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Last farewell……

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It was only a week and a half ago that Jackie and I picked up two mini-poodles to foster and who won our hearts.

Remember Simba and Maggie’s first picture looked like this

Today I photographed them in their crate as they awaited meeting their new Mom.

They are now clean, sweet smelling, well fed and pretty relaxed. What a difference a few days make.

New Mom Caron met us in Portsmouth NH.  They will be going to Maine to live with other little elderly poodles.  Mom was upbeat, happy to meet them and very happy to take them to their new home. My Dad and I were happy to see them so warmly received.

This is the end of the foster story but their forever life is just beginning. 

Just remember that an older dog can make a wonderful pet – they have nothing but love to share.

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Last night…Simba speaks

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Something is going on.  I can tell that Mom is different and has been hugging me more. She talks about my new Mom and what a nice lady she is.  I’ve only had a Dad before.  Having a Mom and a Dad and a Grandpa is new.  I like it – there is always someone ready to pick me up and kiss me or scratch me ir take me out.  The other dogs are ok – Maggie keeps trying to play with me – but I have forgotten how to do that. I’m lucky that Lady is with me – I love her.

This house is nice. I have memorized the path from the den to the dining room to the kitchen and living room.  I know where the water is and where Grandpa’s room is. Sometimes if I am lucky I find pieces of dog food on the floor.  They eat in the dining room and sometimes it smells so good that I dance a bit.

I sleep a lot – I get tired easy, but the bed in the crate is nice and soft. I sleep good there and at nighttime I sleep on MY bed near Mom. And I get to eat twice a day – I LOVE to eat.  Sometimes Lady and I switch bowls just to check out  if we have the same food.   I still have most of my teeth.  I don’t know why people think that that is amazing.

Right now I am on the couch with Mom.  I love lying on the couch in the den.  I can hear what is going on. Sometimes the dogs all start barking and I will bark too – why not? Something must be going on.

  Soon it will be time to go out and get ready for bed. I love going to sleep on MY bed. It makes me feel like I am home.

Poodle rescue at work…

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This great group of volunteers – Poodle Rescue New England – has found a home for Simba and Lady.  It is a great ending to their story.  They are gong to a home in Maine – and will travel there within a day or two.

The story will end through Simba’s eyes.

They will forever be part of our hearts – even though they were only here with us for a short time.  Makes you believe in Happy Endings and that dreams do come true!

Lady speaks….

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Yesterday Mom & Dad took Simba)and I to this place with LOTS of dogs.  I was nervous, and when I get nervous I go on attack cause offense is the best defense, right?  I charged big dogs and little dogs and kept them away from Mom & Dad.  They kept telling me to stop it, but didn’t they know I was doing it for them?

Luckily we didn’t stay long – we walked A LOT, but that’s ok. I like to walk and I know I look pretty when I walk – so walk on!

I was tired when I got home and so was Simba.  We both took long naps and went to bed early.

Today, when Mom came home from work she put leashes on Simba and I. I was sooooo excited – I love to go for walks!  Only we went in the car.  I like that too – where are we going Mom?  We rode for about 10 minutes and then she parked the car. We went for a little walk so we could do our business, and then Mom walked us into this building.  HOLD IT!  I know this kind of smell!  It’s the place with needles and stuff.  I wanted  to tell Mom that I don’t like this place – and there were more dogs here! Oh my  – I have to watch for the needles and keep the dogs away from Mom.  I was shaking – there was so much to do! Simba was pretty good  about it – but that is the way he is these days.  When you see and hear less you don’t worry so much. He’s lucky.

It seemed like I was on guard forever – then I heard my name.  Mom took us into this little room – no dogs in there, just that smell.  There was a nice lady there who petted me.  She made Simba and I get on a scale and had the nerve to say I gained a little weight! I am finally eating twice a day – of course I will gain weight – I enjoy being slightly voluptuous! I have womanly curves – finally!

Then that nice lady took me into another room and OH NO – there was the needle!  I have epilepsy and every  6 months they have to draw my blood to check my levels – not sure what levels – but I still don’t like it.  I did some deep breathing and tried so hard to ignore her. And I couldn’t wait to go back to see Mom.

