well I have had a busy weekend! I had a home check on Saturday morning with Staffie Smiles Rescue ( www.staffiesmilesrescue.com ) which I passed. So I then planned to do a post on the home check, which I will still be doing, and a post on the preparation that I was doing before the arrival of the foster dog. However the next available dog was ready on Sunday after he had been assessed so he was brought round to meet my two on Sunday afternoon and has been here since. His name is Harley although since he was a stray has just been named but he does answer to it most of the time. He is between 5-7 years old and was so stressed in kennels that he’s hurt his mouth and face. He has also nibbled a bit of fur from his tail. Staffies never do well in kennels. He has been in a family as he is very clean, knows sit, stay, lie down and paw, toilet trained and most surprisingly doesn’t mind the hoover or loud noises. He likes his comfort anyway and has chosen his spot on the two seater couch as his bed. He slept all night without a peep and when I came through this morning you’d have thought he hadn’t seen me for years, he was jumping all over me and giving me a face wash! He has such sad, soulful eyes until you praise him then he just lights up like a different dog, it’s an amazing transformation to witness. Walking him is an absolute pleasure, he doesn’t pull in the slightest, he’s not much of a runner or sniffer he just plods along, but that might change after a few days when he’s a bit more settled as the poor boy doesn’t know if he’s coming or going at the moment. My friend visited this morning and he thought he was leaving with her, probably as he smelt her dogs off her. He walked perfectly next to my mobility scooter and wasn’t phased by it at all, he knew to keep at a safe distance, watching me as we went round corners so he wasn’t in the way, so maybe his previous owner had one or something similar like a pram maybe.He enjoys his food but isn’t greedy, he knows when to stop. He hasn’t tried to steal treats from my two either and takes a chew into his crate and won’t come back out of the crate until they have all finished, with the crate door left open and without me telling him. He is a wee gentleman and just wants a quiet life, I think. Last night he did try to steal a slice of my pizza but I caught him in time and he would have been hungry as I feed the dogs after I have finished eating and I did give them each a bit of ham from the pizza. When I took my two a walk this morning, I got a quarter way round and realised that I had left food on the coffee table in the livingroom, where Harley was, but when I got home he hadn’t touched a thing, in fact I don’t think he moved the whole hour that I was gone as he was in the exact same position that I left him in! So he is absolutely fine being left for a bit. I did think he’d of at least lay down whilst I was gone though as he had been his walk first this morning. I don’t think he has been a stray very long, as he is in decent condition apart from the damage he inflicted on himself in kennels, in fact he could lose a couple of pounds in weight so not been starved anyway. He loves being petted and praised when you come back but quiet independent otherwise. He’s been sleeping a lot but he’s destressing, his face needs to heal so will be causing him pain and just making him feel Bleurgh. He met Sally tonight, most staffies love children and he did too but wasn’t getting overly excited around her like a lot can which is good, he has been taught manners. He just sat on her knee! There have been a couple of minor scuffles between Harley and Coal as they are both males and Harley hasn’t been neutered yet as he is on antibiotics for his face, but also boys will be boys. It has just been all noise not biting and the minute I grab his lead (which has been left on trailing around the house just in case, for the first few days) he stops and relaxes so it’s not a ‘I want to kill you’ more ‘I’m telling you off’ scuffle. He isn’t really that interested in either Coal or Tess and the only scuffles have been a bit of jealousy as I am the prized possession at the moment in his eyes as he was without much human company whilst in kennels and staffies live for human attention.
He is such a good, calm, gentle dog that it makes you wonder why someone would dump him, but at least the bad times are behind him now and he can look forward to a happy future. If you think you could give this lovely boy a sofa of his own in your home or would like more information on Harley or any other staffie in the rescues care, please read and fill out the adoption form at – http://www.staffiesmilesrescue.com/adoption-form.html
Harley – foster day 5 Harley is much more relaxed today and has even started playing! He didn’t like Coal and Tess playing as I think he thought they were fighting, so after getting some advice, I closed Harley in the livingroom via a baby gate, then played ball with Coal and Tess in the hall so Harley could watch. He watched them twice then I threw a ball for him and off he trotted, retrieved the ball and started chewing it! He is now happily lieing on ‘his’ couch watching Tess play with a ball. This amazingly fast progress is proof of how intelligent this dog is.
