Update on Sophie and new picture

Sophie has had a great summer with her family, settling in, learning schedules and being loved and getting all the attention she deserves and wants. I’m told they have found out how smart she is and is as sweet as can be. She’s not liking their morning or nighttime walks in the dark though, probably because it’s harder for her to see in the dark, but they are rearranging and adjusting to the shorter days. 

New pictures of Rocky

He’s REALLY feeling better!
I’m supposed to keep him calm still from his surgery, but he wants to play, play, play. 
I gave him a dry shampoo bath the other day and have been brushing what’s left of his coat. He doesn’t like the grooming table, but is starting to get used to it. 
If Woodson is in my bedroom chair, Rocky will try to get him out of it, usually by barking at something enough so Woodson will get down to investigate and Rocky jumps up. He also moans as he lays down next to the chair as if to say, man, I’d rather be in that chair!
I don’t blame him. He can really curl up in the chair and I think with the cooler weather and missing coat, he’s cold. He’s 65 pounds and thin. Should probably gain another 10 pounds.

And a tree in the park across the street, where we walk. 

Sleeping it off

Rocky is home, doped up on pain meds. He cried in the car on the way home, more than his usual whining, I think because it hurt to move around with the car’s movement. I felt so bad.
Walked him right away. He seemed happy to be home, but sore.
I had to work, so KJ had care duty. Said he mostly slept in my bedroom chair or down in his kennel. 
Go back in two weeks for removal of the stitches, then he can get his dental work done and be available!
The Packers beat the Bears. All is good.

Surgery day

I dropped Rocky off this morning at Skyline. He will be neutered and have his umbilical hernia repaired. Poor guy. He will stay overnight and I’ll pick him up tomorrow afternoon. I hated to leave him. He’s just been through so much. He whines in the car, I think because every time he goes in the car it means major things happen. And not necessarily fun things. I haven’t taken him to the dog park yet. I know there are unneutered males there, but for me, personally, I just don’t like to do that. Too many people bring aggressive dogs in and I don’t want Rocky to feel insecure. We’ve really made progress on his confidence.

He has now claimed the bedroom chair, so that tells me he feels really comfortable. As I’ve mentioned before, my bedroom chair serves as a dog bed overnight. I’m still closing my door at night to confine him in the bedroom. Most dogs don’t soil where they sleep, but given too much freedom, they’ll go elsewhere in the house. Brett sleeps in KJ’s room, and Woodson sleeps in either room. So when Woodson is in my room there is often a juggling of who gets the chair. It’s funny to see, actually. As I’m getting ready for bed, Rocky is getting in there first before Woodson thinks of it. I know they switch places throughout the night, too. I took a picture last night of Rocky in the chair that I’ll post once I get it off the camera.

Rocky will come home with the old ‘cone of shame’ that I know I’m going to have to keep on him, even in the kennel. He’s in the bigger crate when we’re gone so that shouldn’t be too bad.

Here’s a new picture of Ramona (Rocky’s sister). They were able to save her coat. She’s gorgeous and I know once Rocky’s coat grows back in he will be just as pretty!

What a difference a day makes!

I was woken up by Rocky this morning. Happy he did it, but I could have slept another hour before getting up.

Took him to the vet. The people at Skyline are so great. Dr. Ryan feels Rocky is a bit older than four. Estimated 5-6 years old. His teeth are inbetween being bad and good. He has a broken tooth in the front where the root is still visible so that will need to be removed, during a cleaning if that gets board approval. 
Then came checking the male parts for his neutering on Wednesday. But wait! He was so matted underneath, that they brought in another tech and went to work on him. I’ve been brushing him, and his chest was shaved when his neck was shaved, so I hadn’t seen him in his original state. When it came to his backside I was trying to be gentle because I knew he didn’t like it, and that there were mats, but I was also assuming that could be shaved during the neuter. Dr. Ryan said they were too bad to leave until then. Rocky’s been peeing into a mat and poop was getting caught up in a mat, not to mention the long continuous mats in several areas.

He did really well while they shaved his underside, but tried to bite when we got to his rear. I don’t blame him! A muzzle was put on and they finished the job. He looks rather poodle-ish, but when I got home and walked him? Wow! He was actually prancing! And his head is starting to come up. It makes me want to cry to see him feeling so much better. I told Dr. Ryan my suspicions that the reason Rocky trudged along with his head down was because he’s never been able to lift it because of the mats. He agreed. All the mats underneath probably had a lot to do with how he walks, too.

We discovered an umbilical hernia, too, which can be removed during the neuter, if approved. There are spots all along his underside. I asked if that was from chaffing and Dr. Ryan said yes. That some of them could be permanent discoloration, but that will get all covered up as his fur grows back. It’s hard to see a collie shaved down to the skin, but I’m okay with it when it makes them feel so much better. Once this grows out, added with good food and care, he’s going to be gorgeous!