She brought me back to Mom and Simba. It was so good to see them!  Mom picked me up and kissed me.  There was another lady in the room – Mom called her the Vet. She looked at me, listened to my heart, stomach, etc. Said I looked good – I could have told her that! Simba looked good too – especially for his age. Everyone says he’s old, but he still runs around and lets me know if I don’t behave.

I was so glad to get back in the car.  I went to my favorite space, on the floor in front of the passenger’s seat.  I finally could relax.  We got home and got to have supper!  I love my new home – I get to eat in the morning and at night – and Mom and Pepere seem to know when I am hungry and then food appears.

Right now I am relaxing on the couch near Simba and Mom.  It is my favorite time of day.  Everyone is home and relaxed.  The other dogs are lying down too – it’s great.

Paws in the Park

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Today we went to our first Rescue event.  It was called Paws in the Park and was held at the historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.

My husband, father and I went with Simba and Lady.  The other guys stayed home.  The dogs were nervous on the way up – they really didn’t understand why they were in a crate in the car (on the way home – Lady skipped the crate).

We arrived and there were lots of cars and lots of dogs – all kinds of dogs!  Big ones, small ones, teeny ones, gorgeous purebreds and interesting looking all american dogs.  We had to walk from the parking lot to a field in back of the inn. Simba was fascinated by all the smells – and typical male dog, had to mark everything.  Lady was trying to make a point that we were her people and was ready to take on any dog, any size.  That was a new behavior for her – just reinforces the fact that she needs to go to a home with Simba and no other dogs.  She doesn’t like to share. HOWEVER, she is much more relaxed with my guys.  Who knows – in a couple of weeks she might be over it.

We walked in and every dog was given a bandana to wear –  we walked by a number of rescue booths. Toy poodle rescue, St. Bernard Rescue, Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Old English Sheepdog Rescue.  We were looking for Poodle Rescue New England. Found them and found our mentor Anne and Amanda who called me about the two dogs initially.  Met Amy and some other people whose names escape me, though I remember Lil’ Bit, Cricket and Daisy – very nice dogs looking for a home.

There was a large ring set up in the middle of the field – with bowls of water placed around the ring for the dogs. There were a number of vendors selling all kinds of dogs related items, collars, beds, coats, sweaters, jewelry, organic dog food, etc. I didn’t have much time to check things out.  We were there to take part in the parade of adoptable dogs.

We got my Dad seated  and he was immediately visited by a gorgeous Doberman and his owner.  He was a retired show dog.  He liked my Dad and kept his head on my Dad’s lap.  When he was told to leave, he stayed there like he found a great place to rest.  He was gorgeous.

It was fun to see all the different poodles, white ones, black ones, apricot, standards, mini’s and toys.  One had a visor on – I believe she has eye issues. They were so cute – and the poodles all loved their owners and were loved in return.  You could see that in the interactions.

There were lots of people there with their own dogs.  It was a cool cloudy day, nice to be outdoors with man’s best friend. They held a kissing contest in the ring for kids and their dogs. That was cute to watch!

Soon we found ourselves lining up for the “parade”  Actually they called out the Rescue group’s name and the dogs names and we went in the ring, walked around the ring and talked to people who commented on the dogs. It all took place very quickly – we were in and out. I did talk to a few people about the two – but Simba’s age is an issue.  They need to see this guy in action – he is unbelievable!

I can’t figure out how to turn this picture around – but Dad is here with Simba who was tired after all that walking!

After the hour long ride home, the dogs took naps and ate dinner.   We got a surprise from Simba tonight.  I had cooked some chicken, sweet potatoes, string beans, and made a salad for dinner.  Evidently Simba LOVES chicken .  He was near my husband and started dancing on his hind legs – we couldn’t believe it.  I tried to take a picture – but the dancing was spontaneous. He was too funny and obviously his age is only a number!

Tomorrow we go to the vet for a wellness check. Right now we are all in the den – watching the news – Simba and Harry are on the couch with me, Maggie asleep on the ottoman, Tucker asleep on the floor and Lady in the corner on a dog bed. Lots of snoring going on!

