Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Flock of Seagulls

Another episode of Life's Lessons with The Sofa:
You can't always get what you want.

In this case, you cannot "get" seagulls if you yourself do not have wings. That did not stop The Sofa from trying though.

Mr. Pickles had to go retrieve him, and was none too happy about it as he had to first wade through, and then RUN through, a bunch of water to catch his little miscreant. *I* was amused, and also impressed with how fast Pickles can run!

YES YES, female readers of TWAAW, Mr. Pickles is indeed wearing a shirt in this photo. I can hear your collective laments from here. But never fear, he soon removed the shirt. Going to the beach with Pickles is liking going to the beach with a toddler - he just can't keep his clothes on.

Speaking of not always getting what you want, here's another life lesson for you - if you do not meet the requirements in an adoptable dog's profile, and you choose to apply anyway and get denied, who's fault is that? Really now. People. You can't always get what you want. That includes rescue dogs, so please, read the profiles BEFORE you apply. If you are denied for not meeting the requirements, have some grace. And FTR, lunacy and vulgarities are not the same as grace!

And speaking of rescue dogs, on today's adventure we were joined by the ever blossoming Sky Dog.

Sky was one of the Yakima 7 we saved a few months back. Sky was the one who was pregnant, and having some troubles adjusting to her new life as a family pet. Her foster home turned out to be too chaotic for her maybe, and her stress levels went through the roof! So we moved her to a quieter foster home, and got her started on an anti-anxiety medication (Clomipramine).

Do you think it's working?

Sky's foster mum is out of town, so Sky is boarding at the kennel since we had nowhere else to put her because Sky has some special needs due to her anxiety. It's only for 3 days, but I felt so guilty that I couldn't take her (because my neighbors include Satan, Satan's Wife and several of their minions) that I have been trekking out to the kennels every day to take her on beach and hiking adventures.

Today it was Spanish Banks, and the tide was out. Way out.

Sky learned to swim today! It was not entirely on purpose, as she didn't seem totally aware that "water" and "sand" are not the same substrate.

But she's a smart cookie.

She figured it out really fast!

Sky is coming along so nicely! She is still scared of strangers, but she also really wants to meet them very badly as she LOVES affection. It's sad to see her frightened of the thing she wants most, but it's so rewarding to see her coming around, thanks to the anti-anxiety meds, a strict routine of asking her to explore her own independence sometimes. She has met lots of strangers in the past couple of days and has even started to approach them when asked. She is going to make someone a GREAT dog one day soon! She is so willing to try.

For example, she was willing to try Mad Teeth (tm) on a pesty doberman puppy.

it worked!

Sofa's obsession with Sky left Tweed free to play ball without having to get up all in his face, yo.

Piper was not so lucky. She was ever-shadowed by Guess W(h)oo?

Dunh dunh duuuunh

WTF? This isn't a ball!? I'm not bringing that back.

Maybe you'd like to throw the ball for me instead??
*bats eyelashes*

Thank you, rescue lady!

Sky will be going up for adoption soon on our website, so don't forget to check back for updates!


Natalie said...

Man, I SO WISH I had somewhere like that to take my dogs. Okay, and also, I wish my dogs would behave if I took them to a place like that. (They would not.)

I love applications that obviously don't meet the requirements. Even better is when they try to convince you that you are wrong. And then pitch a huge fit when you deny them. WTF? Some people just feel so entitled.

StefRobrts said...

It makes me sad that you have to deal with idiot people when you're working so hard to help dogs who need so much special help.

Where you live looks like paradise. I can't believe the beautiful beaches for the dogs to play on!

Arwen said...

New reader saying hi... I think I've read almost all your archives now :-) Love reading about your doggy family and the awesome photos.

I don't have a dog, but I really want one. Hopefully in a year or so the circumstances will be right to get one.

Lori said...

I'm so in love with Sky. I could never exercise a BC enough, so I know it wouldn't be a good idea for me.

But let us know how she does, she's beautiful. ::non scary scritches and love for her::

StellaStar said...

Didn't you know? Vulgarities and insults ALWAYS get you what you want. You mean that doesn't work on the food lady?

Give the puppers smooches on all your readers behalves!

Anonymous said...

You can't fix stupid. We see the entitled behavior all the time at our shelter, where I volunteer.

I have a lot of room for my dogs since I live in a rural area but it also involves coyotes, cougars, skunks, bears, etc. I too wish for a place to have the dogs run free and play but be safe. Speaking of which, I'm always afraid of the shelter's shy dogs getting loose here and running away. Skye obviously either has gotten through that issue or she knows you very well. Or was it the medication? I am always interested in hearing what did the trick. I am working with some very, very shy dogs right now and wondering if medication might be the way to go.

Mary said...

That last picture of Skye skipping along the beach is absolutely priceless.

Life With Dogs said...

I know it was not intentional, but I now have an 80s song stuck in my head. :)
Beautiful photo essay today...

The Border Collies said...

"Skye obviously either has gotten through that issue or she knows you very well. Or was it the medication? I am always interested in hearing what did the trick. I am working with some very, very shy dogs right now and wondering if medication might be the way to go."

Well, Sky is on an anti anxiety medication because she has some severe anxiety - her shyness is not the problem, and there is no medication that will "cure" a merely shy dog. The drug is designed to reduce her overall anxiety levels while she undergoes some behavioural modification at the same time, so that she can learn coping skills and eventually those skills will be so second nature that she can ideally be weaned off the drug. I am no expert or behaviourist, nor do I play one on tv, but I don't think a shelter is the place to experiment with a drug - Sky is in a secure home environment, and her foster mum is making efforts to slowly help Sky develop those necessary behavioural coping skills that will be with her for the rest of her life. The medication simply allows Sky to calm down enough to accept those behavioural changes, whereas without the drug she was operating at such a high level of anxiety that she couldn't function well enough to learn those skills.

As for her not running away, Sky attaches herself to a person VERY quickly because she wants so desperately to have a person of her own. It's actually a symptom of her anxiety, this extreme bonding behaviour. Of course Sky knows me well, but she is disinterested in me when her foster home is around. In the absence of her foster home, she attaches to me. She also takes many of her cues from my well socialized, happy, relaxed dogs so when she is with them, she is considerably calmer and more relaxed anyway. But the medication is DEFINITELY helping her to do this.

In all my years of fostering I have NEVER lost a foster dog, and never had one run away on me. I am fortunate enough to have the skills to bond a dog to me quickly and I put a reliable recall on them within 48 hours (except Woo!) so it's never been a problem. But I am not worried about Sky running off without me anyway - she doesn't ever want to be alone, so she won't be going anywhere :)

Tammy said...

I only have one thing to say...you are a saint. I so admire your devotion and dedication to those dogs most in need. Your photos are priceless. I wish that I lived closer so I could have you take photos of my girl. Okay, I guess I had more than one thing to say. :-P

Paula said...

Aww, man. Sky sounds like such a special soul, just the kind of dog that must make your work so rewarding...seeing her come around like she is.

She's super duper cute, too!

Monique-NEBCR said...

"Even better is when they try to convince you that you are wrong. And then pitch a huge fit when you deny them. WTF? Some people just feel so entitled."

We had a new one this week.... someone who submitted an app and then immediately started contacting foster homes before hearing whether she'd been approved or not. When called on this little point, she was surprised and said she thought the application process (which includes not only an app, but reference checks and a home visit - and is spelled out in painful detail on our website) was "just a formality"

WTF indeed!