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Messages - galxe

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Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Re: Housebreaking help!
« on: March 21, 2008, 01:21:08 am »
Thanks for the reply, it does seem to be purely behavioral.
She's realtively mellow- except for when we first get home, or take her out on a walk. So I don't know if it's excitement? All I know is that DH is fed up that she's been with us for two months and continues to treat our bedroom like a secondary bathroom. (I can't block it off because we have cats, and that's where they like to hang, but I don't want to confine them there all day)

I'll try the leash, I'm just worried that it will get her too rambunctious.. . or that she'll chew it off (also a common trick of hers. We're on our fourth already, it takes her about 30 seconds)

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Housebreaking help!
« on: March 21, 2008, 01:08:48 am »
 Hey all, I haven't been around for quite awhile... but the time has finally come for us to add to our family again and so, here I am!

About two months ago we brought home our baby girl Lucy (photos forthcoming, promise!) She's a 5 year old "border collie/lab mix" (so says the shelter, she looks like a pit with bc hair to me, either way, she's 50% bc and 100% mine!)
She's a great dog that came to us with BAD habits, most of all have been corrected or are almost there. With the exception of housebreaking.

She'll let us know when she needs to go out, and goes outside just about everytime we put her out there and tell her to "go potty". But, she keeps peeing in our house! It's driving me batty! She's crated at night and left out during the day. During the day, while we're gone, no accidents at all. (Except for the day I got caught up at work, couldn't come home for lunch and got home late on top of it. All my fault)

When we're at home at night, she will pee upstairs every chance she gets. Literally! All night she is trying to sneak upstairs to pee! Even right after she goes outside! Unfortunately, with the way that our staircase is, it's pretty much impossible to babygate the upstairs off. (And, she'd jump it anyway) It used to just be the second bedroom, but now she's given that up in favor of our bedroom or the hallway. Every accident has been thoroughly cleaned- soaked up with a towel, doused with nature's miracle. I've steam cleaned with pet odor remover atleast once a week since we've brought her home. (Sadly, out of necessity)

I love her to pieces- but we live in a rental! Our LL has been totally gracious in letting us have her, but I don't want to replace carpet! Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Currently, the only solution I can think of is to crate her while we're home, which seems awful. She's just QUICK and it's impossible to keep my eye on her all the time.

Truthfully, the loss of hair could b simple lack of grooming or poor diet- she didn't have any particular smell to her- though she was filthy. (My hands were solid black after just a few moments) But, she was shedding excessively, and it's not particularly hot here in Tahoe.

Though, I forgot to add, she also has a lump about the size of a golfball on the inside of one of her back legs...

Feel free to scroll ahead to the issue at hand...

So a little backstory:
Some of you may remember back to the drama of Izzy. My husband's boss and our landlord were one in the same, they changed their mind about Izzy and told us that we had to give him up or we'd lose Sean's job AND our only place to live (I wasn't working at the time) So, we made the terrificly heartbreaking decision to give Izzy up. Well, here we are, only 8 months later, and my husband has been laid off, and we now have to find a new place to live (wish I would have seen this coming in Dec., we would have just told them to go ahead and fire him!) Anyway, we're now finding ourselves looking for a pet friendly rental (we have two cats) and, just maybe, a place that will  let us have a dog someday down the road, when the timing is right. So, I found a cute a little house that was advertised as pet friendly, made a little drive by, and saw a mastiff in the front yard! Yeah for big paw friendly! So that brings us to the present problem...

The issue:
  So, we made an appointment to see the house. We're standing around waiting for the guy to let us in, and I get a better look at the mastiff. She's female, brindle colored, and.. oh my lord. Most of her ribs were visible, she's shedding in chunks, and she has the most horrendous infection in her eyes that I've ever seen. She almost can't see out of them because there is so much goop and puss and Lord knows what else in them.  :'( I can tell that she's an outside dog, which I know is not a crime, though I don't know if she's brought inside in the winter, which would be a crime, since I didn't see a doghouse. She has water available, but no food. Which, I mean, most big dog lovers don't free feed their dogs anyway, so that's also not a crime. So, am I overreacting, or should I call someone? A rescue group? Humane society? Or am I just crazy?

