Dog park!

Desi passed her first day at the dog park with flying colors. She literally was flying. This dog LOVES to run! I was nervous because she also loves to bark at dogs going past the house. Thor was not a good boy at the dog park. He just wanted to boss the dogs around and play cop. I dreaded taking him there, too. Only did because KJ wanted to. I realize a lot of it was Thor reacting to my nervousness, but I so didn’t want to be the person with the problem dog and Thor was a problem dog at the dog park. 
Okay, back to Desi. I apologize, I get off track easily.
The DP was busy. It was cold, but the dogs don’t notice that! I kept Desi on the leash for about five minutes. KJ had the chuckit for Brett and they were already playing. I let Desi go and she took off just running for the pure joy of running. I love that! She stayed pretty close to Brett chasing him while he chased the ball. A few times she tried to grab onto Brett on the top of his neck. Not in an aggressive way, I think she’s just trying to get him to stop and play with her. At times other dogs would run with her and she’d chase them barking, but not biting. Later there was a dog she did try to bite in the same way, I think, just to get them to stop running. KJ got her to sit, then lay down, over on her side, all by tapping her with the chuckit. He did really well with her, actually, which surprised me. I was away from them when this happened, just watching. 
Her recall isn’t good. I need to remember to bring treats. I’m bad about remembering them. I didn’t take pictures. The light was really flat as it was cloudy in a dreary kind of way. 
Desi really wasn’t that interested in the other dogs. There were a few times when I had to redirect her, but she had a great time.
When we got home, I brushed Desi for the first time. Her owner gave me a muzzle to put on her for brushing. Said she snarls a bit sometimes. I thought, okay, let her try to bite me when I brush her! I have a grooming bench that I keep in the garage but KJ brought it into the basement for the winter. She did well. She did try once, not bite, but just tell me she didn’t like what I was doing, when I hit a snag. I corrected her and she didn’t try it again. she knows who is the boss.
I’m going to get some pictures and will post them later.
And now time for me to get a bit political. A woman showed up with a husky mix. Really large dog, un-neutered, which I have so many issues with. Someone asked her what kind of dog he was. Malamute and 35% wolf. The guy asked, you know how much wolf he is? She said she got him from a wolf sanctuary in Utah. He was a friendly dog, I’ll say that. Young. Less than two years old, she said. And I can understand that sometimes wolves and dogs mate, but . . . BUT . . . I just don’t think the sanctuary should then sell these dogs. And the fact that they knew the percentage suggests they bred them. He did seem more dog than wolf. I’m really just against this 100%.

Desi is a Diva

Desi loves it up on my bed. She also has this weird obsession with licking my bedspread. I have to stop her several times before she leaves it alone. 
She okay with the cats but tries to get them to run so she can chase. 
She and Brett play until it becomes too wild and I stop them. 
I can feed her and Brett in the entryway together. Separate ends of the floor, but they’re alright together. 
She loves to bark, and bark, and bark. She alerts at everything.
She pulls stuff out of the garbage whenever she can.
She’s doing well in the kennel when we leave. She goes into it w/o any hesitation.
She is a true sweetheart. So gentle and loving.

Collie in the house!

It was weird just now. I’m sitting in my bedroom chair and Desi came up to the side and without thinking I absently reached down to pet her and for an instant I think I thought it was Thor.
She doesn’t look like Thor at all other than coloring. She’s very petite. I think she weighs less than Brett and he’s 45 pounds. 
Kind of dark. Taken with my cell. No batteries in the real camera. Notice how Brett finds a way to get into each and every picture.
We left for Wisconsin about 2:00 to make the 3:30 meet-up time. As we got across the border we were able to pick up the Packer game on the radio. They won! 10-0!!!
Traci was about 45 minutes late, including missing the exit. As we were waiting there was another dog transfer taking place in the parking lot. My curiosity got the best of me and I went over to them and asked where they were from. They didn’t really give me an answer and didn’t know exactly what rescue they were going to. Kind of weird to me, but one of the vans had something like “Animal transport” actually imprinted on the back driver’s side. ONe of the women had a German Shepherd Rescue t-shirt on. The other had some name of a rescue I didn’t recognize. They weren’t that friendly, actually. Oh well. 
Traci finally arrived. She seemed rushed. We each drove about 90 minutes, and we both needed to get back, but I also know this was hard for her. She gave Desi a kiss. She sent food, leash and records. The coolest part is her AKC registration and lineage. Most of the collies we get do not come with a history. Although more so lately we’re getting owner surrenders because of financial problems, so we have more history with them.
I now know that Desi is actually Balverie By Design. Her sire is a champion, all four of her grandparents are champions and seven of eight of her great grandparents are champions. Her father was a sable and white, her mother a tricolor.
I walked her a bit when we first got home, but it was dark so I didn’t stay out long. Inside she cased the whole house and seemed to be looking for a way out, but she has settled down and is fitting in. She’s REALLY interested in the cats and has already stalked Lily. I don’t think Speedo has come down from his perch on top of the fridge yet. 
She’s very excitable. KJ was talking about something and he waved his hands in the air and she barked at him. Later he ran down the hall (something he often does) and she chased him, barking. He finished the vacuuming and she reacted to the vacuum at first but didn’t bark at it. (Thor barked at the vacuum a lot when we first got him).
We’re told she chases cars and bikes, so we need to watch for that carefully. I don’t think I’ll leave her by herself on the tie-out as our street is fairly busy.
Speaking of, I should probably take her out now!

