Foster Dog Macon – Days 4 and on

IMG_0144I’ve been terrible at writing something about fostering Macon this past week. During the week it was pretty much the same thing – get up, do our routine, crate him, leave for work, come home from work, let them play out back, maybe take them for a walk, etc. There were a few days that we didn’t get walks in because when I came home, I had to deal with the contractors work on my shed. One night I know I was helping them past 8pm. Yep, I’m out there holding a flashlight so they can do their work. Ugh.

Friday morning arrived and I woke up to it raining. I laid in bed wondering if Macon would be like Sadie and not want to go out in the rain. I was asking myself if he doesn’t potty, will he make it the entire day or should I come home at lunch to let him out. When it was time for them to go out, Macon went out no problem. Sadie stopped at the door and said “nope, not doing it.” The rain picked up a bit and needed to get Macon inside. Knowing he would be wet, I grabbed a towel so I could dry him off. I called and called Macon and like before, he doesn’t respond. I grab my umbrella and walk out on the deck. He finally comes up the deck stairs and I quickly grab the towel to wipe him off. He is muddy and wet. Gross.

Now it’s time for the crate. I put peanut butter on the Kong toy like I did the day before, and let him lick the treat so he knew what was there. I tossed it in the back of the crate and this smart boy didn’t budge. Well crap! That idea didn’t work well. I grab some other treats and throw them in hoping he would get a little closer. He did and I was able to them push him from behind. It was like wrestling a wet bear this time. I was in heals and black slacks, trying to push this wet, muddy dog inside his crate. Finally he went in and I quickly shut the crate door. Oy!

I get home later that day and let them both out back. I’m sitting in my living room and and I hear this sudden noise from outside. I realized that it was a downpour and both dogs were outside. I rush to the back door and call Sadie and Macon and neither respond. I get my boots on and grab my umbrella…again, and head outside. I call Sadie and she finally come slinking up the deck stairs, ears down, body low to the ground and gets as close to the back door as possible. I let her in and dry her off. Macon comes up and he is super muddy and soaking wet. I do my best to get him dry and cleaned off but he had so much mud in his paws. My hardwood floors look like a paw print painting.

At this point I figured I would clean the floors once the outside was all dry and the inside wouldn’t continue to get muddy.

Saturday morning I woke to a strange sound in my bedroom. I sat up in bed to find Macon shredding Sadie’s bed. I grab the bed and the stuffing and placed it on my bed. As I’m getting out of bed and go out to the dining room area, I see that Macon is now getting ready to work on my cat’s bed. I quickly grab that and put it up high. I see his 10+ chew toys all over the floor yet he didn’t want any of them. I put them both out side so I can get showered. Now remember, the outside is still pretty wet. Fun times.

At this point I’m feeling at my wits end, wondering if I am strong enough to continue fostering him. I was told he was crate friendly – not,  I was also told he had low energy – not! He always wanted to play, which Sadie loved but I was beginning to think it was too much for me. I emailed a lady at the rescue and shared my feelings and thoughts. She said she would try and find him another foster.

Sunday the rescue was holding an adoption event and I wanted to make sure that Macon was there. He really was a great dog and everything I was feeling were my issues, not his. He was doing what dogs do. I was the one who was having trouble adjusting. I’ve never had to crate a dog, I’ve never had a dog that chewed everything in sight, I’ve never had a dog with so much play energy. It changed everyone’s routine and dynamic. My cat who is losing weight by the minute due to hyperthyroidism and kidney disease didn’t eat for three days.

So Sunday morning I use wipes to get off any mud and dirty spots off Macon. I brushed him to make him nice and fluffy and pretty. I gather his blue folder, some treats, put his harness and leash on and we load up in the car. Sadie barked as she wanted to go with us but I couldn’t bring her. We arrive at the event and we are the third dog there. We find a nice place in the sun to stand away from the main area. Now we wait.