Based on the following, is this reportable?

She's extremely skinny. Ribs are not totally sucked in or overly defined from the top view, nor is her waist sucked in to the point of emaciation. But from the side, nearly all her ribs are visible and more than palpable, when petting her there does not appear to be any fat covering over her ribs at all. Her spine is beginning to be visible from the top view. If using the Purina Body Condition System (that poster in all the vet offices, it's the best visual I can think of)I would say that she's about a two (very thin).

Her eyes are very, very infected. Both of them are full of a  white/green, thick, snot like substance. I would say that each eye is nearly half full of this stuff. There's also some good crust around each eye.

She doesn't appear to be abused at all; she seems to really like her owner and doesn't exhibit any behavior typical of a dog that's been physically abused. But her condition has me concerned.

So tell me, am I overreacting?

And as a quick side vent- who in the world would let their dog suffer like that?! >:(

Well, we are currently big-paw less, but we drive a Nissan Pathfinder and love it. Izzy was also a big fan. The backseat was plenty big enough for his furry lumpy self, though his favorite spot was to lay in between the back and front seats on the floor.  ::) Go figure.
But, the quick run down: Good gas mileage for an SUV (18MPG average, and I drive crazy mountain roads), very comfortable drive with lots of pep and very responsive steering. No mechanical problems thus far (we've only had it a year and it has 80k on it, bought used for a great price), attractive car, eays to maneuver as it's small outside but big inside, lots of storage in back, front, etc. Lots of leg room, and head room, seats 5 adults comfortably, carseats are easy to get into and out of (I don't need them, but I had to do it once) upholstery is low maintenance, great AC and heating, good sound system. And, not that most people would need this as a consideration, but if you are driving in snow this car ROCKS. I drove in snow up to the grill almost everyday for two months and only got stuck once.

Now for the doggy bits: The backseat can be a little difficult to maneuver into, but Iz got great at putting a paw onto to stepbar and hoisting himself in. Getting into the back hatch was very easy. COuld have easily fit two newfs in the back, but one was very comfy on the backseat. Cleaning inside was simple, and we kept an office mat (you know the plastic thing under office chairs to protect carpet) on the floor of the back trunk space for when he got messy/wet, etc.

Overall, I can't see myself driving anything else anymore. I'm in love.

Ugh. What an unpleasant situation. I definitely agree with talking to the parents- however, I would advise against telling them that you are afraid their child may be bitten. Even though it is quite true, in the unfortunate event that their child does get bitten, they could try to use that comment to say that you knowingly had a "dangerous" dog.

I suggest video-taping, but leave the tape at home until the parent's decide not to believe you, or the kid denies it. I think that immediately approaching with "I have video evidence of your kid torturing my dog" could be a bit off-putting. Give them the benefit of the doubt at first, then reveal your hand only if you need to. Also, next time you suspect he's up to something, go out there. Call him out by name and say "Timmy, is there something I could help you with?" Or "Is there a problem here?" Let him know that you are aware of his inappropriate behavior and that you are not going to blindly take it.
Lastly, and things like this shouldn't have to be done- start documenting everything. Every time this kid acts up towards your babies, write it down. Write down the date, the time, and any details- such as the trying to hit them with garden tools incident, or each time you talk to the kid or his parents. This way, in the unfortunate event that your dog bites this kid, you have an available method of defense. But, don't delay, talk to this kid's parents NOW.

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: Izzy update
« on: May 18, 2007, 06:31:02 am »
 Hmm.. I hadn't considered the garbage idea!  ;D If it were winter it would be easier, just use to camp snow plow to cover it in snow. House? What house? There's no house there!