Every day more and more of his personality is shining through. I had thought he just didn’t like too much excitement going on around him, like my two playing or Coals barking but last nights walk showed me different. We were walking back home and passed a garden with a 6 foot fence and a dog running along the fence barking, Harley got scared and ran (well as much as he does run!) past the garden. I think the barking must remind him of being in kennels.
During Coal and Tess playing in the hall, Coal started barking because Tess got the ball before him which started Harley barking but no lunging this time, he was wanting in on the play which is when I threw the ball for him. He really had a good chew on the ball, which was great to see.
His sore wee face is healing well and he will be finished his antibiotics tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Surprisingly, I found out today, Harley doesn’t mind the rain! I say surprisingly as every staffie I have ever known HATES the rain, it’s like they think they are going to melt into dog shaped puddles! Tess is especially bad for this and will refuse to go out even in the garden, but it’s the look she gives me as if it’s my fault it’s raining, that has me in stitches. I read on the Internet that it isn’t the getting wet that they don’t like but the noise as the low clouds make noises reverberate, whilst this might be true for some, with Tess she hates being wet! Not Harley though, it didn’t bother him in the slightest and because he went out in the rain it encouraged Tess to do the same! First time for everything lol
I said earlier that Harley had ‘his’ couch and I just want to clarify that although it is his chosen spot, he has no objections to Coal or Tess jumping up beside him but until 10 minutes ago, they haven’t lay beside each other. Tess jumped up they sniffed each other then Tess lay down beside him, it didn’t last long but it’s progress.
It’s great that they are all learning things from each other and is a privilege to watch. He is more chilled again today and was rolling on his back and let Tess and Coal sniff him. This was a very vulnerable position that he was in, but passed without any problem. He lay on his back for a few minutes, smiling at me upside down whilst they sniffed him as if he’d always done it.
When I have gave them a chew each, I was putting Harley’s in his crate and leaving the door open for him, but he always remained in his crate until everyone had finished their chews. However yesterday he came out while Tess was still eating hers, he never paid any attention to her or the treat until she walked away from it. Later on Tess went back to her chew and Harley and Coal had finished theirs so I thought there might of been a bit of jealousy as he didn’t have one but he didn’t bother at all! Like he understood he’d already had his one earlier – Tess doesn’t think like that!
I bought a long line training lead for him yesterday so I can try throwing a ball for him outside and to work on his recall a tad as its a bit hit or miss just now whether he wants to come or not, the majority of the time he does so won’t need much work as he picks things up very quickly. I also got him a doggy neck tie to take some nice valentines photos of him wearing it for Facebook so he will look very dapper like the wee gentleman he is! Lol. Sorry no sneak previews, you’ll have to wait until Valentine’s Day, if I still have him then!
Harley has been here 9 days today and is improving daily, not that he’s got much improving to do behaviour wise, more building his confidence and making him feel secure.
All four of us have been several walks together now although I haven’t managed to get photos of them due to grappling three leads! They all enjoy their walks together and Harley ends up in the middle as both Tess and Coal want to walk next to him, which Harley loves. When he’s not in the middle he plods but when he is in the middle his staffie swagger comes out and he looks like a wee man about the town! So cute with his bouncing head and wiggly bum! Also he has learned from walking with Coal and Tess to use his nose more.
