Thursday, May 28, 2009

On to my Forever Home

Bringing Dinky home was quite the adventure… after spending around 6 hours in car, getting put into my car for another 1 hour, she finally was able to get out and of course go to the bathroom (that was probably the easiest task in our first week together). I had only had two foster dogs before her and to be honest they spoiled me… to say the least. Since Dinky had had such a big day, I decided to let her just try to figure out the new digs.

Dinky scared and hiding

So our bath adventure began on Day 2, and it resembled a cartoon of giving Garfield a bath. She did not like the bathroom at all, and since it was summer, I though it would be okay to do the bath outside. This poor little girl does not trust people yet, so I have her on a leash, am trying to get her wet with the hose and then get close enough to shampoo her. It was crazy… I don’t know who was more dizzy, me or her. It was around and around and around. I seemed like it took 2 hours, but it was probably closer to 20-30 minutes. When I finally let go of the leash, she couldn’t get away from me fast enough. She will probably never understand that the bath was for her good… but it is an adventure that I will never forget.

Dinky after her bath

Day 3 lead to the next adventure… leaving her home while I went out. It was a good friend’s 50th birthday, and as I said before my previous fosters had spoiled me, so I didn’t think twice about leaving her in the house with my other dogs, Mikey and Angel. I only stayed about 3 hours, as I wanted to get home and check on Dinky. As I walked in the door, I could just tell something was wrong. I rounded the corner into my living and oh my goodness… my heart just sank. I felt so bad for leaving Dinky. She was so scared that she had gone crazy, tearing up pillows, destroying blinds, chewing power chords, ripping up books. You can see by the pictures that she really did a number trying to get out of the house. Looking back I now know that since she had never been in a house before, everything freaked her out. Well, I will not make that mistake again. Thus began the crate training and to my surprise she took to it very well. So when I am not home, she goes into her crate and since then we have been working on being left out a little bit at time and she has worked up to being inside alone for 3 hours.

Chewed chord and destroyed blinds

After a few weeks with Dinky, I began questioning myself and what I was not accomplishing with Dinky. I had never met a dog that did not warm up to me and it seemed as though Dinky and I were not working out. She wouldn’t take treats from me, I had to leave the room for her to eat; she basically wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. Lucky for me she had at least formed a bond with Mikey and Angel. I was talking to Lorayn at Dog Town who was willing to find an alternate placement, but I just didn’t want to give up yet. So she suggested that I talk to Mary Ann, foster Mom (now forever Mom) to Buffy, another Gabbs dog. What a relief… for the first time I felt like I really wasn’t doing anything wrong. Mary Ann and Buffy were going through the same obstacles. I finally felt in my heart that Dinky was in the right spot and that I just needed to relax and let her open up at her own pace.

Through the months, there were good days and bad. It would seem like we made 1 step forward one day and 20 steps back the next. As long as we stuck to our routine things were great. And then… I got sick and was hospitalized for 4 days. Oh boy, it was like we were back to square one. I thought things might bounce back quickly, but it took Dinky a month to get back into the swing of things. I don’t blame her… I disappear and there are two strangers (her future Grandparents) trying to take care of her. But we did make it back to our “normalcy” and have stayed on our road to healing.

Happy Dinky

There are so many stories I would love to share… Dinky has definitely been an adventure in my life. She has really bonded with my other dogs and has learned from them how to be a dog. Doesn’t that sound funny? She will play tag with them, wrestle at times, and even sneak off with toys. She will take treats from me now… especially cheese. And we are still working on her coming to me. She is fine with me going into her safe place now, but still will not approach me. It is strange, but even though Dinky and I still have a lot of work to do, I cannot imagine my life without her now.

Dinky with her new brother Mikey

BTW – In January 2009, I decided to adopt Dinky. She has now found her forever home and has all the time she wants to heal.

Dinky is a Gem!

Monday, May 11, 2009

HI from ARNIE!

Arnie wanted to say Hi! to all his old girl friends.

Arnie joined our family a month ago when his original foster family moved away and didn't think Arnie could handle the cross-country trip. He has made great progress in the last year, but he still has not learned to walk on leash. The result is that he has grown obese from lack of exercise. Anybody else have this problem? How did you solve it?

Jim Shields
Grateful Dogs Rescue
San Francisco

Arnie looks pretty content...


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CHESTER's Back at Dog Town!

Chester was one of the first dogs to be rescued from Gabbs, thanks to Lorayn Walser and Dog Town Canine Rescue. Chester arrived at Dog Town in December, 2007, before the Big Rescue. He was more people-oriented than most of the Gabbs dogs and, after a short stay at Dog Town, he was adopted. Sadly, after a year in his new home, his owner passed away. In spite of losing two owners in such a short time, Chester was lucky - he’s safe and secure at Dog Town again.

Chester looking Proud

Chester’s now in a foster home in Carson City and doing very well. He’s housebroken, gets along with other dogs, and has beautiful house manners. He does great on a leash and enjoys his morning walks.

Chester has a minor eye condition, one he’s had since his days in Gabbs. A simple treatment of eye drops is all that’ll likely be needed to keep it in check. Fortunately, his eyesight isn’t affected.

What a boy

Coincidentally, (or maybe not), he shares his temporary home with Buffy, another Gabbs alumni.

To meet Chester, you can contact his foster mom, Mary Ann, at (775) 882-9530, e-mail, or Dog Town Canine Rescue, (775) 230-3703, e-mail

So handsome...


Good luck Chester! We love you!

Friday, May 1, 2009

JUDAH (a.k.a. Jacob/Jaydo)

We are one of the incredibly lucky families to have a Gabbs dog join our family. According to all the papers we got, Jacob first went to the shelter in Oakland where he was so shy he was deemed unadoptable. From there he went to Best friends where his name was changed to Jaydo. We met him in February when we visited the Sanctuary. After spending one night with him we were in love and on March 20th he was flown to us in Pennsylvania where he now lives with his forever family.

Judah (finally his permanent name) is doing absolutely amazing in every way. He has made so much progress in the short month we have had him we are all stunned. We have to keep reminding each other that he still needs time to fully assimilate because in so many ways he is a member of the family as if he has always been here. We vowed we would never let him off lead until at least 3 months had passed but honestly there is no reason on earth to leash this dog. He stays with us everywhere we go and spends all day outside with us playing in the creek with our Yorkie, Eddie and our two teenage boys, learning to play fetch (and doing very well considering he did not seem to know what a ball was a few weeks ago!), hiking and just lounging on the porch with us. He is so smart and responsive and all of us are already allowed to pet him, rub his face madly which he loves and even give him kisses. Pretty incredible considering he would not allow any contact without trying to get away when we met him. Two days ago it became clear that he knows he is called Judah and is responding to his name beautifully, comes when we call him and will do anything for his organic chicken treats.

He and Eddie sleep curled up which warms our hearts. He is great with the cats and so cute with them. In short we ADORE this beautiful dog and he seems as happy as can be. Even though we know he still has his internal demons and has a way to go yet, we could not be happier with how he is doing. Our sincerest thanks to everyone along the way who participated in rescuing Judah and helping him find his way home.

Best wishes,
Nancy, Rachel, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Eddie and Judah

Three Cheers for Judah!!!