Quick update

Yay for Rocky! He came into the room and started panting and wagging his tail. I asked him if he had to go outside and he wagged his tail, so off we went. Didn’t take him long to go, either. Partay!!!!!!! Not saying he’s housebroken, but this is definite progress!
I’d like to try to bathe him this weekend. Might be too chilly to do it outside, though.
Definitely plan to get some new pictures.

Forgot I had a few on my cell phone.


We’re (KJ and I) really starting to lose it when it comes to the current foster’s name! He keeps calling Rocky, Rocket, which was our foster in February. That’s an easy slip. I, on the otherhand, keep calling Woodson, Thor. I’ve also started asking the same question three minutes after asking it. I know this is from having so much on my mind that I’m not listening well.
We’ve had a couple accidents with pee, but all No. 2 has been outside. Have an appointment at the vet on Saturday and then a tentative neuter appointment set up for next Wednesday. And no accidents this morning.
My morning routine, now that school’s in session, is getting up at 6 a.m., and start the procession getting each dog outside and fed. I walk them seperately into the park. It’s still dark, but starting to get light, so I can see. I keep thinking something is going to jump out at me. There are woodchucks and coyotes in the park. I know it’s unlikely with a dog next to me, but still. Eventually I’ll go back to tieing them up on the cable in the morning.
Rocky is a bush pooper. He likes to go on bushes. Woodson likes to go in the tall weeds. Brett is easy, he just goes in the grass, but has to run several circles around me (I feel like I’m lounging a horse), and I get dizzy!
Rocky is learning “kennel” and “go lay down’. He’s very shy, so a quick ‘hey’ works when you want him to stop doing something. He’s a hoverer, which is understandable, given his former situation. He wants attention, all the time. He walks with his head down. It’s a little sad to see and I hope that he can come around to being more confident.
I brushed Rocky again yesterday. Got a lot more of the undercoat out. He stands still until I get to the backside and tail. I’m doing what I can back there, but I don’t want to stress him out too much. I think it could take six months to a year for his coat to improve. The outer coat is so dry it feels like straw. Maybe there’s a leave-in conditioner I can put on him.

First night

We had a good night. I had Rocky loose in my closed bedroom and he really just slept all night. Didn’t even wake me up this morning. He’s not familiar with my sounds. The minute I open my eyes, check the time, Brett and Woodson will get up and start bugging me. 
I took Rocky out first, then fed him in the garage so he could eat by himself. I always run my fingers through a new foster’s food, keeping my hand in the food as I set the bowl down. Then move my hand up over his head. It didn’t seem to bother him at all. He was eating before my hand left his head.
I was giving him treats last night, too. He didn’t really know what they were at first, but once he had a few, he wanted more!
I’ve noticed that when I walk toward him he backs away and actually seems to be looking for a way to get away from me. Don’t know if this is just general shyness or if he’s used to being ‘grabbed’. He ducks his head as I reach for his collar to hook up the leash. To Brett and Woodson, the leash is a happy thing and they offer up their necks to make it easier to hook the leash.
He basically looked at the cats and that was it. Lily had a hissy fit when she felt she was cornered by him, but   I don’t think he even knew she was sitting there when he came near her.

Now, this morning as I sit here, Woodson is trying to get him to play.

Rocky’s here!

I picked up Rocky and Gabe in Bloomington and headed to New Richmond to meet Gabe’s foster family. I grew up in New Richmond. It’s been several decades since I lived there and it’s changed a lot. I met them on the north side of town on a dead end road in front of what turned out to be the school bus parking lot. The Farm and Home is still there. When I was in high school, Kris and I would ride horses through a cornfield to the Farm and Home. Back then it was the only thing really on that end of town. We’d go in to buy candy bars, then ride back home.
On the drive to NR both dogs calmly laid down in the back. They were great riders. Rocky is underweight and has had his entire neck shaved. It looks really weird, because his skinny neck sticks out from this poufy body. 
We made the exchange. Neither dog would  jump into the car so I lifted him up.  Rocky started whining and wasn’t happy, I think, about leaving his brother behind. I headed over to my cousin’s house and spent some time talking to Trish in the back yard where Rocky was able to relax for a bit before getting back in the car. He’d been in a car since about 10 a.m. or so, so it was really nice to give him this break.
Got back home and walked him right away. Now he’s getting used to the house. He doesn’t like bare floors or steps but he’s going up and down reluctantly.
I was able to give him a quick brush and got out a lot of the undercoat. There’s so much left, though. The picture, with my foot for perspective shows what came out. This was about 15 minutes of brushing. The second picture is of KJ taking Rocky’s picture. The deck is small so it’s hard to get a good picture of a moving dog. 
So far no accidents, but I don’t think he’s house-trained.
He wants attention, constantly. I don’t think he’s had much in his life.