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3 dogs in a VW rabbit

So my wonderful neighbor with the German Shorthaired Pointer and Border Collie came over for a walk with The Dude this morning. He has this silly project car that he just put a new engine into and is dead set on taking the dogs and me out to a new area to walk. He is very aware that Dudley needs a shorter walk and it will be a nice walk around a lake. But he is fixated on this whole thing of having all 3 dogs in the back of the car and the two of us. I told him that the car will probably barely be able to move with all of the weight! It would be a fun adventure and we wouldn’t have to go on the highway for too long. And Dudley absolutely loves the boys. I’m trying to be more “live in the moment” and not worry about the details so we may have some pictures to share next week. I know Dudley will hate the car ride but will love going to a new place. Actually he might tolerate the car ride because he’s with the boys. He follows their example! My neighbor knows all of the old logging roads so I am excited to go on walks with him, especially as we get into spring and summer. Dudley loves being out in the woods and smelling all of the smells! We are definitely more rural than his home base of Houston.

happy new year

In July, I had to say goodbye to my heart dog…I didn’t think that I would find another dog so soon, just because of how deeply I loved my Kota. I was poking around on Petfinder and AdoptAPet and found a beautiful older lady who had a cyst on her front leg. I was considering adopting her but she found a better suited home. My big thing was not wanting to adopt outside of my state and trying to keep it local because I wanted to be able to meet the dog and also not have to travel too far. I didn’t really understand people adopting out of state when there were plenty of perfectly good dogs available at a closer distance.

I wanted another German Shepherd mix like my old boy. My brother said get a pitbull mix and I was against that…not because of the breed but because I was so set on getting another dog like my Kota. We were bonded from the moment he came home, much to the horror of my husband, who we had originally gotten the dog for. I had my nephews (6 and 10 year olds) look at pictures of dogs, of course they wanted puppies which I was not mentally prepared for. Hundreds of dogs I looked at and read their bios…but then this silly thing popped up in my search. Goofy happy dog missing his back leg.

An amputee…I balked at it…but then I started to think about it over a few days. A dog from out of state, but the adoption fee was paid by an anonymous donor so all I would have to do is pay the transport fee. He was good with cats, kids, and was super chill but was in need of a house with no stairs. My neighbor had built a ramp into my trailer for my old GSD when his legs started to go and it would be perfect for a tripod. And then I started to stalk him on the rescue’s facebook page. He was the most perfect dog for me…mobility issues…check…stubborn like a cat…check…sensitive but friendly…check. He ticked all of the boxes I needed…good with cats, good with dogs, good with kids. I managed to convince my mom and come up with the money to cover his transport fees as well as convince my good friend to drive up to Portland Oregon at 3 am (a 3 hour drive) to pick up this dog who would be incredibly stressed and possibly hate us just by association of riding in a van for 2 days solid. He was on trazadone and still stress panted the entire way. Thankfully the driver knew him quite well from the two years he was at the rescue and said “he will be fine, in a few days…”

I did my research and found the tripawds.com site beforehand and had some idea of what to expect. I already was prepared to start him on acupuncture and had a good food that was high in fiber to help him have easier bowel movements. We had dogs on standby for walks for when he felt ready. The nephews already had came up with a very dignified name for him and were excited to meet him. We were fully prepared!

And then he entered our lives. This scared and stressed dog who managed to settle in within a week. When we got home from our 3 hour drive from Portland to the coast, he marched up the ramp and found the dog bed, barely giving me time to scoop the cat off the bed. He slept for 3 days with a few breaks for food and bathroom business. He immediately bonded with my parents and discovered the front porch and how fun it is to sleep on it and roll around. It was the end of summer and everything was glorious!

Then the rain came…he wasn’t sure how to deal with this constant liquid from the sky but he made one thing certain…no raincoat! Moving forward a few months, he will go outside but on his own terms. If anyone comes over to visit, they had better have a dog with them because he expects a dog with every human. Cold weather, no problem…never mind that he doesn’t have the coat of a GSD or Malamute…he’s got scent trails to check out. And oh, the joys of drinking fresh rain water out of a bucket!!! Heaven!!! We’ve had a few pouty hiccups. Dudley doesn’t like car rides and when we go over to my sister’s house for holiday dinners in my mom’s car, he wears the harness because he needs the handle to get in and out. He isn’t cool with me having more than 2 days off because if I’m home and we sleep in, it means that his friends are coming over for a walk. I work for the school district so I just had a 2 week winter break and he thinks that every day I’m home is a Saturday, which means walk with the boys and Sophie.