Harley doesn’t really know what to do with toys yet and is unsure of Tess and Coal playing, so after getting advice from Staffie Smiles Rescue (who I am fostering him for) I closed Harley in the livingroom via the baby gate and played with Coal and Tess in the hall so Harley could watch, after a few throws of the ball Harley started barking but not lungeing – he was wanting to join in the play so I threw a ball for him he ran after it and then started chewing it and wouldn’t bring it back to me but he allowed me to take it from him then he chased it again and chewing it. I left it with him to chew and he managed to chew it in half! So he’s starting to get the hang of it. On his next walk I took a ball with me to throw for him but I had to go get the ball as he showed no interest. Too many interesting smells and wee mails to check out, to be bothered with a ball He is becoming more relaxed in the house as well you can feel it in the atmosphere. So much so that he is jumping up beside Tess and I on the couch and cuddling in with us both, he’s not at that stage with Coal yet but they are lieing in beds nearer each other now. Harley is still not sure what to do with his rope monkey toy that he got from Pawpost. When I throw it he jumps up and catches it but then doesn’t know what to do with it, so just drops it and either puts his head or foot on it, so I’m going to show him Tess and Coal playing with one of their soft toys today, then he can see how they play with it. He does like it though, he just needs a bit of guidance. Harley had some visitors yesterday, with a view of getting his forever home but it was not to be! He was good with the humans who met him in the house first and they really liked him. So after getting petted I got him ready to go out a walk with them and their dog. They went to their car whilst I took Hatley down to the bottom of my path to wait on them returning with their dog, but Harley wanted to go with them! When he saw them coming back he was happy to see them, then their dog sniffed where Harley had just peed. I walked in front with Harley to allow thei dog to smell Harley first then swapped over but neither dog showed any interest in the other, they never even glanced at each other. I gave Harley’s lead to the prospective adopter, whilst her friend held her dog on the left side of Harley. Then Harley showed me up! He has never pulled me once not even in the slightest, but he was pulling to the right to gain more distance from the other dog. He then lunged at their dog but no contact was made as he stopped himself, and their dog didn’t react at all so couldn’t of felt threatened by Harley. Which is a great sign. He then pulled the lady on the way back as he wanted to get home. I don’t think it would take much perseverance to stop this happening and once Harley is neutered it should improve as well, but the potential adopters dog is 12 years old so wouldn’t be fair to put it through living with a dog that it wasn’t 100% comfortable with. Harley has another visitor coming on Friday morning, they also have a male staffy so I hope that Harley and him get on better than he did yesterday with Sidney! My friend thinks he has chosen me but then I wouldn’t be able to help any other dog as I know that I couldn’t manage 4 dogs. Going from one to two dogs wasn’t much difference, in fact in some ways is easier as they keep each other occupied and amused. I have found three dogs to be harder though only due to the extra walking and even though I use my mobility scooter to walk them, it still hurts my back going over bumps in the road. My back has been giving me a lot more pain because of this extra walks, even though Harley is great on the lead. At least I managed to cut one walk out as I can now take them one walk a day, all together then walk them separately on their other daily walks.
Harley update foster day 11
Harley is getting used to longer walks now and not trying to jump in the footwell of the scooter anymore! A couple of days ago all four of us went a 2 hour walk, whereas when I first got him 20 minutes was his limit! In that 2 hours, Harley actually ran!! He ran three times during that walk all short bursts but he ran instead of his usual plodding! He loves going walks with Coal and Tess and still prefers to walk in the middle of them both. I think Tess and Coal had more to do with Harley running than either me or Harley did! When we got back home Harley ate half a treat then fell asleep, totally knackered from his walk! and slept the rest of the night. He was a bit stiff so I helped him up onto the couch and he never moved the remainder of the night.
Yesterday Harley wouldn’t go a walk by himself and even getting him to go in the garden was a struggle as he took one look at the snow falling and retreated back to his bed! Funny he doesn’t mind the rain but refuses to go out in the snow until later on anyway when we were all going a walk then he got excited. It wasn’t snowing when I eventually got him to go a walk but the snow had lay and was a few inches deep but as Tess and Coal were going out a walk Harley didn’t seem to mind the snow under his paws!
They had great fun running around with each other tangling up their leads! It was lovely to see them all enjoying themselves so much. The walk was full of fun. After around 45 minutes Harley started lagging behind but every time I turned to check on him, he would speed up just to please me, such a darling boy. On the return journey, as we were nearing the house a black Labrador, off lead, came charging towards Tess and Coal, who were in front of my mobility scooter whilst Harley was pulling up the rear, plodding behind my scooter. The black lab came right up to Coal and Tess and started barking in their face until Harley came round from behind my scooter and gave a couple of warning barks to the lab, no lungeing, just barking to warn the lab off which it did. Even though he doesn’t interact with Coal or Tess much in the house, he still wanted to protect them! He does interact with them both outside on walks and in the garden but not at all really indoors, this might be because he is exhausted from his new walking regime, as he sleeps a lot inside.