It has been hard without Izzy, but I've finally gotten to the point where I'm like hey, you know what, I'm not going to let this experience sour my enjoyment in the breed, and other biggies too! So, pretty soon, when my schedule settles down a bit more, I'll actually be contacting the local rescue chapter to see if I can get involved and help with transport or events, etc. That way I can get my Newf fix, and be supporting a great cause. But hey, if the cat continues to insist on jumping in the bathtub, maybe I'll be bringing her to the water trials.  ::)

Newfoundland Discussions / Izzy update
« on: May 17, 2007, 12:34:38 pm »
   Well, this update is a long time coming. Some of you may remember me, in that many months ago, DH and I had to return our wonderful Newf, Izzy, to rescue for reasons beyond our control. I haven't been around much since, but I figure that many of you would appreciate hearing the happy ending to our less than happy story.

When I first brought Izzy (originally Grizzly)home, he and I had our picture taken and put into the Newf club newsletter. A longtime club member, who hadn't had a Newf in many years, remarked to the rescue coordinator that Izzy had a very sweet face, and that there had been a lot of great dogs in rescue lately. So, when Izzy had to return to rescue, who do you think they called? I dropped Izzy off at their house as a new foster, and got to watch him play with their five Welsh corgis and two cats. If I could have handpicked a couple to leave Izzy with, they would be it. Well, needless to say, Izzy didn't stay a foster for long. He has several corgi sibling, feline siblings, a fenced acre to play in, and a retired dad to hang out with him and take him for walks. He's now going by Grizz, and is incredibly happy.

As for us, we're still in Tahoe, still same old, same old/ To buffer Izzy's loss a bit, we brought home a new cat, that, surprisingly, sheds more than he did. She's quite the character, and in some ways could be part Newf, in that she meets us at the door every time we come home, and loves to play with water. Go figure. Sean and I are moving closer to home ownership, and the idea of our own place with no insurance restrictions has me dreaming of drool and gads of Newfy hair. (If my dream little house can wait on the market for just a few more months, we may be there) But, for now, we're enjoying our current feline furbabies and living vicariously through others for our doggy dreams.

I want to thank you guys so much or your support during the whole ordeal. Losing Izzy was incredibly difficult, but we're so glad to know that he has such a wonderful home. For a long time, it was too painful to stick around here, but now that wounds are healing, you may see me lurking a bit more.

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: I'm so sad....for everybody! ** UP-DATE**
« on: December 28, 2006, 12:32:13 pm »
We did comtemplate hiding him, really, he's the exact same color as our carpet upstairs. If only he would hold still a little bit longer..

We looked into and considered TDI testing. The issue is that, though we love him so, our boy has some serious manners issues. The only command that he listens to 80% of the time is sit. Lay down? Forget it. Stay? Ha, you muct be joking. Also, he still has some fear aggression issues to be worked out with other dogs. He is fine with dogs under 35 pounds or so, but if the test calls for him to be introduced to a larger dog, well, that's it. The truth is that, sadly, while he more than certainly has the temperment to be a therapy dog, it will take quite some time to get his training completed to pass the test.

This whole issue has been heartbreaking, frustrating, maddening, and incredibly depressing. Every time I see him cuddled up on the floor with our 6 pound cat, or our friend's 18 month old (who he adores, and they are such partners in crime that it is hilarious) I just want to yell and scream "Does this look like a dangerous dog?"

I am trying to look at the positives, and the only thing I can find is that, perhaps this incident will prevent another dangerous one- ie, because we now know that the insurance will not cover a dog, there won't be any additional dogs at camp, and perhaps that limitation will prevent the camp from ever admitting a dog that would end up being dangerous.

But still, it's not fair. I want to pout like a little kid and clench my fists and scrunch up my face and make loud "hmph" noises. But, I know that won't do any good. Instead, I can only hope that Izzy finds a wonderful, wonderful family with lots of love to give him, and hopefully a couple of kids- he really, really likes them. For now, Sean and I will hopefully find a way to continue to be involved with Newf rescue, perhaps through transport or other avenues that don't include 130 pounds of love staying with us. And, as we begin to plan our house, look at propety, etc., we continue to keep in mind our future fur babies. And, by the way, when we do own our own house- we are having a Newf get together just to "nahnah" the board with our hoard of dangerous dogs.

No, we aren't able to have any kind of dog. The other family up here has a fully enclosed deck, and so they can keep their dog, Esther. She seems to sense our loss and is frequently showing up on our doorstep (she doesn't have to be enclosed when groups aren't in) and coming inside to hang out with us.