Learning how to foster

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I have always said that parenting is the most difficult job in the world and no one trains you how to do it.  Fostering is similar – you learn  by listening, watching, assessing, asking for help and following your instincts.

Here are some things that I have learned in 6 days.

It is harder than I thought. Not sure what I expected.  I knew that the dogs would be nervous, maybe upset, have issues, etc.  It is all of that PLUS my dogs – who actually are doing great – but they have had their issues with the newcomers and we need to make sure they get attention too. One grumpy dog can upset the apple cart.

It is easier than I thought.  When things go well, like they did last night, it was a piece of cake – everyone was happy – some playing between fosters and my dogs is starting. Three dogs on the couch, one playing fetch and one in the recliner.

You need to watch your feet. Those little dogs are always right there!

You become a problem solver.  Simba was having a hard time sleeping through the night.  We had him downstairs in the kitchen, so he could roam and be safe.  He would wake up, bark and pace.  Last night my husband and I talked about the fact that he use to sleep in his owner’s bedroom.  So we brought his bed up, put it near my side of the bed, and he slept like a lamb. And so did we!

An open door is an escape route – even for a second. I learned this one this morning – I was leaving for work, didn’t watch my feet, and my little gray shadow Lady left with me.  Luckily she is all about following me so we came back in but the Maggie ran out. Got her at the neighbors – not a great way to start the day.

Pack Mentality. 5 dogs and 5 personalities HAVE to act as a healthy pack, otherwise you have chaos.  I love the Dog Whisperer and I think we have used all of his tips this week – and they work.

Here we have 3 little minis eating breakfast – no one has issues – everyone knows what is expected of them – good behavior!

Poodles 101

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Here is some basic poodle info. They are cool dogs – smart,

 non-shedding, almost hypo-allergenic (no dog really is),

funny, playful, smart, did I say smart? Scary smart!

Great family pets.

 

 

Poodles 101

Is a Poodle Right for Me?

If you’re thinking about adopting a poodle, you must consider both the attention they require and the cost of maintaining one. Poodles are highly intelligent beings and possess a keen sense of humor. They are extremely loyal to their humans and are also playful, affectionate, good-natured, eager to please, energetic and elegant in appearance. Poodles are mild-mannered and protective. They are solid dogs with life expectancies averaging between 12 and 18+ years (depending on size).

Care of Poodles

Poodles are non-shedding and make excellent pets for those with allergies. However, their dense, curly hair needs to be maintained properly or it will become matted causing their skin to become irritated and possibly infected; thus requiring medical treatment. Poodles need to be brushed daily (by you) and groomed professionally on a regular basis (every six weeks).

Poodles are prone to dental problems, which can lead to serious health implications including heart and kidney problems. This can be regulated with a high quality dry food, daily teeth brushing by you (this can be made fun!) and dental cleanings by your veterinarian.

Poodles are inclined to develop ear infections. Their full, floppy ears provide the ideal warm, moist environment for yeast and bacteria. Healthy poodle ears should be cleaned on a regular basis and kept free of hair which can clog the ear canal and create infections. Regular trips to the groomer will ensure that the ear canal is free of hair.

Poodles can be expensive to maintain. If you’re thinking about adopting a poodle, you need to consider both the attention they need and the cost of maintaining them, including annual vet exams, heartworm prevention and flea and tick preventatives. In addition to the normal expenses of dog ownership, grooming costs can be high. A professional grooming is recommended at least every 6-8 weeks and can cost anywhere from $30-$90 depending on the size of the dog.

Poodle Types

Toy Poodles

Toys are ideal for older or less-active people, or for those with limited living space. Toys are not recommended families with children and should never be left alone with them because of possible injury due to their small size.

Miniature Poodles

Mini poodles are energetic and need a moderate amount of exercise. They are also good for those with limited living space. However, they can weigh up to 20 pounds, so they are harder to lift for more fragile people. They are not recommended for young children (under 15) and should be placed in homes with fenced-in yards.

Standard Poodles

Like most large dogs, to support good manners and household etiquette, standards must have regular exercise and training. Standards are recommended for those who are able to control them. Due to their size and energy level, standards are not a good choice for people who live in homes without a fenced-in yard or with small children.

Courtesy – Poodle Rescue New England