It shows that he is settling down more that he feels he should protect my two. After they had their dinner and after dinner treats, Harley lay down touching Coal and they both fell asleep for a bit, for the first time.
Today Harley’s new training line lead arrived, so I will be able to practice recall out on our walks together and see if I can encourage him to chase a ball outside. He hasn’t shown the slightest interest in a ball outside yet but I couldn’t throw the ball very far as he was on lead, so I will try now that this long line lead has came. I will also take a larger ball and a frisbee to see if he prefers to play with them on a walk. Also now this lead is here it means that I can let Harley run about with Tess and Coal more when we go our group walks, which will really tire Harley out!
Harley has another visitor coming to see him tomorrow morning and to introduce him to her male staffy, so fingers crossed that the dogs like each other this time!
Harley update foster day 12
Just a quick update today on how we got on with the new long line training lead and last nights walk. I had got the long line lead yesterday to practice recall and see if Harley would play fetch with a ball outside. So off we went loaded up with a ball, frizbee and lots of treats! We went to an enclosed field and I tried to get Harley interested in the ball before throwing it but to no avail, I threw the ball and it caught Harley’s attention so he ran (well, almost) after it, circled it then walked away so I kicked it for him but the same thing happened. He was more interested in all the new smells as we haven’t been to that field before now. I am happy that he is using his nose more though. I then tried the same with the frizbee but this engaged even less interest!
I moved on to the recall training, but every time I backed away from him he followed! I couldn’t gain enough distance to recall so I did the training by just taking one step back and calling him, he came the first couple of times but as he wouldn’t let me take a second step back without coming closer to me, he got bored very quickly and wandered off for a sniff! So we will keep working on this, just taking it in small steps.
On the return journey home, I leaned over to pick up a poo, which Harley had done, next to a boulder. Whilst I was leaning over the scooter seat, Harley jumped up onto the boulder to give me a kiss on the cheek! What a little sweetheart this dog is! If you have been reading my previous updates on Harley you will know that he has been turning his nose up at breakfast, even with food I know he loves! He takes a tiny mouthful then walks away, so I pick his bowl up and he would look at me and force himself to take another tiny tiny mouthful as if he’s doing it to make me happy then walks away again. That is until this morning, when I gave him dog biscuits, scrambled eggs, bacon and some grated cheese on top. Needless to say it got devoured! So he’s been having me on all this time, pretending he has no appetite in the morning, he just wants the good stuff, the wee monkey! In about 45 minutes, Harley has a visitor coming to meet him and introduce her dog to Harley, so fingers crossed the dogs like each other, I will update later on how the meeting went.
Foster day 12 part 2
Well Harley met with a lovely couple this morning and he took to them both immediately, giving them kisses and wiggling his butt! He showed himself off well in the house so after getting lots of petting and some treats, I got him ready to go out a walk putting his coat and harness on and he started to get excited about going out, which is relatively new.
I again waited at the bottom of my path until the couple got their dogs out of the car and again Harley pulled to follow them both same as he had done on Monday. When they reached the bottom of the path I started to walk on but Harley wanted to sniff their dog Ziggy, so at least today he showed some interest. I walked on in front to allow Ziggy to smell Harley then we swapped over so I was walking behind and Harley could smell Ziggy. The biggest difference when we were walking side by side from Monday was that Harley was pulling closer to Ziggy instead of away like he did on Monday. When we reached the park Ziggy got let off the lead and Harley got his lead extended everything was going well then there was a little fight between them but nothing serious and when Ziggy was back on the lead and we continued walking again Harley wanted to walk closer to Ziggy. Neither dog was fearful of the other after the fight and walked fine together so I gave Harley’s lead to the man, who was walking Ziggy at the time and both dogs walked very well together with him most of the way back. When we arrived back the man returned their dogs to the car whilst the lady came into say goodbye to Harley. Whilst she was petting him and saying goodbyes, Harley’s bottom lip started to quiver! This escalated to crying once she had left and he continued crying for 5 minutes, this was the first time I have heard him cry, it was just too cute! I then updated Staffie Smiles Rescue with how the visit went only to hear back that Harley has been reserved by the couple!! I am so happy for this brilliant wee boy! Finding his forever home so quickly which is no more than he deserves. He will be staying with us until he recovers from his neutering operation and the couples other dog Maisie only has weeks to live so he will stay until after she’s gone. Not only is it bittersweet for me but also for his new owners. I am made up for Harley but will miss him a lot, and his new owners will be losing and gaining a dog. They are genuinely lovely and very much staffy people, having had them before, they understand their needs. Harley has definately charmed them both and they are returning Monday morning to visit with him again. I have told them they are welcome to visit him as often as they want, to help create the bond between them and for Ziggy and Harley to get to know each other better, so it’s not a stranger moving into Ziggy’s home but to be honest I think the bond has already started to form!