Thank you guys so much for your support and understanding. This has been such an emotional rollercoaster that I can't even describe it. Everytime I see his big doofy face I have to fight to keep from losing it. I just hope that all of this is for the best.

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: I'm so sad....for everybody!
« on: December 15, 2006, 02:28:50 am »
 Hey guys. Thank you for all of the kind words and support. Admittedly, I've been a bit afraid of posting our problem, since I was embarrassed to be one of "those people" who has to give up their animals. I never imagined that life could put us into this position.

For a little more clarification, it's not that we can't get an insurance company to cover Izzy. It's that we can't find an insurance company that will cover the camp as an insured in the event of Izzy biting. Our renter's insurance will allow us a 300,000 personal liability policy in the event that Izzy were to bite someone (anyone who has spent more than 30 seconds can tell you that would never happen). However, the policy will not cover the camp if someone decides to sue them. Because we live on the camp grounds (right smack dab in the middle at that), the camp faces litigation if Izzy bites, and since the camp's liability insurance will not cover Izzy, any litigation would be straight from the camp's pockets. And, for any of those who have worked for a nonprofit- that is just money that the camp doesn't have. Or couldn't even come up with, short of selling the camp.

We have looked into different policies that will cover the camp in the event that Izzy does bite, but have not found anything that is not exorbitantly expensive (thousands a month. Nonprofit salaries just don't cover that.) Right now we are at our wit's ends at the thoughts of losing our baby.  We can't even move, as part of Sean's job description requires us to live on camp most of the time. We are looking into the potential of getting Izzy certified for therapy work, but I don't know that he can pass it yet, or that the insurance provided with TDI certification will cover the camp as well.  It turns out that, about 15 years ago, the camp was sued over a dog bite by a staff member's malamute mix. The camp was part of a larger organization at that point and was able to stay standing when it was over. When we got Izzy, we communicated with all of the people that we needed to, but it turns out that none of them checked with the insurance company like they were supposed to. So, here we are...

Sorry that this is so long. Thank you once again for your continued advice and prayers!

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Doesn't like other big paws...
« on: December 02, 2006, 01:27:35 pm »
Well it appears that our little angel's halo is crooked... :-\  Izzy is having some definite issues with other dogs. In his last five encounters with other dogs, Izzy has snapped at four of them. All of them have approached in a friendly manner, and exhibited play behavior. Some of them have gotten a little too personal in his space, some of them have not. Either way, even when the dog is removed from the situation, Izzy continues to try to go after them. It doesn't appear to be dominance related, but I could be wrong. The one dog that he didn't have any problems with was Jake, my parents white GSD. But even then, Izzy didn't have any interest in him at all, didn't want to play with him, etc. Currently, DH and I think it may be due to insufficient socialization with large dogs. (He has had 100% positive meetings with small dogs under 30 pounds. Weird.)

So, my questions for the oh so wise dog owners here..

How can we help socialize Izzy? We live in a rather rural area, and unfortunately don't know anyone within a few hours drive with a larger dog that we can work with.

What should we look for in a trainer? We know that we're not experts, and so we'll be seeking one out. Unfortunately, we'll probably have to drive a minimum of one hour each way to get to any trainer we find, but, such is the cost for our baby.

Any other advice or tips? Noen of these events have changed the way that we feel about our baby, but we want to do right by him and help him get over these problems.

Also, if you have any questions about any encounters, etc. let me know. I just left out details for the sake of keeping the post relatively un-novel-like. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

Newfoundland Pictures / Re: Izzy at work
« on: November 22, 2006, 01:34:39 am »
And finally "Stop with the pictures!!! You're interrupting my nap... er.. concentration!"

Newfoundland Pictures / Re: Izzy at work
« on: November 22, 2006, 01:33:01 am »
That one's a real head scratcher...

Newfoundland Pictures / Re: Izzy at work
« on: November 22, 2006, 01:30:08 am »
Maybe a new position will help...

Newfoundland Pictures / Re: Izzy at work
« on: November 22, 2006, 01:28:03 am »
Better sleep on it...

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