Updated foster list

Pictures of fosters with general dates I had them.

#1 Janis (June 2009)
#2 Baron (August 2009)

#3 Dolly (October 2009)

#4 Cody (December 2009)

#5 Fergus (March 2010)

#6 Becca (May 2010)

#7 Swiper (July 2010)

#8 Diamond (September 2010)

#9 Prairie (May 2011)

#10 Mac (August 2011)

#11 Desi (November 2011)

#12 Bruno (December 2011)

#13 Rocket (February 2012)

Desi transfer

Will be meeting Desi’s owner on Sunday. I’m sure it will be hard for her. The only other dog I picked up directly from the owner was Striker (Swiper). It didn’t seem hard for her, but she did have her husband leave with the kids so they wouldn’t be there, because her daughter did not want to get rid of the dog.

According to what was written on the surrender form, Desi gets into stuff. Garbage, food on the counter, etc. She chews on books. Jazz did this (my collie/border collie mix I had before Thor). He never took a book from a shelf, but if one was left out on a table, couch, floor, he’d chew up the binding. Someone told me dogs sometimes like the taste of the glue in the binding.

If you noticed in the picture yesterday, Desi is tied to the chair. I wonder if this was their solution and just how badly she behaves? When I’m house breaking a dog I keep them tied to me, so wherever I go, they go. It seems to work pretty good. Otherwise you just have to keep an eye on them, not letting them stay in the kitchen when you leave the room if there is food or garbage out. The paperwork stated that she is house-trained, spayed and up to date on shots, etc., so she should be listed as available after two weeks.

I will be crating her when nobody is home. This usually isn’t for more than six hours at a time. It was nice to not have to crate Mac.

Completely unrelated to fostering.
The Packers creamed the Vikings yesterday!!!!!!! A lot of people I talked to thought it would be a close game. Not me. The Pack was coming home to Lambeau after being gone for a month and everybody was fired up. 45-7 and those seven points were off a boffed punt when Cobb grabbed and missed the ball, so the Vikings were really pretty bad, especially in the second half. Starting to look like a coaching problem to me.

Thor – July (?) 2003-Nov. 4, 2011

I first fell in love with collies watching Lassie as a kid. It wasn’t Lassie so much as it was just that I just loved the dog. Large and furry. I got a book on collies for Christmas. In 9th grade I bought my first collie for $45. That was when I experienced for the first time, the intelligence of this breed. Kelly lived to be 13. I will write about her some other time.

This entry is about Thor. My “I will have another collie someday” collie. When Kelly died, I was living in Ketchum, Idaho. She stayed with my mom in Wisconsin because that was her home. I was working a few hours on the weekends at the shelter in Hailey, Id. I wanted to bring all the dogs home, so I settled on one, a springer/sheltie mix I named Travis. When Travis was about 12, my mom’s friend’s neighbor’s daughter brought home a puppy she knew she couldn’t keep, but the farmer was about to kill him because he wasn’t needed on the farm. That was how I got Jazz, a collie/border collie mix. (I was getting closer!)

When Jazz was 11, I happened across a collie on and that was how I got Thor. He was a one-year-old collie being fostered in Osceola, Wis. for a rescue. He was originally from Kansas City. His owner became disabled and couldn’t care for him anymore.

Though he had his faults, he was too bossy in the dog park, and as a typical collie, barked A LOT, he was a perfect gentleman. Friendly to everyone he met, loved the cats, was good with the rabbits, and could be left alone in the house without getting into anything. Too often we’d come home to an absolute mess with Thor pushing his way out the door as if to say, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT MESS!

He loved to go for walks and rides in the car with his head out the window. He didn’t like water or it’s frozen form. I had to push him out the door in the rain or snow.

A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with cancer after he went blind and his face swelled up. The medication brought the swelling down, but he’d been losing weight and went from being a normal eight years old to about 12. He was losing control of bodily functions. As Dr. Bob Nelson once said about Kelly, it was time to be a friend to Thor.

Thanks to everyone for the hugs, real and cyber. They help.

I will continue fostering and when the right dog comes along, I will adopt again. As hard as it is to lose them, it would be harder to not have them at all.