Monday, February 14, 2011

Heavenly Hound

What is it about hound dogs that makes my heart go pitter patter?  The big, floppy ears?   The soulful brown eyes?   Or is it their happy go luck, the glass is half full outlook on life?  Maybe it's all of the above.

The newest hound at the shelter is Denali.  He's one of those dogs that catches everyone's eye, even the "small dog" people that often stop by.  His velvety ears are as soft as a baby's blanket and he probably wouldn't mind standing in for a missing blankie if a child in his new home needed him to.

I recently took Denali on a field trip to do a little car shopping.  He was great in the car and a true gentleman with new people; in fact, he acted as if everyone he met was a old friend.

Wouldn't he look handsome IN the Lotus?

I was very impressed, as were the sales people, at all the commands Denali knew.  Denali came into the shelter as a stray and I am very surprised no one came looking for him.  He really is a charming guy.  The family that Denali chooses to live with, will be very lucky indeed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

There's Something about Yaffee

At first glance, one would say that Yaffee is a sweet, mellow dog.   Sweet  is definitely a word to describe Yaffee; mellow, well he can be depending on the circumstances.  You see, Yaffee is afflicted with a severe case of Separation Anxiety.
People often throw the term separation anxiety around to describe their dog’s behavior.  They may say, “My dog barks when I put him in a crate.”  Or, “My dog gets anxious when I get ready to leave the house.”  I ask them, does he destroy the crate he is in?  Does he destroy your home while you’re away?  Has he ever chewed through a door to find you?  Have you ever needed to bring him to the emergency clinic because he severely injured himself?  Because those are just a few of the things dogs with real Separation Anxiety will do if they are not treated for this horrible condition.
                 Snuggle time                             
Are you coming back?
Yaffee’s previous family did speak with their vet and started him on a medication that will hopefully help his situation; but, by the time they spoke with their vet, they were already frustrated to the point where they felt they could no longer keep him.  He is now back at the Animal Refuge League.  Because of the love he had for his family, he panicked when alone and became very destructive, including seriously injuring himself by breaking through a window to find them.

Since being at the shelter, we have continued the medication, which takes several weeks to take effect.   About five days ago, we rushed Yaffee to the vet to have a piece of metal fencing removed from the roof of his mouth.   This is an example of the panic he goes into when alone…he tried to chew through the kennel door.  It was a terrifying experience for me to have to try to remove this metal with a pair of pliers…it wouldn’t budge and all I could think about was that he was going to bleed to death.  That’s when my coworker picked up the 78lb dog and carried him to her van.  Her adrenalin must have been pumping!
Since that day, Yaffee spends his days in the office so we can keep him safe.  At night, we give him medication to help settle him, as well as, a homeopathic remedy used for fear.  It is our hope that his medication will kick in, then we can make him available for adoption (as a special needs dog) in a home where they will work at desensitizing him to being alone.  This will indeed be a long journey for someone, but we think Yaffee is well worth the effort.

Will you rub my tummy?
This is a strange looking human.
What Yaffee needs right now is a guardian Angel who would like to take him home at night and bring him to the shelter during the day.  Mind you, he shows absolutely no destructive tendencies when people are around.  He could hang out with them in the evening and snuggle on a dog bed next to their bed at night.  So please, please pass the word along if you know of someone that may be up to the task to be Yaffee’s special Guardian Angel.  FMI:  contact Teri at 854-9771.