Don’t worry, if you are looking to adopt one of this lovely breed there are still plenty of staffies in the care of Staffie Smiles Rescue which you can find out more about and fill out an online adoption form here – http://www.staffiesmilesrescue.co.uk and if you live out with Scotland then your local rescue is bound to have lots of lovely staffies. If your going to a local rescue centre, please keep in mind that staffies never show well in kennels as they get very stressed so please don’t just dismiss it because it looks a bit of a handful as most of the time this is just down to the extreme stress of being confined and deprived of as much human company as they desire, being that they are very human orientated breed of dog, at least see them outside their kennel before making any snap judgements as so many get bypassed due to the stress and the way the media has WRONGFULLY branded them ‘devil dogs’
Harley – 2 weeks in foster
Can’t believe it is 2 weeks already since I first met Harley but on the other hand I feel I’ve known him longer! There has been good improvement in these two weeks, he is such an intelligent dog.
When he first arrived, his face was sore from chewing the kennel bars, the edges of his lips had large scabs and were swollen so he was on a course of strong antibiotics and his lips have healed nicely. His front left Jew claw was opened up at the base, this was healing until he opened it back up during a walk, so trying to stop him licking at it so it gets a chance to heal. I have been cleaning it with medi scrub and putting a baby sock on him to cover it with some vet wrap to hold the sock on. He gives me his paw to do this so knows I am trying to help him, such a sweet boy.
Harley has been booked in to see the vet this coming Tuesday where he will get neutered, microchipped, vaccinations, worming & flea treatments. Whilst he is under anaesthetic the vet will check him over and might be able to give a more accurate age by checking his teeth, as his lips were too sore to check his teeth fully the last time he was at the vets.
The biggest change in the last two weeks is on walks. When he first came he wasn’t too bothered about going walks and I’m sure he only did it to please me! He only wanted to go short walks and after 20 minutes was trying to jump onto my mobility scooter. I gradually increased the time of each walk we went and he managed a two hour walk, he was stiff that night but was back to normal the next day. He now gets excited about going a walk when I put his harness on which he didn’t before. During the walks, running is becoming more of a regular occurrence but only when he’s out with Tess and Coal as he sees them running around. He is still happy with a 20 minute walk in fact he’s happy for any length of walk now. Chasing a ball or frizbee outside is not on his repertoire yet, he shows no interest at all apart from the first time the toy gets thrown where he will half heartedly chase it then walk away from it once he’s touched it with his nose but after that first time it doesn’t get looked at again! I’m pleased that he is using his nose more whilst out walking, he doesn’t sniff whilst walking but when you stop its a while before you get moving again as he will smell the same spot for five minutes! It’s great to see him being a bit more dog.
Inside the house he is trying to get the hang off playing but throwing the ball results in him chasing it then chewing it to shreds! As I said before he is a very intelligent dog and loves the brain training games the only problem is that he works them out so quickly! He sits and waits for you to fill the games with treats until you tell him to get it but it doesn’t take him long to complete them. Even the first time I put them down for him it was less than 2 minutes until he had retrieved all the treats from them. With the green Kong treat toy he cheated and chewed the edge off so the treats would fall out easier! He doesn’t swallow the chewed off bit instead spits it out so it pings across the room! He worked out extremely quickly that if he turns over the Kong treat toy the treats come out faster than chewing at it! If you would like to share your home with a stunning staffy like Harley please have a look on this website, if you live in Scotland where you will find information on all the staffies in their care and an online adoption form –http://www.staffiesmilesrescue.co.uk If you live outside Scotland there are plenty of staffies in rescues worldwide, they make great family pets and are extremely loyal, loving and usually great with kids, please don’t overlook them because of what the media wrongfully says about them. It’s not the breed but the owner, no animal is born bad they are taught xx
Harley is now Marley!
