nevada (with the use of an oral sedative - they gulp down anything wrapped in hamburger) to Critters and Such for spaying and vaccinating. While they are still sedated we will move Nevada to Emily's who has an indoor/outdoor run set up that comes into her house, and bringing Nina back here and putting her in our big fenced yard that our dogs use. I'm setting up some gates so she will be able to come in the back room of the house without me having to leash her, she can just follow the other dogs in.

Meanwhile I have started Nina on her collar training, slipping a loose collar over her head and taking it off again. She did great and did not balk even once.

More exciting news for the day, we have an approved application for Natasha! It sounds like a wonderful match for her and they will be meeting on Wednesday this week. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Natasha Goes to Town

Since Nora got adopted Natasha has been getting a lot more one on one time. Here are some photos of her out and about - she even got invited into one of the stores! She did great.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nora Update

I received another update on Nora in her new home and am thrilled to hear how well she's adjusting....

"I have good news about Nora. She is doing very well. Everyday she acts more comfortable and happy. She is getting good at playing fetch and loves exploring outside. She doesn't mind being touched or handled most of the time. She still backs away when she sees hands reaching out for her but after her initial backing up she usually allows us to pet her, take hold of her collar, put on a leash, or even pick her up. She follows me around, cries when left alone in the kitchen and is happy to see us when we return. Her training is going well, she is very smart and a quick learner. Her progress over the last 5 days leaves us with little doubt that she will be a "normal" dog."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reality Bites

I've been very lucky up until this point that all I've had to give you were happy progress stories. Unfortunately in this line of work, especially with these types of situations, we're bound to hit a bump, in this case practically a road block. Part of the responsibility leading a blog is the honest truth, so here goes. As you know last Monday was supposed to be moving day for Nina and Nevada. Unfortunately things didn't go nearly as well as it did when we moved Nora and Natasha. Emily and I followed the exact pattern that we had used with the other two. We were prepared, organized and we handled it exactly the same as before. However this time these two girls didn't react in the way we had hoped. For those of you with a sensitive stomach I'll save you the details, but both Emily and I had to be treated for bite wounds. We were anticipating the possibility of this behavior with Nevada, since she has alwasy been the most reserved and as a young puppy was the quickest to use her mouth, but we weren't anticipating this behavior from Nina. They both bit hard, repetitively, and never settled. To say that this has been a difficult week for me would be an understatement. I have become so attached to all four of these special girls and want to see all of them have happy endings. I have spent hours thinking about how to handle this situation. I have a timeline and a deadline, set outside of my control by their age. Obviously we all know that Nina and Nevada can't live in my back yard in their "safe" pen forever. Once they reach 6 months old they will need to be spayed as well as receive other veterinary care. They will reach that point in about 6 weeks. By that time if they are not able to be handled in a way where they can be transported and examined by a veterinarian a decision will have to be made. Right now because of the severe reaction they had to being handled in a way they didn't like, they are not adoptable. I have contacted 3 sanctuaries (and am looking for more) about the possibility of transferring them, it would allow them to be in a place where they could be housed and worked with long term. I'm still waiting to hear back from two of them and I will keep you posted on that. In the meantime I will continue to work with them with the goal of being able to put collars on them to do leash work and other training that could happen outside their pen. It was a bad day for them too, but they recovered almost immediately. Today was their best training day to date. Nina actually sought out petting from me, and stood calmly while I massaged her neck. With the use of food I was petting Nevada almost all over her body. We've forgiven one another.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Update on Nora in her new home...

Here is an email I received this morning from Nora's new family, sounds like things are going well!

"I wanted to let you know Nora is adjusting to her new home better than expected. As you predicted she is getting along well with our other dog. This morning she is playful and energetic. She is seeking out people and attention as long as it is her idea. Nora is getting more comfortable with us handling her and putting on her leash to go outside. She is also doing better at being on a leash. Thank you for all your hard work. We will keep you updated."

I'm so relieved to hear her first night went so well. I will post any more updates that I receive.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nora has a home!

Sweet Nora went to her new wonderful home today! I will post updates on her as soon as I get them.

Approved Application!

The day just got even more exciting, we have our first approved application for Nora or Natasha! The family is coming this afternoon to meet both of them. Although we've had a few inquiries, this is the first one we've had who would have the time and resources needed for one of these puppies. I will keep you all posted! We are still planning on moving Nevada and Nina to Emily's today after Nora and Natasha's adoption meeting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nora and Natasha training

Here are some photos of Natasha and Nora doing long line and coming when called training. They are getting used to leashes and responding very well to training. Natasha has proven to be more independent and Nora more eager to please. This is consistent with what I saw of them here too. Tomorrow is a big day for all of them! Nevada and Nina will be making the big move to Emily's to begin their indoor training, and Natasha will be returned to us to integrate her into our pack and household and live the life of a "normal" dog until she is adopted.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Photos of Nevada and Nina

I would like to thank the regulars who have continued coming every week to work with the puppies since they arrived... thank you Mark, Sue and Linda!! Here are some photos of Sue working with Nina and Nevada today. They now greet everyone at the fence by jumping up and wagging their tails. Even Nevada loves to have visitors. Sue was able to do a little petting with Nevada while giving her food, and Nina she could barely keep off her lap! Nevada has continued to do well with me and I've been able to repeatedly stroke my hand down her back while I give her treats.

Nina climbing on Sue's lap...

Nevada climbing on Sue's lap!!