He had several people come up and pet him, ask for his story, and contemplate adopting him. A family came over who had two sons, one 5 yo and the other is 13 yo. The mother fell in love with Macon. I told his story and they asked if he was good with kids and cats. I said he is great with kids, cats, dogs, chickens, etc. They asked how he is when he’s crated and what he eats and likes to play with. I brought three marrow-less bones that he loved to chew on where Sadie doesn’t like them once the marrow is gone. They had a family meeting and came back with great news – they wanted to adopt him!

They went inside the pet store and bought all the necessary supplies, filled out the paperwork and we all went our separate ways. I was happy, sad, and relieved at this point. Macon and I had a moment when the family went shopping for us to say our good-byes. He put his head in my lap and just stayed there while I gave him hugs and whispered in his ear that Sadie and I would miss him. He really was a great dog.

Macon’s name was changed to Mason and he found a great forever home with two boys who will enjoy his energy and his great character.

Yesterday I spent some time breaking down his crate to return. I returned two baby gates and then rested. Tonight I’ll mop the floor and get the mud out and hopefully this week the household will go back to normal. Sebastian ate all his food last night and all of it this morning. Maybe I can’t foster until Sebastian, Molly (mom’s cat) and mom are not present in the house since it does change the dynamics with everyone.

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Foster Dog Macon – Day 3

Day 3 started out with a different morning routine since I had to go to work. I woke up extra early knowing I would be doing some things differently. Plus my mom’s friend was in town and I had to take her to the airport on my way to work. In the beginning I would separate the dogs during feeding time. Not because either of them are food aggressive, but when Macon is done eating (and he eats much faster than Sadie) he immediately goes over to Sadie’s bowl to finish that off. So lately I prepare both bowls at the same time and put Sadie’s down first and then put Macon’s down. When Macon finishes, I make him sit next to me and wait until Sadie is done. When she is done, I release Macon from Sit and he goes over and licks out Sadie’s bowl. I’ll continue to work on this with him.

I’m also trying to teach him to leave the kitchen when asked. Sadie is very good about leaving when I say “Out”. I just prefer to not have any animals in the kitchen when I’m cooking or doing anything in there. Maybe that’s just me. 🙂

While I wait for my mom’s friend to come upstairs, and while I have my coffee, I sit out back with Macon and Sadie and watch them play together. At this point I’m hoping they play, get tired, and then sleep most of the day. Coffee is done and it’s time for me and my mom’s friend to head out.

So now it’s crate time. My favorite time. He really doesn’t like the crate. It is always a struggle to get him to go in. Finally I manage to get him in and close the door. He starts barking as we exit the house and I feel really bad because I can hear him all the way outside. I know he’ll settle down. Plus I planned on coming home at lunchtime to check on him, let him out, and check on the workers putting my shed up.

It’s lunchtime and I head home wondering if he made a mess in the crate, or somehow managed to escape. I pull up and the workers are in the back yard. I go out back and let them know I’m here to let the dog out on leash. One of the workers is terrified of dogs. I close the gate and head inside. Macon is laying calmly in his crate until he sees me going towards him. I get his leash and we head out back. Just him and I. No Sadie. I didn’t want distractions because I wanted him to do his business. And he does.

Not it’s crate time – again! Push, push, push and finally he goes in. Back to work.

After work I get home and he is so excited to see me. We all go out back and they play and play some more. So nice for Sadie to have a friend. She is LOVING it! I didn’t get them both on a walk like I had planned since I was busy installing a baby gate at the top of my stairs. My house is a split foyer with banisters. I found a baby gate that can be attached to the bannister without having to drill. I realized to do this I need two more arms. Luckily my mom got home and helped me hold it in place while I put all the pieces together. I got two other metal baby gates, one for the hallway and one for the kitchen. Neither worked very well so I plan to return them. I wanted one for the kitchen so they can eat separately or if we are in the kitchen, they won’t be. But it was too tall and the granite counter island thing was too low. The one in the hallway worked except I completely forgot about my cat and there was no way for him to get to the bedroom where his food is. So now I get to package them both up and return them. Maybe all I need is the one for the top of the stairs. Who knows.