Harleys new owners have decided to change his name to Marley as it goes better with his new brothers name which is Ziggy. Marley seems to prefer his new name as he reacts a lot quicker when called, so his unknown previous name may have started with an ‘M’.
This is not the only big change that has occurred since my last update. Marley went to the vets on Tuesday for his castration operation, to get microchipped, vaccinations and flea/worming treatment. Whilst he was there he got a full check over as well, which resulted in his front left Jew claw being cut. I dropped Marley at the vets at 9am and was told to phone at 12pm to see how he was and then arrange a pick up appointment between 5pm-6pm. So when I got home from dropping him at the vets, I took my two a walk then got back and started playing with them, when my phone rang. When I answered it my heart was in my throat when the caller identified themselves as the vet receptionist, as automatically I thought something had went wrong! Thankfully I was mistaken and the operation was routine, they were phoning because he was getting himself so stressed in the recuperation kennel that they said I could pick him up at 11.45am as they close between 12-3pm. A nurse sat beside Marley in the kennel to keep him calm until I got there, I am so glad my vets love staffies and everyone that is employed there has at least one staffy at home, so they understand the breed. Staffies are usually the loudest breed after operations, they love to sing!
When I got Marley home he was feeling very sorry for himself and extremely subdued. He’s a typical ‘ill’ male – such a baby! He was crying on and off for the rest of the day, refused to go a walk ( which I expected) and wouldn’t eat his dinner so I had to pick out the chicken and hand feed him that, then he ate some homemade treats. He just wanted to be close to me and get cuddles. I kept my dogs seperated from Marley for the first day so that he wasn’t getting stressed. He went in his crate, as he feels safe in there and he allowed my two to sniff him through the crate bars, they were nose to nose and no grumbling! That night I was tucking him in and every time I got up to leave the room, to go to bed, he pawed at me, something he has never done. I didn’t have the heart to leave him by himself so I lay next to him all night but didn’t get a wink of sleep as every time I was about to nod off, Marley started trembling and licking my face for comfort! Just as well that due to my pain levels waking me up throughout the night, I am used to getting a maximum of two hours sleep so I didn’t feel too bad the next day, well not much worse than usual, and I managed to get an hours sleep the following day when all the dogs were asleep.
Marley hasn’t been one for eating breakfast since he has been with me, every time I put it down to him he would eat a tiny mouthful then walk away and when I lifted the bowl to his mouth he’d take an even smaller mouthful just to please me then walk away. I tried him with soft meat with and without dry meal, tuna with and without dry biscuits but nothing enticed him to eat……until I gave him scrambled eggs which he demolishes along with the biscuits! He likes when I add in some pancetta or grate cheese over the top! The morning after the vets, Marley ate scrambled egg, bacon and cheese, so his appetite was back – though it never left where treats were concerned! Lol I managed to sneak in his worming tablet into the scrambled egg, then I put his flea treatment onto the back of his neck as it would have been too much in one day for him to get it all done so I was to administer these treatments the day after his operation. He has to go back to the vets to get his stitches checked on Monday, then return in 2-3 weeks for his second lot of vaccinations.
The following day Marley still refused to go a walk, he wouldn't lift his paw to go in the harness and stuck it to the floor like glue when I tried to lift it! Even to get him to go out in the garden required the use of his slip lead! This could be due to the pain after the operation or because there had been a fresh snowfall, which he doesn't like or maybe a combination of both. He refused to go both walks anyway and started trembling so I just left him and gave him cuddles. In the garden he did a quick toilet then rushed back to the door to get inside! Marley won’t push the door open like Coal and Tess do, instead he waits for you to open the door for him. Now just got to work on him letting humans through the door/garden gate before he goes through. Typical staffy wants to be in front with both going through the door and being in front of the other dogs on a walk.