He is just the best boy ever. His foster mom actually didn’t want to give him up but she already had her hands full with her rescues and 2 dogs. We keep in touch as well as keeping in touch with the rescue staff. His foster mom said that Dudley is The Ambassador for rescues from the area. Everyone is so happy to see how well Dudley is doing and also so happy to see that he found a good forever home. They had a rough time getting him adopted with the amputation but fortunately we found each other. His amputation was actually a bonus for me because I was already equipped to deal with mobility issues from my previous dog. He doesn’t pull on the leash and walks really well with my mom for short walks during the day. And people drive by and actually slow down because they aren’t sure what is going on with the dog with the funny walk. I love it when I can let him off leash down the slough road across from us. He runs like he’s a lowrider…and he’s just so happy! His big thing that really puts a smile on his face is when he is able to toss leaves and dirt about. And stealing dog beds from the dogs he visits.

My acupuncture vet told me that the next dog that found its way to me would be a dog with special needs. He knows what a sucker I am for a down and out critter 🙂 Our Dudley may have resting “melancholy face” but he is starting to see that he is home for good!

Wishing you all a wonderful beginning to a new year and so thankful I found this community.

Emily and Dudley

Dudley goes to dog obedience class

My neighbor with the Malinois was chatting with one of the local dog trainers about Dudley. We are going to try out a dog obedience class next month. 10 weeks with probably 25-30 dogs. I am one of those people who worries about everything…and tries to be prepared for any scenario. I know Dudley will do amazing being around other dogs and people, probably a little too social but the thing I worry about the most is his remaining back leg. The trainer has been doing classes for almost 40 years and she has worked with many physically challenged dogs. I am going to talk to her after the holidays are over and make sure that we have some adaptations for the usual sit/stay. Dudley isn’t a sitting type of dog. He is either vertical or horizontal.

The most important things for me are that Dudley has a good recall command and a good wait command. He walks really well on leash and I’m not focused on having him sit on command. He isn’t a big beggar for food although we probably should work on the “leave it” command. I spent the first 3 months of us being together building a bond and letting him “own” his neighborhood. We haven’t had any bolting back towards home situations recently and I have learned that if he doesn’t want to get up off the bed to go out, I shouldn’t push him. I’ve also learned that he will pout all day if I don’t go to work and we don’t have social time scheduled with the various dogs he hangs out with! He thinks that every day I don’t get up and go to work is a Saturday pack walk. And I don’t go back to work until January 3rd!

Yesterday we had a little polar blast here on the coast. We were very fortunate to not get hit like the rest of the country. But we did get the freezing rain around 5 pm. Dudley wanted to go outside to do business and ended up sliding down my little ramp. He survived but when the next morning came, he was all “NOPE!!!” That stubborn thing waited until 11:30 am the next day to go out and do his thing. And the funny thing is that when it was just above freezing and we had the east wind, he was running down the slough road as happy as could be. Ironic, considering that he has the coat of a boxer/pittbull. I did some reading and scents are easier to pick up when it is cold. He was definitely smelling deer and coyotes so he was happy.

I am learning so much with this dog…his amputation is less than a year old and he is very emotionally sensitive. But he is just the most amazing boy ever and is such a good boy, considering the situation he came from. I keep in touch with the rescue I got him from and they all loved him so much…but also know about his stubborn side!

Dudleypuncture

So yesterday we had a couples session with my acupuncture vet. He booked an hour session for both my little old lady cat and Dudley. This was my first visit to the vet with Dudley and I figured he would be all “hey, how’s it going? good to meet you” etc. We have only driven to my sister’s house a few times and hadn’t done any public outings yet. He did awesome and was very social.

When we did the acupuncture, I brought in both the cat and the dog. Dudley was super excited and wouldn’t settle down so the vet decided that he would do Alice Cat first since she is super chill with getting acupuncture and give Dudley about 25 minutes to get settled. He paced and grunted and whined the entire time during her session. Too much going on outside the doors and he needed to know what was going on.

After Alice Cat was done and we popped her back in the carrier for her little zen session (she really is amazing with acupuncture…she just chills out afterwards) we started on Dudley. He did good with the needles and didn’t try to pull them out or shake them off but there was this moment where he kind of hit the pause button. He didn’t know what to do with himself after getting the needles in and just stood there. My acupuncture vet said “I think I broke him”…and there was this odd state of being that Dudley fell into. He wanted to walk around but I had a finger looped through his collar so he finally just laid down. He stayed in one spot for about 10 minutes before getting up. The anxiety and needing to know what was going on outside the room went away. We reached a point where he lost a few needles but he still had the major ones intact and he had his head on the floor and sort of relaxed. There was whining and grunting but not the need to get up and smell the door every time someone walked by.

We are going to do sessions once a month with both the cat and the dog since it works well to bring them both in together. And we got a weight for Dudley! He is at 65 pounds (10 pounds lighter than when he came to us) My acupuncture vet said he is at an ideal weight for his body type but I may try to get him down a few pounds just because he’s a tripod. If I can keep him between 60 and 65 pounds, I’m happy! I have the next 2 weeks off since I work for the school district and the kids are on winter break so we will do more fun walks, etc.

Dudley is brought to you by Tripawds.
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