We head out back one last time before bed and it was another night with Macon not needing the to be in the crate. I wasn’t sure if the first night was a one time deal or if he would continue to be good at night-time. Took a risk and we tried it again. He slept so well and never left the bedroom. Sadie slept out on her Chaise lounge and I’m not sure where my cat, Sebastian was. I think Macon is settling in nicely.

No photos for today but I hope to get more soon.

Foster Dog Macon – Day 1

IMG_0149A few months ago I decided I wanted to foster dogs so that my dog, Sadie, could develop play skills as well as have a friend. That was put on hold when my friend’s foster dog attacked Sadie leaving her hind leg wounded. Now that she is more than fully recovered, at the last minute I decided to foster. Technically I was looking to foster a Border Collie mix that I saw posted online, however since it was two pups, they couldn’t be separated just yet. So for the foster mother Kelly to take the Border Collies, they asked if I would foster Macon. They thought it would be a nice fit since he was currently in a house with small children, dogs, cats, and chickens. Dogs XL didn’t want me to take on more than I could being that this was my first foster.

Saturday evening my mom and I went to pick up Macon and get his supplies. Macon walked in and both of us thought, “wow, you are much bigger than we thought”. He’s about 60lbs and is a Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mix. He’s about 1-2 years old and about three weeks ago had surgery.

When he was rescued they though that he must have been hit by a car and left. His hind leg was dislocated from the hip and poor Macon lived with it for who  knows how long. He walked and did what he needed to using his other three legs. When the rescue got him, took him to surgery, they found that a lot of scar tissue was in the hip socket, which led them to believe that Macon had lived with this injury for quite some time. They cleaned out the socket and put his leg back in. His hind leg is still pretty shaved and you can still see the stitches.

The foster mother Kelly gave me some tips on what to do to help him put weight on his hind leg. One thing is to feed him on the stairs, going up. This way he has to climb up a bit while putting weight on that hind leg. It works! Another thing is to walk him with a top clasp harness. This makes him want to pull which also helps him use that hind leg. Some other things were light walking, play time and using a tug-o-war toy so that while he’s pulling he’s putting weight on the hind legs. We are doing all of the above.

The first day/night was quite interesting. He was full of energy and followed me around…everywhere. He wanted to play with Sadie and watching him rough house her made me extremely nervous. I started to rethink this whole thing. I put him in his crate to calm him down for a bit and he barked non-stop. I was told he liked his crate and went in quietly. This was not the case for me.  I emailed Kelly and asked her to call me. She did and we spoke for about 30 minutes and she eased my mind. I also asked her about his stool because there were white round balls in his stool. She laughed and said he ate two beanie babies…LOL. Good to know! Then she reassured me that he will bark for about 5-10 minutes in the crate but will settle down. She was right about that. She also did inform me that Macon does play this way but never hurts or bites. She has three dogs all in different ages and personalities and he did great learning each one. So I felt better after that phone call.

After taking both dogs out separately I put Macon in his crate and yep, he barked, a very high pitched young bark. Once I got into my bedroom and things quieted down, so did he. I was worried that I wouldn’t get much sleep that night but we all slept for a good 8 hours uninterrupted. Macon started whining around 6am so I got up and took him out back. Then I brought him in and let Sadie out. We all are back in the house when I wasn’t sure if Macon should go back in his crate just to start barking again. We all headed to my bedroom and I brought out another dog bed for him. After he circled the room a few times, he settled in on his new bed. Sadie was in her bed and my cat, Sebastian, was on the bed. We all slept until about 10am. Overall not bad, huh?

Here are some photos from Day 1.

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Stay tuned for Day 2!