We haven’t been doing much training since the vets either, as he has seemed in too much pain. Marley only jumped up on the couch last night for the first time since the operation so he must of started to feel a bit better. He went to sleep by himself last night which meant I got to go to my bed, then this morning when I got up, Marley was running around the livingroom tossing his chew from yesterday up in the air, and he went into the garden without me having to coax him out wearing the slip lead, but when his harness came out he ran away! I’m going to try him again soon to see if we can even manage just a 10 minute walk to get him back into a routine of walking. He has certainly perked up today and is almost back to himself.
The day following the vet visit, the dogs treats that I bought on ebay were delivered, which was perfect timing! I had purchased 1kg each of pork strips, black pudding sausages and pig spaghetti (which is the pigs intestines – nice eh?!) but with hindsight I should have got 2kg of the pig spaghetti and left the pork strips as all the dogs much prefer it to the point of refusing the pork strip in favour of the spaghetti. I also made some liver and cheese treats for them.
Marley has been extremely good at not licking his Jew claw or dissolvable stitches, so had no need for an Elizabethan (cone) collar, which is good news as my two would have been very interested in that, having never seen one before on another dog. Coal was wearing one when I first met him after his cataract operations, due to him being blind from birth, but it’s different wearing one to seeing one on another dog, as they don’t have mirrors so can’t see what they look like wearing one. Also I don’t think Marley would have been too happy wearing it either.
well that’s me for just now as I'm determined to get this boy a walk today even if it’s just a short one, so wish me luck!
Marley update 26th day in foster
I haven’t managed to find time to give an earlier update as we have been busy here! So the day following my last update (Harley is now Marley), Marleys new mum and dad came to visit and brought along his new brother Ziggy again. Just before they arrived my friend and his daughter knocked on the door, so Marley was going round everyone getting attention from us all and was having the time of his life getting lots of petting and cuddles. His new dad got down on the floor and started playing with Marley using a squeaky teddy and Marley immediately started playing tug gently with him! This is something I have been trying to get Marley interested in since he arrived but it took his new dad to get him started! I think he has chosen them as his new owners as well as the other way around. Sally (age 10), my friends daughter, came on the walk with us and Ziggy, the dogs seemed more interested in each other, as they do each time they’ve met, and were walking side by side most of the walk. Sally took Marleys lead a couple of times and ran with him, when she stopped running Marley made it pretty clear he hadn't finished running yet and kept her going! This is a far cry from the dog that first arrived at my door, that would grudgingly go a 20 minute walk and just plodded all the way no matter how fast I drove my mobility scooter, he just plodded a bit faster! Then Sally took Ziggy’s lead, whilst the man took Marley’s. The only minor problem was on the way back, Marley urinated and Ziggy went to cover it with his own and Marley took offence to this and had a little bark at Ziggy but no hackles came up and he stopped himself quickly. It’s great to see Marley becoming more excited about going a walk now, he is so cute when he gets excited as his little bum wiggles!
The next day Marley had his post op check up at the vets, and they were very pleased with his healing. I still can’t believe he never once tried to lick his stitches or his Jew claw. So he gas to return to the vets on the 24th of this month to get his second lot of vaccinations and I'm going to get them to check the back of his neck as there is a lump there that I had presumed was a welt from a previous collar being too tight and rubbing him, but when I mentioned it to my dad on the way home from the vets he said that it might be his microchip coming out, which I didn't know could happen, but whatever it is it is itchy for him. I spoke to the vet on the phone and she said that the microchip working it’s way out can happen but is unusual. If it gets any worse then I have to take him in to get it checked but if it remains the same they will check at his vaccination appointment.
Later that same day, I took Marley out his walk to an enclosed field and as there was no-one else in the field, I put on his long line lead to let him chase a ball and practice his recall. i hadn't done this since his operation as I thought he might be in pain so didn't want to over exert him, but after I saw the vet squeeze his testicle sack without so much as a wince from him I realised that he could do a bit more than I had thought. At first he wasn't interested in the ball until he had toileted and had a sniff around then he dived at the ball, which was just sitting there so we started playing with it, well more him than me as he’d chase the ball then once got it would lie down and chew it rather than return it to me! When I got to him I said leave and he sat up and left it for me to throw again but after a few throws as I was walking towards him he’d jump up into a sit, leaving the ball before I asked him to. He picks things up really quick. I then did a few recalls with him, which he is fantastic at as long as he is giving you his attention and not the ball, even more so if you talk happy. We then returned to throwing the ball and every time he brought the ball back so the bit of recall training sunk in, which was amazing, he’s so intelligent.
