Wednesday 27th May: Lox has a big day

I’m rushing as usual.  Even getting up at 5am doesn’t seem to give me enough time to get through all the emails and other things to be done.  First I have to feed the various groups of baby pups who are ready and eager for breakfast, then it’s time to write this blog, check emails. walk the dogs, and more emails.  Our adoption team, myself included, discuss the merits and suitability of dogs for potential adopters, and Maria, our foster coordinator, keeps me up to date with the medical status of dogs in foster care.  Joe and I are in touch about the accounts and also the events, possible and already planned, for the remainder of the year. 

There are frequent interruptions as I stop to break up squabbles between the doglets.  This is the age when they are starting to recognise their names so I can stand on the top floor balcony and yell at them individually.  Sumo is the usual ringleader of the gang that picks mercilessly on Woody, and Sumo (again) and Chip hate each other.  This is a very unusual situation as both are (desexed) males and have been brought up together, but they have loathed each other since early puppyhood.  I have no idea why.

 When it’s walk time I stand in one spot and call out the dogs’ names for them to be clipped on.  Each dog has its own leash so I know who I have with me and who is missing.  The dogs know their names even though they may sound similar, and each steps forward as his or her name is called.  It’s the same coming back after the walk, as I leash the dogs for the home run which takes us past a couple of houses.  There is a spot in the woods that is the place they know as the stopping point, and they wait for me there.

 The doglets run free, but there comes a time when they have to learn to walk on a leash, and to walk behind me.  The first time they get clipped on there is the inevitable resistance, but it doesn’t take long for them to accept their new status.  The biggest problem is getting them to stop pulling, and to realise that they have to walk round the same side of trees as everyone else!  Domino is the newest addition to the leashed group and she still forgets about the trees, although she has at least come to understand that when we come to a sudden stop it’s because of her, and she corrects her mistake.  Sooty, my biggest dog, seems to get his legs tangled in the leashes quite often, but he knows the command “Step, Sooty” and he jumps free of the tangle.  I’m a firm believer that dogs are much smarter than most people give them credit for, and that they understand a lot more than they let on.

 For today’s second attempt at getting the dreadlocked dog (now called Lox) out of AFCD kennels, I enlist the help of trainer Mark, and some pieces of chicken.  Lox happily accepts the chicken and once again doesn’t resist or move when I loop a (thick) leash around his neck.  However, as soon as he feels the tension on the leash, he starts to thrash around, hurling himself onto the floor and twisting and biting at the leash.  Mark loops a second leash round his neck and together we manage to get him out of the kennel block and into the outside area.  By now Lox is in a state of panic so we stop for a while, and I talk to him and rub his back through the lumps of matted hair.  He seems to calm and doesn’t mind at all that I’m touching him, nor has he shown any aggression or threatened to bite at any time.  I suggest to the AFCD staff that now would be a good time to give Lox his rabies shot and microchip, and although they aren’t as convinced as I am that they won’t get bitten, they do so.  Lox doesn’t even flinch.  We still have a long way to go to get out of the AFCD compound and across to our own kennels, so I suggest getting Lox into a crate that has wheels on, a very handy AFCD contraption that I have used many times to transport litters of puppies.  With a lot of pulling, pushing and shoving,. and the help of a few AFCD staff, Lox is safely inside the crate and the rest is easy.  Now we just have to see how long it takes for Lox to understand that he is safe, and whether he will forgive me.

 As Mark wheels Lox away in his crate, I take out a lovely and very pretty young Pekingese girl that was found as a stray and doesn’t have a microchip.  She is scared, of course, but lets me pick her up and doesn’t complain when she is chipped and injected.  Most little dogs aren’t as compliant when it comes to having a big needle stuck in the back of their neck, and it’s surprising how strong they can be when they decide to put up a fight, not to mention how happy they are to try and bite.  Anyway Lizzie, as she is now known, is lucky to find an immediate foster home, and by the evening is already a long way from her past.

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2 Responses to “Wednesday 27th May: Lox has a big day”

  1. Flora Says:

    The new layout of the website is quite attractive. But frankly from my heart. I more perfered the former presentation. What I mean is the word description of each dogs. Then we can get a little more informaion about them. Anyway, well done of your effort.

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