Decision Day?


Yesterday, the local head of Minpinerie, emailed :

  we  do nto have the doggy advertised  and she shoudl be  feeling better now…  do youhave any nice pictures  of her?  are you thinking of adopting her?
i have to ask..  I am not pushing either way…  I have good applicants  in halifax   and one in toronto   but  i have two dog s come in this week they are in windsor  and  then these at risk dogs in the states and i am going to be away  for  3  weeks starting march 21
Gulp… My reply:
Hi Ruth – I wondered how I would feel when this question of Crystal came, and here it is.
She is doing so well, I cannot believe how much she has adapted in only 3 weeks.  She is now going outside for “go pee”, wags and dances when I get out her coat because she knows that means a “walk” – she is waking up to the world!
I will put her up for adoption and consider taking more foster doggies.  The main reason not to adopt her is that I spend summers at a cottage, and want a dog that does not bolt. I know this breed must be kept on a leash.
I have been keeping a blog about our adventures. Would this be something you would, or would not, want shared with prospective adoptors?
Gulp again.
My mentor, Louise, sent me this email:
some minpins can be very well trained to be off leash…ruth takes some of them to dog park frequesntly…some wander and return, some stay close, some get to know the boundaries and some, welll, they will run to hunt every chance they get…it becomes owner’s responsiblily once the dog is adopted…
my Cashew grew up at a cottage where she was off leash for most of the summer…can’t do that here because we are too close to BAnk and Albion, and I personally am not comfortable with dogs off leash…
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Up for Pups

Rescue dogs (and their new owners and fosterers) need all the help they can get. Often, the people who adopt have chosen with their hearts, and are new to dog ownership.

Thanks to the internet, help is all over the place. A thanks to Deborah Taylor-French, who by following my blog, led me to Up for Pups blog, a great resource. Especially check out the blog roll, which leads to tons of tips and experiences.

My tip of the day – if you have a small fearful dog, buy a satchel purse at the second hand store, to pop her in when life gets to be too scary.

Question:  Is this a good idea, or does it lead to dependency, and are you simply feeding  the fearfulness?

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Five Animal Blogs I Dig

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via Five Animal Blogs I Dig.

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Barking at life

Crystal’s instincts are conquering her submissive behaviour.  In the first 14 days, I heard her bark only two times — both at the  big dog in the apartment downstairs when he entered our place.

Well, now our world is beginning to be her oyster. She sees dogs thru the window and barks at them.  She also barked when Janet arrived yesterday, but not when my other guests did – which gave Janet pause – But I think it was just because Janet was first guest, and she also didn’t  approach Crystal and do the quiet-hand-smell-me introduction. It wasn’t for long, and I’m not concerned. On the contrary, it shows she is emerging. The moment you correct her, the ears go down, and she skulks away. Miss Sensitivity.  Puppymill bitches are commonly made submissive by the kennel owners – either whacking, or rough words etc.  I wonder if kennel owners can get the whole kennel to be quiet?

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Pimp my ride

Dollarama coat and Sally Ann purse carrier

More than one way to walk a dog! We are doing great at going outside for her “business”. Only one “spill” and one Number two inside this week, and they were both on pads! That is amazing in so little time out of a crate, mate.

But walking on leash is still full of scary monsters – people, cars, ice, cold, other dogs. Especially other dogs. So I bought a satchel purse at the Sally Ann, and plop Crystal in it until we can get to a patch of pavement, and away from the house.  Then I put her down, further each day, and we walk back towards home.  I am trying to teach Heel, but we are both new to it, and  she pulls and occasionally gets freaked out, so I keep the walks  short – haven’t even made it around the block yet. The reward? Tempting smells at every yellow snow spot. But then she remembers home, and wants to rocket for home. I’m trying the left hand, short leash  – good dog good dog method, but she isn’t comfortable enough yet to want to be on a walk.

Just being on the front steps, smelling the air and watching the passing scene is bliss, at this stage. She’s a homebody. For now.

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Slow down!

Louise, my minpin rescue mentor, called, concerned over an email I had  cc’d to her:

Hi Bill –
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog.
She will need lots of patience — after days of poop success, today I was having my coffee, and she pooped on carpet —

Subject: Help with Crystal

Hi Nancy. I mentioned your dog to a co-worker last night. She’s young but knows dogs and recently became a certified dog trainer. She offered to help you in any way she can.Dropped by your blog today she is one beautiful dog.


Louise thinks I am expecting too much of Crystal.  I was taking her outside on leash, repeating “go pee” and not letting her in until she did.
Also, I was taking her out in front, which is thru 3 doors to get through front entry (She is somewhat scared of doors.)rather than on back deck  (directly beside her “nest”) because my sister, longtime owner of dogs, disapproved. Sister said she would always go on deck and it would smell etc.
Louise, on the other hand, says it is early days yet, and it took her 6 months to get Molly to do business outdoors.  Six months!!
So I stopped the leash program, for now.  I say “go pee” a couple times inside the house, and  encourage her to come thru the doors on her own.  She usually runs away, so finally I pick her up and put her outside.
But THREE times now, she has exited thru the doors on her OWN!! Usually in mid-afternoon, when sun is highest.  I have begun just sitting with her on the steps in the sunshine outdoors, before or after her “go pee” , and she loves that.  It’s been cold (-12C) so I bundle her in coat and on my lap. she likes that. Because it’s so cold, I praise her as she is going, and then let her go back inside as soon as she is finished. She LOVES that.
Thank you Louise.
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Into Phase 2

Wow.  Bow wow. Silly me. I thought she’d never bark…

It’s now Day 15 – having Crystal. Until yesterday, she had only barked twice — when Scoobie, the downstairs GreatDane-x-Akbash, the 150 pound giant (vs. 12 pound Crystal) came close.

Then, this morning, she looked out the window and barked her head off at a lady in black coat getting out of white car across the street. Then she barked at man and dog walking by. The lady is feeling more comfortable, I take it.  Am I? Hmm…

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