We have also been doing more training in the house on a daily basis as I do normally with my two to keep their minds active and use up some of their energy. The only one Marley struggles with is lie down, everything else he does brilliantly. When his new owners were last here, they put a treat down in front of his nose and told Marley to leave, which he did then when told to get the treat he would try to give kisses first then got his treat. This was the first time I’d seen him do this as I’d never done it with him so for him to pick it up just like that, blows my mind!
His new owners are returning on Sunday and the plan is to take Marley through to their house, to let him get used to it and go a walk nearby so he gets the sight and smells of the area. This is not normal in a fostering/adoption process but as we have this extra time we are as well using it wisely to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. We have also been swapping bedding etc back and forward between us so that Ziggy has something in his bed that smells of Marley and Marley has something that smells of Ziggy in his bed, just do they get used to each other’s smells in the house environment. So I will update again on Sunday evening how the day goes and which will also be 4 weeks since he first arrived here.
Marley has gone HOME! Final foster update well that is Marley away to his new home, 1 day shy of being with me for 5 weeks. The last update he was going to spend an overnight visit with his new family but their own dog and Marley didn’t get on with each other whilst in the house, even though they had been getting better with each other with every visit. I think as Marley had been deprived of human company whilst he was stray and in kennels, that he wanted all the human interaction going and wasn’t best pleased when their own dog was getting attention! You can’t blame him really! So the following day they sent me a message saying that unfortunately it wasn’t going to work out with Marley and they would bring him back to me that day. When he was brought back there was a lot of tears as the humans had fallen for him but understandably couldn’t put their dog Ziggy through it as the whole reason they were looking for another dog was to give Ziggy a friend, and that either wasn’t going to be Marley or would have taken a lot of time and patience to overcome. We were all gutted but it just wasn’t to be. They bought him a lovely new lead and matching collar and were kind enough to leave it with him I let Staffie Smiles Rescue know the outcome of the overnight stay and they said they would work hard to find Marley a new home. Less than 12 hours later they had found him a home with 2 children and no other pets which sounded ideal. So transport was arranged to take him to his new home the following Saturday, so I had just under a week left with him. During that week Marley came out of his shell more. We went 1 1/2 hour walk, with me on my mobility scooter, and Marley wanted to run the entire way! Every time I slowed the scooter down he would turn and look at me as if to say come on, and would start running again – a far cry from the plod a long that first arrived at my house! In fact the only time he stopped running was when we came accross a male and female duck in the field which intrigued him greatly but he just stood and stared at them for ages, then started running again. He also started playing with toys more and on the Saturday he was getting picked up to go to his new home, I was organising his things and putting them in a bag for him, but he started taking the toys out of the bag and playing with them. I Think he ended up taking only one whole toy with him! All the rest had had a good chew, even the monkey that he used as a pillow lost its arm! It was as if he knew it was his last day with me, the way he wrecked his toys! I got smothered in kisses from him most of the day as well! I got got a wee update from his new owners and they are very impressed by him. They have been a walk along the beach across from them and he’s had loads of cuddles from the two kids who he was very gentle with and they also sent this photo of Marley chillaxing on his new sofa! He looks very contented! I am so pleased for this wee man, it sounds like he’s going to have a fab future in front of him, like every animal should have. And to think that this wee boy would not be alive today had it not been for Staffie Smiles Rescue saving him from death row! I have thoroughly enjoyed my (almost) 5 weeks with him and do glad that I was able to help him, in a small way, to find his forever home, and I do miss him as do Coal and Tess who keep looking round the house for him, when we come back from walks, but it makes it a lot easier knowing that he has a loving family and sounds like he’s setling in well there and loving getting all the attention. He probably hasn’t thought of us once since he left! I now have space to help another dog coming out of a bad situation!